Craig Mod reviews The Magazine — and, briefly, the digital publishing industry at large — as only he can:

Newsstand is perhaps the most underutilized, under-imagined distribution tool in the short history of tablet publishing. If you squint your eyes and tilt your head at just the right angle, you’ll notice something magical about Newsstand: given the proper container, it’s a background downloading, offline-friendly, cached RSS machine people can subscribe to. For money.

Subcompact Publishing


“I am the President of the United States of America … clothed in immense power!”

As I’ve continued to think about the movie Lincoln, the above line is one of many which return again and again to my mind. Though it seems impossible (or, at best, unfair) to pick any single line above another.

Lincoln is certainly the best film I’ve seen all year. I found it to be provoking, sobering, encouraging, and beautiful.

The art and craft of storytelling through film seems to be more and more rare these days. In Lincoln, all the components of a movie — acting, cinematography, writing, costume and set design, editing, etc. — come together into a single, cohesive work of moving art. It is moving to watch, moving to hear, and once taken in, it lodges itself in your heart and mind for a while.

The line I quoted at the top was spoken not with pride, but with honest humility and great vehemence. Which is why I think this the line that keeps coming back to me; it sums up the character of Abraham Lincoln as played by Daniel Day-Lewis perfectly. Though you’ll have to see it for yourself in the context of the movie to fully grasp and appreciate why.

The character of Lincoln in this movie was portrayed as a deeply humble and clear-minded man. He knew he was placed in his presidential office by the vote of the people. And therefore, acknowledging and exercising his power as the President was not an act of pride but of humility.

He knew who he was and what he needed to do. He used his immense power as President to fight for the freedom of all men. And in the end, we know it cost him his life.


Ronald Deibert:

Side projects spark our creativity by taking us away from The Grind.

The Grind is the problem that you beat yourself up over solving every single day. It’s the job you’re in, or the business you’re building. The Grind gets our best hours, our fullest attention, and the whole of our willpower.

A side project is just another type of creative outlet. (Via Chris Bowler.)

Creativity, “The Grind” and Why We Need Side Projects

Dylan C. Lathrop:

[I]ncreasingly I’ve realized that for people like me, one creative outlet isn’t enough. The most interesting, creative people I know express themselves in a variety of ways. I call this practice informing practice […]

How many creative expressions do you regularly do? Off the top of my head I can count 5: writing, web design, front-end web development, podcasting, and now photography.

I like Dylan’s phrase, practice informing practice. What that says to me is all our expressions of creativity feed one another. My daily podcast affects my writing, and vice versa. The mindsets and foundational principles I’ve learned about writing are now teaching me about photography. There’s no argument that the most “important” creative outlet for me is my writing (it’s the one that pays the bills), but if I were to forsake all other creative outlets to focus only on writing, my writing would be the less for it. The muse needs a chance to rest while other creative muscles are exercised.

Creative People Need Multiple Outlets

The top of this image has a lot of buttons, the middle has a lot of colors, and the bottom has a lot of shiny screens.

Also, it’s incredible to think that some of these phones would also appear on a chart showing the design evolution of the personal computer. Just goes to show that though the basic size of and function of a mobile phone (a cellularly connected device that fits in your pocket) has gone relatively unchanged in the past 25 years, what makes a phone useful and appealing has drastically changed. It used to be primarily about the hardware; now it’s mostly all about the software and the 3rd-party app ecosystem.

(Via Jim Dalrymple.)

25-Years Worth of Cell Phone Design Evolution

My thanks to Sendy for sponsoring the RSS feed this week.

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Sendy is a self hosted email newsletter application that delivers your emails via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).

Compared to hosted newsletter services, Sendy is an app you can install on your own server. That means, you don’t have to pay monthly fees just to maintain your account. As Sendy uses Amazon SES as the sending engine, deliverability is high at a very low cost.

Sendy uses multi-threading to deliver your emails to Amazon SES, Amazon in turn enable your emails to pass SPF & Sender ID policy checks enforced by many ISPs & DKIM-sign all outgoing emails to ensure high deliverability rate.

The features you get with Sendy are what you’re familiar with other hosted services, like lists & subscriber management, giving your client access, beautiful reports, custom fields, autoresponders and so on.

Find out more about Sendy or get your copy at

Sponsorship by The Syndicate.

Sponsor: Sendy

M.G. Siegler:

For the past six months, I’ve heard the same thing over and over again: “The MacBook Pro with the retina screen looks amazing. I want that screen on a MacBook Air. That would be the perfect computer.” Well, we’re almost there. Not quite. But for some of you, we’re now close enough.

What I’m describing, of course, is the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the retina display.

Very Close To The Perfect MacBook

Since we’re in the height of Pomegranate season here in the Northern Hemisphere, here is the last video of the day. If you like pomegranate (who doesn’t?), this video just might change your life. My sister sent this to me because whenever she and my brother-in-law come over for dinner I put her in charge of what used to be the arduous task of cutting open the pomegranate and getting the seeds out for everyone.

(And hey, as a bonus, if you like Garlic (again, who doesn’t?) then here’s a similarly life-changing video on how to peel a head of garlic in less than 10 seconds.)

How to Cut Open a Pomegranate