The Daring Fireball Linked List

‘Find My iPhone’ Flaw: Login Attempts Weren’t Rate-Limited 

Owen Williams, reporting for The Next Web:

An alleged breach in Apple’s iCloud service may be to blame for countless leaks of private celebrity photos this week.

On Monday, a Python script emerged on GitHub (which we’re not linking to as there is evidence a fix by Apple is not fully rolled out) that appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud, thanks to a vulnerability in the Find My iPhone service. Brute-force attacks consist of using a malicious script to repeatedly guess passwords in an attempt to discover the correct one.

Anand Lal Shimpi Heads to Apple 

Anand Lal Shimpi is hanging it up at AnandTech for a job at Apple.

MailChimp 

My thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. More than 6 million people use MailChimp to create, send, and track email newsletters. Whether you’re self-employed, you manage projects for clients, or you work for a Fortune 500 company, MailChimp has features and integrations that will suit your email marketing needs.

Create signup forms that match your brand’s look and feel, and send your subscribers product updates, event invitations, announcements, or editorial content. Use MailChimp’s reports to improve your campaigns and learn more about your readers. Best of all? MailChimp is free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers.

Paczkowski: Apple Wearable Won’t Ship Until Next Year 

John Paczkowski:

So that new wearable device Apple is introducing on September 9? It’s going to be a while before anyone is actually wearing it. Sources in position to know tell me it won’t arrive at market for a few months. “It’s not shipping anytime soon,” said one. So when does Apple plan to ship its eagerly anticipated wearable? That’s not clear, but my understanding is that we’re unlikely to see it at retail until after the holiday season — think early 2015.

If true, why? I’m guessing something similar to why they pre-announced the original iPhone — otherwise it would leak through regulatory filings with various governments around the world. Plus, they have no worries about the Osborne Effect with a new product category.

Gizmodo Is Off Apple’s Shitlist 

Brian Barrett, writing for Gizmodo:

Apple has just sent out its invitations to an event on September 9th. You can expect at least one iPhone, and possibly an iWatch as well. And hey… we’ll be there!

Some subtle changes so far in the post-Katie Cotton era. Gizmodo hasn’t been invited to an Apple event since the unpleasantness back in 2010. They’re holding the event at The Flint Center, a big venue the company hasn’t used in over a decade. And they sent the invitations out a week earlier than usual.

Paczkowski: ‘Apple Plans to Announce Wearable in September’ 

John Paczkowski, writing at Recode:

Remember back in June when I said Apple hoped to schedule a special event in October to show off a new wearable device? Remember how I also said this: “Could things change between now and fall? That’s certainly possible.” Turns out that was a prescient hedge, because things have changed. Apple now plans to unveil a new wearable alongside the two next-generation iPhones we told you the company will debut on September 9. (Funny “joke,” Gruber.) The new device will, predictably, make good use of Apple’s HealthKit health and fitness platform.

I’ve been working on a new joke — about NFC and a new secure enclave where you can store your credit cards, so you can pay for things at brick and mortar retail stores just by taking out your iPhone, but only if it’s one of the new iPhones — but no one seems to get my sense of humor.

Follow-up joke: It would be cool, and would make a lot of sense, if the new wearable thing had the same magic payment apparatus.

Amazon Is Now Aggressively Going After Google’s Core Business 

Dan Frommer:

Amazon also is aggressively building out its advertising technology portfolio. The company is “developing its own software for placing ads online that could leverage its knowledge of millions of web shoppers,” the WSJ reports (paywall). Amazon supposedly has told potential partners that it could start testing a “new placement platform, dubbed Amazon Sponsored Links” this year. Amazon also recently debuted a new service that runs banner ads on other sites, called Amazon CPM Ads. (“CPM” is ad-industry jargon for “cost per thousand” ad impressions — referring to the way that banner ads often are priced and publishers often are paid.)

Together, these services broadly sound like Google’s AdWords product, which allows advertisers to buy sponsored links on Google and other sites, and AdSense, which is Google’s ad network for publishers. And Amazon is investing in more: The company has 45 job listings for its Ad Platform team, ranging from general manager to various engineering and sales roles.

Uber’s Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft 

Casey Newton, reporting for The Verge:

But one Uber contractor The Verge spoke with said Lyft’s complaint had merit. “What’s simply untrue is that not only does Uber know about this, they’re actively encouraging these actions day-to-day and, in doing so, are flat-out lying both to their customers, the media, and their investors,” the contractor said. Until now, the canceled Lyft rides have been understood as a kind of prank call designed to keep competitors’ drivers off the road. But interviews and internal documents suggest another reason: Uber’s recruitment program has vastly increased in size and sophistication, and recruiters cancel rides in part to avoid detection by Lyft.

Great service, dirtbag tactics.

(And kudos to The Verge for the excellent investigative reporting.)

Estimating Amazon Fire Phone Sales Through Web Usage Stats 

Charles Arthur:

Amazon famously never gives sales figures for any of the devices it sells, preferring to let its financial results do the talking. Analysts can make estimates of how many devices have been sold, based on their information from sales channels and any guidance the company might give. But it’s not as definitive as, say, the smartphone sales that Apple or BlackBerry include in their financial figures. (They are now the only two companies which give specific values for device sales in their financial results; Apple goes farther by giving the revenue from those sales too.)

But we can have a stab at estimating how many Fire Phones are in use, based on data from Chitika, which runs an ad network.

According to a release from Chitika, looking at activity on its ad network in the 20 days after the Fire Phone’s release, the Fire Phone accounted for 0.02% of activity — although a more precise figure, in another graph, shows it as around 0.015%.

Slow start.

CocoaLove 

New iOS/Mac indie developer conference right here in Philadelphia, October 24-26. Great speaker lineup, including my Q Branch colleagues Dave Wiskus and Brent Simmons.

New ‘Hyperlapse’ App From Instagram 

Very cool new video time-lapse/stabilization app for iOS from Instagram. I’d never heard of “hyperlapse” until that research paper from Microsoft a few weeks ago. But while Microsoft was publishing research, Instagram was building an app that will soon be in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people.

From the profile by Cliff Kuang for Wired:

By 2013, Dimson was at Instagram. That put him back in touch with Alex Karpenko, a friend from Stanford who had sold his start-up to Instagram in 2013. Karpenko and his firm, Luma, had created the first-ever image-stabilization technology for smartphone videos. That was obviously useful to Instagram, and the company quickly deployed it to improve video capture within the app. But Dimson realized that it had far greater creative potential. Karpenko’s technology could be used to shoot videos akin to all those shots in Baraka. “It would have hurt me not to work on this,” says Dimson.

“It would have hurt me not to work on this” — that’s the sort of passion that leads to great new products.

Two Countries, Two Vastly Different Phone Bills 

Anna Bernasek, writing for the NYT, compares typical iPhone monthly bills in the U.S. (Verizon) and U.K. (Three UK):

So why the $41.50-a-month difference in price? Several factors are involved, but an important one is regulatory policy. Britain has forced companies to lease their networks to competitors at cost. The United States has not, allowing a formidable barrier against competitors.

Update: Benedict Evans says the Times is all wrong:

Odd fact-checking failure by the NYT. MVNOs aren’t mandated in the UK & aren’t why mobile is so much cheaper than US.

‘In Hong Kong, Getting to the Roofs Is Quite Easy’ 

Just looking at these photos made me break into a serious sweat. (Via Dave Winer.)

Speaking of ‘iOS First’ 

Semil Shah, “iOS First. Android Much, Much Later”:

The most common trap here is the early iOS app which gets some buzz. All of a sudden, the founders hear “When are you building for Android?” The natural, enthusiastic response to sincere requests of the Android chorus is to go ahead and build for Android and seek more downloads, more growth, more revenue. I have a different view though. The proper response is: “No. Buy an iPhone.”

Columbia Journalism Review Interviews John Siracusa 

Chris Ip:

Still, why does criticism about Apple’s operating system matter? For one, it reflects the story of Apple the company, whose game-changing contribution to computing was humanizing it with the now-ubiquitous desktop, folders, and mouse. Ever since, Apple has been the company of aesthetics and usability within the cold, efficient tech world. But the operating system is also the medium through which we have every interaction with our phones, computers, and tablets. The development of the operating system tracks the story of the human relationship to technology.

Recode: Amazon to Acquire Twitch for More Than $1 Billion 

Peter Kafka and Eric Johnson, reporting for Recode:

Amazon is buying videogame streaming site Twitch for more than $1 billion to edge past Netflix and Youtube in a race for younger viewers, according to a source.

Google had been in talks to acquire the company, but that deal died, according to the source. Amazon then entered the picture and completed what is one of its biggest acquisitions to date, this person said.

For the uninitiated, Twitch is a platform for making and talking about videos of videogame play. About a million users a month record themselves playing videogames, while the rest — pegged at 50 million unique viewers in July — watch and comment on the videos. In January, Twitch reported that 58 percent of its viewers spent more than 20 hours per week on the site.

The future of TV is online streaming, not traditional “channels” that come through cable or satellite. It occurs to me that Google’s 2006 purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion has proven to be one of the smartest and most important acquisitions of the Internet era. My son and his friends watch far more YouTube content than they do traditional TV. Cable TV is dying.

British Man Sentenced to Nearly Three Years in Prison for Movie Piracy 

The guy seems like a total dickhead, but man, three years in the can for movie piracy? Madness.

Android Phones Hit by ‘Ransomware’ 

Nicole Perlroth, reporting for the NYT:

You are guilty of child porn, child abuse, zoophilia or sending out bulk spam. You are a criminal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has locked you out of your phone and the only way to regain access to all your data is to pay a few hundred dollars.

That message — or variations of it — has popped up on hundreds of thousands of people’s Android devices in just the last month. The message claims to be from the F.B.I., or cybersecurity firms, but is in fact the work of Eastern European hackers who are hijacking Android devices with a particularly pernicious form of malware, dubbed “ransomware” because it holds its victims’ devices hostage until they pay a ransom.

Seems like some apps do get written for Android first.

TopBrewer 

My thanks to TopBrewer for again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Designed in Denmark, TopBrewer is a revolutionary coffee system that dispenses espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, sparkling water, cold and hot filtered water, and other drinks on demand with just a tap on your iPhone or iPad. (Good coffee and fizzy water are just about all I need to work each day, and TopBrewer covers both.) I’ve heard from a few little birdies who work at places with a TopBrewer installed, and they called it “amazing”.

With a fully integrated under-counter design, all you’ll see is the graceful sweep of the beautiful, above-counter swan neck, stainless steel tap. And the TopBrewer’s commercial-grade components are perfect for home installations as well as small offices and commercial settings. It’s the perfect marriage of beautiful design, exquisite coffee, and the iOS user experience. Check out their website and see for yourself.

Samsung Fudges ALS Challenge 

Samsung made a video purporting to show the Galaxy S5 taking the “ice bucket challenge”, not to raise awareness for ALS, but in order to mock competing phones (including the iPhone 5S) for their lack of water resistance.

But here’s the thing: Watch the time at the top right of the Galaxy’s status bar. Samsung lacks integrity even when doing something ostensibly for a charity. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

The Talk Show: ‘That New Laptop Smell’ 

Special guest Joanna Stern. Topics include Joanna’s recent review of over 20 laptops; the HTC One M8 for Windows Phone; why Windows Phone is still struggling to gain traction; the role of Microsoft Office in today’s world; and speculation on Apple’s upcoming iPhone event.

Sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Build your own website.
  • lynda.com: Easy and affordable online learning.
  • Backblaze: Unlimited, unthrottled backup for $5/month.
  • Warby Parker: Stylish high-quality eyewear at revolutionary prices.
Ode to Susan Kare’s Chicago 

Alissa Walker:

It was square, squat, and inherently cute. It was friendly. It was easy to use. I’m talking about the beige box with the blue grinning face that came to live with us in 1985. But I’m also talking about the font that came with it. It was the typeface Chicago that spelled out “Welcome to Macintosh,” ushering us into a new age of personal computing. But it was also a new age for digital type. Here was a typeface created explicitly for the Macintosh, part of designer Susan Kare’s strategy to customize everything from the characters to the icons — that happy computer, the wristwatch, an actual trashcan — to make it feel more human and less machine.

Area Facebook User Incredibly Stupid 

The Onion responds to Facebook’s test of a “satire” flag.

Ed Bott: ‘How Apple Took Over the Only Segment of the PC Market That Still Matters’ 

Ed Bott:

In recent years, most attention has been focused on the eye-popping numbers associated with the iPhone and iPad lines, which sold 150 million and 71 million units, respectively, in Apple’s 2013 fiscal year.

Compared to those stratospheric sales volumes, the Mac division appears downright anemic, selling a total of only 16.3 million units in the company’s 2013 fiscal year, the last full year to be reported. Macs similarly represent only a tiny percentage of the global PC market, with less than 6 percent of the 300 million PCs sold last year having an Apple logo on them.

But those numbers are deceiving. Macs are still enormously profitable, and their high average selling price makes this division a formidable cash cow. In addition, Apple’s product planners have shrewdly targeted the most important segment of the market, the only segment that’s growing and the one that is by far the most profitable.

Focus on quality, and the sort of customers who are willing to pay for it. That’s what Apple does with all its products.

Xiaomi Mi3 Product Quality 

Arjit Singh, Android Origin:

Several enraged Xiaomi Mi3 customers have now taken it upon themselves to fill the official Mi India fanpage at Facebook, with reports of how their newly bought smartphone has turned out to be a nightmare for them. Apparently, apart from suffering from severe manufacturing defects such as the SIM tray not working properly, exceptionally low screen quality for a smartphone which is supposed to have Gorilla Glass 3, troubles with the microUSB port, and unusually high overheating issues, the phone is also suffering from some serious software bugs, such as contacts mysteriously not showing up when accessed through the dialer app, and several other complaints of unstable software and random WiFi/cellular signal drops.

What is even worse is that, even though Xiaomi Mi3′s official product listing page on Flipkart clearly states that the customers are entitled for “1 year manufacturer warranty for the phone,” so far we’re yet to find even a single customer who was able to get his phone replaced successfully (one user has been waiting for nearly 3 weeks now).

Shocker.

Wired: ‘Apple’s iMessage Is Being Taken Over by Spammers’ 

Robert McMillan, reporting for Wired:

A year ago, Tom Landesman — who works for security and anti-spam company Cloudmark — had never seen an iMessage spam. But he and his company now say that, thanks to one particularly aggressive campaign from a junk mailer, it accounts for more than 30 percent of all mobile spam messages.

These kinds of spam campaigns come and go. Cloudmark spotted its first one late last year, when the scammers were flogging imitation designer handbags. Lately, the spammers have been pushing deals on knock-off Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses. […]

“It’s almost like a spammer’s dream,” says Landesman. “With four lines of code, using Apple scripts, you can tell your Mac machine to send message to whoever they want.”

I think the headline is hyperbole, but I have gotten two iMessage spams this month, both of them hawking those knock-off Ray-Bans. I just went ahead and reported them to Apple.

Google’s Growth Since Its IPO 

Speaking of Dan Frommer, he has a good post noting the 10-year anniversary of Google’s IPO.

Twitter Now Officially Says Your Timeline Is More Than Just Tweets From People You Follow 

Dan Frommer on Twitter’s updated definition of what goes into your timeline. This is a terrible decision on Twitter’s part, and I’ve seen nothing but complaints about it. That your timeline only shows what you’ve asked to be shown is a defining feature of Twitter.

So far, these changes are only evident when using Twitter’s first-party clients, but it’s a bad sign even if you use a third-party client like Tweetbot or Twitterrific. However, tweets that you favorite using a third-party client might start showing up in the timelines of your followers who do use Twitter’s own interfaces.

Sharp’s New Aquos Crystal Phone 

Interesting new design from Sharp: a display that goes edge-to-edge on the left, right, and top. (I.e. it has no forehead, only a chin.)

Policing by Consent 

Jason Kottke on “The Nine Principles of Policing” that served to establish the Metropolitan Police of London in 1829:

As police historian Charles Reith noted in 1956, this philosophy was radical when implemented in London in the 1830s and “unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public”. Apparently, it remains radical in the United States in 2014.

Police Impunity in Ferguson 

One more on the police in Ferguson. Matt Yglesias:

The other two men in the photograph, despite presumably being police officers, are not identifiable at this time. Unlike normal police officers, they are not wearing name tags or badges with visible numbers on them. When police arrested the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, they weren’t wearing badges or name tags either. Reasonable people can disagree about when, exactly, it’s appropriate for cops to fire tear gas into crowds. But there’s really no room for disagreement about when it’s reasonable for officers of the law to take off their badges and start policing anonymously.

There’s only one reason to do this: to evade accountability for your actions. […]

Policing without a name tag can help you avoid accountability from the press or from citizens, but it can’t possibly help you avoid accountability from the bosses. For that you have to count on an atmosphere of utter impunity. It’s a bet many cops operating in Ferguson are making, and it seems to be a winning bet.

Disgraceful. Every police officer should not only always wear their badge and name tag while on duty, they should be proud to do so. (And in most cases, that’s true.)

The Police State 

Sunil Dutta, “professor of homeland security” at Colorado Tech University and 17-year veteran of the LAPD, in a surprisingly candid op-ed in the Washington Post:

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge.

“If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you.” Don’t question authority or you might get beaten or shot. Astounding.

Here’s this mentality in action: local police near Ferguson threatening Al Jazeera journalists — “I’ll bust your head right here” — simply for having the temerity to ask him why he wouldn’t allow them to photograph a sign.

Update: Here’s video footage of officer Sunil Dutta on the job.

If Police in Ferguson Treat Journalists Like This, Imagine How They Treat Residents 

Max Fisher, writing for Vox:

That police in Ferguson are targeting journalists so openly and aggressively is an appalling affront to basic media freedoms, but it is far scarier for what it suggests about how the police treat everyone else — and should tell us much about why Ferguson’s residents are so fed up. When police in Ferguson are willing to rough up and arbitrarily arrest a Washington Post reporter just for being in a McDonald’s, you have to wonder how those police treat the local citizens, who don’t have the shield of a press pass.

Steve Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft Board 

The WSJ:

“I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Mr. Ballmer said in a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft published the letter on its website Tuesday. “I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time,” he wrote.

Translation: “Good luck.”

AAPL Hits $100, Closes in on Record 

I was going to make a joke asking what happened to all the dopes who were calling for Tim Cook to be fired 18 months ago, but I suspect Apple’s stock is being driven now by pump-and-dump manipulators. I just saw an “analyst” projecting 75 million iPhones sold in the holiday quarter, when the best they’ve ever done previously (last year) was only 52 million. That just seems like nonsense.

Swift Performance 

Jesse Squires has been benchmarking Swift against Objective-C during the beta releases:

If you recall the results from the previous post, then this should be quite shocking (in a good way). Take a deep breath. Yes, yes this is real life. The tables have completely turned (no pun intended). I’ve been running these trials since the first beta, and this is the first time that Swift has performed better than Objective-C for every single algorithm, with standard optimizations. And not only is Swift faster, but it is faster by significant margins.

There were some worrisome results from the first few Swift betas, but given that the language was designed by a compiler expert, I’m not surprised performance is going to be impressive in the 1.0 release.

Resuscitating a Drowned iPhone 5 

Rob Griffiths, writing at Macworld:

Thanks to (I’m guessing) some time in the rice and a healthy dose of compressed air, I now have a fully functional iPhone 5, as seen in the image at right. I find this simply amazing, given the amount of time it spent 10 feet deep in a lake. So what did I learn during this incident?

(Via Shawn King.)

Josh Ginter Reviews Vesper 

One of my favorite reviews of Vesper yet.

On Apple and Deadlines 

Mark Kawano, CEO of Storehouse and formerly a user experience evangelist at Apple:

But the theory that Apple doesn’t have deadlines isn’t just slightly inaccurate, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not only does the company set internal deadlines, it also creates deadlines for deadlines that have their own deadlines. Every aspect of the company’s production cycle, from conception to ship date, is calculated. But — and this is a big “but” — what makes Apple different is that it is a company that is willing to move those deadlines. If a product in development isn’t ready to be released, the deadline is pushed back. If an idea isn’t perfect, or isn’t considered truly magical and delightful internally, it’s held back, revised, and the product given an entirely new launch date.

Against Editors 

Hamilton Nolan, writing for Gawker:

In the writing world, there is a hierarchy. The writers are on the bottom. Above them are editors, who tell the writers what to change. This is backwards. […]

Good editors are valuable. They are also rare. If we simply kept the good ones and dismissed the bad ones, the ranks of editors would immediately shrink to saner levels. Editors are an important part of writing — a subordinate part. Their role in the industry should be equally subordinate. It is absurd that most writers must choose between a career spent writing and a career that offers raises and promotions. The “new” online media, happily, tends to be less editor-heavy than the big legacy media outlets that have sprouted entire ecosystems of editors and sub-editors over the course of decades. This is partly because the stark economics of online journalism make clear just how wasteful all those extra editors are. To hire a new editor instead of a new writer is to give up actual stories in favor of… some marginal improvements, somewhere, or perhaps nothing at all.

I’m reminded of a 2005 essay by Paul Graham:

My experience of writing for magazines suggests an explanation. Editors. They control the topics you can write about, and they can generally rewrite whatever you produce. The result is to damp extremes. Editing yields 95th percentile writing — 95% of articles are improved by it, but 5% are dragged down. 5% of the time you get “throngs of geeks.”

On the web, people can publish whatever they want. Nearly all of it falls short of the editor-damped writing in print publications. But the pool of writers is very, very large. If it’s large enough, the lack of damping means the best writing online should surpass the best in print. And now that the web has evolved mechanisms for selecting good stuff, the web wins net. Selection beats damping, for the same reason market economies beat centrally planned ones.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization 

Spot-on summary of the entire situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and militarization of U.S. police forces.

‘The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup’ 

Good profile by Mat Honan on Stewart Butterfield and Slack.

#Ferguson 

David Carr, writing for the NYT:

Perhaps even absent the conflagration on Twitter, journalists would have shown up. Perhaps cable news would have turned hard toward the story, and the kind of coverage that eventually drew the attention of the president and the governor of Missouri would have taken place. Perhaps all the things that led to the security situation in Ferguson being handed over to cooler heads would have ensued. But nothing much good was happening in Ferguson until it became a hashtag.

PaintCode 2 

My thanks to PaintCode for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. PaintCode is a unique vector drawing app — it turns your drawings into Objective-C or Swift code, acting as a bridge between developers and graphic designers. PaintCode lets you develop apps that are truly resolution independent. It’s every bit as cool as it sounds. You draw the interface just like you would in any other vector drawing app, and the output is code instead of a slew of image assets.

PaintCode has been successfully adopted by numerous companies, including industry giants such as Apple, Evernote, Google, The New York Times, Pixar, and Twitter. To learn more or download a free demo version, visit PaintCode’s website.

‘Humans Need Not Apply’ 

Fascinating and persuasive short film by C.G.P. Grey on the inevitable upheaval in employment opportunities wrought by automation:

Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that pays for its housing and hay.

And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own.

MIUI 6 

I’m not sure who should be more upset. Apple, because this is such a preposterously shameless ripoff of iOS. Or Samsung, because Xiaomi is so much better at ripping off Apple than they are.

Update: Keep in mind, too, that Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra keeps insisting they don’t copy designs from Apple. Even Thom Holwerda agrees that this is just shameless.

Gus Mueller: ‘Apple Should Open a Seattle Office’ 

Gus Mueller:

Hire a manager, and open an Apple developer office in Seattle. There are plenty of places across the county where Apple has offices for historical reasons or acquisitions. Why not have a remote office on purpose this time?

Then you could quietly steal the best and brightest from MS, Adobe, and wherever. And you just solved a big part of your hiring problem.

I agree; Seattle is just lousy with great Cocoa developers.

Mo’ne Davis Dominates at Little League World Series 

Two-hit complete game shutout from the most popular athlete in Philadelphia. She struck out the side in the sixth inning to end the game.

MacLovin’ Bundle 

Bundle of great Mac apps — Keyboard Maestro, Hype, Moom, Boom, and more — for just $40. Regular price for all these apps, purchased separately: $861.

(StackSocial, the company running the bundle, has an affiliate code system, but I’m not using it. I won’t get a penny if you buy the bundle through this link — I just think they’re great apps at a great price.)

A Thought on the Pricing of the Upcoming New iPhones 

Daisuke Wakabayashi, reporting for the WSJ yesterday:

Apple is considering using sapphire screens in more expensive models of the two new, larger iPhones it plans to debut this fall, if it can get enough of the material, people familiar with the matter say. Some analysts expect Apple to charge more for the phones than previous new models, because of increased component costs.

First, I don’t understand how a report on August 14 could plausibly imply that Apple still doesn’t know what material they’re going to use for the displays on the new iPhones they plan to introduce on September 9, and which (if the schedule is like last year) they probably plan to ship to customers on September 19. I would think that people who are truly “familiar with the matter” already know, today, whether the new iPhones are going to use sapphire displays.

As for the persistent rumors that the new iPhone is going to cost $100 more, I have a thought. Last year, Apple put two phones at the $199 subsidized price point: the 16 GB 5S, and the 32 GB 5C. What Apple could do this year is drop the 16 GB size from the top-tier new device(s), and start the new iPhone(s) at 32 GB/$299. Raising the entry price, not the price. That’d leave the $199 pricing tier for the mid-range iPhone (maybe the 16 or 32 GB 5S?).

Even better would be if Apple doubled storage capacities at each price point: start the new iPhone(s) at $299 for 64 GB, and $399 for 128 GB. And then start the mid-tier phone at 32 GB instead of 16, and switch the lowest-tier “free” iPhone (the 5C?) to 16 GB. A bump in storage capacities feels due.

Update: Abdel Ibrahim tweets:

What @gruber maybe forgets to realize is how important price is to people. Nobody wants to be forced to pay $299 for the newest iPhone.

I didn’t say Apple should raise the entry price for the new top-tier iPhone from $199 to $299. What I’m saying is, if the rumors are true that they’re going to raise the price, dropping the lowest storage tier could be how they do it. Honestly, I think it sounds weird and somewhat un-Apple-y for them to raise the entry price for any product, let alone for their most important product. Entry prices tend to go down over time, not up.

Another possible explanation: the new iPhone ships (as widely rumored) in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes, and the 5.5-inch model costs $100 more than the corresponding 4.7-inch one with the same specs.

About the Linked List

The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links and brief commentary, updated frequently but not frenetically. Call it a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the Internet for a few minutes a day”.

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