⌘ January 3, 2024

Crashing Clockwise #535: It’s Even Embarrassing in Metric’

Happy New Year y’all! And welcome, Meg; it’s always exciting when there’s a brand-new guest here on the show. 😉 Oh, and let me just say that the lack of dungeon buddy talk in the intro is going to take some getting used to.

Audio narration generated using Shortcuts.

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Dan Moren: It’s time for a social media audit. Where, if anywhere, are you putting your social media energy in the year of our lord, 2024?

Well, now, that’s an interesting question. I suppose you could say The Fediverse”, but I wouldn’t because I quite dislike that term. And yet, it is the word that we’ve landed on to describe the decentralized social web. More accurately, I’m putting my energy into my own microblog at Micro.blog, which also acts kind of like a pass into Mastodon but without all the features. I like its more quiet nature. But all my posts also get sent to Bluesky and I manually crosspost them to Threads. I do that just because you never know which microblogging platform people are hanging out on, but 99% of my engagement happens with other Micro.blog and Mastodon users. I’ve even hooked up an automation so that my Instagram posts automatically get pulled into my Micro.blog and then dispersed from there. I’m also putting more effort into full-sized blogging, which has been great fun.

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Meg: What kinds of subscriptions are you canceling in 2024 and what are you keeping?

Like you, Meg, Amazon Prime’s price increase has me considering whether my wife and I will keep it or not. We live a bit into the boonies, so we rarely get the benefit of 2-day shipping. We don’t watch many shows or movies there. And I don’t want ads nor to pay more to not see them. So 2024 might be the year that we experiment with going Prime-free. I don’t know that any other subscriptions will see the chopping block — I’m pretty good about keeping up with what we’re using and ending the subscriptions for the ones we don’t. I did bump us down to the non-4K tier of Netflix when their price went up too recently, and no one (i.e. my wife) hasn’t noticed… so, cool?

In fact, instead of canceling subscriptions, we’re trying some new ones including Factor and Wild Grain for a little more variety and ease in our meal prep. Where on earth could I have heard about those from? 🤔

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Mikah Sargent: The Apple Vision Pro is rumored to be launching soon. Have your opinions on it changed since its preview, and are you planning on getting one?

I’d say my opinions have changed, and it’s that my excitement for it went from high to higher! Maybe I’m just a cuck for Apple stuff, but the introduction really blew my socks off and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. And yes, if you’ve been following along with me the past six months or so, you’ll know that I’ve been saving my pennies (and dimes, nickels, quarters, and dollars) so that I can order one ASAP.

There are a couple of key things that I can’t wait to do with it: immersive cinema and a virtual Mac screen. My wife has eternal dibs on our couch and living room TV (she’s a PlayStation gamer), and I’m fussy enough that I like to save” the things I want to watch for the nice screen”. With a Vision Pro, the nice screen” can be anywhere I want and it is likely better than any physical screen I could have. I’m hoping to catch up on a lot of shows and movies this year.

As for the virtual Mac screen, I’m excited to try using it as my main interface with my Mac mini. The display I have on my desk is showing its age, and it was never great to begin with. It flickers, the resolution isn’t great, and it just doesn’t bring me joy to operate my Mac on it. I’m hoping that with a crisp virtual monitor in Vision Pro, I won’t have to squint so much at it, and the limited battery life will encourage me to log off and go do something else at regular intervals.

I think spatial computing has a bright future, and I want to be in on it from the beginning.

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Jeremy Burge: What feature do you hope gets included in your phone or computer operating system this year?

Oh boy, sign me up for Dan’s better Siri, Mikah’s photography hand-holding, and your status flags in Contacts, Jeremy.

There are two things that I keenly want to see, possibly due to recency bias, and that go hand-in-hand: I want the rumors of Apple’s on-device LLM-ML-AI-alphabet soup to come true and I want it to supercharge Shortcuts. Craig Federighi once proclaimed that Shortcuts was the future of automation on the Mac” and that was right about the time that Shortcuts got really buggy and stopped getting the love that I think it deserves. I’m desperately holding onto the hope that the reason the current version of Shortcuts has been falling short is that they’ve been working on a rewrite behind the scenes, possibly one that uses natural language and ML smarts to make creating automations ever easier. As I’ve mentioned before, Shortcuts is my favorite coding” playground, so I’m nervous about drastic changes, but the current state of the app is untenable.

The first thing I’d make with Super Shortcuts? A workflow that helps me write Alt Text for all the images I post online. I’ve got a tool going that generates Alt Text for those images that get auto-posted from Instagram to my microblog, and it’s super impressive and I think will help make the internet a more accessible place.

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Bonus Topic: What is your most anticipated thing in 2024?

Dan’s right, how are we supposed to follow your wonderful news, Jeremy?! Congratulations!!

Anyway, I’m pretty stoked for an upcoming trip with a buddy to go rock climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada. The weather should be ideal in early spring, the place looks incredible, and we intend to climb some very large rocks. Plus, if we get to take an American Mountain Guides Association course there, it means the trip will get me closer to achieving several items on my Impossible List. (Plus Vision Pro. 😎)

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My Topic: Did you celebrate the New Year with any fun traditions?

My wife and I usually host a New Year’s Eve party with a bunch of friends that we’ve picked up along our journey, but this year we waited a bit late to get out the invitations. That, coupled with the long drive time between here in New York and there in Michigan/Ohio, meant that only one of our friends was able to make it. But we still had a great time because our town put on a bunch of fun local events. We saw an improv show, relished good food and drink, and enjoyed the fireworks show from afar — plus the usual game night while waiting for the clock to tick forward to New Year’s Day. However, this was the first year that I struggled to stay awake until midnight, usually not a problem for me any day of the year, but I was dozing by 11:30 pm. Still, no complaints and it was a good start to 2024.

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Great topics to start off this fresh, new year. Thanks for having me here!

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