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Links

  • I haven’t owned a telescope since high-school, but this calendar from The New York Times is absolutely stellar (pun-intended).

    If you’re like me, your digital calendar is your best friend. I can’t function without one personally. I prefer to use Fantastical for iOS and Mac, from Flexibits. The subscription works all the same in Outlook, Google Calendar, or whatever client you prefer.

    For one, I like to know when astronomical events are happening (visible to the naked eye, or not). But what I like the most about this calendar subscription — is it lets me know the who, what, when, where, and why. Replete with a handy link at the bottom of the notes for more information:

  • Link: The Overlooked Wonders of Soviet-Era Industrial Design

    Phaidon has an incredible collection of design books, and they run a wonderful blog too. Atlas Obscura got their hands on a copy of Phaidon’s newest design reference, Designed in the USSR: 1950-1989. This is a pretty sweet book. I’d love to see all the space-race inspired gadgetry and appliances. My favorite is this macaroni box:

    From Atlas Obscura

    Anika Burgess writes:

    “There were ‘sample product rooms,’ where Western examples of industrial products were displayed, often serving as prototypes for their Soviet equivalents,” writes Alexandra Sankova in the book’s introduction. Sankova is the director of the Moscow Design Museum, which first displayed these items in an exhibition in 2012. For her, the Soviet era from the 1950s onwards was an important period of design history, “when function and utility were the driving forces behind ideas but remarkable examples of innovation and creativity still flourished.”

    Oddly enough, Anika previously reviewed more Soviet ephemera at the Obscura: The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature — fascinating relics.

    You can pick up the Designed in the USSR, from Phaidon directly for $39.95.

  • Links: April 2018

    Time for another roundup of links:

    Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It.

    It turns out that the data leak from Cambridge Analytica isn’t 5 million, it isn’t 87 million, but affects a whopping 2 billion users. Major bummer. This quote about sums up how I feel about it:

    What the journalist Walter Lippmann said in 1959 of “free” TV is also true of “free” social media: It is ultimately “the creature, the servant and indeed the prostitute of merchandizing.” But social media itself isn’t going away. It has worked its way into our lives and has come to help satistify the basic human need to connect and catch up. Facebook, in fact, claims lofty goals, saying it seeks to “bring us closer together” and “build a global community.” Those are indeed noble purposes that social media can serve. But if they were Facebook’s true goals, we would not be here.

    Advertising makes the world go round. No doubt about it. But let’s not beat around the bush, Facebook makes money. Connecting people is secondary to their primary goal — leveraging user data for advertisers.

    A Better Way to Put Words on Paper, IBM Selectric Ad

    A classic. You just don’t see ads like this anymore. It’s beautiful. Reminds me of the early Macintosh ads.

    IBM Plex C-Handle Mug 11oz

    Another IBM related link. In celebration of IBM’s new typeface, Plex they made this super cool mug. 10/10, would buy.

    Wesleyan Tetris

    This is a fun one. From Macintosh Garden:

    A Mac-exclusive bid to create the most vexing Tetris possible. It will lie, cheat, taunt you about your play (“Nice slide!”), give you preposterously unusable pieces, and find a creative “new way to screw you” on every level. While it never saw its intended commercial publication, a leaked development copy became an underground sensation.

    This version only refers to itself as Tetris by Randall Cook, but it picked up many other names as it spread: New Tetris, Obnoxious Tetris, Attitude Problem Tetris, Wise-Ass Tetris, Asshole Tetris and most famously Wesleyan Tetrisafter the author’s university. Recently, Cook announced plans to release the source code under the name Original Supertris.

    Scarfolk Council

    I discovered this one from Josh and Chuck at Stuff You Should Know. They’re a goofy bunch and easily my favorite podcast. Scarfolk is a misinformation-satire, specifically occupying the graphic design aesthetic of 1970’s PSA campaigns. From the Scarfolk masthead:

    Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. “Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.” For more information please reread.

    You can watch the SYSK’s Internet Roundup episode here. The origins and inspirations of Scarfolk starts at around 7:30. Good stuff.

    The 1Password 7 Beta for Mac Is Lit and You Can Be, Too

    It’s here! Finally. The 1Password 7 Beta is out for macOS users. I’ve played around with it for a week now and it’s pretty nice. Very refreshing UI update. 

    More Sinkholes for West Texas?

    From Texas Monthly:

    A new study from two SMU scientists finds that oil and gas activity has made the ground unstable over a 4,000-square-mile swath of West Texas.

    Growing up in Texas, I can tell you — earthquakes are not common at all. Most of Texas sits upon several massive shale structures. As this oil and gas activity continues, there could be dire consequences.

    From the EIA

    SMU geophysics and researcher Jin-Woo Kim later says:

    If these shifts continue, they could lead to increased seismic activity in the area as well as the formation of new sinkholes, which would pose a danger to “residents, roads, railroads, levees, dams, and oil and gas pipelines,” according to Lu. Pipelines in particular are vulnerable to these shifts, and there are many of them in the area. “West Texas has one of the densest networks of oil and gas pipelines in the U.S.,” the scientists noted. Ground water could also be polluted as a result.

    Gothamist is Back!

    Hooray! WAMU gets DCist, and KPCC gets LAist! A great victory for the web and journalism. There’s a Kickstarter to help raise cash for WNYC + Gothamist. Fuck yeah.

    The Key Wrangler from CW&T

    From CW&T

    I came across CW&T (Che-Wei Wang & Taylor Levy) after HAWRAF (a design and tech studio in Flatiron) shared the photo on Instagram. CW&T is maker studio, seemingly focusing on solving unique problems at the intersection of art and design. The Key Wrangler is a rugged, solid piece of CNC’d titanium (or brass). At it’s core, it’s a carabiner designed for urban use. I love the passion and grit CW&T puts into their work.

    They’ve also done some cool projects in the past too. Such as this rad music project, 365 Days of OP-1. Very impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything 365 days in a row except for maybe eating. 😬

  • Jack Nicas (@jacknicas) and Cade Metz (@CadeMetz) for the New York Times:

    Apple has hired Google’s chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, a major coup in its bid to catch up to the artificial intelligence technology of its rivals.

    Apple said on Tuesday that Mr. Giannandrea will run Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” and become one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook.

    The hire is a victory for Apple, which many Silicon Valley executives and analysts view as lagging its peers in artificial intelligence, an increasingly crucial technology for companies that enable computers to handle more complex tasks, like understanding voice commands or identifying people in images.

    I’m not surprised at all.

    Apple should poach the best AI talent they can find. Siri has clearly been suffering for years. No one on the (former?) Siri team wants to take responsibility for the digital assistant failures of years past. It seems the Homepod barely launched with Siri at all. With all these failures left and right, Apple can’t afford to lose the AI assistant battle in the home. It’s no wonder Homekit doesn’t support Google Home. They’re clearly playing catch-up and this is the first public hire that means serious business.

    Link: New York Times – Apple Hires Google’s A.I. Chief

  • If you’re like me, you love System Fonts. They can keep your webpage loading-time speedy, and they look damn good.

    Craig Hockenberry (author of the snippet below), was previously a software developer for Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe. He’s been at the center of figuring out how to leverage these fonts for use on the web. As more and more front-end developers prescribe the use of System Fonts for web applications, we’ll increasingly have a web that looks familiar and friendly.

    It’s kind of like how the highway system (for the most part) uses the same typeface for signage. At any rate, I use it here and will definitely use it again. Here’s a basic usage directly from Craig:

     body {
    font-family: system-ui, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI",
    "Roboto", "Oxygen", "Ubuntu", "Cantarell", "Fira Sans", "Droid Sans",
    "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;
    }

    Many thanks to Craig, for his prior contributions in software and his continued research on CSS System Fonts.

    Read more: System Fonts in CSS

  • Links: March 2018

    This month I collected some interesting links worth sharing. Some notables include: an iOS AirPod concept design, Starbucks bathroom reviews website, a post from Scott Galloway on marriage, and the technology behind my website page transitions and more.

    Starbucks Bathroom Reviews

    Living in NYC, finding a clean public bathroom can be difficult. Finding one without a security code can be even more rare. Let this incredible website be your guide. 😎

    Reading Time WP

    This plugin looks cool. It provides a reading time estimate for your posts in WordPress. Gonna check it out. Stay tuned.

    Barba.js

    If you’re wondering how I setup page transitions on my website — barba.js is how. I fully plan on writing a installation/customization tutorial at some point. It’s weighs in at 4.4 kb JS file which isn’t shabby. And has all sorts of neat bells and whistles.

    iOS Airpods Sharing Concept

    Uhm. This is seriously so fucking cool. What a great idea. This whole concept stems from such unique problem that requires a unique solution:

    The AirPods are arguable one of Apple’s best products, their simplicity, and intuitiveness make them an essential daily device. However one disadvantage is the lack of ability to share music with friends. Back in the 3.5mm analog days, this was accomplished with a headphone splitter […]

    […] this is easily achievable with an iOS software update that could enable users to share their iPhone or iPad’s audio with multiple friends who also have AirPods:

    Knockoff iPhone X Notches
    🤣

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I suppose.

    I Do

    I follow Scott Galloway pretty religiously. Back in 2015, my friend Tim Kosters (@sretsok) introduced me to his You’veTube channel. Scott is an accomplished professor at NYU, and previously been a board member at Eddie Bauer, The New York Times Company, and a few others. From time to time Scott pens personal advice and this one hit home for me.

    In my experience, the most rewarding things in life are family and professional achievement. Without someone to share these things with, you’ve seen a ghost — it sort of happened, but not really. However, with the right partner, these things feel real, you feel more connected to the species, and all “this” begins to register meaning.

    Not quite a blogroll, but maybe a start

    Chris (@chofficehours) of iwantmyname.com runs a fantastic blog worth subscribing. Lately, he’s been writing a lot about remote worklife, blogrolls, and blogs (with a little b like this one). There’s a growing problem with the Twitter echo chamber, I don’t feel like I’m part of any community on Medium, and I go to Hacker News a little too often — what’s the fix? Blogrolls? More blog aggregators? Interesting words from an interesting guy.