Hi, friends! Welcome to Installer No. 13, your guide to the best and Verge-iest stuff in the world. (If you’re new here, welcome, so psyched you found us, and also you can read all the old editions at the Installer homepage.)
This week, I’ve been watching Barbarian and No Hard Feelings, reading about the challenges of building “the next Twitter” and Marvel’s complicated future, using Pager to make sense of all my screenshots, and sending everyone this article about aphantasia to explain that no, I really don’t see pictures in my head, yes it’s wild, no I didn’t even realize other people could do that.
I also have for you a couple of nifty AI tools, a robot vacuum, a bunch of new stuff about the new Beatles song, a Simpsons GIF generator, a Godzilla movie, and a three-hour podcast about Facebook.
And I have a specific question I’m hoping we can figure out together this week: how do you manage your budget and money? I’m not looking for, like, wealth manager tips over here. But Mint is shutting down, and Mint was an excellent, simple way to track your money. Do you have an app you like even better, either for one small thing or for your whole financial life? Do you do it all in Excel, do you tell ChatGPT everything you buy, do you just YOLO it and hope for the best? Email email@example.com or text me at 203-570-8663, and tell me how you do it.
In general, of course, the best part of Installer is always your ideas and tips. What cool stuff are you reading, watching, playing, installing, whittling, knitting, or otherwise doing right now? Tell me everything: firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you know someone else who might enjoy Installer, forward it to them and tell them to subscribe here.
Alright, lots of good links this week. Let’s go.
- Bitwarden. If you only ever take my advice once, make it this: use a password manager. It’s the best place for all your logins, loyalty numbers, license codes, and all the other stuff you need online all the time. I’m a longtime 1Password fan, but Bitwarden’s a great choice, too — and now it does passkeys, too! Passkeys rule.
- Google Keep. I am perpetually afraid Google is going to kill Keep, its excellent and useful note-taking tool, but I think instead it might be… investing in it? What a world! Its handy formatting tools have come over to Android, and Google is now putting shopping lists and Assistant notes back in Keep where they belong.
- The new MacBook Pro. The M3 chip lineup is slightly confusing this year, and I really wish the space black were more black and less gray, but the outcome is still this: the new Pros appear to be faster than ever, and I can’t think of a spec that excites me more than “22 hours of battery life.” I’m still an Air user, personally, but the 16-inch Pro is a monster of a machine.
- Blank Check with Griffin & David: “The Social Network.” This is not what you would call a “focused” podcast. It’s longer than the movie it’s ostensibly about. But it’s super fun and funny and does in fact talk a lot about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, being cool, and the legacy of one of my all-time favorite movies.
- Fortnite OG. My Fortnite sweet spot was in the 2019–2020 era, which means I have fond memories of Tilted Towers and roaming the terrain in shopping carts. For its new season, the game is going back through its history, with some new twists along the way. I haven’t played much recently, but I’ll be dropping back in this weekend for sure.
- RUIN: Money, Ego and Deception at FTX. Now that we know the end of the story — that Sam Bankman-Fried was just found guilty of fraud — this Bloomberg documentary about the whole rise and fall of FTX feels even more interesting and ominous.
- Brave Leo. An AI assistant that doesn’t store your data, doesn’t keep a record of your chats, and doesn’t use everything you do and say to train its model? Brave’s onto something here, especially if it can make a privacy-first product that doesn’t end up as “ChatGPT but worse.” And I like having this stuff built right into the browser.
- Raycast Quick AI. Speaking of cool AI things: Raycast is one of my favorite and most-used Mac apps, and it just got access to GPT-4’s real-time web results. It’s now the fastest way I have to search “Who won the Warriors game” or “Was SBF found guilty.”
- The Matic robot vacuum. Ugh, it’s $1,800, which is ridiculous. But I find this thing fascinating: it has some really clever hardware to keep it from getting stuck, and it never needs to be online. It’s also just a tiny bit adorable, which never hurts.
I’m probably only ever going to get one chance to do this here, so: let’s talk about the Beatles.