Pocket Finds: The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need

I just read and enjoyed this:

Atlanta turns yellow for two weeks in April. Streets, driveways, terraces, cars—everything cakes with pollen. It’s the trees that cause the worst of it. Pine, oak, sweet gum, sycamore, mulberry, hackberry, birch, willow. Prolific itching, sneezing, and car-washing ensue.

Read “The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need”

My First Amazon Order

While Amazon Prime Day turned out to be a bit of a disappointment (at least I saved money by not buying anything), The Verge took the opportunity to reminisce about their first Amazon orders, which got me digging in my account history as well:

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 10.48.05

Almost 13 years ago, and those DVDs are still in my living room. Looking through the comments at The Verge, it seems that 2002 makes me an early-ish adopter, didn’t expect that.

Marco Arment on the new Macbook

Marco Arment reviews the new Macbook and doesn’t like it:

I hate typing on it, I hate the trackpad, it’s slower than I expected, the screen is noticeably blurry from non-native scaling to get reasonable screen space, and I don’t even find it very comfortable to use in my lap because it’s too small.

I hate returning things, but I’m returning this.

He reaches a worrisome conclusion that I agree with:

Rather than make really great products that are mostly thin, they now make really thin products that are mostly great.

Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park

John Herrman digs into the announcement of Facebook Instant with some interesting observations, like this:

Now that we can see Instant in action, we can more clearly see what constitutes a publication on a Facebook-centric internet. A Facebook publication is… a brand? A “vertical?” It doesn’t own its distribution, it doesn’t meaningfully control its sources of revenue. It has no “design” outside of its individual articles. It is composed entirely of its content, as represented to Facebook users by Facebook.

And this:

The history of software and web platforms is instructive here: Platforms grow by incorporating the labor of users and partners; they tend, over time, to regard the presence of the partners as an inefficiency. Twitter asks developers to make a bunch of apps using its data, so people make a bunch of mobile apps, then Twitter notices that these apps are actually very important to Twitter, and so Twitter buys one of the apps and takes steps to expel all the other apps, rendering the job of “Twitter app developer” more or less obsolete.

The whole thing is worth a read if you are even mildly curious about online media trends.

It has been interesting to observe reactions to Facebook Instant among media outlets, as they are of course immediately affected. The common sentiment seems to be cautious pessimism with a tinge of envy among those not included in the initial roll-out.