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Weekly Thing

Weekly Newsletter from
Jamie Thingelstad

Issue #99 / Mar 30, 2019


More travel this week! ✈️ I've been visiting #TeamSPS in Little Falls New Jersey! It’s been great to be here and see everyone, and far too long since I've visited. No board game night on this trip, next time! I've definitely been on planes a lot lately, and I’m only about halfway through. We are heading to Texas 🌵 for Spring Break this weekend. We'll be in Austin, San Antonio and Waco! Yes, barbecue is on the agenda! 🔥

Not a ton of links this week. A bunch of folks have been asking me about the Apple Media event from earlier this week. In general it didn't get me that excited. I think the Apple Card 💳 will probably be a slow start but meaningful, and Apple Arcade looks really cool. 🕹 The rest? Well, it isn't even out yet so who knows. I won't be getting rid of YouTube TV anytime soon.


Featured Links 🏅

How Apple Card works | TechCrunch

A lot of good details answered here on how the Apple Card will work. MacStories has a very good writeup as well. I’m more intrigued about what Apple is doing here than I thought I would be. If you go way back to when the iPhone was introduced, Apple introduced Visual Voicemail. Today that is all just assumed, but back then voicemail worked with key presses. Apple changed the usability of voicemail in a big way, and made that the default. What they are doing with credit cards feels a little bit like that.


Don’t solve the problem. - Signal v. Noise

I know I've fallen into this trap many, many times. I see others do it a good amount as well. I have a feeling in technology disciplines this might happen more frequently than others.

What you’ll notice when you ask these questions is that most employees already have an answer (or several answers!) to a given problem. But they were uncomfortable with it, or they were worried about getting it “wrong.”

Part of asking the questions isn’t just to help them think through the problem more clearly, but also to help them realize they know more than they think, they’re more capable than they think, and that they’ve mitigated the risks better than anticipated.

Your job as a leader isn’t to just help clarify thought process – but to give confidence in their thinking.

The questions suggested here are a good set to start with, but the more fundamental concept is rethinking how you engage in problem solving as a leader.


This Is Your Brain on Exercise | Outside Online

Exercising is good for the noodle as well.

These structural changes in the brain generally take at least a few weeks to develop but lead to long-lasting improvements in regions of the brain associated with cognitive tasks, like working memory. “A lot of intervention studies that are out there show that aerobic exercise increases neurogenesis in the hippocampus, for example” says Giesbrecht. “The hippocampus is really critical for memory.”



My Weekly Photo 📷

All lights on the drummer! 🥁

All lights on the drummer! 🥁
Mar 26, 2019 at 9:59 PM
Ames Center, Burnsville MN


Notable Links 📌

Shortcuts 2.2 Brings New Apple Notes Actions, Travel Time Enhancements – MacStories

I love seeing continued improvement in Shortcuts. I get a ton of value out of the Shortcuts that I've built, and these enhancements helped me tweak a couple of mine to have some nicer capabilities.


Drafts for Mac: The MacStories Review – MacStories

Drafts has been a powerful tool for me on my mobile, and I've been using the beta of Drafts for Mac for a bit. It’s nice to see this out in release and will support some additional use cases for me. Honestly I find that I have almost too many places to deal with text on my devices. It seems like iA Writer, Drafts and Ulysses are the ones worth thinking hard about.


Privacy's not an abstraction

This article does a good job of highlighting what privacy concerns look like from different perspectives.

On a more basic level, infringing on people’s privacy for your own purposes is exploitative. The assignment reflects the logic of digital platforms, which treats people’s data as raw material to be extracted and put to one’s own uses. While this extraction is currently legal, it is a “norm” inflicted upon us by platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. This kind of extraction is surveillance, and whether it is done online or in the “real world,” it intrudes upon people’s rights to move about in public in relative obscurity if they so wish.

The author introduces the idea of "luxury surveillance", where you are being watched with at least a partial intent to help you. I think we should also consider the idea that there is a surveillance that is forced onto people if they don't have the technical understanding to counter it.


The Most Important Writing Lesson I Ever Learned – Steven Pressfield

As someone that writes a blog, a newsletter and comments on links regularly I enjoyed this read the lesson it contains.

When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You begin to understand that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction. The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer, must give him something worthy of his gift to you.

Channel your inner Hemingway. ✍️


Jessie Frazelle's Blog: Defining a Distinguished Engineer

This is a great set of desires traits for technical leaders, and most apply to all leadership roles.


Give Back 🎁

Minnestar is the technology community for Minnesota. If you are passionate about technology you need to go to Minnebar and Minnedemo. Did you know that Minnebar is the largest BarCamp in North America and one of the largest in the world? Its also been going on for over 10 years? Minnedemo is the best place to hear about innovative tech and fun projects in the Twin Cities area. I am on the Minnestar board and I focus on Minnestar as one of the driving forces improving and expanding the technology community in the area. Minnestar is a 501c3 non-profit. Become a Community Supporter today!


Yet More Links 🍞


Microposts 🎈

Tuesday @ 7:17 PM

Tyler and I are having a great time at One Night of Queen! He is a huge Queen fan! 🤘



Monday @ 6:42 PM

iOS update fest.


Sunday @ 12:11 PM

Sous Vide tenderloin started! 🥩


Saturday @ 5:15 PM

Enjoying an evening with The New Standards at The Dakota. 🎶🥃


Fortune 🥠

You've made it all the way to the end! 👏 Here is your fortune for this week.

A gift of a flower will soon be made to you.

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All content in the Weekly Thing is placed here at my discretion. There is no advertising or promotional content. Links that are featured are found from a variety of sources, and there is no attempt to provide attribution to the source as I would inevitably get it wrong or forget routinely. In some cases links may have affiliate codes associated with them.

This work by Jamie Thingelstad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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