Oh, it’s Micro Monday again! I’d like to point you to @Miraz, who posts about a variety of subjects in a thoughful and considered manner and gives a look into her world all the way down there in glorious New Zealand; her photos are often stunning and make me super jealous. 😍

Five decades of Met publications on art history, available to read, download, and/or search for free.

MetPublications is yet another project of the web in which we freely share the best of our societies.

… there’s no fallback to a web page …

John Gruber, I’m Ping Pong King

The feature stories for iOS can’t be viewed on a Mac. The same stories Apple says negate the need for affiliate revenue to exist.

Reminder: Apple doesn’t give a shit about the web.

LOL somebody asked a question about why Apple software doesn’t work a certain way and you, the rando, replied with

“courage”

you’re so funny LOL GOOD ONE, MY FRIEND.

For The Weekend: Eleven

A few things for you:

Enjoy your weekend!

Apple and the Halo

This is kind of an “iTunes on Windows” moment.

Manton Reece on Apple Music coming to Alexa devices

I couldn’t agree more. iTunes on Windows + iPod = my only exposure to Apple previous to the stage in my life when I actively got involved with the Apple enthusiast community, and those two things made a lasting impression.

In fact, earlier this year I tried going all-in on Google, Android phone, the works, and that included not just dumping Apple Music but also iTunes; in the end, every other music player grated on me and that was in comparison to iTunes for Windows. Things have become bad enough overall that I have now returned to my goal of attempting to go all-in with Apple, starting with AirPods (they’re fucking awesome) and the 2018 iPad.

With moves like this Apple could build up a buffer of goodwill and for sure help themselves with future mistakes; the past few years has seen most of the heavy criticism aimed at the company come after other mistakes and missteps were made. Too much negative momentum has built up over time and making as many steps into cross-platform waters as they can will likely help negate that momentum, even if only as a starting point in the effort to do so.

Hosted Micro.blog Comments

In reply to:

I really think hosted Micro.blogs need an on-blog comment system so non-blogging friends can comment. If you are coming from FB, you can tell your friends about RSS readers and keeping in touch, but if they can’t converse with you it’s all for nothing.

Brad Enslen

If it worked with webmentions and the like then sure, even still that would mean needing to prompt people to get that set up for themselves – the infrastructure for this already exists through Micro.blog accounts and IndieWeb custom domain usernames – which flies in the face of that which people have been trained; easy, frictionless, embedded, centralised.

I don’t think closed Micro.blog commenting (like WordPress comments) does much to change enough of the existing problems with commenting systems; as one of the stated goals for Micro.blog is to encourage people to own the things they post, I’m not sure ease of use is a strong enough factor to encourage such a thing. Also, if it was done similar to WordPress comments we get back to the point where it’s down to the person running the blog to manage comments – personally, I’d rather take a walk in traffic – and invariably includes the complications inherent therein; aside from anything else it often looks cluttered and unintuitive.

If the option to display comments comes to hosted sites a good first step might be the aforementioned messaging to encourage people to use their own domain or a Micro.blog account for commenting. Beyond that, I think it’s a case of waiting for other commenting systems based around similar ideals to surface; the open web, ownership, etc…

Although, if Micro.blog commenting were to become that in and of themselves I wouldn’t complain. I mean, I would be shocked to see such a thing since, seriously, there is no skeevy VC money here or soul-destroying monetisation through which Micro.blog could gain a team and work at the level required to also build a separate, complimentary commenting system.

Mira Sorvino makes an observation about the US with President Trump, then some rando decides it’s time to put her in her place via Twitter, and her reply is FUCKING. EVERYTHING.

I love seeing sad little manbabies getting put into their place. It feeds my soul.

The UK would be significantly worse off under all possible Brexit scenarios in 15 years’ time, according to a benchmark economic analysis produced by a range of government departments including the Treasury.

The Guardian

Water remains wet.

Apparent Apple Failure

In reply to:

so unless apple delivers something as successful as a product that repeats the success of a prior product that pretty much all in the industry agrees is unparalleled in terms of success than any other product ever produced … they are stalled?

(Did that make sense?)

John Philpin

I’m not talking about the best they’ve ever done… I’m talking about the bottom standard:

  • The relative lack of movement with regard to hardware updates.
  • Further dumbing down their own software for no discernible reason…
  • whilst making clumsy changes that affect third-party developers badly.
  • Ramping up prices overall.
    • Not just premium but an actual fuck you to all but the wealthy few who care.
  • The utter failure in managing optics for their messes – the “PRIVACY TECH COMPANY THAT CARES” cannot be forgiven for failures in optics.
  • … and the stupid book, the ridiculous fuck ups with leaks, the iPhone battery bullshit.

I mean, come on. Of course they have always fucked up, that’s to be expected since people run these companies but Jobs set a platform and Tim Cook has missed a great chance to create a cavernous difference in quality and stability between them and the competition, a true and undeniable justification for the premium label.

Now of course, I am an outsider (I have an iPad and AirPods – both of which are brilliant) who has listened to a bunch of Apple tech podcasts and read Apple punditry for the past few years. If over the next year, as I get more Apple hardware and immerse myself further into their ecosystem, things aren’t as bad as they seem (see: the list above) then great, turns out perception does not match reality. At that point, despite the failings of the people in my position I will still lay some of the blame at Apple’s feet; too many times when they engage in any sort of PR action it is either neutral to the point of irrelevant or so clumsy you’d think they were a bunch of young idiots running their first company, and that is unacceptable.

Made some minor edits to @til pages. The one page that will be continuously updated is Links, which will get mentioned in update posts and the like but can easily change multiple times in a day; there’s just too much activity centred around Micro.blog to not take this approach.

Apple: the friendly marketplace landlord

I’ve been saying for years that the 30% cut is completely out of line with the value that Apple provides to developers.

Manton Reece, App Store rent-seeking

Apple has already decided they can just do all of the app-focused editorial in-house. How long before they start scooping up app developers and signficantly increase the number of first-party apps?

I’m not at all confident the average iPhone buyer (i.e. Apple’s most valuable customer) could care less about third-party apps and so find it difficult to see them receiving real pushback for that kind of move.

Finding Your Place

I recently stumbled across I don’t hang out on the internet by Ryan Barrett and it hit a few marks for me, in different ways. One of the most significant effects being on the web has had on me is to ask a question: How much of this do you want?

My primary use of the web was to connect with people, much like Ryan explained, as a young adult looking for like-minded people. However, my relationship with the web has transformed to the point where I now feel as if I have both feet in different worlds; on one hand I adore the web enthusiast community – open web, IndieWeb, Micro.blog, etc – not least because without that collective behaviour it’s difficult to imagine the web would be relevant at all; on the other hand I love seeing non-web enthusiasts take part of their physical lives and share it with, well, more people than was previously possible. I connect in many ways with both sets of people and the intensity of my preference changes depending on a number of factors, not least of which is my mood.

However, the problem is the toll this can have on my energy and time, and frankly, on my mental health. Of course, “Just take a break!” is great advice and it’s always important to take a step back from any particular activity, even if only once in a while. I need more than that; my goal to work remotely requires focus, organised time, restraint; is that possible whilst investing time in a number of enthusiast activities? I’m convinced it is not.

The choice is therefore: what do I cut? Over the next couple of months I’ll be making difficult decisions with this, as the majority of middle-aged people also seem to do so.

Well… I have at least experienced all kinds of different joy in the process of indulging in a variety of interests and passions over the past several years. Things could have been much worse.

I see the holiday season has brought about the cheery, joyful, Christianity of the jackbooted thugs known as US authorities. Congratulations on defending your border from the hordes of evil Mexicans.

One Year on Micro.blog

This is a previous version of my About page on my hosted Micro.blog site:

Simon Woods is a man of dubious taste with little to no skill for effectively managing time, space, or any other dimension. He also likes to use words incorrectly, if for nothing else than the exquisite joy of seeing people care enough to get annoyed about it. There’s also a chance that doing the ‘words’ thing is difficult and laziness feels so damned good. He’s lucky enough to live with Claire Field, an infinitely patient and dizzyingly talented fiancée, in a city that is known for a collection of insects who continue to be quite popular many years after their death. Every day is made even better by the company of two cats, one of a delicate nature and the other of a kind you are likely to see with the Muppets.

The effort to work is often characterised by an inability to make substantial progress one way or the other but Simon has at least improved his ability to recognise this in a practical manner. There are points when it seems best to give up but then life wouldn’t be very interesting without challenges, and so he perseveres. To this day it is likely his most impressive achievement.

For those who have taken the time to read this he apologises. Please know that it was excruciating to write.

Especially the three paragraphs before this one.

… I was, uh, trying something. If it taught me one thing it’s that I much prefer to write creatively within the context of specific projects, especially when it comes to writing fiction.

I’m still thinking a lot about my pages and my blog and how it all fits together; I’m leaning towards having a single page as a better representation for both what I am now doing and what I am aiming to do. The question now is: how do I create such a page?

I have a custom domain – whilst I’m here, I’d like to thank Manton for introducing me to the idea that as long as you have your domain, the guts of the site are largely irrelevant; it has clarified my thinking a whole fucking lot – so I think I’ll start with something that’s free and then upgrade later when possible, should there be something else I need from such a site.

Anyway, I have tweaked both my current About page and my Subscribe page.

Also, I just released a bunch of updates for @til and now I’m ready to ramp up my efforts on other projects. As I previously mentioned my blogging quantity will decrease but in place of that I will produce higher quality, focused work. My ability to do this has in fact been jump-started by my renewed blogging over the past year, which is another thing for which I can thank Manton Reece; seriously dude, you both got more blogging from me and helped me find the focus required to make hard decisions… for that, I can’t thank you enough.

There are times when it becomes easy to forget the things we do for each other as people. Right now it is important for me remember that Manton, Jean, and the whole Micro.blog community has done for me that which I truly needed. Thank you all. ❤️