Today is Friday, November 9, 2012, and this is the inaugural Attn: newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
Email is not dead, and newsletters are cool
I have subscribed and unsubscribed from newsletters for as long as I’ve had email (*cough* 1994 *cough*). Here are some that I like these days. If you’ve know of other interesting newsletters, let me know!
- NextDraft: Dave Pell is doing good work on this general interest daily newsletter. He helped inspire Attn:
- The Ryan Holiday Reading Recommendation Email: Longest title ever, but he is a voracious reader. I pick up good book tips here.
- Photojojo: Focused on photography tips and tricks. They will also try to sell you stuff.
- Edge: Interviews with thinkers from many disciplines.
- Brain Pickings: Eclectic batches of themed interestingness. Maria Popova is inhumanly productive.
- CoolTools: Cool tools. Email subscribers see reviews first, but to become a subscriber, you must first submit a review. Yes, I have.
- The Listserv: Daily distribution. Many readers, one randomly chosen writer. Quality varies.
- Viewsource: Daily email of a a video you probably haven’t seen yet.
- The Scout Report: Aimed at educators, focused on STEM and humanities.
- Media ReDEFined: Jason Hirschhorn is a prolific aggregator of tech, entertainment, and media stories.
- This Is True: Long-running newsletter of unusual-but-true stories.
- TomDispatch: An alternative to mainstream media coverage. Think Bill Moyers, Rebecca Solnit, Bill McKibben, etc.
- The Straight Dope: Produced by syndicated columnist, author, and polymath Cecil Adams. A little of everything.
Learnin’ and earnin’
What I like most about the Internet is the opportunity to learn new things. I really love it when I learn stuff that I can put to immediate use at work. OpenCulture has a great (regularly updated) list of certificate courses available. This turns everything upside-down. Instead of falling asleep in a class you don’t care about, you can stay awake on your bed and learn something interesting. I enjoyed a pint of ice cream while watching a lecture about calories.
Buy the way
How do you decide on your purchases? Thanks to the largesse of my father-in-law, our household has been a long time subscriber toConsumer Reports. I like reading the magazine, but I can never find the appropriate issue when it comes time to make a purchase. Lately I’ve been using The Wirecutter and Decide. The Wirecutter is a blog that’s mostly technology focused. Their mission is simple: they just tell you what the best thing is, and why. Decide will cost money each month, but the quality and timeliness of their reviews is worth the expense.
A fundraising masterclass
I spotted a weird Twitter exchange between Obama advisor David Axelrod and Donald Trump. I kinda considered them arch enemies, but they were just chatting like old pals. I storified it so you could gawk too.
Lock it down
Good article this week from the NYT on password security. I think password security is one of the building blocks of basic Internet literacy. I use a combination of a password manager, and a unique passphrase that can be customized to the site in question. As a consequence I have 515 (and counting) unique passwords. Matt Haughey’s password tips from back in 2005 were super helpful for me back then, and I continue to refine the approach. If you are repeating even one password, take ten minutes out of your day and come up with a basic scheme for unique, easily remembered passwords.
That is all
Since this is the first edition, I’m keeping it short today. Hope you enjoyed it.