- Had a much quieter week, a lot of catching up on sleep and watching the world from benches1, so hopefully this weeknote will be shorter than the last one.
- I also finally had time to get my music computer running again! (Wait don’t panic though, I won’t actually talk about or link to any music)
- If I haven’t bored you about it in person at some point, I like to keep my side-project stuff on a different computer to my work stuff. It helps me not to get distracted from work when I’m trying to focus, and to not get sucked into work when I’m trying to relax (I also use the music computer to do daily backups of my cloud files to a raid drive but thats another story).
- Anyway, earlier this year a macOS update screwed my music computer. After digging around I read that running it from an external drive would fix the issue, but actually getting it to run from an external drive has been… way harder than I expected? To cut a boring story short, after two solid days trying different approaches, I finally got it to work by turning off the wifi in the apartment before starting the installation and first login. No fucking idea why wifi would block installing osx onto an external drive, but 🙄
- So it’s nice to be making music again. And now I fully sympathise with Apple rushing to move everything onto the new 64bit osx, mate there are demons hiding in that old codebase.
- Talking about the apartment, we renewed our lease for another year. They didn’t even ask for a rent increase so I guess there are some benefits to recession. I also bought some new running shoes for 60% discount less than a month after they were released, so presumably the high street is doing well too.
- On both Stephen and Ella’s recommendation I read Kudos by Rachel Cusk, enjoying it so much I finished it in an afternoon. You know how the structure of a typical Cormac McCarthy book is hundreds of pages of beautiful, romantic prose followed by a couple dozen pages where a wise old person (frequently Mexican) monologues to the protagonist that they’re a fucking niave idiot and deserve everything bad thats coming to them? Kudos is basically a supercut of those wise person monologues. Its a total flex2 and I’m here for it.
- San Francisco is setting up an Office of Emerging Technology;
In recent years, San Francisco has struggled to keep up with tech companies and their new gadgets that often exploit gray areas in the laws that hadn’t contemplated things like robots using sidewalks to make deliveries or an overnight explosion of rentable e-scooters over cell phone applications.
Before any new tech device is used, tested or piloted in the city, the office would coordinate the review with relevant departments and would ‘issue a notice to proceed if the net result is for the common good,’ according to the announcement.
Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner
- It’s a fucking great idea, and I can’t wait for others to copy it. You want to work in tech ethics? Now you have a career path.
- There’s a new episode of Abstract, The Art of Design on Netflix, and it’s about design at Instagram. Starts off reasonably well, everyone onscreen can talk intelligently about the designed environment and stuff and then they start talking about Instagram itself and the whole thing dissolves into a Will Ferrell sketch3. If Linkedin have graphs showing the popularity of different job titles, ‘Product Designer’ is about to fall off a cliff.
- I was so thrown by it that it took a couple of days to clock that the whole thing is a PR performance, right? I’m like 99% certain the work they film is some mcguffin project to demonstrate how seriously Instagram (Facebook) treats the consequences of any change they make, no matter how insignificant the change might seem.
- I’m sure it’ll work for that purpose, although I feel sorry for the designers involved. Not sure how I feel about Netflix quality standards now either tbh. It’s hardly Inside the American Embassy is it.
- On the subject of #MeToo, it’s 2019 and according to LinkedIn there are over 200 companies called Rapier. I guess they must not talk to anyone on the phone.
- OK-Supreme was a british company making motorbikes between 1899 to 1939. They started out as “OK” bikes, then years later as things got more competitive they added the “Supreme”.
- People branding their own companies is one of my favourite things. As Dieter says4 — good design is honest — and nothing compares to the honesty of a CEO putting a name to their dreams.
- And you’ll already know this, but GOV.UK had its 7th birthday this week. Despite what the anonymous government sources will tell you it’s never been better run, coded, maintained and designed than it is today — or as in the spotlight. Unless you’re a buy-to-let landlord you’ve probably noticed the UK doesn’t function brilliantly rn. And wherever you sit politically, we need the same basic digital infrastructure for universal credit as we do for universal basic income, so shout out to the teams keeping on and keeping it honest as the country implodes around them.