Son of a bitch. Give me a drink.

[VIDEO] I’ve heard this song here and there, but stumbled across the video today. Just me, or does the lead singer here, Nathaniel Rateliff, remind you of Jim? And he says this to me a lot. Video embedded in main Loop post.

Live, draggable, animated Bézier curves

Bézier curves are everywhere, from the interfaces on our phones and computers to the various drawing packages that bring those interfaces to life.

Once you’re done playing, spend some time learning the details in this free online book.

Building a Hackintosh without the benefit of tonymacx86

Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac:

In a previous article, posted shortly after Nvidia announced its new Pascal Mac drivers, I briefly discussed my plans to build a new Hackintosh. I’ve been planning and working on the machine for over a week, and I’m finally at the point where I can share the results of my journey.

This isn’t my first Hackintosh build, but it’s the first build where I decided to go about it without the assistance of the excellent tools over at tonymacx86. I’ve been long interested in building a Hackintosh using just the Clover EFI Bootloader, and that’s exactly what I did for this build.

Going about it this way allowed me to learn more about the process, and helped me to see that the entire premise, while tedious at times, is actually fairly straightforward. In this initial post, I’ll talk about some of my reasoning behind my hardware choices, and share some initial experiences and benchmark results.

If you are interested in building your own Hackintosh, I would certainly start my journey with tonymacx86. It’s just too great a resource to ignore. But I get Jeff’s logic. Now you can follow along with Jeff, learn as he learns.

“Like using a lunchbox to make lunch”

Ars Technica story about Masahiro Sakurai the creator of 1992’s Kirby’s Dream Land:

Sakurai recalled how HAL Laboratory was using a Twin Famicom as a development kit at the time. Trying to program on the hardware, which combined a cartridge-based Famicom and the disk-based Famicom Disk System, was “like using a lunchbox to make lunch,” Sakurai said.

As if the limited power wasn’t bad enough, Sakurai revealed that the Twin Famicom testbed they were using “didn’t even have keyboard support, meaning values had to be input using a trackball and an on-screen keyboard.”

Amazing story. Be sure to follow the link to the full story, complete with pictures.

Google’s ingenious tool to fight patent trolls, a tool Apple could use

TechCrunch:

Google and Intertrust today announced the launch of PatentShield, a new program that aims to help defend startups from patent litigation — in return for a stake in those companies.

The basic idea here is to give startups that join the program ownership of a selection of patents from Google’s and Intertrust’s portfolio that they can then use as a deterrent against potential patent litigation from established players in their fields. Google is seeding the program with a selection of its own patents and Intertrust, which itself has built up a patent portfolio around media streaming, IoT, security and other areas, will also give these startups access to some of its own patents and its intellectual property team.

If a startup gets sued, it can then choose patents from the PatentShield portfolio to defend itself by countersuing its opponents.

This truly is ingenious, a terrific use of Google’s patent portfolio. The cost to Google is relatively small, and it gives a big club and shield a startup can use to defend itself against patent trolls. There is potential for misuse, certainly, a chance for a startup to turn bully. Time will tell if that becomes an issue.

The benefit to Google is immense, leveraging existing patents to bring in a steady trickle of startup equity. Smart business. I think Apple should do the same thing. A perfect act of benevolence that’s well in Apple’s wheelhouse.

Jack Dorsey on Donald Trump and destructive speech on Twitter

UPDATE: For some reason, the interview appears to have been taken down. Not clear what’s going on, but will update if and when it pops up again.

This is a phenomenal interview, as you might expect from the excellent Steven Levy. I was surprised to learn that Twitter was not invited to any of Trump’s tech roundtables or advisory councils.

One highlight that stands out:

Q: There have been well-publicized instances where women have been exposed to horrible treatment. What was your feeling when you understood how common it was for women like Leslie Jones to be harassed? Did you feel that was something that you failed at?

Dorsey: We recognized that the very nature of the product was giving unfair advantage to people who wanted to harass. So we needed to change the product experience. We made it a priority last year, but to be very frank and honest, we only shipped one meaningful thing all year. So our progress is not something that we are proud of.

And:

Q: Why was that? Why did you fall short?

Dorsey: A variety of reasons. We recognized that at the end of the year, in December, and we just took on a completely different mindset. We had people drop what they were doing and really focus on this as an issue. And in the past three months we’ve been shipping every single day against this, and I think have made meaningful progress, [even though] it’s not felt as much. We also, in the previous year, put a lot of burden on the victim instead of taking the burden upon ourselves So we learned a bunch in that past year around how slow we were, and we just completely shifted our mindset.

There’s not going to be an endpoint where we can say we’re done. But the progress we’ve made in the past few months has just been phenomenal. It just took a mindset shift, and we had to go through that year of really learning that and the previous years before that. We didn’t prioritize it in the right way, but now we have. So I feel like we have a real strong handle on what it is and, most importantly, how to bring it into a steady state instead of it being an emergency state.

Not seeing it. Anyone else see this mindset shift?

A Fitbit helped police arrest a man for his wife’s murder

BuzzFeed:

A Connecticut man was charged with murdering his wife after police analyzed the woman’s Fitbit and found the device recorded her movements after the time the man told investigators she was fatally shot by a home intruder.

Imagine the shock on this guy’s face when they laid this out for him. Like an episode of Elementary.

CNBC: Fluent survey shows “Customer excitement for the Apple Watch has plateaued”

CNBC:

According to a new survey, individuals who did not already own Apple’s smartwatch were unenthusiastic about buying one anytime soon, while just 8 percent of those surveyed said they planned to make the purchase.

A total of 1,339 consumers were polled by consumer marketing firm Fluent for the survey.

“Customer excitement for the Apple Watch has plateaued since hitting the market in 2015. Only current owners think it’s a great product, but nearly half of them don’t plan on upgrading,” a Fluent spokeswoman said in an email.

I think it’s hard to draw these sorts of conclusions about a market that is so young and still growing, still finding its way. Add to that that the Apple Watch is a secondary device, designed to augment the iPhone, at least for most people. Apple Watch sales are gravy for Apple, enhancing iPhone sales numbers, helping add value to the ecosystem.

As to upgrading, I’d say give that time, time for the Apple Watch and watchOS to evolve, to give people a reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest. Currently, a faster processor doesn’t mean much for most Apple Watch users. But over time, as watchOS gains capabilities, that need will change.

The Fluent survey may be factually correct, but I don’t agree with the tone of the analysis. Personally, I see a lot of headroom for Apple Watch growth and I do plan on upgrading in the next cycle.

Video shows expressions on one person transferred onto another

[VIDEO] Watch the video in the main Loop post and notice that the person on the left is not moving, is relatively expressionless. The person on the right is moving their face.

Now switch your gaze to the two screens in the video. Note that the video of the person on the left has the expressions of the person on the right.

Like the post from Monday where an AI was used to speak using someone else’s voice, this has potential badness and chicanery written all over it.

Songwriting podcast, well worth your while

Into the craft that is songwriting? Check out Song Exploder, a podcast that invites artists to explain their process.

My 2 cents, the best place to start is with the latest episode, where Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo talks through his approach to writing the song Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori.

The whole thing was fascinating, from the backstory of the song’s inspiration, to the mechanics Rivers uses to bring together chord structures. Lots to learn here.

Wannabe songwriter? Give it a listen.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune, a large-scale attempt to combat fake news

Laura Hazard Owen, Neiman Lab:

Good things can happen when a crowd goes to work on trying to figure out a problem in journalism. At the same time, completely crowdsourced news investigations can go bad without oversight — as when, for example, a group of Redditors falsely accused someone of being the Boston Marathon bomber. An entirely crowdsourced investigation with nobody to oversee it or pay for it will probably go nowhere. At the same time, trust in the media is at low and fact checking efforts have become entwined with partisan politics.

So what would happen if you combined professional journalism with fact checking by the people? On Monday evening, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched Wikitribune, an independent site (not affiliated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation) “that brings journalists and a community 
of volunteers together” in a combination that Wales hopes will combat fake news online — initially in English, then in other languages.

Here’s a link to Wikitribune. The site has been deluged with traffic, so don’t be surprised if you have trouble getting in. Early reviews have been nitpicky, focusing on typos and broken links. Me, I say give it time to find its feet. I love Wikipedia and have high hopes that Jimmy Wales can make this work.

From the Wikitribune front page:

Facts can be presented with bias, taken out of context and most recently a lot of facts are just plain…made-up. Supporting Wikitribune means ensuring that that journalists only write articles based on facts that they can verify. Oh, and that you can see their sources. That way you can make up your own mind.

Amen.

Apple delays release of first original series ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Reuters:

A premiere party for “Carpool Karaoke” scheduled for March in Los Angeles was postponed without explanation days before it was to take place. This week, the company again postponed its launch party, which had been rescheduled for Monday.

To me, this is not original content that will make or break Apple’s approach to a cable cutting alternative. Perhaps they are pushing this back to somehow intersect with WWDC.

Video of Steve Jobs’ 2006 visit to the Cupertino City Council

[VIDEO] This is amazing to watch. My imagination, or do they keep calling him “Mr. Job”? Watch the video in the main Loop post, and watch another video, linked in the post, to a return visit 5 years later. Big change in Steve. Sad to see.

More on updating your old Mac Pro as a capable VR and gaming platform

Last week, we linked to a post from Daniel Pasco on updating a 2009 Mac Pro:

I turned a 2009 Mac Pro I picked up off of Ebay for $1300 into a superb professional workstation, gaming, and VR platform, simply by adding an SSD drive and a new video card.

Here’s a follow-on post with all the detail on the build, really well written with lots of pictures. Thanks for this Dan, a real service to the community.

New AI copies anyone’s voice

Lyrebird:

Lyrebird will offer an API to copy the voice of anyone. It will need as little as one minute of audio recording of a speaker to compute a unique key defining her/his voice. This key will then allow to generate anything from its corresponding voice. The API will be robust enough to learn from noisy recordings.

This is fascinating and scary. The technology is far from perfect, but I can definitely see them getting to “close enough to fool you” pretty quickly.

Apple Maps gets transit mode for Paris

TechCrunch:

Apple is finally adding transit options to its Maps app for the city of Paris. Starting today, you can use Apple Maps to calculate itineraries using public transportation.

You’ll find subway, RER and bus lines, and even Transilien lines. Just like in Google Maps, you can look around the map with a new subway layer or you can calculate an itinerary from A to B. If you tap on a station, you can see all the lines leaving this station as well as real time information about the next departures.

Finally, you’ll also find Autolib car sharing stations as well as Vélib bike sharing stations. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say if there are bikes or spaces available.

Surprised that this took so long, but glad the data is finally available.

The brand spanking new AppStories podcast

Federico Viticci and John Voorhees from MacStories have teamed up to talk about apps on a new weekly podcast called AppStories. AppStories launches today, but has been in the works for more than a year.

I’ve had the chance to listen to the premiere episode and I have to say, I found it fascinating, well worth the listen. The focus is on the app store, the apps we love, and the developers behind those apps.

Listen to the first five minutes. You’ll have a real sense of the show. My two cents? This is a podcast worth your time.

Here’s a link to the first episode. If the link is not yet live, give it a bit of time and try again.

1981 Nightline interview with Steve Jobs

The whole thing is fascinating, but the Apple/Steve part kicks in around 4:20. Love how they refer to him as Steven Jobs. It was before he was Steve to all of us.

Note: Someone sent this to me, but can’t for the life of me remember who. Was doing some heavy traveling when it came in. Apologies for the lack of a hat tip.

A time capsule for the World Wide Web

Tim Carmody, writing for Kottke.org:

This week, I am proposing an experiment. I am asking you — all of you: readers of Kottke.org, my friends, my colleagues, my strangers, my citizens of the World Wide Web, people who have known the grandeur of the best webcomics, the best YouTube videos, the best memes, the best stories and articles and entire blogs and games and nonsense with which we entertain and edify ourselves every day — I am asking you:

WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU GOT

This is a chance to help select your favorite internet thing. Here’s a link to the questionnaire. Can’t wait to see the results. Me, I’m going with the classic, David After Dentist (Is this real life?)

The hot new Hip Hop producer that does everything on his iPhone

Wired, talking about Steve Lacy:

Last year, he was nominated for a Grammy for executive-producing and performing on the 2015 funk-R&B-soul album Ego Death, the third release from The Internet and Lacy’s first with the band. He’s a sought-after producer, featured on albums like J. Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only” and Kendrick Lamar’s new “Damn.” Earlier in 2017, he released his first solo material, which he’s playing as part of the setlist for The Internet’s worldwide tour. (Somewhere in there he also graduated high school.) The only connection between his many projects? All that music is stored on his iPhone.

And on his process:

He paged through the drum presets in GarageBand for a while before picking a messy-sounding kit. With two thumbs, he tapped out a simple beat, maybe 30 seconds long. Then he went back to the Rickenbacker. He played a riff he’d stumbled on while tuning, recording it on a separate GarageBand track over top of the drums. Without even playing it back, Lacy then reached down and deleted it. It took three taps: stop, delete, back to the beginning. He played the riff again, subtly differently. Deleted it again. For the next half hour, that’s all Lacy did: play, tap-tap-tap, play again. He experimented wildly for a while, then settled on a loose structure and began subtly tweaking it. Eventually satisfied with that bit, he plugged in his Fender bass and started improvising a bassline. A few hours later, he began laying vocals, a breathy, wordless melody he sang directly into the iPhone’s microphone. He didn’t know quite what he was making, but he was feeling it.

All night, Lacy goofed around. He found a sword in the studio, and made up a shockingly catchy song called “Sword in the Studio” that’s still rattling around in my brain.

This really resonated with me, a terrific read. Steve Lacy sounds like a bunch of people I know, kicking around in GarageBand, laying down a base track, then layering in guitar, vocals, what have you. But while most of this work ends up in a far corner of some hard drive or SoundCloud, Lacy’s efforts got him nominated for a Grammy and a bunch of high profile gigs.

And much of it done on an iPhone. Amazing.

A real old Mac Pro vs. the coming Mac Pro

Daniel Pasco, renegade polymath:

I use a 5k iMac for work and am interested in VR production and gaming. Some friends told me to build a dedicated Windows box and others suggested building a Hackintosh, but I was sure there was a better way to get what I wanted.

So I turned a 2009 Mac Pro I picked up off of Ebay for $1300 into a superb professional workstation, gaming, and VR platform, simply by adding an SSD drive and a new video card.

This is a pretty cool idea. Read Dan’s post to see how the machine stacks up as a VR platform (spoiler: very, very well).

But read on, as Dan shifts gears, focusing on the Apple’s coming Mac Pro:

I realized that the corner that Apple has painted us into is just another “sweet solution” (similar to Jobs proposal that we develop web apps for iPhone instead of native apps).

I can do the work that Apple feels is appropriate with a 5k iMac, but the massive pile of external disks and their power supplies stacked up behind it speaks to the adaptions I’ve quietly had to make in order to get it to meet my basic needs.

Apple’s agenda has been to stay focused on its cash cow: the iPhone. As a result it has quietly mothballed some amazing products and technologies along the way, seriously impaired the economics of commercial software sales, and neglected macOS in their efforts to homogenize it with iOS.

Who is this guy? Daniel Pasco is the CEO of Black Pixel, a top development shop. So in my book, he’s earned his opinions.

New York Times: Why you should wait before buying Samsung’s new Galaxy S8

Brian X. Chen:

When a splashy new smartphone hits the market, consumers often weigh whether to place an order right away or to wait and see how others react to the device.

But with the Galaxy S8, Samsung’s first major smartphone release since the spontaneously combusting Galaxy Note 7 was discontinued last year, there isn’t much of a debate. Your best bet is to wait to buy the roughly $750 device — not just for safety reasons, but also because other uncertainties surround it.

I just can’t help but wonder if this next bit had anything to do with the Times’ take:

Samsung declined to provide an early review unit of the Galaxy S8 to The New York Times

No matter the logic, this does feel a bit like spite. And Samsung, what were you thinking here? You gave a review unit to the Wall Street Journal, but not the Times?

Bloomberg: Apple readies overhaul for iPhone’s 10th anniversary

Mark Gurman and Min Jeong Lee, Bloomberg:

Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said. Those anxiously awaiting the redesigned iPhone, however, may have to wait because supply constraints could mean the device isn’t readily available until one or two months after the typical fall introduction.

Lots of fascinating details here, all provided by people familiar with the matter.