Web Excursions 2021-05-01

🌟 [Post of The Day] How We Redesigned the New York Times Opinion Essay | by The NYT Open Team | Apr, 2021 | NYT Open

  • The team was established after a wave of feedback from our readers showed that many people found it difficult to tell whether a story was an Opinion piece or hard news.

  • The type of Opinion journalism our group was tasked with rethinking was the Op-Ed, which was first introduced in the Times newspaper in 1970.

    • The Op-Ed was short for “opposite the Editorial Page,”

    • and it contained essays written by both Times columnists and external contributors from across the political, cultural and global spectrum who shared their viewpoints on numerous topics and current events.

    • Because of the Op-Ed’s proximity to the Editorial Page in the printed newspaper, it was clear that published essays were Opinion journalism.

  • The Op-Ed lost its clear proximity to the Editorial Page,

    • and the term has been used broadly as a catch-all phrase for Opinion pieces,

    • leaving the definition of what an Op-Ed is unclear.

  • In the case of external contributors, readers wanted to know why the desk chose to feature their voice.

  • the challenge at hand was not solely a design problem, but a framing issue, as well.

  • The more we thought about the Opinion section as a dinner party, the more we felt how crucial it was to communicate this idea to readers.

Spotify’s Surprise – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

  • Rates

    • Anchor’s rates are the same for all subscribers; all $5 subscriptions earn $4.55 in 2021 and 2022, and then earn $4.31 in 2023, no matter if the subscriber signed up in 2021 or 2023.

    • Apple’s “Year One” and “Year Two” rates apply to subscribers, not podcasts; even if your podcast has been available for two years, for example, new subscribers pay out at the 70/30 rate for the first year they are subscribed.

    • after 2023 rates for long-time subscribers are more comparable than you might expect.

  • The Open Podcast Ecosystem

    • your audience won’t need to contend with RSS feeds or downloading a separate third-party app to listen.

    • They’ll still have the option of listening on the platform of their choosing through a private RSS feed, so you don’t lose out on any potential subscribers.

    • And with paid subscription content clearly marked on your show and episode pages in Spotify, listeners can easily see how to support you directly, thus presenting a bigger potential paid audience.

  • Whose customers

    • When it comes to Apple, Analyst Ben thinks that Apple’s Podcast Subscription service makes a lot of sense, and is a good example of how Apple can compete on the user experience;

    • Podcaster Ben, meanwhile, would prefer to have my shows everywhere.

  • The Spotify Open Access Platform

    • From the announcement: also working on technology that will let your listeners hear your content on Spotify using your existing login system.

    • they won’t support arbitrary RSS feeds, but instead another open technology — OAuth.

They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War | WIRED

  • what makes the machine special is that it has two hoppers and two barrels,

    • each working independently with precise settings, to produce both milkshakes and soft serve simultaneously.

    • It uses a pump, rather than gravity like many other machines, to accelerate the flow of McFlurries and fudge sundaes:

    • McD Truth describes selling 10 ice cream cones a minute during peak sales periods, a feat that’s impossible with other machines.

  • Every two weeks, all of Taylor's precisely engineered components have to be disassembled and sanitized.

    • Some pieces have to be carefully lubricated.

    • The machine’s parts include no fewer than two dozen rubber and plastic O-rings of different sizes.

    • Leave a single one out, and the pump can fail or liquid ingredients can leak out of the machine.

  • O’Sullivan and Nelson began looking up the logins on Kytch’s website and saw that one of the user profiles associated with Gamble's machine in the shop had been deleted a couple of months after the fateful McDonald’s email in November.

    • That deleted user was named Matt Wilson. Was Wilson one of Gamble’s employees?

    • They began to check his locations based on the IP addresses of the networks where he’d logged in, and found IPs from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

  • Regardless of how the legal conflict unfolds, Kytch’s old technical adviser and investor bunnie Huang argues that McDonald’s and Taylor’s efforts to crush this tiny startup represent a form of validation. “When big guys come along and start thumping their chests around you, that’s sort of a recognition that you’re a threat to the alpha male,”

“About one-third of Basecamp employees accepted buyouts today”

  • grey-area, disputing: I don't think this is really about making fun of people's names, or holocaust references. It's about power.

    • The managers at basecamp were unhappy that their employees asserted power over them in the workplace, and decided to assert their own power in turn over what they view as their personal fiefdom and retract some of the freedoms they had so graciously granted their workers