My Inbox, My Rules

Today, I came across 98 Voices via Chris Coyier’s Email Is Good.

This amuses me on so many levels. The presumptuousness of these ‘thought leaders’ (good grief, I hate that phrase!) The continuing (un)helpfulness of Gmail. But most of all, the petitioning of Google to allow this app to reverse reality and declare promotional emails not-remotely-promotional-no-siree.

I receive a few promotional emails in my inbox. One of those is from Seth Godin, one of the 98 voices. I do get to see his emails, because a) I use FastMail, b) FastMail doesn’t enforce filtering of my inbox for me, c) I can do my own filtering, so I read it when I want to.

Added irony: the reason I’m subscribed to Seth’s newsletter is because his blog doesn’t have an RSS feed.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear, then, that I get a lot more insightful commentary from my RSS feeds than I do from my email inbox.

My inbox, my rules. If you think that you can dictate to me how I receive your message, you’re probably not going to stay on my radar. Sorry.

I got some text messages and emails over the last 24 hours to let me know that my direct debits have been changed over. So fingers crossed, that means that my bank switch is going without any hitches!
Two mobile phone handsets side by side. Lenovo PHAB2 on the left, iPhone SE on the right.

The Little iPhone That Could

It’s coming up for a year since I switched from a huge Android phone to the tiny iPhone SE. So I wanted to write a bit about why I switched and what my experience has been like.

Before getting the Android phone (a Lenovo PHAB2) I’d owned an iPhone 4S. The 4S had served me well but was now showing its age and was no longer supported by Apple. I know from experience that app support tends to tail off, and those apps that still run have a harder time operating.

Continue reading The Little iPhone That Could

Gripe about Medium

(This was originally posted as a comment to @baldur on

Opening the link caused Medium to open their ‘helpful’ overlay inviting me to create an account. Thankfully, Reader View kicked in so I didn’t have to glare at it for long. However, because of the ‘clever’ lazy-load way that Medium loads images in their articles, I then had to turn off Reader View, and close the overlay, in order to see any of the images in full rather than fuzzy low-res. Another reason why I tend to avoid Medium as a source for reading or inspiration.

The Perils of Assuming Google is Good at Design

Listen To Me And Not Google

Heydon Pickering, from his critique of Google’s Material Design:

Here’s the thing: Google are not successful because they know how to design inputs. Astonishing, I know, but Google are not the artisan purveyors of fine forms for which you may have mistaken them. They make their money by other means.

This isn’t a new problem, either. While it’s great that a company will ‘dog-food’ its own products to prove that they work, that just proves that it works for them. Failing to take the needs of your users or customers into consideration, or worse still adopting a not-invented-here attitude, is just storing up problems that could come back to bite you, hard. Microsoft should know that by now. So should Apple.

Thoughts on Tidying and Marie Kondo

I’m nearly at the end of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. While her recent foray into selling home accessories strikes a dissonant note, and I’m not minded to go to the extremes of space utilisation that she advocates, there’s a lot of good advice in there. And my experience of the benefits of tidying and organising your home chimes with what she describes in the final section of the book.

I’ll be passing on my copy of the book to my sister, who’s trying to declutter her own house.

Today, I found a new circle of RSS Hell.

A site says it has an RSS feed, but the RSS feed is not discoverable from the page header. I had to copy the RSS feed address, paste it into Reeder… and be informed that the feed isn’t valid.

In $DEITY’s name, whyyy?????

Wherein Apple continues its tireless work to drive developers away from the App Store

Gluon, an Apple App Store rejection

Wherein Apple continues its tireless work to drive developers away from the App Store. (It certainly seems that way, judging from this and similar stories.) At least on the Mac, I have the option to buy and install my apps from elsewhere. (And have.) Of course, on my iPad and iPhone that’s not an option, at least not without jailbreaking or other means.

It’s bad enough that Apple are rejecting apps on spurious or even unknowable ground. It’s even worse because they seem prepared to cut larger app-makers a lot of slack.