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Winning

The jostling for position within the constrained real estate on the wrist will be analogous to the competition for positioning on the phone. You’ll note that the winners on the phone were different than the winners on the PC. My bet is that the winners on the Watch will be different than the winners on the Phone.

And that’s not a bad thing.

Horace Dediu at Asymco.com

I can’t wait to see what incredible apps are created for this new platform. It’s hard to imagine just what will be possible, what the wrists of tomorrow will be capable of doing. Very exciting.

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keep riding that dead horse

Whether Mr Abbott even survives as prime minister until the next election is open to debate. But the fact remains he has instigated a series of changes to the fundamental nature of Australian society that were never put to the people before the last election and which have been kept shrouded in euphemism ever since.Tim Dunlop, in Spook Magazine

I wanted to quote more, but I won’t. Well worth the read, if you’re at all interested in understanding the underhanded, dishonest government we’ve had since late 2013.

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Does a Daring Fireball sponsored post actually work?

I was putting all of my proverbial “eggs” in one basket and was hoping that it would work. But, it wasn’t without research and it wasn’t a decision I took lightly (obviously). You see after reading DF for years I’ve been witness to many companies that have had great success with sponsorship. The kicker was that I have purchased many products just because I first saw it on DF.
John Saddington, creator of Desk

A fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of high profile sponsored posts. I’ve often wondered if blog sponsorship was an effective marketing channel for apps and products. There’s a lot of it going on in tech, also on podcasts, but are they actually effective? For Desk, the answer is a clear yes.

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Paul Ford on Reply All

Two of my favourite things are now in one place: Paul Ford on Reply All.

It turns out that you’re not as important as you think you are, nowhere near as terrible as you think you are and actually fairly ridiculous.

Reply All is the new show from Gimlet Media, created in part by former Planet Money & This American Life producer Alex Blumberg. Paul Ford is one of the best technology writers on the internet today. His writing is always poetic, human and sometimes hilarious. On this episode, Paul talks about his anxieties, how crippling they can be & how he decided to manage them. In short: he built himself an anxiety box. I won’t spoil it for you, just listen.

If you’re into podcasts and the internet (hello? is this thing on?) you should go subscribe right now. Alex also hosts a remarkably good podcast called Startup, logging his journey into the world of internet businesses. At first I scoffed, then I listened, sat up and paid attention. Both shows are very well produced, never longer than half an hour & always worth the listen. Reply All is particularly good.

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Gamergate finds new depths

Yesterday, ArbCom announced its preliminary decision. A panel of fourteen arbitrators – at least 11 of whom are men – decided to give GamerGate everything they’d wished for. All of the Five Horsemen are sanctioned; most will be excluded not only from “Gamergate broadly construed” but from anything in Wikipedia touching on “gender or sexuality, broadly construed.”

Mark Bernstein, Infamous

All is not well in the wiki.

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Friends don’t let friends look out of date on the internet

Content on the internet can be frighteningly fast-paced. You don’t need to look much further than twitter or Facebook to notice the deluge of content being posted daily. It’s overwhelming – blink and you miss it. Yet websites often fall into the trap of hard-coding content into less-obvious page elements and forgetting all about it. One excellent example of this is the Copyright text appearing in the footer of many websites. You’ll often see something that looks like this:

© 2015

Obviously, the content on jasonmcdermott.net is not © Marco Arment.

This innocuous piece of text doesn’t only lay claim to copyright protection, it also clearly displays the year in which the website was ‘last updated’. It dates the content you’re currently reading. It plants a flag, sending subtle signals about how fresh your site happens to be. It might be dead-right, but then again it might be way off. Like, several years out of date.

Now why is this a problem? Well, most bloggers and webmasters tend to think about these things very infrequently. You might look at the footer text when setting up a new theme, or changing plugins, but that doesn’t happen very often & chances are that your web footer text is now a whole year out of date (© 2014). If you run a website, I’ll pause here to let you go check your footer text. No really. You’ll thank me for it.

Ok, so now you know. Is your footer text up to date? If not, I’ll bet you just changed it. Job done, right?
For now, yes. But what happens 12 months later, when 2016 rolls around and you’ve forgotten this piece of sage wisdom? You’ll be back where you were today, before you read said piece of wisdom. There must be a better way.

updateyourfooter.com is here to help.

updateyourfooter.com is here to help.

Well, there is. Computers are fantastic at doing things without even requiring human thought. Automatically. It’s great. Here’s my special tip that will save you literally seconds, once a year, every year from now until your website dies.

Just use software to automatically update the date. It’s that easy. Set it and forget it. If you run more than one website, you may never need to think about checking your footers (feet?) again. Let the computers keep track of the date, you can get back to the business of writing killer headlines & splitting long articles up into separate pages.

It’s called software and it works. One change and your site will look fresh and new, every year, for as long as you like.

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Bringing the progressive calendar to Australia

David Malki (creator of the insanely great web comic wondermark) recently posted a progressive calendar PDF that he’d produced for printing & hanging. I’ve long thought that this kind of calendar is so much better than calendars with months separated by white space, but never thought about creating one of my own. When I saw David’s calendar, it was a no-brainer to download it for my own use.

But there was one small problem. David’s based in the USA, so some of the details of the calendar are US-centric. The Daylight Savings dates, for instance. Or all of the holidays. These aren’t deal-breakers for me, but wouldn’t it be so much better if you could have one with Australian dates?

Well, now you can. I downloaded and tweaked David’s calendar PDF to reflect the correct Australian dates for 2015.

You too can now download the Australian Holidays 2015 calendar.

Thanks again to David Malki for the idea & the heavy lifting on the original calendar.

[Update: David added this page to his download section on wondermark!

João Paulo Bernardes has also made a Brazilian version! Spread the love..]

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Being too popular for a day

Two weeks back, Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper, development brains behind Tumblr, creator of Overcast, founder of The Magazine..) published a typical Marco-style post criticising Apple’s recent software quality;

I suspect the rapid decline of Apple’s software is a sign that marketing is too high a priority at Apple today: having major new releases every year is clearly impossible for the engineering teams to keep up with while maintaining quality. Maybe it’s an engineering problem, but I suspect not — I doubt that any cohesive engineering team could keep up with these demands and maintain significantly higher quality.
Apple has lost the functional high ground on marco.org

Which then spread like wildfire;

This morning, my words were everywhere, chopped up and twisted by sensational opportunists to fuel the tired “Apple is doomed!” narrative with my name on them. (Or Tumblr’s name, which was even worse.) Business Insider started the party, as usual, but it spread like wildfire from there. Huffington Post. Wall Street Journal. CNN. Heise. Even a televised CNBC discussion segment.
What it’s like to be way too popular for a day on Marco.org

Which might seem like a blogging dream-come-true, but you’d be wrong. Fascinating.

See also: Marco went into more detail on both ATP and The Talk Show, both of which are equally long and worth the listen.

Image Credit: Marco.org