Category: Uncategorized

Waze and Routing around traffic

When I first started using Waze, it seemed to be very good at saying “hey, there’s a traffic jam ahead, try this other route.” Over the past few months, though, it’s felt like that’s no longer the case. Traffic needs to have built up for a while before Waze will consider other options. No matter how many reports of heavy traffic there are, if it’s hasn’t been there for a while, you’re going to be headed right through it. I guess I just wish it was quicker to reroute.

Oh, Facebook

Ohhh, Facebook. You keep giving me reasons to think about giving you up.

This week, it’s this article from Ad Age

the social network will not be honoring the do-not-track setting on web browsers. A Facebook spokesman said that’s “because currently there is no industry consensus.”

So, let me get this straight… people set a switch on their browser that says “do not track me” and Facebook decides that because there’s no agreement as to what that means, they can ignore it? Maybe a better approach would have been to say that all these people have intentionally set this flag, and even though we can’t all agree on what this means, we’ll honor what the users intentions are. But that’s not Facebook’s way. Time and again, they have proven that they’re not interested in what the users want (and take action to prevent Facebook from doing), they’re going to do whatever suits Facebook best and screw the users. 

it looks like IE10 and Firefox are set to “do not track” by default, which could be used to counter my above argument that people are setting it. Facebook could be the bigger entity here and go along with it, or they could just ignore it for those two browsers. 

The best part, though, when I search Google for “Facebook do not track,” the fourth hit is a note from Facebook from almost 3 years ago. From that article:

If you want to be anonymous online, three of the four major Internet browsers now let you send a “Do Not Track” signal. We respect that signal and won’t track your surfing, but too many companies don’t respect “Do Not Track,” including the largest online — Google. 

Google’s Chrome is the only major browser not to include an adequate “Do Not Track” setting and Google’s web sites don’t respect your “Do Not Track” signals.

Google’s doing the same thing, but at least they didn’t flip-flop on the issue to whatever’s most convenient for them. 

Guess it’s time for another privacy lockdown on Facebook. 

Manilla Closing – or Let Me Pay For Your Service

[Manilla is closing down as of July 1](https://www.manilla.com/announcement/). It was a good service, but I’m not entirely surprised. I tried it for a while before switching to [FileThis](https://filethis.com/). I think FileThis is better for two reasons.

One is because it let me automagically download everything to Dropbox. While Dropbox could (theoretically) go away at any time, I’ll still have the local copies of my data.

The other thing FileThis has going for it is it’s not free. Ultimately, servers and bandwidth and employees cost money. I feel much safer relying on a service I can pay for, knowing I’m supporting my usage. IFTTT, I’m looking at you.

IFTTT iOS Photo recipes will upload ALL your photos

IFTTT on iOS used 7.5GB of cellular data – iphone usage | Ask MetaFilter:

An IFTTT user found that the IFTTT app used 7.5Gb of data… despite only having two recipes (a weather one and a photo screenshot one). When he inquired of them as there wasn’t any corresponding huge chunks of data he could see, IFTTT’s twitter responded:

So now I’m wondering are there other IFTTT channels that will beat the heck out of my cellular data plan?  

I love IFTTT, and I hope they correct this quickly because right now this just reeks of being a stupid decision on their part. 

Update: As I was typing, I looked – both the Android and iOS Photo channels now say that they upload all the photos. Not sure if it said that before though. 

Banking

I’ve struggled with finding a good way to know my bank account balance on the go. Logging in to the bank’s app or website shows me what they know about, but future transactions don’t show up there, even if they’re in their own Bill Pay function. Mint has the same problem, but also gets flaky on pending transactions. I had been using Quicken Essentials for balancing, but Intuit has apparently decided there’s no need for an iOS version. 

So I’ve built my own structure. I wrote a script for Fake.app to log into my bank’s website, download the last few days of transactions and log out. I run this script every day. Hazel picks up the downloaded file and imports it into Moneywell, and then marks it as ok for deletion.

Moneywell has a number of interesting features, most of which I don’t use. What brought me to them was that their iPhone app syncs via Dropbox and is free for a single account… which is all I need to monitor. I had picked up a license for their Mac application a few years ago, so I upgraded to the current version and *poof* I now have up to date information on my current account balance and what upcoming expenses I have. 

The new Grocery List process

So now that I’m not using my Applescript and Numbers grocery list, how am I doing it? 

Two key pieces – Drafts for content entry and Evernote for storage. I created a notebook in Evernote specifically for lists.

In Drafts I have tow actions defined. One adds the current note to a predefined groceries note in Evernote. But there’s lots of time where I need to add items to a non-grocery list, like Target,  home improvement or pet stuff. So I have a separate action which reads the first line of the note as the notebook and adds the rest of the note to that list.

Because I’m a packrat, I also keep the old lists around. Once I’m done at the store, I rename that list by appending the date to it. (And if Evernote would support TextExpander, that’d be even easier — hint hint). 

Catching up.

Guess I should follow up with where I am with the projects from previous posts.

Grocery lists (here and here): I’ve stopped adding them to the Numbers spreadsheet. Took too long and had some fragility issues around the script that processed the data on the Mac. Instead, I use Drafts to post things to the list in Evernote.

Date recognition (here): Became a moot point when Hazel added a better implementation to its rules.

As for task management, I’m using a variation on The Secret Weapon which probably needs some more revision. (Future post, I’m sure.) At the time, I liked the idea of using Evernote and was headed towards it being Where I Lived. I still use it a lot, but I don’t live there. More of a vacation home, really.