Week 78: RSS, Build, and other small bits

7 Aug, 2022

This week was a bit sporadic because of work taking up a lot of time and headspace, but I did find time to think about newspapers, work a bit more on blender lessons, and read.

RSS Newspaper #

I spent my holidays reflecting a bit about my use of time on social media, and how to stay up to date with “the industry” and people whose work I like.

Twitter has brought me so much joy, allowing me to digest an incredible amount of news and work from a wide range of organizations and people. But the product has devolved into so much suggested content that I didn’t ask for yet hits all the right brain chemicals to keep me scrolling. Same story for instagram.

At the same time, RSS feeds are seeing a resurgence, and I have now switched the same setup as Matt, combining NetNewsWire and Feedbin. Feedbin even allows for twitter integration, so now I can get the tweets I’m interested in without any of the garbage and NetNewsWire has a “star” functionality that functions like a archive, a great replacement for twitter’s bookmarks.

Screenshot of my NetNewsWire

Screenshot of my NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire is efficient, but not exciting. I miss beautiful typography as graphic elements, layout and images from traditional media. Feedbin has an API, so I’m wondering if I should try and sketch an “RSS newspaper”, a more visceral, scrolling that would allow me to consume more news in a visually enticing way.

I’m still experimenting with my setup and building it out. Still check twitter and instagram, but through the web-versions rather than the apps.

Blender lesson progress #

The lessons continue, now on Bruno Simon’s lesson on unwrapping and baking a scene in Blender.

Blender model of a small grove with a portal

Blender model from last week, now with materials

I’m at the stage of doing UV unwrapping of all objects, which is fun and frustrating. Since the whole idea was to create a 3D world including LEGO elements for a portfolio, I’m not looking forward to unwrap those.

Blender UV unwrapping setup

Blender UV unwrapping setup

Reading #

I’m reading Build by Tony Fadell together with colleagues. It’s curious, because it’s the kind of book I would have been ecstatic to read 5 years ago. I have a lot of respect for Tony Fadell and what he has accomplished in his career, but coming into this book I have to admit I thought didn’t need to read it. My manager kept pushing it though, so now I am, and learning a lot from it.

Also a hat tip to Linus’ article on designing with materials. It features work by Tyler who I met while I worked at MIT Media Lab, and it’s the kind of material that makes me happy and hopeful for the future of software. It made me think of a lecture Lucas Ochoa and Gautam Bose gave on A Tinkerer’s Guide to the AI Galaxy. They also talk about technologies as materials. So did BERG when they were around.