what else needs said? This is, apparently, a recipe for Miles Davis’s chili.
what else needs said? This is, apparently, a recipe for Miles Davis’s chili.
Federico Viticci has an epic look at the current state of the iOS and Mac App Stores and how it can be improved, with a ton of quotes from developers on it. There’s a lot of good ideas here, but this struck me as particularly powerful:
“Apple is in a position where they can become a trusted source for app recommendations”, Hockenberry explained. “To some degree, they’re already doing it with the features (like Mother’s Day apps in the US). But those features don’t typically stick around. Nor is there any description of why the app was featured. I want Apple to tell me why they think the app is great. And I want to be able to find these recommended apps later on — I’ll happily go look at past recommendations for an app I need instead of searching for “todo” or “flashlight”.”
Apple started the App Store in 2008 with the intent of making it more of a place for selected applications for users, rather than the place where any and all applications are welcome. We’ve moved beyond that, but I think that idea—of Apple providing some kind of recommendations—is very appealing and would be helpful for regular users. Browsing the App Store as-is to find something new is nearly impossible, unless you’re just looking through the top of the charts or get lucky while searching.
John Gruber and Dan Benjamin’s weekly podcast, the Talk Show, has left the 5by5 network and moved to the Mule Radio Syndicate. From Gruber’s post announcing it:
I am, uncharacteristically, genuinely excited to announce that my Oscar-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning podcast, The Talk Show is now on Mule Radio Syndicate.
Dan Benjamin, obviously, will no longer be a part of it. There are things that you would never expect to happen, and this is one of them.
I don’t want to comment on the circumstances of this, because I don’t know anything about them and I am sure it’s very personal to Dan and John, but I will say this: I’m sad to see that the show is finished in this form. The Talk Show was the first show that got me hooked on podcasts.
The Obama campaign put out an attack ad on Romney, which accuses Bain Capital of running GST Steel into the ground to profit from it. Avik Roy explained in January why this, um, isn’t exactly accurate:
Romney and Bain Capital have come under fire from Newt Gingrich for “looting” GS Industries. According to Gingrich, Bain enriched itself and its investors by drawing dividends and fees out of the company, directly causing its collapse. But this isn’t exactly right. According to Reuters, Bain earned $12 million in dividends and $4.5 million in consulting fees from its investment in GS: a tidy sum, but one that amounts to only 4 percent of GS’s 1995 debt load. Furthermore, the Reuters report doesn’t appear to account for Bain’s loss of its sizeable (but unknown) equity investment in GS.
Did Bain make mistakes in the way it tried to run GS? Sure — hindsight, after all, is 20/20. The firm overestimated the attractiveness of the U.S. steel industry, and overestimated its abilities to persuade GS’s workers to reduce their wages and benefits to competitive levels. But it’s factually wrong, and indeed dishonest, to claim that Bain “looted” GS, that Bain sucked the blood out of GS in order to enrich itself. Bain stood to make far more money, and generate far greater returns for its investors, if GS had regained its past prosperity.
The Obama campaign’s ad pretends that Bain Capital purchased the company and screwed it up—when in fact the company was suffering from foreign competition, just as the rest of the steel industry was. But hey—whenever you can get someone who lost their job to accuse your competitor of being a vampire, you’ve got to turn that into an ad, right?
The Bain attack ad is pure expressive/symbolic politics: vote Obama because Romney is a bad guy, not because an Obama administration will make any practical difference to people like those featured in the video.
Obama wants credit for being more caring, compassionate, and concerned than Romney. But even if that were all true (and I’m not at all sure it is)—so what? It’s not like he has in mind any plan or policy actually to do anything very different from his rival on this score, other perhaps than provide somewhat more generous federal benefits after the plant is closed down.
“The universities produce and own the content, and we are the platform that hosts and streams it,” explained Daphne Koller, a Stanford computer science professor who founded Coursera with Ng after seeing tens of thousands of students following their free Stanford lectures online.
This has incredible potential. Imagine community colleges and universities where students receive lectures from the top people in the field, and the classes held are discussion or work-based. This could allow far-flung schools to be much, much more effective.
Thanks to Igloo Software for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed. They’re giving away an Aeropress (awesome!), so check them out.
Work isn’t a place – it’s what you do.
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Mauldin’s claim is that we are in what he calls the “endgame,” meaning that the Keynesian option of increasing government borrowing is no longer available to European countries. The only willing lenders are banks, which in turn need to be propped up, and ultimately they can only be propped up by printing money.
My take-away from Mauldin is that, contra the mainstream media narrative, the real dilemma in Europe is not fiscal–deciding whether to maintain government spending or not. The real dilemma is financial–whether to recognize losses and absorb defaults (by both governments and banks) or turn loose the monetary printing presses.
(Via Tyler Cowen.)
People suffering from hand or foot issues, or who had limbs amputated in the past, are choosing more extensive amputations so they can receive more capable prosthetics:
“The last couple of years, boy, my life started closing in on me because I couldn’t run anymore,” said Dr. White, 51, a family physician in Buena Vista, Colo. “It got so that doing something like taking a hike wasn’t fun anymore because it hurt too much.”
Dr. White had his left leg amputated just below the knee to get a sleek carbon-fiber foot. Three years later, he has started training for races again. “I made the decision to have an elective amputation so that I could have a chance to get back to my life,” he said. “It just dawned on me — the technology is amazing, and I would be better off.”
I don’t think the interesting part of this story is so much that people are choosing to have amputations or more extensive ones. What’s interesting about it—and heartening—is that more advanced prosthetics are providing people who, until very recently, would have been severely restricted in what they could physically do due to injury with a life comparable to what they had before.
Of course, these prosthetics are still very expensive, and as far as I can tell, many aren’t covered by health insurance. But hopefully that will improve with time, too.
Tyler Cowen asks what the definition of “austerity” is, and sort of answers it:
I wonder if some Keynesians have in mind the baseline of “the expansionary policies which I think would be appropriate,” in which case doing less than the Keynesian optimum is always a form of austerity.
I have a more simple definition: it’s a word used to cast moral and emotional judgment on a set of policies without having to actually discuss what those policies are and whether they may be justified or have some basis.
“We’ll ask them to identify ‘Where’s the coconut?’, and they’ll point it out,” Linda Jacobs, who oversees the Jungle Island program, told Wired. “We want to build from that and give them a choice in what they have for dinner — show them pictures of every vegetable we have available that day, and let them pick, giving them the opportunity to have choices.”
When you’ve built a device that can be used by humans for a nearly unlimited number of tasks, and even primates, you’ve built something incredible.
Before hiring someone, Zuckerberg used to take them on a hike:
Several people who were hired this way say the strolls usually meandered along the trail — with Mr. Zuckerberg asking questions of the new recruit along the way — and ended atop a lookout. There, Mr. Zuckerberg would explain the terrain in front of them and his vision for the future.
“He pointed out Apple’s headquarters, then Hewlett-Packard and a number of other big tech companies,” one person who was recruited by Mr. Zuckerberg told The New York Times last year. “Then he pointed to Facebook and said that it would eventually be bigger than all of the companies he had just mentioned, and that if I joined the company, I could be a part of it all.”
Not only is that a fantastic way to hire someone, but it shows Zuckerberg’s ambitions for Facebook, too. That isn’t a sales speech—I’ve no doubt it’s his intent to grow Facebook into the most important and influential technology company we’ve seen.
Matt Gemmell announced MGTileMenu today. He describes it as a “pop-up tile-based contextual menu.”
Is anyone else doing such consistently high-quality, ambitious open source work for iOS as Matt Gemmell?
Glenn A. Britt, the company’s chief executive, said in a group interview on Friday that the challenge for digital video was that there was no simple way to get Internet-based video onto the television screen. He wasn’t familiar with AirPlay.
“I’m not sure I know what AirPlay is,” he said, though he noted that he was an enthusiastic Apple customer.
Don’t assume a conspiracy as the cause for something when simple incompetence fits just as well.
9to5Mac reports that Apple will drop Google Maps in iOS 6.
It was only a question of when. This won’t be easy, though—Apple’s maps and directions must be really, really good, or this is going to create a lot of issues for users. Imagine using the Maps application when its maps and directions are worse than Google Maps.
But it makes sense. Apple doesn’t want to be beholden to another company—especially a direct competitor—for something so integral to their devices.