Customizing Website Subscription Emails

Swappa.com allows users to subscribe to listings via email, but the messages only contain a link and omit useful information like the price. I wanted to use the email notifications to generate better email notifications, and cooked up the following: Forward the email to a separate dedicated email account Apply a filter to the messages […]

USPS Informed Delivery

In my mostly digital world, SnailMail is a chore.  That’s why I applaud the USPS’s new Informed Delivery service, which sends me an email every day so I can view it in my normal morning routine.

PhotoScan Is Great

It’s no secret that I’m a Google Photos fan1 2 and you can add PhotoScan to the list of features I love. Tonight we built a simple rig out of cardboard and within about an hour we scanned over two hundred fifty photos, then let Google automatically crop and rotate them.  Almost instantly they were available […]

Introduction to Google Photos

I need to help my Mom get familiar with Google Photos, so I gave her the following advice.  If you have any tips, please let me know at [email protected] I installed Google Photos on your phone which automatically syncs your photos to the Google cloud. Give https://photos.google.com/ a try RIGHT NOW and let me know how it goes! You […]

Google Home: Great For Music & Radio

After a few weeks with the Google Home (the voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant) I’m a fan because it’s so convenient for playing music and radio.  I’m finding myself listening to both more (and consequently watching less TV!) since it’s just so easy to walk into my apartment and say “Hey Google, play 90.9FM” […]

Electric Meter Saga

In January, my electric bill rose by 40% (88 kWh) which I found odd for my small apartment with gas heat, hot water and stove with no laundry. The increase is the equivalent of something drawing 120W 24/7 for the entire month which seemed unlikely for the electric devices I had, mainly: fridge, water pump, […]

Web Landmines: Thrash, Nags & Bloat

This is a rant.  The wealth of information on the web is amazing, but I find it riddled with user experience landmines that make it an unpleasant medium for reading.  These landmines are so frequent that stumbling on nice plain HTML page, like paulgraham.com, is refreshing and relieving, instead of normal.  The modern web is […]

Living in East Boston’s Jeffries Point

Six months after moving into East Boston’s Jeffries Point, I’m extremely happy.  When people learn it’s where I live, they usually react by saying “Oh, great move!” then shortly thereafter “Do you feel safe? Do you like it?”  I’m pleased to report that I agree it was a great move, that yes I do feel […]

Shutterfly Story Export

Shutterfly has a neat feature called “Stories” that have a cool UI, but no easy way to export.  I wanted to store the photos in Google Photos, so here is the process I came up with. It starts with a Shutterfly story URL like: https://photos.shutterfly.com/story/id/120075324736 Replace <STORY_ID> in the cURL command below, and find the payload.message property. […]

Marching in Boston

A day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I joined hundreds of thousands of people to march in solidarity with those who fear they may be marginalized by his presidency.  It was by far the densest crowd I’ve been a part of, with an estimated 185,000 people crammed into an approximately 15 acre corner of Boston Common.  It […]