💾Data Hoarding, Necrobotics, and 3 Years of the LOR
3 years of Randomness
Hey friends! It’s another Monday - and we’re here in our new house!
Or - as my 2 year old daughter likes to say “nu-hous”
I spent all Friday pruning the yard in an all out plants vs zombies war - and I can assure you that the plants lost.
I’ve set up my desk - or as I like to call it - “my battlestation” and installed my monitors, desktop, mic, and all that good stuff.
After working from a tiny Amazon standup desk for several years, I’m amazed at how much room I now have. I also need to get a proper desk chair, rather than this folding chair.
It’s been pretty nuts the last few weeks with all the tech layoffs - I suppose we’ve finally hit “peak Silicon Valley” or something like that.
Whether you’re a Web3 fan or not - there’s something to be said for all the enthusiasm I see from people building cool stuff for Lens Protocol and such.
It’s like some sort of insane corporate game of “chicken” where you wonder - who’s the next big company to lay off 10% of their workforce?
Out of all this, I imagine we’ll see a lot of new startups popping up soon.
Have you downloaded the new social media app BeReal yet? I’ve been meaning to check it out for over a month - but hadn’t gotten the chance until this last week. It’s honestly a lot like Beme all over again in my opinion - but it might just stick this time.
Let’s hop on in!
🥳3 Years of the LOR
The Land of Random is now 3 years old!
Back in 2019 - I was having a bit of a crisis - I really wanted to write and do something but wasn’t really sure what.
I wrote a bit of creative fiction from 2016-2018, but wasn’t consistent enough to really lean on it. Creative Fiction required (requires) me to be in a particular frame of mind - and I just wasn’t able to create consistently.
However - I was obsessed with reading about startups, tech, and discovering cool stuff on the internet. I was bubbling up with interesting stuff - and had few people to share it with.
I finally had a light bulb moment.
What if I wrote about everything I found online?
It was hard for me to fathom trying to drive internet traffic to a website back then - but the idea of a newsletter piqued my curiosity.
It all started back in July 2019 with this first post. In fact, I even called the newsletter “A Little Too Obsessed” before rebranding to “The Land of Random.”
I wrote a few posts in August 2019, but I “got serious” with this first post.
Since then, I’ve written every week without fail - covering hundreds of topics, and sharing thousands of links.
I know I joke about it on occasion, but I am serious when I say that I’m going to write this until I die - or physically cannot write anymore. Even if Substack perishes from the Earth - I’m going to switch to a different email marketing service - and continue.
I really do like Substack though - the new recommendations service is dope.
Here we are in August of 2022, and I’m thrilled about how far the Land of Random has come. I never thought I’d almost have over 400 people reading my Newsletter each week (34 percent open rate of around 1300 subscribers). It’s so exciting!
I wouldn’t have made it this far without your support, your kind words on Twitter, or your occasional emails about various topics.
Seriously - it makes my day when someone reaches out or mentions my newsletter. I often run to my wife and tell her. :)
I’ve learned an incredible amount about marketing, how to grow a newsletter, how to promote myself, networking . . . and so much more.
Heck - I even write Creative Brew every week too! That’s been a blast over the past year. Those two articles I had the opportunity to write for The Hustle were a ton of fun too.
So - where does the Land of Random go from here?
My goal is to take the LOR to 10K readers (probably 30K subs) in the next few years - and do a better job of marketing myself and my newsletter.
Networking - I know - that’s the key.
I plan to introduce a paid plan at some point soon. That’s where I’d like your help. Would you mind picking an option from the poll below?
I’m always swirling with new ideas - but want to get some feedback before picking one.
Let me know - whether in the poll above, or on Twitter or email!
As various companies tighten budgets due to inflation/recession / economic downturn - things are beginning to get weird in the digital space.
Take Gitlabs for example.
GitLab plans to automatically delete projects if they've been inactive for a year and are owned by users of its free tier. The Register has learned that such projects account for up to a quarter of GitLab's hosting costs, and that the auto-deletion of projects could save the cloudy coding collaboration service up to $1 million a year. The policy has therefore been suggested to help GitLab's finances remain sustainable. (source)
Terrifying, isn’t it? That would be like Github, Codepen, or other repository of code deciding to just say “hey - we’re deleting stuff if it ain’t touched in a year.”
Geoff Huntley, an open-source advocate, and participant in the open .Net community, described the policy as “absolutely wild.” “Source code does not take up much disk space,” he told The Register. “For someone to delete all that code is destruction of the community. They are going to destroy their brand and goodwill." "People host their code there because there is this idea it will be available to the general public to reuse and remix," he added. "Of course there are no guarantees it will always be hosted there, but the unwritten rules in open source are that you make the code available and you don’t remove it." (source)
Think of all the small projects out there that add value to the internet ecosystem - that will probably disappear forever as a result of this change. Tiny bits of code that do fun / specific functions - that will cease to exist.
Open source code is a public internet good - like streets, parks, or water fountains at the park. You don’t get rid of them - or you back them up in a way that’s still accessible.
There’s been quite a bit of drama over HBO Max removing some of their originals too.
All six of the films were labeled as “Max Originals.” The removals were noted by users on Reddit in a discussion of the Warner Bros. decision to nix plans to release “Batgirl” — in theaters, on HBO Max or via any other platform. Meanwhile, the reboot of comedy classic “House Party,” from LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill, was previously slated to premiere July 28 on HBO Max but was scrubbed from the release calendar. Also, users on social media noticed that HBO original series “Vinyl,” which aired for one season on 2016, is no longer available on HBO Max, nor are limited series “Mrs. Fletcher,” Lena Dunham’s “Camping” or comedy-thriller “Run” starring Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson. (source)
Now this is where it gets weird. They’re Max Originals - soooooooo where are they now?
Unless they get picked up by another streaming service -or get added to the upcoming “Discovery+” service next year - they’re basically lost media.
I saw these two tweets - and this about sums it up.
This could be the decade in which we start seeing “lost digital media.” The only hope may be someone who backed it up illegally.
For example - only a rogue dev can save this alternative game engine “The Machinery.”
It was cancelled and ORDERED TO BE DELETED.
It’s a deeply unsettling possibility - one made more and more likely by moves by companies like Gitlab or HBO Max. The older I get - the more I realize that - if I find something that I really like that makes me laugh, or an obscure artist I really like - it may be a good idea to back it up digitally.
Digital archaeologists already exist - and there’s only going to be more of them as we get deeper into the technology revolution.
I recommend checking out this Twitter thread from Cultural Tutor for more ideas on this.
We’re gonna get creepy today folks!
Have you ever heard of Necrobotics?
It’s the practice of *hijacking and repurposing dead bugs.” (source)
Spiders are basically hydraulic (or pneumatic) grippers. Living spiders control their limbs by adjusting blood pressure on a limb-by-limb basis through an internal valve system . . . This, incidentally, is why spider legs all curl up when the spider shuffles off the mortal coil: There’s a lack of blood pressure to balance the force of the flexors. This means that actuating all eight limbs of a spider that has joined the choir invisible is relatively straightforward. Simply stab it in the middle of that valve system, inject some air, and poof, all of the legs inflate and straighten. (source)
Yeah . . . that’s as disturbing as it sounds.
TURN A DEAD SPIDER INTO A ROBOT.
The researchers discovered some interesting data regarding their dead spider bot.
It can lift 1.3 times its own weight, exert a peak gripping force of 0.35 millinewton, and can actuate at least 700 times before the limbs or the valve system start to degrade in any significant way. After 1,000 cycles, some cracks appear in the dead spider’s joins, likely because of dehydration. But the researchers think that by coating the spider in something like beeswax, they could likely forestall this breakdown a great deal. The demised-spider gripper is able to successfully pick up a variety of objects, likely because of a combination of the inherent compliance of the legs as well as hairlike microstructures on the legs that work kind of like a directional adhesive. (source)
It sounds as if the researchers are hoping that these dead spider bots can be used for important tasks that demand “biodegradable, eco-friendly on-demand actuation.“
Perhaps medical procedures?
Go check out more at the link!
🐙The Land of Random
Let’s Gettttttt Randommmmmmmm
A Tiny Pinball Machine
It’s so cute!
It’s Funk Time!
Future Funk is life.
The SNG Interactive Story
I really don’t know how to explain this one - You need to see it for yourself. It’s incredible. So much work went into this epic site.
This fun little site lets you post anything you want on this public wall. It’s an interesting idea!
Random Geocity Sites
Fancy visiting some random Geocity sites today? The nostalgia hits hard.
A fascinating Ask Reddit thread from a professional spammer - circa 2009.
New Winamp Version!
A new version of Winamp is out. Get out the tunes. :) It’s only been 4 years since the last one . . .
🎵TikToks You Can’t Miss
That’s a pretty based 4chan greentext
There’s one man that all bugs fear
Yeah - that’s absolutely true
The Land of Web3
Get Based is a Web3 platform that plans to build a NFT ecosystem and app. It’s VC backed - and they have a pretty ambition roadmap. It’s the only “serious” Solana NFT I own - and I look forward to how it develops. They rebranded their NFT’s from “Message Party” to the “MKRS” which will have 15 levels of rarity with each NFT. It’s an interesting twist - and I look forward to where it goes!
Pearson is considering making Textbook NFT’s to profit from secondary sales. DO IT AND SAVE ALL THE PAPER please. Colleges update textbooks just to make extra $$ all the time.
Crazy thread about that $190M Nomad Hack.
That’s all for this week! See you next time. :)