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November 17th, 2017 Total archive posts: 984
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J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger, perhaps my favorite modern author, died yesterday at the age of 91.

I encourage anyone who is unfamiliar with his work to read Nine Stories as a powerful and sometimes overwhelming introduction to his unique writing style. It will change you.

by Christopher Heiser on January 28 14:21

Fry, iPad, and Why Closed Systems Are Good (Sometimes)

I often use the Apple methodology to explain why end-to-end development is such an important thing when it comes to certain types of products, notably consumer electronics. This generally irks the open source crowd who think that everything can be made better by standard-based interfaces and publishing your code. But that's not universally true. Stehpen Fry (an admitted Apple fanboi) does a great job of explaining why:

It is made by Apple. I’m not being cute here. If it was made by Hewlett Packard, they wouldn’t have global control over the OS or the online retail outlets. If it was made by Google, they would have tendered out the hardware manufacture to HTC. Apple — and it is one of the reasons some people distrust or dislike them — control it all. They’ve designed the silicon, the A4 chip that runs it all, they’ve designed the batteries, they’ve overseen every detail of the commercial, technological, design and software elements. No other company on earth does that. And being Apple it hasn’t been released without (you can be sure) Steve Jobs being wholly convinced that it was ready. “Not good enough, start again. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough.” How many other CEOs say until their employees want to murder them? That’s the difference.

Apple repeatedly shows that when the efficiency, elegance, and utility of the user experience is your number one goal, there is no substitute for designing the whole system yourself. And it doesn't hurt to have a rabidly focused CEO that not only understands product design, but religiously pursues its perfection.

by Christopher Heiser on January 28 14:16
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