woof?
1155 stories
·
70 followers

Rebirth of digital piracy?

1 Share

The best jokes have an element of truth to them and earlier today I came across a comic that was a great example.

Streaming piracy comic

Source: Hoppy_Doodle @ reddit.com

It’s surprising how true that is. Many of us have been cable TV free for years and were content paying a monthly internet bill along with Netflix and maybe one or two additional subscriptions. Now it feels as if there’s a new streaming service launching every few months with the costs adding up to be equivalent to a traditional cable TV bill.

This is magnified with the new services pulling their content from Netflix - Disney pulled their content and NBC is pulling a variety of shows as well. At what point are people paying $10/month to watch a single show?

I like to joke that a future consumption model is to rotate these services monthly and catch up on shows every few months. That way I’m paying a single monthly fee but get the content from multiple services - all I have to do is wait. For those that do want to watch a single show I do expect privacy to make a comeback - it’s difficult to justify paying a monthly fee for a single show.

This reminds me of the famous Jim Barksdale quote: “There’s only two ways I know of to make money– bundling, and unbundling” and it looks as if we’re approaching the unbundling cycle.

Read the whole story
ChrisDL
23 days ago
reply
New York
Share this story
Delete

Back to windows after twenty years

1 Comment

Apple’s stubborn four-year refusal to fix the terminally broken butterfly keyboard design lead me to a crazy experiment last week: Giving Windows a try for the first time in twenty years.

Not really because I suddenly had some great curiosity about Windows, but because Apple’s infuriating failure to sell a reliable laptop reluctantly put me back in the market. So when I saw the praise heaped upon the Surface Laptop 3, and particularly its keyboard, I thought, fuck it, let’s give it a try!

Looks good, doesn’t it?

The buying experience was great. There was nobody in the store, so with four sales people just standing around, I got immediate attention, and typed away a few quick sentences on the keyboard. It felt good. Nice travel, slim chassis, sleek design. SOLD!

The initial setup experience was another pleasant surprise. The Cortana-narrated process felt like someone from the Xbox team had done the design. Fresh, modern, fun, and reassuring. Apple could take some notes on that.

But ultimately we got to the meat of this experience, and unfortunately the first bite didn’t quite match the sizzle. The font rendering in Windows remains excruciatingly poor to my eyes. It just looks bad. It reminded me of my number one grief with Android back in the 5.0 or whenever days, before someone at Google decided to do font rendering right (these days it’s great!). Ugh.

I accept that this is a personal failure of sorts. The Windows font rendering does not prevent you from using the device. It’s not like you can’t read the text. It’s just that I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t want to. So that was strike one.

But hey, I didn’t pluck down close to $1800 (with taxes) for a Windows laptop just to be scared off by poor font rendering, right? No. So I persevered and started setting up my development environment.

See, the whole reason I thought Windows might be a suitable alternative for me was all the enthusiasm around Windows Linux Subsystem (WSL). Basically putting all the *nix tooling at your fingertips, like it is on OSX, in a way that doesn’t require crazy hoops.

But it’s just not there. The first version of WSL is marred with terrible file-system performance, and I got to feel that right away, when I spent eons checking out a git repository via GitHub for Windows. A 10-second operation on OSX took 5-6 minutes on Windows.

I initially thought that I had installed WSL2, which promises to be better in some ways (though worse in others), but to do so required me to essentially run an alpha version of Windows 10. Okay, that’s a little adventurous, but hey, whatever, this was an experiment after all. (Unfortunately WSL2 doesn’t do anything to speed up work happening across the Windows/Linux boundary, in fact, it just makes it worse! So you kinda have to stick with Linux tooling inside of Linux, Windows outside. Defeating much of the point for me!).

So anyway, here I am, hours into trying to setup this laptop to run *nix tooling with Windows applications, running on the bleeding edge of Windows, digging through all sorts of write-ups and tutorials, and I finally, sorta, kinda get it going. But it’s neither fast nor pleasant nor intuitive in any way. And it feels like my toes are so stubbed and bloody by the end of the walk that I almost forgot why I started on this journey in the first place.

I mean, one thing is the alpha-level of the software required to even pursue this. Something else is the bizarre gates that Microsoft erects along the way. Want to run Docker for Windows on your brand new Surface Laptop 3? Sorry, can’t do that without buying an upgrade to Windows Pro (the $1800 Surface Laptop 3 apparently wasn’t expensive enough to warrant that designation, so it ships with the Home edition. Okay, sheesh).

The default Edge browser that ships with Windows 10 is also just kinda terrible. I clocked a 38 on the Speedometer 2.0 test, compared to the 125 that my MacBook Pro 13 ran with Safari. (But hey, there’s another beta version of Edge, the one that now uses the Chrominum rendering engine, and that got it to a more respectable 68.)

Anyway, I started this experiment on a Monday. I kept going all the way through Friday. Using the laptop as I would any other computer for the internet, and my new hobby of dealing with the stubbed toes of setting up a *nix development environment, but when I got to Saturday I just… gave up. It’s clearly not that this couldn’t be done. You can absolutely setup a new Windows laptop today to do *nix style development. You can get your VS Code going, install a bunch of alpha software, and eventually you’ll get there.

But for me, this just wasn’t worth it. I kept looking for things I liked about Windows, and I kept realizing that I just fell back on rationalizations like “I guess this isn’t SO bad?”. The only thing I really liked was the hardware, and really, the key (ha!) thing there was that the keyboard just worked. It’s a good keyboard, but I don’t know if I’d go as far as “great”. (I still prefer travel, control, and feel of the freestanding Apple Magic Keyboard 2).

What this experiment taught me, though, was just how much I actually like OSX. How much satisfaction I derive from its font rendering. How lovely my code looks in TextMate 2. How easy it is to live that *nix developer life, while still using a computer where everything (well, except that fucking keyboard!) mostly just works.

So the Surface Laptop 3 is going back to Microsoft. Kudos to them for the 30-day no questions return policy, and double kudos for making it so easy to wipe the machine for return (again, another area where Apple could learn!).

Windows still clearly isn’t for me. And I wouldn’t recommend it to any of our developers at Basecamp. But I kinda do wish that more people actually do make the switch. Apple needs the competition. We need to feel like there are real alternatives that not only are technically possible, but a joy to use. We need Microsoft to keep improving, and having more frustrated Apple users cross over, point out the flaws, and iron out the kinks, well, that’s only going to help.

I would absolutely give Windows another try in a few years, but for now, I’m just feeling #blessed that 90% of my work happens on an iMac with that lovely scissor-keyed Magic Keyboard 2. It’s not a real solution for lots of people who work on the go, but if you do most of your development at a desk, I’d check it out. Or be brave, go with Windows, make it better, you pioneer, you. You’ll have my utter admiration!

Also, Apple, please just fix those fucking keyboards. Provide proper restitution for the people who bought your broken shit. Stop gaslighting us all with your nonsense that this is only affecting extremely few people. It’s not. The situation is an unmitigated disaster.

Read the whole story
ChrisDL
37 days ago
reply
agree about the keyboards. I'm surprised he didn't just install linux on it and do his dev work there. Fedora or ubuntu or something.
New York
tingham
36 days ago
Ubuntu isn't terrible, and there's always that distro that's trying to be like macOS of old that I can never remember the name of
ChrisDL
36 days ago
https://elementary.io OS is pretty small scale, but heavily design focused if you are going for the shiny OS (and I think estetics for something you are expected to work in every day is actually really important).
tingham
36 days ago
Maybe I'll take it for a spin when the new Mac Pro "comes out" and I retire my trashcan. :) Thanks for the recall on Elementary; couldn't remember it for nothing.
Share this story
Delete

What Would Really Happen if a Nuclear Weapon Exploded in a Major City?

3 Comments and 4 Shares

Kurzgesagt has partnered with the Red Cross and their “no to nukes” initiative to depict what it would be like if a nuclear weapon detonated in a major city. I’m not going to lie to you here, this is a difficult video to watch. Super bleak. There is no bright side to nuclear weapons.

The reason no government wants you to think about all this is because there is no serious humanitarian response possible to a nuclear explosion. There’s no way to really help the immediate victims of a nuclear attack. This is not a hurricane, wildfire, earthquake, or nuclear accident — it is all of these things at once, but worse. No nation on earth is prepared to deal with it.

Between the climate crisis, the rise of authoritarianism around the world, the AI bogeyman, and other things, nuclear weapons have gotten lost in the shuffle recently, but they remain a massive existential threat to society. A small group of people, some careful planning, years of patience, and you could possibly see an event that would make 9/11 look quaint.

Tags: atomic bomb   cities   Kurzgesagt   video
Read the whole story
jlvanderzwan
48 days ago
reply
Good summary
ChrisDL
48 days ago
reply
Given a fireball diameter of 2km this would be a simulation with a 500 - 1000 kiloton bomb. 1000kt (or 1Mt) is a W-59 Minuteman I. The reason there is a span depends on whether it detonates on the surface or if it is an airburst.

There are bombs that are up to 100Mt... Largest tested was the Tsar Bomba at 50Mt... So yeah, this isn't even worst case scenario, this is the vanilla scenario.
New York
samuel
48 days ago
reply
Still thinking about this video.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Share this story
Delete

Saving Grace: A Minnesota man who opted to have “Jesus Saves” printed on his running bib collapsed during a race. Behind him, a registered nurse anesthetist, a man named Jesus, performed CPR and helped save his life. apne.ws/uVLiP34 #odd

1 Comment and 4 Shares

Saving Grace: A Minnesota man who opted to have “Jesus Saves” printed on his running bib collapsed during a race. Behind him, a registered nurse anesthetist, a man named Jesus, performed CPR and helped save his life. apne.ws/uVLiP34 #odd




3477 likes, 1281 retweets
Read the whole story
ChrisDL
49 days ago
reply
..."Somewhat ironically, Jesus (the nurse) was however an atheist."
New York
dreadhead
50 days ago
reply
Vancouver Island, Canada
Share this story
Delete

There's now a free font based on climate hero Greta Thunberg's handwriting

1 Comment and 2 Shares
The typeface is “perfect if you want to make your message loud and clear in a poster,” says its creator.
Read the whole story
ChrisDL
52 days ago
reply
Im upset this doesn’t include åäö
New York
jlvanderzwan
49 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Basecamp no longer requires Google for two-factor authentication

1 Share

When it became clear to us last year that using SMS for two-factor authentication (2FA) was insecure, we kinda panicked. We’d spent a lot of time originally building that SMS-based 2FA login system for Basecamp, and the prospect of having to build an entirely new system compatible with proper authentication apps seemed daunting. Especially with major security liability hanging over our head.

So we went the easy route, and handed the 2FA authentication flow over to Google, using their Google Sign-In APIs. Now, that certainly gave us an immediate and secure solution. Nobody is disputing that Google knows security.

But requiring people to have a Google account to get a 2FA-protected Basecamp was an uncomfortable compromise. There are about a million good reasons for why you wouldn’t want Google to know everything about when you log into apps all over the internet. Google’s business is literally based on collecting as much data as possible, so it can use it all against you for ad targeting. That’s just not a regime we feel comfortable encouraging, let alone requiring.

So I’m thrilled to announce that we got our shit together and built our own, wonderful, and secure 2FA login protection for Basecamp. Google Sign-In still works, but it’s deprecated, and we’ll no longer be recommending it going forward.

Our new secure 2FA solution is built on the TOTP standard with backup codes as a fallback. So you can use any TOTP compatible authentication app, like Authy, 1Password, or Duo, and it works for all versions of Basecamp (here’s how to set it up in Basecamp 3 and Basecamp 2), as well as our legacy apps Highrise, Backpack, and Campfire.

Big kudos to Rosa Gutiérrez from our Security, Infrastructure & Performance team for putting our fears about doing our own TOTP-based 2FA system to shame. She led the project, did the work, and the final result is just great.

Finally, it feels good to have one additional area of the business free from Big Tech entanglement. We also dumped Google Analytics a few months back from Basecamp.com (relying on Clicky.com instead), and we’ll continue the work to untangle ourselves from Google and the rest of the industry behemoths. It’s a long slog, it’s unlikely ever to be fully complete, but every little bit helps.

Oh, and please, if you haven’t already, turn on 2FA to protect your Basecamp account. And if you aren’t already, use a password manager, like 1password. If you’re reusing a password on Basecamp, and you’re not protected by 2FA, you’re at a grave risk of having your account compromised. We work hard to protect everyone at Basecamp, but nothing will protect you online like using 2FA and a password manager everywhere you go.

Read the whole story
ChrisDL
56 days ago
reply
New York
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories