The Coding-Assistance Edition Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Apple Launches App Development Program For Female Entrepreneurs, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch

The free two-week camp, which kicks off in January, will give female founders the opportunity to receive one-on-one coding assistance from Apple engineers, as well as attend sessions on design, technology and App Store marketing. The idea is to help teams shave off overall development time.

To be eligible to participate, the company must be female-founded, female co-founded or female-led, and have at least one woman on the development team. The program is inclusive to all who identify as women.

How iPad Is Revolutionizing Music Production, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

“The thing I love about it is, is it’s all tactile, and I come from old-school analog,” Lewis said. “You’ve got 15-foot mixing consoles in front of you, and those have gotten smaller and smaller, but I’m still on an analog board. And one of the reasons I’m on an analog board is because it’s all tactile, and I can touch it and work it, and get the feel for that musical connection.”

That feeling of connection kept him away from the mouse-driven interface of desktop computers. The iPad, he says, offers the best computer version of tweaking knobs on the fly he’s ever seen.

Can We Sue?

Argument Analysis: Justices Poised To Allow Antitrust Dispute Against Apple Over Apps To Go Forward, by Amy L Howe

Arguing for Apple, lawyer Daniel Wall told the justices that the iPhone users’ claim is exactly the kind of claim that is prohibited under the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, which held that only consumers who are direct purchasers of a product can bring a lawsuit seeking the triple damages available for violations of federal antitrust laws: Here, Wall said, the only theory of damages in the case is that Apple charges app developers a 30-percent commission, which in turn causes the developers to increase the prices that consumers pay for apps. Therefore, Wall argued, it is the app developers, not the iPhone users, who are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick.

But several justices were skeptical that the question was as simple as Wall portrayed it, particularly because the iPhone users buy apps directly from Apple. Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested that this case was “dramatically different” from Illinois Brick, in which a manufacturer sold concrete blocks to contractors, who used them in buildings that the plaintiffs then purchased. The iPhone users are, Sotomayor posited, “first purchasers.”

Antitrust, The App Store, And Apple, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Still, it always seemed that for Apple high profit margins were a by-product of the pursuit of great products, not the goal; it is much harder to make that case when it comes to the “services narrative” and App Store policies that seek to leverage genuine innovation in one market (smartphones) into rent-seeking in another (digital content). The latter may not be illegal, at least not yet, but the biggest potential victim is not consumers, nor app developers, but the product culture that gave Apple market power in the first place.


Apple Mac Mini (2018) Review: Apple Teaches An Old Design New Tricks, by Lori Grunin, CNET

Apple seems to be betting on external GPUs as a solution for much of its graphics woes. But one of the benefits of the Mini is that it's mini. Having to make space for a big eGPU just for better-than-basic graphics acceleration kind of defeats the purpose of a tiny system, especially when you're likely going to be hanging a multitude of external drives and other accessories off it as well. And with that in mind, a couple of ports on the front would be nice.

The Compass Pro 2 Is A Versatile Tripod Stand That Works Great With 2018 iPad Pros, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Twelve South has added an adjustable back leg to the Compass Pro 2 that provides two display angles. Conveniently, the stand folds completely flat, includes a travel bag, and works with most cases, so it’s easy to toss it in a suitcase or bag and take on the road.

8 Apps That Help You Relax, And Find Your Happy Place, by Robyn Foyster, Women Love Tech

From helping you find you breathe from your diaphragm, to getting a better night’s sleep and to make meditating easier, there is a wealth of apps that are there to serve your every health need.


20 Questions To Ask Before Joining A Startup, by Harrison Harnisch

When I first joined a startup in 2012 I did my best to ask the right questions when interviewing. My engineering background prepared me for engineering tasks and helped me write a resume, but it didn’t prepare me well for how to evaluate a startup offer. While this might be obvious to some, this is what I wish I knew when trying to break into the startup scene.


Online Porn Filters Will Never Work, by Lux Alptraum, The Verge

Since the dawn of the internet, tech companies have promised nervous parents an easy way to protect their children’s innocence that’ll block access to anything that’s too risqué while allowing them to freely browse the safer side of the internet. More often than not, however, these porn blockers aren’t nearly as easy or as effective as advertised, largely because figuring out what is and is not pornography is rarely a simple matter.

I Still Miss My Headphone Jack, And I Want It Back, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

I know, I know, you’re probably reading this while AutoPiloting your Tesla with your AirBuds in, sipping on 145-degree coffee from your Ember mug. “Why doesn’t he just get some Bluetooth headphones?” you wonder. I won’t start about how many times I’ve tried to use wireless headphones only to find them dead, because anything wireless is just another battery to worry about.

Look. Workarounds aren’t really the point, because workarounds shouldn’t have to exist in the first place. Good design isn’t meant to operate this way. Technology should always bend to the user, not vice versa. And no human’s life is measurably better since Apple had the “courage” to remove the 3.5 mm jack. But a lot of our lives are just a little worse.

Everything On Social Media Is For Sale, by Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic

Monetizing an audience on social media is not a particularly new idea. What sets these fledgling artists and producers apart is the extent to which they sell every feature on every app: likes, comments, reposts, retweets, faves, story shares, native Instagram posts, Snapchat shout outs, all offered on a sliding scale based on how much you’re willing to pay to keep them up. Any social-media interaction is for sale, as long as someone is willing to pay.

Bottom of the Page

Certain things need to be wireless, in my opinion. If my calculator from the last century can be powered by solar energy alone, I don't see why AirPods and mouses cannot be, in the future. Let's hope Apple is on the case.


Thanks for reading.