iTunes, as a program, has clearly outgrown itself. It's poorly named for what it does now -- and it's extremely bloated in just about all regards. I don't know if they'll split off the sections and release multiple apps for each ... however, I do know one low hanging fruit that I hope they address: they need to add folders to the TV show section. If I have 4 seasons of Mad Men in there, I should be able to put them in one "Mad Men" folder ... have it work like those snazzy iOS or Launchpad folders - and it'll be perfect. As my collection gets bigger and bigger from all the sweet stuff on their store, I would love to be able to keep it more organized.
Yeah, I know, random rant in the morning. But it was on my mind.
Ok, now I'm off to go post news and buy Coda 2 and Diet Coda. If you do any kind of web development, I'd highly recommend you take a good look at them. They're both 1/2 off today only. Yeah, I realize how big of a nerd I seem when I'm legit "Christmas Morning" excited about buying new web development apps and spending some time learning/using them.
I don't think there's a fundamentally more ridiculous "rebuttal" argument than this one that plays out far too often in threads ... it's the one that while it's being set up I'm just rolling my eyes in anticipation. I know what's coming. I know exactly how it's about to play out. And yet like a bad accident - I can't turn away. Here's how it goes"
Person A makes some statement (usually of dislike) about just about anything. It could be a movie, a band, a song, a soda product, or even their favorite sexual position. Doesn't matter. They make a comment about something they don't like.
Person B decides this just cannot fly. It does not work that Person A doesn't like something -- so, instead of actually talking about the reasoning behind Person A's dislike, or just ignoring it as a difference and moving on ... they decide to pull the "well you like X" card. It could be by going into the person's profile, asking them what movies they like, or finding them on facebook. Doesn't matter how ... but somehow they must find something that Person A likes that Person B does not. Then, they can flaunt that and point at it!!! Therefore, argument won, right? Person A likes something Person B does not, and has been called out ... it is now all even in the internet world!
Been a few days, and after getting all the news posted on the homepage today - I've got some time to put together another segment of shit around the internet that I think is definitely worth reading. So with the music turned up and this delicious peach-tasting tea ... I'm ready.
We’re at an inflection point. It’s been coming for more than a decade. It was born with the web. Advertising, as we know it today, still has a place in the world. There are many occasions and opportunities for it to be incredibly effective. I’m just old enough to hope for a bloodless coup.
But the lion’s share of the work this industry is producing has to end.
It has to, or I fear that it will continue, that we’ll accept this great mediocrity and insult to the web (and to its citizens) as fait accompli.
Doing the math, that works out to roughly 40 deals that didn’t quite pan out the way the folks in Mountain View had hoped. Of course, some them are more pronounced than others. When asked about Slide — the social gaming company that Google picked up for a cool $228 million only to shutter their services a year later — Lawee noted that Slide was “definitely” in that bottom third.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it’s what I love doing. It’s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practise that and be preoccupied with that is another,” he says. “I’m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognised in this way is really wonderful.”
The whole Morgan Stanley mess isn’t over yet, either. There’s another very big part of the story that I’ve heard whispered at TC Disrupt that hasn’t broken yet. I may track that down tomorrow after the conference if it’s still unpublished.
I refer back to my Facebook IPO Spin article, which in hindsight looks 100% right. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reuters reporters get subpoenaed at some point as lawmakers try to find out more about their sources.
All this aside, I still think Facebook has a certain destiny to fulfill. They completely blew their IPO from a psychology standpoint. But I like Facebook as a stock. I bought some shares on Monday below the IPO price. That’s both a disclosure and a statement of my belief that they’ll be growing significantly in the future. CrunchFund also owns some shares in Facebook from an acquisition that took place recently.
If Apple indeed increases the size of the next iPhone’s display to 4 inches, I do not expect them to increase the physical size of the device itself. There is plenty of room on the current iPhone for the rumored 4-inch display — just shrink the non-display areas on the front face. On the iPad, the thick bezel area surrounding the display serves an essential purpose — it gives you a place to rest your thumbs while holding the device. The non-display “forehead” and “chin” on the front face of the iPhone serve no such practical purpose. All Apple needs is enough room for a home button at the bottom, and the speaker, camera, and proximity sensor at the top.
Diet Coda takes everything we’ve ever learned about world-class web code editing, and wraps it up to-go. It’s packed with features, bathed in fun, ready to work.
Well, this is huge for me. Coda is what I use to do virtually all coding in -- and it's coming to the iPad. The iPad is becoming my go to machine instead of my Air these days ... it's weird, I never expected that transition to happen. - JT
Why was upside down from the user's perspective an issue? Because the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.
Obviously, after a few years, Steve reversed his decision.
Opening a laptop from the wrong end is a self-correcting problem that only lasts for a few seconds. However, viewing the upside logo is a problem that lasts indefinitely.
On the flip side, first-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround yourself with extraordinary people.
There are logical explanations for why Facebook’s stock didn’t skyrocket to $75 a share. These explanations have little to do with whether Facebook is a good investment, be it at $35, $38, or $75. They have to do with Nasdaq and bankers. And yet, because the share price didn’t pop, the historic, record-breaking IPO of eight-year-old Facebook is a flop. This response is totally irrational, a new reality the merry band of “do-it-our-way” coders at 1 Hacker Way can’t be too comfortable with.
"Drama is tension versus obstacle. Someone wants something, something is standing in their way of getting it. They want the money, they want the girl, they want to get to Philadelphia - doesn't matter ... And I need to find that event and I will. I just don't know what it is," Sorkin said.
Apple has been working on the new device since before the current iPhone 4S model was introduced last October, said one person with knowledge of the project. Jobs, who had gone on medical leave from Apple starting last January, played a key role in developing the phone, this person said.
It is transparently watching your movements and storing them somewhere for later use. Right now, that data will make better suggestions for accounts you might want to follow. But what other things can it be used for? The privacy implications of such behavior by a company so large are sweeping and absolute.
Drexler also mentioned in passing that Apple will be making a push into the living room "in the near future", fueling further interest in and speculation on an Apple television set and perhaps ultimately content deals that could remake how television content is consumed.
Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint, expressed the sentiment well when he said, “When valuing a startup, add $500k for every engineer, and subtract $250k for every MBA.” My friend Peter Thiel once warned a young entrepreneur: “Never ever hire an MBA; they will ruin your company.”
Again, the point goes beyond the details of any particular laptop, because Intel only came up with the idea for Ultrabooks after Apple was so successful with the Air. Of course there were slim laptops before the Air, but then PC OEMs decided to burn their houses down by making netbooks. Apple showed them a better way, and here we are.
Last year, the vice president only donated around 1.5 percent of his salary to charity. Biden couldn't give "millions" to charity unless he went into debt. According to the last available year of tax returns, Biden's maximum net worth is around $800,000. He makes better money now than he did as a senator -- $230,700. But Fox News pays O'Reilly around 43 times as much money -- $10 million per year.
What the report actually says -- as ABC points out -- is that there was THC in Martin's system on the night he died. Why's this our lede? Two months ago, we knew that Martin had been suspended from school after an empty "marijuana baggie" was found. So we have more evidence: He smoked pot, or was close to pot being smoked,* at some point before the killing. We don't even know that he was high that night, when he was staying with his dad's girlfriend and going out for snacks at 7-11. Anyone who's had to take a drug test knows that THC sticks around. This is just a cheap spin on the story.
Denton’s vision for Gawker Media’s editorial product is very much moving towards comments and away from posts, and he reckons that advertisers will follow him in that direction if he blazes the trail. Expect Gawker’s blog posts to get shorter, in future, and sometimes just be a headline, at least in the first instance, so that the conversation can get going before a pretty post can be put together. And if Denton’s scheme goes according to plan, when you follow a link to a Gawker website, it will often — or maybe even usually — be a link to a comment, rather than to an original post. Eventually, it’s possible to envisage a world where the distinction between the two is erased completely.
Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.
Sales of existing homes rose in April and remain higher than a year ago, while home prices continued to climb during the month, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors. The uptick in sales and the higher home prices are the latest in a series of signals that the nation’s housing market might be inching toward recovery. But perhaps more encouraging than the numbers was the fact that the improvements 'were broad based across all regions,' the report stated...Total sales of existing homes increased 3.4 percent in April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.6 million -- 10 percent higher than a year ago. The total inventory of existing homes in the country rose in April to 2.5 million, a seasonal increase that represents about a six-month supply at the current sales rate. But the inventory of listed homes remains far lower than a year ago, when there was a nine-month supply.
The United States Postal Service announced Thursday that it would begin consolidating 48 mail processing centers beginning in July, the first phase of a cost-cutting plan that is intended to save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year as it tries to adjust to declining mail volume. The agency said it would consolidate an additional 92 processing centers in February, and 89 more in early 2014. In all, the Postal Service said it would close 229 processing centers -- about half of the total -- and it expects to save about $2.1 billion a year after the plan is fully carried out in 2014. About 5,000 workers will be immediately affected by the consolidations, the agency said, though it was unclear if they would be reassigned or given incentives to retire. About 13,000 employees will be affected once the first phase is completed by February. A total of 28,000 positions will be eliminated by 2014.
If American preeminence relies on the continued immiseration of Brazil, China and India, then, even in the most selfish terms terms, I’m not sure that it’s worth having. Yet it seems that some Americans would prefer to be the only superpower in hell than the foremost member of a more prosperous G20 in heaven.
If you break it down by policies, the term becomes even more absurd. The single largest debt-producing policy passed since 2001 was the Bush tax cuts. It’s followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years, the driver has been the economic aftereffects of the financial crisis and, to a lesser extent, the policies, like TARP and the stimulus, that were passed to ameliorate them.
So if you read the chart carefully, you would say we should reverse the tax cuts, stop launching so many deficit-financed wars, and make sure we regulate the financial sector so it doesn’t blow up again. But that’s not exactly the Republican agenda right now.
Teenage girls are cruel super-humans from a distant galaxy sent here to destroy us all. They have the self entitlement of a celebrity heiress and the aggression of a Roman Gladiator. Like vampires they feed off the blood of the weak. They’re pubescent monsters. Adolescent boogeymen.
While I am trying to brainstorm what I want to do for today's Thursday Discussion, I figured I'd post up some links to things I've found interesting around the internet lately. Maybe a grab that second cup of coffee my body is desperately searching for right now? I'm sort of avoiding all the emails I also know I need to answer.
Alien spacecraft splash down in the Pacific where war games being conducted by Allied navies, leading to a battle where a whole lot of stuff is bowed up real good. Similar to the "Transformers" movies, but more entertaining, because of a better plot, good characters, and a kind of inspiring third act. As summer action entertainment goes, not at all bad. Two and a half stars
I agree with Ebert on pretty much everything ... but I don't think I can force myself to spend money on this movie. It looks so bad. Even though it's got Tim Riggins in it. I ... I just can't do it. - JT
Microsoft also offers a program that, for $99, will turn users’ Windows 7 PCs into Signature versions, if the owner brings the computer into one of its 16 stores, due to grow to 21 outlets in coming months.
So, basically, you're paying $100 to get all the shit removed from your new computer? Buy a Mac. - JT
This highlights the bizarre relationship between Apple and Samsung, where in the consumer space they’re direct competitors (arguably even arch rivals — they’re the only two companies turning a significant profit in the handset industry), but behind the scenes in Samsung’s component supplier business, Apple is their most important customer. I suspect this is what investors are reacting to. It’s not about one order of DRAM; it’s about concern that Samsung is going to lose Apple as a component customer across the board.
I like the proposed <picture> markup except for the tag name. “Picture” is much more specific than “image”, and I bet a very large portion of images used on the web are not pictures. “Photo” would be worse, but “picture” still implies a complete photo, illustration, or diagram, whereas “image” encompasses those plus patterns, textures, gradients, and every other use of image data in use on the web today.
Apple's efforts in renewable energy will also extend to its other data center facilities, as the company previously disclosed that its upcoming Prineville, Oregon data center will be powered by 100% renewable energy. And the new page posted today reveals that the company's original, smaller data center in Newark, California will soon be powered by renewable energy as Apple works to locate and purchase clean energy for the facility, with the capacity scheduled to be in place by February 2013.
It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn't share its values. What happened to Flickr? The same thing that happened to so many other nimble, innovative startups who sold out for dollars and bandwidth: Yahoo.
This article is a must read IMO -- absolutely spot on analysis. - JT
The key question when trying to value Facebook’s stock is: can they find another business model that generates significantly more revenue per user without hurting the user experience? (And can they do that in an increasingly mobile world where display ads have been even less effective.) Perhaps that business model is sponsored feed entries, as Facebook seems to be hoping (along with Twitter and perhaps Tumblr). The jury is still out on that model.
The thread that runs between all these pitfalls is their potential to make Facebook irrelevant. If you can’t access it, its overrun by ads, there’s something better, or it’s simply uncool, Facebook could fade away.
As Google Fellow Ben Gomes told me yesterday, the company really wants to move beyond just understanding the characters you are typing into its search engine to getting a better understanding of what it is you are really looking for (“strings to thing” is what Gomes likes to call it). To do this, Google is using both its own and other freely available sources like Wikipedia, the World CIA Factbook, its own Freebase product, Google Books, online event listings and other data it crawls, but it is also using some commercial datasets (though Google wouldn’t reveal which companies specifically it is working with here).
It’s pretty big: any ex-pat with either a net worth of over $2 million, or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years, “will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.” The ex-pat will have to demonstrate to the IRS that this is not the case if it is not. If there is a “legitimate reason” for that person living outside the U.S. no penalties will apply. But if the IRS finds that someone gave up their passport for tax purposes, they will impose a tax on that individual’s investment gains “no matter where he or she resides.”
Saverin looks like such a fucking douche for this move. This time the US lawyer'd up. - JT
Success – and a more powerful Social brand – comes via an understanding of how, why and where a brand can generate personal kudos in amongst the flux of daily life and leveraging the best technology available to make it easy and support the cause.
YouTube’s goal was to help advertisers better understand and target messages to this strange beast. The cross-media study with Nielsen looked at how effective ads were across TV, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. (GDN) And not surprisingly, the study found that advertisers can better reach kids who don’t really watch TV by also putting their ads on YouTube and GDN.
Lastly, the above is only my conjecture if Apple were to switch to a larger iPhone display. If Apple changes the iPhone display size, this is how I think they’ll do it. I still think that’s a big if, though, and wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this year’s iPhone ships with a good old-fashioned 3.5-inch 960 × 640 display.
The Senate has not passed a budget since 2009. The reasons are manifold; the reasons are pretty pathetic. Filibusters aren't part of the excuse, because budgets can be passed on 51 votes.
And so, every year around this time, Republicans force votes on multiple budgets in order to embarass the administration and to plant their own flags. Democrats comply with a vote on the Ryan budget, to get Republicans -- none of whom, really, are endangered this fall -- on the record for "ending Medicare."
Can someone point me to the part of the Constitution that guarantees your free speech won't result in disfavored treatment? Strassel is like an activist judge assigning some new right -- the right never to have to explain yourself if you bankroll a candidate who'll get to write or sign laws.
So what would happen if car-sharing really caught on? Tanya Snyder points to a new study (pdf) by the RAND Corporation that, in part, looks at the potential for car-sharing in the United States. Realistically, the RAND authors argue, we could see as many as 7.5 million Americans — or 4.5 percent of all drivers — use car-sharing services at some unspecified point in the future. That would be a huge, huge shift, the study notes, but it’s not infeasible. Surprisingly, though, it would have only a modest impact on energy use and carbon emissions.
The figure comes from Bloomberg Government, where number crunchers have taken a look at what happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act and its expected expansion of health care coverage to 32 million Americans. They find that, should the Affordable Care Act be found unconstititional, insurance companies will lose $1 trillion in revenue between 2013 and 2020.
“I’m a very rich person,” he wrote. “As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I’ve started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Amazon.com Inc.”
When the researchers isolated coffee consumption as a single variable, they did indeed see a drop in the risk of premature death. But when they looked at coffee-drinkers who had those bad health habits, the risk of death was actually higher: Coffee-drinkers are actually more likely to die early because of those habits.
That’s not a scenario that looks like August 2011, when the debt ceiling was the only thing on the docket. It’s an economic crisis that looks more like September 2008, when Lehman was collapsing. And in that world, it’s so hard to predict the resulting financial chaos, public outrage, interest group pressure, and political terror that it’s almost impossible to say anything about how the crisis would be resolved, or who might benefit.
The five largest banks controlled $6.1 trillion in assets before the collapse. By 2012, they controlled assets worth $8.5 trillion. That is to say, they went from being “too big to fail” to being much, much bigger.
Washington braced Tuesday for a replay of last summer’s tense battle over the burgeoning national debt as House Speaker John A. Boehner threatened again to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling without significant new cuts in spending. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other senior Democrats quickly blasted the Ohio Republican, arguing that his ultimatum could put the nation’s credit rating -- and the broader economy -- at risk early next year, when the debt is expected to hit its $16.4 trillion limit.
Staring down steep tuition hikes, students at the University of California have taken to carrying picket signs. As far as I can tell, though, none has demanded that President Barack Obama accept a Grand Swap that could protect their education while saving them money. Allow me to explain. When I was governor of Tennessee in the early 1980s, I traveled to meet with President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office and offer that Grand Swap: Medicaid for K-12 education. The federal government would take over 100% of Medicaid, the federal health-care program mainly for low-income Americans, and states would assume all responsibility for the nation's 100,000 public schools...If we had made that swap...states would have about $92 billion a year in extra funds, as they'd keep the $149 billion they're now spending on Medicaid and give back to Washington the $57 billion that the federal government spends per year on schools.
"The Catholic Church's U.S. hierarchy warned Tuesday that without quick action by Congress, it will sue the Obama administration for mandating that insurance plans provide birth control to women without a co-pay. '[F]orcing individual and institutional stakeholders to sponsor and subsidize an otherwise widely available product over their religious and moral objections serves no legitimate, let alone compelling, government interest,' lawyers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a letter to federal regulators. Several small Catholic universities have already filed suit over the policy...The bishops' notice came in 20 pages of comments submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a forthcoming rule to accommodate certain religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals, that were not exempted from the original mandate."
The increasing role of standardized testing in U.S. classrooms is triggering pockets of rebellion across the country from school officials, teachers and parents who say the system is stifling teaching and learning. In Texas, some 400 local school boards--more than one-third of the state's total--have adopted a resolution this year asking lawmakers to scale back testing. In Everett, Wash., more than 500 children skipped state exams in protest earlier this month...The efforts are a response to the spread of mandatory testing in the past decade. Proponents say the exams are needed to ensure students are learning and teachers' effectiveness is measured. Critics say schools are spending disproportionate time and resources on the tests at the expense of more-creative learning. They also contend the results weigh too heavily in decisions on student advancement, teacher pay and the fate of schools judged to have failed.
Every president since Richard Nixon has called for the U.S. to wean itself from needing oil from unstable or unsavory countries. The nation's new-found energy riches are likely to bring that ambition closer to reality in the next two decades, according to many forecasters. It's no pipe dream. The U.S. is already the world's fastest-growing oil and natural gas producer. Counting the output from Canada and Mexico, North America is 'the new Middle East,' Citigroup analysts declare in a recent report. The U.S. Energy Information Agency says U.S. oil imports will drop 20% by 2025. Oil giant BP projects the U.S. will get 94% of its energy domestically by 2030, up from 77% now, as oil imports fall by half...Most enticing, a team of analysts and economists at Citigroup argues that the U.S., or at least North America, can achieve energy independence by 2020.
There are moments when I'm listening to The Gaslight Anthem that I start to get this odd feeling in my stomach ... it's this feeling that starts in my abdomen and then crawls upward toward the chest. It's this feeling that I'm witnessing something special. That I'm seeing something classic, timeless, spark up in front of me - and that I would be forever wrong to turn away. It's this feeling that I'm inside of a time capsule ... and 20, 30, 50 years from now there will be someone listening to these songs and wondering what it was like to hear them when the band first wrote them. To experience them when they first hit the airwaves.
It's the same feeling when I ask my dad what it was like to live through Elvis. The Beatles. Bob Dylan. When I ask if he ever stopped and realized what was happening in the music at that moment and how important this was going to be. Did anyone know? Was anyone thinking about that? Or were the songs all that mattered?
There will be a dad. There will be a son. There will be a day when these questions are asked about The Gaslight Anthem. I'm starting to feel it in my bones in a way I haven't felt in years. It's that clammy feeling that hits my palms before I hit play. It's that rush that hits my brain when the first chord hits. It's the way my heart swells at lines that seem plucked from forgotten dreams, or stolen from buried lusts. There are times where I feel like I'm watching this play out from a point just out of frame. Where I'm seeing something transpire that I know is important, that I know is shaping music, and while cognizant of this ... I just want to shut the world off and listen to the music. I just want to get lost in every single word. I just want to push the headphones in, turn the volume up, and not give a fuck if I blow out my ears -- because if the last sound I heard was a song like this -- I'd probably have to be ok with it.
The new record sounds like a band at the top of their game. It sounds like a band that has come fully into what they want to be ... and they have actualized this sound into an emotional journey of sonic bliss. The production sounds so big that each drum beat and bass line hit you hard in the chest with anthematic fury. With each passing song I can only smile ... it's that smile that comes from having such high expectations for a band ... and them being met in ways you never truly expected. It's from thinking that you've seen all the tricks a band has up their sleeves, and then they drop something like "Mae" on you and you're realizing they have a whole new level. It's from wanting something that moves you ... and getting something that could define the last year of your life. It's from hours lost as you move between songs, and stories, and tempos. Each lyric blood on the page. It's from heartbreak, to redemption. It's from them ... to you. It's from reminiscing at the handful of times I've heard an album and thought I just heard a band taking a leap into musical greatness. It's from looking at the timeline of these memories and realizing that not all of my greatest moments with music have already been written. That not every band, album, and song that's going to change my life has already been sung. That the last time I'll type, "this is why love music," hasn't yet occurred.
This is why I love music.
This is what I look for each time I push "play."
This is the dragon I chase ... and this is the high that comes from it.
Handwritten is personal, deep, and intense. There are moments that remind me of The '59 Sound ("Howl") and songs that take what I saw in "Red Night" to a level that leaves me speechless ("National Anthem"). There are moments that make me think the band can write hooks with the best of them ("Handwritten") and times I feel like Brian's unique vocals are the most emotive in music ("Too Much Blood"). Is it good? Yeah. It's good. It's so good it may just be career defining good. I can't tell you after 5 or 6 listens what it does for me 8 months down the right. I can't tell you what it does for me 20 years down the road. I can tell you what it does for me right now. And as I sit here, alone, pushing 9 o'clock on a random Wednesday in Portland, Oregon. Sitting my my office, beer in one hand, keyboard in the other. I'm listening to this line, "I remember she used to look so good in that dress, now she just screams how I promised her more than this ... take it easy baby, it ain't over yet." -- and I'm thinking words don't do justice to the way music can make you feel. A feeble blog post will never describe the way a lyric can pull the blood out of your head and leave you dizzy.
I'm thinking, folks, I only hope it hits you the same.
The last few books I've read were business/tech/design-related books, so it was nice to sit down and read a book just for pleasure. My sister recommended that I check out "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon --- it seemed interesting from the back jacket, so I decided to give it a try. The first 100 or so pages were slow going ... the build up, however, paid off. In spending a good deal of time setting up the characters, the resulting two-thirds of the book pay off in pretty spectacular fashion.
The writing was quite good ... a tinge of the old-world and a very romantic flavor. It was a nice change of pace from a lot of the "for fun" books I read. I thought the imagery and word choice was top-notch. The story itself really drew me into the world -- part mystery, part gothic/horror, part love story -- and the intertwining narratives and overlapping stories were a cool way to tell the tale. My only real complaint was that a few of the "twists" were a little predictable (not really the book's fault though, at this point I figure out most twists early), and that I felt the epilogue of sorts went a little too quickly in wrapping things up. Other than that though, I'd say it's a solid A- book. Definitely would recommend it.
Just make sure you stick it out past the first 150 or so pages ... all the build up is for a reason.
Here's a bunch of stuff that I found fascinating around the interwebs over the past few days ... but first I want to just take a minute to make sure you've read the interview that I did with Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem ... because, well, it's something I'm very proud of and I would love if you could take a few minutes to go check it out. So, here's the link - enjoy/share/read! Thanks.
Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived
The organizers of the 13th-annual charity auction of a steak lunch with Warren Buffett are hoping the winning bid will top $2 million for the fifth-straight year. The man who won the previous two auctions, however, presumably won't be participating.
Ok, I saw this link and thought, "eh, weird" -- and then I watched the video. Sold. Everyone should watch it. So simple, yet it will absolutely come into my mind the next time I am in a restroom. I'll then grab something else to open the door with, but this could very well fundamentally change a current habit. Rare that happens. Worth the watch. - JT
But the thing is, Digitimes isn’t just wrong some of the time. When it comes to the big Apple stories, it’s wrong most of the time. Sometimes wildly so. It’s reported that its sources had said that Apple was going to release MacBooks with AMD processors, iMacs with touch screens, iPhones with built-in projectors and iPads with OLED displays. Those products, and others mentioned in Digitimes articles, never showed up.
But hey, that message isn’t nearly going to rack up the same number of page views as saying that “We get approximately the same type of pleasure from talking about ourselves on social media as we do from having sex.” I read so many “a new study suggests that…” articles that I just take at face value. Today I decided to read the actual research paper, and realized what kind of distortions happen the further you get from the source of a story. I’ll certainly be a lot more cautious about these kinds of stories going forward. Welcome to the new age of journalism, I guess.
Apple has moved back and forth between NVIDIA and AMD several times over the years, taking advantage of whichever graphics chip firm is offering the better product with the right pricing and timing. Consequently, a shift to NVIDIA should not be taken as an indication that it is a long-term decision, although Apple has been rumored to be making a similar move for the Mac Pro.
The brief report doesn't specify exactly how access to the WatchESPN functionality on the Apple TV would work, but currently customers of a number of cable and Internet companies have varying levels of access to the app's content on iOS and other platforms, which includes nearly all of ESPN's live broadcasts including online-only ESPN3 content.
Since non-Retina graphics look worse on Retina screens than on older screens, Retina MacBook users would have significantly worse-looking web browsing for a while — probably years, not months. So I don’t think I’d rush out to get a Retina Mac, but I wouldn’t necessarily avoid a Retina screen when it comes time to upgrade for other reasons.
This is my initial feeling as well. While a cool feature for whenever my next "upgrade" happens, it's not a "mustfuckingbuy" feature for me. Maybe I'll see one and change my mind. Although, I'm not stoaked on having to re-do virtually every graphic on the websites we run. - JT
While Amazon clearly controls the e-reader space, Barnes & Nobile continues to beat them to the punch on key technologies. First, it was an Android-based color tablet. Then it was the front-lit e-ink reader.
I would be surprised if iCloud wasn’t a very large part of WWDC this year. Apple will be putting the finishing touches on iCloud’s integration with iOS and Mac OS X, but they will also need developers to give widespread adoption to its use for the service to catch on.
In general, people hate ads so much that they’ve made ad avoidance an art. A tool that facilitates skipping ads is now part of a standard cable sign-up package. There is software that removes ads from webpages. Ads are used as a punishment, such as in the case of Spotify and Pandora, which will intersperse their music offerings with ads unless you pay them not to. Their ads might as well be cobbled together like ransom notes out of various typefaces from the newspaper.
AirPlay, a software tool included with Apple’s iPads and iPhones, is widely viewed as being potentially disruptive to the cable industry, because it makes it easy for people to view a broad variety of Internet content on a television. Time Warner Cable’s leader, however, hasn’t heard of it.
Keep in mind while re-reading this piece from 2007 that this clown — who in response to Steve Jobs’s seminal (and in hindsight, remarkably prescient) “Thoughts on Music” argued that Jobs was wrong and that the answer was more DRM — is the new chairman of the board at Yahoo.
The company just announced that it’s reached 2 billion page views a month, up from 1 billion page views a month on February 1 of this year. Imgur has also surpassed 3 million daily uniques — a milestone in and of itself.
Everyone wants a piece of Facebook, so the company will will likely allow underwriters to sell a “greenshoe” of up to 50.6 million additional shares, and it increase its IPO share price range from between $28 and $35 to $34 and $38, I’ve confirmed with sources very close to the IPO. This means Facebook could sell up to 388 million shares to raise between $13.1 billion and $14.7 billion at a CNBC-reported valuation between $92B and $103B.
Time spent on Facebook’s mobile site and apps per month (441 minutes) has finally surpassed usage of its classic website (391 minutes) — for Americans who use both Facebook interfaces according to the latest report from comScore.
The email digest, which will start appearing in users’ inboxes over the next few weeks, is designed to emulate the “Discover” tab in Twitter’s mobile apps. The idea is to feature the “best” content that appears on the network, even if it was written or promoted by folks you don’t follow.
That starts with making browsing and discovery in one place — i.e. making navigation something that isn’t quite so time consuming. In the new design, music, playlists, and a user’s network are all now under one view. And, speaking of playlists, one of the most requested features, Rdio says, has been the ability to add whole albums to playlists, so today the startup will begin offering this functionality on both the Web and in its desktop apps.
While some VCs are market-focused and others are entrepreneur-first, obviously if you want to build a billion-dollar company, you’re going to need both. But, when it comes to the entrepreneur, the common perception is that you need to be hyper intelligent, have a big ego, be a visionary, experimental, focused, and passionate. While these are all essential to the equation, Shah says the the traits that really matter most are authenticity, integrity, and motivation.
While there are many things that Facebook can do to drive revenue related to display, search, and mobile – let’s take a look at three immediate steps Facebook could take to ramp up revenues from its 500 Million+ monthly active users on mobile devices.
The Israelis have had a spotless record of airline security since 1972. It is widely imagined that they would never be so stupid as to profile people on the basis of race, ethnicity, or nationality. But this is just a pious fantasy. The Israelis have well-trained screeners who use all the information they can possibly glean to mitigate the risk of terrorism. Racial and ethnic profiling appears to be central to their process. I agree with many of my critics that we should emulate the Israeli approach insofar as it is possible. That would require smart, well-trained screeners who are empowered to use their discretion (i.e., to profile).
Not sure I agree with this entire article, but fuck - it's something that made me think. And for something counter to my default setting ... that's important. It made me re-think how I look at things. That means a lot. - JT
Why, exactly, are banks special? Because history tells us that banking is and always has been subject to occasional destructive “panics,” which can wreak havoc with the economy as a whole. Current right-wing mythology has it that bad banking is always the result of government intervention, whether from the Federal Reserve or meddling liberals in Congress. In fact, however, Gilded Age America — a land with minimal government and no Fed — was subject to panics roughly once every six years. And some of these panics inflicted major economic losses.
Will these pastors convince their congregations to stay home and protest Barack Obama? It would be the first time that a black politician lost because he came out for gay marriage. It's assuming that some number of black Americans will say "meh" and let the first black president go down in flames in November. In Maryland, where voters might get to vote on the marriage law, why wouldn't some number of black voters split their tickets? That's what they did in 2008, when they voted for Prop 8 in California and for national gay marriage superhero Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor.
In other words, Republican primaries served to push the party to the right, while Democratic primaries didn’t. And remember: These numbers don’t include conservative primary challenges that helped convince Republican moderates to drop out, like the one Olympia Snowe faced in Maine, or that pushed the incumbent to switch parties, like the one faced by Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania or Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, or primary challenges that were unexpectedly close and so scared the incumbent into voting in a more conservative fashion both before and after the race.
The six states with legal gay marriage have all gotten there through the courts or the legislature; none have done so by popular vote. So how does gay marriage keep losing the popular vote at the same time that it’s becoming more popular?
The only way the United States could completely shield itself from global swings in price, the CBO notes, is by cutting itself off from the world oil markets and preventing its domestic producers from ever selling crude abroad. Even then, CBO notes, this could only work if the United States kept discovering large new domestic fields and could somehow force multinational oil companies to keep investing in the United States even if they found it unprofitable to do so. In other words, it’s an unrealistic goal.
Travis Sharp, a budget analysis at the Center for a New American Security, ran the numbers based on Romney’s plan for defense spending for CNNMoney and found that the presumptive GOP nominee would increase Pentagon spending in 2013 by $96 billion. That’s about a 17 percent increase over 2012 spending levels—nearly the same amount by which the public wants to decrease the defense budget, according to the Stimson Center’s recent study.
A team of public health researchers looked at health-care patterns among gay and bisexual men before and after Massachusetts legalized same-sex unions in 2003 (this was prior to the state’s health insurance expansion). Health-care research has increasingly looked at how policy interventions that change the larger environment impact health-care outcomes. In this case, they wanted to know whether legal same-sex marriage — which had the potential to reduce risk factors such as stress — might have an impact.
House Republicans voted to take money away from programs meant to help poor people and give it to the military instead. That’s not my idea of wise policy, but that’s what was terrible about it. The problem is that the vote constitutes a collective Republican welching on the agreement that was reached last spring to raise the statutory debt ceiling and avoid national default. Yesterday’s vote doesn’t undo the deal or cause any immediate problems, but by so speedily backing out of their agreement, the Republicans have done something much worse--made it impossible for anyone to negotiate with them in the future, because it’s clear they cannot be trusted to keep the promises they made. If President Obama wins re-election, the debt-ceiling issue will have to be confronted again, but now in a Congress that has been poisoned by the Republicans’ welching on the last agreement. The country, in other words, is set for an even more severe version of the crisis that crushed financial markets last summer.
The conventional wisdom in health policy circles right now is that states that have not taken steps toward implementation yet just will not have the capacity to do so, on such a short time frame. Some of it has to do with the sheer scale of the task; California, for example, has been working on its exchange for over a year now, and is still far from being done.
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked consideration of a Democratic bill to prevent the doubling of some student loan interest rates, leaving the legislation in limbo less than two months before rates on subsidized federal loans are set to shoot upward. Along party lines, the Senate voted 52 to 45 on a key procedural motion, failing to reach the 60 votes needed to begin debating the measure. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the moderate Republican from Maine who is retiring, voted present...Republicans say they want to extend Democratic legislation passed in 2007 that temporarily reduced interest rates for low- and middle-income undergraduates who receive subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent from 6.8 percent. But the Republicans would not accept the Senate Democrats’ proposal to pay for a one-year extension by changing a law that allows some wealthy taxpayers to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes by classifying their pay as dividends, not cash income.
Obesity is so entrenched in the U.S. that it would take an intense push by schools, employers, doctors and others to reverse an epidemic that accounts for billions of dollars in annual health-care costs, concluded a report released Tuesday. The report by the Institute of Medicine, an influential independent body that advises the federal government on health policy, recommended requiring at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day in schools and considering excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. It urged food companies to improve nutritional standards for foods marketed to people under 18 years old, recommending that mandatory standards be considered at all levels of government if the companies don't adopt their own...Schools, in particular, should be a 'national focal point' for obesity prevention, because children spend up to half their waking hours and consume as many as half their daily calories there, the report said.
Taxpayers could make a profit of up to $15.1 billion on the emergency assistance extended to American International Group during the financial crisis, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury made available more than $180 billion in aid to the struggling financial giant in 2008...'Based on the composition of the remaining federal assistance to AIG [and] the repayment and recovery progress thus far on all assistance . . . the government could receive total returns of approximately $15.1 billion in excess of the assistance provided, including interest, dividends, and fees,' the GAO said in its report. The GAO report noted, however, that those gains do not reflect the 'subsidy costs associated with the assistance.' The GAO did not calculate such costs, which relate to the compensation the government received in exchange for taking on great risks in 2008.
Mitt Romney isn’t certain about climate change, wants to reverse or halt a handful of the Obama administration’s environmental policies and would put the interests of business -- and Congress -- before the will of one of the executive branch’s most embattled agencies. But what really happens at Romney’s Environmental Protection Agency? Romney may talk a big game, but the reality is he’ll face significant roadblocks in Congress and the courts that may make wholesale change difficult. Moving new environmental legislation -- particularly to weaken current laws -- would prove difficult at best in such a divided Congress, which struggles to coalesce on nearly anything. And the courts -- tasked with interpreting the environmental legislation that is often deliberately vague, complicated and designed to rest on scientific information -- can often order the EPA to take action or revise legislation.
The new John Mayer album is now streaming on iTunes, so you can go check it out for yourself - however, I felt like writing up a few of my thoughts on the thing because ... well, it's my blog and that's what I do. This is the album I was looking for after "Continuum." I mean, for what it was - I ended up liking "Battle Studies" as a pop-album about heartbreak. However, I always thought he had something more in him ... "Continuum" showed that. I think that "Born and Raised" is the actualization of that potential. Just a gorgeous record, full of lush instrumentation, inspiring and provoking lyrics, and a mastery over making songs that make you feel something.
Definitely the kind of album that I'll be listening to many a summer night; just getting lost in the sound.
Ok, time to pull together some more cool shit around the internet I think is worth reading. After this I'll be transcribing the interview with Brian Fallon and getting some quotes up from that on the site - it's a damn good one. The Macalope Weekly
Apple may like to think that they own silver, but they don’t. In no way did HP try to mimic Apple. In life there are a lot of similarities.
“In life there are a lot of similarities.” You are deep, Stacy. Or just really stoned.
There are particularly a lot of similarities if you’re, you know, copying someone else. In that instance, there a tons of similarities. Life sure is funny with its startling and completely natural similarities.
At some point potential students will realize that they can’t flip their student loans for a job in 4 years. In fact they will realize that college may be the option for fun and entertainment, but not for education. Prices for traditional higher education will skyrocket so high over the next several years that potential students will start to make their way to non accredited institutions.
Microsoft is the latest entrant into the tablet market since Apple reinvented the segment, banking on its Windows 8 products to bridge the gap between PCs and tablets. The company showed off Windows 8 last September and earlier this year revealed its plans for bringing Windows to ARM processors in a further effort to blur the lines between desktop and mobile. HP, the world's largest PC manufacturer, could play a key role in working to spread Windows to the tablet market, but it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will have success with its efforts.
iOS has evolved in a fairly predictable manner over the years. Apple has done a good job tackling the lowest-hanging fruit on the to-do list, year after year. They crossed off a lot of big obvious features over the first few years: third-party apps, cut-copy-paste, enterprise support, push notifications, better multitasking. Last year brought a few more: over-the-air software updates, cloud-based backups and wireless syncing, and a much improved notification interface.
Today’s update, then, is at least promising. Everything has been overhauled, UI-wise, including fonts, photos, the homescreen, visual elements, gradients – you name it. Perusing the screenshots, I’m actually going to give this one a shot, if only to see how well the Google iOS devs and designers have been sharpening their skills.
So, last week, two Stanford professors made a courageous proposal to ditch lectures in the medical school. “For most of the 20th century, lectures provided an efficient way to transfer knowledge, But in an era with a perfect video-delivery platform — one that serves up billions of YouTube views and millions of TED Talks on such things as technology, entertainment, and design — why would anyone waste precious class time on a lecture?,” write Associate Medical School dean, Charles Prober and business professor, Chip Heath, in The New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, they call for an embrace of the “flipped” classroom, where students review Khan Academy’s YouTube lectures at home and solve problems alongside professors in the classroom. Students seem to love the idea: when Stanford piloted the flipped classroom in a Biochemistry course, attendance ballooned from roughly 30% to 80%.
Microsoft is looking to take advantage of public discontent with Google recent missteps in design and social. Bing aims to frame Google as impure, with its desire to highlight Google+ distorting the quality of search result ranking. If it works it could claw market share away from Google and make search a real two-horse race. The rollout will reach the U.S. over the next few weeks, then the world, but you can sign up here for early access to the new Bing (and unfortunately its newsletter too).
Last month, the social network started letting users share files within Groups for Schools, but now we confirmed with Facebook that within a few days all Facebook users should have the option to upload and share files from the Groups post composer.
If this 7” iPad is real, maybe it has a 1024x768 resolution, yielding a logically 512x384 area, in half of the 10” iPad’s screen area. Effectively, it’d be the iPad 3’s screen cut in half. (Then apps could keep a consistent scale for interface elements, which would make development a lot easier.)
Hi, I’m Marco, Apple-cult member and Instapaper author.
I have no idea what actual software development is like, although I’ve worked full-time as a software engineer for the last 8 years since graduating from college with a computer science degree. I’ve only been working full-time in the closed box of Objective C for the last year and a half — before that, I coded full-time in real languages.
I’ve never visited the Core Data hand-holding playground, but it sounds fun. Instead, the Instapaper app’s database layer is written directly against SQLite’s C API. The server-side code is all in PHP, and before moving to the sugar coated painted kingdom, I spent 4 years writing the PHP back-end code to a little site to handle thousands of dynamic requests per second. Before that, I wrote enterprise search software in C.
Nice to meet you. I’m sorry our cult makes you so upset. I hope you can find happiness.
So to encourage people not to engage in piracy, they’re going to force everyone to watch yet another annoying, time-wasting, gratification-delaying warning screen that can only be avoided by engaging in piracy. They’re purposefully making the movie-playing experience worse for honest paying customers.
I’m as concerned, in a way, with what is very clearly yet another do-over. Yes, Windows Phone 8 will retain the Windows Phone name, and yes, it will run “legacy” Windows Phone 7.x apps, those apps that were written in Silverlight or the game-centric XNA APIs. But with Silverlight and XNA both silently cancelled deep within Microsoft’s ever-reimagined corporate hulk, the move to a variation of WinRT means that Windows Phone is starting over again. That mean more work for developers who, let’s face it, haven’t really had much incentive to adopt this platform in the first place.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York said, “No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people, and I have no doubt that this will be no exception.”
In other words, Microsoft is setting policies for Windows for ARM that are a lot like Apple’s policies for iOS. These policies and restrictions make just as much sense for Microsoft as they do for Apple. The problem for Microsoft, as Dotzler points out in the comments on his piece, is that Microsoft has made antitrust agreements that seemingly preclude such restrictions.
Serious question: What if Windows 8 for ARM, instead of being called “Windows RT”, were instead called, say, “Metro OS”? Would that make a difference? Is Dotzler arguing that Microsoft should not be permitted to ship a version of Windows that locks out third-party browsers, or that Microsoft should not be permitted to ship any OS that locks out third-party browsers?
I completely agree that the App Store needs paid upgrades. I also think we’re past the point where we could say that this is just something that Apple has not tackled yet but they’ll get to it eventually. It’s been too long.
One clear rationale for President Obama's new position? It's very unusual for a president to oppose the majority of voters in his party on a major issue, and 60 percent of Democrats support gay marriage.
Well, believe it if you want to. The differences betwen the two stories start with how Obama was in middle school, while Romney was 18. Obama was responding to peer pressure in the moment -- a pretty common kind of pressure, kids making fun of each other for "liking" other kids in class -- while, according to Horowitz, Romney was the field marshall behind the premeditated scissor prank. Laubner is dead, but told people that the hazing bothered him. Corretta, real name Joella Edwards, was found by David Remnick and later did a TV interview about Obama.
In 2004, the conventional wisdom was that John Kerry lost in part because Republicans supercharged evangelical turnout using gay marriage ballot initiatives and in part because Democrats needed candidates who seemed, in some hard-to-define way, more tough and “American.” No more French-speaking windsurfers.
It’s sooner than you may think. In a Wall Street Journal article last month, Anthony Levandowski, who heads up software and sensor development for the cars, said that he expects that the cars will be sale-ready “much sooner than the next decade. If not, shame on us as engineers.”
As for the care that patients receive in an emergency room, it’s not always free.Gold recently looked at a hospital that has been chasing after one low-income patient for a $1,800 bill for prenatal care. That patient currently has $1.25 in her bank account. The New York Times has also probed the aggressive tactics used by hospitals to recoup unpaid bills.
Emily Bazelon argues that President Obama's position was actually trailing his administration's legal strategy. They had long ago made the unusual choice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. That is to say, they had stopped defending a law that pits the federal government against states that choose to to allow same-sex marriage. This largely predicted Obama's evolution on the underlying policy issue -- he personally supports gay marriage, but thinks that the actual decisions should be left up to the states.
The House is expected to vote Thursday on a Republican plan that would spare the Pentagon from the deep across-the-board spending cuts envisioned as part of last summer’s debt-ceiling agreement, reviving what has been an emotional debate in Washington about the best ways to reduce the federal budget deficit. With a series of troubling end-of-year deadlines looming, Republicans are proposing to replace the first round of $110 billion in reductions, which are set to take effect in January. The cuts are a first-year down payment on $1.2 trillion in reductions spread over 10 years, which were to be split evenly between the military and domestic programs. To forestall the defense hit, the GOP proposal would cut funding for food stamps, eliminate key pieces of the federal health-care law and slash funding designed to help the government better monitor the financial sector.
Look no further than Senator Richard Lugar’s concession statement Tuesday night, which showed, in its wan effort to make the two parties sound equivalently extreme, just how much further the Republican Party has gone...Whether the Republican Party is 'the problem' is a subjective judgment. Perhaps you loathe taxes and, in the face of all available evidence, consider global warming a hoax. In that case, the Republican Party is doing exactly what it should be doing. But there is simply no denying that the Republican Party has gone much further right than the Democratic Party has gone left, and that, from policy pledges to primary challenges, it has done much more to discourage its members from compromising than the Democratic Party has. So if you think polarization is the main problem in Washington today, then Mann and Ornstein are right: Your beef is largely with the Republicans.
Critics of testing habitually protest its cost, implying that the millions spent on assessment would be better put toward smaller class sizes, expanded library hours, or the restoration of art and gym. But despite testing’s huge and growing role in education, the U.S. now devotes less than a quarter of a percent of per-pupil spending to assessments. That’s less than the cost of buying each of America’s students a new textbook. The American education system is at a major crossroads, one that few Americans are aware of. The new assessments--the product of a huge investment of time, knowledge, and talent--are only two years away from being put in place, and they’re desperately needed. It’s too early to know whether they will work as advertised, and even if they do, the danger is that states will quickly revert to their old habits of doing assessment on the cheap. But if we do this right, we could finally provide educators like Caryn Voskuil with one of the tools they need most: a test worth teaching to.
I haven't, personally, done an interview with a band in a quite a long while. As the site grew - it just became increasingly difficult to schedule them, get them done, type them up, etc. -- however when the opportunity came to interview Brian Fallon, from The Gaslight Anthem, I just couldn't pass it up. And man, I'm glad I didn't. I just finished it ... and I think it came out great. Great personality, great answers, very insightful. I'll work on typing it up Monday, and hopefully have it ready to post early next week.
I finished up the book "Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drive's Apple's Success" by Ken Segall the other night, and wanted to get a few thoughts down. I know it must seem like I've been reading a lot of books about Apple recently -- and in some fashion it's just true. I have been reading a lot about the company because it's a company that fascinates me from a variety of perspectives. I was also drawn to this book because of the design sensibilities and the reviews I read said it had some good business practices within.
All-in-all, I enjoyed the book. Thankfully it wasn't full of stories I'd already heard. I think it was a little too focused on Steve Jobs, but Steve was painted as the catalyst for the "Simplicity" ideas that permeate Apple -- so it did make sense. The writing is decent ... and the book reads more like a series of stories/case-studies of what Apple does to make things, simple, and what other companies have failed at. It walks you through some of the marketing aspects of the company (where the authors expertise comes in), and I found myself highlight a bunch of passages that really stuck with me.
I'm going to include some of those that I highlighted, below. I would recommend the book for those interested in marketing, design, and a belief in "simple is better." I feel like virtually all companies would benefit from some of the lessons. AP.net sure can.
Simplicity is not merely a layer that can be grafted onto a business. It isn't available in a pre-packaged version. It doesn't work with an on/off switch. - Page 18
In the coming months, I learned that what I had experienced was just the way it was with Steve. He was going to tell you what was on his mind, and he couldn't care less how you might feel about it. - Page 38
Just be honest and never hold back. Demand the same from those you work with. You make some people squirm, but everyone will know where they stand. One hundred percent of your group's time will be focused on forward progress -- no need to decode what people are really saying. - Page 41
Your challenge is to become unbending when it comes to enforcing your standards. Mercilessly so. if you submit only the work you believe in 100 percent and approve only the work you believe in 100 percent, you own something that no one can take away from you: integrity. - Page 44
That Steve Jobs was intolerant of stupidity is a matter of record. - Page 58
Start with small groups of smart people and keep them small. Every time the body count goes higher, you're simply inviting Complexity to take a seat at the table. - Page 69
The quality of the work resulting from a project is inversely proportional to the number of people involved in the project. The quality of work resulting from a project increases in direct proportion to the degree of involvement by the ultimate decision maker. - Page 86
The bottom like is this: If you think it's important, you find time for it. - Page 88
They knew that even the world's greatest film directors couldn't function under the mandate of producing zero-defect movies. Great ideas travel with a degree of risk. There's bound to be a defect or two, which, hopefully, will be more than compensated for by the brilliance of the idea. - Page 98
Positive impressions are what drive people to share their experience with friends, family, and colleagues. Thriving in a competitive world isn't about achieving a joyous neutrality. It's standing out from the pack and offering customers an experience they can't get elsewhere. - Page 134
It should now be considered a basic law of commerce: Simplicity attracts. - Page 137
If you don't have a strong brand - well, you're just one of the many slugging it out for customers day by day. People may see value in your products for the moment, but they'll toss you overboard in a nanosecond if they find a better deal with someone else. - Page 180
Next on my list is a more pleasure reading book ... searching for great stories and great prose. I try and rotate between nerdy business stuff and things I can get lost in and escape a little bit. I'm going to do my best to type up thoughts on things I read in this blog more often.
Got to catch up on a bunch of reading from the past few days ... with all the other news stories hitting the web, I haven't had any time to breathe - let alone put together a round-up of things worth reading. So, with the spare moment I have right now, I'm going to do just that. Enjoy. More coming when I get caught up on a few other things.
Ads are likely not the future, or the answer, because as readers we have many, many, tools that allow us to ignore, gloss over, or outright remove ads from content. Even if an advertiser still registers a page view on their ad, when they stop seeing returns on their advertisements they will no longer desire to pay publishers. This is where the market is beginning to head — the race to the bottom.
When Google first showed off Android, they showed it running on a device very similar to Blackberries or Nokia E-class devices of the time. This device was the Google Sooner - an OMAP850 device built by HTC, with no touchscreen or WiFi. This was the Android reference device, the device they originally built the OS on.
Amazon’s most recent quarter: $192 million in profit. Apple’s: $11.6 billion. The quarter was 90 days long. That means Apple made $128 million in profit, on average, per day. Let that sink in: Amazon made $192 million in 90 days. Apple made $128 million per day. Methinks Apple will stick with its focus on hardware profits.
Yahoo’s Code Of Ethics clearly prohibits things like falsifying biographical and resume information. Page 13 of that linked document, for example, urges employees to make sure that any information disclosed is clear, truthful and accurate. The legal department should be notified, it says, of any inaccuracies.
Did the rise of the 1 percent (or, better yet, the 0.01 percent) cause the Lesser Depression we’re now living through? It probably contributed. But the more important point is that inequality is a major reason the economy is still so depressed and unemployment so high. For we have responded to crisis with a mix of paralysis and confusion — both of which have a lot to do with the distorting effects of great wealth on our society.
For the first time in 40 years, the government sector of the American economy has shrunk during the first three years of a presidential administration. Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama. But that increase has been more than offset by a fall in spending by state and local governments, which have been squeezed by weak tax receipts.
If Oregon can make good, it will save the federal government $11 billion over the course of a decade — even counting Medicaid’s initial, $1.9 billion investment made Thursday. Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) calls it a “defining moment for health care transformation in Oregon, and the Obama administration.”
s they await the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, legal critics of the law say their case is about liberty. If the government can instruct people to obtain health insurance, they keep asking, what’s to stop it from requiring them to buy broccoli? But the real threat to liberty in this case isn’t a hypothetical broccoli law. It’s the problem that the mandate remedies -- the failure of the health-insurance market -- and the long-standing national crisis of rising health-care costs that Congress finally found a way to address...Critics of the health-care law say the Affordable Care Act is unprecedented. But, in 1792, President George Washington signed the Militia Act, requiring all men to purchase a gun and knapsack. The goal was defense of liberty. A decision to uphold the health-insurance mandate would be a powerful defense of liberty in the modern age.
All workers face wage cuts and job losses during a recession, when the supply of labor outstrips demand. But in this recession, new college graduates have been particularly hard hit. According to an analysis by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, 54% of bachelor's degree-holders under age 25, about 1.5 million in total, were jobless or underemployed last year. To help out college students, President Obama is promising to retain the interest rate on government-issued student loans that was temporarily lowered in 2007. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, also favors this measure...Lower payments on college loans after graduation won't come close to repairing the long-term economic damage that new graduates will suffer as a result of entering the workforce during a downturn.
Online education is not new. The University of Phoenix started its online degree program in 1989. Four million college students took at least one online class during the fall of 2007. But, over the past few months, something has changed. The elite, pace-setting universities have embraced the Internet. Not long ago, online courses were interesting experiments. Now online activity is at the core of how these schools envision their futures...What happened to the newspaper and magazine business is about to happen to higher education: a rescrambling around the Web...Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning. It’s easier to tailor a learning experience to an individual student’s pace and preferences. Online learning seems especially useful in language and remedial education...The early Web radically democratized culture, but now in the media and elsewhere you’re seeing a flight to quality.
"And did you wanna drive, without a word in-between … I can understand, you need a minute to breathe."
Been meaning to toss up some thoughts on The Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten sampler. I'll usually wait for the full album for things, because I believe that when an artist creates an album - they do so looking at the entire album as its digested as a whole. For me that's an important aspect to when I first hear something: as the artist intended it. However, when it comes to a band like TGA, arguably my favorite band right now ... sometimes a boy's gotta make sacrifices. Thankfully the songs I've heard are in order on the album track listing (as far as we know).
First, gotta preface this with a few things: The sampler that I got is in stream form, and as you know - that means the quality is lower than what you'll hear on the album. I know this for a fact, because I, like most of you, were tuned to the premiere on Zane's radio show for the single premiere. And the quality that came through that was deeper - richer - and better. The quality of the sampler stream is a little pitchy. I sound like an ungrateful douche - but the truth is I wanted to make sure you knew what I was judging the songs from ... and take that into consideration.
So, how do the new songs sound of one of the most anticipated albums of all year?
Like The Gaslight Anthem. Don't worry.
You've heard the single - probably - and you know that they start things off with a more fast paced number. The second track is more mid/59-Sound/tempo, with a stomping beat and Brian's vocals back down in their regular register. The lyrics are exactly what I was hoping for. The production sounds fucking huge. Brian's themes of love/loss/and the night are pretty prominent. And I'm sensing a theme already for where the album is going to go ... a theme I like.
What the sampler provides is a look into what I think the album is going to shape into ... and what I am getting is that it sounds giant. It's diverse in sound -- while still maintaining a very TGA feel. A part of me wants to hold back on saying that it sounds more "mainstream" and "accessible" because I am afraid people will take that the wrong way. But, to some degree, it's just the truth -- it sounds like the kind of album everyone will love. That the die-hard fans will be able to nod along to and see where the band came from to get here ... (the people that want Sink or Swim part 2 - well, they had to know that wasn't happening) ... it carries the weight of The '59 Sound with a bit more of the force of Elsie.
The band (and Brian, in general) has a catalog of such mammoth proportions that I always feel, with each new release, that we're too close to it ... that we're inside of an era of musical creativity and development that can only truly be appreciated with time. That in 10 years we'll look back and actually understand. Appreciate. And grasp what is taking place. However, in the meantime I get an odd feeling that we are seeing something special here.
Another day coming to an end, another time for me to go re-cap a bunch of stuff that I think is worth reading around the internet from the past few days. Been a rough couple of days for me ... I'm stressed up the eyeballs over here - ugh, more on that later ... so, here we go.
The hot details: the company is selling 337.4 million shares at a price range of $28-$35. — And part of the share sale is insiders selling, and that includes CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
That is so much money. I can barely comprehend it. - JT
Its powerful components should hopefully make it a very swift device. We’ve not had enough time with the new phone to make any firm conclusions about its camera and software tweaks, but we’ve got high hopes for good performances all round.
Here’s how the game works: Pick a word from a list of three, then create a drawing so a Facebook friend can guess that word and you can win points. For the ad product, imagine inserting words like “Doritos” or “Coca-Cola” in among “golfer,” “bikini” or “fireworks.”
Let's see how this goes for the game ... - JT
If I wanted to be a dick, I’d suggest that these surveys skew toward Android because Android buyers are more likely to be dumb enough to waste time answering market share surveys. But I don’t want to be a dick, so I won’t.
Feisty John Gruber is the best writing on the internet. - JT
Angela Wong won employee of the month at WhaleShark Media (crunchbase), and with that came a three minute grab everything you can at Costco shopping spree.
Wong did a practice run the day before, which paid off. She managed to grab $25,000 in stuff in the three minutes, including three big screen TVs, 10 Nikon cameras, three Dyson vacuums, two Roomba vacuums, two HP computers and a case of Dom Pérignon champagne.
And the best part – “The company allowed some extra time on the clock so that Wong could pick up 10 cases of beer for the entire staff.”
The problem, as Wheaton points out, isn’t that Google+ is a bad product — with the latest redesign, it’s actually pretty well done — it’s that Google is being way way way way too aggressive in shoving it in everyone’s face.
THIS! - JT
Regardless, I think logic dictates that the next iPhone will simply be called “iPhone” and be referred to by Apple as “the new iPhone” just as, at this point, none of Apple’s other products use numbers.
Well, here we are fifteen years later and thanks to the rise of mobile, bandwidth is once again at a premium and we can be pretty sure that plenty of people are accessing our sites on slow connections. Yet again, mobile is highlighting issues that were always there. When did we get so lazy and decide it was acceptable to send giant unoptimised images down the pipe to our long-suffering visitors?
The House Budget Committee meets Monday afternoon to put the final touches on the more than $300 billion 10-year package -- the opening shot of a fall campaign to preserve defense spending without bowing to Democratic demands for new taxes. Monthly food stamp benefits would be cut, hitting millions of single-mother households by summer’s end. Unemployed workers would be dropped from the rolls until they spend down their cash savings below $2,000 -- one-fifth of Romney’s famous $10,000 bet. Working-class, often Latino, parents would be denied child tax credit refunds if they lack Social Security cards proving they are authorized to work in the U.S. These are immigrant taxpayers whose average annual wages are $21,240 and generate far more for the Social Security system in payroll taxes than any refunds they receive.
Unemployment remains above eight percent. Housing prices still haven’t bottomed out. The stimulus has been criticized. The health-reform law is unpopular. Americans are extremely pessimistic about the economy. So, given all this, isn’t it a bit weird that President Obama is holding steady at 47 percent in the polls?
Republicans were pushing tax cuts when we had surpluses and a strong economy and they’re pushing them now that we have deficits and a weak economy. And, in both cases, they used the economy as the argument for why we needed big tax cuts right now.
But this pessimism never eroded Mr. Obama’s approval as much as it arguably should have. There are several ways to show this. One way is to predict Mr. Obama’s approval based on the economy and other fundamental factors, and then see whether his actual approval matches, exceeds, or falls short of the prediction. To do so, we use 60 years of quarterly data on presidential approval, which contain polls from 1948 to 2008, and construct a statistical model of approval.
Tim Murphy tells the dark, sad tale of Elizabeth Warren's "Native American" fooferah. Short version: Harvard used to list her as a "Native American" member of faculty. She didn't correct them for years. And she's only 1/32 Native American, at least, borrowing the heritage from her maternal great-grandmother. It's killing her (at least right now), in part because "Massachusetts has a large population of political columnists who make teepee jokes."