jarrodwhaley.com

I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts in technology:

Google Wants To Sell Your Desires

Maybe there’s some aspect of your life and/or mind that you haven’t given to Google (for free!) yet. Alex Chitu at the Google Operating System blog writes:

Google prepares a new service that’s called Google Mine. It’s integrated with Google+ and it’s a way to keep track of the items you own or you’d like to have and share some of them with your circles. Right now, the service is tested internally at Google.

They want to know what you want, and it isn’t even a little bit creepy. Oh, and also, if you could give them a list of everything you own, that would be pretty great, too. It will help them put ads inside your cornea. In addition, you’ll be helping in the fight against terrorism. It feels good to be a good American.

Fargo.io Is Getting To Be Pretty Cool

Dave Weiner’s fargo.io Web-based outliner app is really turning into something quite useful. It hasn’t even officially reached Version 1.0, and already it’s pretty much just as functional as any native application I’ve seen. All of the usual outliner tricks are possible, but it also allows for other cool things like posting directly to WordPress sites (this post was itself written on fargo.io). Furthermore, it uses Dropbox to save files and settings, so your data and setup will travel with you from one system to another.

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Facebook Considers Another Pointless Venture

Jeff Blagdon writing for The Verge (he’s actually just quoting from a Wall Street Journal story to which I won’t link because it’s behind a moronic paywall):

The WSJ reports that the project has been in development for over a year, meaning it was already in motion before Google announced its plans to shutter its Google Reader news aggregation app in March. The app is reportedly designed for mobile devices, with no mention made of a web app.

The internal name for the project is Reader […] [emphasis mine]

Facebook is stretching itself too thin. I really think they need to focus on what they already do: mine gigaterrapetamegabytes of useless, quotidian data from teenagers and old people, and then show them ads for brick-and-mortar retail stores on the other side of the planet. Get really great at that, first.

Automatically Back Up Files To Evernote With Hazel

I keep almost the entirety of my life in plain text files–notes, ideas, to-do lists, movies I want to watch…pretty much anything that can be stored in text. It’s easy to find things when I need them with a search in Alfred or nvALT, and I know that my data will be safe for the long haul; plain text has been around as long as computers have existed, and it isn’t going anywhere. I do, however, like to back up all that data both locally and remotely, and Evernote does a great job of that. I also like to automate the process, so that I don’t ever have to think about any of this.

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Let’s Think of Piracy As Free Marketing

This whole debate about whether Adobe’s subscription model is a good idea or not brings to mind a lot of arguments I’ve been making for years about all “pirated” media. Trying to ignore the fact that people are going to copy your software (or film, or music) is myopic and insane–that’s just the way the world is. What’s more, today’s pirates are tomorrow’s paying customers. Here’s Rick Webb on the fact that his piracy of Photoshop ended up making Adobe a ton of money:

So, by my calculation, I have now personally overseen the procurement of well over $250,000 of Adobe software through the years. Software I learned through piracy. Piracy that gave me a career.

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Privacy Is Not The Province of Perverts Only

There’s a lot of hysteria in this otherwise typically wishy-washy "on-one-hand-but-also-on-the-other-hand" piece on the "Dark Web" by Mark Ward of the BBC:

By contrast, [Mick Moran, Interpol’s acting assistant director of cybersecurity and crime] said, his experience of dark nets such as Tor was that their use by activists and the oppressed was more than outweighed by criminal abuse of such anonymising systems.

"They use it to access and exchange child exploitation material and child pornography," he said. "Because they are untraceable then society lacks the ability to enforce democratically put in place laws around this issue."

I’d certainly expect a cop to take a dim view of anonymity on the Web; there’s nothing surprising in that. Obviously cops want to have access to as much of our data as possible. What we have to ask ourselves is this: do we really want to throw out all hope of any privacy whatsoever simply because criminals try to do bad things in private? Where was the rush to outlaw doors in 1956? I mean, criminals hid behind them!

Easily Send Text To a Mac’s Clipboard With Drafts

I just came across Nathan Henrie’s method for sending text from Drafts.app on iOS to a Mac’s clipboard. It involves a Dropbox action and a shell script which is executed by Hazel–similar in setup to my simple means of quickly sending Journal entries to DayOne from Drafts. As Nathan notes in his post, there are other ways of skinning this particular cat, but his method seems to fit in with my own setup pretty neatly.

The script also allows for sending text to Quicksilver, but since I’m an Alfred user, I’ll just use that app’s clipboard history feature.

Microsoft Announces Groundbreaking Thing Competitor Already Does

Tom Warren reporting for The Verge:

Google Docs has long supported real-time editing with multiple users, but the Office Web Apps have been fairly basic when it comes to editing documents alongside other users. Microsoft is planning to change this over the next few months, and the company is demonstrating the changes this week.

Congratulations, Microsoft, on catching up to where your competitors were years ago. You’ve been doing that a lot lately, and it seems to be working really, really well.

No, Seriously, We Don’t Know Nothin’ About PRISM

Apple is the latest tech company to issue a broad denial of any participation in PRISM–or in any other governmental snooping–apart from responding to the usual sorts of law-enforcement requests:

Two weeks ago, when technology companies were accused of indiscriminately sharing customer data with government agencies, Apple issued a clear response: We first heard of the government’s “Prism” program when news organizations asked us about it on June 6. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer content must get a court order.

Everything we’ve seen in the news in recent weeks would suggest that denials like this one are utter bullshit–whether they’re issued by Apple, Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo1. Anyone–like Jim Dalrymple–who is so blinded by his appreciation of Apple that he accepts this non-denial as the complete truth is making an idiot of himself.


  1. I still refuse to type that ridiculous exclamation point. 

No, the Next iPhone Won’t Have a 3D Display

Jeff Rock has a theory:

Based on the resolution rumor along with the newly revealed pillars of iOS 7, I think the next frontier that Apple might be venturing into with iOS hardware is fully realized 3D Retina Displays.

Umm, no. I wouldn’t buy this idea with someone else’s dollar. 3D is stupid–it’s stupid in a movie, and it’s stupid on a phone. But let’s set aside my opinion for a minute, just for the sake of argument: there’s no evidence anywhere which would support Jeff Rock’s theory, other than a bunch of rumors which seem to misapprehend what “doubling resolution” means.