≡ Menu

Apple buys Dark Sky

Adam Grossman:

Today we have some important and exciting news to share: Dark Sky has joined Apple.

Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.

There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.

This is a very interesting move by Apple, acquiring a weather app and not just weather, Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps in the App Store. The app still remains in the iOS Store, but it was pulled from the Android store and it will continue to function until July 1, 2020.

WordPress.org:

More ways to make posts and pages come alive with your best images. More ways to bring your visitors in, and keep them engaged, with the richness of embedded media from the web’s top services.

More ways to make your vision real, and put blocks in the perfect place—even if a particular kind of block is new to you. More efficient processes.

And more speed everywhere, so as you build sections or galleries, or just type in a line of prose, you can feel how much faster your work flows.

And:

Two new actions let you add custom fields to menu items—without a plugin and without writing custom walkers.

On the Menus admin screen, wpnavmenuitemcustomfields fires just before the move buttons of a nav menu item in the menu editor.

Haven’t give this version a try yet. Hopefully, it won’t break anything here.

Theintercept:

Zoom, the video conferencing service whose use has spiked amid the Covid-19 pandemic, claims to implement end-to-end encryption, widely understood as the most private form of internet communication, protecting conversations from all outside parties. In fact, Zoom is using its own definition of the term, one that lets Zoom itself access unencrypted video and audio from meetings.

With millions of people around the world working from home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, business is booming for Zoom, bringing more attention on the company and its privacy practices, including a policy, later updated, that seemed to give the company permission to mine messages and files shared during meetings for the purpose of ad targeting.

The usual bullshit.

It really does, unless you get yourself a free account from services like WordPress.com, Blogger1 or Tumblr, you will find yourself spending some money for the love of blogging and your branding, and of course only if you’re planning to do this seriously.

Why pay when you can get a blog for free? The short answer is branding. If you want to be taken seriously online you will need to own your brand.

Start by owning your own domain, register a domain that represents you or your company.

When it comes to the domain names, it’s recommended to get a .com, .net or even .org since those 3 are the most known on the web. Your domain will cost you around $10 bucks, depending on what domain registrar you get, from time to time Namecheap offers good deals on domain names.

The next step is getting a decent hosting provider and that can be very much a headache2 if you don’t make a wise choice. So many to choose from, you will find so many reviews online about almost all different hosting companies. I can suggest you get something cheap at firsts, but reliable, that is a must.

If I have to recommend a hosting company that would be DreamHost, ever since I switched to them, their customer services have been fantastic, the price very reasonable and the hosting has been fantastic thus far.

And then we get to the design, this is very important because your design can make you or break you. First of all, you want a unique look for the site, something that can set up apart from other sites. Your signature look that your audiences can identify abyss of the Internet.

There are so many free and premium themes available, make the right choice and do overpower your site with sidebars, widget, ads and other crap that can devalue your site.

Do your research around the web, look for the prices that work for you. Giving your audience a visual experience is important from the typography of your site to the color of your links. This site, for example, looks clean and simple but just the text cost me $100 bucks, but that’s my choice, doesn’t have to be yours. But I want my audience to enjoy a beautiful reading experience and after looking around for the perfect fonts, Whitney was the one for me but it has its price.

A good visual blog costs money, especially if you want to break away from the same standard look. Find your unique design, take your time and work with what is available for you.

  1. I don’t know anybody still using this service.
  2. I had a horrible experience with my previous hosting provider. Slow, unreliable, and didn’t support Ulysses, my favorite writing app because of some bull shit with XMLRPC.

Where is the passion?

Absolutely everything we would like to accomplish in this short life of ours requires a little bit of passion or a lot of it if you want to be at least successful in obtaining your goals.

What’s the secret?

Nothing, absolutely nothing comes easy unless it falls in your lab, but for that, you’d have to be an extremely lucky individual. But if you are a regular Joe like everyone else, hard work can only be achieved by putting in your time and effort. But you already knew that.

This post is not about me being captain obvious, is simply a reminder for whoever is reading this post to keep pushing. It is never too late to get off your ass and just do it, yeah just like that Nike slogan.

Keep in mind the Internet is full of Gurus, ebooks, online courses, and self-development blogs, that tell you how to go with your life, must is all recycled content, but guess what if you want the “big inside” you’d need to buy the secret (Boo!).

I do understand that people need to make a living to bring food home, but not at the costs of a promise. A promise is what they will sell you, the result my friends, that’s all up to you.

In other words, it cost money to get a piece of good advice from an expert online. Fuck that, before you spend a dime, commit to yourself and don’t let those so-called self-development experts monetize your pain.

Made some changes

After some time thinking about it, I finally pulled the trigger and made some substantial changes to pixelbly.com.

The most important change made overall is the content. I’ve been thinking for some time about the idea of posting more original content, instead of linked posts to other websites articles all the time.

That by itself gets very redundant and tiresome when instead this site can be the source of its own content. After all, that was the main idea behind launching this project from the start.

You can say this is a re-launched, from the ground up. Deleted almost every post, by doing so it gives me a new outlook to simply start fresh. I might re-post some content that I consider valuable for you as the reader, but the rest is now long gone. Content is king, but most importantly, your own unique content because is yours.

Looking at the bigger picture is better to rely on your own original content than point out my readers to eventually dead-end links on another site.

Of course, if I read an article and I think it will bring value to my readers, I will post it here, comment on and share it. The only difference is that I will not be relying on some else content 100%, instead, pixelbly.com should be self-sufficient by itself.

So these are the most significant changes I made to the site:

  • Deleted all previous posts (Ouch!)
  • Updated the site text back to Whiney and Sentinel.
  • Updated the 404 not found page.
  • Made some tiny changes to the about page.
  • Updated the archives page and made it cleaner and easier to navigate.
  • Remove Google analytics for Matomo.
  • The site text is now 17px.
  • Added a color background to the logo.
  • Made some security updates.

And perhaps so other changes I can’t recall as I type this post. With that out of the way. I want to take this moment to remind anyone reading this post to be inspired, find your purpose and passion. Everything single day we wake up is a new opportunity to start all over again.

What inspired me? Let me leave you with this quote here by the one and only Seth Goldin:

If not now, when?

Care a little more.

Show up.

Embrace possibility.

Tell the truth.

Dive deeper.

Seek the truth behind the story.

Ask the difficult question.

Lend a hand.

Dance with fear.

Play the long game.

Say ‘no’ to hate.

Look for opportunities, especially when it seems like there aren’t any left.

Risk a bigger dream.

Take care of the little guy.

Offer a personal insight.

Build something magical.

Keep your promises.

Do work that matters.

Expect more.

Sign your work.

Be generous for no reason.

Give the benefit of the doubt.

Develop empathy.

Make your mom proud.

Take responsibility.

Give credit.

Play by a better set of rules.

Choose your customers.

Choose your reputation.

Choose your future.

Thank the ref.

Reward patience.

Leap.

Breathe.

Because we can.

It really is up to us. Which is great, because we’re capable of changing everything if we choose.

All we can do is all we can do, but maybe, all we can do is enough.

Hello World!

Hey world, welcome to pixelbly.com. This will not be just another WordPress blog. For now, follow me on Twitter, RSS or subscribe via Email for the latest posts.

Engadget:

Apple is giving people stuck at home the chance to try out two of its professional creative applications at no cost. To start with, the tech giant is extending Final Cut Pro X’s free trial period from 30 days to 90 days. Users will still have to pay $300 for a license once it’s over, but they’ll at least have three months to master the video editing application before having to decide whether it’s worth the price.

Go to this page to get your first 90 days free.

Inputmag:

Researchers at MIT have developed a low-cost, open-source, manual respirator that could be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. The MIT Emergency Ventilator Project’s ventilator, known colloquially as “E-Vent,” transforms readily available materials like bag valve masks — used by first responders to assist people with breathing problems — into usable respirators.

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the United States’ medical infrastructure to its absolute limits. Many companies have taken to using production facilities to make more ventilators as the country waits to see if it’ll follow in Italy’s footsteps both in terms of the scale of the pandemic, and the need to begin picking and choosing which coronavirus patients receive assistance from limited quantities of life-supporting equipment.

MIT is also stepping up.

Vice:

As people work and socialize from home, video conferencing software Zoom has exploded in popularity. What the company and its privacy policy don’t make clear is that the iOS version of the Zoom app is sending some analytics data to Facebook, even if Zoom users don’t have a Facebook account, according to a Motherboard analysis of the app.

And:

But Zoom users may not be aware it is happening, nor understand that when they use one product, they may be providing data to another service altogether.

“That’s shocking. There is nothing in the privacy policy that addresses that,” Pat Walshe, an activist from Privacy Matters who has analyzed Zoom’s privacy policy, said in a Twitter direct message.

Really Facebook? Always snooping around.

Google PR:

We’ve redesigned the Google Podcasts app to make it easier to discover podcasts you’ll love, build your list of go-to podcasts, and customize your listening. To support listeners on more platforms, we’re also bringing Google Podcasts to iOS for the first time and adding support for subscriptions on Google Podcasts for Web. Regardless of the platform you’re using, your listening progress will sync across devices, and you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.

But seriously, why would anyone use an Android like podcast app for iOS?

9to5Google:

Why should anyone use Google Podcasts on iOS versus the pre-installed Podcasts app or other alternatives? Personally, I’d download it for the sake of cross-platform support. Using Google Podcasts, I’d be able to keep my same collection of podcasts as well as my place in those podcasts between an iPhone, Android smartphone, the web, and a Google Home speaker.

Guess this is a valid point, if you use both platforms.

Google are and culture:

This fragment is part of a wall showing Nebamun inspecting flocks of geese and herds of cattle. Hieroglyphs describe the scene and record what the farmers say as they squabble in the queue.

The alternating colours and patterns of cattle create a superb sense of animal movement. The artists have left out some of the cattle’s legs to preserve the clarity of the design. The herdsman is telling the farmer in front of him in the queue:

‘Come on! Get away! Don’t speak in the presence of the praised one! He detests people talking …. Pass on in quiet and in order … He knows all affairs, does the scribe and counter of grain of Amun, Nebamun’.

This is incredible, you don’t expect so much details in an ancient painting.

QZ:

Public transportation has ground to a halt.

Ridership has plunged more than 80% on major public transportation systems in European and US cities since Jan. 15, according to data from Moovit, an urban mobility app with 750 million users, a stark indication of how the coronavirus pandemic has brought urban life to a standstill. As of yesterday (March 23), journeys on transit modes tracked by Moovit—which include bus, train, subway, light rail, ride-hail, and shared mobility options like bikes and scooters—were down 86% in hard-hit Milan and Lombardy, 84% in Madrid, and 54% in the New York City metro area.

I can honestly say, NYC has been quiet this past week, the birds singing have now taken over my neighborhood street sounds, instead of the buses, car horns, etc.

This was expected due to the high streaming demand.

The Verge:

YouTube has announced that it will reduce streaming quality for users around the world, according to Bloomberg. The decision comes just one week after YouTube announced it was reducing streaming quality for users in Europe to help lessen broadband strain as more people stay home to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

By default, videos will start playing in standard definition (480p) quality, according to Bloomberg. People who want to watch videos in high definition can still do so, but they must manually select that option.

“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg.

Macrumors:

The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple is also releasing iOS 12.4.6 for older iPhones, with the update adding security improvements.

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 are significant updates, bringing several important new features to the iPhone and the iPad. Most notably, the iPadOS 13.4 update introduces mouse and trackpad support for the iPad to allow for greater precision and improved navigation.

And:

Mouse and trackpad support comes ahead of the May release of Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, which is a keyboard for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro that includes a trackpad. The update adds support for Magic Mouse, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2, and third-party USB and Bluetooth mouse options, plus it introduces multi-touch gestures when using the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2.

I haven’t downloaded yet. But is now available for everyone who wants to give it a spin.

Engadget:

Apple is trying something new to keep people’s spirits up during the coronavirus pandemic. In Apple Music, it’s introducing a new algorithmic playlist called the Get Up! Mix that the company says is full of “happy-making, smile-finding, sing-alonging music.” With the help of human editors, it will update the playlist each week with new songs. Think: Discovery Weekly, but with a focus on playing tunes that will encourage good vibes — though there’s the promise of discovering new music as well.

Don’t know how helpful this is during the current state we’re in with the Covid-19 pandemic. But anything that can help us cope is better than nothing.