The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10


Software is where the iPad has gotten lost. iPadOS’s “multitasking” model is far more capable than the iPhone’s, yes, but somehow Apple has painted it into a corner in which it is far less consistent and coherent than the Mac’s, while also being far less capable. iPad multitasking: more complex, less powerful. That’s quite a combination.

I couldn't agree with Gruber more. I am a Mac power user who has been troubleshooting and repairing them for 20+ years. I've had multiple iPads over the last ten years. I still don't fully grasp split screen multitasking mechanics on my iPad Pro and never intentionally use it.

Scuttlebutt Update

There's been some significant announcements regarding the Scuttlebutt distributed social network protocol over the last couple weeks. The news that jumped to the forefront of tech social media was the announcement of, a VC backed play aimed at competing with Facebook. Nothing has been released yet, but they have a website with some basic info and you can sign up for future notifications. Manton Reece and Daniel Jalkut even discussed it1 on their most recent episode of Core Intuition. I'm going to watch this development with interest, but it's not essential to what I'm doing now.

I actually missed a much more significant announcement at the beginning of January. The Manyverse SSB2 client was finally released for iOS after debuting on Android in 2018. This makes creating a private family network much more viable for my uses at least. I experimented with using Patchwork on a few computers at home at the end of last summer and though it worked well, I found that the way it ties an account to a specific device is tricky when the kids share computers, and it's limiting when you can't have it with you at all times. But we do have a few old iPhones and iPads that could be assigned to the kids for their individual accounts on the network.

After I installed Manyverse on my phone yesterday and created a new phone specific account I fired up Patchwork on my desktop computer to see if it appear as someone I could follow on my iPhone. Sure enough it did appear and I was able to subscribe to the accounts that were already known to that computer and pull in their information. The contents of my network aren't very large at the moment so that went quite smoothly. Then I did the reverse and followed my mobile account from that desktop computer so that my new account should be discoverable to everyone on our home network as long as Patchwork is running on my desktop. Next steps will be to add a few more mobile clients to the mix over the next few days. iOS 9 appears to be the main requirement so I should be able to easily come up with enough devices for the older kids.

  1. Fairly skeptically and without fulling understanding the technology in my opinion.

  2. Short for the Secure Scuttlebutt protocol.

Getting There: Plans for Centennial Trail through West Central draw pushback that could result in new connection


That plan would use a $2.53 million federal grant to replace a series of sidewalks, some of which are deteriorating under the melting snow, with a raised path between about 10 and 12 feet wide and buffered from the street.

“All we want to do is just improve what’s here, make it nicer for all users,” Loreen McFaul said while walking the route on a recent rainy afternoon.

As someone who has run the segment in question countless times over the last 10 years I am 100% for this project. The safety and traffic calming benefits of expanding the path into a separate protected route and narrowing the nearby road slightly would be tremendous for walkers and cyclists. I think the main source of conflict has to be the quarter mile from Mission to NW Point where the trail will cross people's driveways. The proposed alternative route looks like a good trail, but is going to take at least 5-10 more years to come to fruition and doesn't serve the people coming from the neighborhood on the east side of Pettet drive at all.

Star Trek: Picard

Note: Minor spoilers ahead (but there are still like 10 episodes worth of plot reveals and twists left in the season).

I thought the trailer I saw last year looked pretty compelling, but it's taken me a while to finally get around to watching the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Now that I've seen episode one I'd say it's off to a good start. Patrick Stewart is as good as ever. It's kind of wild to see him play an elderly version of my favorite captain- he's the same Jean-Luc and yet time has taken its inevitable toll. His mind remains sharp, but his physical limitations are apparent. He's going to need a lot of help if he's going to start gallivanting around the galaxy again.

I think the premise of a synthetic life ban and Data having one or more daughters (possibly thanks to a missing radical superfan scientist who may be behind his outlawed offspring) is pretty compelling. I was kind of shocked that the Dahj character was killed off so soon after being introduced, but it turns out she has a twin and that one's still out there (apparently in some kind of Federation assimilated Borg cube!) for Picard to track down. And the dream sequence conversations between Picard and Data have been really good as well, it's awesome to see Brent Spiner reprise his role.

Other random things I liked in no particular order:

  • Number One is a pretty solid dog even if he pretends to not know French.
  • The Romulan refugee staff that help Picard run his vineyard are pretty great.
  • The fight scenes were a lot better than at least one person I followed on social media described them as being.
  • It seems like the synth hunters are some kind of Romulan special forces group, but there's got to be more to it.
  • Data was really the only other STTNG character out of the gate and hopefully they'll dole out the old cast appearances slowly and they'll be more than mere cameos.
  • Sounds like Patrick Stewart personally asked Whoopee Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan- I'm particularly looking forward to that one.

CV vs. Prep

I caught the big showdown between Central Valley and Gonzaga Prep tonight since I was nearby and we play CV Tuesday. It was an entertaining game even though Central Valley was pretty dominate from the beginning. I was kind of surprised to find out Hodges Flemming ended up with 18 for the Bullpups because he was ice cold from outside the arc, but he had a bunch of sweet drives and pullups in the key that obviously added up. Liam Lloyd was held to 10 points so that was a big reason Prep struggled offensively.

Gavin Gilstrap continues to dominate against smaller teams, which basically means the rest of the GSL. Prep had no real answer for his 6'10" size and Jayce Simmons is the best point guard in the league hands down. It's to Simmons' credit that he's able to fit his game into the confines of an offense that plays at a slower pace1 than one that would best suit his speed and talents.

With five games left in the regular season I don't see Central Valley dropping two games barring a significant injury or a surprising collapse. Their defense is looking really solid and I'm still puzzled that they lost to Richland earlier in the season. They're going to be a tough test for Ferris once again when we face off on Tuesday.

  1. As it absolutely should to take advantage of Gilstrap!

Adam Savage Tests Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot!


Adam welcomes a new member to the Tested family: Boston Dynamics' Spot robot! All throughout this year, Adam will be conducting builds and projects with Spot, integrating it into the workshop and taking it on adventures in the field.

I've always thought that Boston Dynamics robots are amazing1, but giving Adam Savage access to one of their Spot robot dogs for a year is going to be incredible. Can't wait to show my kids this video.

  1. And maybe just a little uncanny valley creepy too.

Spokane's new flag design will be a community effort


Over the coming months, the newly formed Spokane Flag Commission will undoubtedly review a deluge of designs for a new city flag. But one thing almost everyone appears to agree on is that Spokane’s current banner, adopted in the 1970s, should be neatly folded and stuffed into the city history books.

“In a nutshell, the design is very complicated,” said Joshua Hiler, chairman of the commission, which held its first meeting last month.

I'm happy to see that thoughtful work on a new Spokane flag continues. The current incarnation is atrocious and we're long past due having a sound design that adheres to vexillological principles.

CRPG Update

I have not yet fully completed Bard's Tale as of today, but I'm pretty close. Levels 4 and 5 of Mangar's Tower plus the final battle with Mangar himself are the final challenges that await me. The third level has a lot of darkness, traps, and spinners that make navigating the dungeon challenging even if you have a map. I've got to say from a modern perspective that I question the fun and entertainment value of that design. Wandering around in darkness and bumping into things doesn't feel particularly rewarding and is not my idea of a good time. To be honest I wouldn't mind a few more battles than I've been seeing so far and a little less darkness.

As far as the next game to tackle goes, I'm considering Bard's Tale 2, but strongly leaning towards picking up Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Two on GOG1 because Pool of Radiance is one of the CRPG Addict's top 3 classic CRPG games based on 10 years of reviews. The other highly interesting title in the collection is Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures, which is basically a toolkit for building your own game using the Gold Box engine. I'm a complete sucker for game construction sets and the whole thing is so inexpensive it ends up being an amazing value just for the six other games in the series.

FRUA has a big following and modding scene across the last 25 years with extra tools and ways to overcome some of the original limitations. Additionally there's a modern FRUA inspired fan remake of the editor and engine called Dungeon Craft. Dungeon Craft is even more flexible and powerful, but it has the drawback of beeing Windows only. There's a dedicated forum with a ton of good information on both the FRUA and DC systems and I look forward to exploring them further over the next couple months.

  1. Only $9.99 for 8 games even when it's not on sale.

Crazy Finish

My Ferris Saxons ended up losing to Mead by 3 tonight after leading by 9 points at the half. The second half in particular was a pretty intense series of momentum shifts with Mead charging back into the lead within the first two or three minutes of the third quarter thanks to strong offense and a series of Saxon miscues. We eventually came around in the fourth quarter and reestablished about a 7 point lead thanks to some stops and timely 3s from Zach Fleming and Kobe Smith, but then inexplicably let Mead star Tyson Rogalette score 12 straight points off 3s and free throws to take an insurmountable four point lead with about two seconds and change.

Then things got weird. Down 4 points, with just over two seconds left in the game Zach Fleming received the ball and dribbled up the sideline directly into Mead coach Glenn Williams who had inexplicably stepped onto the court1 and directly into his path. The refs huddled up and made the correct call of a technical foul, awarding Ferris two free throws attempts, and one last possession with the ball. What should have been a sure win for Mead suddenly was in doubt yet again. Rubber Chicken hero McCoy Spink took the free throws, but only made the first, and we were forced to put a final desperation three as time expired. It didn't happen and we had only our horrendous free throw shooting (6-16 which was more like 6-20 based on front ends of 1 and 1 shots missed), dumb turnovers, and rebounding margin (-14 according to our stats guy) to blame.

In other GSL news tonight Gonzaga Prep got a huge 69-63 win over Mt. Spokane to virtually assure themselves a second place finish in the 4A with a real shot to still pickoff Central Valley as well when they meet Friday.

  1. More bizarrely this is actually the second time he's gotten a technical for interfering with play along the sideline in a game against us. Both times I would describe it as a flukey lapse of thought rather than anything else.

Dave Nichols: All-star showcase will present best high school basketball east of Cascades


These games will pit “Metro” against “Region” all-stars and will promote the highest quality of high school basketball and provide the players an opportunity to play with and against the best basketball players – seniors and underclassmen – that Eastern and Central Washington and North Idaho has to offer.

Putting together an Eastern Washington (and North Idaho) showcase for top area boys and girls basketball players is a great idea. Hats off to the Spokesman Review for making this happen in a combined event.