QR Codes Are the Roller-Skating Horses of Advertising - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic

"Maybe what the Apple earnings tell us is not that we need the next Steve Jobs but that there are potentially 1,000s of the next Steve Jobs already among us in need of the next Tim Cook."

Proposal: An Ephemera API for iOS

I just broke & repurchased my iPhone.  I wasn’t on Wifi when I set up the new one, so I decided to bypass the restore from iCloud procedure vs. wait 3 hours to redownload all of my apps.  I love this kind of clean slate in general, but this time something clicked for me about why I was enjoying it so much: none of my existing apps were there, so I didn’t have any of the baggage.  Of course, I went to the purchased section of the App Store and redownloaded the stuff I use in my day to day.

  • Foursquare
  • Instagram
  • Superproof (built from Xcode)
  • Drop7
  • Words with Friends
  • Pivotal Tracker
  • Reeder
  • Spotify

In the next couple of days, I downloaded a couple more as needed.

  • Prompt
  • Yelp
  • iBooks
  • Facebook
  • ArcLight Cinemas (easy access booking for movies)

But yeah, this is basically 2 pages of apps.  It’s amazing.  I don’t even really use folders at this point, and everything feels clean and brand new.  Surely, this will get more cloudy as I download new things to try out, etc.  But it made me realize a couple of things about the way I use Apps.

  • Like many people, I download more apps than I actually end up using
  • Some apps I use very infrequently, and 95% of the time I don’t want them on my Phone
  • It’s difficult to manage which Apps get synced and which don’t.

These are all more or less related problems, but one subset of that last problem more vexing… There are lots of Apps I’ve downloaded which have actually become obsolete and I never want to use them again.  I shouldn’t have to manually manage these apps - things like Sports apps good for a race like the Tour De France, or a season like MLB or the ESPN Fantasy Football App.  This leads me to propose a Ephemera API (a Kill Switch, to put it another way) for the iOS SDK.  The main purpose of this API is as simple: To allow application builders the option to programmatically remove an app from an iPhone (& iCloud).  Tour De France is over?  Kill it.  Remove it from my Phone & don’t throw it back when I sync again.  I can think of other uses as well: games like 1 Single Life would have more impact. Die once, remove the app from the phone.  

This feels like an interesting option to me, something that Apple would never implement but nonetheless would solve some specific problems related to syncing, and provide an innovation vector for apps that want to impose a very specific life span.

"Declaring connections is about as much fun as trying to whittle people from a guest list, with the added stress that social networking is too new for us to have shared social conventions around it."
The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog) Source: blog.pinboard.in
(via Chevrolet speedometer design)

(via Chevrolet speedometer design)

Source: annyas.com
"We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place."
The American Scholar: Solitude and Leadership - William Deresiewicz Source: theamericanscholar.org

Vermont Canyon Speed Run

My Prayer for Movember

Stop it.  Stop pretending you are doing anything by growing a mustache in November, in some kind of weird Man Solidarity for prostate cancer awareness. 

Are you a baseball or hockey player and you are in the playoffs?  Then fine, grow it out.  Show your team spirit.  Note also that you are growing a full beard in this case.  Not a mustache, because you aren’t an idiot. 

And this is why. This is what we, (adult males,) are saying by growing mustaches in November: We (adult males) are so completely unable to grasp the seriousness of this prostate cancer situation, so we’ve decided to play a big game where we all dress up like Hipsters.  This is what we are saying, and we shouldn’t be. 

Women, who amazingly still get paid less than us, have managed to get Grown Ass Men, who are at least twice the size and strength of you or me, to wear PINK the entire month of October, as well as raised what I’m sure is like, 100,000 Billion dollars for Breast Cancer research and prevention.  This is an impressive feat.  

Congrats ladies. What are we going to do?  We are going to fucking GROW MUSTACHES. That’s right, cause we’re ADULTS. 

Are we really so uncomfortable with talking about this disease that mustaches are the best we could come up with? How about a campaign with no gimmicks, no euphemisms, or something that lets the reality of this horrific and quiet disease do the talking.  With open dialogue and adequate testing, prostate cancer can be stopped before it spreads, and that should be enough. 

Have you known someone who died of prostate cancer when it could have easily been prevented by better treatment, or even just some base line level of awareness?  Me too.

You think that looking back on it, this mustache thing is doing right by them?  Me neither.


"Rawls would lament the tendency of the “99 percent” to misdirect their energies into hatred of individuals in the 1 percent. He would have them save their hostility for the policies and institutions that have permitted only the wealthiest to enjoy significant gains from the past two decades of economic growth."