Categories
Apple Society Technology

Descent to Parody

[But] what started as a Steve Jobs TED talk has become a parody — a decadent pageant of Palo Alto executives, clothed in their finest Dad Casual, reading ad copy as lead-ins for vaguely sexual jump-cut videos of brushed aluminum under nightclub lighting. The events are exhausting love letters to consumerism complete with rounds of applause from the laptop-lit faces of the tech blogging audience when executives mention that you (yes you!) can hold the future in your hands for just $24.95 per month or $599 with trade-in.
The entire event is at odds with our current moment — one in which inequality, economic precarity and populist frustration have infiltrated our politics and reshaped our relationships with once-adored tech companies. But it’s not just the tech backlash. When the world feels increasingly volatile and fragile, it feels a little obscene to gather to worship a $1,000 phone. Serving journalists pastries topped with gold leaf doesn’t do much to help either.

Charlie Warzel: The Last Apple Keynote (Let’s Hope)
Categories
Politics

French Doors

Most recently, the president has insisted the structure be painted black and topped with spikes, while grumbling to aides that the Army Corps contracting process is holding back his ambitions. At the White House meeting Thursday, he said he doesn’t like the current design for the wall’s gates, suggesting that instead of the hydraulic sliding gate design, the Army Corps should consider an alternative, according to an administration official: “Why not French doors?” the president asked.

‘He always brings them up’: Trump tries to steer border wall deal to North Dakota firm

That’s the Washington Post, not the Onion.

Categories
Politics

If You Can’t Win Fairly, Cheat!

“Recent Republican behavior — from the 2016 stolen Supreme Court seat to the legislative shenanigans that followed gubernatorial defeats in North Carolina and Wisconsin to voter suppression efforts across numerous states — suggests a party whose commitment to democratic politics has weakened,” Mr. Levitsky said. “The fact that the Republican Party has grown increasingly authoritarian poses a greater threat to American democracy than Donald Trump.”

Michael Tomasky: Do the Republicans Even Believe in Democracy Anymore?

No, they do not.

Categories
Apple iOS macOS Technology

Who Needs QA When You Have Oprah and Spielberg!

Apple needs to get off their goddamned pedestal, stop hosting self-congratulatory Lady Gaga concerts, and fix their fucking QA process, years-old bugs, and keyboards.

Tyler Hall: Losing Faith

My mother installed a macOS update to find that the system would no longer mount one of her external drives. It’s a common model from a major vendor. She has taught herself a lot about her Mac over the last couple years, but she certainly didn’t know to use Disk Utility to force it to mount and she shouldn’t have to. Apple’s software quality is in decline and they just don’t seem to care. They seem much more interested in establishing the company as a techno-rentier rather than continuing as one that offers a simple proposition: you pay a premium for well-integrated software and hardware that mostly just works.

Categories
Society Syndication Technology

Get Personal

There is one alternative to social media sites and publishing platforms that has been around since the early, innocent days of the web. It is an alternative that provides immense freedom and control: The personal website.

Matthias Ott: Into the Personal-Website-Verse

NetNewsWire is also a nice RSS reader for macOS.

Categories
Politics Society

Wrecking the Republic

If you think Donald Trump is wrecking the republic and wonder why so many Americans can’t see that he is, you may be asking the wrong question. What if they see the same thing you do and happen to like what they see?

Garrett Keizer in The New Republic: “Nihilist Nation — The Empty Core of the Trump Mystique”
Categories
Society

“I had a safe place!”

American history is full of stories of black people doing precisely what America says it wants of its citizens — being creative, enterprising and industrious, being self-respecting and self-sufficient — only to have white people destroy what they’ve built, impede their progress and erase their wealth. And those are not far-off stories: Those are also the stories of the living.

Charles M. Blow: Eyewitness to the Desolation of ‘Black Wall Street’

Categories
Politics Society

Nine Point Nine

You see, when educated people with excellent credentials band together to advance their collective interest, it’s all part of serving the public good by ensuring a high quality of service, establishing fair working conditions, and giving merit its due. That’s why we do it through “associations,” and with the assistance of fellow professionals wearing white shoes. When working-class people do it — through unions — it’s a violation of the sacred principles of the free market. It’s thuggish and anti-modern. Imagine if workers hired consultants and “compensation committees,” consisting of their peers at other companies, to recommend how much they should be paid. The result would be — well, we know what it would be, because that’s what CEOs do.

There is a page in the book of American political thought — Grandfather knew it by heart — that says we must choose between government and freedom. But if you read it twice, you’ll see that what it really offers is a choice between government you can see and government you can’t. Aristocrats always prefer the invisible kind of government. It leaves them free to exercise their privileges. We in the 9.9 percent have mastered the art of getting the government to work for us even while complaining loudly that it’s working for those other people.

The source of the trouble, considered more deeply, is that we have traded rights for privileges. We’re willing to strip everyone, including ourselves, of the universal right to a good education, adequate health care, adequate representation in the workplace, genuinely equal opportunities, because we think we can win the game. But who, really, in the end, is going to win this slippery game of escalating privileges?

The Atlantic: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Categories
Society Technology

Smartphone Absorption

The moment I realized I needed to break up with my phone came just over two years ago. I had recently had a baby and was feeding her in a darkened room as she cuddled on my lap. It was an intimate, tender moment — except for one detail. She was gazing at me … and I was on eBay, scrolling through listings for Victorian-era doorknobs.

Catherine Price: How to Break Up With Your Phone

Categories
Accessibility Design Industrial

Inclusive Design

When I talk to my design students about inclusive design, there is no snickering, not even a hint of doubt. They simply take it for granted that it’s part of a designer’s job today.

Rochelle Steiner in How Design for One Turns Into Design for All