The Equpped-with-Tablets Edition Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How iPads Changed A Police Force’s Response To Mental Illness, by The Crime Report

Under the program, when deputies equipped with tablets arrive on the scene of a mental health emergency, the person in crisis is offered the option of talking to a psychiatrist through the Cloud 911 app on the deputies’ iPads.


If the clinician or first responder finds it necessary to take the distressed individual to a psychiatric hospital because de-escalation failed, the Cloud911 app can locate a facility with an available bed. This cuts down on time as officers no longer need to find out which hospital has availability.

The program’s organizers say this enables police to get back to their beat faster, and enables individuals experiencing mental health episodes to avoid arrest.

Can Technology Really 'Give Voice' To Disabled People?, by Meryl Alper, Pacific Standard

Whether intentionally or inadvertently, educational, medical, and media institutions preserved as well as reinforced the more privileged status of middle- and upper-class parents within this ecosystem, which directly and indirectly affected less privileged lower-class families and their capacity to support their child. Parents' ability to mobilize social, economic, and cultural resources shaped the extent to which their children could not only speak but also be heard.

These Stanford Computer Science Students Protested Smartphone Addiction At Apple Headquarters, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

"iPhones are our gateway to addictive services (read: Facebook and company), so Apple is uniquely capable of helping us curb our dependence," the group said in a handout. "Even though Apple's business model does not rely on device addiction, they fail to take common sense steps to address the issue."

Basically, what they want from Apple is greater access to data that the iPhone currently keeps locked down — like how often certain apps are used — to open up the possibility of building better digital tools for people to curb their app addiction.

Look Back

QuickTime’s Developers Reflect On Doing Digital Video In Software, by Tekla S. Perry, IEEE Spectrum

Last week, three members of the original QuickTime development team—Peter Hoddie, Bruce Leak, and Doug Camplejohn—joined Hansen Hsu, curator of the Computer History Museum’s Center for Software History, to talk about their experience on QuickTime and what it meant to them and to the industry. For all of them, even moderator Hsu, Apple was their first job after college—and a much-desired post at that. Leak, for example, spent at least half a year trying to get hired by Apple, being interviewed and rejected for three positions before he landed a spot in system software. Camplejohn had a bit of an edge, thanks to a couple of summer internships. Hoddie says he got his job through dumb luck—and his work in printer testing.

During the wide-ranging conversation, the trio recalled bits and pieces about the experience: Hoddie became obsessed with bluescreen, and hung a backdrop in his office; Leak spent many evenings using QuickTime tools to make Claymation videos. They also tried to put the advance in perspective. Said Leak, “Multimedia then was like the Internet of Things is today. It is different things to different people; there is no standard, but someday it will all work together and it will be great.”

A Lot Can Happen In A Decade, by Craig Hockenberry, Icon Factory

Whether you’re a developer who’s working on mobile apps, or just someone enjoying the millions of apps available for your phone, today is a very special day. It’s the ten year anniversary of the original iPhone SDK.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that this release changed a lot of people’s lives. I know it changed mine and had a fundamental impact on this company’s business. So let’s take a moment and look back on what happened a decade ago.


Apple Confirms It Will Stop Taking iTunes LP Submissions As Of This Month, by Dani Deahl, The Verge

The format, which was launched in 2009, was a way for users to buy albums with bundled elements, like videos, liner notes, or bonus tracks.

10 Useful iMessage Apps For Busy People, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

While I think it’s true to say iMessage apps are a promise that’s still waiting to be kept, I’ve little doubt we’ll see these lightweight apps become more important — and more ambient — in the future.


For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned., by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

You don’t have to read a print newspaper to get a better relationship with the news. But, for goodness’ sake, please stop getting your news mainly from Twitter and Facebook. In the long run, you and everyone else will be better off.

You’re Not Changing The World, by DHH, Signal v Noise

Partly, I blame Steve Jobs for this. I know it isn’t kind to speak ill of the dead, but when he asked Scully to take over as CEO of Apple, it was with this grand pitch: “Do you really want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life?”. And as many larger-than-life characters of history, his words have echoed through time, but also ended up distorted after having bounced around enough to be heard by the next generation.


Carrying the weight of Changing The World on your shoulders is a tremendous burden. Look at the characters who actually managed it. Most of them weren’t exactly living envious lives outside the scope of their work. Why are you so keen to follow in their footsteps?

I think more people in Silicon Valley would be better served by embracing the mundane. Do you know what, life insurance is a perfectly honorable thing to be selling on its own merits. And if you found a way that makes that transaction a little better for some small subset of companies or consumers, hell, good on you. It doesn’t have to be anymore glamorous than that.

Bottom of the Page

Well, I am glad that there are still young people who believe they can change the world, and actually do things that may change the world for the better -- even thought they probably don't think of what they're doing as changing the world.

Maybe, "put a dent in the universe" is a better motivation than "change the world."

Or, maybe, I agree, it just doesn't matter. Do good work, be good. That's enough.


Thanks for reading.