Permalink

From the Twitter Blog:

We’ve made it easy to create a thread by adding a plus button in the composer, so you can connect your thoughts and publish your threaded Tweets all at the same time. You can continue adding more Tweets to your published thread at any time with the new “Add another Tweet” button. Additionally, it’s now simpler to spot a thread – we’ve added an obvious “Show this thread” label. - Full announcement.

As much as I think this is a good addition to the Twitter app, even though my thoughts on tweetstorms are mixed, I can't help but thinking that they're still not working on the important things.

It sounds stupid, and I understand there's different departments for different things. But the native Mac app doesnt even support 280 characters yet.

And what about all the god damn abuse!

I was a bit weary of blaming Twitter directly for these types of issues, where maybe things such as blocking, or other reactionary actions could help. But it's a real mess.

I'm a massive fan of Twitter. But if certain people can't use it because of things like abuse, safeguarding issues, the special treatment some people get even when they break such basic rules (especially that prat with the blonde combover), then you're doing something fundamentally wrong.

In no way is this me trying to create a comprehensive list of the problems with Twitter. I don't have enough patience to write about them all. But it pisses me off when I see constant "improvements" to the things that don't really matter.

Permalink

Ingrid Lunden writing for TechCrunch:

As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services. Sources tell us that the company is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any song, TV show, film or advert in seconds, by listening to an audio clip or (in the case of, say, an ad) a visual fragment, and then takes you to content relevant to that search.

We have heard that the deal is being signed this week, and will be announced on Monday, although that could always change.

Ever since Shazam was first integrated into Siri, I only ever thought of this as the long term solution. Simply buying them to tidy it all up would be worth it in my opinion. However I assume they will gain a lot more than just that.

Read the full article.

Permalink

I don't care how cliché this storyline is, but they're going back to the island!

And I can't wait!

Because, as we all know, life will always find a way.

🦕🦖🌋

Watch it on YouTube.

Spoiler Warning!

Description taken from YouTube page:

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

Permalink

YouTube have again, of course, released their annual Rewind video.

I'm always impressed with the overall production quality of these videos, and maybe I'm forgetting the previous ones, but this looks really well made.

It gets very cheesy at times, which I guess that's it's meant to be. But the music is mixed well, and it contains a huge number of Youtubers. It would of been funny for PewDiePie to be involved as well though.

Youtube Rewind Website
YouTube Rewind: The Shape of 2017 Video

Permalink

Chris Sheldrick had an idea to make addresses better for the entire planet, and inside just one TED talk he explained how it works, the current progress, and how it can make everyones lives better.

With what3words, Chris Sheldrick and his team have divided the entire planet into three-meter squares and assigned each a unique, three-word identifier, like famous.splice.writers or blocks.evenly.breed, giving a precise address to the billions of people worldwide who don't have one. In this quick talk about a big idea, Sheldrick explains the economic and political implications of giving everyone an accurate address -- from building infrastructure to sending aid to disaster zones to delivering hot pizza.

Watch on TED.com, or below if the embedded video works.

Permalink

Downloading files from the web on iOS has always been a prickly issue, but Michael Rockwell, writer at Initial Charge, has come up with a rather simple solution:

One aspect of the iOS-first lifestyle that has been a bit of an issue, for many users, is dealing with files. Apple has done a lot to try and fix that with the Files app in iOS 11, but it isn’t fool-proof. One common pain-point for me has been trying to download MP3 files that exist behind a paywall. Luckily, a few must-have iOS apps are available to smooth out the rough edges.

I subscribe to Wrestling Observer to gain access to their premium podcast content — because I’m a nerd who likes pro wrestling. I prefer to listen to these shows in Overcast so I can use the app’s Smart Speed feature and play it back at about 1.2x, but Overcast doesn’t have support for password protected RSS feeds. I’m holding out hope that this will be added in the future, but until then, I’ve been using iCab Mobile to download the audio files, which I can then upload to Overcast’s servers with my Premium subscription. And of course, Workflow is there to facility the process.

Michael seems to always have nifty solutions to things on iOS, so it's worth reading the full article, and maybe even subscribing to the blog in your RSS reader of choice.

Permalink

Here's something interesting - The guys over at iA (devleopers of the iA Writer app), have made their own font. Prevously the apps used a font called Nitti, which kind of became part of the iA brand, but they took it upon themselves to develop a more writing focussed option.

Hell just froze over. After seven years of offering no font options to write, iA Writer now comes with a choice. Next to the monospace Nitti you will now find a brand new duospace font. Duospace?

[...]

For an app that was designed as the digital equivalent of a typewriter, a monospace font is not a far fetch. But, if font choice were just a matter of style, there are better and less expensive ways to impress than leasing a high end monospaced typeface that many take for a silly Courier.

There was clearly a lot of investigastion that went into it, and I'm a fan of the results!

Read the full article on the iA Blog, and download iA Writer for iOS and macOS.

Permalink

As we all know, Twitter is now changing the character limit of a tweet to 280 characters, from the original 140. I'm sure they have reasons, and I'm not here to argue against any of them.

However, if you find yourself wanting to go back to the "old Twitter", where tweets were short, and we had to abbreviate things when we couldn’t fit all of it in. There is a way to achieve this.

The method is by simply hiding any tweets that do not meet your length preference. The most popular twitter clients for iOS and macOS (Tweetbot, and Twitterrific), have some form of muting feature, which also allow advanced muting with regular expressions.

Some people make use of this to mute certain hashtags, overuse of hashtags or @mentions, and some really advanced things. But for the purpose of checking a tweet length, you just need to see how many characters there are.

And that's simply:

[\s\S]{MIN_LENGTH, MAX_LENGTH}

You use [\s\S] to match any character, and then use the lengths afterwards to specify a minimum and/or maximum length.

Just to explain it in a bit more detail, the square brackets are a way to define a collection of character matching rules. And the curly braces are sequence quantifiers, that can match minimum, exact, or maximum length of a match.

And then there's the \s and \S.

The \s is used to match a whitespace character, so spaces, tabs, new lines, etc. And the \S is used to match the opposite, all non-whitespace characters, So if you put them together, then you're going to match every possible character. Which in a scenario like this, is all you need.

The Patterns

So now I've explained the scenario, and solution in a bit of detail, I'll get to the actual regular expression patterns.

In this case, we simply want to hide all tweets that do not fit the old standard of 140 characters in a tweet.

However, we aren't setting rules, but instead writing patterns to match tweets that will be hidden, we will need to inverse the logic.

Seeing as we only have one parameter - the maximum length we want to see, it will be very easy. Because now we need to say, if a tweet matches these conditions, hide it.

The conditions will be of course, that it is over the limit we set. In this example I will use the old 140 character limit, but you could set your own custom preference using this same method.

If we take that logic and apply it to the simple pattern I mentioned earlier, we can simplify it even further. As we're not checking a maximum length, that's irrelevant. We just want to hide anything over a certain amount.

Which leaves us with:

[\s\S]{MIN_LENGTH,}

You still need the comma in there though, as otherwise it will only match if it is the exact same length as the number entered.

Now the last part, the actual number.

Remember, this is not the length that we want to see, but instead the opposite. So if you want to see all tweets that are 140 characters or less, you need to check for anything 141 characters or over. (The same logic also applies to other limits).

So that makes it:

[\s\S]{141,}

Simple!

Using The Patterns in Tweetbot/Twitterrific

So we have the regular expression created, now we just need to make use of it in a twitter client.

Tweetbot is the slightly easier option, as you just need to navigate to Mute filters, and then add a keyword filter. Where you'll have to type your pattern in, which will enable a regular expression switch, which you will have to tap.

In Twitterrific, it's somewhat more confusing, but only initially. In this app, the mute feature is called Muffles. And you add a new muffle, to mute tweets just like Tweetbot. However when you navigate to the Muffles section, it doesn't mention regular expressions, which lead me to initially thought they weren't supported.

However, you can use them in Twitterrific, it just takes one extra parameter, a pattern title. You specify a RegEx Muffle in the following format:

Title :: Pattern

P.S. I know there is more formatting available, but it's not relevant here.

So for Twitterrific, you might want to use something like this:

Classic Twitter :: [\s\S]{141,}

And that is it. Now you can hide away from the future, and pretend these long tweets just don't exist.

Apps Mentioned:

Permalink

I did not expect to see this post in my RSS reader!

Apple have written an official response to all the news regarding their tax payments, with a few statements on some recent business restructuring, and quite a few various facts about it all.

Apple believes every company has a responsibility to pay its taxes, and as the largest taxpayer in the world, Apple pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world. We’re proud of the economic contributions we make to the countries and communities where we do business.

Read the full post on Apple Newsroom.

Permalink

Lisa Friedman, writing for The New York Times:

Syria announced during United Nations climate talks on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris agreement on climate change. The move, which comes on the heels of Nicaragua signing the accord last month, will leave the United States as the only country that has rejected the global pact.
...
The Paris agreement, struck in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, calls on nearly 200 countries to voluntarily curb greenhouse gas emissions. At the time, only Nicaragua and Syria did not join, for very different reasons.

You seriously couldn't make this stuff up.

Read the full post.