“What Apple’s Tim Cook Overlooked in His Defense of Privacy”

Farhad Manjoo, writing for the New York Times:

“Mr. Cook is fond of arguing that “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product.” That view is simplistic because it overlooks the economic logic of these services, especially the idea that many of them would never work without a business model like advertising. Services like social networks and search engines get substantially better as more people use them — which means that the more they cost to users, the worse they are. They work best when they’re free, and the best way to make them free is to pay for them with another business that depends on scale — and advertising is among the best such businesses.”

Good article. I also recommend “Privacy vs. User Experience” by Dustin Curtis.

A few weeks with the Apple Watch

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is a nice little gadget with useful features. In the last four weeks I wore the watch every day, the sport band is comfortable and the device itself isn’t too heavy. The build quality is very good. The battery lasts nearly 2 days.

My two most used features were: telling the time and notifications. I barely used any apps, not even the pre installed Apple apps. I liked the glances, especially heart rate, weather and maps. I fear third party apps will have a hard time. Tapping on the watch doesn’t feel very natural and I’m thankful for the digital crown.

All in all, I still use and love my iPhone the same, but receiving notifications on a device you are wearing is really quite neat. My iPhone is now muted all day long, with my Watch informing me whether I should put it out of my pocket or not.

“Depression is the feeling you get the first time you face the weight of existence”

Clive Parkinson, writing for Aeon Ideas:

“And so I don’t tend to think of depression in terms of pathology; I rather think that depression is a very legitimate emotional response to the realising, for the first time, the weight of existence. Life is short, totally different capacities for contribution (no-one has sufficient information to authoritatively tell you how you should spend your life), and the opportunity cost of every decision is crushing– especially the decisions we are currently making, and especially those decisions that we’re making by default of not making a decision. Why wouldn’t we be crushed by the fear of not living up to our potential?”

This is spot on.

iTunes Match ‘streaming’

If you’re subscribed to iTunes Match and want to stream a song, or a movie, the iOS Music/Videos app doesn’t really stream the media. It downloads the whole thing in the background, but it seems to keep the stored file in some sort of temporary folder. The really annoying thing is that you can’t access that folder. Even the Music/Videos app doesn’t know that the file is now stored on your iPhone/iPad. So you’re running out of storage, and as it turns out, it is a massively annoying procedure to get rid of those files:

Open iTunes & App Store in Settings, and uncheck Music / Videos in ‘Show All’. Then re-open the Music/Videos app. You should now see only the files locally stored on your device. At this point, you still cannot delete those files. You now have to manually download every file by tapping the cloud icon. After downloading, you can finally delete them.

This buggy behaviour was introduced a long time ago. I filed bug reports, but it seems Apple doesn’t care about that issue.

Why you shouldn’t abandon Gmail

I’ve spend the weekend changing my main e-mail address, away from Gmail, where I’ve been since it started as a closed beta in June 2004, to the new Hosted Exchange solution by Host Europe and after that to a self-hosted IMAP e-mail. It turned out to be a waste of time. Let me explain why:

Gmail just works
Much like Apple products, Gmail works flawlessly. You can concentrate on reading and writing e-mails rather than fiddling with settings.

Spam protection
Gmail has by far the best spam filter.

Google’s 2-Step Verification along with the Google Authenticator app lets you sleep well. You can also create app-specific passwords. My Google account is the one I feel best with when it comes to security and safety.

Web frontend
I’ve tried a lot of e-mail web frontends over the years, but again, Gmail wins.

There are some downsides, of course. Google will automatically, but robotically scan your e-mails to show targeted ads. I don’t really have a problem with that. You cannot use your own domain unless you sign up for Google for Work. I used Google Apps back then, but I hated having two Google Accounts, so I switched back solely to my @gmail.com address. It feels sane.

The Alps

Last weekend I had the privilege to fly over the Alps in a motor glider. Thanks to perfect weather we had a majestic and absolutely stunning view.

Alps from Above