I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts in technology:

Download Files To A Remote Mac With Drafts

Patrick Lenz posted, a while back, a method of triggering a download on a remote Mac with a simple Drafts action. It’s fairly simple, and pretty easy to set up. Seems like a pretty handy setup.

I’d like to put together an altered version that downloads files from my server automatically, with no intervention needed from me. Perhaps that’s a project I’ll tackle soon.

Shocker: Facebook Doesn’t Care What You Want

Laura from The Well-Prepared Mind has tried numerous times to delete all of the content in her Facebook profile, to zero effect. Her “deleted” content just keeps coming back from the dead.

I am stunned by Facebook’s callous disregard for their users. I simply cannot fathom that they refuse to respect my decisions to delete my posts from my Timeline. This is outrageous. I realize that I was one of Facebook’s products, am still until I delete my account, but I should be able to decide to delete something and have it deleted. And stay deleted.

While I completely understand Laura’s frustration, I’m not sure I understand why she’s surprised at all. Facebook exists solely to collect data–they’re not even good at selling ads against it. They just suck it up like a giant data Hoover, and that’s all they do.

Link-Blogging With Drafts And Pythonista

I write about the useful aspects of both Drafts and Pythonista quite often. The fact is, these two applications (with a little help from TextExpander, naturally) make writing on iOS almost as easy as writing on a Mac. I have found a few key ways to use them to automate tasks which used to be tedious on mobile devices; my life is a lot simpler as a result.

One example–and it’s something I often use multiple times per day–is a combination of a Safari bookmarklet, a Pythonista script, and Drafts. It was developed by iOS automation-nerd Federico Viticci, and originally shared in his oft-refenced Macstories post “Automating iOS: How Pythonista Changed My Workflow“. Its inputs are: 1) text selected by the user on a Web page, and 2) that page’s URL. It passes those inputs through Pythonista, and then it shoots them over to Drafts. The output of Federico’s workflow–i.e. the new object in Drafts–consists of the user’s selected text, followed by the URL preceded by “From: “. I love it as a means of quickly getting started with a “link-blog” style post, in which a source is cited, and then a block quote is given. However, I had one small problem with the Python script: the link was injected after the block quote, and none of the output was formatted as Markdown. It just didn’t fit the way I want to write. So I tweaked it.

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The United States Map–As a Font

Stately is a free, open-source font for the Web in which each glyph is one of the fifty United States. The states fit together automatically to form the full map of the U.S. Fonts are vector-based, which means the output can be resized at will and remain sharp. It’s really a pretty ingenious idea.

Using the x-cancel Parameter On iOS

Eric Pramono at Geeks With Juniors has written up a very helpful tutorial on the use of the x-cancel parameter within x-callback-url actions. I haven’t made much use of x-cancel yet in my own URL actions for Drafts, but Eric makes a good case for their usefulness. Worth a read.

ICANN Approves More Strident WHOIS Guidelines

Akram Atallah (President of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division), as quoted in the press release on PRWeb:

In no small way is this agreement transformational for the domain name industry. […] Our multiple stakeholders weighed in, from law enforcement, to business, to consumers and what we have ended up with is something that affords better protections and positively redefines the domain name industry.

First of all, please note the order of his priorities: government, then businesses, and finally individual human beings. I would have thought business would come first.

Second, let’s raise our hands if we’re excited about publicizing even more information about ourselves right now. After all that’s happened in the past few weeks, it’s a great time to put people’s private email addresses and phone numbers on the open Web, isn’t it?

App Review: DuckDuckGo Search & Stories for iPhone

As I’ve said before, I find DuckDuckGo to be a compelling replacement for Google. Not only is it a far less creepy company (which is a really, really big deal now that we know about PRISM), but it’s also a lot more useful in some key ways–one example being its !bang syntax, which allows a user to search across numerous popular sites right from within DDG. One minor sticking point, for a user of Apple devices, is that DDG cannot be set as the default search engine in Safari1. That being the case, a good iOS app is crucial–if I don’t have a good way to search with DDG at all times, on all my devices, I may as well keep giving Google full access to my digital underwear drawer.

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Great List of Workflows for Alfred 2

Someone who works under the handle "@hzlzh" has put together a really handy database of Alfred 2 workflows. It’s well worth a look if you’re an Alfred nerd.

Tile Helps You Find Lost Belongings Over Bluetooth

Cody Fink, Macstories:

On your keyring, in your backpack or travel luggage, or attached to your laptop, Tile keeps track of your valuables so you can easily find them wherever they may go. Tile resembles a small white square that’s only a few millimeters thick, making it both pocketable and small enough to be conveniently attached to gadgets or personal belongings. It’s small enough that you can slip it into a wallet’s pocket, or you can simply adhere it to the surface of a MacBook.

This seems like a pretty cool way to keep track of often-lost objects. I’m constantly losing everything I touch. I’ll take fifty of these.

Tumblr for iOS Supports x-callback-url

It turns out that the Tumblr app for iOS now has a set of URL schemes which support the x-callback-url specification. Tumblr-using nerds will find this to be a useful means of posting to their blogs with Drafts, to give one example.

Apparently this was news back in April, but I never heard about it and so I assume there are others in the same boat. Check it out.