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iOS Calendar Automation with Shortcuts and Fantastical 3 โ€“ The Sweet Setup ๐Ÿ”’ thesweetsetup.com

All of these great automation capabilities exposed through Shortcuts is the first thing to make me really intrigued by Fantastical 3. ๐Ÿคจ

โŽ January 30, 2020


Sign Stealing Scandal ๐Ÿ”’ signstealingscandal.com

This is brilliant, and seems so absolutely fitting for the obsessively data-driven sabremetricians of baseball. โšพ๏ธ

My name is Tony Adams. Iโ€™m an Astros fan. In November 2019, when the videos of the banging during some Astros 2017 games came out, I was horrified. It was clear within a minute of watching it was true โ€” my team had cheated. To understand the scope of the cheating and the players involved, I decided to look at each home game from that season and determine any audio indicators of the sign stealing.

I wrote an application that downloaded the pitch data from MLBโ€™s Statcast. This data has a timestamp for every pitch. I then downloaded the videos from YouTube and, using the timestamp, created a spectrogram for every pitch. A spectrogram is a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies in an audio file. I could then playback the video of the pitches and, helped by the visual of the spectrogram, determine if there was any banging before the pitch.

Of course! ๐Ÿค“ Via great highlight from Daring Fireball.

โŽ January 30, 2020


Nintendo Switch overtakes SNES with more than 52 million sold - The Verge ๐Ÿ”’ www.theverge.com

Itโ€™s great to see the Switch being recognized for the great gaming machine it is. I continue to respect Nintendo for taking a different path, and not just competing on hardware. ๐ŸŽฎ

โŽ January 30, 2020


Google AI Blog: Towards a Conversational Agent that Can Chat Aboutโ€ฆAnything ๐Ÿ”’ ai.googleblog.com

Undoubtedly cool tech, but more and more I start to wonder, why do we need this?

โŽ January 30, 2020


Appleโ€™s New Map, Expansion #7: Final Parts of the Continental U.S. ๐Ÿ”’ www.justinobeirne.com

Finally the new Apple Maps data is here for Minnesota! The detail difference is amazing. There are a couple of before/after views in this link that show the detail. I looked at a number of lakes, our house, our cabin — the improvement is very impressive. Also now Apple is officially announcing the new map data. ๐Ÿ—บ

โŽ January 30, 2020


The CIO challenge: Modern business needs a new kind of tech leader | McKinsey ๐Ÿ”’ www.mckinsey.com

These recommendations all make sense. This can serve as a decent checklist or assessment for a CIO or CTO to see if there is anything you are not putting enough focus toward.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Into the Personal-Website-Verse ยท Matthias Ott โ€“ User Experience Designer ๐Ÿ”’ matthiasott.com

A great call to action for everyone to think about how you want to engage with sharing your own voice on the web. I agree with, and do most everything, in this letter. The one thing I disagree with is the technological assumption that learning about web techniques is a positive. The reality is we need to be able to do all of this without offering that โ€œbenefitโ€ of learning. Most people donโ€™t have any interest in learning CSS or the dozen other acronyms. We need to keep working on making the Indieweb easy!

โŽ January 29, 2020


Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers | Electronic Frontier Foundation ๐Ÿ”’ www.eff.org

Ring doesnโ€™t respect your privacy and even though youโ€™ve paid for the service surveils you and shares your information with a variety of companies?

An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customersโ€™ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.

This really shouldnโ€™t surprise anyone. Amazon bought Ring, and they should be cleaning house here. They also bought Nest, and want customers to believe that they will not surveil their private browsing activity at home? The behavior of Ring doesnโ€™t provide any support for the brand promises being made by Nest.

โŽ January 29, 2020


WTFosdem ยท Cloud Atomic Laboratory ๐Ÿ”’ www.cloudatomiclab.com

I donโ€™t know much of anything about FOSDEM but I was having tea with Donnie Berkholz and he mentioned he tries to go every year and finds it immensely valuable. This read is more about the logistics, but it sounds like a very interesting event. Too late to go this year, but perhaps part of my 2021 itinerary. From Justin Cormack via Donnie Berkholz.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Steve Blank: Clayton Christensen ๐Ÿ”’ steveblank.com

A heartfelt reflection on the passing of Clay Christensen and some of the areas he contributed too for so many.

โŽ January 29, 2020


A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone โ€“ RyanHoliday.net ๐Ÿ”’ ryanholiday.net

If you are looking to spend less time on your phone and more time with the world, this is a good guide. I have an Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular activated and have a personal goal to leave the phone behind more. The one thing that keeps it with me is photography.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Manton Reece - Replies hosted at your own blog ๐Ÿ”’ www.manton.org

I continue to like with Reece is doing with micro.blog, and these enhancements around replies are good to see. If you are looking for a simple, lightweight blogging solution this is a good one.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Daring Fireball: The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10 ๐Ÿ”’ daringfireball.net

Gruber doesnโ€™t pull punches when he thinks Apple has it wrong, but I felt this write-up was overly focused on the admittedly poor multitasking interface in iPadOS.

The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because itโ€™s โ€œbadโ€, because itโ€™s not badโ€‰โ€”โ€‰itโ€™s great evenโ€‰โ€”โ€‰but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one. To reach that potential, Apple needs to recognize they have made profound conceptual mistakes in the iPad user interface, mistakes that need to be scrapped and replaced, not polished and refined. I worry that iPadOS 13 suggests the oppositeโ€‰โ€”โ€‰that Apple is steering the iPad full speed ahead down a blind alley.

I agree with him on multitasking. It is confusing, messy, and not at all intuitive. But to ignore every other dimension of the iPadโ€™s march forward seems a bit much. For so many things, it is an amazing device.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint ๐Ÿ”’ edition.cnn.com

I just finished reading The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life and this was an interesting follow-on to many of the points in that book.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Can you point to Ukraine on a map? / Chris Zubak-Skees / Observable ๐Ÿ”’ observablehq.com

Given how much Ukraine is coming up in the US news lately, this is a fun little test. Some of these dots canโ€™t be serious, obviously people know Ukraine isnโ€™t in South America right? ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒ

โŽ January 29, 2020


How Will You Measure Your Life? ๐Ÿ”’ hbr.org

Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovators Dilemma, passed away last week and many people were sharing talks and articles by him. This article was by far the most recommended, and I had not read it. I strongly encourage reading it, maybe multiple times.

I have a bunch of โ€œbusinessesโ€ that compete for these resources: Iโ€™m trying to have a rewarding relationship with my wife, raise great kids, contribute to my community, succeed in my career, contribute to my church, and so on. And I have exactly the same problem that a corporation does. I have a limited amount of time and energy and talent. How much do I devote to each of these pursuits?

Allocation choices can make your life turn out to be very different from what you intended. Sometimes thatโ€™s good: Opportunities that you never planned for emerge. But if you misinvest your resources, the outcome can be bad. As I think about my former classmates who inadvertently invested for lives of hollow unhappiness, I canโ€™t help believing that their troubles relate right back to a short-term perspective.

That resource of time, and where you put it, is so critical. ๐Ÿ™

โŽ January 29, 2020


Stripe โ€” The Developer Coefficient: Software engineering efficiency and its $3 trillion impact on global GDP ๐Ÿ”’ stripe.com

Some very interesting economics outlined here, but the major punchline is:

While itโ€™s a priority for senior executives to increase the productivity of their developers, the average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring.

There probably is no such thing as a Unicorn valley of mystical code that requires no refactoring, however, thinking about the costs here does highlight some things:

  1. Having some developers work on just making other developers more productive is probably a really good ROI. I wish there was more published on this, but there is some non-linear curve that would show the number of engineers that should work to make other engineers more productive.

  2. The initial investment for good tests, build pipelines, deployment practices, and many other things are probably very, very cheap compared to the permanent increase in maintenance expense.

Add to the mix that all software development is still such an imprecise and immature craft, and you see a lot of potential for improvement over time. The kicker though, is that even with the potential improvement, the growth in demand likely still outstrips the potential growth in efficiency.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Ted Stein on Twitter: "Unintended Tesla app purchases, explored." ๐Ÿ”’ twitter.com

I really try to not link out to Twitter threads (really people, blogs exist for a reason. Following some thread is just ridiculous!) but this one I canโ€™t resist because it involves Tesla, Elon Musk, and randomly Nicholas Taleb! The generally negative view of Teslaโ€™s practices here are deserved. via Daring Fireball.

โŽ January 29, 2020


JavaScript Libraries Are Almost Never Updated Once Installed ๐Ÿ”’ blog.cloudflare.com

This isnโ€™t surprising to anyone that has built things with JavaScript libraries. Sadly, there are some version upgrades that are probably easy, but itโ€™s rarely seen as worth the effort.

โŽ January 29, 2020


iPad at 10. An affair forever โ€“ On my Om ๐Ÿ”’ om.co

I agree with Om, โ€œTen years later, the iPad still is magic.โ€ The iPad is the only computing device I have that sort of disappears when you use it.

โŽ January 29, 2020


A birdโ€™s-eye view of Kyiv | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice ๐Ÿ”’ www.kyivpost.com

This is a beautiful tour of Kyiv. Iโ€™ve been to some of these places on foot while traveling there. Itโ€™s very cool to see from this perspective.

โŽ January 29, 2020


Sexism: Just Another Day as a Woman In Tech - Snort Out Loud ๐Ÿ”’ snortoutloud.com

Male leaders and executives, read this.

Based on my lifeโ€™s experiences, there is no way this male executive would have treated another male executive the same way. He questioned my capabilities and my experience, even though my team informed him of my title and role; and my experience.

It is important to read articles like this so that we can help others get better, and recognize our own biases, regardless of how advanced you may think you are.

โŽ January 29, 2020


โŽ January 23, 2020


My Must-Have Apps, 2019 Edition - MacStories ๐Ÿ”’ www.macstories.net

Federico Viticci is my spirit guide when it comes to power user capabilities with iOS and iPadOS. Iโ€™ll be spending some significant time picking over this list.

โŽ January 23, 2020


PHP in 2020 - stitcher.io ๐Ÿ”’ stitcher.io

PHP is routinely criticized, but many donโ€™t realize how far the language has come in recent years.

โŽ January 23, 2020


The math of brewing a better espresso | Ars Technica ๐Ÿ”’ arstechnica.com

Okay, I came for the science and the cool charts. But then reading this is just straight up heresy!

โ€œThe real impact of this paper is that the most reproducible thing you can do is use less coffee,โ€ said Hendon. โ€œIf you use 15 grams instead of 20 grams of coffee and grind your beans coarser, you end up with a shot that runs really fast but tastes great. Instead of taking 25 seconds, it could run in 7 to 14 seconds. But you end up extracting more positive flavors from the beans, so the strength of the cup is not dramatically reduced. Bitter, off-tasting flavors never have a chance to make their way into the cup.โ€

7 seconds! Runs really fast? Stay away! ๐Ÿšซ

โŽ January 23, 2020


This Is True History: One of the Internetโ€™s Oldest Newsletters ๐Ÿ”’ tedium.co

Newsletter are the new hotness? Or are Podcasts? Maybe both. Everyone seems to have one of each. This story is about a newsletter that has been published since 1994! 25 years and still going!

โ€œI had 2,000 printed, and I told my readers this story. This was before I had PayPal, this was before I had a shopping cart,โ€ he explained. โ€œAnd I said, โ€˜You know, if youโ€™re tired of people telling you what to believe and how to think, send me a buck, Iโ€™ll send you 10 cards.โ€™โ€

His wife thought he was crazy, that he just wasted his money on a box of parody cards. Instead, his reader base sent him money through the mail for these cards. He sold so many that he had to start ordering them in sets of 10,000. In two decades, Cassingham has sold more than 2.2 million cards.

Maybe I need to order some Weekly Thing cards! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

โŽ January 23, 2020


Technical Debt Is like a Tetris Game - Fluent C++ ๐Ÿ”’ www.fluentcpp.com

Surprisingly good analogy for a complicated, and often invisible, problem. Plus I like the fact that itโ€™s extensible. โ€œIs that bad like a open row with one block missing? Or like a L-shape piece messing up the top of the pile?โ€

โŽ January 23, 2020


Introducing Deepnews Distills - Monday Note ๐Ÿ”’ mondaynote.com

This is an interesting new news product. The idea is using learning technology to provide relevant and accurate information on a topic.

The whole idea behind Deepnews Distills is to develop a scalable, agile and largely automated newsletter system. In short, we identify a worthy subject, we curate and vet a set of sources, we fine-tune the query that yields the best results in the crawling process and we let the algorithm work its magic. We can design a new vertical, integrate it in our dedicated CMS, test it and launch in just a week.

Subscription model, delivered via email. Interesting that they choose email.

โŽ January 23, 2020


GraphQL: the REST is history? - Stav Barak - Medium ๐Ÿ”’ medium.com

Basic intro to GraphQL. Technologists get so hung up in the X vs Y debate. GraphQL fundamentally solves a different problem than REST. I think itโ€™s clear there is room for both, and there are very hard problems in REST that GraphQL makes very easy. The non-deterministic performance of GraphQL also deserves to be highlighted over and over. You need to be cautious about how queries are constructed.

โŽ January 23, 2020


Coaching - Happiness | Silicon Valley Product Group ๐Ÿ”’ svpg.com

Basic reminders that every manager should make sure that you are remembering to do. They all matter. As a manager, read these and think to yourself โ€œWhich one of these am I likely to forget?โ€ Then make a note in your task manager, and set it to repeat weekly.

โŽ January 23, 2020


Crew Dragon Launch Escape Demonstration | SpaceX ๐Ÿ”’ www.spacex.com

SpaceX continues to impress. ๐Ÿ‘

โŽ January 22, 2020


Backdoors, Golden Keys: Here We Go Again - Monday Note ๐Ÿ”’ mondaynote.com

A good overview with links to other articles on the key issues around encrypted communication and governments desire to have access to it. None of this is new to those that have been following it. The US Government took Phil Zimmerman to court over the creation of encryption they could not break. It was classified a munition! The Clipper chip debacle was, to my knowledge, the only time government actually required this. Unfortunately the track record suggests that backdoors are desired to surveil everyone, and these flash point with terrorists are great ways for government to try and shift the focus.

โŽ January 21, 2020


Nothing Changes Until You Do ๐Ÿ”’ blog.armory.io

Good context setting on everyones role in cultural changes.

There is nothing quite as humbling and powerful to self-reflect and ask yourself: how am I contributing to this environment? How am I showing up? Is my behavior getting the best out of people? If not, why? These are the questions I continuously have leaders ask themselves. I challenge anyone, not just leaders, to ask these questions. Get curious versus judgmental and see what shows up, I bet you will surprise yourself.

A lot of references to learning and vulnerability too.

โŽ January 21, 2020


Look Busy ๐Ÿ”’ lookbusy.app

Some folks know I wrote a Shortcut that automates creating block time on my calendar. i need to do that or all if my team will get taken by meeting requests. This app does that, with a masquerade twist!

Look Busy fills your work calendar with realistic-looking (but secretly fake) work events. Your co-workers wonโ€™t schedule conference calls and meetings, so you can get actual work done.

There is a totally valid use case for something like this! ๐Ÿ˜Š I think I will stick with my Shortcut automation.

โŽ January 21, 2020


Netflix Releases 21 Studio Ghibli Masterpieces Around The World ๐Ÿ”’ media.netflix.com

This is awesome! I keep a DVD plyer in a closet just to get out and play Studio Ghibli movies! i think we may make a list and watch all of these! ๐ŸŽฌ

โŽ January 21, 2020


TheCodingMonkeys News: Farewell, Carcassonne! ๐Ÿ”’ blog.codingmonkeys.de

I learned Carcassonne by playing the Coding Monkeys version on iOS. Bummer to see them lose the license. I like the authentic board game approach they used.

โŽ January 21, 2020


The Flask Mega-Tutorial Part I: Hello, World! - miguelgrinberg.com ๐Ÿ”’ blog.miguelgrinberg.com

Very thorough tutorial.

โŽ January 21, 2020


LaunchCuts Review: A Better Way to Organize Your Shortcuts with Folders, Advanced Search, and Custom Views - MacStories ๐Ÿ”’ www.macstories.net

Shortcuts should do these things already. Some folder or tagging structure would help power users. This fills a gap until then.

โŽ January 21, 2020


Google opens research and development center in Ukraine | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice ๐Ÿ”’ www.kyivpost.com

This headline is a little misleading. More accurately, Google acquired a small company with a presence in Kyiv and is keeping it. The general trend of more technology development, not only outsourcing, happening in Ukraine is real though. I travel there twice a year to work with our team of 80 technologists there. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

โŽ January 16, 2020


Diary Email ๐Ÿ”’ diaryemail.com

This seems like a really cool service. You send an email to your diary and then this service keeps it private and secure for you. Itโ€™s a very simple way to author. It also has a newsletter like extension of allowing friends to subscribe to those notes you send. Iโ€™m not sure about this being a black box, Iโ€™d want to know there is a way to always keep a copy of my data, but the user interface being simple email is good.

โŽ January 16, 2020


Why Americans Are Always Running Out of Time - The Atlantic ๐Ÿ”’ www.theatlantic.com

In short, instead of taking all of the productivity leverage technology has provided us weโ€™ve instead raised the bar and increased the amount of work we do to fill the space left open.

Better technology means higher expectationsโ€”and higher expectations create more work.

Seems like a similar argument that is made about making more money just means you spend more. ๐Ÿ’ธ

โŽ January 15, 2020


โŽ January 15, 2020


Making Python Programs Blazingly Fast ๐Ÿ”’ martinheinz.dev

Nice insights on how to make Python faster. ๐ŸŽ

โŽ January 15, 2020


GoatCounter โ€“ Website statistics for regular folks ๐Ÿ”’ www.goatcounter.com

A radically simple web statistics offering that removes all privacy concerns I would have with these services. It tracks no individual data at all. This is essentially like a simple server-side analytics package, but implemented in a very convenient web model. Open source, written in Go.

โŽ January 15, 2020


Just get paid and our culture of lies โ€“ On my Om ๐Ÿ”’ om.co

Om Malik making a broader point around the behavior we reward lately.

Given the size of the reward relative to that of the punishment for lying, cheating and bad behavior, there is little incentive for others not to imitate their actions. Whatโ€™s good for Facebook is good for every startup that wants to cut corners and grow fast. Whatโ€™s good for WeWork, is good for others. Whatโ€™s good for the Astros is good for the Red Sox โ€” and trust me, pretty much every other team. Possible even my beloved New York Yankees.

Just think about the literal billions of dollars that the founder of WeWork is enjoying right now. As a society, we need to be more balanced in what success is. Letโ€™s start with being authentic and genuine as part of it!

As an aside, my son has this infatuation with the Astros. Iโ€™m struggling with how much at the age of 9 he should be getting a complete view of this, versus his young love and fervor for the sport of baseball. Greed puts us all in awkward spots.

โŽ January 15, 2020


The Crucible Of Leadership - AVC ๐Ÿ”’ avc.com

What a great read and an interesting concept. I read this and felt a lot of truth ring through in my own experience.

The magic, the alchemy, occurs when what we do mixes with who we are and is cooked by the heat of what we believe.

This is worth reading a few times, and probably keeping a bookmark to for the future.

I can say with total conviction that as I have worked on being a better leader it has required me to get better with myself first. As Iโ€™ve broken down those barriers, Iโ€™ve been able to engage others better. After all, if you cannot have a constructive conversation with yourself on a difficult topic, how can you ever with another person.

Thatโ€™s often the biggest obstacle to becoming your self. The frenzied, frenetic, do-it-now, answer-the-email-now-or-the-company-will-die-even-though-itโ€™s-3 a.m. attitude is precisely the wrong process of becoming your self.

You need space and room.

โŽ January 15, 2020


Top Tools for Eliminating Resistance to The GTD Weekly Review ๐Ÿ”’ joebuhlig.com

The GTD Weekly Review is a hard habit to build out, and these are some good suggestions to make it easier and more effective.

โŽ January 15, 2020


How Trying New Hobbies Made Me More Productive at Work - Toggl Blog ๐Ÿ”’ blog.toggl.com

Iโ€™m a big believer in hobbies and enjoying a variety of different activities.

Not everything needs to be a side hustle, and not every hobby needs to make us more marketable. Set out to try something new with no expectations attached. Let go of your perfectionist instincts to find the joy and the worthwhileness of experimentation. Maybe itโ€™ll turn out for you, like it did for me, that the freedom to fail outside of work makes you more willing to take risks at work. But even if your hobby doesnโ€™t have an effect on your professional life, itโ€™s still valuable.

Yes! ๐Ÿ‘

โŽ January 14, 2020


Your first 90 days as CTO or VP Engineering. ๐Ÿ”’ lethain.com

Seriously good advise for entering a new role as a leader.

โŽ January 14, 2020





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