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Catfood Software products including Catfood Earth, WebCamSaver and PdfScan are now distributed from the Downloads page of I Thought He Came With You. For updates on new releases please subscribe to the email list or feed. If you need support please leave a comment here.

Sun Halo

Sun Halo

California Climate Credit

Cap & Fade

Once in a while I'm stupid enough to read my email. This month I'm getting a climate credit! Must have done something right? No:

"The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program."

So... apparently part of fighting climate change is making my energy bill randomly cheaper?

It's hard to think of anything less likely to help. Just as I'm starting to feel the pain of winter bills I'm paying slightly less and so I'm slightly less inclined to turn down the heating or finally do something about my beautiful but effectively absent front windows.

A problem with carbon taxation is that it's regressive. So why not use this money to make the first $xx cheaper, and maybe even charge more at the high end of usage?

Links for April 2021

Updated on Friday, April 16, 2021
The New York Times: How Brexit Ruined Easter for Britain’s Chocolate Makers

Interesting that there also seems to be a shortage on British supermarket shelves as well then.

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Easter egg hunt: UK shoppers disappointed by shortages | Easter | The Guardian

Here's the Guardian on the shortage. So British chocolate can't be found in Europe or the UK. Where is it going? Eezy Freezy!

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The story behind Kidlapse

Latest update on Kidlapse.

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Search Engine Roundtable: Google: User Generate Content Products Reviews Will Have A Hard Time Ranking Well

And instead we get affiliate link stuffed fluff pieces?

ITHCWY Newsletter for March 2021

Book reviews for March 2021

The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds by Mark   Humphries

The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds by Mark Humphries

5/5

 

2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliot Ackerman

2034: A Novel of the Next World War by Elliot Ackerman

3/5

 

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings

4/5

 

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

4/5

 

Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll

Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll

4/5

 

I Love Email

HELO

Everyone is always trying to kill email, and it's always because it's a supposed productivity villain and life will be so much easier when we can all live happily in some chat based universe. I've spent enough time in Slack and Teams and their predecessors to know that we should go back before it's too late.

Chat brings you infinite inboxes and no great way to tell which of them is important. Having looked away for a few minutes there are dozens of unread conversations. Some of them are people sharing a photo of their cat. One of them is an emergency requiring immediate attention but good luck finding it without wading through everything.

This brings me to a lack of useful state. I handle email in two quick passes - read everything (and discard anything that doesn't need further attention), deal with anything critical and then at some point go back and mop up the rest. In chat though you just blew past something that needs a response eventually and it fades from your mind as you fight the fire elsewhere. I never miss an email, I often miss a chat.

And good luck finding anything. Maybe a market leader or two will establish dominance for long enough but my experience so far has been lurching from one platform to the next, both professionally and personally, and having a hard time finding that one thing I know should be in there from the end of last year. My Gmail has emails going back to 1996, and yes that's almost a decade before Gmail existed. I can find anything.

On the subject of dominance, the real reason for all of the attempted email homicide is that it's one of the last open systems that everyone still uses. If only email would just die you'll be trapped forever in Messenger and Hangouts.

[email protected]

Out of Office Hours

OOO

Inc has an article based on this blog suggesting that the solution to 'zoom fatigue' is reverse meetings.

I imagined that this was going to be a S03E01 of Red Dwarf type scenario where you get handed some notes and a few action items and then apologize for leaving early. But no, it's office hours.

""In a reverse meeting scenario, by contrast, I might take only 10 minutes from each colleague, taking up 50 minutes total of my time, and 50 minutes total of their time, for an overall demand of 100 minutes of attention, which is 3.6 times less cost," Newport writes. And voilà, he's just given your team back more than four hours of productive time a week."

Assuming that people manage to show up in perfect slots with no conflict and do so in a way that has perfect utilization for the victim and that there is no value in having someone point out that one of those 10 minute slots was full of incorrect information sending you down a two week rabbit hole that could have easily been avoided by having the right people spend some time together.

In a perfect world my ideal meeting situation is the meeting defragmenter. This involves software and cooperation unfortunately so the next best solution is out of office hours. I need focused time to get stuff done and blocking large chunks of meeting repelling time is really the only thing that works.

Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2021

Upload

It's springtime in the northern hemisphere or autumn if you happen to live south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

(Previously: Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2020)

Links for March 2021

Solar System Cartogram

Might need revisiting when we get a submarine into Enceladus.

Great Horned Owlets

Great Horned Owlets

Two baby Great Horned Owls and one parent at Glen Canyon Park in San Francisco.