Distinct Apple IDs for the same GMail account

Written on 28 January 2017, 02:45pm

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It’s probably well known by now the fact that when you create a GMail account, any periods (dot characters) in your username will be ignored by GMail:

If you have a personal account (typically ending in gmail.com), it doesn’t matter if people type the period in your username or not.
For example, emails to all of these addresses will be delivered to the same Gmail account:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

What is the impact of this feature on the creation of new Apple IDs?
Well, for Apple the 3 email addresses above are distinct, so they will allow to create 3 separate Apple IDs with the 3 email addresses. During the Apple ID registration process, an email with the subject Verify your Apple ID email address will be sent to confirm the ownership of the email address. Naturally, in all the 3 cases above, the 3 emails will be delivered to the same GMail account.

This is already a bit awkward, but I guess it’s something that does not create any problems, so Apple had no reason to work around it.
The real problem is described below.

Just do it!

Written on 17 January 2017, 10:19pm

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I’m not a big fan of inspirational quotes, but I recently found myself resonating with a few pragmatic perspectives.
The first one comes from Jerry Seinfeld. In a recent interview he says that simply asking yourself ‘what am I really sick off?’ is key to innovation:

It’s very important to know what you don’t like. A big part of innovation is saying, “You know what I’m really sick of?” For me, that was talk shows where music plays, somebody walks out to a desk, shakes hands with the host, and sits down. “How are you?” “You look great.” I’m also sick of people who are really there to sell their show or product.
“What am I really sick of?” is where innovation begins.
— Jerry Seinfeld, An interview by Daniel McGinn

The second perspective comes from Jeff Bezos, the guy who revolutionized the way we shop online. He warns about the inevitable criticism associated with any pragmatic approach:

If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new.
— Jeff Bezos

Too bad this quote was also used by Trump in a tweet…

The third perspective was triggered by the previous two: I remembered a principle from the book ‘Soft Skills‘, written by John Sonmez. This principle was ‘Any action is better than no action’, and when I looked back in the book, I found this quote:

Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.
—Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Update: While proof reading this post I remembered about another perspective, about forcing yourself to do things imperfectly. It comes from Sara Mauskopf, the founder of Winnie, who gives a very concrete example:

I have given myself an hour to write this post before I’m on childcare duty. I can publish the post after that hour or I can spend more time later polishing it and making it perfect. I’m forcing myself to publish the piece before the hour is up even though it probably has some typos and maybe could be written more concisely. The extra couple hours I could spend polishing it won’t make a massive difference in the number of people who read and benefit from this post.
Perfectionism is a tough habit to break so you have to set time limits and force yourself to just put things out there even if they aren’t 100% perfect.
— Sara Mauskopf, How to start a company with no free time

Finally, there is no better way to motivate yourself into doing something than saying ‘Challenge accepted‘. It works for me 🙂

Unexpected ways the technology gets intrusive

Written on 10 January 2017, 09:27pm

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Just a quick, did-you-know type of post written because the technology below is way to cool not to share 🙂

1. Did you know that the wi-fi routers can be used to identify faces, recognize keys that you type or read lips?

Researchers from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in China used WiFi signals to identify people. This identification was made based on the shape of people that was read as radio waves bounced back and forth, as well as by the specific way in which people moved. The success ratio was 88.9% to 94.5% in a domestic environment. One potential application is that of having a super custom-made smart home which adjusts lighting, temperature and even music based on the person(s) gait walking through the room. Or you can just use it to spy.
A system developed at the University of Berkeley uses distortions and reflections in Wi-Fi signals made by moving mouths to essentially lip-read. This setup was used to tell which words a single person was speaking with 91 percent accuracy. The accuracy was 74 percent when three people were speaking at the same time.