This week shows all the interesting sides of technology: We’re learning about challenges with Service Workers, how to properly build error pages that are not frustrating for users, how too simple implementations by developers can lead to dangerous security loops that could influence politics all over the world, how valuable our smartphone location data is to Wall Street and how the wilderness and wilf life on our planet changed over the past decades. It’s this mixture, this contrast of news that I love collecting each week, inspiring to write a newsletter still after six years. And it’s your lovely feedback that I get each week. It’s nice to hear your stories and interesting to hear your struggles and problems and helpful to discuss these things with you.
Now I want to recommend you a newsletter I really like by Kai Brach who’s also behind the well known Offscreen magazine, called Dense Discovery. It’s a nice mixture between technology, design, humanity and apps and useful accessoires.
- Think what you want about Apple Maps—I guess most of us have experienced how bad it can be if your map app leaves you with no detailed map and no idea in which direction you should continue. But this comparison about the maps data they used until now and the data they currently gather for their revamped Maps is fascinating. The amount of details they now have results in much nicer map data and will help a lot of people around the world. Imagine how landscape architects can make use of this or rescue helpers after an earthquake can profit from that level of details.
- Shelby Rogers shares a journey how we can build better and really well working, friendly 404 ewrror pages.
- Palx is a nice color palette generator where you can enter a base hex value and it’ll generate a full color palette based on it for you.
- Facebook claimed that they’ll reveal who pays for political ads in bold news statements. VICE researched this new feature now and was able to pose as every single of the current 100 U.S. senators and run ads ‘paid by them’. A pretty scary revelation of how much power implementing engineers, developers give to users of their platform when they don’t take enough care during implementation. Imagine what’s at stake if you impersonate some senator or president and run any ad you want. Facebook can change the world politics by a single security failure like this by (unintentionally) giving their users such powerful tools.
- I don’t like linking to paid, restricted articles but this one made me think and you don’t need the full story to follow me. When Tesla announced that they’ll ramp up model 3 production to 24/7, a lot of people wanted to verify this and a company that makes money by providing geolocation data captured Smartphone location data (from the workers) around the Tesla factories to verify whether this could be true. And of course this information will influence Wall Street. Would you want to be tracked by some stranger company who sells this information during work? Another sad story of how smartphones make it very easy to be tracked without consent, even though this is more a case of mass-surveillance than individual tracking.
- I’m sorry, this is another link about Bitcoin’s energy consumption but it shows that Bitcoin mining alone could raise global temperatures above the critical limit (2deg C) by 2033. It’s time to abandon this type of very inefficient cryptocurrency. Now.
- When your video doesn’t work on a website anymore and you’re using Service Workers, the Range request might be your problem. Phil Nash debugged this weird issue on his own page and wrote about it with all technical details and how to fix Service Workers for showing the video again in all browsers.
- Wilderness is something special. And our planet has less and less of it, as this article describes. The map reveals that only a very few countries have a lot of wilderness these days, giving rare animals and species a place to live, giving humans a way to explore nature, to relax, to make adventures.
- We definitely live in interesting times but it makes me sad when I read that in the last fourty years, wild life populations declined by 60%. That’s a pretty massive scale and if this continues, the world will be another place when I’m old. Yes, when I am old, a lot of animals I knew and saw in nature will not exist anymore by then and the next generation of humans will not be able to see them other than in a museum. It’s not entirely clear what the reasons are but climate change might be one thing and the ever growing expansion of humans into wild life areas probably contributes a lot to it.