Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Adobe launches Substance 3D, a suite of 3D design tools Adobe says has applications in video games and VFX and uses AI to ease technical complexity of 3D design  —  Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve?  Take our AI survey to find out.

Nathaniel Meyersohn / CNN:
Adobe: total US e-commerce sales during Prime Day exceeded $11B; Amazon says Prime Day was the biggest two-day sales period for 3rd party sellers in its history  —  New York (CNN Business)Shoppers aren't showing any signs of getting tired of Amazon Prime Day, even though some sellers …

The vision of using GitHub to host users data that could be accessed by lots of apps, a planned community of apps that autormatically interop, where users fully own their data, will have to wait until we better understand how GitHub works with raw data.

John McAfee has died by suspected suicide in a Spanish jail cell, hours after news that he would be extradited to face federal charges in the US  —  Antivirus creator John McAfee, 75, was found dead in his prison cell in Barcelona after the Spanish high court had authorised his extradition to the U.S. …

Justin Rohrlich / The Daily Beast:
John McAfee Found Dead in Spanish Prison Cell: Reports  —  The fugitive software magnate reportedly died by suicide in a Spanish prison cell, where he was awaiting extradition to the United States.  —  John McAfee reportedly died by suicide Wednesday afternoon in a Spanish prison cell …

Lillian Rizzo / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Peacock had fewer than 10M paid subs as of May; Comcast is considering a deal with ViacomCBS or acquiring Roku as it seeks to become a streaming giant  —  CEO Brian Roberts is out to prove that having content and distribution under one roof can make his cable colossus a winner

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Snackpass raises $70M Series B led by Craft Ventures at a $400M+ valuation as its social food ordering service surpasses 500k users across 13 college towns  —  While every food delivery company is trying to get an edge on its rivals with discount codes, faster service, and a turn into the realm …

Anna Kramer / Protocol:
Profile of Twitter's Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability team, as Responsible ML becomes one of the company's top priorities in 2021  —  Machine learning engineer Ari Font was worried about the future of Twitter's algorithms.  It was mid-2020, and the leader …

See the GitHub thread for this post.

I've been building apps on the assumption that if you store something on GitHub, when you get the raw version of that thing, it'll be current. I was getting inconsistent results, so I decided to test that assumption, and it seems that it is not reliable storage.

If you read an object immediately after writing it, you will not always get back what you wrote. It's not just a matter of waiting a second or two, sometimes it's wrong for up to 10 seconds (the delay I programmed into the test).

Here's the Node app I'm running to test this. It wakes up every minute and saves a file to GitHub with the current local time string. If I reload the non-raw version of the page, it usually seems to have the current value. But if I reload the raw version of the page, it often does not have the correct value.

Here are the results of the app for the first half hour.

  • everyMinute: 1:58:13 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 1:59:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:00:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:01:00 PM, status == 200, good
  • everyMinute: 2:02:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:03:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:04:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:05:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:06:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:07:00 PM, status == 200, good
  • everyMinute: 2:08:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:09:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:10:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:11:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:12:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:13:00 PM, status == 200, good
  • everyMinute: 2:14:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:15:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:16:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:17:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:18:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:19:00 PM, status == 200, good
  • everyMinute: 2:20:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:21:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:22:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:23:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:24:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:25:00 PM, status == 200, good
  • everyMinute: 2:26:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:27:00 PM, status == 200, bad
  • everyMinute: 2:28:00 PM, status == 200, bad

You can see that more often than not the raw value is incorrect after ten seconds.

I'm leaving the app running for a while, so if you want to verify this, you can.

I'll post a note in the GitHub thread when I turn the app off.

Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
Researcher: counterfeit packages on the official Python repository, downloaded ~5,000 times, contained code that installed cryptomining software  —  Open source repositories can be vectors for badness, so look before you run.  —  Counterfeit packages downloaded roughly 5,000 times …

Margherita Beale / Forbes:
Habi, a Colombia-based residential real estate marketplace with automated pricing tech, raises $100M Series B led by SoftBank Latin America Fund  —  Habi, a real estate startup digitizing home buying and selling for Colombia's middle class, announced Wednesday that it has raised $100 million …

Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Instagram says it will test mixing suggested posts throughout primary feeds, even above posts from people users follow, and adds new controls  —  A priority on algorithm-chosen content  —  Instagram says reception to its “suggested posts” feature has been so positive that it's launching a new test …

Jackie Davalos / Bloomberg:
Uber will add labels to Uber Eats in PA and DC saying app menu prices might be higher than those charged by restaurants, after pressure from the states' AGs  —  - New disclosure will be included in the checkout page  — The addition will only apply to D.C. and Pennsylvania

Journalism, academia, government and the corporate world all hire from the same talent pool.

They go to the same universities, get their news from the same sources. Corporate people take government jobs, then go back to the corporations. The people move fluidly in and out of each bucket.

So you get the same story, the reality they believe in, developed over centuries, that is radically different from the reality most other people experience. The story recited daily at CNN, MSNBC, The New Yorker, NYT. The world changes, again and again, and the story they tell is how angry this makes them, and how everyone must snap back.

New technologies can make change possible, like the one we're using now.

We would never have Trump if it weren't for Twitter. Imagine someone saying that sentence 20 years ago. It would pay to have that kind of imagination built into journalism, and it is available. The incumbents, like the Democratic incumbents, will have to be left behind.

Today we can't rely on journalism, not because of a campaign run by Russians or Republicans or billionaires.

They think the problem is that we don't see what they see, but I think it's the other way. They hold on to a normalcy that is gone.

They can't see what they can't see.

Aaron Schaffer / Washington Post:
Breakdown of officials in Biden's administration who have worked at tech giants: Facebook leads with 11 officials, followed by Alphabet at 10 and Microsoft at 8  —  Technology and cybersecurity policy researcher  —  Dozens of top Biden administration officials have professional ties …

Carolina Morning by Edward Hopper, 1955

Two South African brothers who founded crypto investment firm Africrypt vanished with ~69,000 bitcoins, worth $3.6B+, after informing clients of an alleged hack  —  - Lawyers hired by investors piece together funds' disappearance  — Africrypt loss would rank among biggest-ever crypto heists

Tom Warren / The Verge:
What to expect from Microsoft's “next generation” Windows event on Thursday: new Windows 11 UI, updated Windows Store, and a focus on productivity and gaming  —  Microsoft's “next generation” of Windows event is taking place later this week, on June 24th at 11AM ET.

David McLaughlin / Bloomberg:
Antitrust experts say the biggest obstacle to Lina Khan's agenda will be a conservative judiciary, which has made it difficult for regulators to win big cases  —  The fiercest foes of America's technology giants cheered when Lina Khan, a professor at Columbia Law School …

In April 2020 I gave Glitch a try.

It's a unique free Node.js hosting service, that cuts out a lot of the complexity in creating and managing network apps. It's a Joel Spolsky project, run by Anil Dash, both people I've known for many years. Early bloggers. Joel is founder of Stack Exchange, Trello and many other projects, and now is super rich, probably a billionaire, after selling both his hits to big companies. I knew him when he was a normal ex-Microsoft NYC-based developer.

Anyway, I succeeded at getting several apps running on Glitch last year, but it wasn't simple for me, an experienced Node developer. That's okay. I left them the apps there, and they continued to work. But when I tried to update my PagePark installation on Glitch to the latest version, all of a sudden I'm getting errors from Node that make no sense. Things that worked before. There have been hardly any changes in PagePark in the last year. I have no idea what the problem is. And I'm concerned it might take days to figure it out and get things working properly. And these are days I don't have. Trying to complete Drummer, my latest product release, and help users get going in the OPML ecosystem (which is why I was drawn back to Glitch in the first place).

So now I'm trying to figure out what's the best use of my time. Glitch is inexpensive, but not the least expensive way to run a server, if you don't want the server to go to sleep. It takes (it seems) a minute or more for it to wake up. Perhaps that's the incentive to get you to pay. I'd understand that. But their price is $8 a month, paid annually. I can host a server on Digital Ocean for $5 a month, and it's pay as you go. If you use the server for a week you pay for a week. And while I appreciate that Glitch is trying to make it easier by factoring and editing in the browser (good things to do!), Digital Ocean makes it as easy as possible to get started using standard Linux at the command line, and their docs are excellent, the best I've seen. It's what got me to switch from AWS in the first place (their docs are impossibly bad). I've been using Digital Ocean for years now, and the other thing I like about it is that my apps continue to work, they don't break them, as apparently has happened on Glitch (which is okay, not complaining, just making a decision).

But then something amazing happened. After writing this post, all of a sudden PagePark-on-Glitch is working. Fuck me.

If you’re having a kid, consider naming him/her, Pulitzer Prize Winner. Might open some doors

How ranked-choice vote counting works. It's not complicated.

If you don’t believe we’re a racist country, ask yourself when people of color ever tried to stop white people from voting.

A new version of PagePark has a more powerful mirrors feature.

Last time it was an open podcast, this time an open email.

Joe, I listened to your interview with Michael Cohen. really liked the negotiating with hostages idea. It's true, they are hostages, and it made me stop and think because at first i thought you said hostage-takers.

Working to get Dems elected is not enough. The Democratic Party is in the way. It might be better to run ads attacking them first. To establish that something unusual is going on, that the Dems are weak and disorganized and not the answer.

There's no way in a two-party system if one party disintegrates, that the other party doesn't also fall apart.

In order to compete with the Repubs, which we have to do, the Democratic Party has to be pushed into the background.

We need an answer to Donald Trump. It's not as Michelle Obama said when they go low we go high. That's wrong. we need to go lower. Sorry. This isn't church, you don't get to heaven by being pious.

Michael Cohen has some of what's needed. I really liked what he said about driving sign trucks through neighborhoods stating obvious truths that everyone knows that they never say on TV. It's a brilliant idea. He's a brilliant guy.

I don't think the Lincoln Project is the right banner for you to fly under. No matter what they do they identify as Republicans. i don't know if you're a basketball fan but that's like saying the 76ers or Nets should lead us in our quest to win the title. (Both have been eliminated). They are brilliant advertisers, but they are not leaders because they have the Republican stink on them.

We need someone strong, believable, and most important new.

BTW, someone who has leadership qualities -- Stacey Abrams. I found when she endorsed Joe Manchin's election reform platform I had to go look at it. Because I trust her and believe in her intelligence.

Do a podcast with her Joe, ask her what we should be doing now. I'd listen to that one.

The problem isn't Manchin or the filibuster. The news is that Repubs are planning, openly, the destruction of the American political system, turning the US into Russia, with vast wealth to be looted. The question is wtf are we going to do -- now.