Link The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains

Within decades, neurotechnology could cause social disruption on a scale that would make smartphones and the internet look like gentle ripples on the pond of history.

Most unsettling, neurotechnology confounds age-old answers to this question: What is a human being?

A lengthy read giving a short history of DARPA with a focus on their (published) neurotechnology research and its challenges. While I don’t think the agency’s goals are quite as benign as it makes them out to be, I find the entire field utterly fascinating and am well in favor of what they are trying to accomplish.

My revamped blog is now live at this here new domain, czm.io.

Moved to a shorter domain, switched to a Hugo + Gitlab + Forestry + Netlify setup. It’s still a static site, it’s still super-fast, it’s still devoid of any tracking and analytics. (I just don’t care about those numbers.)

The heart of the site is a Gitlab repo. Netlify runs Hugo & serves the site every time changes are pushed to the repo. Forestry (CMS) is committing to the repo. Convenient AF.

This warrants a longer post …later. Until then, a few quick take-aways:

  1. Netlify: ★★★★★ It’s just made for building & hosting static sites. Aside from setting up their free custom SSL certificates you can pretty much configure everything via a config file in your repo. Ace.
  2. Forestry: ★★★★★ CMS for a static sites (Hugo- or jekyll-based). Slick, super-easy to set up once you got Hugo and Netlify going. Having that thing is game-changing.
  3. Hugo: ★★★★ Crazy fast static site generator, it’s made a solid impression on me so far. The templating syntax takes a bit getting-used-to, though.
  4. Bulma: ★★★★ CSS framework. Me no designer but Bulma nice

Link Why You’re Probably Getting a Microchip Implant Someday

Interesting article in the The Atlantic about subdermal microchips, discussing a few health-focussed implants and related research.

I got myself chipped a few years back because my phone didn’t have a fingerprint reader but NFC capabilities. I used the chip in my hand to unlock the phone all the time for a year or so.

These days, my RFID tag carries some emergency data but nothing else (name, birthdate, blood type, city of residence). I wish it could do more, tho.

Plan fürs Wochenende: Blog-Relaunch von carlo.zottmann.org mit Unterstützung von Kategorien (Posts, Micro Posts, Link Posts), damit ich endlich mal wieder einen Platz habe, wo ich Links etc. posten kann, die ich früher in meinen Newsletter gekippt habe.

Stack: Hugo (Static Site Generator) + Forestry (CMS für SSG) + vermutlich Netlify (Hosting).

Mal schauen, ob ich es an diesem Wochenende endlich schaffe.

Update: Erledigt.

Lieber deutscher Mittelstand:

Wenn Ihr auf Eure Stellenanzeigen Bewerbungen per Email bekommt, bitte bestätigt den Empfang! Ein simples “Ist angekommen, wir melden uns, danke” reicht völlig.

Überlegt mal, was Nicht-Reaktionen bei Menschen auslöst, die u.U. schon seit Monaten auf der Suche sind:

  • Verwirrung (“Ist die Mail überhaupt angekommen?”)
  • Selbstzweifel (“Ignorieren die mich, weil ich nicht geeignet bin?”)

Für etwas mehr Respekt für die Bewerbenden & Miteinander auf Augenhöhe! DANKE.

Withings Activité Pop with Custom Leather Armband

My original Withings Activité Pop silicone armband broke, and while I did want to class it up a mite with a replacement band, I really didn’t want to spend $100+ on an original Withings leather armband.

So I went shopping around and in the end settled on a really nice, very affordable Hirsch 1 “Forest” leather band. I paid ~€27 for the medium-sized variant in light/golden brown. I spend about half and hour in the store, checking out different armbands, and while I don’t like all of them (different looks, different tastes) they’re all really nice quality!

It doesn’t have the quick release spring bars, tho — which works for me because I don’t plan on going swimming anytime soon, and there have been no issues during/after my usual Fitstar training sessions.

I’m pretty happy with the end result.

Withings Activité Pop w/ custom Hirsch "Forest" light brown leather armband

Full album over @ Google Photos.


  1. Hirsch’s a good brand from Austria, they’re in the leatherworking business for ~250 years by now, which is a crazy amount of time. [return]

Using Keyboard Maestro to bookmark Chrome URLs in Evernote

Replacing the Evernote Web Clipper Chrome extension with a Keyboard Maestro macro for better bookmarking: with searchable full-text content and full-size screenshots.

I like Evernote a lot. It’s my external memory — I put everything in there, from quick notes to directions to recipes to trip planning to bookmarks. Since I am a heavy Google Chrome user, I am/was using the Evernote Web Clipper extension, Evernote’s official solution to “Collect the best of the web, all in one place. Quickly and easily clip articles, text, and images right into Evernote.”

Unfortunately, up until a few weeks ago, the extension would only function by injecting iframes and scripts into each page I would visit, on the off chance that I might use the Web Clipper on that particular page. This —for me— posed several issues. For one, being a frontend developer I have Chrome’s web inspector open pretty much all the time, and every now and then the extension would log errors that would show up in the console, throwing me off. Irritating, to say the least, especially when I was in the middle of a heavy debugging session.

I’ll spare you the rest of my other niggles with the addon. Don’t get me wrong here, it is both usable and useful, and certainly a boon to most people, but some of its facets I just did not like. For example, the Web Clipper is storing the clip/bookmark on the EN server, from where it would then later sync to my local client. While I understand the technical reasons for this, I think that’s backwards — when I take a note I want to see it without the need to sync first.

Also, even though I was employing it heavily, the only thing I really used it for was for bookmarking pages. I do not have a need for its other features, like cutting pieces of an article or making it more readable or taking screenshots.

Hence, I decided to replace the Evernote Web Clipper with a Keyboard Maestro macro. (If you have no idea yet as to what KM is, check out the link. I’ll wait.)

What the macro does

Once triggered, the macro will get URL, title, meta description and a very simple text excerpt from the current page in the browser. Also, a screenshot of the browser window is captured.

Then, it’ll use these bits to compose a formatted (HTML) note in Evernote.

And to top it all off, it’ll display a notification, using either the excellent terminal-notifier (when installed) or KM’s default notification action.

Bonus: if terminal-notifier was found and used, clicking the notification will open Evernote.

The note is stored locally first, and then synchronized to the remote Evernote server.

What to expect from it

This is what a bookmark made with the Evernote Web Clipper looks like in Evernote (bigger version). The image is the first image the Clipper found on the page (I’m just guessing here):

Screenshot of a bookmark made using the Evernote Web Clipper

This is what a bookmark made with the macro looks like in Evernote (bigger version). The looks can be customized by reworking the HTML string in the AppleScript block:

Screenshot of a bookmark made using the KM macro

The macro

Download the macro: km-bookmark-to-evernote.kmmacros.

Screenshot (bigger version):

Screenshot of the macro

These Amazing 12 Alternatives To The Word "Awesome" Will Stun You IN THE FACE

Awesome. Everything’s awesome. Everybody’s awesome. So much awesome. All the time, 247, maybe more! And I get it: this is the 21st century. All the things are totally amazeballs, without exception. We’re all winners, all of us. Top of the game, thanks for playing, y’all.

Anyways, I see your plight. It’s 20 minutes until that big meeting. You’re about to present your (baking soda volcano / disruptive startup / marriage proposal / weird old trick) to (a pack of super-critical VC’s / traffic cop / an angry axe murderer / the Gods / HackerNews), and your pitch contains 200 instances of the word “awesome” while being 300 words long. That’s clearly less than ideal. Your future (well-being / monies / job / sex life / accommodation) depends on these five minutes.

Fret not. I’m here to help. Take your pick from these fine alternative to the blatantly overused word “awesome”.

  1. “good”
  2. “nice”
  3. “slightly amusing”
  4. “meh”
  5. “alright”
  6. “quite okay”
  7. “jolly”
  8. “fucksticks”
  9. “not butter”
  10. “utter bollocks”
  11. “yo papa”*
  12. “… err, does anyone here know how to use a dictionary? No? Well then. As I was saying…”

At that point, “awesome” isn’t a word anymore, it’s a fucking comma. Making an originally exceptional term meaningless just because we don’t know any words — that’s not cool, you guys.

Please, let us all stop. Thank you for your time.