Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Tag: tech

SunVox is 10, and it is truly something worth celebrating

I got a mini MIDI keyboard last Xmas precisely to mess around with SunVox and I’ve only just done so (it works great, as it happens). I want to treat myself to a cheap electric guitar this Xmas, too, and maybe one day soon I’ll have a free afternoon to make a track. #link


Google Maps’ Moat

This is incredible stuff. But I’m not the only one given pause by the scale of detail here, am I? #link


Maciej Cegłowski on how to ‘build a better monster’

“This year especially there’s an uncomfortable feeling in the tech industry that we did something wrong, that in following our credo of ‘move fast and break things’, some of what we knocked down were the load-bearing walls of our democracy.” The collateral damage of building for the reality we hope to create, rather than the one we live in, to paraphrase my previous link. But Cegłowski goes a lot deeper that that in this tech conference talk from earlier in the year. And it doesn’t get more damning, more cyberpunk dystopian than this: “The algorithms have learned that users interested in politics respond more if they’re provoked more, so they provoke.” #link


Mat Honan for Buzzfeed on Facebook’s ‘reality hole’

“The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are assholes.” That’s it right there. I don’t subscribe to the notion that people in general are fundamentally decent; there’s too much evidence to the contrary. Social media — in ushering in an era where everyone is online, not just a self-selecting proportion — reveals that much. Does Facebook care about that? It’s a different kind of caring, to be charitable; rooted in head-in-the-sand techno-utopianism that strives for solutions to problems no one really has, while ignoring the actual problems people have right now. As Mat Honan writes: “You have to build for the reality we live in, not the one we hope to create.” #link


what3words is a universal addressing system based on a 3mx3m global grid

The result is precision location represented by a simple string of three words, kind of like a Diceware passphrase. I tried it for my own home address and got a surprisingly memorable string, easier than Eircode; your own mileage may vary. Probably most practicable for predominantly rural locations without signposted roads or postcodes — like Djibouti, which recently adopted the system as its national addressing standard. #link