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When Your Shared Netflix Account Outlasts The Relationship 

Yuki Noguchi reporting for NPR:

The expression “Netflix and chill” isn’t just code for date night. It speaks volumes about how closely relationships entwine with digital life. But unwinding these entanglements can get messy after a breakup. Some spurned lovers exact revenge by changing the password just as their ex reaches the climactic season finale.

This whole article reads as if straight out of The Onion.

Culture Is What You Do 

Shawn Blanc:

If you were to look at the amount of work you are doing, and the pace at which you doing that work, would it be something you would still want to be doing in 20 years from now?

Anybody can talk about how they value a healthy work culture.

But culture is what you DO (not what you SAY).

I like that Shawn talks about human sustainability because humans are the core of any financially sustainable business. But this is also a great life lesson. Your actions need to be in line with the goals you have in life, and sure that’s something must of us would be like “duh” about, but living life in autopilot is all too easy.

Pull List for February 13, 2019

Comics for the week
From left to right, back to front: Daredevil #1, Star Wars: Age of Republic - Anakin Skywalker #1, The Amazing Spider-Man #14, and Deadpool #9

Every Wednesday, all-new comic books hit the shelves with original stories to be engrossed in, and new art to be fascinated by. This is my weekly write-up where I share what comic books I read last week, and my pull list of comics for this week.

What I read last week

Daredevil #1 4/5 stars

Chip Zdarksky didn’t disappoint with the first issue of this new Daredevil run. It felt like an excellent starting point for new readers, and I’m interested to see where he takes the character. Marco Checchetto’s art is fantastic and feels like the perfect pairing for this book.

The Amazing Spider-Man #14 2/5 stars

I’m not a fan of Bachalo’s art in this one. Felt like a complete departure from the styles Ottley and Ramos had established earlier in the series. Unfortunately, I may drop this since I haven’t been as interested in the past few issues.

Star Wars: Age of Republic - Anakin Skywalker #1 5/5 stars

I’m so happy we get stories like this. The issue certainly feels like an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While George Lucas (and Hayden Christensen’s performance) made Anakin seem like a petulant child, stories like this show what I believe to be the true Anakin: a man with a strong moral compass and convictions.

Favorite of the week: Star Wars: Age of Republic - Anakin Skywalker #1

Picking up this week

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #15 - If I don’t like this one, I may drop it and wait for the next arc. Like I said above, I’m not a fan of this new artist either.
  • Captain Marvel #2 - Kelly Thompson wrote a killer first issue, and I’ve been waiting anxiously to read the next one.
  • Oblivion Song #12 - Conclusion to the arc! Holy moly this story has been a rollercoaster, and I’ve had that weird feeling in my stomach the whole time (in a good way!). I’m looking forward to how Robert Kirkman wraps up the “season finale” of this book, and what will be next for these awesome characters.

The New Keychron K1 Mechanical Keyboard is a Gorgeous Piece of Hardware

The Keychron K1 keyboard with blue LED back-lit keys from the right.
The Keychron K1's space grey matches my MacBook Pro perfectly

A few weeks ago, David Sparks wrote about a new mechanical keyboard he was buying. I’d stumbled upon the video a few days before, but after seeing him write about it, I pulled the trigger on the 104-key, Space Grey for Mac version.

The Keychron K1 keyboard with green LED back-lit keys up close from the left.
The keyboard has beautiful back-lit keys

My package was delayed a day due to some bad weather here in Saint Paul, so I was able to get my hands on it yesterday finally. I opened up the minimal packaging and used it for the day. The keyboard is shockingly slim, and while it doesn’t have flip out feet, the angle was perfectly comfortable for me.

Picture of USB-A to USB-C cable, keycap puller, and replacement keycaps on a wood desktop.
In the box, you'll find a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging, a keycap puller, and replacement keycaps

Unfortunately it doesn’t come charged, but it’s USB-C connectivity made that an easy fix. It’s only been a day, so I can’t even begin to give you any type of review. So far, the pairing and using of the Keychron K1 has been smooth.

You can buy your own, starting at just $74.

Patreon, Venture Capital, and the Loss of the Win-Win 

Cheri Baker on Patreon:

Here we have a business that people like, offering a service we value, and it enables small businesses to grow, benefiting many people. That’s how business should work. But because Patreon took in a shit-ton of VC money, they don’t have the freedom to stay in that business. They have to chase more money, a lot more, just to stay afloat.

Cheri’s right. The proof is in the pudding. If you’re starting a business in tech, self-funding is the the way to go.

Andy Baio's Eulogy for His Dad 

I’m going to give my dad the last word, by reading from the end of his will, a message that he addressed directly to all of you — the people who meant so much to him in his life. Here’s what he wrote:

Well, I think that’s about it for now. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. (Ha Ha.)

I’ll sure miss you a lot, more than you’ll ever know.

Maybe I’ll see you where ever God decides to send me. I hope there’ll be fishing and pretty girls, good music, my Mom’s Italian spaghetti, and beer.

Thank you all for everything, your love, your friendship, good fun, good laughs and memories, and for the pleasure just to know each and every one of you.

With all my love, now and forever.

Bye for now,

Me
Stephen

What a beautiful eulogy. I’m so sorry for your loss Andy.

The Colonization of the Americas Cooled the Earth 

They estimate that 55 million indigenous people died during Europe’s conquest of the Americas (~90% of the population), and the 56 million hectares of land that they had cleared of vegetation (roughly the area of Kenya) was then reclaimed by forests, which then took in more carbon dioxide, reduced the greenhouse effect, and caused the Earth to cool.

Holy crap.

Pixar Animated Short ‘Purl’

 

This animated short has some critical social commentary and lands some hilarious jokes while doing it. Turns out, the short is based on Director Kristen Lester’s experience in animation:

My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar, and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.

Pull List for February 6, 2019

Every Wednesday, all-new comic books hit the shelves with original stories to be engrossed in, and new art to be fascinated by. I didn’t pick anything up last week, but this is what I’m buying this week.

Picking up this week

  • Daredevil #1 - Chip Zdarsky’s work (although not the writer) on Sex Criminals is just incredible, and I’ve heard many good things of his Spectacular Spider-Man run, so I’m excited to read his take on Daredevil. This is one of those characters I grew to love because of the Netflix series.
  • Deadpool #9 - I was going to drop Deadpool (not because it’s bad, but to make room for other titles), but then I saw that he’s teaming up with Jessica Jones. I can’t miss this.

H&Co Finally Offers Full Library to Cloud.typography Subscribers 

For years, Cloud.typography has included any five fonts of your choosing, and the rest available to purchase. Today we’re making things a lot simpler, a lot more flexible, and a lot more valuable: every Cloud.typography subscription now includes access to our complete library of fonts to use on the web.

Amazing news! Hoefler & Co. has such an amazing collection of fonts, it was a shame to be limited to just five. Can’t wait to use more of these typefaces in my personal projects.

Laura Gaetano Doesn’t Want to Be a Manager

Last October, Kelly and I had the fantastic opportunity of going to London. While we were there, I made plans to interview Laura Gaetano.

We met up in a conference room at her hotel and sat down to record. An hour later, we’d had a fun conversation about her upbringing, her experience at art school, her passions, and how things might be changing for her to do more of what she loves. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the episode:

We already have enough problems with society pushing those gender stereotypes, and we don’t need additional (let’s call them) bad influences from the parents. I think I’d really love to someday see toy stores not have separate sections for boy toys and girl toys, but have things labeled “cars”, and things labeled “dolls” and “puzzles” and whatever, and just have the kids be able to choose what it is that they want to play with.

A huge thanks to my dear friend Abi who helped voice the intro and outro due to me losing mine. She’s a natural.

It's Time for the Blogroll to Make a Comeback

I find myself reading more and more personal blogs these days. While many ditched their RSS reader years ago, I’ve always had my list of subscriptions. Some of my favorite people stopped writing over the years, but more are writing on their blogs again as we’ve come to understand the cost of a centralized web.

Unfortunately, I feel as if there’s isn’t a good way of finding this content. Remember the blogroll? Maybe it's time we bring that back. I’ll be adding mine to the footer of this site soon. Kyle Dreger has one on his blog, which helped me find a few new writers that I’ve come to love. These types of personal recommendations are much better than any algorithm.

I’ve also created a GitHub repo. If you write a personal blog, please add your info to the list. If you don’t know how to use GitHub, no problem! Send me an email with your info, and I’ll add it for you. I’m hoping we can build a diverse list of people writing about a whole range of different topics.

The reality is that no one wants to write in a void (which is what made platforms like Medium so appealing), but with small measures like this, we can start exposing more people to the excellent content out there.

Slack Gets a New Logo 

Lots of commotion over this redesign, and to a certain extent, it’s completely understandable. While I don’t find myself feeling “repulsed,” this new direction certainly feels like a regression. There was a lot of brand equity, thrown away for what ultimately feels generic.

The Cost of a Centralized Web

DHH on Signal v. Noise:

Writing for us is not a business, in any direct sense of the word. We write because we have something to say, not to make money off page views, advertisements, or subscriptions. If some readers end up signing up for Basecamp, that’s great. But if they just like to read and not buy, that’s also great.

Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization. […]

With the new take, we’re also trying to bring more of a classic SvN style back to the site. Not just big, marque pieces, but lots of smaller observations, quotes, links, and other posts as well. In fact, the intention is to lessen our dependency on Twitter too, and simply turn Signal v Noise into the independent home for all our thoughts and ideas – big or small.

I never understood the move to Medium. Even though at the time they supported using a custom domain, their URL structure and lack of design flexibility were deal breakers for me from the get-go.

But I think David touches on something significant here. These platforms that have taken over the web (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even YouTube) have proven to be far from benign. I don’t think I ever stopped to consider what the price of free was, but a quick look at the dumpster fire that social media has become quickly shows the cost. Not only has our privacy been invaded, and our data sold to the highest bidder—these "platforms" have become the breeding ground for racism, misogyny, harassment, and every other vile thing in our society.

And okay, I’m sure reasonable people work at these companies. But for the most part, the people who are leading strategic decisions are people in moral bankruptcy who care more about pleasing venture capitalists and raking in their excessive bonuses, than about the real-life consequences of their technology decisions.

It’s crazy that all of this is the result of a centralized web, but it’s therefore critical to be part of the movement to decentralize it. And that all starts by writing on your own damn site.

smith@ttimsmith.com
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