I'm a software person at Prodigy. My COVID projects are currently Pizza & Bread.

I’m setting up a CDN and my son is asking me to buy him a T-Rex toy. It’s weirding me out that I’m doing both things at the same time from the same company.

OmniFocus 4 Beta

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Learn OmniFocus has a First Look at OmniFocus 4 coming on the heels of Omni announcing the beta.

TLDR: Switching to SwiftUI is allowing Omni to build new components for the iOS platforms that are much more akin to what we get on the Mac.

The iPad and iPhone versions of OmniFocus are great for quick entry or checking a list but I find they are not as easy to think in or work in as on the Mac.

The rapid editing of tasks and notes on display in OmniFocus 4 is a huge step in closing this gap. It also feels aligned with the design style of touch interfaces that have you directly manipulate your content without switching between modes.

I’m really impressed at Omni’s willingness bet on the modern Apple frameworks. SwiftUI still has very rough edges. It’s courageous for them to embrace it this early. That said, this looks like a great demo of the power of SwiftUI to raise the bar and provide consistent interfaces across all platforms.

Along the lines of being a better app to think in, my one wish list item for OmniFocus 4 is better note handing. Things does a better job of integrating notes fields into projects so that the source of truth about a project can stay in one app. At a minimum, I hope they at least make the font size in the notes field adjustable.

Smart Home Standards “Matter”

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We have some details on the new smart home alliance (now called Matter).

Stacey Higginbotham:

With Matter, consumers won’t have to research if their Nest cameras will work with their Schlage locks or if their HomeKit compatible sensors will also work with Alexa, for example. Developers won’t have to keep up with multiple ecosystems and integrations. Initially, this will only work across a limited number of devices, but those devices include lighting, blinds, HVAC, TVs, access controls, safety & security products, access points, smart home controllers, and bridges.

I’m half surprised it took this long for these companies to do this, and half surprised in this era of intense competition that this happened at all. Either way, it is a win for consumers. All the big players are involved (even Phillips Hue!)

That said, I bet it is still at least another few years before smart home technology goes truely mainstream, and I hope that before it does this alliance can put some more privacy protections in place. Companies selling cheap smart home tech on Amazon aren’t really motivated to invest in privacy without some external pressure.

That’s an ambitious exclamation mark. It’s like they think you’ll be genuinely excited about being tracked.

For the record, I didn’t even know my grocery store app had ads.

I kind of love that Trump has a blog. I’m unlikely to spend time reading it, but I hope this encourages more people to consider creating an internet garden of their own. I’m curious how long it takes him to stretch out beyond 280 characters.

Today’s nugget of knowledge from my 5-year-old: “Holes in a car, not so bad. Holes in a boat, VERY bad.”

Tried Lightlife’s Facon. Surprisingly crispy and delicious. I kind of missed having something with crunch in a breakfast sandwich.

People just aren’t well equipped to understand the complexities of ad tracking. Especially when companies are forced to try to explain their usage in a paragraph.

I’m really sad to see Basecamp go in this direction. I admire a lot of people who work there and the work they did. But the people who are leaving are doing the right thing, as painful as it is, and I’d like to believe I’d have the courage to do the same.

I bought an AirTag to put in my backpack, but I’ve lost my backpack to put the AirTag in…

Potato, garlic, onion. Trying 62% hydration over a 8 hour room temp rise. It’s a bit harder to deal with but I like the 62% much better than the 60% for squooshy Neapolitan crust.

Flushy the Toilet

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We woke up yesterday to find a whole bunch of water puddled in our kitchen. There’s a toilet in my son’s room above the kitchen, but my wife and I investigated and it didn’t seem like it was leaking. Nevertheless, she called an emergency plumber to come check it out.

The plumber got here and in five minutes was like, “there’s a huge puddle of water on the floor… the toilet has been leaking for a long time.” I guess we didn’t look with our eyes. We think that maybe we had a waste basket underneath the leak for a while and so we never noticed.

The toilet wasn’t fixable – it needed to be replaced. So the plumber replaced it. Took like an hour, problem solved.

However, we did not anticipate my five-year-old’s reaction to seeing the new toilet. There was immediate shock and sobbing. Over the course of two hours he went through all five stages of grief. There was denial that his old toilet was gone, anger at us having removed it, bargaining as he tried to convince us that we could get the old one back and we could have both, depression as he became resigned to the new reality, and finally, he named the new one Flushy.

“Flushy is the best toilet I ever had. Except my old potty. I’m going to name him Dunkie. I miss Dunkie.”

He’s planning on putting googly eyes on it.

I guess we should have seen this coming? Toilet attachment wasn’t in the parenting books. But it is the only toilet he has ever known. I think this was maybe his first real lesson in impermanence and the Four Noble Truths. You never know where life’s lessons will come from.

My son has become obsessed with preaching to the world the good news about the existence (or, really, non-existence) of Woolly Mammoths and Sabretooth cats. He’s 5 and doesn’t have a blog, so he’s asked me to let you know. 🦣 🐈

My son is going to grow up thinking that the one inalienable rule of life is that adults are broken and do not function until they finish their coffee. ☕️

First pizzas of the spring. Amazingly I still kind of remember what I’m doing. 🍕

Ecobee is yet another company that has rebranded into an incredibly boring brand. They used to have this adorable bee icon and now it’s just a flat “e”. Not enjoying this modern trend.

Is there a service to match up a single boot for those who have lost a boot? Asking for a friend.

I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that Readwise.io has an API. Adding highlights from everything via Shortcuts is now possible.

I never realized how often I use the mac proxy icons until Big Sur. I generally like the update, but I bump on the hidden proxy icon every time.

Goodbye, Nest

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The iPhone revolutionized more than just phones. When Tony Fadell first started taking about Nest, his startup that would take the battery and processor innovations from the iPhone and put it in something as boring as a thermostat, it was a revelation.

Nest had an incredible early run. With an extremely small team (less than 130 people) Fadell essentially created the smart home industry. The original Nest had Apple’s insane focus on out of the box experience, app design, and delight applied to a device that hadn’t changed in decades. It meaningfully improved user experience and the environment. Three years later, they made a smoke detector, again applying software, hardware, and policy design to reimagine a boring commodity device.

A year after that, Google bought Nest. Since then, there’s been this sense that Google doesn’t know what to do with it. There were internal drama and culture problems and Tony Fadell was pushed out (likely for good reasons).

Modern Google is trying very hard to invest in hardware, but Nest is now a brand and not a company, and it seems rudderless.

Personally, I’ve become wary of Google’s privacy practices. I use some Google products (Docs, Sheets, YouTube), but I’ve drawn a line in areas like email and search. Today, my Nest smoke alarm reached end of life. Instead of replacing it I realized that I’m uncomfortable having Google devices in my home. I’ve replaced my thermostat and smoke alarms with alternatives.

I appreciate the Nest that showed us it was possible to innovate products long since assumed to be done innovating. I hope a new generation of companies can take the mantle and run with it.