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Topics - Brad

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Turns out, it more or less renders the modern web unusable ó and thatís the point

The Economic Security Project is trying to make a point about big tech monopolies by releasing a browser plugin that will block any sites that reach out to IP addresses owned by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or Amazon. The extension is called Big Tech Detective, and after using the internet with it for a day (or, more accurately, trying and failing to use), Iíd say it drives home the point that itís almost impossible to avoid these companies on the modern web, even if you try.

Water Cooler / Grape-Nuts Coming Back - You're Saved
« on: February 13, 2021, 07:39:19 PM »
A day after I noticed Grape-Nuts cereal was grayed out for out of stock on Instacart, this popped up on my feed:

Grape-Nuts will be available again sometime in March 2021.

Hardware & Technology / iOS 14.5: Apple Maps to Add Waze-like Features
« on: February 13, 2021, 06:01:07 PM »
The iOS 14.5 beta, available to developers and public beta testers, adds a new Apple Maps feature that lets you report accidents, hazards, and speed checks along your route when getting directions.

So, some of the crowd source reporting features people like about Waze, but with less Googlie spyware.

Good to see Apple continues to improve their Apple Maps product.

Hardware & Technology / Forest Planting Robot
« on: February 11, 2021, 01:14:49 PM »

Looks like it's mainly for commercial tree farms (monoculture) but says it could be adapted to plant natural forests.

Sorry RC it does not look like a puppy.

Monetization / Australian Report on Adtech and Google
« on: February 09, 2021, 01:54:24 PM »
Here is a good Twitter thread summarizing the 222 page interim report.  It's not the final report but most of this can be expected to survive.

This problem for Google is not going to go away.


Water Cooler / Made in Wales UK - Concrete Canvas
« on: February 03, 2021, 10:07:50 PM »
For something touting concrete-infused canvas that unrolls like carpet, this ad really pulls at the heartstrings. You'll be moved to use it for channel , culvert, and bund lining, slope protection, weed suppression, concrete remediation, even gabion reinforcement.

Hardware & Technology / /e/ OS Smartphones Coming to America
« on: January 25, 2021, 03:42:10 PM »
[Update January 2021: we will be starting shipping first /e/-smartphones to the US on early February 2021 from
Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated when itís available. Spread the news!]

e OS is Android that has totally been deGoogled.  Open source replacements have been found or forked for all of Google Services and are part of the package.  There is no Google spyware left in the OS.  You even have the choice of letting /e/ foundation host your cloud services or set up your own Nextcloud instance so you have total control.  And yet you can still run Android apps.  The OS has a repository of over 30,000 Android apps both open source and commercial each rated for privacy and permissions.

Before now phones with /e/ OS preinstalled have only been available in the EU.  The big announcement here is /e/ is bringing preinstalled smartphones to the US.  I've been waiting for this for 2 years.

Now we just need to find out what kind of phone models they are going to offer in Feb 2021.

Hardware & Technology / eMail Newsletter Clutter
« on: January 25, 2021, 12:47:59 PM »
Email newsletters are great. Rummaging through all your other messages to find them, not so much. These clever tools make newsletter reading a pleasure.

I'm not a fan of email newsletters.  I'd rather have an RSS feed.  Here's some tools that help.

Economics & Investing / Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company
« on: January 14, 2021, 02:45:17 AM »
Focusing on high cost generic drugs.  Charging cost + 15% wholesale.

Will be building their own mfg plant.  Over 100 drugs targeted.

Water Cooler / Miniature world: street art
« on: January 10, 2021, 12:49:28 PM »
Street artists create a miniature imaginary world for "mice"

I quite like this, there needs to be room for more whimsy and small wonders in our world.

Traffic / Googlebot gets preferential access across the web
« on: December 21, 2020, 05:57:14 PM »
The Evidence Weíve Found So Far

Really interesting look.

Water Cooler / A Pandemic Atlas USA
« on: December 19, 2020, 12:48:26 PM »
A pandemic atlas: USA by the numbers telling and horrifying (AP)

Closer to home.  My local daily newspaper is ceasing print after 136 years on Dec. 30, 2020 mainly due to the impact of Covid 19.   Website future being discussed.  The closure of the print paper puts all delivery drivers and paper boys/girls out of jobs.  It's very sad.

Traffic / Ecosia is now an Allowed Search Engine on Apple
« on: December 16, 2020, 12:29:35 PM »
Eco-friendly search engine Ecosia is now available as an optional search engine on all Apple OS's as of the latest update.  Ecosia uses revenue from ads to plant trees around the globe.  Ecosia uses Bing for it's search results.  It's not as private as DDG but it's more private than Google and many others.

Google remains Apple's factory default search engine.

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