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2019.7.15

It’s great that Apple is asserting the importance of privacy. But if they’re really, really serious they’ll stop enabling the Chinese government direct access to Chinese users’ iCloud data. And they’ll secure data on iCloud so that government agencies can’t just request Apple to hand over our WhatsApp, iCloud, Notes, and other data that Apple holds the keys to unlocking and turning over to whomever comes with a warrant. I’m not holding my breath on the former, nor the latter.

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2019.7.10

For the past few weeks, my iPhone has been randomly slowing down at different times. Specifically, applications have just stopped responding for 20-45 seconds, and continue to stutter along after recovering somewhat. My suspicion is that the behaviour is linked to either Instagram or the native Podcasts app based on what I’ve read online, but that’s pure supposition. Regardless, I did a total factory refresh of my decide and so far all the stutters are gone. Here’s hoping they stay away in perpetuity…

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2019.6.26

Unpopular position: the rave reviews of meatless (i.e., plant-based) burgers are largely linked to the fact that most people have been eating low-quality hamburgers. I had some recently and they were tasty…so long as I didn’t consider them in comparison to mediocre homemade burgers, or good restaurant-quality (non-fast food) burgers. Do I think they have a place in the marketplace? Definitely. A perfect replacement? No way.

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2019.5.23

In the past three days, I’ve removed six or seven bags of books from my home, plus a bunch of clothing and other miscellaneous stuff that’s been taking up space (and for which I don’t have any immediate or near-term uses). While I’m sorta sad to see much of it go, I recognize that this feeling is more tied to a sense of accomplishment linked with having read the books or of history linked to when certain things were acquired. I’m also super excited to feel like there’s less clutter — both physical and emotional — which is surrounding me on a daily basis!

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2019.1.21

One of the things I enjoy most about academia is the emphasis on intellectual freedom even when expressing such freedom might be seen as problematic for the University’s commercial interests. Case in point: I was quoted in an article raising concerns that some universities’ contractual agreements to automatically transfer certain 5G telecommunications patents to foreign companies (based on research funded by the same companies) could be disadvantageous to domestic national security. One of the universities that is caught up in the issue is the one employing me. Despite my statements potentially being disadvantageous to my own university’s interests there are no rebukes but, instead, praise for being involved with national issues. If only all employers could be so similarly open-minded!

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2019.1.17

Nothing quite like starting the day by refreshing a password that was apparently compromised, and then trying to determine where/how the operators might have obtained the login credentials in the first place. Still, props to Google’s AI systems for detecting the aberrant login attempt and blocking it, as well as for password managers which make having unique login credentials for every service so easy to manage/replace.