AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

An article not about iOS 7

June 24, 2013

This is an article about iOS 7 that never was. It could have been a great write-up, full of insightful ideas and clever comments about Apple’s new version of its flagship operating system. It could have had critique, analysis, maybe a dash of speculation, just a couple of educated guesses about the future and how it will affect our lives as users in general, and my life as a developer in particular. It could have been all that and more, and yet it is none of those things. It looks like I’m spinning, I know. Just bear with me.

The thing is, I actually wanted to write an article about iOS 7, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I thought about it long and hard, and despite my initial excitement in the moments after the keynote, deep down I kind of always knew I wasn’t really going to do it. Writing about these topics has been tough for me lately. Every time I sit in front of a keyboard I get this nagging feeling that every idea I have has already been posted somewhere else and repeated ad nauseam, often in a much more articulate and coherent way. So, I slacked. I began trusting others to make the points I wanted to make. To express opinions that, while my own, are not unique. Not even slightly.

The most difficult part for me is finding something that hasn’t been said before, adding something of value, which is the whole point to begin with. I don’t like being an echo chamber. Citing John Gruber or Matt Gemmell is fine every now and then, but it’s not cool when that’s all you ever do on your own site. And I can’t escape the feeling that that’s what I’ve been doing. Let me be clear: I have strong feelings about Analog Senses. It may not be much in the general context of the Internet, just a tiny space nobody really pays attention to, but this little site means the world to me. It does not sit well with me to let it languish into oblivion. I know exactly what I want it to be and it pains me to see that I have not lived up to that idea. And so here I am.

Of course, I have my excuses and justifications. Too much work, not enough time, I could check all the usual items off the list. They’re all true, but it doesn’t matter. There’s always an excuse if you want to find one. But even then, I still wanted to write about iOS 7. I really, really did. I felt like, if I care about this at all, I should add my voice to the conversation. I should have something to say. Even if I had no idea what it was, I wanted to try and find it. However, that’s beside the point now. There is a far bigger task ahead of me, and it starts right now.

Excuses aside, the fact remains I haven’t truly committed to writing. I don’t mean it in the sense of writing something remarkable, like a novel or a scientific article. My goal is much simpler: I just want to write. About something, anything. Write every day, as the saying goes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pile of garbage, so long as I keep writing. There was a time when I used to do that. And maybe I’m idealizing it a bit, but I remember it as a good time. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe I want to write every day because writing makes me happy. Wait, I need to say that again. Writing makes me happy. Heck, it’s as good a reason as any. When I look back at some of the things I’ve written in the past, I can’t believe I some of them are actually mine. It makes me proud, but it obviously makes me sick as well, to see that I have it in me, to know that I could do it and yet, day after day, I choose not to. Because in the end, that’s what this is: a choice.

This is not an article about iOS 7. This is me, committing. This is me, choosing to show up every day to tell you a story that only I can tell. I can’t promise it will always be good, or even interesting. All I can promise is that it will be honest.

I’d love to have you along for the ride.

See you tomorrow.

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This Is How You Respond to an Unjust Cease and Desist Letter →

June 19, 2013 |

When retainer attorneys employed by Big Deals send out scary cease and desist letters to nobodies on behalf of their Super Important clients, it’s typically a pro forma matter. That is to say, they don’t expect to hear back. And they certainly don’t expect the Small Fry recipient to lawyer up and send out a takedown letter of his own.

Splendid.

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How It Looks And Feels Is Supposed To Tell You How It Works →

June 19, 2013 |

Michael Heilemann, on some of the questionable design choices made by Apple in iOS 7:

So we have one arrow at the top pointing down, one at the bottom pointing up, text that ‘points’ right and then also a camera which points… nowhere (and is really small). Tap it, and the lock screen bounces. Hopefully people will divine from that that they can drag the camera up to take photos. However, that leaves us with _three_ drag indicators at the bottom of the screen, two of which are up! Good luck not triggering the control center when you’re trying for the camera.

I agree. While the iOS 7 redesign is, for the most part, a welcome change, there are quite a few design decisions that seem rushed, and not really thought-through. What’s really disturbing is that in most cases, these changes are actually a step backwards, design-wise, compared to their counterparts in iOS 6.

Via Daring Fireball.

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Don’t worry about iOS 7 →

June 18, 2013 |

Jim Dalrymple, on the recent wave on enthusiasm/criticism about iOS 7:

Second—and I’m surprised I even have to say this—it’s a beta for developers. This is not a build any individual user should install—ever. It wasn’t meant for you and installing it shouldn’t even be on your radar.

Agreed.

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The new Flickr

May 21, 2013

I like it. Everyone gets an additional Terabyte on space for free, perfect for storing high-resolution images. I specially like the new Photostream. A great improvement over the old look, in my opinion. All in all, this has been a great week for Yahoo. Marissa Mayer’s leadership is starting to show.

This also reinforces Flickr’s role as the natural “Home” for our photos on the Internet. That’s something I’ve always felt for some reason, so these changes make me happy because they show that Yahoo is actually getting the necessary work done to fix Flickr, and it wasn’t all just talk. I believe they’re on the right track, and it’s not too late for them to make Flickr relevant again, and to make it thrive.

I’ve had a Pro Flickr account ever since I first signed up a few years ago, and I’ve always been quite happy with the service. It was a nice and convenient way to host the images for Analog Senses and that alone made it worth it. However, lately my photostream had become little more than a mirror feed of my Instagram account. I never quite felt the need to upload the pictures of my latest trips or family events, for instance. That was a big sign that something was going wrong.

The funny thing was that I didn’t use any alternative service to upload and share those photos. No, I just kept them to myself. None of the other photo sharing services felt right for that purpose, none of them felt like Flickr once did. That goes to show just how big of a role Flickr used to play a few years ago, and how big a hole it left behind when it stopped being relevant. A hole so big, in fact, that as of today no other service has been able to replace it.

Ever since the first signs of trouble started to appear shortly after Yahoo acquired the service, the Flickr community has felt on the receiving end of a great injustice. Yahoo took something great from us and they ruined it. We all felt the loss as something personal, and we called for them to make it right. Fortunately, Marissa Mayer and her team at Yahoo believed they still had a chance to bring Flickr back, and that it was the right thing to do. I’m really glad to see that they’re taking it.

Now, I’m excited to use Flickr again. Not because of the additional Terabyte or the new look (though those things certainly help), but because it feels like I can finally take my pictures home again.

So:

Dear Marissa Mayer, Thank you.

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The One-Person Product →

May 21, 2013 |

Marco Arment, on Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr:

Anyone who knows David can tell, very clearly, that he wrote every word of his announcement post. Not only did Yahoo let him end it like that, but the subhead on their official press release shows that Tumblr and Yahoo are seeing eye-to-eye on quite a lot already. In many ways, this feels more like a merger than an acquisition.

A great insider’s look at Tumblr’s history. This deal has so much potential for both companies, I really hope things work out between them. And it goes to show how passionate people can make a difference. Congratulations to everyone over at Tumblr (and Yahoo!). And congratulations to Marco, as well.

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The Loop Magazine updated and an apology →

May 14, 2013 |

Jim Dalrymple, on the subscription bug that plagued the first two releases of the excellent The Loop Magazine app:

You deserved a better experience than what we delivered, and we expected more from ourselves. Please accept my apology and know that we are working hard to deliver a great app for you.

Relax Jim, you’re trying too hard. Bugs in 1.0 versions are not uncommon, and easily forgivable. Especially when developers react timely and work their asses off to release an update. And yes, even if the update doesn’t immediately fix the problem, there’s still no harm done. As the saying goes: “If at first you don’t succeed…

We don’t expect you guys to be perfect, we just expect you to be professional and respectful towards your customers. And in my book, you certainly have.

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Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why. →

May 10, 2013 |

Using her scientific metric, Krume goes on to create the most expensive-sounding wine review ever penned: “A velvety chocolate texture and enticingly layered, yet creamy, nose, this wine abounds with focused cassis and a silky ruby finish. Lush, elegant, and nuanced. Pair with pork and shellfish.” If that sentence made you yearn for a glass of classy red, congratulations, there’s a very real chance you’re a pompous asshole.

Hilarious.

Via Daring Fireball.

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An interview with John McAffee | Slashdot →

May 09, 2013 |

The man has lived an interesting life, I’ll give him that:

I haven’t been involved with McAfee Ant-virus for 21 years. When I ran the company the software was the best and least intrusive on the market, and in 1991 we had 87% of the world market. What happened after I left was none of my doing. As to name association, I am a master at sullying my own name and, all things considered, being associated with the worst software on the planet ranks way down the pole. It’s barely a blip in the ocean of associations - madman, paranoid, child molester, murderer, drug addict, unstable, liar, to name but a few.Thank god I’m 67 and will probably be too hard of hearing soon enough to have to listen to them rattling around wherever I go. Amy, thankfully, did half the job already by bursting my left eardrum when she tried to shoot me in the head while I slept back in 2011.
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