The Just-Move-On Edition Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Subscription Software, by Matt Gemmell

Am I super-comfortable with subscription software? Nope. I doubt I’ll ever love the idea. But I can deal with it, if it keeps the handful of apps I really, really need updated and available.

As for the rest, well, moving to subscriptions isn’t just a change in payment model: it’s a shift in implicit target customer. It’s saying “we’re going to focus on customers who really need/want this app, enough to commit to it on an ongoing basis”. If I don’t fall into that new category, then clearly I should just move on. People can sell to whomever they like, after all.

Apple Is Reportedly Investing $1 Billion Into Original Content, by Thuy Ong, The Verge

Apple will invest approximately $1 billion in acquiring and producing original TV shows over the next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The investment could result in as many as 10 new shows, a source told the publication, with the iPhone-maker looking to match the high-quality output of networks like HBO.


Apple’s budget looks substantial, but is just table-stakes. HBO spent about $2 billion on content last year, while Amazon spent around $1 billion in 2013, the year after it leapt into original programming. Netflix, meanwhile, is expected to spend more than $6 billion in 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Everything That’s Inside Your iPhone, by Brian Merchant, Motherboard

The iPhone is many, many things. With its immaculate design, gleaming screen, and reigning station as our daily work/life navigator, it's relatively easy to forget that the iPhone is still ultimately a composite of dredged-up earth. Before it is anything, it's rock, it's metal; it's raw elements. A lot of them. Over the course of a two-year effort to get to the soul (and guts) of what Steve Jobs called the "one device," I aimed to trace the device to its deepest roots. And that meant trying to glean what the iPhone was actually composed of at its most foundational levels. It meant trying to determine the precise elemental composition of the iPhone. So, I asked David Michaud, a mining consultant who runs 911 Metallurgist, to help me pulverize one to dust in a rock-crusher, while measuring the escaping gases in the process.

Adapted from The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, by Brian Merchant.


Apple Shares 'Carpool Karaoke' Ads Featuring Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, 'Game Of Thrones' Stars, by AppleInsider

After last week's "Carpool Karaoke" debut, Apple on Tuesday posted two new teasers for upcoming episodes featuring Ariana Grande and Seth MacFarlane, and "Game of Thrones" stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner.

The Best Apps For Pregnancy And New Parents, by Oliver Franklin-Wallis, Wired UK

Take it from the father of a five-week old newborn: when you have a baby, you’ll be spending a lot more time on your phone. Frantic Googling of breathing symptoms. One-handed WhatsApp-ing your NCT group, during late night feeds. And inevitably, a whole lot of Instagram. As such, it helps to be prepared. And, thanks to the burgeoning market for parenting tech (call it Mumsnet 2.0), the app stores have never been more bounteous with pregnancy apps and baby-related paraphernalia. Here’s a WIRED-vetted pick of the best pregnancy, baby and parenting apps.

ESPN’s New Apple TV App Lets You Watch Four Screens Of Live Sports At The Same Time, by Peter Kafka, Recode

ESPN wants to help you — if you subscribe to a pay TV service that has ESPN and if you have the most recent version of Apple TV.

If you meet those conditions, you can go try out a new version of the ESPN app that will let you watch up to four different streams on one screen.


How To Design Websites For Blind And Partially Sighted People, by Christopher Ratcliff, WhatUsersDo

This article is intended to walk you through the various ways you can ensure your own website is as accessible as possible for people with visual impairments.


Apple, Facebook, And Other Companies Ask Supreme Court To Block Warrantless Cellphone Tracking, by Colin Lecher, The Verge

In a legal brief filed last night, a group of several high-profile technology companies asked the Supreme Court to consider the privacy implications of warrantless law enforcement access to cellphone location data.

The court recently agreed to hear the case Carpenter v. United States, which centers on whether law enforcement can obtain electronic location information without a warrant, if that information is held by a third party. The case will be closely watched, as the court’s decision may have profound implications for privacy in the digital age.

China’s Plan For World Domination In AI Isn’t So Crazy After All, by Mark Bergen and David Ramli, Bloomberg

The nation is betting heavily on AI. Money is pouring in from China’s investors, big internet companies and its government, driven by a belief that the technology can remake entire sectors of the economy, as well as national security. A similar effort is underway in the U.S., but in this new global arms race, China has three advantages: A vast pool of engineers to write the software, a massive base of 751 million internet users to test it on, and most importantly staunch government support that includes handing over gobs of citizens’ data –- something that makes Western officials squirm.

Data is key because that’s how AI engineers train and test algorithms to adapt and learn new skills without human programmers intervening. SenseTime built its video analysis software using footage from the police force in Guangzhou, a southern city of 14 million. Most Chinese mega-cities have set up institutes for AI that include some data-sharing arrangements, according to Xu. "In China, the population is huge, so it’s much easier to collect the data for whatever use-scenarios you need," he said. "When we talk about data resources, really the largest data source is the government."

Bottom of the Page

Can software that do-one-thing-and-do-it-well survive in the shift to subscription-based business model?


Thanks for reading.