Love this on why it’s great to write blog posts:

In fact, your blog indirectly says a few extra things about you. First, it shows that you have the discipline to take the time to structurally and understandably write down a solution to a (complex) problem. Or that you take to the time to voice your opinion on a subject in a clear and concise way.

I found this very true the first time around in self-employment over at my old blog. I essentially found plenty of work for five years through word of mouth and through my blog reaching folks. It even led to living overseas for a time!

And, regarding teaching as learning:

It happens ever so often that while I’m trying to explain something in a blog post, I notice that I have a hard time putting it down in clear and consise words. Typically this is because I apparently don’t fully understand what I’m trying to write down. In these situations, I dive a bit further into the topic to fill the gaps in my understanding. And this is great! I’m actually learning new things while I’m writing down something that I thought I already knew.

So true.

Sometimes it’s amazing how much an image can shape your understanding of the world and your place in it.

[They] did more […] than just introduce a new keyboard. A new keyboard alone would have been an anticlimax, as [they] realized. Computer manufacturers have been making good keyboards for years. So [they] also promised to give a free keyboard to all current owners of […], and to those who buy remaining inventories of […] with old keyboards.

This generous offer was perhaps the biggest surprise of the day. Plenty of computer companies have made mistakes in the past, but very few have offered free retrofits on such a scale. Still, the offer wasn’t solely an outburst of altruism. It both protects and reinforces [their] all-important reputation for dependability and service. And as [their] publicist confided, it’s also [their] way of acknowledging that it should have designed the […] with the new keyboard in the first place.

Compute! Issue 53, October 1984, regarding IBM’s PCjr

Week two in the nephews LEGO Masters challenge was a robot. Meet DocBot 9000, bearing a medicine missile and oxygen tank, and who took me about two hours in a crunchtime just before our weekly call. 😬

Ok, bit of a false alarm. Prompted by Curtis, I built my own testing keyboard and confirmed that it doesn’t get access to text unless it’s the active keyboard. 🤔

The best I can figure is that something knew which store I was at (not difficult, particularly since I use Foursquare) and then, based on profiles of me, knew I’d probably be interested in particular meat snacks (likely correct!)

I’d love to know if anyone knows about the privacy or data sharing of Bitmoji and their iOS keyboard. Despite not using it for months, I believe they are listening to, and probably selling, all data typed on installed devices.

In past, Jessica and I have only referred to a particular jerky brand in person while at Trader Joe’s together. Several days ago, she was waiting in the (longer COVID-19) line while I was outside and mentioned via Apple Messages that she bought “meat snacks”. We talked about a specific brand and that was that. Remember, Apple Messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning Apple can’t read your chats.

Later that night, I got a banner ad for the brand, which I had never seen before.

The only vector I can guess is that we both have (welp, I used to have) the Bitmoji keyboard installed, which technically has access to all data typed on our phones.

Combine that with later serving a desktop ad to a household using the same IP address as that phone once it had returned home… it’s absolutely possible.

Ad tech. Man.