Linked List Archive

A Pre-Order Theory ➝

Matt Hauger, with a theory on why devices like the AirPods Pro are available for pre-order immediately:

I wonder: how did Apple decide that these devices would be available for preorder immediately? Why not a few days later, as with the new iPhones? Here’s a cynical theory: maybe less expensive items (like the AirPods or the Watch) are more likely to be impulse buys. The customer doesn’t get a chance to weigh her purchase carefully. Instead, she acquiesces to the lizard-brain desire that Apple’s marketing engenders.

I would guess that Apple primarily decides when devices are available to pre-order based on their expected demand and how many units they’ll actually have on the ship date. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea of impulse buying comes into the conversation at some point. I mean, they do need to actually sell these products after all.

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How to Run Pi-Hole on Your Mac ➝

I’ve had installing and testing Pi-hole on my to do list for a few months and finally had a chance to give it a try tonight. I used this guide from iMore to get it running on our Mac Mini home server using Docker. I won’t be able to use it on our whole network, though, unfortunately.

I work from home with users and don’t want to use any ad blocking on my work machine, which will cause pages to look different on my end compared to what the user sees. At the moment, I have it setup on each of our Apple TVs, but in practice that doesn’t appear to block as many ads as I was hoping for — I tested with YouTube and Crackle, both displayed ads as per usual.

So I guess I’ll have to think a bit more about what exactly I’ll be using Pi-hole for and where I can integrate it into my setup.

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‘How I Upload Images to My Blog Using Shortcuts’ ➝

Chris Hannah:

Then because I simply want to upload it to my WordPress blog (I have no separate CDN for images), I attempted to use the “Post to WordPress” action. Which I only just discovered can upload media, along with posts and pages.

And just like when you upload a new post using that action, the result is the URL of the uploaded post/page/media.

Although the URL that was returned wasn’t exactly the one I was looking for. I was expecting the absolute URL for the image that was uploaded. But instead, it was the URL of a kind of “preview” page, which is essentially the same template used for a blog post, except the content is the image that was uploaded.

The pages that Chris is referring to are attachment pages — they use a page template similar to posts or pages, but are used to display a single piece of media uploaded to WordPress’ media library. It is a bit odd that this is the link that the Shortcut outputs when uploading a media file, though, it would be nice if it gave you a direct link to the file instead.

I came across this issue a year or two ago when I was first building my image uploading shortcut, which was with the Workflow app at the time. Chris’ solution is quite elegant, but unfortunately, it won’t work for my site. I actually setup my attachment pages to automatically redirect to the image’s corresponding post or to my site’s homepage (if a related post can’t be found).

Instead of grabbing the image URL from the resulting attachment page, I have my shortcut take the file name and rebuild the direct URL since it’s a predictable URL structure.

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Greg Morris Quits the iPad ➝

I’m not nearly to the point where I’d walk away from the iPad, but iPadOS 13 is probably the worst operating system upgrade I’ve experienced. Shortcuts are inexplicably failing, the new text selection system is a joke, and there’s probably a dozen or so other annoyances that I come across daily. I’ve never wanted a Snow Leopard-like release more than I do now.

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The Resurrection of Physical Media ➝

A great piece by CJ Chilvers, listing some of the advantages that DVDs and Blu-rays have over streaming services. Physical discs really are superior to streaming services. I can rip the discs and store the files in my Plex library for convenience, I never have to worry about a series or movie being pulled, and I only have to pay once to watch it as many times as I want.

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iOS 13’s Silence Unknown Callers Feature ➝

Dr. Drang:

In my experience, it does exactly what it says and has already saved me lots of time and frustration. It’s not that I often answered spam calls; I had already trained myself to almost never pick up a call that my phone didn’t associate with a contact. But I still had to stop what I was doing and look at my phone or my watch whenever one came in. Now that’s a thing of the past.

I just realized I hadn’t enabled this feature yet, so I went ahead and did so. I pay for Nomorobo to block spam callers, but for some reason I’ve been unable to refresh the app’s block list since updating to iOS 13. Hopefully this new system feature will work well enough that I won’t have to pay to block spam callers anymore.

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AirPods Pro Impressions ➝

Some nice thoughts and impressions from Marius Masalar on the newly released AirPods Pro.

I’ve never used in-ear headphones or anything with active noise cancelation before. I’m still pretty happy with my second generation AirPods, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with the new Pro model at some point. I’ll be traveling more frequently for work next year and I wouldn’t mind blocking out a bit more noise while I’m flying.

I’m sure I’d see a lot of benefits using them at home, too. With Josh in our lives, family and friends are stopping over a bit more frequently. Which is typically a joy, but can be quite distracting while I’m working. The AirPods Pro might be just what I need to ensure I’m able to keep my focus.

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November Publishing Challenge ➝

Shawn Blanc:

Starting today — Friday, November 1 — I’ll be writing and publishing something every day for the whole month of November.

Though, instead of writing a novel in a month, I will be simply be focused on publishing something — anything — every single day. From photos, links to interesting things, articles, reviews, etc.

CJ Chilvers, Om Malik, Matt Hauger, and Josh Ginter are planning to to publish each day in November too. And I’ll throw my hat in the ring as well.

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