I asked my daughter why she hadn't responded to something I sent her. She checked her phone, saw that it was in Hangouts and said, "no one uses Hangouts and no one ever will, Dad."
A dark cloud hangs over the future of mobile communication: the spectre of Facebook controlling it all.
It’s not likely, actually. But Facebook’s intention to purchase WhatsApp for $16 billion or $19 billion dollars (depending on whether you factor in the stock-based bonuses for WhatsApp employees) involved some scary-big numbers.
The biggest of these numbers happens when you add Facebook’s current user count plus WhatsApp’s projected user count (how many users Facebook believes the service will have if current growth rates continue). The number is: 2.3 billion users.
Of course, the number is pure B.S.
WhatsApp’s current growth probably won’t continue. Facebook’s current numbers are padded with duplicate users, fake users and non-active users. And there’s always going to be big overlap between WhatsApp and Facebook users — a dude who uses both is still just one dude.
Still, when I ponder the number of people likely to be using Facebook-owned services (WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) for messaging compared to those using Google-owned Hangouts, I find myself astonished and confused.
How did this happen? And what can be done about it?
I've been writing in Draft (https://draftin.com/about) lately. It's a minimalist writing tool, more editor than word processor. It's like 750words.com rather than Microsoft Word in that it facilitates writing not formatting. If you write, try Draft. I was using https://editorially.com, but they're shutting down and Draft is a better implementation though not as pretty.
I want technology to get out of the way. That's why I like Google Now and my Chromebook. I've written with Google Docs since it was Writely, but it can be distracting.
Draft's minimalism is its power. Don't mistake features for power.
One feature of Draft's is actually crippling, in good ways. Hemingway Mode disables backspace and the ability to mouse back. It makes my machine a typewriter. I fix typos later. This kind of crippling tool can be useful. It gets me thinking in different ways.
I haven't yet paid Nate Kontny. He allows free use but encourages subscribing. I probably will this weekend. I'm not sure yet, but I'm pretty damn close.
And there's a Chrome extension to allow typing things like this Google+ post in Draft and then have it slapped into G+ automagically. Cool stuff.
I get the convenience of pouring in a bit of water, snapping a plastic cup into the thing and getting coffee in seconds. I understand that many people feel as though they don't have time in the morning to make a good cup of coffee. What I don't get is that it's worthwhile to substitute a bad cup of coffee for a good one for in order to save a few minutes. (I don't get the waste of the operation or its cost either, but those are side issues.)
The big news today seems to be the Keurig will be installing some kind of DRM on their machines or cups. Whatever. I think that all bad coffee should be heavily patented and protected. That way fewer people will be tempted by it.
This weekend, my wife and a friend watched as I made a cup of coffee in a small french press I use. I ground the coffee with my hand grinder while the water boiled in the kettle. I let the boiled water warm the press carafe for two minutes, then poured that hot water into my mug to warm it. I poured the ground beans into the press, filled it halfway with hot (non-boiling water), let it steep for one minute, poured the rest of the water, gave it a gentle stir, and let it sit for three minutes. I pressed then and waited another minute before pouring. From start to finish, it took me. ten minutes to make my coffee. They looked at me like I was insane, but, like cooking good food from scratch, the coffee tasted better than it ever could have out of a Keurig. And I got to use beans roasted by some guys at the very local coffee shop.
I do that process every morning and it's as good as mediation or prayer. Screw the time-savers and their awful plastic taste. I'll take a good cup of coffee made by my own hands from beans I bought around the corner.
So what the hell is all this fuss about with DRM and the Keurig? Really? I'm supposed to care. Sorry, I don't give any more of a shit about that than I do about whatever McDonalds is serving today.
I've noticed that my Pixel has begun to creak a bit. If I pick it up by one of the front corners (when it's open) there is a noticeable creak from the other side of the machine. Not sure, but I think it's the hinge and not the body. Anyone else notice this?
Inside Amtrak's (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers
Amtrak has begun offering “writers’ residencies” to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purp
The Thing You Missed About This Comic That Will Break Your Heart All Ove...
You've probably seen it on Facebook already. And if you've clicked on a friend's link and read the short comic "Written in the Bones," by Ch
Google Stole Its Smart Contact Lens From Microsoft. And That's a Good Th...
Google latest bombshell of a research project is a smart contact lens diabetics can use to read blood sugar levels through the tears in thei
I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
For much of 2013, I wore the future across my brow, a true Glasshole, peering uncertainly into the post-screen world. But I’m not out here a
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I...
Все, что вы покупаете в Google Play, мгновенно появляется на вашем Android-устройстве: никаких проводов, никакой синхронизации.
The Onion Is The Country’s Best Op-Ed Page. Seriously.
I largely dislike reading op-ed columnists. All too often, columnists hem and haw and posture and
The Tea Party Is Damaging Its Credibility in the Way It Can Least Afford
A faction that faces doubts about its ability to govern responsibly has foolishly associated itself with debt default and shutting down the
Mike Lee Just Ticked Off Utah on His Crusade With Ted Cruz
The Utah senator has suffered from following his Texas colleague—and so has his state.
Ken Auletta: Can the Guardian Take Its Aggressive Investigations Global?
Since June 5th, the Guardian had been publishing top-secret digital files provided by Edward Snowden, a former contract employee of the Nati