When it comes to web browsers, Safari is… OK. I’ve used it as my primary browser on my Mac several times over the years, and it does a great job overall. But I can’t help but get the feeling that Apple isn’t that invested in it, other than as a pawn to play against Google’s Chrome.
Reading this recent post by Jeff Johnson on bugs in Safari doesn’t inspire confidence. And it annoys me because I think that Apple do care about the web — it’s just that they only seem to care as long as it doesn’t threaten their App Store.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Browsers build by purveyors of operating systems always seem to suffer from this conflict of interest, as Microsoft proved with Internet Explorer back in the 1990s and 2000s. Google have just taken it to the extreme with Chrome OS, of course — let’s face it, the OS is just there to get people (and their data) into Google’s clutches.
Adding MarkDownload to my browser extension arsenal.
Hat tip to Ton Zijlstra for bringing this to my attention.
I used to use Bear for this kind of thing, but that only really worked with Safari on Mac, plus it created an extra silo.
Reading Marina Hyde’s recent opinion piece in the Guardian the other day, I was struck by the notion that the team behind the Dead Ringers radio shows were ahead of everyone when they started portraying Boris as a Jekyll/Hyde character, with ‘Bad Boris’ always showing up to ruin his attempts at statesmanship.
The Register: Google tells Chrome extension devs to declare their code’s usage of personal data.
As the subhead notes, in typical Reg style: ‘Ad biz is serious about making others disclose information collection’.
I’m seeing this as both an attempt to ape Apple’s stance on privacy and a distraction away from Google’s own track-record in that department.
The other day, when I was looking through my exported Facebook posts, I saw something flash up over the toolbar icon for uBlock Origin, my ad-blocker of choice. Curious, I clicked to open up the info panel, and was informed that the local web page on my Mac was connecting to fbcdn.net. Annoyed, I added that domain to my block list.
Given that the archive I downloaded from Facebook before deleting my profile last year contains all the pictures I posted there, as well as the text of message, I’m entirely unclear as to why those web pages are connecting to Facebook’s CDN servers.
This morning, after some sleuthing using the Web Inspector, I tracked down the link. It’s buried inside the minified inline CSS in the header of the page, and also over the section where my profile picture would appear in the top-of-page Facebook navigation bar.
I have a hard time believing that this isn’t intentional, no doubt another data-point to add to their ‘shadow profile’ on me.
This time of year is never good for my mental health — the light and colour fade away from nature, making man-made gaudiness stand out even more.
(Day 20 of #mbnov #microblogvember)
There are many examples given in Albums You Can’t Play On Spotify, but I should point out that Apple Music and other streaming services also suffer from this malaise. YouTube can sometime fill in the gaps, although the quality can vary considerably.
The culprit is most likely copyright ownership and licencing in your area of the world. I suspect that this problem flies under many folks’ radars because it might not be obvious unless you’re looking for those specific albums or songs and are in a region where the licencing isn’t in place to allow their streaming.
Is it possible that I could return to social media one day? Yes. Is it likely? Not for the foreseeable future. Social media as it exists now is irrevocably broken.
(Day 19 of #mbnov #microblogvember)
Tonight, I’m reading through the copy of my posts to my (now deleted) Facebook profile. Most of them are fluff, but a few personal ones will get copied as text and saved for posterity. In particular, the ones relating to my dad’s terminal illness and how I dealt with it. I’m holding back the tears as I re-read those. 🙁
I am gradually working to reduce my dependence of specific apps and services to get things done, making full use of what I’ve already got rather than reaching for new tools.
(Day 18 of #mbnov #microblogvember)