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watch, siri, search, and redesign! – marco.org
september 17, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/09/17/overcast5i apologize for the low battery level. busy day.it all started with the watchos volume widget.you see, overcast’s previous apple watch app really sucked. i did my best with the capabilities of watchos 1–4, but i couldn’t give people what they really wanted:standalone podcast playback on the apple watch without an iphone. i briefly offered it through some bad hacks, but had to remove it.volume control on the watch, which is increasingly important with the popularity of airpods.that’s why i nearly jumped for joy during the watchos 5 announcement in june, when apple unveiled most of my list of watchos changes needed to make good podcast apps.after a very busy summer, standalone apple watch playback is back in overcast, and it’s actually good this time!it’s not perfect:no cellular. apple hasn’t released a good way to do cellular audio streaming in watchos, and the bad ways wouldn’t be very useful.sending podcasts to the watch is slow. overcast shrinks them to reduce the transfer time, but when (and how quickly) podcasts transfer is tightly controlled by watchos to preserve battery life. transfers still sometimes wait forever or silently fail.programmers like me can’t accept that something is just slow, so i’ve decided to make transfer speed irrelevant. nobody cares how slowly podcasts transfer if it happens while they’re asleep!auto-sync to watch automatically tries to send your most recent podcasts ...
Tags : watch, siri, search, and redesign! – marco.org - watch ,screen ,watchos ,more ,podcasts ,overcast ,apple watch ,playing screen ,line aesthetic ,previous design ,speed controls ,your apple watch ,watchos volume widget watch, siri, search, and redesign! – marco.org
low power mode on the mac – marco.org
july 31, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/07/31/mac-low-power-modelaptop battery life is decreasingly relevant to me as more airplanes offer power outlets. but sometimes you lose that lottery, as i did on my latest 8-hour daytime flight.apple’s “up to 10 hours” claim doesn’t apply to my work,1 which is usually a mix of xcode, web browsing, and social time-wasting, so i knew i’d have to seriously conserve power.sometimes, you just need low power mode: the switch added to ios a few years ago to conserve battery life when you need it, at the expense of full performance and background tasks.there’s no such feature on mac laptops, but there should be. it could:disable the discrete gpu on 15-inch models unless required for hardware reasons2pause photos syncing and analysispause spotlight indexingreduce the frequency of time machine backupsdon’t download or install software updatesdon’t download new content in itunesauto-dim the screen after a shorter timelet third-party apps detect low power mode and reduce their background operations to only essential workand the big one:reduce the processor’s maximum wattage or disable turbo boostback in 2015, i experimented with disabling turbo boost and discovered that it reduced performance by about a third, but also boosted battery life by almost as much. since then, i’ve been running turbo boost switcher pro to automatically disable turbo boost when i’m running on battery power, and it has been wonderful: i made it through...
Tags : low power mode on the mac – marco.org - turbo ,battery ,power ,boost ,performance ,inch ,turbo boost ,battery life ,disable turbo ,power mode ,inch macbook ,turbo boost switcher ,disable turbo boost ,lifegeekbench single multixcodebuildnormal3 , battery lifegeekbench single low power mode on the mac – marco.org
the privacy update – marco.org
april 27, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/04/27/overcast42overcast 4.2 is out now. it enhances privacy in two major areas:anonymous sync by defaultovercast has offered anonymous sync accounts since 2014. they’re fully functional, but they lack email addresses or passwords, so they can’t log into the website. a login token is stored in icloud so the account can be accessed after a restore or upgrade, or from other devices you own.previously, the login screen pushed email logins. but with four years of perspective, feedback, and usage data, i now think that’s the wrong move. only a single-digit percentage of customers use the website, and the icloud token-sync method solves cross-device logins for almost everyone.your personal data isn’t my business — it’s a liability. i want as little as possible. i don’t even log ip addresses anymore.if i don’t need your email address, i really don’t want it.68% of overcast accounts have email addresses today. to reduce that as much as possible, i’ve made major changes to account handling:the previous login screen (left) and the new one.in overcast 4.2, the login screen now prominently encourages anonymous accounts by default.if you already have an account in icloud, it’ll pop up a dialog box over this screen asking if you want to use it.and the first time you launch 4.2, people with email-based accounts will be encouraged to migrate them to anonymous accounts:the migration prompt that shows on the first run.finally, you c...
Tags : the privacy update – marco.org - from ,data ,your ,email ,don’t ,accounts ,remote images ,login screen ,show notes ,large podcast ,current model the privacy update – marco.org
the privacy update – marco.org
april 27, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/04/27/overcast42overcast 4.2 is out now. it enhances privacy in two major areas:anonymous sync by defaultovercast has offered anonymous sync accounts since 2014. they’re fully functional, but they lack email addresses or passwords, so they can’t log into the website. a login token is stored in icloud so the account can be accessed after a restore or upgrade, or from other devices you own.previously, the login screen pushed email logins. but with four years of perspective, feedback, and usage data, i now think that’s the wrong move. only a single-digit percentage of customers use the website, and the icloud token-sync method solves cross-device logins for almost everyone.your personal data isn’t my business — it’s a liability. i want as little as possible. i don’t even log ip addresses anymore.if i don’t need your email address, i really don’t want it.68% of overcast accounts have email addresses today. to reduce that as much as possible, i’ve made major changes to account handling:the previous login screen (left) and the new one.in overcast 4.2, the login screen now prominently encourages anonymous accounts by default.if you already have an account in icloud, it’ll pop up a dialog box over this screen asking if you want to use it.and the first time you launch 4.2, people with email-based accounts will be encouraged to migrate them to anonymous accounts:the migration prompt that shows on the first run.finally, you c...
Tags : the privacy update – marco.org - from ,data ,your ,email ,don’t ,accounts ,remote images ,login screen ,show notes ,large podcast ,current model the privacy update – marco.org
overcast 4.1 now available – marco.org
march 13, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/03/13/overcast41overcast 4.1 is now in the app store with some small but nice new features.smart resume is actually two features:it jumps back by up to a few seconds after having been paused to help remind you of the conversation.it slightly adjusts resumes and seeks to fall in the silences between spoken words when reasonably possible.both are subtle but noticeable benefits (my favorite kind), especially when you’re being interrupted a lot, such as while following turn-by-turn navigation directions.smart resume is on by default, and can be turned off in nitpicky details.delete episodes 24 hours after completion: before, episodes could either be auto-deleted immediately upon completion, or not at all. there’s now a third option, auto-deleting 24 hours after completion, which will soon be the default for new accounts.the 24-hour threshold is only enforced after a successful sync, so it won’t auto-delete anything in the middle of an extended offline period, such as a long flight.auto-deletion, either immediate or after 24 hours, also no longer applies to premium subscribers’ uploads.password-protected podcasts: some private podcast feeds, including many paid and members-only podcasts, require a username and password via http basic auth. you can now add these in the add url screen.password-protected podcasts, and other private feeds such as patreon bonus feeds and anything using the tag, do not show up in search or recommendations....
Tags : overcast 4.1 now available – marco.org - after ,podcasts ,rotation ,iphone ,longer ,auto ,protected podcasts ,iphone rotation ,password protected ,after completion ,nitpicky details ,password protected podcasts ,hours after completion overcast 4.1 now available – marco.org
watchkit is a sweet solution that will only ever give us baby apps – marco.org
february 26, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/02/26/watchkit-baby-appsin the original 2007 iphone introduction, steve jobs famously derided other smartphones at the time for running “baby” software and the “baby” internet. he was right.developers weren’t given access to make native apps until the iphone’s second year. before the native development kit was ready, apple tried to pass off web apps as a “sweet solution” for third-party apps, but nobody was fooled.apple wasn’t using web apps for their own built-in iphone apps — they were using native code and frameworks to make real apps.1 developers like me did our best with web apps, but they sucked. we simply couldn’t make great apps without access to the real frameworks.apps were terrible, and didn’t take off, until we had access to the same native tools that apple used.*   *   *developing apple watch apps is extremely frustrating and limited for one big reason: unlike on ios, apple doesn’t give app developers access to the same watchos frameworks that they use on apple watch.instead, we’re only allowed to use watchkit, a baby ui framework that would’ve seemed rudimentary to developers even in the 1990s. but unlike the iphone’s web apps, watchkit doesn’t appear to be a stopgap — it seems to be apple’s long-term solution to third-party app development on the apple watch.the separation of apple’s internally-used frameworks from watchkit has two huge problems:apple doesn’t feel watchki...
Tags : watchkit is a sweet solution that will only ever give us baby apps – marco.org - apps ,apple ,watchkit ,watch ,developers ,frameworks ,watch apps ,apple watch ,third party ,apple doesn’t ,sweet solution watchkit is a sweet solution that will only ever give us baby apps – marco.org
defending your app from copies and clones – marco.org
february 22, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/02/22/your-app-was-copiedapp developers sometimes ask me what they should do when their features, designs, or entire apps are copied by competitors.legally, there’s not a lot you can do about it:copyright protects your icon, images, other creative resources, and source code. you automatically have copyright protection, but it’s easy to evade with minor variations.1 app stores don’t enforce it easily unless resources have been copied exactly.trademarks protect names, logos, and slogans. they cover minor variations as well, and app stores enforce trademarks more easily, but they’re costly to register and only apply in narrow areas.2only assholes get patents. they can be a huge pr mistake, and they’re a fool’s errand: even if you get one ($20,000+ later), you can’t afford to use it against any adversary big enough to matter.don’t be an asshole or a fool. don’t get software patents.if someone literally copied your assets or got too close to your trademarked name, you need to file takedowns or legal complaints, but that’s rarely done by anyone big enough to matter. if a competitor just adds a feature or design similar to one of yours, you usually can’t do anything.you can publicly call out a copy, but you won’t come out of it looking good:if they’re more successful than you, it’s envy and sour grapes.if they’re less successful than you, it’s jealousy and punching down (and giving them attention!).the public...
Tags : defending your app from copies and clones – marco.org - it’s ,your ,copied ,they’re ,public ,that ,nobody cares ,successful than ,minor variations defending your app from copies and clones – marco.org
automatically test your database backups
one of the issues of yesterday’s gitlab.com “database incident” is that most of their database backups weren’t being tested, and when they needed a restore, they discovered that most of the backup methods hadn’t been working. untested backup methods that turn out to be missing or broken are extremely common. i can’t fault them much because it’s a very easy mistake to make: most backups, by nature, never need to be restored from, so you never realize if something changes and they stop working… until it’s too late. the solution is to frequently and automatically test backups by: regularly downloading the latest backup from s3 (or wherever) and performing a full restore onto a clean server. testing its validity in a way that a human is sure to notice if it stops working properly. the first part sounds hard, but isn’t. for overcast, i run an inexpensive linode server devoted to automatically fetching, installing, and testing the latest backup every day and emailing me a report.1 the emailed report contains query results from multiple database tables that change regularly and are easy for me to mentally verify as i read it every day, such as the number of users and premium subscribers, how long ago the latest user signed up, and the most recent episode titles of my own podcasts and other popular shows i listen to. automated backup testing isn’t difficult — it’s one simple shell script, called by cron every night, piping its results ...
Tags : automatically test your database backups - backup ,that ,from ,every ,most ,they ,latest backup ,stops working ,automatically test ,backup methods ,database backups automatically test your database backups
the end of the conference era – marco.org
january 17, 2018∞https://marco.org/2018/01/17/end-of-conference-erachris adamson notes a significant contraction in ios and related conferences recently (via michael tsai).having attended (and sometimes spoken at) many of these conferences over the years, i can’t deny the feeling i’ve had in the last couple of years that the era of the small apple-ish developer-ish conference is mostly or entirely behind us.i don’t think that’s a bad thing. this style of conference had a great run, but it always had major and inherent limitations, challenges, and inefficiencies:cost: with flights, lodging, and the ticket adding up to thousands of dollars per conference, most people are priced out. the vast majority of attendees’ money isn’t even going to the conference organizers or speakers — it’s going to venues, hotels, and airlines.size: there’s no good size for a conference. small conferences exclude too many people; big conferences impede socialization and logistics.logistics: planning and executing a conference takes such a toll on the organizers that few of them have ever lasted more than a few years.format: preparing formal talks with slide decks is a massively inefficient use of the speakers’ time compared to other modern methods of communicating ideas, and sitting there listening to blocks of talks for long stretches while you’re trying to stay awake after lunch is a pretty inefficient way to hear ideas.it’s getting increasingly difficult for organizers to...
Tags : the end of the conference era – marco.org - conference ,people ,conferences ,more ,that ,than ,conference talks the end of the conference era – marco.org
fixing the macbook pro – marco.org
november 24, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/11/24/fixing-the-macbook-prodespite my love for the previous retina macbook pro, i won’t be able to use it forever. the best laptop to ever exist should be in the future, not the past.there’s a lot to like about the new macbook pros, but they need some changes to be truly great and up to apple’s standards.here’s what i’m hoping to see in the next macbook pro that i believe is technically possible, reasonable, widely agreeable, and likely for apple to actually do, in descending order of importance:magic keyboardbutterfly keyswitches are a design failure that should be abandoned. they’ve been controversial, fatally unreliable, and expensive to repair since their introduction on the first 12” macbook in early 2015. their flaws were evident immediately, yet apple brought them to the entire macbook pro lineup in late 2016.after three significant revisions, apple’s butterfly keyswitches remain as controversial and unreliable as ever. at best, they’re a compromise acceptable only on the ultra-thin 12” macbook, and only if nothing else fits. they have no place in apple’s mainstream or pro computers.the macbook pro must return to scissor keyswitches. if apple only changes one thing about the next macbook pro, it should be this. it’s far more important than anything else on this list.fans of the butterfly keyboard’s feel need not worry — this doesn’t mean we need the old macbook pro keyboard, exactly.the magic key...
Tags : fixing the macbook pro – marco.org - macbook ,that ,apple ,should ,more ,their ,real world ,apple should ,third party ,macbook pros ,only connect fixing the macbook pro – marco.org
fixing the macbook pro – marco.org
november 24, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/11/24/fixing-the-macbook-prodespite my love for the previous retina macbook pro, i won’t be able to use it forever. the best laptop to ever exist should be in the future, not the past.there’s a lot to like about the new macbook pros, but they need some changes to be truly great and up to apple’s standards.here’s what i’m hoping to see in the next macbook pro that i believe is technically possible, reasonable, widely agreeable, and likely for apple to actually do, in descending order of importance:magic keyboardbutterfly keyswitches are a design failure that should be abandoned. they’ve been controversial, fatally unreliable, and expensive to repair since their introduction on the first 12” macbook in early 2015. their flaws were evident immediately, yet apple brought them to the entire macbook pro lineup in late 2016.after three significant revisions, apple’s butterfly keyswitches remain as controversial and unreliable as ever. at best, they’re a compromise acceptable only on the ultra-thin 12” macbook, and only if nothing else fits. they have no place in apple’s mainstream or pro computers.the macbook pro must return to scissor keyswitches. if apple only changes one thing about the next macbook pro, it should be this. it’s far more important than anything else on this list.fans of the butterfly keyboard’s feel need not worry — this doesn’t mean we need the old macbook pro keyboard, exactly.the magic key...
Tags : fixing the macbook pro – marco.org - macbook ,that ,apple ,should ,more ,their ,real world ,apple should ,third party ,macbook pros ,only connect fixing the macbook pro – marco.org
the best laptop ever made – marco.org
november 14, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-everapple has made many great laptops, but the 15-inch retina macbook pro (2012–2015) is the epitome of usefulness, elegance, practicality, and power for an overall package that still hasn’t been (and may never be) surpassed.introduced in 2012, less than a year after steve jobs died, i see it as the peak of jobs’ vision for the mac.it was the debut of high-dpi macs, starting down the long road (which we still haven’t finished) to an all-retina lineup. and with all-ssd storage, quad-core i7 processors, and a healthy amount of ram all standard, every configuration was fast, capable, and pleasant to use.at its introduction, it was criticized only for ditching the optical drive and ethernet port, but these were defensible, well-timed removals: neither could’ve even come close to physically fitting in the new design, very few macbook pro users were still using either on a regular basis, and almost none of us needed to buy external optical drives or ethernet adapters to fit the new laptop into our lives. in exchange for those removals, we got substantial reductions in thickness and weight, and a huge new battery.there were no other downsides. everything else about this machine was an upgrade: thinner, lighter, faster, better battery life, quieter fans, better speakers, better microphones, a second thunderbolt port, and a convenient new hdmi port.the magsafe 2 power adapter breaks away safely if it’s tripped ov...
Tags : the best laptop ever made – marco.org - this ,that ,battery ,it’s ,when ,laptop ,best laptop ,would feel ,rather than ,laptop that ,integrated only the best laptop ever made – marco.org
the impossible dream of usb-c – marco.org
october 14, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/10/14/impossible-dream-of-usb-ci love the idea of usb-c: one port and one cable that can replace all other ports and cables. it sounds so simple, straightforward, and unified.in practice, it’s not even close.usb-c normally transfers data by the usb protocol, but it also supports thunderbolt… sometimes. the 12-inch macbook has a usb-c port, but it doesn’t support thunderbolt at all. all other modern macbook models support thunderbolt over their usb-c ports… but if you have a 13-inch model, and it has a touch bar, then the right-side ports don’t have full thunderbolt bandwidth.if you bought a usb-c cable, it might support thunderbolt, or it might not. there’s no way to tell by looking at it. there’s usually no way to tell whether a given usb-c device requires thunderbolt, either — you just need to plug it in and see if it works.much of usb-c’s awesome capability comes from thunderbolt and other alternate modes. but due to their potential bandwidth demands, computers can’t have very many usb-c ports, making it especially wasteful to lose one to a laptop’s own power cable. the severe port shortage, along with the need to connect to non-usb-c devices, inevitably leads many people to need annoying, inelegant, and expensive dongles and hubs.while a wide variety of usb-c dongles are available, most use the same handful of unreliable, mediocre chips inside. some usb-a dongles make wi-fi drop on macbook pros. some usb-a de...
Tags : the impossible dream of usb-c – marco.org - ports ,cable ,thunderbolt ,port ,have ,support ,support thunderbolt ,don’t support ,quick charge ,android phones ,standalone batteries the impossible dream of usb-c – marco.org
overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org
september 22, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/22/overcast-ios11-sooni’m sorry that i missed the ios 11 launch for my fancy drag-and-drop update. it’s coming soon, but it’s not ready yet.in hello internet episode 4, cgp grey introduced a metaphor for work-life balance as four light bulbs — work, friends, family, and health — between which one can allocate 100 watts, total. so it’s possible to shine brightly in one area at significant cost to the others, or to try to have a mediocre spread between all of them.usually, i prioritize family and work, in that order, and my friends are pretty tolerant of my general neglect, but health gets left as a pretty low priority.this summer, i decided i finally needed to devote significant time to health, and since my family always comes first, that mostly came at the expense of reduced work time.1 and ios 11 has ended up requiring more changes and fixes than i expected.so i have a great overcast update for ios 11 and iphone x in progress, but it’s not done yet. i appreciate your patience, and i hope you’ll find it worth the wait.
Tags : overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org - work ,it’s ,health ,family ,that ,overcast ,coming soon overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org
what we need from apple to make standalone apple watch podcast apps – marco.org
september 24, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/24/what-watch-podcast-apps-needthe apple watch desperately needs standalone podcast playback, especially with the lte-equipped series 3, which was designed specifically for exercising without an iphone.believe me, i’ve tried. but limitations in watchos 4 make it impossible to deliver standalone podcast playback with the basic functionality and quality that people expect.deal-breaker: progress syncunlike on ios, watch apps aren’t allowed to play audio in the background and continue running.1the only way to continue playback in the background on watchos 4 is to use the wkaudiofileplayer api. this is unsuitable for podcast players in its current state for one big reason:it takes audio playback out-of-process, suspending the host app indefinitely during playback, and does not wake up the host app to notify it of playback progress or other relevant events like pausing, seeking, or reaching the end of an episode.since most podcast listeners also listen on their iphone, the watch needs to sync each episode’s listening progress with its iphone app or a web service. but if you reach the end of a workout and pause playback without launching the podcast app, such as with a headphone “pause” button, turning off your headphones, removing your airpods, or using the now playing app on the watch, there’s no guarantee that the podcast app will be notified of your progress anytime soon. so when the user later goes to the iphone app to ...
Tags : what we need from apple to make standalone apple watch podcast apps – marco.org - watch ,playback ,audio ,progress ,podcast ,apps ,volume control ,audio playback ,output device ,next track ,streaming audio ,streaming audio playback ,next track commands ,output device presence ,standalone podcast playback what we need from apple to make standalone apple watch podcast apps – marco.org
overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org
september 22, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/22/overcast-ios11-sooni’m sorry that i missed the ios 11 launch for my fancy drag-and-drop update. it’s coming soon, but it’s not ready yet.in hello internet episode 4, cgp grey introduced a metaphor for work-life balance as four light bulbs — work, friends, family, and health — between which one can allocate 100 watts, total. so it’s possible to shine brightly in one area at the significant cost of the others, or to try to have a mediocre spread between all of them.usually, i prioritize family and work, in that order, and my friends are pretty tolerant of my general neglect, but health gets left as a pretty low priority.this summer, i decided i finally needed to devote significant time to health, and since my family always comes first, that mostly came at the expense of reduced work time.1 and ios 11 has ended up requiring more changes and fixes than i expected.so i have a great overcast update for ios 11 and iphone x in progress, but it’s not done yet. i appreciate your patience, and i hope you’ll find it worth the wait.
Tags : overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org - work ,it’s ,health ,family ,that ,overcast ,coming soon overcast for ios 11 coming soon – marco.org
courage – marco.org
september 18, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/09/18/couragemany apple fans were amused when phil schiller explained the removal of the headphone jack on last year’s iphone as “courage”. but that was nothing compared to what happened last week.for ten years, the iphone looked like this:a rounded rectangle, bars on top and bottom, and a circle centered in the bottom bar. if you want to get fancy, put a line in the top bar, too.it’s so simple that even when children draw it, it’s instantly recognizable as an iphone to most of the world’s population. not just any phone — an iphone, specifically.as an app developer and fan, i was hoping that the long-rumored edge-to-edge iphone screen would still be a rectangle, possibly even with room for a home button on a narrower bezel, so i wouldn’t have to change my habits (or my app’s layout):but that’s the unmistakable image of an android phone. (or a generic smartphone — same thing.)apple would’ve lost what the iphone has had since its introduction: a unique, recognizable shape that distinguishes itself from all of the other boring rectangles out there.many are now speculating that apple will find a way to get rid of the iphone x’s top “notch” (officially called the “sensor housing”) as soon as they can, and that this is a temporary design meant only for a few years. but i don’t think so.many app developers are planning to hide the notch in the ui with black bars. but apple explicitly says not to.this is ...
Tags : courage – marco.org - iphone ,that ,apple ,it’s ,recognizable ,that’s ,like this courage – marco.org
removing “send to watch” – marco.org
august 10, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/08/10/removed-send-to-watchi’ve spent many months of development on overcast’s apple watch app, especially implementing standalone “send to watch” playback. unfortunately, i now need to remove the “send to watch” feature.i’m sorry to the people who used it. while there weren’t many of you (about 0.1% of active users), i’ve heard from some who it meant quite a bit to.in retrospect, “send to watch” wasn’t good enough to ship. i’ve paid for that in a constant stream of negative app store reviews that have reduced the entire app’s average, but that alone wouldn’t sink the feature. here’s what happened.many people had been asking for standalone playback since the first apple watch was released. i spent months of development on it last winter, but i simply wasn’t able to get a minimum acceptable quality level out of the limited watchos audio apis.i shelved the feature until other apple watch podcast apps revealed a workaround that made background audio much more usable on watchos, so i decided to use the same technique and ship the feature anyway, despite its other shortcomings. that was a mistake.that workaround doesn’t work anymore in watchos 4. rewriting “send to watch” playback to use the only supported alternative would likely take at least another month of development and testing that i currently c...
Tags : removing “send to watch” – marco.org - that ,“send ,watch” ,feature ,watchos ,ship ,apple watch ,good enough ,watch” playback removing “send to watch” – marco.org
“mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org
may 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/05/15/mp3-isnt-deadif you readthenews, you may think the mp3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining mp3 holdouts should all move to aac now. these are all simple rewrites of fraunhofer iis’ announcement that they’re terminating the mp3 patent-licensing program.veryfewpeople got it right. the others missed what happened last month:if the longest-running patent mentioned in the aforementioned references is taken as a measure, then the mp3 technology became patent-free in the united states on 16 april 2017 when u.s. patent 6,009,399, held by and administered by technicolor, expired.mp3 is no less alive now than it was last month or will be next year — the last known mp3 patents have simply expired.so while there’s a debate to be had — in a moment — about whether mp3 should still be used today, fraunhofer’s announcement has nothing to do with that, and is simply the ending of its patent-licensing program (because the patents have all expired) and a suggestion that we move to a newer, still-patented format.why still use mp3 when newer, better formats exist?mp3 is very old, but it’s the same age as jpeg, which has also long since been surpassed in quality by newerformats. jpeg is still ubiquitous not because engadget forgot to declare its death, but because it’s good enough and supported e...
Tags : “mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org - patent ,supported ,that ,it’s ,still ,widely ,widely supported ,patent licensing ,never been ,audio format ,good enough ,patent licensing program “mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org
“mp3 is dead” missed the real, much better story – marco.org
may 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/05/15/mp3-isnt-deadif you readthenews, you may think the mp3 file format was recently officially “killed” somehow, and any remaining mp3 holdouts should all move to aac now. these are all simple rewrites of fraunhofer iis’ announcement that they’re terminating the mp3 patent-licensing program.veryfewpeople got it right. the others missed what happened last month:if the longest-running patent mentioned in the aforementioned references is taken as a measure, then the mp3 technology became patent-free in the united states on 16 april 2017 when u.s. patent 6,009,399, held by and administered by technicolor, expired.mp3 is no less alive now than it was last month or will be next year — the last known mp3 patents have simply expired.1so while there’s a debate to be had — in a moment — about whether mp3 should still be used today, fraunhofer’s announcement has nothing to do with that, and is simply the ending of its patent-licensing program (because the patents have all expired) and a suggestion that we move to a newer, still-patented format.why still use mp3 when newer, better formats exist?mp3 is very old, but it’s the same age as jpeg, which has also long since been surpassed in quality by newerformats. jpeg is still ubiquitous not because engadget forgot to declare its death, but because it’s good enough and supported ...
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owning your short-form writing by manton reece — kickstarter
i'm writing a book about independent microblogging, and launching a publishing platform called micro.blog. notify me created by manton reece manton reece3,080 backers pledged $86,696 to help bring this project to life.
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the audacity to say “yes” in a design culture of “no” – marco.org
april 15, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/04/15/mac-pro-audacity-of-yesmuch of modern apple’s design philosophy is to relentlessly strip down most products to the bare minimum in certain areas as technological progress allows, following (and largely defining) the modern design fashion of nearly-unquestioned devotion to minimalism.saying “no” is the easiest path to what’s considered good design today: if something cannot be easily accommodated, or most people won’t complain too badly in its absence, just omit it.1while minimalism is one aspect of one view of good design, it’s often overused, underconsidered, and misunderstood, resulting in products with surface-level appeal that don’t actually work very well because they were optimized for visual design and minimalism rather than overall real-world usefulness.2as with every design decision, removals and omissions have major trade-offs that need to be very carefully considered. today’s design culture of “no” often goes unquestioned or is assumed to be the best outcome, but minimalism should not be axiomatic in all areas. often, less is more. but sometimes, it’s just less.*    *    *a lot went wrong with the 2013 mac pro. some of the leading factors that led to its failure:it was more expensive than its predecessor, while also removing major features that many of its customers still needed. (the 2016 ma...
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design for the present – marco.org
november 2, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/02/design-for-the-presentit’s hard to get anyone to agree on what constitutes “pro” use, but i’d say it has three core requirements:reliability: pro gear absolutely must be dependable, even when used heavily or in demanding conditions.power: pro apps usually need more of every hardware resource than consumer apps — at least cpu power and memory, and often gpu power or i/o bandwidth — and pros will often pay high costs for high-spec machines that won’t hold them back or leave them waiting.versatility: pro gear is used in diverse environments, often with unpredictable needs. many pros never know when they may suddenly need an obscure port or feature, or when they will unexpectedly need to keep working on battery for a few more hours, and the consequences of not handling these conditions could be expensive or very inconvenient.the new macbook pro is probably great, and most of the initial skepticism probably won’t age well. but ...
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a world without the mac pro – marco.org
november 5, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/05/world-without-mac-proit’s looking increasingly likely that there will never be another mac pro. here’s why that would be a shame.pro buyers depend on apple to make the hardware that satisfies our needs. and we’re flexible. we’ve adapted over the years to new cpu architectures, port changes, capability changes, price increases, and a slower update pace.the 5k imac is a truly great computer. it’s the best general-purpose desktop apple has ever made. it almost replaces the need for the mac pro. many of us can get by with the 5k imac.but there are some things that only a mac pro can deliver.more than 4 cores. per-core performance has been eking out diminishing returns for years, so today’s newest processors aren’t much faster than those from a few years ago. if you need more performance for parallel workloads — very common for video, photography, 3d, science, medicine, and software development — the only way to jump meaningf...
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a letter to today’s young people – marco.org
november 11, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/11/11/letter-to-young-peoplethe strongest despair i’ve heard about this election has come from high school and college students. i don’t know if this will really help anyone, and i hope it’s not patronizing. but just in case it helps:george w. bush was elected during my freshman year of college. for the next 8 years — all of college, my first job, and the first two years of tumblr — we suffered through that horrific administration. it was half of my adult life so far.it felt hopeless. it felt like we’d never have a functional government again. it felt like the damage would be irreparable. it felt like the good side lost and would never win again.but then, in 2008, the good side won, propelled into victory by americans’ motivation after those regressive and destructive years, and we had our turn for 8 years. it wasn’t perfect, and obama didn’t (and couldn’t) fix everything bush broke. but we did fix most of it, and made a lo...
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apple fixes macbook pro battery life by removing time estimate – marco.org
december 13, 2016∞https://marco.org/2016/12/13/apple-removes-battery-time-remainingmy 15-inch 2016 macbook pro with touch bar is pretty good in most ways, but it’s a noticeable regression in battery life from the previous generation. apple claims it lasts 10 hours, but i’ve never gotten that — in a fairly light web-productivity workload, i average around 5–7 hours, and if i’m using xcode, i’m lucky to get 4–5 hours. this seems common — many other customers and reviewers have noted similarly disappointing battery life in the 5-hour range.apple issued a software update today to address this.you see, the problem wasn’t that apple’s brand new, flagship, “pro” laptop’s battery only lasts 5 hours for a lot of its customers’ actual usage. the real problem, according to apple in a statement to jim dalrymple, is the estimated “time remaining” display:you can still see the image on the top of the screen, and you can see the percentage, but you will no longer be ...
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owning your short-form writing by manton reece — kickstarter
stretch goal update: if we reach $80,000, i'll hire a community manager for micro.blog to help build a safe community from the start. see this update on kickstarter for details on the stretch goal and a new feature called safe replies.hi, my name is manton reece, and i’m writing a book called indie microblogging. i'm also launching a brand new platform for microblogs.do you remember how the web used to work? how the web was supposed to work?in the earlier days of the web, we always published to our own web site. if you weren’t happy with your web host, or they went out of business, you could move your files and your domain name, and nothing would break.today, most writing instead goes into a small number of centralized social networking sites, where you can’t move your content, advertisements and fake news are everywhere, and if one of these sites fails, your content disappears from the internet. too many sites have gone away and taken our posts and photos with them.i want to...
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iphone spam-call-blocking apps – marco.org
january 8, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/08/call-blockershiya creepily requires access to all of my contacts, which i think they transmit to their servers for vaguely specified reasons.truecaller creepily requires my name, phone number, and email address to add to their directory, which i think might allow people to find my phone number under vaguely specified conditions.nomorobo isn’t creepy about anything, but costs $2/month with an in-app-purchase subscription.i had hiya installed for weeks and it never identified a single spam call, during which time i got about ten. i followed all of their voodoo troubleshooting steps, but it just never worked, so i deleted it. (too bad i can’t un-send them my contacts. thanks a lot.)i had truecaller installed for a few days, and it correctly identified two spam calls with no drama or voodoo required. it just works.when i learned about nomorobo from readers and saw how creepy it wasn’t, i deleted truecaller immediately and subscribed to n...
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ten years of iphone – marco.org
january 9, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/09/ten-years-of-iphonei’ll never forget watching the iphone keynote live.1it was a cold tuesday afternoon in new york. my hair was still brown. we were supposed to be working, but even david had to suspend his usual workaholism for a few minutes in awe of what we were seeing.everything about the iphone seemed impossible to the technology world of early 2007.“you can’t make a good phone without buttons.”“you can’t fit a desktop-class os on a phone.”“there’s no way that’s a full-blown web browser.”“that has to cost a thousand dollars.”yet over the course of an hour, steve destroyed every rule we thought we knew.not only was it truly mind-blowing at the time, but in retrospect, so much of modern computing was invented for the first iphone and revealed to the world in that hour. just watch the software demos: most modern ui mechanics and behaviors, large and small, began that day.when it shipped six months later, it was ...
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apple’s statement on the consumer reports battery test – marco.org
january 10, 2017∞https://marco.org/2017/01/10/cr-mbp-battery-updateapple’s official response to consumer reports’ poor 2016 macbook pro battery test:we appreciate the opportunity to work with consumer reports over the holidays to understand their battery test results. we learned that when testing battery life on mac notebooks, consumer reports uses a hidden safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache. this is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage. their use of this developer setting also triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab. after we asked consumer reports to run the same test using normal user settings, they told us their macbook pro systems consistently delivered the expected battery life. we have also fixed the bug uncovered in this test. this is the best pro notebook we’ve ever made, we respect consumer reports and we’re glad they decided to r...
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