Archive for September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Whoosh 2.0

Whoosh (via Gus Mueller):

Whoosh helps you send out lots of emails using the Amazon Simple Email Service. Whoosh will import mailing list in CSV or Tab-Delimited format from a file, or direct from a remote URL.

I’m currently using DreamHost for my announcement mailing lists. I use Amazon SES for all other auto-generated e-mails—e.g. order confirmations and serial number lookups—but I’ve long thought of using SES for announcements as well. It works really well and is orders of magnitude cheaper than MailChimp and similar services.

Update (2014-09-20): Scott Morrison recommends Sendy, a self-hosted PHP/MySQL tool that uses Amazon SES and also helps you manage the subscription list.

The True Cost of a Subsidized iPhone 6

Ed Bott (via John Gruber):

The actual price you will pay for an iPhone 6 in the U.S. varies depending on which carrier you choose. Those advertised numbers accurately reflect the up-front amount that a buyer will pay at the start of a two-year contract. But those apparently low subsidized prices include hidden costs that jack the price up over time. And it is nearly impossible for the average shopper to figure them out without extensive and exhausting research.


If you choose the 2-year contract option for AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, you get a different set of plans. In the case of Verizon and AT&T, buying a phone outright or paying the full price in 20-24 monthly installments qualifies you for per-line discounts that range from $10 to $25 per month.

If you buy the device at the “low” two-year contract price, those discounts disappear. They are effectively finance charges for the device, which need to be added to the down payment of $200, $300, or $400.

iOS 8 Camera Controls

I really like the new exposure slider in the iOS 8 Camera app. Unfortunately, the HDR control is still broken. I set it to On, and within seconds it’s changed itself back to Auto.

Update (2014-10-30): Apple replied to my bug report with Behaves Correctly. They say that the HDR setting is supposed to revert to Auto after the device has been locked for more than 30 seconds. I think this is a poor design. I don’t ever want to use HDR Auto because it often chooses not to use HDR in situations where it would have really helped. With HDR On I can always choose which photo I like better. With HDR Auto, I may forever miss having a good photo of an important life event.