Weekend Thoughts - 2.20.16

Image  by  Marco Abis , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Marco Abis, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. A psychedelic multimedia artist friend of mine, Psychedelic Astronaut, pointed out an amazing collection of dangerously beautiful poisonous mushroom photos that you simply have to check out. While you're at it, check out his site too! He has a great selection of music and artwork, some of which has even been printed on t-shirts, tapestries, and iPhone cases

2. The Wall Street Journal has published a searchable database of classified email messages that presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton kept on an illegal, unsecured, private server which she used to conduct all of her official business while Secretary of State. If you would like to dive deeper into the topic, feel free!

3. I just wanted to share that as of this week, the United States government has begun enlisting the help of U.S. Marshals to arrest people for unpaid student loans

4. Earlier this week, Apple's CEO Tim Cook wrote an extremely important open letter to the company's customers regarding the FBI's insistence that Apple develop a backdoor for its software, which would remove the security features that protect us all from increasing levels of attempted surveillance. Regardless of how you feel about Apple as a company, I would like to encourage you to take the time to read the letter and share it with your network. Ben Thompson at Stratechery has an excellent summarization of the situation and clarifies the surveillance issues being disputed in this case.

5. In other Apple-related news, WIRED published a thought-provoking article on the recent adoption in the U.S. of chip-and-pin credit cards and how services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay may be the perfect solution to the terribly slow, loud, and less secure chip-and-pin readers currently in use at retail locations around the country. As someone who uses Apple Pay whenever it is available, I highly recommend trying these new payment options. They are easy and more secure than physical credit cards, whether they are using the modern chip-and-pin technology or not.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.