@Gaby I get a morning email digest from Mailbrew with my Twitter timeline and funnel YouTube and Reddit into RSS. The social apps are filled with recommendations and features designed to keep you “engaged”. But there’s always an actual bottom to my unread emails and RSS feeds.

Throughout the day, the only types of apps I “just check” are email, RSS, and my Micro.blog client. Micro.blog gets a pass because it seems to be filled with genuinely good people that post things that make me happy — at least that’s what I see in my timeline. :)

This setup gives me more time to read my read later items, to write, and work on other projects that actually accomplish something.

Here is a great way to put Mailbrew to work and help us create free time in our busy schedules.

Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets

More shit like this and I guess Twitter will be my next one to quit.

The beginning of the end for me and Twitter?

Owning media > streaming services

On paper, yes, but how do you cope in a “streaming-only” world?

Are we digital nomads? (#blogging #internet)

In the last few months, on Twitter and on Micro.blog, I’ve been witnessing something that takes the shape of a small phenomenon: people are moving from one place to another in the digital space. Many are writing about their experience of moving from one hosting site to another. Some are leaving WordPress to return to Ghost. Others are proudly putting together their hosting solutions. The same happens in the newsletters hosting space: people are leaving Mailchimp to go to Substack or Revue. People are looking to get better return on their investment both in time and money. Others are simply trying to optimize their blogging workflow. There is a myriad of reasons why people decide to leave a place for another one.

I find these numeric movements quite fascinating. Are you one of those guys?

Welcome back to the Mac computer club @mattbirchler (#apple #macbookair #applesilicon)

As much as you can like to work on the iPad, there are edge cases where the iPad falls short. Since I got an Apple Silicon powered Mac, and thanks to many nifty Mac utilities, I rediscovered what it really means to be productive and efficient on a computer platform. This blog post by Matt Birchler is an example of an edge case being better served by a traditional yet powerful computer.

On the subject of small and focused Mac productivity utilities, The list of application purchases I made since moving to this Mac mini is pretty long. Here it goes, in no particular order.

  • HazeOver
  • Unclutter
  • Keysmith
  • Bartender 4
  • DefaultFolder
  • Hush
  • StopTheMaddness
  • Alfred
  • Hazel
  • CheatSheet
  • PopClip
  • Downie
  • Permute
  • SafariMarkdownLinker

There is something those utilities have in common: in one way or another, they augment the macOS experience. Such things are not quite possible, yet, on the iPad.

The challenges with online speech and publishing (#socialnetworks #socialmedia #platforms)

A recent article by Benedict Evans exposes how hard it is to “fix” social networks.

“The internet and then social platforms break a lot of our definitions of different kinds of speech, and yet somehow Facebook / Google / Twitter are supposed to recreate that whole 200-year tapestry of implicit structures and consensus, and answer all of those questions, from office parks in the San Francisco Bay Area, for both the USA and Myanmar, right now. We want them to Fix It, but we don’t actually know what that means.”

I often think about issues that platforms like Facebook brings to our society. I don’t pretend to have any solution. I can’t quite define what Facebook is actually from a societal point of view. That being said, a lack of definition and understanding cannot prevent me to wish for things to be done differently. And I have one simple wish.

I want the eradication of algorithm-based feeds. I want them to be regulated, prohibited even. At the very least, it should be an opt-in “feature”. I want the return of chronological feeds. No tweaks, no tricks, nothing more. Nothing less. I want all people to have a look at the same reality. Two people having the exact same followers and following the same guys should give the same timeline. Period.

Without hyper-manipulated feeds, we have to wonder about the usefulness of all gathered data about us and our behaviours. Maybe ads targeting doesn’t make as much sense in tact hypothetical context.

If two people don’t see the same thing, it’s because the choice was made by an individual wishing to control his or her exposure, not by a corporation’s algorithm or an arbitrary group of people.

That’s my wish. Let’s try it and see if things change for the better.

The Insurmountable Problem for Intel (#intel #apple #applesilicon)

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger

Let’s start with a quote from Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger (as reported by The Oregonian)

“We have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino. We have to be that good, in the future.”

The fundamental problem with Intel is that they will never make the whole widget (the products) like Apple does. That’s the key for insanely great products. Intel’s CPU are small enablers at best. The vertical integration of the whole stack (hardware, OS, apps, services) makes what Apple is all about. There is no way for Intel to emulate that by cooperating with hundreds of OEMs.

Sorry, Pat, nice try.

Programming, mathematics and brain activities (#research #computers #computerscience)

Florian olivo Ek9Znm8lQ1U unsplash

What does it take to be a hood programmer? Or better yet, what does it take to like programming hence writing or reading algorithms? Math? Language? Arts? A combination? When I started in computer science at the University, my friends thought that I was good at maths. It wasn’t the case. Before deciding which field I would like to study, I was afraid of computer science, thinking myself that we had to be really good with mathematics. My experience shows that it is not the case. I’m average at maths but good at programming and in computer science in general. Is it surprising? According to this article, no. In fact, computer programming isn’t the same thing as doing maths from a brain activity perspective. It is more like something very demanding where a totally different part of the brain is solicited. Fascinating. It may (or may not) explain why you can be good in computer science but not as good in mathematics. Who knows.

By having a better understanding of what parts of the brain are solicited, we may find common ground with other disciplines. It is really hard to attract people in computer science and knowing what it takes from a brain perspective could help direct efforts of recruiting the right people who will like to read and write algorythms but are not good at maths!

Where does our data go when we die? (#digitallife #death #legacy)

Nikko macaspac 6SNbWyFwuhk unsplash

What happens with your numeric assets when you die? I mean, think of your online presence: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Where all that stuff ends up a few years after you die? That’s the type of question “Where Does Our Data Go When We Die?” tries to answer. It’s something that I find interesting and a big challenge, something that I wrote about in my piece titled “A Guide for Preparing to Leave Your Numeric Legacy”. Long read yet very important subject.

The unexpected good side effect of COVID19 on me as a blogger (#writing #blogging #blog)

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Who knew COVID-19 would have a very positive side effect on me. It started on March 13th of 2020, and it’s still going on nearly uninterrupted. What is it? I have more time than ever to focus on my writing and publishing activities. Why?

As I’m working from home from mi-March of this year, I no longer have to commute. I save countless hours per week just because of this. On top of that, consider many activities on the weekend that no longer can take place because of the on-and-off restrictions in place.

I never wrote or published as much stuff in the last nine months as in the last year or so. I have a lot of projects in my head, small and more significant. I did spend quite a lot as I no longer travelling on software, services, work-from-home equipment. I also have more time for reading than before, it makes a difference.

COVID-19 is transformative at the society level but also a personal level. There are things that I don’t want to return when COVID-19 is no longer among us. Time is a precious resource, once you have it, you don’t want to mess with it.

It's time to call out @iphoneincanada (#tracking #ads)

Ads

Wait for the previous gif to load and animate. What the fusk is wrong with the owners of iPhone in Canada website? This animated gif shows how wrong the web can become. There are 21 trackers on this website. The more trackers, the more ads, the less content there is. What a pity. For this reason, I don’t visit their website, I only subscribe to their RSS feed and Safari notifications. They should know that at some point, they cross the inflexion point where too much is like not enough.

The future of the iPad, according to an M1 chip (#apple #ipadpro #applesilicon #mac #m1mac #ipados)

In a blog post “Your Move, iPad”, by Becky Hansmeyer, the author asks “So if raw power isn’t enough, and new display tech isn’t enough, where does the iPad go from here? Will it be abandoned once more, lagging behind the Mac in terms of innovation, or will Apple continue to debut its latest tech in this form factor?”

In light of the massively successful M1-powered Macs, what can we infer for the future of the iPad Pro?

Apple doesn’t need to add touchscreen to their MacBook line if they unleash the iPad with a much more complete iPadOS experience. I think Apple missed the occasion with iPadOS 14 by not adding a more flexible widgets experience, by refusing to improve external display support and by not revisiting the multitasking interaction model. See? It’s not only a matter of adding 5G wireless support or LiDAR or a second USB-C port. These will only be as good as the software will allow them to be useful. The just begun new era for Mac with the M1 chip combined with Apple’s tight software integration should give us answers on why the iPad Pro future lies in the software.

Apple is not what it used to be (#apple #analysis)

Someone on Twitter shared this YouTube video in which the guy tries to explain why and how Apple is not what it used to be. In a few words: now, they actively compete with others. It’s a massive difference where before they seemed to act alone without caring about the surrounding competitive landscape. Highly recommended.

Microsoft already feeling the heat (#microsoft #apple #m1chip #applesilicon)

Carefully look at this add by Microsoft bellow. The phrasing of this ad clearly shows the roots of the company making the product. “Pen supported” is one example. Why not write something like “Touch interface” or “Touch screen”. The word “supported” sounds wrong and makes me feel Microsoft is not fully confident about the real nature of this computing environment. The other thing is the removable SSD option. That’s typical geeky-PC-world-thing. Do we really care in a world of cloud-based storage being an extension of our devices? Really bad ad.

Clearly, Microsoft is already feeling the heat and is on the defensive. It’s only getting started. Others will follow.

Here is why Microsoft should start to worry (#microsoft #surfacego #macbookair #apple #m1chip)

In light of Apple’s recent products introduction, consider the recently introduced Microsoft Surface Go. A Windows laptop that starts with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB SSD, 12.4” touch screen using the Intel Core i5 which will get you 13 hours on battery for 550$. If you want a 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, the price goes up to 899$, but you keep the same lame CPU.

Now, compare this to the new MacBook Air (a much more powerful laptop) for 899$ (education pricing), same amount of RAM and SSD, 5 hours more of battery life, a much better non-touch display.

How is Microsoft supposed to compete against Apple in this market now?

They simply can’t, and they should start to worry.

PC Gimmicky features rarely used (#windows #windowslaptop #microsoftsurface)

PC laptops introduced pencil support, touch screen, screen-based touchpads, et. al. because these are the only things they could do to try to stay on top in a commoditized technology platform. I will take in a heartbeat 3X or 5X performance gain and 6 more hours of battery life over the gimmicky features. This is one of the many reasons I’m so upbeat with the M1-based Macs.

Photo credit: Alexander Andrews on Unsplash.

I can breath. (#bidenharis2020) 😀🇨🇦

Well, I can breath a little bit better now that this clown is on the way out. Good riddance. As a Canadian, I’m so happy to see this clown go. If there was a way to start fixing 2020, it would be it. Yeah, I know, he won’t concede victory, he probably won’t do a concession speech. Who cares.. we knew all that, already. Now, let’s hope Americans start to unite a little bit and fix their shit, because, it’s pretty ugly out there.

The transition iPhone (#apple #iphone12 #iphonepro)

A recent tweet from @LeaksApplePro made me think about the significance of the iPhone 12 in the grand scheme of things.

Apple is about to remove the last port on the iPhone, so they are training us with the MagSafe. Next year’s version will fix many of the issue we’re facing today. 5G may not be ready, but next year it will be much better. LiDAR is fascinating, but next year we will depend on it. We tend to forget about the notch, next year it will be Apple who will forget it by putting it to rest.

We’re still in the middle of the pandemic. We’re not out of the woods. We’ll continue to work from home for a long time. Trips are not really a thing right now. But, in the fall of 2021, can we hope that most of this will be behind us and return to normal life? It would help a lot to enjoy the portless iPhone 13 or whatever stupid name they will name it. Right now, I’m a bit tired of not being able to go out and use the cameras to build my visual memories.

The iPhone 12 is the transition iPhone that will lead us to a better world, a year from now. I hope.

Facebook is bad at everything. Period. (#facebook #privacyprotection #design #privacy)

Interesting post from @Gruber about Facebook application design. The lack of support for basic things like dark mode, more than a year after its introduction is a simple example, but very telling about something: Facebook doesn’t give a shit about those things. They don’t give a shit about privacy protection either. They don’t give a shit about democracy. They are are bad at design. They are bad at everything. And their growth is slowly declining which is a bit of fresh air to know.

Fascinating times (#apple #microsoft #google #amazon)

Here is a fascinating chart: brand value calculated by Interbrand. Apple is on top again this year. They have been there since 2012. What I find interesting is the first row is occupied by companies reflecting our new way of life as we depend on smartphones (Apple, Samsung), online shopping (Amazon) and the cloud (Microsoft). What about Google you might ask? Well, first, as we don’t like to pay for online stuff, we prefer to be the product of advertisers. Second, we stopped using bookmarks a long time ago, we prefer the Google search field.

We’re humans — Tim Cook (#apple #timcook)

“Work can’t solve for all the things we’re missing right now, but a shared sense of purpose goes a long way. A belief that we can do more together than we can alone, that people of good will, driven by creativity and passion and that certain itch of a big idea, can still do things that help other people in our own small way to teach, to learn, to create, or just to relax at a time like this. Even as the things we make require us to operate at the very cutting edge of technology, in materials, products, and ideas that didn’t exist just a few years ago, this year has forced us to face plainly the things that make us human — disease, resilience, and hope.” — Tim Cook

Is this called “Evolution” or “Modernism"? (#apple #ios7 #UI #design)

An image is worth a thousand words. We are still paying the price of this shift in design, every single day, for every single interaction we have with our iPhone… who asked for that? Why? Will we return to normalcy? I’ll never forget the “before” it was so shitty. Never.

Nine years, already.

I miss him. The world is different. Apple has become something else. He would probably like what it has become without him, probably not all of it but most of it. I don’t care what he would have done differently. It’s no longer relevant as we need to keep looking forward, something he always did. But I still miss him dearly.

Here is a free tip to those developers thinking of adding widget support in their apps: widgets are not a great way to display information from high density, high speed info channels like social network feeds (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc). You are welcome. #iosdev #apple

Lost in a see of content

There is way more content online than we can humanly consume. There, I said it. I’m myself part of the problem, as a content creator too, albeit in a very small tiny fashion. To make things worse, I consider myself a writer. It’s not helping as less and less people are reading these days.