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Mount Davidson 360 4K

Mount Davidson 360 4K

360 degree 4K timelapse from Mount Davidson, the highest peak in San Francisco. Shot in five segments.

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Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice 2015 rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

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San Francisco from Mount Davidson

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Catfood Earth 3.41

Catfood Earth 3.41

Catfood Earth 3.41 fixes a problem that was preventing the weather radar layer from loading.

I've also updated to the latest (2015g) time zone database and the latest time zone map from Eric Muller.

Download the latest Catfood Earth.

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OAuth

We'd probably be living in a post-scarcity Star Trek / Culture style universe happily working on self-actualization if we didn't have to spend so much time fucking around with OAuth.

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Got It

Got It irritating me on Facebook

When I run an app or launch a website it's generally because I've got some task to complete and a few free minutes to try and complete it.

Let's take Facebook for example. I want to quickly scan through to see which of my friends are sharing anodyne inspirational quotes superimposed over stock photography and silently judge them.

Facebook picks this moment to let me know about a new feature that will display previously unshared photos and videos to try and get me to share them. I'm instantly pissed off because of the unwelcome cognitive load and then I realize that the whole app has frozen. In fact every time I load Facebook at the moment it just hangs until I give up and do something else.

This is probably because one of my daughters has the endearing habit of shooting hour long 4K videos of the floor. The poor app is probably innocently trying to grab a couple of thumbnails and instead getting an object lesson in the halting problem. I'm sure this will eventually get fixed and it's not even the root cause of my current fury.

Got It irritating me on the Londonist

Got It

My only option is to click Got It. This chirpy little phrase is slowly infesting every corner of interaction design. It seems relatively innocuous at first but let's unpick it a little.

Generally Got It signals that something has been added to an app or site that the designer feels is important enough that they need to let me know about it.

This is almost always going to be bad news. Probably the way I complete my task has changed and I'm going to have to learn the new way. Maybe there has been a complete redesign and the use I had for the app was considered an edge case and has been removed. It could be that for legal reasons I need to be told that some new previously unpillaged corner of my privacy needs to be violated.

I'm immediately in a bad frame of mind when I see Got It.

Also there is rarely a Don't Got It or  Don't Want It link. Got It is a sign that something is being forced on you and the happy language is an implicit forced value judgement that you've both fully comprehended the change and that you wholeheartedly agree with it.

It probably feels cute to designers that come up with this. After all, a whole team has probably toiled for weeks if not months to come up with a new way to cause my phone to hang. They really want me to use it. But you're not putting yourself in my shoes. I rarely care and usually you're making my day fractionally less enjoyable and the design should be about me and not you.

Got It irritating me on YouTube

I miss OK. It's less loaded. I'm OK with dealing with whatever you're inflicting on me. It's not as good as OK / Cancel but sometimes OK is about the best you can expect.

I just don't Got It.

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Google Inbox Account Switching

Google Inbox Account Switching

Google is generally pretty good about managing multiple accounts but sometimes you get completely stuck. One example is Google Inbox where your primary account is Google Apps for Work without Inbox enabled. You just get a screen saying that Inbox needs to be activated and no option to switch to another account.

There is a fix, and this sometimes works for other products as well. In the URL (https://inbox.google.com/u/0/) there is a user number. Change the 0 to 1 (or maybe 2, 3, etc depending on the number of accounts) and you can get Inbox up and running again.

One case I haven't found a clean workaround for is importing a segment or custom report in Google Analytics. You just get the default profile and if it's not what you're after then there is no way to switch. What does work here is launching an incognito window, signing in to the relevant account and then using the import link. A bit painful but gets the job done.

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Book reviews for November 2015

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

3/5

 

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4/5

 

Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker

Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker

4/5

 

The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6) by Charles Stross

The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6) by Charles Stross

3/5

Too much flat pack furniture assembly, not enough slaying of eldrich horrors. Also I miss Bob.

 

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Twin Peaks 360 4K

Twin Peaks 360 4K

360 degree timelapse from the top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

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Gray Whales at Waddell Beach

Gray Whales at Waddell Beach

Gray Whales at Waddell Beach

Gray Whales at Waddell Beach

Gray Whales at Waddell Beach

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