Editor of @readtedium, the dull side of the internet. You may know me from @ShortFormBlog. Subscribe to my thought machine: http://tedium.co/

The new Teracube 2e is a sustainable smartphone and a glimpse of a better future for accessories

The Teracube 2e, after a long trip to my mailbox from China, arrived in a simple, unadorned cardboard box. Photos courtesy of the author

Imagine the cheapest possible smartphone you can buy that’s brand new. Given that low barrier, what would you be able to do with it? Would the experience be frustrating or simply average? Would you gain some benefits with that minimalist sheen that you might not find otherwise?

I found myself…

Apple finally created a phone for people who don’t really care about phones

Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the iPhone 12 Mini failing to reach Apple’s lofty sales goals, selling well below estimates and well below competing phones. At first glance, this seems like evidence that Apple got the small-phone trend wrong and possibly split its user base.

“Apple not…

Popular email clients, particularly Gmail, have a tendency to cut emails off after a 102-kilobyte limit. Why the heck is that—and whose fault is it, anyway?

There are a handful of things I love — writing long articles, telling bad jokes, and obsessing over random bits of code.

This is probably why I run an email newsletter, which is about a week away from hitting its sixth anniversary.

But as a newsletter writer who reads other…

My bad Dropbox organization habits brought Apple’s power-sipping MacBook Air to its knees in just a single day

The Apple M1 chip computer logo seen on a mobile phone screen next to a larger Apple logo
Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

I’m not a video editor, but I’m pretty sure I brutally slayed the M1 MacBook Air I just bought (8 GB RAM and a 512 gigabyte SSD, in case you were wondering) in less than a day of use.

It comes down to two reasons, really: The lack of an…

Today’s GIF comes from Jürgen Henn of 11foot8.com. More on him and his wonderful site in a second.

Why low overpasses are often so damaging to trucks, RVs, and other large vehicles — and why the ensuing crashes are so fun to watch.

To start off, I just want to offer a shoutout to the folks who have managed to ride out the pandemic in an RV. It apparently has been a booming industry, per CBS Sunday Morning.

“It’s nice knowing that we can control the environment that we’re living in and not…

For decades, it was easier to get a bottle of vodka in Iceland than a pint of beer. The reason says more about Iceland’s politics than its temperance movement.

Of all the things that can get you through this weird time in our lives, one of the most obvious is beer.

Beer is a beverage that should be had in moderation, of course, but these are not moderate times, so it’s understandable if you find yourself enjoying your virtual…

How I found home networking nirvana with a powerline connection, a form of home networking that might be called poor man’s ethernet. No drilling involved.

Medium got a new newsletter feature this week and I’m testing it by sending out my most recent issue in this format. If you prefer the full-fat version of this article, you can find it here. Just testing!

Today in Tedium: Recently, I felt compelled to find a good way…

“Canned laughter,” a controversial element of most television comedy, feels unnerving in its quarantine-era absence. Its initial creation is downright fascinating.

As our life has been thoroughly disrupted twelve days from Tuesday in ways too numerous to count, I’ve thought about the small ways that this disruption has shown itself.

Perhaps one of the most subtle has been the loss of the live studio audience on late-night TV, the laugh tracks…

This was a product that predated the AIDS crisis by more than 40 years, but was taken off the market as a result of it.

The surprisingly true story of Ayds, a diet suppressant candy that was incredibly successful until its name became forever associated with something else. Fans of Corona beer may see the parallels.

The recent COVID-19 health crisis has put a lot of attention around branding concerns, particularly around Corona beer, whose maker recently announced it was stopping production temporarily.

Stories like these create easy parallels that one can look towards in the past.

A few years ago, for example, the wireless industry…

How the milk crate, a commonly stolen type of container, became the target of tough legal regulations — and how those regulations have started to backfire.

Sometimes, it’s possible to create something that’s too useful, that is designed for a niche purpose but is so well-attuned to that purpose that it attracts other people, who find a similar value but different use case than was intended.

And because of the sheer prevalence of said useful tool…

Ernie Smith

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