August 22, 2019

Instant Coffee That Tastes Good

Oliver Strand on Issue No. 5 of my current favorite coffee newsletter The Filter:

 […] but instant coffee is getting good now that good roasters are getting into instant coffee.

This is while testing Verve Coffee, but he also mentions Swift Cup Coffee and Voilà instant coffee.

I’ve wanted to try these fancy instant coffee’s since hearing about them from Marco Arment on #ATP. Now that I’m going on a Disney trip with the whole family, seems like a good time.

snippets
August 19, 2019

On the Contents Page and Pages of Content

Receiving a Wired Magazine in the late 90’s provided with hours of restrained entertainment. Starting with the ritual inspecting every page from start to finish — regardless of the article from the cover that had piqued my interest.

Physical magazines have an index, but its UX doesn’t require you to choose an article to get started. The experience invites browsing.

This mindset is missing from the a la carte on-demand infinite availability nowadays. Even when casually reading newsletters, I get an urge to unsubscribe to most of them because many weren’t exactly what I wanted to read at that moment — which is a weird anxiety for something that is not work.

By just switching view modes — from an inbox overview to advancing from within each newsletter to the next — I felt the anxiety of the paradox of choice melt away, and enjoyment of fun time wasting reappear.

Recent tidbits

  • Apparently Apple Arcade will be $4.99 monthly with family sharing. Sounds like a great price.
  • Disney+ will available on all platforms except Amazon. A family meeting will decide if we replace Netflix with this.
  • Also rumored/leaked is Apple TV+ $9.99 Price. This will be wait-and-see for me.
  • The Matrix 4, or a movie in that universe is happing. So excited. What can I see, other than the sequels1, I enjoy Wachowski’s movies.
  • Apple Card is now available in the U.S. Applied, wasn’t instantly accepted. Uh oh.
  • Chromium Edge is in beta release. Not bad, but in good with Brave for now — sorry Opera.

  1. In later viewings I’ve come to like the sequels by themselves. It’s in the context of the original that my expectations went wild.

August 19, 2019

Tidbits for 2019 Week 33

  • The Cloudflare public offering is very appealing. Revenue, growth and strong product.
  • The Lexend fonts are intended to help improve reading speed now available in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Not sure I’d like to read with it, but it’s good to have.
  • Gist Press lets you press gists into a friendly article format. Always go down a rabbit hole with things like this, and I don’t regret it.
  • about:blank is a paid app that blocks websites in safari for iOS and macOS. Similar in spirit to the open source Lockdown. I’m weak, need some sort of time setting to go and use this.
  • IKEA creates business unit just for smart-home products. Not surprising, but good signaling that the category is about to hit the early majority.
tidbits
August 18, 2019

Sonos’ portable smart speaker leaks in greater detail

Jon Fingas, on engadget.com:

Known as the Sonos Move, it won’t be just a slightly squashed Sonos One with a battery. There looks to be a recessed grip to help you tote the speaker from place to place, and that’s where you’ll also find the previously rumored toggle between Bluetooth (portable) and WiFi (home) connections.

Been holding up on expanding my Sonos Play: 1, and if this is around $200, very likely will get one.

snippets
August 16, 2019

Inc.com’s Clickbait is Shameful

I really cannot believe a reputable online publication with a print magazine allows things like these to happen. Here is the headline:

Barnes and Noble’s New CEO Just Revealed a Brilliant Plan to Save the Company

And then a few paragraph’s in you get this nugget (emphasis mine):

Here are three brilliantly successful methods Daunt used in the past that he could very possibly employ at Barnes and Noble

WTF? How did this get pass an editor? How isn’t this just plain lying?

The sad part is that it’s a good informative article, if framed correctly as a thought piece given Daunt’s past work.

snippets
August 16, 2019

Why Pen + Paper are good for you

Om Malik, writing on his blog:

Even though I love technology and incessantly download productivity apps, I still am a paper-and-pen guy.

I know he’s right. But just like number crunching became easier with spreadsheets, many pen and paper interactions benefit from the digital upgrade. It’s also true that for a long time the disparity of the digital tools from simple pen and paper made it a hard sell.

Personally, my pathetic drawing and handwriting abilities are enhanced by their digital equivalent. Which makes me use them more, which overall adds more value because I take more notes. The virtues cycle aligns with my geekness.

That said, if somebody paid me $700 to use pen and paper for my notes instead of an iPad… I’d be hard press to justify the benefits.

snippets
August 15, 2019

Google Forcing Nest Cameras Visual Indicator Light To Be On

Nest email earlier this week:

You will be able to dim the light on your camera, but it will always be on when the camera is on. We’re doing this to make sure you, and those around your camera, are aware when the camera is on and recording.

Not happy with this. I use a Nest Cam on each of my kids bedroom — rest of the house is covered with Wyze cams.

The upgrade” applied automatically today and it’s bothersome. A green light on a very conspicuous place, as any (non creepy) camera should be. Since a clear line of sight to the whole room is the obvious place for it.

I always know that my camera is on. That’s the point. Just like if I see a camera, I assume it’s recording, why wouldn’t it be? I get the AirBnB angle, but those are sensational headline grabbers compared to the regular use case.

How’s this different from MacBook’s green light? Because it’s a single use device. It’s a camera. At least on the Mac Apple argues the camera can’t be used without the light being on because hardware. Here’s the other way around… we know the light can be off while recording, how long before someone sharpies over it and now there’s uncertainty?

It’s great that privacy is taking a front seat again. But this sounds like a dumb move to cover up for other real privacy concerns. At least in my case, it’ll mean I won’t be buying any more Nest cameras.

snippets
August 13, 2019

Wordpress Founder on Tumblr Acquisition

Matt Mullenweg, writing on his photomatt.tumblr.com blog:

When the possibility to join forces became concrete, it felt like a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have two beloved platforms work alongside each other to build a better, more open, more inclusive — and, frankly, more fun web. I knew we had to do it.

I love this, and truly believe the open web is a big part of this.

In the underlying technology of our platforms, I think there are some good opportunities to standardize on the Open Source WordPress tech stack, but the front-end user experience on Tumblr will evolve on its own path.

Expected and good news. My guess is that Tumblr has not been working on mayor back end stuff the past few years, and somehow standardizing on the Wordpress stack makes a lot of sense.

snippets
August 13, 2019
Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)
(★★★★☆)

Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is a self-contained kind of sequel. It helps if you read the first book, but you don’t have to remember any specific details to understand Children of Ruin.

Overall Tchaikovsky continues to provide the most classical sci-fi book feeling I’ve in recent years. The themes are big and he doesn’t shy away ideas that slow things down while they’re described — not explained.

These slow parts mostly pay off, because they are not there to make you study a topic 1, but rather it’s as if Tchaikovsky has more experience than you on the subject, but he’s as baffled as you of how alien the concept is. Which makes perfect sense in a future universe where aliens are present.

While I did stayed up a few nights with Children of Ruin, I enjoyed Children of Time more. However, they’re both excellent and if you liked the first one, this is a worthy read.


  1. Unlike with Neal Stephenson long tangents.

August 12, 2019

Verizon to Sell Tumblr to Automattic

Sarah Krouse on wsj.com:

Mr. Mullenweg said his company intends to maintain the existing policy that bans adult content. He said he has long been a Tumblr user and sees the site as complementary to WordPress.com. It’s just fun,” he said of Tumblr. We’re not going to change any of that.”

Great news. I never used Tumblr as a social network, but it was my blog engine for a long time and I enjoyed using it. Anything that promotes people posting under their own domain is good for the web.

Automattic also has a good history of not messing with acquisitions, like Simplenote.

Update: Ursula Perano and Dan Primack on axios.com:

A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag well below” $20 million, while another source puts it below $10 million.

Now that’s a markdown, given that Yahoo paid $1.1 billion in 2013.

snippets
August 9, 2019

Tidbits for 2019 Week 32

  • Journey is our for iOS. I’ve heard so much aviut this game for the years that I might just try it.
tidbits
August 7, 2019

GORUCKs Moving Most of its Manufacturing Offshore

carryology.com:

[…] GORUCK are introducing a big change. They’re moving the majority (but not all) of their bag manufacturing overseas to Vietnam.

Huge news for us fans of the brand. They have a ver long post on their blog The State of GORUCK 2019: Elite, not Elitist - which is understandably detailed.

It’ll be a challenge for a company built on made on the USA by former-Marines to go overseas, but I’m sure they will maintain the quality, and they have great products.


For the record I’ve had a GR2 and a GR1 for 8 and 7 years respectively. Just this year I sent the GR1 for minor repairs, since it has been on and off my everyday bag, and always my travel carry-on.

snippets
August 6, 2019

Buying Smartphones in Venezuela

Arol Wright, writing for xda-developers.com:

Phones have become essential tools, and in a country where you can’t really afford to upgrade your phone every two years, you’ll find yourself squeezing out the full capabilities of whatever phone you’re currently using for as long as possible. Often, this requires switching to a custom ROM like LineageOS in order to extend the lifespan of a device, which is exactly what a big number of Venezuelans are doing.

Sad read, but interesting to hear about geekery always finding a way.

snippets
August 5, 2019

Sources Say Apple Will Provide Special iPhones For Hackers To Test And Offer Mac Bug Bounty

Thomas Brewster on forbes.com:

For instance, it should be possible to probe pieces of the Apple operating system that aren’t easily accessible on a commercial iPhone. In particular, the special devices could allow hackers to stop the processor and inspect memory for vulnerabilities.

Great news. It’s better for everyone if hackers at least get a bounty from Apple rather than be tempted and sell the exploits.

On an unrelated note, first Forbes Apple story in ages that is not a clickbait. I literally almost didn’t visit the page when I noticed the source — that’s how much their reputation has fallen in my eyes.

snippets