Monthly Archives: April 2013

Parse: It was good while it lasted

AHHHHHH!Parse: “Some of the world’s best brands trust us with their entire mobile presence, and a growing number of the world’s brightest independent developers trust us with their next big thing. We couldn’t be happier.”

Parse is one of those companies I was really excited about. Our connected world is about services, not websites or mobile, but services. The backend; the logic and data it contains are the important bits of the puzzle. They’re also the most difficult to create and maintain. Parse built something that allowed developers to create small scale services without the need to build the backend. It was a genius idea and one that opened the doors for indie developers to create great services.

How much trust will the “world’s brightest independent developers” have in Parse now that it’s part of one of the most untrustworthy companies in the world?

I guess I can’t bag on these guys too much. If Facebook offered me a pile of cash for my product, I’d take the money and run.

WWDC 2013, it’s not all bad

Well, it happened, Apple sold 5000 WWDC tickets in 90-seconds. Amazing. Of course it wasn’t all roses for everyone. Some people saw errors after thinking they got a ticket, others instantly got the “Sorry, we’re sold out message.” That’s not the story.

The story, at least to me, is the few developers who believe they are somehow more deserving a ticket than others. That’s a bunch of hogwash. No one developer is more deserving of a ticket than any other. This is how things should work. First come, first served. If you didn’t score a ticket, try again next year. I was able to attend WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs final keynote. I understand why developers really want to attend. It’s a chance for us to hear about new and exciting things before anyone else. We also get to hang out with friends and talk to other developers. That’s probably the most important part of the week; hanging out with friends.

I’ve read too many gripes that say it was their chance to meet others and hang out, and now that opportunity is gone. Why is it gone? Come to California that week and go to an alternative event if it really is that important to you. What’s stopping you? Nothing but you. I get why it’s important to connect with other developers and have dinner and a few beers. It’s a time to unwind, let your hair down, as they say. In 2011 I was able to hang out with a longtime friend. We hadn’t seen each other for ten years. It was a great time.

Alternative

Yes, there is a great alternative to WWDC that same week. You can attend AltWWDC, and it’s free!

If you missed getting a ticket and believe its important to get together with fellow Apple Developers you have a place to go.

Hopefully I’ll be able to attend at least one day, maybe two. If I do make it, I hope to make some new friends.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

WWDC 2013

WWDC 2013Apple: “Tickets go on sale worldwide on April 25 at 10 a.m. PDT.”

For a few seconds Apple’s infrastructure will bear the weight of millions of geeks worldwide. They’ll click and tap as fast as they can in hopes of securing entrance to the show of shows, a little piece of Apple heaven. A few seconds later the dust will settle, server loads will return to normal, and a precious few will have been blessed. The clouds will part, the sun will shine, it will be glorious!

Then the whining starts.

Twitter Music

Twitter Blog: “We offered music artists an early look at the service. You can see some of their reactions below. We hope you like it, too.”

The reactions from musicians seem so similar it makes me wonder how much they were paid to rave about the app. Then again, maybe their enthusiasm seems the same because there’s only so much you can say in 140-characters?

I do like the app UI, but I can’t find a reason to use it. I have iTunes and Pandora. Both have served me well. Maybe getting musicians on board is a way to pull the kids into using it. Popularity is a strange beast in a consumer driven society.

Definition of a WMD

Via Twitter:

I’ve been asking that same question all day.

UPDATE – Ran across this gem on Twitter this morning:

I can’t grasp what makes a bomb a WMD, but a weapon that takes more lives isn’t?

From the article linked in the tweet:

But Londoners, who endured IRA terror for years, might be forgiven for thinking that America over-reacted just a tad to the goings-on in Boston. They’re right – and then some. What we saw was a collective freak-out like few that we’ve seen previously in the United States. It was yet another depressing reminder that more than 11 years after 9/11 Americans still allow themselves to be easily and willingly cowed by the “threat” of terrorism.

That’s something. Basically Americans have been taught to fear.

Senate Cowards

New York Times: “SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.”

  1. 9/11 Terrorists Attacks
  2. Boston Patriots Day Bombing
  3. The Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre
  4. U.S. Senate voting down background checks for guns

What do all of these have in common? They’re all acts of cowards.

Teehan+Lax on Medium

Medium LogoTeehan+Lax Weblog: “There weren’t many traces of our prototype in Medium, but that was pretty understandable—it had evolved into a very different product. Ev explained that he felt there was a need for meaningful writing on the Web. There wasn’t a place for people who wanted to write something more substantive than a tweet. Blogs, while better for long-form, required a certain savviness to get up-and-running. Successful ones required constant care and feeding and typically focussed on a single subject matter. New ones lacked an audience. He went on to say that people sometimes just have one thing to say about a subject, not something every day or week. This is what Medium would solve for.”

Teehan+Lax is a world class design shop, very talented, and Ev Williams is a visionary, put the two together and you get a great experience, you get Medium.

Weblogs are a dime a dozen, like this one, and most of them are pretty bad, like this one. Medium is a new form. It gives real writers a place to create. I like that. I’ve been reading random articles, from random authors, on Medium for a few weeks now and I really enjoy it. I like the writing and I like the design.

I will never have a place on Medium, and that’s ok. It’s a place for real writers and as a reader I very much enjoy it.

Back to the Valley

“Next Saturday night, we’re sending you back to the future!” – Doc Brown, Back to the Future

Back to the Future

We may not have traveled in time, but we did move back to the San Joaquin Valley. March 8, 2013 to be exact. (Has it really been a month?)

The last couple years on the Central Coast were really great, but something was missing; family. Family is really important to Kim and I. We have a close family and the two and a half hour drive was enough to keep us from visiting family and family from visiting us.

Before we moved we called Exeter home. This time around we’re trying something different. We’ve settled in Visalia. When we lived in Exeter we spent a fair amount of time in Visalia so we decided it was worth trying.

We will of course visit San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach as often as we can. We love them. But, this is the place we need to be and I’m happy to be back. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in our life. I have no idea where it’ll lead. I guess we’ll find out.

RSS Rivers

Dave Winer: “But there is another kind of aggregator, river of news, and its needs are pretty simple, compared to the Google Reader approach which requires synchronization among different clients. If I had the time here’s the software I would write.”

Radio UserLandMost of the links I tap, or click on, these days originate on Twitter. What Dave has always been a proponent of is an RSS feed in the style of Twitter. In fact I’m pretty certain Radio, one of Dave’s products, presented feeds in that very format. The mailbox style “you have 2.3 million unread feeds” is not necessarily the best way to view things. It leaves me feeling like I need to read everything to get caught up. I don’t feel this need in Twitter. I just scan tweets quickly and send links to Pocket for reading later. Why not do that with RSS feeds? I wish I had the time, I’d build it.

Rob’s 2013 Summer Blockbuster Must See List

Hot buttered popcorn and a movie, ahhh!That’s right, blockbuster season is upon us, which means it’s time for my list of must see movies.

Trance April 5th Trailer
The Company You Keep April 5th Trailer
Oblivion April 19th Trailer
Iron Man 3 May 3rd Trailer
The Great Gatsby May 10th Trailer
Erased May 10th Trailer
Star Trek Into Darkness May 17th Trailer
Epic May 24th Trailer
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks May 24th Trailer
The Purge May 31st Trailer
Man of Steel June 14th Trailer

World War Z June 21st Trailer
White House Down June 28th Trailer
Despicable Me 2 July 3rd Trailer
Turbo July 19th Trailer
The Conjuring July 19th Trailer
The Wolverine July 26th Trailer
2 Guns August 2nd Trailer
Planes August 9th Trailer
You’re Next August 23rd Trailer

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones August 23rd Trailer


Here are my lists from prior years: 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Of the films on this list the movies I’d most like to see are Oblivion, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2, and World War Z.. It’s too hard to pick just one.

This summer seems kind of lean after last years crop of great action films. It’s going to be really tough to beat The Avengers.