NYT Now App Review

Journalism and news have had a rough decade. Everyone has seemingly struggled under the transition to the web (even though it's been more than a decade since news has moved into the digital era). Traditional newspaper institutions have gone in one direction or another, typically involving either a paywall method of siphoning off free article visits after a limitation (like Financial Times and the New York Times) or a free method backed exclusively by advertising (like USA Today). Other niche news sites backed by paid subscriptions have attempted to rise out of the darkness (like NSFWCorp), but have been beaten down by low member numbers or acquisitions (like NSFWCorp's buyout from PandoDaily). News companies' great battle for relevance with loyal readership, subscribers, and attention squares them off against the violent waves of SEO, blogs, social media, and "free news elsewhere."

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Facebook's Paper App & Its Undesirable UI Direction

For someone who doesn't regularly use Facebook (as in: next to never), I'm going to proceed to tell you what I think of its recently released app, Paper. The reason I cared anything at all about Paper was because I'd been a fan of its lead designer, Mike Matas, since his days running Push Pop Press. Back then, he was straight out of Apple, building a company that was intended to go on to produce really cool eBooks (but only ended up developing one, Al Gore's Our Choice. As per usual, he was gobbled up by Facebook's deep purse and sent to work on what the social media giant likely hopes is the future of their main app's design.

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Life Expenses Through Reporting

A smidgeon over a year and a half ago, I finally received my invite to Simple, the self-described “better banking” service that sits on top of Bancorp (and soon, will sit on top of Madrid’s BBVA. Essentially, Simple is an interface and customer support portal for banking. When they say they’ve “reinvented the basics of banking,” they aren’t far from the mark. It’s a digital-only service boasting such features as zero overdraft, minimum, or monthly fees (their network of 55,000 ATMS are free to access, and they never charge a fee on top of out-of-network ATMs, including overseas); automatic budgeting and saving, photo check deposits, free bill pays and check deliveries, instant money transfers between members, fee-free automated clearing house transfers (ACH) between banks, awesome support chat and call features (including real human beings that are approachable, friendly, and most importantly, funny), and an amazing reporting dashboard. 

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Colossal's Curation is Amazing

There are some sites I follow via RSS daily, and there are others that I visit every few weeks or months out of neglect.

One of these sites is Colossal, a curation site of massive art installations and, in their words, "visual ingenuity". Just wanted to link to it here in case anyone gives a shit about cool artistic initiatives you won't likely find elsewhere.

Like sculptures incorporating beehives.

Or giant suspended net installations with trippy colors.

Or this, which I don't even know. What.

Expect to lose an afternoon clicking and tapping.