Coffee notes for July 30, 2019

What I’ve learned in 20 years of blogging, by Anil Dash: Most people in tech want to do good, but tech history is poorly understood. As a result, many in tech don’t understand how tech can have negative impacts when they think of themselves as good people.”

As much as it pains me to say it, Facebook Marketplace is a better place than Craigslist to sell used household merchandise. Items seem to sell more quickly and some that never sold on Craigslist find buyers on Facebook. My success rate has gone up tremendously. And it’s probably safer than selling on Facebook. I guess Facebook will do to Craigslist what Craigslist did to newspapers.

Every state has an infamous crime — and a book about it.

The 10 best web scraping tools.

I’m working with SimplePie to create a website and it’s working great, but it looks like active development on the code has stopped. SimplePie is written in PHP, so it pretty much runs on any web host without problems. But I’m not sure what the future holds for the application since it seems like the developers have moved on to other projects.

On a related note, I’ve played in the past with David Winer’s River aggregator, but have always found it to be too fiddly. Other people have had success running it, so this probably speaks more to my comfort level with some of the software’s dependencies.

Daily miscellanny: We’ve never had it so good

  1. Megan McArdle says that from cooking to woodworking, rising levels of skill and effort have become barriers to entry.
  2. Enable HTTPS for free on you website with Let’s Encrypt.
  3. Kevin Rose talks with Ryan Holiday about Stoic philosophy.
  4. An increasingly influential group of thinkers insists that humankind has never had it so good – and only our pessimism is holding us back.
    • The proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty had fallen below 10% for the first time.
    • Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels had failed to rise for the third year running.
    • Child mortality is roughly half what it had been as recently as 1990.
  5. Share and receive photos at the Feature Shoot Print Swap.

An assortment of links for Friday

  1. Tumbling battery prices mean that EVs will not just have lower lifetime costs, but will also be cheaper to buy than internal combustion engine cars in most countries by 2025-29.
  2. Cellphone notifications are a tragedy of the digital commons.
  3. We now spend 30 minutes a day watching videos on our phones.
  4. Throughout our planet’s history, massive volcanic eruptions have devastated life. Could one bring an end to human civilization?