Discover more from The Land of Random
🖥️Archive or perish, Synthetic Milk, and Zenly's Demise
Free plans are yeeting and deleting
Hey everyone! How are you doing this Monday?
September is finally here - so I’m gearing up to start watching horror movies again in the next week or so. If you have any good recommendations - please let me know.
I discovered a really fun album to get you started on those Halloween vibes.
From power metal to synthwave - there’s vibes aplenty here for ya.
No lie - I’ve listened to it like five times since I found it on Tuesday. It’s awesome.
I think I’m going to listen to it again while I write here.
In other news - I’ve stepped down from my role at Creative Brew, and will no longer be writing the Creative Brew newsletter. Between my family, work, The Land of Random, and Creative Brew - I’ve been really busy and stressed out the past year. I need to slow down for a bit.
Spend time with my wife, kids, play some video games, watch TV without a computer in my lap . . .that kind of thing.
Of course - I’ll always be here, writing The Land of Random - and I plan to do audio, a premium plan, and more audience growth.
I will be doing the Land of Web3 once in a while rather than every week. With “Cryto Winter” here, there’s not as many interesting things to share.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
🖥️Archive or Perish
The sounds of Dies Irae ring in the distance.
Heroku is deleting free product plans
Gitlabs threatened to delete inactive accounts until they backtracked.
With all the tech companies laying off 10% or more of their staff, it’s definitely possible that smaller startups may start getting rid of free plans in order to cut costs.
It’s within reason that some of those wacky websites I share each week may begin to disappear as free plans begin to disappear.
Links disappear on the web all the time - like ships at sea in the 18th century.
There is no Internet Archive archive backup for the first one, but you can check out the second one here.
It’s just gone . . . forever, unless you want to reverse engineer who shared it, message them, and see if they have a backup to share.
These are just two examples of dozens of other dead links I have saved in my bookmark manager.
I could go on with other links - but I’d rather introduce a way to save webpages from death - and it’s an easy-to-use Chrome extension.
The Internet Archive has made saving the web as easy as one click. Just click the big SAVE PAGE NOW button and voila! there’s now a copy in the Internet Archive to explore at a later date.
You can do more if you have an Internet Archive account - such as saving all the outlinks, or taking a screenshot of the page.
You can also view previous versions of pages too - like Amazon from the old days.
If the page doesn’t support being saved by the Internet Archive tool, you can always get around it. There’s always a way to save a page from the internet.
Check out this massive list of archiving tools for more.
Ready to start saving the web?
Download the chrome extension at the link!
Why drink Oatly when you can drink synthetic milk?
We’ve seen synthetic meat, mushroom bacon, and other meat substitutes - but synthetic milk is a new one to me.
Synthetic milk does not require cows or other animals. It can have the same biochemical make up as animal milk, but is grown using an emerging biotechnology technique know as “precision fermentation” that produces biomass cultured from cells. (source)
Brewing cell milk, in a way . .
There are several startups heading the charge in this sector - including Eden Brew. Here’s some of Eden Brew’s explanation of their process.
We map cow milk genes to produce dairy proteins that delivers cow milk nutrition and sensory experience . . . Our process of fermentation takes the gene map and uses a natural yeast to grow them into nature-identical cow's milk proteins . . . Feels like milk. Tastes like milk. Works like milk. Without any of milk’s downsides. (source)
Isn’t that really interesting? They’re taking the “gene roots” of milk and using natural yeast to emulate milk proteins.
That last phrase of the quote really interests me.
“Feels like milk. Tastes like milk. Works like milk.”
That’s the trick right there. If you can get a bottle of this to taste the same as normal milk and cost less. Well, you’ve got a serious competitor to the O.G. milk.
Here’s what the bottle looks like.
Props to their marketing team for that design - It’s visually similar to milk, taps into the nostalgia of the “olde days” of glass bottle milk, and that green color is very pleasing.
I look forward to seeing and tasting this from a grocery store! Check it out at the link.
Snapchat has decided to discontinue Zenly - so I decided to download it one last time to take it for a spin.
Sadly - Zenly will be added to the stack of startups where “LOL we bought it for millions for the tech and gave up, RIP.”
It’s still available - so if you’ve never tried it - try it one last time.
If you’ve never heard of Zenly - it’s a location sharing app meant for small groups of friends. Think Google Maps - but you can see all your friends and where they are.
Here’s a hype video from earlier this year
It’s a fun app - with a lot of really slick UI effects.
Basically - here’s what you can do
Cajole friends to sign up
Watch them at their homes, or when they’re out and about - check on their battery life or how fast they are driving
Add places to the map - like a coffee shop you and your friends like.
Chat or send voice notes to friends
other fun surprises I didn’t figure out but saw on Twitter.
It’s not much different from Snapmaps in terms of usability - but it’s focused on getting you out and about meeting up with friends. Zenly is the app that had the potential to break into the “friend groups meet up and hang out” niche - especially in the post Covid world.
Everyone wants to get out of the house as much as they can!
In theory - it sounds like a sick idea - a social incarnation of Google/Apple Maps.
In practice - it got popular enough to be given a chance to survive - at least in Japan!
Zenly was showing no signs of stagnating, and if anything, it looked like it had the potential to be one of Snap’s prized possessions if it could only figure out how to turn it into a money-making machine. The data seems to back this up, too — Zenly claimed some 35 million monthly active users earlier this year . . . While Data.ai’s numbers also show that Zenly is regularly among the top 20 downloaded social apps globally, digging deeper into market-specific metrics reveals that it often out performs every single other social app. In Japan, for example, Zenly is typically in the top five or 10 apps. (source)
Given enough time - Zenly could have gotten into the “average joe’s” phone/friend group in a few years.
They had cool marketing too - like this awesome viral campaign in Japan.
Instead - Snapchat opts for its own bloated Snapmaps.
Snap thinks it already has the whole maps/location thing covered in Snapchat, it doesn’t have the cash flow to continue funding Zenly’s growth and it’s not prepared to let another company take over the reins as a means to protect its business interests. (source)
A fun and innovative app - killed for the sake of the core product.
Go check out Zenly before it disappears forever!
🐙The Land of Random
Into the land of random we journey
Boom Boom Boom
I’m not a Warhammer fan, but this clip makes me laugh. Old YT vibes
Virtual pets in your browser!
Virtual Browser windows are coming to a web app near you! This 3D demo is really cool . .
The Drawing Garden
Draw your emoji garden AND try to play a tune at the same time
I Love Bees
Take a trip back in time with this Halo 2 ARG which is STILL online!
Earbuds with a screen
Ok JBL - I admit it - you’ve one-upped everyone else and STUCK A USEFUL SCREEN ON THE CASE. Well done.
Make your adesktop look aesthetic with over 300 screen filters - from TV to VHS. Very cool.
TikToks You Can’t Miss
How did this get approved as an ad
The most confusing Youtube ad in history. I watched 30 minutes!
The Pokemon Story we’ll never know
They brought out the B2 fam
Wait till people are hacking their DNA so it can’t be processed.
That’s all for this week! See you next time.