Linked List Archive

The Ubiquity of Ad Technologies, Tracking, and Other Nasty Practices on the Web ➝

Nick Heer, referencing Alberto Brandolini’s tweet from 2013:

This rule remains true for the bullshit web — the marketing cruft, bloated advertising, tracking mechanisms, and Google’s unnecessary and toxic Accelerated Mobile Pages project that have come to dominate the web. Users have tried to fight back by adopting ad blockers and switching to web browsers that are more privacy focused. But bullshit is stronger than that. It cannot be contained by browsers or the mere will of users’ requests. The response by its purveyors illustrates how thoroughly bullshit resists control.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s anything we can realistically do to put an end to this garbage. Without every internet user refusing to visit the sites that use these tactics, we’re stuck installing ad blockers and privacy-focused browsers in an attempt to fight back.

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Using Shortcuts and Data Jar to Help Write Link Posts ➝

Chris Hannah, writing about saving articles that he plans to link to on his site:

So I came up with an idea of two shortcuts, one to store relevant data about the article I wanted to reference, and then another which I could use to select from the list and kick off a draft in iA Writer.

That’s when I thought about using the recently released data store app, Data Jar, which is a fantastic tool for storing all kinds of data.

This whole setup is more complex than I expect I’d ever want and it doesn’t really fit into my writing workflow. I save articles to Instapaper as I find them and then read through my queue when I have time. But linking to articles is part of the reading process — I don’t distinguish between the two. If I want to link to an article I’m reading, I do it right then and there.

But this is such a testament to how powerful and versatile Shortcuts is — it gives folks like Chris the ability to build workflows that wouldn’t be possible without it. And I’m glad that’s the case.

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Apple Changes Default MacBook Charging Behavior to Improve Battery Health ➝

Jason Snell:

The way MacBook batteries charge is about to change. Apple has released a new developer preview of macOS Catalina 10.15.5, and as these releases often do, it contains a new feature: Battery Health Management.

The new feature, which will only be available on Mac notebooks with Thunderbolt 3 ports, enables a new default approach to charging and discharging MacBook batteries. According to Apple, the feature is meant to reduce the rate of chemical aging of the MacBook’s battery, thereby extending its long-term lifespan—but without compromising on day-to-day battery life.

This is the type of feature that I love seeing from Apple — something that seems infinitely obvious, but only after you’ve heard about it.

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Plex Dash Released ➝

A nifty new app from the folks at Plex — Plex Dash. It lets you get a birds-eye view of your Plex server. You can see what’s currently playing, view graphs of server stats, search your libraries, and more. I was using Varys for this, but I’m going to give this app a try for a bit instead.

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Apple Announces the New iPhone SE ➝

Same chassis as the iPhone 8 with improved internals and stellar price points — 64GB for $399, 128GB for $449, or 256GB for $549. I have a feeling the 64GB model is going to be very popular.

My wife has traditionally preferred an iPhone with a smaller display. She used the original iPhone SE up until last summer when she finally gave in and upgraded to the iPhone 8. But interestingly, she doesn’t find the new SE appealing at all.

The camera is so important to her now that she won’t even consider an iPhone unless it offers the same (or better) camera arrangement as the 11 Pro. The iPhone 8 camera looks good, but without the extra lenses and dark mode, it just isn’t good enough.

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Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro Available to Pre-Order Now ➝

I ordered mine earlier today and it has an estimated delivery date between April 24 and May 1. That’s much earlier than I expected given that “May” was the originally announced release date.

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Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim ➝

This has become the default charger for my 2018 MacBook Air, replacing the PowerPort Atom PD 1 I was using previously. The Atom III Slim is incredibly compact, matches the power output if the Air’s included charger, and looks quite slick. I wish that the USB-C port was pointed away from the wall when plugged in, instead of being adjacent to it, but the foldable plugs more than make up for that.

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Bar None ➝

Shaun Inman:

Bar None is an app that lives in your menu bar and ignores all Touch Bar input unless you’re holding the fn key. That’s it.

I don’t own a Mac with a Touch Bar, but I’m very glad this app exists.

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