Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Abner Li / 9to5Google:
YouTube Music rolling out “Discover Mix”, a personalized playlist mostly focused on evergreen tunes and artists that the user might not have heard before  —  From the beginning, YouTube Music has relied on playlists from the service's curators to automated creations based on your listening history.

Dr. Ian Cutress / AnandTech:
AMD says it is delaying release of its Ryzen 9 3950X until November due to high demand and the time needed to ensure sufficient stock availability  —  In a shock email late on Friday, AMD has released a statement to clarify the situation it is in with the manufacturing of its latest Ryzen processors.

Patrick Flanary / Quartz:
How Neil Young's reluctance to embrace streaming doomed his company PonoMusic, even as the company helped the industry to adapt high-resolution music  —  Toward the end of music legend Neil Young's recent memoir, he makes an admission: “I was wrong.”  —  The book, To Feel the Music …

Emily Stewart / Vox:
Polling of US adults shows that most, across party lines, support breaking up Big Tech, such as reversing Facebook's Instagram purchase, to improve competition  —  One hundred cardboard cutouts of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC …

I finished Undone last night. Spoilers follow, so be warned. In the story, a teacher urges a student to be the sky (paraphrasing), observe your feelings the way the sky might observe the flow of a river. This is something I've learned, it comes with age and experience, self-knowledge. I think you can learn it at a young age, if you're taught and you practice. Once you can observe your feelings, fully feel them, but not let them become you, that's when you come into your power. Some reviewers say the series is about mental illness, but that's only one theory of the show, and not the one we're left with, waiting for season 2. I'm probably going to watch it again, it's such rich story and so beautifully told.

Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot by just watching."

The key to politics and media of today is giving the people a role beyond couch potato, social media sharer and marcher. You want people to be involved in your mission? Then involve the people.

Add Likes to any website with this Node app.

A feature I've been thinking about. When I mention someone who's a long-time personal friend, they might have a blue checkmark after their name like this: Bull Mancuso.

Chris Welch / The Verge:
TiVo confirms it is planning to place pre-roll video ads before DVR recordings for all customers, even those with a lifetime subscription plan  —  Rolling out to TiVo's current devices over the next 90 days  —  So much for it being an early, experimental test.

Here's a video demo of the Like feature.

Lots of catching up to do betw Scott and myself. For example, here's a 2009 piece, Narrate Your Work, I'm pretty sure Scott will like.

Scott Love, via email: "I want to star or rate your best gems!" I always listen to Scott. He was hired as a product marketing manager at Living Videotext in the mid-80s, but he was so much more. We went to dinner probably two or three nights a week, and mostly about where to go with our outliner products, and what the competition in the Valley was doing. I would try ideas out on Scott, give him limited background, to see where his mind would go. Very creative and hard-working mind. Scott reads this blog via the nightly email. It's a lot like the old days at Chef Chu's in Los Altos. So Scott, there are features in the web version of Scripting News that aren't in the email version, for security reasons. They also aren't in the RSS version. You can Like any item on the blog, but only in the web browser version. 💥

Another mistake Obama made that history will probably judge him on is that he underestimated Trump and Putin, openly. Don't motivate your enemies. Never slam the door on the way out.

BTW, the radical adjustments in the US political system are an obvious response to big changes in the Soviet Union in the 80s and 90s. People thought at the time there would be a peace dividend, and that it signalled the end of history. I didn't believe it at the time, I saw both ideas as tempting fate, the same way you brag that your candidate can't lose. God hears you and as my dear departed uncle would say goofs on you.

Fascinating op-ed in the NYT by two political science authors about why the Repubs play dirty. They illustrate more generally that political parties play dirty when they realize they can't stay in power any other way. But -- consider this sentence -- "The only way out of this situation is for the Republican Party to become more diverse." As a programmer, which teaches me to challenge my assumptions, it's a critical part of design and debugging, I see that it's not the only way out. Political parties aren't like baseball teams. As long as there's baseball, your favorite team will continue, though they could move or change their name. For example, the Washington Nationals are the former Montreal Expos. But the same must not be true of political parties. The Repubs had a good run, but they went down a path that didn't work. So they lose elections. What of it. There's no way the Democrats will rule the whole country unopposed for any amount of time -- a new party will form. In all likelihood two new parties will form. There aren't enough white Christians in the US to rule, and many of them, esp the young ones, see themselves as part of a diverse America. Eventually the Repubs will disappear, the question is how much damage will they do on their way out.

Erin Griffith / New York Times:
Sources: many Airbnb employees are frustrated they can't sell company stock; to compensate, management has offered more perks to keep longtime employees happy  —  Tension has grown among a 6,000-person work force as it waits to sell company shares, people with knowledge of the situation said.

Farhad Manjoo and Ezra Klein are both wrong about Obama’s biggest mistake, which was thinking “President” and “community organizer” are different jobs. He should have moved his excellent campaign into the White House instead of disbanding it.

Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal:
A look at Sign in with Apple, which is available for users with iOS 13 for a small number of apps including Nike, Instacart, Bird, and Kayak at launch  —  Apple wants its new password killer to cut your dependency on Facebook and Google—if you can find it in the apps you use most

Dina Temple-Raston / NPR:
Profile of Adrian Lamo, a famous hacker in the early 2000s who died mysteriously in 2018 and was decried by the hacking community for turning in Chelsea Manning  —  Toggle more options  —  Debbie Scroggin and her husband live at the end of a series of gravel roads in a lonesome part of Kansas.

Henry Chu / Variety:
Netflix CEO warns of a “whole new world” when streaming services from Disney and Apple drop in November, reiterates that Netflix isn't in “acquisition business”  —  After dominating the subscription streaming scene for so long, Netflix is girding for a new phase …

Financial Times:
Amid rising competition and a dramatic fall in US subscribers during Q2, doubts arise over the sustainability of Netflix's debt-driven business model  —  On a sunny midsummer weekend in Los Angeles, Netflix turned the Santa Monica Pier — one of the city's busiest tourist destinations …

Julia Lee / Polygon:
Minecraft's latest beta update introduces a character creator that allows players to change body types and wear accessories  —  You can be a mermaid  —  Minecraft's latest update has added a character creator to the game.  After years of only using skins over the same model …

Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:
Lookiero, a Paris-based personal clothing and accessory shopping service, raises $19M, bringing its total raised to $23M  —  Lookiero, the online personal shopping service for clothes and accessories, has closed a $19 million funding round led by London-based VC MMC Ventures with support …

I love everything about the HBO series Succession, but tops is how they sneak in Fuck Offs with such style and vigor.

The new iPhone 11 takes fantastic night pictures. Jealous.

Jason Schott / Fox Business:
Roku study: 2M people in the US moved from traditional pay TV to streaming in 2019; up to 60M US households will exclusively use streaming in the next 5 years  —  Television viewing has gradually expanded into streaming, and a new study from Roku makes a dramatic prediction about how people will consume video in the years to come.

Janko Roettgers / Variety:
YouTube reverses course, says channels with verification badges will keep them without appeal and channels that reach 100k subs can still apply for verification  —  A day after announcing significant changes to its verification program, YouTube announced Friday afternoon that it won't be de-verifying existing creators after all.

Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Apple's implementation of STIR/SHAKEN protocol in iOS 13 doesn't display “Caller Verified” notice on call screen, making it useless for identifying robocalls  —  STIR/SHAKEN comes to iPhones, but not in a useful way  —  Robocalls are a scourge, but cellular networks …

The only reason not to impeach Trump, as far as I can see, is it could hurt the Democratic Party. I have no idea why, considering what's at stake, anyone cares if the DP survives. We'll form another party.

When you’re thinking how fantastic it must be to be one of the richest people on earth, remember to think of this picture.

I listened to the Daily podcast today about what an Elizabeth Warren rally is like. I liked how people were asked to take a minute and introduce themselves to the people around them. Wouldn't it be great if everyone left with a task they would do to make the world better, right now, not after Warren gets elected. This is what we need, meaningful things each of us can do to make things better. We yearn to belong and to do good work.

Political parties could have expiration dates.

Political parties should be seen as disposable.

Some shows I binge in "savor mode," they're so good and there isn't much to binge on, so I go slow, stop often and savor shows to watch later. Undone is one of those shows. Two 1/2 hour episodes left. It is of a genre, wild misunderstood-as-crazy super-powered young woman, as much a victim of her powers as master of them. Undone is something like Russian Doll and Killing Eve. I'll know more when I finish. But it's one of the best shows ever.

This is what the Scripting News home page looks like this morning.

Yes, I screwed up, I can see what the problem is, hopefully will have a fix shortly. Still diggin. 🍌

BTW, it's not as bad as it appears, despite what the screen says.

10:22AM Eastern -- fixed.

  • Somehow a right curly brace got turned into a 7.
  • Cosmic rays.

I'm trying to think but nothing happens!

Most of my orders with Amazon are uneventful. The product arrives when it was supposed to and it works and that's that. But sometimes something goes wrong.

On July 26, I ordered an outdoor thermometer. Not expensive, $10. But it was broken when I opened the package, and I cut my finger, it bled.

I went to the Order page and reported that it arrived broken. I just wanted to throw it out, not wanting to handle the broken glass, possibly injuring myself again, or someone who had to handle it at UPS or at Amazon. That was the right thing to do. The Amazon rep said OK, they would credit me for the thermometer. Honestly I was surprised it was that easy. I ordered another one (which arrived unbroken and I'm using it).

Well, about a week ago, I got an email saying I needed to send the thermometer back or I'd be charged for it. There was no way to respond. I got another notice a few days later saying they had charged me for it.

Okay $10 isn't going to make a difference to me, but it would make even less of a difference to Amazon. And they agreed to the arrangement, and it was the right thing to do.

So I thought I'd write it up here on my blog. Maybe someone in an executive role at Amazon will see it, and will change their system so it's easier for customers to talk to them, and make sure when they agree to something, they stick to it.