Links of the week

This week, where highlights include playing Android: Netrunner with my friend Tor for four hours straight and carefully positioning a drinking glass between my cat’s bottom and the litter tray in order to catch some pee, I read some news online.

I don’t even know if I need to explain any more. Everyone has hobbies, right?

Before everyone started to rely on Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of the Facebook-Instagram-WhatsApp trio, to drip-feed biased news into their online filter bubble, geeks used these things called RSS readers to choose what news they wanted to read themselves.

Imagine that?! Well, no need to. RSS readers still exist. If you want to subscribe to this blog, you need an RSS reader. Even if you don’t want to subscribe to this blog, you might want to get one anyway. Or not. Do what you want. It’s your life.

I am using and paying for Feedbin. They recently released some new things.

A series of three iPhone device mock ups with various screenshots of the Feedbin app shown in each one.

Feedbin for iOS • Feedbin

Everyone loves a good app, apparently. Even if the website can do exactly the same. I get it; some apps are good and just feel smoother. Mmm, smooth apps.

An animation showing the process of marking a news article to "read it later" via a button on the web browser window. On pressing the button, the article then appears in the Feedbin website.

Save webpages to read later • Feedbin

Generally, I am saving stuff to Pocket when I want to read it later, but now Feedbin does the same. Huzzah!

This post is not sponsored by Feedbin. I don’t have any sponsors. I am not popular.

Before I had my own blog on my own website, I used Tumblr. If you haven’t heard of Tumblr before, it was the LiveJournal of the mid-2010s. If you haven’t heard of LiveJournal, then it was the Geocities of the mid-2010s. Probably.

Anyway, Tumblr was great because you could have a blog on there and tag it with words, like #cats or #dinosaurs and then literally tens of people could find your post. Sometimes tens of thousands if it was a good post. Sometimes hundreds of thousands.

I met my French friend Calling Marian through Tumblr and seem to recall a few of the first messages between my now-wife and I were sent through Tumblr. Then Yahoo! bought it and made it worse before selling it to US-mega-corp Verizon who really fucked it all up and I stopped using it.

The same tumblr logo set against four various background colours.

Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to owner of WordPress •

Apparently, Verizon are losing money on Tumblr, selling the site at a loss to a good company. WordPress do good work. They make blogs.

In other news, the UK Advertising Standards Authority introduced some new rules to say “NO!” to gender stereotyping in adverts that broadcast on your TV screens and presumably your YouTube pre-rolls. Good stuff.

Well, technically they made the rules a long time ago, but they came into action recently and, this week, the ASA threw down that ban-hammer on two companies.

A picture of an old tv showing static - Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned its first ads for “harmful” gender stereotyping • It’s Nice That

Car brand Volkswagen and soft cheese brand Philadelphia have had their ads banned in their current form for “perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes”.

One ad implied that men can’t look after children after some lads lost their babies and followed it up by commenting “Let’s not tell mum”. The other advert implied gender-specific job roles by featuring two male astronauts, a group of male athletes, and a woman looking after a baby.

Call me a snowflake (ha!), but I approve of these new rules.

Finally, because we live on a planet that we are destroying, here is some relevant environmental news. It’s relevant because we are all going to die when Mother Nature has had enough of our consuming ways and sets off a chain reaction of forest fires, earthquakes, volcanoes… then tsunami come to wipe us out.

That’s one theory that I just made up. I hope you enjoyed it.

A ceremony to mark the passing of Okjokull, Iceland’s first glacier lost to climate change. It once covered 16sq km but has melted to a fraction. Photograph: Jeremie Richard

Iceland holds funeral for first glacier lost to climate change • The Guardian

Around 100 people walked up a mountain with Iceland’s prime minister to stick a bit of metal on a rock. Funny, but also sad.

Scientists collect snow samples above the Arctic circle. Photograph: Melanie Bergmann/Alfred-Wegener-Institut/Science Advances

Microplastics ‘significantly contaminating the air’, scientists warn • The Guardian

Snow captures particles from the air as it falls and some scientists analysed the snow. It turns out the air is full of bits of plastic.

I wonder if Leo Baekeland – “The Father of the Plastics Industry” – knew what he was bestowing on the world all those years ago. And I also wonder why governments don’t outlaw plastics as toxic materials the same way asbestos was.


If you read this post, leave a comment. Say hello. The only comments I get a spam, and they aren’t as uplifting as comments from real people.

For more links of the week, see previous Links of the Week posts or stay tuned for future updates. You can also read this blog post about cryptocurrency that I recently wrote.



2 responses to “Links of the week”

  1. Here’s your comment. Enjoy it.

    But seriously, this was a good post. You might have sold me on Feedbin. I use NewsBlur, which is a bit cheaper – but Feedbin looks nicer and I’m shallow.

    1. Jamie… you have no idea how much I enjoyed your comment. But, I’m about to tell you: I enjoyed it greatly. 10/10. Would read again.

      I’m happy to have helped you discover Feedbin. As I said, there are no real benefits of me recommending one service over another – so if you stick with NewsBlur I will definitely not be offended.

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