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Don’t subscribe to sites that do news as a business is a great rule of thumb for choosing what to have lined up in your RSS reader (and one that I should get better at following!). But Chris Coyier’s post about the “sweet spot” for RSS feeds did get me thinking; I don’t necessarily agree that one should just unsubscribe from high-volume feeds… I like his idea about pausing feeds, but I think what I’d like would be the ability to limit a feed to a certain number of items (say, 10). As new items get added to the feed, they push out older items. It might mean missing a few articles, but it would also stop the unread count from getting out of control.

Yes, it’s “a niche feature for a thing that is already niche”, but it’s often the niche features that make software great.

Posted in reply to “Sweet Spot for RSS? - Chris Coyier

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If you’re interested in the oddities of technology, there are some weird and wonderful things surfaced in this Hacker News thread about “quirky computing books”, but the standout one for me is The Unix-Haters Handbook (also, 😆 at the filename… “ugh.pdf”). I’ve been bitten by quite of the few of the things in this book, and it kind of makes me happy—or at least, less silly — to hear that even experienced Unix users get caught out occasionally, too.

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While I’ve been messing about with various types of code for a long time now, it’s all been directed at web-type stuff… “real” programming (i.e. languages that need to be compiled) has always been a little intimidating. But I’ve decided I’d like to dip a toe in that particular pond, so have started trying to teach myself Swift—it seems like a less-hard introduction to the space.

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The NYT has had a pretty strong interactive essay game going for a while now, and today’s one on The Power of Hugs in Anime is another good addition to the list.

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We’ve been watching Industry over the past 5 or so nights and it’s one of the least good things I’ve seen recently. Technically, it’s well put-together and (generally) well acted, but there are precisely zero characters in it that are even the least bit likable; they are just all really terrible people, albeit in different ways. That has to have been a conscious decision on the part of the writers to make a point, right?

I definitely don’t like it, but my completionist tendencies are probably going to keep me watching until the end of season two. 🙄

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Wow… this is pretty amazing:

When finished, the Giant Magellan Telescope will have ten times the light collecting area and four times the spatial resolution of the James Webb Space Telescope (10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope).

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Rethinking linking to bookshop.org for the books in my reading list after reading this piece in The New Statesman. Better World Books looks like it might be a better alternative? 🤔

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Domino’s is shutting down their Italian operations. Who’d have thought that trying to sell mass-market pizza in a market saturated with great pizza wouldn’t have worked out for them? I’m shocked. Shocked!

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This post by Simon Collison made me feel all the feels. Certainly sad, but also hopeful.

I’ve learned a few things about grief as I’ve gotten older, notably, that the pain is equal to the depth of love, that the more you love someone or something, the more you will grieve, and that’s comforting. There is much to comfort us, and I’m pleased to write that we’re doing ok. We’re happy.

I’m so sorry for your loss, Simon. But also glad you had all that time together.

And now I’m going to go give Omelette a hug and some scratches.

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I’ve been trying to read more—with varying amounts of success—and the “…lingering guilt if it isn’t an important book, or at least an improving one” has been a real thing for me. But after reading through How to Fall Back in Love with Reading this morning, I feel less bad about my recent predilection to read (and re-read) fiction.

Whatever you need to do to reestablish a reading habit is a net benefit, and that should extend to what you read, too. That might require divorcing yourself from the notion that books have to be important or educational to be legitimate. “Just give yourself permission to read whatever you’re interested in reading,” Escoto says.

I probably should start folding some more non-fiction back into my reading at some point, but for now, I’m just going to keep reading what makes me happy.

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An image of the box for the new LEGO Galaxy Explorer set

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m pretty excited about the delivery I got this afternoon. This was an instant pre-order when I first heard about it… while I didn’t have the original as a kid (but one of my neighborhood friends did), I did have a ton of classic space LEGO and am well-known as a sucker for a bit of a nostalgia trip.

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Whoa. Heavy nostalgia vibes… a new version of Winamp has just been released. The bad news is that Windows XP and Vista users (😆) are SOL.

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I could not agree more with Manu’s four pieces of advice for people getting started with RSS, especially #2 and #3—although I will admit that I am moderately terrible at #1 and #3 applies to everything, not just your RSS reader.

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Taking a cue from Ben Werdmüller, I cobbled together an OPML file of my RSS subscriptions (but haven’t published it to GitHub… yet), so if you want to (why?!) you can import them into your feed reader and see all the same stuff that I do.

Related: it is kind of interesting, poking about in other peoples’ feed lists—it’s a great way to discover new things, but OPML really isn’t a friendly way to do that, and importing someone else’s feeds wholesale isn’t really the way I’d choose to go about it (see “why?!” above). Personally, I much prefer being able to peruse a blogroll-like-object (like Blogroll, or even like mine).

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Tiny review: I’m thoroughly enjoying Becky Chambers’ Monk and Robot books… the lack of an antagonist threw me a bit to start, but the setting and narrative are beautifully realized.

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Quite a bit of alignment between the “bad coffee” thing I posted the other day and Ruben’s piece on why Starbucks didn’t catch on in Australia. I more-or-less agree with the three reasons outlined from the CNBC story—the first two in particular—but would also argue that Starbucks just didn’t build the “third place” as well in Australia as they did elsewhere (or rather, they just tried transplant the US version into a market where we already had amazing options for it and didn’t offer anything better to entice change, especially the coffee).

Posted in reply to “Rubenerd: CNBC on why Starbucks failed in Australia

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After much (too much!) messing about, I think I’ve managed to work out syndicating notes from my site to Mastodon. The code needs some finessing, but it’s a start.

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My recent—and upcoming—reading seems to be leaning towards books about books. Not entirely sure about what is driving that (more than likely some recommendation algorithm!), but I’m not too unhappy about it.

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The whole concept of “connected eyewear” is pretty ridiculous; Google Glass was moderately terrible, and these (I hate that I am even typing this) Ray Ban Stories promise to be even worse—and that’s before we even start talking about the horrible company behind them.

It is an awful idea, which will appeal primarily to awful people: those who believe themselves so important that they must be contactable at all times and so fascinating that they must always be prepared to broadcast whatever thought has most recently popped into their technology-swaddled head.

That’s a *chef’s kiss* description from today’s Monocle Minute of the type of person that will be wearing these stupid things.

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I realize that the point being made in The Case for Bad Coffee isn’t so much about the quality of the coffee so much as it is about the quality of the experience, but you know what? As much as I like “good” coffee, I also have a soft spot for the “bad” stuff… we have a few big jars of Moccona that my mother-in law shipped over as part of a care package, I am a big, big fan of deli and diner coffee, and I have been known to grab a cup from the odd street cart, too.

All that aside, the “good” vs “bad” labelling thing is weird to me, too; kind of like pizza, even bad coffee is usually OK.

(Via Hacker News)