Export Safari Reading List Items

This is something I should have done a while ago, but recently I started using my reading list for managing more items than in the past. After finally searching I found they’re stored within Safari’s bookmarks data (~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist).

Using the plist library the reading list item urls can be extracted using python.

#!/usr/bin/env python
import os
import plistlib

# load bookmarks plist into dict
relpath = 'Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist'
fullpath = os.path.join(os.environ['HOME'], relpath)
plist = plistlib.readPlist(fullpath)

# get the reading list node
for child in plist['Children']:
  if child.get('Title', None) == 'com.apple.ReadingList':
    bookmarks = child['Children']

# extract urls from each
urls = (bookmark['URLString'] for bookmark in bookmarks)

Then the urls can, for example, be opened in a different browser.

open /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app $(~/bin/readinglist-urls.py)

Why bother, use Pocket or Instapaper?

It’s a more universal “save url for later” because often the iPhone will open a share sheet with only a few options that includes saving to the reading list.

Pocket for me is for longer posts or articles that I save for times where I can lounge in a comfy chair or when travelling. My workflow with Safari’s reading list is odd, but its a temporary bookmark list that I can save links from any webview in any app I use on my iPhone and then I can take action when I’m back on my MacBook.

Microsoft Band Pairing Issues

Last night after a work out the Microsoft Health App wouldn’t find my band. There was an issue with bluetooth pairing so I tried disconnecting, reconnecting, and re-pairing, but the app still could not find it.

Some one else had the same problem and was able to fix it by reconnecting until two bluetooth devices connected. I tried to follow his advice, but mistakenly shrugged off a warning and I was left with a Band that would no longer sync until a factory reset completed.

I found out too late, before I unregistered, that you can also pair the band to the desktop on Windows [discontinued] or the Mac App Store. I bet I would have been able to sync up and upload the workouts that I lost.

For those few who have a band Microsoft recently pushed out its first update for the band itself, only available when using one of the mobile app.


The Hyped Up Ocean of Vaporware

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short, is an exciting time for a gadget or tech geek. There’s an endless display, pun intended, of new technology that companies show off to gauge interest, spur interest, and steal interest. This year started out as awesome as ever showing off 15m wireless charging, futuristic cars, NVIDIA’s vehicle GPU technology story, and a laptop with a full-sized desktop keyboard. Of course there will also be the expected: 4K Televisions, smart watches, toys with lots of tech inside, and of course tablets. Phone hardware has mostly moved into their own announcements due to the shear size and demand of that market, but there are plenty of phone accessories.

There’s so much hype and excitement that will fade away in the next few months, but it’s fun to have a post-Christmas shiny object fest. Most often very few of the concepts not already in production ever see the light of day where the average consumer can buy them. The exceptions are those ready for testing in well-known markets like TVs, tablets, and phone battery cases. I still enjoy reading up on the show and checking in to see if there are any nuggets of gold wrapped up inside crazy.

It’s still on through Friday so go check your favorite search provider for news, but I’ll come back tomorrow and the next to update with a few of my favorites as well as links to various blogs and resources for readers and my future reference.