Got an email today from someone asking me to delete their data from Pinafore because they decided to stop using the app. Of course my response was: Pinafore only stores data in your browser; I have no control over it. 😊

I guess a lot of people are surprised by a website that actually acts like a pure client-side app? As in, doesn't really have any dependency on the server other than serving up static resources?

But then I also wonder if the flipside is true: do people tend to assume that "apps" are always pure clients, whereas "websites" always store data on a server somewhere? Because that's not the case – both platforms can store data on either the client or the server; there are no hard limits.

Show thread

I'm also constantly surprised by the faith that some people place in apps versus websites. On a website, I can pop open the Dev Tools, see what network requests it's making, inspect its storage, block it using an ad blocker, etc. With a mobile app these kinds of tools exist, but they're way less accessible to the average user.

I guess most of this faith comes from 1) the app store acting as a gatekeeper for trustability, and 2) the smoother, more polished experience inspiring confidence. Maybe?

Show thread

I also think there's a perverse effect here where someone can easily identify how many 3rd-party requests or other sneaky stuff any website is doing, so websites frequently get outed for it. So the web as a whole appears more suspicious, when its main fault is being an open platform.

But then again: do I have any idea what my native apps are doing while I'm sleeping? How how many times they're phoning home, and to whom? I did Android dev for years, and I honestly have no idea how to check this.

Show thread
Follow

@nolan I think this is an important point. People may not be aware how often their TVs and speakers are sending data to companies.

My top blocked domain on my pi-hole right now is to Sonos. How would I know that if I wasn't a) savvy enough to set up a pi-hole and b) privacy conscious enough to bother.

Whereas anyone running an ad blocker in their browser can see how much stuff is getting blocked.

@darth_mall Yeah, I have a Chromecast, and I was surprised to learn that it tries to bypass the Pi-Hole DNS and use Google's DNS instead. I had to actually block Google's DNS entirely in order to get it to switch. These devices really are black boxes for the most part.

@nolan yeesh. That's evil.

We just use the built-in apps on our TV. For a while, I think the top blocked domain was to Samsung, but we generally have music going more than the TV, so I'm not surprised that Sonos overtook it. 😁

Sign in to participate in the conversation
vis.social

vis.social is an open social platform for creative people, especially anyone in sciArt, data, visualization, creative coding, and related arts and research. English is the common language of the instance.