Weeknotes #45

in weeknotes

  • In the course of messaging with Dave, we discovered that one of the guys we went to school with most likely died a couple of years ago. Statistically this isn’t a surprise but it really threw me to think about and I promptly called Dave and proceeded to use him for a free therapy session.

  • Dave and I first met at high school before going on to university and eventually sharing a house together. We’ve moved in and out of each other’s lives for the past 20 or so years and I’m really grateful we’re still friends. We probably would have lost touch were it not for technology (and a close time zone). Dave also reads these so I’m saying all this nice stuff mostly so he’ll indulge me the next time I want to take up almost his entire workday chatting.

  • Another week, another Apple product with which to play. Last time it was the new iPhone, this time it’s the new HomePod Mini. We’ve had smart speakers in our house for a couple of years now and use them for two things: timers and music. After Apple announced the HomePod Mini, I was excited to see if it could at the very least handle our music needs. If so, that would mean I could cancel my otherwise redundant Spotify subscription which, in the loopy logic I’ve perfected to rationalise my consumerism, would mean I’d really be saving money by getting one.

  • The HomePod Mini arrived on Monday and I’m pleased to report I cancelled the Spotify subscription on Thursday. In addition to interfacing better with Apple Music than the Echo Dot it replaces, the HomePod Mini’s built-in speaker sounds good enough that I’ve been able to move the unit to a location behind our sofa. This enables a faux ‘surround sound’ experience (emphasis on faux) where I set the Apple TV to output to both the TV speakers and the HomePod Mini simultaneously.

  • My issues with the NBA app remain. It still says I’m in the wrong region. Disney+ fortunately is continuing to work.

  • I spent more time working on Watchful. Last week, I had a macOS proof-of-concept and this week I added support for Linux using the inotify API. Both the macOS and Linux backends allow for recursive directory watching (a real pain to support with inotify) and path exclusions. I need to see how it interacts with a project like Ecstatic to see how best to build out Watchful’s API.

  • Eri and I finished Lovely Complex. It was fine.

  • There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple of months about online platforms and freedom of speech. Zeynep Tufceki’s ‘The Problem with (All) the Tech Hearings’ was the first time I’d read about her theory of how these companies ‘censor’ based on controlling attention rather than speech. It’s a terrific article and provides an interesting way to think about how control is exerted and what might be done in response.

  • How about ending with the Chemical Brothers ‘The Test’ (Apple Music)?

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont