• I just watched a video (mentioned in this Daring Fireball post) describing YouTube’s negligence in allowing its users to propagate pedophilia.

    Now, I’m in the process of filtering out YouTube on all my devices. I’m done.


  • The lengths my daughters will go through to not charge their devices is impressive.

  • Scripting News: If I were CEO of the NYT

    Scripting News: If I were CEO of the NYT:

    I would offer a blog to every person who was quoted in a NYT story. This would give people an extra reason to work with our reporters. It would also serve as vetting. If their ideas or experiences are valuable enough to be quoted in our news flow, we want to stay in touch, and this is a great way to do that.

    This is an interesting idea, almost a Letters to the Editor but more direct—a less in-the-middle Medium. I wonder what the right balance is between ownership of your words and having a more direct place to respond.

    I’d worry that this would turn mostly into an overly PR’d space as people who’d most need a regular way to respond to the NYT (i.e. are frequently newsworthy) likely would have such a PR team.

    Overall, interesting ideas from Mr. Winer.

  • Link: Reading to Other People

    Reading to Other People - Daniel Warshaw - Blog:

    My head is swirling with possibilities and books now, and I'm pretty excited about future reading. Of course there are more Dahl books, and C.S. Lewis, and eventually Harry Potter. And that doesn't even scratch the surface of unfamiliar books outside my own childhood or cultural experience. I just hope her own developing reading skills don't make her bored of my voice too quickly.

    I love that Dan wrote about this. Reading to my kids is one of my favorite things. I’m going to go back and listen to my podcast episode about it: Sam and Ross Like Things Episode 37—Reading to my kids & Home automation

  • Nothing tells you your Mac is dusty quite like Dark Mode.

  • Daddy-Daughter Dance planning

  • ‪Don’t utilize “utilize”, utilize “use” instead.‬

  • Just used Diceware to help my 12-year-old create her first 1password password. It was fun!

  • As someone who’s never really used Google Apps, I dread seeing a Google Calendar meeting invitation. I feel like Google does everything in its power to hijack my otherwise functioning calendar and suck it into Google World.

  • Rainy Day Thinkings

    On this rainy day, I feel a strong desire to only have one computing device in life. Nothing to sync. Local file storage. Simplify. Hell, it’s even crossed my mind to just buy a CD player and not worry about media files.

    And then I think there’s no reason I can’t simplify right now, this very second. What’s stopping me? I look at my iPhone. I look at my iPad. I look at my Mac. My Apple Watch sits heavy on my wrist. I don’t really want to use them for anything at the moment, why not just turn them off?

    And then a friend sends me an iMessage. And my kids are video chatting with my mom. And my dinner is ordered without having to talk to anyone. And my outboard, OmniFocus brain is everywhere I could want it.

    And then my kid hands me a form for school and I fill it out with a fountain pen. I think “why not just use paper for everything?”

    I think about how much I think about this stuff. I think about how I’m glad I have internet friends who are also broken.

    And then there’s a knock at the door and I get to have dinner.

  • The best part about wearing a CPAP is that you can hide completely under the covers and still have fresh air.

  • Spent a decent portion of my day refreshing websites hoping that my Governor had resigned.

  • Much of this blog post echoes thoughts I’ve had myself about technology privacy for my family. I feel very tempted to give their products a try. Purism Origin Story – Purism

  • My life in 2019. #DadLife

  • I think plain cereal should come in airplane shapes because, as an adult, I should eat less sugar but, as an adult, I deserve wimsy.

  • Do you like things? Tell me a thing that you like and we’ll talk about it on Sam and Ross Like Things. 🎙

  • A good background on services like Google Apps for Education: It’s Time to Make Student Privacy a Priority - Electronic Frontier Foundation

  • Letter to my 6th grader's principal about protecting her privacy when using Google Apps for Education

    Principal [redacted],

    My name is Sam Davies, father of [redacted], a sixth grader at [a Richmond, VA middle school]. I’m writing about the letter you sent home dated January 23rd, 2019 about [the middle school] participating in a Google Apps for Education pilot.

    I have reservations about sharing my child’s personal data with a third-party service provider, especially one that makes its revenue using individualized profiles to target users for advertising. I feel the need to approach this pilot with a healthy skepticism.

    Most pressing, your letter indicates that this pilot starts on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, less than one week from the date of your letter. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, schools are required to obtain written consent from parents before disclosing students’ records or any personally identifiable information to any third parties. Neither my wife nor I have given such consent. Also, my daughter will only be 12 at the time the pilot starts, and unable to give consent under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Google’s own documentation states in the “Can G Suite for Education be used in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998?” section:

    We contractually require that schools using G Suite for Education get the parental consent required by COPPA. Our services can be used in compliance with COPPA as long as a school has parental consent.

    I’m not fundamentally opposed to services like this for my child, but I want to ensure that her privacy is protected. The omission of parental consent has me concerned that Richmond Public Schools might not have taken the proper steps required of it by Federal and State laws to protect the personally identifiable data of my child. I’m excited at the chance for my daughter to participate in a more 21st Century classroom, but not if we adults haven’t done our jobs to protect her privacy.

    Some specific questions: - What information about students will be provided to Google? - What is the privacy policy related to RPS students use of Google services? - Can a RPS student expect any 4th amendment privacy when using Google Apps for Education? - What are the terms of service regarding what data is being collected from students by Google and how it will be used? - Can RPS provide me a copy of the contract it has signed with Google for these services? - Is there an option for students/families to opt out of this technology? Is there an alternative technology that can be used?

    I understand that you, as principal, probably don’t have answers to these questions yourself. I’m available to meet personally with whichever RPS official(s) might be able to address my concerns. I do hope that my concerns can be addressed for the positive so that my child can fully participate in her great school.


    Sam Davies

  • I just green-tunic’d Ganon!

  • I’m re-listening to Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?. It’s so good. The sponsor reads are 💯.

  • Well… my pants are wet. Happy Thursday!

  • We finally got Transit.app service in Richmond and it’s vastly improved my life as a bus rider.

    The crowd-sourcing of actual bus locations is such a common good. I wish that there was a way to do it that didn’t involve sending surplus behavioral data to a private firm.

  • A quote about Google from “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”

    From The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power” by Shoshana Zuboff:

    “The new Google ignored claims to self-determination and acknowledged no a priori limits on what it could find and take. It dismissed the moral and legal content of individual decision rights and recast the situation as one of technological opportunism and unilateral power. This new Google assures its actual customers that it will do whatever it takes to transform the natural obscurity of human desire into scientific fact. This Google is the superpower that establishes its own values and pursues its own purposes above and beyond the social contracts to which others are bound.”

  • I highly recommend this book. It describes how we got here and how to start fixing it.

    Surveillance capitalism is not technology; it is a logic that imbues technology and commands it into action.

    The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

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