Long Links · Welcome to the August 1st edition of “Long Links”, which assembles long-form pieces that I have the luxury of enjoying due to semi-retirement. Nobody with a real job has time to read all this stuff, but one or two items might enrich your life without burning too many minutes. Note: There was no July 1st Long Links because either I was busier or the world’s long-form authors less prolific in June. Highlights this time out: Taxing wealth, attacking Amazon, guitar music, and God ...
 
CL XL: Under and Over · Wow, the last Cottage Life piece was in 2019, suggesting there was no such thing in 2020. And, what with Covid, there was less. While this story happened in situ, it’s really about something else: How much residential construction and software are like each other, and share the same really-important rule: Underpromise and overdeliver. [Includes compulsory nature shots.] ...
 
Music Notes · Herewith notes on what I’m listening to in 2021, and why that’s a problem. With recommendations both for music and for things we can do to keep it alive ...
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Where’s the Apple M2? · DPReview just published Apple still hasn't made a truly “Pro” M1 Mac – so what’s the holdup? Following on the good performance and awesome power efficiency of the Apple M1, there’s a hungry background rumble in Mac-land along the lines of “Since the M1 is an entry-level chip, the next CPU is gonna blow everyone’s mind!” But it’s been eight months since the M1 shipped and we haven’t heard from Apple. I have a good guess what’s going on: It’s proving really hard to make a CPU (or SoC) that’s perceptibly faster than the M1. Here’s why ...
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Murderbot Diaries · I suffered a massive loss of productivity for a few days last week because I started reading the first of this series and found that I had to read them all pretty much without stopping ...
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Shorting Bitcoin · I just bought put options on MicroStrategy ($MSTR), Coinbase ($COIN), and Purpose Bitcoin ETF ($BTCC-B.TO), all at a strike price not far off the current (late June) price, expiring around Christmas. Here’s the thinking ...
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Investing Intro · We’ve started to actively manage some of our family investments. It’s entertaining me, and I notice people really like talking about money, so why not talk about it here? This is the start of a new blog category ...
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Galaxy Tab S7+ · I impulse-bought this big Samsung slab which I guess represents the state of the art in Android tabletry and is trying to occupy an iPad-like spot in the ecosystem. It’s got issues but I’m keeping it. I’m writing this based on my perception that not many people have a tablet that’s not an iPad, so the territory is only lightly explored ...
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Long Links · Welcome to the June 2021 issue of Long Links, in which I curate long-form works that I enjoyed last month. Even if you think all these look interesting, you probably don’t have time to read them assuming you have a job, which I don’t. My hope is that one or two will reward your attention ...
 
Testing in the Twenties · Grown-up software developers know perfectly well that testing is important. But — speaking here from experience — many aren’t doing enough. So I’m here to bang the testing drum, which our profession shouldn’t need to hear but apparently does ...
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LP Victory · Some readers may remember a February 2019 blog post describing how I inherited 900 or so used LPs, mostly classical. As of this week, I’ve listened to all of them (or rejected them out of hand), and kept 220 or so (counting methods were imperfect). Herewith lessons and reconfigurations. Also there’s a companion piece on sixteen albums I especially liked ...
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Sixteen Classics · I just finished writing about the process of, and lessons from, processing 900 inherited LPs into my collection. I thought it wouldn’t be fair to stay meta, so here is a handful of my favorites from among the new arrivals. Yes, they are all music by dead white men, performed by other dead white men (and a couple of women). Sorry. They were released between 1953 and 1978 ...
 
It’s Bad · As we’ve slogged through Trump and carbon-loading and Covid, I’ve managed to remain more or less un-depressed and find enough gratifications in day-to-day life to keep the black dog of despair at a distance. But this morning I woke up early and, while the household slept, read most of the May 15th issue of The Economist. And folks, with a very few exceptions, it was pretty well all bad news. I feel an obligation to pass this summary along with a plea: As we relax slowly into post-Covid, maybe try to find a bit of extra energy and put it into politics or philanthropy or some other way to mitigate the awfulness. Our children deserve it ...
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Hydrofoiling · I was standing on a floating dock on a Pacific-ocean inlet, a place where it’s obvious why motorboats are such an environmental disaster. Fortunately lots of other people have noticed too and it looks increasingly that more people will be able to enjoy Messing About In Boats without feeling like they’re making Greta Thunberg justifiably angry at them ...
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Decarbonization · We’re trying to decarbonize our family as much as we can. We’re not kidding ourselves that this will move any global-warming needles. But sharing the story might, a little bit. [Updated mid-2021 with a bit of progress: No more gas vehicles, heat pumps in production.] ...
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Long Links · Welcome once again to Long Links, a monthly curation of long-form pieces that pleased and educated me and that being semi-retired gives me time to enjoy; offered in the hope that one or two might enrich the lives of busier people ...
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Amazon Q1 2021 · Amazon announced their financial results for the January to March quarter last Thursday. I was reading them when an email popped up asking if I wanted to talk about them on CNBC Squawk, which I did. In preparation, I re-read the report and pulled together a few talking points; here they are ...
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Multimodality · My Wednesday consisted mostly of running around and moving things. I used five transport modes and now I can’t not think about environmental impact and practicality and urban futures. Hop on board the car-share, boat, electric car, bus, and bike, and come along for the ride ...
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Twilights · I went out for a walk well into twilight time, put the camera in see-in-the-dark mode, fitted a fast friendly lens, and pointed it at pretty things ...
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