Month: December 2019

What’s in your soap?

A few weeks ago I was listening to an episode of the Rework podcast titled Lab Week.

At [00:02:23] I heard this:

We three live together and we just liked trying things out and one day we needed soap. We kind of looked it up and we’re like, well, how is soap made? And did a lot of research and figured out that a lot of soap is made with animal fats. Beef fat or even pork fat. And it’s not usually obvious in the ingredient list, but there’s like sodium tallowate, which is very common in a lot of mass-produced soaps. And we’re all Muslims and we also happen to be vegan too. And so we just really didn’t like the idea of like rubbing those animal ingredients all over our bodies.

This naturally made me curious to check if the soap I rub everyday over my body has this disgusting ingredient. I checked today and relieved to find this:

I think it is worth a few minutes of your time to Google and make sure your soap is free of stuff that you may not want to apply on your body.

Outlook app issues

I finally removed the Microsoft Outlook app from my phone. It still keeps freezing and getting in my way.

The Outlook tech support person was kind and offered further help when I blogged and tweeted my troubles with the app in October.

However, I still face this problem with the app. The frequent “performance improvements and big fixes” in the app’s version history doesn’t inspire my confidence. I captured only the latest few in the following screenshot but the same note repeats for many earlier versions.

Version history of Microsoft Outlook iOS app

I have enough demands in my life that I don’t want to spend any time to uninstall, reinstall, and configure my email accounts, and setup my preferences.

I just want a simple app that lets me check my email on my phone with as little effort as possible, so I can move on to deal with other challenging aspects of my life.

Outlook app is not fitting this bill anymore. So I simply uninstalled the app and reinstalled the iOS Mail app.

That’s the brutal reality of life. And I say this as a tech support person myself. It helps me empathise with the problems my customers face with the technology I support.

Uninstalling and reinstalling is not as easy as it sounds on the surface. It costs time and effort that can’t always be justified. It is much more quicker and easier to switch to an alternative app like I did. It helps to remember this fact and acknowledge it before dispensing this seemingly benign and common advice to customers.

It’s not the customers’ job to help troubleshoot problems with the technology they have been kind enough to use in a world where they have a lot of choice.

✅ Wunderlist

Microsoft is finally shutting down Wunderlist. Glad that I moved to ToDoist earlier this year.

A few years ago, Microsoft acquired a calendar app called Sunrise that I loved using. I have since moved to the macOS and iOS stock Calendar apps.

When you give your money or attention, think about the values and principles of the makers and avoid short-termers as much as you can.