June 16, 2020

Dropbox Password Manager, File Vault and Family Plan Announced

New products and features announced on blog.dropbox.com:

Dropbox Passwords:

The Passwords app saves your passwords in one safe place and autofills them so you can instantly sign in to websites and apps.

Dropbox Vault:

Using a PIN for secure access, Vault provides an extra layer of security for all your important personal files like insurance cards, passports, and housing documents. Files are organized in the cloud and accessible from any device.

Dropbox Family:

Dropbox Family lets up to six members share 2 TB of storage and have their own individual account views—under one plan with one bill. Members can create shared spaces to make content easily accessible to the whole family and each member has their own private space for personal content.

I’m mostly happy with my move to iCloud. Feature-wise, I miss the simplicity of Dropbox. But it’s a simplicity of a bygone era. Overall, all these seem like good features, but too little too late for me.

I still think Dropbox missed the boat discontinuing its Mail and Photos services a few years back. Going corporate might have been the right Wall Street option — still not sure, but it was the wrong one for geek users like me.

June 15, 2020

HEY Email Service from Basecamp Launched


HEY is our love letter to email, and we’re sending it to you on the Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.

As usual with 37signal’s DNA, it’s very opinionated. No POP/IMAP, or external clients, or import from Gmail… and $99 a year.

The walkthrough is very detailed.

Still invite only, but very likely they’ll be opening soon for everyone.

June 15, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 24

  • readr.page: static feed aggregator for Hacker News and reddit written in Javascript. Good for pomodoro break escapades.
  • Collected Notes: a very simple note-taking blogging platform. Less geeky than blot.im.
June 14, 2020

Mac ARM Transition: Re-engine, Not Re-imagine

Brendan Shanks, on bslabs.net:

My core prediction: The Mac is getting a re-engining, not a re-imagining.

Much like the Mac’s switch to Intel, this transition will be fundamentally simple and, ideally, invisible to end users.

Algo agree we will see a Mac Mini with an already existing processor inside as the Developer Toolkit. Great post to come back to once things get unveiled in a week… but overall I’d place my bets with its predictions.

June 13, 2020

Scammy Commercial Hackintosh Announced

Hartley Charlton, on macrumors.com:

On its website, OpenCore Computer claims that it hopes to make Mac Pro-style workstations more accessible. The company’s lineup of computers, which they call zero-compromise Hackintoshes,” are advertised as coming with macOS Catalina and Windows 10 Pro pre-installed.

Although probably a scam, it makes little sense to expose yourself to litigation this openly. As this commenter points out:

It would be one thing if a company was selling computers without an OS and advertised it as 100% Hackintosh Capable”. But to actually include MacOS is just begging for Apple’s lawyers to notice you.

I’d love to see some basic systems ready to hackintosh. With the work - and added value - of setting up the OpenCore compatible componentes to minimize your hackintosh pain of setting up.

June 9, 2020

Redesigned iMac to Rumored be Announced at WWDC

Sonny Dickson on Twitter:

If Apple is indeed announcing an ARM transition for 2021, this iMac promises to be the last Intel one. On the past PowerPC to Intel transition, the Plastic White G5 iMac didn’t change enclosures with the Intel model a year later.

This could be a great iMac to buy, because it’s likely going to be the pinnacle of Intel models. It will also hold its value for a while since it will be the new design.

That said, for my wallet, this will more likely open the door for a maxed out 2017 5k iMac (32gb RAM, i7) with an external 1TB Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) NVMe drive. Since redesign is about the only thing that helps lower the price of used Macs.

June 9, 2020

Quotebacks Blogging Quote Tool

Tom Critchlow and Toby Shorin on quotebacks.net:

Quotebacks is a tool that makes it easy to grab snippets of text from around the web and convert them into embeddable blockquote web components.

Love everything about this concept. The Chrome extensions works great, the design is extremely functional, and there’s no central server — just the style JS, but that’s hardly a lock-in.

Quotes look extremely clean:

First and foremost, quoting gives context, helping readers see where an author is coming from. Quotes and citations are an important part in making and remembering history. And looking looking towards the future, they allow us to better see, understand, and build on the vast graph of human knowledge—the original web”—that other, greater internet of which this one is just part.

But you can also copy as markdown:

Secondly, quoting another person can be generous. Generous quoting can mean raising another’s voice alongside your own, affirming their authorship, and striving to not take them out of context. One can quote generously, no matter whether one is agreeing or disagreeing with another author.

Source: Quotebacks by Tom Critchlow and Toby Shorin

Currently it’s a Chrome only, with Firefox coming soon. I’m hoping for a bookmarklet so it can be used on Safari and iOS.

Regardless, I’m very excited about the vision of this project and will be playing with it over the next few days.

June 9, 2020

How Google Meet’s Noise Cancellation Works

Emil Protalinski on venturebeat.com:

Serge Lachapelle, G Suite director of product management, has been working on video conferencing for 25 years, 13 of those at Google. As most of the company shifted to working from home, Lachapelle’s team got the go-ahead to deploy the denoiser in Google Meet meetings. We discussed how the project started, how his team built noise cancellation, the data required, the AI model, how the denoiser works, what noise it cancels out and what it doesn’t, privacy, and user experience considerations (there is no visual indication that the denoiser is on).

Long interview about the feature. I’ll try is as soon as available.

Crucially, Google Meet’s noise cancellation is being rolled out for all languages. That might seem obvious at first, but Lachapelle said the team discovered it was super important” to test the system on multiple languages.

“When we speak English, there’s a certain range of voice we use,” Lachapelle said. There’s a certain way of delivering the consonants and the vowels compared to other languages. So those are big considerations. We did a lot of validation across different languages. We tested this a lot.”

Ay Dios…

June 1, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 22

  • Spacetime iOS app • past and upcoming space launch information direct from agencies.
  • Middle • middle click button gestures for Apple Trackpad or Magic Mouse.
  • Command Palette • access to all Menu Bar functions of current focused app. I’m in love.
May 31, 2020

Computer and Software Is Used by the Falcon 9

T.J. Tarazevits, on space.stackexchange.com on software:

They use Chromium and JavaScript for the Dragon 2 flight interface. The actual flight computers still run on C++.

I hope it has lots of memory.

May 25, 2020

Tidbits for 2020 Week 21

  • Vidrio puts transparent webcam behind your windows. Seems very useful for trainings.
  • Tinnire • generative music app to concentrate or relax. iOS and Android.
  • Calndr.link • simple and easy way to generate calendar links.
  • Glance • Quick Look previews for geeky files.
  • Ambiently • free iOS ambient sounds app with nice design.
  • Thyself • interesting journaling app in with a chat interface.
May 23, 2020

The Reinvention of iPad

Dave B, on Medium:

I think that’s going to be a big story of iPadOS 14. I suspect more apps are going to be following this same path. Landscape and portrait orientation won’t merely be two aspect ratios of the same basic thing. Portrait orientation will continue to be designed for use as Tablet Mode’, and landscape will now be designed as the de facto Laptop Mode’.

Excellent take. Not sure if Apple will be this explicit about the orientation defining the experience, but sounds very smart.

May 22, 2020

NASA Declares That SpaceX Is Ready to Fly Its First Crewed Mission

Eric Berger on arstechnica.com:

The flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, is set to begin at 4:33pm ET (20:33 UTC) on Wednesday, May 27.

Roberto Jorge, Roberto Andres and Roberto Francisco will be glued to the TV. Although I suspect it will likely have some delays — it’s been raining most afternoons in Florida, and I’m sure they’ll want everything to be perfect.

May 20, 2020

Roundup of Remote Work Setups

Is not clear to me if we’re closer to the end of the WFM isolation or the begining. But here’s my favorite posts on the different setups from the makers of products I enjoy:

Josh Ginter, The Desks of The Sweet Setup

So here’s Blanc Media’s work-from-home setups, complete with a list of the main items in each setup. If you’re anything like us, you’re sure to be curious about a few of the coffee cups gracing these tables.

Jason Fried, The home office desks of Basecamp:

People are always curious about work-from-home (WFH), remote working setups. So, I posted a Basecamp message asking our employees to share a photo of their home office, desk, table, whatever. Here’s what came in.

Emily Marchant, The 1Password team share their work-from-home setups

Looking for inspiration for your work-from-home setup? From Studio Ghibli-inspired spaces to clean, minimalist setups, our team share what makes their workstations work for them.

I enjoy these posts so much. And while they can sometimes create an urge to purchase stuff — it’s also a reminder that sometimes the sausage gets made with fairly simple setups.

May 19, 2020

Please Print (A Journaling Rant)

Patrick Rhone, on thecramped.com:

So please, I implore you, if you insist on journalling using any digital tool. Please also regularly print what you are writing.

I’m taking this to heart. Although the idea of my journal being out there is uncomfortable, it not existing — even to be dismissed — is a bit more.