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Music Mends Broken Hearts
The Dark Knight Rises Trailer #3
05/01/12 at 11:40 AM by Jason Tate
So, let's take a moment to bask in the awesomeness that is the new trailer for 'The Dark Knight Rises.' I've felt, for a long time, that Christopher Nolan is making some of the best movies in the game right now. I have basically zero doubt that this is going to be another great one. Hell, at this point - he's just got to make a movie as good as 'Batman Begins' -- and he sets the bar for trilogies. After seeing stuff like this ... it kind of bums me out that virtually all of the other "comic book" movies have been "ok" in comparison. You get the rare gem (Iron Man) that sort of makes up for all the other crap ... but in reality, I wish all the movies were taken this seriously. The look like someone actually caring about the craft, and the story, compared to just a money grab on a popular name or a set up to another movie (Thor/Green Lantern).

Anyway, I think Hathaway steals this trailer as well ... and I love the aesthetic and vibe they've got going on here. The first movie was a lot of browns and tans ... the second had more of a green/blue tint ... and this one has an almost washed out white/contrast feel to it.
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Shit Worth Reading: April 30th, 2012
04/30/12 at 05:27 PM by Jason Tate
Ok, here's what we've got all over the interwebs worth reading today. All kinds of good stuff (duh) ... that's what Monday's are best at doing, right? Bringing us the start of the week with all kinds of cool shit?

The Dark Knight Rises Viral Campaign Expands
The viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight Rises resurrected itself via the official website early this morning. On the website, a series of scanned documents from a police report on the anonymous vigilante known as the Batman seem to be leading fans on a hunt to find evidence of him. A list of previous “Batman sighting” locations have been listed on the website, which asks for citizens take photographic evidence at those locations and submit them via twitter using the hashtag #tdkr70202012 or by emailing tdkr70202012@gothamcitypolice.com.
Rumor: Hulu Will Soon Require Viewers To Have A Cable Subscription
If you love watching TV shows on Hulu but don’t have a cable subscription, things could get a bit more complicated in the near future. According to the New York Post, Hulu could soon start requiring its users to prove that they also have a cable or satellite subscription. This would obviously turn Hulu’s current business model on its head. It’s not clear how many of the service’s 31 million users currently don’t subscribe to cable TV, but chances are that the service’s audience would shrink after this move.
A Look at Apple's 'Mastered for iTunes' Program and its Effect on Sound Quality
Ars Technica takes a thorough look at the Mastered for iTunes program and whether it truly does make a difference to consumers. While the whole article is an interesting read on some of the technical details of audio formats and mastering and the varying perspectives of several music industry professionals, Ars' conclusion is that the Mastered for iTunes program can make a difference in quality of iTunes Store music.
The Phony Sony Parallel
This is far too vague; these types are (lazily) descriptive, but they’re fraught with problematic examples, particularly in the third category: Murderous dictatorships and exploitative sects come to mind. What distinguishes these from Apple under Jobs? Moreover, how do these categories help us understand today’s global, time-zone spanning rhizome (lattice) organizations where power and information flow in ways that Weber couldn’t possibly have imagined a hundred years ago?
The Illusion of Value
When small start-ups I’ve spoken with do make money, they often find it difficult to recruit additional investment because most venture capitalists — and often the entrepreneurs they finance — are not interested in building viable long-term businesses. Rather, they’re interested in pumping up enough hype and valuation to find a quick exit through an acquisition at an eye-popping premium.
Tumblr President John Maloney Steps Down, Promises “Awesome New Stuff”
Tumblr President John Maloney just posted (on his Tumblr, natch) that he’s stepping down from a day-to-day operational role at the company.
They Ain’t Making Any More of Them: The Great Engineering Shortage of 2012
We are raising a generation of American Idols and So You Think You Can Dancers when what we really need is a generation of Gateses and Zuckerbergs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF download) computer and mathematical occupations are expected to add 785,700 new jobs from 2008 to 2018. It doesn’t take a math major to see that we’re graduating students at a far lower rate than required to meet demand.
How Apple Minimizes its Corporate Tax Burden
In the latest installment of its "iEconomy" series, The New York Times takes a look at how Apple minimizes its corporate tax burden, taking advantage of a number of legal maneuvers and loopholes around the world.
New York Times Talks To Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch landed his role in the upcoming Star Trek sequel by shooting his audition on his iPhone in a friend’s kitchen on Christmas night and emailing it to J.J. Abrams.
→ Creating things of lasting importance
The creative person’s ransom is that you usually have to sacrifice something to achieve that feeling. It is tough and not every design that we go through will even come close to being that one of lasting importance. However, I think it is vital that we continue to look for those opportunities no matter if there is a dollar sign attached to them or not. No matter if the people on the awards sites will notice. No matter if our peers praise us or not.
→ The complex process of simplicity
True simplicity starts at conception. It’s infused into the being of the creators, and by proxy, in the soul of every product they design.
Is it a tech bubble?
Every week a “we are in a tech bubble” article seems to come out in a major newspaper or blog. People who argue we aren’t in a bubble are casually dismissed as promoting their own interests. I’d argue the situation is far more nuanced and that people who engage in this debate should consider the following:
In Defense of Profiling
While leaving JFK last week, I found myself standing in line behind an elderly couple who couldn’t have been less threatening had they been already dead and boarding in their coffins. I would have bet my life that they were not waging jihad. Both appeared to be in their mid-eighties and infirm. The woman rode in a wheelchair attended by an airport employee as her husband struggled to comply with TSA regulations—removing various items from their luggage, arranging them in separate bins, and loading the bins and bags onto the conveyor belt bound for x-ray.
Wasting Our Minds
Let’s start with some advice Mitt Romney gave to college students during an appearance last week. After denouncing President Obama’s “divisiveness,” the candidate told his audience, “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”

The first thing you notice here is, of course, the Romney touch — the distinctive lack of empathy for those who weren’t born into affluent families, who can’t rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad to finance their ambitions. But the rest of the remark is just as bad in its own way.

I mean, “get the education”? And pay for it how? Tuition at public colleges and universities has soared, in part thanks to sharp reductions in state aid. Mr. Romney isn’t proposing anything that would fix that; he is, however, a strong supporter of the Ryan budget plan, which would drastically cut federal student aid, causing roughly a million students to lose their Pell grants.
How’s the world doing on its climate goals? Not so well.
The 2012 report (pdf) is out and the grades are dismal: Aside from a recent boom in wind and solar power, the world isn’t making much progress.
So was the auto bailout Romney’s idea or not?
Mitt Romney, Feb 4, 2012:

“The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.”

Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to the Romney campaign, April 30, 2012:

Romney’s “position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that. The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice.”
Ron Paul and Paul Krugman debate the economy.

Cheap student loans are the wrong way to lower the cost of college.
"Structurally, the higher education sector looks a lot like the health care sector. It hasn’t seen the productivity gains enjoyed by sectors like manufacturing and retail, which have benefited extensively from automation and technological advances. Colleges still need to employ a lot of highly skilled workers, and college costs are tied to their wages, which rise faster than inflation. It’s no surprise, then, that the higher education inflation trend looks a lot like the alarming one we see in health care...Unfortunately, consumers do not have the necessary incentives to impose cost discipline in the market. The perceived necessity of a college degree to find a middle-class job gives students few options but to pay up. Easy credit has allowed them to finance rapidly rising tuition and worry about the costs later...But we can make structural changes to the higher education sector to combat skyrocketing costs."
Let's just say it: Republicans are the problem
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
Jonathan Cohn evaluates Mitt Romney's economic plan
A recovery is underway but it’s tentative and weak. Large numbers of Americans remain out of work, not to mention the many more who have jobs but still struggle to pay bills. Romney’s pitch to these people is simple and compelling: Hire me, and somebody will hire you. But how would he do that? It’s a difficult question to answer, in part because Romney’s 160-page manifesto, 'Believe in America,' is less specific than you might think. It spends a lot of time offering a story about why the country is in trouble, but only a little on what Romney would do about it.
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First Impressions: Keane - Strangeland
04/30/12 at 05:05 PM by Jason Tate
As I mentioned on twitter the other day, and now with more thought can definitely confirm: I think the new Keane album, Strangeland, completely makes up for previous one. Some of the lyrics are a little cheesy, but the pop and melody brilliance is back -- and that definitely makes up for it.
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First Impressions: Motion City Soundtrack - Go
04/30/12 at 04:17 PM by Jason Tate
The new Motion City Soundtrack album finds the band re-envisioning their sound. Justin's vocals and lyrics continue to power the band's quirky music; however, I'd venture that this album sounds like a more stripped down version of the band's Even If It Kills Me. It's got a similar pop-sensibility about it ... less in your face rock songs ... but it comes at this in a different way. Wheras EIIKM was full of gloss and layered goodness -- this one is more raw. Very much a pop album, but I'd say the core of what pop is ... almost in a similar way as Relient K's latest album.

What I'm left thinking is that I need to spend some more time with this one - it's got "grower" written all over it. It's got "you're going to love this by the 10th time you play it" buried in every song.
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Here's Part of That Paper Some Asked About
04/30/12 at 03:36 PM by Jason Tate
Last week I tweeted out a picture of a paper that my mom found when she was looking through a old stack I had in my room. What she found was an actual paper that I turned in my freshman year of college. I had a bunch of responses on twitter saying I should post it. It's like 8 pages long and I only have a hard copy of it ... so I am not going to post the entire thing, that would take forever. However, I'll type up a portion of it here for those that asked.

First, let me preface this by saying a few things:

1) This class was my freshman seminar class - it was called "Deconstructing the Self" and was supposed to be a class about reading about some of the greatest thinkers of our time ... and ended up being a class where we all just sat around and talked about our problems. The professor was cool, but he taught in the "Johnston" part of our college -- which, to put it lightly, was an extremely liberal and "free thinking" portion of the school. IE: You could make up your own major, many of which were as far out there as you would imagine.

2) This was a few months into the year, and directly after a class where the professor had told me my girlfriend back home was likely cheating on me (side bar: he was right).

3) I was actually assigned this topic -- it wasn't something I just picked out of the blue. The assignment was something like "write a paper on how to be an asshole." Sure, the assignment was kind of dickish ... but I was 18 and angry at the world, I embraced it.

4) I got an A on the paper.

5) This was 2001, I had no idea who Tucker Max was when I wrote it. It's also not very well written in hindsight ...

Ok, so - here's a little bit of that paper for those that asked, unedited (even though I wanted to):

My best friends and I were strolling casually through the halls of our high school on a shitty Oregon day doing what most young hormone enhanced teenagers do: girl searching. On this particular day I wasn't a bad mood and I wasn't really looking to cause any trouble. Yet, it seems that whenever you are with me an ordinary task (i.e. looking at blondes) becomes quite more than just another rudimentary procedure. As we glide by a group of junior girls one of my friends singles out a particular one with his eyes. Being the complete moron that he is, he forgets the key element of looking away once the girl in question becomes aware of his current eye exercises.

Yah, you guessed it ... trouble.

This is when she switches modes and quirks to my friend, "What are you looking at.." - the dumbfoundedchap never even saw it coming. It takes approximately point five seconds for the remark to register in my brain before I come to my friend's resuce with, "O, I'm sorry ... he thought were good looking ... he was mistaken." My remark takes about point two seconds to register with every girl in earshot. The mach 5 slap to my face is proof that our little blonde friend figured out exactly what I was insinuating.

Ok, I admit it: "I am a complete fucking asshole." Yeah, yeah, yeah - I get it. You know what the kicker is though? I don't care. Not one bit. You know that same girl that went kung-u on my face? Less than a month later ... she was my date to homecoming. Ironic isn't it? It's about this time that every single goody-two-shoes boy slams his head on the table, and every girl stares at me with that classic, "What the hell?" look on the their faces? What can I say? Nice guys finish last.

So how does one do it? How does one become both abhorred for his sarcastic one-liners and adored for the exact same side comments? Truthfully, I have no idea. I can't help you make friends, become popular, or score with the hot chick you humiliate. However, there is one thing I can do for you: teach you how to be a complete asshole in only 5 easy steps.


Ok, that's the first two pages. Maybe I'll type more back up later. I was annnnngrrrrrry at 18. I mean, most people are angst ridden and have some issues -- I was flat out on-a-nother-world-pissed at the world. This was two weeks after 9/11, and even more insane to think about? This is now almost 11 years old. Damn. Well, it was a funny find from my mom ...
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Book Recommendation: High Fidelity
04/30/12 at 09:07 AM by Jason Tate
I finally had some time this weekend to start another book. I have had "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby on my list for a very long time. I've, like many, always enjoyed the movie -- and was told the book was even better. So far, everyone was right. The book is fantastic. It's written in that voice that I wish I could flat out steal. The writing makes me jealous. It's that good. It's so good that I'm going to make it a mission to read all of his books now.

So yeah, pick that up if you've never read it ... worth it.
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Shit Worth Reading: April 28th, 2012
04/28/12 at 01:29 PM by Jason Tate
Got a bunch of stuff to re-cap up from the past few days ... so much other stuff going on, that I forgot to do this, so, here it goes:

Incumbents die due to irrelevance or ineptitude
Judging from the tech press, you’d think the biggest risk to successful companies is competition. But when you examine the history of technology, incumbents usually decline because the world changes and they lose relevance, or because they lose visionary founders and the organization decays.
★ Putting iPad Sales in Context
Which means Apple sold new iPads as fast as they could make them. If you believe this 11.9 million unit sale number deserves to be called “disappointing”, you should be disappointed only by Apple’s inability to manufacture them faster.
Shorting Apple Long-Term
Colony’s pessimism is, unlike most Apple bearishness of late, perfectly reasonable. Apple did not fall to pieces when Jobs died, but no one with a clue expected it to. But Tim Cook and the remaining leadership team have yet to prove themselves in the long run. I’m not saying I agree with Colony (I don’t), I’m just saying his argument is reasonable. Apple is untested in these regards.
Android in Early 2007 Looked Very Different Than It Does Today
What’s more interesting to me is the technical story. It’s no wonder Android has struggled to match the smoothness, touch responsiveness, and high-frame-rate graphics of the iPhone, given that this is where they were in 2007. They’ve come remarkably far in five years.
Samsung Hires Mob to Protest Outside Apple Store
Makes me not want to purchase a Samsung product in all honesty. Just make good shit, sell it, and support it. - JT
ComScore: Amazon Kindle Fire Accounts for 54 Percent of U.S. Android Tablets
Amazon’s Kindle Fire now makes up the absolute majority of the Android tablet platform in the US, comScore found in a fresh study. The e-reader and tablet crossover represented 54.4 percent of all Android tablets sold in the country. At second place, the entire Samsung Galaxy Tab lineup comprised just 15.4 percent of Android slates.
Opera Confirms WebKit Prefix Usage
- JT
Apple Stores Replace Kids' Table iMacs With iPads
Will there be a generation that does the majority of their "computing" on tablet devices? I think it may happen. - JT
10 Years of Touts
I spend more time in Coda, software from Panic, than just about any other program. Good for them. - JT
"iPhone More Lucrative"
As you’d expect, Google is still trying to spin this, but the court documents don’t lie. In 2010, Google itself projected making $278.1 million off of Android. Of that, $158.9 million was expected to be on ads versus just $3.8 million from app sales. They were making much more off of the iPhone
Nintendo's Hard Choice
It’s well known that Mario/Zelda/etc creator Shigeru Miyamoto has no intention of letting this happen — like Apple, he strives to set the entire user experience through hardware and software — but it’s hard to see Nintendo focusing on gaming hardware and continuing on. Maybe they pull and Apple and fully reinvent the company, but there’s a reason why such transformations don’t happen often.
The Winklevoss Twins Are Now VCs: “We Think The Cloud Is Going To Be Huge”
Anyway. On air today, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin talked with everyone’s favorite Harvard grads cum Olympic athletes cum Mark Zuckerberg nemeses about their latest foray into the tech startup space as individuals with significant financial reserves and no apparent engineering credentials. They’re becoming venture capitalists.

These guys just rub me the wrong way. - JT

TSA Is Good At One Thing At Least: Drug Smuggling
TSA handles Seattle and it’s a mess. TSA agents are joking around, not paying attention, and get angry quickly. In San Francisco, where they use private security at a much lower cost, things are much more sane and much more professional.
Always with the negative waves
First of all, the lack of a dividend is hardly part of Jobs’s legacy. Jobs’s legacy is that of a single-minded vision of shipping well-designed products that deliver an exceptional user experience and appeal to a broad base of users. Second, while rumors do not a product make, it’s important to point out that Jobs also derided television as something you turn your brain off to watch.
Shit That They REALLY Don’t Tell You About Having Kids
When my son was born, I was amazed. I was amazed at my wife’s strength and at her body (which did some things I don’t know if I should have watched) and I was amazed that this dude that I’d been waiting for for almost a year was suddenly in the room with me (like when you meet your buddy’s girlfriend: “oh, you’re Samantha. Nice to meet you. You look a lot like/vastly different than I expected. Cool.”). I was also afraid. I had no experience being a dad, I had ZERO experience even SEEING a baby this new and I didn’t know how to wipe an ass, feed a kid, hold a kid, anything. I didn’t know what he liked (is he into bunnies? Tigers? Spaceships? Spiderman? Sports? Music? Cuddles? Is he retarded? Is he a genius? Is he just about to die at any second due to some weird defect that I can’t see? Lord knows he looks like absolute shit, but is that normal?)
The Secret Service's New Rules: Go Puritan or Go Home
Olivier Knox is first to publish the complete list of new Secret Service guidelines. I'll focus on the guidelines that recommend agents to behave like high school students taking awesome trips to Europe for Model United Nations.
Death of a Fairy Tale
None of this should come as news, since the failure of austerity policies to deliver as promised has long been obvious. Yet European leaders spent years in denial, insisting that their policies would start working any day now, and celebrating supposed triumphs on the flimsiest of evidence. Notably, the long-suffering (literally) Irish have been hailed as a success story not once but twice, in early 2010 and again in the fall of 2011. Each time the supposed success turned out to be a mirage; three years into its austerity program, Ireland has yet to show any sign of real recovery from a slump that has driven the unemployment rate to almost 15 percent.
Research finds that company team-building exercises are very effective...
... at breeding disconnection and mistrust.
The rich are different than you and me: They spend more.
That is to say, if you believe that one thing money buys is time, the non-rich are “consuming” more leisure time than the rich, and that should also factor into our thinking on consumption inequality.
Even as economy picks up, food-stamp rolls expand
One possibility is that it’s easier to get on food stamps than ever before. The stimulus bill, for instance, allowed able-bodied unemployed adults to receive benefits for longer than three months. That provision expired in 2010, but at least 46 states have received waivers from the federal government to continue this program. (Apart from that tweak, reports USA Today, eligibility standards remain what they were before President Obama took office.)
The world’s fastest everything

Doing more to boost employment would be 'reckless,' Bernanke says.
The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, on Wednesday dismissed proposals to escalate the Fed’s economic stimulus campaign as 'reckless,' arguing that the costs would be high and the benefits uncertain.

Disagree with his reasoning. Krugman's response sums up my thoughts. - JT
Europe's double dip could be coming soon to a place near you.
Europe is in recession...Why should we care? Because a recession in the world’s third-largest economy, combined with the current slowdown in the world’s second-largest (China), spells trouble for the world’s largest...The danger here for the United States is clear, but there’s also a clear lesson. Republicans have become the U.S. party of Angela Merkel, demanding and getting spending cuts at the worst possible time - and ignoring the economic and social consequences.
Banks are courting low-income customers for products with high fees.
"An increasing number of the nation’s large banks -- U.S. Bank, Regions Financial and Wells Fargo among them -- are aggressively courting low-income customers like Mr. Wegner with alternative products that can carry high fees. They are rapidly expanding these offerings partly because the products were largely untouched by recent financial regulations, and also to recoup the billions in lost income from recent limits on debit and credit card fees.

Banks increasingly piss me off. - JT

Americans' increase in education is slowing down.
Throughout American history, almost every generation has had substantially more education than that of its parents. That is no longer true. When baby boomers born in 1955 reached age 30, they had about two years more schooling than their parents, according to Harvard University economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, who have calculated the average years of schooling for native-born Americans back to 1876.
Tags: shit worth reading
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The Little Things
04/27/12 at 10:56 AM by Jason Tate
Clearly my main goal in life is to harass Zack whenever possible. It's insanely satisfying. You should all try it.

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Shit Worth Reading: April 25th, 2012
04/25/12 at 11:52 AM by Jason Tate
Ok, another day - another round-up of shit worth reading around the internet. Got a few emails from people saying they've enjoyed this portion of my blog, and seeing as that not everything I write can be pissing off band members ... it's been a nice way to break up my day when I'm posting news.

Forbes Publishes Article on Tom Gates' New Book
AP.net having a mention here is kinda awesome. Definitely worth checking this book out. - JT
This is the web right now
The Oatmeal ... nails it again. - JT
Microsoft To Show Off Spotify-esque Zune Replacement At E3?
With Microsoft having killed off the development of any future Zune hardware, the Zune brand is a bit… tarnished. It makes sense, then, that they’d be looking for something to replace their “Zune Pass” music subscription service. According to the latest whispers out of the rumor mill, Microsoft will show off a new, Xbox-branded music service at this year’s E3. Currently running under the codename “Woodstock”, the service is said to look and act quite a bit like Spotify, with a heavy focus on social interaction and collaborative playlists.

Tip: MSFT -- do less "me too" shit and do more innovative shit. Win8 looks gimmicky and oddly like traffic signs, Windows Phone looks 5 years too late. Do something new. - JT
WWDC 2012: June 11-15
Sold out in two hours, before the U.S. west coast even woke up.
Google+ Launches Share Button, Ignores That Few Users = No Referral Traffic = No Installs
After flops like the Google Buzz and +1 buttons, and plenty of competition, it’s going to be a tough sell. In the end, it could backfire, sidestepping the bullshit registered user counts Google cites as awesome growth and exposing the social network as a place few people spend time. And it’s all kind of sad because the G+ Share button could be the answer to the Google+ content drought.
HTC Posts 70 Percent Profit Drop
Ouch. - JT
11.8 Million iPads Sold ‘Something of a Disappointment’
So on the one hand, we can consider that 11.8 million iPads sold is an increase of 151 percent year-over-year. 151 percent growth in a product segment in which every major player in the industry — from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Intel to Samsung — is racing to gain as big a foothold as they can.

But on the other hand, we can compare 11.8 million iPads sold to the guesses of a bunch of Wall Street analysts. Let’s do it that way.
Apple Q2 2012: 35.1M iPhones, 11.8M iPads, 4M Macs, and 7.7M iPods
Android's Winning! - JT
Skype for Windows Phone Is Basically Useless
Skype 1.0 for Windows Phone lets you make Skype video and voice calls over 3G and WiFi, search for and add contacts, and make calls to landlines. However, no one can call you via Skype unless you have the app open and running on your phone. Unlike Android and iOS, Skype needs to be your active app in order to receive calls as there is no background functionality at all in the app.
Might upgrade to the paid version someday
It’s a very common user mindset: they tolerate a lot of limitations, ads, and nags to avoid paying. It’s not that they’re cheap, per se: they just really don’t believe that apps are worth paying for, and they feel cheated or defeated if they end up needing to pay for one.

It’s not worth trying to appeal to them with a paid app. In most cases, the conversion rate will be so poor that it’s not worth the cost of maintaining two apps and supporting the free users.
Facebook Buys Microsoft Patents

Firefox Ditches The Favicon In The Address Bar
Even if you’ve never heard of a “Favicon”, you’ve almost certainly seen one. When you bookmark a site, and that bookmark has a little custom icon? Bam! That’s the favicon. Following a trend started by Google Chrome, Firefox will no longer show favicons in the address bar beginning in a few weeks. Why? Because big jerk hackers have learned to use the favicon to display a padlock, misleading even the more technically savvy users into thinking they’re on a secured website.
"Microsoft Is The Best!" — Unnamed Microsoft Employee
Dear Microsoft and Google employees, it’s great that you hate each other. Really, it is. I don’t give a shit. All I care about is writing something that in 5 years will be looked back upon as being right.

Your opinion on the matter does not matter at this point. Maybe a dick thing to say, but it’s true. Just keep quiet, or write your own post, putting your own thoughts on the line. Just don’t be a cowardly tweeter casually pretending that you have no skin in the game.
Reed Hastings Talks Netflix Content Plans: More Exclusives, No Tiered Pricing (Yet)

The 2006 'Google Phone'
Pre-iPhone, this is what Google’s vision of the future of smartphones looked like.
More than Half of Recent College Grads are Jobless or Underemployed
Unsurprisingly, those majoring in sciences, accounting, or other technical fields were much more likely to find employment.
Thoughts On Marriage
The notion of legalizing gay marriage is working its way steadily through the federal courts and, so far so good. The courts continue to like the idea of ending discrimination against homosexuals under the same constitutional clauses that helped the civil rights movement in the last century.
"Justice for Trayvon"
The question's fair. A few weeks ago, when I was in Sanford, George Zimmerman hadn't been arrested yet. C.J. Williams was one of many black Sanfordians worrying that the town would blow up if something wasn't done. He also wondered if Sharpton had done much good by coming down. "I’d like to see Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson do this, do their hoopla, when a white kid got shot," he said. "If Al Sharpton did that, his image would improve, you know?"
What do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?
Since January 2010, the economy has, on net, created 3.5 million jobs. Real disposable income has increased by 1.8 percent in 2010, and 1.3 percent in 2011. The net private savings rate is up. Housing prices have continued to fall. Gas prices have risen by about $1.20.

So, to Romney’s list, it is easier to get a job, most workers are making more money, and most people are saving more. But the housing market has remained soft, and gas prices have risen.

It would be nice to stop there. That’s clean. It’s easy. But the unsatisfying truth is that you can’t just draw a graph from the beginning of 2009, or the beginning of 2010, and judge Obama based on whether the line went up or down. Believe me: If you could do that, I would have drawn the graph.
Romney’s 97th pivot to the general election
A quick LexisNexis search returned 96 articles written since the first vote was cast in Iowa discussing a “pivot” to the general election on Romney’s part. Will the 97th time be the charm?
Create your own election!
Political scientists have long known that you can predict most of what will happen in a presidential election with just a few key pieces of information: how the economy does, for instance, and the incumbent’s approval ratings in the summer. If you have those two numbers — even before you know the opponent, the campaign strategies or the issues — you can usually call the winner.
Um. Because.

As users flock to iTunes, Hulu and Netflix, TV stations struggle to survive
Americans watch about 147 hours of cable, satellite and broadcast television a month, a figure that hasn’t changed much in recent years, according to Nielsen, a media metrics firm. Now they are supplementing that with about 4.5 hours of online video each month, double the amount of three years ago. Younger viewers are watching even more hours online.
Net migration from Mexico may now be negative
Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court...The standstill, according to the report, results from declining immigration from Mexico paired with a rising number of people returning south from the U.S.
DIAMOND AND SAEZ: Higher taxes won't hurt growth.
The share of pre-tax income accruing to the top 1% of earners in the U.S. has more than doubled to about 20% in 2010 from less than 10% in the 1970s. At the same time, the average federal income tax rate on top earners has declined significantly. Given the large current and projected deficits, should the top 1% be taxed more? Because U.S. income concentration is now so high, the potential tax revenue at stake is large...Will raising top tax rates significantly lower economic growth? In the postwar U.S., higher top tax rates tend to go with higher economic growth--not lower. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP annual growth per capita (to adjust for population growth) averaged 1.68% between 1980 and 2010 when top tax rates were relatively low, while growth averaged 2.23% between 1950 and 1980 when top tax rates were at or above 70%.
Marco Rubio's Foreign Policy Audition
So, agreement: China's ambition has to be watched and checked, somehow. But Rubio takes a more empathetic tack on Russia. "Putin might talk tough, but he knows he is weak," he says, "Everywhere he looks, he sees threats to his rule, real and imagined. And so he uses state-owned media to preach paranoia and anti-Western sentiments to Russians. He faces a rising China to the east and hostile Islamic forces to the South, but he tells his people the biggest threat they face is from NATO." Romney puts it in a Cold War context. Rubio, 25 years younger, puts it in a pathetic context.
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Does This Album Rule?
04/23/12 at 11:56 PM by Jason Tate
My personal "does this album rule" checklist, in this order, if passed -- album rules.

1) Turned up loud on my office speakers.
2) Headphones while walking around the neighborhood
3) Going for a drive and the sun-roof open.

If the album makes it through this gauntlet -- it's a keeper. It's simple, but the basics is that while I'll listen to just about anything on my home speakers, it takes a lot to get me to add it to my iPod for headphone listening -- and even more for me to put it on for a drive. But if I get to the "drive with it on" stage ... and it passes my car/driving/rocking out test: it's a damn good album.
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Shit Worth Reading: April 23rd, 2012
04/23/12 at 03:58 PM by Jason Tate
Well, besides the absolutely ridiculous thread this morning ... I had some time to catch up on a few other things going on around the interwebs. Here's what I found interesting.

Offline first, mobile enabled
It seems natural that the first wave of mobile apps would be about improving core smartphone apps (e.g. photo apps) or porting apps from other devices (e.g. games). And there is probably a lot of interesting innovation remaining there. But the really massive opportunity is dreaming up new ways that the little computers loaded with sensors that we carry around with us everywhere can improve our real-world experiences.
Outsource things you don’t care about
A fundamental principle of business is that you do things in house that you think can give you a competitive advantage and outsource things that you don’t.
Amazon’s Knock-Off Problem
Also selling on Amazon is I am the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Twilight New Moon. Neither is the book you are likely looking for.
Jay Yarow: ‘Android Is Suddenly in a Lot of Trouble’
Pebble E-Paper Watch Kickstarter Project
You’ve probably seen this already, but if you haven’t, check it out. The watch itself is a very cool idea; I’m in as a backer, and looking forward to playing with one. But more interesting is the success they’re having raising money through Kickstarter. They sought only $100,000; as of my typing this they’ve raised over $6 million and still have 25 days to go in their campaign.

Kickstarter is one of the most amazing, inspiring, empowering things I’ve ever seen.
‘We Can’t Treat Newspapers or Magazines Any Differently Than We Treat FarmVille.’
This is one of my biggest questions about the DOJ’s suit against Apple. Why are books any different than music or apps or periodicals? (And, if Apple loses this suit, does it mean their App Store and Music Store 70/30 pricing models are at risk too?)
Marketing in a post-marketing world: make better products
This is certainly a solution to the problem, but I think there’s a better one: Make an excellent product, and then support the crap out of it. I guess I’m suggesting that we’re entering a post-marketing world where people don’t care about how companies tell them they should feel. In response, we need to shift our focus away from traditional channels to focus on what’s really important: the thing we’re making.
Adobe Unveils CS6 Headache Pricing
These charts, and really this entire idea, confuses me.

Just sell Photoshop through the Mac App Store at a reasonable price — read: a one-time price, not some made-up subscription fee for nothing — and I’ll buy it.


The Consumer
Time Travel: Why are people from the future not time traveling to our period?

Zynga Made Up 15% of Facebook’s Revenue In Q1, Down From 19% A Year Ago
Facebook continues to emphasize that any bad blood between the two companies could hurt financial results. Zynga recently overhauled its site as a web destination for gaming that it hopes will attract users away from the Facebook canvas. The social network is still powering payments for the site, however, meaning that Zynga is still paying Facebook its 30 percent share.
Third Dark Knight Rises Trailer With The Avengers
According to the WB Exhibitor site, the third trailer for The Dark Knight Rises will be attached to Marvel’s The Avengers on May 4th.
What You Need to Know About Intel’s Ivy Bridge
Intel debuted its next generation of processors today, dubbed Ivy Bridge, that promises to bring a number of innovations into the computing world. The Verge has put together a post on everything that should be known about Ivy Bridge, which is to say, a long post. However, as Ivy Bridge will play a large role in the the next generation of technology released this year, it is worth taking the time to understand.
The Amnesia Candidate
But the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right — but not in the way he intended.

First of all, many reporters quickly noted a point that Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?
Could we lower gas prices by limiting fuel exports?
The short answer is: No, probably not.
Why should we care about inequality?
Because it creates alienation...For a long time economists said: Wait until productivity rebounds. Then working families will get their share. But when productivity rebounded like crazy in the aughts, working families saw no reward. What this means is that if you’re at the median you have no positive reason to care how the economy does. Your only motivation is fear—if the economy does really badly you may lose your job. But there’s no upside.
Did the White House use ‘fuzzy math’ on the bailout? Not really.

Time to get rid of the 3 p.m school day?
A longer school day, especially if combined with other steps such as frequent feedback to teachers from administrators and intensive tutoring, could improve academic achievement. For example, Roland Fryer and Will Dobbie of Harvard University have found that a longer day is a key aspect of high-performing charter schools in New York.
How 3-D printing will revolutionize manufacturing.

Want to cut health care costs? Start here.
Drug exclusivity does not, however, last forever: After a name-brand drug has five years on the U.S. market, generics are allowed to come in and compete. That’s what a generic pharmaceutical company wanted to do with Tricor-1. Novopharm submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration to produce a generic version of the drug.
French election: Five things that you’d never hear in the U.S.
It’s no secret that France is further to the left than the United States. But listening to some of the rhetoric from the French presidential election can underscore how vast the gulf really is.
Who relies on Social Security, in one chart
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First Impressions: The Living End - The Ending Is Just the Beginning Repeating
04/21/12 at 10:32 PM by Jason Tate
So I had no idea that The Living End released a new album last year. Ummm, they're one of my favorite bands and if I didn't know -- I'm assuming others don't as well. Bought that sucker on iTunes in about 5 seconds flat. On my first listen right now ... so far I'm really enjoying it more than their last few albums, it's got a little more rockability and energy to it I thought the past few lacked.

Well, that just made my night. Crazy how music can do that.
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Me Want
04/21/12 at 08:53 PM by Jason Tate
The anticipation from the wait for the new The Gaslight Anthem is at a level I haven't had since Brand New.
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Album of the Day
04/21/12 at 01:06 AM by Jason Tate
The kind of album that cuts straight through the bullshit and makes me realize that music doesn't need to sound "perfect" to be exactly what your ears are craving.

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Shit Worth Reading: April 20th, 2012
04/20/12 at 02:14 PM by Jason Tate
Before putting together this list of stuff I think is worth checking out, just going to give another shout-out to the "Thursday Discussion" this week, that sucker was long - but I am pretty proud of how it came out. So, check that out and make sure to leave your own stories in the article's replies.

Been in a much more aggressive music listening binge the past few days ... been in a weird mood. Wife's heading out of town for a week, I'm stuck at home -- expect even more blogging than usual.

YouTube Ordered to Filter Content in Germany
YouTube is facing the threat of court-ordered censorship once again, this time in Germany. The Hamburg state court in Germany has ruled that YouTube must pre-filter all videos for copyrighted content. The case has been ongoing for years at this point, and although the final decision could be overturned, it does seem like the court have made up its mind.
Cadillac Working on Self-Driving Cars
Google isn’t the only company working on self-driving cars, as news has hit the wire that Cadillac is working on creating self-driving cars, with a proposed release date of 2015. Cadillac made the announcement today that it has been developing it to drive the car, brake, and assist drivers in some conditions. However, it doesn’t appear to be as fully-featured as Google’s offering, as it won’t work when the road markers aren’t visible or in bad weather.
Kickstarter's $300M Year
Oddly enough, looking back, it now reminds me a bit of The Hobbit. When Bilbo finds the Ring, you think: oh magic ring, kind of cool. But actually the Ring is the story, you just don’t realize it at the time.

Everyone, including myself, focused on Diaspora. Kickstarter was the story.

The Pebble watch has now raised over $5.5 million dollars on Kickstarter. The original funding goal was $100K. It still has 28 days to go.
Time and taste
Improving poor taste in upper leadership is almost as difficult as treating severe paranoia: people who don’t value taste and design will rarely recognize these shortcomings or seek to improve them. With very few exceptions, companies that put out tasteless, poorly designed products will usually never change course.
Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller Thinks Instagram "Jumped The Shark" After Android Launch?

The iPhone Once Again Outsold All Verizon Android Phones *Combined*

The Argument That Apple Cannot Keep Growing
I agree with one thing: sustaining high profit margins is difficult. But where Denninger goes wrong is in assuming that competitors can easily or quickly copy what Apple is doing. His argument is no different than the dire predictions for the iPod a decade ago. Yes, Apple’s hardware margins are extraordinary. But Apple is an extraordinary company. They have an unparalleled retail presence, a top-shelf brand, and a loyal, large, and growing customer base. They write and design their own entire software stack, have incredible third-party developer support, and, by selling very large quantities of a relatively small number of hardware products, attain astounding economies of scale.
Default Email Signature for New Samsung Phone

Why we forget about Martin Van Buren
This conclusion is troubling. Most presidents, after all, probably want to be thought of as great. When they spend resources on war, they are spending almost entirely other peoples money and lives. They get little credit for avoiding war. Martin Van Buren, for example, effectively avoided a war on the northern border of the United States.8 How many people know that today? Indeed, how many people have even heard of Martin Van Buren?
To reform the tax code, kill the Bush tax cuts
Some in Washington see this number and their eyes light up: It’s tax reform time! Democrats can get more revenue. Republicans can cut effective federal spending. Taxpayers can get a simpler code. And the economy can get a boost from a tax regime that does less to distort the workings of the free market.
How WebMD convinces us we’re dying
In the study, psychologists created a fictional thyroid cancer and had subjects read descriptions of its symptoms. Some had the very general symptoms, things like fatigue and weight fluctuation, grouped together at the start. Others had those general symptoms interspersed with more specific problems such as a lump on the neck.
Do voters really flee high-tax states?
He digs up an 2011 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities compiling evidence that the vast majority of Americans don’t seem to vote with their feet and flee their state because of high taxes. Among other things, most Americans don’t ever leave their state, period. Just 1.7 percent of the population moves in any given year, on average. And only 30 percent of the U.S. population will ever change their state of residence in their lifetimes.
America will not go the way of Europe
America’s got a debt problem. But we’ve been around for hundreds of years. Our political system, for all its inanities and disappointments, is fairly well understood, and quite widely trusted. The euro zone has only been around since 1999, and Greece didn’t join until 2001. There’s nothing obvious that could force a rethinking of America as a continuing, surviving enterprise in the way that we’ve seen in Europe.
For just $500 and an open-book test, you too can become a “forensic expert” who testifies in court.

MEYERSON: We can boost middle class incomes.
So how do we re-create the American middle class? Making our loopy tax code more equitable appears to be off the agenda, what with Senate Republicans’ refusal Monday to allow a vote on a tax hike for millionaires. And even if the 'Buffett Rule' were enacted, it would do nothing to alter the rocketing inequality in Americans’ pre-tax income...Recently, though, two proposals have emerged that could boost Americans’ incomes. One -- part of an omnibus stimulus measure from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) -- would raise the minimum wage and index it to the cost of living. The second, laid out in the new book 'Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right,' by Richard Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit, would extend the employment protections of the Civil Rights Act -- which forbids firing workers for reasons of race, gender, age and disability -- to workers seeking to join a union.
The House GOP wants cuts to healthcare, not defense.
Guns or bandages. That’s the choice House Republicans are framing for the White House in the early phases of a battle over budget cuts that will hammer the Pentagon later this year if Congress and President Barack Obama don’t slash other programs. GOP lawmakers are moving to eliminate so-called slush funds in Obama’s health care law, save $44 billion by cracking down on overpayments to people who are insured through its new health exchanges and wring out tens of billions of dollars more by limiting medical malpractice awards and overhauling Medicaid...The Republicans are making their preferences clear: Better to cut the health reform law that much of the country hates -- and basically dare the Democrats to defend it -- than allow the defense cuts to go through. At a time when the government has racked up nearly $16 trillion in debt, it’s a matter of picking losers, not winners, if Washington is to avoid automatic 'sequestration' cuts of $1.2 trillion.
BROOKS: Colleges should better measure learning.
There’s an atmosphere of grand fragility hanging over America’s colleges. The grandeur comes from the surging application rates, the international renown, the fancy new dining and athletic facilities. The fragility comes from the fact that colleges are charging more money, but it’s not clear how much actual benefit they are providing...One part of the solution is found in three little words: value-added assessments. Colleges have to test more to find out how they’re doing. It’s not enough to just measure inputs, the way the U.S. News-style rankings mostly do. Colleges and universities have to be able to provide prospective parents with data that will give them some sense of how much their students learn. There has to be some way to reward schools that actually do provide learning and punish schools that don’t. There has to be a better way to get data so schools themselves can figure out how they’re doing in comparison with their peers.
BERNSTEIN: TARP worked, but we still need financial reform.
The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) worked a lot better, and at a much lower cost, than is commonly recognized...Banks are recapitalized and less dependent on short-term funding, which makes them less vulnerable to the dynamics of the 2008 crash (the collapse of the overnight funds market was a major catalyst). But the Dodd-Frank financial reform law is far from implemented, and special interests are aggressively working to defang it. The arsonists have not left the scene...The TARP-led financial rescue worked, and we should learn from its success. That said, the damage caused by the bursting bubble goes far beyond any expected profits from the bailouts. If our government doesn’t put in place the regulatory framework to deal with the inherent instability in financial markets, we’ll be back in the bailout business again before we know it.
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