The Subscriptions-Combined-With-Price-Increases Edition Friday, July 21, 2017

Productivity Apps And Subscription Pricing, by Michael Tsai

It’s certainly true that people are wary of subscriptions. But I wonder how much of the recent backlash is due to the subscription model itself and how much is due to the fact that, in practice, transitions to subscriptions have effectively been large price increases.


Instead, we’ve seen subscriptions combined with price increases, customers balking, and insinuations that people just don’t want to pay for anything anymore. With more than one variable changing at once, I don’t think we can conclude that people hate subscriptions.

Microsoft 4Q17: Office 365 Revenue Surpasses Traditional Licenses, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

The transition to Office 365 is, for Microsoft, an enormous success story, showing that not only can the company change its business, distribution, and development models, but that, with perseverance, it can bring customers along for the ride.

On Password Managers, by Tim Bray

The JavaScript plat­form is dy­nam­ic to the core and hor­ri­fy­ing­ly com­plex even be­fore they start load­ing mas­sive mod­ern ap­pli­ca­tion frame­works on it; any tee­ny lit­tle bug or zero-day ex­ploit at any lev­el of the stack and I’m cooked. Al­so, the NSA or a crook on­ly has to make the slight­est lit­tle mod to the code, and take it away a few mil­lisec­onds lat­er, and the horse would (si­lent­ly) be out of the barn.


I, like many security-conscious peo­ple, am just not gonna use any­thing where the same par­ty, who’s not me, gets to see my stored da­ta and my pass­word.


Apple Adds Disney And Pixar Characters To Clips, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

There are a couple of feature updates in the mix, but the biggest additions are content — including, most notably, a bunch of licensed characters from the Disney/Pixar universes, adding animated overlays and transitions starring familiar faces like Mickey and Woody.

CARROT Weather 4.0: Simply Delightful, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

CARROT’s implementation of a one-screen interface is a noteworthy design achievement. It doesn’t feel overcrowded in any way, yet it still provides plenty of information at a glance.

After Long Wait, Apple OKs Dash Wallet For iOS App Store, by Tatjana Kulkarni, Bank Innovation

Dash works similarly to bitcoin, with an underlying blockchain recording transactions, but is intended to fulfill what many considered bitcoin’s initial promise — anonymity for the user.


Customizing The File Header Comment And Other Text Macros In Xcode 9, by Ole Begemann

In my personal projects, my first step after creating a new file is always to delete this header comment.

Until now, that is, because Xcode 9 allows you to customize the file header and other so-called text macros using a plist file.


Tech Group Sides With Apple In Qualcomm's iPhone Ban Dispute, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

A lobbying group that represents Alphabet Inc's Google, Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc filed comments with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

They argued that barring Apple from importing foreign-assembled iPhones that use Intel Corp chips - as Qualcomm has requested - would cause "significant shocks to supply" for phones and would hurt consumers.

In Reinterpreting Steve Jobs Folklore, An Opera Disrupts Its Form, by Alyssa Bereznak, The Ringer

Of all the modern leaders who have captivated the world, few have been as rabidly picked apart as Steve Jobs. The iconic cofounder of Apple has been the subject of biographies, including an authorized 656-page tome and a baby mama’s tell all. His influential life has been dissected by lauded documentarians like Alex Gibney, but also by masses of internet users who kind of know how to use iMovie. He’s been portrayed in feature films of varying quality by Ashton Kutcher, Justin Long, and Michael Fassbender. Everyone knows something about Steve Jobs. There have been so many tellings and retellings of his life that his story is a modern-day Aesop’s fable for the smartphone generation.

For Mason Bates, the omnipresence of Jobs’s story was a motivation, not a deterrent. On Saturday in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the 40-year-old composer will premiere The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, an opera that tells the story of the man who revolutionized computing. The much-hyped production has been two years in the making, and it features an energetic libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Campbell. After its stint in New Mexico, it’ll head to San Francisco and Seattle. While to some opera might seem too antiquated a genre for a story about tech’s favorite iconoclast, it’s capable of the grandiosity that’d be perfect for a Silicon Valley subplot about a musical celebration of capitalism. And to Bates, the mythic nature of Jobs’s story is perfect for a musical stage.