First impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, after a few days

It feels like a real computer. Almost everything I do on my MacBook Air, I can do on my iPhone. Not as fast, but I can do it in situations where a full-size laptop is impractical.

Will it replace my iPad Mini? We’ll see. Ask me again in a couple of months. I haven’t touched the mini since I got the iPhone 7 Plus Thursday. I’m starting to think when I’m ready to replace the MacBook Air in 18 months, I might go for an iMac and 13″ iPad Pro. That’d be pretty expensive, so maybe I better just keep thinking.

Battery life is fantastic. I can start at 7 am, go a whole day to 11:30 pm, never plug in, and finish with about 40% battery.

I bought the matte black color phone, rather than the fancier jet black. I heard the jet black would scratch. I like the matte black.

No headphone jack? Don’t care. I’m all bluetooth all the time — have been for more than a year.

I’m fine with the missing home button. I’ve already gotten used to the haptic vibration that replaces it. And the home button on my old iPhone 6 was getting a little shaky, indicating that the reduction of moving parts might improve durability.

Waterproof! I won’t have to put my iPhone in an ugly-ass baggy when I take it out in the rain anymore.

Most people seem to ignore 3D Touch, some people love it. I’m definitely in the “love it” camp.

I love the haptic touch. For example, when you use a spinner, like a date picker or the weight counter in Lose It, the action feels like a real, mechanical spinner.

The phone is only slightly wider than the iPhone 6, but it’s much taller. It mostly fits inside the phone pocket of my cargo pants and shorts. That makes me happy. I like that phone pocket.

Got to cut back on politics every once in a while or it will make you nuts

I’ve been feeling depressed and stressed all weekend. It’s no big deal. I wrestle with moderate depression and this was one of the bad times.

This morning, I went out walking with Minnie first thing to beat the heat. I don’t like exercising first thing in the morning but it’s necessary when it’s hot out, particularly with Minnie. And I do like being done with exercising first thing.

I got back home showered, got my and Minnie’s breakfast together, and hit my desk to read the news. I read a couple of articles about the election and lifted my hands to blog about them–

— and then I said screw it, the world can do without my election insights today.

And suddenly my mood lightened.

Disclosure: I did end up doing one political post today, and a comment on someone else’s political post. But too much thinking about politics just grinds you down. And it alienates you from people you might otherwise like just fine.

P.S. Lately, Minnie is in the habit of picking up trash on the way back and carrying it in her mouth, often the whole way home. Today’s treasure was a transparent Starbucks cold drinks cup. She got it about three houses down from home and then put it down, and couldn’t seem to figure out a good way to pick it up again, even though she’d already done it twice. I picked it up and carried it home and deposited it in our trash. My thumb rule is that if she gets trash back to our street it is my responsibility, but until then if she drops it I just leave it where it is, figuring it was ALREADY litter before she picked it up.

Getting out of the office

Monitoring software lets employers keep an eye on their remote workers, with keyloggers to see what’s on their screens and cameras to watch them in their home offices. That’s both wrong and bad for business, says David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner at 37 Signals, a company filled with remote workers And Ignacio Uriarte is an artist who works with Excel and other office software.

Out of the Office – Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything podcast

I’ve been working remotely for most of the last 25 years. Hansson is right — employers should keep an eye on the work product and ignore work habits. If the work product is all right, it doesn’t matter if the employee has what appears outwardly to be lousy work habits.

It’s Tough Being Over 40 in Silicon Valley

Older workers are finding it harder to get jobs in Silicon Valley, say Carol Hymowitz and Robert Burnson at Reuters. So they take steps to seem younger and fit in. They hang around the parking lots of companies to see how their prospective colleagues dress, They study Reddit and other social platforms to get up to date on the latest pop culture references. They hang up their business suits and bowties. And they even go in for plastic surgery and lawsuits.

I’m 55. I haven’t personally encountered age discrimination. I’m fortunate. Or oblivious.

Two-year-old finds solution to ethics “trolley problem:” Kill everybody

E.J. Masicampo posed the question to his two-year-old:

I’m teaching a moral psychology class this semester, and we spent part of the first day discussing the trolley problem, which is a frequently used ethical dilemma in discussions of morality. When I returned home that night and was playing trains with my son, I thought it would be interesting to see his response to the trolley problem. I recorded his response so that I could share and discuss it with my class, given especially that we also will be discussing moral development from birth onward. My wife and I are constantly talking with our son about how properly to treat others — so this has been teachable moment both for my class and for our son!

The Trolley Problem:

The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. The general form of the problem is this: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options: (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track. (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which is the most ethical choice?

Via Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing. Thanks!

When these guys move house, they REALLY mean it

B8878251Z.1_20160328160215_000GFFF7IDR.2-0_r900x493The San Diego Union-Tribune has an article and slideshow about the house that was moved by truck from Hillcrest on the way to eventually rest in Chula Vista.

A roughly 11-ton Hillcrest house was lifted off the ground and on to a semi-truck using hydraulic jacks Monday morning with plans to eventually move it to Chula Vista.

Sold for $1, a developer plans to rent out the property, along with five other old homes, on a lot he owns. Homeowner Anne Wilson said it was cheaper for her to sell her house than demolish it.

“It’s been a wonderful house,” she said outside her two-bedroom, one bath home on Vermont Street.

Wilson, who bought the 800-square-foot home in 1993, recently decided to knock down the place and build a new, three-floor house with the top floor to be used as a rental.

Garnell Fitz-Henley “has bought a dozen used homes and found new uses for them over the last 17 years,” working with developers.

He said it makes more sense to reuse homes then tear them down because of all the materials that would just go into a landfill. Also, he said the talent and energy of original laborers on the home is lost when it is destroyed.

Sold for $1, Hillcrest home heads south [Phillip Molnar – The San Diego Union-Tribune]