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Hi there!

You have reached my personal homepage. If you are interested in my research, please visit The TechGlider. For the previous version of this website, please visit the soon-to-be-defunct techglider.in.

I also maintain a photo website, you can visit that at k4rtik.me


Kartik

Death of Google Reader was an Inflection Point

Google’s decision to kill Google Reader was a turning point in enabling media to be manipulated by misinformation campaigns. The difference between individuals choosing the feeds they read & companies doing it for you affects all other forms of media. — Anil Dash (@anildash) April 2, 2018 Seems like people popular on Tweetosphere are just coming to this realization. Later in the same story, Dash continues: The point is not that huge numbers of people used Google Reader. [Read More]

RSS Should Go Mainstream Again

Wired: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary) and it was first stitched into the tapestry of the open web around the turn of the millennium. Its aim is straightforward: to make it easy to track updates to the content of a given website in a standardized format. In practice, and for your purposes, that means it can give you a comprehensive, regularly updated look at all of the content your favorite sites publish throughout the day. [Read More]

Less Social Media, More Open Web

Cal Newport continues writing about the distinction between social media and the social internet: Perhaps more pernicious than the ability of these “walled industrial sites” to exploit your labor, however, is their ability to control your behavior — nudging you toward certain ways of describing yourself and encountering the world that make you more profitable to the social media barons, but might alienate you from your humanity. (This is the chief concern voiced by Jaron Lanier, who first warned us about these issues over twenty years ago. [Read More]

Social Media vs Social Internet and Open Protocols

There’s a distinction between the social internet and social media. The social internet describes the general ways in which the global communication network and open protocols known as “the internet” enable good things like connecting people, spreading information, and supporting expression and activism. Social media, by contrast, describes the attempt to privatize these capabilities by large companies within the newly emerged algorithmic attention economy, a particularly virulent strain of the attention sector that leverages personal data and sophisticated algorithms to ruthlessly siphon users’ cognitive capital. [Read More]

Slack dropping XMPP and IRC gateways support

We saw it with Google, who built Gtalk on XMPP and even federated with other XMPP servers, only to later stop federation and XMPP support in favour of trying to herd the digital cattle into the Google+ enclosure. Facebook, who also built their chat app on XMPP at first allowed 3rd party XMPP clients to connect and then later dropped interoperability. Twitter, although not using or supporting XMPP, had a vibrant 3rd party client ecosystem which they killed off once they felt big enough. [Read More]

Small B Blogging

Small b blogging is learning to write and think with the network. Small b blogging is writing content designed for small deliberate audiences and showing it to them. Small b blogging is deliberately chasing interesting ideas over pageviews and scale. An attempt at genuine connection vs the gloss and polish and mass market of most “content marketing”. And remember that you are your own audience! Small b blogging is writing things that you link back to and reference time and time again. [Read More]

GTalk

Years ago, I used Google Talk with almost everyone I talked to. Nowadays, I talk with almost no one on Hangouts. Google Talk has changed from “so good I can recommend to everyone” to a nightmare called Hangouts. So how did we get to this point? You don’t know how the fuck to reliably have a conversation with someone. On the new Hangouts, you really have no idea when, where, and whom it delivers your messages to. [Read More]

I Can Type Again Now

As I wrote earlier, I had broken a finger while ice skating. It will be three weeks since the accident later this evening. Time passes fast. I have not been productive all this while. One of the reasons was that since going to orthopedics the Monday after the accident, I had a large obstructive splint on my right hand which restricted my wrist motion and made typing using the right hand next to impossible: [Read More]

Email, Algorithms and RSS

It’s simple: blogs aren’t promotions. Blogs subscribed to shouldn’t be messed with. The flow of information by email is an extraordinary opportunity, and when a choke point messes with that to make a profit, things break. Apparently, even as prominent a blogger as Seth Godin feels the pain of algorithms when it comes to content. In this case, algorithms used for categorizing email. Visit the Link 🔗 I was planning to write a post about how to stay updated with my posts here as I have consciously chosen not to share them on social media ever since I started this new blog. [Read More]

Broke a Bone

I went ice skating last night for the first time: After enjoying it for two rounds, right about when I was about to exit the rink, someone crashed into me from behind and we both fell down. I immediately felt that the little finger of my right hand probably got twisted in the opposite direction of what is natural. A few hours after that: [Read More]