Least Useful Part

Hello internet friends,

let’s talk about The Matrix first. It has been twenty years since that movie appeared in cinemas and it still holds up quite well. David Sims over at The Altantic makes a case for the idea that A Movie Like The Matrix Might Never Happen Again – mostly because Hollywood is even more risk-averse these days than it was back then.

An article in The New Yorker made quite the rounds last week – apparently a bunch of paleontologists found a dig site from The Day the Dinosaurs Died thanks to that meteor.
Of couse nothing is ever as simple and great as it sounds at first. Apparently the actual scientific study does mention the day of the meteor and that they found a lot of animal fossils but not any actual dinosaurs. Turns out – it’s not so easy to know How to interpret the dinosaur study tearing the paleontology world apart.

In other news – Patagonia Is Refusing To Sell Its Iconic Power Vests To Some Financial Firms. Luckily I don’t run into people with that look a lot, but I guess they’ll have to get their puffy vests from somewhere else now.

Gizmodo asked a bunch of experts about the least useful body part and the answers are pretty amusing. It’s not a question I’ve ever asked myself, but after reading this, I might give the old pyramidalis muscle a bit of a flex.

Meanwhile BBC Future ponders Why there’s so little left of the early internet and what is being done to make sure there’s a bit more left of the internet of today. Even though it might be a stretch to say that any of this current stuff is really worth preserving.

That’s all for now – toodles!


Hello internet friends,

let me ask you: Where is your data? Who knows.
An article that starts with the wonderful premise that data is like glitter. (Even though I can’t remember ever having data in my beard after a dinner party.)

Meet Fribo, a robot built for lonely young people – on the one hand: lulz, @internetofshit hashtag shit future on the other hand: I think I’d enjoy something similar. Maybe not a black ghost with two eyes that stare into my soul, but… you know.

To be honest, I’m still a bit unsure about VR and AR. Some people are really excited about it, but I’m still pretty meh about the whole thing. And yet this is pretty cool: Explore Edward Hopper’s “NightHawks” in VR! (↬ Teymur)

That weird sign just now? Don’t you remember the Curator’s Code? I still do. Mostly because it is probably one of the best jokes on the internet.

We’ve learned that farmers jailbreak their increasingly hyper-automated equipment so they can repair them in February but what we didn’t know is what they do when the machines work. Well, now we do: Farmer Uses Stardew Valley As An Escape
Farmers. They’re just like us.

Toodles! /me goes back to playing newsletter writer simulator

Handsome Pod People

Hello internet friends!

Spring arrived here in full force so here I am, all doped up on antihistamines and hiding behind my sunglasses.

London Pod People

Self-driving cars might be the future but maybe they future has been around all along: The future of driverless cars is a bus
Mostly it looks like they took the PRTs from Heathrow (wait – weren’t those supposed to be a joke?) and put them on the public roads. Something that’s honestly a pretty good idea. Especially as driverless technology gets better and better.

Handsome Youths

I’ll be the first to admit – I did not know what a chinese Husband Exhibition might be. Now I know: apparently it’s some kind of festival where the chinese music industry markets their pop stars to a mostly female crowd – as charming enough to be their husband. Some of those pop stars might even be young ladies, who just happen to be very androgynous and (have to) play football: China’s hottest new boy band is actually made up of five androgynous girls.

Give me a ping, Vasili.

Space news! So, mysterious bursts of energy do come from outer space. It is probably just some stupid physics thing but who knows – maybe someone out there is scanning our planet.


Quick, name one of the big artists of our time. You’ll probably not name Pitbull, but that might be a mistake. Because Pitbull Will Live Forever.

Helter Skelter

Not a headline I expected to read in 2017: The Hippies Have Won. Now before we all cheer and strip naked and run around circles around our VW vans in a cloud of marijuana smoke, let’s be clear: it’s not that the age of aquarius has finally come. It’s just that capitalism managed to co-opt the superficialities of the lifestyle and now granola, kombucha and Birkenstocks have taken over the world.
Well, what a bum trip.

Well, be safe out there. Make sure there are no shards of glass around when you do decide to dance naked around your camper van.

Ruined By Everything

Hello internet friends,

it’s Monday, so let’s be cheerful! To facilitate it, here are things that are ruined!

Cheered up, yet? Hm. Let’s try good stuff, then.

Better? Alright. If not, have a beverage of your choice and a moment of serenity.

[Hand Wave Emoji]

Hello internet friends!

How to pretend to be happy on the Internet.
Oh well. Onwards!

If you’re into the whole Harry Potter stuff, maybe The Sorting Hat Bot is something for you?

This is less of a tinyletter and more of a bad OKCupid match
I also don’t understand it most of the time, but I do tend to be amused. Enough that I keep returning and refreshing even a couple of weeks after it made the rounds on everybody’s twitter feed.

Apparently something that real people are pondering: Should Grown Men Use Emoji?
For what it’s worth: as long as your CMS can handle them, go ahead.

Go out there and have the best week possible. And if that doesn’t work out, there is always next week.

All the happy creatures dancing on the lawn

1.0 Designing for the Web

Mark Boulton made his book Designing for the Web available for free under a Creative Commons licence. As someone who bought the book and managed never to really read it – mostly because every time I’d have the time and/or the idea to read it, I was not at home, where the book was – I really appreciate that move.
What I read was really good and now that I carry it around on my phone, I am sure I will get to read more of it and maybe even understand some parts.

1.1 Fiddly Bits

Fun fact: to get the book on my phone, I had to jump through quite some hoops. The epub file is a zipped download and my iPhone can’t open zip files and move the epub file to iBooks. So I tunneled into my home network, used my fileserver at home to download and unpack the zip file. I was then able to download the epub from my home server to my iPhone and now I can happily read that book on there.
There has to be some way we can make these things easier, right?

2.0 Magical

If you are a listener of Roderick on the Line and Back to Work, you might have noticed a certain theme running through them lately: technology is (getting? still?) too complicated.
A lot of their ire is directed towards Apple and the latest versions of iOS and OSX. “It just works.” seems to be a promise that they can’t keep at the moment. And a lot of that is because these things are constantly connected to what is easily the scariest place to connect to – the internet! [dramatic chipmunk!]

Now, as far as I can tell, writing software that basically runs in one neatly defined environment is still hard, but we (as in: humanity) are pretty good at it by now. Desktop software is pretty stable and so was pre-smartphone phone software. Snake never crashed on me.
But things are getting interesting as soon as they are connected to each other. Suddenly there are more outside influences than we could possibly imagine. Machines need to talk to each other and if possible in a way that nobody can intercept those messages. That adds multiple layers of complication to programs and applications. (And thanks to the Heartbleed bug we’ve all seen what happens when one of those layers breaks.)
And that’s not something we’re good at, yet. Frankly I don’t think we’ll ever really be able to tame the beast that is the internet.

But at the same time, we either demand or at least make the marketers think we demand more connectivity in our software. It is in fact pretty awesome how a text I wrote on my Mac appears on my iPad without me doing anything. But to get to that part I had to enter my iCloud credentials on both machines. (Multiple times, I might add. Bloody hell.) And I did have to know which software to buy and how to activate iCloud sync.
I am lucky that I am patient enough to do those things and interested enough to fiddle around with them to get these things to work. But I’m a nerd and many people are not. They look at these things, they fall into a deep pit of despair and then they stay with their Windows XP and their Word 2003, because for them those just work. There is no cloud-stuff going on, they can write their letter and if they want to work together with other people, there’s always Outlook and "Re: Re: Re: letter-final-v2-revision-8.doc"

Not because these people are stupid, far from it. (Some are, you know. Most. I mean, we all are. Monkeys with a bad haircut, as they say.) But because most people want their technology to be appliances. Tools. Switch it on, do what it is supposed to do, switch it off, done.
I’m not really sure where I am going with this, but I realize more and more how much we are still at the very beginning of all this “computer stuff.” (As it gets so nicely summarized by people who really really don’t want to have to do anything with it.)

3.0 Random links

3.1 Amazonology

Amazon just bought Comixology. And my Twitter stream went nuts. I was not aware I followed so many comic fans.

3.2 Condoleezza

Condoleezza Rice joins Dropbox and the internet switches to rage mode. While it is probably warranted, it’s interesting that the “Drop Dropbox” page mentions there are “fully encrypted and open-source” alternatives but doesn’t link to any. I personally quite like Bittorrent Sync. (Which is a bit strange with it’s “security through obscurity” hash thing, too. So, do you have any better ideas?)

3.3 Boink Boink Boink

Via MeFi: windy landings in Birmingham. Great to watch if you’re afraid of flying. (For someone who landed in Wellington, this is pretty tame stuff. (Not really.))

4.0 Weekend etc.

I might not send you any email next week because of reasons. I’ll be around on Instagram and Twitter.
I just realized that I put Instagram first and Twitter second and now I am scared.

Take care, everybody.

At least it gets you out in the open air

1.0 My legs are old and bent

Have we all watched the trailer for “American Blogger”? It’s pretty spectacular in it’s way.
(Just to be clear: I hope all these nice ladies have all the success and happiness possible through their blogs. But that trailer, honestly.)

2.0 My ears are grizzled

Talking about terrible videos of things that happen because of internet – I am sure you have all seen the “Let’s Get Social” video?
I’m pretty there are at least some people who think: “Wow, that was cool and it went viral! Let’s do something like that at our Social Media conference, too.
I’ve warned you.

3.0 Nose is knackered

It’s pollen season again and I could do well without it. Given that I am really bad at having even the smallest kind of health-inconvenience, the sudden allergy attacks threw me into a state of disarray in which I sent all my life savings to a drug store, in exchange for basically everything they have to battle the effects of the pollen.
If my emails in the near future seem to be even more erratic than usual and/or suddenly lucid, you know what to blame

4.0 Crucifixion’s a doddle

(Stop saying that.)
This email thing is now part of a – wait for it – Webring!
The Internet of Newsletters
I’m pretty busy subscribing to all of those right now, what I have seen so far seemed pretty good.

That’s it for today, have a nice one.


1.0 Comme des fous

If you have looked at the archive of these emails over on irregularity.co you might have noticed something that I didn’t do in the mail client, yet: I picked some rather interesting pictures from the Flickr Commons to go with each mail. And I have to say, I quite like the effect so far – it makes the archives rather pretty.
That’s why I am rather disheartened to see that the Brooklyn Museum decided to delete all their content from the Commons when leaving – instead of letting it sit there for people to enjoy.
I mean, sure: they moved them over to the Wikimedia Commons, which is nice, too. I still don’t understand why it was necessary to delete the whole account from Flickr – and I am not the only one who is concerned:

Leaving Flickr Commons could have been the perfect opportunity to invest in long-term self-hosting. Instead they’re abandoning the Titanic by hitching a ride on the Hindenberg.

Well, we’ll see.

2.0 Links!

That worked fine the last time, so here we go:

2.1 Energize!

Here is a good guide on how to save a bunch of energy on your iPhone. Worst offender apparently: Facebook.

2.2 Neeeeerds!

So, yes, I really liked the “Silicon Valley” pilot. A few interesting articles about it: ‘Silicon Valley’ Skewers the Empty Utopianism of the Tech Industry basically says that making fun of Silicon Valley is like shooting fish in a barrel. NPR basically thinks the same: What Silicon Valley’s Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture:

Socially awkward people with money is a very funny area.

2.3 Sour! Sour?

If you like watching a video of babies being not very happy at all, today is your lucky day.

2.4 Sans

Of course I sent Comic Neue to all the teachers in my immediate family.

3.0 Gifs

4.0 Procrastination

Is it very obvious that I should be doing something else?

Have a good day!


1.0 Link Link Link

Okay, let’s try something different: a bunch of links to stuff I liked.

1.1 Stage

You know what’s good? Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. You know which episode I really enjoyed this weekend? The one with Josh Radnor, who seems to be quite a swell guy.

1.2 (Like a Record)

Priceonomics on Why UPS trucks don’t turn left. Spoiler alert: they still turn left once in a while.

1.3 History

Marco Arment on “Political Views” – if that is the result of John Siracusa prodding him towards speaking up on non-tech, non-coffee issues, I am all for it.

1.4 Click click click

Really good documentation about the 2011 DotA2 tournament in Cologne: Free to Play. Completely worth the time if you’re interested in professional gaming or even just like good documentations.

2.0 I’m (not) prepared to let you go

I am using Twitter – a lot. And I follow way too many people. And yet I love it – here’s how: The “Mute” function in Tweetbot. I blanket-mute everything that is annoying. Keywords, oh so many keywords. A whole bunch of apps. A few urls. A whole bunch of people.
My rule for muting people is pretty easy: for any really stupid and/or sports-related tweet I mute people for a week.
I know I could just unfollow people, but I don’t actually want to – some people are just randomly stupid and/or interested in sports and I might want to read their usual tweets some time later on and this is a pretty elegant way to do so.

3.0 Game of Codes

So there is a new season of “Game of Thrones” (Trailer) and a new series called “Silicon Valley” (Trailer) and I am excited.

Have a good start to the week.