Web Excursions 2021-06-06

Pools, From Above

  • Often the most visually harmonious elements of pools remain hidden to us — until we look at them from a new perspective.

  • While often appreciated merely as architectural objects,

    • pools retain an innate ability to trigger involuntary memory.

    • For me, they can evoke the smell of my favorite food, or resurrect memories of my favorite holidays.

  • Pools’ less appreciated visual elements: their curves, their sharp edges, their diverse blue hues, the way elongated shadows play against their surfaces.

  • The time of day I shoot depends on the pool itself.

    • If a pool has perfectly placed furniture around the rim, I shoot earlier or later in the day to extrapolate long shadows.

    • If, instead, I want to avoid any shadows and focus on the shape of the pool itself, I shoot toward the middle of the day.

  • As the series progressed, I grew more targeted with my photographs.

    • I began using Google Earth to scout locations

    • Once I obtain a rough outline of the pool, I then draw out as many possible compositions as I can imagine.

    • Only then, after sifting through the possibilities, do I actually begin the process of capturing the image.


Apple, Mozilla, Google, Microsoft form group to standardize browser plug-ins | AppleInsider

The new group, shortened WECG, consists of members from each of the major browser developers. Member chairs are held by Timothy Hatcher of Apple and Simeon Vincent of Google. Current participants include employees from Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft.

The WebExtensions Community Group has two goals:

  • Make extension creation easier for developers by specifying a consistent model and common core of functionality, APIs, and permissions.

  • Outline an architecture that enhances performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse.

A Brief History of Browser Extensibility | by Todd Schiller | Brick by Brick | Medium

  • Consumer Web Browsers (1993–)

  • Plug-ins (1995–2015ish)

    • Plug-ins — native executables that render dynamic content in the browser — opened the door for multimedia, enterprise applications, and gaming.

    • ActiveX, NPAPI, Flash, Java

    • a chronic source of security vulnerabilities and instability.

    • Desktop browsers began dropping support for plug-ins in 2015, with Chrome leading the charge. On mobile, iOS (2003) famously did not offer Flash from the outset.

  • User Style Sheets (1998–2019ish)

    • Stylesheets can come from three different sources: document author, user, and user agent

    • In 1998, Opera 3.5 was the first browser to support CSS and included support for user stylesheets. Internet Explorer followed suit with the release of Internet Explorer 4 in 1999.

    • 2005, the introduction of Jason Barnabe’s Stylish extension

    • Chrome dropped support for user stylesheets in 2014. Firefox still has support via the userContent.css stylesheet, but the user stylesheet hasn’t been accessible from the main interface since 2019.

  • Bookmarklets (1998–)

    • Bookmarklets hit a road bump in 2004 with the introduction of W3C’s Content Security Policy (CSP) specification

    • In Firefox, bookmarklets are subject to the site’s CSP, preventing bookmarklets from being run on many pages.

    • In Chrome, bookmarklets aren’t subject to the CSP. But, by default, Chrome only shows bookmarks on the New Tabs page; users must configure the bookmarks bar to be shown on web pages.

  • Browser Extensions (1999–)

    • The modern approach to browser extensibility, browser extensions, kicked off in 1999 when Internet Explorer added support in Internet Explorer 4. The new extensions supported “Explorer Bars” (i.e., the toolbar) and added entries to context menus.

    • modification of the browser interface, modification of a webpage’s user interface, and running JavaScript in the context of a webpage.

    • because browser extensions have access to a user’s browsing activity, they’re an attractive attack vector for malicious actors.

    • In 2014, Chrome introduced restrictions so that Windows users could only install extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

  • Mozilla XUL (1997–2017)

    • Firefox discontinued XUL for extensions in 2017 because it led to vulnerabilities and instability when multiple extensions modified the UX.

    • Technical users can still make limited modifications to the Firefox interface via its userChrome.css settings file.

  • Alternative Browser Distributions (2004–)

  • Userscripts (2005–)

    • The first userscript manager, Greasemonkey, was released for Firefox in 2005. There are now several variations to choose from, including Tampermonkey (2010) and Violentmonkey (2013). These variation all use the same Greasemonkey-style scripts.

    • In 2019, Firefox added formal support for userscripts in extensions, providing additional security guarantees. Chromium has a separate sandbox feature to run code in isolation, but has no formal userscript support.

  • Converging on the WebExtensions API (2017–)

    • Abandoning XUL-based extensions in 2017, Firefox switched to the defacto standard WebExtensions API by and large mimicking Chromium’s API.

    • Firefox’s shift means that the vast majority of browser extensions are now using the APIs defined by Chrome’s Manifest Version 2, first released way back in 2012

    • Due to its waning market share, Firefox chose to support the chrome API namespace in addition to the vendor-agnostic browserAPI namespace.

      • In many cases, Chrome extensions can be ported over to Firefox with no code modifications.

      • Firefox also provides a polyfill for developers to make their vendor-agnostic code compatible with Chrome.

    • Writing extensions for Safari traditionally involved writing them using Apple’s XCode development tools.

      • Starting with Safari 14 in 2020, Safari also adopted the WebExtensions API.

  • Manifest V3 (2021–)

    • In January 2021, Chrome released its controversial Manifest Version 3 (V3) of the WebExtensions APIs.

    • “Manifest” refers to both the technical integration points and the policies Chrome enforces when reviewing extensions for its Chrome Web Store.

    • The major changes introduced in Manifest V3 are:

      • Making network request modification declarative (speed/security)

      • Using service workers for background operations, vs. a persistent background page (reliability)

      • Banning remotely hosted JavaScript code, a common vector of security vulnerabilities (security)

    • Manifest V3 is controversial in the browser extension community because it breaks the functionality of many popular extensions.

    • the most worrisome is that popular content and adblockers (e.g., uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger) will no longer be supported.

    • In addition, userscript managers, by their very definition, work by allowing users to install and run remote JavaScript code.

  • The Future: No/Low-Code Browser Extension Builders (2021–)


Explore some of the most memorable moments in WWDC history as we approach Apple's 32nd conference - 9to5Mac

  • WWDC 1997: where things got interesting

    • This was the first time since his return that Steve himself appeared at WWDC.

    • It was more of a Q&A type event rather than a presentation of new products.

    • After all, Steve would end up scrapping more products than he would introduce in the beginning.

    • The conference as a whole was focused on Apple’s plan to use NeXT software as a foundation for the next major version of Mac OS.

  • The 1999 conference is the most fun of the bunch.

    • Steve introduced redesigned Powerbooks and held a Powerbook G3 giveaway where he randomly selected a few developers.

  • Steve was known to have a good sense of humor and that was on full display at WWDC 2002.

    • In fact, he came up with a very creative way to put Mac OS 9 to rest.

    • Steve held a faux funeral for Mac OS 9 as all development had finished on the platform.

  • At WWDC 2005, Steve confirmed the rumor with what I consider an iconic slide that simply said “It’s true!” with a lowered e like the one in the Intel logo.

  • At WWDC 2007, Steve capped his keynote that had been primarily focused on Mac OS X Leopard by telling developers that their “sweet solution” for developers to build iPhone apps was web apps in Safari.

    • Developers were furious about this decision and it helped spawn the jailbreaking community and ultimately the App Store. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber famously called it “insulting” and a “shit sandwich.”

  • After introducing the iPhone SDK in March 2008, Apple introduced the App Store as the primary way for developers to distribute their apps.

  • Steve had to go on medical leave for most of 2009, so like Macworld that year, WWDC 2009 was led by Phil Schiller.

    • The real star of the show though was the third-generation iPhone.

    • The iPhone 3GS was unveiled with long requested features like video recording, voice control, and a compass. It was significantly faster than the iPhone 3G and marked a major upgrade (even if it looked the same).

  • WWDC 2010 was all about the iPhone 4.

    • This was also the infamous event where the Wi-Fi failed in the convention hall during Steve’s demos and he was forced to tell the crowd to put all of their devices away.

    • In fact he even had the lights turned on and asked bloggers and attendees to police each other.

  • WWDC 2011 would be Steve’s very last keynote.

    • He was visibly thinner but still in good spirits.

    • He got a massive standing ovation at the start of the keynote and he thanked the crowd, telling them, “It always helps.”

  • Apple’s marketing materials for WWDC 2013 were very clear that the update was going to be big and they didn’t disappoint.

    • iOS 7 kicked off a new era of design, and its very existence caused brands all over the world to rethink how they designed things.

    • This was also the conference where Phil Schiller said, “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass,” after introducing the new Mac Pro.

  • WWDC 2014 was a major one.

    • It marked the beginning of extensions on iOS and it marked the first big redesign for Mac OS since it had been introduced.

    • But the real star of the show was Apple’s entirely new programming language.

  • One of the weirdest reveals in WWDC history was in 2015 with the introduction of Apple Music.

    • Not only was Apple Music a fairly strange choice for a developers conference, it was led by Beats executive Jimmy Iovine.

    • Jimmy’s presentation was… well let’s just say it wasn’t a Stevenote.

  • WWDC 2019 brought the reborn Mac Pro.

  • WWDC 2020 was the first conference that everyone all over the world was able to experience in the exact same way.

    • WWDC 2020 wasn’t just important and memorable because of the timing,

    • it also saw Apple finally announce that they were transitioning the Mac to their own custom silicon.


Chrome experiment lets you Follow news and website updates

  • Google has announced it’s experimenting with integrating syndication feeds ("RSS") into its Chrome web browser

  • Chrome experiment lets you Follow news and website updates

  • The real problem was that no one found a way to get average users to adopt syndication feeds

  • The current implementation (subject to change) prompts you to follow a website after five visits over three days.

    • The prompt is shown as a snackbar (a temporary toolbar at the bottom of the screen) when visiting the website.

    • Chrome won’t prompt you more than once every 15 minutes.

    • You can also actively choose to follow the current website from the Chrome menu

  • Chrome isn’t embracing syndication feeds.

    • You can’t click on an orange button or open a feed file in the browser to follow a feed

  • Skip forward a few years and web browsers embraced a new standard for push notifications

  • News published by followed websites appears in a mostly chronological list on the New Tab Page (NTP).

    • News updates from followed websites are presented the same way as the existing Google Discover feed.

    • The big difference is that the Following feed — as Google calls it — is curated by you and not a Google algorithm

  • Assuming Google ships this in a future version of Chrome, this can seriously upset the online news media landscape in many ways

  • The Follow button in the Chrome menu also shows up when viewing Twitter profiles, Twitch streams, YouTube channels, and other places where you might already be familiar with the concept of following creators.

  • Chrome’s feature will follow the website — whatever that means — and not the individual creators, though

  • Google isn’t adding this feature out of the goodness of its cold corporate heart, though.

    • The user-curated feed can help Google avoid unwanted scrutiny from regulators

A deeper dive into Chrome WebFeed

  • Chrome detects all Atom and RSS feeds on webpages using the feed auto-discovery mechanism

    • <link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" <!-- or type="application/rss+xml" --> href="/news-feed.atom">

  • When any feeds are detected on a page, Chrome sends the feed addresses and page address to a Google server.

    • This server then tells Chrome which of the feeds Google recommends and whether that feed is actively updated.

    • Chrome also receives the site’s name for use in user interfaces related to feed management from Google’s servers. It uses the site’s domain name as a fallback

    • Chrome uses this information to decide on whether to prompt the user to follow the website

    • try to detect the largest icon from the page (<link rel="icon" […]>) instead of using icons specified in the feed. Chrome never actually downloads the feed locally.

  • Instead of presenting the link in the feeds, Chrome replaces it with a canonicalized links. It also sets the HTTP Referer (sic) request header to https://www.google.com/.

  • Google’s servers currently always return the main/everything feed for the whole site even though it’s not even included on the topic pages

  • The client-side implementation is open-source and available to other Chromium-based web browsers such as Brave, Microsoft Edge, and Vivaldi

  • Google only uses the feed to detect when new you publish new content on your website.

  • You can make your feeds update faster for Chrome users by building in support for WebSub


Apple in the Enterprise: A 2021 report card – Six Colors

  • [Methodology]

    • We worked with Kandji and the hosts of the Mac Admins Podcast, Tom Bridge and Charles Edge, to formulate a set of survey questions that would address the big-picture issues regarding Apple in the enterprise.

    • Then we approached people we knew in the community of Apple-device administrators and asked them to participate in the survey.

  • In general, scores were a bit lower for this survey than for our general end-of-year-survey.

    • Apple’s strongest results were in its hardware and its commitment to security and privacy.

    • The company scored worst on software and deployment.

    • The rest of the scores averaged in the low 3’s, which we generally map to a C+/B- in terms of American school grades.

  • Overall scores

  • 83 people participated, roughly half of whom report that they manage more than 1000 devices

  • Enterprise Programs Grade: C+ (average score: 3.3)

    • Apple is making good progress linking its management portals (Apple School Manager [ASM] and Apple Business Manager [ABM]) to identity management systems.

    • But still, even when using managed Apple IDs, organizations have to accept the ‘one-size-fits-all’ iCloud account

  • Enterprise Service and Support Grade: C+ (average score: 3.2)

    • Apple has several enterprise programs.

    • The AppleSeed for IT program received a lot of praise, and Apple’s documentation seems to be improving—but still not great.

    • Panelists expressed their frustration with the Feedback bug-tracking system, which can feel like a black hole—unless you go through a lengthy series of steps (detailed by Andrew Laurence, below) in order to reach someone who might be able to help.

    • And finally, admins expressed disappointment in the AppleCare for Enterprise programs, which hasn’t changed much in years and many find underwhelming.

  • Hardware Reliability and Innovation Grade: A- (average score: 4.2)

  • Software Reliability and Innovation Grade: C- (average score: 2.9)

    • There were lots of complaints about a nearly year-long cycle of Apple shipping buggy initial releases that were gradually patched until they become stable—just in time for the cycle to start over again.

    • Apple’s changes to macOS extensions have added complexity and frustration.

    • Apple’s software-update tools generated quite a lot of strong negative commentary.

    • Also interesting to note: smaller sites gave Apple more credit in this category than larger ones.

  • Security and Privacy Grade: A- (average score: 4.1)

    • Issues with software updates reappeared, because if there’s a security problem with an urgent fix required, that requires a software update.

    • And the sheer number of vulnerabilities that Apple had to address in the past year made many of our panelists uncomfortable

  • Deployment Grade: C- (average score: 2.8) Ouch

    • Kind words for Automated Device Enrollment were tempered with many, many, many frustrations with a broken software update system.

    • On Apple silicon, Apple requires user authorization even for scripted workflows, which makes them unsuited for some deployments

    • Automated Device Enrollment got a long awaited new feature in Big Sur: Auto-Advance, which finally allows for ‘real’ zero-touch deployment of Macs

  • Mobile Device Management protocol and infrastructure Grade: C+ (average score: 3.2)

    • The average score doesn’t reveal the polarization of the opinions about MDM.

    • Some panelists had strong praise, while others feel it just doesn’t deliver.

    • There’s a general sentiment that Apple’s tools are improving, but not fast enough—requiring a lot of extra work.

  • macOS Identity Management Grade: C+ (average score: 3.3)

    • This was a category where large sites and education rated Apple notably lower than smaller sites and business customers did.

    • That’s because enterprise authentication and authorization has been moving toward federated identity providers for a long time, and Apple was slow to add SAML or Oauth support.

    • And yet what each customer wants seems to be different.

    • Apple earned praise for supporting Azure federation, but many panelists cited a broad inconsistency in the availability of different sign-on systems

    • In general, customers are moving away from legacy authentication systems in droves and aren’t sure that Apple has a solid story around what the future will hold.

  • The Future of Apple in the enterprise Grade: B- (average score: 3.4)

    • they are optimistic—but guardedly so.

    • Smaller sites were a bit more optimistic than larger ones, and panelists in business were more optimistic than those in education.


X is the Best Letter in the Alphabet

  • X, I learned, has long been seen as a powerful letter. In the early days of the Christian Church, X — the Greek letter chi — acquired mystical significance, in part for its resemblance to the cross.

  • René Descartes originally intended for Z to be the most commonly used letter to indicate a solvable variable, but the printer of his 1637 treatise, “La Géométrie,” kept running out of letter blocks: Z was too common in the French language, and thus too common in the manuscript. X’s rarity became the reason for its renown.

  • if I must be labeled, X is the letter for me.

    • We live in a time when so much of our language feels insufficient to describe the complicated world in which we find ourselves.

    • It feels right to be named with something definitive that also marks what is unknown — a destination that will, like all of us, necessarily and always evolve.


What Our Biggest Best-Sellers Tell Us About a Nation’s Soul

  • The “canon” in the title of Jess McHugh’s “Americanon” (Dutton) consists of thirteen American books,

    • from “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” first published in 1792,

    • to Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which came out in 1989.

    • It includes Webster’s Dictionary, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,”

    • “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book,” and

    • “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask),” by David Reuben.

  • the enormous and enduring sales numbers of the books McHugh discusses mean that they can be understood to be promoting a national ideology, or what she calls a national myth

  • The books in McHugh’s canon are not books so much as appliances.

    • They are not read; they are used.

    • And probably many of them have been bought by people who do not otherwise buy many books.

  • Even if there may not be a single best way to do these things, we know that there are many worse ways, and we feel that avoiding the worse ways has to be one ingredient of a happier life.

  • The books McHugh writes about are all how-to or self-help books

    • their authors’ “vision of the ideal American all too often collided with who they themselves were.”

  • these books do not represent America, only a select portion of it.

    • They are not inclusive.

    • More pointedly, they are fake-inclusive.

    • They are written as though anyone could profit from their advice, even though Americans are differently situated

  • The diversity critique is now ubiquitous, and there seem to be two approaches to dealing with it.

    • One is to acknowledge the biases and prejudices of the times in which a book was written but to assume that we can hold our own values constant as we encounter minds from an earlier era.

    • This is another way of acknowledging difference, with the recognition that some differences are not so desirable, but that differences from our own ways of thinking ought not to put a work on the Index of Forbidden Books.

    • The other approach is more a (figuratively) “Ban the books” strategy. Just stop recirculating prejudice

  • One reason the “Americanon” books, and books like them, have been so popular in the United States

    • may be that they fill a vacuum left by the absence of civic education,

    • or what McHugh calls “civic religion”—

    • that is, a widely understood account of the privileges and responsibilities that come with living in our version of a democracy.

    • If you don’t have the Bible, which is civic religion enough for many Americans, there is not a lot of guidance out there

  • ambiguity and change are just the keywords in a different narrative.

    • The position that we should not want to make all Americans think alike has an exception,

    • which is that we want all Americans to think that we should not want to make all Americans think alike.

    • I would subscribe to that, but it is a creed


LeBron James’s Agent Is Transforming the Business of Basketball

Paul met LeBron James in 2002, at the Akron-Canton Airport. They were both waiting for a flight to Atlanta. James, who was seventeen, was widely expected to be the N.B.A.’s No. 1 draft pick the following year; he had already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and had been described as the next Michael Jordan. Paul, who was twenty-one, was selling vintage sports jerseys out of the trunk of his car. James spotted Paul wearing a Houston Oilers jersey with the name of the quarterback Warren Moon on it. He was impressed and said so. Paul told James that his source was a store in Atlanta, called Distant Replays, and said that James should mention him if he went. The two stayed in touch

With James as his star client, Paul has developed tremendous influence in the N.B.A. The two men have come to be associated with “player empowerment,” a term that refers to the additional clout that athletes—usually superstars—wield as they change teams more frequently and develop fan bases distinct from those in the cities they represent. The argument for player empowerment is that, for too long, teams have had too much control over the careers of athletes, almost all of whom can be traded on a whim, and that players should have some say in where they work and live. Moreover, in the N.B.A., which remains Paul’s principal business—even as he is building a list of N.F.L. clients—it’s hard for a team to be successful without a top-ten player. That gives the league’s best athletes tremendous leverage

But player empowerment has downsides. Player empowerment is also inextricably linked to race. Professional basketball, a majority-Black sport, has always been run by a white commissioner and, almost uniformly, by white owners. But as players have gained sway they have become increasingly outspoken about politics, leading the league to embrace the Black Lives Matter movement

Player empowerment is a catchall for the fact that the league has done a terrible job of empowering teams,” a current N.B.A. general manager told me. “The players have all of the leverage in every situation. I think it’s the worst thing that ever happened to professional sports on all levels

For Black athletes, Paul explained, the sudden wealth of an N.B.A. contract comes with a “Black tax”: “Their number of dependents is higher, their education in most cases is lower, their financial literacy is lower, their family infrastructure is lesser.” He began to speak in the voice of a young N.B.A recruit: “So now I become the breadwinner, which makes me the decision-maker. But I don’t really know how to make these decisions or why I am making these decisions. In addition, I have this bond through affection, I have this bond through disparity, I have this bond through guilt. I have this bond through absence. I am looking at the household, I am looking at every decision that has to be made, and I have to do this all with a focus on the money. I also have to look the part, which means I have to have the biggest car, I have to have the biggest house, I have to have the fanciest everything

When I asked Fara Leff, the chief operating officer, how the company defines player empowerment, she told me, “Putting them in a decision-making role and educating them—not just putting paper or deals in front of them, but really talking to them and educating them about being a basketball or a football player.”

LeBron James told me that he believed Paul’s upbringing allowed him to connect with young players. “A lot of these kids that are being brought into these situations and being drafted, they are first-generation money-makers, they are from the inner city, they are from either single-parent households or from two-parent households, but they are from what we call the hood,” he said. “And Rich and I are from that as well, so he can relate to these kids. There is nothing they’ve seen that he hasn’t seen, so he is able to have real conversations with them.”

Paul began speeding up his speech, rubbing his hands together. “Some guys are, like, ‘I want to be an all-star, I want to be the M.V.P., I want to be this, I want to be that,’ ” he continued, clearly anxious to get to the reveal. “Well, that’s wrong. You can be that, but you haven’t yet said anything about how great you want to be as a teammate, how you want to do the things on both ends of the floor to help your team win.” Suggesting what an ideal young recruit would say, he added, “ ‘Whatever the coach asks me to do, I am going to do it a hundred and ten per cent.’ ” “It just sounds so generic,” the mother said. “I thought you have to be authentic and say, ‘Get to know me and my personality.’ ” Paul looked slightly skeptical but didn’t respond. “ ‘My teammates, my teammates,’ ” she said, lightly mocking him. “That’s what they want to hear. I get it. But that’s not the real authentic parts. I don’t get the generic answers. Everyone is going to say similar answers. Is that what they are looking for?” “That’s exactly what they are looking for,” Paul replied. “There’s a fine balance, because you got to remember who’s drafting these kids. In most cases, fifty-five-plus Euro men who have certain criteria and are stuck in their ways. The last thing they want to do is deal with what they perceive to be a headache to come.” Paul sounded as though he had given a version of this speech many times, but he didn’t betray any impatience. If this was tough love, so be it. “I got you,” the mother responded. “I know this sounds weird, but why does this process sound like, how do I say it, I am not going to say slave-mentality type, but I guess that’s what I am saying. Why does this process seem like we have to bow down?”

Paul exchanged a glance with Mendelsohn. “I don’t think there is a bow down, because I don’t bow down to anybody,” Paul said. “I think it’s a balance. He has to be who he is. But, at the same time, what you don’t want to do is come off as a ‘me’ guy.” Paul then began discussing the intricacies of contracts. Eventually, they agreed to continue the conversation later and ended the call.

LeBron James is known as one of the most politically outspoken athletes of his generation, campaigning for Democratic Presidential candidates and delivering his opinions on matters such as the killing of George Floyd and Georgia’s restrictive voting laws

But there are limits to James’s political risk-taking. In 2019, Daryl Morey, then the Rockets’ general manager, tweeted about freedom for Hong Kong. At the time, the Lakers and the Nets were about to travel to China for a couple of exhibition games. James, who has a billion-dollar contract with Nike, which does business in China, was silent until he returned, and then criticized Morey

There is this idea about player empowerment that we are taking on the league and taking on the owners. But there is more time spent figuring out how to help the owners and the league be successful than there is spent trying to take them on. And a lot of people assume it’s some sort of activist orientation. It’s not.


The Death of Hahnemann Hospital | The New Yorker

  • Philadelphia is one of the poorest big cities in the United States, with about a quarter of its 1.6 million residents living below the poverty line.

  • Since 1977, when Philadelphia General closed, it has also been the largest American city without a public hospital

  • The idea that hospitals should turn a profit is somewhat recent.

    • Pennsylvania Hospital, which is widely considered the oldest in the country, opened in Philadelphia in 1752.

    • Co-founded by Benjamin Franklin, it was conceived as a place for “the reception and cure of the sick poor,” an example that, until the late nineteenth century, almost all American hospitals followed.

    • Philanthropy—and taxes, in the case of public hospitals, like Bellevue, in New York, which opened in 1795—covered costs, and care was provided free.

  • The bad actors of private equity are sometimes accused of destroying American health care.

    • But they are more symptoms than disease.

    • The story of Hahnemann is as much about the structural forces that have compromised many American hospitals—stingy public investment, weak regulation, and a blind belief in the wisdom of the market—as it is about the motives of private-equity firms.

  • From the beginning, the thinking went, Freedman’s purchase of Hahnemann had been a ploy to acquire the land on which it stood.

    • Situated steps from city hall and the convention center, the real estate had skyrocketed in value.

    • The mile-and-a-half stretch of North Broad between Hahnemann and Temple University, in North Philly, had long been run-down.

    • But now developers were building luxury condos and rentals.


Language Log » What does “Native speaker” mean, anyway?

  • Both linguists and non-linguists commonly use the term “native speaker” to describe someone who grew up speaking a particular language and who is fully proficient in that language.

  • Often, we invest native speakers with authority regarding how someone should speak a language

  • The idea of the “native speaker” originated within the context of European nationalism and colonialism in the 19th century

    • Cases of “near-native speakers” and “exceptional second language learners” further complicate the idea that the competence of native speakers is clearly distinguishable from that of non-native, second-language speakers.

  • The common observation that adult language learners almost always retain an identifiable foreign accent has long been used as evidence of a critical period in second language acquisition.

    • However, a growing body of research casts doubt on the existence of a strict neurobiological window that closes around late adolescence and impedes native-like phonological development

  • this expectation is challenged by the fact that all languages are social constructs;

    • their boundaries and membership are not established on the basis of lexical and structural features,

    • but by the ways in which people are recognized as speakers – or not

  • The term native speaker gained particular prominence in linguistics following the emergence of the Chomskian approach to linguistic competence in the 1960s and 1970s.

    • However, the idealization of the native speaker began to be questioned within a few years, with some scholars asserting that an ideal native speaker has never existed

    • and that the topic be approached instead through the lens of more precise terms like expertise, inheritance and affiliation

  • rarely if ever described as non-native speakers.

  • language attrition due to stoke or neurodegenerative diseases.

  • cut off from their speech communities of origin due to emigration

  • additional examples of the complications that the term “native speaker” creates in linguistic research as well as lived personal experience

  • The concept of the “native speaker” draws on deep-rooted assumptions regarding who is worthy of being a speaker and which languages are worthy of being recognized as such.

  • speakers of languages or dialects that are marginalized or undergoing shift are often told that they are not “good” or good enough speakers of a language

  • Ultimately, a closer examination reveals that the concept of the “native” speaker is tightly connected to discriminatory logics