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cleverdevil

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Faviconographer – Tab Favicons in Safari for Mac.

Great little app that adds favicons to Safari tabs. I continue to prefer Safari to Chrome and Firefox, by a pretty wide margin, and this only extends the lead.

 

What’s Next for Progressives? - The New York Times

Krugman does a good job reminding progressives that politically viable solutions are better than idealogically perfect ones, especially when it comes to large, polarizing issues like healthcare:

... some progressives — by and large people who supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries — are already trying to revive one of his signature proposals: expanding Medicare to cover everyone. Some even want to make support for single-payer a litmus test for Democratic candidates.

So it’s time for a little pushback. A commitment to universal health coverage — bringing in the people currently falling through Obamacare’s cracks — should definitely be a litmus test. But single-payer, while it has many virtues, isn’t the only way to get there; it would be much harder politically than its advocates acknowledge; and there are more important priorities.

The key point to understand about universal coverage is that we know a lot about what it takes, because every other wealthy country has it. How do they do it? Actually, lots of different ways.

Look at the latest report by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, comparing health care performance among advanced nations. America is at the bottom; the top three performers are Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands. And the thing is, these three leaders have very different systems.

Krugman then goes on to point out that the Dutch system works quite well, and is quite similar to the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that improving the A.C.A. is the best path forward. I tend to agree, and hope that my Bernie-supporting friends won't be lured by the temptation of idealogical purity, and will instead embrace the rational, steady progress that comes with compromise and pragmatism. After all, its what made the Obama administration work!

I have nothing against single-payer; it’s what I’d support if we were starting fresh. But we aren’t: Getting there from here would be very hard, and might not accomplish much more than a more modest, incremental approach. Even idealists need to set priorities....

Well said. Well said, indeed.

 

The iPad – The Brooks Review

Great post by Ben Brooks on the iPad post WWDC 2017.

This is a critical point for iPad, where we are about to turn the corner in a very big way.

I think Ben is right. The vast majority of the work that I do these days could be done on an iPad, though I would still rely on an application like Prompt for SSH'ing into servers to write code. The hardware announced at WWDC solves many of my original gripes with the iPad, and a few problems that I didn't even know that I had. The software announced at WWDC is perhaps even more impressive in just how far it pushes the envelope.

Apple perfected iPad hardware at about the same time as they perfected the software for it, and they kind of fucking know it. They are being a tad pompous about it. And they acted the same way with the MacBook Air — “if you think this is a Netbook, oh boy, are you in for a treat.”

For the first time in a long time, I believe the premise that the iPad could be the primary computing device of the next generation of the workforce. The gap is closing, and its closing fast.

 

Apple makes major podcast updates - Six Colors

Jason Snell discusses the changes Apple is making to its involvement to the podcast world, including some new extensions to the feed format to enable more customization inside their own Podcasts app, which is getting a major revamp is iOS 11. In addition, they're adding in-app analytics (anonymized).

I wonder what this means for JSON Feed, and for Marco Arment's Overcast? I'm a believer in the addition of more metadata to feeds to enable clients and consumers to create better experienes for users.

 

Feed reader revolution: it’s time to embrace open & disrupt social media

Great post by Chris Aldrich that echos my own feelings about the potential for an integrated content creation, consumption, and interaction experience for the open web. I've already got a good start on it, since I have a website that supports Webmention and Micropub, and I've created a plugin for Nextcloud News, my feed reader of choice, that enables interactions.

My goal is to completely exit Facebook by the end of 2017 and Twitter shortly thereafter.

 

Bloomberg: Apple Is Manufacturing a Siri Speaker to Outdo Google and Amazon

Apple may be joining the game, but they're entering it pretty late. From the sound of it, the device won't have a screen, causing them to fall further behind Amazon, which is tempting me with the Echo Show and their addition of support for iCloud Calendars and Reminders. I really want to stay within the Apple ecosystem, but Apple's not making it easy...

 

JSON Feed Creators Aim to Revitalize Interest in the Open Web

It's been fun to watch the release and rise of JSON Feed. This article does a good job of pointing out the benefits of JSON Feed and its philosophy, while also surfacing some of the common objections.

 

Amazon Echo Show

I've long resisted the Amazon Echo products, along with other similar "lady in a can" products from Google. The idea of an always-on microphone creeped me out, and the utility just wasn't there, especially since my only options seemed to be Google, who is driven by advertising, and Amazon, who hasn't really proven itself in the consumer hardware space, yet.

That said, I bought a Fire TV and Fire TV Stick late last year, because I wanted something with 4K support for my newly acquired family-room TV, and also wanted a portable streaming stick option to bring with me on the road to use with my portable projector. Overall, I've been quite impressed with the quality and reliability of the products, and I am starting to believe that Amazon can create decent consumer hardware products.

Amazon recently announced the Amazon Echo Show, which provides all of the functionality of the traditional "lady in a can" Echo, but adds a camera and touch screen to enable a bunch of additional features, including video chat. The device looks homely at first glance, but its appearance, especially that of the white-bordered option, is really starting to grow on me in a sort of retro-futuristic way. It almost looks like something that 

Go and watch the cheese promotional video on the site. If it works as well as the video says, I find the addition of the screen and camera to potentially be the tipping point for me. I'm finally starting to understand the appeal of these devices, and can easily see myself buying a few for my house, along with one or two for family to enable quick drop in video chats.

 

Trump now agrees with the majority of Americans: He wasn’t ready to be president

Delightful. Just delightful.

Donald Trump spent a great portion of 2016 insisting that being president would be easy — at least for him. HuffPost compiled a number of examples of him dismissing the problems that accompany the job as being easily dispatched. Building a wall on the border with Mexico is easy. Beating Hillary Clinton would be easy. Renegotiating the Iran deal would be easy. Paying down the national debt would be easy. Acting presidential? Easy.

To a reporter from Reuters this week, though, Trump had a slightly different assessment of the presidency.

“I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life,” Trump said. “I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a … I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem but this is actually more work.”

How much longer do we have to endure this guy? I'm not sure I can take three and half more years of this.