DuckDuckGo and phonetic spelling

Thank you to contributor Robert May for helping add Phoneic to Instant Answers at DuckDuckGo. This handy new query allows you to “spell a string phonetically with the NATO alphabet”.

As an example, consider someone asking you to spell your name over the phone. Assuming I’m in front of a computer, with an Alfred web search, I can type “duck phonetic villarin“, and see the Instant Answer at the top of DuckDuckGo search results:

Phonetic: Victor-India-Lima-Lima-Alfa-Romeo-India-November

Slick. Happy Thursday!

Bravo-Romeo-Yankee-Alfa-November. ;)

NBC app on Apple TV

I saw the new NBC app on my 3rd generation Apple TV home screen a couple of days ago, and it appeared to have full TV episodes of their latest shows.

Checking season 3 of The Blacklist, I was bummed the first episode was no longer available. I rented it on Apple TV, then watched the second episode in the NBC app.

Observations — I’d mute the TV during commercials (between 60–120 seconds). There was a weird block of commercials between the final scene and credits. On the other hand, maybe it makes sense when binge watching, because the start of the next episode is immediate.

Overall, all went well, and I’m on my way to catching up. Nifty to have another option.

GIFs, Cloudup, and Simplenote

I have a handy bookmark of a Cloudup stream with a bunch of GIFs ready to go. In Simplenote, a pinned note contains descriptions and URLs of those GIFs for quick searching.

With several of my colleagues as inspirations1, I’m fairly quick to have a relevant GIF for a Slack channel or P2 thread at work.

Priorities. Don’t hate! 😎

In all seriousness, GIFs are fun, and the visual element might be helpful for subconsciously improving recall detail of certain facts.

Consider the NBC TV series, Chuck. Flashing images, then Chuck knows Kung Fu.

Perhaps the connection of a GIF with a lengthy conversation can be recalled in greater detail when thinking about the GIF.

I said “perhaps”.


  1. Thanks in alphabetical order: James, Cat, Kevin, Watkis, and many other Automatticians I missed. 

Huffduffer: Your personal podcast feed

Huffduffer is a free service that helps you create a podcast feed consisting of your selected episodes. While downloading individual episodes with Overcast can be done in a few steps1, there isn’t a quicker workflow when using a laptop or desktop.

With a Huffduffer account, you can use a browser bookmarklet! Stumble across an episode? With the bookmarklet and a few text fields (optional if you’d like to add a description), that podcast episode will be queued for download shortly.

You’re also given a Huffduffer username and public page, where others can subscribe to your Huffduffer feed, or listen to podcasts from the page itself. (I was able to snag bryan.)

Enjoy!


  1. Search the title of the podcast, scroll through the episodes, then tap the episode you’d like to download. 

Switching to wireless delivery from Instapaper for my Kindle 3G

For months, I’ve been using Wordcycler (Windows, freeware) to manually sync individual items from Instapaper to my Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi via USB cable. Now that I have a smaller number of articles to read, I’m going to try receiving new items via Wi-Fi through Instapaper.

I’ll also start trying Instapaper’s Send to Kindle bookmarklet for immediate delivery (Account > Manage My Kindle Settings).

If this works well, it’ll be fantastic not having to connect my Kindle to my computer every few days. I’d only need to worry about charging it.

See you later, Delicious

I just exported my Delicious bookmarks file for safekeeping. Why? September 23, 2011 is the last day before AVOS migrates to the new site on September 24th. I haven’t seen a rebuttal to “Why You Should Think Twice About Opting-In to the Delicious-AVOS Transfer“, and I haven’t used the service since December 2010.

It was a good run, but I’d rather use my blog.

Are you going to keep using Delicious with AVOS?

Greetings, Fuelly!

Since the end of 2008, I’ve kept a fairly regular habit of jotting down my trip mileage, odometer, price and other fill-up numbers[1. Date, station, odometer, price, gallons, and partial fuelup (yes/no).] whenever I fueled my 2003 Toyota Corolla at a gas station. When I get the chance, I’d open my spreadsheet file and add the new fill-ups.

When Matt Haughey started Fuelly, I postponed importing my data and switching from sheer laziness. After revisiting the site a couple days ago, I saw that I already had all the information I needed from my spreadsheet. After renaming the columns and changing a few fields to use boolean logic[2. Partial_fuelup and missed_fuelup from yes/no to 1/0.], my CSV import went through smoothly.

Why I dig Fuelly:

  • Fuelly displays my data with elegant charts and graphs, which is more than my spreadsheet.
  • With my smartphone, using Fuelly’s mobile site is gorgeous and allows me to enter new data easily, saving the step of writing it down for later.
  • If I choose to leave, I can export my fuel-up data to a CSV text file.

Right when I was about to publish this post, Fuelly wouldn’t show any car details. After a quick email to inform the Fuelly team (of what I’m sure they already knew), Paul Bausch replied within minutes that the problem was fixed. Awesome. After a friendly interaction with Paul, and having watched a few episodes of Portlandia, Oregon is starting to look really nice. :)

My Fuelly username: btvillarin / Sign up at fuelly.com