Linked List Entries

Flickr Moving Away From Yahoo Login ➝

itsnihir, writing Flickr’s help forum:

In preparation for launching our new login system, we’re beginning the rollout today of the new Flickr login page. This will take some time, so hang tight if you don’t see it immediately — it’s coming!

For now, the login page will still forward you over to Yahoo, where you’ll continue to use the same credentials as always to sign into your Flickr account. The next step in the process will take a few weeks — we’ll let each member know when it’s time to choose the email address and password you’ll use to log in to Flickr.

I’ve had my eye on Flickr since it was acquired by SmugMug last year. I’ve been using Google Photos as a repository our family photos for a couple of years now, but I’ve never been in love with the idea of handing over so much data to Google. Unfortunately, though, there just wasn’t anything more appealing. iCloud won’t let multiple users backup to a single family library and all other service seem to have pretty mediocre backup apps.

I have quite taken the plunge toward using Flickr as my primary backup service, but moving away from Yahoo logins is a reassuring sign that things are improving. Om Malik started using the service and seems to be quite happy with it so far, Shawn Blanc has followed, and Nick Heer is considering purchasing Pro again. There are signs of life and people are noticing.

I don’t know if Flickr will every be as big as Instagram, but if they can build a solid business around a good photo backup service and a small community of dedicated users, I would consider that a raving success.

(Via Michael Tsai.)

Customizing the Today Screen on macOS ➝

After seeing this piece by Rose Orchard, I took the time to go through and customize the Today Screen on my work computer. I’m currently using the following widgets:

  • The Clock, which I setup with the time zones I interact with most while I work.
  • Fantastical, so I can keep on top of important events and meetings.
  • Things, my preferred to do list app.
  • Deliveries, so I can keep track of the items I order.
  • AirBuddy, which gives me some information about my battery as well as a quick and easy way to connect my AirPods.

I’m always on the lookout for cool an interesting apps, so if you have any neat Today Screen widgets that you rely on, please let me know about them!

Twitterrific Ad Network ➝

Ged Maheux, writing on Iconfactory’s weblog:

Now you can advertise your app, website, product or service directly on Twitterrific’s expansive network of tech-savvy users for just $100 a month. For that price we guarantee 1,000 tap-throughs – not impressions but actual visits – to your App Store page or website. What’s more, we take care of creating the ad for you ourselves and even provide App Analytics for iOS or Google Analytics for websites.

This is pretty rad news. And at $100 a month, I’m tempted to buy an ad for Initial Charge just for the hell of it.

As an aside, I kind of wish the folks at Iconfactory or a similarly respectable indie developer shop would build out an ad network like this and make it available by invitation to other developers. Sort of like The Deck, but for iOS apps.

Kotoba for iOS ➝

Upon John Gruber’s recommendation, I finally got around to installing Kotoba on my iPhone. I originally asked what his “go to” dictionary app was to see if he had switched to anything else — since he first wrote about Kotoba about seven months ago.

The app has been rejected from the App Store because developers aren’t allowed to build dictionary apps with the system’s built-in dictionary. So I updated to the latest version of Xcode, renewed my Apple Developer account, and installed Kotoba on my iPhone.

It really is the best dictionary app on the platform. It’s fast, offers excellent definitions, and isn’t filled with a bunch of unnecessary features. My only complaint is that it isn’t optimized for iPad display sizes. I guess that means I’m stuck using Terminology there instead. Not to say that Terminology is a bad app, just that Kotoba is just that darn good.

Signal v Noise Exits Medium ➝

David Heinemeier Hansson, writing on Signal v Noise:

Writing for us is not a business, in any direct sense of the word. We write because we have something to say, not to make money off page views, advertisements, or subscriptions. If some readers end up signing up for Basecamp, that’s great. But if they just like to read and not buy, that’s also great.

Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.

I sure hope this is the case. Writing on the web has always been a passion of mine and although I partake in some aspects of the centralized web — like Twitter and Instagram — I sure would like to see thoughts and ideas shared through more distributed means, like weblogs.

Luckily, the barrier to entry has never been lower. You can buy WordPress-specific hosting from places like Bluehost for about $3 a month and a domain name for around $10-15 per year. There’s plenty of great, free themes available and you can start publishing in a matter of minutes.

And you can always start publishing on WordPress.com, where you can get support from Happiness Engineers like myself. We’ll help with just about any aspect of your site — from choosing the best theme to setting up widgets and using the editor. And if you eventually feel like moving to self-hosted would be a better fit, we can help you export your content and point you in the right direction to move it elsewhere.

(Via K.Q. Dreger.)

Slack Gets a New Logo ➝

I can understand Slack wanting to make some changes to their branding. Their previous logo could have used a little refinement, but honestly, this new design looks so terribly bland. It looks like the logo for a generic banking application not a cool, growing messaging app for businesses.

Getting rid of the “S” in the logo was probably the right move — I’m not typically a fan of letters within logos, especially when they aren’t symmetrical. But why get rid of the plaid? It was so distinctively Slack. It’s the sort of thing they should have leaned into, but instead we get this boring new icon on our home screens.

I have Slack open all day while I work and rather than have to see that new logo in my dock, I’ve replaced it with this pleasant alternative by Ronnie Johnson. If you’ve never replaced a logo on a Mac app, the process is pretty simple:

  • Right click on the Slack app in Finder.
  • Choose “Get Info”.
  • Drag and drop the .icns file onto the small icon in the upper-left of the “Get Info” window.

As for iOS, I stuck the Slack app deep inside of a folder and created a Shortcut to launch it with the “Open App” action. Then I added the Shortcut to my home screen using this image as the icon.

The biggest downside to this setup on iOS is that the notification badge now appears on the folder instead of the application itself. But I probably shouldn’t be launching the app too frequently outside of work hours anyway. And on iPhone, I can always force touch the folder to show a list of apps inside with notifications.

A First Look at Twitter’s New Beta App ➝

All I want in a Twitter client is a clean design, a reverse chronological timeline, and for new tweets to load above the fold. I don’t need algorithms deciding what tweets to show me, I’m more than happy to take care of that with mute filters and wise following.

AirPower Has Likely Entered Production ➝

Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors:

Hong Kong website ChargerLAB cites a “credible source” within Apple’s supply chain who claims Chinese manufacturer Luxshare Precision has started production of the AirPower. In a conversation on Chinese messaging app WeChat, the source adds he has heard the AirPower will be released soon. […]

In a follow-up tweet, ChargerLAB cites another source who claims a second Apple supplier Pegatron is set to begin mass production of the AirPower on January 21. The alleged Pegatron employee claims the AirPower has three layers of coils in an 8-7-7 configuration from bottom to top.

I’ve been holding off on purchasing any wireless charging accessories in hopes that AirPower would ship soon. I had to wait quite a bit longer than I initially expected, but I’m pretty excited that it’s finally coming.