Broken fiber lines and a lot of Pokémon

** The Bulletin ** – December 16, 2023

Hey you,

The week began without an internet connection, as Verizon’s fiber lines were quite literally severed between here and the substation in which my town is served from. After about 38 hours, it came back up around 1:10AM on Wednesday. This stopped pretty much everything in my house, as we’re reliant on the connection to live our lives, but hey—it gave my mom and I some much needed time to spend together! I also had another dentist appointment to fix a filling, and felt more “high” than usual on the local anesthetic than I am normally accustomed to. So, that was interesting! (Not uncomfortable though.)

I intended to do some writing, but unfortunately, I couldn’t work with my writing partner due to the internet outage and I am having to put this together rather quickly, and slightly early, due to a very fun and busy weekend with my friends ahead. Instead, I finally completed Pokémon Violet (now working on the post-game, with the intention on going back to finish Shield as well), and I am going to spend the rest of the week getting caught up on emails prior to my usual holiday sabbatical from the 20th to the 26th. Not what I wanted the end of December to look like, but I suppose it’s quite all right!

With all of that out of the way, let’s get right into this week’s edition!

This week’s soundtrack

I’m kind of a Spotify addict, so I happen to listen to a lot of music. Here’s what I’m currently listening to—usually on repeat. Here’s what I’ve got for you, for the week of December 16, 2023

Thanks to Songlink for making all these streaming platform-agnostic!

Things I found across the net

I still had cell service, you know! It wasn’t amazing but I still had it…

  • Rapid-fire holiday gaming news: Some interesting stuff is happening in gaming just before the holidays for whatever reason, and I simply don’t have the time to go in-depth on literally every single thing (we’d be here for HOURS if I did that). So—instead, here are some of the more interesting things I’ve come across…

    • It’s official! Your Spotify Wrapped, Nintendo Switch Edition is now available through Nintendo’s official Year In Review microsite. Here’s a link for everyone interested!

    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Indigo Disk DLC is now officially available to download (assuming you own the expansion pass) alongside the version 3.0.0 update that includes several bug fixes and improvements. This is the final expansion planned for either of the games.

    • Could we see an ad-supported tier of Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) coming in the near future? A Microsoft executive has gone on the record and hinted at the idea—so it’s entirely possible, I suppose. I personally doubt any big titles from the past year or so, like Starfield, would be able to be streamed on such a tier though.

  • GM phasing out CarPlay/Android Auto support to make drivers “safer”: I’m not sure I buy this one, but GM is going to remove support for Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto from its future vehicles in the name of making drivers “safer.” They’re instead switching to an “in-house” infotainment system co-developed with—get this—Google. It’s quite dumb, and I don’t understand the logic here. Also, at least from what I’ve seen online, nobody likes this decision either. So that’s probably not good for their bottom line!

  • Arc on Windows, written in Swift?: I’ve been beta testing Arc—the cool browser from The Browser Company—since December 2022, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic on my M2 MacBook Pro. And now, it’s coming to more people thanks to a brand new Windows counterpart that’s… written in Swift?!! What?! Yep, Arc’s going to be available on Microsoft’s Windows 11 platform with builds written in Apple’s programming language. I’ve signed up to beta test that as well, and will absolutely be putting it right on my Windows machine as soon as I’m onboarded into the closed beta.

    • These folks also have a great YouTube channel and are very transparent about the work they’re doing—check them out! I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re all incredibly talented & creative!

  • Apple shuts down Beeper Mini—signals that circumvention will result in further action: A surprise to absolutely nobody, Apple has shut down the app that made it possible to register phone numbers associated with Android devices to iMessage. As a result, the app broke entirely and the company released a statement confirming that they were the ones that did so. Beeper Mini did come back with limited support for those that choose to sign in with iCloud, and stopped requiring a subscription for the time being, but it won’t work with your phone number now. My bet is that Apple will work to block Beeper entirely in the near future, however, so enjoy it while it lasts, or just get a bloody iPhone if iMessage is so important to you…

    • By the way, as I was putting together this week’s post, the app has broken for some people AGAIN. Like I suspected, there’s no way Apple isn’t actively trying to play whack-a-mole with this right now. *Sigh.* RCS support can’t come soon enough.

  • Space Karen breaks his dying social media app again: For a brief time on Wednesday, outgoing links on Twitter would not redirect links through its URL shortener to their proper destinations, resulting simply in a generic error. This has been rectified, but it just goes to show that the platform is just one simple decision away from something breaking entirely. I’m glad there are a handful of third-party apps that still work, though, so I don’t need to get on the official app (for web OR mobile) that often…

And that’s all I have for you this week! When you get this, I’ll probably be in the thick of some random video game on the Xbox my friend’s giving me. (I actually had to get an Xbox One controller the other day for this…) I’m sure I’ll share some photos next week or something.

Only two more Bulletins for 2023… let’s end this year on a high note! Have a great weekend, and week ahead!

Becoming addicted to Pokémon (and another thing),