Adventures in the Trump Twittersphere
Donald Trump’s rise shows just how powerless media gatekeepers are.
26 days ago
Laughter Doesn’t Scale — Track Changes — Medium
It’s April Fools’ Day on the Internet! Once, years ago, this was a fun day when people made stupid, nerdy jokes. Take, f…
28 days ago
Sketch App 3.7 Symbols [Link]
Sketch App 3.7 Symbols [Link]

Wow, this new Sketch version looks like it will be dyn-o-mite. The symbols will save so much time prototyping apps and websites.
blog  Mac  Link 
4 weeks ago
Killing Pinboard and IFTTT Integration
Killing Pinboard and IFTTT Integration

I'm probably done with IFTTT. I've waited for a business model and instead I get crazy service integrations I've never heard of. Now it looks like IFTTT integration with Pinboard will end in the near future and it's ending for bad reasons. Browse through the amusing Twitter feed of @pinboard and you'll see tweets like this:

Tweet Link

I am invited to join their private Developer Platform and feast on the rich analytics therein, which isn’t really my cup of tea

Tweet Link

Final word from IFTTT: do a bunch of unpaid custom API work on your site, or we will break our site for your users. A chilling threat indeed

So I'm moving my Feedbin integration to Zapier. I only integrate my Feedbin favorites and Macdrifter posts into Pinboard. Both of those can be accomplished by Zapier based on RSS feeds. None of it needs to be real-time or even frequent.

Is it better? Probably not. Does it have a business model that's obvious? Yes.
blog  Pinboard 
4 weeks ago
Interesting Lottery Terminal Hack
It was a manipulation of the terminals.

The 5 Card Cash game was suspended in November after Connecticut Lottery and state Department of Consumer Protection officials noticed there were more winning tickets than the game's parameters should have allowed. The game remains suspended.

An investigation determined that some lottery retailers were manipulating lottery machines to print more instant winner tickets and fewer losers....

[...]

An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.
Starred 
4 weeks ago
Disney Infinity Compatibility | 1.0 / 2.0 & 3.0 Covered
Answers to all of your Disney Infinity Compatibility questions regarding Disney Infinity 1.0, Disney Infinity 2.0 & Disney Infinity 3.0 compatibility.
4 weeks ago
Oregon collects $3.48 million in revenue from first month of taxed recreational marijuana sales
Oregon's dispensaries sold at least $14 million worth of recreational cannabis in January alone. That figure doesn't take into account medical marijuana sales, which remain untaxed.
4 weeks ago
ProtonMail Encrypted eMail
ProtonMail Encrypted eMail

ProtonMail is a secure email service and app with end-to-end message encryption. I'm not using it but I think security is rapidly becoming a business model. I expect to see the government versus citizen arms race to generate a lot of new commercial options.

Even if you're not important or scummy secure messages are valuable.1 I'm always frustrated when dealing with attorneys or accountants. They rarely have a secure file transfer service. Even when they do, it's not something I have much control over. Services like ProtonMail could be a nice, simple alternative.

ProtonMail says that their HQ is in Geneva Switzerland and that they have "zero access to user data."

By way of App Advice

Journalists aren't necessarily either of those things and hopefully know they need secure email. ↩
blog  Security 
5 weeks ago
The FBI's Alternative Method [Link]
The FBI's Alternative Method [Link]

I found this article to be a good summary of what's going on with the FBI and their inept bungling. If true, it'd be pretty funny that Issa was more technically savy than the FBI.

But even with all of this, it's still dependent on human frailty:

More importantly, this technique wouldn’t work at all had Farook used a complex alphanumeric passcode. The weak link in all of this has been Farook and his poor choice of security.
blog  Security  iOS  Apple 
5 weeks ago
Calca for iOS Now with Graphing and Patronage
Calca for iOS Now with Graphing and Patronage

Calca is one of my favorite calculators for iOS, Mac, and Windows. Calca for iOS just updated with function graphing. Just like the desktop versions (see this link for more info), the graphs on iOS are pretty and functional. Calca is like the Markdown of math. I just type notes, numbers and equations. Calca does the hard stuff.

The iOS version is currently free but has a new patronage option through in-app purchase. I think it's totally worth another purchase. I keep calculation templates and financial summaries in Calca. If I ever need to convert U.S. dollars to Oku Yen, Calca is where I go. Just try that as a Google or Wolfram Alpha query.
blog  iOS 
5 weeks ago
The NRA Gave These Senators Millions To Block Gun Laws
How can our GOP-run congress remain so cruelly indifferent to our grief and outrage? The NRA has a lot to do with it.
5 weeks ago
Valeant Implodes | In the Pipeline
Couldn't happen to more deserving people ::: Valeant Implodes
gstar 
6 weeks ago
AI and Food Poisoning [Link]
AI and Food Poisoning [Link]

Finally, A.I. is doing some real work.

Computer science researchers from the University of Rochester have developed an app for health departments that uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to identify food poisoning-related tweets, connect them to restaurants using geotagging and identify likely hot spots.

A secondary benefit is that you'll also know exactly where a Chipotle is without opening Yelp or Foursquare. In all seriousness, I'd love to see either of those services adopt this sort of metric. It might provide a better metric than randos writing reviews.
blog  Link  iOS 
6 weeks ago
Twitter
Grateful for the volunteer who grabbed this tweet before deleted it. Sad Trump is this desperate.
from twitter_favs
6 weeks ago
Donald Trump’s Presidential Run Began in an Effort to Gain Stature
Donald J. Trump’s campaign is driven in part by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: a desire to be taken seriously.
politics 
6 weeks ago
The macabre truth of gun control in the US is that toddlers kill more people than terrorists do | Lindy West
Last week, a Florida gun rights activist was shot in the back by her four-year-old son. How much longer will we keep participating in the collective lie that deadly weapons keep us safe?
6 weeks ago
An Apple Pencil Drawn Review of the Apple Pencil [Link]
An Apple Pencil Drawn Review of the Apple Pencil [Link]

From Serenity Caldwell, comes this beautifully drawn review of the Apple Pencil.

We have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil. In my opinion, the best thing about the iPad Pro is the Pencil. It's a wonderful device for creating art. I love to doodle and fiddle with the Pencil. It's also where my daughter prefers to practice spelling. Maybe it's the novelty, but I'm all for any device that makes homework more fun.

It's fine if you like the iPad Pro. I've used it long enough to know it's a bit like an umbrella-hat. Once in a while it's super convenient but most days it's just awkward.
blog  iOS  Link 
7 weeks ago
Depletion Ego [Link]
Depletion Ego [Link]

Slate has an interesting, if somewhat overly dramatic, take on recent psychology studies about Ego Depletion:

But that story is about to change. A paper now in press, and due to publish next month in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, describes a massive effort to reproduce the main effect that underlies this work. Comprising more than 2,000 subjects tested at two-dozen different labs on several continents, the study found exactly nothing. A zero-effect for ego depletion: No sign that the human will works as it’s been described, or that these hundreds of studies amount to very much at all.

It's a good read with a lot of quotes and interesting counter points. I've never really liked the idea of ego depletion but I only know enough to sound uninformed. I've heard (and read) plenty of anecdotes from places like the You Are Not So Smart podcast but usually they end with a couple of unsatisfying open questions. Why would there be evolutionary pressure to evolve this way? Why would the brain ever not have enough glucose to function normally?

It's good to see science is still working though.
blog  Link  Science 
7 weeks ago
Fly Air Gini [Link]
Fly Air Gini [Link]

Kieran Healy created a really interesting analogy to the wealth gap in the US:

So, what if the space on the plane was allocated in proportion to the share of total income earned by each class? With a bit of help from the Census Bureau, Emmanuel Saez, and the Federal Aviation Authority, Air Gini is proud to bring you the future of air travel
blog  Link  Economics  Politics 
7 weeks ago
The debilitating economic disaster Louisiana’s governor left behind
Government payrolls and services have been cut, but the budget gap grows.
8 weeks ago
Fastmail Adds New Settings and More Advanced Rules [Link]
Fastmail Adds New Settings and More Advanced Rules [Link]

As I balance the black-plague of subscription services I pay for each year, a few things are never a contention. Fastmail is one of the darlings of my subscription services. It's a solid email provider and it's constantly being improved.

Today Fastmail greatly improved the mail rules for advanced customers. Previously, creating a custom Sieve rule meant permanently abandoning the convenient rule wizard. Now Sieve scripts can sit alongside basic rules.

Even the basic rules received an improvement. Rules can now evaluate against "any", "all", or "none" modifiers to create more complex evaluation criteria.

The Fastmail blog post describes the improvements in more detail.
blog  Link 
8 weeks ago
Synology DSM 6 Release Candidate [Link]
Synology DSM 6 Release Candidate [Link]

Synology's DSM 6 has reached "RC" status. Now's probably an OK time to consider it. Try at your own risk, but I'm envious if you do.
blog  Synology  Backup  Link 
8 weeks ago
Why Donald Trump’s Tax Returns May Prove He’s Not That Rich
The GOP frontrunner appears to have mixed up income and revenue.
8 weeks ago
Alfred 3 Sneak Peek [Link]
Alfred 3 Sneak Peek [Link]

The next version of Alfred for Mac will expand the options for custom filters and improve the clipboard and snippet manager. Sounds great to me.
blog  Mac  Link 
8 weeks ago
Daily Logging [Link]
Daily Logging [Link]

A nice little blog by a nice little guy:

Soon, I was also adding brief summaries of my days. Then I was capturing ideas and even, perish the thought, writing about my feelings. Without noticing it, I had finally picked up journaling.

That describes so many of my habits, including this blog. Start small and build step by step. Don't make it life commitment, just make it a small habit.
blog  Link  Productivity 
8 weeks ago
Jeb Bush, and Dying With Indignity
Another Florida Jeb — Jeb Lund — reflects on the Jeb Bush presidency that wasn't.
9 weeks ago
iThoughts Adds Relationship Maps
iThoughts Adds Relationship Maps

A huge update to iThoughts for Mac and iOS is out today. We now get new map layouts, Scapple import, and complex relationship maps.

The new relationship maps are quite nice looking and have a lot of formatting options. There's a very good description of the feature on the iThoughts Web site.

I'm just learning the value of summary and relationship maps but I already love the control that iThoughts provides over the details.

Now that iThoughts supports more complicated maps, it only makes sense for it to also provide import of Scapple maps. Scapple is an excellent little Mac and Windows app for brain dumps and creative thinking. Now I can open the maps in iThoughts too.

The real beauty is that all of these features are available for both iOS and the Mac starting today.

iThoughtsX | Mac | $50

iThoughts for iOS | Universal | $12
blog  Mac  iOS  Productivity 
9 weeks ago
Apple and Political Spending [Link]
Apple and Political Spending [Link]

Interesting breakdown of political spending by tech companies.

To understand Apple’s efforts at persuading legislators of various issues, I compiled a measure of political footprint which combines a company’s own federally registered lobbying expenditures from 2015 with the campaign contributions they made during the 2013-14 election cycle from their corporate PAC as well as any employees who made campaign campaign contributions (and listed their employer). This data comes from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Not to give away the punchline but Apple is an outlier, which matters in this situation. Sadly, this is how the system works:

“At a minimum it makes it more difficult for politicians to criticize you when they have taken money from you,” says political scientist Michael Ensley.
blog  Apple  Politics  Link 
9 weeks ago
In the battle of Internet mobs vs. the law, the Internet mobs have won
The country's most high-profile victim of cyberharassment has given up on the legal system.
10 weeks ago
Trump Won’t Name Any of the ‘Hundreds of Friends’ He Says Died on 9/11
If the GOP frontrunner lost hundreds of friends on 9/11, and donated hundreds of millions of dollars to 9/11 victims, there’s no public record of it.
10 weeks ago
The Need For Encryption
The Need For Encryption

From Apple:

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

The EFF is supporting Apple

Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we're certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.

Find your representatives and ask them if this is representing your best interests. Ask them to explain how a master key makes us safe. It's probably a good idea to remind them that they are not exempt.
blog  Security 
10 weeks ago
2 Years of Mindmeister for $35
2 Years of Mindmeister for $35

I've been a Mindmeister subscriber for a few years and a "Business" level subscriber since we started work on TapCellar for iOS. It's one of my favorite collaboration tools because multiple people can work on the same map and the integrated task management is nice when you share a deadline.

This is an extraordinary deal. Mindmeister is normally $120 per year for a "Pro" account so $35 for two years is a huge savings. This deal ends tonight.

By way of @Zettt
blog  Mac  iOS  Mapping 
10 weeks ago
First Warm-Blooded Fish Found
The silvery opah, or moonfish, generates its own body heat, making it the first warm-blooded fish every discovered.
science 
10 weeks ago
Checkouts with Apple Pay
Checkouts with Apple Pay

While splurging on a piece of rubber, I was pleasantly surprised by a new method of buying items through a web page. In addition to using the normal options of credit cards or Paypal, Cozy Industries also offers Apple Pay.

After clicking the Apple Pay button I was asked to enter my cell phone number to receive a text message. The text message contained a link to open the purchase in an iOS app called Checkouts.

The purchasing process was simple. The vendor and total were displayed in the app and I was asked to provide my biometric identifier. My shipping address was automatically set to my Apple Pay address and the transaction completed instantly. I even received the tracking number right within the app and an email confirmation was sent to my Apple Pay address. This was also the first time I've seen an Apple Pay option to select the shipping method from within the app.

I really hope this is the future. Can this be the future? Please, let's do this.
blog  iOS 
11 weeks ago
Dictation Coming to AppleTV [Link]
Dictation Coming to AppleTV [Link]

From AppAdvice:

Instead of navigating the on-screen keyboard, the tvOS beta offers you one more way to enter your login information. You can dictate your username and password, one character at a time, which makes logging in much easier. The service works well for me, but you do have to speak slowly and clearly to avoid mixing up like-sounding letters such as “f” and “s.”

This was a bewildering omission in the new AppleTV. I'm thrilled to see that it's also getting dictation support for search boxes too. Such a great upgrade.
blog  TV  Link 
11 weeks ago
An old-school reply to an advertiser’s retro threat - FT.com
Last week I received an email from Henry Gomez, head of marketing and communications at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, objecting to a column I’d written the previous week. In it I’d repeated the advice his boss, Meg Whitman, gave to an audience at
11 weeks ago
Subscribe to Newsletters with RSS [Link]
Subscribe to Newsletters with RSS [Link]

I'm still a big fan of Feedbin. Just when I think they are starting to coast they add something new and awesome. Now I can subscribe to email newsletters in my RSS reader.

I really don't understand the rise of email newsletters from the consumer side. I work very hard to keep things out of my email. Now that I can use RSS instead I'm much more likely to signup for some those listed in the Feedbin post. Good stuff.
blog  Link 
11 weeks ago
Let's just stop boomersplaining politics to millennials
The following is a response to “This Progressive Doesn’t Need Your Lectures” by syndicated columnist Connie Schultz (...
11 weeks ago
Remember the Milk Gets a Huge Update [Link]
Remember the Milk Gets a Huge Update [Link]

Do you remember "Remember the Milk?" There was a time that I lived in their web and iOS apps. It was the best. Then it sat, relatively unchanged, for years while other apps leaped ahead or sprang into existence around them. Today is a bright new day for the service and all of its apps.

The new service fills in most of the most glaring gaps. Here's just a taste:

Sub tasks with their own due dates and tags

Drag and drop assignment of tags, priorities and due dates

Improved smart add with due date parsing

START DATES

Task sharing

RTM has always nailed the advanced search operators so don't let the cuteness fool you. It's a real task manager.

This is probably the biggest update RTM has ever received. I have a lot of nostalgia for RTM and I'm thrilled to see that they are back in the game. It's a terrific low-barrier task manager and it's ubiquitous access beats many other systems I've used. I'm just so giddy to see this app again.1

RTM is $40/yr and the iOS app is free.

The icon, not so much ↩
blog  Productivity  Link 
12 weeks ago
Talking to My Watch
Talking to My Watch

I have three primary reasons to use an Apple Watch.1 The first one is to tell time. The second one is to get notifications from my wife. The third reason is to talk to a little app called Drafts.2

The Apple Watch is not good at email. It's never in sync with my phone and reading back my latest message through the watch is a long road to disappointment. It's only moderately good at calendars, given the limited space to show a busy schedule. The Apple Watch does excel at notifications because it buzzes me in ways that I haven't yet chosen to ignore. But where it really shines is dictation into the Drafts app.

If there's a good argument to be made for owning a $600 watch it's to talk to a ten dollar app. And yes, this flies in the face of my skepticism over having an inbox in my text editor.

The Drafts Apple Watch app is a wonderfully futuristic way to write. Within two taps, I'm dictating real text that's not a total mess.3

I don't just use it to dictate small bits of text. I can actually dictate long passages while looking like an idiot. But, the real trick is to dictate a bunch of small messages and then combine them in the Drafts app for export as one long document.4

First, open the Drafts inbox on the iPhone. Then hit the Select button at the lower right.

After selecting all of the notes I want to combine, I just pop open the Drafts action panel (the Operations button) and choose Merge. Drafts even provides an optional separator to use between the merged notes.

What was many becomes one. However, I'm not done squeezing value out of Drafts because it has one more, seldom mentioned, super power for text capture: The arrange function. I just close the keyboard and tap the icon with three horizontal lines. Now I grab each paragraph and reorder the document. What a delight. It's a small miracle that I can dictate, proofread, and edit hundreds of words while on my way to buy Cookie Butter.

Drafts for iOS | Universal | $10

Technically I only need one which is that it was a gift from my wife. But that would a short post. ↩

Yes, this is another post about Drafts. No, I don't feel obligated to provide variety. If you want variety, read a top 5 list. ↩

Well, at least it's a total mess in the way I intended. ↩

This entire post was dictated to my watch while I walked to Trader Joe's. Minor editing was done on my phone and my laptop. What a thing. ↩
blog  iOS 
12 weeks ago
Keyless
Keyless

Did you know you can long press on the zero key to access the degree symbol on iOS? Why would you? Who has the time to long press on 97 keys just to figure out how to access a the ‰ key on iOS? 1

Somehow we've become stuck in the old model of keys anchored to a fixed point on a keyboard. Long pressing on a virtual key and switching keyboard layouts has lost its novelty for me. I want to search for symbols and emoji with fuzzy logic. Typing a search phrase would certainly take less time than long pressing on a dozen keys.

I love how someone decided per mille is important enough to warrant a key but per ten thousand (%) is not. ↩
blog  iOS 
12 weeks ago
Synology DSM 6 Beta 2 [Link]
Synology DSM 6 Beta 2 [Link]

This latest beta sounds pretty great.

Content Search You can now use Mac Finder to quickly search the content of indexed files within mounted folders on your Synology NAS.

Even the little bits are huge improvements. Like this little note about synchronizing with Google Drive:

You can now convert Google Docs to Microsoft Office or jpeg formats in download-only tasks to keep an offline backup copy.

I love this little computer more every year.
blog  Security  Link  Backup 
12 weeks ago
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