Category Archives: Tech

iTunes Payments Dropdown Tip

A quick tip about iTunes Payments and Financial Reports in iTunes Connect.

I was trying to reconcile from iAd Revenue to iTunes Payments. It looked like there were amounts missing in the Payments page. It took me a long time to realize this, but there is a dropdown to switch between your organization payment accounts. I probably have multiple payment accounts in iTunes Connect due to updating my address.

If you have multiple iTunes Connect agreements or accounts, you may want to check for a dropdown on the Summary page. I hope this helps someone out there trying to understand this part of iTunes Connect better.

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Optimizing for stable tools that don’t create perpetual work

Time is an incredibly important asset.

I come from a Ruby on Rails background. The progress of Rails updates & JS frameworks has been amazing & constant. Each new Rails patch brings with it some work to stay current. It’s not Rails’s fault since there are always new features or security issues that arise. Having a well maintained framework, such as Rails, is a huge boon for the community.

With any programmer tool, you generally want to be on the current stable release (for a variety of reasons including security & bug fixes). The issue is that upgrading to the latest stable version creates a never ending stream of (hopefully small) work.

Even if you went without a framework (Rails, Django, etc.), your server is running on a suite of tools. You’ll need to keep your OS (even LTS) and most likely nginx up to date.

Perhaps you want to outsource server maintenance, so you’re using Heroku. You’ll have to keep your configs compliant with the Heroku deployment framework & best practices.

What I’m getting at is that there are so many incredible tools available to developers today. Oftentimes, these tools are free and constantly get better & faster over time.

I’m wondering if there is, or if it would be possible to create developer tools that are optimized for API stability. No more figuring how to do things the framework-way every several months. Setup once, use forever. When you’re able to minimize the present value amount of time spent maintaining a tool, you’re freeing your future self to work on higher value tasks.

Maptime Movement

I’ve attended Maptime in both NYC & LA. Each location seems to make the event their own. If you’re interested in maps, you should definitely check out a local Maptime event.

maptime

In NYC, we worked on different mapping challenges (subway maps, D3.js, etc.). In LA, we went over using git & Github.

True Business

I recently read The Box by Marc Levinson.

Marc brings out this excellent insight about Malcom McLean, a pioneer in containerization (using Shipping Container to modularize transport & avoid break bulk):

Malcom McLean’s real contribution to the development of containerization, in my view, had to do not with a metal box or a ship, but with a managerial insight. McLean understood that transport companies’ true business was moving freight rather than operating ships or trains.

As the excerpt says, a shipper’s business is about transporting goods and not operating ships. I’d like to draw a parallel to web development. Developers need to know how to build & maintain websites, but the true business side of web development is about providing services to visitors.

Gogo Inflight Internet Prices – US Airways

Posting this since I wanted to know roughly how much you would save by buying wifi BEFORE your flight (or inflight). And I didn’t find a good source for this while searching.

Buying in advance Prices

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Buying inflight Prices

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The difference

1 Hour – $5 preflight vs $8 inflight

All day – $16 preflight vs $22.95 inflight

Also, here’s some more US Airways / American Airlines inflight prices:

inflight_extras_v2

Profit Center Based Work

When it comes to work that will build a great career, Patrick McKenzie has great advice:

Profit Centers are the part of an organization that bring in the bacon: partners at law firms, sales at enterprise software companies, “masters of the universe” on Wall Street, etc etc. Cost Centers are, well, everybody else. You really want to be attached to Profit Centers because it will bring you higher wages, more respect, and greater opportunities for everything of value to you.

The gist is that you want your role at the company to correlate with revenue generation.

If your role leads to more revenue, your role will always be in demand.  Sales functions have so much money allocated into them with the expectation that it is an investment. Back office tasks (HR, accounting, etc.) are essential, but they do not generate gross revenue and are always on the chopping block.

Developer Education

As an avid tech news reader, I’m able to follow industry discussions about hot new start ups.

For example, startups such as Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. have garnered a lot of hype. As a technology enthusiast, what is my duty to try out new apps / sites?

Is it enough to know about them? Is it enough to have tried them? Is it enough to know how to recreate them?

iOS Simulator

When previewing a site on my iPhone (1136 x 640), I wasn’t satisfied with using my iPhone 5 or a Chrome browser Window Resizer app.

Turns out it’s super simple to use the iOS Simulator with Xcode on OS X (version 10.8.5).

Select Xcode > Open Developer Tool > iOS Simulator

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You’ll be presented with an iPhone to navigate within. Select Safari and you can use a site like localhost:3000 for development.

 
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An Evening with Vincent Laforet – NYC Talk

Earlier this month, I attended a talk at Adorama in NYC that provided great context to Vincent Laforet‘s career. As a photographer who saw the writing on the wall, Vincent transitioned his career from still photography into motion picture.

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Vincent’s presentation was statistics heavy and illustrated the amount of content (image and video) that gets produced every day. The future holds even more consumer made content that reduces the role of big media as tastemakers. Also, viewer attention span keeps going down over time.

When Reverie came out in 2008, I assumed that Canon reached out to him to produce it. The reality is that Vincent was at Canon and happened to come across the 5d mk2 prototype. Vincent was rejected several times, but Canon eventually let him borrow it. And history was made.

Vincent said that he takes most (95%) of his photos on his iPhone. As someone who shot for the NYTimes and is a Canon Explorer of Light, I’m surprised he doesn’t use his DSLRs more often. It makes sense since convenience is king, and we always have our phones.

Another point that was brought up during the talk was Constant Photography. Instead of taking THE photo at THE right moment, you could just take a film of ALL the moments and cherry pick the photo that you want. Why would you need a photographer when you have a videographer that does both?

What I got out of Vincent’s talk was that passion and being open to change are important. Vincent could have kept working as a photographer, but changing to a Director/DP was a risky move that paid off in the long run. As a new DP, he doesn’t know everything, but he is able to hire great people with complimentary skills and get it done.