John Hodgman is deleting Uber from his phone now →

November 19, 2014 |

John Hodgman has decided to stop using Uber after one of its executives suggested they should dig up some dirt on several journalists — particularly Sarah Lacy from PandoDaily — to protect the company from negative press coverage:

I like Uber. I know some don’t. I don’t intend to blackmail them.

And I really don’t want to take that crummy car I was so glad to hang up on two years ago.

But I just can’t get into a car with those guys anymore.

Well said.

For a series of unrelated reasons, Uber is struggling to gain traction in Madrid. I admit I was curious to try it but after this, there’s no way I’m using the service.

It’s unfortunate, but companies like Uber listen only when customers speak with their wallets.

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The Untitled Sanspoint Podcast Project →

November 19, 2014 |

Richard J. Anderson is back on the podcasting seat:

The Untitled Sanspoint Podcast Project is a weekly podcast, about technology and culture. It’s fifteen minutes or less, and features only me, talking about what’s caught my attention. It also will feature a plug for something cool. New episodes will be released every Monday, but Episode 1 is available now, for your listening pleasure. It’s not on iTunes yet, but should be shortly. In the interim, you can subscribe by dropping this link in your podcast client of choice.

Interesting format. Finding the exact sweet spot both in terms of length and frequency of episodes for a one-man tech podcast is a tricky thing to do well. I find the 15-minute mark to be a natural choice for this type of shows, and here it seems to work well.

From what I’ve seen so far, I’d say The Untitled Sanspoint Podcast Project is off to a great start.

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Barbie Fucks It Up Again →

November 19, 2014 |

Pamela Ribon takes Susan Marenco to the woodshed on account of her new Barbie double-book, titled “I can be an Actress / I can be a Computer Engineer”:


Despite having ruined her own laptop, her sister’s laptop, and the library’s computers, not to mention Steven and Brian’s afternoon, she takes full credit for her game design– only to get extra credit and decide she’s an awesome computer engineer! “I did it all by myself!”

Wait, there’s more:

When you hold the book in your hands to read a story, the opposite book is upside down, facing out. So the final insult to this entire literary disaster is that when you read “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer,” it appears that you are so fucking dumb, you’re reading “Barbie: I Can Be an Actress” upside down.

See also, Brianna Wu’s take on the same book.

Like they say, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

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The minimalist packing list →

November 19, 2014 |

James Turner tells the incredible story of how he manages to live out of a 26-liter backpack:

This is an unapologetically long post. It’s an in-depth look at what gear I use to travel around the world, constantly, with only a 26L backpack. It’s written for the gear freaks and professional travellers. Newbies and veterans alike. If you just want to see the list, then skip to the end. If however, you’ve got a cup of tea and 15 minutes for a story, then read on.

So good.

Via Ben Brooks, of course.

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Apple unveils WatchKit →

November 18, 2014 |

Apple today unveiled WatchKit, the set of development tools that will allow 3rd-party developers to build apps for the upcoming Apple Watch.

Underscore David Smith has a few interesting thoughts about it (emphasis his):

Rather than just saying we only get Glances and Notifications, we get to build actual, useful watch apps. Those apps, however, are architected in such a way as to make them extremely battery conscious. I suspect the biggest power draw these apps will have is the networking between the iPhone and Watch. However, optimizing the Watch OS for efficient networking is much easier than building an entire, rich SDK that is similarly respectful.

I have to say, I’m pretty excited. The fact that WatchKit is already out means the Apple Watch will support native 3rd-party apps from day one, and that’s great for everyone.

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It's The Sweet Setup's 1-Year Birthday →

November 18, 2014 |

Shawn Blanc:

I’d like to think that a year in, and The Sweet Setup has now found a good groove. There are 5 of us behind the scenes: Stephen Hackett, Jeff Abbott, Chris Gonzales, and Bradley Chambers, and we’ve found an editorial pace that works for us: one setup interview and a quick tip per week, and two app reviews per month.

An awesome team for an awesome website.

Happy birthday, guys.

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The Secrets of Sleep →

Last updated on November 18, 2014


D. T. Max, National Geographic:

Now consider the siesta. The timing of the traditional siesta corresponds to a natural post-lunch dip in our circadian rhythms, and studies have shown that people who catnap are generally more productive and may even enjoy lower risk of death from heart disease. It is the Spanish who have made the siesta famous. Unfortunately, Spaniards no longer live close enough to work to go home and nap. Instead some use the afternoon break to go out for long lunches with friends and colleagues. Having spent two hours at lunch, Spanish workers then cannot finish work until seven or eight. But even then they don’t always go home. They go out for drinks or dinner instead. (Go to a Spanish disco at midnight and you’re likely to be dancing alone; their prime-time TV shows are just ending.)

Great article but seriously, who goes dancing before midnight?

Via Conor McClure.

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My Sweet Setup →

November 17, 2014 |

This week I was invited to do an interview over at The Sweet Setup about the tools and gear I use every day. I think it went pretty well, and I hope you find it interesting.

If you were curious to see how the magic happens, this is your chance.

P.S. To me it’s a great honor to be featured in The Sweet Setup. Many of my favorite people on the Internet have done this interview in the past, and I’m thrilled to now be a small part of that awesome community.

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