The Network-Effect Edition Saturday, February 9, 2019

Can Subscriptions Save All Media Companies, Or Just The New York Times?, by Max Read, New York Magazine

You don’t have to buy a platform interpretation of the digital subscription business. But if you do, you can begin to pick out possible futures for the digital news media industry. One outcome might be that the generalist news subscription market will become, like other software-platform markets, winner-take-all, or, at least, highly concentrated. (I specify “generalist news subscription” because it seems obvious that publications serving specific markets, like trade magazines, aren’t directly competing with papers like the Times.) The same kind of network-effect-driven virtuous growth cycle we’re used to with most software platforms could take hold: More readers will attract more writers; more writers will attract more readers. In a sense, that’s the way the paper has always worked. But in a digital world, there is no physical, geographical, or bureaucratic ceiling to growth. Like a software platform, the Times can grow unimpeded, its attractiveness to both readers and writers only increasing while its rivals are left out in the cold. It’s true that for now people seem willing to pay for more than one subscription, even for largely overlapping coverage. But if the Times (or one of its rivals) can sufficiently chip away at its competitors, poaching journalists, generating big stories, and attracting larger audiences in that same virtuous cycle, it could potentially crowd other papers out. Why pay for two or more subscriptions if everything you want comes in one paper?

Talking Through Technology Helps Local Boy Communicate – And Get His Favorite Pizza, by Deborah Allard, The Hearld News

When Jayden ordered one of his favorite dishes, pizza and apple sauce, it was a proud moment for him and his mom, Crystal Medeiros.

That’s because Jayden, age 12, has lots to say. And, now he has a voice with the assistance of some very user-friendly, yet advanced, technology.

Report: Apple Looks To Sell Stockholm Property Following Blocked Flagship Store Plan, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

As the sun sets on plans to transform a historic park in Stockholm with the addition of a flagship Apple store, Apple is now looking to unload the property it planned to occupy and distance itself from the project, according to a new report from Swedish publication Fastighetsvärlden. The property sale would mark a disappointing end to an extensive and expensive investment for Apple as it seeks to expand and modernize its retail experience worldwide.


Blur Is The New Black In Apple’s Latest iPhone Ads, by David Pierini, Cult of Mac

Apple debuted an ad showing off the Depth Control feature on the new X-class iPhones, a 38-second subliminal sales pitch to get you thinking of an upgrade.

Charging An iPhone X With Passthrough Charging Using An iPad Pro Results, by Matt Benedetto, Medium

The main thing I was surprised at how much battery the iPad Pro still had after the iPhone was charged up. It makes it a pretty viable option to charge up your iPhone but still have your iPad Pro with plenty of battery to get some decent use out of it.

On Covering Webcams, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

There’s nothing in Stern’s story that makes me worry in the least bit about the security of my Mac webcams, and I don’t see anything that should worry someone running Windows 10 with Windows Defender (Microsoft’s built-in security software). The path to compromising Stern’s cameras was like a test of your home security that starts with a request that you leave your door unlocked and turn off your alarm system.


Why Is It So Hard To Design A Decent Office Space?, by Whet Moser, Quartz

If there’s a lesson to the cubicle, it’s that the best-laid offices often go awry. Propst’s action-oriented brainstorm became a dull-gray spreadsheet for people, which is why it was replaced by the open office, which sought to break down divisions among co-workers and create a fluid environment of frequent encounters and discussion.

And the result seems to be that people talk less. Why? For the same reason cubicles started to replace open-office plans in the first place: privacy.


My Disabled Son — The Nobleman, The Philanderer, The Detective, by Vicky Schaubert Oslo, BBC

Robert and Trude mourned what they thought had been a lonely and isolated life for their disabled son. But when Mats died, they discovered that people all over Europe lit candles in his memory.

Bottom of the Page

I have five things on my table that need to regularly charged with a lightning cable. Three of which, daily.

The good news, though, is that I don't have regularly buy a whole bunch of double-A batteries anymore.


Thanks for reading.