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Category: Blog

iOS 11 and WhatsApp Web might drain your battery

After updating my iPhone (in this case an iPhone 6 Plus) to the newly released iOS 11, its battery life got absolutely destroyed. Now the initial hit can be attributed to the OS trying to re-index its files, but the drain just kept going and going during work hours afterwards. Normally when I get home around 8pm, the battery was above 50% charge at the very least. iOS 11 however, killed the battery dead around 4pm. What the hell? Curiously my iPad Air 2 did not suffer from this battery drain and considering I minimized the amount of apps on…

Scrubbing my social media accounts

Last week I’ve scrubbed both my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I didn’t really use my Facebook account to start with as it never felt as authentic as Twitter. Ever since the downright crazy Ukraine referendum in the Netherlands, the Brexit referendum in the UK, and the equally nutty US elections however, my enjoyment of Twitter has taken a nosedive as well. Everyone was shouting. I already experienced a miniature version of this months before 2016’s craziness in the form of Gamergate. Being heavily involved in video games and video game culture meant the shouting was already annoying. But in 2016…

Instagram’s not-so-subtle change

Did you notice it? Did you open your Instagram app and declared: “hey, that’s different”? For an app that was predominantly laser focused on mobile photography, it seems Instagram is aggressively trying to innovate and grow by breaking new ground (by, ironically, mimicking other products). To me, that subtle icon change in the navbar wasn’t so subtle. To me it was jarring. Source: On Instagram’s Inverted UX Iceberg Yes, the camera icon was swapped out for a plus sign. Ali rightfully suggests this has been done to be more universal understood by its now immense audience. Another more potent reason brought forward…

De Stijl and its influence on web design

Fascinating read about how De Stijl influenced web design. (And to think Mondriaan was from Amersfoort.) Primary colors, clean lines, asymmetrical simplicity: You might recognize them from Google, but they come from De Stijl. Source: This 100-Year-Old Dutch Movement Shaped Web Design Today

We don’t know how food works

In the Netherlands we’ve had a surge in the “to meat or not to meat” debate, thanks to one of the government agencies suggesting we eat less meat. As per usual, this draws all kinds of folk out of the woodwork extolling the benefits of whatever they deem to be correct. Back in 2007, Michael Pollan produced a very common sense view on food and nutrition:   Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be…

On visualising data

Data visualisation is an increasingly important tool to explain what data is acually telling us. After all, seeing is believing. But what you want to get across is often linked to how you present it, and data is no different. “Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on? Source: One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways | FlowingData Nathan Yau presents a single dataset in 25 different ways and lays down some basics along the way in how to make data visualisation work. Keep it in mind whenever these charts pop up in the media.

“Turning CO2 to Stone”

It won’t help us reverse the effects of global warming fast enough, but there is a way to lock CO2 into a more permanent form. At Iceland’s Hellisheidi Power Plant, Lamont hydrologist Martin Stute, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Juerg Matter, and colleagues tried something different. They used CO2 captured at the power plant, and mixed it with water and hydrogen sulfide, creating soda-like carbonation, then injected the mixture into porous basalt rocks 400 to 800 meters underground. Basalt, which is created as lava cools, contains calcium, iron, and magnesium, which react naturally with CO2 to form solid carbonate minerals. Within…

Good Omens Series Will Come in 2018

In 2017 we can use all the good omens we can get… “Almost 30 years ago Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world, populated with angels and demons, not to mention an 11 year-old Antichrist, witch-finders and the four horsepeople of the Apocalypse. It became many people’s favourite book. Three decades later, it’s going to make it to the screen. I can’t think of anyone we’d rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry was alive to see it.” Source: Good Omens Series Will Come to…

The Sun’s space weather

In case melting poles and intensifying weather within the confines of our own planet wasn’t worrying enough, we also need to keep track of the Sun. Because it might just fire off some harsh “space weather”. A solar storm, though, could be responsible for an off-the-charts economic disaster. Global Positioning Systems, satellite services and electronic communication systems are all at risk from the solar flares known as coronal mass ejections. But it’s national power grids that are seen as the most vulnerable earthbound assets, with a risk that power surges will overload transformers which are both expensive and difficult to…

“Satanism” in Dungeons & Dragons

It’s still insane to realise that there was a time that some people thought that a form of improvisation theatre combined with some game rules, dice, pens and paper made for effective Satanic rituals with dramatic results. But the cartoonist Jack Chick saw only evil in Dungeons & Dragons. Chick, a publisher of evangelical Christian comics, penned a tract called “Dark Dungeons” that portrayed D&D as a game of Satanism and witchcraft. In Chick’s story, a witchy (and pretty sexy) Dungeon Master brainwashes her innocent younger players, recruiting them into a coven and teaching them to cast spells on their…