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In Brief

They deserve better

The best part of the past 10+ years of running @chswx has been the opportunity to partner with the National Weather Service to disseminate their message. These are fine, fine public servants who deserve much better than 27 days and counting of government shutdown and no paychecks.

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In Brief

Breaking news: Facebook remains terrible.

Meteorologist Kevin Selle, who recently terminated his Facebook account, put it best on WeatherBrains recently: “Facebook has us by the balls of our friends and family.”

And boy do they know it.

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In Brief

I’ve become a big Reminders guy over the last year or two, particularly using recurring reminders, and was wondering how to clear out the old, completed ones which were piling up in a hurry. Six Colors has a nice tutorial on how to do so, as well as some links to AppleScripts to make this happen automatically.

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In Brief

micro.blog: Maybe this federated social network could actually work

So micro.blog certainly looks interesting — it’s essentially a RSS aggregator that heavily relies on things like microformats to produce a Twitter-like timeline from disparate sources. Thing I like about this approach is that I can just feed RSS directly to it, no problem, and I can leverage my own site that much more. Promising…

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In Brief

iOS 11 Public Beta PSA

iOS 11’s public beta came out earlier this week; I installed it yesterday. I do this not only because I like having the new features early, but also because Apple makes it super-easy to get feedback to their developers.

If you are thinking about running the beta (or are already doing so), keep this in mind (from the perspective of a software engineer):

  • Expect bugs. There are plenty of them.
  • If you absolutely rely on your hardware to get your work done, this is not for you. Wait for the final release.
  • If you find bugs, file them. This is your responsibility as a tester. The engineers at Apple need your feedback. Use Feedback Assistant early and often — it’s a really great reporting tool and only takes 5-10 minutes of your time. Give detailed bug reports, with clear reproduction steps if at all possible. Use screenshots liberally, and use the built-in screen recording tool (available via Control Center) to your advantage here, too.
  • Ensure feedback is constructive. There are people on the other end of your message, and you bet they are reading these reports.
  • “It’s broken” is not a bug report. It’s a colossal waste of time.
  • If your third-party apps have problems, don’t berate the engineers of those apps. File reports within Feedback Assistant; Apple will pass them along.
  • Have fun. The Summer of Bugs is not for the faint at heart, but it can be pretty rewarding!
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In Brief

Trump’s Tweets In Comic Sans

A Donald Trump tweet in Comic Sans, as $DEITY intended.

Make your 6:30am checks of Twitter a little more fun with this user style I created for twitter.com. It’s short and to the point — it puts all of Donald Trump’s tweets into Comic Sans. Simply install the Stylish extension for your browser to get started.

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In Brief

The end of the San Diego Chargers

Having been born in San Diego, with much of my extended family still in the area, I grew up a Chargers fan and have rooted for them all my life despite many, many frustrations with them over the years. This is not wholly unexpected but is heartbreaking just the same.

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In Brief Personal

Friday Night YouTube Video: “T.G.I. Monday” Microsoft Ad, Featuring David Bowie

I was so mesmerized by these commercials as a middle-schooler that my parents bought me a Best of David Bowie CD for Christmas back in 1998.

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In Brief Site News

What’s old is new again

I decided to dust off my Twenty Twelve child theme for jaredwsmith.com from years ago and reimplement it with a little custom CSS. The more I look at Twenty Seventeen, the more I realize just how heavy it is. My aesthetic preferences lean far more minimalistic than they used to, and I find Twenty Twelve does an excellent job at scratching this itch — even in 2016 and beyond.

I love one tweak in particular: I’m now using system fonts for WebKit and Blink-based browsers. System fonts have gotten ridiculously good in the last few years. The performance and readability benefits make sacrificing some typographical creative license absolutely worth it.

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In Brief In Pictures

Moving Day

BoomTown's old headquarters at 635 Rutledge Ave.
BoomTown’s old headquarters at 635 Rutledge Avenue.

Today, we at BoomTown said farewell to our headquarters of the last five-plus years at 635 Rutledge Avenue. When we report to work next week, we’ll be in a brand-new facility on upper King Street.

When I started at BoomTown in 2012, we had two suites of the repurposed Jabra’s grocery store. Over the ensuing few years our footprint in the building grew along with the business, and by late 2014 we had taken over all but one suite. However, we’re busting at the seams, and it’ll be great to be able to stretch our legs a little bit.

Thanks for the memories, 635. It’s been a good run.