Well, I guess the vaccine is working. Last night I was shivering in bed, then sweating, and aching a lot. Having to drink lots of water today to compensate. Hopefully I won’t feel as rough tomorrow.

One of the biggest reasons why I’m sticking with Vivaldi as my primary Mac browser? Web panels. I have ones for Inoreader, Micro.blog and Pinboard currently, and they’ve boosted my productivity no end!

Got my 1st Covid-19 vaccination this morning, was in and out very fast. I got given the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, so didn’t have to wait around to check for any adverse reaction. Arm is a bit sore, but otherwise okay. 💉🦠😷

I’ve reinstalled Firefox on my Mac and restored my settings from my Mozilla account, but after using Vivaldi for about a week I’m not sure that I want to switch back…

Attack of the TLAs

Jeremy Keith:

I think my co-workers are getting annoyed with me. Any time they use an acronym or initialism—either in a video call or Slack—I ask them what it stands for. I’m sure they think I’m being contrarian.

The truth is that most of the time I genuinely don’t know what the letters stand for. And I’ve got to that age where I don’t feel any inhibition about asking “stupid” questions.

But it’s also true that I really, really dislike acronyms, initialisms, and other kinds of jargon. They’re manifestations of gatekeeping. They demarcate in-groups from outsiders.

Three-letter acronyms (TLAs) and their ilk have been around for a long time, and I’ve encountered a lot more over my lifetime than I’d like. I have particularly vivid memories of all the TLAs I had to grapple with during my time as a software developer working with DOS and various versions of Windows, plus a load more I came across as a tech support / sysadmin managing a network of Windows machines plus a server running Small Business Server 2003.

As Jeremy mentions, it can quickly become normalised within a group of people working on similar things. But it has also spread more widely thanks to social media, in particular Twitter with its limits on message length.

I’ve come across web pages that have supposedly been written for non-experts, where acronyms have been mentioned without any explanation on the page. I realise that content management systems might not make it easy to do, but HTML has supported a means of communicating acronyms or abbreviations since the early days, so it really shouldn’t be that hard!

This has gotten me thinking, I’m certain that my Pinboard bookmarks probably have a lot of acronyms as tags — I will make more effort to avoid those in future.

‘Run screaming from Bitcoin’

Tim Bray – When You Know:

I’m a person who knows a lot about how computers and software work, is generally curious, and reads fast. I’ve been wrong about lots of things over the years. But there have a been a few times when a combination of technology-literacy and just paying attention to the world have made me 100% sure that I was seeing something coming that many others weren’t. Here are a few of those stories. The reason I’m telling them is that I’m in another of those moments, seeing something obvious that not enough other people have, and I want to offer credentials before I share it. Also, some of the stories are entertaining.

Some cautionary tales about the dangers of tech-evangelism over the decades. Makes me very glad that I stepped out of the ‘Holy Wars’ back in the 1990s.

It is completely unambiguously obvious to me that Bitcoin, a brilliant achievement technically, is functioning as a Ponzi scheme, siphoning money from the pockets of rubes and into those of exchange insiders and China-based miners. I’m less alone in this position than I was in some of those others, I think a high proportion of tech insiders know perfectly well that this is a looming financial disaster.

I have never understood Bitcoin, or cryptocurrency in general, and every time I’ve tried reading something explaining it I’ve given up because the alarm siren goes off in my head. It is literally too good to be true.