Reply to Ross Wintle

Replied to a post by Ross WintleRoss Wintle (
Somehow, in the last few days, I’ve chilled out and wound down by making some incremental improvements to my Kownter analytics. There’s now a 24-hour top pages view AND it does some user-agent lookups to get browser/not names. Should pave the way for excluding bots.

@ross, This sounds like an interesting IndieWeb version of analytics. I’ll bet you might find some interest there. You’d certainly find some who might try using it. I like the ethical way it sounds like you’re designing it.

👓 About Kownter | Kownter

Read About Kownter (

I’m going on the journey of building a simple, private, self-hosted, cookie-free analytics tool that I’m calling Kownter. I may fail. But it will be fun and interesting! Come along!

Hi, My name is Ross.  I’ve been thinking a lot about GDPR lately and considering how I will become compliant with it as I run my business and projects, so I’m looking to slim down the data that I capture about people.

The topics of both analytics and server logs have come up several times. It’s not entirely clear to me that either fall into the category of personal data, but I’ve been considering my use of them anyway.

I use Google Analytics on most sites/projects that I create, but I’m not that sophisticated in my use of it. I’m mostly interested in:

  • how many visitors I’m getting and when
  • which pages are popular
  • where people are coming from
and it occurred to me that I can collect this data without using cookies and without collecting anything that would personally identify someone.

I would also be happier if my analytics were stored on a server in the EU rather than in the US – I can’t find any guarantee that my Google Analytics data is and remains EU-based.

I’m aware that there are self-hosted, open-source analytics solutions like Matomo (previously Piwik) and Open Web Analytics. But they always seem very large and clunky. I’ve tried them and never got to grips with them.

So I wondered: how hard would it be to build my own, simple, high-privacy, cookie-free analytics tool?

🎧 Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ | New York Times

Listened to Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ from

A year after the killing of Freddie Gray, a teenager in Baltimore was fatally shot by the police. This is the story of his life and death, and of a grieving family looking for answers.

[Read a transcript of Part 1 of the series.]

As soon as I heard Davetta Parker’s voice, I knew I had to meet her. Her grandson Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, was among seven young people from one high school in Baltimore who were killed in the spasm of violence that shook the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

I cold-called her. She was sitting at her desk in a Baltimore public library. She said, “I think God sent you to me.” She said that she had so many questions about the death of her grandson, who had been shot by a police officer, and that she needed someone to help investigate, because the police never did. She said that she had written letters to news channels and newspapers, but that no one had written back. And there I was on the phone.

My colleague Lynsea Garrison and I spent four months examining Nook’s case. It took us on a journey from a quiet back room in the central library, where we first met Ms. Parker and her daughter Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, into the streets of Baltimore, to drug corners, living rooms and grand homes in the county.

We wanted to tell his story for the simple reason that events like these are rarely told, even though they have become ordinary. Nook and his friends — many of whom have also been killed — were typical for homicide victims in Baltimore. They all had records with serious crimes. But they were boys. Most hadn’t even turned 18. And the deeper question in our minds was: How did things get like this for them?

You’ll meet Ms. Parker and Ms. Douglas in Part 1. Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in the life of Nook and his family’s search for answers about his death.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Truth Behind #WhereAreTheChildren | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Truth Behind #WhereAreTheChildren from

The United States government lost track of nearly 1,500 undocumented children in the last three months of 2017, giving rise to claims that they had been separated from their families at the border. What does the confusion reveal about President Trump’s approach to immigration?

On today’s episode:

• Caitlin Dickerson, a national immigration reporter for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• An official with the Department of Health and Human Services said that the agency had not been able to contact 1,475 migrant children it had placed with sponsors in the United States. The children had entered the country as unaccompanied minors; many were fleeing violence in Central America.

• The Trump administration says it separates immigrant families only when necessary to protect the child. But the government’s own figures show this has happened in more than 700 cases.

• The number of children who were unaccounted for was conflated with the number of children who been separated from their guardians in a public outcry that gave rise to hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? by Michael Barbaro from

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today’s episode:

• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.

• Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist who has written about Mr. Cooper’s case.

Background reading:

• The evidence against Mr. Cooper has largely been discredited, but Gov. Jerry Brown of California has refused to allow advanced DNA testing that may shed light on the case.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: What Trump Learned From Clinton’s Impeachment | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: What Trump Learned From Clinton’s Impeachment from

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton survived impeachment after casting himself as the target of partisan motives. What lessons has President Trump gleaned from that strategy?

On today’s episode:

• Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, who covered the investigation and impeachment of Mr. Clinton.

[READ: When the President Testified: People in the Room Recall Clinton’s 1998 Interrogation]

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump has assailed the Russia investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt” brought about by Democrats who oppose his presidency. The partisan narrative bears similarities to the one promulgated by Mr. Clinton and his supporters during the inquiry into whether he had lied under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; Hillary Clinton characterized the matter as a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” against her husband.

• How will the president fare in the Russia investigation? Here’s a look at several possible outcomes, including a finding of no wrongdoing, impeachment and indictment.

• Some Republicans are seizing on the specter of impeachment to energize voters ahead of midterm elections, and Democrats are divided on how to respond.

• Several people who were in the room with Mr. Clinton during his grand jury testimony on Aug. 17, 1998 recall their experience of his interrogation.

📺 "Queer Eye" Unleash the Sexy Beast | Netflix

Watched "Queer Eye" Unleash the Sexy Beast from Netflix
A married bartender and father of two who lives like a messy bachelor needs to pull it together in time for a parent-teacher mixer.

Not as solid an episode as most: the makeover wasn’t as drastic and the “dad bonding” was as compelling a story. I love this guy’s accent though.

📺 "Queer Eye" A Decent Proposal | Netflix

Watched "Queer Eye" A Decent Proposal from Netflix
With Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, William Mahnken. A scraggly film buff reboots his life - and his non-existent grooming habits - to give his girlfriend an award-worthy marriage proposal.

Right out of the gate you’ve got to love that they’re featuring Dahlonega, GA, my hometown! Oddly very little seems to feature anything in the town as most of the setting is in the Atlanta area or near South West Atlanta. The only exterior shots are out in the countryside on the couple’s dirt drive.

This guy would have been a couple of years behind me in school, but I didn’t recognize him or his name.

From a story perspective this one was pretty good and the makeover was phenomenal!

👓 Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts | New York Times

Read Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts by Claire Cain Miller (
A study of 10,000 school districts shows how local norms help grow or shrink gender achievement gaps.

👓 How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump | New York Times | Opinion

Read Opinion | How to Lose the Midterms and Re-elect Trump (
Robert De Niro and Samantha Bee model the wrong way to resist a dangerous president.

👓 The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation | LawFare Blog

Read The Terrible Arguments Against the Constitutionality of the Mueller Investigation (Lawfare)
There is no serious argument that Robert Mueller’s appointment violates the Constitution.

👓 McGill music student awarded $350,000 after girlfriend stalls career | Montreal Gazette

Read McGill music student awarded $350,000 after girlfriend stalls career (Montreal Gazette)
She wrote an email posing as him, turning down a $50,000-a-year scholarship so that he wouldn’t leave

An insane little story of love and music…

👓 A Marketing Site Deleted Over 7,000 Articles After It Was Caught Stealing Fact-Checks And Plagiarizing | BuzzFeed

Read A Marketing Site Deleted Over 7,000 Articles After It Was Caught Stealing Fact-Checks And Plagiarizing by Craig Silverman (BuzzFeed)
They messed with the wrong fact checker.

Who knew that clicks really meant so much…