Phone Detox

According to this Wall Street Journal article, we unlock our phone ~80 times per day: How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds (I hope you can open the article without getting stuck at the WSJ’s paywall; it works for me at the time of writing this). The article then goes on to describe the detrimental effects smartphones have on us. Read it. It’s frightening. Continue reading “Phone Detox”

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Apple Earbud Fix

Fixing Apple's earpods with 3rd foam/sponge replacement cups.

If your ears are like mine and you’re an Apple user, you’ve been struggling with the flawed design of Apple’s earbuds*: their odd shape only fits the ear rather loosely (switching the left and right earbud helps) but without any cushioning that would provide a little more friction, the bare plastic doesn’t prevent the entire thing from slipping out of the ear sooner or later. Because of the loose fit, the sound is also rather poor, in particular the low frequencies. Continue reading “Apple Earbud Fix”

Firefox Quantum New Tab Page “Fix”

UPDATE: it appears that Firefox 60 has changed/removed this setting, unfortunately. I don’t know what these people are thinking, and how the smaller “top site” icons are supposed to be any helpful, but either way, the option to return to the old look with the larger icons is gone, apparently.

There is a setting browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.topSitesRows though, and I’ve changed mine to four (the default settings only allow one or two rows – completely idiotic) to make the best of a bad design decision.

Original post below.


If you’re like me, using Firefox’s “New Tab” page like a speed dial for your most common sites, then the update to Firefox 57 “Quantum” left you rather miffed – the most frequently used sites are rendered in tiny thumbnails (hey, I’m not getting any younger…), and even when you disable the “activity stream” nonsense, they’re not getting bigger. I really like the speed of FF 57, but that’s really one annoying new feature.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix, namely typing about:config into the address bar, searching for browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.enabled and setting it to “false” – hey presto, the old New Tab look is back. Phew!

 

Read Later with Drafts

If you’re “living in a mixed platform environment” like I do, using a mobile device from Apple but not an Apple desktop or laptop (or the other way around), you may have run into the scenario where you find an interesting article on Twitter or wherever else that you don’t want to read right now on the tiny phone screen but later, on a larger screen. Or you want to keep some link for later. Now how do you get that link from your phone to your computer?

My solution is email. I don’t send myself an email though – I simply create drafts. On iOS I tap share, then email, then cancel. A little requester pops up then, asking me whether I want to keep the draft or discard it. I tap keep, and that’s it. I don’t even need to select an email recipient. Just 4 taps on the screen. On the desktop, all I have to do is open my email drafts later, and there’s the stuff I wanted to read.

This doesn’t require the Reading List (confined to the Apple world), Pocket, Bookmarking, or any other service. The drafts are easily deleted, or forwarded to another person. It may be mundane but I like the simplicity of my method. 🙂

Siri Voice Quality in iOS 11

The voice quality of Siri was really shitty after I updated to iOS 11*. The voice sounded highly robotic and not natural at all, when it was supposed to sound more natural according to a number of news articles I found. That was particularly annoying for driving directions, where the low quality voice is really annoying over the car’s stereo system. Continue reading “Siri Voice Quality in iOS 11”