What I’ve Read This Week (April 5 2021 to April 11 2021)

Beth Nguyen writes a heartbreaking yet defiant piece about reclaiming power over one’s identity and using one’s own name as a shelter from the cruel bigotries of the world. I think this is a piece that will resonate with those of us with names that stand out from the majority in the places we live. A story for immigrants. Sometimes when people ask how to pronounce my name I wish I had one that was easier for people here to pronounce. But, fuck that I like my name, they can deal.

Alfred Ng and Maddy Varner writes about the secretive data broker industry that were born of the filth that is our surveillance capitalist economy. This is an industry we need to keep shining light on if we are to reclaim control over our own data.

Will Thorne and the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit write a deep investigative piece into the corruption that is at the heart of Bengali politics. None of this is surprising to me personally but it is an interesting read to me nonetheless.

Bennett Cyphers writes a breakdown of just why Google’s newly proposed FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) idea as a replacement for the third-party cookie is a bad idea. When I first heard of FLoC it seemed like Google was making another complicated and opaque system that only they understand and have control over in a bid to say “hey look third-party cookies suck, this is better, please like us” while trying to handwave that the new idea brings with a whole host of new problems.

Ron Amadeo brings us the news about LG exiting the smartphone after a decade. The first smartphone I bought with my own money was a LG Nexus 5 and it eventually died of flash storage failure after a couple years of usage which as I understand was endemic to that era of LG mobile devices. It was also the last Android phone I’ve bought and used. It has been iPhones since then. So I will not be missing LG’s presence in the Android market.

Lauren Goode writes a poignant piece about memory and how the smartphone era continues to change how we deal with memory and more importantly how the concept of forgetting is becoming harder to grasp at. Personally, I wish I could turn off the “Memories” feature on my iOS device. Partly because its mostly useless for me but also because I would prefer to be able to relive memories of my own volition without a computer mediating what I should be remembering.

I don’t want to have to empty my photo albums just because tech companies decided to make them “smart” and create an infinite loop of grief.

Lauren Goode, I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget

That’s all from me this week folks, see y’all next week!