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Ramblings from Josh Sullivan

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Sun, Apr 14, 2019

Browsing Privacy

I’ve recently gone all in on privacy related to my browsing habits. I’ve switched to Brave for my browser and use DuckDuckGo for my search engine with fall back to Wikipedia via Bangs. Brave is a Chrominium based browser and therefore has the entire Chrome extensions library available while also respecting your privacy. It isn’t as resource intensive as Chrome on macOS, but Safari is still far better. Unfortunately, I keep finding more and more sites that have issues on Safari that don’t occur in Brave. Plus Brave allows you to block JavaScript which has been useful in preventing the annoying You have an Ad Blocker, please whitelist us” popups, if it’s a small site I usually whitelist unless they are obnoxious with their ads/popups, but for sites like NBC Brave JS blocking is excellent.

My browsing habits don’t require the need to hide them from people, I share a lot of my life online between this blog and my wiki, but that doesn’t mean I want to freely market myself to companies that don’t need my information. I’ve found with Brave and DuckDuckGo, sometimes my results aren’t as accurate as they were on Google, but more often than not they return the correct results. In the cases I don’t find what I am expecting a quick visit to Google will get the result, and with Brave Private Tor Browser, Google can’t tie my search to my profile. Another great benefit of the Brave browser is its ability to stop all auto-play videos, Safari has this feature, but I found a couple of sites it didn’t work on, Brave blocks them no matter what. If you are looking for a browser that respects your privacy, I think Brave is a great solution that is worth at least downloading and trying out.


Mon, Apr 8, 2019

BrainBox Shortcuts

TheBrain’s BrainBox is a great new feature in version 10. Think of BrainBox as a global inbox for TheBrain. On the desktop, you can add files to it, and in browsers, you can add URLs. Unfortunately, it falls short on iOS in capturing in different applications and different data types.

I’ve created two shortcuts to compensate for the inability to capture URLs anywhere but Safari or Safari web view.

  1. Add to BrainBox: takes the currently open page of an application in a web view and passes the URL to the share sheet, at which point BrainBox can be seen, and the URL can be sent to it.
  2. Add Clipboard to BrainBox: takes the current clipboard then shares it to the share sheet as a URL, at which point BrainBox can be invoked to pick up the URL and save to TheBrain.

Both of these actions do not require the opening of TheBrain due to the BrainBox syncing within the extension.

My BrainBox Wish List:

  1. Add other data types, such as Text Files, Photos, and Outlines.
  2. Web view on (Which is supposedly being developed)
  3. Integration within Shortcuts; Not just an extension but API access within Shortcuts will enable so many actions throughout iOS.

I’m looking forward to how TheBrain Technologies further develops BrainBox and hope to see at least the first two on my wish list added before the year is out. Hopefully the third is added at some point because I do believe that a great many people will make some great Shortcuts to improve their workflows.


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