The Newsletter Leaf Journal XCIII
Welcome to the 93rd edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. While I only published three new full-length articles in the last week, I did publish a good number of leaflets and revamped our on-site blogroll section. To make up for the small amount of new content, I have a great list of recommended content from around the web and other news and notes for you in this issue of our weekly newsletter. Without further ado, let us move on to the content.
Table of Contents
- Leaves From The Week That Was
- Leaves From Around The Web
- The Old Leaf Journal
- Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
- Notable Leaf Journal
- News Leaf Journal
- Taking Leaf
1. Leaves From The Week That Was
I published three regular articles since I mailed the previous newsletter...
- Dialogue: Alpacas, Virus Cures, and Paca Plus | N.A. Ferrell | July 16, 2022 | Summary: A story about alpacas possibly holding the cure for a certain virus inspired me to write a Justin and Justina dialogue that touches on the important alpaca-immunity news and an alpaca-themed visual novel from 2010.
- The Robin Never Pecks Twice at a Cherry | N.A. Ferrell | July 19, 2022 | Summary: Re-printing a fun Margaret Sangster poem from 1881.
- The Many Deaths and Rebirths of RSS | N.A. Ferrell | July 22, 2022 | Summary: Wherein I suggest that the debate over the life status of RSS is the true keyboard warrior version of the debates that sports fan keyboard warriors love and cherish.
Things were a bit busier on the Leaflet side of things last week. I published nine new Leaflets, listed and very briefly summarized below.
- Victor V. Gurbo's "Julia & John #2": Our own Victor V. Gurbo posted another live recording to YouTube.
- Manjaro Stable Updates RSS Feed: A post for fellow Manjaro Linux users.
- Japanese Student Suspended For Eyebrow Grooming: My third piece (see first and second) on dress code stories from Japanese schools.
- Against Snapchat on the Web: You will be shocked to know that I am not a Snap-chatter.
- Unpersuasive Arguments Against Remote Work: New York City's Mayor attempts to meet remote workers where they are not.
- Let's Look at the Gibiru Search Engine: I was less than impressed.
- Thoughts on New Anime Take From Japan: I have found over the years that the anime I watch is often not what is most popular in Japan - but one article suggests that this may not be the case for the current season.
- Upgrading to Thunderbird 102: I decided to jump the gun and update my email client on Manjaro.
- Neuters - A Privacy Redirect For Reuters: What ProxiTok is to TikTok, Neuters (sort of) is to Reuters (I dare suggest Neuters may be of more interest to much of our audience than ProxiTok).
2. Leaves From Around The Web
I spent part of this week reorganizing my feed collection and creating a new reading workflow (or reading-flow), so I would have no excuse if I provided newsletter subscribers with a substandard slate of links from around the web...
- Owner closes 115-year-old 'soba' shop because his kids are allergic | The Asahi Shimbun | July 23, 2022 | Summary: Of all the all the allergies that the son and daughter of a soba shop owner could have...
- The Truth About Madison and Slavery | Jonathan Turley on his Blog | July 22, 2022 | Summary: A Madison scholar with a well-reasoned take on the controversy surrounding the current management of Montpelier.
- Against Restaurant QR Codes | Jordan McGillis for City Journal | July 22, 2022 | Thoughts: I agree with the conclusion... but not with all of the sentimentality the author took to get there.
- Cricket Wireless, AT&T and Planned Obsolescence | Sumit Khanna at Battle Penguin | Thoughts: I agree fully with Mr. Khanna's take on attempts to obsolete old phones, and note that I use a small provider (Tello) which piggybacks off T-Mobile's network.
- Baidu crashes the cost of robo-taxis by 75 percent | Simon Sharwood for The Register | July 21, 2022 | Thoughts: Baidu is sort of the Google of China - I think I may pass on the Baidu robo-taxi rides around Shanghai.
- Elected official in Japan wants a legal framework for preserving games and keeping them playable | Nick Mosier for Automation West (translating Japanese article by Aki Nogishi) | July 14, 2022 | Story: Ken Akamatsu, a manga artist (known for Love Hina) turned Member of the Japanese House of Councilors-elect (taking office next week), has put together a team of experts to study the issue of video game preservation. Thoughts: This is a worthy project but I am having some difficulty processing that the author of Love Hina is about to be an elected official.
- Magnus Carlsen to give up World Championship title | Colin McGourty for Chess24 | July 20, 2022 | Story: Magnus Carlsen, the top-ranked chess player in the world continuously since July 2011 and the World Champion since 2013, is vacating his World Championship title, but not stepping back from championship chess.
- Being a Better Photographer | John DeFeo on his website | January 11, 2021 | Quote: "It took 25 years of trial and error for me to be able to take good photographs consistently. And while I'll never claim to be a great photographer, I've taken some photos that I'm quite proud of. Here are the most valuable lessons that I've learned along the way."
- UK Government Warns It 'Will Not Hesitate To Consider Legislation' Against Loot Boxes | Jim Norman for Nintendo Life | July 17, 2022 | Thoughts: Separate and apart from the question of legislation - "loot boxes" (buying items in video games with in-game transactions) is a plague on video games and should disappear for aesthetic purposes (the UK government is not necessarily wrong in a broad sense about loot boxes and kids, however).
3. The Old Leaf Journal
While I did not publish many full-length articles last week, we do have more than 600 articles in our archive...
- On Nintendo's Pro-User Cartridge-First Strategy | N.A. Ferrell | March 21, 2022 | Thoughts: While this is not an old article, it follows from a couple of my Around the Web picks.
- How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes | N.A. Ferrell | June 19, 2021 | Thoughts: Since it is not a perennial entrant in our weekly top fives at the moment, I can feature my Substack-RSS post since it fits in with many of my other articles from the last two weeks.
- Justin & Justina 〜 Hot is a State of Mind (and Other States of Mind) | N.A. Ferrell | June 10, 2021 | Thoughts: Tips to help everyone get through the rest of July and August.
- Reviewing Bob Dylan's "Shadow Kingdom" Stream | Victor V. Gurbo | July 19, 2021 | Thoughts: Revisit Victor's contemporaneous review of Bob Dylan's first online performance event one year after it happened.
4. Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed on site. The week of July 16-22 was the 29th Newsletter Week of 2022.
|1||Fediverse Clone Wars and Decentralized Social Media||NAF||7.12.22||1 (1)|
|2||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||29 (19)|
|3||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.27.21||29 (7)|
|4||The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis||NAF||1.18.22||2|
|5||A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok Frontend||NAF||5.14.22||2|
For the second consecutive week, we have an article debuting at number one in the top five ranking, and it is unsurprisingly owed in part to a Hacker News share. However, my new article on the Fediverse and decentralized social media did not make page 1 of Hacker News, so its performance was far more modest than the previous week's number one, and it is in fact the lowest number of page views for any weekly top-ranked article in 2022. However, our overall performance on the week was fairly strong owed to the fact that many articles performed well to more than make up for the unusually weak weeks of my tsuki ga kirei article and F-Droid app review, both of which continued their streaks of appearing in every weekly top-five in 2022.
Other than the surprising top article of the week, our ranking produced no major surprises. I will note that the two articles published before and after my Fediverse article were also shared on Hacker News, but they did not sustain their visitor numbers after an initial jolt and came in at sixth and seventh respectively on the week. I will note that it appears that articles published in 2022 are beginning to feature more in our rankings. As of the end of July 22, six of the top-twelve most-viewed articles of July were published in 2022 (albeit, only eight out of the top-25).
5. Notable Leaf Journal
I will use today's Notable Leaf Journal section to preview a future article topic. I note the existence of "Kill the Newsletter!" - a free and open source service to convert newsletters into ATOM feeds. The steps for using the hosted version, which is also free as in free of cost, are as follows (note that it can be self-hosted):
- Create a name for the newsletter feed and hit enter
- Sign up for the newsletter using the email address provided by Kill the Newsletter!
- Add the atom feed generated by Kill the Newsletter! to your preferred feed reading solution
Kill the Newsletter! provides two benefits for those who use feed readers to read content. Firstly, it allows people to receive newsletters in their feed readers instead of inboxes. Secondly, for those who do not have a designated inbox for newsletters and marketing or those who do not use email aliases, it preserves privacy by preventing them from having to use their primary email address to subscribe to newsletters.
Do note that it does not seem to work everywhere. One newsletter I tried did not accept the Kill the Newsletter email. Also note that some newsletters offer RSS/ATOM feeds, which is always the best option for feed-subscriptions if they are available. For example, this very newsletter offers an RSS feed. All Substack newsletters offer feeds by default.
For those who wish to go the other direction (subscribe to feeds as newsletters), there are a number of options. Cortado is a free feed-to-newsletter service, Blogtrottr offers a freemium solution, and Mailbrew is a fully paid service.
6. News Leaf Journal
I am working on improving and organizing our on-site Blogroll. To that effect, I am now sorting resources and links by category, ensuring that we are presenting the best versions of feeds, and I added a table of contents. As of July 23, 2022, it is not quite ready for prime time, but I am continuing to improve it.
7. Taking Leaf
Thank you for joining us for another edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not signed up already, you can sign up to this newsletter via email or RSS feed. I also syndicate the newsletter to my blog on Bearblog along with other New Leaf Journal content.
Until next week (when I hope to have more full-length content to share),
Cura ut valeas.
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