Stones Turned 2021-06-13

June 13, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I learned a bunch this week and feel somewhat happy with how I used my time.

I guess Google FLoC achieves its goals

The idea that “FLoC IDs are an additional dimension of how you resolve identity is definitely true,” said Desai. He said he expects identity tech and ad tech providers to incorporate FLoC IDs as another signal they might use to help resolve identity or to inform what companies know about people they already have identifiable profiles on. “As FLoC IDs start to come into the ID graph, you can associate those with those profiles,” he said.

and later…

“Chrome is going to be presenting this FLoC ID to every site that I visit the first time that I visit them,” said Cyphers. “Without doing anything else, the first time you’re seen by [a website or ad system] they’re going to have this little package of information about you.”

Beware of tight feedback loops started as an interesting read but ended without much actionable information. I took a few notes but it's mostly soft ideas like...

Creativity is a function of being well-read and having exposed to a variety of stimuli. Reading different sorts of books, blogs, novels, and primers will help. Exploring new places and talking with different people also fills us with more concepts and ideas to draw from.

We gain slack by being emotionally, physically, socially, and financially secure. This is a long-term project. Slack may be the most difficult factor to improve, because it is a reflection of our life circumstances. That said, discarding low priority tasks and chores can free up time and mental energy.

I decided to look at the Obsidian plugin security. I'm still not convinced Obsidian is the right tool for me, simply because there's no iOS app and even seeing the features requires a cult initiation.

A YouTube video referenced Displate for wall art and I like the designs.

I spent some time trying to figure out how to make iTerm2 work better with Alfred. It was unproductive after five minutes so I gave up.

I read How To Win At Risk By Using Systems Thinking. It was an interesting idea even though I haven't played the game of Risk in 30 years. I do think that "systems thinking" is overused in the wrong contexts. In this case it seems like a good model.

Limiting Factor: Systems collapse if the growth force is allowed to run unchecked. At a certain point, the system hits a limiting factor. In the bathtub example, the limiting factor is the desired level of water in the tub. You can always spot the limiting factors in a system by looking at the (1) carrying capacities of the stocks or (2) the goals of the players in the system.

VSCode just got a super power for remote repositories.

The new Remote Repositories extension, published by GitHub, makes the experience of opening source code repositories in VS Code instant and safe. With this, you can quickly browse, search, edit, and commit to any remote GitHub repository (and soon, Azure Repos) directly from within VS Code, no clone necessary!

VSCode regularly impresses me and I still prefer it over most other code editors.

I learned a bit about properly harvesting oregano, lettuce, and basil.

Dang, FarCry 6 looks good. I've half-played most of the series and will likely half-play this installment.

I skimmed a very long story of a likely very terrible person. I'm not sure how I feel about using my time to read it. Maybe sad.

I looked into YubiKey for 2FA instead of software authenticators and SMS. I'm not yet convinced that it would make me more secure but I'm not done reading about it. Smart people seem to think these are a good idea.

I learned about Jesus H. Christ and now realize how weird language is.

Mostly I spent my free time trying to understand how Anaconda (and Miniconda) work because I severly broke some of my Python and Jupyter workflows this week. It's all fixed now and I'll probably write more about it later.

Older articles

  1. I Can Haz Gratitude

    June 12, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Great blog post about the burdens of running a tiny piece of software that became a critical piece of global infrastructure.

    There was a phase for a few years where malware authors kept writing malware that would call out to to find out what they had infected. If ...

  2. On Digital Gardening, Blogs, and Knowledge

    June 11, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I’m seeing a lot less internet chatter about “productivity” and a lot more about information structures.1 I think this represents a natural followup to the task management craze of previous years. The market responded to GTD with a huge variety of apps and systems and most of us ...

  3. Remember the Shelf

    June 06, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I remember iOS 11 like it was just 4 decades ago. There was so much excitement for the new drag and drop features on the iPad that I can feel my adrenaline increase as I write this missive. “Finally”, the iPad was getting real. I took my enthusiasm and invested ...

  4. Types of Blogs

    June 06, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I have a couple of little projects that have me thinking a lot about blogging. One of those projects is to groom and optimize my RSS feed reading. Crazy, right? I don’t like reading most mainstream news and I definitely don’t like Apple News. RSS is a good ...

  5. NetNewsWire iCloud Sync

    May 20, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Speaking of RSS, I've been very happy with the latest NetNewsWire betas. iCloud syncing in NetNewsWire is fast and stupid-easy. The iOS apps are very nice for reading and the Mac app is stable and uses very little power. It's just nice to have a rock-solid RSS reader ...

  6. Fool Me Once… Google and RSS

    May 19, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Apparently Google rediscovered RSS. I look forward to their second failure with it.

    It does make me wonder what advertising scheme they are planning to shoehorn into their version of RSS that wasn’t possible 8 years ago.

  7. The M1 Mac Experience

    May 19, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    Have you heard enough about the new M1 Macs? Of course you haven’t, that’s why you’re here. I’ve been using the new MacBook Air with M1 ARM processor for a few weeks. It has been mostly great. The battery life is unbelievable and it’s a ...

  8. Link Fest May 2021

    May 09, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    There are some delightful sites out there on the internet. Here’s a few that I’m enjoying. I only had one criteria for this list: the sites must support RSS. Remember RSS? It’s like Twitter without the buttholes. is a weird and wonderful collection of things ...

  9. Wizardzines

    May 04, 2021 by Gabe | [mmd] |

    I read a lot of technical papers and books. None are as fun as the comic-esque explainers from Wizardzines. Now, Julia Evans has put everything online, including incomplete comics and single topics such as Sort & Uniq

    Wizardzines are wonderful little tutorials that don’t just make good references (or posters ...