Evening Reading: 3/28/14

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Here’s some free advice to non-Apple executives.  When you crap on Apple products, people view it as an admission that yours is inferior.  Just make a great product and it will speak for itself.  I’d love for someone to perfect what Apple TV is trying to do.  But time spent criticizing their product should be used perfecting yours.

I’ll say it again.  Bitcoin is the stupidest thing since Y2K.  If you want a new currency, why not Brandar Tiles.  Or any other one of these.  There’s nothing worse than a horde of nerds (and I consider myself a nerd) getting carried away with something that literally no one else in the world cares a whit about.

EverDock is my favorite Kickstarter project so far.  I have 4 of them (office, home office, farm and bedside table) and use them all.  As soon as their new automobile solution project goes live, I will back it.

If you see this and don’t smile, you might just take things a bit too seriously.  I can’t wait.

I lost interest in American Horror Story somewhere in season two, but by golly if Mackey is going to be in season 4 then you can be sure I’ll watch it.

I never could decide if I was an extrovert or an introvert.  I’m not shy, I can talk to anyone, but I could also happily be a hermit.  Today I learned, via Reddit, about ambiverts.  Is there a word for someone who likes people until (they screw with him and) he don’t?

So, I was thinking about this song today.  My favorite music video of all-time.  Facebook should use this in a Super Bowl ad.  It’s that good.

 

 

 

Evening Reading: 3/27/14

 

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This is a promising project.  The only thing I dislike about my beloved iMac is the placement of the ports on the back.  It’s hard to connect devices by feel, so I end up turning the screen around and displacing things on my desk.

I cannot believe I just read something that combines two of my favorite things: farming and going paperless. Brooks Duncan and his work at Document Snap are among the best productivity-enhancing resources on the internet. Highly recommended. Brooks, if you see this, will you please, for the love of all that is paperless, create a foolproof Hazel or Automator process for batch converting Word documents to pdf? I can create automations to do amazingly complex workflows, but I have not found a way to create a reliable folder action (or a reliable Automator service) that will convert to pdf.

I love the specs of this new WD external hard drive. I don’t love the price, but it will come down.

Here’s a great article on using Google Drive to capture ideas and other data for later processing. I’m still mad at Google for killing Reader, but given that I’m all-in with their (now very affordable) storage, I might, just maybe, look at Google Keep again.

This is great news.  Tucker and Dale is a hilarious movie.

Speaking of sequels, Christine McVie is back.

Can we all agree, once and for all, that ad-supported isn’t free.  It’s just payment in kind (of time).  I would much rather pay a little money than see (as in notice, much less watch) ads.

 

 

Evening Reading: 3/26/14

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Office should have been on iPads years ago. It’s probably too late now. I may try it, but not if I have to use (whatever they call) Office365 (this week).

I think App Camp for Girls is wonderful. If it ever comes to Texas, my girls are going.

I’m cranking through The Sopranos on the treadmill. It’s great TV. I watched The Test Dream last night. It’s one of the best TV episodes ever. It replaced the also excellent Pine Barrens as my favorite episode so far.

North Korea cracks me up. Here’s more.

This happened in Houston, yesterday.  We could see the fire from my office downtown.

 

David Gewirtz has updated his excellent Google Voice how-to guide.  Highly recommended.

Very interesting read- going behind the scenes with Nigerian scammers. I have little sympathy for those who fall for this sort of thing. But I have mad love for those who make hilarity with them. There are laughs to be had there.

 

Evening Reading: 3/25/14

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I really don’t care that the government is (allegedly) reading my emails and keeping a thick file on my exciting correspondence. And I don’t care that all the cloud services (not really, but people think) claim all my stuff that lands there. But I absolutely hate it when people email me with read receipt requests. I always say no, and mentally put that person on a list of people to wonder about. So anyone who uses this on me will be banned from communicating with me.

Honestly, sometimes I think so-called (but not by my definition) Christians are trying to alienate people. It’s a shame when people (like me) who believe in God are hesitant to call themselves Christians because they don’t want to be associated with the haters that have co-opted so much of organized religion.

If you haven’t watched Vikings, you’re in for a treat. I really like it. Dude was crazy, though, letting his (extremely hot and warrior-like) wife split.

Yes, there is way too much smoking in rural areas. It’s a close cousin of the biggest rural problem- littering. Anyone who litters and anyone under 60 who smokes is an idiot. Period. No exceptions. It’s just not as cool as you think it is. And it will kill you.

Speaking of things I don’t care about, can we please never talk about Edward Snowden again? I just don’t care.

New app fist impressions: I’m coming around pretty good on DayOne (especially with some added IFTTT/Dropbox hacks).  OmniFocus, not so much. Maybe David Sparks’ screen casts will help, but here’s the thing- if I have to work hard to use your app, then by definition it’s not making my life easier.

I’m going pretty much all-in with Google Drive, thanks to the huge cost reductions. Lifehacker shows you how to make it a media server.  Speaking of Google, I still do my primary off-site backups to Amazon via AWS, but it looks like Google is moving on that space too. Regardless, it will be hard to top the AWS/Arq combo for backing up massive amounts of data.

WordPress.Com continues to prove it is the best blog/website hosting service in the world. It’s now ridiculously easy to create audio playlists.

This is well-deserved. My love of tech in general and computers specifically was nurtured writing basic code and doing early automation in DOS. I still remember how cool it was when you wrote some code, finally found all the errors, and watched it work.

PDF Printer looks like an interesting app. I’m still looking for the ideal iOS to pdf/scanned toolbox.

Evening Reading: 3/24/14

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10 Scary Holes With Deadly Pasts. No, not people who went to UNC. The kind in the ground.

Sorry, but I don’t feel even a little sorry for this dude.

As I get more and more into podcasting, I find that I enjoyed daily, short and informative podcasts. One of my favorite is TUAW’s  Daily Update Podcast.

I use Target Display Mode all the time with my second iMac. MakeUseOf  has a great summary of how you can use a second Mac as the additional display. I wish there was a way to keep the second Mac in Target Display Mode even after sleep.

I can’t back this up with empirical data, but almost guarantee you that Microsoft changes the name of its products more than any other company in history.

I tried really hard to believe in Obamacare. Unfortunately, I have concluded that it is lacking, at best, and a disaster, at worst.

OS X became a teenager today. While I was not a huge fan of the early OS X iterations, starting around Snow Leopard and continuing through Mavericks, OS X has been wonderful. At this point, I can’t imagine anyone voluntarily choosing a Windows machine over a Mac.

While I have only used iTunes radio sparingly so far, it is encouraging that Apple is adding additional streaming content. Hopefully, the addition of NPR news is the first of many additions.

One of the most interesting things about the rumored  Apple-Comcast TV deal will be to see how a combination of my most favorite company and least favorite company turns out.

John Prine and Steve Earle did the second best cover of Townes Van Zandt’s excellent Loretta.

 

For those who haven’t had the pleasure, the best cover is, without a doubt, by Jesse Dayton.

 

Evening Reading: 3/18/2014

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Lucky Dog got himself bitten by a snake. We’ve been all over the creek, and in the wilderness lately, working on various projects. He was generally behind me, which proves my uncle was right. First one scares ’em, second one gets bit.

I kid you not, I ported my old landline (via a temporary cell phone) to Google Voice this morning.  And, it goes on life support.  Awesome.

There is nothing surprising about the fact that music sales have stalled. Music sales are over. I have 25,000 (legal and purchased over the decades) songs on a music server at home, and I haven’t listened to a one of them in years. I subscribe to and get all my music from Spotify and Google Music. My kids haven’t bought a full record in years. They use streaming too, and will occasionally buy a single song or two from iTunes.

It’s really cool when human beings do awesome things for each other.

There is nothing short of littering that I detest more than Facebook games. Why does Facebook put two separate games-related links in my sidebar and refuse to let me delete them? Why isn’t there a one-click setting to make every single game related thing disappear forever from my Facebook feed and apps. It’s not like I’m going to wake up one day and feel differently. Yes, I still filter as much game-related content as possible.

10 Innocent Things That Caused Incredible Violence. The 11th would be the last time I asked my kids to agree on where they wanted to go to dinner.

I’m all for rural neighborhood watch groups. We have one. What I really want is an army of heavily armed commandos to hunt down, warn (once) and then commit war crimes on litterers. The amount of littering in rural areas is hard to imagine if you haven’t experienced it.

A year or so ago, I had high hopes for the new Sim City game.  EA ruined it.  It’s too late now to fix it.

Yeah, I know.  But I’d rather panhandle in my golden years than trust the government with anything remotely resembling a national pension.  If states weren’t so busy “subsidizing corporations under the guise of economic development,” all those retirement accounts we fret over would be much smaller.

Evening Reading: 3/14/14

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Google just tossed a (good for us kind of) bomb at other cloud services.  $1.99 per month for 100GB (previously $4.99) and $9.99 per month for 1TB (previously $49.99).

I’m looking forward to the return of Mad Men.  Speaking of which, here is a (new) review of my favorite episode so far.

One of the 3,000 reasons why Reddit is the best thing about the internet is IaMA, the place where people- many of the famous and/or interesting- answer questions.  One guy always asks the same question, and it is a great one (I’ve started asking it at important work meetings when someone goes on too long about something and then asks for questions).  “Would you rather fight one horse-size duck or a hundred duck size horses?”  Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a video demonstration (and confirms that he’s a pretty cool dude).

I wonder if Dave and Mike agree with this ranking of Australian breakfast cereal?  I just want a Vegemite sandwich.  Served by a strange lady who makes me nervous.

 

Who needs zombies?  Here is the real proof that the apocalypse is upon us.

Speaking of Reddit and IaMAs, Arthur Chu of Jeopardy fame is doing a very interesting one right now.

You’re only as old as you feel.

Agreed.  One of my favorite movies.  Along with Broken Flowers.

Guess I was the only one who “don’t need [his music player] around anyhow.”  Speaking of music, looks like my next Tundra could, in fact, have CarPlay.

Interesting read on how the Target data theft went down.