Apple killing their free radio tier

According to a few sources, Apple is killing off its free ad supported radio stations, except for Apple Music subscribers, on January 28. 

I understand they want to push listeners to subscribe, but this also has placed the final nail in the coffin of purchasing individual songs. iTunes Radio stations always provided a purchase option on the songs being played. 

I’m not saying they would get rid of pay to own music, but it does seem to be one less way to advertise for pay music.

Obviously, Apple Music was the first step out of purchasing all of one’s music. To be clear, I do not see Apple getting rid of music purchases, but it is certainly not, in their minds, the objective anymore. They would rather you pay a monthly fee.

In the long run, a smart decision. Of course it will piss off a subset of people, but as a business, this is the future. 

My guess is Pandora Radio will be the next to leave the ad supported model. 

Calendar Triple Crown Attempt

Completing the triple crown in hiking is an amazing achievement. Backpackers must traverse the Appalachian Trail (AT), The Continental Divide Trail (CDT), and The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in their lifetime. What Mary Moynihan (trail name: Speed Stick) is attempting is to complete all three in one calendar year.

She has just made it to Neel Gap, the first milestone on the NOBO attempt of the AT. She is keeping a blog at http://marriedtothetrail.com.

From her first on-the-trail update:

Ten years ago I hiked this trail. It nearly ruined me the first day. Hell, that first hour. As I slogged my way up the approach trail from Amicalola State Park, my back whimpered while my skin turned sticky in the late May heat. Now it’s January, ten years later. This time, the approach trail was easy, and although its not the official Appalachian Trail,  I needed to revisit the footpath, and to start things off right. At 10:50am I left the park’s visitor center, an open mind in tow.

I look forward to reading how this ambitious goal turns out. Good Luck!

A New Year (2016)

For years, I’ve wanted to be more disciplined in writing on my blog. Now I am going to make an attempt to write here daily. I know how this course plays out. Most of the time, I start these things and after a few weeks fall behind and then neglect to do the things I promised myself I would do.

That very well could be what happens this time around, but I would like to at least make the attempt. So, here is that attempt.

These were the views from my new year’s day at the lake:

A view of the unusually full Lake Martin on New Year's Day

A view of the unusually full Lake Martin on New Year’s Day

 

Morning Coffee on New Year's Day at Lake Martin

Morning Coffee on New Year’s Day at Lake Martin

 

Parenting is a lot like sysadminning… via /r/Parenting


Parenting is a lot like sysadminning…

It struck me today that a lot of the principles apply equally well to either job, and that wrangling users and wrangling kids is actually disturbingly similar…

  • Don't rely on technical solutions to administrative problems.

    • If you lock them out of things, you just encourage them to work around your restrictions.
    • Use technical solutions as a backup – but your first lines of defense should be policy, supervision and a review of the needs driving the problem behaviour. What are they seeking, and why aren't they getting it from what they are allowed to do? How can you provide it in a safe and appropriate manner?
  • Don't rely on security through obscurity.

    • If the only thing preventing them from doing something is not knowing about it, you are fucked. Not only will they find out, but they'll find out from exactly the kind of people you don't want them learning things from.
    • Tell them about it, and then tell them why they shouldn't, so they can't get blindsided or scammed. Tie it into the policy-and-supervision methods above, and you've got your best chance of controlling the outcomes.
  • The more orders and rules you throw at them, the less attention they'll pay to any of them.

    • Nagging is the first thing to get filtered from their awareness, and resentment obliterates compliance.
    • Keep the rules as simple and as few as possible.
    • Wide latitude with iron boundaries works a lot better than micromanagement with wiggle room.
    • Make their needs a fundamental input to policy formulation; if you have to keep giving them a hard time about things, your system is a bad fit, and you'll both have stressful lives.
    • Every time you give instructions, you reduce the effectiveness of your communication. Work towards a target of zero interventions under normal conditions, and build systems that contribute to this.
  • The more requests they throw at you, the less capable they become and the more stressed you get.

    • While you need a degree of control in order to enforce policy and usefully manage resources, you should treat authority as a cost, not a benefit. Don't hardwire yourself into every decision loop, or you'll just end up resenting each other.
    • Instead, facilitate their independence as far as possible – and try and design the system towards this end.
    • If you find yourself proxying or rubber-stamping requests, you're doing it wrong. Hook them up directly, or give them the authority to do it themselves.
  • When you're acting in a support context, don't be a grouchy, judgy asshole.

    • This is your job, and they are people too. Yes, they can be frustrating as hell, but they've come to you for help, so look at the problem through their eyes. What do they need out of the experience?
    • Yes, this is the Nth time you've told them not to do X, or Y would happen, and they've gone and done X again. Yes, you need to teach them – but acting like a dick about it won't make them remember, it'll just make them less likely to report the problem in future.
    • Being jaded, cynical and frustrated at how useless they are at everything is feels good at the time, but it's unfair to them and corrosive to you. Avoid this trap, and just be helpful and cheerful instead.

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