5 jun. 2023

The WWDC keynote is in a couple hours, and it’s gonna be a big one, so here’s a reminder that Mastodon itself supports muting someone for a few hours, or days. And you’ll probably want to make it days, because I’m gonna have things to say about the keynote *and* the hands-on reports that come out afterwards.

(I really hope they don’t pull a rabbit out of a hat and make me want to buy this thing.)

I recently set out (in an ADHD fugue, I guess) to add photos to every item in my shopping list, and I’d like to commend AnyList for including “Web Image Search” in the upload menu, which opens a very nice image picker, and prepopulates the search field with the item’s name.This is app is just really well designed all-around.

(Unfortunately, I only found out the mobile app had this option *after* spending an hour doing it manually on the website.)

This isn’t a product: it’s a crime – “AnnoyingPCB - The Prank Device That Won’t Stop Beeping for 3 Years”

Deep dive into the Watch’s band-swapping buttons — sorely lacking an animated infographic, I find the explanation incomprehensible.

“The tolerances in there are kind of insane. It’s super hard to machine [and] the angles are all weird.” So the company wound up buying [hundreds of] Swiss CNC machines that cost up to $2 million — each — just for the sake of its swappable band system. “It didn’t cut anything else on the watch, just this, that’s all it did.”

The unsung heroes of the Apple Watch are its hidden buttons

Apple used Rolex-level manufacturing to make a simple thing special.

Context, and an interesting interview, re: the last boost.

I decided a few months back that I wouldn’t post in appreciation of the best daily crosswords anymore because fuck the NYT, but that’s not Shortz’s fault, and there’s been a bunch of nice pride-themed puzzles over the years.

Will Shortz’s Life in Crosswords

The veteran Times puzzle editor discusses his favorite clues, debates in the crossword community, and unexpectedly finding his first serious romance.

As near as I can tell NYT Crossword editor Will Shortz just came out this year. I’ve been doing their crossword for several years and just decided to start back at the beginning, and it turns out the very first puzzle he did for the NYT in 1993 was Pride themed (intentionally or not).

Good on you, Will.

If you want to be asked for your permission before corporations get access to your private #medical records in the #EU, there is a big petition for you to sign that demands exactly that:

#WeMove #EHDS #healthData #medicalrecords #health #privacy #dataprotection

Do No Harm: Don’t give Big Tech access to our medical records

The European Commission wants the European Health Data Space to make better use of our medical information across the EU. But this shouldn’t be at the expense of our privacy. Decisions over our medical records belong to us! We’re calling on MEPs to protect patients’ privacy in the #EHDS proposal.

4 jun. 2023

I’m willing to believe that Apple has done enough UX testing to know what they’re doing — and the rumor may be wrong anyway — but I find the idea that you’d point with your eyes and confirm by pinching your fingers profoundly depressing.

The iPhone was magical because you went and touched things to activate them. All the best VR interfaces are that way, and direct manipulation of virtual objects is essential to immersion. If we’re back at point-and-click, what were the last 40 years for?

For my TTRPG group, and because I’m a nerd who can’t leave well enough alone, I had made my own videoconferencing UI around Jitsi Meet, which allowed me to easily integrate their solution, for free, with a straightforward and well-documented API 💜

Right as we were about to use it they switched to making people go through their paid service instead, which is fair enough (the free tier would be sufficient for me), except the documentation for *that* part of the integration is terrible 🤦😫

There’s always been a question of what Stability had brought, exactly, to the development of Stable Diffusion. According to Forbes, their contribution amounts to giving the original Latent Diffusion researchers access to their AWS GPU farm… the bills for which they weren't paying at the time 🙃

The AI Founder Taking Credit For Stable Diffusion’s Success Has A History Of Exaggeration

Stability AI became a $1 billion company with the help of a viral AI text-to-image generator and some misleading claims from founder Emad Mostaque.

3 jun. 2023

“SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?” It was 40 years ago today, on June 3, 1983, when “War Games” was released in the US, giving us all a taste then of the dangers of giving full control to systems. Watching the trailer now, it’s fun to hear all the modem sounds and everything else:

(More about the film: )

I was in high school at the time, and was dialing into BBS’s and services, so I absolutely loved the film. 40 years!!!

WARGAMES (1983) | Official Trailer | MGM

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.Subscribe: htt…

WarGames - Wikipedia

Remember how in Star Trek everyone is oddly infatuated with 20th century arts and culture? And, like, nothing has really been created since the 20th century?

It’s because of generative AI, right? This is how we get stuck in a feedback loop of 20th century crap.


Siri is such a terrible name for this. There are millions of ways to pronounce the ‘R’, so all the system can look for is an 'S' and a vaguely interrupted ‘EE’ — the problem isn't to "pick up the signal," but to avoid false positives. Who's gonna keep this enabled when it keeps activating by mistake?

And the idea that the Siri team has been “working on the change for several months,” as if that was a priority compared to everything else… 🤦

Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

2 jun. 2023

Look, it’s very human to be worried about exactly the wrong thing, but in a world on the brink of climate collapse and rising fascism, being worried about an apocalypse caused by fancy word prediction algorithms is a bit much.

Novelty TLDs were never a good idea, but oof this is gonna hurt

Colin Wheeler (

If your App is not on the MAS and is only available from a .app TLD, please consider providing an alternative. Because Google came out with .zip & .mov, many IT Departments decided to ban those TLD’s, but also decided to ban .app. If you have no alternative domain, then your customers can’t access your app.

Ha, just saw someone refer to Twitter as $8Chan. Probably I’m the last to have heard this, but it amused me

Even when I had a Google Home I never bothered to set up integrations (mostly because my mind works equally in French and English, which means either a confused virtual assistant, or additional mental load for me), but damn, that’s shitty. As is, in general, the increasingly common practice of removing functionality from devices people have bought from you, but, hey, that’s nothing new.

Google Assistant kills off support for third-party note apps

The Google Assistant continues to circle the drain, with yet another feature loss.

1 jun. 2023

Ohh, replaying The 7th Guest in VR would be a trip. I didn’t have the patience to finish it back then, but it’s gotten quite a bit easier to find walkthroughs in the meantime.

7th Guest VR | Announcement Trailer | Meta Quest 2 + 3 + Pro

Wishlist The 7th Guest VR now on the MetaQuest store: iconic mystery game that chilled you to the bone in the 90s has been brou…

Oh no, no no no no, they’ve announced PowerWash Simulator VR, that’s terrible news for my free time. And my work time.

PowerWash Simulator VR | Announcement Trailer | Meta Quest 2 + 3 + Pro

PowerWash Simulator VR is coming to Meta Quest 2 in 2023! and hold the power washer in virtual reality, aim with total precisi…

Apple headset but outward facing display showing your Memoji.

Why the fuck did an Amazon crawler spend an entire month loading 200,000 pages from my client’s site (which has nowhere that much content), and with a regular browser’s user-agent to boot 🤬

Edit: I'm still mystified as to what the bot was looking for here, but the user-agent bit is probably my fault, I was storing it in a field that was too short.

Aperture Laboratories is the only company that is allowed to celebrate #PrideMonth

I’m waiting to download my GDPR archive before I pull the plug (why do we feel the urge to keep all this useless data, just because we can?*), and then it’ll be farewell, meaningless internet points 😢

* oh, right, it's because we're profoundly unadapted to the modern world

It’s been a bit of an ordeal because the app is *very* cross-platform, if you know what I mean, and because I insisted on running it in a VM, but Redact can delete your entire Reddit history (closing your account doesn’t). It even overwrites your comments first, which is reportedly the only way to make sure the contents do disappear.

I never did it for Twitter because I assumed (rightly) they wouldn’t actually delete anything, but somehow in this case I feel they might.

Redact - Mass delete your posts and messages on Social Networks

Mass delete your messages, posts and comments on Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Facebook, and more, all from one free app.

The Apollo dev says he has 1.3–1.5 million active users 😯

You could argue that Reddit is entitled to some money for this usage — but, again, they had other options than fleecing the developer (inserting ads in the API, restricting to premium Reddit users…).

More importantly, that's *a lot* of people who are gonna be pissed at Reddit. For one single app (there are others, and e.g. mod tools).

How do they plan to weather this? The year they intended to go public, too?

31 may 2023

Last boost: A good point that Reddit may not be actively trying to price third-party clients out of business, but wants to sell the site’s contents as AI training material, and doesn’t care about the consequences on anything else. I might have to purge my account 😢

Ad-supported models never worked all that well, but this doesn’t seem very sustainable. A few companies may want to pay Reddit millions, but once they have the data… and some of the users stop providing new content… what’s the value?

The worst part of the Reddit situation is that for folks training certain models, the data is actually worth that much and Reddit will make some money.

So we’re entering into a world where all content of any value to people will be even more locked down because of its value to AI companies.

Oh, holy shit. I don’t have the heart to read the article beyond its subtitle.

David Gerard (

hey, this is the worst fucking thing i’ve seen from AI all day!

This generative Photoshop workflow is equal parts amazing and terrifying, as is by now customary.

Quoting a price like this to an indie dev is even more insulting than Twitter suddenly slamming the door on third-party apps. And they don’t have the excuse of having just been acquired by a maniac.

It would be such a simple thing to restrict third-party apps to paying Reddit users, I have to assume it’s really about controlling the experience — and they'll shut down oldꓸredditꓸcom soon? I'm honestly curious whether it will impact their usage statistics.

Christian Selig (

Got off my call with Reddit just now about the API. Bad news unless I come up with 20 million dollars (not joking). Appreciate boosts.

Hundreds of models of Gigabyte motherboards, used in gaming and other high-performance computers, have a backdoor in their firmware that invisibly downloads code to the machine at startup—and does so insecurely, leaving the feature open to abuse.

“hey fellow neurodivergent folks who were designated as ‘gifted’ growing up? they weren’t wrong, they just didn’t specify who the ‘gifts’ were from. turns out it was the fae”

— DrJessicaLanger on 🐦

Gas stoves are releasing dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide and benzene into homes. Anybody with a choice in the matter should use an electric stove. Serious cooks should note that induction ranges are much more responsive than gas stoves—switching to electric isn't a sacrifice, it's a step up.

30 may 2023

Props to Google Maps, by the way — I checked out where my hotel was while connected to the train’s wifi, and walked the whole two kilometers without ever realizing the app was offline and using only cached data.

Spent my entire first day in Belgium blaming my cell provider for not providing me data like it promised to. Because migrating to a new iPhone doesn’t include the setting to enable data roaming, and Apple doesn’t care one bit that roaming charges aren’t a thing within the EU, and the system message to alert me that data roaming was disabled was subtly hidden in the Dynamic Island 🤦🏻‍♂️

When I look up at Mars, shining brightly in the night sky, I find myself filled with hope that one day I will be able to point and say “See? That’s where all the billionaires died.”

26 may 2023

I mean …

using photoshop beta firefly to fill out the image and remove the poster …

A solar powered, e-ink bus stop sign with real-time bus times. This is a very good combination of neat technologies.

25 may 2023

How the lightbulb begat the diode begat the vacuum tube begat the computer

TIL that electrical relays were originally invented to relay telegraph signals over long distances.

Why Lightbulbs Might Be The Best Invention Ever

Lightbulbs might be the best idea ever – just not for light. Head to to start your free 30-day trial, and the first 200 peop…

I always felt that Arc’s “boosts” (their version of user styles / scripts) was too inelegant to be more than a placeholder, and evidently they agreed. The new version that just launched is awesome.

No coding necessary, just a couple clicks to remove elements from a web page; better yet, you can customize any website’s color scheme with a simple color picker, and Arc applies your choice intellligently to the entire site 😍

Arc’s new Boosts feature lets you change the way any website looks

You can have YouTube without Shorts, Twitter without metrics, or LinkedIn without all the nonsense.

I wasn’t gonna watch the video when I saw it on my home page because I thought I knew enough about the Micromouse competition, but this is very detailed and very interesting (duh, it’s Veritasium). Did you know the robots have ground-effect fans?

The Fastest Maze-Solving Competition On Earth

Welcome to Micromouse, the fastest maze-solving competition on Earth. Join Onshape’s community of over 3 million CAD users by creating a free account here: h…

This is very pretty, but after spending the evening in Hyrule I find the idea of playing an open world as formulaic as Assassin’s Creed profoundly depressing.

Depressing, because it’s a reminder that at some point I’ll be done with Tears of the Kingdom. And from then it will still be several years before there’s a new one.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage - Gameplay Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

Watch the gameplay trailer of Assassin’s Creed® Mirage where you become the most versatile and resourceful Assassin in franchise history. About Assassin’s Cr…

23 may 2023

“A Microsoft demo video shows Copilot changing Windows settings, rearranging windows with Snap Layouts, summarizing and rewriting documents that were dragged into it, and opening apps like Spotify, Adobe Express, and Teams.”

No one's gonna switch to (or from) Windows for this, but it would have been sooooo interesting if Microsoft still had a mobile OS 😔 Instead, they're only showing to Google what needs to be implemented in next year's Android.

Built-in ChatGPT-driven Copilot will transform Windows 11 starting in June

Copilot is coming alongside another batch of new Windows 11 features this year.

Adobe has made available a Photoshop beta with generative AI (Creative Cloud subscription required, probably). The integration seems well done if a little intrusive, and I might be be interested if final prices are reasonable, but what I find intriguing is: in the first image, it clearly knows what a pikachu is supposed to be, while at the same time having no reference to what it should look like. Same for AirPods. Wonder how they achieve that.

22 may 2023

Everyone: the racist, sexist, violent system has failed us

Tech bros: idk, it works on my machine