I'm Mitchell Cohen, a writer and technophile from Toronto. This is where I write about coffee, code, journalism, language, insomnia and giant spiders.

How Apple Can Solve Freemium Creep: Make a Freemium Ghetto

Count the problems in this picture:

I count eight, not including my crying-out-for-a-lightning-cable battery life and the one-bar reception on Rogers.1

Eight of the top ten “Free” iPhone apps aren’t free at all. They contain in-app purchases. Apple even spells it out for us—in size 8-pt. Helvetica Neue, in text a shade darker than the white background, underneath big blue buttons that scream FREE.

  1. For Americans: Pretend AT&T and Fox Broadcasting had a Canadian baby out of wedlock. That’s Rogers. One part Big Telecom, one part Big Media.

(And eight hundred more)

On Wednesday night I went to bed pretty pleased with myself. My article abut the OS X command line had captured the attention of a few hundred visitors that evening. I’d even received a bit of feedback. Not bad for a week-old personal blog, eh?

I was in for one hell of a surprise. When I woke up on Thursday morning—my 25th birthday—the number of pageviews had reached 30,000. By Friday evening, just over 100,000 people had seen my article. And it feels like a good tenth of them have responded in some way: comments, compliments, and criticism. Gratitude. Typo corrections. Sage advice. Birthday wishes.

To someone entirely unused to online notoriety, it feels as though a very geeky flash mob materialized in my apartment one evening, stayed for dinner, then went home and reviewed my cooking on Yelp. I am a little dazed.

Eight Terminal Utilities Every OS X Command Line User Should Know

The OS X Terminal opens up a world of powerful UNIX utilities and scripts. If you’re migrating from Linux, you’ll find many familiar commands work the way you expect. But power users often aren’t aware that OS X comes with a number of its own text-based utilities not found on any other operating system. Learning about these Mac-only programs can make you more productive on the command line and help you bridge the gap between UNIX and your Mac.