April 28, 2018

Link: Sarah Jeong Tried Leaving Facebook. She Couldn’t. ☍

The Verge’s Sarah Jeong shared more than a few experiences in her time of using Facebook in college through today and many of the thoughts echoed true for me:

In the early days, I loved Facebook. I loved being able to keep tabs on hundreds of college classmates all at once, of being able to tag all my dorm mates in the photos we took on our garbage 7 megapixel cameras, of creeping on crushes, of keeping up with every person I met at a party or in a classroom without doing very much work. I was terribly awkward and a little lazy and as a result, I never developed the skills that my parents’ generation cultivated in order to maintain their social networks.

Of the twelve years since I created a Facebook account, I only spent one year truly off the platform. And during that year, I think I glimpsed what Facebook is, and what hold it has on us. For years, deriding the fripperies of social media has practically become a national pastime, an easy piece of snobbery. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a frequently heard response would be, “Well, why not quit?” or “Don’t give your data to tech companies.”

Link: Why I Bought an iPhone 8 Plus After Using the iPhone X ☍

Dan Frakes:

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the iPhone X is the best phone for everyone right now. In fact, it’s not even the best one for me. After five months of long-term testing an iPhone X, it was recently time to return my review unit, so I had to buy a new phone for myself. (I had handed my previous personal iPhone down to a family member.) After weeks of indecision, I bought an iPhone 8 Plus instead of an iPhone X.

You’ve likely read at least a handful of “iPhone X vs. 8” articles by now, and maybe dozens of iPhone X reviews. So rather than give you a rundown of the spec-sheet differences between the two models, I’m going to focus on the differences I actually noticed in the course of using both models extensively—the iPhone X for five months, and the 8 Plus for a couple months before that and for a few weeks since.

I purchased an iPhone 8 Plus over an iPhone X for a few reasons—I could get it unlocked, it seemed like it was an interation of a proven design, the lower price was attractive, and I could try the Plus-sized devices. I really like the iPhone 8 Plus, and know that something iPhone X-like will inevitably be in my future in the coming years. In the meantime, most of the reasons I like mine fall in line with the comparisons in the article.

(I also wish that Apple would release the PRODUCT(RED) models alongside the others, as I would’ve opted for that, but also didn’t want to wait six months for a different color of a six-month-old iPhone.)

“Instagram once gave us real and serious feelings of envy or FOMO, but we still loved it for not being as toxic as Twitter, as lame as Facebook, or as confusing as Snapchat. It was guided by unspoken rules: Don’t post more than once a day; only post good pics. We understood these rules; as an experience, it worked. Stories ended that.”

Link: Microsoft Kind of Sucks ☍

Dieter Bohn for The Verge explains the continuing legal issues facing Eric Lundgren, a man who was handed a 15-month jail sentence for creating and selling Microsoft Windows recovery discs:

One of the core issues of the case was the value of the software Lundgren was attempting to distribute. Lundgren and an expert witness contend that the value was essentially zero. That’s because, they argue, the actual value of the software should have been in the license to use the software, not in the restore software itself — which can be downloaded for free from Microsoft’s own website.

Here’s how Lundgren characterized the issue:

They were comparing it to a new license. You don’t get a license with the restore CD. The government treated the infringed item as if it was a licensed product, the license itself, what Microsoft sells, and it’s not. … I got in the way of Microsoft’s multi- multi- multi-million dollar business model of recharging people for computers that already have an operating system

I remember friends who bought PCs in the past that didn’t include any recovery media. You’d have to make it yourself so the manufacturers could save a few dollars on every computer. Most people didn’t make it and then if something went horribly wrong, would just replace them with another cheap PC. As Microsoft’s licensing for Windows tends to follow the guilty-until-proven-innocent model, I’m not surprised this was the outcome, even though most of the licenses themselves are tied to the computers and not the methods for the physical recovery media. It sounds like Lundgren was basically charging labor and materials costs to do something you or I could do at home.

While the Windows model is different from Apple, as Microsoft has to make money for every Windows license sold, the distribution model feels much more disconnected, and say, getting a used Dell without an operating system on it is much more catastrophic than a Mac without an operating system on it. Even though that Dell was sold with a Windows license when new, it requires a lot of work to get it back up and running if you don’t have the media handy.

Furthermore, Microsoft charges $25 to refurbishers for a new copy of Windows, in case you lost the old one or the license sticker is missing.

April 14, 2018

“My reply was to make a shape with my hands the size of an iPad: ‘Steve, make it this size and you’ll rule the world’.”