Digital Tools I Wish Existed

tech web


Part of the problem here is metadata is hard. Someone has to sit there and fill out the author, title, subtitle, summary, page count - and they’re probably not going to do it for free. Amazon is a good at it but is hostile to publishers. Goodreads has much potential but seems to have stagnated. Linking to the book’s Wikipedia entry would be my preference but very few books have an entry.

Uses, January 2020

uses tech


Day Job At my day job at BuzzFeed I’m a software engineer, building stuff for the web. I use my company-issued MacBook Pro “16, 2020 (2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD). It’s on a Griffin laptop stand, which isn’t quite tall enough to bring the screen up to my eye line, so the stand is piled on top of a couple of thick hardbacks that were lying around. I have an Apple Magic Mouse and the standard wireless Apple Keyboard.

Tech Sabbath



This excerpt from 24/6 by Tiffany Shlain makes the case for setting aside a day to go tech free: ditching phones and laptops and screens for the day. It’s come along just at the right time for me, as I’m generally shrinking away from tech outside of my work life more and more. I like the way the article describes what you might need a tech-free day: a basic watch, a pen, and a little notebook containing some emergency phone numbers.

Confessions Of A News Addict

tech news


Hello. My name is Jack… [Group: Hello, Jack] …and I’m a news addict. In the earliest seconds of my waking day, as my brain begins to comprehend the external world and puts away the psychedelic nonsense of my dreams, I reach for the news. Around 9.30 every morning, or earlier if I’m awoken by whatever song I’ve decided to try and numb the pain of a 9am seminar with, I unplug my phone and open up the news.




I spend a lot of my time picking apart how things work, and a lot of time sticking things together to see if they work in the way that I hope. That’s tinkering. I’ve been thinking about how I first started working this way. I remember when I was a kid, I spent long days in my dad’s office. His office was actually a garage, a separate building from the house, across the back yard.

@fat - Internet Historian

tech internet


Rives TED Talk If you take a listen to Rives’ great TED talk from 2006 today, it’s pretty easy to see it as a little time capsule. Here he is talking (eloquently and entertainingly) about Napster and Friendster. What was, at the time, a piece of pop culture criticism and entertainment, is just as easily viewed as artefact of an era in the internet history. The internet moves fast, look at how quickly we moved from the bullshit-ly labelled Internet 1.