The Put-A-Price Edition Monday, October 3, 2016

Things That Keep Me Coming Back To iOS, by Erna Mahyuni, Stuff

I like knowing that I don't have to wait for my carrier to approve an update to my phone; that any security update is going to come as soon as Apple has it ready. That so long as my phone is within two to three generations of the latest model, it'll be updated.

It's hard to put a price on peace of mind.

Hitting Ctrl + Alt+ Confused With Cellphone, by Laura Porter,

Three minutes earlier, as my husband ranted about the absurdity of communication in the 21st century, I had texted him in Vermont.

“Dad is fighting with his phone. Could you please call him and help him?”

The Ill-fated Tale Of Phoneys, The Stupid Little Sticker Pack That Went #1 On The App Store, by Adam Howell, Medium

Wednesday night of this week, John Gruber wrote, “This is very clever, and I can see how it could be damn funny, but I wouldn’t be surprised ifPhoneys gets pulled from the App Store.” Shortly after John’s post — I mean, you can’t buy press better than that, a post from Gruber about $.99 stickers so clever that Apple was sure to pull them? — Phoneys, the stupid little sticker pack I’d launched just a few days before, climbed to #1 Top Paid and #1 Top Grossing in the iMessage app store.

Thursday night, last night, Bill from Apple called me.

The days leading up to that roller coaster span of 24 hours were a surprisingly efficient example of the creative process.


App Aims To Conduct The World’s Largest Mental Health Study, Reduce Suicides, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A project called How is the world feeling? is aiming to use an iOS and Android app to conduct the world’s largest study of mental health over a one-week period starting on October 10. The aim is to gather data from ordinary people to identify patterns in emotions, then to open-source anonymized data to mental health professionals in a bid to devise approaches to reducing suicide rates.

LittleBits Adds Bluetooth LE Module So Kids Can Control Their Creations From An iPhone Or iPad, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Kids electronics kit makers LittleBits have long used an iOS app to help kids build their own gadgets, but the addition of a Bluetooth LE module means that their creations can now be directly controlled by an iPhone or iPad.


Apple’s Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts Drops ‘Online Stores’ From Title, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

It appears the new title is a cosmetic change for its retail branding rather than a change in roles for Ahrendts. It’s my understanding that the title change is to better reflect Angela’s role that merges both retail stores and online retail operations, and not a result of a shift in responsibilities. Her updated bio still notes that she is responsible for “strategy, real estate & development, and operations of Apple’s physical stores, Apple’s online store and contact centers.”

The Economics Of Dining As A Couple, by Megan Mcardle, Bloomberg

Marriage counselors tell us that couples frequently tie the knot without discussing the core matters that can cement or sunder their marriage: finances, children, religion. Well, let me add one under-discussed biggie to the list: restaurant dining.

I am eternally astonished to find not only that many couples I know failed to discuss this key area before they marched up to the altar, but also that many of them still have not developed a joint dining strategy even after 10 or 20 years together. This is madness. You are placing undue stress on your relationship, and you are very probably having a suboptimal dining experience, thereby wasting time and money and missing out on deliciousness. As a romantic economist might put it in a wedding-reception toast, couples have the chance to jointly move to a higher utility curve.

Why The Infinite Improbability Drive Is Really, Really Improbable, by Elisabeth Sherman, Inverse

Bruckner confirms that using probability to get anywhere deliberately would be futile because “with probabilities, there is no determinism.” But even if you wanted to build a spaceship that used probability as part of its operating system, you wouldnt have much luck.

“Your entire spaceship, which is macroscopic, would have to behave like a quantum particle. Every single atom in this spacecraft would be forced to behave like every other atom,” he explained. “Macroscopic things cannot be made to behave like one atom or one electron.”