Purge your Yahoo account (but don't delete it!)

There are about 1.5 billion reasons to want to cancel your Yahoo account. Don’t do that! According to Yahoo’s account deletion page, they “may allow other users to sign up for and use your current Yahoo! ID and profile names after your account has been deleted”: This is a terrible policy not shared by other service providers, and there are many scenarios where it’s a huge security problem for Yahoo’s users.

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Migrating off Evernote

In late 2016, Evernote updated their privacy policy to explicitly grant their employees the right to view your personal information. In their own words: And please note that you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy (under the section, “Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?"). This is unacceptable for most of the things you’d want to use a note taking application for, and I believe that makes it wholly unfit for any kind of business or private use.

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I was in a meeting when I noticed the sun was hitting my water bottle just right.

It's still there, isn't it?

Gigi isn’t so sure about our new decoration.

Technology IS Politics

It’s not possible for technologists to avoid politics because technology is politics: You’re writing an instant messaging app that can more easily share information with law enforcement agencies, or one designed to make that impossible. Either of those alter how governments interacts with their citizens. You made a ride-sharing app. It’s now easy for drivers to sign up and start making money, at the expense of existing taxi drivers. Your app alters the workforce.

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Electronics Kit for my Kids

Cory Doctorow mentioned that Elenco makes a perfect copy of the Radio Shack 200-in-One electronics kit. I hadn’t read to the end of his article before I’d placed an order. It’s not an exaggeration to say this kit pushed me into my career. I got the original Radio Shack version for Christmas one year when I was a kid, and on rainy days I’d work my way through the book of kid-friendly projects.

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We had a scary basement

When I was a kid, my parents had a horror movie basement. It was unfinished, poorly lit, and apparently designed to terrorize kids. It was divided into three approximately equally sized rooms: The wooden, backless staircase from upstairs dropped you into the first. It was mostly OK, but the only light switch was on the far wall away from the base of the stairs, so you had to feel around in the dark to turn on the lights.

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My phone was Lyfted

My son needed a ride to a Boy Scout campout yesterday and neither Jen nor I were home to take him. I had the idea to call a Lyft driver for him. My son accidentally left his phone in the Lyft car and this is the timeline of what happened as we tried to get it back. I’ll call the driver “Joe”: 5:09PM: I book a ride through the Lyft app.

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Christmases Past

How I imagined the backstory of the dad from “A Christmas Story”: I’ve seen things. Lots of us have: it was a long war. Terrible things, like Anzio ’44. Wonderful things, like summer in liberated Paris. I’ve seen these, and I’ve remembered them. I wasn’t supposed to be home very long, just a while to relax a bit and then join my buddies on our way to Asia, maybe Africa. I’ve heard Brazil is lovely.

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Adventures in Comcast support

We live outside San Francisco, and Comcast is our cable provider. We wanted to watch college football on TV so I visited Comcast’s website to add the “Sports Entertainment Package” for $10 per month. Immediately after turning on the big game, we found that the BTN channel was in old-style “standard definition” (SD), not HD. On top of that, Comcast’s channel feed was so terrible that it was almost unwatchable: we couldn’t always see the football.

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