Links: April 2018

Time for another roundup of links! This month we have sinkholes in West Texas, a misinformation satire site called Scarfolk, a Tetris game that berates you, cool stuff from IBM and a few other goodies.

Time for another roundup of links!

Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It.

It turns out that the data leak from Cambridge Analytica isn’t 5 million, it isn’t 87 million, but affects a whopping 2 billion users. Major bummer. This quote about sums up how I feel about it:

What the journalist Walter Lippmann said in 1959 of “free” TV is also true of “free” social media: It is ultimately “the creature, the servant and indeed the prostitute of merchandizing.” But social media itself isn’t going away. It has worked its way into our lives and has come to help satistify the basic human need to connect and catch up. Facebook, in fact, claims lofty goals, saying it seeks to “bring us closer together” and “build a global community.” Those are indeed noble purposes that social media can serve. But if they were Facebook’s true goals, we would not be here.

Advertising makes the world go round. No doubt about it. But let’s not beat around the bush, Facebook makes money. Connecting people is secondary to their primary goal — leveraging user data for advertisers.

A Better Way to Put Words on Paper, IBM Selectric Ad

A classic. You just don’t see ads like this anymore. It’s beautiful. Reminds me of the early Macintosh ads.

IBM Plex C-Handle Mug 11oz

Another IBM related link. In celebration of IBM’s new typeface, Plex they made this super cool mug. 10/10, would buy.

Wesleyan Tetris

This is a fun one. From Macintosh Garden:

A Mac-exclusive bid to create the most vexing Tetris possible. It will lie, cheat, taunt you about your play (“Nice slide!”), give you preposterously unusable pieces, and find a creative “new way to screw you” on every level. While it never saw its intended commercial publication, a leaked development copy became an underground sensation.

This version only refers to itself as Tetris by Randall Cook, but it picked up many other names as it spread: New Tetris, Obnoxious Tetris, Attitude Problem Tetris, Wise-Ass Tetris, Asshole Tetris and most famously Wesleyan Tetrisafter the author’s university. Recently, Cook announced plans to release the source code under the name Original Supertris.

Scarfolk Council

I discovered this one from Josh and Chuck at Stuff You Should Know. They’re a goofy bunch and easily my favorite podcast. Scarfolk is a misinformation-satire, specifically occupying the graphic design aesthetic of 1970’s PSA campaigns. From the Scarfolk masthead:

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

You can watch the SYSK’s Internet Roundup episode here. The origins and inspirations of Scarfolk starts at around 7:30. Good stuff.

The 1Password 7 Beta for Mac Is Lit and You Can Be, Too

It’s here! Finally. The 1Password 7 Beta is out for macOS users. I’ve played around with it for a week now and it’s pretty nice. Very refreshing UI update. 

More Sinkholes for West Texas?

From Texas Monthly:

A new study from two SMU scientists finds that oil and gas activity has made the ground unstable over a 4,000-square-mile swath of West Texas.

Growing up in Texas, I can tell you — earthquakes are not common at all. Most of Texas sits upon several massive shale structures. As this oil and gas activity continues, there could be dire consequences.

From the EIA

SMU geophysics and researcher Jin-Woo Kim later says:

If these shifts continue, they could lead to increased seismic activity in the area as well as the formation of new sinkholes, which would pose a danger to “residents, roads, railroads, levees, dams, and oil and gas pipelines,” according to Lu. Pipelines in particular are vulnerable to these shifts, and there are many of them in the area. “West Texas has one of the densest networks of oil and gas pipelines in the U.S.,” the scientists noted. Ground water could also be polluted as a result.

Gothamist is Back!

Hooray! WAMU gets DCist, and KPCC gets LAist! A great victory for the web and journalism. There’s a Kickstarter to help raise cash for WNYC + Gothamist. Fuck yeah.

The Key Wrangler from CW&T

From CW&T

I came across CW&T (Che-Wei Wang & Taylor Levy) after HAWRAF (a design and tech studio in Flatiron) shared the photo on Instagram. CW&T is maker studio, seemingly focusing on solving unique problems at the intersection of art and design. The Key Wrangler is a rugged, solid piece of CNC’d titanium (or brass). At it’s core, it’s a carabiner designed for urban use. I love the passion and grit CW&T puts into their work.

They’ve also done some cool projects in the past too. Such as this rad music project, 365 Days of OP-1. Very impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything 365 days in a row except for maybe eating. 😬

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