Links and Notes - Tue, Jan 28, 2020

10:43 a.m.

Toledo Express Airport (KTOL)
Jan 28, 2020 9:52 am EST
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 35 F
Humidity : 67%
Wind Speed : NW 8 mph
Barometer : 30.06 in
Dewpoint: 25 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 28 F

Toledo Executive Airport (KTDZ)
Jan 28, 2020 9:53 am EST
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 34 F
Humidity : 78%
Wind Speed : W 8 mph
Barometer : 30.06 in
Dewpoint: 28 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 27 F

Toledo Suburban Airport (KDUH)
Jan 28, 2020 10:15 am EST
Weather : Overcast
Temperature : 34 F
Humidity : 82%
Wind Speed : W 3 mph
Barometer : 30.05 in
Dewpoint: 29 F
Visibility : 10.00 statute miles
Wind Chill : 32 F

Toledo 7-day forecast

Last Update: Jan 28, 2020 9:29 am

Today: Cloudy, with a high near 35. Northwest wind around 6 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. Light northeast wind.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25. Light east wind.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34. Calm wind.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.

Friday: Cloudy, with a high near 38.

Friday Night: A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Saturday: A chance of snow showers before 1pm, then a chance of rain showers between 1pm and 5pm, then a chance of rain and snow showers after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Saturday Night: A chance of snow showers before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 46.


Into the Personal-Website-Verse (2019) ( - many commenters posted URLs to their websites

SQLite Is Serverless (

Why the BBS is still awesome in 2020

Layoffs hit Quora (

from aug 21, 2019

Online sportsbook BetOnline is itching for football as much as we are at Odds Shark and – surprise, surprise – has the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the top of its list by having their OVER/UNDER win total at 11.5.

The over-under line for the Browns was 9 wins for the 2019 season. I also heard 9.5 wins.

From before the 2019 season:


Washington Post Guild issues scathing critique of the paper's suspension of Felicia Sonmez, says WaPo should let her return and provide a security detail

???? The WaPo guild used Google docs/sheets???

I think that Google docs/sheets/whatever was used because it allowed others to edit the document to permit people to add their names in support.

Peter Sterne / @petersterne: WaPo union statement on @feliciasonmez notes that Washington Post management previously disciplined her for tweeting about her own experience of sexual assault.
Andrew Beaujon / Washingtonian: Washington Post Union Blasts Paper for Suspending Reporter Over Kobe Bryant Tweets
Sarah Kaplan / @sarahkaplan48: Days like today are what unions are for. I'm proud to stand with my colleague Felicia and my fellow @PostGuild members:
Moira Donegan / @moiradonegan: My thoughts are with @feliciasonmez, a journalist of uncommon integrity and ethical commitment to whom I and other women in media owe an enormous debt.
Megan Carpentier / @megancarpentier: It's pretty difficult to see their decision to suspend her for those Tweets as distinct from their knowledge of her history and how that is determined by them to affect her “objectivity” — even if the piece she tweeted didn't state her opinion of it.
Megha Rajagopalan / @meghara: Suspending a reporter over a controversial tweet instead of helping her deal with credible threats of physical violence that happened because of the tweet is what's wrong with the media industry
Ashton Applewhite / @thischairrocks: It's uncomfortable to raise the worst thing a beloved figure has ever done when that person dies. It should be uncomfortable. It is also brave and necessary.
Emma Roller / @emmaroller: making a mental note of all the WaPo people whose names aren't on this (very good) statement
Jessica Valenti / @jessicavalenti: This should concern all female reporters. If women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted are not considered objective, you're going to have a really hard time finding any women to write about these issues
@zoeyorkwrites: As a @washingtonpost subscriber, this is deeply concerning to me. I'll be emailing them about this as well. Muzzling anyone for talking about sexual assault is inappropriate.
Tim Shorrock / @timothys: Really glad to see the union aggressively defend @feliciasonmez. Incredibly heavy-handed actions by Post editorial management.
Elise Hu / @elisewho: Now more than 300 @washingtonpost journalists have signed the Post union's petition in support of their colleague @feliciasonmez, who was suspended for ... tweeting a link to a story about Kobe Bryant's 2003 rape case #hifelicia
Graham Starr / @grahamstarr: The Post Guild doesn't pull punches in its statement: “The Post's handling of this issue shows utter disregard for best practices”
Parker Higgins / @xor: The four pages of signatures on this letter suggests that journalists did not in fact think that Sonmez's tweets had made their work harder
Bill Grueskin / @bgrueskin: Washpost employees' statement: “This is not the first time that The Post has sought to control how Felicia speaks on matters of sexual violence”
Josh Eidelson / @josheidelson: “The Post's handling of this issue shows utter disregard for best practices in supporting survivors of sexual violence — including the practices we use in our own journalism,” @Newsguild union leaders and Washington Post employees say in new statement
Marc Tracy / @marcatracy: Union representing Washington Post journalists out with statement. Lot of signatures
Andrew Beaujon / @abeaujon: this appears to be a reference to when Sonmez wrote a letter to the Atlantic complaining about statements Caitlin Flanagan made about her (and tweeted the letter)
Andrew Beaujon / @abeaujon: Some interesting texture in here: The union says management previously placed a letter in Sonmez's file after “articles attacking her were published in other outlets”
Dara Lind / @dlind: This is a good statement. Newsroom unions: they're good.
Joseph Wulfsohn / Fox News: Washington Post's media critic, guild slam own paper for suspending reporter over Kobe Bryant tweets
The Daily Beast: WaPo Union Condemns Management for Suspending Reporter Over Kobe Tweet

From the Guild's doc:

Felicia received an onslaught of violent messages, including threats that contained her home address, in the wake of a tweet Sunday regarding Kobe Bryant. Instead of protecting and supporting a reporter in the face of abuse, The Post placed her on administrative leave while newsroom leaders review whether she violated the social media policy. Felicia had to leave her home out of fear for her safety and has gotten insufficient guidance from The Post on how to protect herself.

We understand the hours after Bryant’s death Sunday were a fraught time to share reporting about past accusations of sexual assault. The loss of such a beloved figure, and of so many other lives, is a tragedy. But we believe it is our responsibility as a news organization to tell the public the whole truth as we know it — about figures and institutions both popular and unpopular, at moments timely and untimely.

Yesterday and again today, NPR covered all aspect of Kobe's life.

As the world remembers the achievements and mentorship of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday, it also remembers the sexual assault allegations he faced in 2003.

SHAPIRO: Throughout our coverage, we have explored Kobe Bryant's remarkable legacy on and off the court. Now we're going to talk about a more complicated part of his life. In 2003, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old in Colorado. A Martinez is the host of Take Two for Southern California Public Radio, and he joins us now. Welcome.

Back to the Guild's doc:

This is not the first time that The Post has sought to control how Felicia speaks on matters of sexual violence. Felicia herself is a survivor of assault who bravely came forward with her story two years ago. When articles attacking her were published in other outlets, The Post did not release a statement in support of one of its respected political reporters. Instead, management issued a warning letter against Felicia for violating The Post’s vague and inconsistently enforced social media guidelines.

News startup Scroll debuts today with ad-free access to ~300 partners, including BuzzFeed News, BI, and Vox, for $2.49/mo. for first six months then $4.99/mo.

The subscription service bypasses advertising

Sara Jerde / Adweek: Scroll Hopes Its ‘Anti-Programmatic’ Model Will Make a ‘Better Internet’
Scroll / @tryscroll: Scroll is now open to the public! Now you can experience an internet that's twice as fast, with 80% fewer trackers and completely ad free on a growing network of sites. Your membership directly funds the sites you love. Become a member today!
Sara Fischer / Axios: Former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile launches startup Scroll
Nathan Bomey / USA Today: Gannett-backed Scroll launches subscription service for ad-free journalism
Rick Edmonds / Poynter: Revolutionary? A hit? A miss? In any case, Tony Haile's Scroll has launched at last
Maya Rodale / @mayarodale: HUZZZAH! Congrats to @arctictony and his awesome team on their big launch today! I've been using scroll for months (cos I know a guy 😉 ) and it's an amazing, beautiful way to experience the web. Check it out.
Martin Sfp Bryant / @martinsfp: I've been using Scroll for the past few months and I really like it. If you hate adtech and like supporting journalism, give it a go.
Alex Fitzpatrick / @alexjamesfitz: Really interested to see where this goes. It's promising, but whether anyone can overcome the original sin of making Internet content free remains to be seen.
Tony Haile / @arctictony: We're building a better internet, one site at a time. Join us at!

Good grief, Charlie Brown. People act like they had no idea that websites could be simply designed to load fast and to be read comfortably.

The people are ignoring the real problem: the media's usage of modern web design problems have led to media creating some of the worst designed websites on the planet. The media's websites are massively bloated and filled with trackers and other crapware.

It's why in 2015 Facebook introduced Instant Articles, which has achieved little success, but it's also why in 2015 Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages, which has proven to be successful for Google.

Media orgs create nearly unusable websites for readers, and then they partner with orgs that display the media's content humanely. It's stunning that the media orgs fail to realize THAT THEY COULD CREATE HUMANE WEBSITES THEMSELVES.

From the story:

Former Chartbeat CEO Haile is anything but modest in his claims for Scroll. It’s meant to be a reading experience “like the internet would be if we went back and invented it from scratch.”

Uhh, the internet or the web? And nothing needs re-invented. The internet is a network or a transport layer. The web is a protocol or an application that runs over the internet. That's it.

This is about the web. People are not reading stories over Gopher nor Usenet. Those protocols (applications) run over the internet like web.

People however, like to read news stories via email newsletters. Email is another protocol (application) that runs over the internet, like the web.

How people, orgs, and businesses use and abuse the web or abuses web readers is the issue. abuses the web and its subscribers by offering an atrocious web design. That's not the fault of the web nor the internet. That's a choice made by people who work at the Blade or Block Communications, which owns the Blade. runs on the web. It's easy to read. It's humanely designed. The Blade could do this behind a paywall for paying customers, but the Blade chooses NOT to create a usable web reading experience.

More from Poynter:

Haile walked me through a demo over the weekend, and Scroll delivers on two of the promises he has been making. It converts ad-heavy articles from participating publications into ad-free displays and does so in an instant.

As we wrapped up our conversation, Haile said, “I built a successful business. I led polar expeditions. But I never could move the ad industry. That’s beyond my skills … We couldn’t get media planners to add another column to their Excel spreadsheets.”

Hence a product aimed at escaping clutter, cookies, slow load times and the like when consuming digital content. Haile said that he thinks there are “a few hundred million people out there looking for a better experience.”

But media orgs choose hostile modern web design practices. The media chooses to build sites more like instead of

From the TC article:

CEO Tony Haile previously led analytics company Chartbeat, and he said he founded Scroll because of his frustration with the way news sites were becoming dragged down by ads and trackers — and despite those performance-slowing/privacy-defying practices, publications were still struggling to make money.

Well hells bells. When media orgs abuse readers and paying customers, why would those media orgs be surprised when they lose readers and customers?

Most web readers probably don't complain nor understand fully why they have massive disdain for media websites. These uses simply move on and read Facebook or maybe Google's AMP on mobile devices.

Based upon the Scroll animated image contained within the TC article, it appears that articles displayed within Scroll look similar to a reader mode option that might exist within some web browsers.

It's shocking that the Scroll founder believes that readers want a useful, pleasant web reading experience.

More from TC:

Plus, there’s what Haile described as the “good karma” of knowing that you’re supporting the publishers behind the news and stories that you actually read.

Whoa. I pay for a subscription to the Toledo Blade, but the Blade's digital offerings are terrible. That's why I created my own website to read Blade articles in a Scroll-like manner.

He noted that every reader’s payment is dispersed separately, based on their own “engagement and loyalty,” rather than putting all of the subscription revenue into a single pool. So your money will never go to a site that you’ve never visited — and you’ll even get a monthly report showing which publishers your money is supporting.

Of course, many (non-Nazi) publishers are also experimenting with their own paywalls and subscriptions. Haile argued that Scroll is complementary to those efforts, because it allows publishers to offer a better experience to readers and make more money from them, even if they’re not yet “superfans” who are ready to sign up for that specific subscription.

None of the articles discuss why media orgs don't create humane websites and business models on their own.

Mmmm. This:

is blank with JavaScript disabled.

The homepage states:

Welcome to an internet that feels magical.

Twice as fast, no ads, 80% fewer trackers. It’s the sites you love. But on a better internet.

Building a better internet, one site at a time.

A "better internet" (misued) should mean being able to READ the company's blog without JavaScript., however, does display content when viewed withing a text-based web browser, such as elinks. It's blank within Firefox and with uMatrix blocking somem things.

If I enable scripting within uMatrix, then the blog's content appears within Firefox. That's not a "better internet." It's the opposite. is using some of the same hideous modern web design practices that are used by media orgs. irony.

India restores internet access in Kashmir to 301 “whitelisted” sites, including Netflix and NYT, after nearly six months, but all social media remain blocked

The Times and Sunday Times to launch digital ad-free talk radio station in partnership with radio group Wireless, which is also owned by News UK — The Times titles are launching their own talk radio station which

Facebook is investing $700K in news orgs, hosting a second Local News Summit in March, expanding its Instagram news fellowships to ~20 outlets

State Department drops NPR from Pompeo trip after Ukraine dust-up

i use and old iphone 5c that runs ios v 8.x. i got the phone in the summer of 2014. it works well for me. kudos to apple engineering. the liveproof case has held up well too.

my main apps on my iphone are safari, messages, phone, mail, clock, photos, camera, settings, and calculator. all of those were default ios apps.

years ago, i enjoyed the dark sky weather radar app and some nighttime sky app that showed stars, planets, and satellites. but i deleted those apps years ago.

i don't use native apps created by others. and now that my iphone os is so old, i could not download native apps even if i desired.

that's okay. i trust the safari web browser more than i would trust anyone's native app.

Until legal authorities catch up with those collecting and sharing our information, it’s the Wild West online, with a bounty on privacy.

Beware and be wary: Your apps may be spying on you for online advertisers.

That’s the conclusion of the Norwegian Consumer Council after it commissioned a study of 10 of the most popular Android mobile apps, including dating helpers such as Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder, the period and ovulation tracker MyDays, and Perfect 365 for virtual makeup.

The study, done by Mnemonic, a cybersecurity firm, found that the 10 apps sent users’ data to at least 135 third-party services that target ads or profile user behavior for that purpose.

The information collected by the apps included a user’s IP address and GPS location, and personal attributes including gender and age, and online activities.

Until legal authorities catch up with those collecting and sharing our information, it’s the Wild West online, with a bounty on privacy.

it's a bit fraudulent that this blade op-ed ignored the blade's native app called newsslide. does newsslide collect and send users' info without the consent of users? why not mention the results of a security and privacy audit conducted on the blade's newsslide app, assuming such an audit was conducted?

From Markey:

Many of the world leaders who will assemble in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum meeting this week will follow the same script — talking down to the peasantry about how droughts, floods, and hurricanes are the direct result of your lives accelerating carbon-fed climate change, so we must immediately fund a folder full of government would-be solutions, turn off the air conditioner, and drive Smart Fortwo microcars. Then they fly home in private jets.

The climate changes — there is no disputing that piece of the history of our planet. The area we live in was once covered by a mile-thick of ice, just 10,000 years ago. Then it melted. Further back in our geologic history, the same region was part of a vast, warm sea — the fossil park in Sylvania holds evidence of that era. But at some point, the sea was gone. The climate changed dramatically.

In geologic time, it's valid to say, "just 10,000 years ago."

Humans have no comprehension of 10,000 years ago. 99.99 percent of humans cannot comprehend 100 years ago. We cannot remember nor understand life on Earth in 1920. We can remember our time on Earth, maybe. Can we remember clearly what occurred 20 to 40 years ago?

In geologic time, 10,000 years ago is almost nothing when considering Earth is at least 4 billion years old.

More from Matt:

It is best we leave the debate over the level of climate change the planet is experiencing currently and its causes and potential repercussions to the scientific community, but not one where any soul that raises a question or points out flawed data is cast from the temple as a heretic.

Science isn’t a democracy where a plurality proves a theory or a domain where name-calling wins the day. It is also not a cult where everyone must have an identical opinion or be hurled off the cliff as a “denier.”

Our climate changes, and it is very likely undergoing some level of change right now, but just as we have responded to the threats of deadly disease, industrial pollution, and the potential of nuclear winter, we should remain optimistic that the motivation of self-preservation will take us to the correct action in this case.

Pessimism is more profitable than optimism.


What irritates many in the 21st-century bourgeoisie is the climate around the climate change chronicles. They, too, love the planet, but thinking people can’t help but retch at the seemingly immeasurable level of hypocrisy raining down on us from the Hollywood crowd, the any-soapbox-will-do political flock, and some of our most revered leaders. Going back to church for a moment — *they have no interest in practicing what they feel so strongly compelled to preach. *

That's true. People do not want to lower their current standard of living to save the planet. "They" want governments to force others to lower than standard of living.

Exhibit A, from the recent Golden Globes awards show: hundreds of stars arrived at the gala in 8 miles per gallon limousines, with a few Bentleys that get 12 mpg, and a Rolls Royce that achieves even less than that. They then risked certain compound fractures by endlessly patting themselves on the back for their “plant-based” dinner, but even the New York Times felt it necessary to painfully point out that while the meal was celebrated as “green,” the huge ballroom was garlanded with flowers that had to be flown in from Italy and Ecuador. We can only assume that Tom Steyer is still calculating the carbon belch those long-distance excesses produced.


You can’t live in energy-sucking mansions, fly private jets to Tahiti or St. Barts or the Cannes Film Festival, and go back to eating foie gras and Wagyu beef the day after the awards show, and claim you are doing your part to fight climate change.

True and participating in the conscience clear scam known as buying carbon offsets does not offset the energy that was consumed. The fossil fuels were still consumed. The companies supplying the fossil fuel-based energy see the consumption levels increasing, regardless of offset scams. The energy companies have to meet the growing demands that our higher standard of living requires.

More from Matt:

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most passionate apostles espousing the theology of climate change, but as Forbes pointed out, you don’t take private jets to the Alps, the French Riviera, Tokyo, and Brazil, and charter one of the largest yachts in the world for your vacations, and then say “we need to work collectively” to combat climate change, as he did in an Oscar acceptance speech.

Exhibit B: When former Vice President Al Gore was at the summit of his ascension into a self-appointed role as protector of the planet, his 10,000-square-foot mega home in Nashville was consuming electricity at 12 times the rate of the average house in the area, according to the Associated Press. That glaring inconsistency made it difficult for some to digest his doomsday polar bear scenario since his lifestyle seemed a much bigger threat to those Arctic bruins than that of most Americans.

We live in a free country, and people can make their own decisions on air travel, less-than-humble seaside accommodations, yacht rentals, and luxury rides. But when there are hundreds of gas-gulping limousines lined up outside the Hollywood self-congratulatory session, and the party-goers used 100 private jets to reach that party, their calls for action to combat climate change seem like just another well-rehearsed scene in a less than convincing performance.

If you don’t live it, you probably shouldn’t preach it.

Matt's opinion was great. I don't understand the complaint by the letter of the editor. I'm guessing it was a reading comprehension problem.

I prefer to keep our house thermostat temp in the winter time set at 60 to 62 degrees. It's not because I'm trying to save money by having a lower natural gas bill. I'm not trying to save the planet. I'm simply trying to keep the house comfortable in the winter time. I dislike warm houses in the winter time, unless one hell of a lot of moisture is pumped into the air.

I keep the house cool and wear wool clothing. We do not have central air conditioning. Most summers, I install our two small window AC units, but I did not do that last summer, and it was a toasty summer. One of the hotter summers in recent years from mid-June to the end of July. We occasional bouts of hot weather in August and early September. But we survived without AC. I used fans.

We live within Toledo in a small, humble home that resides on a small lot. The home was built around 1948. It's not old by city standards.

By living in the city, repurposing a 70-year-old home, instead of participating in the popular activity of removing green space in the outlying area to build a new home.

By living in the city, we are a walk or a short drive away from the businesses that serve our needs. We are not driving 20 to 30 miles or more for basic services.

An Update on Bradfitz: Leaving Google (

Threads Are a Bad Idea for Most Purposes (1995) [pdf] (

Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers (

Towards a conversational agent that can chat about anything (

KnightOS was an interesting operating system (

Thunderbird’s New Home (

The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10 (

Ask HN: What are some interesting projects to reuse your old devices?

The Pacific Ocean is so acidic that it's dissolving Dungeness crabs' shells (

Ask HN: What's your cross-platform PDF / ePub reading workflow?

Hundreds of workers defy Amazon rules to protest company's climate failures (

Tree planting is a great idea that could become a dangerous climate distraction (