Bleached Bits

I'm a technologist, a graduate, a full time software maker.

Thinker. Dreamer. Realist. Idealist.
This is a linked list of stuff I find. You can find me as @simonsc on twitter.

Gillette’s Razor = Everything Wrong With American Innovation »

Kevin Roose:

The Wall Street Journal obtained the marketing materials for Gillette’s new razor, the ProGlide FlexBall. It’s a men’s razor that does what every other men’s razor since time immemorial has done – removes hair from your face – but with “a swiveling ball-hinge” that the company says will make it easier to get a clean shave. It will retail for $11.49 and $12.59, depending on whether you want the battery-powered version or not, and Gillette is planning to sell $188 million worth of the things in the next year alone.

I won’t mince words: ProGlide FlexBall is a bad idea. A really bad idea. In fact, the razor represents everything terrible about America’s innovation economy.

"The best ideas have to win" - Steve Jobs On Supposedly Making All Apple Decisions »

Found this old gem quoting Steve Jobs at the D8 conference in 2010 (about an hour into the video):

Jobs: Oh, yeah, no we have wonderful arguments.

Mossberg: And do you win them all?

Jobs: Oh no I wish I did. No, you see you can’t. If you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to let them make a lot of decisions and you have to, you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise good people don’t stay.

Emphasis mine. This leadership style, that of letting the best ideas win, is undoubtedly a major factor contributing to the longevity and success of Apple under Jobs.

Designing for Gullible »

Michael Lopp on iOS notifications and their annoying traits:

It’s not a bad approach, but it doesn’t design for the case where every app developer gets what they want: notifications enabled to make sure that I don’t forget about their application in the sea of applications on my phone. This design pattern makes it easy to opt in, but difficult to opt out.

I think there’s so much room for improvement here. Lopp’s piece is mostly critical of three aspects:

  • The timing of apps asking you to enable push notifications.
  • The difficulty in removing apps from notifications after you’ve accepted.
  • The notifications themselves are frequently useless: they simply serve to try remind you of their existence.

The third point makes the second even more egregious. That second point is by far the most important. The UI for managing notifications isn’t terrible, but it’s fairly user-hostile.

A long list of apps for which you need to drill down and disable or change? Not great.

I would think that we should be able to hide or “mute” notifications straight from Notification Centre, where they’re most annoying.

(via Ben Brooks).

Where’s the letter to Samsung? »

Great bit by Guy English. The Samsung Galaxy S5 ships with a fingerprint sensor (as we all expected it to), but hasn’t experienced the kind of scrutiny Apple got when it shipped one in the iPhone 5s. People are asking why:

The argument is that this kind of questioning is unfair to Apple and I disagree. This is the level of scrutiny that we’d hope governments gave to all our industries, all our corporations. Not intervention or direction, but putting in the work to try to understand what is going on. We can debate the reasons that Apple is questioned but, ultimately, the answer is simple.

Apple is held to a higher standard of conduct. They’ve spent years, countless hours of hard work and untold advertising dollars to earn that expectation. They have it. When location data or fingerprints, both incredibly obviously hot topics, need to be explained it is Apple that is put in the hot seat. Because they are expected to meet our highest standards.