How to Hide Categories on Micro.blog Arabica Theme

After moving to micro.blog I thought I had fixed my issue of hiding posts from a specific category. However, after looking at my site earlier today I noticed that there were a number of posts showing up repeatedly on my site. I thought it might be due to the code I put in the index.html. After removing the custom index.html I checked my site again and it fixed the problem of repeat posts showing up but it also left me back to square one.

After some digging and help from people at the Hugo discourse and the micro.blog Slack I managed to get it to work properly, with a very easy fix. Here’s what I did.

First I want to show you the code from the index.html for the Arabica theme (the theme I use) to show you the changes I made.

Old Code:


{{ define "main" }}
    <main class="content" role="main">
    {{ $paginator := .Paginate (where .Pages "Type" "post") }}
    <div class="extra-pagination">
      {{ partial "pagination.html" . }}
    </div>
        {{ range $paginator.Pages }}
      {{ .Render "summary" }}
        {{ end }}
    {{ partial "pagination.html" . }}
    </main>
{{ end }}

New Code:


{{ define "main" }}
    <main class="content" role="main">
{{ $paginator := .Paginate .Site.Taxonomies.categories.main 5 }}
    <div class="extra-pagination">
      {{ partial "pagination.html" . }}
    </div>
        {{ range $paginator.Pages }}
      {{ .Render "summary" }}
        {{ end }}
    {{ partial "pagination.html" . }}
    </main>
{{ end }}

As you can see I replaced the code in Line 3 of the default Index.html to:

{{ $paginator := .Paginate .Site.Taxonomies.categories.main 5 }}

which only shows posts in the category of “main”. You can replace “main” with whatever category you want though. This code is meant to show only one specific category you set. You can do something different if you want to show 2 categories.

You will also see that there is a number 5 at the end of that line of code, which means to show only 5 posts per page. For me, I post articles so infrequently that I want to limit the amount of posts it loads so that when people visit my site it can load in a relatively short period of time. Again, you can remove this if you want, or change the number of posts to whatever you want.

I hope this helps for anyone looking to use micro.blog. I thank those who offered me help with this and hope that this post can be shared to others also looking to make similar changes to their micro.blog website.

Can anyone help me figure out how to hide posts either in the microblog category or not category at all from showing up in my site? I just want posts that are long form on my website and not show the short posts. i have tried and failed. Any help is appreciated. cc: @manton

Should I continue to use RocketPanda.net or, because I have made changes to my philosophy on my blog, should I move it to JeffPerry.blog?

Getting Caught Up 25 Task Managers and Podcasting

In episode 25 of Getting Caught Up Mike and I talk a lot about task managers and getting things right when it comes to keeping tasks together. Jeff explains his checkered past with nearly every task manager out there, and he lets fate decide what app he uses next. Also, Spotify is talked about briefly at the end of the episode.

Props to the Warriors players this entire series. They’ve been beaten and strained, but every single time they fight to keep playing on the court. First Looney, then Durant, and now Thompson. Incredible love for the game and it shows. #nbafinals

Here is a preview of Getting Caught Up 25 coming out tomorrow. It's a good one.

If you use the term “thought leader” unironically in your blog or podcast, do us all a favor and stop making that blog or podcast.

Being Honest With Myself

It’s no secret that I write a lot about blogging on Rocket Panda. I have a thing with going meta, I even used to host a podcast about podcasting before Rocket Panda even existed. That said, sometimes it can be fun to go down memory lane.

Yesterday I was migrating my website over to micro.blog1 and I noticed something about my writing style over the last two years. There’s been a stark contrast in my older posts and the ones I write now, and I wanted to talk about it.

My older posts were me trying to imitate and mimic tech journalists like that of 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. I was trying to be more journalistic and matter-of-fact without adding anything personal to them. I even tried to make myself sound like and Apple expert, but if I am being honest with myself I know little about the history of Apple and the impact they made before 2008, which was when I jumped into the Apple ecosystem.

Once I realized that wasn’t working out for me, I moved to doing things like listicles and have my Top 10 iPad Life Hacks and The 9 Things I Learned Going iPad Only. I look back at both of these kinds of writing and cringe, because desperation has a foul and pungent scent and I reeked of it. After I got over how much of a try-hard I must have looked like I realized that had I not done those things and looked in the mirror afterwards I wouldn’t have come to the conclusion I have today about what it is I want to write about the things that I’m passionate about.

If you look at my more recent pieces, I am writing more personal pieces about the things that I can add personal input on. I have written things like Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again and my TouchType Pro Review2. These things are comments on the news from Apple and the companies that cater to those users, but I center it on myself and my feelings on it instead of trying to make this an article for TechCrunch or something similar.

It is much more satisfying for me to comment on the smaller things that I’m comfortable speaking on instead of trying to get my share of the pie with what the rest of the big Apple blogs are commenting on. There are times where I may add my feelings and opinions on something but only when it is something that I am comfortable with. Gone are the days where I try and do some quick research and reading up on something that I know nothing about just so that I can be with the rest of the Apple News cycle. It is great if you enjoy that but I found it to be extraordinarily draining both mentally and emotionally. Chasing that forever-spinning wheel of tech news is not something for me.

If I am still staying honest, it’s hard to make a blog about the Apple news as a single independent writer. That faucet is broken and it is just a firehose of information shooting out at you with an unlimited supply of water. I have tried being a part of the firehose and it’s simply not for me. I would rather be a trickle of water by myself for a small amount of people to drink from. Which brings me to why I have moved my site to micro.blog.

Why I Moved to Micro.blog

The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. I am not a Pro Blogger, and I need to stop acting like one
  2. The atmosphere at micro.blog isn’t as formal as something like WordPress for me, and I like that

When I say I am not a Pro Blogger I mean that I don’t have hundreds of thousands of readers, and I don’t think I necessarily want that. It isn’t a goal in my life to make Rocket Panda anything other than a way for me to express myself creatively. I don’t look at stats, I don’t see what posts are getting the most clicks, and I definitely don’t want to make my site a digital billboard with ads everywhere and videos playing automatically. That wasn’t the case when I first started though, I wanted to make Rocket Panda my full time job so badly. So much so I was willing to throw a piece together I thought would get lots of clicks and subscribers instead of writing something that I was happy with.

What I want when it comes to this blog is that I own every pixel top to bottom and that I can say what I want, when I want without worrying about upsetting anyone that has control over my livelihood.

As for the second point, micro.blog is a place for me I consider a much friendlier atmosphere than that of Twitter or Instagram. There’s nothing about this service that makes me upset or feel inadequate about myself. It is just writers and bloggers sharing their lives, thoughts, ideas, and photos with others. As someone that doesn’t have a staff of writers it can be lonely at times writing, and having the ability to be a part of a community that isn’t culturally toxic and genuinely delightful helps fill that void for me.

I could have kept my blog on WordPress and linked it to micro.blog, but for me it made more sense to just put all of my chips in this service and embrace the limitations it comes with. I am happy with my setup and I hope to see it stick, and I think that this time it will.

After some tinkering and playing around I finally figure out how to fix my biggest gripe with the service, which was differentiating the micro posts (the things I would post on Twitter) to the articles (like this one). Because of the addition to categories and the support for Hugo I managed to figure out how to add parameters to my site to hide my micro posts from the website but still have them post to micro.blog for those who follow me there. For those interested, I found the answer to that from the Hugo Discourse which is a group of helpful individuals3.

This isn’t me saying that you should move to micro.blog, that is for you to decide. That said, I do think that more bloggers should look I the mirror and answer the tough questions about what they are writing about and what they want to share, because it took me way longer than it should have to listen to the people who told me to write more personal posts over the bland lists and news articles I was writing.


  1. More on that in a bit [return]
  2. Sorry Salman if you’re reading this, I still haven’t sent the review unit back to him. [return]
  3. I have bookmarked this site for future browsing as well if I ever decide to tinker with my website again [return]

I have been wanting to learn how to code for a while, the problem I have though is I don’t know what I want to do with the code I learn. I have dabbled in JavaScript and CSS as well as played around with Swift. Both seem daunting as someone with zero coding experience, and I think the biggest issue is I am not sure what I can do with the code I am learning. So if you have any ideas or insight feel free to let me know.

I will be moving Rocket Panda to micro.blog now that I figured out how to hide the micro posts from the main site, which was my biggest gripe with the service. Hugo is a really smart system and I am loving how to use it the way I want.

If I were to do a podcast about bloggers and online publishing who would you want to be a guest? Asking for a friend.

A Meditation on the Open Web

Something about this video makes me realize the real reason I am blogging on Rocket Panda instead of something like SquareSpace or Tumblr. It isn’t because I think WordPress is a better platform, that is debatable on many different levels. The reason is because it’s my platform. I own every pixel of this website and I can control what goes on here and what doesn’t.

This isn’t about WordPress though, it is about the open web. If you are unsure what the open web is, I will let Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, explain.

Mark Surman writing on Year of Open:

What is Open Web?
“Open web” is a sweeping term — it encompasses technical concepts like open-source code and open standards. It also encompasses democratic concepts like free expression and digital inclusion.

But there’s a single underlying principle connecting all these ideas: An open web is a web by and for all its users, not select gatekeepers or governments.

At Mozilla, we compare the open web to a global public resource, like clean water or the environment. The open web is something we all depend on: to communicate and create, to work and play, to buy and sell. And like any other natural resource, it’s fragile. It needs care, because it can be polluted: by harassment and abuse, by misinformation, by bad public policy.

Why is it important?
The web doesn’t exist in a vacuum, or apart from society. The two are deeply entwined. The web is where we engage with journalism, form opinions and share knowledge. It’s an arena for politics, education, culture and science.

An open web means positive progress for all these things. A more informed public; more civic participation; more opportunities to learn and connect with each other.

An unhealthy web has an opposite effect. When misinformation, harassment or surveillance proliferate online, we lose trust in our institutions and in each other. Fewer people engage. And when closed, proprietary technology proliferates, innovation and competition are stifled. The web is no longer a level playing field — it’s a platform controlled by a select few.

While the main issue is governments seeking control of the internet, another entity is at work to wall up our content and lives: social media. I read somewhere a long time ago that you can’t be playing in someone else’s yard and then get upset when they kick you off it.

If Facebook one day decides that they want to close up shop all of the photos, posts, videos, status updates, and events you have put there are susceptible of going away forever. While losing a large part of your digital life can be catastrophic the thing that I think is much more dangerous is the freedoms you are giving up as a cost of entry into Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

These social media giants aren’t making these social networks just so you can stay in touch with friends and family, it is to get data and demographic information for marketing and advertisers. You are the product, and the more information these companies can get on you the better.

That said, Apple is planning to launch Sign In with Apple soon and that is a game changer in my opinion. You no longer have to use your personal information to log in to a service. You can now use great services online and in the App Store without having to worry about privacy concerns. This is the digital version of having your cake and eating it too.

I plan to remove every piece of my Facebook the moment I get married this summer. I no longer want to be a part of a company I deem to be evil, and I don’t want to keep feeding them my personal data for a myriad of reasons.

I guess what I am trying to say is when I want to share something on the internet I am going to do it on Rocket Panda, and I hope that you consider doing the same for your stuff.

Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again

The newly announced iPadOS is Apple making the iPad operating system different to that of the iPhone. Now, gone are the days of mobile browsing on an iPad, and gone are the days where changes for iPhone are less-then-optimized for the iPad1. One of the things iPadOS offers in iOS 13 is the Today View widgets being pinned to the home screen of the iPad.

Apple iPadOS Today View 060319

Now, if you so choose, you can slide the widgets over from the left onto the home screen and always have them on the home screen of your iPad. This bodes well for anyone who wants to utilize the widget screen more, as well as those who want more whimsy on their iPad; because who doesn’t want a little variety on their home screen?

For me, I think this is going to make apps with crappy widgets, or no widgets at all, push to make them more usable and feature rich. I haven’t been one to use widgets because it’s always been an “out of sight out of mind” thing for me. Now that it’s on the home screen I think that this is going to make me rethink my entire iPad workflow. Apps like Timery, Eventail, and Shortcuts offer great widgets that I can tap to run actions or use to check on something without the need of opening an entire app. For example I can run a saved timer in Timery from the home screen instead of having to open the app and tap on it or running a specified shortcut. It all lives in the widget now and makes for things to be much more fluid and smooth.

I think that the home screen for the iPad just got a whole lot more useful as well, because when the addition of the Dock on the iPad I rarely kept apps on the home screen. The Dock added a lot of utility to the iPad but with that came the question of whether to keep everything on you iPad in a folder or two within the Dock or still use the home screen even though it isn’t as optimized for multitasking as the Dock was.

As of right now I am no on the beta but I plan to as soon as there is a build that is reliable. Once that happens, I think my new setup will be to have more things on the home screen because I will be going to it more and more thanks to this new addition.

I’m looking forward to seeing what both developers and other users make of this once iOS 13 becomes available as a public beta, but until then I will be keeping an eye out for any apps that make significant improvements to their widgets and share them here on Rocket Panda.


  1. I'm looking at you Shake-to-Undo 

Merlin Mann on sleep tracking in 10 seconds.

So I am back on Micro.Blog after leaving Twitter.

I just need an outlet that isn’t full of garbage and something I can actually manage instead of a constant stream of articles, opinions, and threads. More and more I feel like I am becoming anti-consumerism and more minimalist.

3 Stooges Syndrome

I have been thinking a lot about habits lately and I think that one of my biggest flaws, as many others also have, is that we suffer from 3 Stooges Syndrome.

One thing, I constantly deal with is new interests and goals I set for myself when I want to make a positive change in my life. The issue is when I have so many things that it all seems to be too much.

I can’t lose weight, eat healthier, plan my mornings, read more, learn something new everyday, save more money, and do one nice thing a day all the time.

One thing I have learned over the years about myself is that I plan and set all of these things I want to accomplish and hit the ground running with every single one of them simultaneously.

Doing this seems plausible and honestly really exciting when I get started. But by day 5 I’m questioning whether I really need to go to the gym again, or I tell myself I am “too busy” writing a blog post to make a healthy lunch so I get McDonald’s again. “It’s fine,” I say to myself shoveling fries in my face, “I can afford one bad meal this week.” I am sure I am not the only one. You have probably done something similar, right?

I’d like to take a page out of The Simpsons when I talk about these kinds of things, and call it the 3 Stooges Syndrome.

youtu.be/aI0euMFAW…

As you can see in the video, Mr. Burns is in for a doctors exam. Turns out he has so many illnesses his immune system won’t let any of them through the door because they are all prevent the other from getting in (cue noises from Curly).

If we dissect this a bit and spin it to make these illnesses into goals and resolutions you make foryourself, it’s obvious that having all of these grand plans you set means nothing was going to get through that door.

I’m not saying goals and resolutions are illnesses, but I am saying that if you have too many you won’t be able to accomplish any of them. So what do you do?

For me, I had close to 10 different things I wanted to accomplish this year and I have slogged through them making zero progress on them. I wrote out all of these things on a piece of paper and really took a hard look at them. I asked myself why I want to accomplish this, what the outcome I wanted was, and what it will take to make this happen. I took an honest look at all of these things and then took an honest look at myself. What could I truly make happen this year? How many of these could I really get done? The answers for these questions made me look at these goals, resolutions, and plans and consider which are worth doing now and which are worth doing later. I decided I am going to do just one of these at a time, and move on to the next one after completing the first.

If I can get just one of these goals accomplished that’s still more than the 10 that were stuck in the proverbial door. One success is better that ten failures.

So if you are like me, and you can’t seem to make much progress on any of the myriad of goals you set yourself, take a long hard look at what you actually want to accomplish and keep the rest in your pocket until you get that first thing done.

I’m a Podcast Addict and Went Cold Turkey for Two Weeks

Joe Berkowitz writing for Fast Company:

As far as I know, scientists have not conducted tests about the long-term effects of sustained exposure to podcasts. I don’t need statistics, though, to fuel my suspicions that walking around listening to other people’s voices all the time, and allowing that to become my default cognitive setting, has probably warped my way of thinking and sapped some creativity. How could the constant stream of content not train me to be a more passive thinker, a spectator of life? Listening to other people’s ideas all the time creates a buffer that might be keeping my own ideas submerged in my subconscious. Almost everything I think while mainlining Doughboys or The Dollop or The Daily is a surface-level reaction to whatever I’ve just heard. There had to be a cumulative effect of my brain functioning like a YouTube comments section. Luckily, there was an easy way to find out whether being at Peak Podcast has taken a negative toll. All I had to do was hang up my headphones for a while. It was time for me to listen to something else: nothing. The plan was to go on a two-week podcast fast. Two weeks may sound like laughably little time for such an experiment, but I was absolutely dreading it at the outset. It would be the longest I’d gone without a fix in nearly 10 years.

The other day I was watching a video on my iPad in my office, I paused it to go to the bathroom. I caught myself needing to grab my AirPods as soon as I pressed pause on the video so I can listen to a podcast for the 10 minutes I would be without some sort of media to consume.

I also can’t fall asleep without listening to a podcast. My mind swirls with ideas, questions, fears, and just randomness that is a carnival in my mind. The only thing that helps me with it is listening to something that will drown those thoughts out.

Needless to say this article came to me at the right time. I’ve decided to take part in the challenge for two weeks myself starting Monday. I am sure I will write about it on here, but until then the only podcasts I will be listening to are the ones I will be recording and/or editing.

Oittm Charging Dock Station Review

With the era of AirPower now behind us, the search for the right charging dock can be an arduous process. As someone who decided not to buy anything for their desk in hopes that void could be filled with AirPower, when the cancellation of it was announced I went on the hunt to find something to replace it.

After some time looking at chi chargers, I wasn’t impressed with any of them. Those that were appealing to the eye were not so appealing to my wallet. Eventually I decided to start looking at other options out there that are wired charging docks. Docks that have been on the market long before AirPower was even announced.

Whilst looking at the options, Oittm reached out to me and offered to send me their Aluminum Charging Dock to try out. I normally don’t take free merchendise to review but given my situation it seemed almost unfair to me if I said no. Two days later a package was at my home ready for me to get started putting it all together.

The build quality of this is a mix between aluminum base and stand with a plastic inside and top cover. On the outside sit 3 USB ports to plug in things to charge it with, and two USB ports on the inside for the Apple Watch charger and the iPhone charger to plug into. The base has a top cover hiding the small compartment where the 2 inner USB ports are, making the dock a lot less of a cable management device and more like a singular charger you can have on a desk.

This product has a clever way of using the wired charging cables in a way your desk still looks clean.

As you can see, the dock has a hidden compartment to place the charging cables so that you can have a dock with a single power cable running around instead of several Apple cables with separate plugs for each device.

Once you plug in the cables and have them set up in the dock you are set to go with charging both your Apple Watch and iPhone. I will say the it wasn’t a walk in the park to plug these cables in after having already fed them through their respective charging holes. Because of the small footprint, the compartment to plug in and hide the charging cables is a bit cramped. Oittm offers cable ties for the wires you are hiding but even when wrapped and tied getting the top lid to close wasn’t an easy experience. I had to carefully maneuver these wrapped cables into the USB plug and then adjust the placement of these cables to allow for them to fit in that compartment. After about 15 minutes of setting this up I finally got the lid to close and everything was working fine. Thankfully, I never have to worry about setting this thing up again, because once it’s set you’re good to go.

Along with the ability to charge your iPhone and Apple Watch, the Oittm Charging dock offer 3 USB ports on the back of the dock to plug in other cables to charge your other devices.

For me this was a perfect addition so that I can use a micro-USB cable to charge my Kindle and an additional lightning cable to charge my AirPods. These extra cables don’t stay plugged in all the time, but when I need them it is easy to plug them in and start charging the extra devices.

The added ports are great when you need them, and offer zero added space when you don’t, making the footprint of this dock as minimal as possible, which is preferred for my small office desk I write on. All 5 ports are powered with a single AC plug, meaning that I no longer have to have several Apple bricks plugged in to my surge protector. I instead can have a single plug to power all of my charging needs.

The Oittm Charging Dock isn’t a wireless charger, but if you can get over that small fact, this $35 dock offers a very sleek design that can handle a lot of charging power with a small footprint. It is a perfect addition to my office desk, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the same boat as me looking for an answer to Apple’s charging problem. You can get yourself one on Amazon today.

Touchtype Pro Review

The Touchtype Pro is a new Keyboard case allowing iPad users to connect their 3rd generation iPads with the Magic Keyboard, and it is available on Kickstarter until May 17th. I received a prototype review unit from the creator of the Touchtype Pro, Salman Sajid, and this seems very close to the final product for me, and it is something I think many iPad users will love.

The Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard was my keyboard of choice when it came to my 10.5” iPad Pro. I was never happy with the Smart Keyboard, nor was I thrilled with the Logitech Slim Combo. The only thing that came close was the Brydge 10.5 Series II, but even that was not a full sized keyboard, making my hands feel cramped after an hour of typing on it.

The Magic Keyboard wasn’t just my pick because of the size, it is also because something about the feel of the keys always felt like the perfect amount of travel and tactile feel for my taste. So for the last year of me using the iPad Pro 10.5” I had it accompanied with the Magic Keyboard. Now with this Touchtype Pro, I am able to use the Magic Keyboard in tandom with the iPad Pro 12.9”. This case has a lot going for it, but there are a few things I would like to see in the final product.

Look and Feel

The quality of the look and feel of this keyboard is out of this world. I love the microfiber cloth inside the case. It is soft and feels like it is actually helping preserve the screen and keyboard from dust and grime. The outer shell is a cross between the look of plastic leather and the feel of polycarbonate, which is very pleasing in the hands as well as to the eyes. The craft put into this shows every single time I look at it or have it in my hands. It isn’t easy to make a keyboard case look good both open and closed, but I think that the Touchtype Pro is the exception to that. This case looks very business casual and can be something any workplace will be happy to see in use.

Using the Touchtype Pro

This Touchtype Pro brings the reliability of the Magic Keyboard together with the iPad Pro. Put simply it unites the best iPad with the best standalone keyboard. It allows people to write with the freedom of a full sized keyboard that is reliable and perfect for all typists out there.

One problem with the Magic Keyboard is you can only buy it as a white version from Apple, for me I think if there were a black version it would make this look even better. Secondly, the Magic Keyboard doesn’t have backlighting, making it a bit more difficult to write with when you are in a dark area, or if you are a night owl like myself and don’t want to wake up your spouse. However, if you’re not in need of backlighting all the time this keyboard does have a function row as well as the knowledge that a spec of dust won’t ruin it forever.

The process of folding and unfolding the Touchtype Pro takes some getting used to, and has a bit of a learning curve, but after a few tries I managed to get it down to a science. I am also a big fan of the train track of magnets allowing users to adjust the viewing angle of the iPad Pro to what ever angle you prefer when typing. For me, it seems to fit perfectly when I have the front flap folded over and the keyboard resting right on the edge. The case looks sleek and the angle is perfect for my eyes.

Touchtype Pro in Viewing Mode

The design of this case is admirable with their choice to make it possible to fold away the Magic Keyboard and have a viewing only mode for when I just want to watch a movie or read a book on my iPad. This is something that other cases, including the Smart Keyboard Apple has made for the iPad Pro, don’t have. I miss the old 1st generation Smart Keyboard cases because it was created with a viewing mode in mind. I am not sure why other 3rd party keyboard haven’t done anything like that with their cases for the latest iPads, but it is refreshing to see someone make that decision, and the Touchtype Pro makes it easy to use.

This case does come with its flaws though.

The magnets connecting the keyboard aren’t strong enough to stay connected when I am moving it from a typing mode into a viewing mode. It also collapses on me when I am trying to quickly fold it up to take with me on the go. This isn’t the case’s fault entirely, I know that there were times I was too cavalier with me packing this iPad up and that caused me to be less than delicate on the case itself. If I gingerly move the keyboard away it works every time.

I have spoken with Salman, the creator of this product, about this and he has expressed to me that the magnets in this prototype are not the ones going out to Kickstarter backers. Those who pay for the keyboard on Kickstarter or retail will be getting ones with stronger magnets to avoid this problem. After speaking with Salman on the phone about this I know he cares deeply about this product, and I have full faith that he will fix this before he ships them out to users.

Conclusion

All in all this keyboard case has a lot of great things going for it, and if you are someone like me wanting a full sized keyboard, the Touchtype Pro is a fantastic option worth looking into.

That said, this keyboard is $100 retail, and along with the case costing $100 retail, it makes this keyboard case setup the most expensive of any compared to Apple’s Smart Keyboard, Logtiech’s Slim Folio Pro, and the Brydge Keyboard. That said, you can get a used Magic Keyboard, like I did, on eBay for around $55. Making this less expensive than the Smart Keyboard as well as the Brydge Keyboard. So if you did have to buy both this case and a Magic Keyboard it wouldn’t be outside of the competition.

Now, if you are like many who already own the Magic Keyboard, a $100 case like this one isn’t asking for a lot. In fact, I would argue that this case is worth $150 on its own. There isn’t a case out there that offers this much versatility and usability for the latest iPad Pros. If I am being totally honest I am sad to have to send this case back as I see it being a keyboard case I can use day-to-day.

if you want to get yours, act fast. You can get yours at a discount until May 17th by backing it on Kickstarter and find out more about it on their website.

For World Press Freedom Day, Here’s Our Bipartisan Call to Protect Journalists

Steve Chabot and Adam Schiff writing for The Washington Post:

As members of Congress, we swear an oath to defend the Constitution, a pledge that includes protecting the First Amendment and its guarantee that the freedom of the press not be infringed. The prominence of this guarantee reflects the framers’ understanding that a press that could hold power to account was key to the success of the young American democracy. History has proved them prescient, and the United States’ model of protecting the press has served as a beacon for other free countries. It also reinforces our responsibility to stand up for press freedom in nations where the simple act of reporting the truth can lead to imprisonment, assault and even murder. On May 3, we mark World Press Freedom Day, an occasion to consider the indispensable role journalists play in a democratic society and to call attention to the hundreds of journalists around the world who are in prison cells, or have been attacked, injured or murdered, for the “crime” of reporting. The Congressional Freedom of the Press Caucus was founded in 2006 to serve as a voice for the safety and rights of journalists around the world, to make clear that Congress stands with them and to hold the powerful to account. Regrettably, recent years have been some of the most dangerous and deadly in memory for journalists. Far too many have been taken prisoner or lost their lives in attempts to report news from such places as Syria and Afghanistan. And in a world where authoritarianism is on the rise, journalists are often caught in the crosshairs of regimes intent on restricting access to information to better control their populace. We see it in the brutal assassination of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by agents of the Saudi government for his criticism of the crown prince and the kingdom. We see it in Myanmar, where two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment for their reporting on the genocide perpetrated against the Rohingya people. We see it in Venezuela, where the regime of Nicolás Maduro has employed violence, arrests and intimidation against independent media organizations. We see it in Russia, where the Kremlin has mastered the art of spreading disinformation as a geopolitical weapon, while simultaneously implementing draconian laws to stifle dissent and free expression within its borders. Violence and intimidation of journalists has also struck close to home. Last June, five staff members of the Capital Gazette were gunned down in their Annapolis newsroom. In its latest report on press freedom around the world, the group Reporters Without Borders downgraded the United States to a “problematic” country. Just as we decry violence against journalists in other countries, we must speak out against attempts to stifle and intimidate the free press within our borders. Threats to independent journalism are the canary in the coal mine — they signal a toxic environment for democracy writ large. As the leader of the free world, the United States has a duty to speak out on behalf of journalists who risk their lives to report the news. The truth must not, and cannot, be silenced by a censor, a prison cell or a bullet.

The video in this article is also something everyone should watch today.

It’s easy to take news for granted and even poke fun at it like how The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver do, and I think those are great examples of satire and parody. That said, what people don’t always remember is that the truth comes at a cost, and sometimes that cost is the lives of journalists.

Steve Chabot is a Republican Representing the 1st district of Ohio, and Adam Schiff is a Democrat Representing the 28th district of California.

1Password for Journalism

Swapna Krishna writing for 1Password:

It’s not an easy time to be a journalist, which is why we want to recognize World Press Freedom Day. On this crucial day, we celebrate the freedom of the press, defend and support the independence of journalists, and honor those who have lost their lives while reporting a story. Journalists are increasingly under attack, thanks to the proliferation of fake news and direct attacks from celebrities and those in power. What’s more, dwindling salaries and budgets for newspapers, websites, and magazines translate to fewer resources to tell important and necessary stories. Journalists are being laid off in huge numbers at a time that a free and independent media is more crucial than ever. We know just how vital journalists are to the fabric of our society and how stretched their resources can be. Journalists often put their reputations and their lives on the line to report stories. This means that they are often targets for doxxing, harassment, hacking, and other security nightmares.

[…]

This is why we offer 1Password for Journalism, which is a 1Password membership for reporters that is completely free. Journalists can sign up by entering their name and work email on our 1Password for Journalism page; we’ll be in touch to confirm any necessary details to get your press status added. And if you’re a freelance journalist without an organizational email? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just enter the email address you use for work and we’ll follow up to qualify.

I love the fact 1Password is doing this. Journalism has always been interesting for me and something I consider to be an honorable profession. I’m glad a company like this is making it easy for journalists to make their work safe from any nefarious parties.

Reeder Is Back and Better Than Ever

Matthew Cassinelli’s review of Reeder 4 dives deep into the chasm of what this new RSS reader app offers.

Spoilers: there’s a lot to this app, Reeder has really outdone themselves with his app and I hope they continue to innovate and improve reading RSS on iOS and macOS.

Just Be You

Lee Paterson on LJPUK:

Something changed for me in the last year with my writing and based on feedback I’m getting it’s for the better. When I started blogging back in 2008 I stuck to a niche (at the time it was guitars) then I moved into technology a little while later based off the back of my freelance stuff. What I’ve found though in the last year is that I’m writing more personal (posts like this one) and not worrying about sticking to any sort of niche, just writing about what I’m passionate about or is on my mind.


[…]


I guess what I’m trying to say as I’m starting to ramble is if you have a personal blog just BE YOU. Write about your passions be it the latest gadget you love or the most recent movie you’ve enjoyed.


Like so many things Lee writes, this post spoke to me at my core. Recently, I spent time on Twitter contemplating the name of my site. While doing so, I forgot that the name of my site doesn’t matter if I don’t know what I want to say on it.

My answer to that is this, Rocket Panda was created because I wanted to have a name outside the box Tablet Habit was putting me in, and I have slowly done so. I plan to continue to do so, and write about the things I want to write and not worry about my “niche” as much.

I made 20 free Marble wallpapers for anyone to download and use. Enjoy! rocketpanda.net/2019/04/h…

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How to Make Marbling Artwork on the iPad (Free iPad Wallpapers)

After buying my iPad Pro I have been looking at the box and the wallpapers that shipped with iOS 12. The swirls and ripples of color always caught my eye. After some time admiring it I rememebered watching a video from Field Notes on how they created their own similar effects with acrylic paint and thickened water. That process was called Marbling and after some quick searching I learned you can do something very similar on the iPad. Here are some examples I have made in the 20 wallpaper pack I have created.

It has been very rewarding to create art that I love, and it’s been therapeutic for me as well. If you want to give it a shot it is actually fairly cheap and easy to get started. Here’s how I do it.

The app I use for this is Procreate, but from what I understand you can use other apps for this as well. So long as they have a Liquify effect you should be fine.

Once there I make a blank canvas for the size of my screen and change the background to my color of choosing — in most cases I choose black as that looks great on the new iPads and iPhones with OLED displays.

Making a new image from the screen size of the device in Procreate

Changing the Background color in Procreate

From there you can start adding the colors you want to use for the Marbling. It is also a great time to play around with different brushes as well with Procreate. Alternatively you can import an image into Procreate and use that as your starting point for the Marbling. I did so with the artwork of the Supercomputer podcast at the request of Matthew Cassinelli and it turned out great (I also have it in the 20 pack of wallpapers below if you want it).

Colors added to a canvas prior to Marbling in Procreate

Once satisfied with the colors you have added, this is where the Marbling starts. Just tap on the magic wand in the upper left of your screen and select “Liquify.”

How to Liquify an image in Procreate

Once in the Liquify stage you will see a number of options on the bottom and sliders for those options. All of these are better learned through experimentation. It took me under 20 minutes of playing around to understand each one. I recommend you start using the “Push” option first and get acclimated with that. Don’t worry about making things perfect when starting out. Your goal should be to make a mess and learn what each of these tools do before you really start making something.

Liquify options in Procreate

From there it is just a matter of getting the Marbling to your preference. Play around with the different options and sliders, you can always undo and action by tapping with two fingers or redo something by tapping with three fingers. Once done you should get something like this, or whatever you prefer to make. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to make your wallpaper art.

Final product of Rocket_Panda Marbling

From there just tap the wrench next to the effect tool you pressed earlier and share it out to the world (or your Photos app).

This image I made is part of the 20 images you can download here for free here.

The files are in a .zip file in Google Drive so if you want to get them on your iPad I recommend you use this Unarchive Shortcut and save the files to your Photos.

If you prefer you can download it via Dropbox as well.

I am open to other color schemes and/or images you want to have Marbled as well. Just let me know on Twitter or via email what you would like and I will be happy to make it!