You are a Gmail user

For years, Benjamin Mako Hill has paid to host his own mail, as a measure to enhance his privacy and independence from big companies. But a bit of clever analysis of his stored mail reveals that despite this expense and effort, he is a Gmail user, because so many of his correspondents are Gmail users and store copies of his messages with Google. — Read the rest

Antifeatures: deliberate, expensive product features that no customer wants

Free software advocate Benjamin Mako Hill's lecture on "Antifeatures" for the Free Technology Academy is a fascinating look at the ubiquitous "antifeature" — that is, a deliberately designed product feature that none of the product's users desire. Examples include cameras that block saving images as RAW files, phones that are designed to identify and drain third-party batteries, and, of course, printers that are designed to reject third-party ink. — Read the rest

Hackers' wedding vows based on Pi and Phi

My friend Mako got married recently; he's a hacker and so's his new wife, Mika, and they exchanged vows of mathematical significance: "the numbers of letters in each word in each vow matches consecutive digit in the decimal expansion of a famous mathematical constant." — Read the rest