I’m Jamie Thingelstad, and this is the Weekly Thing. One of the delights of sending this email is hearing from you! Hit reply and say Hi…
This week we watched The Social Dilemma on a recommendation from Tammy’s sister Angie. This movie is showing up on many blog posts and I purposefully didn’t read any of them until I watched the movie myself. I thought it was a good movie targeted to a broad audience. Less nerd speak, and more relatable. I recommend watching it. I didn’t write anything yet about it because I want to do something longer on it. Oftentimes though that can result in not writing anything, so in the meantime just watch it. It will make you more informed, and may motivate you to take some actions. And if your kids are old enough, have them watch it too.
This week had some low points for me. Like so many of you I spend a lot of time talking to people via my computer. It is a modern miracle that we can still see and engage with so many people using our technology. But it can also be hollow talking to “boxes on the screen” as I like to joke. I also realized I needed a change of scenery, so I went into the office one day, moved about more, and made a point to have a walk with a friend I don’t see enough. I’m amazed how much better that made me feel. I’m no longer questioning if the boxes on the computer screen that I’m talking to are possibly just very sophisticated AI’s. 🤖
Take a nice slow read through this and admire the pictures. Gorgeous stuff.
Other facets of the allure include patience, nostalgia, passion, connection, perseverance, resilience, gratitude and grace. Perhaps all of these are at the heart of spigot ferrules, casting accuracy and, yes, the rods.
Some good virtues there. 🎣
YouTube doesn’t get enough focus for the role that it plays spreading disinformation. I think this is in part because YouTube doesn’t feel like a social network. It has different mechanics. However, it shares one key mission that all social networks have. The number one objective is to get you to engage as long as possible, through whatever means work. It is good to see that they are working to adapt their algorithms to fight this, but I suspect that will just result in a “cat & mouse” game forever.
When you look deeper at YouTube you see an incredibly effective algorithmic radicalization engine. Yes, it’s also surrounded by videos on how to fix your plumbing. YouTube is one of the most challenging platforms because it is both a utility and a social network.
The best way to engage in YouTube in my view is to never, never, really never, click on any recommended videos. Drop in, get what you want, and get out of dodge. Even better, if you use a feed reader like Feedbin, you can subscribe to channels there and avoid all recommended content and just get what you specifically want. That is how I get SpaceX videos, and a handful of other channels I like to keep up with.
Watching: A friend of mine that is into BBQ turned me onto Chef’s Table BBQ and it is literally mouth watering TV. What I’ve seen so far proves out my saying that the key ingredients to good barbecue are just three things: air 💨, fire 🔥, and love ❤️.
Installing: Netflix because out plan to cancel our subscription didn’t even make it to the effective date of the cancellation before we decided to keep it.
Two Kayakers enjoying a nearly perfect Minnesota September day on Lake of the Isles.
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Wise words to think hard about.
The thing is, once you target external validation, you’re trapped.
External validation is a need to be weaned, not watered.
Free is better.
This is a fast and simple tool that you can throw any URL in and it will show you the surveillance that site is doing on you. I ran it on The NY Times front page and the results look correct. This is very approachable tool. The scan of my site shows only one thing due to an embedded Tweet.
These all look like good areas to focus on in your personal development.
I’m excited about this new series of articles that we are sharing internally with TeamSPS and on our SPS Technology blog called I’m Here.
“I’m Here” is a new initiative that SPS Technology is launching to strengthen our culture, improve diversity, and become a more inclusive organization. We will feature “I’m Here” stories to share experiences and perspectives from volunteers across our teams.
The first one is from Amanda Swan and is a great read.
I’ve been using Apple Watch faces specific to home and work for a while, but just manually switching between them. This is a brilliant use of location based automation and new Shortcuts functionality in iOS 14 and watchOS 7.
QAnon seems to have broken through to the larger mass audience press recently. Activity around it has been percolating for a long time. I found this article interesting because it was more of a personal level take on it. After reading this, it sure seems that QAnon exhibits many of the same characteristics as cults have for years.
These graphs of flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere are amazing. I wonder how much impact we could have on the flu by keeping some of the practices we have learned from Covid-19 around.
The scope of information that is being disclosed (some of it is being held back) is immense. There are so many examples of Facebook being used by bad actors to influence groups of people to their benefit. It’s happening around the world. Ask yourself, when do you feel the world started to get more chaotic and polarized. Then look at a chart of Facebook growth. That isn’t an accident.
In other examples, Zhang revealed new information about a large-scale fake account network used to amplify and manipulate information about COVID-19, as well as a political influence operation that used fake accounts to influence 2018 elections in the US and Brazil. Some of these details were not previously disclosed by Facebook, suggesting the company’s regular takedown announcements remain selective and incomplete.
Facebook is an incredibly cheap and effective tool to alter your behavior in many ways, most of which you won’t even know about. Delete your account now.
For a more condensed read on this, see Facebook Has Been a Disaster for the World.
In depth overview of the new capabilities in watchOS 7. My personal highlights include the new watch faces, Shortcuts running directly on the watch, and oddly the new hand washing detection which has surprisingly made me a better hand washer. ⌚️
As an industry we are getting better at associating quality metrics with software delivery. We are getting to some decent amounts of science to go with the art. None of this however can be taken as an absolute and a performance metric of people. You need to look at these in conjunction with overall team performance and help guide team members to better solutions.
Reflections from Shipman on the process she used to meet with every person on her team when starting a new role.
The first was getting an idea of what change was needed. These meetings gave me a brilliant insight that wasn’t available elsewhere. Patterns started emerging very quickly, and formed the basis of our tech strategy.
The second was building relationships. A lot of the people I had 1:1s with I would not have come into contact with during the course of the ordinary working week. It would have taken time to meet everyone at socials, and it wouldn’t have been the same quality of conversation. I still feel, two years on, that I know a bit about all the people I had those conversations with, which has felt to me like a good foundation for our subsequent conversations.
Maintaining direct relationships with your team is important, even as your team scales in size. There are multiple ways to do it.
Trying Sous Vides brisket for the first time. Trimmed down the flat. Simple salt and pepper. Texas style. Cut in half to vacuum seal for the bath. In the 155° water bath for 36 hours. Will finish on Big Green Egg for 3-4 hours for smoke and bark on Saturday.
24 hours into the Sous Vides and all proceeding well!
First time we’ve had a full unplanned Xfinity service outage during remote work and school. Switched everyone to use their phones as hotspots. Hopefully service is restored soon. There is major construction a block away that I suspect is related.
Update: Service came back after only about 15 min. Wonder what the issue was… 🤔
A few days ago we happened to go to Rosalia on their very first night open to the public. Rosalia is the newest restaurant from Daniel del Prada, and is right behind one of our favorite restaurants in town, Martina. Rosalia is counter service pizza and our first visit was a great success. We had Pepperoni, Bianca, and Margherita pizzas. The pepperoni was perfect. The Bianca had a surprising kick from the chilis. The Margherita was very well prepared. We tried a slice of the Tomato Fugazza and it tasted good but ours wasn’t heated up enough. Opening night issue?
If you are looking for another great option for delicious pizza, make Rosalia your next stop.
We enjoyed watching My Octopus Teacher tonight. It is a touching story capturing the year that Craig Foster spent visiting this octopus every day. My favorite scene was toward the end when he captures the octopus playing with a school of fish. Beautifully filmed, with great underwater scenes. 🍿
Hit a new 45-minute PR on Peloton this morning in Jenn Sherman’s class. 553 kJ. Not sure about Yacht Rock for spinning though. 😬 Helped to a PR with byteCoder, YukonJack, coppel87, and AreBurns. 🙌 #FitByFifty
Updating firmware is one of my favorite things. 🤓 Updating the new IntelliConnect.
The hand washing feature in watchOS 7 seemed a bit silly but I turned it on and I’ve actually liked it. It is good at detecting washing, and it has already resulted in me washing for longer. I even get a graph! I also like the nudge to wash your hands when you get home.
I have wanted folders in Shortcuts since it was called Workflow. It is a huge help to have that in iOS 14. I rediscovered shortcuts I had forgot about because they were lost in the flat library! I also love that I can group project specific shortcuts like the Weekly Thing.
iOS 14 is sharing an insight with me that it is using more battery. Neat insight, how about a fix? 😬
Saddened to hear of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been a historic justice on the Supreme Court. She gave everything to the movements she believed in, and our country. 😢🇺🇸
Interesting read on certificate signing at the root level. There are not a lot of use cases where we care about 400 bytes here and 196 bytes there, but this is one of them.
Drafts is one of my power user tools and there are some great additions in the newest release.
GitHub following up on their commitment to make this change and use more inclusive language. 👏
Amazing wallpaper images for your phone. Wish they had sizes for laptops too. Via Recomendo 219.
We ticked over the Autumn Equinox this week. Some fun facts about it!
I like the fact that Cloudflare is helping the Internet Archive in their mission.
Simple SVG icons to use on projects.
Here are some replies from Weekly Thing #157 / Superpower, Dune, Three Year Rule.
I got several notes from subscribers letting me know that a bunch of pictures in the last issue wouldn’t load for them. I’m sorry for the issue. It turns out that sometime last Saturday morning the SSL encryption certificate that micro.blog maintains on my blog expired. A technical issue resulted in it not be renewed. It was fixed on Monday and hopefully going forward the auto-renewal process works without a hitch. Thanks for letting me know! The images are loading just fine now.
Improve deliverability? 🤔
You can help make sure that you always get each issue of this by adding my email address to your address book! It should be simple, click on my name and there is probably a button to add to contacts or add to address book.
You’ve made it all the way to the end! 👏 Here is your fortune for this week.
You own a dog, but you can only feed a cat.
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I’ve been an active blogger since 2004. I’ve been microblogging via Twitter and my websites since 2006. My link blog goes back to 2005. I think about the Internet and our use of it over decades and am focused on preserving the personal and non-commercial parts of the Internet as well as the corporate and governmental parts. I’m a long-time supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons and Internet Archive as well as other organizations that work on this.