For Trampoline Stargazing

For New Years 2015-16, a group of my friends got together and we chartered the Imiloa, a 44' catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. The night sky was remarkably dense with stars, being completely devoid of light pollution down there. Some nights, we would lay out on the trampolines for good old fashioned after-dinner stargazing. I created this playlist one of those nights and subjected everyone to it, because nothing really spices up a good stargazing session like some solid emo tunes (and a little ZBB).

(Emo)loa playlist on Apple Music

(Emo)loa Track Listing

  1. Permanent Tourists - The Graduate [Only Every Time]
  2. Nightswimming - Dashboard Confessional [MTV2 Album Covers]
  3. Bloom - Mae [(E)vening]*
  4. She Is in the Air - Green River Ordinance [Chasing Down the Wind]
  5. Dancing Shoes - Green River Ordinance [Under Fire]
  6. Without It - Mute Math [Mute Math]*
  7. Who's Looking Out - Twin Forks [Twin Forks]
  8. Free - Zac Brown Band [The Foundation]
  9. Jolene - Zac Brown Band [The Foundation]
  10. I'm On Fire - John Mayer [Battle Studies]
  11. A World Alone - Lorde [Pure Heroine]
  12. Several Ways to Die Trying - Dashboard Confessional [A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar]
  13. Play Crack the Sky - Brand New [Deja Entendu]
  14. Casting Lines - Jack's Mannequin [People and Things]
  15. Chords - Moving Mountains [Moving Mountains]
  16. Good And Slow - Twin Forks [An Introduction To Twin Forks]*
  17. When My Days Are Done - Green River Ordinance [Chasing Down the Wind]
  18. Be Sensible - Jimmy Eat World [Chase This Light (UK Bonus Track)]*
  19. The End of an Anchor - Dashboard Confessional [Single]*
  20. Clean - Taylor Swift [1989]

* Not available on Apple Music, so they're not included in the playlist.

The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2015

John Gruber's weekly show, The Talk Show,  has been my favorite podcast for years. At WWDC 2014, I was lucky enough to attend his live show along with the ATP guys and it was the highlight of the week. Somehow, this years show managed to reach a whole new level when he somehow landed special guest Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.  In an already exciting year for me, this event was incredible; the pinnacle of Apple nerd-ery.

"My guest tonight, I shit you not... is Phil Schiller"

I have to say, we had pretty baller seats for this. You can watch the full show below, and I highly recommend Marco Arment's (critically acclaimed) follow-up piece about it as well.

One of the best parts of seeing The Talk Show live, is that the entire ensemble of Apple-related bloggers and podcast hosts all congregate at one event. Last year I hunted these poor guys down like animals at Moscone and in the streets of SF, culminating in this thank you post complete with all sorts of selfies. This year was no different, but I was able to efficiently acquire all the selfies in within about a 10 foot radius.

Thanks for the podcasts, gents.  Keep it up.

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • C A S... E Y L... I S S. That's Casey Liss
  • Song-a-Day Man, Jonathan Mann - This guy has been pumping out an original song every day for years. My favorite is the ATP them song, which is always stuck in my head.
  • John Siracusa, a man who needs no introduction.
  • Marco Arment - Creator of Nursing Clock and other, less noteworthy things.
  • John Gruber and duck face photo-bomber bro.
  • _DavidSmith, purveyor of the fine t-shirt I'm wearing and one of the most prolific and talented iOS developers in the business. 

All of these photos were shot on iPhone 6 Plus.

For Sale: iPad Air - 64GB - Verizon LTE & WiFi

UPDATE - Sold!

BEHOLD: A scratch & ding free iPad Air purchased on release day just one year ago. She's led a life of comfort, living in a special padded iPad pocket in my backpack and sporting a Product Red smart cover for that badass red-on-black look. Here are the particulars:

  • Black iPad Air (2013 Model)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Verizon LTE & WiFi
    • Note: You don't need to get Verizon service for this device if you don't want to. It's there should you want to use it. It's a $10/month add-on to hook it into your bucket of Verizon data.
    • Enabling LTE made this thing so much more usable - you'll find yourself using it a lot more when you are untethered from the shackles of WiFi.
    • Speaking of tethering, when on LTE it makes an incredible WiFi hotspot for a laptop.
  • Product Red Smart Cover

It's had no problems, is in perfect shape, and has excellent battery life. She's being sold because I can't stand to not have the latest model.

Price: $450 with the Smart Cover. I'll ship it for free.

Mathematics for deciding if it's a good deal:

  • Equivalent iPad Air model new from Apple: $619
    • Actually, they only make up to 32GB now, but this is what 64GB would cost.
  • Equivalent iPad Air 2 model from Apple: $729
  • Smart Cover cost is $39
  • Total cost new: $658
    • 32% cheaper than new.
  • Total cost for the newer model: $768
    • 42% cheaper than this years model.
  • Summary: It's a good deal. Buy it.


A New Adventure

After spending my entire life of nearly 31 years in New England, the time has come for somewhere new. Somewhere my Prius won't require studded snow tires. I'm moving to San Francisco. 

No, it wasn't the multi-billion dollar Mutility acquihire that you expected.

But I am going where you might expect - Apple. I'm incredibly excited to join the most important technology company of our day and help design the products that I truly believe are the best in the world.

I'm leaving a collection of great friends, family, and colleagues in the Northeast that I'm going to miss very much. Luckily we have the interwebs to keep in touch. 

This is a pretty major move, the biggest life shake-up I've ever experienced - very nearly a reboot. And it's happening soon, but not before some well needed time off and an epic road trip across the country, visiting friends along the way.

"We don't get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? ... So it better be damn good. It better be worth it." - Steve Jobs

Here's to it being a damn good idea.

iOS Indies

Brent Simmons with a follow-up to his original piece asking the question: Where are all the iOS independant developers at? (Emphasis mine)

If you want to write your own iOS apps, it appears that either you accept the likelihood of a pretty low income or you have a day job, write Mac apps, or do contracting (or some combination).

I think this is too bad. It seems like the iOS market is so huge that it should be able to support lots of iOS-only indies.

But with how prices have fallen — how people are now accustomed to not paying anything until they’re hopelessly addicted and need the $4.99 packet of imaginary things that will get them to the next level — I can’t recommend to anybody that they quit their job to just write their own iOS apps.

The answer to Brent's question was pretty disappointing - there were 5. And he's right, it does indeed seem like the iOS market is so enormous that there would be all sorts of iOS-only independent developers, but there just aren't. When you see how little some of these great developers are making (see the link in Brent's quote above for the harsh reality), it makes sense. 

It's really a shame - the result of a race to the bottom in paid app prices and very good free apps made possible only by enormous amounts of VC money. We've all been trained that apps are free (or very cheap, but even any cost is too much for some). Just think of what the state of the ecosystem would be right now if the market was such that indies could make a living on the App Store. Imagine the amazing apps they could create.

While you were imagining that, Candy Crush just pulled in another million.