Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Mac App Store isn’t for today’s Mac developers

One of the reasons the iOS App Store is so successful is that app-buying has become a form of casual, routine entertainment for iPhone and iPad owners. We gladly go and browse the App Store even when we don’t “need” anything at the moment, with the intention of going and spending a few bucks on whatever’s new that looks good.
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The author of Instapaper speculates about implications of Mac App Store for users and app developers.

News Flash: Economists Agree

I believe it is better to introduce students to economics with topics about which there is more of a professional consensus. In chapter two of the book, I include a table of propositions to which most economists subscribe, based on various polls of the profession. Here is the list, together with the percentage of economists who agree:

Probably the “news” won’t hit the spotlight, but it’s interesting to see that there’s a lot of areas where experts actually agree.

Microsoft: Our strategy with Silverlight has shifted

“Silverlight is our development platform for Windows Phone,” he said. Silverlight also has some “sweet spots” in media and line-of-business applications, he said.

But when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, “our strategy has shifted,” Muglia told me.

Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. “But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform,” Muglia said.

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Few weeks ago I was listening to an interview with an author of browser based audio editor, who decided to implement his project in Silverlight. While he got some valid technical points concerns about HTML5 performance, betting on proprietary technology that depends totally on some company’s politics and CTO’s mood sounds like a much worse idea. Here’s why.

John Carmack on Government

It is unfortunate that income taxes get deducted automatically from most people’s paychecks, before they ever see the money they earned.  A large chunk of the population thinks that tax day is when you get a nice little refund check.  Good trick, that.  If everyone was required to pay taxes like they pay their utilities, attitudes would probably change.  When you get an appallingly high utility bill, you start thinking about turning off some lights and changing the thermostat.  When your taxes are higher than all your other bills put together, what do you do?

No surprise here, Carmack is a libertarian.


Apple has nothing to earn and everything to lose by open-sourcing its JDK, so don’t hold your breath.

Apple discontinuous development of Java Virtual Machine for Mac, effectively killing Java on this platform.

Goodbye Microsoft, Hello Facebook!

Cynics don’t get anything done.  Stop talking to people whose first response is always skeptical.  They will crush you.

Microsoft employee leaves the company after 12 years with a farewell letter. Lots of generic self-help book kind of advice together with some really interesting observations.

Stay Up Late

Things that would have taken two days only took one, thanks to the night shift. The more work I did, the faster I got, and the better I got. It never occurred to me to ask for overtime. 25 years later, nearing 50 with three kids (and the same wife), I can’t tell you the last time I was awake at 3 in the morning, intentionally, at least. So my advice to anyone starting a career as a designer? Stay up late while you can. It pays off.
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Michael Bierut on the beginnings of his career. Never take health advice from a famous designer.

The “ladies’ night” strategy

Many singles bars have “ladies’ night” where women are offered price discounts. Singles bars do this for women but not for men because (heterosexually-focused) bars are what economists call two-sided markets – platforms that have two distinct user groups and that get more valuable to each group the more the other group joins the platform – and women are apparently harder to attract to singles bars than men.

Businesses that target two-sided markets are extremely hard to build but also extremely hard to compete against once they reach scale. Tech businesses that have created successful two-sided markets include Ebay (sellers and buyers), Google (advertisers and publishers), Paypal (buyers and merchants), and Microsoft (Windows users and developers).

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On two-sided markets.