Mojeek's Monthly Must Reads
11 October 2018
Welcome to the latest edition of Mojeek's Monthly Must Reads. This month's edition covers stories such as: Tim Berners-Lee's radical plan to decentralize the web, Spotify's new partnership with Ancestry and a lot of negative focus on Hacker News in regards to Google's use of tracking and breaches of privacy. Enjoy.
Author: Greg Sterling (@gsterling) – Search Engine Land
Summary: It is estimated that Google will pay Apple $9 billion to remain as the default search engine on the Safari browser. This is a big jump from the $1 billion price tag paid in 2014.
Author: Diwaker Gupta (@diwakergupta) - Dropbox Blog
Summary: With the purpose of helping users efficiently find the most relevant documents for a given query, Dropbox have been working to replace their pre-existing search engine with their new full-text search engine 'Nautilus'. This article describes the architecture of the new system, reasons for technological choices they made and the use of machine learning. There was also some healthy discussion on Hacker News dissecting the article.
Author: Dan Russell (@dmrussell) - SearchReSearch
Summary: Dan Russell uses Bing's 'Search-By-Image' tool to do some light-hearted detective work in figuring out where his brother's photo was taken in the world.
Author: Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) – Search Engine Land
Summary: Debunking the myth that search personalisation helps with giving users relevant results, this article confirms that the personalisation Google partakes in is currently limited to user location and offering context from a prior search.
Author: Artur Śmiarowski (@ArturSmiarowski) - Alemil
Summary: This comprehensive guide focuses on readable code, whereby web developer Artur Śmiarowski offers 23 pieces of advice on how to write code which is easy to understand and maintain.
Author: James Vincent (@jjvincent) – The Verge
Summary: In a previous Mojeek Monthly Must Reads post we mentioned how a controversial copyright bill was rejected and sent back for further discussion. This Verge article announces an updated version has now been approved with amendments of the highly criticised Articles 11 and 13, which was called the "link tax" and "upload filter" by critics. However, debate still lives on with some arguing these amendments have made things even worse.
Author: Apple Press Release
Summary: Apple announces that it has completed the acquisition of one of the world's most popular music app Shazam, with plans on providing users with more ways to discover and enjoy music.
Author: Alex Galbraith – Complex
Summary: Spotify has partnered with online genealogy company Ancestry to allow users to create playlists based on their DNA. By inputting their Ancestry results into Spotify, songs will be selected layering personal taste in music with music that is culturally significant to users' ancestral roots.
Summary: In a previous Mojeek Monthly Must Reads we included Ryan Gallagher's article in The Intercept outlining Google's plans for launching a censored search engine in China. This topic is revisited, shedding new light on the specific worrying tactics Google are planning on implementing into the search engine. This includes linking searches to phone numbers, tracking Chinese users' movements, storing IP addresses, all accusing developers of creating "spying tools" for the Chinese government.
Author: Katrina Brooker (@katrinabrooker) – Fast Company
Summary: Tim Berners-Lee shares his plan of taking back power from tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon by decentralizing the web with his new startup 'Inrupt'.
Author: Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) – Cryptography Engineering Blog
Summary: This article was written in response to Google's controversial update for Chrome with massive implications for user privacy and trust, leaving author Matthew Green and many other users furious.
Author: Zachary Crockett (@zzcrockett) – The Hustle
Summary: This article summaries the history of The Internet Archive, indicating how difficult and vital its existence is, whilst also raising questions as to the ethics of how we record history.
Author: Bill Goodwin (@Williamrt) – Computer Weekly
Summary: MI5 announced that it had captured and read private communications data belonging to Privacy International, the NGO dedicated defending and promoting the right to privacy across the world. It emerged that the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6 and GCHQ also unlawfully collected data on the group too.
Author: Brad Enslen (@bradenslen) – Rambling Git
Summary: Brad Enslen offers his views on the importance countries having a strong national infrastructure for cultural, educational, informational and security reasons. Noting the value of information, knowledge and having control over data and search in the context of the 21st century.
Author: Michael Grothaus (@michaelgrothaus) - Fast Company
Summary: Michael Grothaus claims that in the current climate of privacy scandals, Apple's best product is not their high quality phones or laptops, it is instead their intangible offer of being privacy conscious.
Author: Jessica Guynn (@jguynn) – USA Today
Summary: A leaked video shows footage of Google executives openly expressing disappointment following Trumps presidential election victory, calling for employees to be tolerant of divergent political opinions of staff. This led to accusations of bias against conservatives, coming from Trump and the political right.
Summary: Heated Hacker News discussion takes place following Christop Tavan's (@ctavan) twitter thread all about how the latest Chrome version won't allow users to delete Chrome cookies when clearing all browsing data.
Summary: Helpful anecdotes, guidance and discussion points are given from Hacker News users who have failed in their previous startup ventures.
Summary: With heavy focus on the recent breach of privacy in Chrome, discussion takes place about the what alternative email services are out there which put privacy first.
Summary: Just a light hearted forum covering the best documentaries, with 'Wild Wild Country', 'Grizzly Man' and 'Planet Earth' all receiving a positive reception. Here at Mojeek, we highly recommend giving 'The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz' a watch. One of our personal favourites.
Summary: Hacker News users react to Jonathan Mayer's (@jonathanmayer) twitter thread about how in order to save a home or work address in Google Maps, you have to allow activity tracking for all Google services.
11 October 2018