The Every-Conceivable-Interest Edition Monday, November 12, 2018

How Podcasts Became A Seductive—and Sometimes Slippery—Mode Of Storytelling, by Rebecca Mead, New Yorker

Eighty-odd years after Benjamin wrote about the decline of storytelling, we are living in a new golden age of it, in the form of the podcast: on-demand audio that a listener can download and play while commuting or exercising or, given the right equipment, showering. A recent study conducted by Edison Research found that nearly a quarter of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month. The most popular shows, such as “The Daily,” produced by the Times and featuring Michael Barbaro, a former reporter, as a winning, accessible interlocutor of his news-gathering colleagues, or “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in which the bluff comedian interviews public figures about things like masculinity and technology, are downloaded tens of millions of times each month. Some of the most acclaimed podcasts, such as Slate’s “Slow Burn,” which in its second season plumbed the painful history of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, offer a provocative lens not just on the past but also on current events. When the show’s host, Leon Neyfakh, interviews Juanita Broaddrick about her claim that, in the nineteen-seventies, she was sexually assaulted by Clinton, it makes for sobering listening in the era of #MeToo.

Beyond the top of the charts, there are half a million other podcasts available, fashioned for every conceivable interest or taste. If a person wants to know more about Walter Benjamin, she can listen to an episode of “Thinking Allowed,” a BBC Radio 4 show in which Laurie Taylor, a British sociologist, renders Benjamin’s work in plainspoken language; or download the National Gallery of Art’s podcast, in which the Princeton art historian Hal Foster delivers a Mellon lecture about him; or find the Clocktower podcast, dedicated to preserving archival audio, which offers recordings of several radio scripts, for children, that Benjamin wrote in the nineteen-thirties; or search out an episode of “Giving the Mic to the Wrong Person,” a left-leaning podcast, hosted by Jeremy Salmon, that features an off-the-cuff roundtable about Benjamin—“he’s one of the Frankfurt School guys, from what I understand”—in the context of contemporary politics and culture.


Apple Smart Keyboard Folio Is Slim But Pricey, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

The Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is just about the thinnest and lightest case possible with a keyboard in it. That’s great in many ways, but it affects the typing experience. The keyboard is large enough to be easy to type on, but the near lack of key travel becomes an issue during long typing sessions.

This keyboard case is so portable you shouldn’t have an issue carrying it everywhere, which isn’t always true of mobile keyboards. So just remember, the keyboard you have with you is the best one.

Now It’s Easier To Protect Your Browsing Privacy On iOS Devices With App, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Cloudflare offers a free DNS on The company doesn’t log IP addresses, and purges all logs after 24 hours – even hiring an independent audit firm to annually verify that it does so. The benefit to Cloudflare is that using the company’s DNS means faster connections to its client websites.


50 Years In Tech. Part 9: Mac Hopes And Troubles, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

I recall how I felt when Mitterrand expressed his vision of Computing For The People: This is our pitch. And we promptly and efficiently took up the refrain. Luckily, our US masters were launching a Kids Can’t Wait marketing blitz targeting the Education market. We piggy-backed on it, called it L’Avenir N’attend Pas (The Future Can’t Wait), exploited government regulations again, and sold beaucoup Apple ][ machines as well as the color monitors we had had “made to measure” by Philips Italy. (The monitors were the idea of Michael Spindler, the recently departed and much-missed friend who was then European Marketing Chief.)

Self-driving Cars Will Be For Sex, Scientists Say, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

Self-driving cars will change the way we travel and work. But according to researchers studying the potential implications of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they could also have a profound impact on another aspect of life: How we have sex.

One recent study concluded that nearly 60% of all Americans have had sex in a car. This time-worn tradition may only increase when you consider that self-driving cars are essentially private rooms on wheels. It’s an insight that comes from a new paper published in the Annals of Tourism Research, which reviewed many studies on both cities and autonomous vehicles to identify burgeoning trends.

Bottom of the Page

My number one wish list for iCloud: allow me to edit text files stored inside iCloud Drive by using a standard web browser.


Thanks for reading.