Jason Becker

HomePod(s)

With one HomePod, I though the sound was pretty good, but a bit small. I have lots of great “big speakers” around and I was impressed with the sound from a small, mono source. But with two, I have really noticed the wide sound stage and room filling effect.

Unfortunately, I also realize how strange the voicing of these speakers are. There’s definitely something plinky at the edge of the high end. There are some tracks that actually almost sound like popping on the HomePod. Then there’s also what I’m perceiving as a scoop somewhere in the low mids, but it could also be a boost in the high mids. There are just some frequencies that feel like they’re missing and hollowed out.

The bass is impressive and not false at all. These things move air and sound good and don’t give out.

I didn’t realize until a friend told me that the HomePod is basically a single down firing woofer and 8 tweeters. That’s kind of what the HomePod sounds like— I wish it was 1/3 taller and had four drivers around the main body with four tweeters able and one down firing woofer. That would sound amazing I’m sure.

Anyone else notice you can’t use the left arrow to go “back” in the new Mac App Store? Bugs the hell out of me.

I’ve been a Tomorrow Night Bright person for a long time. Any color themes I should be looking at for a change?

Indieweb should absolute have a reference open source blogging engine. I don’t want to use Wordpress. I prefer a static site, but there are limitations (lack of Micropub endpoint for one)

I am happy to report the ECG feature on my Apple Watch says that things are ok.

I’ve had a small, irrational fear that I’d be going to the hospital immediately upon first use of this feature.

Afternoon stroll through the Warehouse District.

I’ve added a Now page to my site, inspired by @manton who was inspired by @sivers

Fascinating look at how solar costs have been reduced over time. Traces importance of R&D followed by serious achievements due to economies of scale arstechnica.com/science/2…

Starting to get somwhere less horrible with json.blog, including finally getting SSL setup.

Gracie chewing herself.

A little Sunday #treatyoself

I am getting tired of my current static site. Love the theoretically simplicity, but looking for a different experience now. Trying to convince myself to not write a CMS from scratch…

Apparently when Comcast sees a closet like this, it is the equivalent of saying “shibboleet”. Got his direct number and his supervisors.

How does “airplay this to my HomePod” not work with Siri? I mean Jesus, does anyone at Apple use this stuff?

It seems like ever rock song lives in the high F/G territory, which is literally the highest note I can hit but just barely.

I got a HomePod. It’s kind of bad. Probably will buy at least two more at some point.

We live in new construction. I had them run Cat6 everywhere in the house. Like, several thousand dollars worth of up-charged CAT6.

It’s still not enough.

The Lady Astronaut Series

I just finished the two published books in The Lady Astronaut series. They are tragic and triumphant, somber and delightful. There are incredible, meaningful character relationships and humor in a rich scientific alternative history.

I found myself in tears many times reading these books. Each time it was for the same reason. At a particularly difficult or wonderful moment in the story, the protagonist, Elma York, would find herself reaching for and finding her Judaism.

After surviving a meteor strike on the eastern seaboard of the United States (setting in motion our alt-history), at the very first moment that the action seemed to pause because our characters reach some form of stability, Elma pauses, suddenly feels the grief of all the loss that has just happened and finds herself performing kriah. Maybe it’s because in the last year or so I’ve buried two grandparents and two uncles, one of whom was like a father to me that this act touched me so deeply. But actually, I suspect that it’s because of the lack of characters in fiction whose Judaism is consequential, even when the story is not about their Judaism. I am not sure if someone who is not Jewish could understand the depth of meaning conveyed to me in that action.

At another point in the story, Elma is able to see her husband one last time before a period of years they would spend apart. They thought they had said their goodbyes, but the rules were broken and she was able to reunite with him briefly. A burst into tears when she realizes, just as she sees her husband, that they were reunited on Rosh Hashanah, and greeted each other with l’shanah tova tikatevi v’taihatem/I.

Or when her commander switches Elma to kitchen duty, despite her protests about often being placed doing “women’s work”, despite her enjoying cooking, and despite her not wanting any special treatment, only to have him reveal that her special skill that evening and for the next week was knowing how to make a seder and keep Kosher for Passover. It would take an entire third novel to try and capture and convey the kindness I personally felt from this.

Or when she shares Yiddish insults she remembers from speaking with her grandmother, which is something I did with my grandmother who passed this year.

Or when she helps a grieving, non-Jewish husband recite the Kaddish for his Jewish wife who passed.

Or when she says the shehekianu.

The Lady Astronaut series may be the first books I’ve ever read that are not about Jewish identity that still makes Jewish identity a consequential, real, meaningful part of one of its characters. Judaism is not an aesthetic, it is not a shorthand for personality traits, and it is not an identifier. The Judaism in these books is powerfully used to convey a richness that taps deep wells of emotion that I’ve rarely felt accessed.

Solid view of Nashville from this hotel.

This isn’t an iPad Pro announcement. It’s the opening argument for ARM on the Mac.

It’s just baffling to me that folks are clamoring to recreate the laptop form factor with iOS. I’d much rather see an ARM-based macOS laptop that’s MacBook sized with 15-20hrs of battery life.

I can’t think of an app on iPad that isn’t in macOS, or isn’t a web app that would ditch native as soon as iOS gets a more powerful browser, that’s critical for work. Pretty much all the iOS only stuff exists to work around limitations Macs don’t have.

I don’t understand the argument that iPad should basically become a MacBook bc some people think that iPads are cooler.

It almost always comes down to “the future!” as though that’s not a path we control. By using a Mac, I’ve been in the future all 8 years the iPad has been out.

I have been accused of paranoia with regard to legal fights for “religious freedom”. “But you’re Jewish,” they say, and, “shouldn’t you want to protect religious minorities?” But I know better. Because I am Jewish, I know your supposed protection is really a weapon against me.

You know you’re a product manager when you’re super excited about the way a table in your administrator panel looks and feels.