Friday, May 17, 2024

The sad state of calendar en to-do apps.

It is now the year of Our Lord 2024, and we have Machine Learning models that can do all kinds of weird stuff.

And yet, something as simple as a calendar app that does the following doesn’t exist yet:

  1. Get to know my work and sleep schedule (for example, I sleep 8 hours a day, usually between 22:00 and 06:00).
  2. Take all my to-do items (or reminders, whatever you want to call them) and put them in my calendar.
    1. Preferably not back-to-back, but with some time in between to catch a breath.
  3. If a to-do item is on-site, automatically add travel time.
  4. If a to-do item isn’t finished or done at all, add it to my calendar again at the next opportunity 
  5. Is there no hole in my schedule big enough to accommodate the calendar item? Skip until the next day/time when I do have the time.

Ronald pointed me to an article that says Apple will try to combine the Reminder and Calendar apps in iOS 18. I hope Apple doesn’t muck it up. For now, I’m disappointed at Fantastical, which I paid €7.99 per month for, in the hope that it would do the things described above. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

The struggle (and some solutions) of banking for Digital Nomads

Honestly, if I am going to struggle, I'd rather do it in the sun.

I was reading this article at Harvard Business Review about "The New Reality of Digital Nomads"

There are some interesting or even witty observations in here:
  • 17 million Americans call themselves Digital Nomad.
  • These include not just tech-savvy folks, but even families with kids and retirees.
  • Barely owning any things is seen as a big positive factor. It forces us to declutter our lives. People report being much happier. I'm not surprised

This quote is golden:

I imagine 90% of digital nomads barely make enough to get by. But then again, neither do I, and I do have a stable job and an apartment, and all the things society tells you must have. And with those things come expenses. A f*** load of them. The last time I had money to spend on a nice vacation or anything really? I don't even remember when that was. Years and years ago.

And I don't see it changing anytime soon. Maybe what has been romanticized too much for too long is the idea of settling down. Because this idea of a partner, kids, house, a kiss goodbye, and a smile before you leave for work, does not exist either. At least not for most people. Ninety percent of them also wish they had a different life. Honestly, if I am going to struggle, I'd rather do it in the sun. (Flipflop Poet, YouTube)

I realised a few things. First of all, I personally know a few Digital Nomads, some of the working and some of the retired cohorts, but none of them call themselves this. I guess they don't see themselves as hip-and-happening yuppies. They just happen to work in different lands or even on different continents every few months. 

Also, only one of them complained about international banking, and only because she stopped using a EU bank account and tried to switch to a Dominican bank account. I guess nomadism works best when we still have one place we can call "home", even if it's just for banking (and tax?) purposes. 

It so happend that in a recent podcast where the hosts interviewed a legal expert, that I learned that many countries have tax deals with each other and that they basically have a formula to determine in which country you're supposed to pay your taxes. The formula determines not just where you've earned most of your money, but also where your ties are. Where your family lives, how often you visit them and if you have a (second) home in that country all seem to be taken into account.

I've personally never had trouble with banking, but I guess that's mostly because I tend to move in the "western" bubble where a bank card or credit card just work. I do read a lot about places like in Africa where people depend on banking via their smart feature-phones. Systems like M-Pesa and Machankura work over Whatsapp or even via old school SMS text messages. 

Most of my readers will never need such drastic apps though. I guess having a VISA credit card like the one from Revolut and a way to send money worldwide via a Strike account gives you all the digital mobility you could ever need.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024


File Manager for macOS.
Native. Extensible. Fast. 🚀

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Try out the Dot beta

So DotApp is a Machine Learning model (what the cool kids today call an AI) that runs locally on your system. 

No need to send files over the internet at all. 

It's basically a local running Mistral 7B.  

Friday, March 08, 2024

Raycast Store: Vortex

The fastest way to use bitcoin on macOS

Monday, February 12, 2024

We Finally Know How Ancient Roman Concrete Was Able to Last Thousands of Years : ScienceAlert

Have we finally found the secret to long lasting concrete, the way the Romans made it?

This begs the question why we don't make it like this anymore? What's wrong with building, say, bridges, that will last us another 2000 years?