A Psychiatrist Tried to Quit Gambling. Betting Apps Kept Her Hooked, WSJ

    Betting companies “…can track when customers last used the app and offer credits and other incentives to persuade their most-valued gamblers–by definition, the biggest losers–to return.

    Social-media companies are embracing this new type of push because people are posting and interacting less publicly on social media… While the number of notifications on any given app fluctuates over time, they have risen on nearly every major social-media app since July 2023…

    Wall Street Journal

    The incredible shrinking podcast industry | Semafor

    Apple has quietly tightened its reporting of how many people listen to podcasts, sending shock waves through an embattled audio industry … Apple wrote in a blog post, … had begun switching off automatic downloads for users who haven’t listened to five episodes of a show in the last two weeks.

    The culture/media war of 2024 has already been won (Ted Gioia)

    In other words, legacy media is collapsing at the very moment that alternative platforms are booming. I’m doubling my audience in 2023 (up more than 120% year-on-year), but the Stripe numbers indicate that this is happening everywhere in the alt culture. … I hear every day from people asking me to share what I’ve learned from running a successful Substack. But the folks approaching me are all involved in new media platforms. I never get asked a single question about Substack from mainstream media people (although they are always asking me to contribute). They obviously believe that they have nothing to learn from the microculture.

    🗞️ Tension Between Micro Culture and Macroculture. This is easily among the post important things I’ve on this in recent memory and well worth your time.

    Apple to Suspend Some Apple Watch Sales in U.S. Over Patent Dispute - WSJ

    The company will pause online sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 beginning on Dec. 21, removing from the market a popular Christmas gift just days before the holiday. In-store sales will cease on Dec. 24, according to the company.

    Subscriptions, end-of-year 2023

    TLDR; $632.57 per annum: could be better, could be a lot worse.

    I was waiting until New Year’s, but Pratik, {maique}, and Robb among overs have already posted theirs. I never got around to posting new year lists like this in January, and so the last one I did was January 2022.


    • Dark Noise ($19.99) Infrequently used but absolute clutch when I need it. I often need to drown out distractions in my office or when traveling. Dark Noise lets me create different colored and ambient noises. When I need to concentrate and background music won’t cut it, I use this.
    • Darkroom ($19.99) I got this in July before I went on holiday to Yosemite. Since then I forget that I have it and post photos without processing them. If I keep using it, I’ll renew. But if the next six months is like the last, I’ll likely let it go in July.
    • DEVONthink To Go ($19.99) Work tool. Essential for accessing my DEVONthink databases on my iPad.
    • Drafts ($19.99) I love this app. And if I had to keep only one non-native app on my iPhone, it would be this even over other very powerful apps like 1Password and OmniFocus.
    • Macrofactor ($71.99) Nutrition tracking. It’s very good. I don’t know if I’ll renew it but as of right now, I’m 50/50
    • MindNode ($19.99) Mind mapping, likely expiring it.
    • Scanner Pro ($19.99) Great little tool. Could be cheaper but it is too valuable not to keep going.
    • Timery ($9.99) Presets and stuff or Toggl, and while I don’t use all the features I will keep it up for a bit.

    All prices annual. $201.92 total.

    Media and services

    Ok, this is a weird category. It is the area my wife and I have cut the most, letting Paramount+ and other services go. We have Prime Video because we pay for Prime shipping, and after Disney raised its annual rate by nearly double, we let it go only to get a Black Friday Sale of Hulu for a buck per month, and Disney for $2/mo extra

    • Hulu & Disney Plus ($48)
    • Prime Video ($0.00)
    • 1Password ($32.25) This is the end of my discount and next October it goes up to ~$60. But I now manage passwords for my wife and mom (who lives out of state). This is essential.
    • The Athletic ($12) It’s worth it at full price, but I snagged the Black Friday sale.
    • Fastmail $50
    • Apple iCloud (128.40)
    • Micro Blog ($60)
    • YNAB ($100) Budget and expensive tracking. The least sexy but perhaps most important on this list because it compels me to consider all these (and all the ones I pass on each year).

    All prices annual. $430.65 total.

    Not listed

    • MLB Live. I usually wait until mid-summer and then grab a sale. So it isn’t a subscription, strictly speaking.
    • Overcast Since I paid for it prior to ::checks notes:: 2015, I’m grandfathered in such that I don’t get ads but don’t have to pay the $9.99/yr. I’ve tried a lot of other podcast apps, but next year it’ll be ten years with this app. It’s not going anywhere.
    • Tunnel Bear VPN I don’t remember when I did, but some time ago I paid for several years at once. I’m not sure they’re the best VPN service, but they’re good enough for my needs and I don’t need to think about it until my multi-year service is up.
    • Apps that I’ve moved over to work and now have my work paying for them. These include Readwise, Backblaze, Fantastical, and Adobe Creative Cloud.
    • Apps that are subscriptions now, or primarily, but which I just buy outright, like iA Writer and MarsEdit 5 (haven’t bought yet, but will soon). I have no problem with subscriptions (see above). But I like buying apps outright to keep me from subscription creep.

    Expected additions

    I’ve been off Qobuz for over a year. Of all the music streaming services, this is the one I love the most. We might have more streaming services for the kids now that the big two are older and want more than just children’s movies. College Football has a lot of changes next year, including the realignment and 12-team playoff. I fully expect that I might need to opt back into Peacock, Paramount, Fox or something to catch more games. I also need to consider a photo service. I love Flickr, but never went pro. I killed Instragram almost two years go; then I tried Glass but it’s more for pros (I think). Nothing has stuck, yet, and until I have time to really think through my online photo presence, I’m ok with Micro Blog being the one-stop shop for my habits.

    Thirty Months with a 12-inch PowerBook G4 – Shawn Blanc

    I loved my 12-inch PowerBook. It was the first Mac I bought, in 2006 thereabouts (after being converted in the school library for years. I think my cousin was using it, with Linux, to do music as church as recently as 2015. 🧑🏽‍💻

    Why we should be bullish on X, @Culture_Crit (on Twitter/X).

    TLDR; the ‘24 election will make X the de facto platform for public discourse, ads will return, etc.

    Not entirely wrong. Even if most of his predictions don’t pan out.

    (See also, the replies to @gruber re Mastodon & Threads.)

    The robustness of Twitter - Marginal REVOLUTION

    “So you all should be long Twitter. And those who have left are missed far less than they might have wished.”

    Tyler Cowen is not wrong.

    Filmic’s Entire Staff Laid Off by Parent Company Bending Spoons | PetaPixel

    Deleted the app. Anyone with alternative ones, please recommend.

    My university IT department did not freeze computers from upgrading to Sonoma. It’s a Christmas miracle.

    It look most of the weekend, but I finished Wolfram’s ~20,000 word article on ChatGPT. It’s technical, but not prohibitively so.

    🗞 Only One Company…

    There’s only one big tech company that seemingly never played this hire-for-the-sake-of-hiring game, and thus hasn’t announced any layoffs at all, let alone a headcount that would fill a basketball arena. Just one. One company that has, at its best, always kept its cool in the face of economic swings both up and down.

    “More than any other time, if you are not on Twitter, you just don’t know what is going on.”

    🗞️ Twitter comes of age - Marginal REVOLUTION

    🗞️ Professors and academics will stay on Twitter—for now

    Mostly confirms my priors the network effects will keep most of academe on Twitter.

    I’m uninstalling Emacs and moving my config files into archive. As powerful as it is, maintaining it isn’t worth my time and energy, especially when a good chunk of my workflow is on the iPad. It’s been a good run (~11 years), but it’s time to move on (at least for now).

    Is anyone using logseq, and if so, what are you doing with it?

    A modest proposal: If university libraries are going to lean into eBooks over physical books, they should also make it easier for logging into whatever eBook reader app is necessary to read said books.

    I have the seen the future and it’s a two-stage, 5/8 horsepower, noise dampened garbage disposal. 🤙🏽🏡

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