Set Safari Tab Color Manually

Apple today released iOS 15/iPadOS 15 and will soon release complementary software for the Mac. One small change gives website owners the ability to choose the tab/menu color of the browser (Safari) when their site is being viewed.

By default (if there is no specification), Safari will use the background-color property if specified. However, you can easily override that by adding this to the <head></head> of your site.

<meta name="theme-color" content="#c84b53">

Or if you would prefer, you can specify different color for dark and light modes.

<meta name="theme-color" content="#c84b53" media="(prefers-color-scheme: light)">
<meta name="theme-color" content="#c84b53" media="(prefers-color-scheme: dark)">

This is a simple change that can give your site a significant amount of pop if used correctly.

Viticci releases the most in-depth iOS review every year around this time. It covers everything, and I do mean everything. You’ll want to skim some parts and re-read others. It’s excellently written and full of relevant graphics. iOS 15 comes out today, so why not get the best overview on what you’ll be getting.

With the world coming to a halt due to the pandemic in early 2020, Apple could have easily seized the opportunity to slow down its pace of software updates, regroup, and reassess the state of its platforms without any major changes in functionality. But, as we found out last year, that’s not how the company operates or draws its product roadmaps in advance. In the last year alone, Apple introduced a substantial macOS redesign, pointer support on iPad, and drastic changes to the iOS Home Screen despite the pandemic, executing on decisions that were likely made a year prior.

Surprisingly, iOS 15 doesn’t introduce any notable improvements to what made its predecessor wildly popular last year. In fact, as I’ll explore in this review, iOS 15 doesn’t have that single, all-encompassing feature that commands everyone’s attention such as widgets in iOS 14 or dark mode in iOS 13.

Even though Viticci opens with that, his full review covers the equivalent of 23 pages.

A Pocket Knife for Most People

It’s no secret that I love everyday carry items, particularly folding (pocket) knives. Some people scoff at the idea of carrying one in normal life, but even they would find utility in it given the opportunity.

Many people think of a pocket knife as a self-defense weapon, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it could be used in that situation, but so could your car keys, a wrench, or ballpoint pen. Your average person carrying a pocket knife is not doing so for their protection.

Instead, the true function is primarily accomplishing everyday tasks such as opening Amazon boxes and cutting loose threads. The more you carry one, the more uses you’ll find.

Understanding the Market

If you’ve never purchased a pocket knife, you might be astonished to know that they range in cost from $10 – $1,000s of dollars. Typically, however, if you’re spending $500+ on one, you’re probably buying a custom knife that is handmade (or similar) by a prominent designer. It’s the equivalent of art (the artist and methods add value). Some of these knives are commonly referred to as pocket jewelry.

Kalena Langford and Shamwari

Custom Shamwari, modeled by Kalena

For the sake of this article and the recommendations I’ll make, we are not even going to touch on those. In fact, let’s drop our maximum price all the way down to the $100 range. If you’re new to carrying, don’t splurge on anything more than that…let yourself grow into it.

Outside of the name/designer of the knife, there are many other things that determine the value. A few examples of those are blade steel, handle/scale material, locking method, physical size, availability, country of origin, manufacturer, and deployment method (amongst many others).

My Recommendation

For anyone researching this, you’ve probably heard of the major manufacturers such as Spyderco, Benchmade, Buck, Victorinox (Swiss Army), and many more. For my recommendation for a quality pocket knife that won’t break the bank, is easy to use, and doesn’t look intimidating, those are the types of brands I recommend.

Whether it’s a Christmas gift for someone else or you’re just spoiling yourself, go with the Benchmade Bugout or Mini Bugout. The only major difference is size, but both are compact and light.

Full-size Benchmade Bugout

My Carry

I have owned many variations of Bugouts over the years, even multiple customized versions. It’s my go to recommendation for people who aren’t “in to pocket knives” like I am.

But I also get asked a lot about what I carry. While I have a decent collection, I’ll highlight a couple that I really enjoy.

First up is the Chris Reeve Sebenza. It’s a classic American-made workhorse. The variant I currently have is the Large with Macassar Ebony Inlays.

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza with Macassar Ebony Inlays

Next, and in a completely different market, is a Vero Engineering Axon. Designed in Florida, made in China, this production folding knife is both fun and functional. This one adds a little “fidget factor” to a daily carry.

Vero Engineering Axon with Red G10 Scales

The Problem

Livestream.com is a popular host for, you guessed it, live streaming content. Unlike a lot of other services, it’s geared mostly toward production level video. While it has many redeeming qualities, they intentionally make it difficult to get your content off of their platform once it’s been saved.

It’s quite easy to download a single archived video, but if you’re trying to download hundreds of videos that you’ve streamed over the course of years, it’s a whole different ballgame. They do not offer a single way to do this, not even through support requests.

But I had a client that needed it done. I had the option of either spending months manually downloading each individual video or finding another way. You can guess which of those options I chose.

The Solution

There is a command line utility called YouTube-dl that is incredibly powerful. Despite it’s name, it can handle video downloads from almost any site. The downside is it requires terminal use and most users will not be comfortable using it.

If you are comfortable using YouTube-dl, then by all means, go for it. The following directions are not meant for you.

Instead, I recommend a free app called ViDL for Mac. It actually makes use of the aforementioned YouTube-dl, but packages it in an easy-to-use User Interface.

ViDL for Mac

Once you’ve installed the app, navigate to almost any page on the internet with video(s). From there, you can trigger the app via a menu bar icon (or manually by opening the app) and initiate the downloads.

Specifically for livestream.com, navigate to any page that shows your archived videos. You may need to scroll down on the page to make livestream.com load in your older videos (they use infinite scrolling where older videos don’t load on the page until you scroll down to them). Trigger ViDL and watch the magic happen.

Using this method, I downloaded multiple hundreds of videos (all over 1 hour in length) in a matter of just a few hours in the background. Obviously, a nice high speed internet connection helps with that as well.

This is an exhaustive list of things that are assumed true/false by many people. There are definitely dozens on the list that I was uncertain about. Here are a couple examples:

While modern life expectancies are much higher than those in the Middle Ages and earlier, adults in the Middle Ages did not die in their 30s or 40s on average. That was the life expectancy at birth, which was skewed by high infant and adolescent mortality. The life expectancy among adults was much higher; a 21-year-old man in medieval England, for example, could expect to live to the age of 64.

And:

Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. He was actually slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperor’s height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, which in English measurements is 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). He was actually nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of endearment. Napoleon was often accompanied by his imperial guard, who were selected for their height—this may have contributed to a perception that he was comparatively short.

Take a few minutes and read through the article, it’s very interesting!

I live in an area that some people might refer to as “the country”, although we are within walking distance of a small downtown area and 20 minutes from a large city. Since we’ve lived here, the best available internet package available for us was DSL (35↓, 3↑). It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work.

Recently, we decided to bite the bullet and pay Cox Communications to run/bury a line to our house. That process was pretty straightforward, and although it took a few weeks to complete, was done well.

Finally, it came time for the in-home technician to come out, do a wall drop, and get everything working. I’ve dealt with these companies dozens of times and knew what Cox would do when it came time to actually hook up service.

They would attempt to push their Cox Panoramic Wifi modem/router combo on us for an extra $12/mo. Maybe that’s not that bad of a deal…well, unless you consider actual facts.

Here are a few things to know:

  • That $12/mo is perpetual. You can never pay it off.
  • They say they’ll upgrade it (roughly) every 3 years. If they’re right on time, you will have paid $432 for it.
  • It not the ‘latest and greatest’ specs that they’d have you believe.
  • It allows them to have more access to your setup.
  • Oh, and even if you turn off WiFi (by putting it in bridge mode), it still enables public WiFi (isolated from your network) for other Cox customers to use. I mean, WHAAATTT?
  • Both the modem and router functionality can be beaten by off-the-shelf versions without monthly fees.

As an example, here is a full setup you can get at Best Buy that will exceed the Panoramic junk’s ability and save you money. Best of all, this assumes you have NO existing equipment. Many of you will already have more than capable routers, so need to spend more money there.

If you need help with alternatives from these suggestions, feel free to reach out to me.

No additional fees. No recurring fees. Should last you longer than 3 years. No uncontrollable public wifi for others to use. More reliable and often faster.

Unless you have zero technical ability, there is not a legitimate reason to ever rent (or use at all) an ISP provided modem or router. You’ll lose money and performance.

Apple and Child Safety

It’s a lot easier to get things done if you claim it’s for child safety. With 2 young children, I’m susceptible to that line of thinking in many ways.

When Apple first announced their intentions revolving around child safety measures and photos, my initial thoughts were positive. I mean, who doesn’t want to protect children?

But the more I thought and read about it (and with input from my wife), I quickly began to see how horribly thought out this idea is. The system could easily be used by nefarious actors for all kinds of questionable reasons.

I think it’s good that today Apple had this to say:

Previously we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them and to help limit the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material. Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.

I don’t think I like that last line, as it implies they’re just kicking the can down the road. Hopefully, the massive amount of negative input from all over (including Edward Snowden) will make them shelve the whole thing.

iOS Tips →

This is one of the most comprehensive lists of iOS tips I’ve ever come across. Even as an iPhone nerd, there were a few on here I didn’t know about (or remember).

Read it now. Bookmark it for later.