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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. Did you know that the Segway "personal transporter" is no longer in production?
[F]or all the mall-cop gags and PR disasters, the original vision of the Segway seems newly prescient in an age of abundant e-scooters and e-bicycles. Indeed, as these newer products find their footing in the mobility ecosystem, they owe much to the dorky grandfather of urban micromobility.
The rest of the article is part retrospective, part post-mortem.

2. An article about the origins of a kind of apartment characteristic of Athens describes an accidental (and successful) experiment in mixed-use urban development:
Not that these buildings were exclusively residential. The municipality of Athens only practiced zoning for heavy industry, leaving people free to set up shop in a polikatoikia. Even today, these buildings are often hives of activity, mixing offices, medical practices and even the odd workshop among homes. According to [architect Panos] Dragonas, this was "a cancellation of all the problems of modern urban planning, just by mistake. No one had thought about it, but the result was a fantastic mix of uses within a small-scale building. That's why the streets of Athens have a wonderful level of life all day, all night and all week."
I visited Athens briefly in my college days, but did not notice the '50's-to-'80's era apartments. I don't think I'll be able to help but notice them on any future trip, and I'll be glad to know the story behind them when I do.

Soonish. (Image by Adam Wilson, via Unsplash, license.)
3. Via Hacker News, I learned of a new, crowd-sourced map of beer-related businesses. It's new enough, in fact, that my neck of the woods is missing a few places I know about. That said, it looks promising and I plan to use it as a resource when I start home-brewing again some time in the next year after having to quit over a decade ago: First, I had to ditch my equipment to save space for a move, and then we had kids.

The kids are old enough now that they might find it interesting. At the very least, they'll know enough not to get too close to the apparatus when I boil the wort. (I used one of these outside, back in the day.)

Making that connection, by the way, helped me realize that I can probably get away with going back to charcoal when I grill. I'm a charcoal guy, but have been using propane for the past few years, mainly for safety reasons.

4. I'll close this week with my Android solution for listening to podcasts in areas with spotty connectivity.

As you may know, errand days in the sprawling area where I live are my main times for listening to podcasts and the like. My phone connectivity in this area -- and across northern Florida -- is inconsistent, making it preferable to save anything I want to internal storage ahead of time.

For anyone in this situation, I highly recommend the ugly, but very effective Total Commander file browser. Without you having to do anything but point it to your storage location, it will simply open there every time, saving you from RSI and annoyance.

The built-in media player is extremely easy to use and, unlike any other Android media player I've used, keeps its place indefinitely when not actually playing. (It amazes me that I'm having to heap praise on something for having such qualities, but here we are.) Currently, I know that after I drop my kids off this morning, I can pick right up where I left off on my current listening list.

Furthermore, if you're like me, and prefer to manage files on a real computer, you can install Syncthing on both for a fairly seamless experience. (Unlike, say, Dropbox, Syncthing moves the files directly to the device, rather than defaulting to cloud storage and requiring extra steps to move the files to the device.)

-- CAV

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