Appearance of Impropriety is Enough

The nation has been held in thrall this week by the senate hearings surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford accuses him of what could be a series of charges from attempted rape to attempted murder.

The hearings do not seek out the judge’s innocence or guilt from these accusations. Judge Kavanaugh’s credibility is on trial. That the U.S. Senate is considering his nomination is an atrocity that belittles all of the many many women who have been attacked in the past, especially by privileged drunk young white men.

If a credible accusation arose against the man who cuts my lawn, I would immediately sever the contract. Likewise, anyone shadowed by the appearance of such impropriety should never be allowed to sit on the highest court in the land.

All the TED Talks you need to see

It’s easy to get sucked into the YouTube hole of TED Talks to watch enlightened individuals bless viewers with their wisdom. Boy howdy do they have a lot of wisdom to share.

This clever life hack will eliminate the need to watch any more of those 15-minute talks. These two videos will change your life!

Behold!

Even better!

Carrying Stones

tl;dr

The US is doomed…probably.

My Thoughts

I named this site Carrying Stones for a number of reasons. The current White House Administration las lobbed boulder after boulder in every direction.
I fear we may all drown in stones if we cannot come together to carry them. If we fail to carry these heavy stones (because do not doubt that treason is a stone that carries with it a tremendous weight), we will certainly drown in the dictatorship our current president seeks to continue building upon.

iPhone Camera Tips

I have two iPhone photography tips for you. They aren’t technical and will improve your photos.

  1. Stop holding your phone like a phone to take pictures. Turn it 90 degrees clockwise and hold it like a camera.
  2. Hold it firmly with both hands and use the “volume up” button as your shutter.

Wasn’t that easy? Now go take beautiful pictures!

Typography for Everyone Makes Texts Much Easier to Read | NOUPE

Typography for Everyone Makes Texts Much Easier to Read | NOUPE:

The starting point for the observation is always the continuous text, which is what we write into the p-tags on the web. This text is the index, meaning it keeps the font size of 100 percent. All other elements are derived from that.
According to this, the first step is getting the text to a comfortably legible size. A lot of this is just a matter of taste. For me, this value is at 18 pixels, I don’t want it to be any lower. Common publications are mostly around 14 pixels. No matter which size you define, it is important that it is the foundation for all other elements.
Headlines (hl) should have 180 to 200 percent of the original size, secondary headings (h2) 130 to 150 percent, and tertiary headings (h3) should only be slightly bigger than the running text. In many cases, you’ll see h3 as a simple bold text. You should be able to go up to 125 percent without problems. Footnotes shouldn’t exceed 75 percent of the size of the continuous text.

This is good advice and reading the entire article is worth your time if you use words. This is also a good time to recommend The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst.

Migrating from Fever to Inoreader

After reading Wired’s article It’s Time For an RSS Revival I’ve been reconsidering my RSS setup.
Shaun Inman’s Fever has served my RSS needs since June 2012. Shaun marked Fever’s end of life in December 2016. I’ve been holding onto it ever since and will continue to keep it running on my host provider, but it’s time to consider other options.
Alongside that aging installation, I’ve dropped my favorite feeds into Inoreader. I think I heard about it from John Gruber on The Talk Show. Inoreader’s free tier so far seems to be working great for my meager RSS needs. It has it’s own Inoreader app and syncs up with my preferred iOS RSS client Fiery Feeds.

Omni Roadmap 2018 – The Omni Group

Omni Roadmap 2018 – The Omni Group:

Welcome! Each January, we like to pause and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and to share a roadmap of our plans for the coming year. There’s a lot to share this year—particularly about our plans for OmniFocus in 2018—so let’s dive right in!

It’s been an exciting 25 years for Omni! I’m a huge fan of their software, particularly OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iOS, and look forward to updates coming this year.

The Trumps asked to borrow a Van Gogh but the Guggenheim offered a solid gold toilet instead. – The Washington Post

The Trumps asked to borrow a Van Gogh but the Guggenheim offered a solid gold toilet instead. – The Washington Post:

The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.
For a year, the Guggenheim had exhibited “America” — the creation of contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan — in a public restroom on the museum’s fifth floor for visitors to use.
But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.

An offer befitting a president with such a foul mouth.

50 Cent accidentally made $8 million in bitcoin – The Verge

50 Cent accidentally made $8 million in bitcoin – The Verge:

At the time, a single bitcoin was worth only $662, and the rapper’s fans could pick up the album for a fraction of that. In total, he pulled in over $400,000. Since then, the value of bitcoin has soared: the price of the cryptocurrency rose as high as $17,000 earlier this month, only to drop under $10,000 in recent weeks. (At the time of writing, bitcoin is now worth a little more than $11,000.) After sitting untouched in his account for years, 50 Cent’s earnings are now worth $7 million to $8.5 million, based on the current fluctuating bitcoin valuation.

It’s only January, but 50 Cent forgetting he had a a fortune in Bitcoin may end up being my favorite tech story of the year.

AI Eating Up Lawyers’ Jobs, Sends Wave Of Worry Among Suitors

AI Eating Up Lawyers’ Jobs, Sends Wave Of Worry Among Suitors:

Deep research, extensive study of the case, and complex arguments have been at the center stage of livelihood of lawyers from ages. But advancements in technology would bring disruption in their work methods. Law school graduates would undergo different way of training to become legendary lawyers as they need to learn to implement technology efficiently to win or settle cases.

Blue collar workers aren’t the only ones who need to consider the impact of AI automation. We’re creeping ever closer to

Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman – The Verge

Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction proves the world still needs David Letterman – The Verge:

It’s not a show that will be easily distilled down into disposable YouTube clips, though there are some great exchanges. And it’s not a program that should be viewed with attention turned halfway elsewhere. It’s thoughtful, funny, and moving, but more than anything else, it is proof that David Letterman still has something to say.

Letterman’s new show was not what I expected and I love it.

Macmillan CEO: "We will not allow any president to achieve by intimidation what our Constitution precludes" – Publishers Lunch

Macmillan CEO: “We will not allow any president to achieve by intimidation what our Constitution precludes” – Publishers Lunch:

The president is free to call news “fake” and to blast the media. That goes against convention, but it is not unconstitutional. But a demand to cease and desist publication—a clear effort by the President of the United States to intimidate a publisher into halting publication of an important book on the workings of the government—is an attempt to achieve what is called prior restraint. That is something that no American court would order as it is flagrantly unconstitutional. 
This is very clearly defined in Supreme Court case law, most prominently in the Pentagon Papers case.

I haven’t read the book and have no opinion about it, but I’m glad to see the publisher stand up for Americans’ rights.

And the winner of the international statistic of the year is… | World Economic Forum

And the winner of the international statistic of the year is… | World Economic Forum:

Kim Kardashian is an unlikely champion of statistics, but a tweet from the reality TV star in January 2017 contained a startling figure that has been named International Statistic of the Year.
She shared a table showing a range of violent or unexpected ways people meet their deaths annually in the United States. Kardashian’s aim was to highlight how many more Americans are killed by fellow citizens with guns, than by terrorists.
The table also revealed that lawnmowers are actually more deadly than terrorists.

Someone should send those lawnmowers after the terrorists. That’ll show them nothing runs like a Deere.

Meaningful Internet Acquaintances

The internet has become my primary source of entertainment and enrichment over the years. It serves me for reading to socializing and audio to video. I’ve been thinking about the people who help me find the things I enjoy most online and narrowed it down to three people: Marco Arment, Dan Benjamin, and Merlin Mann. These three are the wellsprings that led me to so many great other things over the years.

Dan Benjamin

Dan’s 5by5 network introduced me to podcasting and more internet pals. I later found Relay.FM, a podcast network led by Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett.

Podcasts I like

You may enjoy some of my favorite podcasts made by a group of awesome people. I have listed them below along with links to the hosts’ Twitter feeds.

These are just the cream of the crop and I thank them for “All the Great Shows.”

Marco Arment

Marco brought me Tumblr, Instapaper, and my most-used iOS app Overcast. Tumblr is a lot of fun. The other two count as life-changers for me. Almost everything I read or listen to online comes to me through something Marco made. He’s “like, really smart” and opinionated. Find our for yourself at marco.org.

Merlin Mann

Merlin is the consistent thread through much of the content I consume. He would groan about this, but his (dormant since 2011 and lovingly still available) website 43 Folders was the beacon that led me to him. Funny sidetrack: While checking to see that the site was still live, the last post was announcing what was the most recent version of Instapaper at the time.
Of the three, Merlin has had the biggest impact on my life. You can tell from the way my wife rolls her eyes when I say “Merlin said foo on bar podcast today.” I feel like I have traveled with him to WWDCs in San Francisco and talks from Rutgers to New Zealand. I even remember when he used to be Merlin Mann and talked to his wallet.
Oh! Oh! Don’t forget You Look Nice Today. It was literally the first podcast ever made.[^This is not at all true.] Merlin made that with his amigos Adam Lisagor and Scott Simpson, who are also awesome and hilarious internet people.

All the great people

There are so many people I have kinda sorta met through the Interwebs who also deserve recognition because I am thankful to learn and laugh with them.
Brett Terpstra deserves a special acknowledgment. His website is filled to the brim with Mac goodies. Don’t believe me? Be sure to check out his projects page. His app Marked is a must-have for anyone writing with Markdown on a Mac.
Others on the short list are Matt Alexander](https://twitter.com/mattalexand), Haddie Cooke, Jim Dalrymple, Guy English, Ken Jennings (the Jeopardy guy), Jason Snell, David Sparks, and Christina Warren. I could go on if this wasn’t becoming so maudlin. There are so many.

Final note on “Netquaintances”

While searching for references I found “The Story of John Roderick,” a wikidot page crafted by Jochen Römling. Being such a cool thing, I emailed a quick note to the craftsman in Sweden and had a terrific little email conversation with him.
A lot of days we look at the internet and see a raging dumpster fire of a thing. Take a closer look. Pick through the ashes. Find the gems and share a little light with each other.

Welcome to 2018!

Here we are in a new year and I’m still signing my checks, “Please don’t kill me 2018!” I hope you have the best year yet in spite of all the challenges we may face.

Third-Party Apps Confused by Gatekeeper Path Randomization

Have you noticed that some of your third-party applications—the ones that aren’t installed using the App Store—aren’t updating automatically? If you try to force a check for updates from the Application menu, you may see an error dialog that includes something like “can’t be updated while it’s running from a read-only volume.”

This isn’t a new problem. The “feature” was enabled for your own good in macOS Sierra last summer. It didn’t grab many headlines and began quietly hindering automatic updates in some apps. For me, that means apps like Panic’s Coda and Dropshare by the Dropshare folks. The devs at Rogue Amoeba (famous for apps including Airfoil, Audio Hijack, Fission, and more) wrote a detailed post about this. Apple has also documented this.
The fix is easy, but not immediately obvious for mid-level nerds like me. To properly install the app, you have to move it from ~/Downloads to /Applications in the Finder. You cannot use a third-party Finder replacement such as Path Finder (like I do). All I had to do was open the Finder and move it out of, then back into, /Applications.
In doing so I found another “feature.” I presume because /Applications is the proper home for, well, applications, Apple wants them to stay there. Drag and drop and you will find an alias. Hold down the Command key before you click and drag it out. After you’ve finished doing the application Hokey Pokey, everything should be back to normal.

Fix for Old-Timey Apple Keyboards

;tldr If the caps lock on your old keyboard stopped working, try to install and use Karabiner-Elements. It fixed the problem for me.
The caps lock on my beloved Apple Keyboard Extended II I use at work stopped working recently. I tend not to type in ALL CAPS often, but sometimes I have to type ridiculous acronyms and caps lock is the key I need. Later I noticed it wasn’t working on the one I use at home.
There are several breakpoints, so I first chalked it up to hardware failure. These things are more than 26 years old after all.1 They also require a Griffin iMate adaptor to convert their ADB connections to USB. After I saw the problem on both keyboards, I knew something was up.
One of the updates to macOS Sierra 10.12.x broke it. This was a problem, but it was a software issue and software can be fixed. I found Karabiner-Elements fixed my problem. It enables user to remap their keyboard. You can do lots of cool stuff with this (like creating a super meta hyper key), but my needs are simple for now.
After installing the software, I opened the settings and set caps lock to caps lock. That was all it took to return functionality to my caps lock key. I added it to my Login Items (under Users & Groups in the System Preferences) and I’m ready to ROCK AND ROLL!

  1. That’s crazy to think about. Apple introduced the Extended II on Oct 15, 1990. It was discontinued in March 14, 1994. Source: Wikipedia