I’ve said on Twitter that I think Apple intends timed reminders to be the substitute for multiple timers. I still think that, but I’m less certain now than I was a few days ago.
Welcome to WeCroak, the app that reminds you of death five times a day. Created by 35-year-old Brooklyn-based publicist Hansa Bergwall and developer Ian Thomas, WeCroak couldn’t be simpler: a randomly timed reminder you swipe to reveal a death-related quotation, sometimes gloomy, sometimes uplifting. Based on a Bhutanese proverb that to be happy, you must contemplate death five times a day, it’s mindfulness noir.
I can see how the secret to happiness might lie in working out “how to have some element of being aware that life is precious and limited and fragile… just enough to make you value the good things but not to be so aware of it that the fear of that takes over” as Nigella Lawson said recently(discussing the death of her first husband, John Diamond), but aged 43 and wilfully disregarding my own mortality, I lack this awareness. I sweat all the small stuff, prey to piffling anxieties, career envy and rage at minor irritants (my free jazz saxophonist neighbour, my family’s oligarch-style insistence on using clean towels, disregarding the 17 discarded on the bathroom floor). Hopefully a week with WeCroak will leave me calmer, wiser and happier. No pressure, WeCroak.
Earlier this week I noticed that an APFS-formatted sparsebundle disk image volume showed ample free space, despite that the underlying disk was completely full. Curious, I copied a video file to the disk image volume to see what would happen. The whole file copied without error! I opened the file, verified that the video played back start to finish, checksummed the file – as far as I could tell, the file was intact and whole on the disk image. When I unmounted and remounted the disk image, however, the video was corrupted. If you've ever lost data, you know the kick-in-the-gut feeling that would have ensued. Thankfully, I was just running some tests and the file that disappeared was just test data. Taking a closer look, I discovered two bugs in macOS's "diskimages-helper" service that lead to this result.
Bill Gates said, “We’re very open in terms of what we’re doing,” saying Warren Buffett inspired him with his forthright letters when he started writing them 10 years ago.
Yet some experts on philanthropy said they believed the “tough questions” format of the letter was a sign the Gateses are aware there are storm clouds of public opinion gathering on the horizon. It suggests they are attuned to the times: Public distrust of global institutions is rising. Surging income inequality is triggering alarms. And there is a growing unease about the role that the ultrawealthy play in society.
Stuffed Animal Wrangler is definitely a better-sounding job title than Ball Boys (and Girls).
Thanks for reading.