WEEKLY REVIEW  |  April 14, 2017

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TECH

Spotify app coming to Apple Watch.

Seeing there was no Spotify app on the Apple Watch, developer Andrew Chang took matters into his own hands and created his own app, Snowy. In return, Spotify has hired Chang to work on an official app. An eventual feature-rich plan calls for Siri support, swipe-based playback controls, and offline sync capabilities to allow the download of playlists to the Apple Watch. In other words, Watch owners can look forward to getting Spotify’s 30 million tracks on their wrists.

Rumors abound with Microsoft’s “Learn what’s next” announcement.

Microsoft is holding a major event on May 2, and no one has any idea what’s coming. An active rumor mill has some thinking it’s hardware—maybe an update to the Surface tablet or a new Surface Book without a detaching screen. Others are speculating that big software announcements are coming.

MARKETING

Avoid the trap of creating “design for the sake of design.

Graphic designer Charles Draper, an alumni of New York’s School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding Program, equates branding to JPEG degradation. Simply put, he believes a brand’s message can blur and pixelate with time. Every so often, the brand needs freshening, and it rarely needs a complete overhaul. An exceptional designer understands how businesses operate and can help turn a tarnished brand into one that’s cohesive and long standing. Draper digs into a brand’s history to understand why a company’s brand changes over time.

Freeconomics, the refined art of giving away your best content.

More companies are seeing the results of giving away their best content—for free. Author Neil Patel claims clients have grown their businesses by as much as 290% by giving away selected content. Patel cites recent research that found buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. And unencumbered access to a company’s quality content is proving valuable to B2B buyers who rely on content to research and make purchasing decisions.

DESIGN

For all binge watchers—here’s your ultimate all-in-one coffee table.

The Sobro has everything you need, so you never have to leave the comfort of your couch. It comes with a built-in refrigerator drawer, Bluetooth speakers, USB charging points, and power outlets. A tempered-glass surface has touch controls and ambient LED lighting.

New Mac Pro on the drawing board.

Rumor has it that Apple has a newly designed Mac Pro that looks like a Mac Mini, rather than the trash can of three year ago. It features two slots for full-sized graphic cards and an easily accessible area housing the processor, RAM, and storage. It’s said to have Touch ID for power and plenty of USB and HDMI ports. Sadly for Mac lovers, it’s not slated for availability until 2019.

INFLUENCERS

What’s next for Justin Kan? The legal industry.

Having dealt with numerous lawyers as the founder of Justin.tv (sold to Amazon for nearly $1 billion) and as an investor in Cruise Automation (sold to GM for over $1 billion), Justin Kan is looking to change the legal industry with his latest start-up, Atrium. In efforts to raise a total of $10 million, he’s recruited a team of high flyers from the legal realm. Though details on what they’re building and how they intend to make an impact are not yet available.

EVENTS

The Weekend Report.

With good weather ahead, it’s time to head outdoors. Get started on April 22 with the 71st Annual Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival. The 13th Annual Free Create-with-Nature Earth Day Celebration comes to Stinson Beach on April 23. The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Northern California is coming to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on April 30. Always good for a laugh, don’t forget Beach Blanket Babylon, the world’s longest-running musical review.  

AND JUST FOR FUN

Star Wars relaunches its Force for Change campaign.

To honor the Star Wars franchise’s 40th anniversary, the popular Force for Change campaign is being relaunched with cool prizes—and the proceeds will go to charities that benefit children around the world. Click the article to see Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley introduce this year’s campaign in a short video. The Last Jedi is slated to open in December.

PRINT_A_IDIOT().

To help developers, especially those building Flash front-ends, avoid misreading JSON data and prevent code breaks, this actual fix randomizes the order of keys, thus forcing the programmer to stay on track and parse the data as JSON.


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“Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.”

Jeffrey Zeldman