Month: April 2021

Google’s Take on Our Hybrid Workplace Future

I need a cellophane balloon wall robot in my life. If a meeting requires privacy, a robot that looks like the innards of a computer on wheels and is equipped with sensors to detect its surroundings comes over to inflate a translucent, cellophane balloon wall to keep prying eyes away. Source: The Googleplex of the Future Has Privacy Robots, Meeting Tents and Your Very Own Balloon Wall – The New York Times

Trying Out Neeva

“…advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results.” – Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in a 1998 research paper while they were doctoral students at Stanford I’ve been trying out the search engine service Neeva lately. You can read more about the founding of the company by ex-Googler Sridhar Ramaswamy here (it’s a fascinating story). I come from the time when the web was still in its primordial stage. …

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Everyone is a font design expert now

One of the consequences of the wonderful democratization that the web has brought us is that now everyone is an expert at… well, everything. Need a new website? Just use Wix or Squarespace! Sigh. Trying to fix your dishwasher? Don’t call a plumber… there’s a dozen YouTube vids for your exact model! Need to draft a will? There’s an app for that. I’m not dismissing these examples. I’ve definitely done my share of DIY home …

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Consider Your Reliance on AI in Your Prepping

I’m not technically a public “prepper” but my friends and family know that I am very interested in things like food preps, gear preps, vehicle preps, water preps, cooking preps… well, I guess I’m a prepper. This all stems from a massive flooding event here in Columbia, SC in 2015 when my partner Merianna was 9 months pregnant with our son. We got off easy compared to many in our community, but we had to …

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Apple Irony on Choices

Pretty funny because I read this via Apple News and there’s no way to share it out to a web browser on my iPad… Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern that the company’s goal is to “give users a choice.” Those four words are at the core of the problem with the position Facebook has taken since Apple announced the changes last year at its …

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You can now unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask if you have an Apple Watch

Go grab the iOS 14.5 update in Settings > General > Software Update if you have an Apple Watch… and welcome to our mask-wearing longterm future! iOS 14.5 will let Apple Watch owners unlock their iPhone while wearing a mask: Another oft-requested feature, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Apple doesn’t support Touch ID in it is newest iPhones, which can make unlocking with Face ID while wearing a mask a pain. But Apple is …

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Basecamp’s New Politics Policy

Basecamp (and Jason) has been a bellwether for how companies operate for almost 20 years now. Here’s an interesting memo for the company that I can only imagine more organizations will be implementing in the coming months / years… With that, we wanted to put these directional changes on the public record. Historically we’ve tried to share as much as we can — for us, and for you — so this transmission continues the tradition. …

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Listen to Your Spotify within Facebook

I’m always annoyed when I open Waze on iOS or Android and there’s a persistent widget asking if I’d like to listen to Spotify within the app while navigating. I’ve never said yes. Now that experience is coming to … Facebook. In a way, this makes perfect sense for Facebook (and Spotify). Facebook is looking for more engrossing engagement from younger demographics but current efforts have proven unsuccessful. Having Spotify “built in” to Facebook presumably …

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Apple’s Podcasters Program Agreement

Have to say it again… host it on your own. Don’t rely on Spotify or Apple or Google to grow your podcasting audience or business. That path only leads to destruction. I read through the “Apple Podcasters Program Agreement” and related documentation so you don’t have to. Here’s a thread of 11 things that caught my eye that I hadn’t seen mentioned anywhere else. Source: The Future of Apple Podcasts

Tag Your WordPress Posts, People!

I stress to clients that they have to tag and categorize their posts on WordPress. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase your organic traffic and discoverability in Google, but it also helps the web find you. So tag your posts, people! Also, good checklist here for setting up a WordPress website on a hosting platform… If you’re not already on board, keep reading; a client of mine gets 100,000 unique visitors per month. …

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Embedding Events Calendar into Other WordPress Pages

The Events Calendar Pro WordPress plugin is one that we frequently use on client sites. That’s especially true for churches, nonprofits, and groups that rely on clear and consistent event listings that look good on mobile and integrate with services like Google Calendar, iPhones, payment or donation options, and remove the need for unnecessary copy and pasting. The Events Calendar just rolled out a big update that I’ve been testing out, and I’m pretty excited …

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WordPress vs Wix

Finally catching up on this (latest) dust-up between WordPress and Wix… First, go get them, Matt. Good points here as always. As someone who buids websites for clients (especially our nonprofit, community group, and religious organization partners), it’s always frustrating when a group comes to us after trying to build their site on Wix and spending way too much money and time on that platform. Second, it’s good to see these old-fashioned blogger battles again. …

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Editing the WordPress Footer Text

Handy walkthru here… if you do anything on WordPress, this is one of those questions that you’ll need an answer for sooner or later: For those wondering, the footer is the bottom part of your website that appears after the content area. This can be a copyright statement, the year, contact details, branding, social media icons, privacy policy links, disclaimers, and so many other things you want it to be. Source: How to Edit the …

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The World is Too Much With Us

Iambic pentameter courtesy of Petrarch still rings true… The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out …

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In Honor of Beloved Netbooks

I absolutely adored my eee PC 701 and used it all the time. I’ll add a gallery here later. There were two products that arrived in 2007 that fundamentally changed computing: one, of course, was the iPhone. The second, obviously more important product was the $399 Eee PC 701. It originally ran a custom Linux operating system that reviewers loved (Laptop Mag’s Mark Spoonauer said it was “ten times simpler to use than any Windows …

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Too Much Choice and Not Enough Solutions

Whether you’re telling the world about your church, selling products or sharing experiences, your website is probably not doing the job you think you hired it to do. I’m a big fan of the “jobs to be done” philosophy of “customer experience” marketing (again, doesn’t matter if you think you have “customers” or not… you do… time is the biggest asset we all have). Your church / business / group’s website, social media, and all …

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Don’t mess with The Art Squad…

Two members of the art squad’s archaeological unit were on assignment in Brussels when they took a walk after work in the Sablon neighborhood that is known for its antiques shops. They spotted a marble statue in a shop that they suspected was from Italy, and confirmed their suspicions when they cross-referenced the work with a database of known stolen antiquities, the statement said. Source: Off-duty Italy art cops find looted statue in Belgian shop …

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Do fish feel pain?

Puts a different spin on that fishing trip after I’ve always told myself “it’s ok, fish don’t feel pain” (to paraphrase Kurt Cobain)… I was the first to identify the existence of nociceptors in a fish, the rainbow trout, in 2002. These are specialised receptors for detecting injury-causing stimuli, and their physiology is strikingly similar to those found in mammals, including humans. Since then, my laboratory and others across the world have shown that the …

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