Monthly Archives: December 2015

Lowline Park

Nice write-up at The Verge on the proposed Lowline Park, an underground park built in an old trolley terminal in New York City. The space has been relatively untouched for over 50 years:

“Not that the abandoned trolley terminal, which opened the same time as the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903, is a neighborhood blight. In fact, it’s in pretty decent shape right now. The station served elevated lines and trolley cars from Brooklyn, but closed in 1948 when trolley service was discontinued, and has been empty ever since.”

One of the highlights to our trip to New York City a couple of years ago was the High Line, a park built from an abandoned elevated freight train line originally scheduled for demolition. As a train fan — I did a podcast episode about trains and animation 10 years ago — I love to see any of these historic lines preserved in a new form.

Finally saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday, and woke up today still thinking about it. Very happy to have gone 4 days without spoilers.

→ 2015/12/21 9:38 am

Went in to Honda service for a simple oil change and slow tire leak. They quickly added other problems, totally $1k. Contrast with my electric Nissan Leaf, which I’ve still yet to take in for anything. Just seems to work.

→ 2015/12/18 11:56 am

Core Intuition 211 and fallback plans

Today on Core Intuition, Daniel and I talk about my time at the tvOS Tech Talk and the recent executive changes at Apple. From the show notes:

“Manton and Daniel discuss Apple TV development challenges, Apple’s executive team shakeup and its impact on the App Stores, and keeping a good attitude about successes and shortcomings as an ambitious indie developer.”

We wrap up the show with a conversation about taking risks and setting the right priorities for an indie business. Along the way I mention this tweet from Kazu Kibuishi, which I misquoted slightly. Here’s the actual text:

“A professor once told me that ‘if you have a fallback, you will fall back.’ I have found this to be true.”

If you enjoy the show, consider letting a friend know about it, or leaving a mini review on Twitter or iTunes. Thanks!

Phil Schiller and the App Store

Apple announced some leadership changes today, including that Phil Schiller will now lead the App Store on Apple’s various platforms:

“With added responsibility for the App Store, Phil Schiller will focus on strategies to extend the ecosystem Apple customers have come to love when using their iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Phil now leads nearly all developer-related functions at Apple, in addition to his other marketing responsibilities including Worldwide Product Marketing, international marketing, education and business marketing.”

You may remember that Phil Schiller has gotten involved in controversial App Store rejections in the past, going back to 2009. See this post from Daring Fireball about Ninjawords, and another article at Techcrunch by MG Siegler.

On recent episodes of Core Intuition, and in a blog post, I’ve argued that Apple can’t just make small improvements to the Mac App Store anymore. The time for slow iteration is over; now they have to make big changes to get developers back. I’d like to believe that putting Phil in charge is exactly that kind of first big step.

Update: Less optimistically, though, there was this post in 2012 from Rogue Amoeba.

Forgot to watch the Republican debate last night, and now that I’ve reviewed a few of the quotes and video snippets, glad I missed it. Wow, these candidates.

→ 2015/12/16 11:21 am

Decided to bring my iPad Mini to the tvOS Tech Talk today instead of the iPad Pro. Just much more convenient to carry around the smaller device without needing a bag. And my backpack seems like overkill for an iPad.

→ 2015/12/14 1:33 pm

Core Intuition 210

On the latest Core Intuition, we talk about open source Swift, it’s potential for web server frameworks, and more about blogging tools. From the show notes:

“Daniel and Manton react to Swift’s open-sourcing, and the extent to which it adds momentum to the language and increases its appeal. They also discuss the open-sourcing of Microsoft’s MarsEdit-esque blog editor, Windows Live Writer.”

There were also a few new jobs posted to yesterday. Check them out if you’re considering a change for 2016, or just curious what is out there for Objective-C and Swift jobs.

Christmas tree shopping day. Good excuse to test whether emoji works in my microblogging tools. 🎄

→ 2015/12/12 8:48 am

Thinking about starting an “iPad Pro work day” where I use the iPad Pro exclusively all day once a week. I could still keep up with email, chat, and news, but mostly it would make me focus on blogging and writing. No Xcode.

→ 2015/12/11 10:14 am

Lots to work on and finish today. Started the morning with breakfast tacos and coffee, hoping to focus in Xcode for a while.

→ 2015/12/10 8:46 am

Missed the U2 concert last night, so put the replay from HBO on in the background while I work today.

→ 2015/12/08 11:35 am

Nice that the new iPhone 6S case charges via Lightning and displays the battery percentage in iOS, but I’d never put a case on my phone, and definitely not one with a giant battery sticking out of it.

→ 2015/12/08 8:53 am

ESPN sidebar microblog

I like what ESPN is doing in the sidebar on their NBA scores page. It’s a timeline of both tweets and short ESPN posts, integrated together with a clean design that fits the rest of the site.

This timeline is a great use of microblogging. The short posts aren’t limited to tweet-length — they’re often around 200 characters instead — so they can feel complete and informative while still being concise. I’ve suggested 280 characters as a guideline for microblogs, and having the extra characters to work with really makes a nice difference.

I took an example screenshot from ESPN and included it to the right of this post. The first two posts are these special ESPN microblog posts, and the third is a tweet. I don’t know what CMS-like system is driving this, but you can imagine using WordPress post formats, custom fields, or categories to achieve something similar.