The Daring Fireball Linked List

Layer Tennis: DKNG vs. DDL 

I’m in the commentator booth for today’s Layer Tennis match, a tag-team match between Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman of DKNG Studios in Los Angeles, and Billy Baumann and Graham Erwin from Delicious Design League in Chicago. Check out the poster design work these guys do — amazing work from both sides.

Get your beverages ready and prepare to get nothing done for the rest of the day. Match starts in about an hour, 2 pm Chicago time.

Update: Just finished. Great match — terrific artwork and a lot of laughs.

AT&T Locks Apple SIM to Their Network 

Apple support document:

Using Apple SIM, you can choose from different cellular carriers and their various programs. The data plans vary by carrier. For instance, in the United States, you can choose a domestic plan from either Sprint or T-Mobile and also pick an alternate plan from the other carrier as needed. When you choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to their network only.

If your Apple SIM becomes dedicated to a specific network and you want to choose from other carrier programs, you can purchase a new Apple SIM from an Apple Retail store.

Sprint and T-Mobile leave the SIM alone.

Markua 

Leanpub:

Markua is a superset of almost all of Markdown that has a strictly defined mapping to book and documentation concepts and that generates PDF, EPUB, MOBI and HTML.

I love these “start with Markdown and build something new on top of it” projects.

‘Backtrace’, Debut Album From James Dempsey and The Breakpoints, Debuts at Number Five on Billboard Comedy Chart 

Dave Mark, writing for The Loop:

James Dempsey is just a regular guy, a Mac and iOS developer who worked at Apple for about 15 years, toiling away on OS X releases Leopard through Lion, the Cocoa frameworks team, and Aperture.

Dempsey is also a songwriter, writing songs with a focus on development, with titles such as Model View Controller and Gonna Needa Pasteboard. Back in 2001, James got the chance to perform a song at WWDC that was received well enough that a yearly tradition was born. His band, James Dempsey and the Breakpoints has been spooning out these developer novelty songs ever since.

“Do what you love” is always good advice. What do you get when you love making music and Cocoa programming? You get this. So great to see it doing well.

Khoi Vinh on Yosemite’s Look and Feel 

Khoi Vinh:

This is true with Yosemite, too. Spend just a bit of time with it, and you can almost picture the iterations to come, when future releases will have fully worked out the visual language and the gestalt of the interface will have cohered to a more advanced state. OS X Balboa and OS X Palisades are going to look great.

In the meantime, though, I find Yosemite lacking in polish, full of awkward decisions and unresolved tensions.

This is probably my favorite Yosemite review that I’ve seen, or at least the one that comes closest to my own thoughts on Yosemite’s visual design. It’s a great start, but it can improve in so many ways.

Regarding contrast, Khoi writes:

My biggest complaint, personally, is that this fresh coat of paint does a poor job on visual contrast. Interface elements are often so light in color and/or so close to one another in color that they “bleed” into each other all the time. The effect is a blown-out look, as if a novice photographer stepped up the exposure on her camera well beyond advisability.

I spent yesterday with “Increase contrast” turned on (System Prefs: Accessibility: Display). It’s a really interesting look — like a modern-day descendant of the original Mac UI from Systems 1-6.

Porno From Apple 

Carl Smith:

It turns out Apple thought the best way to tell us our app could be used to surf porn was to surf for porn using our app. Then send us some pictures and say take a look at these! Except they said, “Please see the attached screenshot for more information.” So with no warning…

CLICK — Well hello there handsome! […]

Apple sent us pornography without trying to mask it and with no warning of what we were going to see. This means they exposed employees of my company to things Apple themselves said was objectionable. How is this acceptable?

Crazy. I can’t help but suspect that this was the result of a mistaken App Store reviewer, not company policy. A mistake, not a policy. But still: crazy, right?

That said, I think Smith could have toned down the get-me-to-the-fainting-couch histrionics.

BBEdit 11 

Solid update to my favorite app of all time. Markdown? Created in BBEdit. My articles on Daring Fireball? The long ones have all been written in BBEdit. Some really nice improvements to syntax coloring in 11.0, and the new “Extract” feature in the Find dialog is a “Where’ve you been all my life?” addition.

As Rich Siegel spoke about at Çingleton a few weekends ago, BBEdit 11 is no longer sold through the Mac App Store. Old-school download only.

(And of course, as usual, the full release notes set the gold standard for detail.)

The Ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper Bombshell 

Ryan Chittum, writing for Columbia Journalism Review:

What The Guardian did was entirely ethical. Whisper told its reporters highly newsworthy facts about its own service. The information was all on the record. The Guardian reported it. It would have been a journalistic lapse for the paper not to have told readers what it had learned.

In fact, even had the sessions been off the record, or as Primack asserts, implicitly private, The Guardian would have had to give serious consideration to burning its sources if it couldn’t otherwise confirm the information. I’d argue that the right of the public to know that it is being gravely misled clearly outweighs the agreement by the paper not to publish that information.

The Difference 30 Years Makes 

Kent Akgungor:

80 of the original Macintosh displays fit within a single Retina 5K display.

Gmail Inbox 

Google at its best: a thorough reimagining of what email should be (along with some imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery inspiration from Mailbox). There’s a lock-in element here, because this takes Gmail even further — a lot further — from the concepts of standard IMAP, but how can you improve email in big ways without changing email in big ways?

Interesting too, that it requires a beta invitation and an altogether new app, separate from the regular Gmail app.

World Series Ballparks Are the First Pro Sports Venues to Support Apple Pay 

For the record, I’m rooting for Kansas City.

The Ikealook Hotel 

Speaking of Kubrick, Ikea has a little fun for Halloween.

BFI Releases New Trailer for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ 

Well done. I’m curious, though, whether they needed the Kubrick estate’s permission to cut this. (Someone should have flagged those botched small caps on the quote attributions.) Also: Why is this film being re-released in cinemas in the UK but not here in the US?

Siri, a ‘Sidekick’ for the Autistic 

Wonderful story by Judith Newman, on her 13-year-old autistic son’s relationship with Siri:

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

Don’t miss this one.

Some Research on iOS’s Mysterious Storage-Consuming ‘Other’ 

Kevin Hamm:

Many people have had problems updating their iOS device to iOS 8 because they don’t have enough space. The weird thing is that many of us have plenty of space, except there’s a mysterious padding of yellow marked “Other” that is, well, unknown.

This has been going on for quite a while, and after some prodding from Wave and Gruber, I figured it was time to do some research. So, in pictures, here’s what I found.

Update: Fireballed; cached at fireballed.org.

How to Stop Mac, iPhone, iPad From Ringing for Phone Calls 

It’s a cool feature if you want it, but I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be turning it off.

Another Day, Another Writer Who Should No Longer be Allowed to Use the Word ‘Finally’ 

Mikey Campbell, writing for AppleInsider:

With today’s release of iOS 8.1, Apple finally activated SMS text forwarding from iPhone to OS X Yosemite, allowing users to send, read and reply to messages directly from their Mac.

Yosemite came out four days earlier. Four days.

Macminicolo Blog: A Look at the 2014 Mac Mini 

Brian Stucki, founder of Macminicolo:

We’ve been working extensively with Mac minis for nearly 10 years. (Yes, we’re nearing the tenth anniversary for the more-popular-than-you-think Mac. They are great servers, come and try one.) When a new machine gets released, we often get asked for feedback and any opinions on the new hardware. So below are ten things we noticed about the new Mac mini.

‘The Story Line’ 

Daisuke Wakabayashi, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

A year ago, the story line around Apple Inc. was that its formidable growth had petered out and Samsung Electronics Co. was eating its lunch. What a difference a year makes.

Driven by booming sales of its new bigger-screen iPhones, Apple on Monday said its quarterly profit rose 13%, and it predicted record holiday sales in the current three-month period.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s approach of offering smartphones at all sizes and prices in every market is struggling amid a wave of Chinese manufacturers with low-cost offerings.

I like the way Wakabayashi poses this. That was “the story line”. It wasn’t the actual truth, it turns out, it was just the story line. But whose story? Well, it was the story put forth repeatedly by, to name just one example, The Wall Street Journal itself, repeatedly. Samsung is beating Apple is a narrative that the WSJ drove. Here’s a perfect example from January 2013 (“Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?”):

Samsung’s surge in smartphones has caused more than just consumers to switch away from Apple. Some app developers have said they are now focusing more attention on Samsung devices.

Ken Yarmosh, chief executive of Savvy Apps in Washington, D.C., said his company began by making apps for Apple’s iOS operating system but lately has been focusing on Android as Samsung devices have become more prevalent, especially among his own company’s testing devices.

“There was a major flip — it was Apple, then if you have money build for Android,” Mr. Yarmosh said. “Now it’s Android first, or Android only.”

So it’s not that the WSJ was wrong. It’s the story that was wrong. Even though the WSJ wrote and drove the story. Got it.

Yosemite, Spotlight, and Privacy 

Russell Brandom, writing for The Verge, responding to a mostly-wrong piece in The Washington Post on Yosemite Spotlight and privacy:

But on closer inspection, many of the claims are less damning than they seem. There’s already a public privacy policy for the new feature, as well as a more technical look at the protections in the most recent iOS security report. That document breaks down five different kinds of information transmitted in a search: the approximate location, the device type, the client app (either Spotlight or Safari), the device’s language settings and the previous three apps called up by the user. More importantly, all that information is grouped under an ephemeral session ID which automatically resets every 15 minutes, making it extremely difficult to trace a string of searches back to a specific user. That also makes the data significantly less useful to marketers, since it can’t track behavior over any meaningful length of time. And most importantly, the data is transmitted over an HTTPS connection, so it can’t be intercepted in transit.

I’m not sure how anyone would think these suggestions would work if information weren’t being sent back to Apple. The only thing Apple could do differently is make this another one of the you-have-to-explicitly-opt-in stages when you first upgrade to Yosemite or create an account on a new Mac. But there are a lot of those on-boarding screens already — to Apple’s credit! — and in this case, even if you are using the feature, Apple has seemingly gone out of their way to protect your privacy.

This Is Tim: Apple’s CEO Answers the Analysts 

Jason Snell, now at Six Colors:

Then comes the question-and-answer session, which while hardly extemporaneous — you get the sense that most of the questions have been anticipated and talking points formulated — lets Apple CEO Tim Cook provide a level of detail into how Apple’s business is shaping up that can be illuminating.

And so, presented with minimal editing, here’s a transcript of how Cook answered the analysts on Monday.

Apple to Require 64-Bit Support and iOS 8 SDK for iOS Apps Starting in February 

Apple Developer news:

Starting February 1, 2015, new iOS apps uploaded to the App Store must include 64-bit support and be built with the iOS 8 SDK, included in Xcode 6 or later.

Keep up, or get out.

Tim Cook, in His Own Words, on the iPad’s Future 

Dan Frommer:

Apple’s iPad business was the lone drag in its otherwise strong earnings report today. iPad sales last quarter dropped 13% from the previous year, to 12.3 million, their third straight quarter of decline. The iPad, which once looked like it could become an iPhone-sized pillar for Apple, represented just 13% of the company’s sales last quarter.

It would be better for Apple if the iPad were more like the iPhone, with continuing year-after-year sales growth. Only a fool would argue otherwise. And until about two years ago, it seemed like that might be the case.

Ends up, no, the iPad isn’t the iPhone, and in a broader sense, the tablet market isn’t like the phone market. It’s more like the PC market. It would have been truly extraordinary if, with the iPad, Apple had managed to build another iPhone-sized business. But it’s still pretty extraordinary that, if you treat the iPad as a PC (and the average selling price supports that), Apple has become the largest PC maker in the world in terms of unit sales.

‘Finally’ 

Jason Parker and Nate Ralph, writing for CNet (emphasis added):

With the launch of iOS 8.1 today, Apple has finally launched Apple Pay, the new NFC payment system that lets you make purchases using an iOS device.

These guys should have their CNet CMS accounts flagged, such that they’re no longer allowed to submit copy including the word “finally”.

Apple Q4 2014 Quarterly Results 

Apple PR:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue. […]

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015.”

This is the first time I can recall that Apple’s press release for its quarterly results doesn’t include unit sales by product line — the total number of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and iPods sold. It’s listed in the “Data Summary” PDF, but not in the press release.

Year over year, iPhone sales were up (39M from 34M), iPad sales down (12M from 14M), and Mac sales had the biggest percentage change of all, up 21 percent (5.5M from 4.5M).

Update: Looks like they stopped including unit sales numbers in the press release earlier this year. Not sure why I didn’t notice then.

Paul Krugman: ‘Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not OK’ 

Paul Krugman:

So far Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers. In fact, it has systematically kept prices low, to reinforce its dominance. What it has done, instead, is use its market power to put a squeeze on publishers, in effect driving down the prices it pays for books — hence the fight with Hachette. In economics jargon, Amazon is not, at least so far, acting like a monopolist, a dominant seller with the power to raise prices. Instead, it is acting as a monopsonist, a dominant buyer with the power to push prices down.

And on that front its power is really immense — in fact, even greater than the market share numbers indicate. Book sales depend crucially on buzz and word of mouth (which is why authors are often sent on grueling book tours); you buy a book because you’ve heard about it, because other people are reading it, because it’s a topic of conversation, because it’s made the best-seller list. And what Amazon possesses is the power to kill the buzz. It’s definitely possible, with some extra effort, to buy a book you’ve heard about even if Amazon doesn’t carry it — but if Amazon doesn’t carry that book, you’re much less likely to hear about it in the first place.

Igloo 

My thanks to Igloo for once again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Igloo is an intranet you’ll actually like. It helps you share files, blog updates, coordinate calendars, and manage projects.

Create an intranet that matches your brand’s look and feel, integrates with the apps you use, and provides a cohesive experience across all devices. It’s everything your team or company needs to work better together, in one very configurable cloud platform.

Best of all, Igloo is free to use with up to ten people, and can scale to the largest enterprise. Learn more at events Igloo is hosting in New York on October 23, San Francisco on November 5, or sign up now to start building your intranet at igloosoftware.com/df.

On Yosemite’s New Window Title Bar Style 

Jason Snell:

In Yosemite, there’s a new style. You see it in Safari and Contacts and Maps, to name three prominent examples. To save space, Apple has collapsed the two rows together into one. In Safari, the “stoplight” buttons are right next to the forward and back buttons, on the same level as the URL/search bar and all the rest of the toolbar items. This has the effect of reducing the height of the chrome on a Safari window, while also reducing the open space left to actually click on and move the window around the screen.

We can argue about whether or not this collapsed toolbar/title bar thing is a good idea. What bugs me is not that it exists, but that it only exists in a few of Apple’s apps. In Mail and Preview and TextEdit and even the new iWork apps, the old style prevails. The inconsistency rankles. If Apple thinks the tool/title bar is the future, why do many of its apps not follow the format?

I think the reason Apple’s not using this style in most apps is because most apps have so many toolbar buttons that there’d be very little space left for clicking to drag the window around. And without window titles, it’d be hard to tell which window is which. Safari gets away with this because the URL field acts like a de facto window title. (And given the way that so many websites junk up their <title> tags with SEO-ish cruft, the domain name/url is often better than the actual “title” for the page — and the actual titles appear on your tabs anyway.)

That’s Apple 

Matthew Palmer:

But look behind the exploded iMac. Behind the new ‘TCON’ there’s a girl holding her father’s hand. Not brought to the centre of the frame, not inflated to be the story of the video, just a consequence of this device being in their home. That’s incredible storytelling.

That’s Apple.

You either think things like this matter in product marketing, or you don’t. If you do, you’re a lot more likely to appreciate the details in Apple’s actual products themselves.

I also think it’s worth pointing out how good the special effects are in these videos. I was kind of blown away by the shot where the camera moves and zooms in on individual pixels. Impressive CGI work.

‘You’re My Favorite Client’ 

Speaking of Mike Monteiro and excellent writing, he’s got a new book. I read it this week, and it’s just great, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another book on this topic: a book for clients and employers on how to hire and work with designers. If I were still doing freelance design work, I’d give a copy of this book to every client I worked with. Highly recommended.

See Also: This interview with Mike by Khoi Vinh:

This book has a very unorthodox tone — the second line is an expletive! Why did you take this tack?

It’s not an unorthodox tone for me. I write like I talk. And I’ve generally always had better results being myself when I write and when I speak and when I deal with clients. Obviously, I read the room and know how much to pull back. I wouldn’t curse in front of your mom, for instance.

The Retina iMac Versus the Mac Pro, on Paper 

Marco Arment:

Intel’s next CPU cores (Broadwell) are significantly delayed, so in the meantime, they released a few more high-end Haswell models. The Retina iMac’s 4 GHz option is the Core i7-4790K, which is currently the fastest CPU in the world for most single-threaded tasks.

Since the Xeons in the Mac Pro are based on the even older Ivy Bridge microarchitecture, they’ve been lagging behind even the previous iMacs for single-threaded apps. According to early Geekbench reports, the 4 GHz, 4-core Retina iMac appears to be 25% faster than the 6-core Mac Pro in single-threaded tasks and only about 15% slower in multi-threaded tasks. That’s incredible.

I ordered one yesterday. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous display, outstanding performance, and amazing technology to make it all work. They could have gone “retina” with scaling earlier, but instead, Apple waited until they could truly go pixel-for-pixel @2x retina at 27 inches. I’ve never bought a new machine with less hesitation.

As for price, keep in mind that 10 years ago, the original 30-inch Cinema Display (resolution: 2560 × 1600 pixels) cost $3300. Just the display.

The Guardian: ‘How Whisper App Tracks “Anonymous” Users’ 

Paul Lewis and Dominic Rushe, reporting for The Guardian:

Approached for comment last week, Whisper said it “does not follow or track users”. The company added that the suggestion it was monitoring people without their consent, in an apparent breach of its own terms of service, was “not true” and “false”.

But on Monday — four days after learning the Guardian intended to publish this story — Whisper rewrote its terms of service; they now explicitly permit the company to establish the broad location of people who have disabled the app’s geolocation feature.

Whisper has developed an in-house mapping tool that allows its staff to filter and search GPS data, pinpointing messages to within 500 meters of where they were sent.

Update: Whisper denies everything in The Guardian’s report. Everything. (Curious that they put it on Scribd — why not on the company blog?) Either The Guardian blew it and got it wrong, or Whisper is lying.

Layer Tennis: Glenn Jones vs. Flavio Montiel 

My pal Mike Monteiro is doing the commentary, and he’s killing it. Redefining what it means to be a Layer Tennis commentator. If this keeps up he’s going to break my heart.

Apple in One Image 

Avinash Kaushik:

There are many signals that allow one to come to that conclusion. For me the latest one was the above slide from Apple’s keynote today. It represents that Apple family of products. Pause. Look at it. Think about it for a few seconds.

Isn’t it an amazing slide?

There are 50,000 ways to represent Apple products. But, there is perhaps only one incredible way to do it. It is above.

I thought the same thing yesterday when I saw this slide. If I recall correctly, they even showed it a second time. It’s a brilliant visualization.

The commenters on Kaushik’s piece, however, disagree. Worth a read. (Via Ben Thompson.)

The iPad Zombie 

Allen Pike:

The only thing we can do as developers to disavow support for these devices is require a version of iOS that won’t run on them. Unfortunately, Apple will surely continue support for the A5 in iOS 9. If they do so, we won’t have a mechanism to cut off support for these old iPads mini and iPods touch until iOS 10 has reached wide adoption, likely in early 2017.

2017.

Christian Bale ‘in Talks’ to Play Steve Jobs in Sorkin/Boyle Movie 

He’s got the look and the intensity. Who knows if a good movie can be adapted from Isaacson’s shitty biography, but that’s good casting.

John Siracusa’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review 

What a gift it is that we, as a community, have a library of Siracusa’s reviews all the way back to the dawn of the platform. A remarkable body of work.

‘Apple SIM’: iPad Air 2 Can Switch Between AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile 

Greg Kumparak, reporting for TechCrunch:

Whoaaa — here’s an interesting bit that went unmentioned in today’s Apple announcement: Apple has seemingly built a SIM card that lets you jump between AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile without having to swap it out (or, more annoyingly, track down/purchase a new SIM card when you want to switch carriers). Instead of swapping the card, you just pick a new carrier through the device’s on screen settings. As it should be!

Tucked into a page about the iPad Air 2’s wireless connectivity, Apple calls the new SIM — aptly — “Apple SIM.”

Curious that Verizon isn’t in there. I wonder if that’s a technical compatibility issue with their network, or a strategic decision on Verizon’s part?

Personally, the international advantage alone means I wouldn’t even consider a Verizon model, even though I’m a Verizon iPhone customer with a shared family account.

Yours Truly, Speaking at XOXO in Portland Last Month 

Great crowd, great venue, and an amazing array of fellow speakers. It was a real honor and a thrill to speak at XOXO. Hope you enjoy it.

Luma Labs: Loop 3 

I wrote about the Luma Loop a few years ago, but now they’re back, with an even better camera sling. I’ve got one, and it really is a remarkable piece of kit. Every detail is considered. Just one, that’s probably my favorite — adjustability:

We adapted the Cinch’s slide adjusters; both front and back to let you lock your camera down instantly. On the move? A simple slide of the adjuster tightens the Loop down and raises the camera above your hip for maximum stability. Ready to take the shot? A quick pull is all it takes to free the camera for unrestricted motion.

Simple, easy, and useful. I go months at a time without taking my Canon 5D off my Luma Loop. Highly recommended.

‘How We Got to Now’ 

Neil Genzingler, reporting for the NYT on Steven Berlin Johnson’s new series for PBS:

The opening episode, for instance, is called “Clean,” and it sets the pattern for the five that follow. We tend not to acknowledge just how recent some of the trends and comforts of modern life are, including the luxury of not walking through horse manure and human waste on the way to the post office.

The episode turns back the clock just a century and a half, to a time before our liquid waste stream was largely contained in underground pipes. Mr. Johnson then traces the emergence of the idea that with a little effort, cities and towns could have a cleaner existence, and the concurrent idea that cleanliness would have public health benefits.

Sounds like a great show. Looking forward to it.

AsyncDisplayKit 

Another intriguing open source project for iOS from Facebook:

AsyncDisplayKit is an iOS framework that keeps even the most complex user interfaces smooth and responsive. It was originally built to make Facebook’s Paper possible, and goes hand-in-hand with pop’s physics-based animations — but it’s just as powerful with UIKit Dynamics and conventional app designs.

I truly love the design work Facebook’s iOS team is doing. In some ways it feels as though they’re out there ahead of everyone, even Apple itself.

Android 5.0 Lollipop 

Android looks a lot better than it used to, that’s for sure. Most of this was revealed at IO back in June, but Android now supports 64-bit ARM CPUs (and the new Nexus 9 tablet comes with one — not sure why the new Nexus 6 phone doesn’t).

Google Announces HTC-Made Nexus 9 Tablet 

It’s new tablet week, apparently. Chris Welch, The Verge:

Nexus 9 is available in either black or white and comes in three configurations: 16GB for $399, 32GB for $479, and an LTE-enabled 32GB model for $599. Sadly, you can’t expand that storage through microSD, so we’d recommend opting for the 32GB SKU.

No “sadly” for not being able to swap the battery out? No “sadly” for not including Flash Player?

More on the Mac App Store 

Michael Tsai has a nice roundup of additional commentary on Mac developers’ increasing frustrations with the Mac App Store. The one that gets me, and which seems under-remarked-upon, is how Apple’s own apps in the App Store are exempt from sandbox restrictions. Third-party apps are never on equal footing with Apple’s, but with sandboxing, it’s almost absurd.

Mac App Store: The Subtle Exodus 

Milen Dzhumerov:

Let me make it absolutely clear why I’m writing this. First and foremost, it’s because I deeply care about the Mac platform and its future, it pains me to see developers abandoning it. The Mac App Store can be so much better, it can sustain businesses and foster an ecosystem that values and rewards innovation and high quality software. But if you talk to developers behind the scenes or explore the Mac App Store, you’ll find something completely different.

Before we look at what the Mac App Store can do better, let’s take a moment and give credit where it’s due. The Mac App Store is simply the most convenient way to purchase and download software, bar none. Unfortunately, that’s where the good things end.

Remembering Macworld Expo 

Chris Breen:

At Expo careers were launched, plots hatched, businesses created, minds changed, and friends made. It was an event that we looked forward to for months and whose ideas resonated for years. And it wasn’t just us shmoes. I saw countless Apple employees who were just as excited about the show as I was. It was the center of the Apple universe. It mattered. And it mattered because it was about more than just products and promotion. It was equally about people.

King of Click: The IBM Model M Keyboard 

Nice feature by Adi Robertson for The Verge:

The first thing you notice about the IBM Model M keyboard, when you finally get your hands on it, is its size. After years of tapping chiclet keys and glass screens on two- and three-pound devices, hefting five pounds of plastic and metal (including a thick steel plate) is slightly intimidating. The second thing is the sound – the solid click that’s turned a standard-issue beige peripheral into one of the computer world’s most prized and useful antiques.

Next year, the Model M turns 30. But to many people, it’s still the only keyboard worth using. It was recently spotted on the desk of Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, attached to a gaming PC whose graphic cards alone cost thousands of dollars. “The Model M is basically the best keyboard ever made,” he told PC Gamer. YouTube has dozens of Model M typing demos, unboxing videos, and sound comparisons between it and other mechanical keyboards. Since its introduction, the Model M has been the standard to meet for keyboard excellence.

Buckling spring keyboards have never quite felt right for me, but I can certainly see the appeal — and without question they are distinctive. Every few years I get the itch to try a new mechanical keyboard, but I still haven’t found anything I prefer to the Apple Extended Keyboard II.

Macworld Expo Bids Adieu 

IDG World Expo:

We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015.

Goodbyes are in the air. Seems like a good time to re-read this piece I wrote back in 2009, after Apple withdrew from the show: “The Truth”.

Asymco: ‘What Next, Samsung?’ 

Horace Dediu:

What Samsung needs is a disruptive improvement. A disruptive improvement implies a new business model. Put another way, it means that Samsung needs to invent a new way of making money.

Good luck with that.

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