Tidbits for 2019 Week 17

  • Seems a certificate lapse killed all Firefox extensions on Friday. It happens to the best of us.
  • Verizon is selling Tumblr. Pornhub says it’s interested, I suspect half-jokingly. I really hope it doesn’t die forgotten, it was a nice blogging platform — hosting this blog for a few years.
  • Pushcut combines iOS notifications, Shortcuts and webhooks. Don’t know what for yet, but I’m going to play with it.
  • Amazon moving into shipping sounds scary as hell for those of us in the logistics industry.
  • Burger King is rolling out the Impossible Whopper in the US. Really want to try this one out.
  • Streaming was supposed to be the cord cutters dream, it’s not the case. Still, I rather decided between streaming services than cable packages.
April 29, 2019

Mozilla Replacing IRC Internally

Mike Hoye on his blog exple.tive.org:

In the next small number of months, Mozilla intends to deprecate IRC as our primary synchronous-text communications platform, stand up a replacement and decommission irc.mozilla.org soon afterwards. I’m charged with leading that process on behalf of the organization.

I’m going to follow this closely — more for the process than the actual end result. But even the first post offers a learnings in the clarity of the requirements, and no-nonsense managing of expectations.

It’s not going to be an easy job, and if he shares even the highlights, we can all learn from it.

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Tidbits for 2019 Week 16

  • Reeder 4 Is available for Mac and iOS. Insta-buy.
  • Nobody works more than 60 hours a week. You know that they know, that we know it.
  • DNS over HTTPS is the worst sort of privacy solution except for the rest. This is why I’ve been using Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 app non-top now.
  • The upcoming Reeder app supports Bionic Reading, and it sure gives interesting results.
April 23, 2019

Brent Simmons on Freedom:

Macs carry the flame for the revolution. They’re the computers we own, right? They’re the astounding, powerful machines that we get to master.

Except that lately, it feels more and more like we’re just renting Macs too, and they’re really Apple’s machines, not ours.

Is a nagging feeling, but it’s there.

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April 19, 2019

Siri Shortcuts and Screen Time coming to the Mac

Guilherme Rambo on 9to5mac.com:

It’s also likely that the Shortcuts app — a result from the acquisition of Workflow — will be available on macOS, the inclusion of system-wide support for Siri Shortcuts on macOS 10.15 strongly suggests it.

If it has decent AppleScript/Automator like support, my mind will be blown.

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Tidbits for 2019 Week 15

  • Soylent Squared 100-calorie mini meals miss the boat with me. The snacking concept behind it doesn’t ring true to the original brand.
  • A rumored new Nintendo Switch this Christmas. Smaller and cheaper, for sure Robie will want one.
  • Apple and Qualcomm settled. Intel cancels its 5G chips. There’s such an inside baseball story behind all of this.
  • Twitter needed a textshot ages ago. Not sure what it needed to acquihire Highly to get something similar.
April 18, 2019

BBM is Shutting Down

blog.bbm.com:

Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on.

Full circle in this blog, from arguing that Twitter DMs should be able to replace BBM, to rolling my eyes at BlackBerry not releasing iOS/Android apps soon enough.

The saddest thing is how irrelevant the goodbye is.

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Tidbits for 2019 Week 14

  • Disney+ might become my second TV subscription after Netflix. For 7 month, it sounds like a great deal.
  • Curious if the rumored WhatsApp for iPad version will be a stand-alone version or how it will deal with encryption if it’s a companion app like the web.
  • Haven’t heard anyone mention this Zello walkie-talkie app in my friend and family circles.
  • At $99 the Ikea Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is something I see myself owning to complement the Sonos Play 1. Specially since it even supports AirPlay 2.
April 9, 2019

Break Up of iTunes is Coming

Steve Troughton-Smith on twitter.com:

I am now fairly confident based on evidence I don’t wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning new (likely UIKit) Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for macOS, to join the new TV app. I expect the four to be the next wave of Marzipan apps.

I still pay for iTunes Match, so usually when on a deadline I’ll close everything but iTunes and the task at hand — only listening to my brain circa 2012.

But even the webish chimera of Spotify on the desktop is a better music app than iTunes. I don’t think an Apple Music on the Mac app will never get the love and attention that iTunes once got, but if it’s an iPad based version, it might me good enough.

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April 8, 2019

Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.

Adam Grant on the nytimes.com:

A better option is attention management: Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.

​Which sound very kumbaya, but when carefully defined it becomes a bit more defendable in real life:

Attention management is the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments.

And the money quote for me:

If you’re trying to be more productive, don’t analyze how you spend your time. Pay attention to what consumes your attention.

This last one made me pause, I’m deep into the if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist camp, and tracking what you’re up to is a given. But this suggest that should put more effort into where you attention wanders towards… a mindfulness concept that I can buy into.

I love articles like these which make me question my current truths. Will probably digest for a few more weeks, but it’s to bookmarked to reread in a few months. ​

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Tidbits for 2019 Week 13

  • Geeks can daydream, but the battery world runs on lithium-ion, and there’s no replacement in sight.
  • HomePod is now $299, down from $349. Don’t doubt it’s the best sound for the price, but without Spotify is not even an option for me. Maybe at $199…
  • Amazon’s Project Kuiper would make my father-in-law so happy. Broadband satellite based internet for remote areas would make many millions of lives better. Go Bezos.
  • The Powerbeats Pro are the AirPods sporty me would have wanted. The actual me finds the case too big.
  • Simplify for Gmail Chrome extension brings a little of Inbox to Gmail. Code on GitHub and made my former Google lead designer. Update: works on Opera, and it’s really great.
  • Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 App with Warp VPN makes an intriguing case: more secure and faster than without. In waiting list.
April 2, 2019

Ars Technica says goodbye to Google Inbox

Ron Amadeo preserves for future generations, this is what Google Inbox was like:

The Sweep button and at-a-glance info cards represent my favorite bit of design philosophy in Inbox: by default, it treats emails as groups of disposable garbage.

Bundles, sweeps and all the features added to my favorite email app since Sparrow. Its ability to deal with a lot of noise and finding the signal still doesn’t exist in Gmail.

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April 1, 2019

Burger King is introducing a Whopper with Impossible Foods Patty

Burger King’s chief marketing officer, Fernando Machado, said that in the company’s testing so far, customers and even employees had not been able to tell the difference between the old meaty Whopper and the new one.

Not sure this is a feature of Impossible Foods, or a bug of Burger King. Still, I’ll try this as soon as I get a chance.

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April 1, 2019

Wired on Cloudflare’s New VPN

Casey Chin:

The technology that Cloudflare is betting will make Warp fast is a protocol invented by Google called QUIC, and it could one day make the rest of the internet faster and more reliable.

Hold on a second, this sounds fishy…

Cloudflare is using a draft of the IETFs QUIC specification for the connection between its mobile app and its servers.

Never mind. That’s better.

This all sounds as a modern version of Opera Mini, and something that Opera and Google have been trying to do in recent years but technology and privacy concerns held it back. I’ve used the 1.1.1.1 app for DNS and the speed improvement is noticeable — so I have no doubts Cloudflare can make the tech work.

The privacy verdict is still out there, but if they deliver on the speed claim, it becomes a game of lesser evils… do you trust Cloudflare more than your ISP and/or mobile operator? I know I do.

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Tidbits for 2019 Week 12

  • I didn’t know The Matrix code scenes came from sushi recipes.
  • The new iPad Air and iPad mini available for in-store pickup. I’m going to wait for it to show up on Adorama to order . Ordered.
  • Gmail swipe actions on iOS soon. But still no bundles… Oh how I miss Google Inbox.
  • Stories about Apple Watch ECG feature really make me think: a) I should get my Dad one, b) Health features are a powerful reason to upgrade soon for myself.
  • Twitter new dark mode for OLED screens on iOS/Android. Apple has to include dark mode in iOS 13.
  • Wyze Sense $20 sensor kit announced. Insta-buy, I really like our Wyze setup at home and this looks well integrated.
  • Apple mumbles sorry for MacBook keyboard issues. Not good enough. They need to change the design yesterday and include the 2018 model in the extended warranty.
  • MKBHDs AirPods 2nd Gen video review is great.
  • The Original AirPods Firmware also appears to have gotten an update. Reports include snappier™ connections.