“links” Category

Where Are Health Costs Headed?

Yuval Levin summarizes recent reports from the CBO and HHS actuaries on what they expect health costs to head over the next few decades:

They suggest that the slowdown in health inflation we have seen over the past decade is likely at an end, that Obamacare will not be bending the cost curve downward (as its champions promised it could), and that we are in dire need of health-care and entitlement reform that could better help contain costs. They also help us see just how daunting a challenge that really is.

The “Affordable Care Act” makes our health cost problem—already a disaster—worse, not better.

October 22nd, 2013

Tonx Coffee (Sponsor)

My thanks to Tonx for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed. Tonx is special because not only is their coffee excellent, and not only do they ship new varietals each period, but you don’t have to worry about picking up more whenever you’re about to run out—it just shows up. Whether you’re just starting with coffee or already grind fresh coffee beans in your burr grinder each morning for your Chemex, Tonx is awesome.

Tonx is a small team of coffee experts who believe it’s easy to make a better cup in your kitchen than you’ll get at the best cafes – and for a fraction of the cost. By sourcing the finest coffees in the world and roasting them 24-hours before shipping, you’ll have the freshest coffee delivered straight to your door. And for a limited time, get a free trial to taste for yourself.

Also, Tonx is pleased to introduce The Frequency, an email newsletter packed with coffee secrets, brew tips, and special limited offers, exclusively for Tonx members.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

October 22nd, 2013

Policy and the G.O.P. Civil War

Ross Douthat on the Tea Party:

Yet at the same time, to the extent that policy differences are driving the current intra-G.O.P. fight, the populists tend to have 1) decent ideas and 2) a better sense than their establishment rivals of how to brand the party as something other than just a tool of rich people and business interests. Their strategy is disastrous, but their substance has something to recommend it. Which is part of the reason why it isn’t enough, for the Republicans to escape their current cul-de-sac, for the party leadership to “win” and the populist base to “lose” — let alone for the leadership to somehow jettison the base.

That’s the GOP’s conundrum: the Tea Party in the House is doing terrible things to the party, but there are the seeds for positive—even transformative—change of the GOP in the Tea Party with good leadership.

October 15th, 2013

Squarespace (Sponsor)

My thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed. If you’ve been itching to start writing online, it’s a great way to do it.

What do you want people to see when they find you online?

Whether you’re growing a business, starting a blog, or are ready to sell online, you need to make a great impression. Squarespace is the best way to create a modern and professional website, with all the features you need integrated into one platform. Every Squarespace website is mobile-ready, includes e-commerce, and is backed up by award-winning 24/7 customer service.

Try Squarespace today at squarespace.com.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

October 15th, 2013

MailChimp (Sponsor)

My thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed.

The new generation of MailChimp adapts to your workflow, regardless of the device you’re using and size of your team. A cohesive experience across desktop and mobile devices means you can create, send, and track email campaigns in any context.

Check out MailChimp today.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

October 8th, 2013

The Theme Foundry (Sponsor)

My thanks to Theme Foundry for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed.

The Theme Foundry has been building premium WordPress themes since 2008. They recently released Collections — a unique and beautiful WordPress theme for sharing, designed by Veerle Pieters. Visit the live demo of Collections to see it in action, or purchase it now for $79.

What makes The Theme Foundry special?

  • A focus on quality over quantity. You won’t find a huge assortment on their site — they keep a small, curated collection of premium WordPress themes.
  • Exclusive partner with WordPress.com (the official hosted WordPress provider). Each and every theme goes through a stringent audit process from some of the best WordPress coders in the world.
  • Whole team support. You get fast and friendly support from the team that actually built your theme, not a part time support rep.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

October 1st, 2013

Igloo (Sponsor)

My thanks to Igloo for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed.

Stop waiting for your IT department to move off SharePoint and start using an intranet you’ll actually like. Igloo is free to use with your team, it’s built around easy to use apps like blogging and file sharing, and it has social tools built right in to help you get work done.

It works on your desktop, your tablet and your phone. Inside or outside of your office. With your team or with your customers. Igloo is 100% white label, so you can make it look like your brand (with your developers or our in-house design and services team).

And if you’re in San Francisco, come learn how a social intranet can help your business succeed. Hear real world examples from our customers, technologists, and writers from Forbes and The Huffington Post. Our Social Intranet Tour hits San Francisco on October 15. We hope to see you there.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

September 23rd, 2013

Apple’s Best, Apple’s Worst

This section from USA Today’s interview with Craig Federighi and Jonathan Ive highlights what makes Apple an exceptional company, and also their greatest weakness:

“This right here is what I love about Apple, this incredibly sophisticated powerful technology that you’re almost not aware of, it absolutely blows me away,” he says. “You can’t get this without working cross-functionally.”

Federighi is quick to admit that any engineer tasked with such a challenge would be sure to call attention to his brilliant work. “You know, you’re going to have some big message saying ‘Scanning!’ and buzz-buzz-zzz-zzz later it says ‘Authenticated,’ blink-blink-blink, with 10 seconds of animation,” he says, as Ive starts laughing.

“Ultimately we realized all that had to disappear,” says Federighi. “If it disappears, we know we’ve done it.”

That’s absolutely what is special about Apple, the focus on using technology in truly meaningful ways rather than to pad specification lists. But Apple’s talent for doing so with hardware and hardware and software hasn’t really extended into web services.

I’m not sure why that is. It could be that while Apple culturally believes in good design and integrating hardware and software, since those values have been with Apple since the very beginning, building terrific web services has never been something they’ve truly believed in as a company. I wonder, then, whether a part of Tim Cook’s management re-organization (which this USA Today piece seems to be meant to show the results of) is building that cultural focus and appreciation for web services.

September 19th, 2013

Basil 2.0

Today, Apple released iOS 7—the most substantial update to iOS 7 since the App Store was introduced in 2008. With it, I am introducing a new version of Basil that is, yes, re-designed for iOS 7, but more importantly is a re-thinking of how key parts of the application work. I think it’s both simpler and more powerful. I’m very proud of it.

you can read more about it on the Basil weblog, or go and get it on the App Store.

I hope you all love it. It’s a privilege to work on an application so many people find useful.

September 18th, 2013

What Designers Say About Life at Booking.com (Sponsor)

My thanks to Booking.com for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed.

Forgive the cliche, but coming to work for Booking.com has been one of the best decisions. Within a week of arriving to the Netherlands, I had already created two UI experiments and pushed code to the live site. It was intimidating and thrilling at the same time. Those feelings haven’t left. I’m constantly humbled by the more than 300 super intelligent colleagues of 51+ nationalities! I learn every day. If there’s a day I don’t? It means I wasn’t in the office.

The warmth and acceptance of new hires is brilliant. I was invited for chess, football, drinks, and even knitting, within a fortnight. Friday after work drinks can easily evolve into an adventure anytime. There’s always something to do in this city. And at Booking.com, there’s always someone who’s willing to join in. The many parties are just something that has to be experienced. Come join and I’ll show you around!

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

September 18th, 2013

Touch ID and Accessibility

Steven Aquino:

My idea here is not so much of convenience (which is nice) but rather of usability. I know many folks with vision-and motor-related issues who bemoan iOS’s passcode prompt because not only does it take time, but also entering in said code isn’t necessarily an easy task. In fact, more than a few lament this so often that they forego a passcode altogether because it’s time-consuming and a pain (sometimes literally) to enter.

September 11th, 2013

Shawn’s Thoughts On the iPhone Event

From Shawn Blanc’s thoughts on Tuesday’s iPhone event:

Alas, Apple still has issues with off-device photo storage, syncing, etc. It’d be great if Apple took that same energy for innovation they are putting on the iPhone’s camera (hardware and software side) and devote it to vastly improving photo storage and organization with iCloud and multiple devices.

This is easily my biggest pain-point in day-to-day use with my iPhone.

September 11th, 2013

“Worth A Thousand Words”

Patrick Rhone on Tuesday’s iPhone event:

The real story, in my opinion, is the one worth a thousand words on each of those aforementioned tech blogs but not getting near that sort of coverage — the new camera in the iPhone 5S. The camera? Yes, the camera.

September 11th, 2013

Careers At Booking.com (Sponsor)

Thanks to Booking.com for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed.

The front-end team at Booking.com continues to grow and we are looking for talented UX Designers, Web Designers, Product Owners, and Front End Developers to come help us create the world’s best accommodation platform.

You’ll work at our head office in central Amsterdam which is sandwiched in-between canals, museums and the occasional statue of an old Dutch master (good evening, Mr. Rembrandt). We’ll pay to move you and your family from anywhere in the world; USA, Portugal, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, just to name a few! We’ll provide short-term accommodation and help you adjust to your new home in Amsterdam. You’ll be given the freedom to make impactful improvements to a website and collection of apps used by millions of people. We also have unique company perks like bicycle reimbursement, on site lunch, monthly parties, and our world class year end party complete with live performances!

Apply today.

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

September 10th, 2013

Obama’s Constitutional Lesson

Ross Douthat:

The official “lesson” that the president’s words and choices are delivering is not one that actually elevates Congress back to its Article I level of authority. Rather, it’s one that treats Congress as a kind of ally of last resort, whose backing remains legally unnecessary for warmaking (as the White House keeps strenuously emphasizing, and as its conduct regarding Libya necessarily implies), and whose support is only worth seeking for pragmatic and/or morale-boosting reasons once other, extra-constitutional sources of legitimacy (the U.N. Security Council, Britain, etc.) have turned you down. The precedent being set, then, is one of presidential weakness, not high-minded constitutionalism: Going to Congress is entirely optional, and it’s what presidents do when they’re pitching wars that they themselves don’t fully believe in, and need to rebuild credibility squandered by their own fumbling and failed alliance management. What future White House would look at that example and see a path worth following?


Initially, I was positive about President Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a military attack on Syria. But after Obama and John Kerry’s continued insistence that they were not seeking authorization because they are constitutionally required to, and that a “no” vote does not bar them from attacking Syria, I began re-considering it.

With that in mind, it’s clear that the Obama administration hasn’t sought approval because they believe the executive branch shouldn’t be able to unilaterally initiate military action (Libya should make their beliefs on it very clear), but rather because they lost British support for the effort and would not be able to gain authorization from the U.N. Security Council, and need some kind of legitimacy. As Douthat says, seeking congressional authorization is only a last resort.

That’s not positive. It’s inept, and it’s infuriating.

September 4th, 2013