Stuart Breckenridge

Thoughts on Webfont Subscriptions

For the last few years I’ve subscribed to Cloud.Typography. Whitney is my favourite sans-serif font — it is part of my webfont package and I own a desktop license. However, like all subscriptions, mine is coming to an end and I’ve decided to stop using Cloud.Typography on my website.

The general complaint about webfonts is that they slow down your website. While true, this issue can be mitigated through various optimisation strategies, so it doesn’t bother me1. Instead, my issue is with the business model that requires me to subscribe to a webfont service.

I want to buy a font once, per domain, and then serve it from my own server. With Cloud.Typography this isn’t possible. Indeed, the expectation is that after using 1GB of development bandwidth, you will serve the fonts from your own production server while continuing to pay for the privilege of using the fonts. I don’t think that’s fair.

Therefore, I’ve been searching for a new font for my site, and I’ve settled on a serif: Guardian Egyptian Text. You may recognise it from The Guardian newspaper. I was thinking of using Charter (Mac) and Georgia (Windows), but Guardian Egyptian is very, very nice (see the difference).

From a licensing perspective, I pay for it once per domain and for a certain number page views. It’s precisely what I wanted.

  1. This website has a performance grade of 100 from Pingdom. ↩︎


Wikipedia Bans Daily Mail as Unreliable Source

Jasper Jackson, reporting for The Guardian:

Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website in all but exceptional circumstances after deeming the news group “generally unreliable”.

The move is highly unusual for the online encyclopaedia, which rarely puts in place a blanket ban on publications and which still allows links to sources such as Kremlin backed news organisation Russia Today, and Fox News, both of which have raised concern among editors.

The Daily Mail editors must be proud.


Circles.Life

Yesterday, I ported my number from StarHub to Circles.Life, a new mobile network1 that launched in Singapore in 2016. I wanted to write briefly about why I’ve switched networks.

Here’s the tariff comparison (data in bold I have as part of my allowance with Circles.Life):

  Starhub (4G 4) Circles.Life Comments
Base Data 4 GB 4 GB  
Porting Bonus Data None 1 GB  
Loyalty Data None 500 MB Added every 6 months
Referral Data None 200 MB Per referral
Circles.Life App None 1 GB  
Talk Time 350 min 100 min  
SMS 1200 Pay-as-you-go  
Cost $62.90 $28  

As you can see, the Circles.Life tariff is data oriented with significant ongoing bonuses, doesn’t contain an SMS allowance (since iMessage, WhatsApp, et al. came onto the scene, who needs a large SMS allowance on a smartphone tariff?), and, importantly, is over 50% cheaper than StarHub.

In terms of network performance, I’ve had downstream speeds ranging from 44Mbps to 69Mbps, and upstream speeds ranging from 23Mbps to 42Mbps. StarHub performance in the same areas of the city ranged from 32Mbps to 35Mbps downstream, and 12Mbps to 20Mbps upstream.

If you are a data heavy customer, I’d recommend Circles.Life. If you want a $20 discount at checkout you can use my referral code EWMGO.

  1. Technically, a Mobile Virtual Network Operation (MVNO), that operates using M1’s infrastructure. ↩︎


App Updates: v1.4 of Baby Feeds and v1.3.7 of FFI List

Available today are a few updates to my apps.

Baby Feeds (formerly Baby’s Milk1) has been updated to v1.4, and this update brings Swift 3 conformance.

FFI List has also received a minor update (v1.3.6 to v1.3.7) which resolves a crash that may have occured when tapping on a feedback link.

  1. Including an apostrophe in the app’s name caused issues with Cocoapods and the Xcode test targets. ↩︎


App Update: FFI List v1.3.6

FFI List v1.3.6 is now available on the App Store. Other than updating some support links (Twitter and Email), this version contains no new features.