The Primary-Computer Edition Wednesday, May 25, 2016

For Students, The iPad Is The Ultimate Computer, by Christina Warren, Mashable

Educational apps like The Robot Factory and programming languages like Hopscotch go a long way towards dispelling the myth that the iPad is just for consumption.

Although that meme has dissipated quite a bit since the device’s release in 2010, there is still often an idea the device is best-suited for consuming, not creating.

And that’s just not true. Watching kindergarten and middle school students alike use the iPad, it was clear that to these kids this is their primary computer.

Osmo Coding Teaches Kids To Program Using Blocks And An iPad, by Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat

Osmo, the company that creates cool iPad apps that interact with physical objects, is now tackling one of the toughest tasks in modern education: teaching kids to program. For that purpose, it has created Osmo Coding.

Match Up

The Curse Of Culture, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Apple and Google are the most natural of partners. Neither has to lose for the other to win, and both have wasted far too much valuable time fighting a war that was never necessary.

Google I/O 2016 Includes Announcements With Apple Appeal, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Much of what Google announced during it two-hour keynote – like updates to its Android operating system – has little relevance to Apple users, but a few of the announcements intersect with the Apple world.


Twitter Gives Tweets More Room To Breathe, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The changes announced by Twitter, which go a long way toward addressing those constraints, will be rolled out over the coming months in Twitter’s own app and will be available to third-party Twitter clients.

ComiXology Unlimited Offers Access To Thousands Of Comics For $6 A Month, by John Callaham, iMore

ComiXology says the new Unlimited service will include books from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Boom, Oni, Archie, Valiant, Fantagraphics and more.


Blue. No! Yellow!, by

What language was used to write the very first programs for the very first stored-program computer?

Binary machine language, of course.


Programmers Are Not Different, They Need Simple UIs., by antirez

I don’t want to ship junk, so I’ll continue to refine my designs before shipping. You should not accept junk, your neurons are better spent to learn general concepts. However in part it is inevitable: every system will have something that is not general that we need to learn in order to use it. Well, if that’s the deal, at least, let’s make the ad-hoc part a simple one, and if possible, something that is even fun to use.

In Desperate Pursuit Of The Zero-Stress Job, by Mike Scalise, New York Times

I was 26 and belly-flat on the platform of the uptown 6 train in New York. My messenger bag had flipped over my head. A constellation of trampled, blackened gum wads hovered inches from my face. My hands and feet: numb.

I hadn’t tripped. No one had pushed me. I’d been moving through the human flow of rush hour like everyone else, heading from my day job at an educational publisher to my night job writing copy for a marketing firm. I’d been double-jobbing it for a year while my wife was in graduate school, balancing two sets of deadlines and workloads, coming home close to midnight for most of each week.

As strangers helped me to a nearby bench, then pointed out the line of blood running from my elbow, I knew what had happened. I’d been warned.


Apple Rehires Prominent Security Pro As Encryption Fight Boils, by Joseph Menn, Reuters

Jon Callas, who co-founded several well-respected secure communications companies including PGP Corp, Silent Circle and Blackphone, rejoined Apple in May, an Apple spokesman said.

Callas had worked at Apple in the 1990s and again between 2009 and 2011, when he designed an encryption system to protect data stored on a Macintosh computer.

India Said To Require Local Sourcing By Apple To Open Stores, by Siddhartha Singh and Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

India’s finance minister has ratified a decision that Apple Inc. must meet local sourcing rules to open its own stores, according to people familiar with the matter, dealing what may be a fatal blow to the iPhone maker’s effort to open retail outlets in the country.

Why Are There Violent Rabbits In The Margins Of Medieval Manuscripts?, by Jon Kaneko-James

Since rabbits and hares were signs of cowardice, innocence, helplessness, and passive but willing sexuality (lots of medieval sexual imagery involves wolves jumping on rabbits), the idea of them getting their revenge amused medieval artists as much as it amuses me. All told, they are pretty helpless animals whose only hope of survival is to breed fast and run away, a trait that wasn’t particularly successful in the Medieval era – a significant proportion of the French economy was based on eating and skinning rabbits.

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The only medieval killer rabbit I know is from Monty Python.


Don't forget your towel.


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