Postmates NYC Treats Their Deliverymen Like Trash

Being a Postmates courier in midtown sounds like a dream -- sit at home, stop paying for the gym, and get paid to ride your bike, so I signed up and scheduled to attend an orientation. 6 PM on a Thursday in Brooklyn. Far, but reachable by bike. I arrive at the session at 5:55 and the door is already locked. There's a rather blunt note on the door reminding me that late admits won't be allowed in. Postmates, if you're going to be so strict on timing, do us all a favor and be precise. Six other people arrive before 6 PM, and the door remains locked. Our knocks on the door, all before 6 PM, are l…

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MTA Strip Map 2.0

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I've been thinking about interface design an awful lot lately and it's got me wishing I could make UX changes to systems out of my control. Few things are worse than waiting indeterminate amounts of time. The New York City subway is no exception. Changing MTA strip maps to a determinate representation of progress would make a lot of people happy. Play around with the bar's acceleration a little, and you could affect the mood of the whole city. Take notes, Facebook. …

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Utilizing Objective-C in Swift

Apple's new Swift programming language and Objective-C will always have a close relationship, but Swift will take years to catch up to Objective-C's vast adoption. Here's how to access Objective-C code in a few steps. Similar to a prefix header in Objective-C, a bridging header will allow you to interact with Objective-C classes and frameworks directly in Swift code. Objective-C/Swift Bridging Header Automate the creation of the bridging header by adding a new Objective-C .m file from the file creation dialog. Accept the prompt asking if you would like a bridging header, and delete the bla…

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Iron Man 3... open sourced

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I made something cool today. I saw Iron Man 3 yesterday; it was horrible. There is a scene, however, where Tony Stark is stranded in the wilderness. He stumbles his way to a pay phone, dials a number and instantly beams his message to his girlfriend. I was reminded of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a tearjerker where something like this would have been incredibly useful. It's a pretty cool concept, one that would be especially useful during the myriad natural and human made disasters of late. I wanted to replicate it. I've worked with Twilio's APIs before, liked them and knew something l…

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Goodbye Article, Hello Tweet

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News as we know it is dead. Traditional television and long-form news sources will never again be the public's primary method of breaking news consumption. Consumers cannot and will not wait the time it takes for outlets to create edited and detail-heavy content. Twitter has revolutionized the concept of news consumption, giving each "accidental journalist" a worldwide and limitless audience while at the same time furthering the concept of a news "drip"; consume details as they break, not retrospectively. NBC's @BreakingNews is an amazing example of the popularity and demand for this preferenc…

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I'm a big boy now

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In a few weeks time I will be crossing the extremely arbitrary threshold that is turning eighteen and into quasi-adulthood. In the past few years I've cycled through a few personal domains, never settling on one that really stood out. For the longest time there was pkazazes.com; as a domain name, it was wholly unoriginal, predictable, and otherwise uninteresting. It was more of a DNS'd server-side testing ground than anything else. I don't even think it had a landing page, and archive.org seems to agree with that. After pkazazes, there were a couple of amateur portfolio pages showcasing my app…

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