Back into the swing of things

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here on my blog, so it’s time to get back into the swing of things with this post.

Here’s what’s been going on. We sold our house in Southern California and moved across the country to our house in New Jersey. The entire process has been all consuming and stressful. If you’ve ever sold your house and moved across the country you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ll spare you all the grisly details.

We are sort of settled into our New Jersey house. It has been mostly empty for the past 15 years so we have a few fixer-upper projects both inside and out. We’re tackling them one by one. We are still waiting for the moving company to deliver our belongings. It should only be a few more days.

We now have internet. It was installed yesterday so now I’ll be able to get back to my writing and blogging.

Ulysses crashes when opening a .docx file

Yesterday I tried to open a .docx document in Ulysses on my iMac. I figured it must be okay since Ulysses was listed in the right click Open With Menu. Doing so crashed the app big time. After that every time I tried to open Ulysses it would immediately crash. I uninstalled reinstalled the app and it still crashed.

Next, I tried using Ulysses on my MacBook and the same thing happened. So I’m thinking Oh Shit now what do I do. All my documents are in Ulysses and it is crashing every time I open it.

As a last resort I opened Ulysses on my iPad and coincidentally it opened in the Inbox which contained the .docx document that I originally tried to open.  On a flyer, I deleted the document and emptied the trash.

That fixed it. Now everything is working normally again. For some reason, that document was crashing the app.

I found this about opening .docx files in Ulysses.

When you tap and hold the file, you’ll get prompted with a list of apps available for opening it on your iPhone. Choose Ulysses, and the file will be imported as a Ulysses sheet into your library’s inbox.

According to this blog post opening a .docx file in Ulysses is doable but I won’t be doing it anymore.

#deletefacebook

Since the Cambridge Analytica news broke “deletefacebook” is trending. It appears users are leaving the social network in big numbers. They have figured out that Facebook is nothing more than a mass surveillance machine. Their service is not to make life better, as they would have you believe, but instead to gather as much information about you as they can and then sell it for targeted ads and services. That’s their core business model of collect, store, analyze, and exploit.

I found John Biggs TechCrunch article #deletefacebook worth sharing. It’s about his realization that Facebook’s having so much of his personal information is a liability.

Facebook is using us. It is actively giving away our information. It is creating an echo chamber in the name of connection. It surfaces the divisive and destroys the real reason we began using social media in the first place – human connection.

It is a cancer.

I’ve begun the slow process of weaning myself off of the platform by methodically running a script that will delete my old content.

I encourage you my reader to #deletefacebook. I would but I’ve never had an account so I have nothing to delete.

Feeds I follow

Some of the most interesting Apple-related technology feeds that I follow are smaller blogs run by individuals rather than the bigger news blogs like iMore, 9to5 Mac, and MacRumors.

Here are some of my favorites:

There’s one thing in Bear app that really bugs me

Last September I wrote about making a permanent move from nvALT to Bear for notes and lists. Since then I have gone all in with Bear. The first year of my Pro subscription was up in December and I renewed it for another year without hesitation.

Now I’m experimenting with Bear as my app for writing blog posts and other short-form writing projects. This may or may not last but for now, it’s what I’m doing.

But, there’s one thing that really bugs me.

In markdown compatibility mode using the double asterisk syntax or ⌘B for bold at the beginning of a line inserts a line separator. It’s really irritating. This happens in both the iOS and macOS versions of the app. This is not a new bug. It’s been around for as long as I can remember.

I have reported this twice. It’s still not fixed. I know Shiny Frog knows about it because Shiny Frog has acknowledged my bug reports and I’ve seen complaints about it on Twitter.

Please Shiny Frog, when will this bug get fixed?

“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral

Nick Bilton, writing for Vanity Fair

There’s another theory floating around as to why Facebook cares so much about the way it’s impacting the world, and it’s one that I happen to agree with. When Zuckerberg looks into his big-data crystal ball, he can see a troublesome trend occurring. A few years ago, for example, there wasn’t a single person I knew who didn’t have Facebook on their smartphone. These days, it’s the opposite. This is largely anecdotal, but almost everyone I know has deleted at least one social app from their devices. And Facebook is almost always the first to go. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sneaky privacy-piercing applications are being removed by people who simply feel icky about what these platforms are doing to them, and to society.

And then there’s the main reason I think people are abandoning these platforms: Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves, with its algorithms that can predict if we’re going to cheat on our spouse, start looking for a new job, or buy a new water bottle on Amazon in a few weeks. It knows how to send us the exact right number of pop-ups to get our endorphins going, or not show us how many Likes we really have to set off our insecurities. As a society, we feel like we’re at war with a computer algorithm, and the only winning move is not to play.

Facebook only cares about Facebook not it’s users. I’m happy to see folks are starting to delete their Facebook accounts.