Twitter wants to open verification to everyone

As reported by Recode on a Periscope Live Stream with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:

In a very casual Periscope livestream on Thursday, Dorsey said that he wants to verify everyone on Twitter, a continuation of the plan Twitter laid out a few years ago when it asked users to apply for verification online.

That program as been suspended since the fall, when Twitter got major backlash for verifying a few white supremacists. But it appears that Dorsey is open to relaunching some version of it once Twitter figures out how it should work.

“The intention is to open verification to everyone,” Dorsey said from a conference room at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. “And to do it in a way that is scalable [so] we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge and imply any bias on our part.”

As someone who has a verified account, ​I’d love for Twitter to make it much easier to get. One of the bonuses of being verified is that in your notifications tab you get a subsection​ for “verified” which only shows notifications from fellow verified accounts. This would be great for filtering out the noise of bots, trolls, and fake accounts. However, not many of my friends are verified so it makes this tab useless.

I also never understood the original verification process. I was able to get it, but I have friends with many more followers, and more active that didn’t. Just like @laravelnews got verified but @laravelphp isn’t. Makes zero sense to me.

For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers.

Farhad Manjoo writing for the NY Times:

In January, after the breaking-newsiest year in recent memory, I decided to travel back in time. I turned off my digital news notifications, unplugged from Twitter and other social networks, and subscribed to home delivery of three print newspapers — The Times, The Wall Street Journal and my local paper, The San Francisco Chronicle — plus a weekly newsmagazine, The Economist.

I have spent most days since then getting the news mainly from print, though my self-imposed asceticism allowed for podcasts, email newsletters and long-form nonfiction (books and magazine articles). Basically, I was trying to slow-jam the news — I still wanted to be informed, but was looking to formats that prized depth and accuracy over speed.

It has been life changing. Turning off the buzzing breaking-news machine I carry in my pocket was like unshackling myself from a monster who had me on speed dial, always ready to break into my day with half-baked bulletins.

I actually thought about going to paper newspaper delivery a few months back and put out a tweet poll seeing if anyone else is doing it:

Not surprisingly, most people get their news online and I honestly didn’t want a daily delivery, which I know will end up with unread papers lying everywhere. So I decided to completely cancel all my newspaper subscriptions, subscribe to one weekly magazine (Bloomberg Businessweek), unfriend everyone on Facebook, and then just ignore it. If something important happens I’m sure I’ll hear about it.

From tuning out all the noise I’ve noticed a difference, but the biggest is how little knowing the news actually matters. I’d argue locally it matters more, but my local paper’s website​ is so bad I don’t want to waste my time.

Coinbase Launches an Index Fund

Today, Coinbase announced a new index fund:

Coinbase Index Fund will give investors exposure to all digital assets listed on Coinbase’s exchange, GDAX, weighted by market capitalization. If a new asset is listed on the exchange, it will be automatically added to the fund.

I think this is a good move on their part and I’ve been impressed with other features they’ve recently launched like the Coinbase Commerce.

Even though the prices of BTC are down from its​ crazy run at the end of last year I still have a bullish outlook on it. I think in ten years everything crypto will either be huge or it’ll all come down in a fiery​ crash, but with so much money being invested into it I’m not certain the latter​ will happen.

Slack: Where Annoyance Happens

I remember the first time I started working remote and how amazing live chat was. No more annoying face to face conversations around your desk, but this totally new medium where introverts can have time to get into the conversation without being overpowered by all those talkers.

Jump forward a few years and the live chat medium has gone from awesome to annoyance. From the constant unread bubbles vying for your attention to the feel of having to always have it connected. Like a conjoined twin.

Luckily for me, at my full-time​ job we are given “slack free” hours throughout the day where we are expected to quit the app, and not check in for anything unless it’s an emergency and someone texts or calls. This is fantastic and is truly​ forward thinking because I’ve heard some dreadful horror stories about other companies.

I heard of one that has a special room that is just for status updates. The workers are expected to give updates every 15-minutes on what they are working on. It’s apparent some in the upper management would prefer a job at a preschool instead of running a software development company.

Other companies are a little better but I feel like the instant side of it has conditioned everyone to get that instant gratification and to forget other people are trying to get work done. Of course, I’m guilty of it too but I’m trying hard to change and move conversations to a different medium. I’m so tired of searching looking for a bug that I know we discussed only to find a conversation that happened over many days with a lot of other banter in between.

Have you found anything better? I’ve heard Basecamp is one answer to this problem but it still feels like “one more place” when most of us already have a half a dozen. Some days I wish we would all just go back to email.

The Phoenix Project

I just finished a novel about IT, DevOps, and business named The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford.

I loved this book. It made me mad, it made me sad, it touched on so many emotions and this is one of the best books I’ve read. I love how through a narrative story they were​ able to cover many advanced IT and DevOps topics and make it approachable. I hope to see more tech-related books designed like this.

Some of the story does start to feel repetitive especially when you get toward the end, but overall I’m satisfied and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. They also just released an updated 5th-anniversary​ edition that is available on Amazon.

iOS App Icons Should Snap to a Grid

Rands published a Tweet asking others to show their iPhone home screens and being the nerd that I am I couldn’t get enough of scrolling through all the replies looking for inspiration. One thing I noticed in quite a few of the replies was many had the apps they use pushed down where you can easily access with one hand. Here is an example:

Apparently, you can’t do this without janky workarounds like blank home screen or Makeover. I tried the invisible but it’s actually black so you need a black background, and Makeover just seems like too much trouble.

I wish Apple would just make the app icon grid snappable, or drag/drop so I could put stuff where I want. On my phone I only have the top two rows to push the others so I can access them easier and would be much less dim to have this feature included.

Operator Mono and Alternatives

Since first seeing Operator Mono by Hoefler & Co. I’ve been in love with the font. I bought myself a license and have been using ever since.

Of course, when I share screenshots on social media I get a lot of people asking me about it and when I send them the link they get sticker shock on the price and it is expensive at $199. I personally justified it because I know I’m going to use it for many years and it’s something I can own forever. Granted I’m lucky that I am in a position where I can spend this amount of money on a font.

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If you like the font and the italic comments but the price is too expensive, Matt McFarland put together a post outlining alternatives and how to set those up.

This is nice as it gives everyone an option that wants this setup.