» Flickr 3.0 for iPhone and Android

It’s a great update if somewhat Instagrammy. The previous version looked nice but came off confusing by sizing pictures differently and it lacked obvious social elements.

It’s quite a change of pace but it’s nice to see that Yahoo understands the value of one of its best assets. The app now has “Find friends” feature that integrates with Facebook and Twitter. I’ve gotten more than a dozen new follower notifications already today so it’s at least working a bit.

» ‘Innoveracy: Misunderstanding Innovation’

Horace Dediu targets a pet peeve of mine: the inconsistent use of the word “innovative”.

…there is another form of ignorance which seems to be universal: the inability to understand the concept and role of innovation. The way this is exhibited is in the misuse of the term and the inability to discern the difference between novelty, creation, invention and innovation. The result is a failure to understand the causes of success and failure in business and hence the conditions that lead to economic growth.

Obviously, this is particularly evident with regards to Apple. Analysts lament the “death of innovation” at Apple because they haven’t shipped a startling new product lately, claiming that Samsung is the new “king of innovation”. Yet, the definition of the term when applied to Apple is delivering a product that completely redefines a market while with Samsung it’s providing the largest breadth of feature sets. These are not the same thing and if you’re an analyst who doesn’t know the difference then you’re not a very good analyst.

» Yahoo trying to get serious

Kara Swisher at Re/code:

Currently, Google is set as the default search on Apple’s mobile devices, but you can change it to either Yahoo or Microsoft’s Bing by adjusting certain device settings.

Mayer aims to change that.

I don’t think I’ve even seen Yahoo search results in 10 years. I’d think that Microsoft would have a better chance than Yahoo, but I wouldn’t doubt Apple’s willing to listen.

Also, someone should hire me to write headlines, right? Look at that. Yahoo? Serious? Gold.

» Mistakes Were Made

Lex, Jon and I talk about how badly we’re screwing up our kids on this week’s episode of Turning This Car Around, a podcast about fatherhood that is beloved across America and possibly also Belarus.

» Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Scanner Hacked

In a similar manner to how the TouchID scanner was hacked except for this:

With Apple’s Touch ID system, users are required to input their password one time before using a fingerprint for authentication. The password must be used again once each time the device is rebooted. This extra step seems annoying, but it prevents the very spoof achieved by SRLabs.

On Samsung’s Galaxy S5 however, no password is needed to access the device. Even after a reboot, a simple swipe of a finger will unlock the phone.

So, surely, since Samsung is “winning” and “the new king of innovation”, this is a huge deal. I look forward to reading a lot of posts about this and its implications for security, social norms and Samsung’s future business prospects.

» Millions of Android phones susceptible to Heartbleed

Ars Technica:

Handsets running version 4.1.1 of Google’s mobile operating system are vulnerable to attacks that might pluck passwords, the contents of personal messages, and other private information out of device memory, a company official warned on Friday.

Android and iOS each have their own merits. Security, however, is not one of Android’s.

» Sponsor: SongSheet

My thanks to SongSheet for sponsoring the Very Nice Web Site RSS feed this week. I do not have a musical bone in my body, but even so I was immediately able to figure out SongSheet. The interface is clean and intuitive and the app does exactly what it says on the box. If you’re a musician or singer who’s been looking for a chord chart app for the iPad, go get it.

A search on the App Store, a tryout of some apps, a decision that none were quite right. Then Paul uttered those oh-so-dangerous words: “I’m a software developer; I’ll write the app myself.” Having recruited Gabriel to help out, SongSheet for the iPad was born.

With laser focus on usability coupled with utility, Paul and Gabriel set out to create something to allow musicians to maintain a library of chord charts they either wrote themselves or imported from online sources, and use them in performances. Whether sitting around a campfire with nothing but a guitar and an iPad, or on stage before an audience of thousands, SongSheet has become a vital tool for bands, solo performers, music therapists, churches, buskers, and so on.

Learn more on SongSheet’s website or purchase on the App Store.

» Documentaries focus on deaths at Samsung plant


“Here,” says Hwang, pointing to two women in the center of the group. Both had the same job at the same semiconductor factory, on the same line, standing side by side at the same workstation, dipping computer chips into the same vat of chemicals. Both got a particularly aggressive form of the blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia. One was his daughter, Yu-mi. In South Korea, only about 3 out of every 100,000 people die of leukemia. “They worked together, and they died,” says Hwang.

I wonder how many people have actually switched to Samsung devices in protest of working conditions in Apple plants.

From the same article:

Lee Mi-kyung, who has been a member of the South Korean National Assembly for 18 years, has been an ally to Hwang and the other Samsung families. Sitting down between votes at the members’ cafeteria just outside the body’s chamber, she says Samsung has been so influential in politics, the press, and even the law that many of her countrymen call their land “the Republic of Samsung.” She says things are changing as Korean corporate power continues to be checked gradually across society. She mentions the 2008 corruption investigation into Samsung for allegedly maintaining a slush fund to bribe judges, prosecutors, and politicians. Prosecutors said they did not find evidence of bribery, but they charged and convicted Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee with tax evasion. He paid a fine of roughly $100 million and received a suspended prison sentence.

(Via The Verge)

» Samsung lied about Galaxy Tab sales

I have said this repeatedly: It’s OK to like Samsung’s devices. It’s OK to like Android. But Samsung itself? It’s just not a good company.

Yes, they’re all capitalist entities driven by profit, shareholder return and increasing the wealth of their executives, so none of them are perfect. But Samsung is exceptionally bad.

» Amazon.com to Acquire comiXology

Smart move by Amazon. I’ll be interested to see what happens to in-app purchases in comiXology. I can’t imagine them changing them to try to cut Apple out since that’s what really drives the app. But, then, they don’t have in-app purchases in the Kindle reader.

(Via Matt Alexander)