5 Albums People Should Hear From 2016

I’ve been doing some form of variation of a top X albums each year since 2004. I used to do 25, then it slowly got down to 10. This year I am being uber lazy and I really only have 5 albums that I have really fallen in love with this year. They are not in any particular order, one not better than the other. All are great and worth a listen.

Anderson .Paak - Malibu

I don’t know how many times I have listened to this album so far this year. Goes all over the place musically, head bobbing the entire time. Been my go to coding music since release.

The Midnight - Endless Summer

Had this album on constant rotation at the beach all summer. So good. When Days of Thunder came out last year (or year before?) it got me into a synthpop groove, then I just fell in love with this album once it hit. This album is under apprecated even though I have seen it on a few lists. I hope it breaks out of the synthpop subculture and gets some serious mainstream playtime.

Halloween - Ruston Kelly

Album kinda came out of no where for me because it got suggested to me over Spotify. I rarely even listen to the suggestions, but the name of the album caught me. So glad I did. Parts dark, parts poetry, parts upbeat Coldroses era Adams. Very well made record and I am surprised I have not seen it mentioned more.

Goldroom - West of the West

Definte pop goodness. Seems to be a complication of a lot of their singles work, but it still makes a really solid album over all. Got tons of plays in singles forms and whole album listens at our house.

Westworld: Season 1 - Selections from the HBO Series

Djawadi did such a great job with Thrones soundtrack and I was really happy to hear he was going to be handling the Westworld sound context. Once that first piano started up in the opening sequence I thought oh man this is going to be good. Then interspersed all over I start to hear this jangly western versions of No Surprises, the Stones and Black Hole Sun on the first episode.

Things I read while I drank coffee this morning (11.30)

It has become cliché to observe that Americans spend more and more time watching cooking shows and less and less actually cooking.

The link in this to Pépin’s shows on GPS is great. I plan to start watching one now and then at lunch.

This Man Will Teach You How to Cook

Mr Trump, who is said not to use a personal computer


Donald Trump’s tech troubles

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

Interesting take. I just started Ford’s Rise of The Robots which somewhat expresses a similar sentiment from what I can tell.

Fuck work - What If Jobs Are Not The Solution But The Problem

Saturn’s largest moon might be the only place beyond Earth where humans could live

Let’s Colonize Titan

Things I read while I drank coffee this morning (10.24)

A quarter of outstanding global corporate debt, or as much as $3.4 trillion, is linked to the utility- and auto-industry bonds that rely on fossil fuel activities, the ratings agency wrote in a report published Tuesday.

It would be welcomed.

Batteries May Trip ‘Death Spiral’ in $3.4 Trillion Credit Market

Good read on staving off Alzheimer’s before its Alzheimers.

A New Tack to Stave Off Alzheimer’s Years before the First Symptom

In September one of SpaceX’s rockets exploded. So the key is to control perceptions of the distant future, in order to influence financial forecasts from banks and investors. Here Mr Musk is dazzlingly skilful. He publishes plausible “master plans” and uses shifting targets to anchor expectations.

My fascination with Musk continues. Good read on his intracompany dealings.

Elon Musk’s empire - Countdown

I remembered back in 2007 this was a big deal and I felt like Page & Brin were on the right side of the fence on this one. The market has passed them by, and users have not even blinked, so I suppose this was inevitable.

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

Things I read while I drank coffee this morning (10.14)

Emergency Drinking Beer Can

“We based the packaging on government-issued military supply from the 1950s”

A group of work friends and I were discussing this packaging the other day. Great read on Alvin Diec.

The Brand Man: Meet Atlanta restaurateurs’ best-kept secret

“Even when you include poor and middle-income countries, low back and neck pain went from ranking 12th as a cause of DALYs globally in 1990 to ranking fourth in 2015, the most recent year.”

How Back Pain Took Over the World

Barack Obama, Neural Nets, Self-Driving Cars, and the Future of the World

I am going to be bummed seeing President Obama exit the Whitehouse when it comes to tech matters. He has a lot of the underpinnings of complicated technical problems understood. Way more understanding than the current two ‘private email/I’m the best at cyber’ candidates. I hope some of his retired time is spent helping these problems as a liaison for the government.

Return to the Teenage Brain

Fascinating read on increasing neuroplasticity in the brain with valproic acid.

Creating a Pastry Chef From Scratch

I think being a pastry chef is a very entrepreneurial job which stifles wages and that isn’t touched on in this article, but good read none the less. Also bonus point for that pun in the last sentence.

My iPhone Home Screen - 2016 Edition

I enjoyed TJ’s “My iPhone Home Screen - 2016 Edition” post, so I am going to unabashedly copy it. I think it’s an excellent way to see new apps and to also see that TJ is so insanely behind on things (3 digit bubble on Wunderlist?!?) that I pre-forgive him if he can’t find the time for lunch/ping pong when I travel downtown sometime in the next few weeks to pick up my awesome switchyards hat.

My screen:

cyanbane's iphone home screen circa 2016

Messages / Camera / Settings - Pretty Standard.

Calendar - Note that I don’t use this app, I only have it on here because it is easy to look at the date on the app’s icon as a shortcut. I wish other calendar apps would do this. I feel like it is such a basic thing that my guess is that “live tiles”ish ability isn’t able to be done because Apple doesn’t want to allow it for other calendar apps and it is a design decision that they don’t want updates to come via a live updating app icon.

Utils Group - Pretty much anything from Apple that I could potentially use - but don’t day to day. There is a QR Reader suck in there also.

Mail Group - I like to keep alerts on my personal Gmail and work email (uses Google mail also) separate, so I use both Google Mail apps (Gmail/Inbox) separate with each account. I use the iOS mail app as a junk mail filter account I have. Pushover is also in there, but I haven’t used it in awhile. I had delusions of grandeur in using it in a home automation scheme that just never came to reality. Pushover allows for iOS events to be pushed to your phone with an easy API.

Twitter - Still my social network of choice, although I will admit Instagram is gaining ground.

ESPN - Personal and Professional for keeping up with the news.

OneNote - I converted from Evernote a few years ago to OneNote and will never look back. I love OneNote and the freeform note style it gives.

LastPass - PW Manager, everyone should use one. No questions.

Wunderground - Best Weather App hands down. I do also use Storm by WUnder also, but it doesn’t get front page real estate.

Spotify - Rdio used to have this spot (and a large part of my heart) but those days are gone. Spotify is the new best in the breed.

Auth Group - I two-factor everything I can, this group is my secondary key.

Xbox - As of the last two years MS has worked hard to create a community around Xbox Live and although I think it is slow going, they are doing a decent job at it. I usually only get 2-3 messages a week on this app about gaming, and it’s not a bad little social network if you play Xbox a lot and have bought into the Microsoft gaming spectrum.

Google Photos - Photoware of choice. Mainly used as an off-site backup, but works well with Chromecast.

Health - A huge group for me as I love to test out anything and everything new related to Health. I use iOS’s Health app now (this is as recently as last week) as my aggregator for all health information. That app is fed running data from Under Armor’s (UA) Endomondo (with basic activity data coming from watch). It is also fed workout data from another workout app - Strong Lifts 5x5 that I use a few days a week. For nutritional data I still use UA’s MyFitnessPal (for when I can remember to log things). This app now also feeds nutritional data into iOS Health. This group also contains Sync Solver which is a handy tool to convert Apple Watch activity into Fitbit steps.

Safari - Pretty standard, I know a lot of people probably expected Chrome here but I like to spread my browsing URLs out so that one company doesn’t have uber control of my profile and searches.

Home Group - This is the beginning of my attempt at home automation. It includes Kasa (Smart Plugs) Hue (Lightbulbs) Harmony (Entertainment Center stuff) Canary (Security), and the newest addition to the group of iOS Home. It does an EXCELLENT job of tying a lot of that stuff together. At a minimum, it is the best phone interface that I have used thus far. That being said, 90% of the input to that entire system goes in vocally via Alexa.

Slack - God’s gift to small companies. Allows me to keep my email apps in an email app group and not on front page.

Discord - Slack for gaming groups with an IRC spirit. I still have a lot of friends I have met over the years in gaming that I want to keep in contact with from various games over the years. I love discord and the ability to granularly specify what gets to me via my phone (true alert) or just gamer talk. I love gamer talk and shooting the shit while playing video games, but I don’t need to be alerted to it. Discord (and their servers) and a great happy medium. Always there if you want to look, but you are not red bubbled’ to hell with alerts.

Magic The Gathering: Planeswalkers - I usually keep one iOS close to my heart at a time for when I am waiting on something outside my home and have 5-10 min to kill. It’s Puzzle Quest with the lore of M:TG. Great game. Haven’t invested a penny in it either.

Kidslox - My kids both have iPads (older ones, nothing shiny) they love them, they love iOS games, they love Kid’s YouTube. So much that I have to limit them to a total of 45 mins a day of device time. Kidslox allows me to do that. Great app. I think it is paid, but it’s minimal. Highly recommend.

Alexa - I am all in with our Alexa at home. I love it. This app gives me quick access to my active shopping list. It also lets you fine tune vocal commands and such, but I honestly have not used it that much in that capacity.

Google Cast - We have chromescasts on all TVs so we can sling stuff around to them. We also use Google Photos so this controls backgrounds etc. Also, I watch a lot of Sports car racing from around the world. The rest of the world likes to stream their sports car events - so nice just to toss it out to a TV. So close to cutting the cord at this point - I just have to find a solid app for my college football fix.

Bottom 4 -

Phone - Given.

Wunderlist - My todo list of choice. I happily pay for a sub.

Fusionetics - Have you taken your R&R test today? Done your customized program to improve Range of Motion and Movement Efficiency? This is the company I work for and believe in, and this is one of the apps I work on. If you are interested in hearing more about it, let me know.

Fantastical - I am a sucker for calendaring and email apps. I change them all the time. My current dandelion in the wind is Fantastical. It’s…. ok. I used Sunrise up until their demise (thanks Microsoft), and it was the perfect calendaring app for me. I don’t use the calendars built into iOS/Apple. I base everything on 3 Google Calendars that are for my family. Fantastical seems to do a great job at consuming those gCals and alerting, but it keeps wanting to add new entries to Apple’s set of calendars which does me no good. If there was an app space that could change on my home page in the next month, this is probably the best bet in Vegas.