Rdio joins Pandora →

November 17, 2015 · 17:32

From the Rdio blog:

We’d like to update the entire Rdio community regarding today’s announcement that Pandora plans to acquire Rdio’s innovative technology and critically-acclaimed design…

We thank you for your continued support over the years and look forward to bringing you even better music experiences in the future as part of the Pandora team.

See you, Rdio. Seriously.


Surfin’ Safari Details How to Use Apple’s San Francisco Font in CSS →

November 16, 2015 · 14:30

Myles Maxfield:

Web content is sometimes designed to fit in with the overall aesthetic of the underlying platform which it is being rendered on. One of the ways to achieve this is by using the platform’s system font, which is possible on iOS and OS X by using the “-apple-system” CSS value for the “font-family” CSS property. On iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, doing this allows you to use Apple’s new system font, San Francisco. Using “-apple-system” also correctly interacts with the font-weight CSS property to choose the correct font on Apple’s latest operating systems.

Tempted to try it on here…


PointOut Updated to 1.3 with iOS 9 Multitasking and iPad Pro Support

November 16, 2015 · 12:25

I recently wrote about the future of PointOut for iOS, expecting to wait at least a month or two before its next update, but lo and behold—1.3 is here with support for the iPad Pro, a simplified landscape view on iPhone, full landscape support on iPad, and most importantly, Split View and Slide Over functionality. You can find my full review of PointOut over here.


★ PointOut – iOS – free (with IAP) →


Tim Cook: Apple is Open →

November 15, 2015 · 22:32

Brendan Klinkenberg posted Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees regarding the inappropriate behaviour in Melbourne’s Apple Store:

Our stores and our hearts are open to people from all walks of life, regardless of race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, income, language or point of view. All across our company, being inclusive and embracing our differences makes our products better and our stores stronger.

I wish all people had a similar set of values.


Charles Perry about the Patronage Model →

November 15, 2015 · 22:22

Charles Perry:

Proponents of this model call it “patronage,” but it has little in common with the historical concept of patronage where a well-off patron paid an artist an amount to commission a work of art. This new model, in fact, is the opposite of patronage. Instead of requiring a patron to provide money up front in exchange for an item of value, this new model gives away all the value in advance and requires nothing from those who receive it. It less resembles patronage, or even commerce, than it does begging, or busking if you’re feeling generous.

Interesting point of view, although I personally have a different take on the subject—set a high enough price to make your useful product sustainable and market the hell out of it. There is a tiny flaw with my theory: most people don’t want to pay for software, even when it’s really well done.


Some Are More Equal Than Others →

November 15, 2015 · 22:11

Elie Fares:

Today, 128 innocent civilians in Paris are no longer with us. Yesterday, 45 innocent civilians in Beirut were no longer with us. The death tolls keep rising, but we never seem to learn.

Amid the chaos and tragedy of it all, one nagging thought wouldn’t leave my head. It’s the same thought that echoes inside my skull at every single one of these events, which are becoming sadly very recurrent: we don’t really matter…

When my people died on the streets of Beirut on November 12th, world leaders did not rise in condemnation. There were no statements expressing sympathy with the Lebanese people. There was no global outrage that innocent people whose only fault was being somewhere at the wrong place and time should never have to go that way or that their families should never be broken that way or that someone’s sect or political background should never be a hyphen before feeling horrified at how their corpses burned on cement.

I stare in alarm at headlines mentioning deaths and murders every day—it’s impossible to avoid them—and I think of the horrors that the dead’s families must be going through every single time. Whatever their religion or skin colour.


App Store Deals — 2015/11/15

November 15, 2015 · 01:55

I haven’t found anything truly interesting during these past few days to share, but I noticed that the first instalments of The Room series are currently on sale—I’ve been meaning to try them for ages now.

Alhambra Game – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €2.99
Focus 2 – Mac – Photography – €14.99 > €1.99
Syberia 2 – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Syberia – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99
Sygic Europe: GPS Navigation – iOS – Navigation – €24.99 > €19.99
Sygic North America: GPS Navigation – iOS – Navigation – €29.99 > €19.99
The Room – iPad – Games – €1.99 > €0.99
The Room Two – iOS – Games – €2.99 > €1.99
The Room Three – iOS – Games – €4.99
This War of Mine – iOS – Games – €14.99 > €6.99
Tweetbot for Twitter – Mac – Social Networking – €12.99 > €9.99
Worms™ 4 – iOS – Games – €4.99 > €0.99


Not So New →

November 15, 2015 · 01:17

Samantha Bielefeld:

The patronage-only model is so new, and very experimental, but has that stopped others from replicating it?

Technically, the patronage model that Marco Arment adopted isn’t especially new. I first saw it many years ago on David Smith’s Pedometer++ [App Store]—he’s a unique developer in terms of experimenting in the App Store, choosing different monetisation options between his many apps, and adapting extremely well to current trends. In fact, I wrote about his tip jar a while ago. To my knowledge, which isn’t especially impressive when it comes to this subject, Marek Moi’s PointOut [App Store] followed suit with a unique system of buying him coffees as a thank you.

The problem with the App Store is that a select few developers with unique ideas are able to price their apps accordingly, while the rest have to compete with many free apps that are good enough. Quite frankly, I want to pay for quality software for the sole reason of supporting the team behind it, and so that they continue to maintain their products and hopefully add new features too.

Sadly, I realise I’m in the minority…


Sometimes I Just Love Google →

October 22, 2015 · 18:05

I’m not a Google fan for various reasons, mainly due to their policies, sources of income, the way they operate, and so on. But sometimes they do something, and I just can’t stop smiling.

Read the document under the link—totally worth it. Hint: it has nothing to do with Gmail.

#BackToTheFuture


The Immature Steve Jobs →

October 21, 2015 · 20:59

Walt Mossberg, in his column on the The Verge, comments on the new Steve Jobs movie:

At the very end of the lengthy credits for Steve Jobs, there’s a statement in tiny type saying that the film includes material that is fictionalized and events that are invented. A gutsier movie would have put that disclaimer in big type, right at the beginning.

I haven’t seen the movie yet and, until now, avoided any information pertaining to the film. After inadvertently reading Walt’s words, I don’t I think want to any longer — why would I want to taint my knowledge of Steve with fiction instead of fact?


The Responsibility Theory →

October 20, 2015 · 15:50

There’s been a bit of a rucus these past few days over a certain Samantha Bielefeld and one Marco Arment. While it seemed innocent enough at first, it quickly turned ugly, especially on Twitter. I’ve been meaning to put my thoughts down on the subject for a number of days now, but Matt Gemmell wrote one of the best pieces that I’ve read on the subject, titled Responsibility:

You need to catch up first. Five days ago as I write this, Samantha posted The Elephant in the Room, which you should quickly go and read. It’s about Marco Arment’s Pragmatic app pricing piece from the day before, which talks about his move to a voluntary patronage model for his podcasting app, Overcast. You should form your own interpretation and summary of each piece, and not take my word for either. Go. I’ll wait.

Matt’s summary is perhaps one of the best ever written — please take the time to read his whole piece.

My problem with the whole issue is that I read and like all of the parties involved. I like the Grubers, the Arments, Merlin Mann, and the whole team at Relay FM. But I cannot condone their replies and jokes on the subject.

I’m just so disappointed right now.


Medium’s new API →

October 11, 2015 · 12:15

Ev Williams published a piece detailing Medium’s new API a few days ago …

Not all content needs to be written in Medium to benefit from our network and interaction. To make it easier to publish to Medium — and, therefore, broaden the scope of content available to readers — we’re opening up a publishing API.

The API lets you write in a desktop or mobile editor and publish straight to Medium.

Katie Zhu wrote about the Publishing API in greater detail—she mentions three Mac apps which I use or have used at various points in my life: iA Writer, Byword and Ulysses. I currently write in the latter and the new Medium announcements have made me reconsider running my own WordPress installation. Not worrying about anything vs. having complete control? A tough decision. Then again, Medium has created a WordPress plugin which allows for cross-posting between the two platforms.

I have three choices:

  1. Leave my WordPress installation intact and ignore Medium.
  2. Leave my WordPress installation as is and cross-post to Medium.
  3. Transfer my posts to Medium, point my domain there, and post directly from Ulysses to my Infinite Diaries publication over there.

Not sure what to do… but I know I would really like to experiment with Medium more.


Thoughts on “How Not to Travel the World” by Lauren Juliff

October 10, 2015 · 22:18

I don’t recall how I first heard of Lauren Juliff and her Never Ending Footsteps, but I started following her on Twitter and reading her blog about a year or so ago. I was curious about the travels of a young girl from the UK, who seems to have “disaster” painted on her forehead. I am not kidding—the stuff she gets into is truly fascinating. What’s more profound and inspiring however, is how she managed to overcome her anxiety, panic attacks and various fears1, left her safe home in England, and started travelling the world.

Continue reading →

  1. Too many to list here.

Tweetbot 4 for Twitter Goes Universal; People Complain About The Pricing

October 2, 2015 · 12:40

Christmas came early this year—yesterday was Tweetbot 4 for Twitter Launch Day. Despite all the hate surrounding the fact that it’s a paid upgrade, it was a pleasure just watching all the excitement of the new users—some loved it, others had a few technical issues, but overall all was well with the world from where I was sitting. More importantly however, Tapbots invited me to their beta program, which gave me the chance to use Tweetbot for the past month or so. This in turn allowed me to prepare my review ahead of time. My single most beloved app and the chance to publish my review on launch? A dream come true.

Continue reading →


“iPhone 6 Fans, Your Phone Brought Up the Rear in Almost Every Test” →

August 25, 2015 · 12:06

Alex Cranz published a “turbo charging” test on Tom’s Guide yesterday, with various Android handsets competing for the title of “fastest charging phone.” Oh, and there was an iPhone 6 in there too. And it came last.

He specifically noted that some phones need chargers that have to be bought separately to get maximum performance out of them:

Qualcomm’s technology promises to get your battery to a full charge in less than 2 hours, but some Quick Charge-capable phones, like the LG G4, don’t actually ship with the necessary brick. Other companies rebrand the technology. Motorola calls its solution Turbo Charge in the Droid Turbo and the Google Nexus 6. The Zenfone 2 uses Asus’s branded “Boostmaster technology” and requires a special power brick (only available with the $299 edition) that’s supposedly 17 percent more potent than the typical Quick Charge 2.0 brick.

He then proceeded to comment on the iPhone’s lacklustre performance:

As for iPhone 6 fans, your phone brought up the rear in almost every test.

Apple users will be delighted to know that the iPhone was no longer the slowest of the lot. It was charged to 36 percent (…)

Alex however forgot to mention one important detail—he used the 5W/1A charger with the iPhone 6, instead of one capable of delivering at least 2.1A, such as the iPad 10W/2.1A brick. This would cut the charge time from over two and a have hours by almost a full hour.

I’m sure it was an honest oversight.

P.S. To clarify—the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the first iPhones capable of charging faster by using a more powerful charger, such as the iPad 10 or 12W/2.1A power brick. I personally use a Belkin 2.1A model and it gets the job done.


Ambient Light Compensation in OS X El Capitan Beta 7

August 22, 2015 · 10:31

When OS X 10.11 El Capitan’s was first released, I was curious as to what Ambient light compensation was, so I started searching what others had written. David Pogue mentioned that it allows for “the screen brightness to adjust with the room brightness,” which is probably incorrect, as that is controlled by the Automatically adjust brightness check box. A few minutes later I found Paul Robinson’s reply on Quora.

Continue reading →


Upload Photos to Instagram From a Browser with Insta-UP!

August 18, 2015 · 18:20

Many people consider Instagram to be a social network that should be reserved for images created on an iPhone or another compatible smartphone. I always saw it as just another place for posting my photos, similar to Flickr or 500px. This was quite easy since I have been syncing my iPhoto library with my iPhone since 2008, and has recently been made even easier with iCloud Photo Library and the new Photos for iOS and OS X.

But using a browser is even easier …

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We Went to Rome, and I Found Something I Wasn’t Expecting

August 12, 2015 · 00:00

At one point in time, not so long ago, I had planned to start writing daily, but I couldn’t bring myself to focus on Infinite Diaries as much as I wanted to. Part of the reason behind this was that I was depressed after both my parents succumbed to cancer in March and April of this year, just 20 days apart. Actually that’s probably the main reason, with laziness being the other. Or lack of motivation perhaps. Nevertheless, I wasn’t doing what I had been planning to do for the past year. And then I went to Rome …

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Casey Neistat’s Beme—Cutting Through the Bullshit

July 19, 2015 · 17:06

Casey Neistat, a very charismatic individual known for his crazy off-road driving, killing hover boards, sneaking into various places, directing films, running, ad campaigns (for Nike and Mercedes amongst others), and his daily YouTube vlogs, has finally unveiled what he and his team have been working on for the past year. I was personally curious what his newest project was going to be for quite a long time now and both my suspicions were correct: it’s about video and it’s an app. Despite that, it’s not exactly what I suspected it would be…

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