The Daring Fireball Linked List

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.

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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.

Apple Expands Leadership Page to Include Five Vice Presidents 

Juli Clover, reporting for MacRumors:

Apple today updated its Apple Leadership press page to add the bios of five vice presidents, including Paul Deneve, Lisa Jackson, Joel Podolny, Johny Srouji, and Denise Young Smith.

The inclusion of several vice presidents on the executive team is a new move for the company, as the page previously only listed the company’s lineup of senior vice presidents.

Interesting on a few fronts. It significantly expands the diversity of this listing. You can see in Apple’s just-published company-wide diversity report that they have a significant number of women and non-white people in “leadership” positions, but that was not reflected on this public-facing senior leadership page.

Second, it shows where Tim Cook is placing new-found importance: the environment, human resources, and Apple University. Oh, and “special projects” — under the leadership of former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve. No idea what that could be about.

‘Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet’ 

Alexis Madrigal, writing for The Atlantic:

Perhaps the way, then, to recover some of the old web, before the dominance of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, isn’t to build new competitors to those companies, but to redouble our use and support of good old email.

Email — yes, email — is one way forward for a less commercial, less centralized web, and the best thing is, this beautiful cockroach of a social network is already living in all of our homes. 

The Best Podcasting Apps for iPhone 

Thoughtful, detailed comparative review by Robert McGinley Myers of all the top iPhone podcasting apps.

Diversity of Various Tech Companies by the Numbers 

Nick Heer:

With Apple’s report today (finally), major tech companies have all published information about racial and gender diversity. I thought it might be useful to run the numbers and compare them against the demographics of the United States as a whole, for reference. All data is as-reported from each company.

How to Be Polite 

Paul Ford:

Politeness buys you time. It leaves doors open. I’ve met so many people whom, if I had trusted my first impressions, I would never have wanted to meet again. And yet  —  many of them are now great friends. I have only very rarely touched their hair.

Such a lovely piece.

Uber Playing Dirty With Competitors 

Erica Fink, reporting for CNN/Money:

Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 rides from rival Lyft since last October, according to new data provided by Lyft. The data was obtained at CNNMoney’s request when reporting another story on the companies’ competition.

It’s the latest in a pattern of aggressive and questionable tactics by Uber to control the car-on-demand market, according to rivals.

Love the Uber service, but it’s hard to like the company.

The Talk Show: ‘BlackBerry Is Still Technically in Business’ 

Special guest Dan Frommer joins me on The Talk Show. Topics include speculation — seriously, just speculation — on Apple’s purported upcoming wrist wearable thing, Apple’s fall event schedule, polarized sunglasses, market share in the post-PC era, and Beats’s integration into Apple (including a clever idea from Dan about the potential for a Beats Music channel on Apple TV).

Sponsored by:

Apple Publishes Employee Diversity Numbers 

Tim Cook:

Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front: As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.

Harassment in Science, Replicated 

Christie Aschwanden, writing for the NYT:

Most men are not creeps, and they have a powerful role to play here. During a field trip at a journalism conference a few years ago, I had an engaging conversation with a keynote speaker. As we parted, he told me, in front of two other men, “Your husband shouldn’t let you out of the house.”

The two bystanders brushed off this insulting attempt at a compliment. It was easier for them to let it go than to call out a friend, and their behavior said it was all right to treat me like that. […]

It will take chief executives, department heads, laboratory directors, professors, publishers and editors in chief to take a stand and say: Not on my watch. I don’t care if you’re my friend or my favorite colleague; we don’t treat women like that.

Amazon Takes on Disney in DVD Pricing Fight 

Bloomberg:

The move signals that Amazon, the world’s largest Web retailer, is increasingly willing to keep certain items from consumers to put pressure on its vendors. It also spotlights the extent of Amazon’s clout in the home-entertainment market. Studios count on sales of DVD and Blu-ray versions of their movies to help deliver profits because few films reach profitability in theaters.

“They are squeezing studios on DVD pricing, understandable given their market position,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “Disney can’t cut them off, and Amazon can cut Disney off, so I would say Amazon has the leverage.”

Sounds like it’s time for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Apple again.

Robin Williams, Beloved Genius, Dies at 63 

Portrait of Robin Williams in 2011

(Photo: Peter Hapak.)

Mat Honan Liked Everything He Saw on Facebook for Two Days 

Mat Honan:

Likewise, content mills rose to the top. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post. As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com.

If a corporation could have a wet dream, this would be Facebook’s.

Inside Apple University 

Brian X. Chen, writing for the NYT:

Randy Nelson, who came from the animation studio Pixar, co-founded by Mr. Jobs, is one of the teachers of “Communicating at Apple.” This course, open to various levels of employees, focuses on clear communication, not just for making products intuitive, but also for sharing ideas with peers and marketing products.

In a version of the class taught last year, Mr. Nelson showed a slide of “The Bull,” a series of 11 lithographs of a bull that Picasso created over about a month, starting in late 1945. In the early stages, the bull has a snout, shoulder shanks and hooves, but over the iterations, those details vanish. The last image is a curvy stick figure that is still unmistakably a bull.

“You go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do,” recalled one person who took the course.

Kudos for Chen for getting a few sources to speak about Apple University. Pretty sure no other company has anything like it. (Well, except Pixar.)

Christopher Wright on the Amazon vs. Hachette Fight 

Christopher Wright:

Here is the secret to understanding my take on Amazon: they’re not part of the publishing industry, although the things they do certainly affect it. They’re not a service and retail company, though that is the way they make all their money. At its core, Amazon is and always has been part of the computer industry, and if you view them from that perspective their business practices should scare the shit out of you.

Chinese Regulation/Censorship of Social Media 

Lily Kuo, writing for Quartz:

For the past four years, China’s government and its far-reaching bureaucracy have embarked on a campaign to take back China’s weibo microblog scene from the masses, who have been using social media services to expose corrupt officials, circulate news, and air their opinions.

And it’s working. According to a new study by media researchers based in China and the US, the government’s 176,000 microblogs are trying to control much of the discussion online, by offering official interpretations of public events, while contrary views are ruthlessly deleted by Great Firewall censors.

In the latest government maneuver, China released new restrictive regulations today seemingly aimed at Tencent’s popular WeChat chat service, which has also become a de facto town square where current events are discussed. According to the People’s Daily, only the public accounts of media agencies can post or re-post political news on instant messaging apps like WeChat. New users will also have to provide their real names and sign a contract promising they will “obey the law and respect the socialist system.”

We in the U.S. are fortunate that our most popular social media site has a completely transparent and open system for what people see in their news feeds. Wait, what.

New Microsoft Surface Ads Take on MacBooks (and iPads) Directly 

I think these are pretty good ads. They make the case for Surface — one device that serves both as a traditional laptop PC and an iPad-style tablet — succinctly.

What’s more interesting to me is how by mocking Apple’s products by name, these spots illustrate how clearly the tables have turned in the last decade. Apple could run the “I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” campaign a decade ago because they were the underdog. It’s nearly impossible for the market leader to belittle its competition by name without appearing small, defensive, bullying — or all of the above. Pepsi makes fun of Coke, but Coke never even mentions Pepsi.

It’s another pillar of the Church of Market Share crumbling. MacBooks don’t have even close to a market share lead in laptops, and the iPad doesn’t have one in tablets, either — but Apple is the clear leader in both markets because they dominate the profitable high-end in both.

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps Usage Data From U.K. Carrier EE 

EE:

EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today released the latest 4GEE Mobile Living Index. The Index, which has analysed mobile data use and 4G customer trends since early 2013, reveals that although the amount of time people spend on mobile internet has remained stable, customers are doing more on their devices. Average data usage has also increased by 66% in the last 12 months, outstripping 3G customers on both Orange and T-Mobile plans. […]

Traffic on the new Apple Maps now represents 70% of mapping traffic on the 4G network, from 60% in the second half of 2013, taking market share from Google maps, which is down 7ppts. This difference is even more marked over 3G where Apple Maps is up 19ppts and Google Maps is down 15ppts.

That’s just one carrier, in one country, and presumably EE mobile usage skews heavily toward the iPhone over Android, given the above maps usage stats. But interesting nonetheless.

(Via Tom Watson.)

First-Person Hyperlapse Videos 

Very impressive work from Microsoft Research:

We present a method for converting first-person videos, for example, captured with a helmet camera during activities such as rock climbing or bicycling, into hyperlapse videos: time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera.

The difference between the before and after footage is astounding.

Throw Like a Girl 

Awesome local news:

Female pitcher Mo’Ne Davis led her team into the Little League World Series, throwing a three-hitter Sunday to lead Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League of Philadelphia to an 8-0 victory over a squad from Delaware.

Davis struck out six in the six-inning game in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game.

The 13-year-old will become only the 17th girl to play in the Little League World Series in 68 years. It starts Thursday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

More on the game here, from Max Cohen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Taney is the league my son plays in and I’ve coached for; it’s a great league. Mo’Ne has been the talk of the league all year: “You’ve got to see this girl pitching for the 12/13 travel team.” She throws a 70 MPH fastball and a mean curveball that just drops.

Now we can all watch her — on ESPN.

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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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