June 24, 2024

7 Things This Week [#146]

And now for something new! I’ve been on something of a… let’s call it a summer break” from blogging, so Robert offered to pick up the slack for 7 Things this week. I don’t really do guest posts here on HeyDingus, but I love linking out to other sites. And since Robert has his own website, I encouraged him to post something there and that I’d quote and link to it for issue #146. He was game, so let’s see what Robert’s found in his internet spelunking for us.

Hijacking 7 Things This Week”

Jarrod over at HeyDingus has been a little busy lately. I’ve missed his 7 Things This week” segment lately. So, I’m doing what any good best friend would do, and I’ve asked to guest post. So here we are, as my first true post on USB, I’m giving it a whirl. For those who aren’t familiar,”7 Things” is a weekly collection of 7 things Jarrod finds interesting. Sometimes themed, sometimes not. Here’s what I found interesting in the past week:

  1. I hate that this is a necessary thing in our society, but as an IT coordinator I am glad tools for school safety are within reach of even the smallest schools. The K-12 District I serve has been featured as a case study by Motorola. This project is ongoing and ever evolving! [🔗 Motorola Solutions Blog]

  2. Ever think about your last meal? Meghan Trainor talks last meals with Josh on a segment of my favorite channel: [🔗 Mythical Kitchen // youtube.com]

  3. Talking Tech and AI with Tim Cook. No summary needed. [🔗 Marques Brownlee // youtube.com]

  4. I’m not much of a gaming guy, but it sure was neat to see some of my favorite old Mac systems running Minecraft in this video. [🔗 Action Retro // youtube.com]

  5. This one will hit a small niche in this audience, but I love the community that has been built around the K12 Tech Talk podcast that has evolved into a forum for Technology Professionals working in K-12 Education to network and problem-solve together. [🔗 K12TechPro]

  6. Just a shameless plug for the 10 Best Days of Summer” and an organization for which I volunteer - if you’re in Michigan July 11-20 come check it out! [🔗 Ionia Free Fair]

  7. What will AI mean for HomePod? This article covers a lot of what I was thinking about it… [🔗 9to5Mac]

Thanks Robert!


🔗 Take a Chance

Thanks for reading 7 Things. If you enjoyed these links or have something neat to share, please let me know. And remember that you can get more links to internet nuggets that I’m finding every day by following me @jarrod on the social web.

7 Things


June 9, 2024

7 Things This Week [#145]

A weekly list of interesting things I found on the internet, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.


1️⃣ Such an elegantly made video. It doesn’t matter that I have no interest in coffee or how it tastes, but I appreciate great storytelling and this is excellent. (The behind-the-scenes is great too.) [🔗 James Hoffmann // youtube.com] (Via Matt Birchler)

2️⃣ I’m intrigued by this tinyPod, Apple Watch phone case thing. Pretty clever, but what I’m most curious about is how they’re converting the scroll wheel touches into watchOS interactions. [🔗 Ryan Christoffel // 9to5mac.com]

3️⃣ Anyone up for a game of Robot Or Not? (I won on my first try.) [🔗 app.humanornot.ai] (Via Kev Quirk)

4️⃣ I’m a sucker for a list of bits of advice, and this is a good one. [🔗 brendan // semi-rad.com]

5️⃣ AI text generation is coming for your personal conversations. How’s that gonna make you feel? [🔗 Neven Mrgan // mrgan.com]

6️⃣ AI generation is also coming for your intrapersonal conversations. And if I had a spare $200, this app that uses AI to ask you questions, transcribe your answers, do follow-ups, and format it all into an autobiography of sorts is probably what I’d spend it on. I’m very intrigued. [🔗 Autobiographer // apps.apple.com]

7️⃣ AI is also also coming for your playlists. This app generates a custom playlist for your road trip, taking into account the places you’ll pass through on the way. Very cool! [🔗 Trip Tunes // impresskit.net]


52 Albums Project

Tike Without Consequence by Alexi Murdoch (2000) — #20/52

I’ll be honest with you, I’m picking Time Without Consequence for one specific reason: it debuts with a perfect song, All My Days”. I don’t even remember if the rest of the album is any good! We’ll find out together shortly as the rest of it plays through…

Turns out, quite good! Boy his voice is lovely.

The album title, Time Without Consequence’, and that grayscale cover, so classic.

Follow along on the 52 Albums Project page where I’m making some playlists for you.


🔗 Take a Chance

Thanks for reading 7 Things. If you enjoyed these links or have something neat to share, please let me know. And remember that you can get more links to internet nuggets that I’m finding every day by following me @jarrod on the social web.

7 Things 52 Albums


June 9, 2024

My WWDC24 Wish List

A Siri that doesn’t suck.®

(Lol, there’s actually a bunch more that I’d like to see Apple improve and introduce, but this would be a great start.)

WWDC


May 26, 2024

7 Things This Week [#144]

A weekly list of interesting things I found on the internet, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.


1️⃣ You can do some wild stuff with scroll-based animations just with CSS. [🔗 scroll-driven-animations.style]

2️⃣ Robin Rendle has a new blog for sharing things about CSS and I’m already hooked. (And I approve this transition from newsletter to blog!) [🔗 Robin Rendle // csscade.com]

3️⃣ Annie Mueller spells out clearly that how her body is used is entirely up to her. That this needs to be said in the year 2024 is appalling, but here we are. [🔗 Annie Mueller // annie.micro.blog]

4️⃣ Tim Cook had sick custom six colors Nike shoes to wear during the latest Apple Event. [🔗 Sarah Kearns // hypebeast.com]

5️⃣ Incredible pen ad. [🔗 Montblanc // youtube.com]

6️⃣ Quinn Nelson shows off the new Apple Pencil’s shadow effect, which is just the coolest little feature. [🔗 @snazzyq // threads.net]

7️⃣ James made a site and RSS feed for a neat new idea: a blog of the day. [🔗 James G // blogofthe.day]


52 Albums Project

Little Voice: Season 1 (Apple TV+ Original Series Soundtrack) by Little Voice Cast (2020) — #18/52

Little Voice is a show from Apple TV+ that you probably never heard of, although you might know the album by Sara Bareilles upon which it’s built (Bareilles was a creator of the show, and her influence forms the musical foundation of this soundtrack). The show was solid, if not stellar, but the music certainly stands out. It’s an album I return to regularly. [I should really check if Brittany O’Grady, the lead singer and star, has any new music out.] I particularly enjoy their rendition of Valerie” and the finale version of its titular Little Voice”. The music is all simple and true (😉) in the best way.

Follow along on the 52 Albums Project page where I’m making some playlists for you.


🔗 Take a Chance

Thanks for reading 7 Things. If you enjoyed these links or have something neat to share, please let me know. And remember that you can get more links to internet nuggets that I’m finding every day by following me @jarrod on the social web.

7 Things 52 Albums


May 9, 2024

Starting up PenPals with Justin Wong

I’m a bit delayed on my end, but I’ve started emailing with Justin Wong this month. Justin is a software developer who has an awesome website, wonger.dev., and is a Florida enthusiast (which you’ll see below 😉):

We have a lot of sprawling oak trees covered with hanging moss. And there’s a lot of palm trees. (fun fact - palm trees are actually a type of grass. The trunk of a palm tree is closer to celery than a woody tree trunk. It’s bendy enough to survive high winds, instead of snapping or uprooting) There’s short, stubby palm trees, crooked palm trees, palm tree nurseries, fun little ponytail palms, and tall, springy palm trees.

We got started with some introductions and discussed the pros of living in Florida or elsewhere with more distinct seasons, career changes, and eating habits.

I can tell this is going to be a fun month getting to know Justin.

Read the full conversation →

PenPals


May 9, 2024

Wrapping up being PenPals with Ratika

Writing with Ratika this month stretched my skills in interesting ways. Her style encouraged me to get more creative with my descriptions and share more about what’s happening around me, not just within me. We got pretty meta though, discussing routines, the benefits and detriments of being online, and often our local weather. Here’s a bit from our final exchange:

I think our current zeitgeist puts a lot of pressure on us to have a perfect routine. What works for a YouTuber or a celebrity or an author might not work for us. We all live in different socioeconomic situations, with different privileges and abilities and responsibilities and priorities, and we each have a different way of defining joy, as well as what it means to have a good day”. So I’m not very particular about routines anymore–having some things to do regularly is fine, but the moment I get too particular about the details, I end up making things unnecessarily difficult for myself. Who do we have to please? We can all do with being easier on ourselves a little, I think.

Big thanks to Ratika for agreeing to take part in this project. I really enjoyed chatting with her, and look forward to reading more of her book as she publishes it chapter by chapter.

Read our entire conversation →

PenPals


May 7, 2024

10 Last-Minute Predictions for Apple’s ‘Let Loose’ Event

I’ve been mostly offline for the last week, camping with my wife and dog, and taking a couple of trainings (Wilderness First Aid and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, if you’re interested), so no big thinkpiece from me regarding Apple’s (presumed) iPad event tomorrow today. Also, I’ll be at work during the event itself, so don’t expect a live blog this time around. 😕

But I’m pretty excited to see what they have ready to unveil. It seems clear that it’s going to be iPad-focused — which is good since it’s been over a year since the last iPad refresh. I’m still pretty happy with my 2020 iPad Pro (except for a dwindling battery capacity), but my wife’s (7th-gen?) iPad has seen better days. We might have a hand-me-down situation in our near future.

Anyway, based on rumor mill and my own pondering, here are a few things I’m predicting we’ll see announced.

1️⃣ Apple Pencil Pro — This seems like the surest thing based on the event invitations, Tim Cook’s tweet, and the apple.com animation. What will come in a Pencil Pro? I think:

  • Vision Pro support for interacting with virtual objects and apps
  • Haptic feedback (important for operating in mid air” with Vision Pro)
  • Flip-around eraser mode
  • Physical or force-press button” (another Action Button?)
  • Magnetic attachment and charging will be a solved problem (maybe moved to a different edge?)

2️⃣ OLED Screen for iPad — Honestly, this is probably what I’m most excited for. The iPad Pro screen is great, but better contrast and true blacks will be awesome for what is a video-centric device for a lot of people.

3️⃣ M3 Chip Inside — This is almost a coin flip for me. It’d be kind of wild if Apple makes a splash by speeding onto the M4 chip even before the M4 Ultra makes its debut, but I also wouldn’t been too surprised. But if Apple can call the (fairly recently introduced) MacBooks Air the best laptops for AI with the M3 chips in them, I don’t see why they’d need to jump ahead to the next generation chip already. I think the new iPad Pro models will match the MacBooks Air chipset.

4️⃣ Every iPad gets an update — This is a bit risky, but, again, since it’s been over a year since any iPad was refreshed, they’re all plausibly due. Some might just get a chip bump, while other models get a design refresh as well.

5️⃣ New Pro” Keyboard Accessory — I think they’re going to learn even further into the Pro” moniker. The regular Magic Keyboard might stick around for some models, but I think they’re going introduce a newer, more advanced keyboard. Here’s what I’m hoping for:

  • USB-C data passthrough (the current Magic Keyboard’s USB-C port does charging only)
  • Wider hinge angle
  • Function row keys
  • Larger trackpad

6️⃣ Mac Virtual Display — While I’d love a virtualized macOS mode or (hybrid device), I highly doubt that’s coming anytime soon. But visionOS got a way to remotely control a nearby Mac, and since visionOS appears to be most closely realted to iPadOS, I think it’s within the realm of possibility that an iPad could get that functionality too.

7️⃣ Minimum storage space on the base-level iPad gets bumped up — The 10th-gen iPad starts at 64 GB and then the next tier up is 256 GB. 64 GB is simply too low. Even with minimal apps, that storage space is filled far too quickly, which makes installing any updates a real pain in the ass. And the next tier being almost a full 200 GB jump is kind of crazy. I’m hoping to see a minimum of 128 GB of storage across the lineup of new iPads.

8️⃣ Goodbye Home Button — Based on nothing but a gut feeling, I think we’ll the see the iPad (9th-gen), the last iPad with a Home Button, go the way of the Dodo. It’s time. They can keep the 10th-gen around at the sub-$400 price point and get all iPads on the full-screen interface. (That’ll leave just the iPhone SE with a Home Button — something else I think will get rectified in the next 12 months.)

9️⃣ Event video will be no longer than 45-minutes — 30 mintues seems a bit short, especially since I expect we’ll see some Pencil demos, but a full hour feels too long. So I’m splitting the difference.

🔟 AI will be said at least 15 times — Although I think Machine Learning” was a better term for this technology, at some point you just have to use the popular vernacular and Artifical Intelligence” won out. Apple really wants us to know that they’re working hard on AI features, and I think we’ll hear about it at least once every three minutes on average.


If all goes how I think it will, we’ll probably end up with a new 11-inch iPad Pro (with cellular, cause it’s the best), Magic Keyboard Pro, and Apple Pencil Pro in our household. I can’t wait to see how these picks turn out. Stay tuned for their grading!


Bonus, longshot, prediction: Updated keyboard, mouse, and trackpad accessories with USB-C, that work better across iPad, Vision Pro, and Mac (as ruminated on The Talk Show #499). And please, for the love of God, release a compact version in silver with black keys already.

Bonus bonus T-minus 7 minutes prediction: Freeform gets a major drawing/artist upgrade.

Apple Events


May 6, 2024

7 Things This Week [#143]

A weekly list of interesting things I found on the internet, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.


1️⃣ Good tip on sharing a specific quote from a webpage via iMessage. [🔗 Tim Hardwick // macrumors.com]

2️⃣ This use of a cross-section helps show how we perceive 4D objects in a 3D world, but it still messes with my mind and I don’t quite get it. [🔗 Rowan Fortier // youtube.com]

3️⃣ This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes down. It was at 7% battery level when I found it. [🔗 Kris De Decker // solar.lowtechmagazine.com]

4️⃣ Here’s a Stumbleupon-like website that shoots you off to another random neat site on the web. [🔗 theforest.link]

5️⃣ The coolest way I’ve ever seen to water crops. 🤯 [🔗 @imjustculture // instagram.com]

6️⃣ Who doesn’t like a fun fidget toy website? I’m sure they’ve created something quite special and useful with these pliable live models, but since I don’t know how I’d use it, I just like to play with the sliders. [🔗 robenrobin.nl]

7️⃣ Everyone loves a novelty roadside attraction on road trips. Here’s a super weird one in each state. A HeyDingus meetup at The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things in Kansas, anyone? [🔗 thrillist.com]


52 Albums Project

Dark Horse by Nickelback (2008) — #18/52

I can’t say that I’m really a Nickelback fan, but Dark Horse holds a special place in my heart. For a full summer as a young teen working at Scout Camp, my cabin mates and I set this album, on full volume, as our morning alarm. We shot out of bed every day, bleary-eyed, but hearts racing knowing we had to turn the volume down before any of the naughty” lyrics would reach any campers’ ears. That is not to say that we turned it down low, no, it still blared, but it was at least contained to our cabin walls.

The high-octane vibes of this record bring me right back to those bright summer mornings. I had the time of my life working camp staff with some of the most dedicated and hard-working people I’ve ever met. It was my first taste of independence, figuring out who I was and wanted to be — it was where I broke out of the mold of the life I thought was set before me. This non-conformist” (at least to me at the time) album reminds me of that period of my life when I discovered I could chart my own path.

Follow along on the 52 Albums Project page where I’m making some playlists for you.


🔗 Take a Chance

Thanks for reading 7 Things. If you enjoyed these links or have something neat to share, please let me know. And remember that you can get more links to internet nuggets that I’m finding every day by following me @jarrod on the social web.

7 Things 52 Albums


April 28, 2024

Climbing Is Inherently Dangerous

As I become more cemented in the climbing community, meeting new people and expanding my network” of fellow climber friends and acquaintances, its inevitable that I’ll know more people who will get hurt and die from our sport. Just this weekend, I learned of two falls of people I personally knew — one fatal, and one quite serious.

Any time I hear of fatalities of well-known climbers, it makes me do a double-take. They fell?! But they seemed so solid, so professional, so infallible.” Doubly so now that they’re people that I actually know and have relationships with.

It makes me question my draw to an inherently dangerous sport. But never so much that I could ever walk away from it. Is that selfish? Yes. But climbing is something that brings me so much joy, and I know I couldn’t ever ask someone to leave behind the thing that makes them feel so alive — so I won’t do it to myself. Even if that joy necessarily comes with moments, like these, of sadness and doubt.

And while incidents like these don’t make me want to stop climbing, they do encourage me to double-down on vigilance to take precautions that mitigate some of those inherent risks. Knowing full-well that not every risk can be avoided, and sometimes people just fall. But I will continue to strive to be the safest climber I can be, and to encourage others to be the same.

Climbing


April 28, 2024

7 Things This Week [#142]

A weekly list of interesting things I found on the internet, posted on Sundays. Sometimes themed, often not.


1️⃣ Rachel’s put together a list of blog posts from folks’ personal websites that praise the small web. I see some familiar names there! [🔗 Rachel // projects.kwon.nyc] (via Scott Wilson)

2️⃣ If you’re a fan of John Siracusa, you’re gonna like this website. [🔗 siracusasays.com]

3️⃣ Remember when SNL did a sketch about how Avatar, one of the highest-grossing films of all time, used the stock Papyrus font for their logo? Well, there’s a sequel sketch in honor of Avatar 2, and boy does it go places. 🤣 [🔗 Saturday Night Live // youtube.com]

4️⃣ I didn’t know you could walk around” while viewing an Apple Maps Flyover. Pretty cool! [🔗 @thatchriscarley // threads.net]

5️⃣ I’m not a photographer, but this auto-setup, auto-leveling tripod looks slick. [🔗 @genenegata // instagram.com]

6️⃣ I’m just gonna leave the title here: Elon Musk — Dead at 52 — Says There Is No Need for Misinformation Laws’ [🔗 The Shovel // theshovel.com.au] (via Paul Kafasis)

7️⃣ Lou Plummer’s App Addict blog has been one of my favorite recent follows. He tries everything, and I’ve already been hooked by a couple of his reviews into new apps I want to check out. The write-ups for each app are short and sweet, a reminder that every review doesn’t need to be sprawling. [🔗 Lou Plummer // apps.louplummer.lol]


52 Albums Project

Mr. Misunderstood by Eric Church (2015) — #17/52

Eric Church always seemed like the outlier Country singer to me. There was something about his music that paid tribute to Country tropes and themes, but always had a little extra pop or rock to them. Mr. Misunderstood was kind of like the outlier album of Eric Church albums. I don’t know if I can articulate what felt different about it, but it was different. I enjoyed it immensely, right from the jump, and I can’t believe it’s been out for almost a decade now. I still think of it as Church’s new” album. The closing track Three Year Old” still makes me giggle.

Follow along on the 52 Albums Project page where I’m making some playlists for you.


🔗 Take a Chance

Thanks for reading 7 Things. If you enjoyed these links or have something neat to share, please let me know. And remember that you can get more links to internet nuggets that I’m finding every day by following me @jarrod on the social web.

7 Things 52 Albums