Weeknotes #140

in weeknotes

  • I turned 40. Every time I reflect on it, I feel a sense of disconnection from my own body. I checked the journal I kept a decade ago to see whether the same thing had happened when I turned 30 but it doesn’t look like it did.

  • It was nice that Mum was able to be here for the ‘party’ (the cutting of a chocolate cake). Speaking of whom, she returned to Australia on Saturday night. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll next see her in Sydney at Christmas.

  • In a completely unplanned move, I was awake on Friday at 6 am when it occurred to me that a small number of iPhone 14 Pro models might be available for pick-up later that day. Sure enough, I start browsing the online store and there are indeed multiple Apple Stores around Tokyo showing phones available for same-day pick-up. Alas, Emma had ice-skating that afternoon and as I hemmed and hawed over whether it would be preferable to go before Eri needed to leave or after she’d return, the available phones all sold out. Still nothing more definitive from Apple than the one I have ordered is coming in either late September or early October.

  • I initially planned to avoid upgrading my current iPhone to iOS 16 to make the iPhone 14 feel even ‘newer’ but yet another typo that I couldn’t correct in an iMessage was the proverbial straw and I installed it earlier in the week. Overall, I like the release (and being able to fix messages after sending is fantastic) but there are a couple of things I find frustrating. The most mystifying to me is the new way that notifications work. I’m mystified because I haven’t heard anyone complain about it and I would have thought it would disrupt someone else’s workflow. In short, prior to iOS 16, I left notifications in Notification Centre as an ad-hoc to-do list of sorts. That list was easily retrievable by just pulling down from the top of the screen. No longer. While it’s conceptually clever to have the Lock Screen appear when you pull down from the top of the screen, it moves Notification Centre an extra swipe or two away. Worse, I frequently find I’m looking at my ‘current notifications’ and not Notification Centre, causing me not to realise I have notifications in Notification Centre waiting for me to do something when I think they’re all cleared.

  • I didn’t really think I’d be that interested in Lock Screen widgets until I thought of using them to create a Shortcut to Swarm. That led to Shortflow which allowed me to go one better and rather than run a shortcut that launches Swarm, use the URL swarm://checkins/add. With that, I can now tap on an icon on my Lock Screen and go straight to checking in. It’s such a shame Swarm is all but abandoned at this point.

  • I finally signed up to the MidJourney beta after listening to John Gruber and Ben Thompson talk about the site and its use of Discord on Thursday’s episode of Dithering. (I would link to the episode but, possibly due to the fact it’s a paid-only podcast, episodes don’t have individual URLs.) Midjourney is one of the AI image-generation services you may have heard of recently. The ‘user interface’ for it is a Discord chat server. Users send message that are picked up and relayed to the servers actually running the program. It’s a bit of an odd way to do things but I guess makes moderation somewhat easier. I still haven’t tried to actually create any images.

  • Ukraine appears to have been surprisingly successful in its counteroffensive (Wikipedia). That said, I’ve found the tone of Western coverage in the past week hyperbolic (see this article for an example). While I’m hopeful that the Ukrainians are able to push the Russians all the way back, it feels very premature to claim this means the war is a failure for Putin. Sure, it means that this won’t be a speedy operation like the invasion of Crimea was but that was apparent once Kyiv withstood Russia’s initial assault.

  • I got around to watching Toy Story 4 and it was excellent. There were moments where it felt like it repeated some of the beats of Toy Story 3 but that’s a minor complaint and didn’t detract significantly from my overall enjoyment. Now that I’m ‘caught up’, I’m looking forward to seeing Lightyear.

  • Since I’m now 40 it’s hardly a surprise that I don’t know who Nessa Barrett (Wikipedia) is. I do know I really like ‘Madhouse’, though (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri inqk.net