The Initial Charge Linked List

 

Apple Plans to Launch New Macs at an October 27 Event ➝

Ina Fried, reporting for Recode:

Apple is planning to introduce new Macs at an Oct. 27 event, sources confirmed to Recode.

The move had long been expected, given that the company released MacOS Sierra last month but had yet to introduce any new computer models sporting the software. It also comes just in time for Apple to have the new products on sale for the full holiday season.

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that this move “had long been expected.” Yes, it was very likely that Apple would introduce new Macs before the end of the year. But many thought they would be announced with a press release, website update, and private press briefings. The existence of a proper event was not a done-deal.

RAW iPhone Photo Apps ➝

Just as he did when content blockers became available, Ben Brooks has done the legwork and tested all of the camera apps that support shooting in RAW on iOS 10.

The Early Days of AI Computing ➝

Stephen Hackett, on Apple’s focus on Siri’s existing feature-set:

I understand Apple wanting to make sure that Siri’s core functionality of controlling your iOS device keeps getting better. That stuff should be bulletproof, but we’re five years into Siri’s life. The company should be moving past these features and making Siri smarter about the world around us.

Here’s the problem with the statement above: it seems to be under the assumption that voice-based AI systems are no longer in their early stages — that five years is long enough to have the core functionality, essentially, finished. But I just don’t think that’s true. This is a complicated feature that may take far longer to perfect than any other computer science problem we’ve seen before. We’re still, very much, in the early days.

Instagram Introduces Windows 10 Tablet App ➝

From the Instagram weblog:

In April, we brought Instagram to Windows 10 Mobile. Now, Instagram for Windows 10 tablets includes all of your favorite features, including Instagram Stories, Direct and Explore. And you’ll be able to capture, edit and share directly from your Windows 10 tablet device.

It’s astonishing that Instagram released a tablet app on Windows before an iPad app. This has to be some kind of joke, right?

Steve Jobs Talks About Managing People ➝

This is a video from 2010’s D8 conference, in which Steve Jobs discusses Apple’s management system with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. I came across this video a few days ago and I was amazed at how much of my own thinking falls in-line with his.

This is my favorite line from the video:

If you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to let them make a lot of decision and you have to be run by ideas not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise good people don’t stay.

I can’t emphasize enough just how important this concept is. A lot of companies in the world would be far more successful if this was one of their core principles.

The Best Lock Screen Widgets for iOS ➝

A great list of iOS widgets by Lory Gil. I make extensive use of widgets in both my iPhone and iPad, checking them several times each day. Here’s my current setup on iPhone:

And on iPad, I also use Omnistat’s battery widget, PCalc, and CornerTube.

Griffin iTrip Bluetooth ➝

I bought this little Bluetooth adapter after Bradley Chambers recommended it on Tools & Toys. It arrived yesterday and, I have to say, it’s fantastic. I just plugged it in and ran the audio cable to my car’s aux-in jack. Conveniently, my car’s cigarette lighter and aux-in jack are located inside the same compartment, which means I can keep the entire setup out of sight.

After a quick pairing process in my iPhone’s settings, I was good to go. Now, every time I start my car, the adapter automatically pairs with my iPhone and I can start playing music or podcasts immediately.

I’ve looked at other Bluetooth adapters in the past, but most of them include funky playback control clusters that they expect you to mount inside your car. I don’t know if the folks at these companies have ever actually looked inside a car, but there isn’t a great place for them. The Griffin iTrip doesn’t include these unnecessary eye sores and leaves the playback controls on your device.

If you’re looking for a wireless in-car audio solution, I highly recommend giving this one a try.

iPhone Downsizing ➝

Shawn Blanc, on switching from the iPhone 6s Plus to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7:

However, as awesome as it was to have the larger screen, the better battery life, and the nicer camera… it just wasn’t worth the tradeoff for the unwieldy size. More often than not I found myself frustrated by my inability to wrangle the phone with one hand and just how clumsy I felt when trying to use it.

After a good year-long run with the iPhone 6s Plus, I’ve returned to the regular size iPhone. And I have no regrets.

I would love to have longer battery life in my iPhone, but not if it means carrying around a more clumsy device.

The Last Mac I Will Ever Own ➝

Matt Birchler:

Something hit me when I was shopping for this new Mac: this is probably the last Mac I will ever buy. No, not because I’m going to jump ship for Windows, but because the Mac I have today is going to be good enough at everything I expect us to see from macOS going forward.

This falls in line with my thinking as well. I currently own a Mac mini and MacBook Air, both from 2011, and I expect I’ll only ever purchase one more Mac in my lifetime. Although I’ve fully embraced the iOS lifestyle, I don’t expect to be able to live without a Mac for at least a few more years. There’s still a handful of tasks that just aren’t possible on iOS, yet.

I’ll probably make my last Mac purchase sometime next year. What I buy will certainly depend on what Apple’s offering, but I think it’s a safe bet that I’ll have a MacBook Pro or iMac in my future. Here’s my list of requirements, I won’t buy a new Mac unless it includes:

  • At least 16GB of RAM.
  • At least 1TB of solid state storage (or a Fusion drive).
  • A Retina display.

Hopefully we’ll see new Mac hardware next year that will fit the bill at a reasonable price point.

Open Floor Plans ➝

Brent Simmons:

Here’s why I work in an office: when I’m around other people — it doesn’t matter who they are — I feel a constant low-simmering level of anxiety. And I find it extremely difficult to be productive when I feel any level of anxiety at all.

Same. I find it incredibly difficult to work while other people are milling about in the same room as me.

5GB Is the New 16GB ➝

Stephen Hackett:

I’m no data center expert, but bumping everyone to even 10 GB would be a huge increase in disk space needed at Apple’s data centers. I don’t know what that sort of change would cost, but I can imagine it’d be huge based on Apple’s sheer number of customers. Whatever slice of profit off of iPhone hardware goes to paying for iCloud storage would certainly take a hit.

I’m sure this is why a change hasn’t been made.

However, I think it’s something the company should consider biting the bullet on. I hope that something is underway to increase the space Apple provides for free.

The problem, for Apple, is that they aren’t a company built on server infrastructure. They’re incredible at building hardware and writing software, but implementing giant data centers isn’t a part of their DNA like it is for Google.

The offer of unlimited photo storage is a brilliant way for Google to play to their strengths. They can’t compete with Apple from a hardware materials standpoint — at least, not yet — so they’ve decided to change the conversation. Now, everyone’s talking about the service associated with the Pixel instead of the Pixel itself.

Given the current narrative, I think it would be wise for Apple to offer more storage in the free tier. This would certainly decrease the number of unpleasant interactions iPhone owners have with their devices and it would lessen the competitive edge that Google has on this front.

I don’t think we’ll see “unlimited photo storage” from Apple anytime soon, though. My immediate hunch is 25GB for free. But at this point, that might not be enough.

Twitter’s Not a Lost Cause ➝

Dave Winer:

When people say Twitter, the company, is a lost cause they are out of their minds or don’t understand systems. Twitter works. There’s a company behind it that makes it work. The service has a lot of value, not just as servers, but that it’s all together in one place. If that were to break it could never be replaced. Look at the void left after Napster’s demise for a clue. Set us back 20-30 years.

But it’s not just the system, the employees, or the company itself that has value. There’s also a great deal of value in having all of these users in one place. Not to mention the identity aspect of Twitter — every athlete, journalist, and celebrity has a Twitter account. And that’s where fans are pointed to if they want to learn more about them. Nobody gives out their URL anymore, it’s always their Twitter handle.

Apple May Launch Three iPad Pros in Spring 2017 ➝

Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors:

Apple will ship three new iPad Pro models around Spring 2017, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, and 10.1-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. […]

Today’s report mostly corroborates KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in August said Apple is planning to release three new iPads in 2017. However, his research note claimed the trio of models would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

As much as I’d like to see Apple continuing to support the 7.9-inch form factor, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a new iPad in that size with the Pro moniker. The iPad mini’s popularity has waned since the introduction of iPhones with larger displays and I don’t expect that will end anytime soon.

Ben Brooks on the iPhone Upgrade Program ➝

Ben Brooks is very unhappy with the iPhone Upgrade Program experience. As it turns out, your upgrade options are constrained to what your local Apple Store has available. If there’s a specific color and storage size that you’re interested in, you better hope it’s in-stock locally.

Ben listed a few other problems with the iPhone Upgrade Program. And I have to say, it looks less and less appealing the more I know about it. When I eventually upgrade my iPhone, I think I’m just going to buy it outright. I’m not thrilled about the idea of dropping $800 all at once, but it sounds a lot better than dealing with the Upgrade Program’s restrictions.

Apple’s A10 Fusion Benchmarks ➝

John Gruber:

Looking at Geekbench’s results browser for Android devices, there are a handful of phones in shouting distance of the iPhone 7 for multi-core performance, but Apple’s A10 Fusion scores double on single-core.

According to these benchmarks, the iPhone 7 is faster than the fastest computer I’ve ever owned. In Geekbench, my Mid-2011 Mac mini scores 2841 in single-core and 5223 in multi-core. The iPhone 7 is about 21% faster in single-core tasks and about 8% faster in multi-core. That’s absolutely incredible.

Twitter’s New, Longer Tweets Are Coming September 19 ➝

Chris Welch, reporting for The Verge:

Twitter is about to make a big change to the way that tweets work, The Verge can independently confirm. Beginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform’s 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages.

I’ve been looking forward to this change since it was first announced back in May. I’m a huge proponent of retaining the 140-character limit, but I don’t think attachments should be treated the same way as text.

John Gruber on Apple’s On-Stage Diversity ➝

John Gruber:

But last week’s ratio was so disparate not because the company didn’t pick enough women for speaking slots. Rather, it’s because the executives in charge of most of the products announced last week were men.[…]

So the problem is not that women are underrepresented as on stage speakers. The problem is that they are underrepresented in leadership positions. I would argue that it’s better — more honest — for Apple to allow its onstage diversity to accurately reflect its actual leadership diversity. If Apple simply put more women and people of color on stage, it would be a token gesture. If Apple puts more women and people of color on this page, more of them will appear on stage as a result.

I’d reference the article which spurred these comments, but I don’t think it deserves your attention.

Just Glass ➝

Ben Brooks discusses his experiment of using the iPad’s software keyboard, exclusively, for a week. I spend most of my time writing on the iPad with the software keyboard, but I’ll openly admit to preferring a hardware keyboard when I’m writing longer-form prose.

The area where the software keyboard shines for me is in editing my writing. I almost always edit with the software keyboard. It’s much easier to move the curser, type, and scroll when I don’t have to continually switch back and forth from the glass to the hardware keyboard.

On ‘Courage’ ➝

John Gruber, regarding the video of Steve Jobs in which he makes the case for not supporting Flash in iOS:

You can argue that Jobs said it better. I think he did, too — particularly because Jobs emphasized the fact that they knew people were going to disagree, vociferously. (Jobs was one of the best communicators the world has ever seen, so that’s no ding against Schiller.) But Jobs and Schiller meant “courage” in the same way: having the courage to make a sure-to-be controversial decision when there is a non-controversial option, simply because they believe it to be the right thing to do in the long run.

It’s funny how so many people have been hung up on Phil Schiller’s “courage” explanation. I’ll admit, it didn’t come off particularly well. But if you look beyond the snark and listen to Schiller’s full remarks, I think you’ll start to get it.

What Apple did was force the issue. In my day job, I often make decisions that effect the freight process in the retail store where I work. One strategy that I’ll often employ is shrinking the amount of available space for a department’s backstock. Other employees usually get pretty upset with me for doing this. But more often than not, by the time the next truck shipment arrives, they’ve done enough work in that department to shrink its backstock to an acceptable level.

Forcing the issue does, indeed, take courage. And doing so shows that you aren’t afraid to take a little heat in order to get the desired outcome. Apple knew that some portion of users would get angry about the removal of the headphone jack, but do you expect us to continue using it forever? Would headphone companies invest the resources necessary to improve the wireless experience if Apple hadn’t given them this nudge? Perhaps.

But with all the physical constraints of handsets and everyone’s desire to pack them with more and more technology, something had to give eventually. Maybe Apple removed the headphone jack a little prematurely. But I think we’ll find a wireless future much faster because Apple had the courage to take the heat.

Apple Watch 2 Parts Shown on Video ➝

Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors:

Byte, a small British shop that sells Apple-certified accessories and repair parts for iOS devices, has shared new photos and a video that appear to show the Apple Watch 2’s thinner display technology and larger battery.

I look forward to learning about the new design at Apple’s media event next week. I’m holding out hope for a thinner design, but it’s entirely possible that any component miniaturization is being done to accommodate the larger battery, GPS, and barometer features.

The Latte Rationalization ➝

Eddie Smith:

Pricing apps as non-digital goods is hopeless in the long run. If you’ve read the Internet at all, you’ve seen what I call “the latte rationalization,” which goes something like this:

If you spend $5 a day on coffee, why can’t you spend $5 one time on an app that benefits you every day?

The problem with “the latte rationalization” is that there isn’t another shop down the street that’s giving away cups of coffee for free. But, in the software market, you can find dozens of competing apps that will work well enough. And many of them are available at no cost.

Open Source Plans for Vesper ➝

Brent Simmons:

Q Branch’s existing open source code — DB5 and QSKit — will be moved to my personal GitHub account. I will continue to maintain DB5 (I continue to use it). QSKit will not be maintained, but will be made available as historical artifact.

We will make Vesper for iOS, Vesper for Mac, and Vesper’s JavaScript sync service open source on my personal GitHub account. This code will also be provided as historical artifacts: they’re not intended as active projects. They’re also not intended as examples of how to write apps these days.

It’s incredibly sad that the folks at Q Branch weren’t able to find success with Vesper. But I have hope that someone will pick up where they left off and build something great with the open sourced code.

BitTorrent App Transmission Once Again Source of macOS Malware ➝

Mike Wuethele, writing for AppleInsider:

Once again, BitTorrent client Transmission has distributed malware to some users through an altered installer, with downloaders of the software on Aug. 28 and 29 probably infected by the “Keydnap” package.

When Will Apple Announce New Macs? ➝

Jason Snell, writing in Six Colors:

This year, though, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is reporting that new Macs aren’t on the agenda, and are “currently expected to be announced at a later date.”

Mac people are getting restless. With the exception of a speed-bump update to the MacBook in the spring, 2016 has been a desert. And now, with a major Apple event on the horizon, is it true that new Mac hardware may still not be on the agenda?

As John Gruber points out, it’s become clear that Apple isn’t interested in holding two events in the fall. That means, if Apple is announcing new Macs before the end of the year, they’ll be doing so with a press release or private press briefings.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that Apple decides to change course or that Gurman’s sources are wrong. Granted, that’s not very likely, Gurman probably has the best track record in the business. But you can’t entirely rule out the idea that Apple may just announce new Macs on stage at their September 7 event.

Apple Holding Event on September 7 ➝

I’m excited about this one. We’re almost certainly seeing new iPhones, but I’m not sure what else Apple has planned. The rumors have been a little erratic. We could see a new Watch, Macs, or something else entirely.

Markdown Comes to Simplenote ➝

From the Simplenote weblog:

Today we’re excited to announce that Markdown support has been added to the latest update of Simplenote for iOS.

To enable Markdown for a note, just tap on the ‘Markdown’ button in the note info panel. You can then swipe on the note editor to view the Markdown preview. Once you’ve enabled Markdown for a note, all new notes you create in the future will have it enabled by default. We hope you enjoy this handy new feature!

I’ve been using Simplenote ever since I moved away from Vesper last year. It’s a great app, but unfortunately, this new Markdown support is far from robust. There’s no inline previews or shortcuts to help with the syntax, which I would consider to be essential features. I’ll continue using Simplenote as my notes app of choice, but I’ll keep my Markdown writing in Ulysses.

The Age of the Dramatic Apple Event Reveal Is Over ➝

Jason Snell, writing for iMore:

Increasingly, it feels like the era of event surprise and delight is over. Delight can still exist, of course, but it’s becoming increasingly impossible for Apple to surprise. All the new hardware — even entirely new stuff like the Apple Watch — is rumored months before it arrives, often in exacting detail. New software, also rumored in detail before it’s announced, can be running on your devices in the days or weeks after that announcement.

But you know what? I think I might be okay with things being a bit less dramatic.

There’s a part of me that misses the dramatic hardware reveals from the mid-2000s. But as long as Apple continues to produce great products, I’ll be fine with it.

Spiteful Spotify ➝

Lucas Shaw and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:

Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps. Those artists have also found their songs buried in the search rankings of Spotify, the world’s largest music-streaming service, the people said. Spotify said it doesn’t alter search rankings.

Sure, Spotify, punish the artists who have already buddied-up with your biggest competitor. That’ll certainly have them crawling back. Except, many of them have been complaining about how much they earn from you for years.

‘Apple Could Use Custom x86 SoC Made by AMD’ ➝

Gian Maria Forni, writing for Bits and Chips:

According to our sources, Apple is pondering about using custom x86 CPUs in its next iMacs and MacBooks, during 2017-2018. Nowadays it’s hard to avoid the use of x86 ISA in high end and professional personal computers, but at the same time Intel CPUs are too expensive if we compare these with ARM SoCs.

So, Apple’s target is to realize a complete x86 custom SoC family, like Sony and Microsoft did with their consoles. AMD is the perfect partner to do this.

This rumor was published back in October of last year, but John Gruber linked to it a couple of days ago.

There’s a lot of interesting things happening in the world of CPUs. Intel licensing ARM technology and attempting to take over the manufacturing of Apple’s A-series processors, the massive gap between Mac hardware iterations which was at least partly due to delays in Intel’s latest generation of CPUs, and the aforelinked rumor that Apple might be working with AMD on custom x86 SoCs. To name a few.

This is exactly the kind of rumors I enjoy, though. It hearkens back to the early days of my technology enthusiasm, when AMD was first to market with 64-bit and dual-core processors. And, perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but I have a strange feeling that we’ll be learning more about all this within the next six months.

Intel Aims to Challenge TSMC Over Apple Chip Orders By 2018 ➝

Cheng Ting-Fang, reporting for Nikkei Asian Review:

Intel’s recent pledge to expand its business making chips for others highlights its ambition to snatch chip orders for Apple’s popular iPhones from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as early as 2018, industry experts said.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker by revenue, announced earlier this month that it will license technology from British mobile chip designer ARM with the aim of securing more business from smartphone companies. LG Electronics will become the first smartphone company to adopt Intel chips following the ARM deal.

If Intel wants to become the premier ARM processor manufacturer, Apple is the customer they need to have.

Watching Apple’s Music Festival Will Now Require a Subscription ➝

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

The 1975, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, Calvin Harris, Robbie Williams, Bastille, Britney Spears, Michael Bublé, and Chance The Rapper will all participate in the Apple Music Festival this year, and there’s bound to be some impressive warmup acts helping them out. Apple is planning to live stream all of the 10 performances, but this year you’ll need an Apple Music subscription to watch them online.

I’ve never had much interest in Apple’s music festivals. I don’t care for the majority of popular music and Apple has never booked bands that I wanted to see perform. But the subscription requirement is just another hurdle preventing me from ever watching the event.

Instapaper Is Joining Pinterest ➝

From the Instapaper weblog:

Today, we’re excited to announce that Instapaper is joining Pinterest. […]

For you, the Instapaper end user and customer, nothing changes. The Instapaper team will be moving from betaworks in New York City to Pinterest’s headquarters in San Francisco, and we’ll continue to make Instapaper a great place to save and read articles.

Instapaper CEO Brian Donohue insists that there are no plans to shutdown or materially change the service in the short- or long-term. But you can never be too sure. If you rely on Instapaper, it would be wise to find an alternative that you can switch to if things ever start to go south.

Finding Compatible USB-C Accessories Is a Crapshoot ➝

Andrew Freedman, writing for Laptop Mag:

USB Type-C is great. It’s the future. I want vendors to pick it up even more rapidly than they have. But for the new standard to meet its potential, everything you want to plug into it has to work, no matter what company’s computer or phone you’re buying. If you’re buying something with a driver to deliver data, you’ll probably be fine, but the promise is that everything — everything — will work out of the box. That’s not the case yet. Hopefully, it will be one day

This sounds like a miserable experience.

Amazon Wants to Sell an Echo-Only Music Service ➝

Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:

Amazon wants to launch a music subscription service that would work the same way services from Apple, Spotify and many others work: $10 a month, for all the music you can stream, anywhere you want to stream it.

But Amazon is also working on a second service that would differ in two significant ways from industry rivals: It would cost half the price, and it would only work on Amazon’s Echo hardware.

Would anyone actually subscribe to this?

Daniel Jalkut on ‘the Apple’ ➝

Daniel Jalkut, on Apple’s decision to drop the word “Store” from their retail branding, in comparison to other retail stores like Tiffany and Gucci:

The difference between these brands and Apple is that Apple’s identity has long been independent from the notion of a store. Calling it the “Apple Store” was not only important because the stores were a novelty, but because Apple is a brand that transcends retail.

I suppose this is the biggest problem with Apple dropping the word “store” — it devalues the Apple brand. It doesn’t matter how high-end their retail presence is, no brick-and-mortar store could ever be as prestigious as Apple itself. And the retail branding should reflect this. The store is just a small part of the bigger whole not the entire focus of the company.

We Shouldn’t Want Twitter to Handle Harassment Like Olympics Takedowns ➝

Speaking of Twitter, Adi Robertson wrote a great piece discussing the comparison of Olympic takedowns to the handling of harassment on the social network:

Twitter could absolutely do more to mitigate harassment, but likening it to people posting Olympics GIFs won’t give us good solutions. And in the end, it makes the problem of abuse seem simpler than it is. “Is this video of the Olympics?” is a far easier question to answer than “is this harassment?” Likewise, no matter how stringent it is, takedowns wouldn’t actually stop people from seeing torrents of threats in the first place — copyright owners themselves hate the endless, whack-a-mole nature of the system. Twitter’s anti-harassment battle is a crisis of identity for the platform, and it’s fighting an enemy that’s far uglier and more insidious than some clever IOC-rules-flouting meme-crafters. We can point out its losses without legitimizing one bad system in the name of criticizing another.

Twitter Introduces Quality Filter to All Users ➝

Emil Leong, writing on Twitter’s weblog:

Last year we began testing a quality filter setting and we’re now rolling out a feature for everyone. When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience.

I think this is a great change overall, but I still have concerns. My biggest fears are algorithmic false positives and employees of Twitter having the ability to flag accounts manually — potentially silencing users for dubious reasons. I have no indication that this will actually happen, but you can never be too sure about a feature like this.

Function Strip ➝

Dr. Drang, on the rumored touch-sensitive OLED strip on the next MacBook Pro:

But there is this nagging thought in the back of my head. Can Apple pull this off? Does it still have the UX chops to figure out the right way to implement what could be a very powerful addition to the Mac? So much of what’s good about Apple products, both hardware and software, seems to be based on wise, user-centric decisions made years ago. Can it still make those decisions? […]

On the other hand, the story of watchOS 3 is an indication that Apple still has the goods, that it can still make good decisions, even if it means reversing much-hyped earlier decisions. That’s the Apple I hope to see in the new MacBook Pro.

Auto-Expanding Email Address ➝

Great tip from Jason Snell:

We get asked for our email addresses a lot, most commonly in login windows on websites. I’ve saved a lot of time by attaching mine to an auto-expanding text shortcut on both iOS and macOS. No additional software is required, though if you have a text-expanding utility like TextExpander you could use that instead.

I set this up with Nick Heer’s suggested shortcut of “@@” because of its placement on iOS’s email address keyboard.

10K Apart ➝

A great contest from Microsoft and An Event Apart:

With so much of an emphasis on front-end frameworks and JavaScript runtimes, it’s time to get back to basics—back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it and ensuring your site can work, no matter what. The Challenge? Build a compelling web experience that can be delivered in 10kB and works without JavaScript.

I wouldn’t mind this sparking a trend in web design — the world needs smaller web pages.

(Via Matt Birchler.)