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Inessential

Brent Simmons’s weblog.
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Inessential By Anonymous on 15/06/2018 pm30 23:38:00

Om Malik on blogging: They are incomplete and by nature more mysterious, more episodic, and thus more interesting. Blogs are meant not to leave you with everything. The whole idea is to think to deliberate, and to come back again and again, to finish what was started a long time ago. But there is no end, just a pause, for a voice to start, talking again. I love that. I never became the Hemingway or Fitzgerald type of writer that I wanted to be when I was young. No short stories, no novel, no cover of Life magazine. But I have written a blog for almost 19 years — and that’s something. It‘s still a new medium, and it’s new to have blogs hitting (and... Read the article
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On Not Doing Prepared Talks Any More

Inessential By Anonymous on 11/06/2018 pm30 22:09:00

Some time last year I decided to retire from doing prepared talks at conferences. I’ve been doing them for 15 years, and I’ve enjoyed some of them. Eventually I started playing with the form, and that was kind of fun. The best talks I ever did usually had some story-telling parts, and those turned out to be the parts that people liked most. The only problem with that is that my stories usually didn’t have anything to do with the conference. I just like telling stories. Stories about raccoons and squirrels. :) Preparing a talk is a lot of work, and my standards for my talks kept going up, which meant ever more preparation, and more stress — and since I didn’t love... Read the article
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Fascism These Days

Inessential By Anonymous on 11/06/2018 am30 02:37:00

I can write just about anything I want to on my blog for the simple reason that it doesn’t matter. Times change. Fascists learn. There’s no pressing need to cut off any websites. * * * Fascists don’t leave so many fingerprints these days. Example: there’s no actual agreement anywhere that makes Twitter a de facto arm of the Trump Executive Branch and all its unofficial partners — but it is. Twitter bans the people who report abuse and it retains the Nazis and Russians. It amplifies the distractions and fills the pipe with lies and outrage. (And gives us special emoji as rewards.) The truth can’t be found in the ever-thickening fog. Though Twitter has been used for good, I’m more and more convinced that giving it... Read the article
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The Easy Target

Inessential By Anonymous on 10/06/2018 pm30 21:12:00

The United States of America was the easy-to-choose target for the fascists. It was the richest and most powerful country in the history of countries. How could any fascist not want to take it over? It was the work of several decades. They built up a giant military/industrial partnership — mixing government and unaccountable corporations with secrets — with almost no resistance. Sure, they faced some setbacks from time to time: the end of apartheid in former slave states, for instance. But they fought back by privatizing the prisons, instituting mass incarceration, and militarizing the police force — and ensuring that it remained a tool of white supremacy. They stoked fear of communism, as if adding just a penny of tax meant imminent Sovietization; as... Read the article
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What I Actually Do

Inessential By Anonymous on 02/06/2018 pm30 21:14:00

Now that I’ve switched over to marketing, people — co-workers, even! — keep asking me what I actually do all day. Fair question. Since I’ll probably get asked the same thing in San Jose next week, I figured I’d write it up. The team Our team could be a small software company on its own — we have engineers, testers, designers, and a person who makes movies. Everything I do is part of working with that team. If you think I’m being paid to be a blogger and podcaster, you’re not too far off the mark, but that description misses some things. I’ve traded in Xcode for BBEdit and Marked, since most of what I do is writing. I write for the blog and for the... Read the article
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Rumor: Running iOS Apps on Macs

Inessential By Anonymous on 31/05/2018 pm31 20:03:00

I’ve heard more than once that at WWDC we’ll learn about how we can run iOS apps on Macs. I’m worried, of course, that this will lead to the further degradation of the Mac UI, and even less incentive for developers to write Mac apps. I’m agin’ it. But, also, I don’t know if it’s true and I don’t know any details — so maybe it would be awesome? We’ll see. Or not see. Could be totally made up. Could just be speculation run wild. Read the article
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Delta Blues

Inessential By Anonymous on 22/05/2018 pm31 22:39:00

Lately I’ve been trying to learn to play delta blues. I’m not ever going to play like Robert Johnson — nobody ever will — but I’d like to learn it as well as I can. Well enough so that, if you like the blues, and you heard me at a coffee shop, you’d enjoy it. (Not that I’m going to start playing at coffee shops.) I’ve been playing guitar for 38 years, and I’ve known the 12-bar blues progression and the blues scale for almost as long. But I always figured that learning to play like this would be way beyond my abilities. * * * The first thing to notice is that, in the hands of someone like Robert Johnson, it sounds like two... Read the article
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The Developers Union

Inessential By Anonymous on 18/05/2018 pm31 22:25:00

Some of the press coverage about The Developers Union uses words like “angry” and “fed up.” These aren’t accurate characterizations at all. Nobody’s mad here! But here‘s the deal: Apple controls the App Store and its economics. The system could be set up better to support high-quality apps, by indies, that last for years. Apple doesn’t have to, of course. But we can ask! It’s totally okay to ask, so we are. We think that an important first step would be a standardized, App-Store-supported way of offering free trials. (And where, once purchased, Family Sharing works.) Trial versions have worked great for years for indie Mac developers, before the App Store, and we think it would benefit indies on the iOS and Mac App... Read the article
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The Developers Union

Inessential By Anonymous on 18/05/2018 pm31 22:25:00

Some of the press coverage about The Developers Union uses words like “angry” and “fed up.” These aren’t accurate characterizations at all. Nobody’s mad here! But here‘s the deal: Apple controls the App Store and its economics. The system could be set up better to support high-quality apps, by indies, that last for years. Apple doesn’t have to, of course. But we can ask! It’s totally okay to ask, so we are. We think that an important first step would be a standardized, App-Store-supported way of offering free trials. (And where, once purchased, Family Sharing works.) Trial versions have worked great for years for indie Mac developers, before the App Store, and we think it would benefit indies on the iOS and Mac App... Read the article
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Inessential By Anonymous on 02/05/2018 pm31 23:12:00

OmniFocus 3.0 for iOS ships in four weeks. As Marketing Human, I’ve got work to do! But I’m totally psyched. Read the article

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