The Daring Fireball Linked List

Apple Reports Second-Quarter Earnings 

Dan Miller, reporting for Macworld:

iPhone sales were up 17 percent compared to the second quarter last year (43.7 million phones sold versus 37.4 million the year before). Revenues from the smartphones were up, too, from $22.95 billion to $26.06 billion, an increase of 13 percent. The iPhone now accounts for fully 57 percent of Apple’s overall revenues (up from 53 percent last year).

In his comments, Apple CEO Tim Cook said demand for each of the three current iPhone models (the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 4s) has been stronger than predecessor (a pointed rebuke, perhaps, to those who have proclaimed the 5c to be a failure). He also pointed out that phone sales were particularly robust in Asian markets, particularly Japan and China (where the addition of China Mobile as a carrier and iPhone 4s pricing led to an all-time sales record).

iPad sales were effectively flat, year-over-year; Mac sales were slightly up (which is impressive, given the continuing decline of the overall PC market).

A few other tidbits from the analyst conference call:

  • They’re splitting the stock 7-for-1 in the first week of June. That’ll bring the price per share to somewhere around $70-80.

  • Angela Ahrendts starts next week.

FCC, in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane 

Edward Wyatt, reporting for the NYT:

The new rules, according to the people briefed on them, will allow a company like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate separately with each content company — like Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google — and charge different companies different amounts for priority service.

That, of course, could increase costs for content companies, which would then have an incentive to pass on those costs to consumers as part of their subscription prices.

Proponents of net neutrality have feared that such a framework would empower large, wealthy companies and prevent small start-ups, which might otherwise be the next Twitter or Facebook, for example, from gaining any traction in the market.

Some claim chowder from 2007, “Obama Pledges Net Neutrality Laws if Elected President”:

The question, selected through an online video contest, was posed via video by small-business owner and former AT&T engineer Joe Niederberger, a member of the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org. He asked Obama: “Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate Net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open Internet principles like Net neutrality?”

“The answer is yes,” Obama replied. “I am a strong supporter of Net neutrality.”

He went on to explain the issue briefly: “What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you’re getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web sites… so you could get much better quality from the Fox News site and you’d be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites,” he went on. “And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet — which is that there is this incredible equality there.”

‘Far, Far Away From Your Parents’ 

Speaking of HBO Go, these new commercials are brilliant. (Via John Moltz.)

Amazon Gets Rights to Stream Old HBO Shows 

Peter Kafka:

That means Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to see shows that have already run on HBO, like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.” And they can also watch older seasons of some shows that are still on the air, like “Girls,” three years after they air.

It’s the first time HBO has offered access to its catalog via a streaming video service that’s not its own HBO Go. And it gives Amazon an important bragging right/differentiation point as it tries to gain ground on rival Netflix.

People familiar with the deal say HBO did not shop the catalog to Netflix or other potential Amazon rivals.

In short: you still need HBO Go to watch new shows, and the only way to get HBO Go is to pay for HBO with your cable service. But Fire TV is getting HBO Go, too, “targeting a launch by year-end”.

A Twitter Grammar Question 

PJ Vogt:

We all know the rule for “a” versus “an.” […]

So the sentence “I read a Guardian article” is straightforward. But what about on Twitter? Any time you mention someone in a sentence, you use their handle. Which means every name on Twitter starts with @, a vowel sound. Do we count it? We tried to figure that out this morning.

I say no — even if you’d say the “at” aloud verbally, in writing you should choose a/an based on the first letter in the Twitter handle, not the @ character. Tricky question though.

Appreciating Albert Pujols 

ESPN’s Jayson Stark, on the newest member of baseball’s 500 Homers Club:

So the moral of this story remains the same: Lots of men have hit baseballs over many, many fences. Only the greatest hitters who ever lived have been the all-around offensive forces that Pujols has been. And that’s a fact. […]

But suppose we take all those other numbers out of this and focus just on batting average — which isn’t a measure of power at all but merely of a man’s ability to hit baseballs where nobody with a glove is standing.

At .321, Pujols has the fourth-highest average in the entire 500 Homer Club — trailing only those same three men from the previous list: Williams (.344), Ruth (.342) and Foxx (.325).

Matthew Carter: ‘My Life in Typefaces’ 

Matthew Carter, speaking at TED, on constraints and compromise in design.

iOS 7.1.1 Now Labels Apps With ‘In-App Purchases’ in Top Charts and Featured Sections 

Sort of like putting a (deserved) asterisk after the word “free”.

OS X Beta Seed Program 

New program from Apple:

Join the OS X Beta Seed Program and help make OS X even better. Install the latest pre-release software, try it out, and submit your feedback.

Previously, you had to be a registered developer to get access to OS beta seeds.

Update: I was wrong. The Apple Seed Program for non-developers isn’t new — it’s been around as long as Mac OS X has. What’s new is that it’s now open for anyone to join. Until now, it was by invitation only.

Greg Christie on the Creation of the Original iPhone 

Speaking of Greg Christie, I neglected to link to this fascinating piece by Daisuke Wakabayashi for the WSJ last month. It’s a very rare behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s design process. My favorite tidbit: they simulated the iPhone’s performance by using a then-years-old G3 Mac to run the software while it was in development.

Apple made Christie available to Steve Henn of NPR’s All Things Considered, too. To me, that Apple chose Christie for these profiles is a telling sign that his upcoming retirement from Apple is on nothing but the best of terms. The intention was to let Christie — who is extremely well-liked personally and highly-regarded for his work within the company — go out on top, with well-earned credit where credit is due.

This Week on The Talk Show: Mark Gurman 

Special guest Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac joins me on my podcast for a discussion of Apple journalism, rumors surrounding upcoming Apple products, and UI design chief Greg Christie’s upcoming retirement.

Brought to you by:

Beats Music Starts Selling In-App Subscriptions on iOS 

Peter Kafka, writing for Recode:

Beats CEO Ian Rogers says the decision to sell within the Apple app was fairly straightforward: More than half of Beats users use iPhones, and it’s very hard to get an iOS user to subscribe if you don’t sell in-app.

Two other music subscription services — Rhapsody and Rdio — have also agreed to sell subscriptions within Apple’s app, though Rdio raised the price for in-app subscriptions from $10 a month to $15 a month to accommodate Apple’s tariff.

But Spotify, which is much larger than all three of the services, hasn’t made the move. Spotify does have a free, ad-supported tier available on its mobile app.

So Apple is making money on music subscriptions even though iTunes itself doesn’t (yet?) offer them.

Photographs of Golf Balls Cut in Half 

Surprisingly beautiful photos by James Friedman.

On the Leveling-Off of iPad Sales 

Jean-Louis Gassée, on the widespread expectation that year-over-year iPad sales have leveled off:

Despite the inspiring ads, Apple’s hopes for the iPad overshot what the product can actually deliver. Although there’s a large numbers of iPad-only users, there’s also a substantial population of dual-use customers for whom both tablets and conventional PCs are now part of daily life.

I see the lull in iPad sales as a coming down to reality after unrealistic expectations, a realization that iPads aren’t as ready to replace PCs as many initially hoped.

In short, Gassée is arguing that tablet sales have hit a wall, and that the iPad needs to grow more Mac-like capabilities for advanced tasks.

Gassée’s piece spawned an interesting thread on Twitter, in which Benedict Evans argued:

Posit: slow iPad sales are worse news for the PC market: implies phones can take the greater share of PC use cases.

I find that compelling. We might have overestimated the eventual role of tablets and underestimated the role of phones — and the whole argument is further muddled by the industry-wide move toward 5-inch-ish phone displays.

The Decline of Compact Cameras 

Eric Perlberg has a chart shown at Photokina 2014, showing the rapid decline of standalone point-shoot-cameras. No surprise, of course: mobile devices equipped with cameras have taken over (and revolutionized) the casual photography market.

(Source: Original (in Japanese), and translated.)

Apple on Environmental Responsibility 

Interesting choice of narrator.

WSJ: ‘Mobile-Payments Startup Square Discusses Possible Sale’ 

The WSJ:

Square recorded a loss of roughly $100 million in 2013, broader than its loss in 2012, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The five-year-old company paid out roughly $110 million more in cash last year than it took in, according to two people familiar with the matter. Over the past three years, the startup has consumed more than half of the roughly $340 million it has raised from at least four rounds of equity financing since 2009, two people familiar with the company’s performance said.

I’m sure they can make it up on volume.

Layout in Flipboard for Web and Windows 

Charles Ying, describing how Duplo, Flipboard’s new JavaScript-based layout engine, works:

Duplo starts in a similar way as Pages: A designer creates a set of layouts. From this set, Pages selects the layout that best fits the desired content. However, while Pages looks at about 20 candidate layouts, Duplo looks at anywhere between 2000 to 6000 candidates, searching for the best layout to fit the content.

The Invention of the AeroPress 

Zachary Crockett, writing for Priceonomics, on Alan Adler, inventor of (among other things) the Aerobie flying disc and the AeroPress coffee maker:

Adler says the mainstream toy industry has a tendency to push out new products every three years. “Parker Brothers, for instance, has a quota of ten new toys every year at the NY Toy Fair,” he tells us. Aerobie finds this practice counter-intuitive, and goes against the grain:

“A lot of companies feel the need to release new products; they’ll release products that never really deserved to be sold! They’re just not that good. We don’t look at it that way: we only release products that we think are innovative and offer excellent play value. Companies often spoil products by revising them in an effort to make them new.”

Conversely, Aerobie has stuck with a relatively small list of products (18, over a 30 year business), and has never had to discontinue a product (this is a routine practice at major toy manufacturers).

CNet: Nike Fires FuelBand Engineering Team; Set to Exit Wearable Hardware Market 

Nick Statt, reporting for CNet:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET. […]

There’s increasing competition in the market for wrist-worn fitness trackers, and Nike’s digital app ecosystem, Nike+, has grown less reliant on wearables as smartphone sensors have improved. In other words, it makes less and less sense for Nike to stay in the hardware race when its physical wearables are not bottom-line needle movers, especially as companies like Apple and Google prepare to join the fray.

Interesting, particularly when you consider that Tim Cook sits on the Nike board — and that he wears a FuelBand.

Update: Nike issued a sort of non-denial denial to Recode.

JetPens 

My thanks to JetPens, one of my favorite companies in the world, for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. JetPens offers an incredible selection of the best pens, pencils, and office toys from around the world. A few of their latest items:

My personal favorite for years now is the Zebra Sarasa 0.4mm retractable clip pen (in black, of course). Place an order $25 or more through this link and JetPens will include a free Zebra Sarasa.

If you have any interest in pens and stationery and haven’t looked at JetPens before, you’re in for a real treat.

Typekit Practice 

Tim Brown, Typekit:

Fonts are great, but using them well can be hard. Volumes have been written about typography, yet every good designer will say there are no rules; there is no magic formula for success. Typography simply takes practice. Typography is a practice.

So today, we’re launching a new website: Typekit Practice, a place where novices and experts alike can hone their typographic skills. We hope it will help students learn, help teachers teach, and help professionals stay sharp.

Bloomberg: Apple to Bake Shazam Song Recognition Into iOS 8 

Adam Satariano:

The company is planning to unveil a song-discovery feature in an update of its iOS mobile software that will let users identify a song and its artist using an iPhone or iPad, said two people with knowledge of the product, who asked not to be identified because the feature isn’t public. Apple is working with Shazam Entertainment Ltd., whose technology can quickly spot what’s playing by collecting sound from a phone’s microphone and matching it against a song database. […]

Among the ways it can be used will be through Apple’s voice-activated search feature, Siri. An iPhone user will be able to say something like “what song is playing,” to find out the tune’s details, one person said.

Sounds like a great feature. (Why not just acquire Shazam, though?)

Update: Interesting theory from Sean Heber:

Maybe the Shazam/Siri rumor is based on a Siri API integrating existing Shazam app. No need to acquire in that case

I’d love to see Siri open up with an API for third-party app integration, but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

As for why Apple doesn’t “just acquire” them, as I glibly suggested above — ends up Shazam is shooting for an IPO this year with a valuation of $500 million.

iOS 7 Tint Color Misuse 

Manton Reece:

It has been nearly a year since the first iOS 7 beta, and something about tint color still bugs me. In fact it bothered me enough at the time of the early betas that a filed a bug on it with Apple, something I very rarely do. The problem isn’t so much in the concept of tint color, which I like; having a consistent color for buttons and links, especially now that buttons are so understated, makes a lot of sense. The problem is the implementation in apps that use tint color anytime they want to highlight something, whether it is tappable or not.

Too many buttons that don’t look like buttons — that’s my single biggest gripe about iOS 7.

Lens Blur in the New Google Camera App 

Carlos Hernández, writing for the Google Research blog:

Shallow depth of field makes the object of interest “pop” by bringing the foreground into focus and de-emphasizing the background. Achieving this optical effect has traditionally required a big lens and aperture, and therefore hasn’t been possible using the camera on your mobile phone or tablet.

That all changes with Lens Blur, a new mode in the Google Camera app. It lets you take a photo with a shallow depth of field using just your Android phone or tablet. Unlike a regular photo, Lens Blur lets you change the point or level of focus after the photo is taken. You can choose to make any object come into focus simply by tapping on it in the image.

Interesting idea. Like filters, it’s another way to use software cleverness to work around the physical limitations of the small cameras in mobile devices.

Misunderstanding Innovation 

Horace Dediu:

But there is another form of ignorance which seems to be universal: the inability to understand the concept and role of innovation. The way this is exhibited is in the misuse of the term and the inability to discern the difference between novelty, creation, invention and innovation. The result is a failure to understand the causes of success and failure in business and hence the conditions that lead to economic growth.

This is a step toward understanding why so many people get Apple so very wrong. If you don’t understand what innovation really is, you’re not going to understand an innovative company.

Bloomberg: How Americans Die 

Both the data itself and the visualizations of it are fascinating.

On Yahoo’s Chances of Replacing Google as the Default Web Search on iOS 

Danny Sullivan, on a Kara Swisher report that Marissa Mayer is trying to get Yahoo to replace Google as iOS’s default for web search:

The biggest challenge Yahoo has is that it lacks any solid search technology. Sure, Yahoo has some for very specialized things. But the core technology to sift through billions of pages across the web and ferret out relevant results? Yahoo gave all that up as part of its deal with Microsoft years ago. […]

Some might think that Yahoo doesn’t need to do as big a job as Google or Bing does. Maybe it just needs to focus on answering popular questions. That, however, overlooks the fact that if Yahoo can’t answer virtually every question tossed at it, consumers will get frustrated. For all the talk about mobile search, contextual search, popular answers, predictive search, local listings, it’s web search that remains the core foundation that everything is built off of. If you don’t have that foundation, everything can topple over.

As Sullivan points out, after the maps switch, Apple is probably more gun-shy about dropping Google as the default web search provider than they otherwise would have been.

What’s New in Tumult Hype 2.5 

Speaking of great updates to my favorite Mac apps, the latest version of the amazing Tumult Hype — a professional HTML5 animation tool — has a slew of new features, including support for responsive design. Hard to believe this app costs only $30.

Screens 3.0 for Mac 

Sweet update to the Mac version of my favorite VNC client. If you ever have the need to control a Mac remotely, you should check out Screens.

Brent Simmons on Build 2014 

Brent Simmons:

While seeing iOS devices on a big screen in Moscone West was normal to us, we knew you’d never see Apple feature Android or Windows Mobile devices in their keynotes.

Nor should they. That’s not a criticism — that’s just not Apple’s thing. It’s the new Microsoft’s thing to be cosmopolitan.

I talked to a number of Microsoft employees — on the Azure side — and got the same sense from all of them. They’re excited. They know they’re underdogs; they know that Amazon Web Services is dominant.

They also know that the kind of dominance Microsoft once had — where just about everything that computed ran Windows — is gone and will never come back.

Could just be my skewed perspective, but one thing I didn’t see much of at Build were references to Android. Like Brent notes, there were many references to iPhone and iPad development, including demos during the keynote (not to mention Q Branch’s brief moment in the spotlight). But Android, not so much.

Microsoft has in no way given up on Windows Phone or the tablet market. But the change I detect is a narrowing of their focus. They now (correctly, I say) view Android/Google as their competition, rather than “everyone”. And there’s a decided “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing going on with iOS/Apple too. I hope Apple sees the same thing.

Justin Williams on Build 2014 

I’m a few weeks late linking to this, but I didn’t want to let it slide. Long-time iOS developer Justin Williams, on attending Microsoft’s Build developer conference:

One of the biggest differences I noticed between an event like Build and WWDC was in the subtle messaging. Both Apple and Microsoft are massive companies that make billions of dollars and answer to their shareholders. Both companies also offer development platforms for third-parties to integrate with.

What’s different though is that it feels like Microsoft is more interested in working with us as a partner whereas Apple has always given off a vibe of just sort of dealing with us because they have to. Maybe that’s a little sour grapes, but as a developer it was a nice change.

The differences from WWDC — especially since both were held in the same venue, Moscone West — were fascinating to me. Little things, like the keynote hall being arranged sideways (wide, rather than deep), to big things, like a press room that was open all conference long. At WWDC, press passes are good only for the Monday morning keynote; at Build, invited press can stay all conference long and attend sessions.

It’s not so much that Microsoft is friendlier, but rather that Apple is distant — cooler, in several senses of the word.

‘It’s a 0.1 Update That Feels Like a 2.0 Update’ 

Peter Bright reviews Windows Phone 8.1 for Ars Technica:

Windows Phone 8.1, therefore, has a lot of work to do. It needs to take further steps along the path toward Microsoft’s vision of a unified operating system. It needs to work better on a wider range of hardware to both strengthen its position at the low end and give it a chance of making inroads at the high end. It needs to also offer features: it needs to do things to get people talking about the platform while attracting both users and developers.

Remarkably, Windows Phone 8.1 delivers on all fronts.

When a Committee Builds a Smartphone 

David Pogue reviews the Samsung Galaxy S5:

What is gunking up your screens is Samsung’s usual not-fully-thought-through assemblage of app flotsam. Why do you need one app for Gmail and another for other kinds of email accounts? Why do you need two photo apps — one from Samsung, one from Google? Two Settings apps? Two text-messaging apps? Two video players?

This is the dark side of the Android experience: One company makes the hardware, another makes the software. Now they’re becoming rivals, and we can already see who the loser will be: you.

My favorite part is the “one-handed mode”. And what’s the deal with all those inscrutable icons in the status bar?

‘The Pinnacle of Fitness Failure: Samsung’s Gear Fit Activity Tracker’ 

DC Rainmaker:

This is a product I wanted to love, but ultimately, it just ended up being a huge disappointment. Hopefully Samsung can iterate quickly on the software, and move the platform forward to something that someone might actually want to buy. In the meantime, mine is going into my desk drawer.

What happens when Samsung doesn’t have a market leader to copy.

Siri Honors Jackie Robinson 

Classy.

Samsung Launches Website Highlighting ‘Meaningful’ Design 

You can’t make this stuff up.

Apple, Samsung, and Intel 

Matt Richman argues that Intel is a natural fit to manufacture ARM CPUs for Apple:

This arrangement would benefit both companies in a number of ways. Apple would no longer depend upon Samsung, its biggest competitor, to produce the chips at the heart of its most successful products. (This is analogous to America asking China to build its most advanced missiles and hoping the country won’t use any of the top-secret technology it learns about for its own benefit when it’s clearly in China’s best interest to do so.) And because Intel has manufacturing capabilities that other companies don’t, Apple might well be able to create better chips than it would be able to if it were to continue using Samsung as its chip manufacturer. Finally, the company would have peace of mind knowing that its chip producer doesn’t stand to gain anything from a processor shortfall, as Samsung does. Even if the factory were to cost $5 billion — and it wouldn’t — it’d be worth it. Steve Jobs said Apple’s cash hoard is for “big, bold” “strategic opportunities”. This move exemplifies that thinking.

Chris Ware on Apple 

Speaking of Chris Ware, I’m deeply intrigued by his thoughts on Apple, from a 2012 interview with Christopher Irving for Graphic NYC:

“I really admire Apple’s design, and feel that the general idea and driving principle behind it almost since their inception is to make information tactile. They’re finally getting to this point now where one can manipulate information with the hands and the body. As designers, they’re also so sensitive in ways that I don’t think any other computer makers understand, as their chief designer knows it has to do with very measured, combined subtleties of tactility and weight and gesture and materials. In a way, they’re almost a nineteenth century company, more sensitive to the world of nature than to technology, or at least respectful of it. I can certainly see reading comics electronically, with the possibilities for inter-penetrability of story and image, but I think comics will have to develop into something completely different before that happens.”

(Thanks to DF reader Logan York.)

BGR on Amazon’s Upcoming Smartphone 

Zach Epstein:

The most novel aspect of Amazon’s upcoming smartphone is its 3D software interface and the hardware mechanism that enables it.

Our sources state that the new Amazon phone includes a total of six cameras.

Can’t wait to see this 3D stuff. In the meantime, though, I can’t help but think of this.

‘Heads or Tails’ 

Beautiful comic by the incomparable Chris Ware.

‘How Much for the Drums?’ 

Dave Shumka:

Ever since I made this video of David Letterman talking to drummers, I’ve wondered if he’s actually seen it. I recently asked one of his writers, Bill Scheft, on Twitter. According to Scheft, not only has Letterman watched it, but “he loved it as he loved few things.” I realize that it just seems like I’m bragging on the internet, but that’s about the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

With all the news surrounding Letterman’s retirement, it feels like a fine time to revisit the video.

Dieter Bohn of The Verge Profiles Project Ara, Google’s Modular Phone Project 

I remain highly skeptical that a modular design can compete in a product category where size, weight, and battery life are at such a premium. Even if they can bring something to market, why would any normal person be interested in a phone like this?

Jason Snell on Apple and Wearables 

Jason Snell:

Unfortunately, I fear that tech-industry observers have completely lost their perspective. As Rene has written, no matter how big the wearables market gets, it’s still not going to touch the smartphone market.

IDC reported that in 2013, one billion smartphones were shipped, up 38 percent from the previous year. That’s a fast-growing market worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, on Thursday IDC predicted that the wearables market will reach 112 million units in 2018.

In other words, in four years the wearables market might grow to be one-tenth the size of today’s smartphone market — in units shipped. Presumably the average selling price of wearable items will be a fraction of that of smartphones, meaning the dollar value of the wearables market is even more minuscule compared to the smartphone market.

The pricing issue is a big one: carrier-subsidized pricing blinds many people to the fact that iPhones really sell for $700-800 a pop. Some analyst predicted last week that Apple will sell watches “priced at several thousand dollars”. Maybe they will, but if they do, they sure as shit aren’t going to sell as many of them as they do iPhones.

It feels a lot more likely to me that any new wearable devices from Apple will be priced more along the line of iPods: in the $100-400 range. Maybe a little higher at the outset, coming down over time. (I wouldn’t even be surprised if they use the iPod brand for them.)

Igloo 

My thanks to Igloo — “the intranet you’ll actually like” — for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. This week Igloo introduced four new templates to help start your next intranet project. You can start with:

  • an app-based social intranet;
  • a corporate intranet;
  • a customer community;
  • or a partner portal

Igloo’s new templates share a unified visual language, but your Igloo can be fully designed to match your brand and the way your business is structured. All Igloo templates feature responsive design, so they looks great on any device — desktop, tablet, or phone. Igloo built its own public-facing website using the Igloo platform.

You can start using Igloo instantly and, amazingly, Igloo is free of charge for up to ten people.

Researcher Proves Heartbleed Bug Exposes Private SSL Keys 

Josh Ong, reporting for The Next Web:

Fedor Indutny, a core member of the node.js team, has proved that it is in fact possible for an attacker to sniff out the private SSL keys from a server left exposed by the Heartbleed bug. The proof came in response to a challenge from CloudFlare that called on the security community to grab the keys from a demo server.

‘Brightest Flashlight’ Android App Disclosed Location of 50 Million People, but FTC Imposes No Fine 

Jeff John Roberts, writing for GigaOm:

Even judging by the low standards of creepy data-mining apps, “Brightest Flashlight” did something pretty egregious. The free app, which was installed by at least 50 million Android users, transmitted users’ real-time locations to ad networks and other third parties. It was, in other words, a stalking device disguised as a flashlight.

Cocoa for Web Services 

Brent Simmons:

The cloud is more than just a file system. It’s data plus code.

Amazon Buys ComiXology 

Jason Snell, writing for TechHive:

Comic fans may groan about the sale — it’s always sad when a plucky, groundbreaking start-up is bought out by a corporate giant — but Amazon’s track record with purchases is actually pretty good. The company has bought Zappos, Goodreads, Woot, and Audible, all of which continue to operate more or less as they did before, rather than being integrated into Amazon.com.

Atelier Playing Cards 

Sweet typography-centric playing card design by Robert Padbury. The Kickstarter project is just a few days old, but already fully-funded. I say we all pile on and make this project a big hit. (Bonus: the t-shirts are being printed by my pal Brian Jaramillo, who’s handled all DF t-shirts for many years.)

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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