In a short story called “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” Jorge Luis Borges describes the discovery of a strange book. Written in an arcane language, the book seems to be one volume of an encyclopedia of another world, intriguingly unlike the world of everyday reality. The world of the volume rapidly becomes a universal obsession: scholarly journals were devoted to it, people begin to dress and act in ways suggested by the volume. So compelling are the glimpses of the world revealed by the volume that its reality finally crowds out our own, and the world becomes the world of Tlon.
The volume you are holding in your hands is the volume Borges had in mind.
—Michael Swaine, preface to Dr Dobb's Journal Vol 09
Cookie warnings are usually quite annoying interruptions to a site's design, but JetBrains understands what their users like:
I still clicked No.
Opening Video: Emotional music. Mortuary full of coffins. Crying mourners. THEN! Light shines from one casket after another: iDeath! The iPhone app that live-streams to and from inside your casket so your loved ones never have to let you go! SOMBER!
Item 0: Apple's best year ever, look at this literal mountain of cash and gold they can swim in like Scrooge McDuck, at the new Apple spaceship campus! KA-CHING!
Item 1: Apple announces the end of mechanical keyboards. If you filthy heathens in non-sterile, non-white-void rooms can't take care not to spill Coke (or coke), crumbs, hair, or microscopic dust particles into Jony IVE-1138's perfect butterfly switches, jamming them up, and then have the audacity to sue, then you just don't deserve them. All replacement and new-issue keyboards will be sealed-in, membrane keyboards like the Atari 400. COURAGE!
eat shit and die use remote APIs to implement code on their own web server. SWEET!
Sub-Item: Apple is responding to Developer's Union by hiring the Pinkerton Agency. There will be no trials of any kind. BEATINGS FOR ALL!
Item 3: New Macs! Finally, the new Mac-itecture is here: ARM, iOS, with an Intel emulator that runs up to 20% as fast as a real Intel chip in this rigged demo. Available 2019 or 2020, they really want to get this right, so all existing Macs are EOL today. POWER!
Item 4: Apple announces all-new game development tools, streaming from a home server or iCloud Games server, just like Steam Link but, you know, for the children!, with Apple's 30% cut and no expensive $9.99 games, only "free" IAP games allowed. Obsolete native iOS games will be phased out over the next 6 weeks as OpenGL is deprecated and then unsupported, and Metal only supported on MacTruck platforms. BEEP BOOP (nobody at Apple has ever played a videogame, so this presentation's kind of awkward).
One More Thing: HomePod now supports stereo, a mere 87 years after radio, records, and movies went stereo. Surprise announcements of vinyl LP and 8-track addons for the HomePod Hi-Fi shipping this Fall, and another U2 album in your iTunes library today! ROCKIN'!
Quite a lineup you got there, Timmy Cook! Don't ask how Steve would run the company, you do it your way!
Penguin 1: "Free Software lets us own the means of production, maaan, and fix our own code! We don't need giant companies making products if we just have emacs!"
Penguin 2: "Yeah, maaan, and also all those giant companies making products should do all the coding for us!"
- Slate Star Codex: Current Affairs’ “Some Puzzles For Libertarians”, Treated As Writing Prompts For Short Stories
There were more shouts and another frenzy for attention. General Washington banged his gavel. “The chair recognizes Alexander Hamilton.”
“Yo,” said Hamilton. “The institutions of our Constitution, give a clear solution to this persecution. The Revolution…”
“The chair unrecognizes Representative Hamilton, and offers the floor to anyone who does not speak in rap.”
So did the Superb Owl hurl that spheroid, and see its shadow, and have some really exciting ads for products, services, and terrible all-consuming megacorporations? I was busy, mostly on videogames.
Legit email from Jeff Bezos
One correction: "Because I believe all Amazon employees should be free to cry at their doordesk no matter where that doordesk is located."
Back in the day, all we had were tin cans & string, er, BBS's, which were like Thunderdome without the sense of fair play, but we also tolerated much weirder behavior, and at worst you couldn't call back to one board in your city. Now if you say anything any one of the kiddie mafia doesn't like, they all have a toddler meltdown at you, over the tin can network we built.
I don't have a solution for any of this, just kicking out Tiny Tim's crutches and laughing at him, as one does this season.