Category: Words

  • I Have Recurring Corneal Erosion Syndrome – What The Shit?

    My daughter, for as long as she’s been able to move her arms and grab things, has held our ears for comfort. Even now – she’s two and a half – she’ll demand “EAR! EAR!” if she needs to ‘recharge’, as we call it.


    When she was smaller and we’d read stories and settle her before bed, she’d quickly reach up behind her, searching for an ear. Three separate times in the space of about a year she reached blindly and thumbed me directly in the right eye. Thumbnail first. Oh dear God, those tiny, razor sharp toddler thumbnails. The pain of eye trauma is unique and comes in waves. All three times I thought I was going to vomit.

    The pain subsided after a night’s sleep each time, with the assistance of painkillers and ice. But since the last incident I’ve had ongoing problems with my eye. I’ve regularly woken up in the night feeling like my eyeball is stuck, and simply moving my eyeball (close your eyes now and try not to move your bloody eyeballs!) would quickly spark intense pain and tears making it very difficult to sleep.

    After several relatively unhelpful visits to local doctors and optometrists, I finally went to the Eye and Ear Hospital in the city and got a diagnosis! Recurring Corneal Erosion Syndrome. It sounds bad but put simply, due to ‘mechanical trauma’ (EG: a thumb to the fucking eye) the cornea gets damaged, and this tends to dry out the eye. The cornea can then stick to the eyelid, and separating them too quickly can cause more damage to the cornea… a vicious cycle. Treatment is pretty simple: gel and drops in the eye every day.

    Every time I go through a relatively obtuse but non-life-threatening medical incident I wonder: how the hell did people manage to get through this kind of thing 100 years ago? 800 years ago? We’re extremely fortunate to be living when and where we live. To be able to wander into a building that’s packed to the rafters with experts and walk out with a solution to my problem is incredible, and we take it for granted.

    A few thoughts as I move forward with my life and hopefully out of eye-hell.

    Advice for prospective parents: your kids will beat the hell out of you.

    Yes, even when they’re babies. They’ll swing their arms around, flail wildly, hang from your neck, kick you in the balls, pinch you, poke your fucking eyes, jump on you, jump off you, and play the drums on your head with cutlery. And more. Yes, even the babies. If you have your first newborn in the house: beware. You weren’t previously living in a house where the other residents were learning to do things like breathe or use their muscles for the first time. You are now.

    Medical science is incredible.

    Not only did I get a prompt diagnosis, I was prescribed a course of treatment, and the ingredients of the medicine for my eye sound like the names of an alien’s stepmother. It’s absolutely gob smacking to me how completely idiotic humans can be, and yet we have centuries upon centuries of learning and discovery that has progressively protected us, and kept us safe, and healed us faster and better, and stopped us from dying as easily. The next time you get great medical treatment, take a little time to really appreciate it.

    Donate to a medical charity. Today.

    I live in Australia where most healthcare is free and the standard of care is high, but many people don’t have access to basic health services and care. Our family regularly donates to Doctors Without Borders. Do a quick bit of research and choose a medical/health charity to send a few dollars to a few times a year.

  • UK Artists Make More Money from Vinyl than YouTube

    , ,

    Vinyl |

    “The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the Guardian. So who’s responsible? Taylor places the blame on “dominant tech platforms like YouTube,” which he says are “dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”

    Recorded music as a consumer item is less than 100 years old as an industry, and the tech behind it has changed rapidly. Taking a long view historically, there’s been very little stability in the music industry as a commercial undertaking at all. The Internet has redefined an industry that’s already been completely redefined multiple times since records became popular. We’re still at the very start of this adjustment period, and the entrenched entities are flailing about a bit while the dust is starting to settle.

    Blaming dominant tech platforms for year-on-year discrepancies is myopic, but the music industry as a whole – and record companies in particular – have never been particularly visionary beyond the hunt for profits. “…dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists” – yeah, that sounds familiar.

    Read: Music artists are still making more money from vinyl than YouTube (


    Subscription-based music streaming, on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion.? – Bandcamp

  • Don’t Use Allo…?


    Google is giving consumers two options: Insecure with a wonderful user experience, or secure with an inferior experience. What do you think the masses are going to choose? – Motherboard

    I think this article misses the point somewhat. When you need the app to be useful you’ll use the useful features, and when you need it to be secure you’ll turn encryption on.

    The fact is, for me at least, 99.9% of my comms are completely innocuous. If the Google assistant can make a small handful of things easier for me, then I’m totally fine with that.

    Also this cracked me up:

    Early sentiment about Allo is overwhelmingly positive…

    They’re obviously not on G+.

    Link: Don’t Use Allo (Motherboard)

  • Google Save


    Google Saves

    So Google Save is pretty interesting. I tend to keep stuff in a weird combination of Pocket (for articles), Pinterest (for mood board stuff), a Twitter “read later” list and a few other places. I wonder if this could become a real catch-all for me.

    A few observations:

    • You can edit the link title AND description, which is pretty interesting
    • No inline player for YouTube, seem like an oversight
    • No reading mode, so Pocket will still be my go-to place for a raw reading list
    • This seems best used for making Collections of links – think: researching a topic, or collecting links on areas of specific interest
    • You can’t currently share a Tag/collection, but surely that’s coming…


  • Thinking out loud: Audio Articles

    The more I think about this the more sense it makes. If you’ve invested time and resources into a feature article, you’re absolutely stark raving mad if you don’t release an audio version of the article simultaneously. (more…)

  • Paying for mobile games

    “It’s time to embrace $10 games on Android. We’re quickly reaching a point where new technology is going to demand a greater expense for a better product, and there’s no reason any game developer that creates something to entertain you for 2+ hours a week for months is considered less valuable than whatever you had for lunch today.”

    Russell Holly writing for Android Central

    The problem for me here is one of comparisons. I’ll happily pay $10 for a game – but what do I consider $10 worth of value?

    On sale, Ori and the Blind Forest was $12, and the Abe’s Oddysee remake is currently $10.

    To my mind Alto’s Adventure is sure as hell not worth $10. I’d pay $5 to completely remove the ads I suppose – but now I’m acting all arbitrary. (PS – it’s a good game and you should check it out).

    I can understand the idea: “games are worth more, so developers should charge more, and gamers should spend more”, but I think the reality is a bit more complex than that.

  • Sony is at the forefront of mobile photography innovation

    One year ago I tweeted:

    “If you haven’t been paying attention, the consumer camera space is erupting right now. Phone cameras lit a fire under the incumbents.”

    That was before Sony released the critically acclaimed RX100 (and it’s follow up, the RX100M2). Sony has been pushing extremely hard in this space, releasing innovative and exciting cameras to consumers, while doing great things with glass and image quality at these reduced sizes.

    These Sony “QX” Lens cameras may seem gimmicky, but they’re the first step into yet more uncharted territory, forcing the whole space to innovate faster.


    $450 does seem pricey for what, at a glance, looks like just a bluetooth lens – but the 1-inch 20.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor and a f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss lens make it the hardware equivalent of an RX100M2, generally accepted as the best point-and-shoot in the world.

    These QX lenses may not be a commercial success, but the future of mobile photography is looking pretty amazing.

    Update: The Verge went hands-on:

  • Add a Tweet BBcode to a phpBB Forum

    I was looking for a way to embed a tweet into phpBB using the BBcode funcationality. I found a decent solution but edited it a tiny bit (to account for http vs https URLs). (more…)

  • Lion’s Inverted Scroll

    How do you Lion users find the “opposite” scroll? Haven’t used it yet, but seems mental to me that they’ve forgone decades of UI convention to align this operation on a desktop OS closer to a touch device.

    By getting used to the inverted scroll do you eventually imagine your fingers actually grabbing the screen and flinging it up – al-la a touch screen?

    Here’s noted Apple-banger, John Gruber:

    “My number one Lion tip: No matter how wrong it feels, stick with the new trackpad scrolling direction. Give it a week. At first it will drive you far crazier than you expect, but then you’ll get used to it.”

    But… WHY?

    Why the hell should we subject ourselves to a week of pain, when there is NOTHING broken with the current convention? If inverting will “drive you far crazier than you expect” then how is it an improvement worth inflicting on millions of users?