Archive for May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Unicode 9.0 Candidate Emoji

Mark Davis (via Dave Addey):

These emoji have been accepted as candidates for Unicode 9.0 for a variety of reasons. They may be needed for compatibility with emoji characters in existing systems. For example, the FACE WITH COWBOY HAT was accepted for compatibility with the emoji used in Yahoo Messenger. Some are chosen based on expected high frequency of use or because they are highly popular requests from online communities. Others fill gaps in the existing set of Unicode emoji, as by completing a gender pair.

On Apple Watch Ergonomics

Craig Hockenberry:

Apple never adds settings without a good reason. The inclusion of a preference for the crown position is a pretty clear indication that someone important knew that this was an ergonomically superior choice. But it’s also one that goes against horologic convention: Apple’s desire for this device to be visually appealing won out over ergonomics. I’ll be the first to admit that the “reverse crown” looks weird. Luckily, Apple has given us a choice between what works best and what looks best. It’s been several weeks since I made the change and have never once considered changing back to the default setting. I encourage you to give it a try, too.

Indeed, it does look funny with the crown in that position. But is that only because it goes against the convention? Where did the convention come from?

Looping Auto-stop for GPS Apps and Devices

Matt Henderson:

Whether it’s my Garmin Forerunner device, or the Strava app on my iPhone, this problem happens so often that it got me wondering about possible solutions. Since the great majority of my routes—whether running, hiking or biking—start and stop at the same location, this particular problem could be solved if GPS device and app makers added a simple “looping auto-stop” setting that automatically stopped the timer whenever I returned to my starting point.

That would be great. I have forgotten to stop the GPS recorder many, many times.

Revisions for Dropbox

Revisions (App Store) (via Brett Terpstra):

The Mac OS X app that displays all your Dropbox edits, shows exactly what changes were made, and provides unlimited undo going back 30 days (or more).

One of the signature features of Revisions is that you can obtain a copy of an entire directory (including any subdirectories) at the state it was in at a user-specified point in time. To do this, first select the folder you are interested in using the folder selector at the top. Then, you will need to wait for Revisions to finish indexing that folder. Finally, move the pointer over the small space between any pair of adjacent edit groups, and click on one of the folder action buttons that appears, to download or restore a folder to that particular point in time.

This is cool, since there’s no automated way to do this using the regular Dropbox interface.

When Revisions first connects to your Dropbox account, it needs to create a list of all file edits. This is accomplished by asking for revision metadata for each and every one of your Dropbox files. The main factor that determines the indexing time is thus the number of files in your Dropbox. If your Dropbox contains many tens of thousands of files (or more) indexing can take several hours even with an excellent internet connection.

My Dropbox has about 2,000 items, and this step only took a minute or two. The Core Data SQLite index is 22.5 MB.

Update (2015-06-16): Michael E. Cohen:

The free version of Revisions can do everything I’ve just described. If, however, you purchase the $9.99 in-app upgrade to the Premium version, you get some additional functionality. Premium provides the capability to filter files shown in the timeline by name; for example, you can choose to show edits involving .html files only, or just edits involving files that contain “TextExpander” as part of their names. If you use shared folders (and, boy, do we use the heck out of shared folders at Take Control Books!), Premium shows you who among the users who share a folder have performed a particular edit.

The Responsibility We Have As Software Engineers

Ben Adida (via Ole Begemann and Eryn Wells):

We, software engineers, have superpowers most people don’t remotely understand. The trust society places in us is growing so rapidly that the only thing that looks even remotely similar is the trust placed in doctors. Except, most people have a pretty good idea of the trust they’re placing in their doctor, while they have almost no idea that every time they install an app, enter some personal data, or share a private thought in a private electronic conversation, they’re trusting a set of software engineers who have very little in the form of ethical guidelines.

Update (2015-05-24): Comments on Hacker News.