From the Couch of Ben Johnson

Father, Principal Engineer at Prodigy Education, serial hyperbolist.

There’s a movie someone should make about the guy in Mission Impossible 2 who delivers Ethan Hunt his Oakley’s via helicopter/missile. It’s his own parallel IMF mission: find this guy at the top of a mountain and deliver these sunglasses in the most insane way possible.

Roland Crosby made an incredible list of Things Unexpectedly Named After People.

Matt Levine’s Money Stuff column/newsletter is a masterpiece of writing. He’s so good at explaining complex topics to smart people without domain expertise.

Now that Ember has revolutionized the mug and the travel mug we need this same technology for the bathtub.

In the midst of telling my wife about the 10th plane crash investigation video I’ve watched she replied with: “Are you… are you… ok?”

It didn’t even occur to me that there was something to be concerned about. Major ADHD vibes.

I remember fondly the days when Apple introduced frameworks like Core Audio, Core Data, and Core Graphics. Core Technology Fee does not seem quite as exciting.

A show like CSI, but it’s the NTSB investigating crashes. (The pilot episode could be a 747 Max inexplicably with snakes on it.)

✴ Truncating RSS Feeds with Feedbin

I like RSS feeds. It’s the one place where I keep up with blogs and news. For blogs, I try to read most articles to completion. If I’m busy, they wait until I get time to read them. But news feeds often produce an overwhelming number of articles every day. If I fall behind, the news is no longer up to date so the value of these feeds decreases over time.

I used to run a script to regularly truncate specific feeds so that their article count stays manageable. However, I’ve recently discovered that Feedbin, my RSS management app, can do this natively with its Actions system. Actions allow you…

Continue Reading…

Today I learned about: The Great 2008 Passover Margarine Shortage and that the dairy lobby forced margarine to be pink or clear.

“The YYYY-MM-DD format is the only officially recommended method of writing a numeric date in Canada. The presence of the DD/MM/YY (most of the world) and MM/DD/YY (American) formats often results in misinterpretation.”

Canadian sanity.

Astro’s Playroom is so much better than it deserves to be. Soundtrack is amazing too.

Maybe now that we have all this A.I. we can figure out how to improve the status quo of Laser Tag Technology

My kiddo made up a complex mansion in his mind and was giving my wife and I a tour. I jokingly said, “there’s a giant spider in the back of the parking lot… roll for initiative.” Without skipping a beat, he said, “you know I can ban people right?”

I don’t understand how Apple hasn’t cracked down on stuff like this. What an egregious abuse of Location services.

Photo of a screen in an Omron Bluetooth device that says that you should turn on location services just so that the app can wake up in the background. It doesn’t use location at all.

I want a rehab for people who have started using “action” as a verb. Yes, it’s for me. Yes, I’m ashamed.

Someone decided that this particular subject line didn’t have enough scary weight to it without putting a period on the end.

I know I’m coming at this like three years too late, but it turns out that Tab Groups are a really kickass feature.

The Devil’s Plan is such a good follow up to The Genius. I think this might be my favourite TV ever.

There should be a way to tell the YouTube algorithm that I want it to radicalize my kid into loving reading or the wonders of space.

I’m going to have to write up a longer review, but the ZSA Voyager is incredible. Better in every way than the Moonlander with the same great configuration software. Best keyboard I’ve ever owned.

What’s the probability of finding a four-leaf clover in a box of Lucky Charms: Learning Binomial Probability with Lucky Charms

Looks like the reigning command line champion right now is OCRMyPDF. So happy that something exists.

It’s crazy how difficult it is to find good software to OCR a PDF. Everything has a subscription, or it’s “Enterprise” with a thousand bells and whistles. I just want a searchable PDF… I don’t need to enter into a relationship.

Through our ongoing commitment of providing a seamless and user-friendly experience on our platform, we are thrilled to introduce our brand new Cookie Banner.

The words “thrilled” and “Cookie Banner” should never appear together.

I’m not sure who first had the idea to milk an oat, but it was a good one.