rmateu + snippet   34

Swift Playgrounds now supports robots, drones, and other toys
> Swift Playgrounds coding app enables kids to program and control LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3, the Sphero Robot, Parrot Drones and more.

This is very, very cool. Can't wait until I can play with this with Robie (**and/or** Bettina) in a few years.

Also telling, next week's keynote must be very packed if none of these (literally) cool toys are getting a demo.
june 2017 by rmateu
No, Soylent isn’t Healthy. Here’s Why.
> Is it worse than McDonalds? Probably not, but at least you don’t feel good about eating McDonalds, and that’s where the problem is. This idea that Soylent is healthy tricks you into thinking that if you have your Soylent, you’ve done your good-eating-deed for the day, instead of thinking of it as a last resort like a protein bar.

Good point.

I think that Soylent is a great alternative to _most_ lunch options around my office, which is why it's my default meal. But the combination of fasting and Soylent *does* make me go overboard for dinner sometimes. So will be giving this some thought.
food  snippet 
may 2017 by rmateu
Microsoft Surface Laptop

Beautiful laptop, and _amazing_ introduction video. If this was the _new_ MacBook Air, I'd be excited. Sadly, regardless of Windows 10 S or Pro, I'd choose ChromeOS or Linux before first.
may 2017 by rmateu
Apple AirPods satisfaction at a remarkable 98% for customers
> New Experian survey explores consumer satisfaction with AirPods and other voice-first hardware.

Doesn't surprise me at all, the AirPods are my favorite Apple gadget in a long time. But, curious about how many use it as a _voice-first hardware_. First thing I did was turn-off Siri on double-tap.
snippet  apple 
may 2017 by rmateu
Auphonic Audiogram Generator: Waveform Videos for Podcasts and Audio Files
> Auphonic can now generate shareable videos from audio files, including a dynamically generated waveform and your cover image (or possible chapter images) as background.

This is really cool[^col], it lets you create a video out of your audio. Which is easier to share and _way_ more catchy on social networks. If/when I do another podcast, this will likely be on the workflow.

[col]: [Auphonic](http://auphonic.com/landing) is amazing for podcasts. Did most of [Colofón's](http://colofon.audio) audio cleanup there.
snippet  podcast  tool 
april 2017 by rmateu
Spotify looking at hardware talent
> You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.

Spotify bluetooth/4G headphones? smartwatch? ~green discman?~ lots of fun possibilities.
snippet  music 
april 2017 by rmateu
'The Fifth Element' Returning to Theaters for 20th Anniversary
> A 4K restoration of the 1997 space epic will hit multiplexes on Sunday, May 14th and Wednesday, May 17th as part of Fathom Events' 20th anniversary re-release, Entertainment Weekly reports.

This is babysitter worthy. Will report.
snippet  movies 
april 2017 by rmateu
Steph Curry Eliminates 'Unnecessary Distractions' by Deleting Social Media Apps
> The Golden State Warriors superstar recently told Chris Haynes of ESPN that he deleted all of the social media apps from his phone before the playoffs began. The reason behind it, of course, is he wants to devote all of his attention toward winning another championship. 

I think the time for early adopters to adopt _no social apps_ is here.

/via [jamcnn](https://twitter.com/jamcnn/status/855492686723338241)
snippet  focus 
april 2017 by rmateu
Firefox 53 new minimal themes
{|<}![Firefox 43](http://5typos.s3.amazonaws.com/images/firefox53opt.png)
> That’s why today’s release of Firefox for desktop ships with two new themes: Compact Light and Compact Dark. Compact Light shrinks the size of the browser’s user interface (the ‘chrome’) while maintaining Firefox’s default light color scheme.

Enjoying the new themes, and _snappiness_ of Firefox versus Chrome. Will use it as my work default for a few days.
snippet  browser  design 
april 2017 by rmateu
Cal Newport on doing Deep Work and escaping social media — The Ezra Klein Show
> […] I’m a bit obsessed with Newport’s work right now, and especially his account of how the digital environment we inhabit is training us out of concentration and into distraction in ways that are bad for us, bad for our work, and ultimately bad for the world.

Halfway through the episode and I already deleted all social apps from my phone again – will use the websites for the next month.

/via coliver.
snippet  productivity  podcast 
april 2017 by rmateu
Seeing Theory
> A visual introduction to probability and statistics.

I say [amazing a lot](http://5typos.net/search?q=amazing), but this is *AMAZING*.
math  statistics  visualization  snippet 
april 2017 by rmateu
The Alphabet Book
{||} Great lesson on _idle time_. I just want to print the results somewhere.
{||}> […] I gave myself the challenge to create a set of illustrations, from A to Z that would hopefully end in some sort of Alphabet Kid’s Book.

More cool designs at [Ål Power](http://www.alpowerillustrates.com) website.
design  snippet 
april 2017 by rmateu
Increment Magazine
Amazing online magazine from the team at [Stripe](stripe.com):
>Increment is dedicated to covering how teams build and operate software systems at scale, one issue at a time.

Just skimming the first issue makes me realize I would have _paid_ for it. This is a great contribution to the tech community.
april 2017 by rmateu
Book publishing in the digital age
A bunch of interesting snippets in the article:
>This technical distinction is also present in consumer behavior. eBooks—with their instant access and cheap prices—sell generally 6x more quantities than print books for us. That said, a print book will generally generate 7x more revenue than an eBook.

Very interesting, and I strongly agree with the next sentence in the paragraph:

> It’s hard to generate revenue on an eBook because the whole premise of the platform is, I want this quickly and at the cheapest price possible. The premise of a print book in the digital age is driven by luxury: I read better on paper…or…I like the feeling of turning a page. You can’t create much markup on utility, whereas you can create a great deal of markup on luxury.

The whole article reads like summary notes of an industry paper, worth the bookmark.
book  reading  ebook  snippet 
april 2017 by rmateu
74,476 reasons you should always get the bigger pizza
Always, _always_, go extra-large:
> The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple: A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius.

Happy friday.
economics  food  snippet 
april 2017 by rmateu
Art in apps became a real thing (Why Pro Matters)
Great overview by [Sebastiaan de With](https://twitter.com/sdw) on my the Pro market should matter to Apple:
> Without a truly top-tier workstation, Apple will miss out on a huge segment of digital creatives that can craft the future of human-machine interaction — something way beyond tapping a piece of glass. It would lack a Mac workstation with the raw computing power to prototype VR and AR interactions, build game worlds, simulate complex models and render the effects of tomorrow’s great feature films all the while offering those same creatives a platform to create for its own mobile devices.

These are all rational reasons. We have less access to the financial ones, but I'm sure they're there. Lastly, there's the _feeling_ of coolness; of getting the _right tool for the job_. That's a thing Mac's are slowly loosing.

But it does seem that Apple finally noticed.
snippet  mac 
april 2017 by rmateu
Soylent Ad: Pizza Helper

Originally didn't get the [Trish AI spokesperson concept](https://www.soylent.com/trish/), but as a Soylent user, this ad represents _how_ I think about the product.
snippet  video 
march 2017 by rmateu
- ./uploads.ini:/usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/uploads.ini
- ./my-wordpress-theme:/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/my-wordpress-theme
reference  snippet 
march 2017 by rmateu
Siempo – The Phone for Humans
> We felt overwhelmed by our phones so we built a better one. Smart technology re-imagined for a less distracted life.

Lots interesting ideas. Seems like these should be features and not an Android fork, but will be happy if it finds a niche.
snippet  gadget 
march 2017 by rmateu
Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms
> The shift toward Google-powered devices is hurting Apple’s revenue. Of the $7.35 billion that schools, colleges and universities spent on mobile and desktop computers in 2016, sales of Apple devices fell to $2.8 billion in 2016, from about $3.2 billion in 2015, according to IDC, a market research firm.

This is not like the smartphone marketshare debate, where the iPhone is _"loosing"_ – yet has by far the biggest revenue share. On schools they are _loosing_ in both areas.

> Then there is the keyboard issue. While school administrators generally like the iPad’s touch screens for younger elementary school students, some said older students often needed laptops with built-in physical keyboards for writing and taking state assessment tests.

Either physical or touchscreen, the iPad needs more space for the keyboard if you're doing common work. I know that for emails, messages and browsing the on-screen keyboard is fine. But to do a paper or report you can't have the keyboard obscuring half of an already crowed space.
apple  google  snippet 
march 2017 by rmateu
How Sonos will take on Alexa and Google: by integrating them
Sonos CEO Patrick Spence:

> Certainly I'm sure there are people that have purchased a Google Home or an Echo instead of a Play:1, but I don't look at that [and think] they're dead to Sonos. There's an opportunity to get into their living room and get into other rooms in their home with some of the interoperability work we're doing.

Sonos devices sound quality continues to be significantly better than Echo's and Google Home. Starting your smart home devices with a AI hub that has a good-enough speaker, and then adding compatible speakers with much better sounds, seems like a solid plan.
february 2017 by rmateu
Apple used to care about iBooks
Daniel Steinberg:
> I've joked that if Eddie Cue loved reading the way he clearly loves music, then iBooks, the iBookstore, and iBooks Author would be amazing. Not only aren't they amazing, they aren't even good.

In 2013 I helped out creating ebooks for a family friends. I first did the Kindle's version, and it was a painful experience – similar to making a website in the early days. I left the iBook for last, looking forward to the experience. A few days letter, I was back using the epub generator and converting it to the Apple format.

Sad to hear not much has changed.
snippet  apple  ibook 
february 2017 by rmateu
Atlassian acquires Trello for $425M
It's a great exit for Trello. Would have preferred that it was Github the acquirer, but it makes perfect sense for Atlassian.

>It’s no surprise then, that the company’s press release specifically cites Trello’s popularity with business teams in finance, HR, legal, marketing and sales and notes that 50 percent of Trello users work in non-technical functions.

Trello is not efficient, it's flexible. It doesn't impose order like Jira, and if you use incorrectly it can be chaotic. But for many type of users, it's the _modern shared spreadsheet_ perfect for collaboration.
january 2017 by rmateu
What Apple gives you for $100 as a Safari Extension Developer 
> Turns out, however, Apple did eventually publish the extension — they just never told us. We don’t know when it happened, but it was likely around or after Thanksgiving, because we’d checked a few times since receiving that last email saying we were still under review.

There's very few cool/new extensions for Safari nowadays. This dev makes the case that it's a terrible experience for programmers. iOS/Mac codebase consolidation is likely the cause, and again, the Mac gets a downgrade in experience because of it.
january 2017 by rmateu
Encryption App ‘Signal’ Fights Censorship With a Clever Workaround
Andy Greenberg on [Wired](https://www.wired.com/2016/12/encryption-app-signal-fights-censorship-clever-workaround/):
> “Now when people in Egypt or the United Arab Emirates send a Signal message, it’ll look identical to something like a Google search,” Marlinspike says. “The idea is that using Signal will look like using Google; if you want to block Signal you’ll have to block Google.”

Smart. Since Signal is not as widely used as WhatsApp, blocking it doesn't cause same uproar. This workaround ties its fate with Google, which is like using Godzilla for your canary in a coal mine test.
snippet  security 
december 2016 by rmateu
Cars and Trucks and Mac SUVs
Excellent point by [Jason Snell](https://sixcolors.com/post/2016/12/cars-and-trucks-and-mac-suvs/):


>So maybe it’s a mistake to think that Macs are trucks. Maybe today’s Macs are more like SUVs: they’re more expensive and better appointed cars. It’s a category that’s just as popular as the car, and way more popular than the pickup truck.
snippet  mac 
december 2016 by rmateu
Displays for designers and developers
> Apple’s interface design in macOS is set up so it is comfortable for most people at a density of about 110 pixels per inch for non-Retina, and about 220 pixels per inch for Retina — text is readable and button targets are easy to hit at a normal viewing distance. Using a display that isn’t close to 110PPI or 220PPI means text and interface elements will either be too big, or too small.

The trick is not to focus in the screen size and assume a 4K resolution is good enough. For true retina you need 4K on a 21.5in or 5k on a 27in. Otherwise it's better to go for a non-retina 27in at 2560x1440.
december 2016 by rmateu
Does it Make Sense for Programmers to Move to the Bay Area?
> The Bay Area in 2016 is to technology as 1930s Detroit was to automobiles or 14th-century Venice was to the European spice trade, except that these and all other historical analogies are unable to capture the magnitude and speed of local tech growth.

I struggle with this every time I go on a job application spree. San Francisco is _the_ place geeky things happen. But the cost of living is very scary.

> If, however, you're looking to maximize your probability of joining the next Google (or Google itself), moving to the Bay Area probably makes sense. The salaries here do cover the higher cost of living, and if you are able to capitalize on the additional opportunities that are uniquely available here, you could end up doing much more than covering costs.

Basically, if you hit it big, the high living cost will be insignificant… and you're more likely to hit it big if you're there.
december 2016 by rmateu
Agile and Trello project management
This reddit comment is an excellent summary on how to manage projects in Trello.
reference  projectmanagement  snippet 
december 2016 by rmateu
The Inside Story Behind Pebble’s Demise
[Steven Levy](https://backchannel.com/the-real-story-behind-pebbles-demise-303802a7afaa#.p5dnr0e6s):

> It was time to sell off what he could, with the priority of protecting his customers, sticking by his developers, and doing the best he could for his employees.

Lots of credit to Migicovsky. It does sound like he played the best hand he could for those around him, with the cards he had.
december 2016 by rmateu
Anil Dash is the new CEO of Fog Creek Software
Joel Spolsky:

> In short, we need Anil to help support us with ideas and leadership for HyperDev (now renamed GoMix) and any future products we come up with, and we need his soapbox and industry connections to continue to keep Fog Creek Software relevant. Thus I think the perfect position for him is as CEO of Fog Creek Software.

It's amazing that Stack Overflow has 300 employees and Trello almost 100. I admire Anil Dash, and Fog Creek is a great company with extremely solid products, so this sounds like a great match.
december 2016 by rmateu
Apple’s Support Gap
Completely agree with [Nick Heer](https://twitter.com/nickheer):

> I’ve been trying to book some time at my local Apple Store to get my iPhone’s battery swapped, and it has not been easy — at least, not compared to the way it used to be.

I got a hairline screen crack on my iPhone 7 a few weeks back, and it took me a few tries to make the appointment on the website. I _had_ to use the Mac because the Safari on the phone kept timing out, and the soonest date available was 1 week.

Once in the store, it was about 1 hour to turn the iPhone in, and then two and a half hours to get it back. Although it's still way better than most stores experiences, it's not _Insanely Great_ by any measurement.
december 2016 by rmateu
reMarkable – The paper tablet for people who prefer paper.
> The paper tablet for people who prefer paper. Here to replace your notebooks, sketchbooks and printouts. Paper-like reading, writing and sketching with digital powers.

This _is_ truly remarkable. It must be using some next-gen eInk display to achieve the refresh and draw rates in the videos. The device itself looks well thought-off and designed. I wish them the best of luck, since I've daydreamed about this sort tablet ever since my Newton days.

However, it's going to be a hard sell against the iPad. The $379 pre-order price (with cover and pen) could be interesting, but the $716 launch price will need to find a niche market to succeed.
december 2016 by rmateu
Fitbit is buying Pebble for $34-40 million
>Fitness wearable creator Fitbit is in the process of acquiring smartwatch maker Pebble in a deal that will likely spell the end of the Pebble brand. VentureBeat has learned that the sale price will be between $34 million and $40 million.

I have gone through my stages of grief on this. It makes sense as a company – given the reckoning the wearables industry is going through. Still, kinda a sad to see Pebble as a brand and company go.

Although geeky, they did start the wearables trend.
december 2016 by rmateu

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