Scent of a Woman


Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a semi-whenever list of interesting articles, podcasts and videos that I come across during the week. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, have something new to think about, and share it with your friends. In case you forgot, this is in your inbox because you asked me to send it to you. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

Shifting gears this week into a 28-year old film that tells the story of the blind veteran and young student caretaker. Scent of a Woman was nominated for 4 oscars, in which Pacino won the best actor award. While preparing for the role, it is said that he visited institutions for the blind, and trained himself to unfocus his eyesso he could perform as good as being sightless - which led him to falling into a bush and incurring a cornea injury during production.

Putting aside the stellar performances from Pacino and 2 incredibly young actors Chris O'Donnell and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the essence of this film is integrity. The themes of friendship, pain and loss are thread throughout the film, but the famous monologue by Frank Slade's (Pacino) to the school board captures something that is too often missing in 2020. A worthy re-watch if you haven't seen the film in awhile.

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This weeks "Deep Links"

Nothing has pleased me more in 2020 than the time I spent deleting everything I could from my Facebook profile. I'd rather just delete the entire account, but still find that I need it to access a few groups I'm a part of. But that process, of deleting data from Facebook, proved to be incredibly hard (I eventually created scripts to automate it). This is, of course, on purpose - More

When I was a cast member at Disney, I used to love to participate in the annual fundraiser event known as Minnie's Moonlit Madness; It's held after-hours, where employees and friends (in a team of four) compete in a park-wide scavenger hunt - while tied together. Someone decided to take it to the next level though by causing his own private "hide and seek" game while the park has been closed by turning (the shuttered 11-acre) Discovery Island into a personal campground - More

First off: regardless of the title of the article, this isn't AI. I wouldn't even call it "cheating". But these students figured out that teachers were using an automated system of keyword matching to grade papers, and gamed the system - More

Shocking (ok, not really). Here's a great talk on what anyone working on consumer technology and children have known for years: Kid Smartwatches are incredibly insecure and give up tons of privacy data without parents in the know - Watch

A great home project: turning an Apple iSight into a modern HD camera using a Raspberry Pi - More

This weeks stoic read: Life is hard; you can't escape it and you can only defer decisions for so long - More

I always enjoy these technology tear downs - this one is on digital pregnancy tests. Apparently all they do, when you dissect them, is read a traditional paper test strip, and displays the word "pregnant" or "not pregnant". Save your money - More

Dark Patterns are described as "the ways in which software can subtly trick users into doing things they didn’t mean to do". How do you spot them, and more importantly avoid them in software and on the Web - More

I've always been amazed by magicians (which probably explains my current obsession with decks of cards); this was a great biography/read on Apollo Robbins, a legendary pickpocket. He's even been approached by the Department of Defense to consult on behavioral influence and con games - More

A fascinating read on how the Internet breaks down our ability to have reflective thought and the damage that is being done to our brains by too much instant messaging, and the fragmentation of memory - More

The "edge" is the next big thing in cloud computing; the concept is simple: you put compute and storage closest to the location where it's needed. First hop. With the rise of 5G, I can see this being one of the big needle movers (it certainly isn't going to be blockchain) of the next few years. Protocol discusses 'edge' with several CEO's - More

End Thoughts

Out of order? I'll show you out of order!

You don't know what out of order is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too fuckin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order?!

Who the hell you think you're talking to?!