8 October 2018

Rest in peace, Google Plus

So, Google+ is being eliminated. It was already in benign neglect mode, but they found a massive privacy hole, and rather than fix that they’re just going to shut the whole thing down. To revisit, Google products I used until they killed them: Reader Notebook Health Desktop Plus Android (for tablets) Inbox Messenger Latitude Google products I’ve abandoned this year: Gmail Sheets Docs Contacts Search Hell of a way to get customer loyalty. ... Read more

23 September 2018

Google Dragonfly

Last week I went back to using an IMAP client. Google had decided to eliminate Inbox after coaxing me into completely reworking how I handle mail. Gmail’s web UI isn’t a reasonable alternative, so I went back to IMAP. Lesson learned, no more new Google products for me. But as I was adjusting to that, it emerged that Google had done something far worse. I’m a pretty cynical person, and when it leaked out earlier this summer that Google was going to launch a censored search engine for China, it didn’t surprise me. ... Read more

23 August 2018

On trusting Signal

An article has been doing the rounds suggesting that Signal is closed for selfish reasons and suggesting that it can’t be trusted. The article carefully omits any mention of the reasons why Signal is the way it is, so here are those reasons. Signal is a closed system because of its focus on (a) user experience and (b) security for ordinary users. First, user experience. If you want people to use your secure messaging app rather than whatever comes with their phone, it has to use push messaging in order to receive messages without the app running and without draining the user’s phone battery. ... Read more

16 August 2018


A momentous occasion this week: I finally finished my photo processing project, for now. I have scanned every negative and slide, processed every RAW file, and put all of the results into Apple Photos, arranged into albums. I’ve set up Photos to sync to the cloud, to my Mac, to my phone and to my tablet. I can carry all 9,000+ of my photos around with me, search them, share them, and so on. ... Read more

15 July 2018

'Kingdom Come' by J.G. Ballard

J.G. Ballard was one of the UK’s most acclaimed Science Fiction writers. I once thought that his early 1970s stories of sexualized car crashes and mass hysteria were too far out to be realistic, but then the death of Princess Diana happened and suddenly we were living in Ballard’s world. “Kingdom Come” was his last novel, first published in 2006. Reviews at the time noted that it was structured like a report on contemporary Britain, but dismissed it as more of a report on the strange imaginings of Ballard’s mind. ... Read more

© mathew 2017