@Tweetbot and @Twitterrific for Mac, iOS

Further proving that the people who run Twitter have no idea about Twitter, they’ve announced they are killing the native Twitter for Mac app.

Ignoring that first full-of-incredible-amounts-of-BULLSHIT sentence, those of us familiar with the app know they effectively killed it months ago and it hasn’t been in active development for a very long time. I was surprised to hear how many folks not only liked the native Twitter app but didn’t realize there were other, better options available.

I am a big fan of the Tapbots apps (affiliate links below):

Tweetbot for iPad

Tweetbot for iPhone

Tweetbot for Mac

But I am now a constant user of Twitterrifc from The Iconfactory (affiliate links below).

Twitterrifc for iPad

Twitterrifc for iPhone

Twitterrifc for Mac

Both Tweetbot and Twitterrific are more full-featured than the Twitter for Mac app and both block the annoying “Promoted Tweets” you see on the web site and in the Twitter for Mac app. Additionally, both have much greater control over muting and “muffling” (in the Twitterrific app) than anything else I’ve used.

I especially like Twitterrific’s Muffle feature. Unlike Tweetbot, which allows you to Mute “people, hashtags, or tweets via keywords” and therefore hide those tweets for a period of time (or forever), Twitterrific allows you to “muffle” tweets in the same way (and even faster/better). I personally prefer the Muffle feature because it lets me choose words or phrases that then get grayed out in my Twitter feed but not hidden:

In the above case, I still want to see tweets from BC Ferries but not the ones that have to do with Tsawwassen. And, if I do want to see the tweet, all I have to do is click on it and it expands.

This is a huge help when there is a news story or an event (the Olympics!) going on you don’t want to see information about but still want to see other tweets by that same account. The problem I always had with the way Tweetbot hides tweets is I would often forget that I’d hidden them. With the Twitterrific way, I still see the tweets.

But, make no mistake – both Tweetbot and Twitterrific are great apps and well worth the money if you are a fan of Twitter but want a better way to manage what you see in your feed. And both are made by great Mac developers you should support.

Aukey’s 12,000mAh power bank for $12!

Amazon has a great deal on the “AUKEY 12000mAh Portable Charger”. I used a variation of this charger during my trip to Australia last month and it worked great.

It lists as costing $25.99 but check out this screenshot:

To get the deal, click on the drop-down menu where it says, “3 Applicable Promotion(s)”. Click on the bottom one where it says, “Save 54% each on AUKEY 12000mAh Portable Charger offered by Aukey Direct when you purchase 1 or more”. At checkout, you’ll see the price change to $12!

Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) Only $8!

The restored version of Lawrence of Arabia (affiliate link) is only $8 on the US Apple store right now!

One of the screen’s grandest epics, this monumental story recounts the true-life experiences of T.E. Lawrence, better known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia. A young, idealistic British officer in WWI, Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is assigned to the camp of Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness), an Arab tribal chieftain and leader in a revolt against the Turks. In a series of brilliant tactical maneuvers, Lawrence leads fifty of Feisal’s men in a tortured three-week crossing of the Nefud Desert to attack the strategic Turkish-held port of Aqaba. And following his successful raids against Turkish troops and trains, Lawrence’s triumphant leadership and unyielding courage gain him nearly god-like status among his Arab brothers.

If you’ve never seen this movie, BUY IT NOW. One of the most incredible films of all time – acting, directing, cinematography – you can not watch a better movie than this.

RealTime Industries' Reflective Decals

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I ride a motorcycle – a 2014 Yamaha FJR 1300 ES to be specific.

Riding is the single most dangerous thing I do but it’s also the most fun I can have with my clothes on, so I do it as much as I can. But you have to “manage the risk”. One way of doing that is by being visible to those who drive cars, whether it be through bright colors, high visibility gear, more lights, etc.

I highly recommend these kinds of reflective decals you can easily put on your bike. Hell, even *I* can do it and I’m usually pretty incompetent when it comes to these kinds of things. Similar to the kinds of materials you see on a bicyclist’s clothing, these “stick” to your bike and become visible when car headlights hit them. They have the added bonus of looking really good, too!

I got my set from the nice people at RealTime Industries. They don’t have decals for every make and model but if they are available for your bike, I really encourage you to get a set for your ride.

Here are the before and after shots (click the image for a larger image). The light source is the camera flash:
DSC_9876DSC_9875 DSC_9880aDSC_9881a

As you can see, the difference is obvious. Every little bit helps and this is a great way to make yourself more visible to “cagers”.

How to do a Whisky Tasting

Highland Park Whisky 101 – How to do a Whisky Tasting:

First thing we do, we look at the colour. We hold it up and look at the colour. Now, colour in whisky tells us….absolutely nothing…basically, all you’re doing is making sure your glass is clean…”

The Highland Park Distillery has posted this funny and very informative video on how to “taste” whisky (no “e” means it’s Scottish booze). Bad whisk(e)y tastes like gasoline but good whisk(e)y is sublime. I’m always trying to get friends to try out the good stuff. It’s a wonderful spirit.

The Breaking News Consumer's Handbook

The Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook:

Rather than counting on news outlets to get it right, we’re looking at the other end. Below are some tips for how, in the wake of a big, tragic story, you can sort good information from bad.

New junkies like me already know many of these tips but for the rest of you, take these to heart when it comes to “Breaking News!” – or, for that matter, *most* news stories.

Boobs, Big Data, and My Pursuit of the Perfect Bra

The Daily Dot:

According to Michelle Lam, 81% of women are wearing the wrong cup size.

As CEO of True&Co, a lingerie company that has been referred to as “Netflix for your boobs” and uses algorithms to determine which bra is the best fit for every woman, Lam knows what she’s talking about when it comes to women’s bodies. Over the past two years, True&Co has been assembling “boob data” from more than 500,000 women, using a personalized quiz that goes beyond asking women about their cup sizes.

Ladies, take the quiz. You will never think so much about your boobs in your life.

Another reason why I’ve never been so happy to have a penis. As much as I like boobs, the hassle women have to go throw to protect them, cover them and show them off is amazing.

Stop forcing people to wear bike helmets

Bicyclists Riding Without Helmets

Stop forcing people to wear bike helmets.

For most bikers, this advice is anathema. The importance of wearing a helmet has been drilled into everyone since childhood. And, it’s true that, as study after study has shown, you’re better off with a helmet if you’re in an accident.

But in the world’s most popular biking cities, particularly in Europe, very few bikers wear helmets. And there are good reasons for that: biking, it turns out, isn’t an especially dangerous form of transportation in terms of head trauma.

I don’t think even motorcycle helmets should be mandatory. But if you are so colossally stupid that you choose not to protect your brain, you should have to sign a waiver that allows us to harvest your organs if you get into an accident – whether you’re still using them or not.