The Choices-that-Suit Edition Friday, August 24, 2018

We Tested Apple’s New Screen Time Parental Controls. First Came Tears — Then Frustration., by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Apple’s approach assumes kids are all different, so it leaves all the decisions to parents. They’re not wrong: No two 9-year-olds are alike. But so are adult users of laptops and phones, and Apple’s designers have been successful at making tech simpler by making choices that suit most of us.


Being involved in kids’ digital lives is work. If tech companies are going to make software to help, they need to make sure they’re not just creating more work.

On ‘Shake To Undo’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Shake to Undo is problematic enough that I think Apple should have figured out something better for the iPhone by now. [...] My best suggestion would be to take away some space from the auto-suggestion row above the keyboard and put in an Undo button on the left, just like the iPad.


Hands On: TextSoap 8 Cleans Up Your Text For Online And Publishers, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Paste some text into this Mac app and it will remove extra spaces, it will take out extra returns, it can remove every tab and so on. If you paste in the HTML source code from a web page, it will extract all the actual text from it.

WeatherScout Is A Great Companion For Photographers Looking To Shoot Outdoors, by AppAdvice

The app provides the golden hour, blue hour, and the current weather for your location.

Hands On: PlugBug Duo Attaches To MacBook Pro Charger, Gives Travelers Two USB Charging Ports, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

PlugBug Duo is a simple device —it piggybacks on your existing MacBook's charger to offer not only a pair of USB ports but an interchangeable set of adapters for 150 different countries around the world.


The Rise And Rise Of JSON, by Sinclair Target, Two Bit HIstory

JSON has taken over the world. Today, when any two applications communicate with each other across the internet, odds are they do so using JSON. It has been adopted by all the big players: Of the ten most popular web APIs, a list consisting mostly of APIs offered by major companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, only one API exposes data in XML rather than JSON. Twitter, to take an illustrative example from that list, supported XML until 2013, when it released a new version of its API that dropped XML in favor of using JSON exclusively. JSON has also been widely adopted by the programming rank and file: According to Stack Overflow, a question and answer site for programmers, more questions are now asked about JSON than about any other data interchange format.


In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across As A Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We?, by Nellie Bowles, New York Times

In passage after passage of “Small Fry,” Mr. Jobs is vicious to his daughter and those around her. Now, in the days before the book is released, Ms. Brennan-Jobs is fearful that it will be received as a tell-all exposé, and not the more nuanced portrait of a family she intended. She worries that the reaction will be about a famous man’s legacy rather than a young woman’s story — that she will be erased again, this time in her own memoir.

On the eve of publication, what Ms. Brennan-Jobs wants readers to know is this: Steve Jobs rejected his daughter for years, but that daughter has absolved him. Triumphantly, she loves him, and she wants the book’s scenes of their roller skating and laughing together to be as viral as the scenes of him telling her she will inherit nothing.

Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s forgiveness is one thing. What’s tricky is that she wants the reader to forgive Mr. Jobs, too. And she knows that could be a problem.

Life As A Bug Bounty Hunter: A Struggle Every Day, Just To Get Paid, by Erin Winick, Technology Review

For many bug hunters, that’s how it goes: big fluctuations in pay, and often living on wages that would be untenable in an expensive Western country.