Linked List Archive

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

Mastodon Twitter Crossposter ➝

From the website:

This service allows you to connect a Mastodon account and a Twitter account and enable cross-posting between them. You can choose some options, such as if you want to post boosts, unlisted toots or replies.

I recently convinced my wife to give Mastodon a try and helped her setup this service to automatically crosspost everything she publishes on Mastodon to her Twitter account. It works like a charm.

Now she can publish to Mastodon without leaving everyone on Twitter out of the loop. But if you’d prefer to publish to Twitter and crosspost to a Mastodon account, it can be configured to do that too.

I suppose this is a roundabout way of nudging all of the fine folks that created a Mastodon account, but abandoned it to head back to Twitter, to setup crossposting and keep one foot on each side of the fence. I think it’s pretty forward thinking to at least maintain a presence outside of the current big social networks.

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Pocket Casts Joins Automattic ➝

Eli Budelli, Head of Apps at Automattic:

As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features needed to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new). We will explore building deep integrations with and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts. We’re thrilled that we can continue to give our users a multitude of ways to tell and engage with stories that matter.

Co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will continue to lead Pocket Casts as part of Automattic.

I’m very high on the future of podcasting. And I’m incredibly excited to see Automattic becoming a bigger part of that.

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Microsoft Is Bringing Windows to a Web Browser ➝

Parker Ortolani, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Today, Microsoft unveiled a new service called Windows 365, and it makes it possible for users to run a full version of Windows in a web browser on any device. The new service is only available for businesses at first, but given Microsoft’s emphasis on cloud platforms, it is highly likely that it will become available for consumers at some point in the future. Microsoft is offering Windows 365 for businesses of all sizes, whether you are a one-person show or a giant organization. The best part? You can run Windows 365 on an iPad in addition to a Mac.

Because of Apple’s stranglehold on native applications on iOS, I have a feeling the browser is going to become a lot more important over the next few years. I’ll be curious to see how resistant Apple will be to some much needed improvements to web app support and how much developers start really clamoring for them — the lack of support for notifications immediately comes to mind.

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Backblaze Pricing Changes for Computer Backup ➝

In short, the monthly plan is now $7, the yearly plan is $70, and the two-year plan is $130. I have a little over 6.4TB backed up to Backblaze from two computers. It’s an outstanding service — a steal even with the new pricing.

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BirdsiteLIVE ➝

A bridge allowing you to follow Twitter accounts on Mastodon. It’s against Twitter’s developer rules, but it can be self-hosted, which will make it more resilient against Twitter shutting it down. I’d share the instance I’m using, but I’d rather it fly under the radar.

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Delight on a Grand Scale ➝

Tyler Hall:

Are future developers going to feel nostalgia for the hamburger menu? The Facebook newsfeed? Grayscale UI and identically shaped app icons? Flat UI?

I’m trying very hard not to fall into the trap of being yet another old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn, but I struggle to find delight on a grand scale in modern software. Every incremental step, year over year (from all companies, this isn’t just about Apple), seems to be focused on removing emotion and affection from our devices rather than finding ways to strengthen that bond.

I still think about that version of Twitter for the iPad with the sliding panels, the iPod app for the original iPhone, and Birdhouse. But thinking about today’s software — although much of it is truly great — I can’t really identify anything that I’ll be nostalgic for in ten or twenty years.

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GitHub Copilot ➝

Bryan Lunduke:

To be fair, from a technical perspective, Copilot is an impressive accomplishment. The sheer amount of data that needed to be collected, indexed, and processed (every line of public code on GitHub)… that’s impressive. The A.I. that predicts the code that it thinks you will need… also incredibly impressive.

Just the same, Copilot is such an astoundingly bad idea — on so many levels — that it is truly baffling that it was created at all.

Despite the extensive use of GitHub at Automattic, I don’t know too much about Copilot. But from what I do know, it doesn’t sound good.

This specific bit related to licensing is probably the most concerning to me:

“All public GitHub code was used in training. We don’t distinguish by license type.”

Meaning, if you use Copilot to insert code into your software, you have absolutely no clue what (or how many) licenses are now involved.

GPL? MIT? Apache? BSD? Probably. Others that are likely incompatible (at least in some way)? Almost assuredly.

Looking to ship your software under a specific license? Maybe even as closed source?


Is some of your code, which you hosted on GitHub, now being used in other projects without proper attribution or licensing? Maybe? Who knows!

I have a feeling, because of the licensing implications alone, Copilot is dead on arrival.

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Pop!_OS 21.04, a Release of COSMIC Proportions ➝

I haven’t spent a lot of time using Linux and it definitely has some rough edges still — typing special characters like the em-dash comes to mind. But this new release of Pop!_OS is really impressive to me. It looks slick. I have a feeling dual booting will be in my future.

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