Notes From An Emergency

And please regulate, regulate, regulate this industry, while you can.
Maciej Cegłowski

Nicola D’Agostino linked to me to the text version of Maciej Ceglowski talk given on May 10, 2017, at the re:publica conference in Berlin.

Worth every second the time you’ll need to read this … especially if, like me, you live in Europe, and then share it everywhere you can!

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Google is up: Here’s why that’s good, and what to do about it

“Google’s business depends on an open web that is searchable and contains as much of the world’s information as possible. The biggest threat to Google is a world in which essential information remains inside the walled gardens of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, where its crawlers cannot go”.

— via Chartbeat Blog

Following a strange path throught Gina Trapani’s posts on Medium and WordPress development I’ve stumbled upon some really good sites and reads. Here’s one of those.
Given Chartbeat researches seems that Google searches, while still with some AMP’d gimmick, is again on the rise for Editors and Publishers as the main venue of clicks … so the Open Web seems to be fighting back to walled gardens. And I couldn’t be happier reading this!

Principles of adult behaviour

  1. Be patient. No matter what.
  2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, never blame. Say nothing behind another’s back you’d be unwilling to say, in exactly the same tone and language, to his face.
  3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
  4. Expand your sense of the possible.
  5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  6. Expect no more of anyone than you yourself can deliver.
  7. Tolerate ambiguity.
  8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
  9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than whom is right.
  10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
  11. Give up blood sports.
  12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Do not endanger it frivolously. And never endanger the life of another.
  13. Never lie to anyone for any reason.
  14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
  16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
  17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
  18. Never let your errors pass without admission.
  19. Become less suspicious of joy.
  20. Understand humility. 21 Forgive.
  21. Foster dignity.
  22. Live memorably.
  23. Love yourself.
  24. Endure.

John Perry Barlow, Principles of adult behaviour

via →

A ‘new’ job

Thursday, February 1st was the first day of my ‘new’ job. After 130 months of precarious work I am now employed with a permanent and full time position as a Technician for the Bari’s research unit of the Institute for Biomedical Technologies.

Our groups is a Bioinformatics one, and my main duties will remain basically the same: keep servers running, install software, general maintenance and users’ support. What I do hope is to gain new responsibilities and – with them – some decisional power.

Wish me luck!

Creative Outlier One – my review

When at the end of November the Creative’s newsletter informed me of the release of their new Bluetooth’s headphones – the Outlier One – I was suddenly interested.

The idea of an iPhone upgrade was in the air, but also my original Apple EarPods headset was beginning to wear out after the mistreatment of the last four months, when I always carried them in a pocket of my jeans or at my ears. Also, some misadventures with 3,5″ jack of cheap / made in Chine products and my MacBook Pro were addressing me to a wireless solution for my next headset

The technical data of this product are appealing: 9.5 hours of listening, sweat and humidity resistance (up to IPX4), microphone and vocal commands support, just 15 grams of weight and the flat cable, useful for avoiding its entanglement. And, like the  Aurvana InEar3 kit I bought years ago, I had the impression that Creative applied really good design and engineering in the making of the audio drivers of the headset.

creative-outlier-one__explodeSo, given also a promotional, discounter price for the launch of the product on the market, I went on the purchase over Creative’s marketplace

I took two kits, one for me and the second as a Christmas present for my brother. A couple of days before Christmas the doorbell rang and here they were!

The packaging is curated. Inside we can find 3 pairs of grommets so to have the best in-ear fitting. This time I am using the smallest one, while in other models – and Aurvana too – I am more comfortable using the medium size. Also we have a practical sachet to place the headset and the short USB cable you’ll have to use for recharging.
More, you have a little nipper to fix the headset to your t-shirt (or shirt) as a security fix and a circular grommet instead of the ‘comma-like’ ones you can see in the photo above. The latter, and the nipper, are a must during your fitness routines…

Creative Outlier One – what you get

Usage impressions

The User’s Manual is … bare minimum. The bluetooth pairing procedure is simply illustrated in the folded printed version you can find inside the package.
I was a bit disappointed in finding you can pair just one device. So when you arrive at your office you can’t simply switch the device for usage with your computer, and then back again with your phone when you’ll go home.
Probably this is the main issue I have with them. I was expecting to have a more ‘clever’ device, given the maker and the regular price tag.

Since we’re at it, another concern is the quality of my voice as listened by my interlocutor during phone calls … most of the times the microphone is a little under or behind my neck, and that distance affects the quality of the audio. This was clearly verifiable coming from months of original Apple headphones usage … less annoying as times goes by. I also have to say that only in a couple of calls in the last weeks my interlocutor asked me to repeat what I was saying, but maybe poor signal was another cause of that!

Where these Outlier One shine, in my opinion, is in music reproduction !

Since December I am using Deezer, with a premium account and the audio quality is set to the max … I find absolutely relevant the involvement and the dynamic range offered, at least equal to that of products with a cost two or three times higher I had the chance to try in these last years.

I find absolutely relevant the involvement and the dynamic range offered by those Outlier One, at least equal to that of products with a cost two or three times higher I had the chance to try in these last years.

And if you can modify the equalization of your music streams, helping the flat sound of modern recordings of the digital/streaming age, you’ll get some WOW moments …

[On a side-note, I am truly finding the music streamed by Deezer somewhat superior to the Spotify Premium account I am accustomed to … and probably later this year I’ll move my subscription. Not to mention the quality of the playlists … but that’s a topic for another post].

Conclusions

With a strong promotional lauch offer (they were put on sale December 13, 2017) the Creative Outlier One will cost you 31,99€ each – against a regular price of 39,99€. Also they have introduced a nice-price you take a kit of two.

Buying the Creative Outlier One with a prior registration to the Creative’s website, you’ll be part of a fidelity program that’ll give you points, and later discounts, for your next purchases on their ecommerce. Of course you’ll be part of a newsletter that I can confirm will get you some promotions days before the mainstream public.

Of course, if I’m here to propose them, my judgment is very positive – especially at the current price.
At the end I’m using them with great satisfaction even if only for music reproduction (at home or when I’m walking around) and I always carry them with me. No other pair of headphones get this result with me!