September 30, 2014

The Flic hype

You’ve no doubt seen the Flic signup links. Here’s mine, where you can see how many how signed up for Flic using it as well. Flic isn’t a service, it’s a button that does one thing, developed by Swedish company Shortcut Labs AB.

Flic is the new era of smartphone simplicity. It is a wireless shortcut button that connects to your smartphone and can do practically anything that your smartphone can do. With flic, you don’t have to take your phone out of the pocket or purse to do simple, every day tasks.

For each signup you refer, you’ll get closer to get your own Flic for free, coming in 2015, assuming you’ll be a part of the crowdfunding campaign. Or several free Flic buttons, if you spam a lot of your friends. Much like the Dropbox share links where you get additional storage for referrals, but here you’ll work your way up to Flic buttons. And promote the product while doing so, oiling the hype machine…

Fireside Fiction Year 3 has started

Fireside Fiction publishes great short fiction, as well as (soon) books. Year 3 has started, with issue 16 and back issues made free. There are ways to support them if you enjoy what they do.

And now, finally, Year 3 has begun! We have a completely redesigned, free website. (Thanks so much to Pablo Defendini for his beautiful work.) We have a variety of ways for people to support us as we work to move away from Kickstarting to a more sustainable model.

You’ll find a short story of mine later in Year 3. I’m thrilled about that, obviously.

 

Excuse the mess, site update in progress

Stuff will misbehave for a bit, I’m afraid. A proper update on what’s going on here’ll be online later tonight.

Alright, I think most things are working now. If you find something funky here, ping @tdh on Twitter please.

There are things on my todo list, so this is by no means a finished project. Sites never are. I’m a firm believer in an early 1.0 though, and then iterations after that, so here we are. Enjoy.

July 10, 2014

I promise, the text on the Alphasmart NEO's LCD screen is actually readable
My Screens

Screens are interesting. I’ve got a lot of screens that I interact with. It’s obviously the actual device behind the screen that makes a difference, but I’s still fascinated by screens.

I’ve got a HDTV (several, in fact). I watch and play stuff on it, but other than that it’s not much of an interaction.

There’s the retina MacBook Pro too. This screen is gorgeous, a truly impressive piece of technology right there. Having switched to retina iOS devices a long time ago, I now have a hard time using an operating system on a non-retina screen, or equivalent. I love the retina MacBook Pro screen, and I can’t wait to see it on other devices.

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June 24, 2014

The Amazon Fire Phone Is About The Future

I haven’t played with nor seen Amazon’s smartphone, the Fire Phone. It’ll probably not even be available in my neck of the woods, much like the Kindle Fire tablets. It matters little for this piece though.

Amazon showing off the Firefly feature
Amazon showing off the Firefly feature

The tech media seem puzzled about Amazon’s decision to ”fork Android” (read Ben Evans’ piece on this if you’re interested) and go head to head with Apple, Google, and to a lesser extent, Microsoft. There are some interesting features in the Fire Phone, including the 3D UI, Firefly and Mayday, and the Buy button, and then there’s Amazon’s Prime service too. The general consensus is that the Fire Phone is an expensive yet underpowered high-end smartphone with Amazon’s limited app store, tailored for Amazon services. The question this beckons is who’d want this?

It’s a valid question, with an obvious yet complicated answer: Amazon’s customers wants this. The answer is obvious because if you do all your shopping at Amazon, if you use Prime, then the Fire Phone’s for you. On paper that might make sense, but in reality smartphones are personal devices and I doubt a lot of us want to be defined by where we buy adult diapers.

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June 12, 2014

My Day On The Town Kit

I’ve got a full day ahead of me today, with errands and events lined up across town. There’ll no doubt be downtime, so I’ll bring my day on the town kit. It consists of small and light gear, packed in my excellent Axial Mini Messenger bag from Modern Industry. I can get a lot done with these tools.

The day on the town kit:

  • iPad mini with retina display (although some days I’ll bring the iPad Air) with Smart Cover.
  • Compass 2 stand from Twelve South.
  • Logitech’s Easy-Switch K811 bluetooth keyboard, for more extended writing sessions.
  • Small notebook, currently a Cahier from Moleskine, and a Pilot G2 pen.
  • External battery for powering USB devices, currently a Macally model I’m evaluating, otherwise an old but still useful Phillips one I got for free.
  • Wacom Intous Creative Stylus for iPad.
  • Lightning cable, small screen cloth from Apple, a 32 GB USB stick, and a really short mini-USB cable for the keyboard.
  • Tissues and coins, always useful.
  • A filled water bottle (still looking for the perfect canister, thus far without luck).
  • Thin sweater and a Buff should it get chilly.

I used to have a pocket knife and a lighter in my kit, but I forgot about them at customs once and it was somewhat stressful, so now I don’t bother with that anymore.

April 28, 2014

The Perfect MacBook

Every MacBook I buy end up being the best one I’ve owned thus far. Considering this, I have absolute trust in Apple’s ability to iterate and relaunch its MacBook line at regular intervals. That said, following rumors about a retina MacBook Air, I can’t help but tell you what I think would be the perfect MacBook.

It’s really simple. I want a 12″ retina MacBook Air that can power a 27″ retina screen. That means decent GPU, adequate CPU and RAM starting at 8 GB. I’d also want, nay need, 512 GB or more SSD for all my music and photos and whatnot, preferably without paying with one of my kidneys. None of this is science fiction, this isn’t a dream setup or anything, it’s just what I want.

I hope Apple’ll replace both the 11″ (which is wide enough but the screen lack in physical height) and the 13″ Air with this 12″ device. Cut the bezel and you’ve got a machine that is essentially the size of the 11″ Air, just a wee bit taller, but closer to the 13″ when it comes to productivity.

The 13″ retina MacBook Pro is the best computer I’ve ever had, and I absolutely adore the screen. But I could make do with the same retina resolution on a 12″ screen, 13″ would do with a slight bump in optimal resolution if anything. 12″ just makes more sense.

That’s what I want, and that’s what I hope Apple’s got in store for me. That’s the computer I’d buy to replace my current one. At least for as long as I need a traditional laptop at all…

April 26, 2014

Amazon Ruined Comixology

Amazon just set digital comics back three years. They bought Comixology, the largest digital comics reseller and service, a while back and although Amazon has a decent track record pertaining acquisitions and their ongoing existence, this is one they botched right away.

You used to be able to buy comics from within the Comixology app, via an in-app purchase. Simple and effective, because this meant you opened the app just to see if there was something interesting to read. Tap, comic bought, and start reading right away.

Now you can’t do that anymore.

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April 10, 2014

Redesign

I’ve begun the arduous process of redesigning my online presence. This is something I do a bit more often than most, but it’s not as bad as it was once. You see, there was a time when I redesigned my sites every six months, which isn’t too bad if you want to stay current. Things moved faster then though, and today a design just works longer, although I must confess they’ve always been relevant for more than six months. I used to love to tinker, that’s how I learned WordPress, which subsequently meant I got to write a bunch of books about how to do things with the platform.

Back then I redesigned because it was fun, and because I could. I was evolving a lot, as a designer and developer, and probably as a person too, without me or anyone else noticing. I’m still evolving, but rudimentary things such as clever taxonomy usage and new markup techniques isn’t doing it for me anymore. These days, I redesign when I need to. Read more →

February 24, 2014

What About Tumblr?

This is a follow-up to my The Allure Of Medium And Svbtle piece. You should go read that first, if you haven’t already.

Thinking about all the great things that make Medium and Svbtle so alluring makes it impossible to ignore Tumblr. If we, for just a moment, try to forget the fact that it’s ridden with GIFs, cats, and porn, this should present itself as a formidable alternative. I’ve got a soft spot for Tumblr, but it’s not so much for the social aspects of the platform as it is for the interface.

Look at that writing experience!
Look at that writing experience!

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