The Rock x Siri

I’ve seen the Apple / Rock / Siri ad 4 times now, and I’m laugh out loud every time. This could have been truly terrible, but I’m happy to report that it’s absolutely awesome. Click the title of this post to take a look for yourself.

Trump Says Apple to Build Three Plants in U.S.

Peter Nicholas reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Trump, in a 45-minute interview with The Wall Street Journal, said Mr. Cook promised him Apple would build “three big plants, beautiful plants.” Mr. Trump didn’t elaborate on where those plants would be located or when they would be built.

I don’t believe anything that come out of Trump’s mouth. However, if this is true, I’m almost certain Tim Cook doesn’t appreciate announcing this for him.

Senate GOP is trying really hard to avoid the Democrats

Sarah Kliff Reporting for Vox:

This exemption could have the effect of ensuring that members of Congress have coverage for a wider array of benefits than other Americans who purchase their own coverage.

A Senate Republican aide confirmed that the exemption existed but was unable to comment as to the specific effect it would have. The aide said it was included to ensure that the bill hewed to the chamber’s strict reconciliation rules that limit the policies this health bill can include.

It was already made clear they wanted not help from Democrats when it was decided that there would be no formal hearings on the bill. This exemption serves to further emphasize the lengths to which Republicans are willing to go to avoid the filibuster and, by extension, having to work across the aisle.

John Gruber Speculates on the Price and Strategy Behind This Year’s iPhone

John Gruber writing at Daring Fireball:

[…] if Apple expects severe supply constraints on these iPhones, I think prices of $1199 (64 GB) and $1299 (256 GB) are more likely. I honestly don’t think something like $1249/1399 is out of the question.

The prices for these iPhones need to be high enough so that tens of millions of people still want to buy the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. If the “iPhone Pro” or “iPhone Edition” or whatever it is that Apple is going to call this phone starts at $800 or even $900, who is going to buy an iPhone 7S or 7S Plus? Not enough people, that’s who. Apple needs tens of millions of people to buy the 7S and 7S Plus because they aren’t going to be able to produce the “Pro/Edition” model in sufficient quantity.

He’s right. I don’t want him to be because this would price me out of the new hotness, but it makes sense. I encourage you to read his whole analysis / reasoning, it’s quite good.

If GOP Healthcare Bill Fails, McConnell Says They’ll Fix Obamacare

Jennifer Haberkorn reporting for Politico:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that if the chamber’s fledgling Republican Obamacare repeal effort falls short, Congress will have to pass a more limited bill to shore up health insurance markets. […}

McConnell in the past has warned fractious GOP lawmakers that if the Republican-only repeal effort failed, he would be forced to work with top Democrat Chuck Schumer on legislation that conservatives would likely oppose much more than the GOP repeal bill.

This should have been the plan from the get go. The GOP’s unwillingness to even discuss this bill with their democratic counterparts is ridiculous. They’re not even trying to work with the other side and then accusing the left of not wanting to participate

Jay-Z’s ‘4:44’ to Arrive on Apple Music Next Week

Gil Kaufman reporting for Billboard:

Less than 24 hours after JAY-Z’s 13th album, 4:44, dropped as a midnight exclusive on Tidal/Sprint on Friday (June 30), Billboard has learned that the confessional 10-track work will soon be available elsewhere.

A source confirmed that 4:44 will be added to Apple Music/iTunes next week after its one-week exclusivity window on Tidal

That didn’t take long.

Things Adds Repeating Tasks Within Projects

​Mick writing on the Cultured Code Blog:

One of the features requested the most is for repeating to-dos to also work inside of projects – and now they do! It’s great for long-term projects where you have daily or weekly tasks that need to be performed until your project is complete.

This is something that I’ve been waiting for for a while. I think “finally” is apt for this feature addition.

Prada’s Clip

Aaron Ramirez over at The NaN:

If you are in the market for something to throw an unnecessary amount of money on, then look no further. Prada has released a designer money CLIP, that allows you to hold all the pretention of two self absorbed ego’s in one sleek paperclip design.

Great write up about this “great” product.

Apple Announces New Activity Challenge to Celebrate National Parks

Brent Dirks writing for AppAdvice:

On Saturday, July 15, anyone worldwide with an Apple Watch can complete a walk, run or wheelchair workout of 3.5 miles to earn a special award and exclusive iMessage stickers.

The distance was chosen because it matches the length of a hike from Old Faithful to Mallard Lake in Yellowstone National Park – the first national park in the United States.

I love these activity challenges. I think Apple has definitely hit on something to get people out and about on special days.

Switching to WordPress

I’ve done it. I’ve migrated my site, or most of it, to a self-hosted WordPress. Previously I’d hosted Dragonami on Squarespace because it’s ridiculously easy to set up and maintain. I didn’t have to worry about anything but my content. Recently, though, I got the itch to try something new. I started dabbling around with HTML & CSS, messing around with a test site on GitHub Pages using Jekyll because it was free and easy.

There came a point where I realized that Jekyll wasn’t going to do it for me. So I bought some hosting and installed WordPress. In my previous attempts to use WordPress, I wasn’t happy with the free theme offerings. Most themes did one or two things I wanted, but none did all of them, and most didn’t handle them the way I wanted. So obviously the way to go is to write your own.

Here is where you stop me and say “Wait a minute Kristian, you know there are some great paid options.” I hear what you’re saying, and I looked. Most of the are super expensive, and this site is really just a hobby at this point. I’m not making any money from it, and I don’t know that I ever will, so it wasn’t worth it to me to spend the money. Additionally, I want to learn to do things myself. I may never be a fully fledged web developer, but I like to have at least a basic understanding of how my blog works.

With that in mind, I set out to something to explain to me what goes into a WordPress theme. After a few Google searches, I came across this excellent series of posts by Tania Rascia. What was great was that they didn’t just ask me to paste code into a file. Sure, you could do that (I chose to type in the code), but she explained to you what it did and how it worked with the greater WordPress system.

Learning ‘PHP’, the language WordPress is coded in, was easy enough. having taken a few programming courses over a few languages in college, once I learned the general syntax, I was off to the races. At this point, I know just enough to be dangerous, and can read and understand basic structures. Anything more complex, and I’m Googling to find out what’s happening. I’m still learning the finer points of organizing my website as far as HTML elements go. CSS is simple enough, though when I’m trying to do something specific, Google is again my go to.

At this point, the overall structure and design of Dragonami is hugely inspired by John Gruber’s ‘Daring Fireball’. Almost to the point of being a clone with a different logo and color scheme (sorry John). But I’m no designer, and I really like that aesthetic. Hopefully, should he ever come across my site, John will be flattered rather than upset. Or even better, maybe my skills will have progressed by then to the point that it’s an original expression of me and not just of something I find inspiring.

Some people use services like Squarespace because they want to just write. I thought that’s what I wanted too. But now I realize that a lot of my enjoyment comes from doing what Squarespace manages for me. So until I get bored, I’ll keep tweaking and adjusting this blog and learning more in the process.