I’ve long heard from friends and readers who enjoy Night Shift (and f.lux) simply because they feel it reduces eye strain. Comfort is comfort — if you think Night Shift feels easier on your eyes, go ahead and use it. (That’s why so many people use the feature that swaps from light mode to dark mode by time-of-day.) What I object to is the “may help you get a better night’s sleep” claim.
As soon as I got an iPhone with this feature, I turned it on and enjoyed the effect. I was a happy F.lux user for many years. Windows has a built-in “Night Light” feature now, and that’s what I use. My favourite screen warmer is on my Kobo, which just feels luxurious while reading in bed. Over the years, I’ve gotten used to this feature, but I never totally forget it’s there. It’s just nice.
I don’t know if it helps anything at all, and I knew the sleep stuff was bunk. What I do know is the ghastly horror when I turn it off. Once you’re used to screen warming, go ahead and turn it off, sometime after ten at night, in a dark room. Your retinas will feel violated.
I was chatting with Marius Masalar about Blot and how it rules, so I figured maybe I can do a reblog/comment thing with his most recent blog post: The Perfect Kindle.
I was imagining what my ideal Kindle would be like—something that brings together all the most important features from existing models, competitors, and my imagination.
Masalar then writes a great list, and ends with:
I’m curious: what does your wishlist look like when it comes to eReaders? What’s missing that you’d like to see?
So, here I am.
I don’t own a Kindle. They’re cool, but I’ve always edged towards Kobos. I don’t know. They just feel right for me. I prefer their typography. The few times I’ve experienced a Kindle in-hand has left me cold. But they’re absolutely the winner in this category and I’m happy to see that people love them.
Last fall, I began using a Kobo Libra H2O, a 7″, asymmetrical design with buttons. It’s awesome and does almost everything I want in a reader. I can sideload books simply by plugging it into my computer and dropping files. I can borrow books from the library both on the device and on my phone, and they sync great. And I can save articles from the web to Pocket, and have them appear as plain text for reading on the Kobo.
Let me decide that both buttons mean “next page.” Sometimes I’m holding it at an angle where it’s easier to hit one or the other button, but I always want the same action. If I want to go back, I’ll swipe.
Better notes options. This is an area where Kindle just smokes Kobo. In 2009, I was able to highlight a passage on a Sony Reader and have that passage save to Evernote. Make it that easy.
Newsletters subscriptions. Isn’t an e-reader the absolute best place for something like a Newsletter? I’d absolutely subscribe to more newsletters if they just went to a dedicated place on the Kobo. Recall: The best way to read a newsletter is on a Kobo
I suppose they could add, say, an email client. It is running android after all. But that opens up a whole thing.
That web browser that’s been in “beta features” for ten years is never coming out of beta, is it? It doesn’t even do the obvious thing, which is set the “next” button as “page down”.
Put buttons on every model. ebook readers without a dedicated button for “next page” have always been a mistake.
If you’re buying IKEA light bulbs, you need to pay attention to the Kelvin number. They don’t say “warm” or “cool” white, but they will tell you a Kelvin number. They’ll also tell you what the Kelvin number means, but not on the page where they sell the light bulbs. You have to google that separately, after you’ve realized you bought the wrong ones.
Before leaving this time, I reached out to the few people on Twitter I actively interacted with. I was able to move some of those conversations to Discord and Instagram, but I know it won’t always be the same.
Twitter is a horror show for people who feel real anxiety just from witnessing anger and cruelty. I’ve received plenty of abuse and threats through Twitter over the years because of my work, but the stuff that actually sticks with me is what I see happening to others. Whether it’s learning too much about the sacrificial character of the day or falling down a thread of abusive replies to a random tweet, it’s difficult to avoid “negativity” on a platform that seems designed to reward it.
That’s basically it. Even the nice, innocuous things on Twitter felt slimed by negativity. What made me quit, however, was that I felt negative there. I felt incapable of having a conversation on Twitter without being cynical.
Part 2: RSS and feeds
Who still uses RSS in 2021? Me, mostly. But I’m weaning myself off it.
I’ve reverted to 2003 with this one. I re-bookmarked every site I had loaded into Feedly. All of these sites are now living in folders on my bookmarks folder in Edge. All of these folders are available in two clicks on my phone, because Edge syncs them (just like Safari/Chrome, etc). Every site is now opt in, and I won’t find out about anything unless I go looking for it.
It’s mostly about self care. Social media feeds (even in something like an RSS reader) are designed to screw with your sense of time. By design, they hide people you like and have chosen to follow so that you never leave and always feel a bit sad. It’s literally a no win situation unless you’re a sociopath. Treating the internet like it’s 2004 is a way to keep some of that anxiety at bay.
I made some Birdgirl gifs because the show is good
I sort of love making gifs. I’m getting better at them, too. Thanks, Davinci Resolve. You’re the heaviest, far-too complicated machine that also somehow makes awesome gifs. GIFs are in a weird copyright grey area, but everyone shares them and nobody has ever been sued for making them. Adult Swim, please don’t sue me for making these. I love the show. In Giphy, I’ve linked to the show. That…should be fine? Is that fine? I have no idea.