7 Things This Week [#13]

  1. The fine folks at Panic (historically a software company) have been working on their first hardware product for the past couple years: a delightful handheld gaming device called Playdate. This week they posted a video update about it as they near the finish line. Playdate looks like a super fun gadget full of original ideas (look at that crank!) — but the video presentation was also really creative! The graphics were next level, and I appreciated how despite the slides” being behind the presenters, they were effective and kept the focus on the person.
  2. Over the past few days, I binged a quick, five-episode podcast series about creating a new pasta shape. Sounds boring, I know, but I was enthralled! The three-year journey had success and disaster, and many experts telling Dan, the host of Mission: ImPASTAble, that his dream of creating a new kind of pasta was unrealistic and unattainable. But Dan’s infectious enthusiasm and years of hard work resulted in something great. I can’t wait for my order to arrive. [Via Kottke.org]
  3. It’s difficult to see your idols fall. People are multi-faceted, and I believe that Tim Cook and Co. from Apple do good things to advance not only computing, but society in general. However, I find it hard to disagree with Marco Arment here. The fallout from comments Apple’s leadership has made (both in public and private) on their third-party developer relations, is a black eye that they need to acknowledge. Only then can they learn, adapt, and start to heal the damage.
  4. Jason Fried, of Basecamp, wrote a short piece about listening to podcast episodes from 12 months ago — at which time we were still freshly into the pandemic. He found it insightful to look back at how much we didn’t know, even as we tried to make the best of a deeply scary and uncertain time. I’ve been listening to back to decade-old episodes of Hypercritical, a tech podcast by John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin.1 It, too, is fascinating to consume with the benefit of future knowledge.
  5. I’m glad that Twitter is exploring a paid experience, but these are not features I would have chosen for it. The most obvious feature, removing ads, is missing, and the 30-second undo feels half-assed. Instead of fully editable tweets, they provided a feature that any third-party could implement for free. Hopefully they keep iterating and adding more value here.
  6. I was one of the people crossing their fingers for Face ID on the Mac. John Gruber’s explanation of Apple’s support document about Secure Intent lends credence to why we haven’t seen it introduced yet. To confirm intent that can’t be spoofed, it would likely need a physical button press anyway, which is why we saw Touch ID introduced on an external keyboard. I’m with Gruber that Face ID would still be nice, but I’m not as eager for it anymore.
  7. Upon seeing the new logo for WarnerMedia and Discovery’s merged media company, I literally laughed out loud. M.G. Siegler had a good take: Discovery’ is a better brand for today’s world, much like how CBS All Access recently changed to Paramount+ for their streaming service. Keep Warner Brothers’ for the movie studio if you must, but Warner Bros. Discovery’ is no good.

  1. I’ve been using this neat tool to have the podcast delivered weekly, just as it was back when each episode was originally released. ↩︎

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