"The last thing we all need is for the 'data' economy to destroy another medium"

From "Apple's actual role in podcasting: be careful what you wish for":

[Podcasting is] completely decentralized, free, fair, open, and uncontrollable by any single entity, as long as the ecosystem of podcast-player apps remains diverse enough that no app can dictate arbitrary terms to publishers (the way Facebook now effectively controls the web publishing industry).


And the last thing we all need is for the "data" economy to destroy another medium.

I don't have much skin/knowledge in this game, but I agree that podcasts feel like one of the final pieces of media that hasn't been overrun by money-grabbing. Nothing like this lasts but I'm living it up!

How to empty Chrome's cache and do a hard reload

This post assumes you know a bit about browser caches.

Sometimes I want to empty Chrome's cache and do a hard reload. Maybe I'm getting some stale resources that I'm pretty sure have changed and I want to make sure I'm getting fresh files.

To empty Chrome's cache and do a hard refresh:

  1. Open the Chrome DevTools. You can't do a hard reload if you don't have the DevTools open.
  2. Right-click on the Reload button.
  3. Click "Empty Cache and Hard Reload".

Here's what that looks like:

Screenshot of "Empty Cache and Hard Reload" in Chrome

I haven't seen this concisely documented anywhere, so I thought I'd write this post!

Edit: A reader sent Clear Cache, a simple Chrome extension that can do this too.

Detect global JavaScript variables with iframes

This post assumes you know about global variables in JavaScript and the basics of iframes. This post is meant for browser-based JavaScript, not other environments like Node.

It's pretty easy to accidentally leak global variables in JavaScript. Even the best of us accidentally find ways to fill the window object with variables we didn't intend to.

There are a lot of fancy tools that help you find these variables, but if you're looking for a simple oddball solution, you can use iframes.

Here's the finished, annotated code:

(function () {
  // Create an iframe and put it in the <body>.
  var iframe = document.createElement('iframe')

  // We'll use this to get a "pristine" window object.
  var pristineWindow = iframe.contentWindow.window

  // Go through every property on `window` and filter it out if
  // the iframe's `window` also has it.
  console.log(Object.keys(window).filter(function (key) {
    return !pristineWindow.hasOwnProperty(key)

  // Remove the iframe.

In short, this looks at all the global variables on your window and compares it with the "pristine" window inside an iframe. If you have anything the iframe doesn't, it prints it out.

This is a bit of a hack and might not work in every weird edge case, but I've pasted this code snippet into the console and it's been useful!

Parse URLs with <a> tags in JavaScript

I've needed to use JavaScript to parse URLs while working at Braintree. In Node, this is easy; just use the built-in URL module. Before I started at Braintree, I thought browser-based URL parsing would require pulling in a third-party library or writing some tricky string parser. It turns out that there's an easy way that's built into browsers.

You can use <a> tags to parse out various attributes of a URL. For example, to get the hostname of a URL, you could do something like this:

var a = document.createElement('a')
a.href = 'http://evanhahn.com/parse-urls-with-a-tags/'

a.hostname  // => 'evanhahn.com'

You can grab things like hostname, protocol, hash, and much more. Take a look:

var a = document.createElement('a')
a.href = 'http://user:pass@evanhahn.com:8080/p/a/t/h?query=string#hash'

a.hash      // => '#hash'
a.host      // => 'evanhahn.com:8080'
a.hostname  // => 'evanhahn.com'
a.origin    // => 'http://evanhahn.com:8080'
a.password  // => 'pass'
a.pathname  // => '/p/a/t/h'
a.port      // => '8080'
a.protocol  // => 'http:'
a.search    // => '?query=string'
a.username  // => 'user'

This is really useful as a lightweight way to parse URLs!

How to transfer Android Neko Atsume saves using adb

This post assumes you have adb installed on your computer and can use it to communicate with your Android phone. You should have basic familiarity with a command-line terminal.

I've been playing Neko Atsume for months. It is almost frustrating that someone else discovered such a charming concept that could be so simple.

I recently got a new phone and couldn't find an easy way to back up my in-game spoils, so I did a little searching and found that you can use Android's adb tool to transfer your save between two Android phones by doing a simple backup/restore. And it doesn't require root privileges!

Here's how I did it:

  1. Install adb.
  2. Open up a terminal.
  3. Plug in the phone that you want to take data from.
  4. Make sure USB debugging is enabled on both devices.
  5. Run this command, which creates a backup file in your home folder:

    adb backup -f ~/back.ab -noapk 'jp.co.hit_point.nekoatsume'

    Some people have found problems with the single quotes around jp.co.hit_point.nekoatsume. If things don't work for you, try removing the quotes.

  6. When that's done, unplug the first phone and plug in the next one (the one you want to transfer your save to).

  7. Make sure the game is installed on this phone. Launch it to make sure it runs, then close the app.

  8. Run this command to transfer your backup to the new phone:

    adb restore back.ab

That's it! Your nekos should be safe. If this doesn't work for you, try out similar instructions on this Reddit comment.

This should, in theory, work on many apps. I only tried it on Neko Atsume but I'm sure it will work with many other apps.