2PM is a weekly email newsletter (and WordPress site)—addressed “to polymaths” (abbreviated to 2PM) interested in digital commerce—by Web Smith. It’s one of the few newsletters that I subscribe to and actually read every week.

Check out the most recent edition as a preview. Recommended!

“Call with iPhone” for macOS


Six years ago I made a little utility to right-click a phone number on my computer and dial it using Skype. I’ve used this daily for years, but it broke recently with Skype’s redesign.

I don’t otherwise have a reason to use Skype regularly these days, and ever since Apple introduced the ability to make phone calls from macOS via FaceTime (and your iPhone), I’ve been meaning to explore using that instead anyway.

FaceTime supports the tel protocol, so adapting my AppleScript to use that was easy.

You can download it here. Double-clicking the file should open Automator and prompt you to install it (or install manually by putting the file in ~/Library/Services/).

Now you should be able to right-click any phone number (including international formats) in most applications and “Call with iPhone” using FaceTime (it does make a “real” phone call, not FaceTime or FaceTime Audio). If an application other than FaceTime launches, you probably need to go to FaceTime > Preferences and set FaceTime as the “Default for calls”.

Time Maps



Neat concept from Mapbox: maps designed specifically for travel-time-based decision-making.

[O]ur decision-making around places — where to go for lunch, if a certain day trip is feasible, and yes, whether a commute is practical — have shifted toward how long it takes to get there. But we still rely on traditional maps to do that: eyeballing straight-line distances, and running that through some alchemy of guesswork and firsthand experience to how long that trip would take.

What would a more directly useful visualization — indeed, a map of time — look like?

Check out the demo.

Your Human-Size Life


Your Human-Size Life:

One of the biggest mistakes rich people make is to try to live larger than a single human being can. A mathematical impossibility. You can buy a big house, but you can only sleep in one bedroom at a time. You can own twenty fantastic cars, airplanes and yachts, but you can only be in one at a time. You can own an NBA team and a MLB team, and you get to sit in the nicest seat in the house at games, but you still can only sit in one seat. In other words, your humanity doesn’t increase just because your wealth did. You don’t get bigger.

via Phil and just about everyone else.

How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained


How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained:

If you were to go to southern Italy, you wouldn’t find people saying “gabagool.” But some of the old quirks of the old languages survived into the accents of Standard Italian used there. In Sicily or Calabria, you might indeed find someone ordering “mutzadell.” In their own weird way, Jersey (and New York and Rhode Island and Philadelphia) Italians are keeping the flame of their languages alive even better than Italian-Italians. There’s something both a little silly and a little wonderful about someone who doesn’t even speak the language putting on an antiquated accent for a dead sub-language to order some cheese.

The Walk of Life Project


The Walk of Life Project:

Even if you don’t know the Dire Straits song “Walk of Life” by name you’ll recognize it immediately when you hear it. Fun fact: It’s the perfect song to end any movie.

At least that’s the contention of the Walk of Life Project, the brainchild of Peter Salomone, a freelance video editor and writer. And I’m inclined to agree with him. Slap “Walk of Life” to the end of any movie and it immediately becomes 400 percent better. That’s just science.