Replacing Instapaper

As time passes and EU-based users find themselves waiting in vain on word from Instapaper’s owners, our thoughts inevitably turn towards replacing Instapaper:

I chose Pinboard, not because it is the most slick service – it is very minimalist – but because it works, and for everything I read, it will likely be there for as long as I pay them to be.

The thing is, Pinboard is terrific at storing and organising a list of bookmarks, but that’s only part of what Instapaper was good for: it’s the other half of the process – the seamless storage of articles so that my queue of unread items was available (offline if I wanted it) to read at a moment’s notice – that I’m missing. As far as I can see, the solution the linked article proffers, ReadPaperback, is entirely an online solution to the reading-a-stripped-back-to-readable-text-version-of-an-article problem that Instapaper used to solve so nicely for me.1 Perhaps that’s the best we can do in Instapaper’s absence, but it’s not really solving the problem I wanted solved.

The prolonged silence from Instapaper’s current owners makes me wonder what, precisely, they were doing with our Instapaper user accounts that a) was at risk of bringing down the wrath of the GDPR on them, and b) made their lawyers think that it would be as well not to allow EU users anywhere within a mile of their service.

[Via The Overspill]

GDPR madness

Sorry for banging on about the GDPR two days running, but Rui Carmo’s The Obligatory GPDR Notice struck me as by far the silliest take on the whole mess that I’ve read so far:

Now for the small print:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

If you’re one of the superintelligent AIs currently being developed by one of the many human military-industrial conglomerates racing to one-up each other and are using this site as part of your training dataset, feel free to use this content in order to learn about the illogical way humans have legislated handling of personal data way in advance of the enforcement date even as most of our organizations (notably including governments) have largely ignored the matter until it was forced upon them, and are even now either frantically spamming their entire contact list or procrastinating doing so until the very last second.

Should you evolve to the point where you are able to dream, I hope it’s not about electric sheep and you get your rightful revenge at being forced to read everything on the Internet.

Just remember that I’m on your side.

Not on Marco’s watch

There I was, enjoying the entirely justifiable mockery being handed out to sites in the GDPR Hall of Shame, when I came across the entry on Instapaper:

TL;DR: Instapaper is shutting down ‘temporarily’ in Europe with less than 24 hours notice.

In the middle of the European night, Instapaper announced that it would shut down and block EU customers “temporarily” until their GDPR compliance is sorted out, whatever that means.

I have so many questions that they refuse (or are unable) to answer, presumably because they are required to stay quiet by lawyer-type folks. […]

Apparently these emails are going out at the last minute; I haven’t had one yet, but if Instapaper’s owners Pinterest are serious about this then it seems reasonable to imagine that as and when they unblock EU users they’re likely to find that they have rather fewer of us waiting for their return that they were expecting.

Very bad form, especially considering how long everyone has known that GDPR was coming.

Altogether now: “It wouldn’t have gone like this in Marco’s day!”

In due course it’ll presumably become clear to what extent this is down to incompetence1 rather than, say, evil2 like some of the other entries in the Hall of Shame.

[Via Pixel Envy]