Things I loved this week: December 1, 2019 edition

“Why Anonymous Data Sometimes Isn’t”

When companies collect anonymous data, it can often still be used to uniquely identify you. The research reviewed in this article shows just how easy it is to de-anonymize the data and match it with a specific person, which is, of course, a major privacy concern.

“Reflections on the Disconnected Life”

I love Cal Newport’s weekly newsletter, and this is his latest piece, which I really thought was insightful and poignant. It’s about a man who lived for five weeks on a container ship where no one else spoke his language, and he had no access to a phone, computer or other electronic media. Just a few books. What resulted from this experience is remarkable.

What Comes Next Is the Future

I watched this documentary about the web’s past and future a week or two ago. As someone who has lived and worked on the web for almost two decades, this really reminded me of what the early days were like, and how amazing it was to be experiencing the Internet, and especially the World Wide Web, for the first time.

Several references were made to a book called Creating Killer Web Sites, which I picked up from my local library years ago, when I was a teenager. It certainly inspired me, and probably helped send me down the career path I’ve been on for the last 10+ years.

Free Solo

Free Solo, about free climber Alex Honnold, is probably one of the best and most impactful documentaries I have ever seen. I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it. This isn’t something I saw this week, but I have been recently thinking of it, and since it was so inspiring to me, I thought I would go ahead and put it here anyway.