So earlier tonight I sat down to read something. I do this most nights before dinner. It’s a nice way to unwind, I find. Not a book mind you — that will be nice, one day — but an article I had saved to read later in my ongoing journey around the internet.
This night, for whatever reason, it was an interview with Trent Reznor in Rolling Stone. And it was great for a number of reasons. First and foremost, because he didn’t mention the pandemic. Because it was a time before the pandemic. You see, this article was from two years ago.
I think about this a lot: the notion that reading something “old” carries all this baggage with it. That it’s somehow a waste of time because it’s not new. I know I’m not alone in thinking this, but I also know it’s crazy. It’s crazy because this interview was great and I’m happy I read it. It was a kind of escapism, as insane as that sounds, from our current time. Back to a time when the tragedy on his mind was the death of Anthony Bourdain — which yes, still really fucking sucks.
And his insight was no less insightful because two years have passed. Perhaps it was even more so, in a way.
I wish there was an obvious way to break this spell. We watch old movies, we listen to old music, we read old books. But if you share an old article that was great on the internet, you damn well better disclose the date of publication. And so often, why bother? Just share something new. Anyway, that’s a long preamble to share this article.
Speaking of online articles, I’m a big fan of the move towards audio as a new layer. The Economist and Apple News+ are doing this with professional readers. You’ve probably heard enough about my iOS system-level “hack” for a more robotic way of doing this. The BBC appears to be working on a hybrid model… 🗣
Here’s a good look into the trend towards TestFlight-exclusive apps (at least for a set period of time). This is absolutely happening and perhaps not on purpose but because of a hole in Apple’s distribution system. 📲
Speaking of audio, the recent changes to Beats 1 — now “Apple Music 1” — are interesting and make sense (overdue!). I’m still wondering if Howard Stern is the next shoe (mic?) to drop. Imagine that as an Apple Music exclusive channel… 📻
Come for the Ben Smith column about old Hollywood dying in the arms of streaming, but stay for the kicker from Barry Diller (talking about every old school studio except Disney), “All of the rest of them are caddies on a golf course they’ll never play.” 🏌️♂️
Here’s a transcript of a podcast Alex Kantrowitz did with Casey Newton that is full of good thoughts on the state of the tech media, Facebook, and newsletters (Casey’s newsletter, The Interface, is well-known and well-worth the subscription at this point, Alex more recently broke away to do one). 🔊
We’ve all seen the statues and busts, but what would the Roman emperors actually look like? Daniel Voshart is glad you asked! 🏛
Apple and Epic go thermonuclear…
The curious case of the 30 percent cut…
The rapid transformation of San Francisco
What should ‘Apple One’ include, and how much should it cost?