The Guard

The Old Guard is a set of humans who inhabit the early days of a start-up. As I’ve written about before, they define the culture in both obvious and non-obvious ways. Simply: the way they act and how they treat each other disproportionately affects the values of the company. The Old Guard gets to be… More

How to Build a Rumor

There’s a rumor wandering through your team right now. I’m sorry to report; it’s toxic. It’s the kind of rumor that contains so much interest and emotional energy that the humans can’t help repeat the rumor to each other. It’s about you, and it’s completely untrue. When you hear the rumor, the content will give… More

A Privacy Choice

I departed Safari several years ago for performance and stability issues. Too often, I was finding myself in a situation where Safari was wedged or just plain slow. As the majority of my time is spent staring at a browser, this was unacceptable, so I moved to Chrome. Yeah, the typography rendering wasn’t as good,… More

Fidget Bliss

I’m the guy who sits next to you at the meeting whose right leg won’t stop moving. If one leg isn’t tap tap tapping, look to my hands because it is likely my finger tips are exploring the shape of a Zebra Sarasa .5 (Black), or that same pen is wildly spinning around my fingers.… More

What To Do When Your Plane’s Engine Catches Fire

A number of passengers lingered by the plane to take selfies with the burning engine in the background. They had no information that should have given them confidence that the plane wasn’t going to explode and shower them with fiery metal if they stuck around. Protip: forego selfies.

(Via Quartz)

Is that even a thing?

I can now sleep at night.

In the OED’s latest update, the word (“thing”) has gained yet another meaning, “defined as ‘a genuine or established phenomenon or practice’, and is often used in questions conveying surprise or incredulity, such as ‘is that even a thing?’”

(Via Quartz)

Understanding Privacy Developments with the Latest Browsers

Solid summary of privacy-related developments in Safari and Chrome via the EFF:

Starting sometime in 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will begin blocking all ads on websites that do not follow new recommendations laid down by the industry group the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). Chrome will implement this standard, known as the Better Ads Standard, and ban formats widely regarded as obnoxious such as pop-ups, autoplay videos with audio, and interstitial ads that obscure the whole page. Google and its partners worry that these formats are alienating users and driving the adoption of ad blockers. While we welcome the willingness to tackle annoying ads, the CBA’s criteria do not address a key reason many of us install ad blockers: to protect ourselves against the non-consensual tracking and surveillance that permeates the advertising ecosystem operated by the members of the CBA.

Google’s approach contrasts starkly with Apple’s. Apple’s browser, Safari, will use a method called intelligent tracking prevention to prevent tracking by third parties—that is, sites that are rarely visited intentionally but are incorporated on many other sites for advertising purposes—that use cookies and other techniques to track us as we move through the web. Safari will use machine learning in the browser (which means the data never leaves your computer) to learn which cookies represent a tracking threat and disarm them. This approach is similar to that used in EFF’s Privacy Badger, and we are excited to see it in Safari.