Good move, Democrats.
I don’t know Eric Meyer personally. I know his work, of course, and if you’re reading this online, you probably have benefited from his work, wittingly or not. Regardless, there is very little, if anything, in the world, worse than losing a child, and I think just about anyone with a heart cannot help but feel for him.
At Jeffrey Zeldman’s suggestion, I’ve changed my site highlight color and avatar to purple to support the Meyer family. My thoughts and prayers are with them.
Stewart Baker thinks the “right to be forgotten” is ridiculous:
I propose a contest. Let’s all ask for takedowns. The person who makes the most outrageous (and successful) takedown request will win a “worst abuse of privacy law” prize, otherwise known as a Privy.
I like this idea.
(via Julian Sanchez’s retweet of this tweet by Amie Stepanovich.)
Brent Simmons wrote a post on CloudKit. It’s a good summary of its benefits and costs. He concluded, however, that Q Branch, the company he runs with John Gruber and Dave Wiskus, would not have used it for Vesper sync. I’m certainly not trying to refute his judgement here; all of his objections are completely reasonable for Vesper. But Vesper is not Taskonomy, my new app, which will be using CloudKit1, and I wanted to write up why.
First of all, let me address Brent’s objections. His first is that CloudKit is limited to iOS and OS X (though he grants that this is a valid decision on Apple’s part). For Vesper, a web app is at least a possibility. Taskonomy, on the other hand, cannot have a web app. Well, it could—but it would be completely useless. The features of Taskonomy rely on things a web app cannot offer. Of course, that still leaves Android and Windows. I’ll address that in a moment.
His second objection:
The second thing is that there’s no facility for building services on top of these services — there’s no way to run my own code in the cloud. I require that, because there are services I’d like to build.
I don’t require that. I don’t have services I’d like to build.
The third thing that would concern me about using it with Vesper is the limits. It’s possible those will change, and it’s possible that more clarification would take away those concerns.
This could be a problem. I’m not 100% clear about the limits, because Apple’s documentation seems unclear. However, it appears to me that the limits only apply to the public database. The private database seems to have unlimited transfer and storage limited based only on the user’s own account. That’s fine with me for a number of reasons: Taskonomy will not require large amounts of private storage2, and very close to nothing will be public.
Here’s the big thing about CloudKit, though: it’s free. This is a really big deal. I don’t have any guarantee that Taskonomy will be successful. I don’t want to offer my users sync, have the app be unsuccessful, and shut down the servers because I can’t afford to run them. With CloudKit, I can rest assured that—as long as I continue basic maintenance of the iOS app—sync will be available for as long as Apple is in business. This is a big deal. It also means I don’t have to administrate servers, which I’m not all that comfortable doing.
This big thing is the reason I don’t think an Android or Windows app is such a big deal. Writing my own sync service out of concern about possible future Windows and Android apps—which I have no intention whatsoever of actually making—would unfairly disadvantage my actual iOS users. And say I do make an Android or Windows app: I’ll import from CloudKit to my new sync service, and gradually remove CloudKit support. I don’t think that’s so terrible as to outweigh the enormous benefit CloudKit offers.
(Let me reiterate: I am not criticizing Brent Simmons here. This is about why I am using CloudKit. It has nothing to do with whether Brent Simmons should or not. If I were in his place, I don’t think I would use CloudKit either. But I find it interesting and helpful to read other people’s explanations of their engineering decisions, and maybe—hopefully—you found this one helpful as well.)
Of course, it’s possible that after using it, I’ll find that it’s unstable and that Apple has once again let us down with their server software. Or there could be some unexpected other problem that changes my mind. But I’m planning to use CloudKit. ↩
Plus, storing data in the user’s iCloud account is likely to mean that any anger over having to pay for more storage—if it’s necessary at all—will be directed at Apple, not me. Meanwhile, I can offer sync without worrying that it could become unsustainable. ↩
This is amazing. A sample:
The world is flat. 2.0. Everything is flat. The floor is flat. The walls are flat. I am flat. **Please stop looking at me**— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) June 4, 2014
Here’s a form for you to sign up to test my new app, Taskonomy. It’s a new kind of task management app (like Things, OmniFocus, Clear, etc.), and it’s really cool.
It probably won’t be ready for testing until August, but there you go. I’d especially appreciate testers who are running iOS 8—there’s a good chance I’ll hold its release until iOS 8 comes out and just make it iOS 8+ only.
No cost is too high to protect the land of FREEDOM!!!!!1!1!1!!
Sync is “a command-line tool that reorganizes your Xcode project folder to match your Xcode groups”. Apple really screwed up the way this works by default, but luckily Venmo is here to fix it. If you’re an iOS developer, this is fantastic.
So, if I had to predict, I’d go with a gradual realization of the conservative nightmare—only it won’t be a nightmare, and plenty of straight people will thank us for it. Maybe gays will preserve marriage precisely by redefining, expanding, and reforming it—and maybe then it can be palatable to progressives, as one of a multitude of options.
We can entertain these divergent visions of the future because same-sex marriage was really a campaign, not a movement. For a moment, it brought together liberals, progressives, and even some conservatives. But now that its goal is within sight, the center cannot hold.
And then, things get interesting.
“This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said North Carolina resident Samuel Wipper, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations.
Basically, the legislation is designed to prevent the Department of Defense from planning for climate change-based contingencies or using their resources to prepare military bases and other installations for higher sea levels and warmer weather.
What about House Republican denial? Will House Republicans lose their seats if we pretend they don’t exist?
Michael J. Totten visits Havana.