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Slot machines

In essence, the current free 2 play model equals a slot machine in a bar. It preys on the poor people who get hooked, tries to hook them as quickly as it can, and in pure business logic, tries to get as much out of them as possible.

Where insult comes to injury is if you look at the App Store revenue numbers. No matter when you look at the top grossing lists, the first 3-10 titles are free 2 play titles. So most of our bars have turned into casinos by now already, trend rising. That is very shortsighted, bad for customers, bad for Apple and bad for the industry.

And for me it just boils down to: I don't want to build slot machines.



To me, all of this seems like typical geek behaviour: something is making them uncomfortable, and so they attack it on “rational” grounds.

If arguments heat up, it is always worth thinking about if the current discussion warrants the intensity. If it doesn't, then looking into exactly what is causing the discomfort in you usually turns out to be insightful.

6 times as much memory, and you are fine

Drew Crawford writing about Garbage Collection:

What this chart says is “As long as you have about 6 times as much memory as you really need, you’re fine. But woe betide you if you have less than 4x the required memory.

Really long article, greatly done. A must read for anyone in the mobile field. (via daringfireball.net)

iWatch - the bits are already there

I had a simple thought today, and since I haven't read anywhere about it.

Remember that slide in the iOS 7 announcement talking about car integration? What if that external display and controlling technology has its inception for the rumored iWatch device, and the Car integration is just a second use case for it?

After having that out of the way, let me just get the different use cases I can imagine and enjoy:

  • Navigation: the ideal display if you are hiking, walking or riding a bike.
  • Media control and display: obvious
  • Siri: just a relay to the phone, only needs a nice mic.
  • Third party support: the bits are already there, apps can just take advantage of it once apple releases this part of the SDK.
  • Fitness: Great display for exercising.
  • Geo-Caching and Geo-Location based games: with not having to pull out your phone all the time totally more enjoyable.
  • Everything the Pebble does already: Notifications, Messages, etc.

Knowing Apple, the iWatch would not only be an external display, they probably would add a lot of sensors that would actually benefit the user. Movement sensors like the one in the fuel band. In combination with the Geo-Data on the phone this can give you a detailed fitness profile. Probably measuring the heart-rate is something doable as well.

In any case: Even when just brainstorming from the top of my head about that kind of device, there are a gazillion valid, enjoyable, life improving uses for it. The question is not if they will make one, but when it will arrive.

Ask David X. Cohen anything

David X. Cohen on reddit:

As usual, I am unemployed due to cancellation so I have lots of free time. reddit - ask me anything!

Triangular Tires

Michael Heilemann on iOS 7's design issues (via daringfireball):

You could chalk it up to experimentation, as some do, but it's like experimenting with triangular tires. We know it doesn't work, there's no need for us to repeat that particular experiment.

iCloud considered harmful

Daniel Pasco, Brent Simmons, Justin Williams, Guy English and Rene Ritchie go into detail about their iCloud problems in Debug 12. Listen to it if you have a little bit of a technical background.

Ugly font rendering in PDFs

Macworld.com forum:

It turns out that the setting under System Preferences » Appearances that sets the smallest font size to be aliased on-screen also influences PDF creation (which makes sense, as OS X renders everything on-screen as a PDF, I think).

So if you generate any (business) PDFs on your Mac make sure to go to that setting and set it to the lowest value (4 in times of writing). Otherwise all Fonts smaller than this setting will get a flag set so they don't anti-alias and look exceptionally bad.

The design decision why your personal choice of having ugly fonts in smaller font sizes should be hard baked into generated PDFs puzzles me. It strikes me simply as an over-eager implementation of a feature that makes the world a worse place.

Tested it on the latest Mountain Lion (10.8.2) - still applies.

cabel rock opera

Cabel Sasser:

My idea? The 8-bit music suddenly gets a little piano. And the piano suddenly gets some goofy vocals. And out of the blue, the game starts singing you a weird kind of piano rock opera track, existentially discussing your gaming performance. And this, hopefully, freaks you out and makes you die.

You just have to love cabel. Make sure to listen to the Awkward Voice Memos as well.

A Link to the gender

Mike Hoye:

Well, there wasn’t anything to be done about it, certainly not anything easy, but as you might imagine I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.

What a great, great dad. Reminds me that I'm really looking forward to Anita Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs. Women"