Parsing Natural Language in Drafts [Link]
Parsing Natural Language in Drafts [Link]

Phillip Gruenich has a very nice script for Drafts. It enables Natural Language dates in one of the best quick note actioning applications for iOS. He does nice work and is a big fan of URL scheme actions for iOS.
blog  iOS  Link 
yesterday
GTD and David Allen on MPU [Link]
GTD and David Allen on MPU [Link]

This episode of MPU with David Allen was very good. I had an aversion to GTD until I heard an interview with David Allen many years ago. In it he explained that GTD wasn't so much a set of rules but a set of common sense suggestions that work for some people. That's what got me to read the book.

In this MPU episode David Allen straddles the line between laxidasical dismissal of the GTD fanaticism and a strong recommendation to get some good structure around our lives. I really only like David's GTD and can do without most of the GTD gospel around the internet.

Even if you're not into the Getting Things Done cult, listen to this episode of MPU. There's just a lot of good advice in it.
blog  Productivity  Link 
yesterday
Every Frame a Painting [Link]
Every Frame a Painting [Link]

If you like movies (even if you're not a cinema geek), I recommend following Every Frame a Painting by Tony Zhou on Vimeo. His latest work analyzes one of the pivotal scenes in Silence of the Lambs. The best moves make their devices invisible to the average viewer like me. I feel their tricks but don't see them.
blog  Link 
yesterday
New anti-phishing feature, all official FastMail emails have green tick mark | FastMail Weblog
RT @FastMailFM: New anti-phishing feature, all official FastMail emails have green tick mark
gstar 
7 days ago
Carbon Copy Cloner 4 Available [Link]
Carbon Copy Cloner 4 Available [Link]

Carbon Copy 4 looks like a very worthy upgrade, especially if you need it on Yosemite.

I like the new scheduler interface and the simple setup seems approachable. I'm sticking with SuperDuper because it works and there's no reason for me to break something that works. But if you want bootable backups and have $40 CCC should be a good option. I like the icon too.
blog  Mac  Backup  Link 
7 days ago
26 Year Road Trip [Link]
26 Year Road Trip [Link]

Petapixel links to a great slideshow (as a video, which is a nice thing) covering the travels of a now 76 year old Gunther Holtorf traveling 500,000 miles and 26 years with two cameras and one truck.
blog  Link  Photography 
7 days ago
Timeline of the Universe [Link]
Timeline of the Universe [Link]

What a great little video about time. Some might find it depressing but it really gave me quite a bit of joy.
blog  Link  Science 
7 days ago
Jack D'Or and Leisure Time [Link]
Jack D'Or and Leisure Time [Link]

The latest episode of Nerds On Draft focuses on one of my favorite Boston breweries, Pretty Things and their wonderful Saison. We also talk about how complicated "leisure" time can be.
blog  NoD  Link 
7 days ago
Marko Editor for Markdown and Critic Markup [Link]
Marko Editor for Markdown and Critic Markup [Link]

Marko is a barebones Markdown enhanced editor for Mac, Windows and Linux. It fully supports CriticMarkup syntax for things like highlights, comments and corrections. I also really like that it automatically escapes special characters as you type. It takes some getting acquainted with the functionality but as a free basic editor, it's pretty nice work.
blog  Critic 
9 days ago
Lanham Wallpapers Updated for iPhone 6
Lanham Wallpapers Updated for iPhone 6

I continue to be a huge fan of David Lanham's art. It decorates my office and my kid's bedroom because it's beautiful and spilling over with wonder. He's now updated his wallpapers for the big iPhones and you can buy them all (and get free updates) at his Gumroad site.
blog  iPhone  Link 
13 days ago
The Nerds on Draft Podcast [Link]
The Nerds on Draft Podcast [Link]

My friend Jeff Hunsberger runs TechnologyNotes.net, works in software development and is a complete and utter nerd like me. A lot of our conversations end up focusing on the geeky stuff we love, like computers, iPhones, pens and the sociology experiment that we call the Internet. We also both love craft beer and home brewing.

Since we like to talk about this stuff, we decided to get coordinated and record a new weekly show called Nerds on Draft. Each show focuses on craft beer and our general nerdy infatuations.

It's hard to believe, but Apple approved this podcast in one day. Here's the iTunes link.

The show will be weekly and released on Monday nights. The first episode is up now and we drink two of the best Double IPAs around while talking about mobile computing.
blog  NOD 
13 days ago
'In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy' | World news | The Observer
Peter Piot was a researcher at a lab in Antwerp when a pilot brought him a blood sample from a Belgian nun who had fallen mysteriously ill in Zaire
science 
16 days ago
Man in inflatable bubble rescued off coast of Florida - CNN.com
Not much of a rescue if they took him back to Fla. ::: Man in inflatable bubble rescued off Fla.
humor  from twitter
16 days ago
Pinswift Update for iOS 8
Pinswift Update for iOS 8

I’ve always really liked Pinswift as an iOS Pinboard client. It was the first client to support full text searching for archive accounts and the design is interesting and useful.

The 1.3 update brings several welcome enhancements and support for the new iPhones. My favorite new feature is the smart title and description generation for new bookmarks. When adding a new bookmark from a link, Pinswift intelligently generates the title (like many Pinboard apps) as well as a succinct description. Tag support in Pinswift is just right for the way I use them.1 Suggested tags are just a tap away or I use autocomplete to quickly enter several tags at once.

That’s not the end of the bookmarking options. Pinswift provides detailed controls over how new bookmarks are created by default. For example, the new canonical URL options means it will strip out all of the feed and marketing junk before creating the bookmark. All of these details set Pinswift apart.

Pinswift has great support for extensions too. Bookmarks can easily be sent to a variety of other applications like OmniFocus or GoodReader with a simple swipe.2 Swipe the other direction on a bookmark to get full editing of the bookmark details.

Search and browse has always been one of Pinswifts best features. There are several ways to search my own bookmarks, other accounts I follow ("Network") or the entire Pinboard public collection. The real power is that I can save a search and access it again any time.

Browsing search results is a nice experience too. Title, source and tags are all displayed in the results. I also like the canned searches that come with Pinswift. The Wikipedia list is a nice way to randomly browse topics I might not otherwise look for on Wikipedia directly.3

Pinswift for iOS | Universal | $5

Tags aren't new, I just really like how they work on the iPhone. ↩

GoodReader is nice because it will actually download the web page for offline viewing. ↩

I want to meet the person that bookmarked "List of classical music riots". Kudos. ↩
blog  iOS  Pinboard 
17 days ago
Schrödinger's Shift Key [Link]
Schrödinger's Shift Key [Link]

Allen Pike on the current nightmare of the iOS shift key:

So, I filed another Radar. Perhaps, with time, they can find it in their hearts to make a change. A change to the shift key - the most important issue of our time.

Seriously, this has to be something that's been reviewed internally and given the thumbs up. As Allen points out, it's not like the confusion is a secret or people just forget they hit the key.
blog  Link  iOS 
18 days ago
Dawn Patrol 3 [Link]
Dawn Patrol 3 [Link]

4 nerds at the crack of dawn talking about big phones, bigger hands and perpetual motion cats. My saturday mornings are my favorite mornings.
blog  DP  Link  TechDiff 
19 days ago
Answered for nvALT and StackExchange [Link]
Answered for nvALT and StackExchange [Link]

More fantastic work from Brett Terpstra.

Once loaded, you can click any answer on the page and it will be converted to Markdown (including comments and source links) and returned.

I use Pinboard with notes to track my StackExchange gems but this is really powerful too. Importantly, the notes are available offline and easily edited and expanded on. Watch the video. It's nice.
blog  Link 
19 days ago
A Couple Bash Patches
A Couple Bash Patches

Apple’s bash patches for major OS X versions. Direct link for Mavericks.

Synology has a patch too but it should be available through the automatic updates.
blog  Security 
21 days ago
The Deadly Stupidities Around Ebola [Link]
The Deadly Stupidities Around Ebola [Link]

Not much more to say. It's just sad.

chew-toys for halfwits
blog  Link  Humanity  Science 
21 days ago
MacUpdate Bundle with Scrivener and iStat Menus [Link]
MacUpdate Bundle with Scrivener and iStat Menus [Link]

MacUpdate is currently running a bundle sale that includes Scrivener 2.5 and iStat Menus 5 for $50. It's a pretty good deal if you were already planning on purchasing this software. There's other good stuff, like Ember, if you need the deal sweetened a bit more.
blog  Mac  Link 
21 days ago
iOS Autocomplete Tips
iOS Autocomplete Tips

Snippet Shortcuts ###

The built in snippet expansion just got a lot better with iOS 8. If you start typing the shortcut, the expansion text is shown as a suggestion. To add additional shortcuts, go to Settings>Keyboards>Shortcuts. It’s not as powerful as something like TextExpander but it’s still pretty nice.

Don’t Correct Me, Bro

Tapping the quoted suggestion just accepts your text exactly as typed rather than auto-correcting. Why it’s quoted in the suggested list is beyond my understanding.

Punctuation

Usually, after you tap a suggestion the text is inserted with a space character after it. If you accept a suggestion and then type punctuation, the space after the inserted text will be removed.
blog  iOS 
24 days ago
Camera Shutter Fix in iOS 8.0.2
Camera Shutter Fix in iOS 8.0.2

My favorite change in iOS 8.0.2 was noted by Ole on Twitter. Now the sleep button is ignored while triggering the camera shutter with the volume button. This is a big one for iPhone 6 owners now that sleep is opposite the volume up button.
blog  iOS 
25 days ago
More on iOS Keyboards
More on iOS Keyboards

Continuing my tin-foil hat dance, I’ve read plenty of opinions about the new iOS 8 keyboards. Most of it has not been educational. There’s a particularly thorough evaluation of third party iOS keyboards at Markn.ca

If a custom keyboard does not require the elevated privilege of “Allow Full Trust” you can use it with a high degree of confidence that your keystroke and other personal data is safe.

At this point, I’d only be willing to use one keyboard that required full access. Smile has a good track record and have now published details about what they do when you approve full access for the TextExpander keyboard.

Without Full Access, keyboards operate in their own container, which means they don't have access to data from other apps, including the TextExpander app itself. It also means they have more limited access to system services, for example, they can't play sounds. Once a keyboard is granted Full Access, it can share data with another app from the same developer. Once it can do that, the other app can do pretty much anything with that data, including transmitting it over the network. Simply because an app CAN do this doesn't mean that it DOES, nor that it's wise of the app's developer to even consider doing so.

I can appreciate the sentiment, but it comes down to trust, as I said in my previous post. Full access is full access. Anything the app can do, the keyboard can also do once full access is granted. In the case of the TextExpander keyboard, I think it’s fair to assume all data stays on the device and nothing is sent to an external server. I don’t think any other third party keyboard has earned that reputation yet.
blog  Security  iOS 
25 days ago
Backblaze’s 2014 Drive Reliability Report [Link]
Backblaze’s 2014 Drive Reliability Report [Link]

I’m a happy Backblaze subscriber. I love them all the more for their regular report on hard drive reliability.

The assumption that "enterprise" drives would work better than "consumer" drives has not been true in our tests. I analyzed both of these types of drives in our system and found that their failure rates in our environment were very similar — with the "consumer" drives actually being slightly more reliable.

If you are looking for an awesome backup service, here's my affiliate link. But I suggest you read about their file exclusions to understand what you are getting.
blog  Link  Backup  Hardware 
26 days ago
Synology Notes in New Beta [Link]
Synology Notes in New Beta [Link]

Every Synology DSM update is huge. It looks like the upcoming DSM 5.1 is no slouch either. Not only are they adding new online backup and sync sources but they’ve built a new self-hosted rich note service that includes new mobile apps.

There’s a bunch of new stuff coming I’m excited about. Remote SFTP connections from the Synology, security auditing, and improvements to the DS Photostation are at the top of my favorite new things.

I don’t install beta software for my backup server but this is one update that is very tempting.
blog  Backup  Link 
26 days ago
Lifetime Plex Pass Going Up
Lifetime Plex Pass Going Up

The price will double after September 29th. Better get on that.
blog  Mac  iOS  Link 
28 days ago
Dawn Patrol
Dawn Patrol

What do you do Saturday mornings between five and eight a.m.? My friends and I record a new podcast called Dawn Patrol.

The show is essentially raw. It’s minimally edited and we talk about the kinds of things normal nerds talk about. The first episode is about hyper-fandom, lock-in and community. We don’t know the show direction until we’re recording and Erik, Bob, Potatowire and I are all different enough that it’s not just 4 people sitting around nodding in agreement. I don’t think I’d like that show.

You can subscribe to the master feed that includes Technical Difficulties and Dawn Patrol at http://technicaldifficulties.us/master-feed. As always, you can listen through SoundCloud or through direct download and services like Huffduffer.

The Technical Difficulties show will power on with new shows every other week with no guarantee of a consistent schedule. That’s our pledge to you. Good show notes take time.
blog  DP  TechDiff 
4 weeks ago
FastMail Links in OmniFocus
FastMail Links in OmniFocus

One of the tips I shared in the recent Technical Difficulties show notes was that the FastMail URL links point directly at a specific message or view. I’ve used this feature for awhile when linking to email messages. Unlike linking to Mail.app messages on the desktop, FastMail message links work anywhere, including on iOS.

Jonathan Poritsky pointed out that this is especially valuable now with the OmniFocus iOS 8 extension. While viewing a FastMail message in Safari, trigger the OmniFocus extension to add a new task.

The URL is added as a note to the task. That URL can be used anywhere to view the original message (unless you move it or delete it). Add a link from your desktop and view it in iOS without any issue.

I use this feature regularly. It just got a lot easier on iOS 8.
blog  Mac  iOS  Productivity 
4 weeks ago
Technical Difficulties: Exploring Fastmail [Link]
Technical Difficulties: Exploring Fastmail [Link]

We accidentally published a new episode of the Technical Difficulties podcast and this one is all about using Fastmail as an email service provider.

I’m a big fan of their product and the idea of paying for a good email experience. Fastmail is constantly improving and just this week announced that they are caching images to help secure user information. Yup. I follow a blog for an email service. That’s how much I like them.
blog  TechDiff  Link 
4 weeks ago
Prep Work for iOS 8
Prep Work for iOS 8

Tomorrow is the scheduled launch of iOS 8. If you are upgrading an existing device, here are some tips to make it easier and safer. If you are getting a new iPhone on the 19th, then I think these are even more important.

Delete every app you haven't used in 3-6 months. You can install them when you need them but every app slows down the migration to a new device. You also reduce the chances you will have a power-hungry backgrounding app you don't really want.

Turn on encrypted backups in iTunes. Encrypted backups retain most of your passwords and it saves a ton of time.

Backup to iTunes. An iTunes backup restores much faster than iCloud.

Use something like iExplorer to download any voicemail, test message logs or whatever you think you want to keep. Prepare for the worst case scenario.

Doing all of this stuff takes about an hour. Not doing it may take several days.
blog  iOS 
4 weeks ago
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