My thanks to MacStadium for sponsoring this week at DF (as well as my show from WWDC last week). MacStadium is the leading provider of enterprise-class Apple Mac infrastructure providing scalable, reliable, and secure private clouds and dedicated servers for workloads that require MacOS. MacStadium is trusted by iOS developers, mobile testing teams, and network engineers around the world. By combining patented technology, proprietary configurations, and unparalleled expertise in Apple infrastructure, MacStadium can meet the needs of any business from growing startups to large enterprises that require Mac hardware for iOS/Mac app development needs.
Coming soon from MacStadium is Orka — Orchestration with Kubernetes on Apple — a new virtualization layer for Mac build infrastructure based on Docker and Kubernetes technology. Currently in beta, Orka will be released later this summer.
MacStadium is a long-time supporter of Daring Fireball, and there’s simply no question in my mind that they are the experts at hosting Mac hardware.
We live in a world of counterfactuals, hypotheticals, and more tu
quoque scenarios than a reasonable person can process. That said,
I have to beg my Republican friends to imagine — just for a
moment — what you’d be doing if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama
said they would accept the help of a foreign power in a campaign
and not report it to the FBI.
I’ll tell you what you’d do: You’d lose your fucking shit.
You’d spurt blood from your goddamn eyes.
The obvious but difficult truth is that Trump and his Republican cohorts are not interested in free and fair elections. They see our democracy as a game to rig, not an ideal to uphold. These Republicans don’t view Democrats as their political opponents; they view them as their enemies.
This odd situation recalls the cigarette ads in the 1930’s
in which tobacco companies brought out rival doctors to argue over
which brand was most soothing to the throat.
No two companies have done more to drag private life into the
algorithmic eye than Google and Facebook. Together, they operate
the world’s most sophisticated dragnet surveillance operation, a
duopoly that rakes in nearly two thirds of the money spent on
online ads. You’ll find their tracking scripts on nearly every
web page you visit. They can no more function without
surveillance than Exxon Mobil could function without pumping oil
from the ground.
So why have the gravediggers of online privacy suddenly grown so
worried about the health of the patient?
Part of the answer is a defect in the language we use to talk
about privacy. That language, especially as it is codified in law,
is not adequate for the new reality of ubiquitous, mechanized
Today, we’re unveiling the new Dropbox. It’s the Dropbox you know
and love, but better. It’s a single workspace to organize your
content, connect your tools, and bring everyone together, wherever
you are. The first thing you’ll notice is an all-new Dropbox
desktop app that we’re introducing today through our early access
program. It’s more than an app, though — it’s a completely new
I don’t want any of this. All I want from Dropbox is a folder that syncs perfectly across my devices and allows sharing with friends and colleagues. That’s it: a folder that syncs with sharing. And that’s what Dropbox was.
If iCloud Drive folder sharing works as well as promised when it ships this fall, I’ll probably ditch Dropbox completely. There’s simply no clarity to this new Dropbox. I don’t even understand much of what Dropbox is saying it can do. I think they’re trying to be Slack or something? I already have Slack. All I want is a folder that syncs, with sharing.
For now though, after using the iPadOS beta on my 12.9” iPad Pro for a few days, I’d like to share some initial considerations on iPadOS and what it means for the future of the platform.
Good overview of everything new in iPadOS 13. I think “desktop-class browsing” in Safari is going to be a game-changer for many people. It really is like browsing on Safari with a Mac.
I still don’t get the multitasking metaphor on iPadOS, though. I can get an app into split view easily enough, but it seems devilishly tricky to get an app out of split view. The main multitasking interface/concept on iPadOS is a lot like Spaces on the Mac. You’re not switching between apps so much as you are between spaces, and a particular app might have instances in several spaces. But ⌘-Tab switching with a keyboard makes a hash of that. You can only get to the most recently used space for an app via ⌘-Tab. I think there should be one unified switching interface on iPadOS.
I’m so glad to see contextual menus as standard UI elements in iPadOS. But I find it annoying that they’re triggered by a long tap — I simply hate the delay. It feels to me like Apple has tightened this up in iPadOS 13 — there’s either less of a delay, or they’ve somehow made it feel like less of a delay. Either way it’s a win.
It’s hard to tell when Apple is listening. They speak concisely, infrequently, and only when they’re ready, saying absolutely nothing in the meantime, even when we’re all screaming about a product line as if it’s on fire. They make great progress, but often with courageous losses that never get reversed, so an extended silence because we’re stuck with a change forever is indistinguishable from an extended silence because the fix isn’t ready yet.
But there has clearly been a major shift in direction for the better since early 2017, and they couldn’t be more clear now:
Apple is listening again, they’ve still got it, and the Mac is back.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Mac is back, because it was never gone. It was more subtle than that, I think. Apple simply took its eye off the ball on Mac, with hardware that wasn’t suited to many users’ needs (and infrequently updated) and software that was clearly a lesser priority than iOS.
Apple told us two years ago they were more committed than ever to the pro market. Last week’s new Mac Pro proves it. And on the software side, most of the great new stuff Apple unveiled at WWDC is debuting on iOS 13 and MacOS 10.15 Catalina — SwiftUI, the great new voice control accessibility features, and on and on. For a good long stretch, WWDC felt largely like an iOS developer conference. Last week felt like what WWDC should be: an Apple developer conference. Off the top of my head, it was the best WWDC for Mac users and developers since 2005, when the Intel transition was announced.
In a footnote, Arment writes:
I’m excluding the 2018 MacBook Air because it feels like a stopgap that wasn’t originally planned to exist — the no-Touch-Bar 13-inch MacBook “Escape” seemed intended to replace it — that was rushed into the 2016-era generation mid-cycle, rather than being the first of a new design. Even so, with the large exception of the butterfly keyboard, it’s quite good.
I think if any MacBook was a stopgap, it was the no-Touch-Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro, not the Air. I think Apple always planned to ship this new Air, but it was delayed for years because they couldn’t get a chip from Intel that fit the thermal profile they needed. When the no-Touch-Bar MacBook Pro was announced, Phil Schiller did indeed compare it to the old non-retina Air — very similar in footprint, weight, and price*, but with faster performance and a retina display. But I never took that as an indication that it was intended as the old Air’s successor. I think Schiller made the comparison simply because he knew the new Air was still a long way off and the no-Touch-Bar MBP really was a decent machine for people who were waiting for a retina Air.
* The no-Touch-Bar MacBook Pro’s initial starting price of $1,499 was a lot higher than the old Air’s starting price of $999, but it was roughly in the range of better-than-the-base-model Air configurations. And as we all know, when the retina Air did debut, it didn’t start at $999 either.
I’m surely not the only person to think, all week long, that this WWDC marks the end of Apple’s NeXT era and the beginning of the Swift era. […]
Even if you’ve been writing mostly in Swift the last few years, you’re still writing in a NeXT context. Your apps still live in that world, whether you know it or not. Your apps are still Objective-C apps in a very real sense.
We can quibble about whether to call the old era Apple’s “NeXT era” or “Objective-C” era. I think it works better to compare language to language, frameworks to frameworks. But it’s the same point. SwiftUI and Combine (and whatever else is yet to come) are that big of a change.
We’ll probably see a lot of Mac apps ported from iPadOS using Catalyst. Some of them — games in particular — might even be good Mac apps. But effectively, Catalyst has already been deprecated. The future of app development on all of Apple’s platforms, including those yet to debut, is SwiftUI.
My thanks to Pixelmator for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote Pixelmator Photo, their cutting-edge photo editor designed exclusively for iPad. It includes a collection of desktop-class photo editing tools, AI that intelligently improves photos like a pro photographer, a set of gorgeous film emulation presets, and a whole lot more. Pixelmator Photo has also just received an Apple Design Award for its editing power, native design, and approachability. And it costs just a one-time payment of $5 — no in-app purchases, no subscriptions.
Five dollars! For this spectacular app. Unbelievable. Just go buy it and enjoy.
At the same time, here I am, leading with the Mac Pro, just like
those headline writers, and I’m not incentivized by hardware
driving clicks: it was fun seeing what Apple came up with in its
attempt to build the most powerful Mac ever, in the same way it is
fun to read about supercars. More importantly, I thought that
sense of “going for it” that characterized the Mac Pro permeated
the entire keynote: Apple seemed more sure of itself and,
consequentially, more audacious than it has in several years.
My high level takeaway is that this is the first year where Apple seemed to succeed in pushing all of its platforms forward, in step with each other.
Federico Viticci and John Voorhees from MacStories have launched a new podcast, and I was honored to be their first guest:
For part one of a two-part conversation, Federico and John are
joined by John Gruber of Daring Fireball and The Talk Show to talk
about how he got started, the role of luck, privilege, hard work,
and talent in success, the toxicity of social media, building a
business writing online, advertising, sponsorships, hairpieces,
John Gruber and Matt Drance joined me again this year to discuss
WWDC and all of the announcements from the conference. From coding
to the Mac Pro, we give our thoughts on what we saw at WWDC.
We three did the same two years ago, and I think it turned out great. Drance in particular has some keen insights into just how big a deal SwiftUI is going to be. (No Heinekens until after the show this year.)
When Apple executive Craig Federighi described a new
location-tracking feature for Apple devices at the company’s
Worldwide Developer Conference keynote on Monday, it sounded — to
the sufficiently paranoid, at least — like both a physical
security innovation and a potential privacy disaster. But while
security experts immediately wondered whether Find My would also
offer a new opportunity to track unwitting users, Apple says it
built the feature on a unique encryption system carefully designed
to prevent exactly that sort of tracking — even by Apple itself.
Christine Wang and Deirdre Bosa, reporting for CNBC:
The executive shakeup comes about a month after the ride hailing
company went public.
“There’s never really a right time to announce departures or
changes like this, but with the IPO behind us, I felt this was a
good moment to simplify our org and set us up for the future,”
Late on a Friday afternoon seems like exactly the right time.
If you want to know what’s going on, read this great piece by Hubert Huran in the current issue of American Affairs, “Uber’s Path of Destruction”:
An examination of Uber’s economics suggests that it has no hope of
ever earning sustainable urban car service profits in competitive
markets. Its costs are simply much higher than the market is
willing to pay, as its nine years of massive losses indicate. Uber
not only lacks powerful competitive advantages, but it is actually
less efficient than the competitors it has been driving out of
These beliefs about Uber’s corporate value were created entirely
out of thin air. This is not a case of a company with a reasonably
sound operating business that has managed to inflate stock market
expectations a bit. This is a case of a massive valuation that has
no relationship to any economic fundamentals. Uber has no
competitive efficiency advantages, operates in an industry with
few barriers to entry, and has lost more than $14 billion in the
previous four years. But its narratives convinced most people in
the media, investment, and tech worlds that it is the most
valuable transportation company on the planet and the second most
valuable start-up IPO in U.S. history (after Facebook).
Uber is a pyramid scheme, a scam. If they charged enough to make a profit almost no one would use the service. If I worked at Uber I’d get out now too, before the investment world wakes up.
Brent Kendall and John D. McKinnon, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:
The Justice Department is gearing up for an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, a move that could present a major new layer of regulatory scrutiny for the search giant, according to people familiar with the matter. […]
It couldn’t immediately be learned whether Google has been contacted by the department. Third-party critics of the search giant, however, already have been in talks with Justice Department officials, some of the people familiar with the matter said.
Excellent episode of Bloomberg’s Decrypted podcast, with Mark Gurman interviewing former App Store approval chief Phillip Shoemaker. Tons of insight into the early days of the App Store. It’s quite rare for a former Apple employee to be so forthcoming.
The security incident stemmed from cybercriminals breaching
Checkers’ systems and installing malware on point of sale systems
across more than 100 of its stores. The malware is designed to
collect data stored on the magnetic stripe of payment cards,
including cardholder name, payment card number, card verification
code and expiration date. […]
The incident impacted 102 stores Checkers across 20 states —
which were all exposed at varying dates, including as early as
December 2015 to as recently as April 2019 (a full list of
impacted stores is on Checkers’ data breach security advisory
Can you imagine having to admit this has been going on since 2015 without detection?
However, not everyone is able to actually attend WWDC in person.
Not only do you have to win the “lottery” in order to qualify for
purchasing a ticket, you also need to have the monetary means to
be able to fly to, stay at, and attend the conference. So for a
huge amount of people, WWDC can feel a bit out of reach.
I wanted to do something about that. This website is for
everyone who wants to closely follow WWDC, but from anywhere in
the world. Starting right now, this site will be updated daily
with articles, videos, podcasts, and interviews, covering all
things WWDC — from recommendations on what session videos to
watch, to in-depth looks at new APIs, to interviews with people
from all over the Apple developer community.
I don’t know if Playdate will succeed in the market. I don’t know what kind of risk it represents for Panic as a company. But I know that people see this cute little device, and are reminded that they used to get excited when they saw cool new technology, instead of wondering how it would warp their reality, or steal their information. Here’s hoping for a return to tech that’s fun, that’s thoughtful, and that’s created with a little bit of soul.
Last week, in a research note shared with MacRumors, a team of
Barclays analysts “confirmed” that 3D Touch “will be eliminated”
in all 2019 iPhones, as they predicted back in August 2018.
The analysts gathered this information from Apple suppliers
following a trip to Asia earlier this month.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this rumor. The Wall Street
Journal said the same thing back in January.
Haptic Touch works well, but it isn’t a replacement for 3D Touch
because it’s just about feedback, not input. 3D Touch had the
potential to be like modifier keys on the Mac, a way to provide an
additional “dimension” of input. iOS really needs something like
that. I’m not sure why Apple never really did much with it, but
the potential was wasted. Given that, and the fact that it never
made it across the iPhone product line or to any iPads, I can
certainly see why they would get rid of it and doubt most people
will miss it (or even knew about it in the first place).
Lots of good links and comments on Tsai’s post, as always.
3D Touch is a great idea but Apple never rolled it out well, and it was never discoverable. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people with 3D Touch-enabled iPhones have no idea it exists. In and of itself, the lack of discoverability isn’t necessarily a problem. That’s how power user features often work. Right-clicking on the Mac, for example, is in the same boat. What 3D Touch never got right is that power-user shortcuts should be just that — shortcuts for tasks with more obvious ways to do them. Now imagine if right-clicking only worked on certain high-end Macs, but didn’t work on others. That’s what happened with 3D Touch.
I think it should have always been a shortcut for a long-press, pure and simple. Just a faster way to long-press. But because 3D Touch is not just a shortcut for a long-press, and is not available on any iPad nor many iPhones, developers could never count on it, so they never really did anything with it. It doesn’t get used much because there’s not much you can do with it.
It’s 3 a.m. Do you know what your iPhone is doing?
Mine has been alarmingly busy. Even though the screen is off and
I’m snoring, apps are beaming out lots of information about me to
companies I’ve never heard of. Your iPhone probably is doing the
same — and Apple could be doing more to stop it.
On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research
firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone.
At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number,
email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got
a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called
Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of
other trackers to pair up with.
And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a
household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my
IP address — once every five minutes.
This is all going on via Background App Refresh. You can see which apps have this permission on your iOS device in Settings: General: Background App Refresh (it’s the 8th item in General in iOS 12).
This feature exists for good reasons — it’s how email, messaging, and podcast apps can update in the background. You probably want new podcasts episodes to download in the background overnight. You want current weather information when you wake up in the morning. But anything that can be abused, will be abused, and it looks like a lot of apps are abusing the shit out of Background App Refresh.
I don’t know what Apple can do to make this more transparent — to somehow let you, the user, see what exactly these apps are doing in the background — but I sure hope it’s on their radar. At this point, a lot of these apps — because of the third-party “analytics” libraries they embed — are acting as spyware, pure and simple.
Within the industry, the deal is widely perceived as one that’s
risky for a bank to take on. Citigroup was in advanced
negotiations with Apple for the card but pulled out amid doubts
that it could earn an acceptable profit on the partnership,
according to people with knowledge of the talks. Other banks,
including J.P. Morgan Chase, Barclays and Synchrony, also bid
on the business. Apple and the banks declined to comment on
It turns out that the Apple Card’s consumer-friendly features —
no fees of any kind, software that actively encourages users to
avoid debt or pay it down quickly, and potentially lower interest
rates — make it harder for banks to make money on the product.
Even features like the card’s calendar-based billing can impact a
lender’s cost of funding and servicing, since customers’
borrowing will be concentrated at month-end, rather than spread
out over weeks.
No shit they’re going to make less money than cards that charge fees and higher interest rates. But they’re going to make money — I’ll eat my hat if Goldman and Apple don’t turn a profit on this card. CNBC’s headline — “A Goldman Sachs rival pulled out of the Apple Card deal on fears it will be a money loser” — makes it sound like they’re going to lose money, which is ludicrous. They’ll make money on each transaction and they’ll make money charging interest on any cardholder who carries a balance. Arguing that they won’t make enough money is just usurious greed.
I don’t use the word lightly, but it’s evil to argue against the software Apple is releasing to help cardholders avoid debt and pay down what debt they owe quickly.
Also, this whole CNBC article seems like a way to sell consumers on getting an Apple Card.
Andrew Griffin, in a lengthy piece for The Independent:
“Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can
afford to buy premium products and services,” Pichai wrote in an
op-ed in the New York Times. He didn’t name Apple, but he didn’t
Pichai argued that the collection of data helps make technology
affordable, echoing a sentiment often heard about Apple, that
their commitment to privacy is only possible because their
products are expensive and it can afford to take such a position.
Having a more lax approach to privacy helps keep the products
made by almost all of the biggest technology products [sic] in
the world — from Google to Instagram — free, at least at the
point of use.
“I don’t buy into the luxury good dig,” says Federighi, giving the
impression he was genuinely surprised by the public attack.
“It’s on the one hand gratifying that other companies in space [sic]
over the last few months, seemed to be making a lot of positive
noises about caring about privacy. I think it’s a deeper issue
than what a couple of months and a couple of press releases would
make. I think you’ve got to look fundamentally at company cultures
and values and business model. And those don’t change overnight.”
Griffin’s piece is an interesting read, and he was granted rare access to Apple’s testing facilities, but I think it’s a little all over the place, bouncing back and forth between security issues (testing Apple designed chips in extreme temperatures) and privacy issues. I think the above is the main point though — Google and Facebook are both pushing back against Apple, arguing that Apple’s stance on privacy is only possible because they charge a lot of money for their products.
I think the point that needs to be made is that free and low-cost products can be subsidized by privacy-respecting advertising — but privacy-respecting advertising is not as profitable as privacy-invasive advertising, as exemplified on Facebook and Google’s humongous platforms.
This is ridiculous. The only thing the incident shows is how
expert Facebook has become at blurring the lines between simple
mistakes and deliberate deception, thereby abrogating its
responsibility as the key distributor of news on the planet.
Would a broadcast network air this? Never. Would a newspaper
publish it? Not without serious repercussions. Would a marketing
campaign like this ever pass muster? False advertising. […]
By conflating censorship with the responsible maintenance of its
platforms, and by providing “rules” that are really just
capricious decisions by a small coterie of the rich and powerful,
Facebook and others have created a free-for-all with no consistent
When I contacted Apple for this story, I didn’t expect much of a
response. The company is famous for being selective about its
press relations. But I found the company more eager than usual to
rebut the claim that AirPods are a planetary nightmare — a claim
that appears to have caught Cupertino somewhat by surprise. […]
Most of all, Apple wanted to make clear that you can recycle
AirPods — or at least important components of them — and you can
go through Apple to do it. There’s a link on the company’s
website to order a prepaid shipping label, which you can
use to send the device to one of Apple’s recycling partners by
dropping it in a FedEx box. Apple says that it has accepted
AirPods for recycling ever since they were released, although it
was only this year that the company added the product as a
specific category of return on the website. The company also noted
that you can bring your defunct AirPods to any Apple Store for
recycling. “As with all of our products, we work closely with our
recyclers to ensure AirPods are properly recycled and provide
support to recyclers outside of our supply chain as well,” the
company said in a statement.
84% of apps are free, and developers pay nothing to Apple.
Like any fair marketplace, developers decide what they want to
charge from a set of price tiers. We only collect a commission
from developers when a digital good or service is delivered
through an app. Here are some of the ways developers commonly make
money on the App Store.
Any developer distributing an app through the App Store, free or paid, must pay Apple $99 per year for a developer account. You can build apps using Xcode free of charge, but you need a paid developer account to distribute them through the App Store.
Pretty good defense of the App Store overall, though, including a list of great third-party apps that compete directly against Apple’s own apps — camera, calendar, email, maps, etc. And of course, music. But one thing iOS users have complained about for 10 years now is that third-party apps can’t be set as the system-wide default in iOS. (They can on the Mac.) I’m not sure how tenable that is.
Update: There are exceptions to the $99 developer fee, for nonprofit organizations in five countries:
You can request to have the 99 USD annual membership fee waived if
you’re a nonprofit organization, accredited educational
institution, or government entity that will distribute only free
apps on the App Store and is based in an eligible country. Apple
will review your request and contact you to let you know whether
your request is approved.
Eligible countries: Brazil, China, Japan, United Kingdom,
It’d be interesting to know how many of these waivers have been granted.
iPod Touch is such an oddball product, but I’m glad to see it updated. The last revision was four years ago. In the early years, I think a lot of iPods Touch were sold for use by kids. But today, most kids use hand-me-down iPhones. I think a lot of new iPods Touch are sold for enterprise purposes — warehouse scanning, point-of-sale, that sort of thing.
My thanks to Layers for sponsoring last week at Daring Fireball. Layers is a 3-day conference about design, technology, and a lot more (including great snacks). It runs Monday-Wednesday June 3-5, at the historic Montgomery Theater, right around the corner from Apple’s WWDC. Monday kicks off with an opening party from 5-8pm (they know everyone wants to watch Apple’s keynote), and the conference proper takes place Tuesday and Wednesday.
This is Layers’s 5th year. Back in 2015, I was on stage to interview Susan Kare — one of the highlights and great privileges of my career.
The Talk Show Live From WWDC will be held at the California Theatre. Doors at 6pm, show at 7pm. (General admission tickets for The Talk Show aren’t even available yet, but will go on sale early this week.)
There’ve been a bunch of leaks about iOS 13, nearly all from Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. But one thing we don’t know yet — and I emphasize yet, because leaks often spring very close to keynotes — is what iOS 13 is going to look like. No screenshots, no mock-ups.
Most likely, I’d say, is that visually, iOS 13 will bring what we’ve seen each of the past 5 years — another annual refinement of the iOS 7 look-and-feel that debuted in 2013. But there have been rumblings that something more dramatic is afoot. The original (let’s call it classic) iOS look-and-feel lasted 6 years — it would be fitting for the iOS 7 look-and-feel to last 6 years as well. I don’t really see how Apple could do something as radical as the iOS 6 to 7 transition. But to me there are aspects of the iOS 7 foundation that are tired.
I don’t know why, but one of those things has been bugging me a lot in recent months: the drab gray color that indicates tapdown state for list items and buttons. Putting aside skeuomorphic textures like woodgrain and leather and the 3D-vs.-flat debate, the utter drabness of tapdown states is just a bad idea. I didn’t like it when iOS 7 debuted, and I like it even less 6 years later.
In classic iOS, when you tapped down on list items or buttons, they’d instantly light up in vibrant color. The standard color was a bright cheerful blue. In iOS 7 through 12, the tapdown state is the color of dirty dishwater.
iOS 6 vs. iOS 12:
The classic iOS style was both joyful and a perfect visual indication of what you are tapping. It was both aesthetically pleasing and more usable. It’s useful — and accessible — to make crystal clear what exactly you are tapping on. The classic iOS look-and-feel made it feel fun just to tap buttons on screen. I miss that. Again, put aside specific techniques like photorealistic textures and depth effects. To me the fundamental weakness in post-iOS-7 look-and-feel is simply that it’s been drained of joy.1★
The Mac, thankfully, hasn’t lost as much vibrancy. Think about how dull, and how much less usable, the menu bar would be if the selected menu item just got a dishwater-gray highlight instead of a vibrant blue one — or whatever other accent color you’ve chosen if you’re running 10.14 Mojave. Even when using the monochrome Graphite theme, the menu item highlight is a dark gray with inverted white text — it’s deliberately not joyful the way the colorful options are, but it’s still a very distinctive visual state, not subtle like on iOS. ↩︎
YouTube has taken down videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
doctored to make her seem drunk from its platform, saying that the
posts “violated our policies.”
“YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not
acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies
when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have
been removed. They also did not surface prominently. In fact,
search results and watch next panels about Nancy Pelosi include
videos from authoritative sources, usually at the top,” a
spokesperson told TPM.
Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, are letting the videos
live on their sites.
“We remove things from Facebook that violate our Community
Standards, and we don’t have a policy that stipulates that the
information you post on Facebook must be true,” a company
spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Politico.
Shame on Twitter and Facebook. These videos are not parody or satire — they’re being passed off as real, and garnering millions of views. It’s dangerous propaganda.
“We wanted this thing to come out of nowhere, fully formed, and just blow everybody’s minds.” That’s Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser, in the cover story of the new issue of Edge magazine.
The story is about Playdate, the most amazing and exciting product announcement, for me, since the original iPhone.
Everything racing through your mind right now as “but that’s impossible” is, in fact, not impossible. It’s true. Panic is making a handheld game player. It is adorable and exciting and fun and technically impressive. Go read all about it at Panic’s (also adorable, exciting, fun, and technically impressive) Playdate website, which even has a great domain name.
They’re making their own hardware (in conjunction with Swedish device makers Teenage Engineering). They wrote their own OS (there’s no Linux). It has a high resolution 400 × 240 black and white display with no backlighting. It has a crank.
It’s going to cost only $149 — $149! — and that includes a “season” of 12 games from an amazing roster of beloved video game creators, delivered every Monday for 12 weeks.
The idea of a new upstart, a company the size of Panic — with only software experience at that — jumping into the hardware game with a brand new platform harkens back to the ’80s and ’90s. But even back then, a company like, say, General Magic or Palm, was VC-backed and aspired to be a titan. To be the next Atari or Commodore or Apple.
In today’s world all the new computing devices and platforms come from huge companies. Apple, of course. All the well-known Android handset makers building off an OS provided by Google. Sony. Nintendo.
Panic is almost cheating in a way because they’re tiny. The Playdate platform isn’t competing with the state of the art. It’s not a retro platform, per se, but while it has an obviously nostalgic charm it is competing only on its own terms. Its only goal is to be fun. And aspects of Playdate are utterly modern: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, apps and software updates delivered over-the-air.
They’re taking advantage of an aspect of today’s world that is brand new – the Asian supply chain, the cheapness of Asian manufacturing, the cheapness of CPU and GPU cycles that allows things like Raspberry Pi to cost just $35.
And then there’s the issue of freedom. Last night Steven Frank, Panic’s other co-founder, tease-tweeted a link to Steve Jobs quoting Alan Kay during the introduction of the original iPhone: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”
You know that scene in GoodFellas where Tommy is about to be made, and Jimmy and Henry can’t contain their excitement because it’s as close as they themselves will ever get to being made? That’s a bit how I feel about Playdate — I have so many friends at Panic, and this feels as close as I’ll ever get to the makers of a hardware platform. (Let’s please ignore the fact that everything goes to shit in GoodFellas at that point.)
Cabel Sasser let me in on this about two weeks ago, and I don’t think I’ve spent a waking hour since when I haven’t thought about Playdate at least once. I am so excited to get one of these in my hands — and so proud of and happy for my friends at Panic.