If Batman liked coca-cola, hot tamales, punk music, technology, and hockey, I'd be Batman.
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Amazon Logic

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hooges
11 days ago
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Topeka, KS
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Sara Hendren

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Sara Hendren

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm an artist, design researcher, and writer, and I teach design and disability studies for engineering students at Olin College. For the last few years I've been running a lab at Olin called the Adaptation and Ability Group. I also co-founded the Accessible Icon Project, designed ramps for skateboarders and wheelchair users in an ongoing project called Slope : Intercept, collected an archive called Engineering at Home, and I write and give talks. My job is actually changing as I compose this post: I'm taking a leave from teaching and will be running a 3-year initiative at Olin, funded by the Mellon Foundation, designed to bring more arts experiences to engineering faculty and students.

I'm also writing my first book and yes, that's a whimper of panic you're hearing in the middle distance. I'm feeling ridiculously lucky to be getting support for the writing as a fellow at New America and from a Public Scholar grant with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

I live with my husband and three children in Boston. I still like Twitter.

What hardware do you use?

In Jack Miles's parlance, I'm much more a hunter than a farmer, so the most important work I do is a slow-thinking and non-linear process. For hardware, like a lot of design folks, I live and die by notebooks and pens to capture immediately when I'm making connections. I'm literally never without this combination because I find my inner two-way tape is always running, especially in the grip of a big unwieldy project: formulating and synthesizing and outputting ideas at unexpected times and places.

I've been converted to the Bullet Journal for analog organizing and reminder lists, because even after using beautiful apps like TeuxDeux and OmniFocus, I've found I still remember things better when I physically write them down. I use a daily Pilot fountain pen the most, and other varieties for drawing and writing in a mix of Leuchturm and Moleskine and Rhodia notebooks, all sizes. Don't tell my students, but I can be bribed with any form of bound paper that I haven't yet met, usually over at Bob Slate Stationer in Harvard Square.

But the most important hardware for me is what carries the pen-notebook combination on walks, which is when I do my best thinking. When I sold my book, I bought myself this Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen and I use it with an XS Volant Journal, and those go together in either this Tube thing or a lightweight vest or a warmer version of the same in winter when I'm down by the Charles River. In short, I'm obsessed with pockets! Pockets, ideally on everything. The Kaweco and the tiny Volant otherwise live in this phone-case-wallet which isn't perfect but working for now. I also use a 13-inch MacBook Air and an iPhone 6S Plus.

Lastly: my husband and I figured out that having all five family members use the exact same Lunch Bots containers makes our mornings much easier. And I realized about a year ago that all three of my kids can now wear the same ankle socks that I do. Small streamlining victories! A few years back I would have listed my encyclopedic knowledge of little-kid hardware: cloth diapers, baby carriers, and strollers-for-cities. If you're in that stage, well -- high five, comrade. It gets easier.

And what software?

Being good at my job -- and a wiser person -- depends so much on my being intellectually omnivorous, and a pre-filtered, echo-chamber internet is my enemy. My long-ago professor and forever-mentor Alan Jacobs got me onto a system for collecting what I don't want to miss and discovering things I didn't know I needed: Newsblur for RSS and the glorious Reeder for consuming that content. I have collections for news and commentary and design, but I also have one called "Daily Thinkers" -- people who point me to things I'd never otherwise find on my own -- and a gathering of weird little ongoing blogs and Tumblrs that I categorize as "Serendipity/Confluence." I use Pinboard to organize longer reads, and I'm in and out of Instapaper as a backlog. I also like the low-key social functions of reading.am.

I'm using Scrivener for writing my book and Zotero for organizing research sources.

Bonus question that I'm gonna add here: What systems also support your getting things done?

Glad you asked! The Writers' Room of Boston is giving me a fanatically quiet, affordable place to co-work this year. But more profound than that: my kids attend a Title I public school, where there are structures in place that anticipate and plan for full-time working parents. We have high-quality after-school programs and summer camps run through the city, extra specialists in the building, small classroom numbers, and full-day inclusion services for our child who has significant support needs. Our public library system elected to eliminate late fees for children's books(!), so that keeps us swimming in great reading material at home. There's no quantifiable metric I could place on these systems for making our life work.

What would be your dream setup?

I've been eyeing this Punkt dumb phone for years, but what I want is this phone with a mapping function. And then I'd want all that to live in a wallet that had a perfect pen-holder down the inner fold. I'd keep my iPhone for all the scanning and photos and other conveniences, but I'd use the dumb phone more often and consolidate my internet browsing in my laptop or desktop. In the meantime, my car commute is getting whittled down to 1-2 days per week, so I'll be using Stitcher less often. But what I really want is to see services like Audm or SpokenLayer go fully mainstream, so I can easily line up written content online to consume as audio instead.


Thanks for reading! If you're enjoying the interviews, you can help keep this nerdy lil' site independent for as little as $1 a month!

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hooges
82 days ago
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Newsblur callout!
Topeka, KS
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#1596 – Dreamy

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#1596 – Dreamy

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hooges
109 days ago
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1 public comment
jhamill
110 days ago
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"I'm an adult" will now be my response to every question.
California

Backup Batteries

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If it falls below 20% full, my bag turns red and I start to panic.
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kazriko
135 days ago
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Makes my 2 20ah 5v batteries look wimpy.
Colorado Plateau
hooges
135 days ago
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Topeka, KS
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alt_text_bot
135 days ago
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If it falls below 20% full, my bag turns red and I start to panic.

Launching real-time filterable push notifications for iOS, Android, web, and email

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For some sites, you want to know when they publish as soon as they publish. Maybe you want to immediately be notified of everything a site publishes, like a monthly meetup that posts an event only once a month. Or perhaps you want to be immediately notified of everything the NYTimes publishes about the companies in your stock portfolio. Or you just really enjoy reading your daily comics and want them emailed to you so you never miss a beat.

Today I’m proud to launch push notifications simultaneously across all three native platforms on NewsBlur (that’s web, iOS, and Android). That means that you can setup notifications for all Unread stories or only Focus stories that you’ve trained to be pushed to you over email, iOS, Android, or through browser notifications on the web.

You can setup all four types of notifications on both web and mobile. And you can employ your intelligence training to only surface the stories that have use certain tags, have specific keywords in the titles, or are written by specific authors. Additionally, it’s easy to hide stories using that same training so that you don’t receive notifications that you want to ignore.

Push notifications on iOS

To start with notifications on iOS, you can use the new swipe-to-the right gesture on the feed list (replacing the trainer on the swipe gesture). It’s very easy to turn notifications on and off or to even step up the filtering on a site so that you only get Focus stories instead.

This way you can overprovision notifications for yourself and easily dial them back to where you get just the right number of notifications.

Today version 7.0 of the NewsBlur iOS app is being released and here’s a list of what’s new and fixed on iOS:

  • Push notifications: real-time push notifications on a per-feed basis.
  • Swipe-to-the-right on a feed to change its notifications.
  • A new optional app badge for unread counts. Enable under Preferences.
  • Stories now automatically are marked as read on scroll. Disable under Preferences.
  • Better image support on iPad and fixes for drag-and-dropping the story titles bar (at bottom of the story detail).
  • A note on that: you can move story titles to the bottom on iPad. Just drag the bottom bar up.
  • Fixed issue with sharing stories not working or disappearing on iPad.
  • Fixed theme issues in the activity share sheet.
  • Fixed a crash from opening stories with no permalink.
  • Fixed size of intelligence control on bottom of feed list on iPhone SE.
  • Fixed issues when story titles are set to the bottom layout on iPad.
  • Fixed issues with the interactions dialog.

Notifications on Android

Android also gets a new version today. Version 6.0 gets notifications and new custom reading fonts as well as the mark read on scroll behavior that iOS and web have enjoyed.

Here’s a list of what’s new and fixed on Android:

  • Mark as read on scroll is a new preference to automatically mark stories as read as you scroll past them.
  • New fonts for reading: Whitney, Chronicle, Gotham Narrow make their way to Android from the web.
  • Also supporting native Android fonts Noto Sans, Noto Serif, Open Sans Condensed, and Anonymous Pro.
  • Switching between Text and Story view is now sticky per-feed (similar to iOS and web).
  • Fixed issues where feed list would not update.

Notifications on Web

Browser notifications are handy for those sites that you only want to read on your desktop. For example, you could setup web notifications for an RSS feed for a status feed, letting you know when migrations and downtime will have some effect on you.

Setting up and tuning notifications is also just as easy to do on the web. You’ll find it under Manage > Notifications as well as in the Read Filter Popover (top right of the app) when reading an individual feed.

Notifications over Email

Finally, for those use cases not covered under web or mobile, you can now have websites automatically email you when they publish new stories.

This is for those stories that you don’t want to miss and want to ensure that you read. For instance, I use email notifications for worrydream’s quote blog that serves me a single paragraph of insight once a week because I loved having quotes emailed to me.

There you have it, four new ways to consume the news. If you love using NewsBlur and want to see it continue to launch new features like these, please tell friends and followers about your news reader. People often ask for ways to stay on top of the game and NewsBlur is the most powerful way to do it.

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samuel
185 days ago
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This is a huge deal and the biggest feature of the year. Notifications have grown on me considerably, esp. the email ones.
The Haight in San Francisco
satadru
185 days ago
Thank you!
satadru
185 days ago
So how would I create a notification for say Samuel Clay's Blurblog?
samuel
184 days ago
I subscribe to the feed of the blurblog and then setup notifications. I haven't built blurblog notifications, although I suppose I should.
satadru
184 days ago
+1. Social notifications on newsblur (comment & shared feed) would be huge. :)
dreadhead
180 days ago
This is neat but I think the notifications I would like the most would be for social interactions (comments etc)
gazuga
173 days ago
Seconding the above suggestions, although what you have already is a great start.
hooges
186 days ago
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Any chance this feature will someday get the ability to push only certain tags. I know it can do focus, but I might have a use for a notification for just one tag instead of multiples I highlight in a feed.

I guess I could....send notifications to email alias which I then push back to Newsblur...then use intelligence trainer on the feed the email creates with notifications. Ha!
Topeka, KS
samuel
185 days ago
I think IFTTT supports filters like that, which means you could use their new filter feature directly with the NewsBlur channel. It's actually the way notifications were handled ad hoc by users until now.
jlvanderzwan
184 days ago
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popular
185 days ago
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ameel
185 days ago
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Yay!
Melbourne, Australia
JayM
186 days ago
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Nice. Newsblur continuously is by far the best news reader out there.
Atlanta, GA

Cristiano Ronaldo Honored With Hideous Bust That May Be Imbued With Dark Magic

1 Comment

The eyes! For the love of god, do not look into the eyes!

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hooges
263 days ago
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oh my
Topeka, KS
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