The future is now:

It looks like an Apple lightning cable. It works like an Apple lightning cable. But it will give an attacker a way to remotely tap into your computer.

It’s annoyingly difficult to make sure that your phone is only loading via USB, without the data access. It’s obvious that this type of attack is suitable for more high-profile targets, as long as the average joe keeps plugging his phone into every public USB hub to charge it.

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Google Search is evolving into a walled garden.

We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden. In June of 2019, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on resulted in zero-clicks.

Step by step, Google is taking over all the information from the web to their own page. I can see the benefit from the end user: They are searching for a specific bit of information and do not care about your website. So from a user’s perspective, I applaud this trend. However, this is taking traffic and therefore money away from the websites, which means that Google is destroying business models all over the world.

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Squarespace on three kinds of Good Technical Debt. There are two interesting parts in this article.

“Tech debt” is a dirty word in the software engineering world. It’s often said with an air of regret; a past mistake that will eventually need to be atoned for with refactoring.

Financial debt isn’t universally reviled in the same way. Your friend takes out a mortgage to buy a house and what do you say? Congratulations!

The debt metaphor should be taken literally. Taking a debt means taking money someone with the promise of paying back in the future, then using that money for your benefit (possibly generating even more money) and paying it back with benefits. It’s a win-win situation - in theory, that is.

The other good point is this:

The key is to be intentional about what you invest time in and aware of the costs you’re taking on. […] Good tech debt has clear, well-known limitations. Document these in code comments, READMEs, FAQs, and conversations with the people who’d care.

Used carefully, good tech debt will help you build software faster by focusing your time on the things that matter most.

At the end of the day, it boils down to “Take a debt consciouisly, aware of the risks and with the intention of paying it back”.

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Someone has surfed the web on a budget of 50 MB per day:

I’m going to limit my browsing today to 50 MB, which in Zimbabwe would cost around $3.67 on a mobile data tariff. That may not sound like much, but teachers in Zimbabwe were striking this year because their salaries had fallen to just $2.50 a day.

For comparison, $3.67 is around half the $7.25 minimum wage in the USA. As a Zimbabwean, I’d have to work for around a day and a half to earn the money to buy this 50MB data, compared to just half an hour in the USA. It’s not easy to compare cost of living between countries, but on wages alone the $3.67 cost of 50 MB of data in Zimbabwe would feel like $52 to an American on minimum wage.

The article comes with hands-on tips on how websites could improve and shows impressively just how unethical poor web performance is.

It’s ironic, though, that the page where he posts his results is also guilty of transferring a lot of data - I measured a whooping 10 MB when accessing the page.

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