Google Doodle: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's 61st birthday

His version of 'Over the Rainbow' is my favourite. Not sure if I'd heard it before visiting Hawaii but it's the one I've heard the most since.

If you haven't seen Pixar's Lava, it features a song sung in the same style as Israel.

Posted 20th May 2020 @ 12:00

Department of Justice reopens spat with Apple over iPhone encryption

John Gruber:

Saying you want technology companies to make a backdoor that only “good guys” can use is like saying you want guns that only “good guys” can fire. It's not possible, and no credible cryptographer would say that it is. You might as well say that you want Apple to come up with a way for 1 + 1 to equal 3.

Let's be real, this is really what the US' take on encryption is:

Encryption means we can't find out why a bad guy did something bad. But we don't mind if they buy semi-automatic weapons giving them the tools to carry out mass murders.

Baffling. Tackle the cause of the issue to prevent these things happening instead of reacting after the event and pushing a shitty agenda that weakens the security of every individual.

Posted 19th May 2020 @ 12:21

Rocket cocktail shaker

I recently bought a cocktail shaker, but I wish I'd seen this one first.

Price: £44

Posted 19th May 2020 @ 11:07

Logitech Circle View camera

Logitech's third iteration of home security cameras and it's certainly a nice looking bit of kit. We have the Circle 2 but haven't made the switch to HomeKit secure video yet. Mainly because it seems to be problematic according to quite a few of the threads on Reddit I've seen.

After quite a bit of research, the Circle camera was the one we settled on and this looks like a really nice upgrade. Mounting wasn't hard, but this base looks like you get a bit more flexibility when choosing where to mount the camera.

Now, one issue I see is the physical button that disables audio and video. This means that for outdoor use it needs to be out of reach. Ours is at a comfortable height for two reasons:

  1. It offers a 180° field of view, so we have our entire street covered with the height it's at
  2. So that the camera and speakers are at a comfortable height for conversing

Admittedly we very rarely do the latter, but this is how smart doorbells work and it has meant we have a brilliant view out of the front of our house.

Lastly, back to HomeKit Secure Video, we really like the Circle app from Logitech. It gives you an easy to watch summary of the day. I've not see the same from HomeKit and it's kind of the killer feature of the Circle subscription. You get the current day for free, but pay for the top subscription and it does a rolling 24 hour summary.

But all in all, a nice update from Logitech.

Price: $159.99

Posted 18th May 2020 @ 14:29

Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe

Some much needed comedy relief for the crazy time we're living in.

In this one-off special, Charlie Brooker returns to our screens for the first time since his Bafta-winning 2016 Wipe to take a look at life under lockdown.

As well as coverage of the crisis itself, Charlie also explores what the public have been watching to while away the hours.

The production value is great, despite being filmed at home. It was a great job from all involved. Available for another 29 days on BBC's iPlayer, go watch it if you haven't already.

Posted 15th May 2020 @ 12:21

Chrome to block battery-sucking ads in August update

Good news, but utterly ridiculous numbers from these bad or lazy ad creators. 0.3% of ads are responsible for more than a quarter of ad traffic and CPU usage to process ads.

Good work from the Chrome team. Long overdue, now every other browser vendor needs to do the same.

Posted 15th May 2020 @ 09:39

"Hannah Gadsby: Douglas" trailer

"Nanette" was really good, so good in fact that it went from being her goodbye to her launchpad. Go watch it if you haven't already.

Posted 13th May 2020 @ 22:50

Timex Waterbury classic chrono

While Nixon's Sentry Chrono is the only watch on my wish list at the moment, this Timex piece is a cheaper alternative. A few mm smaller, but it's really nice and comes in two colours with the steel bracelet. If you prefer different types of straps then there are even more colours to choose from.

Price: £149.99

Posted 13th May 2020 @ 09:15

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