April 8, 2022

Snippet: Why to Care About Privacy After Years of Sharing Data ☍

Nate Bartram for The New Oil:

I have a thought experiment for you. Pretend you’re driving somewhere local. A friend’s house, your favorite store, the office, whatever. You’re on autopilot, you’re not really paying attention. You reach a stop sign, take a left, and keep going. After about five or ten minutes, you snap out your highway hypnosis and go “oh wait, this isn’t the way to get where I’m going. This is the way to get to [another place I frequent]!” Do you just keep going?

The answer is “of course not!” That’s totally ridiculous. If you know you’re doing something wrong, why would you keep doing it? And yet, that’s exactly what many people ask. A common pushback against privacy is “well they’ve already got so much data about me already, would changing now really do any good?” The answer is a instant, emphatic “yes” and I can think of two good reasons for this.

Snippet: Apple Wields Its Lobbying Might Against LGBTQ Laws ☍

Emily Birnbaum for Politico (via Nick Heer):

Apple is quietly mobilizing its vast resources to lobby against anti-LGBTQ legislation proliferating across the country — an unusual push by one of the world’s most valuable companies into a consequential political debate. […]

Apple’s senior director of corporate communications, Fred Sainz, this month pressed leaders of fellow Fortune 500 companies to denounce an order by the Texas governor that called for child abuse investigations of parents who provide transgender children with gender-affirming care despite opposition from doctors.

“I’m reaching out from Apple because we’re hoping you’ll join us and lend your company’s name to a critical issue,” wrote Sainz, who was formerly the vice president of communications and marketing at the HRC, in an email to his corporate affairs counterparts on March 5.

“Apple has joined the effort and will lend its name and logo,” Sainz said in the email, obtained by POLITICO. “I’m reaching out because we are hoping you will too.” Ultimately, 60 other organizations signed on to the letter, which was published in The Dallas Morning News on March 11.

I’m not a fan of lobbying in general, and it’s frustrating how it’s become such an integral part in American politics. However, with so many proposed laws aimed squarely at the LGBTQI+ community, I think it’s good that Apple is getting involved. All too often, we see companies change their social media avatar to something rainbow-themed in June and then funnel money into the pockets of lawmakers pushing anti-LGBTQI+ legislation.

From a business standpoint, companies that have found themselves with presences in these states need to fight back—they contribute to the local economy and their employees live there. If you’re in a place where the laws and climate actively drive people away, let alone squarely hate a specific part of the population, how can you attract and retain talent?

April 1, 2022

Snippet: Paper at 10 ☍

Andy Allen:

Today marks 10 years since that night we first released the Paper app. I haven’t written much about Paper, because, honestly, I’m not sure how to. How do you fit a decade-long mission into a tweet thread? Like many creative tensions, I’m often caught between opposing feelings of having nothing to say and also too much to know where to begin.

Origin stories in tech are often about as true as the comic variety—mythologized to create an allure of genius and clean up any of the messy legal bits. In honor of its 10 years, I thought it’d be fun to pull back the curtain and share a few of the details of how Paper came to be.

Even before the Apple Pencil and large iPad Pro, Paper was one of those apps that felt like it could only exist on the iPad, not the Mac or iPhone. Although the sale to WeTransfer felt weird, it’s one of the rare instances where an app has changed hands and generally still works the same today as it did ten years ago.

Article: 5G Skeptics

Recently, John Gruber linked to a post by Tim Bray and both don’t really seem to see the practicality of 5G. I found this really fascinating and wanted to dig a bit deeper. This originally started a Snippet post, but I found myself writing a bit more…

March 31, 2022

Snippet: Independence Day ☍

John Siracusa quits his day job and writes about going independent in the most John Siracusa-way possible:

As part of this process, I’ve had to find what I think of as my “maximum capacity.” How much can I ask of myself before I fall apart? I learned some important lessons at my very first job, even before I had a house or kids, by slamming hard into the limits of my own body thanks to chronic RSI. Later, my children helped me plumb the depths of sleep deprivation while also entirely recalibrating my value system.

At each decision point, I’ve adjusted my life to fit within my maximum capacity by curtailing “unnecessary” activities. My family and my day job were necessities. Everything else was optional. As I’ve gotten older, my maximum capacity has decreased, of course, and I have exceeded my limits on many occasions. But for the most part, I’ve been able to keep it together.

I’ve enjoyed John’s work for years, especially because he has a lot of the same context of the old Apple that I do. With this additional time, I’m excited to see what he does next.