James Mead by James Mead

Week 296 - Interesting links

Sunrise Calendar

I read about this calendar in the Todoist blog post that mentioned Sunrise integration. I’ve had a play with it in Chrome and also installed the Android app. I’m really impressed so far. I love the little touches like showing avatars of event invitees and displaying a different icon based on the name of the event. CR

Dimensions Browser Extension

I find this quite amazing. A Chrome extension that shows the distance between various objects in an HTML page. It doesn’t feel like the sort of extension I’ll use everyday, but I’ve certainly encountered situations in the past where it would’ve come in handy. There’s a demo on the homepage so you can get an idea of how it works without installing the extension. CR

New Highrise annoucements

This appears to be the first update since Highrise was spun out of Basecamp. The post contains some general information about the future as well as specific information about some feature updates. The feature that caught my eye in particular in described in, “Previously Sent Email”: We definitely suffered from the problem of forgetting to BCC emails when using Highrise so it’s great to read that they’ve introduced a workaround to address that specific problem. CR

Confessions of a first time sketchnoter

I struggle with the passivity of sitting through a day of conference talks and I can’t draw, so I found this article by Neil Williams very inspiring. The piece includes some great tips on how to improve your drawing skills. JM

Is this how you feel?

This is a collection of hand-written letters from scientists studying climate change explaining how they feel about the issue. Even though 97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, it feels as if the public hasn’t really taken this on board. I think the letters on this website do a good job of communicating a more human side of the science and I really hope it helps. JM

Mail-in-a-box

This project aims to make it easy to setup your own mail server on an a Linux machine. It looks as if it installs and configures a pretty comprehensive set of open-source projects e.g. Postfix, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, Roundcube, ownCloud. I’m very tempted to give it a whirl. JM

The Hazards of Going on Auto-pilot

This is a really interesting analysis of the crash of Continental Connection flight 3407 on 12th Feb, 2009 and the perils of too much automation. I was particularly struck by this quote by Stephen Casner:

What we’re doing is using human beings as safety nets or backups to computers, and that’s completely backward. It would be much better if the computing system watched us and chimed in when we do something wrong.

As the article suggests, we shouldn’t assume that more automation is always better. JM

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