Foolish Chatter

geekery, and so forth w/ @alansmodic


  • Gutenberg 13.0

    You can now select and copy text fragments that span multiple blocks.This is a step towards bridging the gap between Gutenberg as a block editor and Gutenberg as a text editor. While blocks enable powerful page-shaping capabilities, they also compete with text for selection and clipboard space. Gutenberg 13.0 is a step towards an editor where blocks and text coexist frictionlessly.

    What’s new in Gutenberg 13.0? (14 April) – Make WordPress Core

    Hooray! Kudos to all involved on this one.

  • DuckDuckGo for Mac

    DuckDuckGo for Mac does not fork Chromium (or anything else). Instead, we use the rendering engine that comes with macOS, which is created by Apple and the same rendering engine Safari uses. By building off the macOS rendering engine, our browser should also be most compatible with the Mac system (the same as Safari). Technically, we don’t have to “fork” any code to do this – we just call an API provided by macOS.We are building everything else from scratch. So beyond rendering, all the code is ours – written by DuckDuckGo engineers with privacy, security, and simplicity front of mind.

    Introducing DuckDuckGo for Mac: A Private, Fast, and Secure Browsing App

    I signed up for the beta list to try this as soon as I learned about it. Perhaps it can unseat Brave as my browser of choice. If nothing else, it’ll be great to have a non-Chromium based alternative.

  • You might remember us from 2012 we launched Pebble on Kickstarter and raised over $10m from 68,000 people around the world. This was our first breakthrough (a classic 5 year overnight success!) Over the next few years, we sold 2 million watches and did over $230m in sales.

    Success and Failure at Pebble. We launched Pebble on Kickstarter 10… | by Eric Migicovsky | Apr, 2022 | Medium

    I remember Pebble’s launch being a fantastic time online. I feel like it launched both the wearables category and Kickstarter itself.

    In 2015, I attended a Pebble party at SXSW in Austin as they were gearing up to launch new models. I happened to be there for work, but didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to see this excitement in person.

    Proof

    Later that day I took an Uber to the local Best Buy in Austin and purchased one of the original Pebbles. I wasn’t a watch wearer at the time, but it converted me. I preordered the first Apple Watch not long after in April and have been a happy user ever since.

    I wish Pebble had found more of its own niche and lasted longer, but I do thank it for showing me the potential of this product category.

  • The single feature that makes Castro so compelling to me is its

    Overcast Should Steal Castro’s Best Feature

    … sideload to Castro share extension from YouTube. Excuse me for making a slight edit to Matt’s post. 🙂

    *On a sidenote, I’m just now realizing Matt redesigned https://birchtree.me/. Looks great.

  • Full Site Editing & Wabi

    Share your authentic self with Wabi, a WordPress block theme designed to help you tell your story best.

    Meet Wabi, a WordPress block theme for writers and publishers — Rich Tabor

    Feeling a bit inspired with WordPress 5.9 recently, I ran through a quick redesign of my site. More to come perhaps, but Full Site Editing with Gutenberg really makes things easy and it all functions much better than I thought it would in a version 1.

    I’ve settled on Wabi, from Rich Tabor, as my base block theme. It provides a lot of flexibility in how you present your content even with my stripping it down to mostly black text on a white background.

    You should give these new features a try if you haven’t yet.

  • I like new hardware ideas; it’s no fun to think that the phone is the last device we’re going to need. But I can’t see why anyone would want this. At least when Amazon and Facebook tried making their own branded phones, they were actually phones that did everything we expect a modern phone to do. Who wants a phone-sized remote control for their phone?And as a dedicated device mounted on your car dashboard, how is it not an invitation to be stolen? It looks like a phone that was left in the car.

    Daring Fireball: Spotify’s ‘Car Thing’

    I didn’t expect John to have this harsh a take on someone trying something new. There are at least a couple thoughts that came to mind when reading this:

    • If someone is only concerned about music and doesn’t want the potential distraction of their phone when driving, this might help.
    • Weren’t GPS devices similar as a dedicated device mounted in the dashboard somewhere? Seems to me this Spotify Car Thing would also be simple enough to put in a center console when you park. I remember friends doing this with the faceplate of their CD players.
    • This could be especially useful for folks with older cars.

    Again, seems cool that Spotify is trying something. If it doesn’t work or catch on, then kill it off. :shrug:

    I happen to live in a larger community with golf cart paths that can take you wherever you want to go. We have a Bluetooth speaker attached to ours and it’s really annoying to fiddle with the phone while on a joyride with our daughter. I ordered one of these to see if it’d make listening to music a more manageable experience.

    The bigger question is whether or not I stay with Spotify long-term. For now, though, we’ll give this Car Thing a shot.

  • Maybe someday someone will make the perfect AirTag wallet for me, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    The Elevation Labs AirTags Wallet Insert – MacSparky

    I, too, have gone down this path to find a suitable AirTag wallet. However, the thickness of the device is just a little too much for my slim wallet.

    My suggestion is to see if you can compromise. I pre-ordered the Chipolo Card Spot, which is a slim, wallet-sized tracking device from Chipolo that works with the Apple Find My network. I’m looking forward to finally trying it once it ships.

  • Apple is trying to thread the needle with AirTags, allowing them to be used for good but not for evil. It’s complicated, and Apple knew that going in—but it turns out it still has a lot to learn.

    Apple issues an AirTag status update – Six Colors

    One update I’d love to see is a trusted partner network for your AirTags. It could even be as simple as having shared tags amongst Family Sharing members. My wife, for instance, shouldn’t have to get the ping on her device if she happens to take my car somewhere.

  • 1/22: Switching to Brave

    At the beginning of January, I noted my aim to move to Brave as my default browser.

    This has become something of a monthly theme where I’m looking to change some of my computing workflows throughout 2022. And, honestly, this one may end up being the easiest to accomplish.

    I’ve been using Brave full-time for a while now and I’m completely happy. It helps that it’s Chromium-based and thus supports all of the extensions I used on Chrome. And, while I don’t have any need for the crypto features, it at least lets me turn that functionality off.

    I still use other ad & script blocking measures, but I like that my browser has a default mechanism to capture a majority of these upfront. And I suspect removing the Chrome bloat has been a sigh of relief from my MacBook Pro. With Chrome, my fans constantly spun. Not so much, if at all really, with Brave.

    I see nothing but positives at the moment, and don’t see myself reinstalling Chrome ever.

    Secondarily, I did check out Vivaldi a little bit, but not as much as I’d hoped. I still have it installed and look forward to testing is customizations and pro-user functionality.

    For the first time in a while, I’m excited about browsers and look forward to seeing how some of these companies can innovate in this space.

    I’ll post about February’s activity soon, which may be more about reading workflows than one specific app.

  • All I need to do to open an Amazon search page with my affiliate link included is to prepend “az” to my search query. I can do this directly from Safari’s Address Bar or Spotlight on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I typically use Alfred as a Spotlight replacement on the Mac, and it works there, too.

    Search Better with Keyword Search and Shortcuts — HeyDingus

    This post reminded me of my Alfred style search in iOS note.

    Keyword Search, and the process HeyDingus mentions in the article above, is also a powerful Safari extension in this regard. There’s a lot of action that can happen in iOS Spotlight these days if you put in a tad bit of extra effort.