Month: February 2015

  • Threats of setting off explosives are OK, says Twitter

    Brianna Wu:

    Someone sent a Tweet threatening to detonate explosives at PAX if I showed up. Twitter investigated, and found it did not violate their TOS.

  • If you add a lot of numbers together, it'll be more than other numbers

    When lumped together, so called no-name brands – all of them – outsold both Apple and Samsung. Again, they’re lumped together. All of them.

    This group of so-called Brand X suppliers claimed 29 percent of the worldwide tablet market in 2014, shipping some 70 million devices, the researcher found. That’s a greater market share than top vendors Apple (at 26 percent) or Samsung (at 17 percent), according to the researcher.

    And this is news, how? All bananas in the world, combined with melons and pears of course, now outsells mangoes. Breaking. Recode hit a new low with rehashing this study.

  • A typewriter repair man's story

    Fascinating story about typewriter repair:

    From the age of five, Schweitzer said he spent evenings at home working on machines with his father at a workbench and watched as his father manufactured typewriter ribbons in the basement. By 10, Schweitzer was spooling ribbons and taking off cover plates, from the start deriving a sense of satisfaction from taking the gadgets apart and puzzling them back together again. Schweitzer joined his father in the trade full-time in 1959.

  • Permalinks are design too

    Matt Gemmell on permalinks:

    If you’re like most people, your permalinks (the permanent links to individual posts) probably look like this:

    We’re all familiar with those URLs. The date of the post is explicit, so you need never wonder when it was written, or how recent it is.

    Here’s the thing, though: they’re horrible.

    Agreed. To me, the permalink structure is as a part of the design. That said, there are sometimes reasons for dates, or at least numbering, in permalinks. They’re used by services such as Google News. That’s not an excuse though.

  • On App Store revenue share

    On App Store revenue share

    Jeff Hunter of AnyList wrote an open letter (let’s not dwell on that…) to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He suggests a tiered revenue share, instead of the 70/30 split between app developers and Apple of today’s App Store.

    For an independent developer, the difference between their gross revenue and their net revenue after Apple’s 30% cut could very well be the difference between being able to work full-time building for the App Store or not. At $100K in net revenues per year, you may be a successful independent developer. At $70K in net revenues per year, your spouse could be telling you to get a day job.

    I had intended to pass Hunter’s post up, but too many linked to it, and sent it to me for that matter, with the general consensus that this is something Apple should do. Give more money to the developers, and we’ll get more and better apps. Win-win, right?


  • Ello's ads

    Ello, the social network you wanted an invite for, got one, and then promptly forgot, now has a chief marketing officer in the form of Rene Alegria. He’s got this to say about the future of Ello, which is totally ad free:

    “We’re currently not playing with the idea of dropping any ads,” Alegria said. “We are absolutely planning on internal campaigns that capture the spirit of our artist community.”


    Ello’s due to step out of beta soon, and an app is in the works. I’m on there, just don’t expect any interaction on my part just yet, if ever.

  • Lenovo owns up to the Superfish fiasco

    Lenovo fucked up recently, with evil adware software on their computers. First they defended the software, called Superfish, but as the media frenzy built, they’ve taken a different approach. The US Lenovo Twitter account has apologized, and links to this support document, which explains how you uninstall Superfish. It’s a refreshingly prompt response to heir fuck-up, one that should be commended, but obviously the software shouldn’t have been installed in the first place, and customers are calling for heads to roll. Hopefully this whole thing will make others look closer at what’s installed per default on their Windows computers, because that’s more often than not a cesspool of bloatware at best, and spyware at its worst.

  • You don’t have to read everything

    You don’t have to read everything

    I’m not the only one with an overflowing Instapaper (or Pocket, or whatever) queue. A lot of people save more articles than they have time to read, and even if they don’t, they want to read more articles than they do. It’s not that hard to understand why, because there’s a lot of content published every day, on so many sites, or even in print, and the notion of being able to read everything you think you want to read is ridiculous. You can’t.

    Let me say that again: You can’t read everything you think you want to read.


  • Peter Molyneux finally shuts up?

    Games industry personality Peter Molyneux says he won’t speak to the press again, but…

    Peter Molyneux has admitted regret and culpability; he was clearly in distress throughout the interview – an interview he told us would will be his last. An hour before publication, however, we discovered that he had spoken to the gaming news site Rock, Paper, Shotgun the day before, and had given their interviewer the same impression – that he would no longer be speaking to the press (that interview is now online). He has also spoken to at least one other site, seemingly on the same afternoon as our discussion. Another trail of broken assurances.

    Why? Because of the interview with Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson, someone who Molyneux’s company 22Cans has treated like garbage, despite big – and media pimped – promises. The big question is why anyone’s listening to this piece of work anymore.

  • Facebook introduce legacy contact setting

    Facebook now lets you appoint a legacy contact, which lets this person update, and in some ways manage, your account should you pass away.

    If someone chooses, they may give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information they shared on Facebook. Other settings will remain the same as before the account was memorialized. The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who passed away or see that person’s private messages.

    Alternatively, people can let us know if they’d prefer to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after death.

    Where our online accounts end up after we’re dead is a serious problem that most people haven’t really come to terms with yet. Reality will make sure of that, in its own abrupt way.

  • Forbes puts native ad on the front page

    Sponsored content, or native ads if you will, is nothing new. Putting it on the front page of your print magazine, like Forbes are doing, however is:

    The Fidelity ad on Forbes’ cover teases an infographic about retirement, which is the editorial theme of the issue. Fidelity paid for the two-page infographic to appear in the issue as part of a larger ad buy with Forbes that includes print and digital.

    “We view this as strong content that’s part of the retirement package,” said Mark Howard, Forbes Media’s chief revenue officer. Forbes’ brand newsroom, a department that works with advertisers to create content, helped produce the infographic, he added.

  • The case for the big iPad

    Ben Brooks, while making a case for a bigger iPad:

    If that last point doesn’t have you thinking I am crazy, this will: iOS has better apps. No, I am not about to espouse some “they are simpler” bullshit — they usually aren’t, they are just better designed.

    I’d buy an iPad Pro, but unlike Ben, I think that 12″ is the biggest it could go without being cumbersome and loose the strengths an iPad holds over a Macbook Air today.

  • Automattic's 16 acquisitions

    Matt Mullenweg’s Automattic, the company behind, has made 16 acquisitions since 2007, as listed by WP Tavern. While it’s hard to know what those acquisitions actually meant for the company, it looks like a lot of services and talent has disappeared within the larger company. Personally, I miss the Poster app, which could’ve been so great, but there are other opportunities on that list that seem lost. Or not, because obviously I know nothing of the innards of Automattic.

  • Writing and reading

    One thing that’s painfully missing from my Enjoyable Things (yep, it’ll most likely end up being a series of posts) January 2015 piece, is books read. Or stuff read at all really, because there hasn’t been as much of that going on as I’d wanted. My Instapaper queue hasn’t been this long in years (seriously), and although I read fiction every day, the sessions are short and abruptly stopped by the fact that I’m already pushing it in terms of hours slept per night.

    Reading needs to be scheduled, that’s the case for a lot of us. How often do we find the time to read even longform articles? Not as often as I’d want at least, which probably is one reason why short posts are the norm online these days. Well that, and the need for a ridiculous quantity of posts, rather than of words neatly strung together. If you want your site to be successful, publish 20+ pieces per day, that’ll keep ’em coming. That’s the general advice at least, and it works, assuming the posts you do publish isn’t too atrocious. Luckily those “rules” don’t apply to a personal site like this one, because you come here for my charming wits, or… Or I don’t have a clue, some of you are clearly here for my books, but the rest? There’s probably help for you out there, I guess, but I’ll have you here as long as you’re willing.


  • Tesla to make batteries for your home

    Elon Musk says Tesla will unveil a new kind of battery to power your home:

    According to Musk, the company is working on a consumer battery pack for the home. Design of the battery is apparently complete, and production could begin in six months. Tesla is still deciding on a date for unveiling the new unit, but Musk said he was pleased with the result, calling the pack “really great” and voicing his excitement for the project.

    Let’s hope this means that I can put solar panels on my summer home next year.