LostFocus

Hi, I'm Dominik Schwind, friend of the internet. Here is /now.

There are a couple of ways you can follow me around on the internet. The prefered way would probably be with a feed reader - here is my RSS feed.

If you need more direct access, you can follow me here with Mastodon or similar sites: @dominik@nona.social. You can also follow this blog via @dominik@lostfocus.de.

I often wake up with a random song as an earworm – and now I note them down for your enjoyment.

This morning it was The Letter by The Box Tops

After posting my very meh weeknotes last week I decided that this week shall be better and created a way for myself to write down little notes during the week that I just need to compile on the weekend and voilá, weeknotes.
This is how that file looks like today. Good effort, really. Congratulations.

So, anyway. Workwise it was a slightly annoying week. I started at a new project that I’m pretty optimistic about – and somehow never manage to get the proper flow together and everything is a quite a bit slower than I expected it to be, which is a bit of a bummer. Fingers crossed things will be smoother next week – at some point I was so annoyed that I just blocked big chunks of the workday in my calendar for next week, so maybe that will help.

On Monday Teymur and me decided to give Sons of the Forest another go, this time with a slightly higher difficulty setting and even though it still wasn’t all that hard, it was quite a different experience. I’m still a bit confused at what this game actually wants to be – do we mostly build fancy housing? Or do we follow the story? I’m still not 100% sure.
Staying with the games – later in the week, Martin, Ben, Teymur and me decided to play GeoGuessr and maybe it’s better to not talk about the results.

After I was told that the current season of Australian Survivor is pretty good I somehow ended up in a situation where most of my media diet is Australian – Survivor and Taskmaster are both rather enjoyable and neatly take up most of my watching time.

So that’s that – today I was visiting the Zoo with my nephews and now I’m here, typing away. All in all not a bad week.

Wow, another week. As Teymur says in his article for this week it is quite something to be reminded how fast the weeks pass.
It was not a bad week in any way – but it also wasn’t really a good one. In fact, it wasn’t really any type of week at all.

There are some new developments at work that I’m cautiously optimistic about, then there was the whole Gowalla thing and basically that’s it.

So I guess that’s what you get from me today: a big ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – let’s hope there’s more to talk about next week. (Maybe, just maybe I should write down stuff during the week, too. I’m pretty sure I had a few things I thought would fit well into this post, but I can’t remember any of them.)

I often wake up with a random song as an earworm – and now I note them down for your enjoyment.

This morning it was One Two Three Four.

I’m quite the nerd when it comes to location stuff and was always pretty excited about the different apps and services that were created in that space back in the Web 2.0 days. Plazes, Foursquare, Brightkite, Fire Eagle, Gowalla – I used them all.

In October 2020 Josh Williams, one of the original founders of Gowalla, announced on Twitter that it is coming back. I was excited. Excited enough to add that information to their wikipedia page. At some point they started a pay-to-play beta called “Street Team,” which is a choice, I guess. From what I’ve heard there wasn’t much to do during the beta, except claim your username. There was a podcast.
And finally today they put the new and re-invented version of Gowalla into the App Store for the whole world to join.
So of course I did.

The onboarding was not the smoothest thing, let’s get this out of the way – I didn’t feel like entering my phone number, so luckily they offer a log in (though not a registration?) via email or via the Apple account thing. I chose the latter option and in I was.

The first thing that happened was that they asked me for my location – which is fine, it is a location-based app. So I gave them the permission to get my location when I’m using the app.

After that they wanted full access to my contacts or else. I was a bit surprised by that – it seemed overly aggressive and I’m sure as hell not going to allow that. It is okay(-ish) to give people who want to do that the option, but as a requirement? Come on.

Luckily the state handling of the app is pretty rudimentary. Closing the app and re-opening it without giving the permission gets you to the next screen, where one can pick a username and upload an avatar image. I’ve been told that just not allowing the access in the system dialog works just as well. Oh wow.

After I added my friends who were playing along with me (who I actually managed to find without uploading my contacts and who also didn’t upload theirs. Turns out: you can just tell each other your username and search for it.) it was time to look at the app.
Which took about 5 minutes. There’s a map, which is nice. There’s a facepile of avatars that will zoom you to the latest checkin of a friend. There’s some kind of messenger(?) and a button to add a checkin. And that is it.
It’s a bit bare, all things considered. And it’s not even especially pretty or with a lot of personality the way the old Gowalla was. Instead it’s all a bit glitchy and incoherent.

I clicked around the website for a bit, thinking I must have missed something. But no. It is what it is.
But oh wait – there is a discord link! Maybe I can go there to find out more or at least ask them a few things. Like for example – where is the API? The old Gowalla had a lovely API and I still have my checkins from back then in my digital diary software.
Maybe some RSS feed of my checkins? Some kind of public profile? Anything?

So that’s what I asked and apparently none of these things are in the works or even planned. Now that’s a bit of a bummer.

And then, just to add a bit of salt to the wound, there’s a link in the discord to something called “Places” – “an open atlas curated by the world” with a CC0 license. I was immediately excited again – there aren’t any good free Point-of-Interest datasets out there and that could be it.
But then of course there is this:

Places is an experiment to establish geographic locations as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Are you fucking kidding me? Good god.

I don’t know. This is all just a bit baffling and disappointing.

Sometimes it’s nice to look up into the sky

This is the first one of these that I write with a bit of a buzz, so let’s see how well that works. Wine is nice though, isn’t it?

Anyway. Another week with a really messed up sleep schedule. Well, actually the sleep wasn’t the problem, I did sleep pretty well and regular during the times I was supposed to be sleeping. It was the times when I wasn’t sleeping that were weird – I was extremely tired during the day, on one day during lunch break I just plopped myself onto the couch and was gone immediately for almost an hour. And roughly around six or seven in the evening, I started to feel awake and alive.
Extremely inconvenient and I’m pretty annoyed by my diminished potential to do stuff during the day.

I learned about the Badging API this week and that was a little bit of fun.

Sons of the Forest has been on my radar this week. Teymur and me played it one evening on the easiest possible mode and it was quite a bit of fun. Hopefully we’ll get to try the normal mode soon, even though I wonder how well we’ll do then. Especially given the fact that the key bindings are extremely weird.

This is just a little test. You’re more than welcome to ignore this. A link to a YouTube video. And a link to a link to the YouTube video.

This is just a little test. You’re more than welcome to ignore this.

A link to a YouTube video. And a link to a link to the YouTube video.

I often wake up with a random song as an earworm – and now I note them down for your enjoyment.
I don’t even know what to say about this one.

[…] to cultivate an internal world that is capable of perceiving moments worth photographing is also work. Winnie Lim

[…] to cultivate an internal world that is capable of perceiving moments worth photographing is also work.

Winnie Lim

Huh. Sunday. Who’d have thought that this comes along so fast again.

Not too sure what I can say about this week – everything seems weirdly transitional.
I tried to work on my mental health, which would probably go a lot better if the professionals would answer their emails, phones or maybe even call back after I leave them a voice message.
Oh well. One theory right now is that they’re all too busy with carnival – the schools here are closed this week so if they’re in a parenting age they might be of with their families somewhere. We’ll find out next week, I guess.

Last weekend I was pretty excited about WebPush and I added a small prototype implementation to one of my (way too) many little web things. It was pretty neat to see the notification pop up on my iPad with the beta profile.

In my ongoing quest to both read more and track my reading better I signed up for bookwyrm.social. It seems kinda nice but also pretty overwhelmed with the amount of people using it. I was tempted to just self-host it somewhere, but I’m rather staying away from Python for now.
I guess in the medium to long term I’ll have to get it over with and put some basic book tracking into my website. (And all this just because the numbnuts over at Goodreads deactivated their API.)

This is all set out nicely in Dale Carnegie’s famous/infamous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. “Show interest in others” being his key point. I read it as a teenager and it made a huge impression on me – so much so that I gave it to a close friend of mine to […]

This is all set out nicely in Dale Carnegie’s famous/infamous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. “Show interest in others” being his key point. I read it as a teenager and it made a huge impression on me – so much so that I gave it to a close friend of mine to read. His critique was exactly as follows: “This is all very well if you’re interested in other people, but I’m not really.”

Adrian Chiles

Good god, another week? Man, they really don’t stop. Well, until they do.

The Web and my little corners in it

The only thing I’ve done to my webpages is to add a little badge to my main website with the last song I listened to. It’s a bit pointless, but every time I see something like that on someone else’s website I find it to be quite fun and interesting, so why not have it, too?
I’m using last.fm and only show the badge when I listened to that song in the last hour.

At some point during this week Apple announced WebPush for Safari on iOS and even though it’s not uncontroversial that it only works for installed PWAs, I’m quite excited. It’s something to play with and maybe we get to see some nicer PWAs out there in the future.

Every time I start futzing around with this page here, I get annoyed by ✨ everything ✨ but mostly by WordPress. I started building a new theme that is more in tune with the other website and even with Timber it’s just all so tedious.
And that’s even before I can think about new features. Good god.

I usually post the songs that are stuck in my head but right now it’s that Jedward Eurovision song from a couple of years ago and I’m not going to do that to you.

I usually post the songs that are stuck in my head but right now it’s that Jedward Eurovision song from a couple of years ago and I’m not going to do that to you.

If there is one thing that I can say about this week for sure: my sleep pattern is messed up big time. I don’t think there was a single day this week when I didn’t fall asleep way later than I wanted with the absolutely unexpected side effect of me being very tired all day long. Fantastic.
It also didn’t help that I was too tired after work to do my stupid walk for the stupid mental health and somehow still didn’t go to sleep earlier.
Weeks like this are the reason why I usually stop writing these notes after a while – sometimes it just feels like nothing happened all week, everything was a bit of a blur and trying to put that nothingness into words for ✨ public consumption ✨ is a deeply unpleasant experience.

Sigh. Anyway.

Websites

I did manage to put my Twitter archive online. It’s not linked anywhere, yet, except here and I’m not sure if I will. I might just go through the database of my blog here and change all links to my now private tweets to this page.

Things I learned

I managed to get Rector working for me, which was a nice surprise. In previous attempts I had weird results and/or error messages and had more or less given up on it. It’s pretty good now and I guess the trick might just be to not feed it an old code base of 400+ php files at once and instead do things in chunks.

Music

It’s not the most groundbreaking discovery – in fact it’s one I make every couple of months – but just having electronic music running in the background really helps with my ✨ productivity. ✨
(Even though together with a massive sleep deficit it might have added to the floaty feeling all week, who knows.)
Sometimes I just play some semi-random Spotify playlist, this week it was DJ sets on YouTube. The algorithm told me to have the sets of Miss Monique, Nora En Pure and Giolì & Assia running, so that’s what I did.

Well, now let’s see if I can get myself to bed faster today. I did sleep a lot yesterday and today, but we all know it’s not really possible to catch up on sleep just with a weekend, but people would probably complain if I stayed in bed until noon during the week.