Hello. Please enjoy these seven bits of trivia from my week:
I relistened to the already ailing but now presumably dead Hello Internet podcast. It was diverting enough for exercise or chores but I was surprised how much more uncomfortable I found the episodes now than when they first came out.
CGP Grey is the main attraction of the show, and I vaguely remembered him as being harmlessly idiosyncratic, but this time around I found his nihilistic teenage libertarianism extremely grating. It was hard to listen to him keep refusing to consider any perspective other than his own, even (or especially) when he admitted he didn’t know anything about the topic. By the end I felt mostly sort of embarrassed that a professional educator could be so selfish and incurious.
What changed? Was it the acute bioaccumulation of listening to all the episodes in succession rather than spreading them out over six years? Did I simply pay more attention this time? Am I somehow… older?
Conversely I’ve greatly warmed to Brady Haran in the meantime as a result of The Unmade Podcast, so that balanced it out.
Naughty Dog announced some new The Last of Us stuff, including a modern remake of the first game which I’m pretty excited about, and a new multiplayer title which I’m not. But overall I’m happy that this imaginary world continues to exist and will see at least a little more investment. I’m trying to keep my expectations low for the TV show so I can just relax and enjoy it a normal amount even if it’s not amazing.
My Part II replay stalled for unrelated reasons but I’d definitely like to play through both of them back-to-back when Part I comes out in September.
The Essex Serpent finished in a satisfying way, its saltmarsh locations awash with beautiful natural light. In fact I enjoyed Claire Danes so much that we ended up taking a detour into the first few episodes of Homeland which were just as gripping as I remembered, even though I don’t think I stuck with it past the end of season one when it was new.
We watched The Batman which was competent and atmospheric but about twice as long as it should have been. Someone likes Nirvana.
I had to do some financial admin today and inevitably got quite annoyed by the bad user experience of my online banking, and then you came here, and so now you’re hearing about it.
I understand that if you work at a bank the difference between, say, a “transfer” and a “payment” is important to you, but — spoilers — I don’t work at a bank and so I don’t find this a useful separation of concepts at all. Just let me press a big “pay once” button, I’ll explain where and when I want that money to go, and then you can work out all the complicated details with your big bank computer.
Likewise persists the ridiculous UI-pervading distinction between “standing order” and “direct debit”, both of which achieve basically the same thing with a different underlying mechanism, but which for some reason cannot possibly both be hidden behind a “pay regularly” abstraction because if everyone in the country didn’t have to learn the difference between standing orders and direct debits then how would we appreciate how clever banks are?
When AirPods Pro were first released in October 2019 I ordered a pair as a Christmas present for Nat. By August 2020 they were making weird crackling noises so I got them both replaced for free — amazingly I appear to have found this too mundane to mention in weeknotes at the time — and they recently started doing it again, so today I took them to an Apple Store and got given replacements again.
So they initially lasted about 8 months of actual use, and then they lasted about 22 months, and that’s not enough information to predict how long this new pair will last but the trend is encouraging.
Getting them replaced at the shop was very quick and easy: I made a Sunday appointment a couple of hours in advance, and when I showed up it took them ten minutes to test them in their top secret AirPods Pro testing machine (n.b. this may in reality be a cigarette break) and give me replacements.
It’s obviously inconvenient to have to go somewhere and do something but some desperate part of me enjoys the little treat of being given a free brand-new thing. The replacement program lasts “for 3 years after the first retail sale of the unit” so this is probably my final bite of the cherry unless they go wrong again before October, which could yet happen as far as the data’s concerned. 🤞🏻
Another finger curled on the monkey’s paw when WWDC revealed exactly the feature I wanted but made it unavailable for my iPad. Well played, Tim Apple.