The man himself said it best:
“C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success. While accidents of history surely helped, it evidently satisfied a need for a system implementation language efficient enough to displace assembly language, yet sufficiently abstract and fluent to describe algorithms and interactions in a wide variety of environments.”
Thank you, Dennis Ritchie, for giving us C.
A friend of mine texted me after a phone conversation I had with him:
“You sounded so cheerful today. Didn’t you know Steve Jobs died?”
“I know, and I cried. I cried a lot. But not out of sadness.”
“What? You’re happy??”
In all my adult life, my reaction to bad news has been to steel myself. Sometimes I even react with anger. I’ve almost never cried because something bad happened.
But I do cry when somebody truly inspires me. Every major talk I’ve seen delivered by Steve Jobs has been inspirational to me. Every major talk of his has made me cry. Nobody else has ever had that effect on me.
His death simply reminded me of his life. I was inspired like never before. I cried like a baby.
Salman Khan's TED Talk -
This is must watch material.
(1:59 into the talk)
As soon as I put those first Youtube videos up, something interesting happened. Actually a bunch of interesting things happened. The first was the feedback from my cousins. They told me that they preferred me on Youtube than in person.
Earlier this week, I attended a talk by someone from Xerox’s research arm. The most striking thing about the talk was how “innovation”-laden it was.
His group within the company was called the “Innovation Group”. He spoke about 3 different “innovation verticals” within their group, and the different “innovation models” they follow. He described “Customer Led Innovation” and “Collaborative Open Innovation” as two of the innovation models they follow.
Needless to say, it was one of the most cringe-inducing talks I’ve ever been to.
For the benefit of humanity, I wish more people read this article by Scott Berkun in the Economist:
From all my travels and speaking gigs in 2007, I’m most confident about the following advice: Stop using the word innovation in 2008. Just stop. Right now. Commit to never saying the word again. Einstein, Ford, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, and Edison rarely said the word and neither should you. Every crowd I’ve said this to laughed and agreed. The I-word is killing us.
Here’s why: it doesn’t mean anything anymore.
It’s interesting to note that the Mac App Store makes an app’s icon more prominent than ever before.
That’s because the app store is full of lists - lists of apps.
There are lists for top paid, top free, and top grossing. You also have lists such as “Stack Picks” and “New and noteworthy”. These lists are also separately available for each category in the App Store. Currently there are about 21 categories. That’s not all. Every time you search, you get a list of apps.
And these lists are dominated by icons.
One might think there’s nothing new in the controversy surrounding Apple’s new in-app purchase rules. After all, this is a recurring pattern that occurs every time a developer loudly complains about their app getting rejected for seemingly unfair reasons.
But that’s not correct. There is indeed something new in this situation.
People who appreciate Apple’s commitment to providing a great user experience have been able to justify most previous controversial decisions. Even the infamous Section 3.3.1, which restricted programming languages to those native to iOS, was justified on the grounds that non-native apps were commonly poorer in quality than custom built native apps.
On the contrary, in the case of the new in-app purchase rules, even hardcore fans are finding it difficult to defend Apple. Sure, in-app purchases do improve user experience. That’s not the problem. As Marco Arment explains, even the 30% cut is not the real problem. The real problem is that Apple is now forcing all subscription services to use Apple’s system. And frankly, such a move is hard to justify on the basis any altruistic goals.
So why is Apple doing this? Is it simply greed, as many have alleged? That really doesn’t make much sense. Raw greed is plain stupid, and stupid is one thing that Apple is not. It’s not even clear if subscriptions will ever be a significant revenue source.
I suspect the real reason is that Apple wants to protect iTunes.
So far, no online service has been able to compete with iTunes in any significant manner. This is because of the iPod. Apple’s devices and the iTunes store are exclusive to each other. The iDevices have ensured the dominance of iTunes so far. For anybody to compete with iTunes, they’d first have to make hardware that’s better than Apple’s while being price competitive. And that’s very hard.
The rise of the iOS platform and the App Store has changed that situation. It has now become possible for an iTunes competitor to avoid the hardware problem and directly run on Apple’s hardware via the App Store. Services such as Spotify already do this. Apple fears that such services may eventually threaten iTunes, which is precisely what Apple would like to avoid. I suspect the new in-app purchase rules have been designed specifically to thwart such competition.
If this is indeed true, then the rejection of the Readability app is merely collateral damage. I can understand Apple trying to defend their turf, but I wish they tried harder to avoid collateral damage. It will go a long way in improving their negative perception within the developer community.
I’ve always hated typing a lot of text into web forms. MarsEdit seems like a nice native app for writing blog posts.