The Going-Back-To-Paper Edition Monday, March 28, 2016

It’s 2016 Why Can’t Anyone Make A Decent Freaking To-Do App, by David Pierce, Wired

Making and keeping a to-do list is almost as hard as completing the tasks on it. What’s most frustrating is it feels like we should have solved that by now. As work becomes increasingly gig-based, distributed, and complex, people increasingly need time- and task-management tools. For those people, there’s Wunderlist and Todoist and and Asana and Toodledo and Omnifocus and Things and Trello and Clear and Checkvist and Due and TeuxDeux—and those are just the apps on my phone. Tens of millions of people use them, and they’ve attracted hundreds of millions in funding.

Most of the myriad to-do list apps are fine. Some of them are very good. But none of them has ever solved my problem—your problem—of having too much to do, too little time to do it, and a brain incapable of remembering and prioritizing it all. Which explains why the old ways remain so popular.

“A lot of tech people I know are going back to paper,” organization and time-management guru David Allen tells me. “Because a paper planner … there’s still no better tool than a paper planner.”

Back To The Future

Google And Apple: The High-Tech Hippies Of Silicon Valley, by Nikil Saval, New York Times

For all the talk of “disruption” coming out of Silicon Valley, one thing that has tended to remain stubbornly stuck in the past is tech companies’ architecture. Many of today’s most innovative companies are housed in deadly dull, boxy and glassy suburban campuses: Google lives in the rehabbed buildings of long-defunct Silicon Graphics, Facebook in a laboratory from the 1960s. Though the interiors might have advanced lighting systems, state-of-the-art fitness facilities and cafeterias serving farm-to-table fare, the exteriors — flat, unarticulated facades; ribbon windows; hard right angles — could come from any suburban office corridor anywhere in the country, and from any moment in the past half-century.

This is why the recently revealed plans for the new campuses of Google, in Mountain View, Calif., designed by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, and Apple, in Cupertino, from Sir Norman Foster, are so striking: They, like the companies they will house, point to the future — the future, that is, as it looked in the 1960s. Images of the projected Apple campus — a four-tiered ringlike structure nestled in a thickly wooded landscape — evoke the landing of an alien spaceship. The central structure in Ingels’s and Heatherwick’s design is canopied by a sinuous glass membrane, a protective bubble or amniotic sac, shielding an entire section of the campus — not just buildings but bike paths and desks — while letting the abundant Northern California light stream in. In aerial renderings it looks like larvae, incubating a new and possibly terrifying future.


Some Users Reporting iPhone Crashes On iOS 9.3 When Tapping Links In Safari And Other Apps, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The cause is unknown, but many users are finding themselves unable to open links in Safari, Messages, Mail, Notes and other apps. Instead of visiting the target website, the app crashes, freezes or hangs. Hundreds of reports have already been posted about the iOS 9.3 problem on the Apple Support forums.

How To Customize Your iPhone Vibrations To Tell Who's Calling, by Isabelle Chapman, Mashable


American Tech Giants Face Fight In Europe Over Encrypted Data, by Mark Scott, New York Times

This week, French lawmakers are expected to debate proposals to toughen laws, giving intelligence services greater power to get access to personal data.

The battle has pitted Europe’s fears about the potential for further attacks against concerns from Apple and other American technology giants like Google and Facebook that weakening encryption technologies may create so-called back doors to people’s digital information that could be misused by European law enforcement officials, or even intelligence agencies of unfriendly countries.

Netflix’s Grand, Daring, Maybe Crazy Plan To Conquer The World, by Brian Barrett, Wired

In many ways, Daredevil is the quintessential Netflix property. It exhibits enough violence and language to give it a sense of edge—you won’t find too many bad guys hanging from meat hooks on CBS—while still falling comfortably short of triggering major parental concern. It balances critical success with pulp appeal. Most of all, though, it’s a Marvel product, which means it has built-in international recognition.

How The iPhone Changed TV, by Randy Cooke, Ad Exchanger

The true value proposition of TV Everywhere isn’t that people can stream content on their phone, but that their entire video libraries are with them anywhere they go.

Bottom of the Page

This morning, I woke up in the middle of the night, at 3.30am, and simply couldn't get back to sleep. Many of this morning buses were too crowded for me to even get on. And I lost my appetite during lunch, and so ate only a little, but my hunger came back in full force even before 3.30pm.



Thanks for reading.