Tab sweep: eFanzines, data privacy, playlists between two artists

Been a lazy Sunday of doing some light pre-Spring cleaning/organizing and quality time with the cats. Here’s a few interesting sites, articles, and such that have been idling in tabs for a little while.

Two on data privacy

The Markup has an article about how grocers, specifically Kroger, are harvesting and selling data about you to advertisers and such. “Many grocers systematically infer information about you from your purchases and “enrich” the personal information you provide with additional data from third-party brokers, potentially including your race, ethnicity, age, finances, employment, and online activities. Some of them even track your precise movements in stores. They then analyze all this data about you and sell it to consumer brands eager to use it to precisely target you with advertising and otherwise improve their sales efforts.

This isn’t exactly new info, but it’s worth reading to see the amount of data they’re collecting about you as part of “loyalty programs” and using the data not just to sell you things, but to resell. In a sane society this practice would be flat-out illegal or at least heavily, deeply regulated.

This includes in-store cameras, Bluetooth tracking, GPS, unique identifiers w/loyalty prorgrams, etc.

GDPR-compliant free DNS

The flip side of this? Check out, “a free, sovereign and GDPR-compliant recursive DNS resolver with a strong focus on security to protect the citizens and organizations of the European Union.” According to the site it’s a French non-profit founded by the folks who created NextDNS. It also has a few variant DNS services, one for “childproof” DNS and another that “hardens” DNS by blocking typosquatters, brand new domains, high-risk TLDs, etc.

I haven’t tried flipping my Pi-hole system to yet. It’s not clear from the site if they welcome use outside the EU… but there’s only one way to find out! (Well, probably more than one. I can’t find anything on the site that addresses it, though.)

Science Fiction Fanzines online

I love fanzines, or ‘zines, or zines…whatever. At my core, I just really love publishing. The start-to-finish process of creating content, affixing it to a medium, and getting it out the door into other people’s hands. Or screens. Whatever works.

Even better when it’s DIY and niche. There’s something to be said for well-polished, well-edited, publications that shine with professional effort. But there’s also something wonderful about amateur zines that may or may not adhere to some, all, or any standard publishing conventions.

Six fonts on a page? Hell yes. Art that looks like it was scrawled by a deranged, drunken opossum? Absolutely! A six page rant about a Star Wars fan theory, followed by some weird fiction, weird poems and jokes in the margins, and then a lovely personal tale of meeting somebody’s hero at a fan convention? That’s the good stuff right there.

All that to say, I stumbled on the other day. Site says it was founded in December, 2000. It’s a collection of online sci-fi fanzines, as well as some pre-Internet materials resurfaced and scanned or converted for online consumption. (For instance, this Flights From The Iron Moon: Genre Poetry in UK Fanzines & Little Magazines 1980-1989.)

If that kind of thing is your jam, dig in. It’s fun to just browse, but you can also use the site search if you have any particular interests.

Creating seamless playlists between two artists

Boil the Frog is a questionably named but delightful little site that will try to find a “path” from one artist to another. For example, put in “George Harrison” and “XTC” and it suggests a playlist that starts with “All Things Must Pass” by George, then “This Time Tomorrow” by The Kinks, and meanders through The Velvet Underground, Nico, and Televison before landing on “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC.

Give it Concrete Blonde and Khruangbin, and it’ll suggest Liz Phair, Matthew Sweet, Nick Lowe, Link Wray, Lee Dorsey, Darondo, and El Michels Affair to get to Khruangbin.

It has a few gaps, it couldn’t find Wet Leg in its “artist graph” for instance, but you might stumble on some new tunes if you stick to mainstream-ish artists.

Found anything fun online lately? Drop me a note!

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