Margaret Bourke-White was born in New York City in 1904, and grew up in rural New Jersey. She went on to study science and art at multiple universities in the United States from 1921 to 1927, then began a successful run as an industrial photographer, making notable images of factories and skyscrapers in the late 1920s. By 1929, she began working for magazine publishers, joining both Fortune and, later, LIFE. She spent years traveling the world, covering major events from World War II to the partition of India and Pakistan, the Korean War, and much more. Bourke-White held numerous “firsts” in her professional life—she was the first foreign photographer allowed to take pictures of Soviet industry, she was the first female staff photographer for LIFE magazine and made its first cover photo, and she was the first woman allowed to work in combat zones in World War II. Gathered here, a small collection of the thousands of remarkable images she made over a lifetime—Margaret Bourke-White passed away in 1971, at age 67, from Parkinson’s disease.

An incredible photographer.

Another good article about the Hong Kong protests. Filled with observations and thoughts.

China wants to eat Hong Kong. That is what these protests are about…

But ultimately, the issue is China. A treaty with Great Britain guarantees Hong Kong autonomy until 2047, under the slogan “One Country, Two Systems”, but that autonomy is being challenged by an impatient, authoritarian regime. It is now clear that the city’s Chief Executive does not have freedom of action, and must follow instructions from the mainland. Hong Kongers had to choose whether to fight or let themselves be absorbed into China. They have chosen to fight.

His closing line: “And that’s when I understood the Hong Kongers may actually win.”

One of my most used, most speedy pieces of software is nvALT.1 It’s an oddly named, very bland application. Just a database of plain text files with a plain text editor bolted on. But it’s fast. The fastest piece of text cataloging software I’ve used. It opens instantly and produces results instantly. My nvALT database is full of ten years of notes. Open it and your cursor is already in the search field. It is keyboard friendly software: If you’re ever not in the search field, just hit ESC, and you’ll land there. Type a few letters and all the notes with those letters appear. It is the best instantiation of an off-board brain I have. Any piece of text with value in my life gets dumped into nvALT.

nvALT syncs with Simplenote. This is handy because nvALT is macOS only. So you can use the Simplenote iOS app to keep your extra brain nearby on the go. Simplenote also has a macOS app. You may think: Why not use the Simplenote desktop application? Because — it’s not quite as fast. We’re talking milliseconds, but it’s enough that you feel the difference. It’s the difference between the $1000 Japanese garden shears and the $150 garden shears. They both cut just fine, but if you work in the garden all day, you will (probably?) feel the difference.

Great essay, start to finish, including the example above. He mentions one of my favorite pieces of software, Things, as well. Amazing, and responsive, design makes software feel magical.

Performance Matters →

Hillel Wayne · Hillel Wayne · ·

Last year I got certified as an EMT. As part of the training I shadowed an ambulance for a day and assisted with each run. For each patient we treated, we had to fill out a patient care report.

The ambulance I shadowed had an ePCR. Nobody used it. I talked to the EMTs about this, and they said nobody they knew used it either. Lack of training? «No, we all got trained.» Crippling bugs? No, it worked fine. Paper was good enough? No, the ePCR was much better than paper PCRs in almost every way. It just had one problem: it was too slow.

It wasn’t even that slow. Something like a quarter-second lag when you opened a dropdown or clicked a button. But it made things so unpleasant that nobody wanted to touch it. Paper was slow and annoying and easy to screw up, but at least it wasn’t that.

I think about that a lot.

WebKit Tracking Prevention Policy →

WebKit · WebKit · ·

This document describes the web tracking practices that WebKit believes, as a matter of policy, should be prevented by default by web browsers. These practices are harmful to users because they infringe on a user’s privacy without giving users the ability to identify, understand, consent to, or control them.

We have implemented or intend to implement technical protections in WebKit to prevent all tracking practices included in this policy. If we discover additional tracking techniques, we may expand this policy to include the new techniques and we may implement technical measures to prevent those techniques.

Our current anti-tracking mitigations in WebKit are applied universally to all websites, or based on algorithmic, on-device classification.

We will review WebKit patches in accordance with this policy. We will review new and existing web standards in light of this policy. And we will create new web technologies to re-enable specific non-harmful practices without reintroducing tracking capabilities.

Bravo WebKit.

The Internet is an interesting place. And homogeneity leads to the ability to attack at a scale previously unseen (easy to attack small systems, but now “everyone” uses AWS). It’s admittedly an article that promotes his new company, Tailscale, but I always enjoy his articles nonetheless.

The WeWork IPO →

Ben Thompson · Stratechery · ·

WeWork is a fascinating company. They lease spaces from everyone as small as freelance developers and wedding planners to companies who need entire floors. And, as Ben makes the case, they’re turning real estate from a fixed expense to a variable (scalable) expense.

There is a reason — beyond the fact it is August — that WeWork’s upcoming IPO has driven so much discussion: it is a document defined by audaciousness, both in terms of the company’s vision and also the flagrant disregard for corporate governance norms by its leadership. And, of course, massive losses despite massive amounts of capital raised. I suspect all of these things are related.

It will be interesting to see how the “rental” or “on-demand” office space market evolves. Especially now that I’m working at a company that provides energy, water, and waste measurement and reporting software for large commercial real estate owners.

As the Trump era wore on, Google continued to brace itself for all manner of external assaults, and not just from the right. The 2016 election and its aftermath set off a backlash against Silicon Valley that seemed to come from all sides. Lawmakers and the media were waking up to the extractive nature of Big Tech’s free services. And Google—the company that had casually introduced the internet to consumer surveillance, orderer of the world’s information, owner of eight products with more than a billion users each—knew that it would be an inevitable target.

But in many respects, Google’s most vexing threats during that period came from inside the company itself. Over the next two and a half years, the company would find itself in the same position over and over again: a nearly $800 billion planetary force seemingly powerless against groups of employees—on the left and the right alike—who could hold the company hostage to its own public image.

In a larger sense, Google found itself and its culture deeply maladapted to a new set of political, social, and business imperatives. To invent products like Gmail, Earth, and Translate, you need coddled geniuses free to let their minds run wild. But to lock down lucrative government contracts or expand into coveted foreign markets, as Google increasingly needed to do, you need to be able to issue orders and give clients what they want.

For this article, WIRED spoke with 47 current and former Google employees. Most of them requested anonymity. Together, they described a period of growing distrust and disillusionment inside Google that echoed the fury roaring outside the company’s walls. And in all that time, Google could never quite anticipate the right incoming collision.

Interesting. Campaign IT security and who should ensure it is in place.

Moody’s Corporation has purchased a controlling stake in a firm that measures the physical risks of climate change, the latest indication that global warming can threaten the creditworthiness of governments and companies around the world.

Good time to be one of the newest employees at Measurabl it seems.

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