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Weekend productivity experiment: (Almost) no e-mail

This will probably be easy as I don’t get a lot of e-mail over the weekend anyway. – Rule 1: Don’t open Mail on the desktop – Rule 2: Only check the “VIP” view on mobile Mail – Rule 3: Work on stuff that matter If you haven’t heard about the VIP, let me just [Continue reading]

14-Year old builds his own digital clock, brings it to school, teacher has him arrested

Apparently there are teachers and police officers with such a complete lack of science literacy that consider any digital clock to be almost a time bomb, especially if a boy with a muslim name is involved. As a new high schooler, Ahmed Mohamed thought he’d show off his Maker prowess by bringing in a simple [Continue reading]

Fight procrastination with timed bursts and Time Out (Mac)

I’m currently reading the excellent “Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management“ by Mark Foster and one of the first things that caught my are timed bursts. As Mark explains: One of the most effective procrastination busters is to work in timed bursts. These bursts can be any length, but usually will be [Continue reading]

TripMode: Control what’s eating your mobile bandwidth

If you’re often connecting your Mac laptop on the road through a mobile connection (phone, USB dongle, etc), TripMode will show you which app is using how much bandwidth and will allow you to disable internet access for it. This can both save you money as well increase the connecting speed of the apps you’re [Continue reading]

Pomodoros with Eggscellent + Google Calendar + IFTTT + Beeminder

File this under #lazysunday (I should be working) #justbecauseIcan (I’m not sure I’m going to use it) #addicted2automation (no explanation necessary) :) Here’s a recipe for beeminding1 pomodoros2 if you use Eggscellent3 1) Download Eggscellent4 2) Open Google Calendar 3) Create a new calendar named “Eggscellent” 4) Open the OSX Calendar and add your Google [Continue reading]

Seven years of Facebook in a single chart

I’m not sure I have seen any other service offer anything like that. In the screenshot you see what @SumAll has produced from my Facebook activity since the beginning of my registration, back in 2007, with numbers of posts, shares, comments per week. (I’m not sure what happened in 2012, I don’t remember not using [Continue reading]

Google’s war on URLs continues

Google announced a change it has been testing for some time: replacing the URL in search results with the breadcrumbs of the page. Ironically, Google’s announcement is titled “Better presentation of URLs in search results”. To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we’re updating [Continue reading]

All the specifications of the Apple Watch in one spreadsheet

If you’re looking for exact specifications in Apple’s site for the Apple Watch, you’re in bad luck if you also want to compare the actual numbers of the various versions and bands. Apple is giving specs on each combination only, which means you have to go through page-by-page to make comparisons. Rob Griffiths did the [Continue reading]

The crime of getting the cheaper Apple product

The prices for the Apple Watch have been announced, and in typical Apple fashion, the standard version ($550) of the Watch can use any kind of strap, including the sport one, whereas the sport version ($350) can only use the sport strap. Because, you know, FU dear customer for wanting to get the cheaper option [Continue reading]

The war on women: feminist tech journalism

As an avid user of self-tracking apps, the Atlantic’s title caught my click: “How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women“. I go on to read about how men at Apple HQ designed an app that ignores menstruation: How could Apple release a health-tracking app without the ability to monitor what is likely one of the earliest types [Continue reading]

How to connect Garmin with Pact and slowly become rich!

Update: Pact does not endorse the following setup and will probably refuse support in case of trouble (which I did have). My experience with Pact’s support has been mixed… Announced with much fanfare, Apple’s Health platform didn’t make much of an impression so far in this humble blogger’s opinion. The reason being that app developers [Continue reading]

14 Days of Garmin vs Fitbit: the numbers

I’ve been testing for the last couple of weeks a Garmin Vivofit as a replacement of my Fitbit Force (see previous posts here and here). As a final part, here are some numbers from two weeks of continuous use of both devices. All in all, the differences vary from day to day, and fluctuate between [Continue reading]

12 Days of Garmin vs Fitbit

As previously written, I’ve been testing a Garmin Vivofit as a replacement for my Fitbit Force (and before moving on to a Garmin Vivoactive that is yet to be released in Europe). Here are some more thoughts. Pro Fitbit: Vibrating alarm: waking up with a vibration in your wrist is extremely better for me than [Continue reading]

9 Days of Garmin (vs Fitbit)

I’ve been a big fan of Fitbit ever since a Fitbit Force back in January 2014, as it has helped me lot in my fitness goals. But times are changing and I’m planning to get a Garmin Vivoactive this spring. Still, the band on my Force has been in terrible shape for months, getting unstuck [Continue reading]

Report from the reality distortion field

(As Apple announced it’s record quarterly net profit [7] of $18 billion this week, I’m re-posting/translating an article I wrote for the leading Greek newspaper Kathimerini [8], back in September 2014, after the Apple Watch announcement). This week saw the announcement of the new generation of iPhone models, as well as the most expected Apple [Continue reading]

Quantified self, Level 2

Good friend Dimitris Dimitriadis (@insideabox) was writing about his use of self-tracking apps. I would like to explore this a bit further, in an effort to provide more insight on the purpose of the quantified self excerice. While any kind of tracking will almost instantly change the monitored behaviour (even subconsciously), it can be more [Continue reading]

If you want to get scared about the Internet today, read this

A journalist walks into a bar along with a hacker and a spoofing device, and proceeds to sneak into people’s computers and then google them for their publicly-available personal information. If you’re intrigued and need a reason to clean up your social media profiles (do you really want to have your vacation photos set to [Continue reading]

The Apple Watch is not your next fitness tracker

This is an actual photo in the Apple page for the Sport edition of the Apple Watch. I’m not sure what kind of sport activity is displayed or in which manner the man on the right is aided by the watch. And this is the only photo of people using the Apple Watch on that [Continue reading]

How to sync RunKeeper data into HealthKit

Update (1/Dec/2014) : RunKeeper now syncs with HealthKit, on iOS you can find it in the app under  Settings -> Apps, Services, and Devices -> Apple Health. RunKeeper can read/write calories, cycling, walking+running distance (not steps), weight, etc. RunKeeper hasn’t joined the HealthKit bandwagon just yet (although they promise they will on their official forums) but there [Continue reading]

HealthKit, what is it good for? Fitbit wonders

As I was previously writing (http://bit.ly/1toSgDp) Apple’s HealthKit platform might be a solution to a problem that has been solved. Now, a major player in the fitness trackers/apps world, Fitbit, is reluctant to follow on the hype, angering it’s customers. A thread in the official features request forum currently has 571 votes in favour (the [Continue reading]

Health App/Kit: failing to solve a problem that has already been solved

I’ve been excited by the announcement of the Health app and the accompanying Healthkit by Apple. I considered them to be both a way to bring more focus on interoperability between apps, as well as (for the app part) show software developers what can be done with access to fitness/health data. The result so far [Continue reading]

Tracking the trackers: Garmin, Fitbit, Runkeeper, Moves

(Update: Scroll to the bottom for more results)  I have long been mad for tracking pretty much anything, so when I started jogging, it was quite obvious I would be tracking my runs as well. I started with Moves (http://www.moves-app.com/) an iOS/Android app that tracks your steps all day long, but also can recognise running [Continue reading]

On failing algorithms

For some perverse reason, despite being my job to write algorithms, I love it when algorithms try and fail. For the “year in review” feature, someone at Facebook thought that just matching a phrase like “it’s a boy!” in a status text meant that this was about a newborn, so obviously it should be in [Continue reading]

Data visualisation porn

The Digital Attack Map is a live data visualization, built through a collaboration between Arbor Networks and Google Ideas, that maps “distributed denial of service” (DDoS attacks) designed to take down websites around the globe. Many websites face targeted digital attacks by people who aim to silence their speech. This tool and visualization specifically surfaces [Continue reading]

Breaking news: Old man doesn’t get the Internet

I love David Byrne’s music. Which is why it hurts me to read his article on The Guardian about the effect of web services on musicians (“David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world’“). Comments on some parts of it: “In future, if artists have to rely almost exclusively on [Continue reading]

How to learn to be a coder in 180 days

Just start coding! This is what Jennifer Dewalt did. In the last 6 months she create 180 small websites, day by day learning something new, from HTML/CSS to Javascript to working with APIs and then even “lower” to Rails and Node.js. You can start today too! :) See Jeniffer’s blog and sites

How to get rid of Google Maps, create your custom maps at Mapbox

MapBox is making it easy to setup a map that will not have the “everyone has it” Google Maps look. Already used by apps and sites like Foursquare and Evernote, Mapbox utilises open sourced map data from OpenStreetMap (www.openstreetmap.org) but also provides terrain and satellite layers. But the big difference from Google Maps is that [Continue reading]

Gadget of the day: Nokia USB external battery

Tried this out from a friend and ordered immediately one for myself! The Nokia DC-16 fits a 2200mAh #battery in 12cm for 25-30 euros, ready to charge your phone. It has a USB port so you can charge any phone, including iPhones (more information here, you can shop for it on Amazon and elsewhere). If [Continue reading]