August 25, 2015

Buy a village?

Why buy an overpriced closet in a city, when you can get a village in Spain? Fascinating story.

The village, near Ortigueira, comes with free well water and a bakery with a stone hearth. Six miles away, green cliffs drop off onto white sand beaches — and some of Europe’s best surfing.

The biggest of the village houses has hardwood floors and five bedrooms overlooking an orchard with peaches, figs, walnuts, apples and pears. At the bottom of the valley, there’s a little river full of trout.

The asking price for the whole village: About $230,000 — negotiable. Smaller villages with less fertile land go for tens of thousands. Adkinson has one house for sale for $5,600.

August 23, 2015

I’d give Lucha Libro a shot

The Lucha Libro writing contest, in Peru, sounds like glorious fun:

Peru’s Lucha Libro is kind of like that, without the violence. It’s literary “wrestling.” New writers don masks, and head onto a stage where they’re given three random words, a laptop hooked up to a gigantic screen, and five minutes to write a short story.

At the end of a match, the losing writer has to take off his or her mask. The winner goes on to the next round, a week later. And the grand prize? It’s a book contract.

August 21, 2015

Startup business what?

Jyoti Ganapathi, writing about hating calling his business a startup:

We didn’t know it then, but being a mentor is the gluten-free diet of the investing world. Everyone was doing it. And more importantly, they believed they were qualified to do it. They felt not a moment of hesitation before they went on to tell us things that made no sense at all.

August 19, 2015

WordPress 4.3 is out now

Get your updating done, post-haste. You can download WordPress from wordpress.org, or just update from within the admin interface.

WordPress 4.3 updates the customiser, gets rudimentary markdown-like support, and adds a function for site icons, among other things. The launch blog post lays it out for you, but obviously you could and should just test it for yourself.

August 16, 2015

Design specialization

Designer Marc Newson, preaching it:

One thing I find overrated is: specialization. Design is about solving problems; if you can’t apply that skill to a variety of things, then I don’t think you’re a good designer.

August 11, 2015

Google is now owned by Alphabet

Google is still Google, it’s just owned by Alphabet now. Former Google CEO, now Alphabet CEO, Larry Page tries to explain, on the Alphabet site at abc.xyz:

What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.

Alphabet is the umbrella company. Sundar Pichai is the new Google CEO, a Google that is supposed to be a bit slimmer. All these things are probably good for everyone involved.

August 6, 2015

Fastmail
Fastmail came through

In early 2013, I wrote a (surprisingly popular) piece called Fastmail failed, because they did, they really did. The post details my experience with Fastmail, which I wanted to use to replace Google Apps. In the end, I had to go back to Google Apps.

I’m back with Fastmail, and have been for quite some time. I even moved the Odd Alice email hosting to a Fastmail business setup last year. I’ve been meaning to write about this, but for some reason I haven’t. Email isn’t very exciting, I guess. Every now and then I get an email about Fastmail, so I guess I should set the record straight.

Read more →

August 2, 2015

Helsinki wants to kill the car

Finnish capital Helsinki has big plans regarding public transportation, making it entirely up to you where you want to go. No more bus stops, or a need forma car within the city for that matter. The Guardian:

Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and perhaps a few preferences. The app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries into a single, supple mesh of mobility.

When I’m gone (no, not me)

I’ve been thinking long and hard about what to write regarding the When I’m Gone piece. The only thing I can think of is this: life is fucking hard and unforgiven, and yet we do things like this. Fair warning, this story is painful, and a must read.

Update: It’s not clear for some, but this piece is fiction.