Web Excursions 2021-06-20

Reaching China’s Gen Z Media Consumers – China Media Project

  • I wonder how the company handles the question of risk?

    • That’s why our position from the beginning is to not be a news media, but rather a youth information platform.

    • In terms of content, we try not to become too involved in current affairs, disaster reporting, crimes or other relatively sensitive areas.

    • What we do is still focused on topics of interest to youth.

  • Does the company worry about not having a license to publish original news content (新闻资质)?

    • They do worry.

    • We know that most of the new media projects on the market now are unlicensed (没有牌照的), which is a common problem we all face and is always a sword hanging over our heads.

  • Specifically, how do you choose topics concerning this concept?

    • I found that some of the topics that we paid most attention to as media people 10 or 15 years ago,

      • like disaster reporting, mining accidents, explosions, fires, earthquakes, cases of injustice and so on,

      • are not of particular concern to young people today.

    • Young people pay more attention now to a number of other topics,

      • such as gender and questions of fairness.

    • You people today are more sensitive to fairness than our generation.

  • How do you personally know what young people are thinking and what they care about?

    • I think we can no longer use the approach of enlightenment (启蒙) or instruction (教导) to communicate with young people.

      • The times have changed.

      • Young people these days are actually very conscious, and they have many sources of information.

      • Their capacity to act is really strong too.

      • They don’t need or want someone to enlighten them in a condescending way.

    • On the other hand, though, there is a problem of “youth worship” (青年崇拜),

      • exemplified by Bilibili’s [May 2020] viral video “Rising Waves” (后浪),

      • which praised everything about young people today.

      • This isn’t right either.

      • My approach is to try to give everyone more room to explore freely.

  • How much of the traditional media experience is still worth inheriting, and what should be discarded?

    • some things at the core of journalistic professionalism,

      • such as truth-seeking and balance, are definitely still necessary.

    • However, many of the formal rules,

      • like rules of style and writing,

      • require new exploration and breakthrough in this generation.

  • Like what kind of breakthroughs? Do you means things like allowing for a first-person narrative in writing and more self-expression?

    • Our colleagues often feel a sense of frustration,

      • that the pieces they really invest themselves in writing aren’t read by users at all,

      • while some of the stuff they write quite casually gets higher click rates.

    • To put it plainly, a consensus and rules have not yet formed.

    • Perhaps articles can abandon some of the boundaries about objectivity and start from the writer’s own experience.

      • The writer has to become an observer, and the observer has to take a stand.

      • It can’t be the purely objective and impartial (客观公正) stance that we used to talk about.

      • In fact, that is not necessarily being objective and impartial either.

  • It’s more the pretense of objectivity and impartiality.

    • Right. The direction of change now may be that I have my perspective,

      • but I can explain to the users really clearly what that perspective is.

    • The user can accept information from the perspectives of numerous observers and

      • in the process arrive at more comprehensive information.

  • One general trend in American press circles last year was that several influential journalists left the New York Times or other reputable media outlets to write their own newsletters, and there were plenty of people who paid to subscribe. People seem to be more willing to follow an individual rather than large news organizations.

    • The trend for media organizations is to become personalized (人格化).

    • Institutionalized media often give people a feeling of coldness.

    • But now readers prefer media with personality.

    • We used to call it market positioning,

    • but now we refer to it as “character development” (人设).

    • Each WeChat public account needs to have its own personality.

  • What kind of content is most popular among your readers right now?

    • Looking at the data, the more upbeat articles, like the “Internet Surfers Weekly Topic Handbook,”

      • which is a collection of the past week’s hot topics and new ideas on the internet.


State of the Windows: How many layers of UI inconsistencies are in Windows 10? – NTDEV

  • Fluent Design

  • Metro

    • glaring omissions, like the volume flyout, the USB flyout as well as some elements from the login screen.

    • the boot screen (which will soon be replaced with a newer one) and WinRE

    • the first time the "spinning dots" were introduced was in Windows 8 build 7989.

  • Windows 8 Win32 elements.

    • Windows Explorer or Task Manager

    • File Transfer dialogs.

  • Windows 7 UI elements

    • Ribbon UI: Paint and Wordpad.

    • Windows Media Player 12, Remote Desktop Connection and some file dialogs.

  • Windows Vista.

    • Aero Wizards that replac[ing] the previous wizard standard, Wizard97.

    • Control Panel, the Search program, Windows Fax and Scan.

    • when your video card doesn’t support the video mode that the standard boot screen uses, Windows 10 falls back to the Vista boot screen

  • Windows XP

    • Driver installation dialog

  • Windows 2000

    • Management Console (MMC), whose UI elements are basically the same ever since.

    • Windows Installer, which still has the same icon from when it was first introduced

    • winver (the About Windows dialog), whose design was introduced in Windows 2000 build 1946.

  • Windows 95/NT 4.0 elements

    • screensaver settings.

    • Run box.

    • the folder properties screen.

  • Windows 3.1 and DOS… kind of

    • a peculiar file in Windows 10, called moricons.dll, which contains a lot of old icons from the DOS days.


In Praise of Cron — /dev/lawyer

  • some of the many kinds of jobs in my crontab:

    • Download lists of my friends, family members, clients, former clients, and colleagues, pick some at random from each list, and e-mail me their names at 0930 every weekday.

    • Check other software projects to make sure their dependencies are out of date and I’m not using any open source code with known security problems. Send me an e-mail if I am.

  • fcron is my preferred version of cron. I how easy it is to set up notifications by e-mail, only when there are errors. I also like how it helps me avoid running too many commands at one time, even if I schedule them on top of each other.

  • rclone moves files around between Dropbox, Google Drive, Backblaze, Digital Ocean Spaces, and the like.

  • bti posts to Twitter.

  • I can’t help pointing out that none of these tools are “legal technology”.

    • They are just good technology.

    • Good in the sense that they are broadly useful to a great many people in many fields.


Antitrust posturing — Benedict Evans

  • Late last year the US congress's antitrust committee held a series of hearings, and produced a 400 page report, on competition issues around big tech platforms.

    • very rushed, with great chunks of advocacy pasted in without any scrutiny, and with significant errors of fact every few pages

    • Perhaps the worst example of this was the claim that tech startup creation has 'sharply declined' in the last decade.

    • any relevant data would tell you that tech startup creation has actually risen by three to four times in the last decade.

  • This report has now been followed by five proposed tech antitrust bills

    • a mix of real concerns, good ideas, and some pretty questionable logic.

  • A 'covered platform' is

    • a company that has either net revenue or market cap of at least $600bn and

    • either 50m US consumer MAUs or 100k US business MAUs.

  • Data portability

    • would require covered platforms to make APIs to let you export your data to another tool in some reasonably standardised way, and give the FTC a mandate to regulate that.

    • What is 'data', though?

      • much of this data is highly specific to a given software company's product and infrastructure (and its relation to millions of other users), so the practical value to anyone else might be quite limited.

      • who owns that data, exactly? if I 'like' your Instagram photo, is that my data or yours?

      • how will this work? the bill is 15 page long and punts all the questions to the FTC, which is supposed to just work all this out

      • this doesn't address the most important kind of data - network effects. If I want to compete with Instagram, I don't just need your photos - I need your entire social graph and all your friends activity

  • Steering, self-preferencing and competing on your platform

    • Two of the laws proposed on Friday address these questions ("American Choice' and 'Ending Platform Monopolies').

    • The first is aimed narrowly and specifically at self-preferencing and steering.

    • the 'Ending Platform Monopolies' law is impossibly broad.

      • Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft would be banned from doing anything on their platforms that anyone else might do,

      • and from anything that might be a conflict of interest.

  • Banning M&A.

    • a very straightforward ban on any acquisition of a company that competes with you, or that might in the future, or of any company that might make your products more better in any way

    • simply a blanket ban on Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Microsoft buying any company, of any kind ever, again

  • If you want to solve the problems, you need to understand why they exist and accept that there will be complexity.


Inside the Content Caching server: performance and troubleshooting – The Eclectic Light Company

Content currently cached includes:

  • macOS updates normally obtained through Software Update or the command tool softwareupdate;

  • Internet Recovery images from macOS 10.13.5 onwards, which might include those for M1 Macs, when obtained in recoveryOS;

  • apps and their updates supplied through the Mac and iOS App Stores;

  • GarageBand downloadable content;

  • iCloud documents and data, including Photos libraries;

  • Apple Books

  • downloadable components for Xcode.

Apple provides quite extensive configuration options for the server, both in the Sharing pane and at the command line through AssetCacheManagerUtil.

When the Content Caching server is running on a Mac, performance information is delivered through AssetCacheManagerUtil status and in Activity Monitor. The latter adds a new tab Cache, which provides summary statistics for the local cache.