Wednesday, March 02
Monday, February 15

New Album and Book from Airplane Mode

Dave Wiskus, announcing the release of his band’s new EP and … book?

“Amsterdam” is available on iTunes and Spotify and Amazon. We’re also trying a new medium: iBooks.

The book contains the same four studio tracks as the EP, but a new format allows us to go further; every song is a chapter, with the music, lyrics sheet, original demo, and stories that inspired the song.

Wednesday, November 11

Inbox by Gmail to Add ‘Smart Reply’

Cam Bunton reporting for 9to5mac:

In its blog post about the update, Google explains how the technology works, stating that as the email comes in, one network encodes the email by consuming the words one at a time and then produces a vector, or list of numbers. This vector essentially captures the message of what the email means. A second network then uses this ‘thought vector’ and creates a grammatically correct reply one word at a time. To the user, it should feel fast, intuitive and natural.

Wow. Such incredible AI work they do in Mountain View (or wherever). I’m not totally creeped out by this feature, yet, but I have this sinking feeling that I should be.

TechCrunch: The iPad Pro And The Death Of A Metaphor

I love this reference to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood buried in Matthew Panzarino’s iPad Pro review:

My battery typically lasts around 2 days on WiFi with some sketching, watching Daniel of House Tiger with my daughter and doing some typing and browsing in split-screen.

Sunday, October 04

Matt Gemmell’s ‘Negotiations’

Matt Gemmell’s post on the ad blocking controversy should be required reading for any and all parties entering the discussion:

In order to work out why people are angry about blockers – beyond the simple reality that people are taking their content for free, and bypassing their means of compensation – we have to look to the think-pieces sprouting daily that try to introduce a moral element to the issue. The moral angle says that ad-blocking is in some sense wrong, and is akin (and tantamount) to theft. Theft is probably morally wrong in most circumstances, thus we have our conclusion.

But that’s some intellectual sleight of hand.

It may be correct for you, if you agree with the assumptions it makes, but it’s still a crooked argument for not addressing those assumptions. So let’s briefly do that. The two main assumptions being made are of implicit contract, and of implicit consent. And they’re big ones.

Monday, September 21
Monday, September 14

What the heck is Angela Ahrendts doing at Apple?

Tim Cook & company probably got it wrong when they hired John Browett. Not that Browett isn’t good at what he does, but he just probably wasn’t a great fit at Apple. In hiring Angela Ahrendts away from Burberry, they didn’t back away from Think Different. In fact, it appears they doubled down on it:

The courtship was a slow one. Ahrendts would have to relinquish her CEO title, move her husband and three kids—the youngest of which was still in high school—5,000 miles from London to the Bay Area, and change industries. She was nervous. She says she told Cook, “ ‘Don’t believe everything you read. I’m not a techie.’ And he looks at me, and he goes, ‘I think we have enough techies here.’ And I said, ‘But you don’t understand. I’m not even really a great retailer. I hired great retailers.’ And he said, ‘Well, last time I looked we were one of the highest-productivity-per-square-foot stores of any company on the planet. So I think we have a lot of those too.’”

I love everything about Tim Cook’s strategy: let the teams at Apple do what they do, but give them a leader that knows how to lead and how to equip them with what they need to succeed.

(hat tip: The Loop)

Wednesday, August 26
Friday, August 07

Great Design is Invisible

When designing the experience and interactions of a product, the most common question I ask myself is, “What is the least amount of work a user has to do, to achieve their desired outcome?”

Design isn’t always pixels and materials. Sometimes, in fact, it isn’t even about what you see at all.

Thursday, July 30

The new 9to5

Familiar, yet refreshing new layout from 9to5mac (and the rest of the 9to5 network). They’re sticking with ads, but in a more considerate way. You have to walk before you run; this is great progress.

On a related note, great timing, coincidental though it may be.