Links and Notes – Week 13, 2020

Music streaming has actually decreased since coronavirus has increased around the world. Hypebeast. I find this fascinating and unexpected. I myself listen to most of my music whilst at home, prefering podcasts whilst commuting and exercising. But maybe commuting is when most people listen to music?

Is it OK to go for a walk? New York Times. Yes! Well, for now. Italy recently put a stop outside exercise as they grow more and more desperate.

Maciej Cegłowski, creator of Pinboard and usually an advocate for digital privacy rights, argues that compromising some of them to save lives during the COVID-19 crisis is worth the trade-off. Idle Words. I personally disagree (the death rate isn’t high enough and governments these days are looking for any little excuse to totally lock down the internet) but he makes a lot of good points.

What happens when a city gives its citizens $500 a month, no questions asked? The New Republic.

YouTube videos will default to standard definition now. But you can still manually chose HD quality. Bloomberg.

Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) on life in quarantine London. Vulture.

Victims of domestic abuse are in for an even worse time than usual as households around the world enter lockdown. Time.

[Gallery] Beautiful libraries from around the world. Colossal.


I was glad this week to see that grocy, ‘a web-based self-hosted groceries & household management solution’ was near the top of Pinboard’s most-bookmarked list. Ever since the COVID-19 crisis has begun I’ve done my very best to ensure I don’t waste any food (something I’m sadly not usually too good at). I’m yet to try grocy as it seems a little overkill for my needs and fridge. But whenever I buy food at the moment I add the various products ‘use-by’ date to a text file so I can ensure nothing gets wasted.

I’ve moved from Safari to Firefox. I have 16GB of RAM on my MacBook Pro but I was still getting ‘no application memory’ warnings thanks to Safari eating too much RAM all the time. Also Safari kept on hanging on my increasingly-old Mac mini. So I thought I’d give Firefox a go for the first time in a long time and I like it. It’s no where near as beautiful as Safari. But it feels light and my open-tab addicton doesn’t seem to bog it down like it did with Safari. Also, the cloud syncing features of Safari I like are now on Firefox. You can sync all data (including browser extensions), see open tabs on other devices, and ‘send’ tabs to other devices, which is nice.

I also abandoned another Apple product this week: iCloud Drive. Because if one of my macOS devices wasn’t restarted for a while iCloud Drive would just stop syncing properly. It was always a risk trusting an Apple cloud product (not exactly their strong suit) and sadly it was a risk that didn’t pay off this time. I’ve now moved to Resilio Sync. It doesn’t offer any cloud backup features, instead – as the name implies – it just syncs files between computers. So I let Arq and Backblaze handle the cloud backup side. But so far I like it. If you need to access your files on your phone a lot then I wouldn’t reccomend it because the app is poor, confusing and slow. But luckily it’s not a feature I need so I’ll happily keep on using it for the time being.

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