Inside Uber’s Auto-Lease Machine, Where Almost Anyone Can Get a Car

In a deal led by Goldman Sachs, Xchange received a $1 billion credit facility to fund new car leases, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal will help Uber grow its U.S. subprime auto leasing business and it will give many of the world’s biggest financial institutions exposure to the company’s auto leases.

Goldman Sachs + Uber + subprime lending. What could possibly go wrong?

Read more at Bloomberg

/via @jimray

Revisiting the Kinkless Desktop

“How do you keep your desktop so clean?!”

I’m asked this almost every time someone new sees my computer. My desktop has no icons on it, and I like it that way. Old-school fans of 43 Folders might remember the Kinkless Desktop, a 5-article series by Ethan Schoonover from 2007 (with videos!) that explained how to clean your desktop off and ensure it stays pristine. It relied heavily on automation via a tool called Hazel and served as my introduction to automation on the Mac. I implemented the Kinkless Desktop almost 10 years ago, and I’ve stuck with it (with a few modifications) ever since.

Sadly, the site is offline now. Internet Archive to the rescue! Here’s the series. Go read/watch it. I’ll wait.

And here’s what I’ve changed:

  • I moved Archive, Inbox and Outbox to the dock (along with the Downloads folder) and removed the icons from my desktop entirely.
  • I never really used the Pending folder, so I ditched it.
  • I replaced the Archive folder with a link to my Dropbox folder. Everything lives in there.
  • Inbox and Outbox now live in my Dropbox as well just to ensure everything gets stored in the cloud.
  • I’ve gotten in the habit of filing things away where they belong immediately, so I don’t use the Inbox as much as I used to.
  • I haven’t found any fancy icons that match El Capitan with which to customize my folders, so the folders look super-boring.

I still use all of the Hazel rules, which are fantastic. You can download a copy of the originals here.

I’ve also adapted my use of iOS to work with the Inbox folder. A Drafts action called Dropbox Inbox lets me send the current draft to a Markdown file in my Inbox so I can process it later.

If I’m taking a note about something in Drafts that needs to end up back on my Mac, two taps will send it there. I process my Inbox folder once a day as part of my daily review.

Also worth noting is that Hazel was just updated to version 4.0. It’s $32 and worth purchasing. If you want to go beyond just keeping your desktop tidy, have a look at David Sparks’ new Hazel Field Guide ($20), a video walk-through that’ll take you from novice to power user in 2.5 hours.

A change in how Instagram works with IFTTT

I don’t use Instagram anymore, but I still have an account. I want to see the photos my wife posts, though, and I’ve been using IFTTT for years to email me her photos. That functionality will be going away on May 31st.

This is yet another in a series changes IFTTT has made in recent months that have severely truncated or completely removed functionality associated with certain services. Feels like IFTTT is circling the drain.

Twitter Plans to Stop Counting Links and Photos in 140-Character Limit

At the current time, photos take up 24 characters and links take up 23 characters, eliminating 47 available characters when both are included in a tweet. Twitter is reportedly introducing the change to give Twitter users “more flexibility” after exploring methods that would allow users to include more text in tweets.

A change in policy that’s in keeping with how people use the service? Weird, but welcome.

/via MacRumors

My Tablet Has Stickers

Most problems are solved by not doing it the old way. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when you switch to a new way of doing things, there will be a lot of flows that can be accomplished but are remarkably difficult or seem like you’re fighting the system the whole time.

This has become a popular refrain among folks who work primarily from tablets. An iOS device is not a laptop and vice versa. You’d think this goes without saying, but it’s surprising how many people believe that you should be able to work in exactly the same fashion on a tablet as you once did with a laptop. You can often accomplish the same things, but you’ll do it in different ways.

/via Learning By Shipping — Medium