Categories
technology

Mac Open Web

Are you new to the Mac and looking for cool apps? Even if you’re an oldtimer like me, you’ll likely find something new and useful at Mac Open Web.

I found this site again after reading How to Support NetNewsWire on GitHub. NetNewsWire is an outstanding open source RSS reader. You should check that one out first.

Categories
check tags music technology

24 Hours on Facebook

The main lesson learned after 24 hours on Facebook is that the people most likely to ask What Would Jesus Do are the least likely to follow his lead.

I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and respected the adults who taught us right from wrong. They taught us about the wrath of the Old Testament God and the compassion of New Testament Jesus. Our teachers were strong, yet gentle.


Several years ago, I had a bout with the flu that evolved into pneumonia. I was out of work for at least two weeks and didn't fully recover for 4 to 6 months. After that experience I am hesitant to venture out into the COVID-19 world because, despite arguments to the contrary, it is still a problem in America. I fear that if I get it, it won't be one of the easy cases you hear about, it will be one of the bad ones, and I am just not willing to risk it.

This makes me sad because I want to be on the streets protesting to support the #blacklivesmatter movement. Because I am afraid of getting sick, I have donated what little I can to support the movement and decided I could log into my dusty Facebook account to let people know my thoughts and maybe help them see the world as I would like to see it.

It did not go as planned.


I have aged with those people I grew up with in church. Naturally, I was friends with many of them on Facebook. I took a breath and dove in to engage them. I wasn't there to berate anyone for their views, but to have conversations with people backed with sources to support my beliefs.

It didn't take long before I was lumped in with "you Democrats" who just want to elect politicians who kill unborn babies. This was from one of those adults I looked up to in church. My head is still spinning from the exchange because we were talking about the T-shirt they posted that said "All Lives Splatter" with an image of a car plowing through a crowd of people. You've probably seen it too. It offended me and I asked if they really thought encouraging injury and murder was the right thing to do. That's when I was essentially labeled a baby killer.


In another thread, I was discussing the battery on 75-year-old Martin Gugino. He stepped up to speak to an officer among a squadron of police in riot gear. The officer responded by violently shoving him to the ground. In the video of this incident, you can see Gugino immediately begin bleeding from his ear. You see his phone fall from his limp hand, which then begins to twitch involuntarily. The police looked at him and just marched past him. Follow-up reporting says he sustained brain damage from this needless aggression.

Someone once counted among my best lifelong friends—also a fellow church member, now with a long career in law enforcement—accused me of being a writer who can make things sound the way I want. I say accused because in context I could sense his contempt for the skill. He pointed out the old man's "ASSAULT" (his caps, not mine) led to the officer's need to defuse the situation. That response could have been talking to the man or some other act that wouldn't have impaired his abilities for the rest of his probably short life.

My friend's comment broke my heart and curtailed my fruitless mission to have intelligent conversation with others. Facebook just isn't the right forum. The people I grew up with, people I held in high regard for decades, lost my respect in one day with a single exception.


One friend in law enforcement met me in the middle. He understands where I'm coming from and agrees to disagree. He listened to what I had to say and I returned the favor. That was all I was asking for from anyone. I'm taking him to lunch on Friday to show my appreciation and to continue a good conversation with a friend.

Categories
nerd technology writing

Updated WordPress, Updated Theme

Updated to the latest WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” and trying out the default 2020 theme.

With a few tweaks, I think I like it.

2019-11-17 update: I don’t like numbers that descend below the baseline, so I’ve swapped the font from the default to Gentium Book Basic.

Categories
politics technology writing

Exploring

Considering I used to write for a living, it surprises me how difficult it is to find my flow again. Granted, my decade as a newspaper journalist wrapped up more than a decade ago. In those days I would rattle off 400–1,000 words on some assigned topic after traveling, interviewing subjects, photographing subjects, and taking notes.
Lacking an assignment sucks away the drive to write; therefore, I need to take on the role of editor and some assignments for myself. Two things immediately come to mind and just as quickly get pushed out of mind.

  1. Technology – I love it, but the market for that seems saturated and with no audience there is little point to it.
  2. Politics – Sakes alive. There is plenty of cannon fodder strewn about to take this on, but anything I say paints a great big divisive target on my back (and front, sides, just one big target).

That leaves a third option more daunting than the first two. Fiction. I just need to set off down a path, follow it, and see where it leads.

Categories
nerd technology writing

Fast Software, the Best Software — by Craig Mod

Fast Software, the Best Software — by Craig Mod:

Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile without necessarily knowing why.

John Gruber posted about this article over at The Daring Fireball and he’s right. It is a delightful read for a nerdier audience and hammers home some excellent points about software.
If you are so inclined, give it a read.

Categories
brain culture nerd technology

Keep Podcasts on RSS

I’m still upset that Google provided Reader, then killed it. Don’t let the same mess happen with podcasts.
Big companies are trying to monetize and monopolize an open standard. Please don’t let this happen. Learn more:

Categories
brain nerd technology

Your terminal is not a terminal

Your terminal is not a terminal: An Introduction to Streams:

Streams are just that: streams. In the same way that a river has a stream of water, programs have streams of data. Moreover, just like you can use steel pipes to carry water from one place to another, you can use UNIX pipes to carry data from one program to another. This was the very analogy that inspired the design of streams:
We should have some ways of connecting programs like a garden hose — screw in another segment when it becomes necessary to massage data in another way. This is the way of I/O also. — Douglas McIlroy
Streams can be used to pass data into programs and to get data out of them.

The running water water analogy is a great way to explain many complicated topics and Lucas Costa uses it to great effect. You even uses |pipes| to flow input from one command to the next.
Go read his post if, like me, you find yourself scratching your head trying to understand how to work efficiently on the command line.

Categories
apple art technology

iPhone Camera Tips

I have two iPhone photography tips for you. They aren’t technical and will improve your photos.

  1. Stop holding your phone like a phone to take pictures. Turn it 90 degrees clockwise and hold it like a camera.
  2. Hold it firmly with both hands and use the “volume up” button as your shutter.

Wasn’t that easy? Now go take beautiful pictures!

Categories
nerd technology

Migrating from Fever to Inoreader

After reading Wired’s article It’s Time For an RSS Revival I’ve been reconsidering my RSS setup.
Shaun Inman’s Fever has served my RSS needs since June 2012. Shaun marked Fever’s end of life in December 2016. I’ve been holding onto it ever since and will continue to keep it running on my host provider, but it’s time to consider other options.
Alongside that aging installation, I’ve dropped my favorite feeds into Inoreader. I think I heard about it from John Gruber on The Talk Show. Inoreader’s free tier so far seems to be working great for my meager RSS needs. It has it’s own Inoreader app and syncs up with my preferred iOS RSS client Fiery Feeds.

Categories
apple nerd productivity technology

Omni Roadmap 2018 – The Omni Group

Omni Roadmap 2018 – The Omni Group:

Welcome! Each January, we like to pause and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and to share a roadmap of our plans for the coming year. There’s a lot to share this year—particularly about our plans for OmniFocus in 2018—so let’s dive right in!

It’s been an exciting 25 years for Omni! I’m a huge fan of their software, particularly OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iOS, and look forward to updates coming this year.