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John Carmack on His Interactions With Steve Jobs

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Some great anecdotes here, but it breaks my heart that he posted them on Facebook, of all places.

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Spuzzy
68 days ago
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Great story.
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Barack Obama on the Parkland Students

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Barack Obama, writing for Time magazine’s “Most Influential People of 2018” on Parkland, Florida students Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma González, and Alex Wind:

America’s response to mass shootings has long followed a predictable pattern. We mourn. Offer thoughts and prayers. Speculate about the motives. And then — even as no developed country endures a homicide rate like ours, a difference explained largely by pervasive accessibility to guns; even as the majority of gun owners support commonsense reforms — the political debate spirals into acrimony and paralysis.

This time, something different is happening. This time, our children are calling us to account.

The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet.

But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom.

The power to insist that America can be better.

He has such a distinct writing style — I can hear his voice as I read his words.

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Spuzzy
93 days ago
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What a gem.
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1 public comment
satadru
90 days ago
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One big advantage of law school, and the presidents who graduate from them: They've learned rhetoric. They've learned how to write. They've learned how to speak.
New York, NY

The RSS Revival

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The platformization of the web has claimed many victims, RSS readers included. Google Reader's 2013 demise was a major blow; the company offed it in favor of "products to address each user's interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means," as it Google executive Richard Gingras put it at the time. In other words, letting Google Now decide what you want. And the popular Digg Reader, which was born in response to that shuttering, closed its doors this week after a nearly four-year run.

Despite those setbacks, though, RSS has persisted. "I can't really explain it, I would have thought given all the abuse it's taken over the years that it would be stumbling a lot worse," says programmer Dave Winer, who helped create RSS.

I enjoyed this story on the state of RSS by Wired's Brian Barrett because it resonates with a trend I've also noticed in the past couple of years. Many of us have often praised social networks as "winners" in the battle against pure old RSS feeds, but the reality is that RSS is here to say. Perhaps, like rock and roll, RSS can never truly die.

What's even more interesting is that, beyond RSS as a protocol, RSS services and clients (web backends and apps) are improving and growing more powerful on a weekly basis now. Barrett mentioned Feedly, The Old Reader, and Inoreader (which I've been using since 2016 and offers terrific power user features); I would also add NewsBlur and Feedbin – two services that have relentlessly iterated on the RSS experience since Google Reader's demise. Just in the past few months, for instance, NewsBlur launched infrequent site stories to fix the very problem of subscribing to too many feeds, and Feedbin rolled out support for Twitter subscriptions. Both are genuine innovations that help people who want to get their news directly from the sources they choose. And if we look at the iOS side of this, apps like Fiery Feeds and lire are rethinking what advanced RSS readers for iPhone and iPad should be capable of. We wanted to do an RSS-focused episode of AppStories, and we ended up producing two of them (you can listen here and here) because there was just so much to talk about.

While millions of people may be happy getting their news from Facebook or an aggregator like Apple News (which I also use, occasionally, for more mainstream headlines), the resiliency of RSS makes me happy. There was a time when I thought all my news could come from social feeds and timelines; today, I'm more comfortable knowing that I – not a questionable and morally corrupt algorithm – fully control hundreds of sources I read each day.

→ Source: wired.com

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Spuzzy
109 days ago
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Have to leave a plug for Newsblur. Easily the best subscription service I have other than the monthly internet bill.
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sulrich
108 days ago
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i'll never forgive google for killing reader. newsblur does a great job though.

1337: Overwatch’s D.Va tops most-played charts

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Pr0 gam3r D.Va is the most-played Overwatch character at almost all levels of play, according to data released yesterday by game director Jeff Kaplan. To aid arguments about which characters are or aren’t balanced or popular at different skill levels, he dumped a big list of the most-played across all matchmaking tiers. Atop all but one bracket sits the Dorito-munching gremlin, with Mercy, Genji, and Roadhog well-represented at all levels of play too. My faker’s guide to being an Overwatch pr0 would say: play Winston, who’s only really common at the highest levels. (more…)

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Spuzzy
137 days ago
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Who doesn't love piloting a Mecha suit ? ;-)
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Mercedes is adding smart headlights to its Maybach

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Mercedes’ futuristic headlights are going to be included in a limited quantity of Mercedes-Maybach S-Class cars, Daimler announced today.

Mercedes first demoed an LED grille back in 2015 in its F 015 research car, but these new digital lights are supposedly more precise than the multibeam LED headlamps. Each smart HD quality headlamp has over one million pixels and can control where and how much light is thrown in front of the car. They have sensors that control the level of brightness so that onlookers or nearby drivers aren’t blinded by lights.

The headlamps are also capable of projecting information onto the road. For instance, if you’re driving through a construction site, two lines of light can be projected to show the width of...

Continue reading…

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Spuzzy
137 days ago
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Seems like there is a "SMART" gadget every other month. I think the benchmark for "SMART" is either too low or unnecessary to begin with. It's something you would come to expect as technology improves.
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Letterboxd 2.0 Brings iPad Version, Support for iOS Automation Apps

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I've always been fascinated by Letterboxd, the popular service to catalog and rate movies you've watched, as well as share your appreciation for the art of film with other users in a social network-type environment. My problem, however, is that dedicating serious time to watching quality movies (instead of whatever is on TV) has mostly been an aspirational effort; I never truly attempted to make a list of films I want to watch and set aside a good chunk of time every week to enjoy them.

Among various "quality of life" improvements (which I briefly mentioned in this episode of Analog(ue) with Myke Hurley), earlier this year I decided to create an Airtable database with a list of movies I want to see, trying to tick one off at least every week. Since I started testing a beta of Letterboxd 2.0 for iOS last week though, I'm wondering if maybe now is the time for me to consider using a dedicated service to collect, rate, and discover movies.

Launching today on the App Store, the most notable change in Letterboxd 2.0 is the addition of a native iPad app. Based on the same principles and structure of the iPhone version, navigation in Letterboxd for iPad happens primarily via five tabs at the bottom of the screen; unlike the iPhone app, these tabs are labeled and easier to identify at a glance. Thanks to the larger canvas, every UI element in the app is bigger and more comfortable to interact with – which is unsurprising – but the Letterboxd iOS team also took the time to rethink how other controls should be laid out on the iPad's screen.

In the Profile page, for instance, links to open sections for films you've rated, your likes, and watchlist have been relocated to a sidebar; when you open a movie's individual listing, the iPad app shows larger cover art at the top, followed by a bigger movie poster than the iPhone version, with ratings and other actions grouped together on the left, leaving room for reviews and other useful information in the main view on the right.

One day, I'll be like Matthew. One day.

One day, I'll be like Matthew. One day.

As Letterboxd founder Matthew Buchanan wrote in a blog post:

In the 22 months since the launch of our iPhone app, we’ve consistently received the same feedback: please make this work on my iPad! We’re pleased to announce that today we’ve shipped Letterboxd 2.0 for iOS, a universal app with native iPad support that brings the richness of our community to the larger form factor.

This was no small task. Some screens from the phone app just made sense larger (browsing grids of popular films) or presented in a popover (sorting and filtering options), while others (like member profiles) required more of a rethink. The results are glorious—our Patron profile pages have never looked so good! With three iPad resolutions and two orientations to consider, we’ve concentrated our efforts on the most commonly used views in the app, and we’ll continue to refine ancillary screens in future releases.

While browsing the Letterboxd iPad app in full-screen feels good, I'm particularly happy to see the company has embraced modern iPad multitasking too. Letterboxd fully supports Slide Over, Split View, and basic drag and drop for text fields (such as the search one); I'm going to be using Letterboxd next to apps like Safari or iTunes when I'm browsing around looking for movies to add to my watchlist, and I'm glad I won't have to switch between multiple spaces to do so.

In addition to making the iOS app Universal, version 2.0 of Letterboxd has also adopted the x-callback-url protocol to support inter-app automation through URL schemes.

As detailed in the documentation available here, Letterboxd 2.0 supports three different actions: search (to perform a search on the service and filter by results by film, member, list, and other parameters), addToWatchlist (fairly self-explanatory), and log. With the latter, you can add a new entry to the app (either a review or a personal diary entry), pre-filling key details such as a movie's title, date, and review from other apps, sending a request directly to Letterboxd's compose window, which will populate each field based on what has been passed by the URL scheme.

A search for a movie that started in Drafts. After confirming a result, it will be added to your watchlist in Letterboxd.

A search for a movie that started in Drafts. After confirming a result, it will be added to your watchlist in Letterboxd.

For years, I've seen iOS users create workflows to log watched movies or archive reviews in note-taking apps that supported a rich URL scheme or web APIs, such as Day One (a popular choice for this task given its diary nature) or the aforementioned Airtable. With a URL scheme, Letterboxd can now be integrated with Drafts and Workflow on iOS, which opens up interesting possibilities as the log action supports HTML content in the review field. This means you could write a review in a Markdown environment like Bear and Ulysses, then use a workflow to convert it to HTML and send everything to Letterboxd, retaining formatting and content for other fields as well. The Letterboxd team has created some sample actions and workflows you can find here.

As I said above, I'm not a movie expert, but I want to discover and watch more movies in 2018. Letterboxd – which also offers two types of premium subscription on its website – is a thriving community with hundreds of thematic collections and excellent recommendations by movie aficionados who are passionate about this industry and art form. With an iPad version, Letterboxd now provides a rich and modern iOS experience that, hopefully, will help me grow my movie knowledge over the next few months.

Letterboxd 2.0 is available on the App Store.


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Spuzzy
172 days ago
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In search of a problem that doesn’t exists.
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