Apple Cons f.lux With Night Shift

Stephen Hackett on 512 Pixels:

In many ways, this f.lux/Night Shift thing is pretty similar to other examples of Apple moving into a space defined by a third-party utility: Reading List vs. Instapaper; Dashboard vs. Konfabulator; Sherlock vs. Watson.

The big difference is that f.lux can’t operate on iOS. Night Shift will be the way users can change their screens’ color temperature at night because it’s the only option.

Stephen went way too easy on Apple here. What they’re doing with this whole Night Shift thing is appalling. Not only did they steal—yea, that’s right, steal—an idea from one of their third-party developers, f.lux can’t even operate on iOS.

This is ridiculous. Apple needs to allow it on iOS. I don’t care if this stunt helps f.lux in the long run, it’s ethically wrong. This type of—what feels like a scheme of some sort—discourages developers from their platform.

Netflix’s Stand on Proxies and Unblockers

David Fallagar on The Netflix Blog:

We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. That’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.

This says a lot. It says a lot about the type of company Netflix is. It says a lot about what they want to accomplish. They hate all of these stupid geographic licensing agreements, but until they’re done away with, the right thing to do is enforce them.

Link via The Loop.

‘Confidence and Overwhelm’

Rachel Andrew:

A lot of folk feel overwhelmed right now. Things seem to be changing so quickly. It doesn’t seem enough to be a good designer, or to know HTML and CSS well. Do we need to learn all of those frameworks? Are we “doing it wrong” if we don’t adopt that methodology and toolkit we were told is the way to do things by that big name speaker at the conference we attended?

I felt this last winter when I was looking for a job. Almost as if I didn’t qualify for my job anymore. That feeling is only amplified when you see everyone talking about the new thing, and how important it is you use it. If that’s not enough, your lack of adoption can feel like you’re “doing something wrong.”

If you’re identifying with these feelings, I recommend you read Rachel’s post. She’s been working on the web for a while, and following her advice on the topic will keep you sane and happy in this industry.

‘Pushing Against a Tidal Wave’

Rachel Smith:

The web design and development industry has grown out of infancy and is moving in to what I like to think of as the awkward teenage years. We are maturing, rebelling against the limitations set by our elders and trying to make sense of an industry where the demands are constantly evolving.

That is definitely true. This rebellion that she refers to, is the fact that Javascript is being used in more places, sometimes eroding the line of what was considered bad practice. HTML and CSS is being served with Javascript these days, and that has many people working in the web worried. I myself am torn on this topic, yet I can’t help but agree with what she says a few paragraphs later:

And I might even go as far to suggest that asking this evolving community, this alien life form of an industry, to stop what they’re doing simply because you are not comfortable with it is a tiny bit of an entitled request to make.

A certain, small group of people don’t define what the web is, and what it will be, it’s all of us who will vote with the code we write. As people who build the web, we should see what lessons we can glean from all of this. We can educate ourselves on how to adapt these practices, and stay true to creating usable, and accessible web sites and applications.

Out of all the overwhelming feelings and confusion, lies one undeniable reality: there’s no place for dogma here.

Link via Dan Denney

Zootopia Sloth Trailer

I first saw this trailer when I went to watch The Force Awakens, and it had the entire theater laughing. Kelly and I are definitely watching this one.

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like sloths run the actual DMV?

‘Feline Maximization’

Dominic Mauro on his site Barely Legally:

Here’s an interesting tale of copyright gone weird from Ars Technica. The interminable CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory is being sued for copyright infringement of a children’s poem called “Soft Kitty”.

Here’s a fascinating article about a copyright lawsuit that makes no sense. I mean, United States copyright law is already extremely confusing, but this whole fiasco is quite complicated. Fortunately, you might leave the article having a better grasp on the topic.

‘Samantha Bee Prepares to Break Up Late-Night TV’s Boys Club’

Dave Itzkoff reporting for The New York Times:

The “Full Frontal” producers used a blind submissions process to hire new writers, meaning that they did not know the names or backgrounds of the people whose material they were reading.

Ms. Miller went a further step by creating an application packet for prospective writers to show them what their submissions should look like — what formatting, margins, abbreviations and lingo to use — so that no one would be penalized for inexperience.

The work that the Full Frontal producers have put into hiring a diverse staff is worthy of praise. From what I gather, it seems this show is one-of-a-kind in that effort.

When the The Daily Show didn’t even consider Samantha, I was shocked. Don’t get me wrong, Trevor Noah has done a pretty great job, but with the tenure and track record Samantha had, the oversight is completely ridiculous.

Fortunately, she’s found a new home where she can do her thing. Come February 8th, I’ll definitely be rooting for this show.

Jeremy Keith on ‘The Force Awakens’

Yep, more Star Wars. Here’s Jeremy Keith:

Those bothered by the echoes between Star Wars and The Force Awakens are going to be really pissed off when they find out about World War One and World War Two. “Britain and America fight Germany again? Really!?” (Probably best not to even mention any of the Gulf wars).

I get the feeling though that the people who are bothered by the plot are perhaps overplaying the similarities and underplaying the differences.

Jeremy’s piece echoes a lot of my feelings on the film, and his speculations at the end are very interesting.

‘What’s new in Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

My friend and ex-boss, Matthew Eppelsheimer, wasn’t happy with all the similarities in The Force Awakens. After viewing number three, he had this to say:

After my third viewing, I started to realize that all of those familiar elements distract from what are in fact many fresh and original ideas that we’ve never seen before in a Star Wars film.

The idea that Episode VII is just a rehashing of the first three Star Wars films falls apart on close inspection.

Matthew goes on to write an awesome list of things we’ve never seen in a Star Wars film. If you were bothered by the parallels, this will open your eyes to all new stuff you missed.

‘Employee Benefits at Basecamp’

Jason Fried on Signal v. Noise:

I’m often asked about the benefits we offer at Basecamp. Potential employees are obviously curious, but most of the questions I get are from fellow business owners and entrepreneurs. Everyone’s looking to know what everyone else is doing — as are we — so I figured I might as well post our current benefit list publicly.

What an excellent show of transparency. In a time where it seems that so many companies are out to exploit their employees, it’s refreshing to see a company giving priority to the health and well-being of their own. This is how you attract and retain talent.