Ubisoft are making Assassin’s Creed Unity free to download on PC and donating money to the restoration project for Notre-Dame. I never thought I would see gaming and culture cross-over like this.

It's Earth Day today, so go find a cave

However, if you haven’t yet made plans and wish to take a stand, there is one activity that you can do alone at home that will help you and the planet. It ensures that ever-so-briefly you are not contributing to climate change, and are doing what you can to save endangered species. Don’t drive or fly. Don’t buy anything. Do no laundry. Turn off the lights. Avoid going online. Depending on where on Earth you are, shut down the air-conditioning or heaters (unless you’ve got solar panels!).

The best thing you can do on Earth Day is sit perfectly still

I appreciate that doing nothing can help climate change, but I’m reading this article on the day of Earth Day and if sharing it means I can get a few more people to increase their time offline, then it’s worth that little burst of me being online today.

Good advice from NB that can apply to more than just business.

Start the plan to make 6 months from now so much easier.

Brilliant at the Basics of Business 100: 88

Great day down at Troon today with Jennifer and the boys.

Spent most of the day walking along the beach searching for shells for Drew’s school project.

The water was nice and cool for a refreshing dip at the end of the walk as well.

The revolving door of football managers

I don’t really follow the football in the UK, but it surpises me how often managers are held accountable for a team’s performance. I get that as a manager they are responsible for the team as a collection, but is there no argument against the team itself as well as the manager?

McLeish was under pressure from day one and didn’t have the capacity to deal with it. It was painful to watch at times. It’s now over, but the old problems remain at Hampden. It’s not just about who the next manager should be, it’s about who can be trusted to appoint that new manager.

Scotland: Alex McLeish exits after poor start to Euro 2020 qualifying

22 years without a major tournament appearance. With a record like this, I’d say it’s less about who can be trusted and more about who would want such a position.

Search arrives in Markcase

Last night I shipped the ability to search your bookmarks in Markcase. With over 1800 bookmarks in my collection, finding anything was beginning to get a bit frustrating.

The search query will match any term in a bookmark’s title, description or URL and will only search through your own bookmarks.

I want to be able to search over URLs as well, but the results for your search may yield more results than you would like depending on the term. URLs can be quite lengthy and therefore can be included in the search results when you might not expect them to be there. For now, I am going to leave searching over URLs in. I haven’t used it enough to see whether it will be useful in the long term or not.

The next step is the importing and exporting of bookmarks. I’ve put this off long enough, but it’s the next best feature to implement to entice a few more subscribers to the service.

Once importing and exporting is in place, then it’s on to billing. I’ve always said that Markcase will be a paid service, but for just now I’m happy to let people use it for free. I’m hoping to have billing in place by the summer which will then let me focus on performance and usability improvements for a few months.

Last night I shipped a little search improvement to Markcase and tonight a change to another Rails app.

Feels good to be working with Rails, even if it is for a couple of side-projects.

Deep work and goldfish

A study commissioned by Microsoft found that since the year 2000 – or about when the mobile revolution began – the average human attention span dropped from 12 to 8 seconds, which places us just below a goldfish, which tends to stay focused for an entire 9 seconds at a time.

Slack Is Not Where ‘Deep Work’ Happens

Wow. In almost 20 years we’ve become less focused than a goldfish.

I get ticked off by Slack as a platform, but not for what it is, but how it’s used. Instead of restricting channels to specific actions or topics, Slack allows any channel to be openly used and abused without user’s even knowing that they are distracting others. Why have one firehose channel when you can have ten?

I do miss the days of freelancing where I could get in a few hours of deep work in the morning and then catch up with clients and meetings in the afternoon.

My own Commonplace book has been neglected of late. Time to change that.

Who to win at Augusta?

I would love to see Woods win at Augusta today. It’s taken a while but he’s finally back to winning form. As a fellow Brit, I would also like Poulter to win as well. He’s a Ryder Cup legend but he’s due a major win.

Throw Schauffele into the mix as well as I drew him out the hat for the pro shop raffle and I have a dilemna for the final day of the masters.

Whoever wins though, it’s going to be a great day for watching the golf.

Another concerned netizen on the rise of Chromium-based browsers.

Light nights are finally here at the golf club.

Checking back in after a little blog break

This wasn’t intentional, it just kind of happened.

With a week off work, I’ve been doing other things rather than sitting in front of a screen. The boys and I have been enjoying a few days of golf. Drew has been going to a golf camp for the younger kids in the morning, and Ethan and I have been hitting the course this week. By the time afternoon rolls around, me and Drew are happy to leave Ethan at the club and head home for an afternoon of chilling.

The results have been a quieter than usual blog. It’s not been a bad thing though, because yet again I’ve been toying with the value of my blog and whether it’s worth continuing with. It seems that every few months I question this and inevitably continue posting. This time the decision is still the same. I’m sticking with the blog.

Regular posting should resume shortly.

Days Gone might just fill the gaming void until The Last of Us II comes out. 🎮

We need more illustrated books

Maybe it’s the books that I buy, but I don’t see many books with illustrations in them. In books the illustration is a visual indication of where the story is but in the case of older books, I would say the illustration is much more of a labour of love.

These illustrations for “The Tempest” by Arthur Rackham are a great example of this.

I only know of Arthur Rackham as it was his illustrations that were included in my edition of “A Christmas Carol”. There is something about his illustrations that set them apart from other illustrated books.

I would love to see more illustrated books in stores.

Related bookmarks for Markcase

I’ve been making quiet and steady progress with Markcase over the last couple of weeks. Just minor changes here and there.

One of the bigger changes is the addition of individual pages for each bookmark so that you can see related bookmarks. These are accessible by clicking on the bookmark’s timestamp.

At the moment it only returns a handful of bookmarks from the same domain, but I am going to add more sections to this page to include related bookmarks by tag and date.

Me and the boys went for a walk along the Clyde today. Great day for it.

Improved weather results in DuckDuckGo. Another reason to make it your default search engine.

Back to Vim

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been slowly getting back into using Vim as my default text editor.

Even though VS Code is really popular with developers at the moment, I’m not a big fan of using Electron-based apps. Also, VS Code’s popularity has been killing off some packages that I use on Sublime Text, which effectively kills that off as well. I did try to move back to Sublime Text, but I’m not finding it anymore productive than VS Code. Which brings me to Vim.

After many attempts at moving to Vim, I can still remember the keyboard shortcuts for many commands on Vim, so I haven’t been at a total loss in getting started again.

Last of the painting done in the den this morning. Just need to get a few bookcases from Ikea for the room and we’ll be done.

Great advice for those building new products.

At both Viaweb and YC, every minute I spent thinking about competitors was, in retrospect, a minute wasted.

Paul Graham

Killed by Google is a reminder that although the Google search engine has been around for over 20 years, many of Google’s products have a much shorter life span. Google’s products are more akin to long term product tests than actual products.

Slowing down with Michael Wade

Essential advice from Michael Wade about the benefits of slowing down as a strategy.

The counter-intuitive strategy of slowing down will save time in the long run by preventing possible mistakes and by improving the overall quality of the resolution.

Fast is Slow. Slow is Fast

LucasArts is back (kinda)

“Lucasfilms Games.” To quote an old master, that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time… a long time. It’s the original name of LucasArts, the legendary studio that developed games in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as several of the great 90s adventure games. To make a long, messy story short, LucasArts was acquired by Disney in 2012, and was reduced to a skeleton the following year. For all intents and purposes, it was dead… until now.

Disney bolsters Lucasfilm Games for a bright Star Wars future

LucasArts made some fantastic games back in the day. I remember spending many hours on my desktop PC playing the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games.

I’m sceptical about what Disney is looking to make with the new rebranded LucasArts studio, Lucasfilm Games. Only because Disney being the large company that it is, doesn’t ensure guaranteed success. They’ve had a good run with the Star Wars franchise though so it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

The basics from Nicholas Bate. Glad to see that I am striving to get back to all seven of these.