inessential by Brent Simmons

April 2013


WWDC sold out in three minutes. (Or less.) I didn’t manage to get a ticket, though I did try.

I have a feeling that AltWWDC is gonna be huge this year. (I’ll be there — I’m speaking. I’d be there even if I weren’t.)

It was only a few years ago when WWDC didn’t sell out at all. It even had Early Bird pricing.

Identical Cousins 15

Michael and I just winged it with episode 15.

Identical Cousins Sponsorship Slots Open

We have some sponsorship slots open for future episodes of Identical Cousins, the podcast I do with Michael Simmons.

If you might be interested, contact me or Michael. (There’s Twitter info on the site. Or you can email me using brent plus the domain name of the business I own.)

Past sponsors have included Windows Azure Mobile Services, FastSpring, and Pinbook. You’d be in great company.

RSS Reader Market Size

Alex Kessinger estimates the size of market that will pay for an RSS reader.


Small Picture, Dave Winer’s new company, introduced Fargo today. It’s an outliner that runs in your browser and saves to Dropbox. The file format is OPML, so you can edit those documents in other apps (such as OmniOutliner) that support OPML.

With Nick Bradbury

Michael and I talk to Nick Bradbury in Identical Cousins 14: Partners in Crime.


I have a whole bunch of invitations to — you can sign up here.

If you don’t know much about, check out the weblog, where they promote third-party apps, link to their podcast, and talk about the APIs they’re building. It would be wrong to call it a Twitter alternative — it’s very much its own thing, and worth checking out.

I’m a fan. Love the vibe. I’m @brentsimmons there.

Debug Roundtable on iCloud Core Data Sync

I appeared on the Debug podcast along with Daniel Pasco and Justin Williams.

Will Apple Be Whitelisted for CalDAV?

The Blink fork of WebKit has me wondering about Apple’s and Google’s tactics.

Specifically, I think back to Google’s recent spring cleaning, where it said that the CalDAV API will be available for whitelisted developers only.

I wonder if Apple will be on that whitelist.

Tom’s iCloud State of the Union


Users hear about how great iCloud is and how apps can use it to sync their own data. They quite reasonably wonder why your app isn’t using it. Syncing data is a great idea, Apple gives you iCloud, why aren’t you using it, dammit? But if you did use it, the app would be so unreliable that users would (again, quite reasonably) complain that it was a steaming pile of shit.


Ryan Holiday writes in Our Regressive Web:

Google Alerts, Delicious and RSS were designed in blogging’s early days as innovations to help readers reduce this noise—to help improve their reading experience. But now those gains are disappearing. I feel that the tech press has allowed this to happen.

I had not realized that Google Alerts was having problems. But it doesn’t surprise me.

I wonder if it will go away on the same day as Feedburner, or whether the two will succumb in separate clean-outs.

Identical Cousins 13

On Identical Cousins 13 we talk about Google Reader, iCloud, Microsoft, Dave Morin, and Summly and other things. It’s a grab bag.

It’s also our best audio quality. We’re getting the hang of this.