👓 Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us? | The New Yorker

Read Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us? by Cal Newport (The New Yorker)
Alongside these official responses, a loose collective of developers and techno-utopians that calls itself the IndieWeb has been creating another alternative. The movement’s affiliates are developing their own social-media platforms, which they say will preserve what’s good about social media while jettisoning what’s bad. They hope to rebuild social media according to principles that are less corporate and more humane.

Excited to see that the IndieWeb “hobby” I’ve been spending a lot of my time on for the past few years has made it into The New Yorker!

Read No, someone hasn’t cracked the code of the mysterious Voynich manuscript [Updated] by Jennifer OulletteJennifer Oullette (Ars Technica)

Medieval scholar: "Sorry, folks, 'proto-Romance language' is not a thing."

The Voynich manuscript is a famous medieval text written in a mysterious language that so far has proven to be undecipherable. Now, Gerard Cheshire, a University of Bristol academic, has announced his own solution to the conundrum in a new paper in the journal Romance Studies. Cheshire identifies the mysterious writing as a "calligraphic proto-Romance" language, and he thinks the manuscript was put together by a Dominican nun as a reference source on behalf of Maria of Castile, Queen of Aragon. Apparently it took him all of two weeks to accomplish a feat that has eluded our most brilliant scholars for at least a century.

Read Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy — and it's hard to delete by Todd Haselton,Megan GrahamTodd Haselton,Megan Graham (CNBC)
Google collects the purchases you've made, including from other stores and sites such as Amazon, and saves them on a page called Purchases.

Apparently https://myaccount.google.com/purchases is a reasonable place one could start for creating acquisition posts on their website. The downside is the realization that Google is tracking all of this without making it more obvious.

👓 Seona Dancing | SeonaDancing.com

Read Biography Seona Dancing (web.archive.org)
Seona Dancing was a 1980s British pop group best known for providing Ricky Gervais with his first taste of fame. The band was formed in 1982 by aspiring pop stars Bill Macrae and Ricky Gervais. Their single "More to Lose", released in 1983, only made it to number 70 on the Billboard charts, and the band quickly disbanded in 1984. A year later, in 1985, a DJ from 99.5 DWRT-FM in Manila in the Philippines started playing a song called "Fade" by Medium (also billed as "Medium" by Fade). It became a runaway hit, and the angsty theme song for many Filipino teenagers in the mid 1980s. Eventually, the identity of the song was revealed as "More to Lose" by Seona Dancing. Bill Macrae faded into obscurity, but years later Ricky Gervais found new fame as the co-writer and star of the hit BBC comedy The Office.

He definitely had a different look when he was young!

👓 Solomon Golomb (1932–2016) | Stephen Wolfram

Read Solomon Golomb (1932–2016) by Stephen WolframStephen Wolfram (blog.stephenwolfram.com)

The Most-Used Mathematical Algorithm Idea in History

An octillion. A billion billion billion. That’s a fairly conservative estimate of the number of times a cellphone or other device somewhere in the world has generated a bit using a maximum-length linear-feedback shift register sequence. It’s probably the single most-used mathematical algorithm idea in history. And the main originator of this idea was Solomon Golomb, who died on May 1—and whom I knew for 35 years.

Solomon Golomb’s classic book Shift Register Sequences, published in 1967—based on his work in the 1950s—went out of print long ago. But its content lives on in pretty much every modern communications system. Read the specifications for 3GLTEWi-FiBluetooth, or for that matter GPS, and you’ll find mentions of polynomials that determine the shift register sequences these systems use to encode the data they send. Solomon Golomb is the person who figured out how to construct all these polynomials.

A fantastic and pretty comprehensive obit for Sol. He did miss out on more of Sol’s youth as well as his cross-town chess rivalry with Basil Gordon when they both lived in Baltimore, but before they lived across town from each other again in Los Angeles.

Many of the fantastical seeming stories here, as well as Sol’s personality read very true to me with respect to the man I knew for almost two decades.

👓 How I Twitter | Leo Laporte

Read How I Twitter by Leo Laporte (Leo Laporte)
As you may know I deactivated my half-million follower/bot twitter account last August. I don’t miss it at all except as a newsfeed. Twitter practically killed RSS readers by providing a firehose of instantaneously “curated” news. With all its flaws, that firehose is useful for a variety of re...

👓 #44067 (Refactor get_avatar and related functions to make Gravatar a Hook instead of a Default) | WordPress Trac

Read #44067 (Refactor get_avatar and related functions to make Gravatar a Hook instead of a Default) (WordPress Trac)

👓 Reverting the Bulk Ticket Closing | Make WordPress Core

Read Reverting the Bulk Ticket Closing (Make WordPress Core)
Recently, a bulk modification was performed on Trac affecting 2,300+ tickets that had not seen any activity in 2 years or more. These tickets were closed and marked as wontfix. To read a more detai…