Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

Varys for Plex ➝

A nifty little utility app that lets you monitor your Plex server from your iPhone or iPad. It can display current activity, user stats, top played media, and more. It offers a lot of the same functionality as Tautulli without the clunky setup process. You simply install it from the App Store, authenticate with Plex, and you’re good to go.

Some features require a $3.99 in-app purchase, but I think it’s more than worth it.

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Conversations on Weblogs ➝

Matt Birchler, in a bit of an aside to his response regarding our conversation on App Store editorials by RSS:

On another note, this interaction is exactly what I love in the blogging world, and it doesn’t happen that often anymore. […]

Personal blogging is fun on its own, but it’s even better when it turns into a conversation.

Absolutely. Conversations on weblogs don’t happen as often as they should. And that’s a shame. I sort of hope that folks like Matt Birchler, Michael Tsai, Nick Heer, myself, and others in the community will eventually change that.

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Apple’s Incentives ➝

Matt Birchler, in response to my thoughts on App Store editorials:

If I could subscribe to a feed and read it in Inoreader, it might actually make me more likely to tap the Buy Now button to go [to] the App Store, simply because I’d see more of these articles. If we accept that this would get people like me to check out these apps more often, then maybe it makes sense, but I suspect us RSS users are so small a market that even if we did use this, we’re not valuable enough to warrant the time and effort it would take to build and maintain this functionality.

I agree with Matt that building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to publish these editorials by RSS is probably not worth the effort. But we could be wrong. It’s hard to quantify the value of influencers within families and groups of friends. And the type of people who use RSS are also likely to be the type of people that friends and family members turn to for tech-related advice and recommendations.

How many sales result from those recommendations? How many more apps might those people recommend if they had a more convenient way to read App Store editorials? I’m not certain it’s enough, but if there was hard data showing that it is enough, I wouldn’t be shocked at all.

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Icon Badges on Task Managers ➝

Lee Peterson, regarding the badge on his to do list app:

Waking up and being faced with this red 22 to remind me how much I have on my plate makes things worse. It adds stress to an already stressful time, it’s got me thinking again about simplification. In this case Todoist is showing everything due today rather than stuff that’s gone over.

I use Things and have it setup to only show badges for items with a deadline. And I only add deadlines to a few tasks each week. The vast majority of tasks I enter into Things are just dropped into the Today view and don’t need to be completed by a specific date.

With my badges setup this way, I’m never reminded about a task unless it’s critical for me to complete it soon.

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MacStories Shortcuts Icons Color Edition ➝

The same icons as their original set, but now in color with black and white background options.

And if you purchased the original set, you should have received an email and update — a black color option of the glyphs and a coupon code to purchase this new colored set at a discount.

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Noctua Fan in OWC ThunderBay 6 ➝

A small update to my piece from a few days ago — I replaced the stock in my ThunderBay 6 with one from Noctua and am very happy with the results. I reduced the sound output from 49 dB to 39 dB and only gave up about 3.1 CFM of airflow.

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Unencrypted iCloud Backups ➝

Joseph Menn, reporting for Reuters:

Apple Inc dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The reasoning behind why Apple dropped plans to encrypt iCloud backups might be questionable. But the reality is that iCloud backups are not encrypted. It’s pretty pathetic that a company that has pitched itself as a privacy-focused option continues to have such a major hole in the system.

If you care about your privacy, it might be a good idea to consider backing up your iOS devices locally with iTunes or Finder instead of through iCloud. This will let you have a bit more control over your data and give you the option to actually encrypt backups.

And to be clear, you don’t have to connect your device with a cable each time you perform a backup. An often forgotten feature of iOS is the ability to sync/backup with iTunes or Finder over WiFi.

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App Store Editorials ➝

Thomas Brand:

It is a shame that some of the best and brightest technology journalists to ever cover the Apple beat, have been hired away by their favorite fruit company and reduced to farming cultivated stories from within the high walls of a private orchard. […]

Technology reporting and the Open Web as a whole has suffered at Apple’s insistence to lock them away.

It would be nice if these Apple published editorials weren’t tucked away inside of the App Store. They should have a proper home on Apple’s website and an RSS feed available so enthusiasts can follow along without having to launch the App Store everyday.

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