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Category: Opinion

Adam Engst 18 comments

Try Topical Alternatives to Social Media

Triggered by the addition of comments to the popular blog Kottke.org, Adam Engst encourages participation in focused online conversational spaces rather than scattershot social media.

Adam Engst 24 comments

International Verify Your Backups Day

What better day than Friday the 13th to check that your backups are actually working by restoring some critical files?

Adam Engst No comments

Lessons from Building and Operating Amazon S3

This version of a conference keynote offers an insider’s look at the Amazon S3 storage service, with thoughts about its incredible scale, how hard drives have evolved, and the importance of ownership in organizations.

Adam Engst 41 comments

How Did We Fill Our In-Between Time Before Smartphones?

Many of us may while away in-between time looking at our smartphones, but that's not to say we spent that time productively before smartphones existed.

Adam Engst 11 comments

The Unbearable Ambiguity of Emoji

A Canadian court ruling that a thumbs-up emoji counted as a valid signature causes Adam Engst to ponder the difficulty of knowing what any given emoji might mean.

Adam Engst 22 comments

TidBITS Doesn’t Cover Rumors. Here’s Why

An online poster who leaked accurate Apple corporate secrets says they received them from a family member but have now been found out by Apple. Both face possible legal repercussions, and Apple reportedly fired the family member. Adam Engst explores the enticing but corrosive nature of both providing and consuming rumors.

Adam Engst 37 comments

A Call to Alarms: Why We Need Persistent Calendar and Reminder Notifications

Frustrated by how easy he finds it to ignore notifications for important events and timed reminders, Adam Engst proposes alarms that continue to go off until stopped manually, creating a third notification type alongside banners and alerts.

Adam Engst 182 comments

Arc Will Change the Way You Work on the Web

The Web browser Arc has made a larger difference in jaded tech reviewer Adam Engst’s digital work life than any app in decades. Read his deep dive on what sets Arc apart from other browsers.

Adam Engst 63 comments

The 46 Mac Apps I Actually Use and Why

What third-party apps would you install on a clean Mac to restore your preferred working environment? Adam Engst recently had the opportunity to learn just what apps he really uses—here’s the list.

Adam Engst 5 comments

Helping ckbk Remove Ad Tracking

It pays to speak up. After being introduced to the ckbk cookbook service, Adam Engst expressed his disappointment in the app asking to track and was rewarded a few weeks later with an update that resolved the issue.

David Shayer 37 comments

ChatGPT: The Future of AI Is Here

Chatbots have just progressed to the next level with OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT. Programmer David Shayer explains what’s behind ChatGPT’s curtain and ponders how we’ll deal with AI-driven chatbots that sound confident and reasonable but may be entirely wrong.

Josh Centers 10 comments

Avoid the Tempting but Flawed Kindle Kids Ebook Reader

Amazon sells Kindle ebook readers customized for kids, bundled with extra features and services. But the Kindle Kids interface lets Amazon promote whatever it wants to kids while preventing parents from managing what their kids see.

Adam Engst 62 comments

Survey Results: Which iOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey Features Do You Actually Use?

The results are in and wow, do people not use a lot of Apple’s features. In fact, only 4 of 20 features garnered more votes from those who used the feature than those who didn’t. Some of the usage patterns are no surprise—SharePlay, really?—but others caught us off guard.

Josh Centers 61 comments

Survey: Which iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey Features Do You Actually Use?

Apple released a slew of new features with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey. But how many people are actually using them? Respond to our survey, and we’ll post the results next week.

Adam Engst 8 comments

Examining Slack’s New Free Plan Restrictions and Motivations

Slack has overhauled the limits on its free plan, claiming that the majority of active free teams will have access to more message and file history than before. But your mileage may vary—and some people feel betrayed. Adam Engst explores the topic and muses about what we should be able to expect from free services.