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The Pens’ Third and Fourth Lines

Elite Teams And Depth (Pittsburgh Isn't Good)

Soooo…at some point someone in Pittsburgh is going to say "Given that Crosby and Malkin were there when he got here, what HAS Ray Shero done to make the team better?" right? Pittsburgh's third and fourth lines were a disaster last year, their first without Jordan Staal (another player Pittsburgh just got by being terrible) and they're a mess again this year. They're markedly different than all of the other contenders. If the Pens lose in the playoffs, as they probably will, it will probably involve Crosby/Malkin having a few cold games (or Marc-Andre Fleury blowing up). When that happens, people will say "Gee, Malkin/Crosby/Fleury were terrible." Perhaps they should point out that Pittsburgh is trying to win with an abysmal bottom half of their team, which piles an awful lot of pressure on the other guys.

Agreed. A Second-round exit is waiting in the wings.

Joined AT&T’s New Family Plan

We just switched to AT&T's $100 (+$15/line) shared 10 GB data + unlimited talk/text plan.

It mad sense, when we mapped it all out. We may be buying our iPhones from here on out (though the AT&T Next plan simply has you paying the actual cost of the phone, not an uncharged amount, so it's basically a 0% loan you pay off over 21-27 months or so), and my mother-in-law kicked things off by buying an iPhone 5c.

I'll likely always have the new phone. The wife will get my old one. And my kiddo, who at 11 has her own cell phone to go with her own iPad mini, will get a phone that's between 1-2 years old.


10.9.2 and block-less ifs

OS X 10.9.2 arrives to fix SSL vulnerability, Mail problems, and more

The SSL thing has been making the rounds lately. It boils down to code that looked like this:

    do something;
    do something else;
else ...

…instead of…

    do something;
    do something else;
else ...

I've always hated leaving out the curly brackets… unless maybe you do it like AppleScript:

if myString is equal to "Do It!" then doSomething()

Design, by Apple

The Loop’s Steve Issue

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Steve Jobs and everything he did in his life, so I wanted to put together an issue of The Loop Magazine dedicated to Steve and his accomplishments. What better day to publish it than on Steve's birthday.

The Loop Magazine: Memories of Steve Jobs

iOS Background Fetching can be Expensive

Michael Tsai - Blog - iOS Background Fetch

My first example of this was when I added Background Fetch to Check the Weather. A weather app's primary function is displaying up-to-the-minute, constantly changing data so in my initial iOS 7 update I experimented with adding highly frequent background updates. The result was far more dramatic than I'd expected. Here are my weather API requests (which cost 0.01¢ per request) per day once the update went live. I saw an immediate jump in traffic, roughly 16x normal. Suffice to say I immediately had to scale back on my requested update frequency.

Ford Drops MS Sync… Goes with BlackBerry?

Dropping MS Sync makes sense. But going with BlackBerry instead?


Great game: Threes! on the App Store on iTunes. $199 only, too. iPhone and iPad.

Ukraine Burning

I have no clue what's going on in the Ukraine.

And now I do.

WhatsApp is Worth $16B?

I hadn't even heard about WhatsApp until today. Virtually everyone I message is on iMessage.

Facebook to Buy WhatsApp for $16+ Billion | Re/code

Myth of the Bell Curve

The Myth Of The Bell Curve: Look For The Hyper-Performers

Ken Ham’s “Historical Science”

Dear Creation Museum, all science is "historical science." Here's why:

The real problem with Ham's argument is that it's so blatantly hypocritical. Historic science is actually fine with him—but only when it gives him an answer that can be crammed into his version of the biblical timeline. In the debate, he happily cited a study that showed all domesticated dogs shared a common ancestor—he thinks that's evidence for a dog-kind—but neglected to mention that the study also showed that the ancestor lived over 11,000 years ago. For those keeping track, that means dogs predate Ham's creation.

For biblical reasons, he likes the idea of Pangea, but he doesn't like the fact that the continents are currently moving annoyingly slowly—far too slowly to have broken up Pangea in the 2,500 or so years since the Flood. His website proudly suggests that there might have been a period of catastrophic plate tectonics where the continents raced around the globe.

Windows 8 a Disaster

According to Paul Thurrott, anyway:

This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

While some Windows backers took a wait-and-see approach and openly criticized me for being honest about this, I had found out from internal sources immediately that the product was doomed from the get-go, feared and ignored by customers, partners and other groups in Microsoft alike. Windows 8 was such a disaster that Steven Sinofsky was ejected from the company and his team of lieutenants was removed from Windows in a cyclone of change that triggered a reorganization of the entire company. Even Sinofsky's benefactor, Microsoft's then-CEO Steve Ballmer, was removed from office. Why did all this happen? Because together, these people set the company and Windows back by years and have perhaps destroyed what was once the most successful software franchise of all time.

Michael Sam is Gay

The NYTimes has the piece: N.F.L. Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He's Gay.

I'm glad to see that we're moving in the right direction. Even as little as five years ago, this would have been a bigger story than it is today.

Asked if he was nervous about the step he is taking, Sam told people at a Saturday night dinner party at the Los Angeles home of publicist Howard Bragman: "You all are the ones who are nervous. I'm excited."

Flappy Bird – Wha?

I don't understand how people can waste hours and hours playing a game like this, especially when they're forgoing much deeper, more meaningful experiences around them. Even watching a good movie would be a better use of time.

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