Month: October 2014

  • NaNoWriMo 2014

    NaNoWriMo 2014

    November is, as usual, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. The concept is simple: Write a novel in a month. Or part of one, whatever’s your goal. I guess “beating” NaNoWriMo means that you wrote a novel during the month of November, but there’s a big difference between 60,000 words and 240,000 words, in case you hadn’t noticed.

    It matters little, because NaNoWriMo brings writers, prospective ones in particular, together. There’s cheering and helpful pats on the back, because everyone’s suffering. Some are giving this organized and disciplined novel writing thing a go for the first time, and they realize how hard it is. Others are seasoned, with several drafts or even published books behind them, and they know how hard it is.


  • #GamerGate tries to bring Gawker Media out of business

    I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before: GamerGaters going after publications, Gawker Media in particular. From a Vox piece:

    How will Operation Baby Seal manage this trick? It’s not particularly clear (and, I should say here, the operation seems unlikely to succeed for sheer logistical reasons), but it mostly involves having aggrieved gamers send bunches and bunches of complaint emails about Gawker Media sites violating Google and Amazon’s terms of service. (Yes, the #GamerGate folks read the terms of service.) The examples are to be drawn from this wiki, which collects a bunch for easy collation into form letters.

    KotakuInAction began as a way to mock Kotaku, Gawker Media’s video game publication, for its aspirations toward discussion political aspects of video games, so the grudge between #GamerGate and the company runs deep. But Operation Baby Seal is truly a new level of loathing. The movement seems less to want to expose ethical lapses at this point and more to drive sites it doesn’t agree with from the face of the Earth.

    So I guess Vox is up next? These tactics hit on the publications themselves, but as long as they’re complying with their ad terms, they should be just fine. And if they’re not, if Amazon or Google kicks them out because there’s validity to the claims of the GamerGaters, then what’s the problem? This stunt might even bring something good with it, despite the intentions.

  • Tim Cook

    Tim Cook, CEO of Apple (for those of you living under a rock), is gay:

    For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

    While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

    Two things:

    1. This is a strong piece. Tim Cook tells it like it is, in his point of view obviously, bit by bit. It means a lot, more to some, no doubt, but still a lot.
    2. Trying to brush this under the carpet, to be flippant about this piece, or say that it shouldn’t be necessary to say these things is belittling the struggle of minorities. There’s no doubt in my mind that these things need to be said, over and over again, eapecially by celebrities and powerful people like Mr. Cook.

    Publishing this shows great integrity. It’s not chance that this is the man that gets to lead Apple. Well done.

  • Arbetsförmedlingen och Sveriges bästa chef

    Arbetsförmedlingen satsar genom att stängs hundra kontor. Etjänster är svaret, bland annat, men hoppas inte för mycket. Generaldirektör Mikael Sjöberg i en intervju med SR:

    Ja vi förändrar oss hela tiden, vi börjar att säga upp kontor nu, så fort förhandlingarna om de enskilda kontoren är klara. Och vi börjar rekrytera människor så snabbt som möjligt. Men ingen kan förvänta sig att arbetsförmedlingen är en riktigt bra och modern myndighet förrän om flera år. Men varje halvår ska vi ta steg framåt.


  • The Hemingwrite

    The Hemingwrite

    One of the most searched upon posts here on is my e-ink typewriter piece. There are people visiting it every day, which speaks volumes about what weird creatures writers are. Yes, I think they’re writers, who else would find use of a typewriter in this day and age?

    These people would probably like the Hemingwrite, a typewriter for the, well, I’m not sure what century. First things first: This is a prototype, you can’t buy it. The images seen in this post are renders, aside from the one where the prototype’s actually being used. Despite this, and the lack of the inevitable Kickstarter campaign, the tech press has been all over the Hemingwrite.

    So what is it? Well, it’s a typewriter, so to speak. The 6″ e-ink screen is almost exactly what I asked for in my e-ink typewriter piece, and the mechanical keyboard, with Cherry MX switches, is promising to say the least. There’s also wifi in this thing, so that you can sync your writing to Evernote and Google Drive. Personally, I hope for Dropbox and other services, but hey, let’s not get picky. The device is instant on, and there’s low-energy bluetooth too, which could prove useful, although for what is somewhat unclear at this time. Add some six weeks of battery life, and storage for over a million pages, and you’ve got yourself a dedicated writing machine worth coveting. And, despite the somewhat corny name, I think the Hemingwrite is a beauty.


  • Serious Drupal 7 vulnerability

    There’s a nasty Drupal security issue that, well, this is how bad it is:

    Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of SA-CORE–2014–005 – Drupal core – SQL injection. You should proceed under the assumption that every Drupal 7 website was compromised unless updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC, that is 7 hours after the announcement.

    If you’re running a Drupal 7 based website, you need to read this now, and take this seriously.

  • Tidningen Skriva och iPaden som den nya skrivmaskinen

    Skriva #6 2014Skriva är en tidning för dig som gillar att skriva. I det senaste numret, #6 2014, är temat dina karaktärers drivkraft och hur du håller dem intressanta hela vägen igenom. Förutom det handlar Skriva #6 2014 även om följande:

    Vi bjuder också på stort tema kring autofiktion: Varför börjar så många författare hos sig själva? Hur gör man litteratur av sitt eget liv? Sören Bondeson, Morgan Larsson, Susanna Alakoski och Tomas Bannerhed delar med sig av sina erfarenheter.

    Dessutom Håkan Nesser, Sigrid Combüchen, Daniel Sjölin, lite NaNoWriMo, tävlingar, prylar, seriemördare 2.0, debutanter, lektören läser, svar från Författarförbundets jurist. Och så berättar vi varför iPaden är den nya skrivmaskinen.

    Den där sista grejen, varför iPaden är den nya skrivmaskinen, är undertecknad skyldig till. Köp Skriva #16 2014 i butik, eller varför inte teckna en prenumeration direkt, för läsning på papper eller padda.

  • Nintendo finally turns a profit again

    Would you look at that, some positive news from camp Nintendo! The Verge:

    Nintendo’s financial situation hasn’t improved dramatically, however the growing sales numbers have helped the company break even in terms of operating income and report a net profit of 14.3 billion yen (roughly $130 million) once foreign exchange gains are factored in as well. What’s more, Nintendo forecasts having a profitable year overall with further improvements in sales anticipated as the holiday season ramps up.

    The reason is the excellent Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, moving a lot of consoles. This is well deserved, because if you’re into traditional video games, the Wii U is a great choice. I’m not so sure where the (equally excellent, albeit painfully low-res) Nintendo 3DS fits in, despite the new version. Nintendo’s not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.

  • The things between tweets and essays

    We’re a lot of people who seems to enjoy, or at least miss, blogging. I’ve got my own thoughts on blogging as a term, but that’s a different post. For this one, I just wanted to quote Gina Trapani’s new blogging rules:

    If it’s a paragraph, it’s a post. Medium-sized content gets short shrift these days. Don’t go long. One or two paragraphs count. Then press publish.

    Andy Baio’s on the same track, and I found both of these post via Six Colors, where Steven Snell’s been publishing under the same conditions from the beginning. It’s refreshing to see and read.

    I obviously agree. The whole redesign of, and the mixture of short quote and comment posts, and the essays, shows that well enough. Thing is, we’re not in this alone, there are others who’ve been blogging like this for years, of recently returned to it. Someone less pressed for time than me can probably put together a pretty exhaustive list. Maybe this also heralds the return of the Webring, or at least the Blogroll, wouldn’t that be great?

  • Verizon's SugarString gagged

    Verizon’s tech site SugarString is banning net neutrality and surveillance issues, so long as they pertain to the US. The Daily Dot:

    News of Verizon’s publishing venture and its strict rules first came to light to multiple reporters through recruiting emails sent last week by author and reporter Cole Stryker, who is now the editor-in-chief of SugarString. (Stryker has also previously contributed to the Daily Dot.) I was one of the reporters who received that email. The premise and rules behind the site were explained to me in a series of messages throughout the day. I declined the job offer.

    Other reporters, who asked not to be named, have confirmed that they have received the same recruiting pitch with the same rules: No articles about surveillance or net neutrality.

    This is obviously icky as hell, but come on, you had to see this coming, right? The lesson is to not trust so-called news outlets funded by questionable interests. There’s no way SugarString’s reporting can be trusted, because who knows what other Verizon interests, and partners, it might protect?

  • Record sales are down

    Forbes, reporting on record sales in 2014 thus far:

    In 2014, not a single artist’s album has gone platinum. Not one has managed to cross that million sales mark.

    One album has managed to sell over a million copies so far this year, but it’s a soundtrack. The ever-popular Frozen soundtrack may slowly be working its way down the charts, but it is by far the best selling collection this year. Though it doesn’t have any marquee names on it—those that are usually expected to sell the best—the soundtrack has managed to move 3.2 million copies so far, and with winter coming, that number is sure to rise.

    Sign of the times. Digital music sales are down, streaming’s growing in popularity, and a million records are a shitload of sales as it is. Billboard’s got more SoundScan numbers, where we learn that CDs are also down, but vinyl’s still up by large numbers.

  • Remember

    The Daily Dot remembers

    Rotten was the original shock site, a place where you could see images of people hit by trains, self-immolation, the gory aftermath of car crashes, failed suicide attempts, dismemberment, botched executions, orange juice enemas, and perverse pornography. These images—many of them reader-submitted, many fake or doctored—became Internet folklore. Rotten, for better or worse, is one of my first memories of the Internet.

    I remember that cesspool too, never my scene, but it’s interesting to think about what it preluded.

  • Thoughts on the iPad Air 2

    Thoughts on the iPad Air 2

    I’ve been using the iPad Air 2 for a few days now, and I’ve got some thoughts. I’m coming from using both the original iPad Air (still available), and the iPad formerly known as iPad mini with retina display, now just plain iPad mini 2.

    To me, iPad Air 2 is the perfect iPad. That’s because I create as much as I consume on my (primary) iPad. I picked up the iPad mini with retina display last year to question this, because the iPad Air felt unnecessarily big when reading. Granted, the iPad mini form factor is lovely, superior even, for reading, and I do that quite a lot. But I write a lot too, and edit texts, and although I often rely on external keyboards, there’s still a difference thanks to the screen size.

    But I digress. This piece is about the iPad Air 2. It’s also about how the device is reviewed, sort of, without turning into too much of a meta review.


  • Fireball är (kanske) giftigt

    Systembolaget stoppar försäljningen av Fireball (som inte är en whisky, oavsett vad det står på flaskan, efter att finska motsvarigheten Alko hittat för höga halter av giftiga ämnet propylenglykol.

    Hur orolig ska den vara som har druckit av den här spriten?
    – Man ska inte åka in till akuten. Men man ska sätta korken i flaskan. Och den som sedan vill lämna igen den till oss på måndag kan få pengarna tillbaka. Det gäller alltså även om flaskan är öppnad, säger Ida Thulin.

    För övrigt anser jag att Fireball smakar illa, men det har inget med giftiga ämnen att göra, misstänker jag.

  • Twitter acquires Twitpic

    Twitter acquires Twitpic, says the latter in a post.

    We weren’t able to find a way to keep Twitpic independent. However, I’m happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being. Twitter shares our goal of protecting our users and this data. Also, since Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, it makes sense to keep this data with Twitter.

    This is obviously a PR move on Twitter’s behalf. After the easily ridiculed turn of events surround Twitpic, the whole thing smells of a mercy thing. I hope Twitpic’s happy wih this, and that this whole mess is done and over with now.