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Musings

    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 ‘Web apps’ and ‘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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    ✉️ 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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    I Just Want a Nice Browser!

    Two sad browser stories

    I’ve followed the Spicy Takes™️ surrounding the Arc Browser recently, that started in the Ruminate podcast and went on to the MacStories Weekly Issue 408.

    And I agree with most of what John Voorhees is saying, and also Matt Birchler, who said: «The Browser Company feels gross to me right now».

    Much of it is about ethics and AI. In general I agree with them, but this subject won’t be the focus of this post. (I’ve written more about AI here and here.)

    Instead I’ll tell my browser story, and explain why both Arc and Firefox makes me sad.

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    AI Is Just Different

    The discussion around the ethics and legality surrounding AI has been a constant the last year — and it’s culminating in some important trials that’s coming up.

    I won’t go into the entire thing here — I just want to focus on a specific argument that I often hear when it comes to the way these large models are trained. It oftes goes something like: «But how is this different from how humans have always been learning and iterating on previous knowledge?» or «The information was available on the open web, so it can be used for anything!».

    I think these are terrible arguments.

    Humans are allowed into shopping malls.

    However, that’s simply not an argument for that cars should be allowed there as well — whether they’re driven by a human or autonomous.

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    I’ve been thinking way too much about music streaming the past month - so now I’ve gathered my thoughts in a blog post!

    I have an idea and dream, that I’m sadly woefully unequipped to actually build. 🙃

    It’s a cross between podcasts, Mastodon, PeerTube and the MusicKit API!

    An Idea For Better Music Streaming

    I sadly don’t have the abilities to live out this idea — at least not alone. So everyone who finds this, is welcome to steal it or riff with me!

    I’m currently trying to transfer from Spotify to Tidal. The main reason is that I want to use a service that pays artists better — and it’s a nice bonus that the sound quality is better. However, I prefer Spotify’s app and features. 1 And this inspired me to write out an idea I’ve been thinking about for a while.

    Inspired by Mastodon, Apple’s MusicKit API, Podcasts and PeerTube

    Third-party first

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    Why I Think Apple’s Fine is Fine

    Lenke til norsk versjon

    Today, Apple got hit with a €1.84 billion fine — for anticompetitive behaviour in the music streaming market.

    I’ve seen people saying this doesn’t make sense, as Spotify has a larger market share than Apple Music — but that’s not what the complaint is about. The thing is, that Apple has used their size, ecosystem and general market position to give Apple Music a larger market share than they would’ve gotten if they had to compete fairly. Apple is about 80 times the size of Spotify. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same ratio as a rhino compared to a golden retriever. 1

    The dog might have the Rhino beat on «amount of fur», but that doesn’t make it «more powerful».

    Here are some of the smaller things Apple are doing:

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    🌱 The Ethics and Principles Behind My Blog

    These are my goals: Be a pleasent place for people visiting, that respects their privacy. Be a good citizen of (a lose definition of) the indie/small web. Even though my impact is small, I can still try to make it positive. This page (and the actions taken based on it), is under constant evaluation. It’s meant as a living post. 🌱 So feel free to contact me with feedback on this - especially if I fail to meet my goals.

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    My Ergonomics Voyage: Part 1

    Prologue, and the first steps

    Lenke til norsk versjon

    I’ve been a nerd my entire 34-year-long life. So naturally, much of it has been spent in front of computers using keyboards, and I’ve never experienced any discomfort related to this.1

    I don’t know if it’s due to my age, or just the fact that I’ve worked even more than usual on keyboards, but lately, I’ve started to notice discomfort. Especially in my left hand, but a bit in my right as well. Luckily, there’s nothing anywhere else, and it’s not that bad. But I want to take action to try to stay ahead of it.

    A bit about my current situation

    The last couple of years, I’ve been working mostly in my small home office, which was OK, but not great. Just a couple of weeks ago, I finally got my own (external) office, so the situation has improved. However, I’ve been stupid, and also worked quite a bit on my laptop on our kitchen table lately.

    Here’s my current office setup:

    Apple Studio Display with height adjustable stand. iPad next to the screen. Electric standing desk. Trackpad, keyboard and numpad, with wrist rest ahead of it.

    Not visible in the photo, is my Herman Miller Aeron chair, foot rest, and standing pad.

    Good things about my setup

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    The problem with teachers being tired of change

    Lenke til norsk versjon

    I’m going to try something that I know is impossible – talking about a profession as one entity. In Norway, there are 77,000 teachers, and of course, all of us are individuals. Still, there are some things I’m pretty sure many teachers agree on: We are tired of people with little expertise telling us how to do our jobs. The pendulum swings from one side to another, so what was in vogue 30 years ago is now considered the newest hotness. Be it politicians, parents, or others – many teachers want to be left alone, and be free to do a job they’ve many years of education and experience in.

    But many have written about this before.

    I would like to point at a problem this has led to. It has, in my view, created a sort of hardness in the profession that’s made us impervious to change.

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