Subcription Victims

Ulysses, the popular macOS and iOS text editor, went to a subscription model. LastPass recently upped their monthly subscription price to $2/month, a 100% increase (among other things). 1Password, TextExpander, and a host of others have done the same.

I’m no fan of the subscription model for software – I think developers overvalue their efforts in many cases. I also understand that the other popular revenue models also suck. Apple does not make this any easier for developers or users.

I do not have an easy answer as I am not a developer. As a user, I am taking responsibility for the cost/value proposition each service (which software is becoming) offers to me. Part of the calculus is how much time and effort and enjoyment (or lack thereof) I will get leveraging another option.

Others take the victim approach to these announcements. In many cases I understand why. There is an increasing trend for revenue model changes happening without notice. Some companies do a poor job on their first stab taking care of existing customers. Others overcompensate for their existing users, alienating new users who think they are getting ripped off because they didn’t buy version 1 back in 2008 (or whenever).

David Sparks made the comment that “What [users] shouldn’t do is trash the app in review because you’re not happy with the business model.” I disagree. A developer’s or company’s behavior is relevant to the app review process as it exists today, especially in the Apple ecosystem. Many application developers act on negative comments in these reviews.

Now, were Apple and Google and Microsoft and other app store overlords to open up the app review process to categories such as technical, ownership, support, etc., my disagreement with Mr. Sparks would fall away. A more nuanced approach to feedback is needed in general. That is another post for another day.

I do agree with the fundamental fallacy of relying on negative app reviews for change. As a user, I recommend applying at least part of your righteous indignant energy toward something more positive for you.

I was in a 7 day cooling off period before jumping on the Ulysses bandwagon when the switch occurred. The initial cost for macOS and iOS before the change was a hurdle. In the new model, I can test it for two months for about $10 (as pointed out by Dr. Drang) before committing.

Fundamentally, anything only in the Apple ecosystem is a hard sell for me. I use and like using Windows 10, flaws and all, on my Surface Pro 4. I use my Nexus 6p running Android N almost as much as my iOS devices. If the application or service cannot run on at least one of those platforms, I have no need for it right now. 1Password and TextExpander are cross-platform, by the way, as are LastPass and iaWriter – two apps I am leaving.

By the way, I am doubling down on Emacs and org-mode. I picked them back up recently to help solve a few work related workflow issues. I get infinitely more flexibility with it and it is cross platform on everything but iOS. I learned I can capture and edit org-mode with Drafts.

And I like using/configuring/tweaking Emacs. Bonus.

What To Do After You’ve Been Hacked | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Hack

Imagine what it would be like if you woke up one morning to find you’d been hacked.

Whether you were hacked, phished, had malware installed or just don’t know what the heck happened but there’s somebody all up in your e-mail, here are a few good first steps to take following an incident. This is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good start.

via What To Do After You’ve Been Hacked | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Mat Honan knows better than most. You may recall he was infamously hacked last summer. His tips are solid. I’d add a few more.

Use a password management service

In the aftermath of Mat’s experience I reflected on my personal accounts and those I needed for work. If I had to remember everywhere I had an account – and forget about remembering what my login was – I’d have no way. I moved to LastPass a few years ago to help me wrangle them all. 1Password is also well-regarded. Make sure you have a strong password and Google Authenticator set up. I recommend paying the $12/year for the pro service.

Rebuild your PC

New hard drives are inexpensive for your computer. Buy a new one and an external hard drive enclosure. Install the new hard drive in your computer and the old one into the enclosure. If you have one of the Ultrabook style laptops you might need to hire someone to swap the hard drives for you.

Then reinstall the Operating System (OS) from your media backups. If you don’t have them contact the PC manufacturer’s technical support for help. Install your apps and the password management service.

Commit yourself to backups

Everyone should have a backup strategy that works for your needs, technical ability, and economic situation. I recommend starting off using an external hard drive with Windows 7 File Recovery (formerly known as Backup), Windows 8 File History, or Apple OS X Time Machine. I strongly suggest also using a cloud based service like CrashPlan as an extra level of protection. Read Lifehacker’s guide to setting up a solid backup plan for more details.

Also check out Lifehacker’s post to things to do post-hack here.