AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

Fragility of Free →

March 17, 2011 |

Ben Brooks:

The fragility of free is a catchy term that describes what happens when the free money runs out. Or — perhaps more accurately — when the investors/founders/venture capitalists run out of cash, or patience, or both. Because at some point Twitter and all other companies have to make the move from ‘charity’ to ‘business’ — or, put another way, they have to make the move from spending tons of money to making slightly more money than they spend.

Great piece on why it is always worth paying for the applications and services that you use every day. I am currently working on a long-form piece on this very same topic, but from a different angle.

I also like to pay for the software and services that I use, but honestly I had never thought about it in terms of protecting their long-term existence. To me it was always about supporting the hard work of the developers and the countless hours they put into making the apps. I have huge respect for their work because I know how difficult it is to make a truly great app.

Via shawnblanc.net.

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Quote of the Day →

March 17, 2011 |

In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.

Ellen Goodman (1941 - )

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TSA says radiation of body scanners 10 times higher than expected →

March 16, 2011 |

Ars Technica:

The Transportation Security Administration is reanalyzing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide, after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results.

They say that the difference in the radiation levels is due to a calculation error, but that the scanners are still safe and will remain in operation, for now.

From an engineering standpoint, I have to agree the radiation levels involved seem to be safe with a comfortable margin (1,000 scans are equivalent to one standard chest X-ray). But still, that is not the issue here. The issue is that the TSA has deployed an insufficiently researched technology, without any kind of medical studies backing it up. This so-called “calculation error” could have been much higher, and we only would have found out now, many months after they started operating.

From a personal standpoint, though, I don’t like those scanners one bit.

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TechCrunch clarifies AOL censorship incident, blames Moviefone instead →

March 16, 2011 |

Great article by Paul Carr on how AOL didn’t actually ask TechCrunch to “tone down” their post about the marketing strategy behind the movie Source Code:

Apparently someone at Summit didn’t like the “snark” in Alexia’s post. They passed on their concerns to their Moviefone contact in the hope that, as an AOL sister site, Moviefone would be able to lean on Alexia to tone it down. Sure enough, someone at Moviefone emailed Alexia…

All in all, a great read. Paul’s honest-to-god assessment of the situation and criticism of AOL are praise-worthy:

Actually, Patricia, you only have two loyalties: one is to your readers and one is to the company that signs your paychecks. That’s it. You do not – emphatically _do not_ – have a responsibility to “stay on good terms” with movie studios. On the contrary, when a movie company asks you to try to strong-arm a college into dialing down her editorial voice, it’s in your best interests as a professional editor to tell them to go fuck themselves.
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Apple does the right thing in Japan →

March 15, 2011 |

The earthquake hit while I was working on the first floor of one of their stores.  As the entire building swayed, the staff calmly led people from the top 5 floors down to the first floor, and under the ridiculously strong wooden tables that hold up the display computers. 7 hours and 118 aftershocks later, the store was still open.  Why? Because with the phone and train lines down, taxis stopped, and millions of people stuck in the Tokyo shopping district scared, with no access to television, hundreds of people were swarming into Apple stores to watch the news on USTREAM and contact their families via Twitter, Facebook, and email.

Impressive story. People seize every opportunity to criticize Apple and the way it milks their customers’ money, but there is so much more to Apple than that. It is a company ran by people, for people; and their culture influences everything they do, not just what they sell:

Because the trains and phones were down, almost everyone who worked in Tokyo was stranded deep in the city. All the hotels were booked, the roads were jammed, so hundreds of people were instantly homeless. Apple told all of their staff - Retail AND Corporate - that they could go sleep at the Apple stores. The Senior managers at the stores had been notified earlier and unbeknownst to us, had gone out to stock up on food and drinks after the very first quake hit.

As Steve himself would say, “It’s in Apple’s DNA to act like this”.

Via @mantia.

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RIP Zune Player, 2006-2011 →

March 15, 2011 |

Microsoft is not planning on releasing any further Zune devices. Instead, the company plans to focus on Zune software for smartphones.

Further proof that technology by itself is not enough, it needs to be aimed at humans. Microsoft never really understood that with the Zune. From what I’ve heard, they’re trying to change course with Windows Phone 7, and they seem to be on the right track.

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Flickr Burning As Head Of Service Walks Away →

March 15, 2011 |

Rothenberg is out as head of product for Flickr. He [tweeted](http://twitter.com/#!/mroth/status/47413775799812096) the news himself earlier today. He had been on the team for five years, dating back to when original co-founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake were still running the ship. They left long ago, but Rothenberg stuck around. And for the past two years, he’s been the guy in charge.

This comes right on the heels of the decision of moving Delicious on to the Sunset.

I swear, just yesterday I was this close to signing up for a Flickr Pro account. Now I guess I’ll give it some more thought and see how it plays out. Yahoo’s track record of handling its purchases is not very reassuring, to say the least.

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Quote of the Day →

March 15, 2011 |

The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.

Henry S. Haskins (1875 - 1957)

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