The Allow-Free-Trials Edition Saturday, May 19, 2018

Fed Up With Apple's Policies, App Developers Form A 'Union', by Lauren Goode, Wired

In an open letter to Apple that published this morning, a group identifying themselves as The Developers Union wrote that "it's been difficult for developers to earn a living by writing software" built on Apple's existing values. The group then asked Apple to allow free trials for apps, which would give customers "the chance to experience our work for themselves, before they have to commit to making a purchase."

The grassroots effort is being lead by Jake Schumacher, the director of App: The Human Story; software developer Roger Ogden and product designer Loren Morris, who both worked for a timesheet app that was acquired last year; and Brent Simmons, a veteran developer who has made apps like NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, and Vesper, which he co-created with respected Apple blogger John Gruber. ("Brent's been developing for Apple products since before any of us were born," Schumacher quipped.)

Apple Faces LGBTQ Backlash For Considering North Carolina For Expansion, by Craig Jarvis, The News & Observer

Apple is running into a backlash from gay-rights advocates just like Amazon has over the companies' consideration of North Carolina for major expansions.

Opposition stems from the legacy of the HB2 "bathroom" law that became a national flashpoint for anti-discrimination efforts. It was later partially repealed.


How To Make Journaling In Day One Even Better With Automation, by Matthew Cassinelli, The Sweet Setup

As my life changed and habits shifted, I realized I didn’t write as many entries on a regular basis, I would batch all my photo entries and enter them later instead of closer to the moment, and there started to be more gaps in between the blue marks on the calendar view.

So, I started setting up automations for Day One in Workflow, Drafts, and Launch Center Pro, aiming to give myself more ways to add entries while making them better to enjoy and easier to create.


What The Microsoft Antitrust Case Taught Us, by Tim Wu, New York Times

It might seem like a cruel irony that the immediate beneficiaries of the Microsoft antitrust case — namely, Google, Facebook and Amazon — have now become behemoths themselves. But this is how the innovation cycle works: It creates room for saplings to grow into giants, but then prevents the new giants from squashing the next generation of saplings. (Microsoft was itself, in the early 1980s, the beneficiary of another antitrust case, against IBM, the computing colossus of its time.)

Which takes us to the present day. Unfortunately, ever since the Microsoft case there has been remarkably little oversight of the technology sector, despite the obvious signs of corporate consolidation and outsize market power. Enforcement of the antimonopoly laws has fallen: Between 1970 and 1999, the United States brought about 15 monopoly cases each year; between 2000 and 2014 that number went down to just three.

Antitrust efforts have become too fixated on the idea that the only real harm consists of raising of prices for consumers. Yet in the Microsoft case, Internet Explorer was “free,” even though Microsoft was bent on destroying competition with it. Today, both Google and Facebook offer products that are free. Society has grown to rely on them, but because they have no dollar price, antitrust regulators have been hesitant to take action.

Apple Pays Ireland First Tranche Of Disputed Taxes, by Graham Fahy, Reuters

Apple has paid 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) into an escrow account set up by the Irish government to hold 13 billion euros in disputed taxes, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Friday.

Bottom of the Page

Maybe we should convince Kit Kat to set up similar machines here in Singapore, so that we can all have a break whenever the subway trains are delayed.

Or: let's see how fast can we bankrupt Nestlé.


(Just this past week: Thursday, Friday, Saturday.)


Thanks for reading.