- Archiving Your Photos→
Good overview of the problems from CJ Chilvers. I am taking a new approach (which I am just starting) using BitTorrent Sync and my hosted Mac mini. More on that later.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Trusting iCloud→
Without question, iCloud still has a long way to go. However, I still believe it is one of the more encompassing multi-device synchronization engines I have used in some time.
If the app supports iCloud, it’s all I use.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Focusing on the Words→
1910 Design & Communication on their blog:
We believe that email is about two things. Reading and writing. And that focusing on these two is what would truly move email to where it deserves to be. What we propose here is not a redesign of any particular email application. Neither is it a suggestion as to how we think an email application should be visually styled. It’s an experiment of how email could be functionally improved through the use of better typography, based on the premise that structure is more important than surface.
Really great philosophy — and I suspect, especially with iOS 7, that we are going to see more and more apps go down this road. It’s always stumped me how shitty the reading and writing experience is in email clients.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘The Face Behind Bitcoin’→
Leah McGrath Goodman reporting a conversation with Satoshi Nakamoto’s brother:
“My brother is an asshole. What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.”❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Early Treatment Is Found to Clear H.I.V. in a 2nd Baby’→
Donald G. Mcneil Jr.:
When scientists made the stunning announcement last year that a baby born with H.I.V. had apparently been cured through aggressive drug treatment just 30 hours after birth, there was immediate skepticism that the child had been infected in the first place.
But on Wednesday, the existence of a second such baby was revealed at an AIDS conference here, leaving little doubt that the treatment works. A leading researcher said there might be five more such cases in Canada and three in South Africa.
Awesome.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Ukraine: Why didn’t the U.S. know sooner?’→
Sorry, I thought this was the kind of thing the NSA data collection racket was designed to “know”?❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Soon, Our Robot Coffee Baristas Will Only Brew Certain Brands’→
Later this year, the company will release its “Keurig 2.0” product. It will use a whole new type of K-Cup that affords customers “game-changing functionality” and “excellent quality beverages.” To achieve all this quality and game-changery, the company will also stop supporting “unlicensed pods.”
Won’t be long now before AeroPress models will refuse to brew any beans not purchased from Tonx.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Facebook looks to buy drone company for “atmospheric satellites”’→
Fascinating report about Facebook buying a drone company. It’d be easy to make a joke that this takes Facebook privacy violations to the next level, but from the sound of it this a slightly more charitable deed.
Either way, you have to think that there is a larger risk here of world governments deciding that the drone airspace needs regulation. After all 11,000 drones flying for five years straight from just one company — well it seems like we could have an aerial traffic jam.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘LA Banned Smoking E-Cigarettes in Public Places’→
I don’t give a shit about this law, but Mike Pearl’s opening salvo is why I will keep reading his articles:
Last month, in a piece about third-hand smoke being potentially deadly, I said banning e-cigarettes “would be a fucking stupid thing to do.” Well the Los Angeles City Council is officially fucking stupid.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- “However, with the recent release of the Playboy® + Hello Kitty® Leica C camera, I feel that there is nothing I can write about the company which shows less respect than what they are doing themselves. ”∞❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Surveillance by Algorithm’→
Bruce Schneier explaining why collecting data that you don’t look at is still dangerous:
Computer algorithms are intimately tied to people. And when we think of computer algorithms surveilling us or analyzing our personal data, we need to think about the people behind those algorithms. Whether or not anyone actually looks at our data, the very fact that they even could is what makes it surveillance.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
Looks fantastic, but that manufacturers can implement it differently may be it's undoing.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘More Thoughts on the Surface Pro 2′→
Let me be clear. If you’re looking for one device that is both a great tablet and great laptop, the Surface Pro 2 is not that device. But I’ve used the Surface Pro 2 plenty as both a tablet and laptop to know that an utopian hybrid is inevitable. It won’t necessarily be built by Microsoft, but this device is coming.
His post is short, but I love how it ends. I’m less convinced we can have one device that is great all around — or even a great tablet/laptop combo, but his conclusion is hard to argue with so go read it.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- The Grandiose Blanc on Tablet Work→
Because, and maybe I’m being grandiose, but I think those who are doing “real work” from their iPhone and iPad, are, in a small way, helping steer the direction of the personal computer.
Interesting thoughts from Shawn on this debate. I linked to just one quote from Mathis’ post (which is what Shawn is responding to), but there’s a lot in that post that I disagree with.
(This is cherry picking, I know.) Mathis’ example of taking notes while on a Skype call is comical. You can do that on the iPad, just switch away from Skype to a note app — you even get the benefit of not seeing the shitty, ad-laden, Skype interface too. Of course, other things I simply cannot do — or only can do within the confines of one app — on the iPad.
My stance on this has remained pretty steady: it doesn’t so much matter which tablet OS you use, as much as it matters what apps are on each of those tablets.
And that’s why I’ll always put my money on iOS. Yes, Windows 8 on Surface Pro 2 can run legacy Windows apps, albeit in a shitty non-touch-UI way. But guess what? So can my iPad, I do it weekly. I just boot up iTap RDP, log into my Windows machine and work in a really annoying fashion — which is pretty close sounding to how it is on the Surface. 1
I’m not saying that my solution is better, just that there is a solution on the iPad. Ultimately, somethings could be much better on iOS, but I’d argue that iOS has less to improve on than Windows 8, or Android has to improve on.
If I were forgoing a laptop, that’s when I might consider something like the Surface, but if I just want something that can stand in for my laptop here and there — iPad all the way.
❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- And if you don’t have a Windows machine, Amazon has you covered with their virtual machine program.↩
- ‘The Best Utility Knife’
Doug Mahoney had the unenviable job for The Sweethome to pick “The Best Utility Knife.” I have a huge issue with his pick: it’s a folding utility knife. Yuck.
To be fair, he does state:
To get the full range of use out of the knife and as much safety and portability as possible, we recommend going with the folding style over the retractable. They’re smaller to store, tend to come with belt hooks, and because of the way the folded blade nests in the body, there is a lower chance of their accidentally deploying in your pocket. Retractable knives are nice, but their feature set is more geared toward the professional tradesman.
If that’s your caveat, then you need your headline to read: “Best Household Utility Knife”, anything less is disingenuous and annoying to anyone who actual wants the best utility knife.
Now, you may wonder what my background here is, so let me tell you: my grandfather, and father, own and have run a construction company since he left the military in the early part of the 1970s. I had my first tool belt (not a toy one) when I was 6. From 16 to 23 years of age I worked all school holidays in the field of my father’s construction company. To this day, my office, is inside a construction company office.
Next to a tape measure, pencil, and hammer is where the utility knife stands in usefulness — It’s something every construction worker that is worth a damn carries. I know what I am talking about when I talk about utility knives because I used them day in and out for a very long time in very tough conditions. I’ve sliced my hand open a ton with them, and demolished a great many things with the help of them.
These folding utility knives aren’t good for much. Sure, you may think they are safer, they are smaller (when folded), and have a belt clip (really?), but they are worse than a “normal” utility knife in just about every task. 1 They usually are less sturdy, less comfortable in your hand, and far more fiddly to open.
If you are worried about safety, but you still want a really good utility knife, then you buy this Stanley one. I have about six of them, and have had them forever. What’s not great is that if the blade gets gummed up you can’t retract it, and with too much force the blade may retract on its own. What is great is how grippy the handle is, how well they work, and the fact that they are seemingly indestructible. I’ve never had one accidentally open — so I think they are just as safe as those folding ones.
My favorite utility knife? This one for $6. It doesn’t retract, has a flat head screw (the philips ones always strip out) and stores blades. This thing is light, always ready, and even more indestructible than the retractable version. Even if you do destroy it… it was $6.
A lot of people don’t like non-retracting blades, and I get that, but this is the best utility knife you can buy — not those folding pieces of shit. 2❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘FP’s Situation Report: Obama’s big test in Crimea’→
Today's Situation Report from Foreign Policy (daily read for me) has a good run down/synopsis of the mess in Ukraine and how the U.S. could respond. None of it is “good”.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- “If it was normal for people to use their iPads for creative tasks, there would not be newspaper articles about people using their iPads for creative tasks.”∞❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Apple Explains Exactly How Secure iMessage Really Is’→
Basically: Unless Apple is omitting something or there’s some backdoor tucked into their many-layers-deep encryption (which, while unlikely, isn’t inconceivable) they really can’t read your iMessages without a fairly insane amount of effort. Sure, they could theoretically brute force their way past your private key. Or they could scrap the entire system and replace it with something with glaring security holes, and hope no one notices.❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- ‘Long-Term Hard Graft 2Unfold Review’→
I have a German friend who once said ”Ich hab’ kein Geld für billige Sache“ (I have no money for cheap things), and I think it encapsulates how I feel about having buckled down to make this purchase.
As Wong notes, there aren’t many reviews of this particular bag out there — but it’s one I have long been curious about. He loves the bag, and this is a great review of it.
I don’t think it is my cup of tea, 1 but I will say it seems to be a much better bag than I would have guessed. Wong has lovely pictures, and the patina on the bag after a year of use is perfect. Do read the backpack strap section because — oh my — does that seem cumbersome.
❘ ❙ ❚ ❙ ❘
- Then again I hate tea.↩