Fraud Wasn't Even the Worst Part
People know I love Apple, but not everything is wonderful dwelling in the realms created by Cupertino. Here’s my adventures in dealing with the aftermath of fraud on Apple Card:
By now most of us know the unpleasant drill. The credit card company calls or texts you and says there appears to be an unauthorized purchase. Somehow, that happened (near as I can tell, merely coincidentally) on three different accounts for me within a week in July. One has turned into a continuing pain months later: Apple Card. Some of this is a fault of the card, but the greater fault lies in a weak bit of design in Apple’s platforms I otherwise love.
Now Is the Time to Stop Putin
My thoughts on the continued war in Ukraine:
After seven months of horrifying war, the last few weeks have been inspiring as the Ukrainian Army, with the help of western weapons and local courage that no weapons could provide, have reclaimed swaths of occupied land. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is not one to give in, though, and his speech today makes that point, if anyone was in doubt.
How to Go on Vacation Without Going
I wrote a column on playing with Stable Diffusion:
Everyone loves to show off some photos of their latest trip or family party. So, here I’ll share some to start off this week’s column. Never mind if you would rather not see my family’s party or my vacation — these aren’t those anyway. I’ve been under-the-weather and keeping my distance from folks. Here’s another secret though: they aren’t anybody’s.
Two Ruckuses, Little Truth
Two ruckuses that have occupied our society the past couple of weeks have gotten me thinking a lot about truth. One came from the Left and one from the Right. One was Liz Cheney’s loss, one student loan debt forgiveness.
Do we care about truth? That’s my column for the week.
We Cannot Put It Off: Putin Must Be Engaged
My thoughts on what we need to do regarding Ukraine:
As Vladimir Putin continues his best attempt to impersonate a schoolyard bully albeit with unimaginably horrible weapons at his disposal, the reason for staying back and watching is clear enough. Clear, but wrong. The time has come: we cannot be spectators or a mere supply chain: we must use the weight of NATO to stop by force the humanitarian disaster that is Russia’s unnecessary war.
Ash Wednesday on the Doorstep of War
An Ash Wednesday reflection in the shadow of war:
It’s 3 a.m. and I’m on Twitter impatiently refreshing, looking for news from Ukraine. I check over on Ukrainian President Zelensky’s account, too, looking for signs he’s still alive and Russia hasn’t managed to find him yet. Probably a lot of you reading this are doing the same. Death looms large this Ash Wednesday, situated amidst the first global-level conflict of the Internet era.
Filibuster or Bust
I’m a fan of the filibuster. Here are my thoughts on it:
Joe Manchin and Krystin Sinema are due a heap of gratitude by all of us. Personally, I prefer a government that is stable and seeks to represent the whole of the country and not a specific subset and it is those two, and not figures I’d probably have been more inclined to elect, that are holding to the esoteric parliamentary rule — the filibuster — that offers us such stability.
Because of Christmas
Merry Christmas! I love the 12 Days of Christmas as those who follow this blog know well. And, as has become my tradition, I have a new little devotional booklet to share with you in case you’d like to observe those wonderful days between Christmas and Epiphany with me:
During Advent, we all excitedly look towards celebrating Jesus’s birth. However, suddenly it is December 26 and the world resets to its ordinary preoccupations. That’s what is wonderful about observing the Twelve Days of Christmas: it helps us keep reflecting on God’s grace and the miracle of Christmas after the busyness of Christmas Day is past. Tim Butler has prepared a free devotional booklet for these next twelve days.
You can download Because of Christmas for free to begin this year’s devotional journey. There’s a companion Facebook Event where you can leave comments and I’ll be posting some additional reflections.
You can also purchase print or Kindle copies at Amazon (Affiliate Link) if you’d like. I mostly put it on Amazon to reach people who don’t know me and thus might stumble across it there while looking for something to celebrate Christmas with, but the link is there if you want it in those formats.
Please Don't Go Brandon
The phrase kept showing up in my social media feed, probably as it has for you. I’ve been busy, so I kept putting off finding out the reason for the latest social media fad, but finally bit: just who is “Brandon” and why is everyone cheering him on? It seemed like everyone was having lighthearted fun… at first.
tl;dr: The phrase is shorthand for “f—- Joe Biden.” And that seems like a problematic statement coming from believers.
The Missed Third Act of the Apple Touch Bar
I might be in the minority, but I actually like the Apple Touch Bar:
The way we use the alphanumeric and function keys on a keyboard are quite different. We pound letter and number keys repeatedly by feel when touch typing, so tactility is paramount. The butterfly keyboard failed the “Design is how it works” test, trading an appearance problem for a how-it-works problem.
The Touch Bar isn’t just for looks; it also solves a how-it-works problem in the more cryptic regions of a keyboard. The “F8” label tells me nothing about what it does, say, in Adobe Photoshop.
Diverting F-keys to be “multimedia keys” has been a decent solution for most users, but limits the utility of a significant part of a laptop’s real estate. While in Word, one sixth of the control area of my computer is devoted to functions like “play” and “pause” rather than “bold” and “italic.”
Read my whole Touch Bar eulogy and case for a third edition of the same here.