Bizarro Devs is a monthly newsletter with the weird and wonderful tech news, tools, and websites.
🍏 APPLE VS FACEBOOK. PLUS, HOW TO AVOID ZOOM FATIGUE & PREDICTED BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES OF 2021
This month, we've pulled Andrei "Diamond Hands" away from building things with code and unleashed him on the newsletter. He's collected some interesting tools, sites, and numbers for you. Including:
🎥 Constant video calls might not be a great idea after all.
🍏 Apple throwing its weight around attacking business models based on user tracking.
📺 A website that plays random video from 90s TV.
Andrei and Chris.
📰 From the Newsroom
Stanford study into “Zoom Fatigue” explains why video chats are so tiring 😫
The gist: Stanford University communications expert Jeremy Bailenson is investigating the "Zoom Fatigue" phenomenon and comes up with some tips and tricks to minimize the impact.
Brain busting: Video interaction involves an increased cognitive load and can mimic close personal interaction. You can reduce the impact with audio-only breaks and turning away from the screen during long videoconferencing hours.
On your feet: Research also suggests that movement can improve cognitive performance — walking around the room during the call could result in more productive meetings.
Not alright, alright, alright: Having self-view open during video calls mimics intensive mirror viewing and can have a negative impact. Remember what Zoom did to Matthew McConaughey? Close down the self-view and reduce the anxiety associated with excessive self-consciousness.
Why is Facebook launching an all-out war on Apple's upcoming iPhone update?
The background: Apple will release iOS 14.5 later in March, and one big change has Facebook concerned. Apple will now explicitly ask people to consent to all phone activity tracking. Given that Facebook's free business model is based on targeted ads and data harvesting, they are a little peeved.
Leave no footprints: Apple says the average app has at least six trackers that are discreetly harvesting user data. In the upcoming update, iOS will make this clear and ask for user consent to allow applications to track user data.
Disrupting the disrupter: The social media leviathan countered with a video campaign highlighting the importance of personalized ads that few people click on. The video claims that this might negatively impact the internet by forcing free services to adopt a paid model. They also argued that small businesses would lose a big chunk of their customers without personalized, targeted ads.
Dark arts: Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has heavily criticized Facebook’s data-collection practices in the past, saying that “It seems no piece of information is too private or personal to be surveilled, monetized and aggregated."
Listen to the first sounds recorded from the surface of Mars 👽
Return to Mars: On February 18, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars in a historic moment at the end of a journey that started back in July 2020.
Falling for you: Footage of the rover landing was released on the 22nd of February, showing the last 10 kilometers of descent through the martian atmosphere.
Listen to the sounds of Martians: For the first time ever, a sound recording from the surface of Mars has been released. You can hear the sound of 5 mile-per-hour martian winds.
I will find you: Perseverance is in the process of receiving a new software update and will soon start looking for signs of ancient life on Mars.
⛓️ Ten Must See Links of the Month
Nostalgic about whipping the llama’s ass? Get the ol' trusty Winamp in your browser, just like the good old days.
A website where you can listen to radios around the world while navigating virtual earth.
NASA’s interactive 3D solar system.
The ultimate CSS grid tutorial for beginners - ultimate because it has interactive examples.
Some truths are impossible to deny, Snake is what made Nokia great. This is the history of it.
Lettuce see how well your hand-drawn iceberg will float.
Finally, content writing vs copywriting: which is better for your career?
MIT's annual list of breakthrough technologies has arrived!
Do you miss the taking-no-risks chain wallet? What about the elegant cool of goatees? Scratch that itch (and pick up a few others) on this site full of random clips from 90s TV.
Another great portfolio site from a web engineer.
🎤 It’s How They Said It
“My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.”
🧮 The numbers game
10 million: The number of users using Clubhouse. The invite-only, iOS-exclusive drop-in audio chat application
Over 25%: U.S. investors saying they purchased at least one viral stock since the start of the new year
80%: The percentage of USA’s rare earth metals imported from China
$125m: The amount of cold, hard cash Farnsworth Group used to acquire TikTok competitor Lomotif.
That's it for the week. If you have links to share, then my emails are always open. Simply reply to this email to land in my inbox.
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Have a great month, Chris & Andrei