Thursday, December 16, 2021

This distraction-free editor is the best writing tool you aren’t using

Somewhere along the way, I can’t say when, the corporate world got a memo that bosses were given free reign on how to rule their teams, that being in a position of power, if you so chose, allowed you to bypass the rules of civility and human decorum. Word spread fast, like rabid disease, and soon bosses to be found everywhere, in all kinds of firms, were acting with tinges of tyrannical rule. When did it become acceptable, and more importantly, why? 

Disney’s Bob Iger On How To Be A Good Manager

Keep it Locked – A special issue about protecting yourself in extreme circumstances

MakeUseOf: “Do you feel stressed due to the excessive use of computers? Find out the best ways to manage computer stress. The term “computer stress” refers to the anxiety and stress you experience when your computer works differently than expected. Almost all the work you do involves computers. That’s the reason you have to put up with a lot of stress.While it’s not possible to quit using a computer altogether, you can obviously keep the stress in control by following these tips…”

Fast Company - This distraction-free editor is the best writing tool you aren’t using – “When I started working on this story, my laptop screen consisted of nothing but empty white space—a blank canvas on which to tune out distractions and write. That’s what you get when you write in Typora, a distraction-free text editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux. With Typora, there are no ugly toolbars, superfluous collaboration options, or clumsy menus between you and your work, and the app works entirely offline. I first discovered Typora five years ago and have used it to write more than a thousand articles and newsletters since then. Typora is the product of a developer in Shanghai who goes by “Abner”—he has a day job as a software programmer and is uncomfortable publishing his name—and after seven years of development, the app has just launched out of beta. You can try it free for 14 days without any payment information, but for me it’s easily worth the $15 one-time purchase price. At this point, it’s hard for me to imagine writing with anything else…

Fortune: “As a 22-year-old who grew up in the digital age, I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp on the latest innovations in technology. But when I was first approached about taking a dive into the metaverse, I have to admit that I was still confused about what it was, and how to even get started. The metaverse is essentially a merging of virtual, augmented, and physical reality, and blurs the line between your interactions online and in real life. But broken down more simply, it’s a handful of platforms like the Sandbox, Mirandus, and Decentraland on which people can interact in different ways. Interest in it has taken off ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta, and spending at least $10 billion on the metaverse. And as more people begin to place their bets on a future embedded in the metaverse, businesses have already begun to start new ventures in this digital space.  I was able to get on Decentraland, one of the more popular metaverse platforms for users across the globe. 

To participate on most of these types of platforms, like the Sandbox, you’ll need your own crypto wallet and a Windows PC. I had neither, but since I wasn’t looking to buy or sell anything, I was still able to slowly explore the virtual world as a guest on my MacBook.  But if you’re looking for the full metaverse experience, a laptop might not be enough. While smartphones and computers are capable of handling multiplayer games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing, their processing power may be too limited to handle entire universes with millions of users. 

That’s why Facebook’s metaverse vision includes users with OculusVR headsets, or augmented reality glasses.  The first thing I had to do before stepping into the metaverse was create my avatar. The panel was loaded with options to customize my hair and eye color, clothing and even accessories. My avatar came wearing a pretty atrocious outfit, so of course, I had to change it up…”

Fortune A 22-year-old breaks down how to join the metaverse

“Built and refined in the newsroom of The Marshall ProjectKlaxon has provided our journalists with many news tips, giving us early warnings and valuable time to pursue stories. Klaxon has been used and tested by journalists at The Marshall Project, The New York Times, the Texas Tribune, the Associated Press and elsewhere

The public release of this free and open source software was supported by Knight-Mozilla OpenNewsHow Does Klaxon Work? Klaxon enables users to “bookmark” portions of a webpage and be notified (via email, Slack, or Discord) of any changes that may occur to those sections. Learn more about bookmarklets on the pageSetting up your Klaxon – Klaxon is open source software built in the newsroom of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit investigative news organization covering the American criminal justice system. It was created by a team of three—Ivar Vong, Andy Rossback and Tom Meagher—and it is subject to the kind of shortcomings any young, small side project might encounter.

 It may break unexpectedly. It may miss a change in a website, or an email might not fire off correctly. Still, we’ve found it immensely useful in our daily reporting. We want other journalists to benefit from Klaxon and to help us improve it, but keep these caveats in mind and use it at your own risk. Our team will keep hacking on Klaxon in spare moments, and we plan to keep it humming for our own use. But we think this project has the potential to help just about any newsroom. 

For it to succeed and to evolve, it will depend on the contributions from other journalist-developers. We are excited about the prospect of building a community around this project to help maintain it. So when you spot the inevitable bug, please let us know. And if you’d like to help us make this better, or add new functionality to it, we’d love to have your help…”

A jumble of oddments

In no particular order. The fantastic Maison-Bulle, designed by Joël Unal et Claude Häusermann-Costy in 1972 / the best songs of 2021 / a turntable by Brian Eno / Global Sequencer, sounds from around the world / the Mushroom Color Atlas / life inside Britain’s worst winter wonderlands / The Originals, a virtual museum of Renaults / Every Second Song, from the shortest burst of sound onwards / the Lego Build & Capture Photo Contest 2021 / related, Investing in Lego more lucrative than gold, study suggests / Yankee Candle’s Stages of Abstraction / High School High, vintage yearbooks lovingly scanned (via Meanwhile) / the Orb Simulator / a collection of awful gifts / Artifact is a blog about old media / milestones in the history of home video / Inside a hollow library book, a secret library / It Looks Like the Millennial Aesthetic Is Finally, Officially Over / Unearthed footage shows a long-gone 1960s San Francisco. Video here / The Time Traveler Who Hunted Speed Records in an EV (ignore the click-baity title).

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Why a toaster from 1949 is still smarter than any sold today. Related, The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites / Death Is Not The End, London Pirate Radio Adverts 1984-1993, Vol. 1 / The Vinyl Boom. A slightly thrown together stat quoted within: ‘A band would have to amass 450k streams on Spotify to match the profit of 100 vinyl sales’ / a riff masterclass from Buzz Osborneof The Melvins / Strong & Stable My Arse: The Ephemera Of Jeremy Deller / we love the effortlessly generated worlds of Townscaper so much / art by Kieran Gabriel / music by Fires of Denmark / a virtual BBC Micro Model B (complete with Chuckie Egg!) / a virtual shredder game (both via b3ta) / music by Black Sky Giant / coming soon, new album from Loop. Related, fan-owned memorabilia / Brutal London chess set (via The Modern House gift guide) / Mikhail Filippov, a Russian classicist, has meticulous penmanship.

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Friday round-up

Art by Bianca Wilson / Seatback Safety, a collection of airline safety cards (via Kottke) / Outdoor Recreation Catalogs & Magazines (via tmn) / Susan Kare explains Macintosh UI ergonomics on Computer Chronicles in 1984 / RIP to Virgil Abloh; as seen in Wallpaper*as seen in Vogue. One of his last, wild, designs: Project Maybach / Sarah Lipstate covers the Twin Peaks Theme for solo guitar / more abandoned earth by photographer Romain Veillon / the automotive afterlife, or where ‘old’ models go to live out their retirement / lists lists lists (which would no doubt send some commentators into a righteous rage). Fifty gifts for architecture lovers200 feelgood gift ideasTen unbuilt statement buildings / new arts and crafts at Wandering People / moral panics and media storms collected at The Pessimists Archive / Whose land am I on? Native Land Acknowledgement / Huang Yong Ping’s aluminium sea serpent.