David Heinemeier Hansson

January 21, 2022

The Mac proves Apple can safely open the iPhone

The Mac is such an inconvenient platform for Apple. It prevents the company from making any credible claim of an impending security catastrophe, if lawmakers force the iPhone to allow installation of apps without the App Store. With the Mac, we have almost forty years of proof that computers don't need an App Store to be safe. Made by ...
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January 20, 2022

Free is never forever

Google gave away free email on custom domains for years. This unsurprisingly lured lots of people into switching to Gmail. But now the party is over, and what used to be free will now easily cost $500/year or more (if you have 10 users on a custom domain). Yikes. Unsurprisingly, I'm not actually against Google charging for email. The l...
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January 19, 2022

Apple turns the legislative contempt up to 11

In North Dakota, Apple sent Erik Neuenschwander, a chief privacy engineer, to make its case that opening up the App Store to free and fair competition on payment processing would be bad for privacy. He focused in a relatively sober tone on the sanctity of Apple's integration and curation as arguments for why they deserved their monopol...
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January 17, 2022

Case study in motivated reasoning

A few days ago, an anonymous Twitter user claiming to be an employee at a Big Tech company wrote a thread about work that went viral (since deleted, possibly partly by Twitter). Hazard Harrington's thread depicted a company drowning in woke excesses, so of course it sent the internet to the trenches. "This is EXACTLY what we suspected!...
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January 14, 2022

This swapping of roles is making me dizzy

Matt Taibbi wrote a great piece called The Left is Now the Right last year. It detailed how many of the tactics and thought processes anyone who came of age in the 90s would recognize as "of the right" are now being used by the opposite side of the political spectrum. A clip: “Conservatives once tried to legislate what went on in your ...
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January 14, 2022

HEY is running its JavaScript off import maps

The advent of import maps, and the bundler-less JavaScript reality it introduced, was undoubtedly my favorite advancement in web tech for 2021. Between Guy Bedford's excellent shim and native support in Chrome 89, we've finally been granted an escape from a decade's worth of frustrating complexity with excess tooling. Usually progress ...
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January 13, 2022

The monopoly playbook is depressingly uniform across big tech

I finally had a chance to read ILSR's blockbuster report on Amazon's squeeze of independent retailers who sell through their marketplace. It's unusually well-written and researched, and the picture it paints is depressingly familiar to anyone who've been at the sharp end of a big tech monopoly spear. The overarching conclusion is that ...
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January 12, 2022

Why is Denmark able to have these vaccine debates?

It continues to fascinate me to no end how different countries have ended up with such different approaches to this late-stage pandemic game. While the French president is talking about "pissing off the unvaccinated", the Australians are trying to a martyr of Djokovic, and the Americans continue to render everything virus through the b...
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January 12, 2022

The thrill of changing your mind

I've changed my mind on a lot of topics over the last few years, and it's frankly been exhilarating. Especially if the topic had been one left unquestioned for a long time. To me, it feels similar to the rush of solving a hard problem. When the pieces suddenly fit into place, and an elegant solution emerges, you can't help but smile. T...
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January 10, 2022

The merit of hiring by merit

I've spent years pushing back against hiring practices based on years of irrelevance, pedigree gates, and brainteasers. These indirect measures of talent have proven both unreliable and unfair. If you can, why not look directly at merit? When it comes to programmers, that merit is chiefly their ability to program! And program well. It'...
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