The More-Customization Edition Wednesday, September 7, 2016

App Helps Hallmark Generate Personalized Products, by Lauri Giesen, National Retail Federation

The limitations of working with documents and digital files spread across numerous systems and servers previously made it difficult for Hallmark to make changes in the types of paper, designs and other features of its cards. And traditional data systems made it nearly impossible to let customers customize cards and gifts while shopping.

But since using an app created by Hallmark’s research and design team, developed through the use of Apple subsidiary FileMaker, the Kansas City, Mo., company can allow a lot more customization in the products sold in its stores. The custom app allows both designers and nonprofessionals to add elements using simple graphical programming tools.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The Physics Of How Your Earphone Jack Works (Just In Time To Say Goodbye), by Rhett Allain, Wired

It doesn’t matter if you call it an earphone or headphone jack—it’s still on just about every smartphone. With rumors that Apple will kill the the earphone jack on the iPhone 7 to make it thinner, I think this is a good time to look at this surprisingly simple piece of technology.

Moving Money

Ireland Will Have To Accept Apple Tax Payment, Leaders Admit, by Catherine Boyle, CNBC

The country's Department of Finance said in a briefing paper sent to members of the Dail, Ireland's parliament, that its Revenue Commission would have to collect the sum and put it into an escrow account, ahead of a key debate on Wednesday on whether or not to appeal the decision.

As Appeal Of Apple Ruling Looms, Ireland Moves To Rebut Tax-Haven Criticism, by Stu Woo, Wall Street Journal

The Irish government has spent decades courting U.S. and other foreign corporations with tax-friendly—and often secretive—initiatives. But since 2013, when the U.S. Senate investigated Apple’s billions of dollars in untaxed overseas income, Ireland has made a concerted effort to rebut allegations that it is a tax shelter.


AUTOsist Is A Free App To Track Your Car's Maintenance Records, Fuel, And More, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

With AUTOsist, you simply set up a profile for your cars, then you can add service records and receipts as you get them with a built-in scanner.

Learn New Words Efficiently With Wokabulary, by Appolicious

Wokabulary has a clear and simple design, which makes it suitable for classroom use as well. Moreover, the app allow screen splitting, enabling you to multitask your iPad (which is, in fact, sometimes good to your memory).


How Writing To-Do Lists Helps Your Brain (Whether Or Not You Finish Them), by Art Markman, Fast Company

Writing a to-do list is a similar mental experience. Even if you first spend some time thinking about the tasks you have to do, the act of drawing up a list and prioritizing the items on it forces you to do a little extra work.

This matters. Your brain decides which pieces of information to hang onto for later, partly as a result of how much work you do to them up front—so the more you mentally manipulate a piece of information, the better you'll remember it. That's why it's sometimes surprisingly easy to remember what's on your to-do list even when you aren't looking at it.


Life At The Nowhere Office, by Miya Tokumitsu and Joeri Merijn Mol, New Republic

How freeing this increased mobility is remains open to debate. Flexibility is a sharp double-edged sword within contemporary work culture. On the one hand, workers often do prefer the ability to drop in and out of the physical office: Recall the outcry when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer clamped down on telecommuting at the company. On the other hand, as Nikil Saval and others have noted, it’s no coincidence that the “dynamic” workplace has arisen at a time when professional work has become increasingly insecure. Dynamism and mobility are meant to be liberating, but the darker connotations of cleared desks and ephemeral presence lurk in the shadows of the creative workplace’s imported espresso machines and Aeron chairs.

How Architects Are Fighting For Gender-Neutral Bathrooms, by Meg Miller, Fast Company

The public restroom has become a symbol of change—or resistance, depending on which side of the debate you ask—at both a societal level and a legislative level. For transgender rights to progress, social norms need to shift and laws need to hold people who discriminate by gender accountable. But because this civil rights debate is centered around a public space, it's also a design issue. Thoughtful design can transform a public restroom into a space that is equitable and comfortable for all, and subtly change social attitudes in the process.

Yet designing these more equitable restrooms is often a challenge for a reason that has nothing to do with the debates of today: building code.

A Visit From Saint Timothy, by Dan Morens, Six Colors

‘Twas Apple event’s eve, and all through the net.
Not a pundit was silent—on that, you can bet.
Wishlists were posted on blogs with a care,
In hopes that Tim Cook might see them there.

Bottom of the Page

It's bedtime for those of us living on the positive side of the time zones. You all enjoy the keynote, won't you, while I go and catch up on my sleep.


Thanks for reading.