Archive for November 15, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Saving the iPad

Jared Sinclair:

The App Store is designed, from what it features to what it permits, to promote cheap, shallow, candy apps. It discourages developers from ever starting ambitious apps, both passively and actively.


The iPad was marketed as a third category of device, neither a phone nor a PC, but Apple has never managed to articulate what that third category really is.


iOS user interface paradigms are not suited to using more than one app at a time. iOS was designed almost a decade ago for a phone whose screen is smaller than the gap between the iPad Pro’s app icons.

He suggests bringing Gatekeeper to iOS to address the business issues, positioning it as a Mac replacement to address the category confusion, and making a separate “padOS”:

The iPad is walking backwards into all the use-cases for which the Mac was designed with deliberate intention from the Mac’s earliest days. But because of Apples bolted-on approach, tacking features onto a decade-old smartphone OS, the result is far removed from Apple’s best work. The design principles of an iPhone simply don’t scale up to an iPad, in the same way that the design principles of an iMac don’t scale up to an Apple TV.

Beware of Apple Mail Resizing Outgoing Images

Lloyd Chambers:

Something to be aware of when sending an image: Apple Mail may mangle the image you sent, recompressing it while greatly reducing it in size. One consulting client kept sending me screen shots that were so tiny so as to be unreadable.

It wasn’t obvious what the problem was, so here is the answer: check the Image Size control in the mail window.

This happens to me all the time.

How Facebook’s Safety Check Works

Todd Hoff (comments):

How do you build the pool of people impacted by a disaster in a certain area? Building a geoindex is the obvious solution, but it has weaknesses.


When there’s a disaster, say an earthquake in Nepal, a hook for Safety Check is turned on in every single news feed load.

When people check their news feed the hook executes. If the person checking their news feed is not in Nepal then nothing happens.


Safety Check fans out to all their friends on their social graph. If a friend is in the same area then a push notification is sent asking if they are OK.


Using the news feed gives a random sampling of users that is biased towards the most active users with the most friends. And it filters out inactive users, which is billions of rows of computation which need not be performed.


Two machines in two different datacenters have a user that’s friends with the same person. This means both edges are traversed which ends up sending two notifications to the same person.

So they added a database and in-memory locking.

Alex Schultz:

This activation will change our policy around Safety Check and when we activate it for other serious and tragic incidents in the future. We want this tool to be available whenever and wherever it can help. We will learn a lot from feedback on this launch, and we'll also continue to explore how we can help people show support for the things they care about through their Facebook profiles, which we did in the case for Paris, too.