Amazon is shutting down their Drive service. “What Drive service?” you may ask? So did I. It’s a cloud drive like Dropbox or Google Drive, and I’d completely forgotten about it until I read that headline.

According to the FAQ, it was being used by apps for photo and video storage (I assume on Fire tablets) and those have all been moved to Amazon Photos (which I’ve definitely never used).

But something jogged my memory…not just of when Google moved all their Google Plus photo features over to Google Photos, but something else involving music.

So I looked. And it turns out I actually have some files on there after all:

Two folders.

One was “Archived Music”, all albums from 2011 that I’d imported from my CD collection. I’m not sure, but I think the service might have been integrated with Amazon’s online music player way back when, and when they disconnected them, I didn’t have anything else I wanted to use it for.

The other was “My Send To Kindle Docs,” and it was full of ebooks and PDFs from 2015-2016, most of which I recognize from Humble Bundles.

I guess I should look through and see if there’s anything I don’t have a local copy of anymore. That I want to keep, anyway.

Phishers: Hi, we’re your bank, please click on this attachment for important information.

Security experts: Never click on an unexpected attachment in an email even if you think you know who it’s from. It’s likely to be malware or a scam to steal your login credentials.

Actual banks: Hi, we’re your bank, please click on this attachment for important information. 🤦‍♂️

Seriously, I HATE these systems. The way they keep phishing and malware techniques believable — and have for years! — is worse than any supposed security advantage in not just using email. Half the time the info isn’t any more sensitive than a receipt would be. Or heck, even just “There’s a new message in your account, please log in to see it and use your own bookmarks to get there.” That’s actually more secure!

:sigh:

It’s really too bad all the schemes to add end-to-end security to email over the years have been either too cumbersome to take off for general usage or vendor-specific.

Orignal post.

While I’m griping about Instagram, why the heck are the detailed notification preferences split between the app and the system notification UI?

That’s terrible design.

Well, if it’s intended for usability, anyway.

If your goal is to make people see more notifications, though… 🙄

Yeah.

IMO there are two sensible ways to handle granular push notification preferences:

  1. Use the system’s per-app settings for all of it. (Tusky does this, even putting your per-account preferences in the system UI.)
  2. Use the app’s settings for all of it, and let the system just be an on/off toggle for what you’ve chosen in the app (like it was before Android even had UI for it).

Either way, everything’s in the same spot so you know you haven’t missed anything you want to turn off. Or anything you want to turn on, for that matter.

Also on Mastodon.

One of the things I like about Mastodon and Pixelfed and the rest of the Fediverse vs commercial social networks is that they don’t TRY TO GET MY ATTENTION every time I open the page or app and offer ALL THESE THINGS I SHOULD BE LOOKING AT that might be relevant to what it thinks my interests are, to make sure I stay online and don’t stay away again for sooooo long! (Even if it’s only been a few days.)

Seriously:

  • I opened Instagram for the first time in at least a month and I was bombarded with more ads and recommendations than photos from people I was actually following.
  • I opened an alt profile in Twitter yesterday to post something off the cuff, and all the trending topics, pushing new features, etc. were like walking onto the Las Vegas Strip when all you want is a sandwich.

Never mind the normal “You haven’t logged onto Twitter in a few hours, here’s all the stuff you missed, and look, people are posting new stuff while you’re catching up, you’d better keep scrolling! What, you switched to another app for five seconds? Here, I’ll scroll it for you!”

Compared to Mastodon just showing you the latest that you’re actually following. And if you want to fill in what you missed, that’s up to you.

(There’s also the posting culture. On Twitter, people are used to discussing DOOOOOM all the time, so even curating your timeline isn’t always enough if you want to follow people talking, I don’t know, astronomy or whatever, because they’re also talking doom. And the algorithm reinforces it at both ends in a vicious circle, encouraging doom-posting and encouraging doom-scrolling.)

Choice Complaints

None of these complaints is inherent to the structure or functionality of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. They’re deliberate UI design choices to optimize for the company’s targets. A third party client could bypass it all (which of course is why they basically don’t allow those anymore).

Similarly, Mastodon and Pixelfed and so on could implement UI like this, but they don’t. The project goals aren’t engagement at all costs. And each instance can have its own goals.

Or someone could add an ATTENTION-GRABBING EXPERIENCE on top of the code and launch their own service. And those of us on other instances, running different software, wouldn’t be affected. Unless the site injected ads into the ActivityPub streams going out to people following its users, in which case I imagine a lot of instances would block them really quickly.

Or they could write an app that adds extra popups and keep-scrolling incentives to the phone experience!

I’m not sure many people would consider that an improvement.

Then again, people do use Yahoo mail. 🤷‍♂️

Expanded from Mastodon.

This looks cool: Mozilla has released a translation tool as an add-on for Firefox that can do web page translation locally instead of sending data to the cloud! It’s based on Project Bergamot and implemented in WebAssembly.

IMO translation is one of those things like speech recognition that ideally should have always have been local (for obvious privacy reasons), but the processing and data just wasn’t there yet when Google Translate and similar services launched.

Also posted on Mastodon.