“the inevitable outcome is bureaucracy”

Khoi Vinh on John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum:

In the Wick-verse this tendency towards bureaucracy literally manifests itself as a bureaucracy. So we see in this latest episode even more of what we began to see in “John Wick: Chapter 2”: more jargon, more prototocols, more paperwork, more dialogue devoted to characters shouting the world’s rules back at one another. The end result is tedium, but what’s really happening is that the beautifully succinct motivation that drove the original “John Wick,” that revenge fantasy that was so simple and effective as to be almost poetic, has become now fully diffused. It’s no longer clear what Wick wants, what he’s fighting for, why he exists. Instead he’s become little more than a tour guide, an excuse for us to shuffle from one tediously “weird” department of the bureaucracy to another. Where this universe used to be about a man who could kill with a pencil, it now instead devotes itself to a morass of tiresome pencil pushers.

It used to be, “All good things must come to an end.”

Now it’s, “All good things must turn into bureaucracies.”

via Kottke

Categories:

Film

Let’s see your hand, Huawei.

Yesterday Reuters announced Google was revoking Huawei’s Android license, forcing them to use the open source version (I thought Android was open source? I thought “open always wins”? What’s up, Google?).

Today Huawei responded (via The Verge):

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.

We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

Vlad Savov at The Verge adds:

For its part, Huawei has been making preparations for an eventuality of losing access to software from US companies like Google and Microsoft, and it has been developing an in-house operating system alternative to Android. That may be what the company hints at in the final paragraph of its statement when it says it will “continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem.” Sustainable being the key word.

I can’t wait to see what kind of half-baked trash fire of an operating system Huawei is developing.

Categories:

Software

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“…but the deeper software integration from the foldable display just isn’t ready yet.”

Lenovo let Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge get his hands on their new foldable PC.

For me, it all boils down to this quote from Chaim:

Unfortunately there’s just not a lot we can show off here. There is a functional (!) version of Windows running on this hardware, but the deeper software integration from the foldable display just isn’t ready yet.

It’s important to experiment with new form factors for devices, but when you’re bringing a product to market, it’s much more important to have your use cases figured out and your software ready and working.

This reeks of trendy novelty and a complete lack of deep thinking. Lenovo appears to be riding the foldable wave started by Samsung back in February.

What’s the use case for a folding laptop?

Would I buy this to replace a tablet or a traditional laptop?

Where’s the benefit in saying “me first!” with a piece of shit?

Categories:

Product

“I don’t have a plan.”

A few weeks ago an interesting question popped up over at Designer News aimed at designers who are 40-plus:

how are you approaching your next career steps to make it all the way to the retirement age (not as a goal, but as an age marker)? Especially if you are currently not in the director/leadership role working in the agency, in-house, or in-house tech. Are you actively trying to get into the management roles (not just a project lead, but leading a larger team of people or business) or are feeling good continuing on the IC (individual contributor) level? Have you felt the push to advance up the corporate ladder?

In comments some people admit they don’t aspire to manage or lead and don’t have retirement plans. While I can understand not everyone is built to be a manager, not planning for retirement is bad. Very bad.

It can seem far, far away when you’re in your 20s and 30s, but retirement is right around the corner. As a 42-year-old designer, I feel the gap shortening every day.

Categories:

Career

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Illuminating Luminary’s Shady Operations

Podcast startup Luminary’s launch week keeps getting worse:

Major creators are continuing to remove their shows from Luminary, the $100 million subscription podcast startup, over its business model, and even more are leaving after the company was exposed for using a proxy server that hides listener data from creators.

Joe Rogan’s popular show was pulled from the platform yesterday, and Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini said her network’s shows would be pulled, too. The New York Times was already withholding its blockbuster hit The Daily, and Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast — which are all Spotify-owned companies — also didn’t make their shows available at launch.

Now, smaller creators, including Ben Thompson, Owen Williams, and Federico Viticci, are pulling their podcasts, too. Their withdrawal comes after podcasters noticed that Luminary was serving shows to listeners through a complicated linking system, depriving them of important listener data. The platform also stripped their shows notes, which can be used to share sponsored links or other relevant information.

This is a reminder content platforms like Luminary, Netflix, HBO and social media platforms are nothing without content creators. If those platforms aren’t respecting you, you should leave.

Categories:

Podcast

Bubbles & Math

Last month, mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck won the Abel Prize for her discovery of a phenomenon called “bubbling”.

The way she describes bubbles is quiet poetic:

“Bubbles are emptiness, non-liquid, a tiny cloud shielding a mathematical singularity,” he wrote. “Born from chance, a violent and brief life ending in the union with the nearly infinite.”

And this nugget caught my eye:

A soap bubble is the physical world’s solution for a mathematical challenge: to minimize a surface area — in this case, one that surrounds a prescribed volume of air. Nature is always seeking to optimize, to maximize gain at minimal cost in energy cost.

Bubbles sound like capitalists.

Helvetica Now has a font system like Apple’s San Francisco

Apple fixed Helvetica for screens with San Francisco (in Display, Text, Compact, and UI versions).

Monotype responds to San Francisco Pro with Helvetica Now (in Display, Text, and Micro versions).

Related: Public Sans is a free typeface developed by the United States Web Design System. Hey, who knew we had a web design system?

There’s a first for everything.

John Gruber on the MacBook keyboards:

I consider these keyboards the worst products in Apple history. MacBooks should have the best keyboards in the industry; instead they’re the worst. They’re doing lasting harm to the reputation of the MacBook brand.

I just started a new job and normally I get excited because that means I get a brand-new MacBook Pro.

This is the first time in my 19 years as a graphic designer I’m not looking forward to getting a new machine.

And that sucks.

Categories:

Product

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McGregor

Conor McGregor willing to serve as co-main event for the UFC, on one condition:

While he didn’t quite get what he was asking for, McGregor did ultimately get a new, six-fight deal with the UFC that included an official sponsorship deal for McGregor’s Proper 12 whiskey, including putting it on the UFC canvas. But after serving as the A side for by far the biggest PPV in UFC history, McGregor is back to chasing the equity he feels he deserves, and at this point, it’s getting harder to deny him. McGregor is responsible for five of the six highest-selling UFC PPVs ever. If any fighter deserves equity in the company, it’s him, but the UFC has been adamantly against setting that kind of precedent.

The UFC should give him a cut, he’s worth it. Every contender in the UFC is a fighter, but not every fighter is a fight promoter. McGregor is a promotion machine. He’s one of those rare individuals who understands there’s way more to fighting events than just fighting. As the article mentions, he was in 5 of 6 highest-selling pay-per-views ever in the UFC.

That’s not an accident.

Categories:

Sports