Off Facebook Activity

Off Facebook Activity is a tool, that let’s Facebook users see which sites they used outside of Facebook. The tool is as creepy as you would think it would be. Facebook, through it’s like buttons and other embeds, has sheer unlimited insight into personal browsing behaviour.

Facebook Company Logo
Facebook Company Logo / Wordmark

In an attempt by the company to create more transparency, it discloses how much curiosity in a negative sense is driving the social network in trying to understand their audience. And actually sell this gained knowledge to their customers.

The release of Off Facebook Activity a reminder we are living in an increasingly connected world that is watching us. There is entirely no point for any company to collect this type of data outsire of making us a product.

The Washington Post writes about how creepy and scary this feature is, and even more important, how to work with privacy settings. While the article deals with Facebook internal settings alone, the amout of data transferred to Facebook won’t stop. At this point, you may want to consider personal privacy tools like uMatrix (for Firefox or Chrome). Or, to leverage protection for the entire network, e.g. for your family, Pi-Hole is worth taking a look, too.

via: Washington Post

The Dropbox journey to static type checking with Python

Type Annotation is a feature that allows Python to maintain it’s dynamic typing and enable option static typing in the same code base. With the arrival of Python 3.5, the language implemented PEP 484, that describes a syntax to annotate code with type hints. Dropbox took a journey to leverage this option on 4 million lines of code for better quality. Here are their experiences.

Combined count of type annotated lines of code.
Type annotation

Dropbox is a big user of Python. It’s our most widely used language both for backend services and the desktop client app (we are also heavy users of Go, TypeScript, and Rust).

Source: Our journey to type checking 4 million lines of Python | Dropbox Tech Blog

`Keep Talkin’ Larry’: Amazon Is Close to Tossing Oracle Software – Bloomberg

It’s a huge effort considering the scale of the project and the relevance of customer data for Amazon. Given their cloud business and it’s maturity – AWS is more than 10 years old by now and leading the pack – this move seems overdue.

Amazon.com Inc. has taken another step toward eliminating software from Oracle Corp. that has long helped the e-commerce giant run its retail business.

Source: `Keep Talkin’ Larry’: Amazon Is Close to Tossing Oracle Software – Bloomberg

eMail. Still.

Year 2015. Still eMail is the predominant means of communication. Everybody hates it, most companies make an effort to ban it. Atos wanted to go email free, Telekom shuts off their servers, Daimler even deletes email for people on vacation. Even I receive emails, saying “I need this, but I cannot answer”, quoting the “email free day policy”. Despite all effort, nobody succeeds.

Why? Unclear. While I think email should be banned myself, I have difficulties offering a better option. But I develop a feeling for why this is happening. This morning somebody mentioned he’ll be posting into a slack.com channel. That company claims to simplify communication, make teamwork less painful and busy, all searchable. As if nobody else tried that. And even if slack.com does a good job in what they aim for, they are just another solution.

In my personal, active use are trello.com, Pocket, Salesforce chatter. While my company introduces a community, colleagues swear on private Facebook groups or WhatsApp for simplified communication. Not to mention the tools customers and businesspartners are using. Popular among these are Jive, Atlassian Jira, SAP Jam, but not limited, I’ve seen self hosted communities, bug trackers and ticketing tools.

It’s difficult to keep track of all these tools. But they all send notifications through email.

Which tool do you use to communicate?