Stars and writers of “NewsRadio” look back on the show that refused to play by the rules

Uproxx:

Twenty years later, though, you can mention NewsRadio in a conversation about the best shows in TV history and faces light up. But we wanted to go straight to the heart of the WYNX studio, so we talked to some of the show’s stars — Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Maura Tierney and Khandi Alexander — as well as writers Brad Isaacs and Joe Furey, to find out how they feel about this series two decades later.

It really was an amazingly good television show.

Apple’s Tim Cook leads different

Fortune:

Since replacing the legendary Steve Jobs, Cook has led the iBehemoth to even greater financial success. Along the way he’s changed the culture of the company—and found his public voice as a leader.

Another profile on Cook. I like reading these because he seems to be more open about things than Jobs was.

Fantastical 2 for Mac review

Macstories:

While the original Fantastical was a companion to the full Apple iCal experience, Fantastical 2 reinvents itself as a full-blown calendar client that retains the most important aspects of the app’s debut and adds a whole new calendar interface to the mix.

You can’t swing a dead cat today without hitting any number of (at least a dozen so far) reviews of Flexibits new version of their popular calendaring app but, at $50, you better be really serious about needing a calendar app.

Our favorite OS X launcher – Alfred

The Sweet Setup:

Being the new kid on the block can have its advantages, but only if you know how to leverage them properly. Our favorite — Alfred — is able to do just that when compared to LaunchBar, Quicksilver, and even Spotlight.

What Alfred does best is incorporate different features from its competitors and implement them in a distinctive, easy, and understandable way — all while offering more power for advanced users to take things further.

I’ve used Alfred for years and agree with this review. Even in its free version, it’s a great launcher but the Powerpack is well worth the price for power users.

How a lousy football game birthed a bastard and led to the greatest hockey game of all-time

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Ken Baumgartner – 6’1”, 205 pounds, with a penchant for doling out punishment – was not the kind of guy you wanted to see angry. Baumgartner was a left wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. More specifically, he was their enforcer; a man paid literally to inflict pain on opponents. But in 1992, the target of his aggression was not another player; nor was it a coach or referee. It was a videogame producer at Electronic Arts named Michael Brook.

‘Hi, I’m Ken Baumgartner,’ he said flatly by way of introduction. As a lifelong hockey fan, Brook already knew who he was, and indicated as much with a tiny flinch of a smile. Despite the recognition, the thuggish enforcer felt compelled to further introduce himself:

‘I’m the guy you gave a zero rating to for Intelligence.’

Great story about the development of a game many of us Canadians, and not a few Americans, wasted many an hour playing. Thanks to Kottke for the link.

1Password’s “open letter to banks”

1Password:

TD Canada Trust made quite a splash recently when it launched its redesigned iPhone app which disabled pasting in the password field. Users who embrace password managers for their online security were quick to point out their … well, ‘unhappiness’ with this decision. TD Canada’s original response to those users was unsettling.

I had something similar happen to me over the weekend. Canada Post limits passwords to “8 to 12 characters using only numbers and letters”. These institutions need to realize longer, more complicated passwords are better for security.

Apple opens up to praise new book on Steve Jobs, and criticize an old one

New York Times:

Steve Jobs prized secrecy from his executives and employees during his tenure at Apple. Now his top lieutenants are speaking out — to help shape the legacy of Steve Jobs.

Through interviews and tweets, Apple brass, including the chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, are throwing their weight behind a new unauthorized biography of the Apple co-founder, “Becoming Steve Jobs,” which goes on sale on Tuesday. In the book, executives take aim at another title, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, an authorized biography published shortly after Mr. Jobs’s death in 2011.

Not unexpected but interesting to think there might be a concerted, organized PR campaign, not just from the book’s publisher, which is to be expected, but also from Apple.

Inside Apple’s top secret health and fitness lab for Apple Watch development

ABC News:

Apple engineers, managers and developers have been secretly volunteering for the past year in this state-of-the-art lab to participate in rowing, running, yoga and many more fitness activities in order to collect data for the Apple Watch’s inner workings.

“[The employees] knew they were testing something, but they didn’t know it was for the Apple Watch,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations. “We hooked them up with all the masks and so forth, but we would put on an Apple Watch covered up.”

You can watch the video of this story tonight on “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m. ET.

Why Swiss smartwatches have no chance against the Apple Watch

Quartz:

Apple didn’t just take a heritage watch case, add a screen, and shove in a microchip and a bunch of sensors. Trying to integrate one company’s microchip with another’s operating system and app ecosystem, then reconciling that combination with your company’s century-old design ideals is going to require some major compromises.

I don’t think the Swiss watchmakers have “no chance” but they are definitely behind a giant 8-ball and don’t seem to understand why. That’s lethal to their desires in this segment of the market.

Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Is now available

Pixelmator:

We’re super excited to finally let you know that the new and awesome Pixelmator for iPad update is out now.

Just to remind you—Pixelmator for iPad is the best image editor on the iPad and it is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced iOS apps ever built. And oh, if you are a Mac user and not that interested in iOS, just listen for a sec: All the cool things we now make for the iPad are coming to the Mac. But more on that later.

In the meantime, read on to find out what we’ve packed for you in Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Aquarelle.

Along with Snapseed, Pixelmator is my go to app for editing photos on the iPad. I’m really excited to start playing with the new features in this version.

Macs not vulnerable to BadUSB attack

TidBITS:

“The new MacBook’s single port comes with a major security risk,” proclaims The Verge. Gizmodo took The Verge’s story a step further with, “The NSA Is Going to Love These USB-C Charging Cables.” So what’s the big deal, and is there any fire behind all this hot air?

These articles are pure clickbait.

As always, when it comes to Macs and security, always wait for Rich Mogull to weigh in before going off half cocked. I’m looking at you, Tech Media.

This Japanese inn has been open for 1,300 years

The Atlantic:

Houshi Ryokan was founded in 718. It is one of the oldest family businesses in the world; 46 generations have managed the ryokan in its 1,300 years. Filmmaker Fritz Schumann profiles the current caretakers, Zengoro and Chizuko Houshi, as they struggle to determine the ryokan’s future after the death of their only son.

Such a sad story about a family seemingly trapped by the weight of their own history and traditions.

Where’s my suitcase of frozen moose meat?

CBC:

Liam English lost some moose meat, and quite a bit of it.

English, who was home in St. John’s last week for a family funeral, decided to stock up on about 11 kilograms of moose meat to bring back to Ottawa.

Before heading to the airport on Sunday, English put the meat in a hard shell suitcase, along with a brand-new suit and other personal belongings. However, when he arrived at the airport in Toronto, where he had a four-hour layover before a connecting flight to Ottawa, his luggage was nowhere to be seen.

“I had four moose roasts, four moose steaks, three packs of ground moose and four packs of moose sausages,” he told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show on Wednesday.

You’ve heard of “First World Problems”? This is definitely a Newfie Problem.

Vancouver tops quality of living ranking for North America

CBC News:

Vancouver is the best place to live in North America, according to Mercer’s latest Quality of Living Rankings.

The top ranking for 2015 went to Vienna, followed by Zurich, Auckland and Munich.

Vancouver was followed by Toronto at 15, and Ottawa at 16. The highest ranking U.S. cities trail behind with San Francisco at 27, Boston at 34 and Honolulu coming in at 36.

Vancouver, like most “world class” cities, is insanely expensive to live in, has its own host of big city problems and has difficulties resolving “what it wants to be” but there’s no doubt it deserves inclusion on lists like these. What I found interesting, when you look at the entire list, is how high many European cities rank and how low many other world class cities, like New York and Tokyo are – they didn’t make the top 35.

The heart stopping climbs of Alex Honnold

The New York Times:

On cliffs where even elite climbers employ complicated rope systems, the free-soloist wears only shorts, a T-shirt, a pair of climbing shoes and a bag of gymnast’s chalk to keep the hands dry.

Honnold has free-soloed the longest, most challenging climbs ever, including the 2,500-foot northwest face of Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, where some of the handholds are so small that no average climber could cling for an instant, roped or otherwise. Most peculiar of all, even to elite rock climbers, Honnold does this without apparent fear, as if falling were not possible.

I’ve read a bunch of stories about this guy and watched dozens of videos. He absolutely fascinates me and every time I watch a video, I literally get queasy watching him free solo these mountain faces. He’s truly amazing.

Apple plans 25 channels for streaming TV service

Wall St Journal:

Apple Inc.’s lofty plans to build an online television service are coming into sharper focus.

The technology giant is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, according to people familiar with the matter. The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and would be available on Apple devices such as the Apple TV, they said.

For now, the talks don’t involve NBCUniversal, owner of the NBC broadcast network and cable channels like USA and Bravo, because of a falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast Corp., the people familiar with the matter said.

Take this news with a lot of salt. The only details come from the always suspicious “people familiar with the matter” and one of the story’s writers is Daisuke Wakabayashi – not exactly an unimpeachable source of accurate Apple news.

Inside the mad, mad world of TripAdvisor

Outside:

No matter your destination, you will, at some point in your research, visit TripAdvisor. The company, with the humble mantra “real hotel reviews you can trust,” has become—on a rising tide of 200 million user reviews and counting—a travel-industry Goliath, able to turn obscure hotels into sold-out hot spots, carry new flocks of visitors on digital word of mouth to quiet destinations, even rewrite the hospitality standards of entire nations. For travelers the impact has been equally profound.

For all the power of the service, it raises deep questions about travel itself, including, most pressingly, who do we want—who do we trust—to tell us where to go?

I travel a lot less than I used to (hope to do more soon!) but wherever I go, I check TripAdvisor first.

MacID unlocks your Mac with your Touch ID: Free for 48 hours

iMore:

Want to be able to unlock your Mac using Touch ID? Now you can. What’s more, it’s free for the next two days.

Beginning March 16th, the MacID iOS app is free, but only for 48 hours. It’s normally $4. It’s an app for your Touch ID-based iOS device, and it works in conjunction with a second app that you install on your Mac. MacID lets you lock your Mac with a swipe of the finger on your Touch ID-equipped iPhone or iPad.

Doesn’t work with my 2011 Macbook Pro but should work on Macs that are capable of using Bluetooth LE.

Why I’m optimistic about gender equality in tech

iMore:

I’m grateful to have witnessed changes like Title IX in my lifetime, but it’s not over yet. Today, we have many programs that support girls and women in technology fields, including my own project, App Camp For Girls. People recognize that discrimination in tech exists, and they’re taking action to level the playing field. As with Title IX, they offer support and encouragement specifically to girls and women so they can participate in this field to their fullest potential.

Discrimination still exists in this field and likely will exist for some time. But I don’t get discouraged by the terrible stories circulating in the news on harassment and workplace discrimination. I don’t get frustrated with well-meaning but clueless commenters who think the status quo reflects innate gender differences. Instead, I’m spurred on to redouble my own efforts to make the future better.

A good article by Jean MacDonald, formerly of the Mac developer Smile Software and the founder of App Camp for Girls.

Tim Cook calls Jim Cramer

CNBC:

Mad Money host Jim Cramer receives a surprise phone call from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who talks about innovation, Bar San Miguel, the company’s paranoia, and what it’s like to follow Steve Jobs as CEO.

I don’t think it was a “surprise call” at all but a good video to watch nonetheless.

How Apple makes the Watch

Atomic Delights:

This walkthrough is a detailed narration of what we see in Apple’s Watch Craftsmanship videos. Of course, we only get to see a mere fraction of the process; I’ve tried to provide plausible explanations for the likely steps taking place between the processes shown on film, but these are assumptions and are included only to provide a more satisfying and complete narration.

Hey Samsung. Good luck copying this.

The good news about the CIA targeting Apple

TidBITS:

The Intercept’s piece was mostly a condemnation of government tactics, but failed to address what matters to Apple’s customers — whether Apple’s products remain secure and safe to use. Overall, the information is quite optimistic, but the article highlights the complexities of modern security, privacy, and intelligence gathering. We are still in the early days of what is likely to be a generational issue as society continues to adjust to the digital age.

As always, Mogull has a well thought out, well written, and well reasoned piece with none of the hysteria you see in other articles about this subject.

Thousands have signed up for Apple’s ResearchKit

Bloomberg:

Stanford University researchers were stunned when they awoke Tuesday to find that 11,000 people had signed up for a cardiovascular study using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, less than 24 hours after the iPhone tool was introduced.

“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”

As the article points out, there are some concerns regarding the people who would get involved but, overall, the research community seems very excited about the present and future possibilities.

The all-in-one Apple Watch spreadsheet

Robservatory:

I am fascinated by this new business Apple’s going into; the sheer number of products and prices is pretty amazing: By my count, Apple will be shipping 38 separate models of watches. There’s a gallery page at Apple’s site where you can page through all of the watches, and get the details on each specific model. You can also view the watches in the store, where you can find pricing info.

Both of these solutions, though, require lots of paging and scrolling to get all the details. I was curious as to how all the watches compared, so I pulled data from those sources and made one massive spreadsheet

Rob Griffiths has done the work so you don’t have to.

Thunderbolted: USB-C is our new connection overlord. Get used to it.

Macworld:

With the new 12-inch MacBook, Apple has gone all in for all-in-one, using USB-C to provide power, display output, and USB connections. Thunderbolt is gone. The SD card slot is gone as well.

The upside is compatibility, and thus lower costs and more options. USB-C is also a unifying and universal standard that doesn’t involve a single company acting as a licensing gatekeeper, the way Apple protects Lightning cables and adapters. USB-C would seem to have a lot to offer, but first we have to get over the hump of newness.

Typical story of “short term pain for long term gain” but it means I don’t see this particular machine as my next laptop.