5ish Links

Making My Twitter Great Again

(First published on 3/28/17 on 5ish Links, my newsletter — more)

Yesterday, Twitter finally rolled out their new timeline muting functionality. Immediately, I set up a filter to mute “Trump” from my timeline. I gotta say, one day in, it’s brilliant.

Maybe I’m crazy and have placebo’d myself. But I really believe it makes my Twitter feed substantially more usable and bearable. I’m going to add a bunch more filters like “Paul Ryan”, “Reince Priebus”, “Steve Bannon”, etc. Right on down the jackass line.

Yes, it’s important to know what’s going on in our world. But I get that each day from The New York Times, The Economist, and increasingly, Mike Allen’s great Axios AM newsletter. I don’t need to get this shit in real time. Most of it is bullshit anyway. It’s brain pollution. And it’s getting worse.

5ish Links

Clips 1  1 .0
Clips 1  1 .0

Lauren Goode on Apple’s forthcoming not-quite-social app, Clips:

Live Titles are one of the most interesting features of the Clips app, because I don’t know of any other social video apps that have this. It’s a way of adding text over still photos and videos using your voice. This means you don’t have to type in the text overlay; you can tap the Live Title option, choose a style, and then record your voice while the app translates that to text. It will do this in 36 different languages, too. The result is a kind of rolling captioning over your Clips videos.

The obvious joke to make is about Apple’s other forays into social apps, like Ping. But this isn’t really a social app. There is no built-in network (unless you consider your iMessage contacts a network — which maybe you should!). It’s an app to make content to share on other social networks.

So I guess there’s no real downside to trying this. If it works, it’s another fun reason to buy an iPhone. And yes, maybe it helps Apple experiment in AR a bit — the Live Tiles thing does sound cool. If it fails, no biggie.

Still sort of weird to see Apple doing this.

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Thr bob iger 9914 02 0218 splash iger

Georg Szalai and Paul Bond with the least surprising news of the year:

Set to retire from the entertainment giant in June 2018, Iger has now re-upped his contract until July 2, 2019 amid concerns among industry observers that there is no heir apparent within the company’s executive ranks.


Iger’s latest extension marks a change of mind for the executive. He originally planned to step down as Disney CEO in 2015 after running the company for a decade. But he extended and then did so again a year later.

Back then, he said about his plans to depart in mid-2018, “I really mean it.”

One day, Iger will retire. And it’s still entirely unclear who will lead Disney when that’s the case… And how they will fill such shoes.

0323n super mario run article main image
0323n super mario run article main image

Masashi Isawa:

“Super Mario Run” was greeted with much fanfare after its surprise announcement last year at an Apple event. The game enjoyed a strong start in the App Store, topping download charts in several countries. Yet it was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game “did not meet our expectations,” Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said.

No surprise here. I really don’t understand why Super Mario Run wasn’t free or far more expensive. This model makes no sense. So, naturally, Nintendo loves it:

Even so, Nintendo has no intention of switching focus to freemium games. “‘Heroes’ is an outlier,” a senior company official said. “We honestly prefer the ‘Super Mario Run’ model.”


Image for post
Image for post
Inside the AMC boardroom

Tim Baysinger and Jessica Toonkel:

Unlike standalone streaming options from Time Warner’s HBO and from CBS Corp, AMC’s would be exclusively available to consumers who subscribe to a cable TV package. AMC is doing this, the sources said, as a way to support the traditional cable television industry at a time when many younger consumers are increasingly cutting the cord.

AMC is discussing featuring digital-only spinoff shows of its existing programs like “The Walking Dead” and is considering pricing between $4.99 to $6.99 a month, according to the sources, who cautioned final details are still being worked out.

I’m completely dumbfounded by this. It almost seems like some communications were crossed. AMC wants people to pay a fee on top of the fee they pay for cable. Otherwise, no access for you!

Maybe AMC just doesn’t understand what cord-cutting means. Maybe they think it means literally cutting cords. Maybe they think kids actually love paying for cable — they just hate cords. Kudos for thinking outside the (cable) box, I guess?


(Meanwhile, in possibly related news, Comcast appears on the verge of inventing cable television.)


Great post by Kaz Nejatian on the history of banking on San Francisco:

It wasn’t until the gold rush that the America’s first modern bank was founded. When nearly a quarter of a million people moved from the east to California, two entrepreneurs saw an opportunity.

In 1850, Henry Wells and William Fargo of Buffalo, New York, who had started an express mail company (which would go on to become American Express) opened up an office in San Francisco to allow miners to exchange their gold for currency.

Miners would hand Wells Fargo, who owned a secure transportation company, their gold. This gold would then be transported, via stage coach, to WellsFargo’s office in San Francisco where it would be transformed into gold coin.

As more people moved to California in search of gold, more Wells Fargo offices opened up. By 1905, Wells Fargo was the largest bank in the United States with offices all over the West Coast.

Then, in 1906, the great earthquake happened:

Wells Fargo’s president in order to avoid a run on his bank sent out a telegram to all depositors

“Building destroyed. Vaults intact. Credit Unaffected”.

Of course, he was only sure of the first sentence. There was no way for him to know if the vault was in fact intact or if all his credit had disappeared.

Quickish Hits

Kids these days don’t remember pan-and-scan. They’re lucky. It was awful. They may be in store for something worse…

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500ish Words

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1*9dvplcfoafajrckehydz w

Requiem for Virgin America…

(First published on 3/28/17 on 5ish Links, my newsletter)

Written by

General Partner @ GV (née Google Ventures). In past lives I wrote at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and ParisLemon. A man of few words. Except when writing. 🍻

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