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Akismet is good

Just five. That’s the number of spam comments required per day on this almost-empty blog to make me want to have Akismet running. If you’re not familiar, it’s a third party service that separates real comments from spam similar to how your email provider might remove (most) spam from your inbox. It comes installed on WordPress by default, but needs to be activated with an API key before it gets to work.

Since I last installed a fresh copy of WordPress, I see they’ve introduced a default privacy policy page; probably around the time of all the GDPR action. As I’m collecting very limited data it was quick to edit the text for relevance before publishing.

I was tempted to stick Google Analytics on this site too, but I don’t need to know that nobody is reading yet. I’m determined to build a writing habit for now—whatever it produces. Lucky you!

A week in Windows

I’ve been all-in on Apple stuff since 2010, a full six years before Microsoft released Windows Subsystem for Linux. Back then, I wanted a Unix-style command line environment for developing PHP applications. Now, in 2020, with all my Apple computers and devices loaded up with good software and talking to each other in all the right ways, I’m hooked.

This week, I found myself migrating an old .Net application from one server to another. Very glad that I’d taken detailed notes the first time I deployed it, I couldn’t help also being glad that Windows Server is a graphical interface and much more intuitive to learn than the command line.

I do have a Windows 10 virtual machine running on Parallels Desktop. In a Microsoft mood, I played with that for a few hours too, getting up to speed on all the configuration options and generally how to get around. I hadn’t realised that Microsoft have rebuilt their Edge browser on top of Chromium, and that it’s being rolled out gradually to replace the legacy version.

Google Nest Minis

YouTube sent us two free speakers at home for being YouTube Premium customers. They’re up and running and much better than our first-gen Amazon Echo at hearing us over the TV and everyday household noise. So far, all our requests have been about music, food timers and fact-checking.

People are very concerned about privacy with these speakers. I’ve never worried too much about it. I’m happy to exchange some data with huge and competent companies, in an educated way, in return for useful functionality and more relevant ads.

Their data security is much better than mine will ever be. I take them at their word that they’re mostly doing only what they say they’re doing—usually—and, if I’m going to get ads at all, I’d like them to be for things I might want to buy.

I hope I’m right.

By the way: On the subject of data privacy, if you’re a heavy Google user and have never visited the My Google Activity dashboard, you’re in for a treat.

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