RELIABLE SHORTCUTS WITH STREAM DECK AND KEYBOARD MAESTRO

I talked myself into buying a Stream Deck to control my Mac. I didn't want one for the media features. I wanted a cool, programmable external keyboard-like thing to trigger actions. For example, I have buttons to turn my office lights on and off, toggle between playing sounds through my external speakers and headphones, and open my notes app to the Today's Journal page. I like it. Most docs I found suggest using the Shortcuts plugin to execute Apple Shortcuts.

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OPT OUT OF HULU'S NEW BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE

Hulu's new subscriber agreement claims to require users to resolve significant disputes through arbitration. It specifically prevents us from participating in class action lawsuits: ANY DISPUTE BETWEEN YOU AND US, EXCEPT FOR SMALL CLAIMS, IS SUBJECT TO A CLASS ACTION WAIVER AND MUST BE RESOLVED BY INDIVIDUAL BINDING ARBITRATION. This is a terrible deal for users.1 Hulu gets the right to hire someone to settle disputes. We lose the right to protect ourselves as a group if Hulu does something horrible that hurts us.

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MAKING NOTES LOOK LIKE A MARKDOWN EDITOR, IF YOU SQUINT

I use Apple's Notes app to, well, take notes. It's the only non-Markdown I regularly use for such things. While I can, should, and mostly do try to use its built-in keyboard shortcuts to format text, sometimes I find myself looking at the screen wondering why ``` didn't put it into a pre-formatted text mode. Today I decided to use Keyboard Maestro to indulge my Markdown muscle memory. The results are on my Gitea server.

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ADDING CARPLAY TO OUR TOYOTA’S ENTUNE SYSTEM

Our 2016 Toyota Sienna is perfect, except for its janky entertainment system. Every time I plugged in my phone, the Entune radio started playing “A a a a a Very Good Song”. It doesn’t have maps, at least that you’d want to bother with using. “Hey Siri” replied with an old, robotic-sounding voice. If you were lucky, playing a song would show an old photo of the band. Music from bands newer than the van would display something generic like “Alternative”.

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BIDEN PARDONS CANNABIS USERS

US President Joe Biden pardoned all Federal convictions for the use and simple possession of cannabis. I don't use cannabis. If it were to go away tomorrow, my life wouldn't change one bit. I am thrilled with this blanket pardon. Modify the statement, like: I am pardoning additional individuals who may continue to experience the unnecessary collateral consequences of a conviction for simple possession of beer, attempted simple possession of beer, or use of beer.

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ONE PILL CAN KILL

I've seen things that looked like ads for apps in the iOS App Store. Today, I saw an ad for something else altogether. It's a public service announcement warning viewers about potentially lethal fake prescription pills: That's a good thing to warn people about. However, it couldn't be more out of place between the regular listings for games and useful apps. This is the app store, not a random website. And a PSA is one thing.

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IN THE BEGINNING WAS WORD

My kid is home from college. I'm watching them do their homework while struggling against the shortcomings of Microsoft Word. It's the Bourne shell of word processing: powerful, ubiquitous, chock full of time-sucking footguns, and probably the wrong tool for any job that won't fit on a single screen. After working with more civilized tools like a good text editor paired with a Markdown processor, I'd been happy to forget that some people still voluntarily use Word.

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FIXING THE CASPER GLOW LIGHT CHARGER

Our Casper Glow Lights are nice. However, their charging bases are poorly made, and as seen in user reviews, they often break in a specific way. Inevitably, one or both of the little spring-loaded charging pins will permanently stick in the lowered position so that they don't contact the charging elements on the light. In this photo, the outer pin on the left sticks up a little above the charger's base.

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BACK TO OMNIFOCUS. AGAIN.

I know I said I'm using Things to manage all the things I need to do, but I've switched back to the OmniFocus 4 beta. I like Things. It's pretty and ergonomic. That matters in something you'll spend so much time with. For the most part, I like using Things more than I do OmniFocus, which isn't exactly beautiful to look at. OmniFocus does everything right where it matters, though.

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KITTY LIKES HER SUREFOOD MICROCHIP PET FEEDER

We have 2 cats. One of them1 requires a prescription food. Predictably, because he's a cat, he hates his food and wants to eat the other cat's. Any other time, the second cat wouldn't let the first anywhere near her food. Because she's a cat and enjoys tormenting us, now she's happy to share her forbidden kibble. I'd heard about pet feeders that use RFID tags to distinguish between animals and only open for the one (or ones) that you've programmed into them.

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