A big part of that joy, for me, is that this isn’t like anything else in my life, and the difference is refreshing.
Most of my work and hobbies involve technologically cutting-edge digital electronics reliant on complex, inconsistent software, with a typical lifetime of a few years at most. Almost everything else I use and make is effectively disposable.
This is a huge part of the appeal of mechanical watches for me. No electricity. Just mechanics. They’re tangible in a way that software never can be.
For similar reasons, I still read most books on paper.
My thanks to Igloo for once again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Igloo is an intranet you’ll actually like. It can help your company or team share information and collaborate in one unified space — from any device.
What is Error 53? Well, it basically turns your iPhone into a
brick. Why? Well it all ties into the Touch ID sensor on your
The problem occurs when an unauthorized repair center replaces a
home button. At first, the phone might work — with everything,
including Touch ID, seeming perfectly fine.
But as soon as you go to update to a newer version of iOS (or you
attempt to restore your phone from a backup), the software checks
to make sure the Touch ID sensor matches the rest of the hardware.
If it finds that there isn’t a match, your phone is basically
It seems very reasonable to me that iOS should check for a trusted Touch ID sensor. But, if the sensor can’t be trusted, clearly the whole phone should not be bricked — it should simply disable Touch ID and Apple Pay. And, obviously, it should inform the user why. Putting up an alert that just says “Error 53” is almost comically bad.
When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services division in
late 2013 and began integrating the storied Lumia brand into its
offerings, it was hailed by Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer as
“a bold step into the future — a win-win for employees,
shareholders, and consumers of both companies.” Since then,
Microsoft has folded much of its $7.5 billion acquisition into
other divisions of the company, laid off thousands of former Nokia
employees, slashed its output of smartphones per year, and
eventually wrote off the entire purchase in a $7.6 billion
impairment charge. Fast forward to early 2016, when we will soon
see a quiet launch of what’s widely believed to be the final
Microsoft Lumia-branded handset, the Lumia 650.
Kashmir Hill, following up on this story from a few weeks ago:
Maynor thinks it’s possible that an app seeking to better locate a
phone might take the IP-based location and then look next to a
mapping database of wireless devices it knows in the area; with
little to choose from there, it may be locking onto Lee and Saba’s
router as the closest to the IP-chosen location and then pinpoint
them as the exact location of the phone.
But he’s still uncertain. Maynor says he feels like Sherlock
Holmes trying to solve this tech mystery.
“These are theories and I am trying to prove them. It’s like that
Conan Doyle quote, ‘Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever
remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth,’” said
Maynor. “But I’m still not satisfied. I want to find more of a
smoking gun. We need to know what app people are using to find
their phones and then look at what databases they’re relying on
“I agree with Bill Gurley on this. Man up! Woman up! Fucking do
it! Don’t be chicken!” Wilson ranted, referring to another
One company in Wilson’s crosshairs is Uber, the ride-hailing
company valued at more than $62 billion in the private market. Its
CEO, Travis Kalanick, does not appear to be in any hurry to take
the company public. Kalanick sees an Uber IPO as being a few years
off still, and has compared its situation to being like an
eighth-grader while people are telling them to go to the prom.
Wilson, who isn’t an investor in the company, doesn’t buy it.
“He’s wimping out. That should be a publicly traded company,”
A VC upset that a company is not going public, thus preventing other VCs from reaping huge profits? Shocker.
In the days following Apple’s record Q1 earnings announcements,
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other top Apple executives held a Town Hall
meeting at the Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino to reveal
new announcements and take attendee questions.
Multiple sources in attendance at the event said that Cook as well
as newly appointed Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams each
spoke and made announcements and teases related to new employee
benefits, future iPad growth, Apple Watch sales, future retail
stores in China, Apple Campus 2, and the future product pipeline. […]
Lots of interesting tidbits, including the fact that Apple Watch sold better in its first holiday quarter than the original iPhone did in 2007.
He also touched upon the new Cupertino Apple Campus 2, noting that
Apple employees will likely first begin moving into the new campus
by the end of January 2017. He emphasized how important the new
theater will be in giving Apple flexibility to hold larger events
on its own campus versus relying on places in San Fransisco or San
Jose. Cook reportedly called the new campus a “gift” to the future
of Apple employees.
It occurs to me that next month’s Apple Event might be the last one ever held in the small theater on Apple’s existing campus.
So why the dirty fuckballs did I charge you five dollars for
Horace and Pete, where most TV shows you buy online are 3 dollars
or less? Well, the dirty unmovable fact is that this show is
The standup specials are much more containable. It’s one guy on a
stage in a theater and in most cases, the cost of the tickets that
the live audience paid, was enough to finance the filming.
But Horace and Pete is a full on TV production with four broadcast
cameras, two beautiful sets and a state of the art control room
and a very talented and skilled crew and a hall-of-fame cast.
Every second the cameras are rolling, money is shooting out of my
asshole like your mother’s worst diarrhea. (Yes there are less
upsetting metaphors I could be using but I just think that one is
the sharpest and most concise). Basically this is a hand-made, one
guy paid for it version of a thing that is usually made by a giant
I watched the first episode. It’s a really unusual show. On the surface level, it feels very familiar, with a cast of well-known actors and a very traditional old-school multi-camera look and feel. Horace and Pete looks like an old CBS show, in particular, to my eyes.
But what the characters do and say, and what is going on in their lives, is nothing at all like traditional TV. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition — familiar comfort-food in terms of how it looks, but unconventional in terms of what is actually going on.
Amazon will indeed open up more bookstores, but it also plans to
eventually unveil other types of retail stores in addition to
bookstores, according to two sources familiar with the plans.
It’s not yet clear what those stores will sell or how they will be
formatted, but the retail team’s mission is to reimagine what
shopping in a physical store would be like if you merged the best
of physical retail with the best of Amazon.
So they’ll start with books, then expand to other products. Sounds familiar.
If Voice Memos are Post-Its — a quick and dirty tool to make sure
I didn’t forget an idea — then Music Memos is a sketchbook. This
is where I start the songwriting process, and every part of the
app is designed to help facilitate the process and, most
shockingly of all, guide me to the next step in fleshing the song
Music Memos has so many other tricks up its sleeves that I almost
feel like someone at Apple has been reading my dream journal. An
app for recording song ideas that uses a robust tagging system is
something I’ve personally wanted to build for a long time, but
throw in a guitar tuner, chord and tempo detection, exporting to
GarageBand, and magical automatic backing instruments, and the
dream becomes borderline pornographic.
I’m not a songwriter, so the app isn’t useful to me personally, but I’m really impressed by the design of this app. It is attractive, well-organized, simple, and thoughtful. And judging by Dave’s take (and Serenity Caldwell’s), it’s genuinely useful and solves a heretofore unsolved problem.
So all is not lost when it comes to Apple putting out high-quality apps.
But there’s more than just metal, glass, and silicon to these
products. Apple’s built-in software is a huge part of the
experience, and has been since the company introduced the first
Mac in 1984. Whether it’s the operating systems or the core apps,
a major aspect of what makes both users and reviewers value Apple
products is software that melds power, reliability, and ease of
use. “It just works!” was a favorite Steve Jobs phrase.
In the last couple of years, however, I’ve noticed a gradual
degradation in the quality and reliability of Apple’s core apps,
on both the mobile iOS operating system and its Mac OS X platform.
It’s almost as if the tech giant has taken its eye off the ball
when it comes to these core software products, while it pursues
big new dreams, like smartwatches and cars.
In particular, Mossberg singles out iTunes (on the desktop), Mail, and iCloud sync issues.
Have you ever looked at someone’s hairstyle and thought “oh my,
you peaked in the 1990s?” Well that’s a bit how I feel about
Uber’s look today. It’s not just that we were young and in a
hurry when we replaced our red magnet logo with today’s black
badge four years ago. It’s that we were a fundamentally different
So today, we’re excited to roll out a new look and feel that
celebrates our technology, as well as the cities we serve.
The new logo mark feels like a solid improvement over the old. It feels familiar, but sturdier. Everything else they’re doing with this refresh seems like a bunch of nonsense. I just don’t get it. I think it’s fine for a company as young as Uber to start over from scratch with their brand. It’s risky, because Uber is already pretty well known, but, if you decide you need a change, the sooner you do it the better. But their new brand doesn’t make for a cohesive whole. It doesn’t feel like a new version of the old Uber brand, and it gives me no sense of what the new Uber brand feels like.
The bigger issue with the redesign — far more troubling — than
the logo redesign is the app icon. In this case the app icon gets
more action than the logo itself. That’s the first interaction
from most users. If I wasn’t a fan of the curl in the “U” of the
old logo I was even less of a fan of the inward serifs of the old
icon. But, hey, it was a “U” for Uber and it was shiny like the
badge on the grill of a car. The new icon is completely
unidentifiable in any way as Uber other than it saying “Uber”
underneath. Let’s assume that it’s a matter of being used to
poking on that icon for the last five or six years and that we
just need to get used to poking at this new one but, even then, it
seems like this is an icon for something else altogether. I don’t
think there is enough strength in the bit as the principal (and
literal) touchpoint. Having a separate icon for drivers that looks
even less like anything doesn’t help the cause of establishing a
consistent, recognizable mobile environment.
Update: Everyone I know thinks of Uber as the company whose app you use to hail a car to drive you somewhere. Uber has greater ambitions than that. That’s fine. But they created this new brand to fit with their ambitions, and as a result, it doesn’t fit with what everyone who uses them thinks of them right now. Compare and contrast to Amazon. Amazon has expanded to major new initiatives like developer web services and online streaming of video. But along the way they never broke the original brand that says “This is where you go to buy books”. This new Uber brand (and especially the app icon) does not say “This is what you use to hail a ride.”
Apple has finally set the date for its first big event of 2016:
The Ides of March.
Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News the company has
chosen March 15 as the date it will show off a handful of new
Among the devices Apple plans to unveil are the next generation
version of the iPad Air and a new smaller iPhone. Approximately
the same size as the iPhone 5s, this smaller iPhone will feature a
4-inch display and a faster chip. Also on board: Support for Apple
Pay, the company’s mobile payment service. A selection of new
Apple Watch bands is also expected.
The Intercept recently discovered a pattern of deception in the
actions of a staff member. The employee, Juan Thompson, was a
staff reporter from November 2014 until last month. Thompson
fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email
accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a
Gmail account in my name.
An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three
instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they
had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were
attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not
remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be
confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we
cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have
encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to
deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a
source and lying about his reporting methods.
This sort of scandal can sink a publication. Seems like The Intercept is handling this as best they can, by getting out in front of it.
I’ve been undergoing radiation treatment for testicular cancer
and, since I no longer have health insurance, I’ve been feverishly
struggling and figuring out how to pay for my treatment. All of
this, of course, has taken up my time and energy; except for the
few moments I’ve spent searching for some relief.
With regards to verifying the comments, I’m in STL undergoing
treatment, again, and not in NY, thus I lack access to my
notebooks (which I took for most stories) to address these
matters. Moreover, after finally looking over the notes sent to
me, I must say this: I had a habit of writing drafts of stories,
placing the names of ppl I wanted to get quotes from in there, and
then going to fetch the quotes.
Dealing with a serial fabulist is so hard. Does he really have cancer? I hope not, and if he does, I of course wish him well. But what The Intercept is alleging goes far beyond getting the names wrong of sources he quoted — and being ill is no excuse for it.
Apple’s iPhone 7 isn’t expected to launch until the usual
September timeframe, but we’re starting to get our first hints of
what we might be able to expect for the new device. According to a
source who has provided reliable information in the past, the
iPhone 7 body will appear very similar to the design used for the
iPhone 6 and 6s, with two significant exceptions.
The first involves the rear camera, which protrudes slightly on
the iPhone 6 and 6s. On the iPhone 7, the camera is said to sit
flush with the rear casing, enabled by a thinner camera module.
Recent rumors have indicated Apple is considering equipping the
iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens rear camera, but the smaller iPhone
7 is expected to include a more traditional camera.
I hate that damn camera bump, so it’d be great to see it go. But man, I’m going to be disappointed if the 5.5-inch model gets the new two-lens camera and the 4.7-inch one does not.
Fancy owning Apple Inc, the entire company, for no money down?
Well if the current share price level doesn’t go any higher, in
less than 8 years time someone will be able to pick up the company
effectively for free.
Google reported profit and sales that topped estimates, lifted by
robust sales of online ads and tighter cost controls, putting
parent Alphabet Inc. on track to overtake Apple Inc. as the
world’s most valuable company.
The results, reported for the first time under a new structure
that separates Google’s main search and advertising operations
from riskier investments, show that fourth-quarter revenue,
excluding sales passed on to partners, rose 19 percent to $17.3
billion. That exceeded analysts’ average projection for $16.9
billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, before
certain items, was $8.67 a share, beating the prediction for
The shares of Mountain View, California-based Alphabet rose as
much as 9.4 percent in extended trading. The stock advanced 1.2
percent to $770.77 at the close in New York, giving the company a
market capitalization of $523.1 billion, compared with $534.7
billion for Apple.
This week’s episode of my podcast, The Talk Show, with special guest Matthew Panzarino. Topics include Apple’s quarterly financial results, rumors of Apple working on VR handsets and “wireless” charging for iPhones, Bezos charts, and more.
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Cinephilia and Beyond goes deep on Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, one of my very favorites among favorites:
What is now considered one of Stanley Kubrick’s most accomplished films, as well as an example of innovative, audacious filmmaking at its best, was almost given birth to by accident. After Kubrick’s dream of making Napoleon crumbled into pieces, he used this studious research and shifted his ambitions and talent into William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon. The story of an unscrupulous Irish scoundrel who marries into high society and advances in the aristocratic society of 18th century England proved an ideal ground for the master to exhibit his storytelling powers. With the significant help of his director of photography John Alcott, Kubrick created a cinematic world that could be most easily described as a moving 18th century painting. Giving its best to avoid using electric sources of artificial light, relying on the illuminating power of candles and natural lighting, investing enormous effort into costume design, Barry Lyndon looks genuine through and through. Moreover, it leaves the impression of actually being comprised of works of art taken down from the walls of some filthily rich British nobleman.
Includes links to the (very curiously formatted) screenplay, and American Cinematographer’s two March 1976 articles on John Alcott’s photography.
My thanks to Meh.com — the people who created Woot, sold Woot to Amazon, abandoned Woot, and started again — for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. If you liked Woot back when Woot was just one deal a day (and funny), you’ll like Meh.com.
Stephen Hackett, “The Case Against Control Center”:
I don’t think this has aged very well, unfortunately, and it’s
mostly Control Center’s fault. In addition to it being confusing
to have a hidden panel at the top of the screen, having one at the
bottom too is a lot to handle for some users. But there’s a bigger
problem in my mind: Control Center just does way too many things.
I love the top row and screen brightness settings, but as I get
closer to the bottom of the screen, the usefulness of Control
Center lessens. With the exception of maybe the flashlight button,
I’d be fine if the bottom row went away, Calculator and that
creepy new Night Mode button included.
I think Apple could simplify all of this by looking to Android’s
Notifications Drawer, where all of this stuff is in one
pull-down tray from the top of the screen. Pull down a little to
see notifications; pull down further to reveal a set of utilities.
I couldn’t disagree more strenuously. Control Center is probably my single favorite system-level UI change to iOS ever. I kind of wish you could change the apps hard-coded at the bottom (I’d replace Calculator with PCalc, for example), but I use it all the time.
I think Notification Center and Today view could still use some improvement. But cramming Control Center into the same pull-down sheet would make things worse, not better. Putting the dynamic Notification Center at the top and the static Control Center at the bottom provides a consistent spatial familiarity. It makes these features feel like they’re part of the hardware. (And I think Android might have to make them both pull-down-from-the-top because Android phones have soft buttons at the bottom of the display.)
Suddenly, it’s easy to pass audio between applications on your
Mac. Create virtual audio devices to take the sound from
applications and audio input devices, then send it to audio
processing applications. Loopback gives you the power of a
high-end studio mixing board, right inside your computer.
This is the sort of app few people need, but for those who need it, it’s a godsend. I can see a lot of uses for this for screencasters and podcasters.
In other words, the tech sector doesn’t have to be the poster
child of inequality’s abuses. It could actually be a role model.
Take just one potential remedy as a thought experiment. Let’s say
we decided as a society that no private company should have a pay
ratio above 40:1. That would lead to a radical decrease in income
inequality, and it wouldn’t involve a cent of additional taxes.
Every private company would be allowed to keep the exact same
portion of its income. The government wouldn’t be extracting money
out of the private sector; it would just put some boundaries on
the way the private sector distributes its money internally.
Critics would scream that such a dramatic intervention would be
terrible for business, but of course the one sector of the economy
that has already voluntarily embraced this ratio turns out to have
nurtured the most profitable corporations in the history of
capitalism. This would no doubt be fiddling with the natural
markets for wages, but we fiddle with these all the time, through
progressive income taxes, earned income tax credits, subsidies,
and tax incentives. We have a minimum wage. What if we had a
It’s hard to feel good about Windows phone right now: Microsoft
sold just 4.5 million Lumias in the most recent quarter, good for
1.1 percent of the smart phone market. And that’s down from 10.5
million in the same quarter a year ago. It’s even down from the
previous (and non-holiday) quarter, which is … alarming, actually.
This thing has fallen through the floor faster than anyone really
imagined it would.
But it is worth reminding people that Microsoft is simply
following through on its promised strategy of July 2015. Which was
to reduce its exposure to per-unit losses (Microsoft, like Nokia,
loses money on every Lumia) and keep Windows phone in market
artificially, on life support, so that it could continue
developing a cross platform Windows 10 and the universal apps
platform. That is, Windows phone really is dead. But Microsoft
will sell you one if you’re a fan.
Another sign that the platform is dead: I don’t see anyone complaining about the lack of apps and developer support any more. It’s just accepted that Windows Phone doesn’t have the apps that iOS and Android do.
Instead of price-dropping the iPhone 6 or coming up with a variant
of that platform, like an iPhone 6c, Apple would simply update the
iPhone 5s. Even with a late 2015 A9 processor, iSight camera
system, and NFC radio for Apple Pay, component costs could still be
kept within Apple’s target range for price point and margins. That
way, just like the iPod touch refresh last year, people who still
want the iPhone 5s get it, but with specifications that deliver an
updated, modern experience.
A new 4-inch iPhone with an A9 processor and Touch ID solves a few problems for Apple, in one swoop. It gives Apple a modern iPhone to sell to people who really do prefer the smaller size, and it gives them a low-end-of-the-lineup model that is technically relevant for another 18-24 months.
When developer James Knight was on the job market recently, he
considered applying to several of the big tech companies and
immediately crossed Apple off his list.
“Apple’s culture is one that’s so negative, so strict, so harsh,”
said Knight, a talented 27-year-old coder who left a job at Google
for more lucrative freelance work. “At Apple, you’re gonna be
working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at
any moment? That’s a very hostile work environment.” […]
Knight says he and many of his friends value lifestyle over
salary. “I’m the kind of person who likes to show up to work
sometimes at 11, or maybe work from home one day. And Apple’s not
the place you can do that,” Knight said. “Apple can move away from
that culture but culture takes time. A lot of time. And stock
prices drop hourly.”
I’ve been saying for a while now that recruiting and talent retention are the single biggest problem Apple faces. But my take on it is subtle. Apple is driven by A-team talent, and A-team talent is in high demand across the whole industry. And as Guy English has pointed out, it’s a lot less exciting to be working on the tenth-generation iPhone than the first-generation of something new. The other problem Apple faces is that it’s not just any A-team talent that Apple needs, Apple needs A-team talent that understands and appreciates Apple’s design-focused culture.
That said, this Guardian piece by Bowles seems to be trying to argue that Apple is having trouble hiring anyone, period. That sounds like nonsense to me. And this James Knight guy sounds more like someone who Apple wouldn’t want to hire in the first place than someone who Apple covets but can’t get.
Henson made 179 ten-second spots for Wilkins Coffee, a regional
company with distribution in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. market,
according to the Muppets Wiki: “The local stations only had ten
seconds for station identification, so the Muppet commercials had
to be lightning-fast–essentially, eight seconds for the commercial
pitch and a two-second shot of the product.”
Within those eight seconds, a coffee enthusiast named Wilkins (who
bears a resemblance to Kermit the Frog) manages to shoot, stab,
bludgeon or otherwise do grave bodily harm to a coffee holdout
named Wontkins. Henson provided the voices of both characters.
With a lack of hardware, lack of sales, and less than 2 percent
market share, it’s time to call it: Windows Phone is dead. Real
Windows on phones might become a thing with Continuum eventually,
but Windows Phone as we know it is done. It won’t stop Microsoft
producing a few handsets every year as a vanity project, but for
everyone else it’s the end of the line.
With a lack of hardware, lack of sales, and less than 2 percent market share, Windows Phone has never actually been alive. It’s never gotten off the ground.
But, underneath all that, Twitter’s fundamental problem is this:
it’s too hard to use.
To potential new users, it’s a real challenge to learn all of
Twitter’s often arcane little features. And even for people who
have been using the service multiple times daily for years, like
me, it can be tricky to decide when to use which feature and in
which situation. For instance, new users might be confused about
what a retweet is, or the difference between that and a “quote
tweet” (where you say more about something you’re reposting). And
they surely might not understand the need to place a period before
the handle of a user, when that handle is at the very start of a
tweet you compose, yet not elsewhere in the tweet.
I do think Twitter has become far too complicated. The original appeal of Twitter was largely based on its simplicity. But I have argued for years that the fundamental problem is that Twitter is compared to Facebook, and it shouldn’t be. Facebook appeals to billions of people. “Most people”, it’s fair to say. Twitter appeals to hundreds of millions of people. That’s amazing, and there’s tremendous value in that — but it’s no Facebook. Cramming extra features into Twitter will never make it as popular as Facebook — it will only dilute what it is that makes Twitter as popular and useful as it is.
Google researchers David Silver and Demis Hassabis:
So how strong is AlphaGo? To answer this question, we played a
tournament between AlphaGo and the best of the rest - the top Go
programs at the forefront of A.I. research. Using a single
machine, AlphaGo won all but one of its 500 games against these
programs. In fact, AlphaGo even beat those programs after giving
them 4 free moves headstart at the beginning of each game. A
high-performance version of AlphaGo, distributed across many
machines, was even stronger.
It seemed that AlphaGo was ready for a greater challenge. So we
invited the reigning 3-time European Go champion Fan Hui — an
elite professional player who has devoted his life to Go since the
age of 12 — to our London office for a challenge match. The match
was played behind closed doors between October 5-9 last year.
AlphaGo won by 5 games to 0 — the first time a computer program
has ever beaten a professional Go player.
Twitter is close to hiring Natalie Kerris, the longtime and
high-profile Apple communications exec, to run its communications
unit, a critically important job given the intense media and
investor interest on the social communications company.
Kerris is well known in Silicon Valley for her job as one of the
top public relations and communications staffers at Apple. She was
in the running for the top job at the tech giant, which went to
Steve Dowling, after the departure of Katie Cotton.
At this time last year, we had four shipping apps on iPad —
OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniPlan — but just one
of those apps was available on iPhone. Apple had just shipped the
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and with their larger screens we decided to
bring all our apps to iPhone. And we did just that, shipping free
universal updates to the iPad apps that made them also run on
iPhone: first OmniGraffle on March 5, then OmniPlan on March 12,
OmniOutliner on March 19, and finally OmniFocus on April 2.
(OmniFocus was actually ready on April 1, but if we shipped it
that day I worried that people might think the whole thing was an
April Fools’ joke!)
Among long-time Mac developers, I think the Omni Group is doing as good a job as anyone at making iOS development a thriving part of their business.
Up next, some cool news for OmniOutliner:
For OmniOutliner, I’m very pleased to share that we have some
major writing improvements on the way! On both Mac and iOS, we
plan to support distraction-free full-screen editing, the ability
to see your current word count, and support for directly editing
iOS Revenue. I brought this up last year and we still haven’t
licked it. We had a change of heart — well, an experimental
change of heart — and reduced the price of our iOS apps in 2015
to normalize them at $9.99 or less, thinking that was the upper
limit and/or sweet spot for iOS app pricing. But it didn’t have a
meaningful impact on sales.
More and more I’m beginning to think we simply made the wrong type
of apps for iOS — we made professional tools that aren’t really
“in demand” on that platform — and that price isn’t our problem,
but interest is.
So, once again, we will investigate raising our iOS app prices
in 2016, with two hopes: that the awesome customers that love and
need these apps understand the incredible amount of work that
goes into them and that these people are also willing to pay more
for a quality professional app (whereas, say, the casual gamer
Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you very much for joining us.
Today, we’re reporting Apple’s strongest financial results ever.
We generated all-time record quarterly revenue of 75.9 billion
dollars in the December quarter, in line with our expectations,
and have 2 percent over last year’s blockbuster results.
This is a huge accomplishment for our company, especially given
the turbulent world around us. In constant currency, our growth
rate would have been 8 percent. Our record revenue and continued
strong operating performance also led to an all-time record
quarterly net income of 18.4 billion dollars. We sold 74.8 million
iPhones in the December quarter, an all-time high. To put that
volume into perspective, it’s an average of over 34,000 iPhones an
hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 13 straight weeks.
It’s almost 50 percent more than our Q1 volume just two years ago,
and more than four times our volume five years ago.
The big news, though, is that Apple’s forecast for this quarter has iPhone sales dipping year-over-year for the first time ever. Here’s why:
We see that Q2 is the toughest compare. We believe it’s the
toughest compare because the year-ago quarter also had catchup in
it from Q1; if you recall, we were heavily supply-constrained
throughout the whole of Q1, and so some of that demand moved into
Q2. Plus, we’re in an environment now that is dramatically
different from a macroeconomic point of view than last Q2: from a
currency point of view, from the level at which we’ve had to
adjust pricing in several of these markets, and sort of the
overall malaise in virtually every country in the world. It’s
really all of those factors that play in there, and it’s difficult
to sort out how much is due to which one.
Character Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him
ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the
1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in
“The Godfather,” died Tuesday at age 94.
Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press
that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs’ home in
Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. “This
man was never sick,” Fuchs said.
Situated between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, the 350-acre
property reportedly incorporates many of the most aggravating
elements of Disney’s other parks and expands them into a creative
and fully immersive world of irritation, which is said to include
the longest lines in the entire resort, a convoluted layout that
is only depicted in indecipherable cartoon maps that are not to
scale, and 150 percent higher prices. According to park director
Jacob Bartlett, Ordeal Kingdom’s specialized combination of
features will ensure a slowly building resentment among visiting
families, eventually resulting in a dramatic public outburst
followed by a silent walk back to the car.
“We’ve considered every detail to ensure parents and their kids
have the heated argument of a lifetime,” said Bartlett, explaining
that the park was split into five themed “lands,” including
Fatigue Island and Hunger Lagoon, each of which can be reached by
Mickey’s Congestion Junction Railway. “Whether it’s the sheer
distance between rides or the unspecified bathroom locations,
every aspect of the experience is guaranteed to ratchet up the
tension until you and your family are screaming at each other and
saying you should never have come in the first place.”
The RSS feed calendar has been sold out for months, but the next few weeks, including the current one, are open. If you’ve got a cool product or service you want to promote to the DF audience, get in touch and let’s make a deal.
Brian M. Rosenthal and Brian Rogers, reporting for the Houston Chronicle:
A Harris County grand jury investigating allegations that a
Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston illegally sold the tissue of
aborted fetuses has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and
instead indicted two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover
videos that sparked the probe.
Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both
indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a
second degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years
in prison. Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment
under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.
I’m celebrating this schadenfreude-tastic moment with a contribution to Planned Parenthood.
Microsoft’s tablet seemed to suffer another public black eye
Sunday as TV viewers of the AFC championship game Sunday between
the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots were told that the
tablets on the Patriots’ sidelines had failed.
“They’re having some trouble with their Microsoft Surface
tablets,” CBS’ sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported during the
game. “On the last defensive possession the Patriots’ coaches did
not have access to those tablets to show pictures to their
players. NFL officials have been working at it. Some of those
tablets are back in use, but not all of them. A lot of frustration
that they didn’t have them on that last possession.”
The outage, which struck during the first half, was brief, and the
Patriots’ tablets were soon restored to working order. A Microsoft
spokesman blamed the problem on a network connectivity issue
rather than a tablet malfunction.
No tablet is going to work if the network is down, but this shows the risks of paid product placement in a live arena.
About the Linked List
The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links
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a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the
Internet for a few minutes a day”.