Here is the Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #6 for January of 2021. For this first issue of 2021, I made a few visual and formatting tweaks as Substack allows for a bit more control on that front.
Now, let’s start with this month’s post highlights.
Highlights from my microblog
- Are you documenting your life with journaling apps like DayOne? Some people do have a rigorous routine.
- As much as I love my new M1-based Mac mini, I hate the Bluetooth connectivity issues plaguing this device. A fix is expected soon from Apple.
- Do you struggle to find a good bookmarking tool? Choices are aplenty.
- For 2020, I didn’t write a year review. Find out why.
- For 2021, I have a new writer goal: better engagement.
- Mailbrew, one service that I use a lot, received a massive update. I love it even more!
- I have a wish for social networks.
Highlights from my Medium page
- I got a pair of Apple’s AirPods Max. Read my observations.
- “You’re on mute”. After more than ten months of work from home, it seems people never learn.
- Learn how my creative energy saved me during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights from Numeric Citizen Blog
- I finally got my AirPods Max! Read my thoughts on them!
- Have you ever thought of changing the email address associated with your Apple ID? Here is how to do it.
- My story behind a 90 minutes Photowalk to nowhere.
- Are you a Twitter user? Would you like to reinvent your Twitter experience and get back some control? Read my just-published guide: “The Ultimate Twitter Tips and Tricks Guide: Mastering Twitter Lists”.
Apple tidbits worth my attention
January is usually a slow month in the Apple world. Yet, the Internet produced a few interesting tidbits.
1️⃣ The original iPhone announcement anniversary by Steve Jobs. It was in 2007. Time flies. A few of my thoughts. A great Twitter thread by Steven Sinofsky, a guy who was working for Microsoft at the time. 34 seconds of pure joy watching Steve Jobs. A great piece of tech history for sure.
2️⃣ Speaking of Steve Jobs, did you know that you can watch all of his appearances at the well-known D: All Things Digital conferences? Thanks to Walt Mossberg. Go to Apple’s Podcast with this link. Those were great moments.
3️⃣ Apple seems on the verge of undoing five years of non-sense on its MacBook Pro. Gone will be the TouchBar. Back is the MagSafe power connector. We’ll get a few more ports. And voilà, the 2021 MacBook Pro, according to mounting rumours. About the MagSafe connector's return: what happens with charging through a USB-C port? Isn’t it redundant?
4️⃣ Apple’s Q1FY21 financial results are out, and they are mind-blowing. MacStories has a nice round-up, Six Colors too. Apple’s Impeccable Timing. Apple is still the “iPhone company”, but every segment of its business is in sync and contributes to its bottom line. All numbers are up by a wide margin compared to the same period a year ago. Is Apple stoppable? Before trying to answer this question, think about Intel or IBM.
Some of my photos that came to light
The previous picture is part of a series taken during a 90 minutes Photowalk to nowhere. Read the behind the scene story.
I pushed out an update to my Numeric Citizen Visual space to mark the beginning of the new year. Some light at the end of the tunnel?
Must see photography stuff
You probably already know about Unsplash. The well-known service released a visual search feature recently, and it is pretty cool. Read my thoughts on it. Searching for a particular photo is now much easier than before. Speaking of Unsplash, the Unsplash Awards for 2020 is out! There are so many great photos on this list—my preferred one. Benjamin Suter follows.
Tempted by a mirrorless camera. Nikon updated them.
Do you know about the Insta360 camera brand? I didn’t until this month. I spent some time on their website. It is intriguing. If the pandemic was over and I had a long trip planned in front of me, I would seriously consider getting one of these cameras.
Physical Photos processing centers are closing at Costco’s. Prints are more than ever a thing of the past. When I started to be interested in photography, I remember we had to wait two weeks before getting our prints from photo processing services. Competition mounted, and the delay eventually came down to a few days. We’re in such a different world with our smartphones.
This year, Apple continues with their “Shot on iPhone” series, this time with the iPhone 12. This year again, Apple has a great photo selection to show how “great” the iPhone 12 can be. My preferred one is certainly the one from Dubai. Quite impressive.
Climate change issues
What can we expect for 2021 for the earth's climate trends? Hard to say, according to this Time article. Yet, experts have no reason to believe damaging trends to be reversed. Reduced economic activities, thanks to COVID-19, is not enough to guarantee a positive effect on climate. 📈
From probably permanent arctic ice melting to longer than usual hurricanes season, ten signs that climate change is accelerating. 🌪🌬🌊
Privacy stuff we should care about
Are you thinking of switching your messaging application? Maybe you considered Telegram over Signal? Think again. Telegram may not be as secure as advertised.
Have you ever listened to the excellent “Security Now” podcast from Twit with Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte? It is a must if you are interested in cybersecurity, security threats and vulnerabilities. I found a way to listen to this podcast every day while doing my morning walk before going virtually to work. For an IT guy like me, it is informative and… scary to hear all these stories.
As someone who values privacy protection, I decided to switch from Google Analytics to Plausible, a great alternative. Read all the details here.
January 28th was the data privacy day. I didn’t know that. Now I know, thanks to Mr. Phillip Schiller. I paid a visit to Apple’s privacy web page. What I found is a super nicely designed page with highlights of Apple’s ecosystem privacy-focused features. To me, Apple’s privacy stance is a product, not a feature. 😎
A Day in the Life of Your Data (PDF) from Apple’s privacy website is a fiction story used to elaborate on what happens to your private data in normal daily life. Really well done. And scary. ☹️
Quotes to remember
With the shift to in-house silicon, Apple has flipped the PC world on its head by offering a device that defied the conventional tradeoffs of what we've come to expect from a computer. — Basic Apple Apple on Twitter
Apple Silicon represents something entirely new. It’s built specifically to integrate with Apple products. More importantly, it enables Apple to actualize its vision for future products on its own terms. — Ken Segall
The influence of social media has created a perspective in artists that they need to produce masterful quality works in a large enough quantity so that they can be shared on an almost daily basis. this is an impossible standard that forces artists to create uninspired work. - Robert Saint Rich on Twitter
Toxic content is profitable because ads can be targeted by personal data. Ban ads like that and you remove the profit motive to shovel shit into as many eyeballs as possible. The internet will not start healing until this is done. DHH on Twitter
Today is one of those days where I can’t stop thinking that mobile technology and the social media apps it gave rise to are some of the worst things to happen to our world. — Joanna Stern
5G conspiracy theories are partly a side-effect of people hyping 5G as Radically! New! And! Amazing! rather than the boring iterative improvement in network efficiency that it mostly is. — Benedict Evans
The problem with software eating the world is that the only good software ever to exist was OS X Snow Leopard — Nilay Patel
We’re coming in on a year of using video calls to stay connected, and none of the old-line providers has stepped up their game. Webex, Skype, FaceTime, and Meet all seem stuck. Zoom is now a player, but it’s just mediocre. None of these services feels like the future. — Ken Kocienda
What’s next? I’m glad you asked!
I started the year with the goal to write a year in review at the end of 2021. For this purpose, I started taking notes in the beloved Craft application. I divided my notes into three sections: writing, personal life, photography. I can’t wait to see if I’ll keep up the required discipline for doing such a thing.
I’m trying to finish up a few feature articles. One is about Craft. It takes time. I’m back to a full-time job now after a great three-week holiday vacation. Finally, I’m mostly done with a big update to my Gurushots Tips, Tricks and cheat sheet. You can find the original version on my main blog.
1️⃣ The current pandemic will leave many indelible traces in our lives. Did you know that the 1918 pandemic had many influences on how houses are designed today? White kitchen tiles and powder rooms on the first floor are great examples. Interesting article from the Architectural Digest. As my father was an architect for his whole professional life, we used to receive these magazines at home every month. Oh, and another example of the 1918 pandemic: radiators. I lived in an old apartment in Montreal, Canada, with one of these under each window. See the following picture.
2️⃣ For this newsletter issue, I decided to use Craft instead of Notion to gather information tidbits required for such a newsletter. I had to redo my newsletter template within Craft and copy some data from Notion to Craft. The process was a bit tedious. It’s the only way for me to compare both tools. So far, I prefer Craft over Notion for this purpose.
3️⃣ The expert. Watch this funny video. I’m the expert, just like him, in my daytime job. Not always funny, if you ask me.
4️⃣ Final thought.
5️⃣ I'm not too fond of meetings. In fact, if meetings were productive, I would love them. But…
This concludes the Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #6 for January of 2021. I would love to get your feedback and read your comments. Thanks for being a subscriber. Thanks for reading! 🙏🏻