Squire HTML5 Rich Text Editor [Link]
Squire HTML5 Rich Text Editor [Link]

The folks at Fastmail know how to make awesome web tools. They've made a freely available HTML5 based text editor called Squire and it's available on Github

The general philosophy of Squire is to allow the browser to do as much as it can (which unfortunately is not very much), but take control anywhere it deviates from what is required, or there are significant cross-browser differences. As such, the document.execCommand method is not used at all; instead all formatting is done via custom functions, and certain keys, such as 'enter' and 'backspace' are handled by the editor.
blog  Link 
17 hours ago
Blind Tasting the best IPAs [Link]
Blind Tasting the best IPAs [Link]

I don't really agree with the rankings but it's hard to argue with a blind tasting, not to mention these are some of the best IPAs on the planet.
blog  Zymurgy  Link 
yesterday
Ad Free Hulu [Link]
Ad Free Hulu [Link]

From the Hulu press release:

Today Hulu is offering a commercial-free option to subscribers. Viewers now have the choice to watch Hulu commercial free for $11.99 per month or with limited commercials for $7.99 per month

The primary reason I don't like Hulu is that their commercials are far too repetitive and there were too many of them for what it cost. At $12 per month, this could be an excellent supplement to HBO Now and cutting premium channels on cable TV. Times are changing.

By way of Joshua Topolsky
blog  Link 
2 days ago
Scanbot 4 With Workflows
Scanbot 4 With Workflows

I scan A LOT. Everything. It's part of my routine to archive everything and get rid of paper. I use a ScanSnap for most of my scanning but I'm also a die hard Scanbot user when I'm not at my desk.

Version 4 of Scanbot adds new "workflow" options that make dealing with OCR documents even better. Rather than just offering a single default location for document uploads, you can now specify a variety of locations (across many different online services). This is great if you store OCR'd documents for work someplace different from where you store receipts or your kids artwork.

The workflows are great. After snapping the scan, I can quickly choose one of my preferred locations for uploading the file. This is a huge time saver over the v3 functionality.

Scanbot continues to expand the list of supported services. The big deal with v4 of the iOS app is support for FTP.

While I was relieved to discover support for SFTP. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for me since the connection defaults to root and there's no way to change to a user directory on a shared host.1 I'd like to see one more configuration option for changing to a specific directory upon connecting.

Scanbot continues to improve every month. They've already added a variety of barcode scanning options in the week since version 4.0 was released. I like it so much that I want support for more than just PDF creation. Some of my scans are just better as image files.

Scanbot | iOS | $0 to $5 (optional pricing)

I'm sure I could fix this from the host side but then I'd need to hassle with changing all of my other scripts that use the same account. ↩
blog  iOS 
4 days ago
Crystal iOS Ad Blocker Performance [Link]
Crystal iOS Ad Blocker Performance [Link]

Crystal is an upcoming ad blocker for iOS 9. Even early results are staggering.

On average, pages loaded 3.9x faster with Crystal and used 53% less bandwidth. Just by having Crystal installed, I saved a total of 70 seconds and 35MB of data on these 10 pages.

This is a big deal and it's difficult to ignore the huge benefit to mobile users.
blog  iOS  Link 
9 days ago
Crustal iOS Ad Blocker Performance [Link]
Crustal iOS Ad Blocker Performance [Link]

Crystal is an upcoming ad blocker for iOS 9. Even early results are staggeringg.

On average, pages loaded 3.9x faster with Crystal and used 53% less bandwidth. Just by having Crystal installed, I saved a total of 70 seconds and 35MB of data on these 10 pages.

This is a big deal and it's difficult to ignore the huge benefit to mobile users.
blog  iOS  Link 
9 days ago
Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters
After a group of fans tried to guarantee a whiter, more male slate, the big Hugos instead went to "No Winner."
12 days ago
ImageMagick Support for RAW Files
ImageMagick Support for RAW Files

I have minimal experience with ImageMagick but the new version 7 seems like a big upgrade. In particular, it now supports reading from many RAW image formats such as NEF, ORF and ARW. Maybe this is old news, but I just discovered it, so it's new to me.

Here's the complete list of supported formats

Now, if only I could figure out how to get it installed on the El Capitan beta.
blog  Mac 
13 days ago
We are so obsessed with gender, we even assign it to numbers. - Seriously, Science?
I have never once given a number gender ::: We are so obsessed with gender, we even assign it to numbers.
science  from twitter
15 days ago
Blink 1.1 Update
Blink 1.1 Update

This site uses affiliate links to help cover the cost of the hosting and design. It's a nice compromise between keeping myself motivated and not puking advertising all of the page. But more recently, I've found myself using affiliate links out of convenience instead of compulsion. The ways I generate affiliate links are sometimes easier than generating standard links. Blink for iOS is so good, that I go there first when I'm looking for a link to an iOS app, often even when I'm sitting at my computer.

I reviewed Blink 1.0 back in March and I still think it's excellent. Version 1.1 is out now and adds some nice new features. You can now include the "geo" code so that links work better for sharing across international borders. You can also now share Apple Music links so that they open in in the Music app instead of the Store app. I haven't researched the difference between affiliate payouts but I mostly don't care. I think it's nicer to have them open in the Music app.

When I want to look up an app to share, I dread using the App Store app for search. Instead, I jump into Blink to find what I want and grab a link. There's also a terrific Blink extension to generate links right from any App Store URL in another app. The action sheet is perfect for what I need, which is basically a URL or a Markdown link.

Blink still has some room for improvement. I'd like it to include pricing information.1 I also think I want to manage favorites in the app for all of the times someone asks me about my Pinboard apps or text editors. Blink is still top notch and a few affiliate links will pay for the app. It's worth the $5.

Blink | Universal | $5

I have no idea if this information is available through the Apple API. In all their wisdom, Apple hides the prices for things I've already purchased. This is annoying when recommending something I like. ↩
blog  iOS 
28 days ago
Ghostery for Mac and Windows
Ghostery for Mac and Windows

Ghostery is a browser plugin available for Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera and it dramatically speeds up the web. Ok, that's not the goal of Ghostery, but it's a major benefit. Ghostery blocks calls to web servers that it knows are ad or tracking networks. Some would call it an ad-blocker. I call it a drain unclogger. It prevents Web pages from making additional calls out to known bad actors. It prevents a Web site from hijacking your own browser to track you.

Let's just take one notorious site. This is what Ghostery blocks on The Verge landing page. On THE LANDING PAGE.

The landing page of The Verge is just a navigation portal and yet a minimum of 12 tracking sites are called for every one visit.

It's pretty simple to fine tune when and what Ghostery blocks but I mostly leave everything blocked. But it's stunning how immediate the benefit is. Websites, look right. They load almost instantly. There's no more animated ads jumping across the screen. It's like the web we dream of.

The Ghostery database covers most of the offenders in the tracking and malicious abuser networks. If you really want Adobe TypeKit to be allowed, then it's simple to whitelist it for every site. You can also tune blocking to certain types of networks or whitelist entire sites.

I've found very few sites that did not look and act better with blocking turned on. It's unfortunate that it's come to this. What was once a mutually beneficial relationship has now become one-sided abuse. Sure, stealing my bandwidth has been an easy and lucrative business model. But perhaps they can hire some smarter people to figure out less exploitive methods for turning a buck. When I said you could put a small sign in my yard, I never guessed you'd put a billboard in my driveway.

The downside: While there's an iOS app, there's no browser plugin for mobile safari. You know something is pretty good when the downside is that you can't use it more.

So, what's the catch? How does Ghostery make any money? That's the other part I like. It's pretty clear (as in plain english) in their FAQ. It's also completely opt-in.
blog  Security 
4 weeks ago
iThoughts Preview on iOS 9
iThoughts Preview on iOS 9

Toektaware (makers of iThoughts) have posted a few previews potential iOS 9 features and I have to say, I'm pretty excited for this stuff.

Reminders Integration

Spotlight Integration

Multitasking
blog  iOS  Mapping 
4 weeks ago
Miyazaki Collected Works on BluRay Coming to Amazon [Link]
Miyazaki Collected Works on BluRay Coming to Amazon [Link]

From The Nerdist:

Due out exclusively from Amazon on November 17th, The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki contains each of the maestro’s eleven feature films: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises.

I already own all of these on several formats but I will definitely be acquiring this collection. Even more than Pixar, when my family just wants to enjoy and appreciate our downtime, we turn on a Miyazaki movie and eat some popcorn. It's foundational to how we see the world now. The set includes TV series that will be fertile ground for us to explore together.

What I found particularly interesting about the announcement is that it is exclusive to Amazon at launch. That's a huge coup. Not Walmart. Not The Disney Store. Not, even iTunes has this collection.

Also a huge win for The Nerdist, getting this "exclusive."
blog  Link 
4 weeks ago
Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames? - The Daily Beast
graduation rate of 7.3% ::: Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames?
from twitter
4 weeks ago
The Backblaze 2015 Hard Drive Failure Results [Link]
The Backblaze 2015 Hard Drive Failure Results [Link]

Basically, Western Digital is still way better than Seagate even with a smaller sample size for WD. Seagate drives have failed me so often that I refuse to buy anything with one of their platter drives in it.
blog  Hardware  Link 
5 weeks ago
Hard Cases and USB-C Cables at Monoprice [Link]
Hard Cases and USB-C Cables at Monoprice [Link]

Monoprice sells high-quality alternatives to many of the major manufacturers of geek utility hardware.

These hard cases are great for storing all kinds of stuff.

They also carry quite a few USB-C cables and connectors now too.

I still think their Zinc-alloy Lightning cable is one of the best I've owned.
blog  Hardware  Link 
5 weeks ago
The MPAA Smear Campaign Against Google [Link]
The MPAA Smear Campaign Against Google [Link]

If this story from Techdirt is true (and it looks compelling) then I hope lots of people are going to jail.

In other words, Jim Hood and the MPAA were out and out planning a coordinated media attack on Google using the editorial properties that supposedly claim to have editorial independence from the business side. Notice that with the WSJ piece, they flat out admit that the editorial will be based on the ideas that "we" have developed. If you work for the WSJ, your editorial independence just got shot down. Remember when CBS stepped in and interfered editorially with CNET for giving an award to Dish at the same time that CBS was in a legal fight over that same device? That resulted in reporters quitting.

The most agregious parts aren't what the MPAA does but what the Mississippi Attorney General does.1 This is a coordinated attack through an office that should be upholding the law of the land instead of selling its clout to the highest bidder.

Read through this and then consider that this is just one target of the MPAA. The entire group seems like a criminal operation at this point. I'm no fan of the Google business model, but I sure think that's up to informed consumers to figure out on their own. It's equally disturbing that the "news" outlets play such a prominent and easily access role as a propaganda machine. Something tells me this is everyday business for outlets like The Wall Street Journal.

I use the present tense, because I have to assume it's still an active practice. ↩
blog  Security  Link 
5 weeks ago
Vizio Tracking [Link]
Vizio Tracking [Link]

From Engadget:

We've never heard of Inscape before, but as explained in the S-1 Vizio filed today, it's based on ACR (automatic content recognition) software licensed from a third party, and viewers can opt-out of participating in it while maintaining other connected features. That's actually fairly common in modern TVs, and others like LG and Samsung have already rolled out features based on the tech to do things like integrate with TV shows, or display ads based on what the TV is showing. ACR software recognizes the video being displayed, matches it up and phones home the data. According to Vizio, its Inscape platform can pull some 100 billion anonymized datapoints from 8 million of its connected TVs every day. That kind of data can be used for ratings, and is valuable to both advertisers and content providers.

"Wow, I wonder how they can sell their products so much cheaper than everyone else. Oh well, let's watch reruns of S.V.U."
blog  Security  Link 
5 weeks ago
JavaScript Dates in TextExpander [Link]
JavaScript Dates in TextExpander [Link]

This post by the good doctor is clever. It's not clever because he does date formatting in JavaScript.1 It's clever because he does it by calling a second JavaScript library (Moment.js) stored as a snippet from within another snippet.

I usually do my date formatting with Python, but he's right about the shortcoming with Python or Shell centric snippets. They don't work everywhere. As of today, there's a JavaScript engine on every computer I use.

I'd call that the sadistic part. ↩
blog  Link  iOS  Mac  JS  Programming 
5 weeks ago
Nerds on Draft PM Tools and Mono [Link]
Nerds on Draft PM Tools and Mono [Link]

On this week's Nerds on Draft we talk about some of our prefered project management tools and drink a delicious Mono by Stillwater. Of course there's a lot of jargon and acronyms but we break it down to the basics so that it's applicable to anyone. After all, pretty much everyone is a project manager for their own life.
blog  NOD  Link 
6 weeks ago
Keyboard Maestro 7 Available
Keyboard Maestro 7 Available

Keyboard Maestro is probably the single most helpful application you can put on a Mac. Today, you can get version 7 for $36 or upgrade from a previous version at a 50% discount.

Version 7 focuses on two major interface changes. First, building macros is easier than ever with integrated help for each action, more logical controls for highlighting, commenting, and generally controlling steps in a macro. There's also now auto-complete for variable names, which is a huge time saver.

The second major improvement is the overall palette interface design. Palettes can now be assigned different styles to make them more visually distinct.

There's a new style editor that provides some personalization of the palettes.

Of course, there's the usual bevy of new actions and triggers. Some of the most useful new triggers monitor active windows and trigger macros based on window changes. There's also new ways to trigger macros based on repeating key combinations for those of us that are running out of keys on our keyboards to trigger new macros.

I also like how KM7 is opening up a bit more control for people willing to put in the extra effort. I expect to see very cool things using the new HTML Prompt Action, JavaScript Action and even a Swift Script Action.

I also use Alfred on my Mac and these are not mutually exclusive applications. Alfred is great for quick navigation and inter-application workflows. Keyboard Maestro is what I use for most of my complicated UI interactions. If you like the Alfred/LaunchBar type of triggering, I recommend setting up this one action in Keyboard Maestro 7.

This simple macro will open the KM7 trigger by name window. Now just type some part of an action or macro group's name and launch it. I love this.

If you build your own macros, then version 7 is a must-upgrade. The new features make it even easier to build and edit. If you just use basic features and macros from other people then I still think it's a worthwhile upgrade for the new triggers and styling options.

If you're not using Keyboard Maestro then I think you're making things more difficult for yourself.
blog  Mac  KM 
6 weeks ago
Evernote Monetization
Evernote Monetization

From Recode's 450 KB interview article:

“Global user growth looks strong as do early returns on recent monetization efforts. User growth and revenue are the oxygen for any successful company so we’ll be looking to double down on this traction,” he wrote. “My job is to lead and scale this great team through the next phase of product and revenue growth, and to preserve Evernote’s unique culture while evolving it over time.”

Then later:

In his new role, Libin said he will turn to working day-to-day on the product. One big priority, he said, will be to build new features — and even a new line of products — aimed at workplace collaboration. “If there is one thing I wish we would have done sooner is taking the collaborative uses case for Evernote much more seriously,” he said. “We’ve been working on it a lot recently but I wish we would have done it three years earlier.”

Wow. That sounds like what Evernote was missing for me. I guess it was just dumb luck that it never really solved any of my problems.

The Verge has a 2 MB piece that says less with 354 requests, if you really just want the pull quote.
blog  Link 
6 weeks ago
The Truth About Thesis.com
On July 8, 2015, I lost a legal battle against Automattic over thesis.com, despite owning the trademarks for Thesis and Thesis Theme in the website software space. Many of you have probably read the initial account of what happened on […]
6 weeks ago
Wolfram Mail [Link]
Wolfram Mail [Link]

The Wolfram API now handles email processing and this post describes some mail rules beyond anything you've probably ever seen.

Now I can subscribe to the mailing list as “receiver+5DHCTKhQ@wolframcloud.com,” and I will only receive messages about tables. But I can do better. Why not search messages for the price and create a log with the information I want? The function func below will run in my Wolfram Cloud account every time the mail receiver address receives an email

I wish I was like 10X smarter so I could use the Wolfram Language for more than dinking around.

By way of John D. Cook
blog  Link 
7 weeks ago
FastMail Enables IMAP Push for iOS [Link]
FastMail Enables IMAP Push for iOS [Link]

FastMail has been on a roll lately. In the past 12 months they've added CalDAV and a terrific web app for calendaring, CardDAV support of contact management and syncing, IMAP Notes support and now comes the long awaited IMAP email push.

Push email will happen automatically for existing users and if you already have iOS configured with FastMail IMAP, you'll just start benefiting from the change without doing anything extra.

This month marks the 2-year anniversary for FastMail and I. It's been my sole provider for personal email in that time. All of my other accounts route to FastMail and they handle all server-side mail rules, spam filtering and syncing to every device. Their web app is fantastic and their support has always been excellent for me.

If you want to check out FastMail and support this site at the same time, here's a referral link that costs you nothing.
blog  Link 
7 weeks ago
Systematic and Mapping [Link]
Systematic and Mapping [Link]

Here's a good podcast with nerds gushing about concept mapping. Lot's of interesting use cases in there. I've seen some of Eddie Smith's presentations and he really nails it with these animated transitions of concept maps.
blog  Link 
7 weeks ago
Nerds on Spring Cleaning [Link]
Nerds on Spring Cleaning [Link]

I hate cleaning and clutter. Maybe once a year my hate for clutter wins out over my hate for cleaning. On episode 41 of Nerds on Draft, Jeff and I talk the madness that drives us to purge on a seasonal basis. We also enjoy a bottle of Belafonte, one of the best Saison's you'll find anywhere.
blog  NOD  Link 
7 weeks ago
Mapping 101: WunderLink with Mindmeister
Mapping 101: WunderLink with Mindmeister

Creating notes with hyperlinks can be a real pain. All of the tedious jumping back and forth and searching the Internet kills most of the joy I get from writing good notes. Rather than get sidetracked with endless Internet searches, I let Mindmeister do the work for me.

Here's a little video demonstrating the WunderLink functionality of Mindmeister:

Here's the direct Vimeo link.

I use Mindmeister for all of my collaborative concept mapping and for anything that I need access to while on Windows. It's a terrific service. Use this link to sign up and support more posts like this. Or don't. I'll probably still publish the same stuff.
blog  Mapping 
7 weeks ago
Life is Like a Bear [Link]
Life is Like a Bear [Link]

The Guardian has a terrific piece about Amy Poehler. I love this bit so much.

“I see life as like being attacked by a bear,” she says. “You can run, you can pretend to be dead or you can make yourself bigger. So, if you’re my stature, you stand on a chair and bang a pan and scream and shout as if you’re going to attack the bear. This is my go-to strategy. I really liked being pregnant, for example, because I got to take up more space.”

Here's your top-one list of behaviors that successful people have: They act bigger than they are.

By way of Frakintosh
blog  Humanity  Link 
7 weeks ago
We Killed Leisure [Link]
We Killed Leisure [Link]

My favorite phrase of the week by Eddie Smith:

In some ways we're living in the mushroom cloud of a productivity time bomb that was first wired by the Protestant work ethic.

Eddie is commenting on this interesting Economist article regarding leisure time in the modern world

All this work has left less time for play. Though leisure time has increased overall, a closer look shows that most of the gains took place between the 1960s and the 1980s. Since then economists have noticed a growing “leisure gap”, with the lion’s share of spare time going to people with less education.
blog  Link  Productivity 
8 weeks ago
Drafts Keys for Writers [Link]
Drafts Keys for Writers [Link]

Use Drafts for iOS? You probably would love some of these action keys. The "smart parenthesis" key is pretty neat.
blog  Link  iOS 
8 weeks ago
Southie Snow Pile [Link]
Southie Snow Pile [Link]

In case you're wondering how much snow we got in New England this winter, it's still melting.
blog  Link 
8 weeks ago
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