1 Thing A Week

Weekly posts from the mind of Charanjit Chana

Week 350: 2024 Resolution Progress

I posted a small set of resolutions for the year, so let's check in and see how I've been getting on.

Am I reading more?

The real question to ask is if I'm reading at all. In a word, no. I really need to kick this one into gear, all my reading is online these days. I really need to pick up a book (even if it's digital) and dive into something.

Attended any matches?

Yes! Three in fact! My first game of the year was to see Arsenal host Porto in the Champions League, the second was to see England play Belgium at Wembley and then in May we unexpectedly got two tickets to see Liverpool play Tottenham at Anfield. That tops anything else we might get to for the year already. Next up on my list is another England game, but ideally an afternoon one so we can all go together. The late kick offs mean we don't get home until midnight so being able to get to one and get home at a reasonable time would be great.

There's also the option of seeing the England Women's team but they're not always at Wembley and similarly timed. But yeah, I am hoping to see at least one more game this year!

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"Jackpot!" trailer

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10 Minutes of Munya Taking Down the Tory Government

If we can't laugh at the last 14 years, what can we do? It's really on the Brexit and pandemic years that are covered and with this much content from them it feels like today's election has been a long time coming.

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It's about time I tried to explain what progressive enhancement actually is

I always feel like a dinosaur when I talk about progressive enhancement, but the truth is it is how the web should work. As in, everything should just work. Andy Bell's article is worth reading twice.

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Week 349: Behind on learning modern CSS

I am so behind on getting up to speed with modern CSS this year. It continues to move at an impressive pace, especially when compared to how slowly it seemed to move in the previous two decades! But I've barely written a line of CSS at all this year if I'm honest, at least nothing much more than figuring out a few things with CSS grid.

But I have some ideas now in my mind for how I might make use of scroll driven animations, so watch this space!

View transitions are approaching 75% availability while scroll timelines aren't quite there yet... but they're coming which is really exciting.

With grid, I need to figure out sizing elements. I have manages to build out some interesting grids but having to fall back on background images as the img element seems to break out of the rows I've tried to set.

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Week 348: Shooting on film in 2024

I of course have my DSLR that I must certainly make more use of but I also have a bunch of film cameras at home too. I dug them all out and found that two had film in them.

The first is a Canon A-1 35mm camera with a slew of lenses, it had some film in which is now finished and removed. The battery was dead, but now replaced so it's ready to use.

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Climate Zones

A few weeks ago I posted about different cities at similar latitudes which held a few surprises for me. This latest project from The Pudding puts it into perspective with the different classifications and the sub-classifications and how they could change over the next 50 years.

London spefically is on course to move from 'no dry season, warm summer' to 'no dry season, hot summer' but the truth is it has felt like we are there for a few years already. Summers feel short here but they are sometimes unbelievably hot causing humans, animals and vegetation to wilt in the heat.

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£700k HWA EVO II Restomod

I had shared the HWA EVO II on Good Gear Club back in January. It's an amazing restoration project for the chassis of a classic touring car brought up to modern standards and this walk around from Top Gear goes into more details on the technical details of the car.

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Week 347: Top 4 Euro 2024 Kits

I've looked at what I consider to be the best kits at the World Cups twice now and thought it was time to look at what the Euros have to offer. The last World Cup had a pretty tame set of kits on offer. So tame, that I could only really pick two to that I thought were worth featuring.

Thankfully, all of the manufacturers have put some effort into this year's versions. Having a bit more freedom with away kits has paid off and given us something to admire out on the pitch.

Netherlands home kit

The Netherlands kit is only here because it's truly orange again. All the best things have something orange on them and this is no exception. The away kit looks more like something to train in but actually looked great in their opening game against Poland.

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How Europe's best football team vanished

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Week 346: WWDC24 – Apple Intelligence and more

Apple packed in a lot during the opening keynote for WWDC24. Here are the key bits for me from Monday's announcement.

visionOS

Straight into visionOS 2.0 where we'll see more gestures for users and tools for developers to take advantage of. There was talk of third-party hardware to capture spatial video and separately there was an announcement from Canon on their spatial lenses.

There's one bit of Apple's vision strategy I fail to understand. They knew of the Apple Vision Pro for a long time, why not align lenses up in the correct configuration before last year? It seems silly that only the iPhone 15 Pro, the Apple Vision Pro and mirrorless cameras are capable of capturing spatial videos and photos. Not that I have a device to view them on, but thinking ahead to when I may have one, I could have had a years worth of compatible photos and videos behind me already.

Thankfully, thanks to the smarts of the Apple Vision Pro, looks like it can take regular photos and, er, spatialise them.

iOS 18

The Photos app got lots of attention. I'm not sure about the all-in-one view that they're pushing forward with. I'm pretty familiar with the app as it is now so will be interesting to see how intuitive it is (or isn't) come September. At the moment I always confuse hit the For You tab when I'm looking for shared folders, which are easier to access under Albums. Hopefully this confusion is cleared up. We have shared Photostreams as a family but not a shared library. I need to figure that out some more though as it's been almost a year now and still not something I've taken advantage of but maybe I should.

The filters in Photos look to be getting more powerful. Some of it overlapped later in the keynote but hopefully all they talked about is for everyone. I tag friends and family in photos and the Photos app does a good job of recognising faces but if you don't put the effort in, how will it even know who is who?

The Home Screen

I spent so long arranging folders and widgets and icons that I have little need for the ability to arbitrarily align icons now but it's great to see that it's finally possible. Long overdue for sure and we now have the ability to make icons larger, ditching the app names underneath.

There will be dark mode icons and you'll be able to tint icons if you wish. The former is interesting, the later I couldn't care less about but I'm sure there are a lot of people who will love it.

AirPods

Shake or nod to interact with Siri is a fun addition. Only for AirPods Pro 2 (not even AirPods Max), it's a shame as it's definitely a gesture I'd use.

watchOS

Live Activities on the Apple Watch felt like an omission, especially for sports scores when the last version of watchOS came out. Happy to see that it's hear and smarter Smart Stacks too. Solid update in general and the ability to pause streaks is fantastic. Sometimes you need a rest day, you're travelling or very unwell and it's not fair that your streak suffers.

Vitals looks like an interesting feature, but not sure it will be compatible with the types of workouts I do.

iPadOS

The new floating tab bar looks great and by the sounds of it will be user customisable out of the box. Even if it's not, the interface is pretty familar as it's how some of the apps work in tvOS.

Freeform is an app I don't use enough. I should really try it as a note taking app for a while and having scenes within would make it easy to separate content out for multi-day or multi-session notes. For presenting too, which I did once in Freeform but never really attempted again.

The Calculator app apparantly got the biggest cheer, but beyond the fact that it's finally here, it's the Apple Pencil integration that just blew me away. Not only can Math Note convert handwritten notes into answers, it supports variables and persists them across your sheet. Also available in Notes, it looks like a great implementation.

Smart Script should be on all iPads, I didn't see any caveats about it being tied to a M-series processor. I hope it is, because my handwritten is awful. Mainly because I'm in a rush. Sometimes I think that typing might be faster but I love colour coding the notes according to who is speaking which makes breaking it down and absorbing notes easier later on. Really looking forward to my own handwriting being more legible in the future!

macOS Sequoia

The updates to Continuity look fantastic. Not only iPhone mirroring, but the ability to interact with it all too. I use the copy and paste interoperability and AirDrop all the time, this really does take to the next level.

I've long used 1Password, but half of my logins live in iCloud too so having a full app to work with, I'll be migrating between one of them later this year.

Reader View was highlighted as an update to macOS, but I hope it comes to iOS too. I really like it as a Safari feature because it makes reading long articles tolerable without ads and cookie banners getting in the way. Any enhancements to it are welcome.

Apple Intelligence

Or AI. Let's start with what looks great:

Those are my two highlights. A little bitter as I have an iPhone 14 Pro, not the newer 15 Pro, so I won't be getting all of the features. And even the second point, it wasn't clear to me if that will only be available on an iPhone 15 Pro or if all iPhones will benefit. I hope we all get an improved Siri which is now approaching it's teens and is still pretty dumb.

Siri and/or Apple Intelligence work on your notifications, surfacing the most important but again, maybe this is just for new phones. I'd certainly benefit from having something like that, but I'm not upgrading for it.

Clean Up

Clean Up was filed under Apple Intelligence, I really hope that was for the keynote and it's actually had wider availability. Rarely do I want to remove objects, Photomator is great at doing that anyway, but having it there natively (and possibly better) would be a killer feature for all iPhone users.

One of the few times I've been envious of Android users who have had this for years now.

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Canon Developing New RF-S7.8mm F4 STM Dual Lens for EOS R7 Camera for Recording Spatial Video For Apple Vision Pro

Maybe it makes sense alongside the announcement for visionOS and the wider release of the Apple Vision Pro, but I'd have thought this would have been something that would have opened up the whole vision concept to the pro market more than just having to use an iPhone to capture content.

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What does a city that has spurned cars look like?

If nothing else, this is a policy I'd back in a heartbeat:

tripled parking fees for SUVs

But the overall health benefits of reducing the reliance on cars for transportation in a major city are becoming more and more impressive. Paris officials claim they've seen a 40% decline in air pollution thanks to a closure of streets, reduced the number of parking spaces and increased the amount of cycling lanes.

ULEZ has been a contentious issue in Greater London over the past year or so and has caused plenty of havoc through those that continue to oppose it's implementation. We also have a park nearby that charges based on the emissions of your vehicle.

I believe in most of the changes being made in favour of lowering emissions, but that unfortunately puts me at odds with a lot of people it seems.

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Week 345: View Source

I had planned to write something about the ability to view the source of a webpage back in January and then in March, Nick Heer wrote about the topic himself.

This world is unfortunately becoming lost or, at least, degraded — not because it is no longer possible to view the source of a webpage, but because that source is often inscrutable, even on simple webpages.

When I think back to the late '90s and early 2000s, it was the ability to view the source that taught me a lot about how to build interfaces. As much as any book could, if not more.

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"Piece By Piece" trailer

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Toyota has been riding a hybrid boom

We own a Toyota hybrid and have done for about a decade. Overall, the economy has worked out to be double what we would get from a regular ICE car and it really only has a tiny battery that is good for less than 2 miles of range on it's own. But combined with it's 'regular' engine we tend to get at least double the range. A great bit of engineering.

For the future, while I'd love to go all-in electric, a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid feel like the most sensible for now. I have less range anxiety than I might have pre-COVID due to changes in working arrangements specifically, but I have less faith in how the healthy of the battery will stand up to the test of time.

And I'm probably not alone in that thinking. This chart from CHARTR on Sherwood shows that Toyota hybrids continue to sell well. That will obviously level out and I am seeing more and more EVs out there in the real world.

I wrote about plug-in hybrids almost 3 years ago and it's worth watching the videos in the update to the post.

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Week 344: Late Bloomer by Jasmeet Rainer

I shared the trailer for Late Bloomer at the start of the year but only got a chance to watch it yesterday and we ended up bingeing the whole season.

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Week 343: My Top 10 Moments with Klopp

Jürgen's last game has been played, a victory/draw/loss against Wolves at Anfield. I was lucky enough to see his penultimate game at Anfield a couple of weeks ago.

There's a ton of content out there I'm still catching up on, but I thought it was worth laying out my own top 10 moments of the Klopp era.

1. Liverpool 4–0 Barcelona

Undoubtedly the greatest moment in the Klopp era. Three down from the first leg, no one thought we could overcome the might of Barcelona. Messi & Suarez, Coutinho on his return to Anfield as an opposition player. It felt impossible and by the end of the night we all felt like the trophy was ours once again.

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Week 342: Seeing the Aurora Borealis in the UK

We went to Iceland in 2012 and while we did see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), we didn't get a clear picture. Seeing it in person, at 1am on a cold February night was fun. The coach we were on was chasing weather updates so that we could get a clear sky. It was dark and I couldn't focus my camera properly:

Out of focus photo of the norther lights in Iceland. There is an out of focus lighthouse in the foreground

So it was a very nice surprise to see that the Aurora Borealis was lighting up the London sky this past weekend.

View on Instagram

Night Mode on the iPhone was taking 3s photos which massively enhanced what we were able to see with the naked eye but you could clearly see there was something in the sky.

While it does feel like a little bit of a cheat to see it this way, it's amazing that so many more people got to see themselves.

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Week 341: Impromptu trip to see a Liverpool match

I've just shared a very small album on Flickr, some photos on Instagram and a compilation video on YouTube of our completely unexpected trip up to see a Liverpool match.

We found out we had 2 tickets to go on Friday, with the match on Sunday afternoon. Bit of a panic on deciding how and when to travel and then booking a hotel but we got it sorted and left early Sunday to make it with plenty of time to spare.

My first trip to Anfield to see Liverpool was fun but neglected is how I would sum up the Anfield area. So much has changed as the ground has been redeveloped which is great to see.

Liverpool won 4-2, and most importantly, my Son got to see his favourite player score. Harvey Elliott with an absolutely brilliant goal at the Kop end, right in front of where we were sitting in the Main Stand.

It's been tough trying to find tickets the past few months. I'd been wanting to go anyway to see one last game under Klopp but it felt impossible and then out of nowhere these came up so jumped at the chance. Cannot wait for the next game we get to go to now!

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