beorg 2.7.0 released : Apps On The Move

beorg 2.7.0 released : Apps On The Move

beorg 2.7.0 is now available on the App Store. It is set to roll out as a phased release over 7 days – so if you aren’t getting the update (and don’t want to wait) you can update manually via the App Store Updates tab.

beorg 2.7.0 introduces support for Apple Watch. This first release for  Apple Watch allows you to view your agenda on your wrist and to add  complications to your watch face so you can keep track of how many tasks need to be completed today.

Also in this release is a new  beorg extension (available as an in-app purchase) so you can sync with  Box. beorg now supports syncing with iCloud, Dropbox, WebDAV and Box to  give you control over where your data is stored.

In addition to the headline features 2.7.0 contains:

  + Improved internal links so you can link to items in a document and to  other documents. For example [[holidays::Summer 2019]] will open your  holidays file and take you straight to your Summer 2019 destination  planning.
 + Alignment of tags when written to a file – controllable via a new variable org-tags-column.
 + Fix for the sync indicator on newer iPhones.
 + Fix for crash if org extension is deleted from settings tab.
 + Fix for some crashes related to the syntax highlighting introduced in 2.6.0.
 + Fix for WebDAV issues some users were experiencing.

This is outstanding! I’m enjoying the watch complication so far but I’ve only played with it for like 30 minutes or so. The Box integration could be a game changer for me as well, though a few non-beorg technical bits need sorting.

The development of beorg is going at a rapid pace. I appreciate the financial support model (none of the subscription nonsense).

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British parliament releases contentious Facebook emails

British parliament releases contentious Facebook emails by Mathew Ingram:


When a British parliamentary committee looking into Facebook’s role in misinformation and data privacy seized documents last week from an American businessman involved in a lawsuit with Facebook, the committee threatened to make the files public, even though they were sealed by a California court order. And that’s exactly what it did on Wednesday: Damian Collins, the head of the committee–and the man who used a little-known British law to send a Serjeant-at-Arms to the American businessman’s hotel room to escort him to the House of Commons–published more than 200 pages of emails and other documents. The files came from a court case with Six4Three, makers of an app that allowed users to search their friends’ photos for bathing suit pictures. The details in the documents won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following Facebook and its various privacy blunders, but it is illuminating to see some of the company’s practices exposed in black and white.
One of the most contentious revelations revolves around a proposal to update the Facebook app for Android phones so that the social network could read and store the call logs of users. It would then use the data from a user’s call history, as well as their text messages, to tweak the News Feed algorithm and other features (including the “people you might know” feature, which recommends other users to friend on the network). An email from a senior Facebook staffer admits this is “a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective, but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it.” A subsequent email says the team has figured out that if the app only wants access to the call logs, it could offer a simple “click to upgrade” option without having to get users to give their permission through a special dialog box. Ashkan Soltani, former chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, pointed out that this kind of behavior may be a breach of the “consent decree” that Facebook signed with the FTC in 2011, in which it agreed not to engage in certain kinds of behavior.
From the British committee’s viewpoint, one of the more interesting email chains has to do with Facebook’s data policies; the committee is investigating the company’s behavior in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the company wrongfully acquired personal data on more than 50 million users that they provided by signing up for a personality quiz app. Facebook has said repeatedly that access to this kind of data was closed off in 2015, but the emails and other documents make it clear that for certain “whitelisted” companies, access to that data continued (as _The Wall Street Journal_ has reported). The committee’s preamble to the documents continues: “It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted.”
In another document, Facebook outlines the restrictions it places on certain companies when it comes to accessing Facebook data. “We maintain a small list of strategic competitors that Mark personally reviewed,” the document states. “Any usage beyond that specified is not permitted without Mark level sign-off.” In the case of certain competitors, especially ones that competed with Facebook’s pet features (like video), Facebook would terminate virtually all access to user data. It did this in the case of Twitter’s short-lived Vine video app, for example: in an email to Zuckerberg in 2013, a Facebook product manager says Vine (which had just launched that same day) allowed users to find friends by using the Facebook API. He suggested shutting down Twitter’s access to this data immediately, and Zuckerberg responded: “Yup, go for it.”
In a response to the documents’ publication, Zuckerberg pointed out that in the time leading up to the changes to its platform in 2015, the company was driven primarily by a desire to connect people in as many different ways as possible, until it discovered that developers were building “shady apps that abused people’s data.” Without naming the bikini app company, the Facebook CEO says some of the developers whose apps were kicked off the platform sued in an attempt to reverse the change, “but we’re confident this was the right thing to do and that we’ll win these lawsuits.” Whether the published emails will also provide more ammunition for those looking to regulate the social network remains to be seen.

Obviously things progressed since this news came out. It should cause users to, yet again, reflect on their use of Facebook’s platforms.

Updates:

  • [Internal Documents Show Facebook Has Never Deserved Our Trust or Our Data – Motherboard](https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7xyenz/internal-documents-show-facebook-has-never-deserved-our-trust-or-our-data)
  • [Facebook Fined $11.3M for Privacy Violations | Threatpost | The first stop for security news](https://threatpost.com/facebook-fined-privacy/139824/)
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Love Tonkotsu? Meet Tori Paitan Ramen, Its Creamy, Chicken-y Cousin

Love Tonkotsu? Meet Tori Paitan Ramen, Its Creamy, Chicken-y Cousin by Serious Eats:

Bowl of miso chicken paitan ramen
Most ramen fans in the United States are familiar with Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, the thick, creamy, pork broth-based bowl of noodles that is the star of menus of popular chains like Ippudo and Ichiran. But the same can’t be said for tori paitan ramen, which has as its base a chicken broth that’s similarly rich and creamy, and every bit as tasty as a tonkotsu. (Those of you who live in or have visited New York City may be able to attest to that fact if you’ve tried the tori paitan at Ivan Ramen, which we featured in our video on how to slurp a bowl of noodles.)

I’m eating up what’s in my refrigerator as I prep to head to the U.S. for the holidays so I can’t bust this out just yet.

January, watch out for broth-y deliciousness!

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The Iconic Jazz Album Covers of Blue Note Records

The Iconic Jazz Album Covers of Blue Note Records by Jason Kottke:

In part 2 of Earworm’s series on jazz, Estelle Caswell talks to producer Michael Cuscuna about the iconic album covers of Blue Note Records.
I> Inspired by the ever present Swiss lettering style that defined 20th century graphic design (think Paul Rand), Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, particularly during the hard bop era, and gave it a definitive visual identity through album covers.
The covers were the work of Reid Miles, who was paid $50 per cover but later landed a gig making ads for the likes of Coca-Cola to the tune of $1 million per year. Here are a few of the covers designed by Miles for Blue Note:
Miles Blue Note Miles Blue Note Miles Blue Note Miles Blue Note

Crazy stylish. I love these covers and the ones that stole liberally from them..

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On Not Living Forever

feedproxy.google.com/~r/thesimpledollar/~3/UrWwGkKtfZg/

Marcus Aurelius on not living forever

“Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” – Marcus Aurelius

It is so easy to put off the “urgent but not important” things until tomorrow. I can call my mom tomorrow. I can tell my wife I love her tomorrow. I can spend quality time with my kids tomorrow. 

The thing is, tomorrow might never come. Tomorrow, I might not be here. Tomorrow, my wife might not be here. My kids. My mom.

This is true for almost everything of importance in our lives, especially those things we deem “not urgent.” It’s so easy to put off the things that aren’t screaming for our focus. 

There are few things you will do that will wind up being more meaningful than intentionally taking time each day to mark off a few of those “important but not urgent” things. Give your spouse a hug and a kiss and whisper that you love them. Give your kids a hug, turn off your cell phone, and spend a couple of hours with them. Call your mom and actually listen. Read that challenging book on your nightstand. Volunteer for that charity.

You won’t regret it.

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Coach Rav’s 23 Life Choices

Coach Rav’s 23 Life Choices by :

I saw an article about George Raveling recently in the Daily Stoic newsletter. Raveling – known as Coach Rav to many, has a pretty remarkable history. And an even better life philosophy that fits very nicely with #GiveFirst.
On his website, he has a page titled 23 Life Choices That Are In Your Control. It’s delightful and follows.
> 1. Be YOU, not them.

Solid idea poorly phrased.

> 2. Do more, expect less.

I’m ≠ sure about the message. I think it’s to be net positive, but do more than what or who? Expect less from what or who?.

> 3. Be positive, not negative.

That is, unless negativity is a positive. In Stoicism we talk about negative visualizations, which are valuable. In business, thinking about the worst things that can happen feeds into resiliency.

> 4. Be the solution, not the problem.

I would change this to something like “don’t spend time creating roadblocks”.

> 5. Be a starter, not a stopper.

Throwing a flag on this one. It’s ≠ hard to think of scenarios where stopping is the best thing.

> 6. Question more, believe less.

Trust, but verify.

> 7. Be a somebody, never a nobody.

Be somebody, yes. ≠ “A” somebody

> 8. Love more, hate less.

How is this not a duplicate of #20?

> 9. Give more, take less.

Yes

> 10. See more, look less.

Yes

> 11. Save more, spend less.

I would add “value more” to this.

> 12. Listen more, talk less.

Assuming your job isn’t talking for a living.

> 13. Walk more, sit less.

The science is inconclusive. Mix things up.

> 14. Read more, watch less.

I prefer “Learn more, mindlessly consume less.”, but better phrased.

> 15. Build more, destroy less.

Nope. Maybe in general, but not always.

> 16. Praise more, criticize less.

Nope. Honest feedback is necessary.

> 17. Clean more, dirty less.

Nope.

> 18. Live more, do not just exist.

Amen!

> 19. Be the answer, not the question.

I have no idea what this means.

> 20. Be a lover, not a hater.

I no longer hate Brussels sprouts yet I also do not love them. Instead, I advise making your hate a finite, limited resource. Spend it well. Otherwise, run the gamut from dislike to love without assigning more emotion than is needed.

For example, I fondly remember the Star Trek movies 1-5. The next batch had moments. The reboot put me to sleep – I actually fell asleep every time I tried to watch it. Other people love the new Star Trek. Great for them! I’m obviously not losing sleep over the reboot, but also it has zero impact on me.

I have more important things to deal with than what some mega-corporation does with a massively popular commercial property they own.

But I digress.

> 21. Be a painkiller, not a pain giver.

I disagree with this one. Sometimes the best thing you can do for another person is to tell them a hard truth they chose not to acknowledge.

> 22. Think more, react less.

Assuming one has the luxury of time, this is good.

> 23. Be more uncommon, less common.

I don’t know what this means.

If you just skimmed the list, I encourage you to go back and read it again. To slow down and really savor it, read each line out loud and then ponder what you are doing to make that choice on a daily basis.

There is some useful stuff in here, but don’t expect a treasure trove of insight. I’m poking holes in some of them because they are platitudes too generically bland to be useful in real life. However, the overall ideal is one we all should embrace more often.

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“Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
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(Emacs+Org-Mode) Share Links To Emacs Initialization Files With Minimal Effort!

(Emacs+Org-Mode) Share Links To Emacs Initialization Files With Minimal Effort! by :

I love reading all kinds of Emacs configuration files ranging for super refined to just starting out. For example caisah has a list of loads of stellar examples. However the only way to get added to that list is for your configuration to be notable. That is a pretty high bar for people just starting out. New people also usually have the freshest ideas though and they challenge the status quo of what we currently consider “the best”. All of those perspectives are valuable so I wanted to create a simple list that can include all of them.
Here it is.
So far I put my favorites in there. Since caisah’s list is so stellar, I would probably import those next. After that I’m most curious about configurations that either don’t use any packages from ELPA, or that were written for old Emacs versions maybe version 23 and below.

Good resource, for sure.

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Apple News is Secretly Really Great

Apple News is Secretly Really Great by Ben Brooks:

I am a news junkie, and a completionist. That combination means the day I discovered RSS and, specifically at the time Google Reader, was the peak of my news obsession. It’s been downhill since then.
While I still use RSS, most sites now abuse RSS in egregious ways. They randomly republish their entire feeds every month, or they don’t offer feeds for the ‘latest’ content instead forcing you to go find categories to subscribe to. Some flat out ignore RSS, instead telling you how great their miserable newsletter is.
And then Apple came out with Apple News and it was to be great. It was a visual RSS reader with Flipboard like aspects. But the reality was far worse, and though they tried, Apple News seemed destined for failure. However, over the past year Apple News, now just ‘News’ has become secretly really great.
Allow me to explain&

Ben does his typical thoughtful job on this. My experience largely reflects his. I am disappointed that Apple News pulled down the Washington Post’s story about Australian Cardinal George Pell’s guilty verdict for five counts of child sexual abuse. This I am reflecting on if and how I want to use Apple News based on this blatant bit of censorship.

Gets a Bad Wrap

Like .Mac, MobileMe, and iCloud before it, News started off like a pile of shit with good intentions, and then quietly became so good that everyone needed it pointed out that ‘actually its really good now’. When News came out, it was device specfic. Which meant that not only what you saw on one device would be different on another, but that if they were the same, the scroll position wasn’t there. News had no idea you had other devices. It had no idea what you might like.
Now it has a much better idea, and it’s pretty great. Everyday my morning reading routine goes like this:
* Check and process email
* Check RSS
* Check Apple News
* Read Economist Espresso
* Check Flipboard

I used to do the Economist Expresso but let my subscription lapse. Flipboard is dead to me. Insert the New York Times and occasionally the Japan Times.

So it is fascinating to me that the highlight of my morning is always Apple News. Flipboard is more visual, but less useful. Most of the topics are utter shit. Only “trending” seems worth the time anymore — and that’s only to stay up on pop culture, and less on interesting shit. Flipboard is mostly a wasteland.
Economist Espresso is extremely good, but short and fast to go through.
My inbox is a shit show.

Mine, too. I’m hating email newsletters because more and more spam looks like them.

RSS is hit and miss, and honestly a bit boring most days.

Sadly this is my experience as well. Using Feedly filters I can kill off some detritus in my feed, but they are limited in number.

But Apple News is where I find the majority of the stuff I read. They do an excellent job with human curation of major news. Siri does great and surfacing stories I should like, from sources I otherwise might not see. It is, like iCloud these days, rock solid.

For me, Siri is about as useful as a third nipple. I have Siri turned off almost everywhere including Apple News

How to Use It

What I have come to realize is that you can only check Apple News once per day. I know that seems counterintuitive, so allow me to explain why.
1. It’s not as frequently updated, except the human curated section which tends to be updated twice per day — so you could check that.

I get to use News because I set up my devices as U.S. even tho I am in Japan. The timing for the curating isn’t conducive to this time zone and my schedule, but oh well.

  1. Since Apple News has no ‘read’ indicator, checking it once per day allows you to ignore any story listed as ‘1d ago’ which makes the completionist in me very happy.
    Really Apple, add a read indicators already.

Yes!

Syncing Was a Big Help

One of the biggest helps was the syncing. While it doesn’t sync position, it does show the same content across devices at the same times during the day. So if I started reading on my iPad, and had to pick up on my iPhone, I’m not immediately lost.

My experience with syncing is that it isn’t flawless.

Tell it What you Don’t Like

The biggest tip: use those hearts to tell News what you like and don’t like. Don’t be shy, be aggressive with it. The content will get better. Also subscribe to a bunch of interesting publications. It will look crappy for the first few days, then Apple News will do a better job at surfacing relevant content.
Give it a week.

Give it more than a week. I have zero interest in super hero movies and tv shows yet they still surface because I like tech & sci fi.Same challenge I have with streaming music and video services – they make assumptions they won’t let go of.

Save to Read Elsewhere

Don’t read in Apple News, use it to find good stuff. Save the rest to Pocket. Pocket is the best. Tap, hold, Pocket.

I go back & forth on Pocket. Right now I avoid it mostly over my displeasure with Mozilla (another long story). In its place I’m loving DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go more and more.

Annoyingly Some Sites Force News Only Articles

Speaking of saving to Pocket, some articles seem to only be able to be read in Apple News. Be prepared for this extreme annoyance. It happens to me about 2-3 times a week.

Go Use It

It’s free, so really there’s nothing holding you back from using it. Read it in portrait on your iPad for the best experience — which also applies to most things in life.
Enjoy.

I wish there were a way to filter out news sources or articles that don’t provide full content.

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David Byrne Creates a Playlist of Eclectic Music for the Holidays: Stream It Free Online

David Byrne Creates a Playlist of Eclectic Music for the Holidays: Stream It Free Online by Colin Marshall:

Whose music do you put on when the holiday season comes around? Perhaps musicians like Lonnie Holley, Gurrumul, Erkin Koray, and Juan Luis Guerra? Maybe you’ve just thrilled with recognition at one or more of those names, or maybe you’ve never heard of any of them — but in either case, you should get ready for a highly unconventional holiday experience featuring their songs and those of many others, all of them curated by David Byrne. Each month the peripatetic, oft-collaborating musician and former Talking Heads frontman posts a new playlist on Radio David Byrne, and the latest, “Eclectic for the Holidays,” will get us into a kind of seasonal spirit into which we’ve never got before.
“So… who recommends this stuff to me?” Byrne asks. “I’ve known Lonnie Holley as an artist for quite some time. I saw him do a show at National Sawdust not too long ago with trombonist Dave Nelson, who toured with St. Vincent and I a few years ago.”
“I heard an orchestral interpretation of this song by Gurrumul when I was waiting to do an interview at the radio station in Melbourne, Australia. I asked, ‘Whose music is that?'” “Erkin Koray I heard after first hearing Barış Manço, who may have been recommended by some friends in Istanbul when I was there years ago… Turkey had a serious psychedelic period.” “Juan Luis Guerra may have been recommended many years ago by music journalist Daisann McLane at a music festival in Cartagena, Colombia.”
The 41-song journey that is “Eclectic for the Holidays,” which you can stream below or on Byrne’s official site, offers not just a chance to happen upon intriguing artists you’d never come across before — as happened to Byrne in all those chance encounters that went into its construction — but a break from the same fifteen or twenty songs that have long dominated the holiday-season rotation in homes and public spaces around the world. The holidays themselves teach us that tradition has its place, but Byrne, whose compulsion to discover new music from an ever farther-flung range of societies and subcultures, shows us that you can’t let them get you comfortable enough to close your ears.

This will both delight and enrage my brother!

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