Archive for November 29, 2021

Monday, November 29, 2021

Snowflake Weather 1.3 for iOS


Snowflake is an incredibly detailed weather app, covering almost everything you could possibly want to know about current conditions and forecasts.

I’m not sure why I haven’t heard much about this app, but I was glad to discover it recently. As expected from the developer of iStat Menus, the interface is thoughtfully designed and very customizable. It’s vaguely Weather Line–inspired. Like Weather Strip, it shows both the daily and extended hourly forecast on the same screen. But it also mixes in textual descriptions and lets you easily see the total precipitation for each day. And it’s easy to switch locations by long-pressing on the home icon. $4.99 for the basic version ($0.99 Black Friday deal), plus $4.99/year to get more weather providers, longer forecasts, maps, etc.


Mac Upgrade Program

Sami Fathi:

In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers.


The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are offered at $60 and $75 per month, respectively, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are offered at $30 and $39 monthly payments.

It seemed inevitable that Apple would offer Macs as a subscription service. Unlike the iPhone Upgrade Program, this is so far only for businesses.

Chance Miller:

As mentioned earlier, business customers can return or swap their Macs after three months. If you’re in a situation where you routinely upgrade your Mac every new release, this model might make a lot of sense from an accounting perspective. Depending on how you depreciate your laptops, simple financing options might help you write it off each month while getting a new upgrade whenever Apple releases new models. If you’d been using a 13″ MacBook Air with M1 for the last year, you’d have an easy path to upgrade to a 14″ or 16″ model without dealing with trade-ins or selling online.

CIT’s fine print says that the financing is 3% of the total cost, so as you add upgrades to your Mac, the monthly cost would change slightly.

Including the financing, you “pay” for a $999 MacBook Air in just under 3 years. Without the upgrade program, after 3 years you would still have the original MacBook but could trade it in to get a new one or keep using it without making additional payments. With the upgrade program, you may have gotten multiple “free” upgrades in that time, but it’s not clear to me whether you can keep or resell the computer if you stop paying the monthly fee.


Tech Giants

Ben Lovejoy:

The breaking up of a bunch of old-school industrial conglomerates is leading some to question the very long-term prospects of the “new conglomerates” – tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

But a piece in the WSJ argues that they have two advantages over companies like General Electric, which could see them last even longer …


The dismantling of General Electric, Toshiba, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, DowDuPont, United Technologies and other sprawling business empires in recent years has been heralded as the end of the conglomerate and the demise of the idea that brilliant management teams can succeed operating in very different industries. But just as those giants of traditional industry are being dismembered, today’s tech giants have arisen as latter-day conglomerates—what some even call “neo-conglomerates.” They boast valuations bigger than any other companies in history, and have diversified their businesses through acquisitions and new starts just like conglomerates of old[…]

Who can say when technology changes so quickly, but the new giants arguably have more lock-in and are quasi monopolies/duolopies.

Romeen Sheth:

Check out the difference between the world’s largest companies in 2005 and 2021.

Update (2022-01-05): Hacker News:

Which FAANG is the most likely to decline in the years ahead?

The overwhelming choice is Facebook, followed by Netflix.

Mac/iOS Safari Extension: Vinegar

Zhenyi Tan (via John Gruber):

YouTube5 was a Safari extension back when Flash was still a thing and hated by everyone. It replaced the YouTube player (written in Flash) with an HTML <video> tag.

And now the YouTube player situation has gotten bad enough that we need another extension to fix it. That’s where Vinegar comes in. Vinegar also replaces the YouTube player (written in who-knows-what) with a minimal HTML <video> tag.

$1.99 for a universal purchase.