Foolish Chatter

geekery, and so forth w/ @alsmo

Author: Alan Smodic

  • I plan to spend the rest of my career at Automattic because this is exactly the attitude I want to be surrounded by.

    Building a More Open Internet – Initial Charge


    *We’re hiring

  • Alfred style search in iOS

    via Tools & Toys:

    This is essentially macOS’ Spotlight feature but on iPadOS. It does most of the same things too, and if you use a keyboard with your iPad, you can even invoke it with the same shortcut that longtime Mac users know and love — CMD+Space — no matter what you’re doing or what app you’re in.

    Spotlight has gotten better in recent versions, of iOS, including 15. The introduction of Shortcuts launching was a pretty big feature, however, it’s the inclusion of Safari extensions that now take this to another level.

    Thanks to extensions like xSearch, you can now queue up searches to wherever you’d like in the browser directly from Spotlight. This has broadened my use of Spotlight to include how I search various corners of the web on Mac thanks to Alfred.

    Now, if only we could somehow get Alfred itself functioning similarly on iOS.

  • This holiday weekend is Wirecutter’s busiest and most profitable time of the year, and many of us were scheduled to work a combined total of hundreds of hours of overtime. This fund will go towards the lost income we will incur through this strike, which our members rely on to pay their bills, travel home for the holidays, and generally support themselves. We’re asking you, our supporters, to help mitigate these lost wages.

    Fundraiser by Nicholas Guy : Support Striking Wirecutter Union Members

    I’ve purchased many products over the years courtesy of Wirecutter’s recommendations. Donating was the least I could do.

  • HomePod Mini as Speakers

    Just think how much more versatile the HomePod could be with an audio input in addition to AirPlay.

    The HomePod Mini Experiment — MacSparky

    I have a studio pair that sits on my desk for podcasts and YouTube videos during the day, which are usually AirPlayed from my iPad. I wish I could use them as speakers for my Mac, but each time I try, I can’t overcome the lag.

    An additional audio input capability would have been amazing.

  • The latest wizardry from Pixelmator Pro, courtesy of A Better Computer. This app just gets better and better.

    Learn more:

  • I’ve been meaning to add to the discussion found in these two posts:

    I may get around to publishing my series of using multiple apps to split how my mind functions — for example, using for personal things and Todoist for work-related tasks. I just don’t like to mix the two.

    Same goes with notes. I can’t wrap my head around something like Obsidian housing every little thing. Instead, I use Craft at work, Drafts for actioning personal notes, Ulysses or iA Writer to write, Day One for journaling, and DEVONthink for long-term, archival storage.

    It all just works and each app is very good at handling its specific use case in my flow.

  • lukdiekm/alfred-shortcuts

    run your shourtcuts from alfred!


    Yes, please.

  • The Nuke Button Deleting your data from your Mac has always involved multiple restarts and visits to the system recovery tools. Now you just go to the System Preferences menu and choose “Erase All Content and Settings…” to get started. Deleting your data from your Mac is now as easy as it is on your iPhone and iPad.

    Some Monterey Features of Note — MacSparky


  • Brave Search & Browser

    Brave is building for the future and, if they keep it up, I don’t think it’ll be too long before many of us switch our default again.

    Brave Search Replaces Google as the Default Search Engine in the Brave Browser – Initial Charge

    Brave Search is actually pretty good. I’ve been testing Brave, DuckDuckGo, and Neeva for a bit. As a standard search engine, Brave is my favorite of the three. The only thing missing, which is pretty big, is the ability to provide more relevant local information. Google has really dominated the market here with Google My Business listings.

    For that reason alone, I go in between the two search engines. Luckily, Brave provides a quick Google link on its search results (though I do wonder how long that’ll last).

    Secondarily, I’ve been using Brave as my browser of choice for almost a year now. My fans don’t go nuts, it runs pretty smooth and supports all of the Chrome extensions I was using. Between Brave and Vivaldi, the browser market is exciting again. If you haven’t given either of these a try yet, I suggest you should.

  • Better late than never, but I’ve had this flagged to mention for quite some time.

    This 2.7 update was secretly the best feature added by my favorite RSS reader.

    This update focuses on improving the reading experience around linked list articles. A linked list article is an article consisting of a link to another article and a quote from or comment on that article. Linked list articles are often found on Daring Fireball, The Loop, MacStories, Pixel Envy, Six Colors, and TidBITS.

    Each subscription now has three different webpage text setting values that can be applied to traditional articles and to linked list articles:

    • Feed Text

    • Webpage Text

    • Both (Feed Text and Webpage Text)

    When showing both, Unread will show the article content from the feed and the content from the linked article. When showing just feed text or webpage text for a linked list article, the swipe left menu will include a Feed & Webpage Text option.