Hello internet friends,

seems like Mr DiCaprio finally got his pity oscar.

Most people don’t know this, but this newsletter is now a well-funded startup in a swanky loft office with exposed brick walls. “Dominik, how is this possible?” you might wonder and I am not above sharing my path to success: Motivational posters.

Did that make you laugh? I have bad news for you.

Back in the days when we had to walk uphill through the snow both ways and all we had was crappy shareware games, I used to play some sort of fighting game with robots. The Japanese decided to make it real – and honestly a lot more awesome.
Just look at that chicken robot. A lot less scary than that Boston Dynamics robot.

There is a new Raspberry Pi in town, this one with WiFi and Bluetooth on board. By now the specs look good enough to replace most office computers – for a fraction of the price. I’m not sure what happened to the idea of running Windows on these things, though.

Or well, we could just put these things into animals and create cyborgs. (This one might actually be more scary than the Boston Dynamics robot.)

Sleep well.

Shrimp Emoji

Hello internet friends,

I actually quite enjoy flying. I like airports[1] and I am fascinated by the machinery and logistics of the whole system. I don’t mind sitting in a tube with a whole lot of people, breathing recycled air and never feeling quite comfortable, because after all – hello! flying! – but even this might have its limits. And nowadays these limits are being closed to being reached – with the first few airlines pondering non-stop flights from Europe to Australia.

I happily use Tumblr without thinking too much – I look at a bunch of photos on my dashboard, reblog a bunch, like some, yay. Except for the fact that I am quite annoyed that they took away the comment feature, Tumblr is where I go for mindless but always positive time wasting.
This might be a sign of my age, though – because for young people, Tumblr is serious business.

I did mention her before, but since I see her face almost every day, here we go again, a new article about Ariane, the stock model who is everywhere. And apparently this is her Instagram account. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Good news! Drinking more coffee may reverse liver damage from booze.

I had Chris Dixon’s What’s Next in Computing? sitting open in a tab all day and now that I scrolled over it – come on, lol, reading the whole thing? – I will recommend that you read through the article. After all, the future of computing is also very much the future of our lives.
And me personally? Maybe I’ll see how I can retire to some remote island and/or mountain, far away from all these things.

Let’s learn about the secret double meanings of emoji! And then have another coffee and a good week ahead.

  1. With some exceptions. But isn’t that always the case?  ↩


Hello internet friends,

my usual writing tool – Byword – is crashing on me today, so I have to write this email in a normal text editor. Like an animal!
Quite a minor incovenience, just imagine instead I had a G(r)eek Chorus that kept telling me how I should be better all the time. I mean, seriously.

Runkeeper – which I personally use as a Walkkeeper and Sleepkeeper – is part of Asics now. This is pretty amazing, let’s see what they do with it.

Perhaps spending a night or two with a Neanderthal was a relatively small price to pay for getting thousands of years of adaptations.

How about I put this in my OKCupid profile?

Do you know about the Sleng Teng Riddim? Me neither, but here you go, the unlikely story how a Japanese lady over at Casio influenced reggae.

Take care, everybody, thanks for reading.


Hello internet friends,

let’s open with a strong contender for the headline-of-the-year award: Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed
What a story.

Everyone on Twitter is mad about the company’s idea to move to an algorithmic timeline which showcases relevant tweets. Apparently this is how it works and tbh I think it’s a bit silly – the last time I saw a relevant tweet was probably 2010 anyway.

Last year had a lot of weird weather. Here’s a timelapse.

This is now bowling, this is ’Nam. And this time seen in photos from a North Vietnamese perspective.

Man, I can’t wait to be old. (At least where I am, 65 is also the age when most people retire? Coincidence?)

Nerd alert! Want to learn about CPU load averages? Of course you do.

And then there are a bunch of people trying to clean the trash out of the ocean. Go them!

Way back when ICQ was the biggest thing in the world I used to have an ICQ bot running with a simple markov chain. It would randomly add people[1] and talk to them and I had so much fun just reading those conversations. These days there are much better libraries for that kind of silliness and of course there is Twitter. So here is a Twitter bot markov chaining its way through my tweets.
It does interact with people, too, so that’s fun.

Take care!

  1. Remember that? It was possible to just randomly look for people on ICQ and then talk to them. Get me drunk and I’ll tell you how that worked out for me.  ↩

Prank Calls

Hello internet friends,

I am quite a big fan of looking at screens, but the scenario how the couple in this article consumes media/uses their devices scares even me.

Even though it is still absolutely inscrutable to me, the last two weeks peer pressured me into looking at Snapchat again. My post-snake-person[1] cousin, #oldguyonsnapchat, and the good people at one of the many[2] Slack chats all together managed what poor Teymur alone didn’t manage to do.
So, here we are. If you are a snap person, add me and please – and now you have to excuse me for using the same old joke that all the old people who have only a vague understanding of these new things have, use – don’t send me your genitals.

What would you do with your last day of internet?
Now that’s a fun thought experiment. The answers given in the article tend to be pretty boring, so here is mine, also pretty boring: Probably exactly what I do just now, trying to reach out to people. The internet is – and has been for almost two decades now – a way for me to connect to my friends and peers and if it just went away, I’d have to re-learn all the ways that people use to connect offline.
I might even have to use the phone to make calls, ugh.

Tempting: Every 3 Months, I Unfollow Everyone on Twitter
But probably: no. That article is via Lara who used it to justify following everyone I follow with her secondary account. It is a very special kind of hell to have a friend go through one’s Twitter follows and live-slack that experience.

Now for something completely different:

Think about an enormously muscled 1,500 to 2,000-pound animal, with horns the size of a full-grown man, which hangs out in herds of bored and testosterone-driven bachelor males, and has no fear of humans and no qualms about charging.


Have a good week – and don’t call Justin Bieber.

  1. How do we call these people? Oh, I know: children – for now.  ↩

  2. Are we at peak Slack, yet? We might just be, especially since I don’t feel too happy about having my corpus mined.  ↩


Hi internet friends,

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Don’t be like Bill.

Space News!
The alien megastructure that is probably a bunch of comets is probably not a bunch of comets.
Apparently there is a planet in our solar system that we don’t know about. I’m not sure why they insist on calling it Planet Nine, though. You heard about Pluto? That’s messed up, right?

Chicken News!
When chickens go wild is an interesting article about wild chickens on Kauai. There is also an amusing gif.

T-Shirt News!
Someone bought 800 t-shirts and measured them. And washed them and wore them and measured them and washed them and… (Not a single someone, obviously.)

Tennis News!
Remember last week’s tennis kerfuffle? (I almost forgot, tbh.) Well, apparently “that’s what tennis players do."

Racist News!
Turns out you’re just as racist as everybody else, you are just better at hiding it. Well, at least if you’re a white American, which – let me look at my subscriber statistics – you are probably not.

Be safe, be less racist and maybe have a tea.

Game. Set. Match

Hello internet friends,

Mondays, uh?


Bet you didn’t see this coming:

Betting worth billions. Elite players. Violent threats. Covert messages with Sicilian gamblers. And suspicious matches at Wimbledon. Leaked files expose match-fixing evidence that tennis authorities have kept secret for years.

Besides the story itself I find it pretty fascinating to see the BBC work with Buzzfeed on this one.


Sometimes – tbh all the time – computers are acting up and even those of us who know a bit about these things are not always sure what happens.
So maybe they are cursed and need a witch who casts a bunch of spells to make them work again?


Why are people popular on social networks? Anil Dash says that the trick is mostly to be early.
I’m not sure how much that is true. I was (am) the second Twitter user from Germany and I’m still about as irrelevant as you can imagine. On the other hand, this makes the people who follow me a self-selected club of great people and spam bots.


Netflix News! They want to block VPNs and they have many, many genres.


Now, go forth and have a good week.

Very Different Today

Hello internet friends,

learning that David Bowie passed was surely not how I expected this week to start.


But here we are.


I know that most people are so over “The Force Awakens” already, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Even though it looks a lot more real than the prequels, there is basically not a single shot that isn’t CGI. If you want to know how they did it, here is a great interview with ILM VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett.


I can’t even… everyone has the same personality online.
I am not so sure if I agree, though. Mostly because I don’t want to admit that my magic skill to judge people on how they behave online might just be prejudice.


Given what humanity is doing in space these days it is pretty amazing that it has only been 70 years since we very super happy that the moon would bounce back radio waves.


Thanks for reading, now go listen to some Bowie. Or maybe to some Nemesis instead?

A Spark of Joy

Hello internet friends,

let’s have a nice 2016, okay? Okay.

Maybe don’t call chuchuk a horse penis, British dude.

I’ll probably read this article some time later, we’ll see. (And hereby recycling the joke that basically everybody who linked to this, made.)

Just around Christmas Mailchimp sent an email out to their customers with the exciting teaser that we could find out how much coffee they drank in 2015. I’m not sure anyone really cared. (In case you wonder: I had 546 cups of coffee in 2015, including espressi. Which is actually a surprisingly low number, not even reaching 1.5 cups of coffee/day.)

It is pretty amazing how many owners some aircraft go through before they are put out of service.
Just look at that beautiful Singapore Airlines livery on the first picture.

If you make or consume websites in one way or another, you might be interested in Maciej Cegłowski’s talk on big, heavy websites. (Here’s the transcript, if you don’t want to watch a big, heavy video.) It is really worth watching/reading.

Take care, people. And maybe clean out a bit. (I know I should.)

Post-Cool Normcore

Hello internet friends,

so, we got through another one of those again. I hope you had a nice one.


I’m quite a big fan of Muji. Almost every time I was in town in Düsseldorf I made sure I at least looked at their window display, it is just always very pleasing. (These days the closest Muji is in Paris, which seems a bit excessive, trip-wise, just for some window shopping.)

Muji, with its lack of logos, represents post-cool, normcore Japan, which is, of course, a fetishized version of Japanese culture—serene and neat and proper.

Turns out Muji is growing pretty fast, trying to stay calm while taking over the world.


I use Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist on my Sonos as alarm clock and let me tell you: it’s not always “so damn good.”
But it is pretty good often enough, so I’ll probably keep doing that.


And by “erm” I probably mean “same.” How else am I supposed to use the watch when my right hand is busy fondling using the phone?


If you just want to write something on the internet without much hassle you can probably do worse than medium dot com. I quite like it, too – it’s nice as a platform and there are a lot of things the people there do right. But when the founder says that “we” basically only need Facebook and Medium, he might not be all that right.
I’ll still re-publish all these emails over there – but, well, no. The web will still be happily being published on when Medium is long gone and forgotten.


If you want to read a bit more, here we go:


That was it for 2015, see you all next year.