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Get Rid of the Penny

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/07/get-rid-of-the-penny_n_4719984.html

More here and here.

How In-App Payments Have Destroyed Gaming

Read this: How In-app Purchases Have Destroyed The Industry (by @baekdal) #opinion.

Nye vs. Ham

Creation Debate Recap: Bill Nye Invites Us to Explore the World, Ken Ham Does Not

But what struck me more than anything about the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was the very different posture each took toward the pursuit of knowledge and the virtue of curiosity.

More than once, Bill Nye addressed the audience directly, urging them to get out there and explore the universe for themselves. "Let's keep looking," he said. "Let's keep searching."

If Ken Ham had a recurring catchphrase during the debate, it was, "There's a book about that, and it already has the answers."

The Story Behind ‘Think Different’

The Real Story Behind Apple's 'Think Different' Campaign - Forbes

Jobs was quiet during the pitch, but he seemed intrigued throughout, and now it was time for him to talk. He looked around the room filled with the "Think Different" billboards and said, "This is great, this is really great … but I can't do this. People already think I'm an egotist, and putting the Apple logo up there with all these geniuses will get me skewered by the press." The room was totally silent. The "Think Different" campaign was the only campaign we had in our bag of tricks, and I thought for certain we were toast. Steve then paused and looked around the room and said out loud, yet almost as if to his own self, "What am I doing? Screw it. It's the right thing. It's great. Let's talk tomorrow." In a matter of seconds, right before our very eyes, he had done a complete about-face.

I also just finished Ken Segall's book Insanely Simple, which I recommend as well.

TSA Agent Confessions

TSA Agent Confession - Dear America, I Saw You Naked. And yes, we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.

Once, in 2008, I had to confiscate a bottle of alcohol from a group of Marines coming home from Afghanistan. It was celebration champagne intended for one of the men in the group — a young, decorated soldier. He was in a wheelchair, both legs lost to an I.E.D., and it fell to me to tell this kid who would never walk again that his homecoming champagne had to be taken away in the name of national security.

There I was, an aspiring satire writer, earnestly acting on orders straight out of Catch-22.

Ugh. And…

"They're shit," he said, shrugging. He said we wouldn't be able to distinguish plastic explosives from body fat and that guns were practically invisible if they were turned sideways in a pocket.

We quickly found out the trainer was not kidding: Officers discovered that the machines were good at detecting just about everything besides cleverly hidden explosives and guns. The only thing more absurd than how poorly the full-body scanners performed was the incredible amount of time the machines wasted for everyone.

Amazon Prime: + $20 to $40?

No thanks. I use it for the free shipping, but don't use any of the other features. I've watched Alpha House via the streaming service, but that's about it.

Free shipping is pretty slow, though. And they may play tricks with it…

What else is there, really? Seriously.

Ann Elizabeth Mitchell

Ann Elizabeth Mitchell passed away yesterday at 11:30am, about two hours before I was able to arrive. She was my maternal grandmother and one of my favorite people. She will be greatly missed. I loved her very much.

I'm comforted by the many wonderful memories I have of her, and by the fact that she knew I was on my way to see her. I talked to her Thursday evening and told her I loved her then. You don't often get to say your last words to someone are "I love you" (and their words back to you are), so I'm grateful this was one of those times.

My grandma was 86 years young.

Canceled My Netflix

I just canceled our "two screens at a time streaming only" Netflix account. Even at only $7.99/month, it wasn't worth it. Netflix seems to have fewer and fewer of the movies we want to watch, and Amazon Prime's streaming may actually be pretty good soon. But mostly, we don't really stream movies much anymore.

At least I'll get to watch the second season of House of Cards before it ends on February 16th. :)

How Someone Lost his Twitter Username

How I Lost My $50,000 Twitter Username — Medium

Why someone would pay $50k for "@N" is beyond me, though.

“Insanely Great” Book

Is this worth buying?

Amazon.com: Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that changed Everything eBook: Steven Levy: Kindle Store

Edit: Never mind. The Kindle version was only $4.99. Duh.

Animated GIFs instead of Movies for Documentation

Creating Animated GIFs for Documentation - David Smith

Step 1: Record using QuickTime Player
Step 2: Convert using GIF Brewery
Step 3: Profit!

Gambling as a Career

The Wizards of Odds - Video - NYTimes.com

Pro gamblers win about 55% of the time.

I know a friend who has a system for winning 55-57% of the time based on a very simple rule (I will not share this rule with you). He's done it over four or five years now, and he's considering very seriously being a "professional gambler" at least "part time" to start.

It's not difficult. Basically, you get to take advantage of people being stupid.

30 Years of Mac

Michael Tsai - Blog - 30 Years of Mac is well worth a read, if for no other reason than it links to the mac-icon-standard.ttf font first reported by Greg Barbosa (from Apple) (more here).

Many of the links are worth following as well, including this one.

And duh, the Apple page is here.

P.S. Another good link.

Schmidt and Jobs, Pushing Down the People

The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley's most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers' wages | PandoDaily

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple's Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google's Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other's employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple's board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt "got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple."

Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information "verbally, since I don't want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?"

QuarkXPress

I never liked Quark, but I respected the position it held in the industry.

But now, it is no more:

As the big dog of desktop publishing in the '80s and '90s, QuarkXPress was synonymous with professional publishing. In fact, it was publishing. But its hurried and steady decline is one of the greatest business failures in modern tech.

Quark's demise is truly the stuff of legend. In fact, the story reads like the fall of any empire: failed battles, growing discontent among the overtaxed masses, hungry and energized foes, hubris, greed, and… uh, CMYK PDFs. What did QuarkXPress do—or fail to do—that saw its complete dominance of desktop publishing wither in less than a decade? In short, it didn't listen.

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