• The Switch to iPad is here

    The Switch to iPad is here

    I recently announced a new project by yours truly, called Switch to iPad. If you’ve been with me for some time, you know I’m an avid iPad user. It’s my favorite computing device, and I rely on it for great many things.

    But not all of them, at least not yet.


  • Growing up online without knowing it

    From an older (February, 20190) piece in The Atlantic, about kids finding out that their parents has been sharing their life on social media since their inception:

    For several months, Cara has been working up the courage to approach her mom about what she saw on Instagram. Not long ago, the 11-year-old—who, like all the other kids in this story, is referred to by a pseudonym—discovered that her mom had been posting photos of her, without prior approval, for much of her life. “I’ve wanted to bring it up. It’s weird seeing myself up there, and sometimes there’s pics I don’t like of myself,” she said.

    Every parent I know does this. They do it out of pride of their child, family, or just because they want to share their life (mostly the good parts) on social media, just like everyone else. It’s just as fake as most other things that go up there, filtered by choice and design, but it leaves a mark for a human being that’s not yet a person, and hasn’t made the choice. That’s a tricky disposition, if you ask me. By all means share, but do it privately, in groups through secure channels.

  • The number of contactable alien civilizations: 36

    File this one under how is this news, or maybe arbitrary number that makes headlines because someone said so, but still:

    Under the strictest set of assumptions – where, as on Earth, life forms between 4.5bn and 5.5bn years after star formation – there are likely between four and 211 civilisations in the Milky Way today capable of communicating with others, with 36 the most likely figure. But Conselice noted that this figure is conservative, not least as it is based on how long our own civilisation has been sending out signals into space – a period of just 100 years so far.

    Want to chat with said alien civilizations? Then we’d look at 6,120 years for a reply… Yeah, technology’s not really there yet.

  • Announcing the Switch to iPad newsletter

    I’m launching a newsletter early August. It’s called Switch to iPad, and it’s about, well:

    Switch to iPad is a journey to going iPad only. That is to say, getting rid of all those pesky (I kid!) Macs and PCs, and relying on the magic piece of glass that is the iPad as my primary (big) computing device. Together we’ll figure out how to work from an iPad, try out all the gadgets that help us along the way, and find the best apps and methods for a better computing life.

    Read more about it here, and sign up. There’ll be free letters, but there’s also a paid tier with the standard premium newsletter fare of $5/month or $50/year.

    More on this soon. I’m excited!

  • Twitter hack was an inside job, could’ve been a lot worse

    If you saw Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and more tweet bitcoin scams recently, you saw the result of a social engineering hack targeting verified Twitter accounts primarily. Vice has the full story.

    “We used a rep that literally done all the work for us,” one of the sources told Motherboard. The second source added they paid the Twitter insider. Motherboard granted the sources anonymity to speak candidly about a security incident. A Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard that the company is still investigating whether the employee hijacked the accounts themselves or gave hackers access to the tool.

    I’m amazed and horrified that the scam worked, collecting over $100,000 worth of bitcoin. Please be more careful, and don’t trust so easily, okay?

    Things could’ve been worse though. What if a hack like this was used to spread disinformation, rather than just grab cash from gullible suckers that thinks Elon Musk can magically duplicate bitcoins for free? Come election time, get ready to not trust anything, verified badge or not.

  • How to move your Switch files to a new microSD card on macOS

    How to move your Switch files to a new microSD card on macOS

    I finally bought a larger microSD card for my Nintendo Switch, which means I had to move my files (saves, albums, and downloads) from the old card to the new one. Since Nintendo doesn’t want to tell you how to do this if you’re on a Mac, I figured I’d outline it for you, without any scary Terminal commands to boot.


  • Are your apps crashing today? Blame Facebook

    The Facebook SDK is crashing a bunch of iOS apps today, including popular ones such as Spotify and Pinterest. Luckily you can do something about it, by enabling a VPN or a firewall app that blocks the sneaky code that tries to talk to Facebook. The Verge swears by Lockdown Apps, a free firewall for iOS, so if you’re having issues, give it a go. The VPN costs money, but there’s a trial. It’s likely Zenmate – which I like – will get the job done too, although I haven’t tried any of these for this particular problem as I’ve yet to experience it.

  • Gary Larson’s back

    Well I’ll be… This is great news, and all thanks to a clogged pen:

    So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.

    Be sure to read the whole story, and then check out the new stuff from the creator of The Far Side.

  • You should own your email too

    You should own your email too

    I’ve been on your back in regards to owning your words for quite sometime, advocating quitting social media, and outlining how I aim to tread that not at all uncomplicated road.

    But what about email?


  • Hey, Bye

    Basecamp’s hyped email service Hey, which is invite-only and costs at least $99/year (because shorter messages carry a premium price), has a very manifesto-like website. Check it out.

    Now, if you – like me – are pissed off about not getting an invite yet, there’s always Bye instead. Bye takes a slightly different approach:

    Hey everyone—

    It’s 2020 and we need to talk about email.

    Fuck it.

    Bye is the first email service to automatically respond with an insult, and then delete every email sent to you.

    Bye is our erotic letter to email, and we’re sending it to you on the Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, McDonald’s kiosks and Android.

    I love things like this. Hat-tip to my buddy Alexander for sharing this gem with me.

  • The Magic iPad

    The Magic iPad

    To think that the first keyboard for the iPad to truly warrant the moniker “magic” would have a touchpad, that must hurt so many feelings. But it is true, albeit not necessarily that simple.

    I’m talking about the Magic Keyboard, a keyboard cover for iPad Pros (11″ and 12.9″, models 2018 and 2020, thus far), which has a lot of nice PR fluff going for it. Like it makes your iPad Pro float over the keyboard, and you can move between writing mode and tablet mode with a twist of the hand. Because it’s all magnets and quite ingenious, you see. And I write that with less sarcasm than you’d think.


  • Guide to deleting your social media accounts

    Wired has a guide on how to delete your accounts on various social media platforms. It’s not as easy as you might think.

    Wanting to delete your account is one thing, but actually being able to hit the delete button is another story. Social media outlets make money off of you and your information, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want to let you go. Because of this, the biggest networks have made it overly complicated to delete your account. But if you are set on getting rid of them, here’s what you’ll have to do.

    ⚡️ Related: My Social Needia essay, and the services I’m quitting.

  • Another reason not to use Zoom

    If you needed yet another reason not use hyped videoconferencing service Zoom, then this is it. They’re launching end-to-end encryption for calls (yay!), but only for paying users, whom are all criminals it seems.

    From the Wired story:

    “Free users for sure we don’t want to give that,” Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in a company earnings call on Tuesday referring to end-to-end encryption, “because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.”

    This is stupid in so many ways. Good riddance, Zoom.

    Alternatives for your online conversation needs: Jitsi (open source and free videoconferencing tool), Telegram and Signal works too. The latter has a nice blur feature, if you need that.

  • But What Can I Do?

    But What Can I Do?

    Posting black squares and flooding hashtags is one thing, but after that? Job well done, pat on the back and a drink, fellow privileged person? Not quite.

    What can you do?


  • Twitter vs. Facebook

    There’s a real difference between Twitter and Facebook, and I don’t mean in features, but in morals. Twitter, the smaller by far of the two, has (finally) applied its fact checking and terms-abiding features to the likes of US President Donald Trump, making him throw both a tantrum and an executive order (here dissected by The Verge). Facebook on the other hand doesn’t want to censor anything, which sounds nice but feels shady, especially since Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says:

    We believe that if a post incites violence, it should be removed regardless of whether it is newsworthy, even if it comes from a politician.

    That sort of clashes with Trump’s way of saying and doing things, and how his loyal fans have a tendency to harass and threaten. Facebook is in the wrong here, but Twitter is dangerously close to falling off their high horse. While it’s good to fact check and enforce policies on the US President, that now has to go for the whole platform. It’s unlikely any of this will end well.

    ⚡️ See also: My Socia Needia essay, and Services I’m Quitting.