The Loss-Of-Access Edition Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Subscription App Paradox, by Alan Marsden, Hacker Noon

When you create content through an app, you risk loss of access should you end your subscription, and the longer you use an app, the more you get locked in, making it harder to leave.

The SureFire FirePak Puts 1500 Lumen On The Back Of Your iPhone, by Julie Strietelmeier, The Gadgeteer

If you’re tired of dark grainy videos, shine some light on your subject with a SureFire FirePak illuminator.

Google iOS App Update Brings 'Smart Answers' And 'Trending Searches', by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Following yesterday's update, whenever a user taps on a search box to start a search, a dropdown menu shows "Trending Searches" indicated by a blue jagged arrow icon next to them, contrasting them from gray icons that mark out the user's search history.


Could A Videogame Strengthen Your Aging Brain?, by Anna Vlasits, Wired

Over the next week, Rocky will return three more times, completing a two-month run of 21 gaming sessions. At the end, researchers will test his physical and cognitive abilities and scan his brain to compare to his baseline MRI before playing. Along with 19 other players and 20 controls, all age 55 to 85, Rocky’s results will suggest whether a brain-training exercise game could ever really have an impact on cognitive function.

But there’s a problem. It’s really difficult to design an experiment to convincingly show that brain training works. And there’s an even bigger problem: It’s also pretty hard to show that it doesn’t work.

A Team Of Women Is Unearthing The Forgotten Legacy Of Harvard’s Women ‘Computers’, by Alex Newman, PRI

More than 40 years before women gained the right to vote, women labored in the Harvard College Observatory as “computers” — astronomy’s version of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” mathematicians.

Between 1885 and 1927, the observatory employed about 80 women who studied glass plate photographs of the stars, many of whom made major discoveries. They found galaxies and nebulas and created methods to measure distance in space. In the late 1800s, they were famous: newspapers wrote about them and they published scientific papers under their own names, only to be virtually forgotten during the next century. But a recent discovery of thousands of pages of their calculations by a modern group of women working in the very same space has spurred new interest in their legacy.

Bottom of the Page

No matter if you are using subscription-based software or not, you always face the risk of lock-ins, unable to open your own documents.

You will want to make sure you can convert existing documents to formats that you can use. To make sure you can do it at leisure, and not in a panic. This is where subscription-based software need to work harder. Make sure when your customer stops paying money, or when you withdraw a subscription plan, or when your company closes down, your customers will still have ample time to convert their documents to a competing or an open format without any significant loss of data. And you have to demostrate this ability up-front.

Currently, as far as I can tell, many subscription-based software fails this test.


Thanks for reading.