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 
19 hours 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 
yesterday
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 
yesterday
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 
4 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 
4 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 
5 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 
6 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 
6 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 
8 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 
11 days 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 
12 days 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 
14 days 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 
14 days ago
Relay.fm [Link]
Relay.fm [Link]

Relay.fm is a new podcast network by Mike Hurley and Stephen Hackett that aggregates new shows with tried and true podcasters I’ve enjoyed in the past. Inquisitive is the spiritual successor to ⌘+Space and Connected is the successor to the The Prompt show.

I’m particularly looking forward to Jason Snell’s new show Upgrade.

I listen to at least 6 podcast episodes a day across many different genres and several networks. It’s one of my favorite forms of media. Podcasts are getting better every month and the variety is becoming a bit overwhelming.1 Finding time to listen to everything I want to is very difficult. I make room for my favorites though.

The nice thing about networks is that they make it easy to find shows of the same quality and motivation all in the same place. Relay.fm is a good example.

It reminds me of the early days of cable TV when it exploded from a dozen channels to hundreds. ↩
blog  Link  Podcast 
17 days ago
Disconnect.me to Cut Down Tracking and Improve Performance
Disconnect.me to Cut Down Tracking and Improve Performance

Disconnect.me provides several privacy enhancing plugins for web browsers. The intent is less about ad blocking and more about cutting down on tracking. What I like about it is that it actually speeds up many crap-ware laden sites.1

Here’s an example using the Verge site, which is one of the worst offenders I’ve seen.2

Disconnect.me reports that by blocking known tracking requests that the page loads 40% faster. It was noticeable.

The Safari plugin provides a nice interactive visualization of what’s happening when the page loads. Here’s what it reports for The Verge article:

Here’s the list view showing what was blocked by Disconnect.me:

On the other hand, Arstechnica only sees a minor improvement, because they are loading a much smaller variety of crap. I can live with a 0.2 second lag to support a quality site.

That's the other point of Disconnect.me that I like. There's an easily accessible toggle to whitelist the current site. That prevents anything from being blocked. Toggling causes a page refresh too.

The Disconnect.me mobile apps brings the same filtering and analysis to iOS. This is where the dollars meet the business model. You download the free iOS app which provides filtering of basic tracking services through the installation of a new iOS profile. The profile adds several new certificates and a new VPN setting.

For a $10 IAP you get far more filtering and for another $5 you get "malware" protection. My assumption is that all of this filtering happens at their VPN. It's a clever way to reduce junk but I usually use iCab for that purpose. By doing it at the VPN, in theory, this would reduce the bandwidth used for browsing too. But it does sound like it would interfere with other VPN services.3

I don't think I'd use this service on iOS. But on the desktop browser I like to see what's happening. It's a nice reminder of how various sites value readers relative to their customers.

Business models are necessary. I don't block many ads except for animated or audio ads. Usually I just never go back to a site that has those kinds of ads. I'd love an ad blocker that pops up and says "This exact same information, idea or analysis is available on another site with less crap. Redirect?" ↩

The joke is that this Verge content collection is actually called TL;DR. Maybe the "TL" refers to loading time. ↩

I'm no expert. Do your own research before routing all of your data through a VPN service. ↩
blog  Security  Mac  iOS 
22 days ago
Hacking iCloud Backups [Link]
Hacking iCloud Backups [Link]

From Christina Warren:

For just $200, and a little bit of luck, I was able to successfully crack my own iCloud password and use EPPB to download my entire iCloud backup from my iPhone. For $400, I could have successfully pulled in my iCloud data without a password and with less than 60 seconds of access to a Mac or Windows computer where I was logged into iCloud.

These kinds of hacks don't concern me all that much. If someone wants a specific person's data, they are likely to get it with enough effort and time. Especially if they can get access to their computer.

What does concern me is this bit:

As we've mentioned before, Apple's two-factor implementation does not protect your data, it only protects your payment information. Yes, if you have two-factor authentication enabled, the password reset process for an account can be greatly impeded (you need to provide a special one-off key before you can reset a password), but assuming someone can get your password anyway using any number of phishing or remote-access methods, two-factor verification is absolutely not required for accessing an iCloud backup.

So, 2-Factor authentication is intended to protect access to your payment method, not your data.

Yay! Everything is terrible.
blog  Security  Link 
26 days ago
Markdown Classic
Markdown Classic

There's a new site for Markdown enthusiasts, and it's really too bad about their implementation. I don't mean their test suite or their documentation. Those look outstanding. The bravado is a little out of whack.

Standard Markdown appears to have two major goals:

To provide a specification for various aspects of the original Markdown

To poke a thumb in the eye of the Markdown creator John Gruber for ignoring the greatness of Jeff Atwood

I actually think the first goal is admirable and very well executed. But it's tainted by being chained, purposefully, to the original Markdown name using a word that conveys a very specific meaning. "Standard" has a connotation that I refuse to believe was overlooked by a supremely smart person.1

Unfortunately, I think the hubris of Jeff Atwood has done significant harm to what should have been a benevolent gift to nerds everywhere. By attempting to usurp conical Markdown, I believe some (maybe many) will avoid association with it. It's a shame, really. At the time of this writing, the most active comment thread is purely dedicated to the naming of the project. What a waste.

Maybe I'm being simple minded here. I certainly don't know the minds of those involved. Given that the original license for Markdown expressly states that the name Markdown should not be used without consent, it feels like this move by Atwood and Co. was a challenge.2 They could have suggested a "flavor" of Markdown or a test kit or even their own specification with a new name. To attempt to replace some of the Markdown guidelines and call it "Standard" was juvenile.4 It's all just supposition because Atwood is so ambiguous about why he chose the name "Standard Markdown". I'd suggest a new project called "Standard Markdown Pro" if I cared more about curating a project name than collaborating on a specification.3

I only know Jeff Atwood and his collaborators through their various contributions to Internet projects. I'm extrapolating when I assume they are all generally smart. It's an easy assumption. ↩

Jeff's own comment on the matter is rather childish ↩

I actually don't care all that much about whether there is a spec for Markdown. I use various aspects of the language all day every day. I use it on every computer I touch. That's a statement against Jeff Atwood's express motivation. I've never once cared about the project's stewardship. I care that it is not complicated and it's easy to read. ↩

Critic Markup was a specific attempt to not interfere with any interpretations of Markdown or MultiMarkdown or Github flavored Markdown. It was also pretty easy to come up with a name that didn't include the word Markdown. ↩
blog  Markdown 
26 days ago
The Terminal by Hockenberry [Link]
The Terminal by Hockenberry [Link]

Craig Hockenberry has a lengthy post up about his favorite things in the Terminal. It's so full of greatness it's hard to pick one tip to highlight. I love this kind of thing because it's helpful and it's written in a unique voice.

The command line also responds to control keys. The ones I use the most are Control-A and Control-E to move to the beginning and end of the line. Control-U and Control-K are also useful to delete text from the cursor to the beginning and end of the line buffer. I've heard that these are standard emacs key bindings, but can't confirm this since I'm a vi LOVER NOT A LOSER
blog  Link  Mac  Unix 
26 days ago
Keep an Eye on 2Do for Tasks [Link]
Keep an Eye on 2Do for Tasks [Link]

2Do for iPhone is almost ready to launch.

I've been on the 2Do beta since it was announced and have a few conclusions to share:

I've never been on a beta with such a fast paced development cycle

I've never been on a beta that was so open to user input

2Do might be the prettiest and most creative task manager I've ever used on the iPhone

There's still a lot of room for innovation and moving away from the pre-iPhone mentality of a check-list
blog  iOS  Link 
26 days ago
Home Depot Breach [Link]
Home Depot Breach [Link]

From Brian Krebs:

Here’s the kicker: A comparison of the ZIP code data between the unique ZIPs represented on Rescator’s site, and those of the Home Depot stores shows a staggering 99.4 percent overlap.

Brian Krebs is incredibly smart and also fairly reserved with his FUD. I believe him and it probably means another massive release of credit card data. This is only going to get worse until companies suffer such staggering loses that security becomes as important as developing a new logo. Good security and track records should be a major selling point.
blog  Security  Link 
26 days ago
Arq Now Supports Google Drive Backups [Link]
Arq Now Supports Google Drive Backups [Link]

Arq is a backup utility for the Mac. Until now you could use it to backup your files to Amazon S3 (including Glacier). The latest version adds support for Google Drive which is nice since you can get 15GB for free with Google.
blog  Link  Mac  Backup 
27 days ago
Notes on Bookmarks from 1997 [Link]
Notes on Bookmarks from 1997 [Link]

There are several great things about this post about link rot.

Someone took the time to evaluate how many bookmarks died since 1997

It made me realize how little I use browser bookmarks now

It's published to Pinboard as a note

By way of the ever prolific @GlennF
blog  Link 
28 days ago
Namecheap Hacked [Link]
Namecheap Hacked [Link]

From CSO Online:

Hosting provider Namecheap said Monday hackers compromised some of its users' accounts, likely using a recently disclosed list of 1.2 billion usernames and passwords compiled by Russian hackers.

I suspect this is only the beginning. There's an entirely new data set to run through.

Note: I'm not sure I'd call this a hack but that's what the article is calling it. I'd just call it an attack.
blog  Security  Link 
28 days ago
The Origin of Magic
The Origin of Magic

Never forget that magic is real for a very large percentage of the population.

I'm no master magician but I do know how wonder feels. There are many good things about magic and I feel that it’s my job, as a parent, to make those things so ridiculously awesome that my kid never loses the feeling of awe that the world can provide.

Magic is a predecessor to science. It provides hope where there is the mundane.

"Daddy, will you still have magic when you get old?"

"As long as you believe in daddy’s magic, I will have magic"

"Even when you get tired?"

"Especially when I get tired"

Sometimes the world needs a bit more magic.
blog  Humanity 
29 days ago
Gamasutra - 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.
These obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers
Humanity  culture 
4 weeks ago
Truncated
Truncated

Some people sell body fluids and others sell bad art on Etsy. Everyone has their unique spin on making a buck out of their time. More power to them all. But there's this odd and reoccurring trend of truncating RSS feeds, tweets, and even Web site posts in an effort to force additional clicks. The trend surges every 18 months or so, but some sites try it again and again. It's difficult for me to believe that this method generates any additional value for anyone, especially the authors.

Truncated ideas and opinions are not taste tests. From the perspective of a reader, truncated thoughts create a barrier for my interest. The opinion or information must be so extraordinarily compelling that I'm willing to change my reading patterns to access it. The content needs to be worth a trip out of my feed reader or Twitter client just to be exposed to the writer.

From the perspective of someone writing on the Internet, it's so incredibly difficult to get someone to care about what I think, I can't imagine making them work for it. It's such a huge privilege to have anyone contemplate my words, that I feel obliged to roll out the welcome mat.1 There are billions of new words put on the Internet every day and so many of them say the same things. It's a wonder anyone reads past the first "click to read more".

Here's to hoping new ideas in monetization are in all of our futures. After all, the value of making connections with actual humans that want to read our words is not derived by immediate page views, but by...

Everything here is available through RSS, plain text markdown, through a responsive Web site, and posted as full content on Pinboard. It's damn near impossible to avoid the stuff I put out.  ↩
blog 
4 weeks ago
Audio Book Narrators
Audio Book Narrators

I'm a long time subscriber to Audible and I'm well acquainted with both excellent and terrible audio books. With audio books, the words are only half of the experience. A good narrator can raise an average book up to be something inspiring.

Until recently, George Guidall was among my favorites. I've purchased audio books based on his involvement. His voice acting is stunning and the breadth of his skills make it easy to forget myself while listening.

Recently, I've been absorbed in the Discovery of Witches series by Deborah Harkness.

The writing is terrific, but the standout feature of the audio book is the voice acting of Jennifer Ikeda. Her ability to give life to male, female, Scottish, English, French and American characters is mesmerizing. Every new character in the series brings a bit of joy as she unfurls a new voice. Character details easily lost while reading stand out clearly when she reads.

If you love audio books, then look for some read by Jennifer Ikeda. If you hate audio books, then it's worth seeing how her reading can elevate the experience.
blog 
4 weeks ago
You Probably Suck at Presentations [Link]
You Probably Suck at Presentations [Link]

It's ok. I've rarely seen anyone not suck at presentations. Communication is hard enough. Communication with a finite time limit, topic and goal is incredibly hard. Doing it with style and grace feels impossible.

David Sparks has style, grace and a way with eBooks. His latest Field Guide is all about preparing and giving the best presentation possible.

I've given hundreds and maybe even thousands of presentations. I like to think I have my tricks. But explaining them to someone else feels like explaining the color red. David's eBook starts strong with some basic principles and builds to a full master class on getting yourself together for a professional presentation. Along the way, most people will learn to create adult presentations with one of the best tools on the market, Keynote.

The book has a logical progression and the table of contents is carefully structured to make moving between topics easy.

He's sweated every detail in this enhanced eBook. There aren't just links to apps, there are showcases. The app links are there but with style. He also goes out of his way to include links to the publisher's site. In one section, David describes his secret weapons for making interactive timelines and includes plenty of detail about the apps he uses.

Just look at the design throughout this book. This is an interactive eBook with almost every page providing either high resolution images, videos or slideshows. He brings it all together in a design as impeccable as a book about presentations must be.

The videos are well paced and targeted. It's not a collection of video tutorials floating between text pointless text. The videos are appropriate and specific and supplement the text. The slideshows allow David to incorporate additional screenshots that might not be crucial, but are instead a bit of extra help if you need it.

I really love how the book flows. The text is positioned appropriately around the supplemental images. There's no flipping back and forth trying to look at an image explained on a different page.

I'm sure you pride yourself on your "method". Hubris doesn't present well though. There are always some new things to learn about the black art of making and giving presentations. David does a great job of sharing his ideas and tricks. He's a true professional and it's clear that presentations are his strong suit (along with making eBooks).

If you are planning on looking for a job in nine months, now is the time to start reading this book. You have your entire future depending on the presentations you will give. $10 is a pretty small price to pay for advice from a professional showman like David Sparks. It's also one of the best resources you'll find about using Keynote effectively.
blog  Link  Mac  iOS 
4 weeks ago
« earlier      
#launch @lcms @plp _blog _book _criticmarkup _dropbox _fever _followup _generational _ios _km _km_mpu _macdrifter _omnifocus _pelican _pinboard _pythonista _rssloops _tapcellar _taskapps _text_tasks _trackingchanges academia academic alfred animal api app_wish apple applescript apps art article automation automator awesomeness backup bbedit beer blog blogroll book books booze business checkvist chemistry cloud cocoa code coffee color compliance conference cooking copyright crawler criticmarkup css culture data_structures data_visualization database design desktop development dicks dp dropbox economics editorial education ego eln email entertainment ethics evernote film finance fodder food for from_reader_feed fun funny game games generational gift git google gstar gtd hardware hazel health history home html humanity humor instapaper interest internet ios ipad iphone itunes java javascript jquery js json karma keyboard keyboardmaestro language later legal link linkpost literature mac maestro mail mailmate management markdown math media medical miyazaki money music nerdquery news nltk note notes objc omnifocus omnioutliner opinion oracle organization patent pdf pelican perl personal pharma philosophy photo photography php pil pinboard podcast politics privacy productivity programming project psychology pyobjc python pythonista quotes read recipe reference regex research review rss ruby sarcasm saved science scifi scripting search security sharepoint shell shopping software sponsor sql starwars statistics sublime swift synology tapcellar taskpaper td tech techdiff test text tips tools training troubleshoot tutorial tv twitter twitter_fav typography uncategorized unix utility via:adamfaeth via:agentangelo via:akrabat via:alex.morega via:alexcarpenter via:alexp via:andrewboyce via:ascarter via:baryogenesis via:bogen via:bojovs via:briandorsey via:danielandrews via:db via:djolley via:dogsolitude via:emmanu via:lokijuhz via:mikeschinkel via:mjknight via:mwmagnus via:nicolas via:poritsky via:regetz via:saad via:spaetz via:taiyoh video web webapp webdev wed windows wordpress work workflow writing xcode zite zymurgy

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: