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recommendations

Gaming hardware – google Stadia on sale

I’m much more in the buy-nothing camp than the Black Friday camp, so I debated posting this. Allow me to explain – like many, I gamed in school, with my office mate and friend introducing me to the fun of network games, particularly FPS such as Quake and variants. For years, the combination of parenting and terrible Mac support has deterred me, but recently I found this Dappered gift guide post in my RSS feed.

I used to be much more of a gamer. I truly enjoy it. And before I bought this for myself, I just hadn’t found as many windows to get back to gaming since becoming a dad. It happens. But the Stadia solves every issue I had with that “time” factor. It’s cloud-based, so my games are ready to go when I turn on my controller, which instantly connects to my TV via the included Chromecast Ultra. I can also play on any computer (pictured above) or on my phone. I’ve been able to fit in dozens upon dozens of hours of gaming because of the take-it-anywhere-ness of Stadia. There are no files to download, no waiting for the console to update after leaving it dormant for a few months, no more does that precious hour window get whittled down to 20 minutes. With Stadia, I pick up the controller and I’m playing in less than a minute. Take that, impossible-to-find PS5!

https://dappered.com/2021/11/the-dappered-gift-guide-for-the-dappered-dad-2021-edition/

That sounds appealing, and $80 bucks isn’t bad. However, right now Google is selling them for $22!

Twenty two bucks! Damn, that’s cheap.

Oddly, extra controllers are $60, so I just ordered two Stadias. I hope to be able to play against a kid or friend.

It could well be that Google will discontinue Stadia, they have a long history of axing projects so there is that risk. Still, for this price I thought it worth sharing and a reasonable risk. Can’t wait to try some games again!

Categories
Covid-19 essays recommendations Uncategorized

The Invisible Plague. Images matter. | by James Heathers | Sep, 2021 | Medium

I gravitate towards aggregated measurements. I use words like ‘gravitate’ and ‘aggregated’ when I do it. Sometimes the complaining has been loud, and then someone writes about me in the newspapers…
— Read on jamesheathers.medium.com/the-invisible-plague-c092ab1f7771

Categories
recommendations

Ditch network solutions

Found this via Hacker News, a screen by screen takedown of all the dark patterns used by Network Solutions.

https://www.coywolf.news/webmaster/network-solutions-dark-patterns-domain-registration-transfers/

Personally, I’ve had phfactor.net since the late 1990s, started back when they were the only game in town, and they’ve frog-boiled me out of a lot of money. Today, I finished the transfer to CloudFlare and urge you to consider a move yourself if you’re still with Network Solutions. Doesn’t need to be Cloudflare, there are plenty of others, but for $8 a year I get caching, DDOS protection plus domain registration and less bullshit in my inbox.

That’s worth sharing.

Postscript – this blog post details how to use your EdgeRouter to update CloudFlare’s dynamic DNS. Nice! That saves me the second no-longer-free DNS service that I used to use from Dyn.com.

Dyn got bought by Oracle, and needless to say I’m not ready to give my credit card to them. I like the simplicity of having Cloudflare do registrar, dns and caching.

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recommendations reviews Watches Wrist shots

Scurfa Treasure Seeker

It’s as good as hoped. Wish it was 38 instead of 41mm but still a delight.

They’ve been intermittently sold out but this isn’t a limited edition so you can eventually get one.

Delightful timekeeping on mine so far – better than chronometer spec, under 2 seconds per day or better. Astonishingly good!

https://www.scurfawatches.com/product/treasure-seeker-white-dial/

Categories
essays recommendations

Fascinating read about debutantes

I had a grandmother who was an East-coast debutante. This read by AHP places them as a societal solution and resists further simplification. Highly recommended read!

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Food Random recommendations

Pistachios and cashews are gangster

Imagine yourself a sea captain, sailing from port to port with cargos of food. Which ones are a risk?

So a cargo of pistachios seems harmless, doesn’t it? It’s totally not – they can suffocate you, set themselves on fire in two different ways and might, for bonus hazard points, explode.

Cashews? They’re covered in toxic irritant irushiol, which has to be burned off before they’re safe for consumption. That’s why you’ll never see cashews in-shell.

I learned both of these and more at the latest issue of The Whippet, which I recommend to you. S/he finds interesting stuff.

Categories
recommendations Watches

GPS or radio?

I like restraint in watch design – clarity, legibility, smaller cases that wear more comfortably. I also value accurate timekeeping. There have been some recent releases that hit that intersection nicely, so why not share in case others are interested?

Via Plus9Time, the Seiko Astron SSJ003J1:

Photo credit: Seiko

Seems to be selling for about $1800 with availability in September 2021. At nearly 2k, that’s edging into Grand Seiko quartz prices; quite a big step up from the more mature models with radio control. For example, the Seiko SBTM313:

Photo credit: Seiko

or the SBTM305, with a dial closer to that of the Astron:

Photo credit: Seiko

Solar powered, similar in size and style, but radio set (5 band) versus GPS. Sakura has them for just under $450. 1/4th the price!

From the competition, Citizen has multiple offerings. I like the Attesa line, in particular the CB1120s:

Photo credit: Citizen

That’s the reference CB1120-50F, a 37mm titanium beauty, also available with baton markers and/or white dial for about $450.

Photo credit: Citizen

That’s the AT6070-57L. Nice, and I like the day-date for everyday. Maybe 600$.

I bought the CB1120-50F above and have had it about six months; it’s stellar. Best radio reception I’ve ever seen, beautifully made and just a wonderful, zero-attention watch. It’s easy to recommend. The SBTM series is a pretty direct competitor and I find the green-dial 313 rather attractive.

At 500 bucks, you’re talking expensive quartz, with competition rampant including the Apple Watch. The 2k for the Astron is mighty hard to swallow, given the super niche differences in usefulness – the difference is being able to get time sync in places without radio reception. Australia/NZ, polar areas, South America. If you live there, probably worth it. If you live in Europe, North America, UK or Japan, why bother? Radio sync, in my experience with maybe 15 watches, gets you within 0.5 seconds and sometimes closer – as mentioned the Attesa is best-ever and dead synced to NTP, radio and GPS references.

I should also note that the CB1120s have non-standard lugs, meaning you’re basically stuck with the bracelet, which is usually a thing I consider a deal breaker; in this case I loved the watch so much I bought one anyway.

On an unrelated note, I wrote this post on my iPad, not too bad as an authoring experience so I should be able to post more often.

Categories
Coffee recommendations

My coffee of choice

Ever since the late 1990s (yeah, I know), my coffee purveyor of choice has been Whiting Coffee, in Albuquerque NM. We found it while attending UNM and have been customers ever since. I make coffee in a Bodum insulated press, and their French roast is superb for that – complex, flavor rich, light acidity and no burnt notes. And their prices have been excellent.

As a side rant, most French / espresso roasts I’ve tried are overcooked cheap beans, thin on flavor and strong on burnt. Yuck. Whiting actually has a really good South American mix of beans they use for theirs.

Anyway, until now you had to telephone them, tell them what you wanted and they’d include a paper bill with the beans. As of June 2021, they now have a website! Where you can order! I’ll save you a browse and just direct you to my favorite: https://whitingcoffeeco.com/order-online/ols/products/1-pound-espresso-french

You’re welcome.

Categories
essays Random recommendations

Building a Cathedral — The Prepared

Well worth your time! https://theprepared.org/features/2019/4/28/building-a-cathedral

Categories
recommendations

Today I learned the iPhone’s excellent document scanner can be controlled from a Mac – The Verge

Cool trick – as they say, no wires required, and I just tried it out to import a receipt for reimbursement. Works really well.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/1/22306875/apple-continuity-camera-ios-ipados-document-scanner-macos-mojave