Your roundup of tech, culture, and nostalgia for

February 28, 2023 // Web version //

TimeMachiner. Tech, culture, nostalgia. By Aaron Crocco
Inside Today's Issue:
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Bing Sydney Put In Check

Read to the end for a post about all the boxes.

👋🏻 Welcome to this week's edition of TimeMachiner. Thanks for subscribing and checking out my work. I'm so happy you're here.

I've been enamored with creature comforts lately. You know, the small things we see or experience from time to time that make life easier. Our lives can fall into a monotinous cycle that repeats daily. However there are innovations that add a small level of relief.

I was thinking about this when I went to hand over my email, yet again, to an app I was checking out this past weekend. Our email addresses are quite personal (as I should, given I run this here newsletter) and I get not wanting to hand it over to a place that can endlessly spam us or sell it off for money.

It was then that it hit me. The Hide My Email feature has been a real innovation to iOS users who pay for any level of iCloud service. It starts at $1 a month and the free storage is laughable, so I would think most people pay. And for that $1 you get a key privacy feature. Your device generates a random email address on the fly and will forward any email send to it to your actual email account. I love this feature. I've never seen a way iCloud mail is better than Gmail, but I guess in some way I use it now? While, yes, I know this is more lock-in to Apple's ecosystem, I do love this way of protecting my email address.

Again in the Apple realm is the SMS codes that come through when I log into a website. I try to use TOTP 2FA any time I can, but many companies only offer the terribly-insecure SMS version. It's better than nothing, so I use it. But another creature comfort lives here: auto-fill. My device sees a code come in and automatically suggests it as what to enter into a login form. Of everything Apple touts in their announcements, small things like this are giant wins.

Small utilities like noise-cancellation for online meeting apps rules in this category too. I'm a fan of Krisp and have been quite impressed with how it not only filters background noise, but background VOICES too. Someone could be next to me and it will filter them out when I'm on a work meeting. The technology is really good. I'm lucky enough that my days are not meeting-heavy and so I comfortably live on their free offerings.

Last, but certainly not least, is the password manager. Where we once had to struggle to create passwords, we now generate strings of random junk in a single click. It gets saved into an app and you're basically hack-proof. I can't imagine ever going back to the world of passwords a decade ago and the mess they are. Here in 2023, I'm sooooo ready to ditch them and move onto Passkeys, which are a zillion times better and can't be phished.

I know there are a lot of things I'm likely overlooking. If an obvious one comes to mind, reply to this email and let me know. I can list them out in next week's edition.

For now, that is all I have. I hope you have a great week.


PS: I'm working hard to grow TimeMachiner. If you enjoy my work, please tell a friend. Thank you. 😊


One teaspoon of neutron star material weighs six billion tons. Source

Fake Narration
In this ever-evolving world of AI drawing and chat and who knows what else, we find a new realm for computer-generated text-to-voice to apply its skills: audiobook narration. Leyland Cecco at The Guardian has more about how Apple is playing with fire in this experiment. The popularity of the audiobook market has exploded in…
Show Me This Story
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YouTube has really taken over our world for entertainment in quick bites, personalities you get to know, and a wealth of knowledge on fixing and operating stuff. YouTube is everywhere and is an important archive of so much information. Now in a super interesting twist, YouTube has announced Study Hall, a collaboration with ASU…
Show Me This Story
Bing Sydney Put In Check
It's been an interesting few weeks for Microsoft. After announcing their partnership with OpenAI and incorporating ChatGPT into it, things have gotten... weird. In only a short time it has threatened and insulted users. It has insinuated it spied on its creators via their webcams. To say it's off the rails is an understatement.…
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