Quote Of The Day

You can assign mouse buttons to all sorts of actions, including Shortcuts, which is pretty amazing—but I’m surprised that (at least in this first beta) Apple’s own pointing devices aren’t better supported. The Magic Trackpad is built for multitouch gestures, but iPadOS 13 doesn’t seem to support them. I should be able to use a scroll wheel or two-finger scroll to scroll through documents on the iPad, but it’s just not there.

Fortunately, this is just the first developer beta, so I have a little hope that with a few tweaks this feature can be made much more usable than it is at present.

iPadOS 13: The wish list meets reality – Six Colors

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

N.B. Perdo tempo nel chiedermi se in effetti non si debba chiamare iPadOS 1. Ecco, adesso lo state perdendo anche voi: mission accomplished.

Quote of the day

You can assign mouse buttons to all sorts of actions, including Shortcuts, which is pretty amazing—but I’m surprised that (at least in this first beta) Apple’s own pointing devices aren’t better supported. The Magic Trackpad is built for multitouch gestures, but iPadOS 13 doesn’t seem to support them. I should be able to use a scroll wheel or two-finger scroll to scroll through documents on the iPad, but it’s just not there.

Fortunately, this is just the first developer beta, so I have a little hope that with a few tweaks this feature can be made much more usable than it is at present.

iPadOS 13: The wish list meets reality – Six Colors

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

N.B. Perdo tempo nel chiedermi se in effetti non si debba chiamare iPadOS 1. Ecco, adesso lo state perdendo anche voi: mission accomplished.

Streaming legale: una fiducia mal riposta?

Mentre svuotavo la solita coda di lettura (in effetti era Gladys) (iOS e Mac), mi sono ritrovato davanti ad un ritaglio di Settembre scorso, proveniente da Sandvine, una compagnia che si occupa di analisi dei fenomeni sulla rete1.

Tra i fenomeni analizzati e misurati, particolare interesse riveste per noi pirat…ehm, utenti consapevoli, la diffusione del file sharing come metodo per usufruire di contenuti audiovisivi protetti da diritto d’autore.

Nel primo rapporto della serie “Global Internet Phenomena”, datato 2011, il file sharing la faceva da padrone, soprattutto sul lato desktop (ovviamente). Percentuali di traffico BitTorrent in upload tra il 50% e il 60% erano un dato standard in America ed Europa.
Questo dato era crollato già nel 2015, con – rispettivamente – il 26,83% e il 21,08% per America e Vecchio Continente.

Nell’ultimo anno, abbiamo però assistito ad una nuova inversione di rotta:

Le cause ipotizzate da Sandvine sono principalmente tre:

  • C’è una percentuale più alta che mai di produzioni “esclusive”, disponibili quindi su un solo servizio di streaming legale (gli esempi portati sono tutti lampanti e comprensibili anche da questo lato dell’Oceano: Il Trono di Spade, House of Cards, The Handmaid’s Tale e Jack Ryan2). Questo comporta un esborso consistente per un utente che voglia usufruire delle principali megaproduzioni (la situazione è destinata a peggiorare ulteriormente, dal punto di vista prettamente economico, con il prossimo arrivo dei servizi in streaming di Disney ed Apple).

  • Molte delle esclusive di cui sopra sono produzioni statunitensi, che non godono di un’efficiente distribuzione al di fuori degli USA; di conseguenza, molti utenti non dispongono di metodi (legali, comodi o addirittura di alcun tipo) per accedere ai suddetti contenuti.

  • Il Trono di Spade fa storia a sé (chi l’avrebbe mai detto…): con l’esclusione dei paesi in cui viene reso disponibile contemporaneamente alla prima visione americana, gli utenti lo scaricheranno appena diventa disponibile, anche da canali illeciti, pur di non aspettare.

Su queste pagine siamo stati tiepidi sostenitori (inizalmente) dello streaming musicale, ma entusiasti nell’abbracciare quello video, anche come unico efficace antidoto alla pirateria, secondo il mantra:”Rendilo facilmente e (quasi) economicamente accessibile, e loro verranno”.

Tuttavia, mentre il mercato dello streaming audio legale si divide sostanzialmente tra due enormi attori (Spotify ed Apple Music), quello video ha conosciuto da subito una palese e notevole frammentazione. Un fenomeno dovuto ad una gestione dei diritti di distribuzione infinitamente più complessa (che deve, per esempio, fare i conti con il tempo “riservato” alla proiezione in sala, non sempre in contemporanea – effettiva o almeno sostanziale – tra i principali mercati). Un supporto, quello audiovisivo, che deve attendere i tempi dei multipli doppiaggi, un limite con cui l’ultimo album dei Foo Fighters non si scontrerà mai.

Un problema, però, anche artificialmente ingigantito dal fatto che la torta dello streaming video è incredibilmente ricca, nonché destinata a crescere per volume e ricavi (specialmente se – come previsto da alcuni – dovesse diventare de facto il mezzo di fruizione); tutti dunque ne vogliono una fetta, e i giocatori in campo sono di dimensioni notevolmente maggiori rispetto a qualsivoglia etichetta discografica (in molti casi, ognuno di essi possiede multiple etichette discografiche3).

Se volessimo essere ottimisti, potremmo sostenere che alla fine il mercato si autoregolerà, tramite accordi tra player e/o ulteriori acquisizioni e fusioni. Oppure, semplicemente, i clienti decideranno a chi destinare il proprio budget, costringendo de facto gli “ultimi” a ridimensionare le proprie richieste o a sparire, passando magari allo status di “studios interni” a soggetti più grossi4.

I dubbi restano, però: di quanto tempo avremo bisogno perchè la polvere si posi ed emerga un panorama stabile? Quante vittime si lascerà dietro questa guerra (nemmeno troppo) sotterranea in arrivo? Visto che il lasso di tempo tra una “rivoluzione” e l’altra, da quando è seriamente in ballo il digitale, si è drasticamente ridotto (e la tendenza sembra inarrestabile), riuscirà questo modello ad avere una sua età dell’oro prima di venire soppiantato dal prossimo modello di fruizione superfigo?

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost


  1. Detta così sembra una supercazzola di marketing puro, magari lo sarà anche, ma l’analisi in questione merita tutti i suoi cinque minuti. 
  2. Noi abbiamo anche difficoltà aggiuntive, ad essere onesti; di questi quattro, solo uno viene offerto dallo stesso servizio su entrambe le sponde dell’Atlantico, Jack Ryan su Prime Video. Netflix non ha i diritti per distribuire il suo House of Cards da noi, grazie a Sky, che detiene anche l’esclusiva sul Trono di Spade (ed HBO è assente come provider a sé stante). Handmaid’s Tale, poi, è confinato su TIMVision (un servizio che tutti noi amiamo odiare). 
  3. Un altro aspetto che indica come chiaramente il mondo dello streaming audio e quello del video siano diversi è quello del “traffico incluso”; abbiamo assistito a – disprezzabili – pratiche di incentivo all’utilizzo di taluni servizi da parte delle TelCo, tramite il “non conteggio” del traffico sviluppato dalle app nel raggiungimento del tetto mensile. Ma si è sempre trattato di servizi di messaggistica, navigazione o – appunto – di streaming audio:

    Il video non compare non (solo) perché sia più esoso dal punto di vista del traffico sviluppato (in un’offerta con 60GB a 15€/mese, la congestione è evidentemente un fattore tenuto assai poco in considerazione), bensì perché scegliere uno – o al massimo due – provider taglierebbe fuori comunque una larga fetta di utenza potenziale, riducendo così drasticamente l’appeal della promozione. 

  4. Microsoft > Bungie, anyone? 

Bias, bias ovunque.

Non vi sono bastate le polemiche sullo stand a 999$ del monitor da 6.000$? (Che va a concorrere – dice Apple – con un prodotto che costa 43.000$)

Altro giro, altro regalo, allora, grazie al sempre prodigo The Macalope:

Here’s a look at a few of the most visible places Apple is falling down:

Dear reader, you might be thinking “This oughta be good.”

Oh, it will, the Macalope assures you.

The Folding Phone

Yes, Apple is woefully behind on products that fail dramatically during reviews and have to be canceled before a single unit ships to customers.

This is how Petro describes the supposed foldable phone market:

Earlier this year, Samsung and Huawei unveiled the first folding phones, with the new Galaxy Fold on sale in April.

Indeed! It did go on sale! And then all sales were canceled because if you folded the Fold it broke. Seems like that might be a salient point worth mentioning but…I guess not since Petro does not.

Come sempre, merita la lettura anche solo per tornare un po’ con i piedi per terra.

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

L’eliminacode

It’s not easy to cut yourself off from a system that links you to friends, family and employer, all of whom expect you to be contactable and sometimes get upset when you’re not. There are powerful network effects in play here against which the individual addict is helpless. And while “just say no” may be a viable strategy in relation to some services (for example, Facebook), it is now a futile one in relation to the networked world generally. We’re long past the point of no return in our connected lives.

Most people don’t realise this. They imagine that if they decide to stop using Gmail or Microsoft Outlook or never buy another book from Amazon then they have liberated themselves from the tentacles of these giants. If that is indeed what they believe, then Kashmir Hill has news for them. (…) She set out to answer the question of whether it was possible to live a normal life without using the services of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. So, over five weeks, she blocked her access to each one in turn and then, in the final week, cut herself off from all of them. And she reported what she learned as she went.

It’s almost impossible to function without the big five tech giants – The Guardian

For 18-year-old high school senior Ellie Rapp of Pittsburgh, the sound of her family chewing their dinner can be … unbearable.

“My heart starts to pound. I go one of two ways. I either start to cry or I just get really intensely angry. It’s really intense. I mean, it’s as if you’re going to die,” she says.

Rapp has been experiencing this reaction to certain noises since she was a toddler. She recalls a ride home from preschool when her mother turned on the radio and started singing, which caused Rapp to scream and cry hysterically.

Misophonia is characterized by intense emotion like rage or fear in response to highly specific sounds, particularly ordinary sounds that other people make. The cause is unknown.

Misophonia: When Life’s Noises Drive You Mad – Npr.org

Silent film footage from World War One has been painstakingly restored for a new film by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.
The archive footage has been combined with original interviews with soldiers who fought in the war.

 Peter Jackson: World War One footage brought to life by Lord of the Rings director – BBC.com

Yes, I watched Bird Box. Judging from Netflix’s stated numbers, you probably did too (or, at least, part of it). The fact that it’s not a great movie — it’s fine — is probably what is most interesting about our collective viewership. Netflix just unlocked the first truly viral movie. And did so in a way only Netflix can. (…) This isn’t something Netflix could have done even a few years ago. But now they’re at such a scale, where a simple push — in some cases, an actual push (notification), and in others, the prime placement of a banner, and perhaps an auto-playing trailer — can lead directly to millions upon millions of views. No surprise, they’ve done this by removing friction.

The Truly Viral Movie is Here – 500ish Words

Seven years after I started (slowly) replacing my MacBook Air with an iPad, my life is different, but one principle still holds true: I never want to find myself forced to work on a computer that’s only effective at home, that can’t be held in my hands, or that can’t be customized for different setups. For this reason, the iPad Pro is the best computer for the kind of lifestyle I want.

Beyond the Tablet: Seven Years of iPad as My Main Computer – Macstories.net

“Airpods are a totally different phenomenon,” said Michelle Edelman, Petermayer evp and chief strategy officer. “The product is honestly good, but wearing them 24/7 is going to mess with the notion of when you can and can’t disturb someone. So it’ll change social norms if people just start to leave them in during meetings.”

”A totally different phenomenon”: AirPods are changing agency office life – Digiday UK

All I want from Dropbox is a folder that syncs perfectly across my devices and allows sharing with friends and colleagues. That’s it: a folder that syncs with sharing. And that’s what Dropbox was.

Now it’s a monstrosity that embeds its own incredibly resource-heavy web browser engine.

The New Dropbox Sucks – Daring Fireball

Sweet, sweet irony.
Sweet, sweet irony.

Stop Wasting Money on Unnecessary Montale Subscriptions – Wsj.com

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

L’eliminacode

Tech is a means, not an end, but Senator Warren’s approach presumes the latter. That is why she proposes the same set of rules for the sale of toasters and the sale of apps, and everything in between. The truth is that Amazon is a retailer; Apple a combination of hardware maker and platform makers. Google is a search and advertising company, and Facebook a publishing and advertising company. They all have different value chains and different ways of impacting competition, both fairly and unfairly, and to fail to appreciate just how different they are is a great way to make bad laws that not only fail to fix problems but also create entirely new ones.

Where Warren’s Wrong – Stratechery

Facebook ha dato la parola a tutti, e alcuni hanno inteso quest’opportunità come un tassativo dovere di parlare anche di cose che non conoscono; immancabilmente lo fanno, non intuendo che, se è vero che tutti possono dire la loro sulla piacevolezza di una musica o sul colore del pelo del cane che più si gradisce, quando si parla di argomenti tecnici dell’opinione di uno che non sa nulla si può fare tranquillamente a meno.

Invece non lo capiscono, non avendo neppure l’idea della complessità delle cose e immaginandole semplicissime: quando incontrano qualcuno che svela la loro profonda ignoranza, lo apostrofano come superbo, borioso, non rispettoso delle opinioni altrui; questo in una stupefacente rappresentazione mentale in cui chi studia una materia con anni di sacrificio è arrogante, mentre chi pensa di poterla capire dopo un quarto d’ora su Google è invece un esempio di umiltà.

La scienza non è democratica. Non può esserlo. – MedicalFacts

In the case of a recent British Airways advertising campaign, the sky was literally the limit. Through a mixture of old and new, they pushed the limits of billboard advertising to give the world something that had never quite been seen before.

In the case of a recent British Airways advertising campaign, the sky was literally the limit. Through a mixture of old and new, they pushed the limits of billboard advertising to give the world something that had never quite been seen before.

A billboard that tracks airplanes – Billboards

Buy a Mac. If you want 10 years buy a Mac unless you are prepared to change many of the internals and effectively buy a new PC anyway. If you want Windows, buy a Mac and put Windows on it. You are welcome.

Can I buy a future-proof laptop to last 10 years? – Lost In Mobile

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

L’eliminacode

Wait, did you already update the app? If you did, you’re basically infected. You’re Tech-phoid Mary. You should be quar-app-tined.

They Ruined the App | The New Yorker

Often we end up creating artificial categories based on how the product is marketed even though the way it is used is very different from what it says on the box.
The PC market is a unique case study because of how many entrenched workflows users have. These are workflows that are old and might not be perfect, but the familiarity we have with them leads us to believe we cannot do without. The mouse is a good example. For many PC users the mouse is a core part of the experience which means that because the iPad Pro does not support a mouse, it cannot be a PC replacement.

 What the iPad Pro Enables Matters More Than What It Replaces – Techpinions

The iPad is not a computer, not as the term’s been defined for the past 40 years. It’s something new and different, and it excels in some ways that PCs don’t while also struggling to do some things that PCs do well.
Better is to judge the iPad on what it is – and where its potential lies. While it’s misguided to consider the iPad’s path incomplete until it turns itself into a PC, it’s fair to ask if the spectacular hardware Apple’s developed here is being let down by its software.
The iPad Pro isn’t a PC, and shouldn’t be judged as such. It’s something new, and different. But being new and different doesn’t mean it gets a free pass. It’s still got to measure up.
You have to judge a product on what it is.

iPad Pro 2018 review: A computer, not a PC – Jason Snell

Every time Apple introduces a new model of iPad, that old, nasty, stupid, pointless debate rears its ugly head. I’m referring of course to the Can this iPad replace a traditional computer? debate. Also known as Can the iPad become your primary, or even sole computer? Also known as Can the iPad be used for Serious Work?

From a rational standpoint, an iPad may not be the most convenient solution for certain tasks, or even the most practical. But a traditional computer can’t beat that thrill, that feeling of unbearable lightness, when you just grab the iPad from your desktop, put it in your slim messenger bag, and dash out. “I’ll keep checking that thing on the taxi”, “I’ll just shoot her an email while having a cappuccino at the coffee shop near the train station”. Your computing environment on a minimal surface.

Minimal surface nirvana – Riccardo Mori

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

L’eliminacode

Inauguriamo una nuova tipologia di post, che andrà a riunire un po’ di quelle che sarebbero state singolarmente pubblicate come “citazioni del giorno” in un unico posto, per (tentare di) rendere più “agile” la lettura del blog. Cadenza, va da sé, irregolare come il resto, con l’attenuante che la cosa si verificherà solo in caso di lettura ravvicinata di articoli in giacenza da tempo (da qui il titolo). Le citazioni degne di particolare attenzione godranno come prima della pubblicazione in un post singolo.

Samsung is hardly the only example of a company that “should” be able to beat Apple at its own premium-priced game, but hasn’t. Consider Microsoft, which has struggled over the last decade to build premium PC notebooks, high-end smartphones, enterprise tablets and an upscale retail chain, yet has clearly failed in every respect– despite spending lavishly to rebrand and then acquire Nokia, then funding a string of billion-dollar marketing campaigns. Having tons of money doesn’t necessarily result in competence.
Or consider Google, which very publicly made a radical shift from its initial strategy of shoveling out ultra-cheap phones and tablets like the Nexus 7 to a new Apple-like strategy of selling the very expensive, MacBook-priced Chromebook Pixel; iPad-priced Nexus 10; and three generations of iPhone-priced Pixel phones. These have all been absolute commercial flops. 

Android apologists can claim that Google was merely spending billions of dollars to dramatically pantomime a theoretical way to successfully make money for the benefit of its Android licensees– like one of those real estate speculation experts traveling to your town to show you how to get rich, rather than getting rich following his own advice– but if Google’s global brand and its expertise with Android and Chrome OS isn’t enough to push out premium hardware, how will a bunch of failing licensees best known for bundling spyware on copycat hardware designs rival Apple?

ANALYSTS CHANGE TUNE, NOW SAY $1,000 HUAWEI #MATE20 ANDROIDS ARE A BARGAIN – Roughly Drafted 

The App Store didn’t open itself. It cost Apple massive resources to get off the ground and it continues to require incredible resources globally to operate. And yet, Apple still offers access to its store to third-party developers for free, charging fees only when they make money distributing their software or selling subscription services. And recall that selling software is an exceptionally high margin business. 

Spotify now takes issue with the fact that it costs money to make money in the App Store. And rather than viewing Apple’s marketplace as a cost-effective way to reach the best customers on the planet, it’s complaining to the public that its costs in selling apps or services through the App Store to App Store users is an expense that it must pass on to its customers.

AFTER DISRUPTING ITUNES, SPOTIFY DEMANDS A FREE RIDE FROM APPLE’S APP STORE – Roughly Drafted

You know what, then? Keep your Google and your Facebook. Buy their hardware. Let these companies into your own home, give all your data to them. I’ll see you at the next data breach, and it may be a data breach affecting another company you never heard from, but which has your data anyway because they got them from Google or Facebook.

Tech’s high speed, and my low tide – Riccardo Mori

Lack of belief in God is still too often taken to mean the absence of any other meaningful moral beliefs, and that has made atheists an easy minority to revile. This is especially true in America, where an insistence on the idea that we are a Christian nation has tied patriotism to religiosity, leading to such strange paroxysms as the one produced by President Trump at last year’s Values Voter Summit: “In America, we don’t worship government—we worship God.”
(…) legislators around the country were trying to promote Christianity in a way that did not violate the establishment clause. They succeeded, albeit at a price: the courts upheld references to God in pledges, oaths, prayers, and anthems on the ground that they were not actually religious. The phrase “ceremonial deism” was coined by a Yale Law School dean in 1962, and in the decades since it has been used by court after court to explain exceptions to the First Amendment. Like saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes, the courts concluded, these “under God’s” and “In God We Trust’s” are innocuous; they belong to the realm of patriotism, not prayer.

Why are americans still uncomfortable with atheism? – The New Yorker 

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

Un po’ di movimento?

Ogni tanto smanetto con questo blog. In fin dei conti, è uno dei motivi per cui lo tengo “vivo” (l’altro è che – da sempre – scrivere mi rilassa).

Ho così pensato, ispirato da quest’altro blog, di provare a pubblicare ogni tanto qualche riflessione in “stile” diverso dal solito.

Il minimalismo per me non è una moda, ma uno strumento: mi consente di concentrarmi sul contenuto senza dover troppo pensare alla forma (tecnica).

Tuttavia, la possibilità di distinguere visivamente alcuni miei “pensieri” mi affascina.
Abbastanza almeno da provarci per un po’.

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost

Quote Of The Day

La vostra voglia di incazzarvi è molto maggiore degli argomenti che avete per farlo. (…) È come se quegli umani avessero bisogno di trovare la falla del sistema, per potergli imporre un passo più lento, per poterlo fermare ad aspettarli. Dirò di più: sembrano avere un bisogno spasmodico di trovare un cattivo, in questa storia, forse per togliersi il dubbio latente di esserlo tutti. L’astio che provano per i grandi player sembra aver ridotto a zero la possibilità di ricordarsi che abitano volentieri in un mondo che loro hanno contribuito ad allestire: gente che regolarmente ha Google odia Google, gente che non può fare a meno di WhatsApp vede in Zuckerberg il demonio, gente che ha l’iPhone pensa che l’iPhone instupidisca la gente. (…) Gente avveduta reputa una calamita il fatto che se hai simpatie neonaziste YouTube ti metta nella colonnina di destra dei materiali atti a moltiplicare questa tua singolare attitudine: cosa dovrebbe fare, mettere dei discorsi di Martin Luther King? Se mettesse a noi dei deliranti monologhi sulla supremazia della razza bianca lo troveremmo un segno di civiltà e di meritoria obiettività di YouTube?.

Alessandro Baricco – The Game

Stay Tuned,
Mr.Frost