Shortcuts for Duck Duck Go

At first glance I said…huh?

I have been using DuckDuckGo for several years now. Recently I was talking to a friend about this, and she explained that while she likes the idea of DuckDuckGo, she still thinks she would occasionally need Google. “Then just bang Google,” I responded, and she looked at me like I just got off a spaceship.

Such useful trick if you don’t want Google to know everything you ever search the internet for. Duck Duck Go is a solid search engine for the privacy it gives you…knowing these shortcuts make it that much better.

Duck Duck Go Bangs — MacSparky

SETAPP for the Save…Again!

Such a great service…

I’ve written about Setapp a couple times…and that is because it keeps saving me money on applications that I use so often.

Just the other day a mac app that I use on a daily basis, Better Touch Tool, had a paid upgrade come up. Well I’ve been trying to pinch pennies recently, and wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay for the upgrade. I checked Setapp…and there it was! Part of the every growing library of applications.

About 5 minutes later I got the new version downloaded and running and all without costing me anything more than what Setapp already costs.

So amazing. This “Netflix of Apps” service is becoming more worth it every day.

I don’t get anything from writing about Setapp…I just really like their service.

Better Touch Tool

How To Transfer Playlists Between Music Services

One of those quietly amazing apps…

Ever heard of Songshift?

My guess is probably not.

Have you every wanted to transfer a music playlist from one streaming music service to another?

Yup…me too.

I discovered Songshift a couple years ago and I absolutely love it. To be honest I am still surprised that some of these big stream service companies have not shut off access to the free service since it makes it super easy for me to transfer good Spotify playlists to Apple Music (where I subscribe).

In a weird way, there is not a lot for me to write about. This is an app that makes it easy to connect various music services like YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Digster, Tidal…yes Tidal is apparently still around.

The process is intuitive, straightforward, and you can even combine a bunch of playlists in to one massive playlist if you like. Plus, once you set it up to do these transfers, each time you open the app it will scan the original playlist for any updates, then send those new songs over to the playlist you previously set up (if you want it to).

Pretty slick if you ask me.

There’s some upgrade options, but you don’t need them if you’re just looking for a quick solution on how to get your favorite playlist from Spotify to another service.

Check it out their website for the links to go download it.

Links of the Week (7/13/2020)

Climbing and travel planning…who wouldn’t want to read these links?

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

“Don’t kill your husband, don’t kill yourself.”

This mantra looped in my head as I led out on some of the worst stone I’ve encountered in my 24 years of climbing.

I have my own mantra I use while climbing…luckily it was never this ☝️. Great story and makes me miss home.

Wild Kingdom: Katie Lambert Explores the Remote, Seldom-Visited Citadel


As a climber who doesn’t plan on breaking any records or even leading a 5.12 any time soon, I seek out the 5.10-and-under climbs at my local cliffs. I like climbs that don’t make me contemplate my mortality on every move, as I suspect most of us do as well. Still, the media so often focuses on the climbers ticking 5.15s—the Adam Ondras and Margo Hayeses—when so few of us attain these grades. Perhaps the climbers who make it possible for us to enjoy mellower climbs—our favorite 5.8, 5.9, and 5.10 sport routes—also deserve credit.

Amen to that!

The Mod Squad: The Tireless Climbers Establishing Moderate Sport Routes Around the Country


For my trip planning, I almost exclusively use Gaia GPS for researching, routing and tracking my adventures. I will go through some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way, along with some of the features of Gaia GPS.

I really enjoy Gaia GPS and subscribe to it for all of the MVUM (motor vehicle use maps) stuff. This is an article I’ll be referencing for a while.

So you want to map your adventure with Gaia GPS… — Explore4R


Thomas Frank’s productivity videos are watched by nearly 2 million subscribers. For every video, he writes scripts, collects b-roll and manages distribution so that every video is high quality and finds the right audience. Notion helps him and his growing team organize all these moving parts, freeing up more time for him to focus on the creative work.

Notion is one of those apps that I wanted to use but couldn’t find a use for….well that has ended for me. Notion has now replaced Noto, a note taking app that I was particularly enthralled with for a short period but it’s short comings started driving me crazy.

I’ll be writing about Notion more, but in the meantime you should check it out. (spoiler…I partly use it to plan trips in conjunction with Gaia maps)

Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

Links of the Week (6/29/2020)

All the Apple links you need to wet your iOS14 appetite….

In our reactions webinar, Josh, Rose, Mike, and I discussed the new features of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS that we are most excited about, including some of of the biggest and most exciting features that didn’t get airtime during the keynote.

The folks over at the Sweet Setup know what they’re talking about.

WWDC 2020 Announcements Reaction, Thoughts on Apple Notes and iPadOS, and More – The Sweet Setup


Apple earlier this week confirmed that future Macs will boast Apple silicon as opposed to Intel-based processors. The transition away from Intel, which Apple categorized as “historic,” will take about two years and will start with new Macs set to hit store shelves later this year.

Crazy to think that this move could speed up these computer “Ferraris” even more.

Former Intel engineer sheds light on Apple’s decision to design its own chips


Apple Notes and Reminders are two of my most-used apps, and each has received significant updates in iOS and iPadOS 14. Though neither app’s improvements have been held up as tentpole features of this fall’s releases, Apple has nonetheless given noteworthy attention to making the user experience for each app better

​I’ve always wanted to use the native apps more, but they were never feature rich enough. Maybe this is the year.

Everything Changing in Apple Notes and Reminders in iOS and iPadOS 14


Apple debuted the trailer for the extravagant sci-fi series at its developers conference on June 22. Based on the 1951 book series of the same name by prolific American writer Isaac Asimov, Foundation tells the story of the fall of a vast far-future Galactic Empire. If the trailer looks a bit like HBO’s “Game of Thrones in space,” that is very much intentional.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep Apple Tv+ when my free subscription ran out…but if this is as promising as it looks…?

Honestly, my money is on Amazon and the Wheel of Time series they picked up. If you have read those books, those are ripe for a “next Game of Thrones” type show if it can be done right.

Apple is hoping “Foundation” can be its “Game of Thrones”

Best Around the House Bluetooth Speaker

You can’t beat this quality…

I owned the first version of the Bose SoundLink Mini for almost a decade before it finally gave out.

Think about that.

For almost 10 years I had this little speaker in various offices of mine across the country, playing podcasts, ambient music, the most recent album I found on iTunes. People tend to buy new TVs more often than that!

Bose is known for its quality and you normally pay a premium for their high quality products that produce higher quality sound.

However, if you want a great bluetooth speaker that you can move around the house or just keep in your office like I do…look no further.

Bose SoundLink Mini II Limited Edition Bluetooth Speaker

Behind the Curtain of Today’s Biggest Apple Leaker

Everyone has a story…his is fascinating.

I’ve been listening to the Cult of Mac podcast for quite a few years now. It’s one of the few podcasts out there that is funny, interesting, non-political, and I honestly feel like I could just hang out with the hosts.

They recently had Jon Prosser on their podcast. If you don’t follow the Apple world closely, he has been publishing some of the most accurate Apple leaks in recent memory. He has received a lot of good and bad press from it…as the apple writer world can be a bit possessive of their territory.

This podcast was interesting because he debuted some exclusive leaks…but it was more interesting because at one point Jon starts talking about his younger years and the incredibly hardships he dealt with in the death of his mother, his grandmother passing from cancer, being 19 and the legal guardian for his younger brother, and his drive to create a successful YouTube tech news channel called Front Page Tech.

I actually stopped working in my office and sat slack jawed at what I was listening to. (click on episode 441…his backstory starts about 30 minutes in but I’d encourage you to listen to the first 30 min too. episode 442 is interesting as a follow up)

#451 – New iMacs, iPhone 12, new iPads, and Jon Prosser strikes back! The CultCast

This week: Apple leaker Jon Prosser returns to the internet, and he’s got some tasty new Apple rumors to share… Plus: Tim Cook gets grilled by congress over Apple’s app store, and at least one house member says it’s time to break up Big Tech. And if you love movies, you’ll be happy to hear why new releases will soon be heading to your Apple TV just weeks after release. This episode supported by The NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 router gives you ultra-fast speeds and wider coverage throughout your home – it’s the biggest revolution in WiFi ever. Check it out today at your local Best Buy and at Netgear.com/bestwifi6. Cult of Mac's watch store is full of beautiful straps that cost way less than Apple's. See the full curated collection at Store.Cultofmac.com CultCloth will keep your iPhone 11, Apple Watch, Mac Pro and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co. On the show this week @erfon / @lkahney / @lewiswallace This week's stories Jon Prosser Lives! And he's got some new Apple rumors to share… iPhone 12 and New iPads On the 9to5 New Intel iMac rumor Tim Cook mostly avoids grilling during historic congressional antitrust hearing Apple CEO Tim Cook mostly avoided questioning during Wednesday’s historic congressional antitrust hearing on the business practices of Big Tech. Universal will sell digital movies just weeks after their theatrical debut A new deal means that movie fans won’t be waiting as long to see Universal Pictures movies pop up for sale on iTunes and other digital platforms after their theatrical debut.
  1. #451 – New iMacs, iPhone 12, new iPads, and Jon Prosser strikes back!
  2. #450 – Apple pushes for change—entire supply chain to go 100% carbon neutral
  3. #449 – Apple gets hacked, & the vanishing of Jon Prosser
  4. #448 – We talk 14-inch MacBook Pro and a BIG Apple Maps update! (FIXED)
  5. #447 – Why people are ALREADY mad about iPhone 12…

Thoughts on the ‘7 Best Portable Solar Panels in 2020’

Start with these links for your own solar power research…

After I bought some BioLite campsite lights recently, I got interested in various solar panels to charge them.

I read about BioLite’s native 10 watt solution, big brand names like Goal Zero, and scoured various websites like Wirecutter and Outdoor Gear Lab for reviews on all the options out there.

BioLite Solar Panel 10+

Needless to say there are a lot of options out there.

I am currently teetering on the edge of buying one of these since my family is finally getting to the point where we can start doing some extended camping trips. I do not have a direction that I have gone yet…but I tend to err in the direction of getting a bit more than I need.

Personally, I feel that this gives me the peace of mind that I won’t need to “upgrade” in the future when/if I realize that I want more capability.

image via ecotality.com

The below linked article doesn’t cover EVERYTHING you need to start your research on solar panels and other outdoor power options (see the Wirecutter and Outdoor Gear Lab articles I linked to above too)…BUT…it has some one of the best “introduction to solar panels” write up I found.

Plus it links to 4 or 5 other types of “best solar panel for…” articles. It’s a great place to start if you’re curious.

Solar power varies according to multiple environmental conditions. Solar irradiance values, shadings, temperature, and the amount of direct sunlight exposure changes the output power of your solar panel and can change the charging speed of your solar charger. Moreover, if you are purchasing solar panels for off-grid boat applications, you will probably use a battery pack and a charge controller. Some energy will be lost in the energy conversion process as well. Therefore, you must estimate the size of the solar panel a little above the specific demands if you want it to charge within a single day.

Ecotality.com

Let me know your thoughts on your favorite solar power options!!!

7 Best Portable Solar Panels in 2020 (Review)

Here is another great website that gets more into the technical style reviews…VERY thorough.

Mobile Solar Power or the site YouTube Channel