First of all, Apple isn’t rejecting Dropbox-powered apps outright. They’re rejecting them because they allow the user to create a Dropbox account and/or pay for a Dropbox subscription through Safari. However, that may be splitting hairs, as it may theoretically just be a means to an end to discourage the use of Dropbox in apps versus iCloud.
Either way, though, that’s stupid, shortsighted, and unacceptable. Get it together, guys.
Without a doubt, it’s my least favorite form of communication. There are lots of things to hate about it. I hate how people can interrupt you at any time and expect a conversation. I hate the rigidity of blocking off time for such a conversation, especially unexpectedly.
I grew up in the digital age. If you send me an email, I will get it immediately, and I will respond as soon as I am reasonably able. If you have a question, that is the absolute best way to get an answer from me.
The problem is, some of the people I deal with don’t, won’t, or can’t understand this. To them, the phone is the automatic choice for a certain kind of communication. As a result, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’ve decided what I’m going to do.
First, I’m going to change my phone number. I’m ditching the number I’ve had for almost a decade, and switching to something new. I will give this number to as few people as I possibly can. To begin with, that’s going to be immediate family, and maybe one or two trusted friends. There are a few people that I don’t mind receiving calls from. They don’t feel like an interruption or a burden, and if I can’t answer, I can’t answer.
There are others who I don’t want to have my phone number, but need to occasionally interact with me by phone. For these people, I’ve signed up with a new Google account (I destroyed my previous Google account, and the new one contains as little personally identifiable information as possible) for the express purpose of using Google Voice.
This gives me a secondary phone number I can give out to people without compromising my main number. My intention with this number is to disable forwarding to my phone, so that people are forced to leave me a message, which is then transcribed and delivered to me via email. Voilà—everything via email, just as I want it. (Disliking and distrusting Google as I do, I don’t want all my calls going through Google Voice, which is why I will still be sharing my regular phone number with those few trusted people, as stated above.)
For close friends and family, they will also have my Apple ID, and I’m happy to continue communicating with them via iMessage and FaceTime (my preferred methods of communication for the people closest to me). An additional advantage of the Apple ID being tied to a domain I own is that I can change the address any time I like as a sort of “security barrier” to prevent people from guessing my Apple ID.
This eliminates my weakest link in mobile communication, which (ironically) is the plain old-fashioned phone call. Queued, digital communication is so much less of an imposition.
Oh, go fuck yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.” Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you dickheads.
Just what I’ve always wanted. Unfortunately it saves as .md instead of .txt, but oh well.
UPDATE: Thanks to Nick Wynja for pointing out that you can edit the BBLMPreferredFilenameExtension key to “txt” in the Info.plist file for Markdown.bblm to have Markdown files save as .txt. Thanks again, Nick!
Once upon a time seeing this in public would have been the coolest thing ever. Now it’s just a sad reminder of how the new series has poisoned public perception of Doctor Who, leading people to associate the name with something that isn’t it. It’s a sad world we live in where you can’t even get excited about seeing a TARDIS in public anymore. But this isn’t the TARDIS. It’s just something that happens to look the same.
On Friday, The Talk Show suddenly disappeared from its home on 5by5 and started over (from episode #1) on Mule Radio Syndicate. There was no warning, and Dan Benjamin at 5by5 has been completely silent since this happened. If you’re interested in more backstory, Jonathan Poritsky has done a great job summarizing.
I listened to the Talk Show every week. I initially came for Gruber, but I grew to love Dan. The Talk Show was my gateway drug to 5by5’s other amazing podcasts. But the sense I get from this is that Dan Benjamin was pretty much blindsided by it. Gruber’s only public statements on this have been that he is excited to relaunch on Mule. There isn’t even so much as a mention or a thank you for Dan or 5by5. The closest we’ve gotten has been this snarky tweet.
I’m not going to harp on this because it’s not worth it. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about John Gruber’s business decisions. Whatever the motivation behind this change, Gruber is free to do whatever he wants here. But I think the respectful thing would have been to go through Dan and announce this to the public together. Instead, Dan looks like a victim here, and it didn’t have to play out like that.
I don’t care what Gruber does. But I do care how he does it. Maybe if he hadn’t gone the shock-and-awe route with this transition, I’d have followed him over to Mule. But as it stands today, at least until I hear something from Dan, I’m done with the Talk Show. I’ll be just fine with Marco, Merlin, Jim, Horace, and John Siracusa.
The DannyStewart.com Forums, a piece of DannyStewart.com history, have been dusted off and restored from my personal archive. Originally restored purely for nostalgia purposes, I’ve decided to leave them up for the time being and re-enable new user registrations. I’m not going to put a link on the main page because I’m not yet certain of its future.
All the old posts and user accounts are still there, so if you were a member previously, you can log in to your old account. If you’re interested in joining for the first time, please be aware that the forums are primarily focused on Doctor Who, and consider yourself warned that it is not heavily moderated and some of us are jerks.
John Gruber finally did the right thing and provided a post offering some (slight) closure on The Talk Show’s move from 5by5. There’s no reason it should have taken this long.
He also spoke briefly about it on episode 2 of the new Talk Show. Start at 29:30 and you only need to listen for about 3-4 minutes. The bottom line is that this was the result of a “longstanding business disagreement” with Dan Benjamin. That’s as much information as we’re probably ever going to get.
That’s fine, of course; John is free to do as he pleases. But I’ll miss The Talk Show with Dan Benjamin on 5by5. I still hold John Gruber in high regard as a journalist. I think he’s a good source with good insights into the Apple world, and I think he has strong journalistic integrity. But the way this was handled has slightly dinged my respect for him.
I think Dan and The Talk Show’s listeners deserved better than this. All it would have taken was a joint announcement from John and Dan immediately prior to the move. It would have shown more respect for all involved.
But it’s all over and done with now, and this is the last I’ll say on the matter.
Great and very important article that I hope Apple takes note of.
See also Marco Arment’s additional thoughts on this, most notably that the overall software quality at Apple has been slipping. He’s right about this, and this is a worrying trend and slippery slope, but not one that is unable to be fixed at this point.
It’s hard to disagree with this. I remember how happy I was with Tiger when I first switched to OS X. Subsequent releases, with the possible exception of Snow Leopard (as the article notes), just haven’t been as solid.
There have been a lot of under-the-hood changes made to the site today. For starters, I updated my Second Crack installation to the latest version available. Apparently there had been 24 updates pushed out since I set up the site. I’ve done some custom coding for the version of Second Crack that runs here, so I was worried that updating would cause problems. Apparently I did a good job with everything, though, as there were no issues.
I also felt that the navbar was getting a little overloaded after adding a fifth link (to the Forums). The obvious solution was to consolidate the two music-based links (to my Bandcamp and SoundCloud sites) into a dropdown. This warranted completely redoing the navbar from scratch to allow for dropdown menus. Getting the CSS just right was a pain, but it was worth it, as now I have the flexibility to include links in submenus.
Add to that some general streamlining of both the HTML template and the rest of the site’s CSS and you have the site in its latest form. Special shout out to my awesome friend Megan for sweating the small stuff with me and being willing to talk to me for half an hour about whether the header was one pixel too far to the left.