Path uploads your entire iPhone address book to its servers. Shouldn’t this be the kind of shady behav­ior that an app store review process pre­vents? Would be fan­tas­tic to see answers to these 3 ques­tions.

Update: Path’s CEO answered those three ques­tions a minute after I posted this. His response to #2 is a cop out. “Industry best prac­tice” is just a way of avoid­ing blame. Protect your users data and do what’s right, not what’s typical.

The cur­rent sur­face forms for dig­i­tal books are far from per­fect, but they work and are get­ting bet­ter with each device and soft­ware iter­a­tion. So, in my opin­ion, many of the crit­i­cal future ques­tions dig­i­tal books design­ers will have to address don’t directly involve pure con­tent lay­out. Future-book design is not merely about font sizes and lead­ing. Instead, our hard­est (and pos­si­bly most reward­ing) prob­lems will involve the inter­min­gling of con­tent and data.

Craig Mod — The shape of our future book.

Index your city: An idea for local news

A while back I moved into a new apart­ment in Portland. It’s in a great neigh­bor­hood and a ter­rific build­ing. One of the best parts is the top floor view of Lone Fir Cemetery across the street. It’s a ceme­tery that saw its first bur­ial in 1846 and has quite a bit of his­tory tied to it.

What is inter­est­ing to me is that on the edge of this mas­sive, his­toric ceme­tery is an empty cor­ner of land. It’s roped off and is mostly gravel. After dig­ging through Wikipedia’s foot­notes I found that this lot is tied to some controversy.

The one use­ful arti­cle I could find online states that:

The county would go ahead with plans to tear down its build­ing at the cor­ner of Southeast Morrison Street and 20th Avenue — a squat beige box and park­ing lot built atop the graves of Chinese immi­grants buried there in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

To me that’s fas­ci­nat­ing. It’s a cor­ner of land that has roots going back over 100 years but is still empty and unmarked. There’s no rea­son I should have to dig through Wikipedia and track down an Oregonian arti­cle re-posted on another site to find that out.

Dave Winer says that, “Rule #1 of local blog­ging: If you hear fire trucks in the night, in the morn­ing you should be able to find out where the fire was.” If that’s local blog­ging then a thriv­ing local news ecosys­tem should adopt a mind­set akin to “If you have a ques­tion about some­thing in our city, we’ll answer it for you.”

The Oregonian, or a startup news ser­vice, is miss­ing a golden oppor­tu­nity here. Portland is a town with pretty well-defined neigh­bor­hoods that each have their unique his­to­ries. Someone who can index those loca­tions as well as the news and his­tory of each has cre­ated a solid prod­uct which they can deliver to res­i­dents as well as visitors.

A personal archive

This was a lot of excite­ment for one year. Since the whole point of Pinboard is to be around for the long haul, I’m hop­ing for much less of it in the year to come. A per­sonal archive works a lit­tle bit like a bank — you want to be able to use it and for­get about it, rather than see it pop up in the evening news.

maciej — Two years of Pinboard.