June 23, 2017

“Aboot” Canadians

Stick with the video to the end for the classic joke about Canadians.

The Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger.

That is very cool.

Music industry sources say the carmaker has had talks with all of the major labels about licensing a proprietary music service that would come bundled with its cars, which already come equipped with a high-tech dashboard and internet connectivity.

I understand most of what Elon Musk tries to do, but I don’t get this one. He should integrate all of the big services into the cars and let the customers choose. Making a new music service doesn’t seem to solve a problem for consumers.

BlackBerry Ltd reported first-quarter sales that missed analysts’ forecasts due to an unexpected drop in its high-margin software and professional services sales, sending its shares down more than 10 percent in early morning trade.

BlackBerry is the perfect story of how a once powerful company thought so much of itself that it basically collapsed.

June 22, 2017

With construction on the new Chicago outlet winding down, construction workers briefly put an Apple logo on the top center of the building, making it resemble an enormous MacBook Air, at least temporarily.

That’s pretty cool.

More than one thousand current Uber employees have signed a letter to the company’s board of directors, asking for the return of deposed CEO Travis Kalanick “in an operational role.” One of its venture capital investors also is chiming in, with a similar message.

About 1,000 employees have signed the letter so far—that’s about 10% of the company’s employees.

Apple is proud to support LGBTQ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including GLSEN, PFLAG and The Trevor Project in the U.S. and ILGA internationally. A portion of the proceeds from Pride Edition band sales will benefit their important efforts.

Today I Found Out:

What happens to clothes after being dropped off at the dry cleaners is a mystery to most. We know that our clothes come back a whole lot cleaner than when we dropped them off, but how? And who first got the bright idea to clean clothing without water?

Did you know dry cleaning isn’t actually dry?

How to customize/share Memories on iPhone 7

Memories is actually fun to play around with and incredibly easy to use. Typical of Apple, what is a difficult, time consuming process has been turned into a simple, one tap effort that yields some pretty cool results.

Ars Technica:

The rise and fall of FireWire—IEEE 1394, an interface standard boasting high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer—is one of the most tragic tales in the history of computer technology. The standard was forged in the fires of collaboration. A joint effort from several competitors including Apple, IBM, and Sony, it was a triumph of design for the greater good. FireWire represented a unified standard across the whole industry, one serial bus to rule them all. Realized to the fullest, FireWire could replace SCSI and the unwieldy mess of ports and cables at the back of a desktop computer.

Yet FireWire’s principal creator, Apple, nearly killed it before it could appear in a single device. And eventually the Cupertino company effectively did kill FireWire, just as it seemed poised to dominate the industry.

For those of us old enough to remember SCSI (shudder), FireWire promised to free us from the black art of connecting devices to our computers. The story of its life and eventual death is an interesting one.

June 21, 2017

Medium seems to continue to grow in popularity as a publishing platform, and as it does, I’m growing more and more frustrated by their on-screen “engagement” turds. Every Medium site displays an on-screen “sharing” bar that covers the actual content I want to read.

I agree completely with Gruber on this.

Flight of a lifetime – Air Canada 787 Dreamliner air to air filming

Everyday Reviews:

If you’re into planes, you have to watch this. Go behind the scenes of an air to air commercial shoot with Air Canada and Wolfe Air Aviation. The Air Canada 787-9 gets all new livery and I get to be on this most memorable flight. Sit back and enjoy the flight!

This is a surprisingly complicated procedure involving dozens, if not hundreds of people.

Jeff Butts wrote a great, easy to understand, article on the refresh rate of the new iPads.

New Apple iPhone 7 ad

This is really great.

“Turns out that Tesla isn’t a good fit for me after all,” Lattner, who worked at Apple Inc for more than a decade before joining Tesla in January, tweeted. “I’m interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader!”

That didn’t last long.

Earlier on Tuesday, five of Uber’s major investors demanded that the chief executive resign immediately. The investors included one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, the venture capital firm Benchmark, which has one of its partners, Bill Gurley, on Uber’s board. The investors made their demand for Mr. Kalanick to step down in a letter delivered to the chief executive while he was in Chicago, said the people with knowledge of the situation.

I’m surprised, yet not surprised. I hope Uber can fix all that’s gone wrong over the past year.

Wired:

The iPhone was such a phenomenon that even the humble journalists chosen for an early look were thrust into a spotlight. As we celebrate 10 years of the product that reshaped the tech world–and guaranteed that no teenager would ever again look his or her family in the face during dinner–it’s instructive to revisit this moment. There hasn’t been a moment in tech journalism like it since.

I was working for one of those four guys at the time – David Pogue. So I got to see a demo of the iPhone in Pogue’s car as we drove him to the airport the week before the iPhone launch date. Apple was pissed when they found out.

Twisted Sifter:

Rare video footage of Bruce Lee actually fighting (kind of) has gone viral after the uploader purports that it’s the only recording of Bruce Lee in a real MMA fight. First he fights Ted Wong, one of his top Jeet Kune Do students. They are allegedly wearing protective gear because they weren’t allowed to fight without them as per California state regulations.

The second fighter is Taky Kimura, and the matches took place in 1964, at the Long Beach International Karate Championships.

I knew Lee had fought “for real” many times but didn’t know any of it had been filmed. This is obviously an exhibition and Lee is showing off but you can still see how incredibly fast and agile the man was.

Vice:

Apple is the world’s most valuable company, and it’s used to getting its way. Yet here in rural Ireland, one man has managed to block its ambitions. Data centers aren’t sexy like iPhones, but as smartphone sales slow, they are now critical to Apple’s future, powering services like iTunes, the App Store, iMessage, and iPhoto.

The Apple representatives, who included the head of data center development, couldn’t have known that the man sitting in front of them would be one of the main reasons why, almost two years later, they have yet to break ground on their plan to build eight vast data halls outside Athenry. A month after the meeting, the local authority approved the project, but it remains tied up in legal challenges in the Irish High Court.

Interesting story of one man’s fight against Apple.

Watch the interview with Scott Forstall and original iPhone engineering team members

Last night, the Computer History Museum hosted Pulitzer Prize journalist John Markoff as he interviewed forrmer iPhone engineering team members Hugo Fiennes, Nitin Ganatra and Scott Herz, followed by a second interview with Scott Forstall.

This is a historic interview. This team worked on technology that changed the world. They made the decisions that informed the design you know and love. And they worked with Steve Jobs.

The interview is full of wonderful anecdotes, well worth your time. I’ve embedded a YouTube video below. But if it gets yanked, give this link a try.

Enjoy.

June 20, 2017

I always wondered why Uber didn’t have this as an option. I mostly use Lyft now, so it doesn’t really matter, but it’s a good thing for the drivers.

Made With ARKit:

Hand-picked curation of the coolest stuff made with #ARKit

There’s some really fun stuff here. It’s a bit rough around the edges but you can see how ARKit is going to be really big someday. Follow this site on Twitter as well.

The Outline:

A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained by The Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products.

The briefing, titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,” was led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, who works on the Global Security communications and training team.

According to the hour-long presentation, Apple’s Global Security team employs an undisclosed number of investigators around the world to prevent information from reaching competitors, counterfeiters, and the press, as well as hunt down the source when leaks do occur. Some of these investigators have previously worked at U.S. intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, and in the U.S. military.

No need to point out the irony of the presentation itself leaking.

WorldSBK:

In Saturday’s Misano race Davies crashed out of the lead on the final lap after he was locked in an intense battle with championship rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). The crash saw Rea unable to avoid colliding with the Ducati man after he fell from his machine.

Davies was then transported to Rimini Hospital for further medical assessment and diagnosed with a closed thoracic trauma. Following checks throughout the afternoon, it was established that he had suffered a fracture of the transverse process of L3 (3rd lumbar vertebrae), as well as a contusion of the left thumb.

He was therefore declared unfit to race on Sunday in Italy, but the latest update from his team indicates that he has a good chance of racing at the forthcoming Geico US Round over the 7th-9th July weekend at Laguna Seca.

There’s this thing in motorcycling called “ATGATT”. All The Gear, All The Time. Watch this video of a guy getting literally run over at about 50mph and realize that anyone you see riding on the street who isn’t wearing ATGATT is taking unnecessary risks. Thanks to my friend, fellow rider and WSBK photographer Jared Earle for the link.

The Ringer:

There’s just something enjoyable about a movie that’s hopelessly committed to its (very bad) vision. Whether it’s due to bad special effects, awful acting, or a completely absurd or nonsensical plot, these films create a sense of sheer wonderment and force you to exclaim, “How is this a movie?!” But the mere fact that something so illogical, or low-budget, or ill-conceived exists is at the root of why we like these movies. They’re so bad that … they’re actually kind of good.

What a great list. I’ll admit to seeing the vast majority of these movies and it’s hard to disagree. They are so bad, they’re “good”. Or, if not good, at least fun to watch in their awfulness. I have two quibbles though. I don’t think “Deep Blue Sea” was a “bad” movie – just not a good one. I still enjoyed it immensely though. And “Speed 2: Cruise Control” was just bad with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Remember this game? I first played it on early cell phones. It was a great little time waster while standing in line or waiting for someone. But I was never this good at it. Amazing GIF of a complete game.

Macworld:

Need to help your kids battle the summer boredom blues? You may be in luck: Apple on Tuesday announced its summer programming for kids, including multi-day summer camp sessions called (appropriately) Apple Camp, and special kid-focused Today at Apple creative workshops. Apple Camp and Today at Apple sessions are free, but space is limited, so you’ll need to sign up sooner than later. The programs are available at your local Apple store.

These are incredibly popular programs that fill up fast so if you have an eligible child, sign them up ASAP.

Petapixel:

As photographers, we’re always interested in how other people edit their photos to achieve a certain look. Pixel Peeper is a new website that can take a JPEG and tell you exactly how it was edited in Lightroom, along with the camera model, lens, and settings — as long as that info is found in the file’s EXIF data.

Obviously, this only works on those shots edited in Adobe’s Lightroom but I often wonder what photographers do to their shots in the edit. This tool will help.

From the Computer History Museum schedule of events:

How did iPhone come to be? On June 20, four members of the original development team will discuss the secret Apple project, which in the past decade has remade the computer industry, changed the business landscape, and become a tool in the hands of more than a billion people around the world.

Scott Forstall, the leader of the original iPhone software team will take part in a fireside chat with Computer History Museum historian John Markoff. A panel with three of the engineers who worked on the original iPhone, Nitin Ganatra, Scott Herz, and Hugo Fiennes, will describe how the iPhone came to be.

That’s tonight at 6p PT. If anyone goes, please do take some video, share online. Wish I could be there.

Josh Centers posts about what’s new in tvOS 11, but then goes further, digging into what’s still needed.

I’d go further, and add the ability to support multiple Bluetooth interfaces, as I’ve written about here:

  • Pair two sets of AirPods to a single Apple TV: This would allow my wife and I to listen on headphones, each with a different volume level, a blessing for people with different hearing needs and for parents with sleeping infants.

  • Pass the audio through to HDMI while AirPods are active: This would allow someone with a hearing deficit to listen at a louder volume while the room gets the regular volume.

Terrific read.