October 5, 2022

Hyperkey.app is Now Free

hyperkey.app:

Convert the caps lock key or any modifier keys to the hyper key, all four modifiers combined: ⌃⌥⌘⇧

Ryan Hanson on reddit:

[…] I’ve decided to make my single-purpose hyper key remapping app, Hyperkey, free! For everyone that purchased it in the past, thank you for your support! You can obtain a coupon code for my pro” version, called Superkey, from within Hyperkey if you purchased it

On Superkey:

Superkey has all of Hyperkey, and its main feature is called Seek, where you can type in a search bar and it will use OCR to scan the screen for matches. You can select a match and use the keyboard to click (or right click, double click, middle click, etc). Personally, I remap caps lock to Seek and make it so it clicks when I release caps lock. This makes using Seek feel quick like executing a keyboard shortcut.

There’s a lot of power there, but I’m still wrapping my mind around it.

I wrote about Hyperkey before, and it changed how I used my Mac. I started using Karabiner last year because of a weird bug with my Bluetooth keyboard. But the simplicity of Hyperkey is unmatched. Highly recommended, specially now that it’s free.

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Recent tidbits

  • Ask Command: Mac app which runs terminal commands questions thru Open AIs GPT-3 before suggesting a command.
  • Tot Mini: Tot app now has an Apple watch version.
  • Quick Launch: Yet another iOS lock screen launch app — but free and from a great developer.
  • Soro: Shortcuts for Sonos.
September 28, 2022

Amazon Kindle Scribe

press.aboutamazon.com:

Kindle Scribe features the world’s first 10.2-inch, 300 pixels per inch (ppi), Paperwhite display, and an included pen that never needs charging. The premium, front-lit, and glare-free display feels like reading and writing on paper, with crisp text and ample space for larger fonts, images, charts, and documents. Designed for reading and notetaking in millions of books, adding notes to documents, journaling, and more, Kindle Scribe is available for preorder today from just $339 and will ship later this year.

Will like to take some fake credit by calling this before the event and the leaks.

Other than the screen, hardware-wise it doesn’t seem too impressive. It’s thicker than the RM2, and a bit heavier. The design is similar to the Kindle Oasis, which is functional, but not particularly pretty.

Two things it has going for it are: screen and Kindle books.

The screen is hi-dpi and backlit. Both things that leave the RM2 behind. However, im curious on the latency. The promotion videos seem to show some lag, but that could be my imagination.

The Kindle ecosystem is a very nice plus. At least it makes it easier to justify the device for many.

Looking forward to the reviews.

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September 27, 2022

Changes to reMarkable Connect

From remarkable.com:

Our new approach is simple: Everything that happens on the paper tablet, comes with the paper tablet. Integrating with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, converting handwritten notes into text, sending your notes by email, and presenting your ideas on the big screen — it’s all included when you buy a reMarkable.
[…]
Connect, as the name suggests, gives you full access to cloud functionality beyond the paper tablet.

Most previously paid Connect features are now free, and new paid plan is $2.99/mo. (down from $7.99/mo.). The Connect plan boasts:

[…] notes will always be stored safely in the reMarkable cloud and instantly accessible from other smart devices using reMarkable’s desktop and mobile apps. Subscribers will also receive exclusive offers in the reMarkable webshop and additional peace of mind with a reMarkable 2 Protection Plan.

I had voted with my wallet and cancelled with Connect account after just a couple of months. With this change I resubscribed on Sunday. Excited to see where this goes. I do hope this is part of the coherent plan and not a desperate attempt to grow their services cashflow.

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September 22, 2022

Whisper Speech Recognition from OpenAI

From openai.com:

We’ve trained and are open-sourcing a neural net called Whisper that approaches human level robustness and accuracy on English speech recognition.
[…]
Whisper is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system trained on 680,000 hours of multilingual and multitask supervised data collected from the web.

Looks amazing. The fact that it has multilingual data makes it specially interesting — at least for those of us that speak with an accent.

Applications for automatic speech recognition (ASR) go way beyond than dictation. But I think the UX of Voice/Keyboard/Pen input still lacks. There’s no mouse pointer” equivalent — yet?.

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September 21, 2022

Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition

frame.work:

The Chromebook Edition is available for pre-order in the US and Canada today starting at $999 USD, with first shipments starting in early December.
[…]
The Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition is built with the Titan C security chip and receives automatic updates for up to eight years, all to keep your Chromebook fast and secure.

Fun. The pricing is crazy when you compare it with the M1 MacBook Air — but if you’re into Chrome OS, seems like the best/coolest option after Google giving up on the Pixelbook.

I’ve always had a soft-spot for Chrome OS. Sadly, it has never reached its full potential imho.

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September 21, 2022

Spotify Launches Audiobooks in the US

Nir Zicherman on medium.com:

Today (September 20, 2022), we at Spotify are launching audiobooks. For the first time ever, any Spotify user in the United States can discover their next great read in our catalog of 300,000+ books, buy it, and listen to it across any Spotify-enabled device.

Not crazy about yet-another-not-music-content in Spotify — my music app. But at least they’re not throwing it in our face like Podcasts. Price wise, the appears competitive vs Audible, but I still found books cheaper (and DRM free) in Downpour.

Still, Audiobook competition against Amazon/Audible is good news for everyone.

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September 20, 2022

Dynamic Island and iPhone 15

Ross Young on twitter.com:

Yes, Dynamic Island expected on standard models on the 15. Still not expecting 120Hz/LTPO on standard models as supply chain can’t support it.

If true, great news. I would have thought it would remain an iPhone Pro feature for a while.

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September 19, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 38

  • Speedy: link to contacts from Lock Screen with WhatsApp support.
  • Link HUB: launch links on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
  • HabitBoard: simple and flexible habit tracker for iOS.
  • LockFlow: free app to run shortcuts in the Lock Screen and Home Screen
  • Mango Baby: Newborn Tracker with Siri Shortcuts.
  • LineupSupply: iOS app to create playlists from music festival posters.
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September 16, 2022

DeDRM Tools for Calibre 6

github.com/noDRM/DeDRM_tools:

This is a fork of Apprentice Harper’s version of the DeDRM tools. Apprentice Harper said that the original version of the plugin is no longer maintained, so I’ve taken over, merged a bunch of open PRs, and added a ton more features and bugfixes.

If you update to Calibre 6.x — which has M1 support - the old DeDRM don’t work anymore. If you buy books from Amazon, but prefer to save them as ePubs to read in Apple Books, this is the way.

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September 16, 2022

5 Word Review of Apple September 2022 Event

  • Apple Watch SE: Almost, but no always-on screen.
  • Apple Watch 8: Will upgrade to S7 then.
  • Apple Watch Ultra: Not as expensive as expected.
  • AirPod Pro: Noise cancelling with lanyard loop.
  • iPhone 14: Better camera, but too big.
  • iPhone 14 Plus: Killed the mini for this?
  • iPhone 14 Pro: The Pro is geek again.
September 15, 2022

Adobe to Acquire Figma

news.adobe.com:

Today, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Figma, a leading web-first collaborative design platform, for approximately $20 billion in cash and stock. The combination of Adobe and Figma will usher in a new era of collaborative creativity.

Makes sense. The multiple of Figma’s revenue says something about how serious Adobe saw the threat. It will likely set a new level of expectations for future acquisitions, but that’s a problem for another day.

On an unrelated note, I couldn’t find Virtual Ubiquity’s purchase on Adobe’s news website — because it only goes back to 2009. Seems I’m old now.

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August 29, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 35

  • Teapodo: Lightweight Audio Editor for Mac and Windows.
  • Until App: Track upcoming events with Widgets on iOS and WatchOS.
  • Quick Capture: minimal not taking iOS app with keyboard, dictate and camera inputs.
  • Cheqmark: online checklist maker that exports to PDF.
  • Montaigne: Build a website, blog, or portfolio using Apple Notes. Keeping an eye on this one.
  • Reorder It!: for reordening a contact numbers in iOS.
  • Airshow: Feedbin’s iOS Podcast client now has CarPlay.
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July 18, 2022

Using Linkify Obsidian Plugin to Reference Github Issues

Today I did a quick setting to easily link my Obsidian notes to github issues in multiple repos. I’m using the linkify plugin:

This plugin converts text into links based on regular expressions. The regular expressions and link destinations are configurable on the Options page for the plugin.

Setup is ver easy, just added the following regex:

gi:([-_a-zA-Z0-9]+)#(\d+)

And the URL: https://github.com/YourOrg/$1/issues/$2

A now, when I write the following nomenclature: gi:RepoName#issueNumber , i.e. gi:sre#123 will open as: https://github.com/yourORG/sre/issues/123

Very usefull for the daily note, or weekly note when issue numbers are mentioned and want to follow-up later.

July 15, 2022

Complementary Compromise Habits

For me, it’s a struggle to create a habit. Over the past year I’ve focussed on the design and logging aspect, but no real improvement. Or at least no new strong habits.

A new experiment is showing promise: Complementary Compromise Habits, or ComCom Habits. In reality, this is not new. My most successful acquired habit in adulthood as been daily journaling. And the way I accidentally achieved it was by continuously failing to meditate.

Every night when I had to choose to either goi the living room to meditate or just go to bed and write something… and for whatever reason, journaling won. Now, I’m not able to fall asleep without writing something. A real habit.

While I’m still remixing my current batch of habits, but here’s my current working version:

Habit A Habit B
Make Sentences Read Paragraphs
Challenge Heartbeat No Sugar
Happy Childhood Real Playmate
Dinner Fasting Offline Pillow
Time with Your Self Solvitur Ambulando
Be Present Mind the Joy

Each set are both a complementary and a compromise habit between each other — ComCom’s. Which also provides a bigger/easier objective, without increasing the habit list. Which usually leads to dissapointment when you miss too many in a day.

Let’s see if I report back on the compliance of these in a few months. Or, more likely, if a year later I come back with another scheme as disguised excuse for not achieving the previous few attempts.

July 1, 2022

Stage Manager Origin Story

Cricket, on techreflect.net:

Although they look visually similar, the Stage Manager interface is definitely much more refined and compact. Part of that is because shrinkydink pre-dated retina displays, so there was only so much shrinking you could do before it just looked awful (or more awful). Without the green-light, it never got sufficient attention from the Human Interface team.

Post was deleted, here’s the internet archive version. It does make appreciate the feature more knowing it’s been around as a concept for a few years.

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July 1, 2022

MacSparky Initial Thoughts on Stage Manager

David Sparks on macsparky.com:

In my initial testing, Stage Manager feels like the best window management system Apple has ever put on the iPad and perhaps the most accessible window management system Apple has ever proposed on the Mac. The trick is holding everything to that one screen.

I don’t really miss multitasking on the iPad — nor do I have one that can run Stage Manager. But on the Mac — I’m continuously on the lookup, and Stage Manager looks workable.

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June 29, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 26

  • InventoryWatch: macOS app what monitors Apple Store inventory and notifies when model comes in-stock. This is going to be useful.
  • Knotend: fast keyboard-first flowchart editor with collaboration.
  • Like like: wandering through Twitter via likes. Fun.
  • WorldWideWeb: lightweight, simple and free web server for Mac’s.
  • Octave: learn and practice sheet music.
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June 9, 2022

Speculations on the Rest of the M2 Cycle

Howard Oakley, on eclecticlight.co:

Later this year, we should expect M2 Mac minis and iMacs, most probably around October-November. It looks unlikely that the Pro and Max versions of the M2 will be available in production quantities this year, but might be released in 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros as early as late Spring 2023. That leaves the high-end Studio with its M2 Ultra for July or September 2023 at the earliest, and possibly as late as November, ready for the M3 to be announced at WWDC in June 2024.

Best informed speculations you’ll likely find. I’m using it to manage my expectations.

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June 6, 2022

5 Wishlist Items for WWDC 2022

With about an hour to go till the keynote, here’s my wishlist.

  • macOS:
    • a Sherlocked version of all Windows Management app with a proper Apple spin.
    • usable notifications. Or revert to pre 10.11 version.
  • iOS/iPadOS:
    • multiple clipboard support and/or API.
    • API for personal automations Shortcuts running in the background.
    • Spotlight plugins to enable Alfred/Raycast style functionality.
June 1, 2022

Setting Up Camp on the Viewing Spot

Once you reach the hilltop, the waterfall, the panoramic cliff — You don’t set up camp exactly there. You retreat to the closest protected spot. Even on the most pristine beach, you’d likely take a few steps away from the shore — just in case.

The rush of the best view possible is amazing, but for our down-time we seek shelter. A few steps from marvel x” is a perfectly acceptable compromise in any hotel description. Few complain that their room is not on the ancient ruins.

Even if the special location doesn’t hold any danger, a separation is a feature. The mundane parts of our routine can spoil the amazingness of the spot. We can’t snap to a mindfulness state in a second, but a few minutes of arrival time help us transition.

I think the same things applies to our daily lives, the connecting stuff between the high-points are required. Not only to reach the hilltops, but also to be able to appreciate it once I’m there.

May 31, 2022

Tools, Toys and Distractions

Sometimes you do something just to try a tool. Nothing wrong with this. It’s your craft, practicing it for the sake of practice is valid.

But once you get started down this path, there seems to be multiple destinations:

  • Pushing the tool to explore all of its possibilities feels like art.
  • Using the tool because it’s fun, seems like procrastination.
  • Testing the tool to see how it improves your workflow

The truth probably lies in a combination of the above, but my conscience will always lean the productivity angle.

Which is never going to be one you remember when you look back. Those great stories on your deathbed are unlikely to celebrate an optimized process, versus a colossal chaos that ensued after you overdid something.

Still, better to be somewhere in the above matrix, that not even play.

May 30, 2022

Arc Browser Teased

Austin Carr, on bloomberg.com:

A grid of buttons pointing toward favorite destinations remains glued to the top of the panel. Each of these services operates more like a desktop app than a web page. Clicking the Gmail icon will take the user back to a single, original Gmail inbox, rather than reloading gmail.com in tab after tab. Hovering the mouse over a Google Calendar button will surface a tiny panel of upcoming appointments. Spotify comes with an embedded player to shuffle through songs. Any tabs opened throughout the day appear at the bottom of the panel and—this can take some getting used to—are automatically set to close and archive in 12 hours.

Article has the first clear screenshot of the Arc browser. I really like how it looks. Went back to using Vivaldi with side tabs as I eagerly wait for my invite.

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May 30, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 22

  • Tweet Sweeper: delete old tweets with multiple options. I use TweetDelete, but this has a nicer interface and set of options.
  • FinderFix: open every new window in the exact same position and size you want it to.
  • Music MiniPlayer: replica of the classic iTunes MiniPlayer for Apple Music on macOS.
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May 26, 2022

USV - Unicode Separated Values

Joel Parker Henderson, on github.com:

You want your data content to be able to contain commas, or tabs, or newlines. You want your data content to be able to use data groups, or database tables, or spreadsheet grids. You want your data format to be able to use data files, or database schemas, or spreadsheet folios. You want a consistent compatible standardard format, which CSV doesn’t typically provide.

Very interesting. .CSV is the most common standard file format which is-not-a-standard I deal with every day. Usually you find ways around the different quirks — but for large files, it would be nice to have a more consistent flat file.

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May 26, 2022

Kindle’s will (kind of) support ePub

Andrew Cunningham on arstechnica.com:

Amazon’s Kindle Personal Documents Service will now accept ePub files sent to your device’s Send to Kindle email address, the same way it currently handles PDF files, Word documents, and other image and text files.

I use the Send EPUB to Kindle service. While this news is not as great as native ePub support, it’s something.

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May 26, 2022

Paste Keyboard for iOS

From medium.com:

Paste Keyboard supercharges the default iOS keyboard to give you instant access to everything you’ve copied on any of your devices.

Still wish Pastebot came back to iOS — but this looks very useful

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May 23, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 21

  • Screenie: macOS screenshot manager with OCR. Just saved me a bunch of time.
  • PikaPods: interesting and cheap open source apps hosting — no mastodon though.
  • Runestone: Plain text editor for iPhone and iPad.
  • Motorist: vehicle maintenance app for iOS. A bit expensive.
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May 10, 2022

Discussions With Your Boss

Three important types of discussions you can have:

  1. Idea Improvement: they have an idea, but need some sparring to improve it before setting it loose.
  2. Implementation: they already decided and now need you to sweat the details to get it going.
  3. Venting: something is blocking above options, they just need someone to share the frustration.

The difficulty is that these 3 conversations can sound very similar, or start with one and jump to the other. You have to listen closely to identify which is the prevailing one — and you can’t ask directly, because it’s likely they don’t even know themselves.

April 29, 2022

Bike App Outliner Preview from Hog Bay Software

Jesse Grosjean on hogbaysoftware.com:

Bike is the new app I’ve been working on.

Bike is a tool for thought. It’s a fast and fluid outliner. Use Bike to record and organize your ideas.

HogBaySoftware created famous apps like TaskPaper and WriteRoom — both extremely influential to me. Sadly, since it’s a one-man-shop, he never created iOS version of either. But my current love affair with Obsidian is extremely influence by my use of both apps.

Bike looks very interesting, but again a Mac only app makes it a bit difficult to adopt on my current workflow.

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April 29, 2022

Dropbox Backup Updated

From blog.dropbox.com:

Building on our popular backup functionality, Backup has been upgraded with new features our users have been asking for, including a new restoration flow, settings to manage your backups on your computer, and more. […] An easy-to-use alternative to other backup tools available in the market, Backup gives you the option of choosing a robust, standalone cloud backup solution from Dropbox, even if you don’t have a Dropbox account.

Interesting feature/product. The product page could use more details — backup limitations and such — having to go to the help pages for this info seems amateurish.

While I don’t have a paid Dropbox account anymore, my wife does. I’ll likely migrate Ana’s MacBook backup flow from Backblaze to this.

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April 29, 2022

Unread Feed Reader Will Include Standalone Accounts

John Brayton, on goldenhillsoftware.com:

Feed Wrangler recently announced that it is shutting down on March 1, 2023. Standalone accounts will be available before Feed Wrangler shuts down. If you are using Feed Wrangler and are using it only as a backend for Unread, Unread’s standalone accounts will provide a suitable replacement. If you also sync to other RSS readers or if you also need a web interface, Unread supports Feedbin, Feedly, Inoreader, and NewsBlur.

Don’t see myself moving away from Reeder, but Unread is a great app with beautiful reading modes. Good alternative.

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April 20, 2022

Feed Wrangler is Shutting Down

David Smith, on twitter.com:

After 9 years, I’ve decided it’s time to shut down Feed Wrangler. I’m stretched too thin with my other apps, it’s time to let it go.

I’ll turn off the servers next year on March 1, 2023.

My thanks for everyone who was a member. It was quite a ride and I learned a ton from it.

Remember signing up as soon as it came out, so I’ve been a daily user for 9 years. Sad that a reliable tool has to go away. I’d pay more $10 a year more for the same service managed by a cool dev like David. But maybe it isn’t sustainable.

Feedbin has some cool features, but luckily I have a year. I’ll probably switch to Reeder iCloud Feeds to try it out before looking at other options.

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April 18, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 16

  • Folder Peek: put folders in the menu bar. With hotkeys and drag-drop support. My new favorite app.
  • Zas Editor: A new, capable, and fast code editor for macOS, focused on both reading and writing code.
  • one sec: forces an intermediate strep before launching Social Media app in iOS. Works great.

  • Github Pew pew: delete Github repos from CLI.

  • Fitstatics: better iOS insights on health workouts.
  • Friction: connect iPad to Mac to draw on and annotate the screen.
  • ‎Cosmic Pic: iOS App with daily astronomy image or video and explanations.
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April 15, 2022

Mastonaut Mastodon Mac Client is Now Open-Source / Free

Bruno Philipe, on mastodon.technology:

Mastonaut news: I’ve recently decided to make Mastonaut open-source. I no longer have the time and energy needed to maintain the app, and it has started to lag in features and functionality when compared to the Mastodon web client and other apps.

The app is now free at the App Store.

Sad it’s not being developed anymore, but for now we have a great free Mastodon client on Mac. Hopefully someone will continue work on it.

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April 15, 2022

Twitter, Sorry for Your Troubles

I’m not personally invested into Twitter as I used to. I still need to restrict my impulse to open Tweetbot when procrastinating, and enjoy reading my chronological feed at the end of the day. But Twitter as-a-company has lost my love. It’s an utility company, as long as it’s up and running — I’m good. I don’t expect anything innovative from them, or even get excited about rumors of an announcement.

They could have ruled messaging, photo sharing, microblogs, micropayments — but hey, they’re still here after 15 years and that’s good.

While I’ve played with Mastodon for a while, over the past year the official app has really made it an enjoyable experience. Which leads to the realization that if most of the community I follow on Twitter migrates to Mastodon, I’ll be perfectly happy.

So I watch the recent Twitter novela as I do my Twitter feed: with amusement and a little anxiety — but aware that it’s entertainment.

April 14, 2022

DuckDuckGo Browser for Mac in Private Beta

Beah Burger-Lenehan, on spreadprivacy.com:

DuckDuckGo for Mac isn’t simply a replacement for Incognito mode” (which isn’t actually private!) — instead DuckDuckGo for Mac is designed to be used as an everyday browser that truly protects your privacy. We have the features you expect from a browser like password management, tab management, bookmarks, and more, plus privacy features you’ll love.

It’s good to have a simple option to use and recommend when an alternative to Safari is preferred. Personally, I’m using Brave with additional plugins, but what I really want is to Vivaldi to become faster, or Orion to be ready.

Is it me or browsers have becomes extremely boring over the past few years? I don’t have an invite from cloud-based Mighty yet, but I hope the category goes through some disruption soon.

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April 14, 2022

1Password 8 for iOS in TestFlight

Michael Fey, on blog.1password.com:

We are lifting the Early Access curtain on our brand new iOS app — and it is gorgeous.

I’ve written a whole post about why you’ll love this update and why you should check it out, but maybe you don’t need that. Maybe all you need is the TestFlight link.

I don’t know who’s crazy enough to run a beta password manager (hola Christian), but I’m excited about 1Password 8 for Mac and iOS. Even with the controversy, I enjoy when desktop and mobile app versions are updated together, and it seems this early access means both are closer to release.

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March 29, 2022

Compose with Markdown in Google Docs

From workspaceupdates.googleblog.com:

In Google Docs, you can now select Automatically detect Markdown” from Tools > Preferences to enable auto correcting for Markdown syntax, a lightweight markup language for applying formatting using plain text.

A few more days and I will have thought this was an April fools joke. I absolutely see myself using it, but it also seems to defeat the purpose.

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March 28, 2022

SpaceX Ends Production Crew Dragon Capsules

Joey Roulette, on reuters.com

SpaceX has ended production of new Crew Dragon astronaut capsules, a company executive told Reuters, as Elon Musk’s space transportation company heaps resources on its next-generation spaceship program.

Wow, talk about killing your darlings. This is a very aggressive push towards the Starship program. SpaceX could have ridden the current Falcon 9 + Crew Dragon combo for a few more years without any competition — specially with Soyuz launches looking less likely in the near future.

A great decade to be a space fan.

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March 28, 2022

Tidbits for 2022 Week 13

  • Dock App: basically icons that can show time, task, crypto or stock price on the Dock.
  • Timeow: open-source macOS menu bar app that displays how long you’ve been actively using your computer. I use Aware, but will take a look.
  • eesel Folders: New tab Chrome plugin (previusly) with new folder functionality.
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March 28, 2022

FT Edit iOS App

From the App Store:

The FT Edit is a new app from the Financial Times that brings you a thoughtful selection of eight important stories every weekday.

I enjoy this sort of Apps. Espresso from The Economist being a similar one. Not only does the price appeal to me, but the limited offer of content makes it a more realistic read. Will be trying it out, specially given thelaunch offer:

The FT Edit is free for a trial period of 30 days. Following this, it will cost 99p a month for the first 6 months then £4.99 a month thereafter.

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