MetaLab Launches Peak

Matt Pearson:

Being micromanaged by robots is no better than by humans. This kind of stats-obsessed moronity breeds a toxic workplace.

I couldn’t agree more. Although this product might have been created with great intentions, I can easily see it being abused. If people work for you, ask them to update you. Don’t spy on them, even if under the guise of “avoiding shoulder taps.”

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Profit

Jim Dalrymple on The Loop:

Apple on Monday reported its fourth quarter results, posting revenue of $37.5 billion and a profit of $7.5 billion. This compares to revenue of $36 billion and net profit of $8.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.

I love Apple, but the amount of success they have is sickening at times. This is a stupid amount of money.

Marco Arment on Apple’s Recent Event

Something felt a bit off about this week’s Apple event.

Part of it was the lack of surprises, which isn’t Apple’s fault. All of the product upgrades, while nice, were incremental and predictable. None of the pricing was a surprise. In fact, the only unexpected product announcement is the zombie iPad 2 sticking around for another year, shamelessly at the same price as last year.

I agree. It felt weird, and ended abruptly.

Tapbots Launches New Tweetbot

While I admire all the hard work that went in creating this new version of Tweetbot, I can’t help be a little disappointed. The app has lost much of its personality; both visually and sonically. The new app has some very well done animations, but unfortunately looks too “default iOS 7” for my taste.

However, I did purchase because I respect the work of Tapbots very much and I want to support them. They have the reputation of making incredible things, and I look forward to seeing the betterment of Tweetbot.

Does the Web Industry Have a Drinking Problem?

Rachel Andrew writing on A List Apart:

Almost every conference’s second day opens with attendees being asked how their hangovers are. Second day early-slot speakers joke that no one will turn up anyway, or they’ll all just be staring into their coffee. It has become normal, in fact expected, that drinking and staying out late is what we do while at conferences.

I think Rachel brings up a very real issue with our conferences and events. Because our industry is very friendly, and social, it seems we might be blurring the lines of professional time and social time, a bit too much. She goes on to say:

We’re also underlining that our events are for over-18s, maybe even over-21s, by holding them in licensed premises. Most of us know students or even those who are working professionally in our field long before they are “adult.” Should they be excluded?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having drinks—and the article isn’t advocating for the banishment of alcohol—but I remember being the seventeen year-old kid that couldn’t drink. I’ve always been very extroverted, so it never stopped me from talking to people. However, I can see how it could affect others; making them feel excluded and not part of the group, and Rachel’s article does a great job of shining light on that fact.

Samsung Fined $340,000 in Taiwan for Fake Online Comments

Aaron Souppouris reporting for The Verge:

After being caught paying for false praise and negative comments about competitors, Samsung has been fined just over $340,000. The issue first arose internationally in April, when Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced it was opening an investigation into the allegations. That investigation found the allegations were true: the FTC says Samsung used a “large number of hired writers and designated employees” to post in Taiwanese forums.

Embarrassing. But wait! There’s more!

While Samsung is by no means the first company to engage in astroturfing, it’s been caught in the act twice this year alone.

Not only are they engaging in unethical marketing practices—which hilariously enough has an official term—they’ve been caught doing it twice in the same year.

Get your stuff together, Samsung. You’re better than this.

Microsoft Talks Apple iPads and iWork

Frank Shaw on The Official Microsoft Blog:

Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world’s most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively. Making Apple’s decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.

I think they, like others, are waking up to the fact that we’ve built a better solution for people everywhere, who are getting things done from anywhere, and who don’t have hard lines between their personal and professional lives.

Microsoft looks incredibly stupid for publishing this garbage.

Who cares that you made a device you think “is the most productive tablet you can buy today,” when it’s not selling? Eighty-one percent of tablet usage is on the iPad, and I highly doubt that the Surface has a significant share of the remaining nineteen percent.

Microsoft has so much untapped potential they could use for making great new products. Instead, they waste their time writing a post like this that claims they understand “how people work better than anyone else.” Talk is cheap, but the fact is this: while Microsoft was busy loosing $900 million on Surface tablets in Q3 2013, Apple sold 14.6 million iPads.