AUTHOR: Kevin Costain

The art of reading slower

The act of reading about reading itself always holds a special interest for me. I love to hear others muse about it, and I love to write about it. This what brought me to The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time by David L. Ulin. The physical hardcover is small. For a hardcover at 4.7 inches by 7.28 inches, the book is very distinctive on a shelf (when you can see it back there). That’s probably what drew me to the book itself. And, for a book to be about books and reading, I’m interested. Buying this from my local indie book store was a bonus (support them!).

The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time

Goodreads really sucks. We book readers deserve much more.

Goodreads Recommendations

Hate for the book-tracking, Amazon-owned Goodreads is near-universal. Since Amazon purchased the tool on March 28, 2013, Goodreads has languished in a kind of purgatory that would have doubled over any Google moonshots (Google loves to shut down stuff). For all its pains, Goodreads is so frustrating because it has value. Any attempt to improve our experience as book readers has to transfer over this value to be a worthy replacement, but none have come along. Let me get into this a bit more though.

The age of lies and fake news

Source: Mikey on Flickr

Fibs, half-truths, lies and the liars that tell them. There’s now a clear sense in this 2020 U.S. election season that our reality is being shaped by those who craft false stories – what’s left is equally false outrage and more lies. I can’t really point to the moment all of this started, but technology plays a very large role in getting us here. We’re living in societies that move lies as fast as light travels across a fibre cable.

Book Review: The Crash Detectives

My thoughts on The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters – This is definitely not a book to read on a flight. I had just gotten to the runway on a one hour trip when picking up this book to continue post-chapter 1. That was a bad idea. I doubt a page was read before I locked it away tight in my carry-on bag. I nevertheless endured and finally finished the book., on I really enjoyed it actually.

4 stars of 5

How to gather email addresses from mail and other data to create a list

"email" by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A disclaimer, you shouldn’t just add people to a newsletter list indiscriminately. You should endeavour to get them to opt-in in every way possible. Another other option sucks. While what I describe is a bit of a special case, all the addresses that I extracted were used to solicit opt-ins.

Right, so my problem here was that a client asked needed to extract data from a few disparate sources and build a clean, usable list of email addresses. Certainly, no small feat since some of this was going to have to come out of an email account itself. I wasn’t even going to benefit from working from contacts either – addresses had to come from the messages themselves. I’m going to describe what I did to get there.

Also, this only relates to work with data locally. This does not describe scraping email addresses off web sites, etc. That may be another challenge for another day.

10 Books I Loved in 2019

My list for last year was rather short at only three books, but I’ve managed to expand my reading. Reading is something I do as much as I can. That can be difficult at times. If I’m not reading every day, things feel off. I try to sneak a couple of pages of reading in line at the supermarket.

Lists around this time can be a gift because it gives us readers ideas about or next book. Here are the books I’ve enjoyed this year in no particular order.

How to watch for Kijiji scams with a critical eye

Could scammers be working out of this location?

While posting a product online, I came across a well-developed scam. When I saw it, I wanted to humour the bad guys and see what information I might glean from the process. This is not something you should do, but the details I’ve gathered can help you look at these scams with a more critical eye to avoiding them. Scam watching is more important today given how sophisticated they can be.