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    An Introduction to Mad Max

    I recently saw a film poster to Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga - so I thought I’d might watch Mad Max: Fury Road again. I think I remembered it being pretty good - but after rewatching it, I thought: “Uhm, I think this is the best film I’ve ever seen??"

    So I’ve spent some time the last two weeks getting into the Mad Max Franchise. I’ve always known about it, but never really had a relationship to it. But now I’m a fan!

    This post is a part of a sort-of series I'm calling "Noob teaching noobs". So I absolutely don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to Mad Max, or films in general!

    I’m not going into why Fury Road is so amazing here. Instead I’m going to give some pointers on how to get into the series.

    Worth your time

    There are many famous franchises out there - but most of them take a little lifetime to get into. There’s so much Star Wars/Trek, Game of Thrones or Marvel stuff out there. But Mad Max is much more manageable, and the high notes are so great, that it’s absolutely worth your time.

    You can absolutely just watch Fury Road, without doing anything else before it. If you’re going that route, you can read this little footnote for a tiny bit of background. 👉🏻 1

    I watched Fury Road blind, and then went back to the three old ones - but it could also be fun to simply watch them in chronological order!

    Mini reviews of the first three

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    Micro.blog's Amazing New Reply Feature

    Both Micro.blog, and the Fediverse at large, sometimes feel like they’re just a few puzzle pieces away from being really great. And recently, Micro.blog added one of those pieces!

    Because, you could already follow my blog, via the username @havn@micro.blog, on things like Mastodon. And if you saw one of my posts on your timeline, you could comment on it directly. However, it was a bit difficult to comment on it from the website here. But look at this beautiful piece as the bottom of my posts now:

    And when you click through one of the links, you get sent back to the post and can add your comment.

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    Why I Use Fastmail

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    A couple of months ago, I “recruited” a friend to use the e-mail service Fastmail. And today, in a group chat, I “bragged” about me getting paid a sweet 50 cent (like it’s my birthday) for this! 1 🙌🏻

    One of my friends, obviously very impressed by my business acumen, asked “Well, what’s your pitch for Fastmail?” — and this post is my answer to him! And if I’m lucky, I’ll get a whole dollar next month. 🙏🏻

    The Fastmail logo.

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    Lovely Attention to Detail

    I love unnecessary details. I know that, for many people, this has about zero value. But even if it doesn’t serve a function (and there is an argument for the example in the video below having a function), small things like this simply brings joy. For instance, my mom’s car is nicer than mine - and one of the small things, is that the thump you get when you close the door, is so much nicer! And software can give this feeling as well.

    Video from Quinn Nelson's (Snazzy Labs) Threads account.

    Two quick tips for apps (that I’ll write more about later) that has excellent feel: Bike and Paper

    I mean, just look at the way the text moves in Bike! 😍

    Lead Paint Is Amazing

    On “Usefulness” and “Harmfulness”

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    Why are people so down on putting lead in paint? I mean, as Wikipedia puts it:

    Lead is added to paint to accelerate drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. (…)

    (…) very popular with artists because of its density and opacity; a small amount could cover a large surface.

    And about the alternatives:

    Titanium white has far greater opacity and tinting strength than lead white, and it can easily overpower most other pigments if not mixed carefully. Titanium white has been criticised for leading to “chalkiness” in mixtures.

    Zinc white dries slowly and creates a relatively inflexible paint film. Critics of the pigment argue that its use leads to excessive cracking and delimitation, even when used sparingly.

    Why the hate for the great technology that is lead paint!?

    Well, the answer is pretty simple: “Usefulness” and “harmfulness” are completely independent spectres.

    I see this conflated a lot in discussions surrounding AI: People who are wary of the harm transformer models can cause, often also call them “useless hallucination machines”. And others, will respond to the claims of harm by pointing to the usefulness.

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    A Simple Embroidery Design

    There’s a first time for everything

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    My wife has received an embroidery book from her grandma, and wanted to give a little gift to her from it. She liked this heart in it - but wanted to make it large enough to be able to write “Mormor” inside of it. 1

    She has a lot on her plate, so I wanted to help. So here’s my scaled up adaptation.

    I'm working on adding lazy loading to the images on this site - so I thought a little thing like this would be a nice way to test it. Please let me know if you find some image bugs!

    The app and process

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    Yes, the iPad Pros Needed to Be Thinner

    I won’t be buying the new iPads, as I’ll keep rocking my 11-inch 2018 (with Magic Keyboard). But one thing has been bugging me about the early coverage of the new models, that I wanted to address. 1

    Because, when I watched the Keynote and saw that the new iPad Pro models were thinner and lighter, I immediately went “Nice!”. But I kept seeing (and hearing) comments like this, here exemplified by David Pierce (whom I really like!) on The Verge: 2

    Basically, the point is, “Who asked for this? Why not make it thicker and increase the battery life?” Nilay (Patel) agrees with this — but then, six(!) minutes later, answers the question: 3

    So yeah, not a long time between them not understanding why they made it thinner and lighter, and complaining about it being too thick and heavy…

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    Game Changing CSS Trick (for Noobs Like Me)

    OK, I just learned a brilliant CSS technique I wish I knew about much sooner! This is probably old news for most of you wizards out there - but maybe this little post can be useful for some fellow newbies?

    This is one of my "Noob teaching noobs" posts. Some experts are excellent teachers - but not all. Hopefully, these posts can be helpful due to their layman nature, but please contact me if I'm misinforming!


    Here are some examples of selectors I could see myself using:

    h1 {} -> Styling Header 1 (h1) elements.

    h1:hover {} -> Style when hovering h1.

    h1::after {} -> A pseudo-element (like a line) related to h1.

    h1:hover::after {} -> The pseudo-element when I hover over h1.

    h1 a {} -> A link (a) within an h1 element.

    h1 a:hover {} -> When I hover over one of those links.

    .page-content h1:hover {} -> When I hover an h1 that’s within .page-content.

    Put into context, I could do:

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    Make a Click Wheel Mode for the Apple TV Already!

    In this week’s episode of the excellent Hemispheric Views podcast, the hosts discussed features they’d (more or less seriously) like to see make a return in their technology. One of the picks was the Click Wheel, which Apple, in the infamous Apple Watch reveal, mentioned in the same sentence as other great input methods, such as the mouse, multitouch screens and the 💫Digital Crown™️💫.

    Still, it’s mostly forgotten since then — but actually almost got some love when they updated the Apple TV remote.

    The previous Apple TV remote next to the new one, on a nice wooden table.

    Image by The Verge.

    Now, I’m actually one of the dozen of people who didn’t mind the previous Apple TV remote (the one on the left in the image above). Still, I agree that the new one is an improvement. But what’s really bothering me about the new one, is that they’re so close to making it great.

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    What if the Floorp Icon Actually Looked Like Piano Keys?

    Floorp is an interesting Firefox fork, with a questionable name and logo.

    Floorp's logo and name. The logo is a blue and purle hexagon, with a sort of white F made with negative space in the middle.

    Yesterday, someone on Reddit, posted “Floorp’s logo looks like piano keys”. And here’s the thing: I’ve been thinking the same, but at the same time there was something wrong. I’m not a pianist, but I’ve played with them enough to notice the problem. Let’s rotate the Mac icon, and compare with an actual piano:

    An overview of a piano.

    Image from takelessons.com.

    The “double-sized” black key to the right was the culprit! 1 However, notice that there sometimes is two white keys next to each other. (This will be important later.)

    But this made me think: What if the logo looked like a piano?

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    Why Smart Bulbs > Smart Switches

    I really like my smart light setup — and later I will write a guide on how I set it up. (I promise!) But in this post, I want to explain why I think smart light sources are a better option than smart switches (with regular light sources).

    (Click here to go to the TL;DR!)

    Some notes on costs

    Smart lights ain’t cheap. And while I will argue that I don’t think going for smart switches is that much cheaper than smart light sources — my main focus is on what gives the best smart light experience. And then it’s up to each person to evaluate what feels “worth it”, or even possible, to them and their budgets.

    I also think the experience is way better if you get the consistency of having (more or less) every light in your home be smart — so keep that in mind as well. I’m not arguing against those who say “Yeah, I only wanted these four lights to be smart, and then it was cheaper to go for a couple of smart switches”. What I am arguing against is those who say going for smart switches is better than smart light sources — and hopefully giving some valuable insights to those who haven’t decided yet.

    Why smart lights at all, though?

    Images from Philips.

    To me, there are three main reasons (in no particular order):

    1. In my apartment, I have some light switches that are in idiotically placed. I also have several lights I wish had more than one switch. So the fact that I can easily place switches wherever I want, by just sticking a little button to the wall (or whatever), is very nice. And so is the fact that it’s trivial to have one switch control several lights, or have several switches controlling one light.
    2. I want nothing to only be controllable by my phone. But I do think it’s nice that I can use it to control my lights — even when I’m not home. I also like that I can create automations, like turning off the lights when I leave.
    3. I really, really like to vary the colour temperature of my lights throughout the day.

    The two approaches to smart lights

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    Working on the blog rewrite today! So if anyone happens to visit, you can pretend I’m doing the «Naked CSS Naked Day" thing a bit late. ☺️

    Anyone Else Feel Like They Should Use Firefox

    … but Still Struggle With It?

    This post was originally (and still is) a forum post on the MPU forums. I have two concrete question blocks I’d love feedback on, which I will present during the post. I would love to hear from you, either over at MPU, as a comment to this post on Micro.blog, via Mastodon, or email. 🙂


    I’d like to talk about browsers! And people are of course welcome to comment whatever they want — but some notes on what my intentions for this discussion are:

    1. For reasons, I’ll touch on later, this is mostly about desktop browsers.
    2. In terms of privacy and security, I’m approaching this from a reality where 65% of people use Chrome. So in this context, vastly improving the privacy from that, is more interesting than saying someone is a gullible idiot if they don’t use a Tor browser. 😛 So while I’m not saying those things shouldn’t be part of the discussion at all, I’d like to talk more about user experience and features than hardening if you catch my drift. 1

    OK, let’s go!

    Ethics are always difficult to discuss. Because while I think everyone should be mindful of the small things we should do to improve things, people have different priorities and possibilities. And where should we draw the line while consumers in a problematic system? Like, I should probably use a Fairphone over an iPhone even though it’s worse, right? How much worse should I accept? How hard should I pull away from things like Facebook or X?

    Screenshot from the Fairphone website: “Your phone can do better: We make fair(er) phones - To change the industry from the inside. One step at a time, all over the world. Together with our community, we’re changing the way products are made. Here’s how we’re disrupting the tech space. About us button. What it means to be fair:"

    Still, I’m at least trying to try — and as the browser is perhaps the most used app, the choice of it is among the things I’m thinking about.

    And here’s why I feel like I should use Firefox:

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    The Case for Soulver, and an App Between a Calculator and a Spreadsheet

    The iOS counterpart of Soulver 3 just released — and is being discussed a bit over at the (excellent) Mac Power Users forum.

    This post is (mostly) an answer to the following post there:

    Soulver is a fun app to do simple math, but it is no substitute for a spreadsheet. Can it do any of this Numbers - Function list - Apple (AU)?

    Can it graph data?

    So I would buy it again if it was cheaper, but $35 for the Mac app plus another $34 for the iOS apps is definitely not worth it to me. I’ll keep using my free, constantly improving Numbers app.

    Plus it took 5 years to finally recreate the iOS apps? Seriously? Why would I trust this developer after borking a perfectly good iOS app and taking so long to finally add it back to the App Store.

    I think you’re misunderstanding

    … what Soulver is trying to be,

    even though you mention “a fun app to do simple math”.

    When discussing solving math problems, different complexity levels make us turn to different tools. I’d say it usually looks something like this:

    • Very simple → In your head
    • Simple → A calculator (app)
    • Medium to complex → A spreadsheet app

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    A Way To Get a Fancy Link Hover Effect

    Jarrod, of (the great blog) HeyDingus.net, wanted to do something about the way his links appear on his website. He asked:

    Since the first design of my site, I’ve stuck with blue text for my hyperlinks because that always seemed canonical with the web. Links = blue text, blue underline. But I’ve grown less certain with its readability with all that blue text interspersed. I’m considering a change. What do y’all think?

    Two screenshots he added, that shows links with either blue text and underline, or just blue underline.

    One thing he didn’t mention there, is that he also has a nice hover effect, that changes the underline to a gradient (that matches his logo and more) on hover.

    A GIF of the aforementioned hover effect.

    My first idea for how to solve it sacrificed the gradient — but that just wouldn’t do. But I think I found a pretty good solution in the end!

    The solution and how to implement it

    The text is white and underline blue before hover. When I hover, the underline fades away, and the text fades to having the gradient on itself.

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    Advice for How To Make Sure You Never Create Anything

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    Are you sometimes at risk of creating? Personally I, from time to time, come very close to writing something, so my advice here is geared towards that. However, it can hopefully be extrapolated to help you if you’re tempted by other creative endeavours as well.

    • If you get an idea while writing a post, you should always finish this new idea before finishing the original one. This, of course, cascades to new ideas you get while working on the second one, etc.
    • This also applies to expansions within an idea. You can always increase the scope of a project!
    • Let every piece of work be your Magnum Opus.
    • However, if as much as a single piece of your idea doesn’t materialise quite like how you wanted it to, scrap the entire thing. No matter how much work you’ve put into it, and no matter how much value there’s still left.
    • Don’t post anything, unless you’ve covered every nuance, use case and possible objection. Don’t post ideas or thoughts — post rigorous conclusions.
    • You can’t mention a concept/item without also explaining everything about it, in case someone isn’t familiar.

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    A Shortcut for lite-youtube-embed

    YouTube embeds take up way too much on a site - so luckily someone has made lite-youtube-embed.

    “Renders faster than a sneeze.”

    Provide videos with a supercharged focus on visual performance. This custom element renders just like the real thing but approximately 224× faster.

    First you have to include some CSS and JS on your site. 1 And then when you want to embed a video, you could just add this piece to your post/page:

    <lite-youtube videoid="CItvhGl__Mk" playlabel="Play: Beatenberg - Wheelbarrow (Official Music Video)"></lite-youtube>
    

    This will embed the video, but over 200x faster - nice!


    However, you have to manually add the videoid and the video title.

    And they’ve also made a variant named “Pro-usage: load w/ JS deferred (aka progressive enhancement)”, which I think is even more optimised. But then you have to add all of this:

    <lite-youtube videoid="CItvhGl__Mk" params="controls=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1" style="background-image: url('https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CItvhGl__Mk/sddefault.jpg');">
      <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CItvhGl__Mk" class="lty-playbtn" title="Play Beatenberg - Wheelbarrow (Official Music Video)">
        <span class="lyt-visually-hidden">Play Video: Beatenberg - Wheelbarrow (Official Music Video)</span>
      </a>
    </lite-youtube>
    
    That’s a lot of manual work for each video!

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    Why I Don’t Love Web Apps

    And a call for help

    I absolutely get why companies make web apps instead of native apps. Why juggle tons of platforms and languages if you don’t have to? Furthermore, being on the web makes you free from platform gatekeepers!

    It can also benefit users, by giving the same experience everywhere, making more software cross-platform and accessible on more niche platforms, and more.

    And if a developer has 100 hours to develop a client for their service, the user experience very well might be better if they spent all of it on a web app, instead of spending 25 hours on four different native clients.

    There’s also a bunch of terrible native (or “native”) apps. One example is phone apps that simply are terrible web wrappers that just want to be able to track and notify you more than they can in a web browser. 1

    A bar chart that compares software quality of &lsquo;Web apps&rsquo; and &lsquo;Native apps’. There are bad and great apps of both kinds, but the ceiling of the latter is higher.

    When I say that I prefer native apps, I don’t mean that there are no great web apps (like Figma) or bad native apps. My point is that the ceiling of the latter is higher, and that all the best apps I’ve tried are native.

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    Chromium and Nested Backdrop-Filters

    If you’re like me, you sometimes get these small (often technical) problems, that you work on for so long — and you refuse to surrender.

    I had this with CSS a couple of months ago:

    I had a menu, that had transparency and blur, and then I also had a submenu that I wanted to have the same. But the submenu just. wouldn’t. blur!

    It works perfectly in Gecko and WebKit — but after countless hours, I found the problem: If an element has a backdrop-filter, Chromium won’t let its children have it as well. 1

    I had to design around it, and moved on with my life.

    A few moments later…

    I recently moved to Micro.blog. And one day I was scrolling down my timeline…

    Scrolling the timeline, with a picture of a great sunset making a nice blur below the header.
    Ooh, look at that nice blur!

    Then I opened the submenu:

    When opening the submenu, you can see that the blur effect isn't on it - so that you see way too much of the text beneath.
    Motherføcker!

    There it was — the same bug! I’m not alone!

    The fix

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    ✉️ To SigmaOS’ CEO: This Is What I Don’t Like About Arc’s Direction

    I really, really like the Arc browser. But as I alluded to in this post, I have some reservations regarding it, and don’t feel like it’s going in a direction that I like. In the post, I said that I might try SigmaOS again — and I am. 1

    I mentioned this in their community Slack, and their CEO, Mahyad, asked me what about Arc’s direction I don’t like. I must say, the dev team seems very active, nice, and open to input! So this post is my reply to his question.

    (And here’s a link straight to the TL;DR at the bottom.)


    Hi, Mahyad — and thanks for asking! I wrote a blog post called «I Just Want A Nice Browser!», which might give you a hint, heh.

    And let me also say that I’m a bit worried about your direction as well — but I’ll come back to that. 😉

    Two fundamentals I don’t love, but that I don’t need to go too much into

    1. I don’t love that Arc is built on Chromium — as I think Google has more than enough power over the web as it is.
    2. I’m not against supporting any VC funded company — but in combination with an unclear business model, I become more skeptical and worried if our incentives align. 2

    My main issue, though, is regarding AI

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