I’ve always been a big fan of The Beatles and am looking forward to watching Peter Jackson’s take. This quote from this piece in The Guardian captures how I feel:

Part of you is filled with regret: you want to urge the four of them to find a way to keep going, if only for a little longer; you pine for all the songs that went unwritten and unsung.

That reminds of Steve Jobs too. I sometimes wonder at all the things he would have come up with that we’ll never get to see.

Unbelievable words for incredible times in The Guardian:

We could destroy the machines that destroy this planet. If someone has planted a time bomb in your home, you are entitled to dismantle it. More to the point, if someone has placed an incendiary device inside the high-rise building where you live, and if the foundations are already on fire and people are dying in the cellars, then many would believe that you have an obligation to put the device out of action.

I bought a color laser printer coming up on 4 years ago. Never changed the original toner cartridges. It’s been yelling at us for years that ink is low but somehow we keep on printing. I find that endlessly entertaining, but you have to wonder what kind of racket this ink/toner business is.

In this week of COP26, I’m happy to announce that my app Climateer is now available in the App Store. It presents the climate data in a familiar timeline, letting you see what’s happening with data pulled directly from sources like NASA and NOAA.

I started working on this app 3 years ago with the goal of simply showing our carbon budget countdown. Then instead of shipping it I kept adding more features. Finally I got around to polishing it up so it can be released, and I hope some of you will find it useful.

Dr. Eleanor Janega, referencing the seeming inevitability of capitalism:

None of this was inevitable, and none of it is permanent. We are simply prevented from achieving this through the interests of the wealthy.

It’s super interesting that her conclusion on capitalism is the same conclusion Dr. Genevieve Guenther comes to regarding climate change:

To think of climate change as something that we are doing, instead of something we are being prevented from undoing, perpetuates the very ideology of the fossil-fuel economy we’re trying to transform.

I can’t believe the Paris Agreement was drawn already 6 years ago.

Today, 2015 seems an age ago, before the climate monsters Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro became heads of government, before the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s public protests, before so many floods, so many fires, so many broken heat records. We stopped talking about climate chaos as the future and acknowledged it as the present.

Speaking of the media, they are currently obsessed with the “will COP26 change anything” narrative. This is a depressing and dangerous angle to peddle. News media play a huge role in popular perception. I’m always baffled that they seem oblivious to it.

Every once in a while a narrative emerges from the media that feels like it came out of nowhere and who has time to dig and fact-check it. I just finished reading this terrific piece that does.

The media has tremendous power to shape public opinion. Reporters and editors should not just be aware of their ability to spread moral panics. They should be terrified of it.

I received today a Sonos One SL that I ordered a few days ago. It’s my first Sonos and I’m happy with the sound level and quality. But most of all I’m happy there is still a market for so-called “dumb” technology that you can’t talk to and that can’t communicate with Google or Amazon. Now how about a dumb TV?

The expression “climate protesters” doesn’t put the focus on the right thing. They’re not protesting against climate, they’re protesting human activity that destroys the climate and the environment, which ultimately leads to our doom. Maybe we need a word that encompasses all of that?

I’m not much for piling it on but I find it hard to disagree with anything from Gruber’s take on the Safari 15 tabs:

[T]he first job of any tab design ought to be to make clear which tab is active. I can’t believe I had to type that sentence. But here we are.

These tabs are indeed a terrible UI in many regards, and I have the same gripes about which tab is active, the favicon doubling as close button, and the general disorientation. I also think that the Apple trend to hide UI elements is a failure of design.

But on top of that I’ve been deploring Apple seemingly making changes for the sake of change. It used to be evolutionary and it kept my device feeling new. But things have changed. Many updates from Apple now feel arbitrary and unproductive. To the point where it now makes me feel like I don’t own my device.

Because at any point Apple may decide to ship an update to something I’ve grown to really like that breaks my relationship with it and I find myself having to rebuild that relationship. The Safari 15 tabs are like that. I didn’t ask for this change, but it’s forced on me. I work in tech, but my mother doesn’t. If I have difficulty with some of these changes, how is my mother supposed to feel like she has any kind of grip on technology?

The aim of design is to make things for people that they find intuitive and pleasurable to use. At a very basic level, it is to solve people problems. That is what is being lost here.

I don’t get it. People buy TVs that watch them, use phone apps that track them, wear the seatbelt that the government tells them to, but when it comes to a free vaccine that could save their life they would rather go through the trouble of finding and paying for a fake vaccine passport?

I dreaded watching it a little bit because I feel like so many of these things are preaching to the choir, but the Kurzgesagt video Can YOU Fix Climate Change is really good. They do a great job of exposing the scale of the problem and balancing personal versus systemic responsibility.

You know, I haven’t seen my team in person for almost two years and we’ve shipped a shit ton of features during that period. So I think COP26 and all subsequent ones can be held remotely.

For all the flak Apple has received from developers about seemingly arbitrary rejections, at least there is a dialog and a back and forth.

I have a client who’s been stuck in Google Play Store suspension hell for 4 weeks for a new app submission. They provided the necessary paperwork and used all the channels, but have not heard a single peep from Google. It’s an absolutely inscrutable black hole.

COP26 is coming and the Paris Agreement has been an absolute joke. I was saying it then that checking on each other only every 5 years is not enough. Governments come and go within that time frame. The incentive is not there. There is no enforcing mechanism.

At the very least, countries need to look each other in the eyes once a year and fess up. They may report they failed to meet their goals for the year, but at least we’ll know 4 years earlier.

Additionally, an international fund administered independently must be set up for rich countries to make mandatory contributions to help developing countries. Time for countries to fill out their world tax forms.

Today I feel I have no patience left for the anti-vax crowd. It’s not about you, it’s about everybody else you cross path with. I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you get COVID and get hospitalized. But news flash, biology 101 says it’s a transmissible disease. And people die. Wake up. All you have to do to save other people’s lives is line up and get a jab in your arm. Boohoo.

Sure there is a time to be concerned about the government telling us what to do, but this is not it. This isn’t politics, ideology or government, this is healthcare professionals who are bending over backwards left and right to save lives. Because they care and because no society in history has ever been this lucky to have this amount of science looking out for us. They even want you to live, first-world whiner and all, fancy that.

No federal party offers clear path on how to wind down fossil fuel production

There you go. That’s the Canadian election in a nutshell, and by extension our government for the last 6 years. I’ve been saying it ad nauseam for years but it’s true: there is no plan.

Figuring out how to wind down our financial reliance on oil money is Canada’s existential problem no 1, and evidently the government has zero people working on it.

I love Genevieve Guenther’s reframing of the words used to talk about climate change, and this is a year old but I just learned of it:

[S]he wished the moderator hadn’t framed the question as whether Pence “believed” that man-made climate change was making extreme weather worse. “It’s not the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. The question is: Do you ‘understand’ or ‘accept’ climate science?” she said.

And this old favorite of mine:

She has written that, instead of thinking of climate change as something that “we are doing,” most people should think of it as “something we are being prevented from undoing.”

I’m fed up of reading people running to incorrect conclusions about Apple and privacy. First of all, no, Apple is not going to “scan” your device. Two, Google and Facebook do “scan” your entire life and behaviour and you’re all numbed blind to it. Get a grip and redirect your anger. Geeze.

For all the talks of people not trusting vaccines and not trusting science, it is the science that has delivered during this pandemic, and politics and policies that have not. Science has given us sound advice and vaccines, but the policies to use them and distribute them are subpar.

My wife and I have puzzled over the awkwardness of people bitching about their spouse, the person they chose to be with, the person they’re supposed to love and cherish:

But bonding over a ‘joking’ disdain for your spouse is more than an innocuous social phenomenon—it’s become a bandaid for the broad simmering resentment in so many American marriages.

In particular, I’m amazed that gender equality within relationships is retreating, not improving.

“No more talk, time for action” sometimes sounds like this:

I just want to be alive. I want all of us to just be alive. It is hard to accept the way things are, to know that the fight is outside the realm of argument and persuasion and appeals to how much it all hurts in every way. It is terrifying to know that the prize for many who care may be prison or worse. But all the right words about climate have already been deployed.

There should be a setting for not wanting to be bothered by surveys. Yes I bought a thing and I used a service from you. I voted with my money. Leave it at that.