Realizing that you “can’t do it all” can be very liberating.
“Put first things first” is one of those self-improvement prescriptions with a very high “Oh, duh!” factor. As in “Oh, duh! Everybody knows that.”
Trouble is, almost everybody ignores the prescription.
Sure, most people know that family is (or at least should be) more important than work. Sure, most people know that physical exercise, good sleep and a sensible diet are crucial for good health. Sure, most people know that the best relationships are built on real conversation and interaction, not screen time with Facebook and Instagram.
But most people still seem to struggle with a perennial question: “How can I deploy my attention and energy to the greatest benefit of what I value most?”
Does this sound like you? Then you should get acquainted with Dr. Gail Golden. Founder and president of an international management consulting firm, she’s a practicing psychologist who coaches senior leaders of Fortune 1000 and non-profit organizations.
Gail is author of Curating Your Life: Ending the Struggle for Work-Life Balance.
“Cooking with 17 pots on a four-burner stove is what so many of us try to do,” she says. “We somehow believe we can stretch our energy capacity more and more to accommodate a ridiculous number of activities. We must select and organize to get ahead, to be more productive, and to have an impact.”
Her approach? She says that much the same as a museum curator creates a pleasing and meaningful exhibit by sorting, selecting, and arranging artifacts for a collection, we can be more productive and fulfilled when we learn to “curate”—sort, select, and arrange—our commitments.
Gail offers some smart and workable ideas on how to do it.
Rodger Dean Duncan: On the subject of evaluating how to manage our lives, you say most of us make the cardinal mistake of comparing our own insides to other people’s outsides. What does that mean?
Gail Golden: One of the ways we measure how well we’re doing is to compare ourselves to others, especially to people we admire. They look so well put-together. They’re getting so much done and they never seem frazzled and overwhelmed.
Meanwhile we’re very aware of how inadequate and frayed we feel. It’s really important to recognize that those people who look so cool and calm are often just as stressed out as we are—they’re just hiding it very well. And often, others are looking at us and thinking we’re the ones who have it all together!
Duncan: The word curate means to select and organize something—such as a collection of books or music albums. How does that idea apply to the way we can manage our lives?
Golden: If you create a collection by putting everything into it, you won’t have a very satisfying or interesting collection. You have to make choices, which means eliminating some items, even if they’re beautiful or valuable, because they just don’t fit.
Curation is also about distinguishing between the really important items that are the main focus of your collection, and the secondary items that don’t deserve as much prominence.
In your life, that means figuring out where it’s okay to be just “good enough” so you have the energy to be great in the areas that really matter to you.
A refreshing way to “get organized.”
Duncan: Most people who struggle with life management have a few “limiting beliefs.” What’s a good way to identify those beliefs?
Golden: One way is to notice where you’re making choices that don’t work well for you, especially if you make the same mistake over and over again. Another is to listen for that voice inside your head that relentlessly tells you what a loser you are.
Sometimes you can do this work on your own, but often it’s helpful to have a coach who can help you do the detective work to identify and challenge those “limiting beliefs.”
Duncan: Once a limiting belief is identified, what steps can be taken to replace it with a belief that’s more useful?
Golden: Sometimes there’s a powerful moment when you recognize that limiting belief and realize that it doesn’t have to control you any more. Then you can begin to challenge it and liberate yourself from the harm it’s doing to you. With that negative, critical voice in your head, one of my favorite tactics is to ask myself, “Would I talk to anyone else the way I’m talking to myself?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to craft a kinder, more rational internal dialogue.
Author: Rodger Dean Duncan
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Ben Thompson returns to the show and there’s no sports talk because there’s no sports. Instead: temperature scales, Joe Rogan and Spotify, and Dithering.
Brought to you by:
Lucas Shaw, reporting for Bloomberg:*
I salute Audible for continuing not to call them “podcasts” — if you can’t listen to them in whatever app you want, they’re just shows, not podcasts.
This week’s news on Joe Rogan signing a multi-year exclusive deal with Spotify got me thinking about this. With TV shows and movies, there are a slew of deep-pocketed streaming services competing with huge offers for top talent. We saw that just a few days ago with Apple buying up the rights to Tom Hanks’s Greyhound for $70 million. But, where are the competitors to Spotify? Well, here’s Audible.
But where’s Apple in this? There was a report a year ago — also from Lucas Shaw at Bloomberg — that Apple was pursuing exclusives, but so far, nada. But if Apple does start buying exclusive audio shows, where will they go? My guess is that you’d get the content through an Apple Music subscription, but the shows would appear in the Apple Podcasts app. I don’t think it would make sense for Apple to offer yet another subscription just for audio shows, and it wouldn’t make sense for podcast-style shows to appear in the Music app rather than the Podcast app.
Not sure if it was foresight or just good luck, but the name “Audible” is perfect for any and all audio content, not just books. It reminds me of how Amazon was “the online bookstore” for years before they expanded to other stuff, and if anything, the A→Z gimmick works better as the name of an everything store than it does a mere bookstore.
A lower-priced subscription that doesn’t include books makes the most sense to me.
Intrigue! So is there a cohesive Amazon-wide strategy here, or is it a left-hand doesn’t know what the right-hand is doing situation? Podcast-style shows are a natural fit for both Audible and Amazon Music. Like Apple, Amazon has a tightlipped culture, so it’s not surprising to me that the content producers they’re negotiating with are in the dark. It would be kind of wild, though, if a company as smart as Amazon found itself with two of its divisions competing against each other for content deals.
* You know.
Andrew Romano, reporting for Yahoo News:
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 44 percent of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements — a widely debunked conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.
The survey, which was conducted May 20 and 21, found that only 26 percent of Republicans correctly identify the story as false. In contrast, just 19 percent of Democrats believe the same spurious narrative about the Microsoft founder and public-health philanthropist. A majority of Democrats recognize that it’s not true.
It’s slightly worse among Fox News viewers:
Take the Gates example. Half of all Americans (50 percent) who name Fox News as their primary television news source believe the disproven conspiracy theory, and 44 percent of voters who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 do as well — even though neither Fox nor Trump has promoted it. At the same time, just 15 percent of MSNBC viewers and 12 percent of Clinton voters say the story is true.
Depressing, to say the least. Social networks need to treat anti-vaccination disinformation the way they treat hate speech. This dangerous nonsense doesn’t need to be refuted, it needs to be shunned. It is as shameful to allow these theories to propagate on social networks as it is to allow KKK propaganda. Relegate these lunacies back to forwarded email chains. Keep in mind too that the people who refuse to be vaccinated aren’t just hurting themselves. They hurt their children, who don’t have a choice, and they suppress the herd immunity that protects those with immune disorders for whom vaccines are dangerous.
Nilay Patel asked this of Siri on his Apple Watch. After too long of a wait, he got the correct answer — for London Canada. I tried on my iPhone and got the same result. Stupid and slow is heck of a combination.
You can argue that giving the time in London Ontario isn’t wrong per se, but that’s nonsense. The right answer is the common sense answer. If you had a human assistant and asked them “What’s the time in London?” and they honestly thought the best way to answer that question was to give you the time for the nearest London, which happened to be in Ontario or Kentucky, you’d fire that assistant. You wouldn’t fire them for getting that one answer wrong, you’d fire them because that one wrong answer is emblematic of a serious cognitive deficiency that permeates everything they try to do. You’d never have hired them in the first place, really, because there’s no way a person this lacking in common sense would get through a job interview. You don’t have to be particularly smart or knowledgeable to assume that “London” means “London England”, you just have to not be stupid.
Worse, I tried on my HomePod and Siri gave me the correct answer: the time in London England. I say this is worse because it exemplifies how inconsistent Siri is. Why in the world would you get a completely different answer to a very simple question based solely on which device answers your question? At least when most computer systems are wrong they’re consistently wrong.
I tried the same question on every other system I know where it should work: “What time is it in London?”
So every other service that tries to answer “What time is it in London?” gets it right. Only Siri gets it wrong. ★
Josh Marshall, writing at Talking Points Memo, “Unpacking the Mask Debate”:
If you read the report closely however a few points emerge.
As a vocal face mask proponent, I’ve heard something like the above counterargument from a small number of mask skeptics. Basically, the pro-mask argument is that there seems to be a lot of upside to widespread mask-wearing, and effectively no downside whatsoever beyond the initial “this feels weird” social awkwardness and mild physical discomfort. (Pro tip: Keep a tin of Altoids next to your masks.)
We’re waiting for peer-reviewed studies. In the meantime, early studies and anecdotal evidence from countries with established mask-wearing social norms suggest quite strongly that mask wearing is effective. And so if there are no downsides, there really is no argument against universal face mask wearing in public, especially indoors.
One segment of anti-mask crusaders are those who insist that the whole pandemic has been so profoundly overblown that it’s effectively a hoax. This is lunacy — there’s no point arguing with them. No surprise, some of them are flat-earthers too. But there are more than lunatics who are opposed to face masks.
The in-touch-with-reality anti-mask skeptics seem to have latched onto the idea that maybe there are downsides, that wearing a mask might somehow make it more likely that you’ll get infected — the “false sense of security” argument proposed in the article Marshall cites. That’s a plausible hypothesis, and the world is full of counterintuitive truths. E.g. the fact that one typically stays drier walking, rather than running, to shelter in a rainstorm — even though running decreases your exposure time to the rain, it so greatly increases the number of droplets that hit you that you wind up wetter. Maybe wearing a face mask in a pandemic is like running in the rain, the thinking goes, counterintuitively making things worse.
The problem for masks skeptics is there’s no data that suggests this might be the case. A plausible hypothesis is only the start of the scientific method. There is longstanding evidence in Asian countries with mask-wearing norms that, at the very least, face-mask-wearing causes no harm. As Marshall notes, if anything, as evidence comes in, masking-wearing appears to be even more effective than even proponents thought.
I’m old enough to recall when wearing seat belts became mandatory. Roughly speaking, these laws spread quickly from state to state, starting with New York in 1984 and becoming the rule rather than the exception within a decade. (“Live free or die” New Hampshire is the only remaining state that doesn’t require adults to wear a seat belt.)
I recall a similar sort of opposition to these laws as we see now with mandatory face masks. Opposition to compulsory seat belt laws always seemed crazy to me, because the evidence was so overwhelming that seat belts save lives and greatly reduce injuries that it was clearly worth making an exception to the principle, widely held in America, that the government generally shouldn’t tell people what to do. But crazy or not, opposition there was. “Fuck you, I don’t want to wear one, it’s a free country.” Word for word, the same sentiment then about seat belts as now about face masks.
One of the arguments against compulsory seat-belt-wearing was that sometimes wearing a seat belt makes things worse. “What if I’m in an accident and my seat belt gets jammed, trapping me in a burning car?” “I read about a guy who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and he walked away from a terrible accident because he was thrown out of the car before it was totaled.”
I don’t agree with it, but to some degree I get it: What right does a government that sells you lottery tickets have to tell you that your odds are better if you’re wearing a seat belt?
But there’s a fundamental difference between wearing a seat belt in a car and wearing a face mask in a store. A seat belt really only protects the wearer. There are tangential arguments that society as a whole benefits from fewer car crash deaths and injuries, but the primary reason we have laws requiring you to wear a seat belt is to protect you from harm. Face mask requirements aren’t like that. They’re more like laws banning smoking in restaurants and making drunk driving a serious crime — they protect us all from harm.
From earlier in my childhood, I recall ubiquitous signs at the entrances of stores and restaurants: “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” There were variants, but that exact phrasing was common. I always considered those signs so strange, as I couldn’t imagine why anyone would even want to go into a store or restaurant without a shirt or shoes, let alone need a sign telling them that doing so was not permitted, but I figured it must have been a problem with hippies or something. (There were a lot of old people complaining about hippies long after there were any hippies left to complain about.)
Basically, other than poolside or at a beach, anyone who wants to go into a public establishment barefoot or shirtless is an asshole. It seems pretty clear that the people today angrily objecting to mandatory face masks aren’t really concerned with the epidemiological efficacy of masks. They’re concerned with asserting their perceived entitlement to be an asshole. You don’t need to hang a “No assholes allowed” sign to enforce it as a rule. ★
Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, reporting for The Atlantic:
The upshot is that the government’s disease-fighting agency is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic on Wednesday that it is mixing the results of viral and antibody tests, even though the two tests reveal different information and are used for different reasons.
This is not merely a technical error. States have set quantitative guidelines for reopening their economies based on these flawed data points.
Several states — including Pennsylvania, the site of one of the country’s largest outbreaks, as well as Texas, Georgia, and Vermont — are blending the data in the same way. Virginia likewise mixed viral and antibody test results until last week, but it reversed course and the governor apologized for the practice after it was covered by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Atlantic. Maine similarly separated its data on Wednesday; Vermont authorities claimed they didn’t even know they were doing this. The widespread use of the practice means that it remains difficult to know exactly how much the country’s ability to test people who are actively sick with COVID-19 has improved.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Ashish Jha, the K. T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard and the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told us when we described what the CDC was doing. “How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess.”
Seems like a very cool accessibility feature primarily designed for people with cognitive disabilities. “Blocks” are Google Assistant recipes saved to the home screen as one-tap actions. Loosely, it’s sort of the Android equivalent of Siri Shortcuts, but their integration with the home screen is quite different.
The University of Hong Kong:
The study, released on Sunday, shed light on an ongoing heated debate on whether wearing masks would help prevent the transmission of the deadly coronavirus.
In each set of the experiment, hamsters were separated in two groups and placed in two cages, with one of the groups infected with Covid-19. In the first experiment, no surgical masks were placed between the two cages. In the second one, a surgical mask was placed closer to the healthy hamsters. In the third experiment, the mask was placed closer to the infected, as if the healthy ones or the infected were wearing masks.
With no partition in between the cages, two-thirds of the healthy hamsters were infected a week later. In the following two experiments with masks in between, the infection rates were lowered to one-third and one-sixth respectively.
Wear it for others, wear it for yourself. The more we learn, the more important mask wearing appears to be. We should be universally celebrating that something so simple, so cheap, with no side effects worse than fogged-up glasses, is measurably effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Mike Dano, reporting for Light Reading:
And AT&T said it will.
What a pile of horseshit.
Ben Orlin on Twitter:
Not only that, but it’s going to be the highlight of your day.
I didn’t believe that either, but it’s true. Truly compelling. (Via Kottke.)
Olivia Solon, reporting for NBC News:
Anyone who trusts their device after they know it’s been in the hands of law enforcement is a fool. You’d have to be pretty stupid to fall for this, but there are a lot of stupid people out there.
Grayshift, you will recall, was cofounded by Braden Thomas, who spent six years at Apple as a security engineer, and who is, to say the least, not popular with his former colleagues. “What a fucking piece of shit,” one former Apple engineer told me of Thomas back in January.
Mike Fleming Jr., reporting for Deadline:
It’s good to have a bankroll. I get the feeling that the COVID quarantine is accelerating Apple’s aggressiveness in streaming, but when opportunity knocks, you answer the door.
Kevin Collier and Cyrus Farivar, reporting for NBC News:
The FBI was able to eventually access Alshamrani’s phone not by an unprecedented technical feat, but rather by “an automated passcode guesser,” according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Each attempt at unlocking an iPhone through this sort of brute force technique takes about 80 ms to process; this cannot be sped up externally because the guesses can only be computed on the device’s secure enclave — a limit of about 12.5 guesses per second.
You may recall from earlier this year that these guessers are thus very effective against short numeric passcodes. On average, a 4-digit passcode would take 7 minutes to guess (14 minutes at the maximum, if the last possible combination were the last to be guessed). A 6-digit passcode — the current default — would take on average 11 hours to crack, 22 hours tops.
A 6-character alphanumeric passphrase — A-Z, a-z, 0-9 — would take on average 72 years to guess. That’s just 6 characters. And that’s if it only contains letters and numbers, no punctuation characters or spaces — and if the person programming the automated guesser somehow knows or guesses that the passphrase contains only letters and numbers, and that it’s exactly 6 characters in length. (When your iOS device is locked by a numeric code, the unlock screen shows you how many digits the passcode contains; when your device is locked by a passphrase, the length is not revealed.)
So you can see why the FBI and DOJ are still pressuring Apple to build backdoors into devices — if the Pensacola shooter had used a decent alphanumeric passphrase it’s very unlikely they’d have been able to get into his iPhone.
On the other hand, law enforcement benefits greatly from the fact that the default iOS passcode remains only 6 numeric digits. I suspect Apple is doing this more as a concession to user convenience than as favor to law enforcement, but one shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Andrew Wilkinson, back in September:
In 2005, Howard Stern shocked the world by leaving terrestrial radio and accepting a $500 million dollar deal to move his show to Sirius satellite radio. In 2015, he renewed with a 5-year deal for $90 million per year.
People were blown away by the numbers. He was making out like a bandit! Had he been a CEO receiving the same pay, he would have qualified as the third highest paid CEO in America in 2014.
As of today, Howard is getting seriously ripped off.
Stern’s deal with Sirius XM expires at the end of the year.
And, presciently, regarding Joe Rogan:
Take a look at Joe Rogan, who currently has the most popular talk show podcast with over 200 million downloads per month. This number comes from Joe himself, but let’s assume he was exaggerating and it’s only 100 million downloads per month.
Assuming he sells ads at a low $18 CPM (cost per thousand listeners) and sells out his ad spots, he’s making approximately $64mm in annual revenue. If he’s on the higher end, at $50 CPM, he could be making as much as $240mm per year. The only factor that would change this is how many free ads Joe gives to companies that he has a personal equity stake in (like Onnit, the supplement brand he co-owns).
That means that Joe makes somewhere between $64-$240 million per year in revenue from his podcast advertising alone — and that’s handicapping his audience by half what he claims to have. That number also doesn’t include any additional revenue generated from his wildly popular YouTube channel, which has over 6 million subscribers.
$20 CPM is a fair ballpark estimate, and while we can’t verify his listener numbers, we know that his show ranks second at iTunes’s podcast directory. We don’t know yet what Spotify is paying him for exclusivity, but his show should have been generating $50+ million per year on its own. It seems likely that Joe Rogan is now the highest paid broadcaster in the world. Depending on the length of the deal, it really could be a billion dollar deal. Spotify’s stock jumped over 8 percent today on the news, which is over $2 billion at their current market cap.
However much Howard Stern was getting underpaid by Sirius six months ago, it’s even more so now.
Todd Spangler, reporting for Variety:
Exclusive means that come January, you’ll only be able to listen to his show in Spotify. That’s a bit of a gamble, insofar as up until now, his show hasn’t been available at all on Spotify — Spotify’s terms are such that it makes no sense for any show to allow Spotify to play it unless Spotify is paying the show. But if Howard Stern’s fans followed him to Sirius satellite radio — which at the time he made the move required not just a subscription to the service, but dedicated hardware to receive the satellite transmission and an extra subscription specifically for Stern’s show — it seems like a sure bet that most of Rogan’s fans will follow him to Spotify, where all they really need to do is download an app that a lot of them probably already have installed anyway.
(Personally, my second favorite podcast is The Bill Simmons Podcast, and during the NFL season it’s probably my very favorite. But if it went Spotify exclusive (Spotify bought Simmons’s The Ringer website and podcast network a few months ago), I’d probably stop listening. But I’m an outlier.)
More power to Rogan for what’s surely a massive deal, but does anyone believe that what sold Rogan on Spotify was anything other than money?
It’s interesting to me, as someone with (to put it mildly) rather strong feelings on the advantages of publishing on the open internet, that Rogan sees moving to one exclusive app, with invasive tracking, as not exerting any sort of “creative control over the show”. I’m not trying to be coy, I know what he means — the content of the show will remain as-is, with no influence from Spotify. (So they say.) But I’m a big believer in Marshall McLuhan’s axiom: “The medium is the message.” Open podcasts and Spotify podcasts are similar, for sure, but they are not the same medium.
Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, reporting for The New York Times, “FBI Finds Links Between Pensacola Gunman and Al Qaeda”:
That would certainly be interesting to know — but I don’t expect the FBI to reveal how they got in. But privacy advocates should not succumb to the argument that because the FBI did get into one of these iPhones, that it all worked out fine in the end. The problem with this argument is that it’s implicitly based on the assumption that it would not be fine if a phone were so secure that the FBI could not get into it. Strong encryption is, on the whole, a good thing, and should remain legal — regardless whether there are known ways to circumvent it.
This framing is entirely wrong. This suggests that Apple has the ability to “just unlock” an iPhone encrypted with a passcode or passphrase. They don’t. The difference between 2014 and today isn’t that Apple previously was cooperative with law enforcement requests and now is not — the difference is that modern iPhones can’t be “unlocked” the way older ones could, because the security on modern iPhones is so much better now.
Apple did not defy anyone here. They chose, years ago, to design secure systems that have no backdoors to unlock. Not for tech support (“I forgot my passcode”), not for law enforcement. Wray knows this. Their badmouthing of Apple’s intentions in this case is just another example of their trying to scare people into supporting legislation to make secure encryption illegal. The message from Barr and Wray to Apple is implicitly this: If you won’t add backdoors to your devices we’re going to keep saying you’re aiding terrorists and deviant criminals.
This is not mathematically possible, and newsrooms should stop publishing these claims from law enforcement officials without comment from encryption experts. Saying you want technology companies to make a backdoor that only “good guys” can use is like saying you want guns that only “good guys” can fire. It’s not possible, and no credible cryptographer would say that it is. You might as well say that you want Apple to come up with a way for 1 + 1 to equal 3.
If law enforcement officials choose to wage a campaign to make strong encryption illegal under the guise that only “good guys” would have the circumvention keys, that’s on them, but news media need to get their shit together on the fact that what law enforcement claims to be asking for is impossible, and what is possible — adding backdoors — would be a security disaster.
Apple issued a statement responding to Barr and Wray (via The Verge):
Apple cooperated in every way they technically could. The DOJ is not asking for Apple’s cooperation unlocking existing iPhones — they’re asking Apple to make future iPhones insecure. ★
Yours truly, back on 28 February, regarding China banning a pandemic simulation game:
So it turns out that China was able to contain the outbreak. But I was right that a country treating it as a PR problem is in trouble.
Kieran Healy, on Twitter, regarding my piece Friday on the Washington Post’s atrociously one-sided and shortsighted report on Apple and Google’s joint exposure notification project:
This is exactly where many health officials around the world have gone awry. Their intentions are admirable: they want maximal data so they can do maximal analysis. But the sources for the Post’s story seemingly have no awareness whatsoever of the privacy ramifications of the data they claim to want Apple and Google to collect — and in some cases report automatically to the government.
Nor have they seemingly paused to consider the fact that Apple and Google have extensive experience in this regard.
Healy quotes the following from a piece he wrote back in 2006, on the NSA’s massive database of domestic phone calls:
In short, the privacy implications of using phones for contact tracing are very complicated. The limited scope of Apple and Google’s joint project is the best effort to date to balance those trade-offs.
From a piece today at The Washington Post by Rachel Lerman and Jay Greene, on “tech giants” being in no rush to return employees to office work:
That’s the entirety of this Post story’s reporting on Apple. Apple “appears” to be a “big exception to the extended work-from-home timeline” because of Mark Gurman’s report at Bloomberg last week, which I called bullshit on.
And they put this “exception” right after a paragraph about employees at other companies who can’t work remotely. There’s nothing exceptional about Apple’s stance on employees returning to campus. No one at Apple is returning to the office except for tasks that can only be done at the office. Even for those employees, they’re not being forced to do so — only those employees who are comfortable doing so are returning to the workplace in any capacity. Many (most?) of the employees in Apple’s “phase one” haven’t been back to the office once yet, and don’t know when they will be. Being in the first phase simply means their key cards grant them access if they need it.
If anything, it sounds like Amazon (with warehouses) and Facebook (with moderators) are the exceptions, pushing employees back to workplaces. But the Post flags Apple, because of Bloomberg.
Again, a careful reading of Bloomberg’s report does not claim anything to contradict the fact that all Apple employees who can work from home will remain at home until further notice, and those who must go to the office are doing so as little as possible, and are coordinating with their teammates to remain isolated. But it’s all painted with the slant that some Apple employees who could entirely work from home are being pushed back to work. They are not. That is not happening.
You may have noted that as juicy as the Bloomberg slant on this story is, there has yet to be a single corroborating report, let alone one with quotes from anyone at Apple who objects to how Apple is dealing with this. But now that Bloomberg has reported it, outlets like the Washington Post accept the slant at face value.
Joshua Lund, writing for the Signal blog back in 2017:
In order to hide your search term from GIPHY, the Signal service acts as a privacy-preserving proxy. When querying GIPHY:
The Signal app opens a TCP connection to the Signal service.
The Signal service opens a TCP connection to the GIPHY HTTPS API endpoint and relays bytes between the app and GIPHY.
The Signal app negotiates TLS through the proxied TCP connection all the way to the GIPHY HTTPS API endpoint.
Since communication is done via TLS all the way to GIPHY, the Signal service never sees the plaintext contents of what is transmitted or received. Since the TCP connection is proxied through the Signal service, GIPHY doesn’t know who issued the request.
The Signal service essentially acts as a VPN for GIPHY traffic: the Signal service knows who you are, but not what you’re searching for or selecting. The GIPHY API service sees the search term, but not who you are.
I believe this is basically how Apple’s Giphy search in Messages on iOS (through the built-in “#images” app) works. But if anyone knows for sure, let me know.
I can’t say I follow the power tools market closely, so it was complete news to me that Stanley Black & Decker now owns all of the power tool brands I’ve ever heard of. Scroll down on this post at ToolGuyd to see a chart of their brands: Irwin, Porter Cable, Bostitch, Craftsman (!), Lenox, DeWalt, and more. All owned by the same company. I’ll be honest, I’m so out of touch with this market I didn’t realize Stanley and Black & Decker had merged. (Via Nilay Patel.)
Update: More here on the consolidation of brands in the tool industry: “Power Tool Manufacturers and Who Really Owns Them”.
Chance Miller, reporting for 9to5Mac:
Edison Mail is one of the more popular third-party email applications for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, but an apparent bug in the service is raising major privacy concerns. Edison Mail users report that after enabling a new account syncing feature in the app, they have full access to email accounts of other Edison Mail users.
Zach Knox was one of the first Edison Mail users to acknowledge the problem on Twitter this morning:
I just updated @Edisonapps Mail &, after enabling a new sync feature, an email account THAT IS NOT MINE showed up in the app, that I could seemingly access completely. This is a SIGNIFICANT security issue. Accessing another’s email w/o credentials! Never trusting this app again.
There are bugs, and there are really bad bugs. For an email client this is about the worst bug possible, right up there with losing messages.
Edison Mail, in a statement to 9to5Mac, said, “At this time this appears to be a bug and not a security breach.” I think what they’re trying to argue is that the bug was their own fault, not the result of an outside attack, so it’s not a “security breach”. But regardless how the bug happened, it’s obviously a security breach. Your customers having their email read by complete strangers is pretty much the definition of a security breach.
Here’s a full statement from Edison Mail.
My thanks once again to Morning Brew for sponsoring this week at DF. Over 1 million people start their day with Morning Brew — the daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Business news doesn’t have to be dry and dense. Morning Brew is simply well-written — and it’s absolutely free to subscribe.
I’ve been subscribed for over a year, and no joke, Morning Brew is one of the very first things I read most mornings. It even looks good. They’ve been a great repeat sponsor here at DF, and that’s because a lot of you have already subscribed. If you haven’t tried it yet, I wholeheartedly recommended it.
If you don’t love Fred Willard, you’re not hooked up right. Among his many memorable roles, a favorite of mine was Shelby Forthright, the CEO of Buy-N-Large in WALL-E.
There was just something about Willard where you could just tell that in real life he was a great person. It was just palpable.
Edward Luce, writing for those radical left-wing firebrands at The Financial Times:
What the headlines missed was a boast that posterity will take more seriously than Trump’s self-estimated IQ, or the exaggerated test numbers (the true number of CDC kits by March was 75,000). Trump proclaimed that America was leading the world. South Korea had its first infection on January 20, the same day as America’s first case, and was, he said, calling America for help. “They have a lot of people that are infected; we don’t.” “All I say is, ‘Be calm,’” said the president. “Everyone is relying on us. The world is relying on us.”
He could just as well have said baseball is popular or foreigners love New York. American leadership in any disaster, whether a tsunami or an Ebola outbreak, has been a truism for decades. The US is renowned for helping others in an emergency.
In hindsight, Trump’s claim to global leadership leaps out. History will mark Covid-19 as the first time that ceased to be true. US airlifts have been missing in action. America cannot even supply itself.
South Korea, which has a population density nearly 15 times greater and is next door to China, has lost a total of 259 lives to the disease. There have been days when America has lost 10 times that number. The US death toll is now approaching 90,000.
I didn’t realize yesterday that the Financial Times had pushed this remarkable story in front of its paywall. It’s a must-read, must-share, deeply researched report. It reads like contemporaneous history of the absurd.
Six years ago Slack added built-in Giphy support. So post-acquisition, Facebook will now have tracking info for all the Slack channels where this has been used. That’s cool.
Update: This seems to have gotten some folks’ attention. Via email, I received the following response to my post from Brian Elliott, VP and general manager at Slack, quoted in entirety:
We’re excited for the Giphy team on the news of their acquisition.
I also heard from a little birdie and trusted source who works at Slack, who told me:
Congratulations to Cybart. Not surprising though — in-depth research and consistent analysis is a good combination. Count me as a longtime happy subscriber.
People will pay for quality. Not everyone, of course. But the people who will pay for anything are most likely to pay for quality. That includes paying with their attention, not just their wallets.
A Washington Post story today on Apple and Google’s joint effort on COVID-19 exposure notification project, from reporters Reed Albergotti and Drew Harwell, is the worst story I’ve seen in the Post in memory. It’s so atrociously bad — factually wrong and one-sided in opinion — that it should be retracted.
Start with the headline: “Apple and Google Are Building a Virus-Tracking System. Health Officials Say It Will Be Practically Useless.” It’s not a “virus-tracking system”, and the health officials the Post talked to don’t know what they’re talking about.
Notifying people when they’ve potentially come into contact with an infected person sounds useful to me. It’s true that by design, Apple and Google’s system does not track location. It’s true that location information would be potentially useful to health officials. But the exposure notifications alone are inherently useful, even without location data attached.
The gist of Apple and Google’s project is that it attempts to balance privacy with the usefulness of tracking potential exposure. It’s right there in the name of the project: “Privacy-Protecting Contact Tracing”. The Post’s sources for this story seemingly want a system with no regard for privacy at all. I wish that were an exaggeration.
“Unbending stance” is a rather harsh description of Apple and Google’s desire not to “undermine people’s privacy” or “drain phone battery life”. This isn’t an “unbending stance”. It’s table stakes for designing a system that people will actually install and use. Imagine trying to sell the public on a system that undermines their privacy or unduly drains their phone batteries — let alone a system that does both.
Nissenbaum obviously has no idea whatsoever how this system is designed to work, despite the fact that Apple and Google have published a succinct 7-page FAQ that explains it in simple, easy-to-understand terms. It seems clear that neither the reporters from the Post nor Nissenbaum have read that FAQ, or if they did, that they don’t understand it. (Or willfully ignored it.)
Google and Apple will not “have the data”. It is stored entirely and only on each user’s own device. We, the users, will have the data, and we, the users, can share that data with our doctors.
And how in the world did “At least they’re constrained by laws” make it into this story? Nissenbaum believes Apple and Google are not constrained by laws? That will be news to both companies’ legal compliance departments, who I presume will soon be laid off.
That’s close to an accurate description — sort of, if you squint your eyes — but what the Post omits is essential. The information is not shared automatically with health officials, but if you opt into the system and get a notification that you’ve potentially been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you can then share that information with your doctor. Only doctors and registered health officials can confirm that a user in this system has tested positive for COVID-19 — otherwise, it would be open season for pranksters.
This is nonsense. Smartphones comply with a veritable mountain of regulations and laws around the world. If you use an iPhone just look in Settings → General → Legal & Regulatory.
This quote is what’s crazy. Again, this guy Stoller clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. Apple and Google deciding how their operating systems work, in compliance with all existing laws, all around the world, is not “exercising sovereign power”. No one here is alleging that Apple or Google are doing anything even vaguely illegal. They’re not toeing some sort of line, they’re not taking advantage of any sort of loopholes.
And if Apple and Google did what Stoller and Nissenbaum seem to want them to do — track location data of every person you’re in contact with and report that data automatically to government health officials, they almost certainly would be breaking all sorts of laws around the world. The whole point of Europe’s well-intentioned but overzealous GDPR law — 88 dense pages in PDF — is, quoting from its preamble, “Natural persons should have control of their own personal data.” That’s exactly the point of Apple and Google’s system — and seemingly exactly the opposite of what every source in this Post story thinks Apple and Google should do.
Also, regarding Stoller’s advocacy for democracy, good luck finding public support for a system that turns phones into surveillance devices that report anything at all automatically to the government, let alone something as sensitive as who we’ve been in contact with and where we’ve been. I’ll grant that one can make a case that a system where government health officials have access to such data from our phones, automatically, could be useful in tracking COVID-19 infections. But try getting popular support for it. And no one I’ve seen has made the case that such a system is necessary for using phones in the aid of contact tracing.
There is not much overlap between (a) people who have thought long and hard about the very complicated ways smartphones can be used to abuse personal privacy with tracking and data collection; and (b) public health officials admirably trying to track COVID-19. None of the few people in the intersection of those two groups were quoted in this story.
You think so?
None of these apps are out yet, because the APIs in iOS and Android aren’t out yet.
Contact tracers today use phone calls and interviews to track people’s movements, and rely almost entirely on people’s memory. Minute-by-minute location logs recorded by people’s phones, some officials have argued, could ease that burden by providing a more precise and automated way to track new outbreaks.
In what other context would the above paragraph pass the sniff test? “Some officials” — unnamed, unsourced — are arguing that the government should enjoy “minute-by-minute location logs recorded by people’s phones” and this is given zero pushback in a news story. No pushback at all on this argument, describing a scenario that is the very definition of a potential privacy fiasco.
Yeah, so it would be better if Apple and Google minimized the data and stored it only on the devices themselves, rather than collecting it on their servers. And they should explain in detail how their system protects privacy and ensures anonymity from start to finish.
Also — also! — we now have someone who will be training contact tracers in California, who voluntarily went on the record that Salesforce and Accenture are more worthy of trust for contract-tracing privacy protection (with detailed location data!) than the Apple/Google proposal. Goddamn.
It is legit amazing to see Ashkan Soltani, of all people, say “we’ve overcompensated for privacy.”
Here is Apple and Google’s joint announcement. What exactly did either company overpromise? Did a bunch of idiots who weren’t involved, didn’t read the specs, and don’t even understand the proposal jump to overpromise-y conclusions? Sure. But how is that Apple or Google’s fault?
Maybe because they’re not fucking out yet? Hallelujah, holy shit — where’s the Tylenol? ★
The Daily Beast, summarizing a paywalled report from The Financial Times:
People can’t get their head wrapped around this because it’s so grotesque, but it doesn’t require believing in a hidden conspiracy. Trump has told us, again and again, that he’s against testing because he doesn’t want “the numbers” to go up. In Trump’s view testing for COVID-19 is a bad idea because it’s going to reveal something he doesn’t want to be true.
Here he is again, just yesterday: “If we didn’t do any testing we would have very few cases.” He’s trying to argue that we have more cases than South Korea because we’ve done more tests — whereas the truth is that South Korea instituted widespread testing early and has the virus under control. The problem isn’t testing, the problem is sick people, and testing is a way to get a handle on the problem. Trump’s stance is like telling your girlfriend not to take a pregnancy test as birth control.
Also: Sarah Cooper is a national treasure.
Dan Primack, Kia Kokalitcheva, and Sara Fischer, reporting for Axios:
Facebook has agreed to buy Giphy, the popular platform of sharable animated images, Axios has learned from multiple sources. The total deal value is around $400 million. […] Giphy is expected to retain its own branding, with its primary integration to come via Facebook’s Instagram platform.
There are two reasons Facebook buys a consumer company. Eyeballs or data.
Of course Giphy is going to retain its own brand. If they renamed it to “Facebook Tracking Pixels”, usage might drop off. Think about all the messaging apps that don’t offer Facebook integration for security/privacy reasons (not to mention not wanting to have their apps crash on launch when Facebook pushes a buggy update), where Giphy images appear. You know, like Apple’s Messages. Well, now Facebook has tracking pixels in them.
Dithering, my and Ben Thompson’s new thrice-weekly podcast, has now been out for a week. So far, so good. We had a pretty smooth launch and a terrific response. Let me just start by thanking all of you who’ve subscribed already.
Ben and I are in relatively uncharted territory here with Dithering’s subscription-based model. That’s worked for Ben with Stratechery, which is primarily a newsletter, but Stratechery has recently expanded into a podcast too, and Dithering is built on that Stratechery back end. It’s a really sweet sign-up experience. Ben wrote about our thinking in a piece this week: “Dithering and Open Versus Free”. It’s a very Stratechery-y post — strategy plus technology.
We’re listening to all of your comments and questions. Here’s where we are, one week in:
At launch, Stratechery members who added a Dithering subscription still had just one unified podcast feed, containing episodes of Stratechery’s Daily Update and Dithering. Technically, this is very clever, and it should, in theory, work great. But in practice, podcast apps just don’t expect one feed to contain episodes from multiple shows. This was the most common complaint, and so we tackled it as our highest priority. As of earlier this week, Stratechery and Dithering are now discrete podcast feeds, even for those of you subscribed to both. If you subscribed last week to the unified feed, you can get links to the separate feeds at the Stratechery podcasts page.
The next most common request is for a free sample episode. Reasonable! People want to know what they’re getting before they pay. But our thinking is this. First, Ben has been on The Talk Show numerous times — listening to us on my show gives you a taste of what Dithering is like. (And as for what Dithering is about, you can see a list of topics by looking at the episode list on the home page.) Second, Dithering is only $5/month to try, and if you don’t like it, it’s a cinch to cancel, hassle-free. We’ve had just over 5,000 sign-ups so far and not one single request for a refund. Zero! And for that $5/month price you get access to the whole back catalog of episodes going back to mid-March. We’ve heard from a bunch of people who’ve already listened to them all.
People who like my podcast seem to enjoy Dithering. But a lot of people who don’t like The Talk Show like Dithering too — if what they dislike about The Talk Show is that episodes are so long. The 15-minute hard-and-fast episode length for Dithering gives it a very different feel, and it seems popular both with people who like long podcasts and people who only prefer short ones.
We’ve been asked a few times where the name “Dithering” came from. There’s a funny story about that. When we started recording “beta” episodes in mid-March, we had no name. We figured it’d take weeks, months even, to settle on a name, and were ready to call the show “Needs a Name” as a placeholder. I worried terribly about it, because everything about the brand would start with the name. But it turns out we came upon the name while we were recording the very first episode. Ben said the word “dithering” on air, near the end of the first episode, and for me it was like Vader seeing that fuzzy image of the rebel base on Hoth: “That’s it.” Or maybe it was me who said the word and Ben who instantly recognized as a great name for the show. I forget. You should subscribe and listen to that first episode to figure out how it happened.
Again, my thanks to everyone who’s already subscribed. And don’t forget the Dithering account on Twitter — a great way to send us feedback on episodes and listen to preview snippets of each new episode. ★
Marshall Vale, product manager for Google Chrome:
This is a great idea, and everyone other than scammers and bad programmers should support it wholeheartedly. I hurt myself, however, when I rolled my eyes at the “we have recently discovered” bit. It beggars belief that the Chrome development team hasn’t been fully aware of the gross resource consumption of web ads. They didn’t recently discover this — they recently decided to finally take action.
Your move, WebKit.
Mara Gay, writing for The New York Times:
The second day I was sick, I woke up to what felt like hot tar buried deep in my chest. I could not get a deep breath unless I was on all fours. I’m healthy. I’m a runner. I’m 33 years old. […]
I am one of the lucky ones. I never needed a ventilator. I survived. But 27 days later, I still have lingering pneumonia. I use two inhalers, twice a day. I can’t walk more than a few blocks without stopping.
I want Americans to understand that this virus is making otherwise young, healthy people very, very sick. I want them to know, this is no flu.
You don’t want to get this.
Jeffrey Gettleman, writing for The New York Times:
As the coronavirus gnaws its way across India, Mumbai has suffered the worst. This city of 20 million is now responsible for 20 percent of India’s coronavirus infections and nearly 25 percent of the deaths.
Hospitals are overflowing with the sick. Police officers are exhausted enforcing a stay-at-home curfew. Doctors say the biggest enemy is Mumbai’s density. Particularly in the city’s vast slum districts, social distancing is impossible. People live eight to a room across miles and miles of informal settlements made of concrete blocks and topped with sheets of rusted iron. As the temperatures climb toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit, many can’t stand to be cooped up anymore and spill into the streets.
For the past eight weeks, Atul Loke, a second-generation newspaper photographer, has been tracking the spread of the coronavirus across his city. Here is what he has seen.
Good list from Becky Hansmeyer. Two of her wishlist items:
That’s a huge bite to chew. I don’t think a wholesale redesign is what’s called for, personally, but Mail could certainly use a lot of attention. I mean, just look at Mail on iPad. There’s no way to create a smart mailbox. How are we supposed to take iPad seriously as a computer when its built-in email client doesn’t even support smart mailboxes? Compare and contrast with Safari, which I think does an absolutely brilliant job of balancing features across iOS and MacOS. (Web inspector for iPad would be cool though.)
Fiddling with the home screen on iOS is just awful. Whenever I sit down and try to clean it up — deleting apps I don’t use, moving apps into some semblance of order — it drives me insane. The 1984 Finder was awesome for rearranging icons, right on day one. Yet we’re 13 years into iOS and rearranging apps is still terrible, because the whole thing is based on a home screen design where there’s just one screen and no third-party apps. The concept worked fine when all you could do was rearrange 12 built-in apps on a single screen. It feels like a prank trying to use it today.
Update: Gus Mueller has a single important addition.
Mark Gurman, writing Tuesday for Bloomberg, under the attention-grabbing headline “Apple Plans to Return More Staff to Offices in Break From Rivals”:1
The narrative thrust of this story, emphasized by the “in break from rivals” clause in the headline, is that Apple is somehow pushing harder to bring employees back to its offices than Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
I call bullshit. This narrative conveys the opposite of what’s going on at Apple. “There is no there there,” said one Apple manager I spoke with.
From earlier in Gurman’s story:
There’s a difference between outright falsehoods and bullshit. The above can all be true — I have one specific point to dispute, which I’ll get to below — but still be bullshit in the context of the narrative gist of the story. The narrative here is that Apple’s culture is leading it to more aggressively push employees who can work from home to return to the office, sooner rather than later, whether they’re comfortable doing so or not.
I spent the day asking folks at Apple what’s going on, and this just doesn’t seem to be the case. If you closely read the reported facts in Bloomberg’s report — put aside the headline and the lede, and just read the facts and the quotes from sources — what’s being alleged is only that Apple is different from Amazon/Google/Facebook/Twitter in that more of Apple’s business is the creation of hardware, and many aspects of hardware development can’t be done remotely.
Duh. That’s not news.
Oh, and there are no quotes from any sources in Bloomberg’s report, so you don’t have to bother looking for them.
It is true that managers at Apple are engaged in planning out employees’ eventual return to office work. It would be strange if this weren’t happening. It is also true that they’re looking at three phases. But consider the first phase, in Gurman’s own words:
This first phase doesn’t just “include” those who can’t work remotely or are having trouble working from home — it entirely consists of those people. That’s what the first phase is: people who can’t do their job from home, or can’t do all of it from home, or who are otherwise having problems working from home. That’s it.
That’s surely no different at all from what is going on at Amazon/Google/Facebook/Twitter. It would be news if any company were not making arrangements for employees who need to be on site to do their jobs.
As for a second phase being “scheduled” to begin in July, all of the sources I spoke with say otherwise. There is no schedule. July would be a theoretically possible but highly optimistic start, yes, but the schedule is being set by the virus, not by Apple. “There is no real timeline associated with phases 2 or 3 yet,” one source told me. And, from what I’ve been told, managers are under no pressure whatsoever to get members of their teams into phases 1 or 2.
If anything, the opposite — managers are encouraging those who can continue working from home to do so, for their safety and peace of mind, and to keep the entire campus as empty as possible for those who need to be there. All the way up the chain, leadership at Apple is “totally fine with us not returning anytime soon”, said a source.
There are jobs at Apple for which time at the office is essential. Primarily such jobs are about hardware products. Apple does differ from other U.S. tech Goliaths in the fact that so much of its business is about hardware. Hardware is a hobby for Facebook and Google, and to some degree Amazon. Twitter doesn’t do hardware at all. Hardware is where Apple makes the overwhelming share of its revenue. There are physical tools required to make physical products. Many of those tools either can’t be used from home, period, or can’t safely be used from home.
It is also true that, compared to other companies, Apple has a stronger culture of face-to-face collaboration and an institutional resistance to remote work, even for software. Bloomberg’s report clearly implies that this culture is leading Apple to move aggressively to get employees back in the office. But everything I am hearing suggests otherwise. Whether this will result in work-from-home policy changes post-COVID, no one knows, but while COVID remains a threat, Apple is embracing work-from-home for every employee possible.
There are no plans for Apple Park to return to anything but “a goddamn ghost town” — one source’s words — until the COVID-19 outbreak is under control, perhaps not until there is a vaccine or therapeutic treatments with proven efficacy. Apple Park is so sparse right now that the employees who are on campus often see no other humans while there.
One last point. Gurman’s report states:
This is exactly the reverse of how this process is taking place. Managers at Apple aren’t making these decisions and then “informing” employees. Tag, you’re going back to the office. It has been emphasized that managers have conversations with everyone on their teams, to hear from the employees, listen to what they need, how they feel, and what the circumstances are in their lives. And then to make decisions together, in collaboration.
“Apple Is Approaching Return to Office Work Cautiously and Humanely, Just Like Other Companies in Tech, Albeit With the Added but Obvious Burden of Having More Employees Who Work on Hardware” isn’t much of a headline, though. ★
Paul Krugman, in a short tweet thread:
“No longer able to conceive that there is an objective reality that might be politically inconvenient” — man, that’s it. It’s been taken to an absurd, and tragically dangerous extreme, under Trump, but it’s not new as the Republican governing philosophy. Recall Ron Suskind’s interview with a Bush administration official back in 2004:
Trump has proven that if you’re good enough at bullshit, you can bullshit your way through a lot of things. But they can’t bullshit their way out of this crisis.
Pretty clever for a ligature trick.
Exquisite model work and photography from Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland. Don’t miss the behind-the-scenes follow-up.
Trump called in to “Fox and Friends” on Friday morning. You really have to see it — I’m linking here to Late Night With Seth Meyer’s segment on it. He spent the entire 20 minutes railing against his perceived enemies. Really. I mean, whether you like or dislike him — and it’s fair to say the “Fox and Friends” audience is his audience — who wanted to hear this? Nobody is thinking about anything but the pandemic. We don’t agree what to do about it, but it’s quite obvious to everyone that there is no other subject worth the president’s time right now. And yet this is what’s on the man’s mind.
And then his call-in ends with the softball of softball questions — what message does he have for all the moms in America, and what are his plans with his wife for Mother’s Day? That was the question — watch. His answer, I swear, was about fighter jets and the U.S. military budget.
He could walk around wearing a sandwich board reading “I’m a lunatic” and it would be less clear that he’s unraveling.
Toluse Olorunnipa, reporting for The Washington Post:
Josh Marshall, writing at Talking Points Memo:
The perverse truth is that despite the right’s decades-long demonization of “mainstream media” as being unfairly biased against conservatives — and Trump’s turning that dial to 11, with his railing against “fake news” and repeatedly calling the news media “the enemy of the people” — the truth is that news analysis at premier outlets like The Times is biased toward the right in the way that they bend their coverage to appear “objective” to both sides, no matter how preposterous one of those sides has become.
“Views Still Differ on Shape of Planet” is no joke.
Nicole Sperling, reporting for The New York Times:
That daily schedule sounds like hell on earth.
My gut feeling is that it has nothing to do with the quarantine and everything to do with the fact that the entire concept behind Quibi is fundamentally flawed. A service where every show is broken up into 5- to 10-minute chunks for “people who are too busy to sit down and stream TV shows or movies” sounds suspiciously like a service designed for someone whose typical day is so preposterously over-scheduled that it involves, say, three meetings at breakfast, three more at lunch, and a “working dinner”. Which is like no one.
It’s stupid to design an entire streaming service for a specific device type. Make sure your streaming service works well on phones? Smart. Design it so that it only works on phones? Idiotic.
Brent Simmons, on trying two unnamed Mac apps:
Window resizing (Brent’s other test for these two apps) and Undo support are good sniff tests. Undo especially, though — there’s nothing cosmetic about Undo support. It’s a red flag. You open a container of food and it smells foul, you throw it out. You try a new app and it doesn’t support Undo, you throw it out. And you empty the trash immediately in both cases. Get it out of the house.
Author: Friday, 22 May 2020