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turned on https

I’d been vaguely thinking for a while that I should enable encryption here. I’d had it enabled for Memory (my spaced repetition memorization tool) since the beginning of that project, but with a self-signed certificate; getting real certificates for that and my other domains didn’t seem worth the cost, though. But then Let’s Encrypt came […]

software kill switches

A couple of weeks back, Apple remotely disabled some apps that Facebook had written: one that they were paying people to sideload so they could be spied on, with Facebook’s internal apps getting disabled as collateral damage. College-student me would have been horrified by this; present me is glad? The main difference is that, basically, […]

ipad desires

The iPad has been, in its own way, probably my favorite computing device ever since it came out: a sheet of paper that magically displays whatever you want it to. I’ve been on an iPad Air 2 for three years now; so it’s a reasonable time to think about buying a new one, and this […]

apple watch first impressions

I didn’t have any interest in the Apple Watch when it first came out: I don’t get a lot of notifications on my phone, so I’m not going to buy a device just to shift them to my wrist, and I don’t have any desire in having a device that nags me to exercise more. […]

switching away from apple music

A year and a half back, I finally joined the modern world and signed up for a music streaming service. I did this for music discovery purposes: I wanted an easy way to try out artists and songs that I’d heard of but wasn’t familiar with, and I also wanted algorithm recommendations to point me […]

ipad orientations

The iPad can be used in either portrait or landscape orientations. Different iPad interactions have different natural orientations: if the interaction involves video or (usually) images, then the natural orientation is landscape, because you want to fill up most of your field of vision. (So TVs are wider than they are tall.) But if it […]

text editors and markdown

When I got my new Mac, Sublime Text started occasionally crashing on me. And, while I do like Sublime Text more than Emacs for non-programming typing, I wasn’t in love with Sublime Text, either: it still feels like a cross-platform editor that wasn’t focused on presenting a clean interface. Also, at about the same time, […]

apple music modification times

A few months back, I noticed that my desktop machine was using its drive a lot. (The machine, sadly, still has a magnetic disk; I’m just waiting for new iMacs to be released to replace it.) Poking around, it was the backups (Time Machine and Backblaze, which I highly recommend). So something had caused a […]

someone is wrong about apple on the internet

Random thoughts kicked off by the new MacBook Pros (or, really, by people’s reaction to them): It was really weird to see how strongly people reacted to the 16GB memory limit. I totally get being disappointed that 16GB is the cap: that felt low to me, too. But (and I wish I’d saved links) the […]

removing the earphone jack

At the iPhone 7 launch event, Apple confirmed that they were removing the earphone, and justified it in the name of “courage”. Which was, of course, a ridiculous, tone-deaf thing to say; watching the blowback, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that they were at least correct in that making that choice did require courage. […]

signing up for pokemon go

A day or two after Pok√©mon Go came out, I decided to give it a try, so I downloaded and launched the game. (The iPhone version of the game, to be specific.) And, after being asked to enter my birthdate, I was given a choice of registering with a Google account or a Club Pokemon […]

unpleasant web sites

I’ve come slowly to the whole ad-blocker debate: all things being equal, I’m not an active fan of ads, but I accept them as a possible way for writers to get paid, and most of the time they’re not that bad. Sometimes, they do cross the line for me—I really don’t like the “around the […]

ipad indecision

My iPad has been slow this year: it’s the first retina iPad model, which is three and a half years old, so no surprise that it’s showing its age. So, before this year’s event, I was sure I’d be ordering a new iPad; I was hoping it would do something interesting with force touch (maybe […]

apple os software quality

At the beginning of the year, there was a spate of posts about Apple’s OS software quality not being as good as people would like. I didn’t chime in at the time, but: this has been annoying me for the last couple of years. And what adds to the weirdness is that the list of […]

trying to make sense of the apple watch

Apple showed off the Apple Watch last month; they were the first company to really figure out smartphones, they were the first company to really figure out tablets, so are they going to do the same with smart watches? And, if so, what does that mean? We’re obviously quite some distance away from knowing the […]

apple tv business model

It’s getting to Apple product announcement season, which means that there’s a decent chance that an appified version of the Apple TV will be announced. There’s a lot that’s obvious about it (it’ll run iOS, its hardware will presumably close the gap with iPhone / iPads), and there are some big questions (what’s the input […]

medium: browserify

There’s one problem with the way I first set up my build system for Medium: I had no control over how the CoffeeScript files were ordered. In languages with linkers, this isn’t a big deal: within a library, the linker will resolve all the references between object files at once. But without a linker, ordering […]

downcast and castro

A little over a year ago, I switched from Apple’s Podcasts app on the iPhone to Downcast, and I’m very glad I did: it was much easier to make sure that the podcasts I wanted were available when I wanted them, and to listen to them in the way I wanted. And, given that I […]

apple and market segmentation

Over the last few years, I’ve become more and more interested in Apple from a business point of view. Some specific questions that I’ve been wondering about are: How is Apple going to defend and extend its place in the current phone ecosystem as the capabilities the iPhone provides become more and more mainstream? What’s […]

pc gaming

As I mentioned last month, I was thinking of hooking up my laptop to the TV so I could play System Shock on it. That idea didn’t go away; so I ordered a mini-DVI-to-HDMI converter and a lap desk. It took me a little while to get around to setting things up—I was playing the […]