Life after death: Resuscitating a drowned iPhone 5

Macworld:

As I positioned the phone vertically, the boat rocked a bit from a small wave, and—you guessed it—the phone slipped out of my hands.

I watched my iPhone fall, land on the back of the boat, then sickeningly slide off the boat and splash into the water.

Not everyone is so lucky but the story of the near-death and complete resurrection of this iPhone is interesting.

I went undercover in America’s toughest prison

Vice:

How do we try to change whatever it was that brought someone into trouble with the law? And if that proves impossible, what is the best way that society can protect itself? I wanted to find out. I also wanted to see how much of what I knew—or thought I knew—about jail turned out to be true. So I wrote to corrections departments worldwide asking for access.

I discovered that I could go to jail in America as an “undercover voluntary detainee.”

I don’t know if the author is brave or stupid. Undoubtedly, a lot of both.

The best podcast apps for the iPhone

Anxious Machine:

I decided to do just that, purchasing and trying out Instacast, Downcast, Pocketcasts, Podwrangler, Castro, Mocast, and Overcast. I made comparison video to share what I observed.

I have no background in design, but perhaps because I have a degree in comparative literature, I find it endlessly fascinating to compare the interface of apps and savor the details of what each one offers. None of these apps is perfect, but it’s inspiring to see how a group of talented humans use their skills in different ways, through the endlessly plastic medium of software, to approach the same problems.

Good round up and comparison of what’s available.

Stop being a tourist

The Verge:

I consider “tourist” to be the filthiest of words. It’s the curse I grumble when caught behind pedestrians walking without purpose on big-city sidewalks. But I differentiate between explorer and tourist: the former being someone that travels to an unfamiliar place to learn about it, the latter a barbaric asshat driven by the desire to document his very existence.

Funny article that makes some great points about how far too many people “record without being present”.

3 days in Nova Scotia

Ashley Durance:

“The thing about the East Coast is it’s so beautifully Canadian.”

The Publisher and I were lucky enough to have been born in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is lucky enough to still live there. Even though I’ve been gone for 25 plus years, I still think of Nova Scotia my home. This photo series captures some of the beauty of it.

Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook take the ice bucket challenge

The Verge:

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is the latest notable person to undertake the Ice Bucket Challenge, and doused himself with icy water in the name of charity at a company event earlier today. The challenge was created to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. So far, numerous celebrities and tech personalities have undertaken the challenge, including Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller, who posted a shots of himself getting doused on a beach today.

“Under the rules you also get to call out others who have to do the challenge themselves, or face social shame.” Really? Do you really think these kinds of powerful people can be peer pressured into doing things?

Meet the beer bottle dictator

The Daily Beast:

For years, one man has approved virtually every beer label design in the United States. Among brewers, he’s a tyrant. A legend.

A pedantic pain in the ass.

Brewers and legal experts speak of him in hushed tones, with equal parts irritation and reverence.

And he goes by the name “Battle.”

I’d never thought of the fact that someone would have to approve beer labels.

Sugar: the evolution of a forbidden fruit

The Globe and Mail:

Sugars are themselves toxins, some researchers suggest, that cause obesity, diabetes, hyper- tension and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar has joined salt and fat on the list of dietary evils. Governments and health experts are urging people to cut back their daily intake.

How did we get ourselves into this unhappy state?

It’s a shame something so many of us love and crave is potentially so deadly.

The best smart lights for your home

Connectedly:

One of the easiest ways for to jump into the connected home space is with some awesome connected lighting. Smart lights are simply bulbs (and usually a bridge or hub) that replaces your standard light bulbs and offer more functionality — namely being able to control them from your smartphone or tablet. These Wi-Fi bulbs are typically more expensive than standard bulbs, but last just as long (if not longer), plus they go above and beyond just keeping you out of the dark.

If I was a home owner, I’d probably investigate these (and other) kinds of lighting systems. Do any of you use/recommend any particular system you use in your own home?

The most wanted man in the world

Wired:

For almost nine months, I have been trying to set up an interview with (Edward Snowden) – traveling to Berlin, Rio de Janeiro twice, and New York multiple times to talk with the handful of his confidants who can arrange a meeting. Among other things, I want to answer a burning question: What drove Snowden to leak hundreds of thousands of top-secret documents, revelations that have laid bare the vast scope of the government’s domestic surveillance programs?

Interesting story about a fascinating and polarizing person.

Apple has added a Robin Williams section to the iTunes Store

Cult of Mac:

The tragic news of Robin Williams’ sudden death has sent most of us on a YouTube binge, watching TV shows, movies, and stand-up comedy bits from the funniest man who ever lived, and now Apple is paying its respects to late-comedian with a new iTunes section.

CoM says, “if you scroll through you can find 40 of his other gems like “Death to Smoochie”…” I’m sorry. I loved Robin Williams but “Death to Smoochy” was an awful movie.

The copy of the U.S. Constitution that’s installed on every Mac

TUAW:

There’s a copy of the U.S. Constitution on each and every Mac in the Dictionary app.

You’ll not only find such exciting information as who was on the editorial staff and advisory board for the Dictionary, but also a bunch of useful references.

In addition to the aforementioned Constitution of the United States of America, there’s also a complete Language Guide, a history of the English language, a list of the fifty states and each state capital, a list of every President of the U.S. from George Washington to George W. Bush (not sure what happened to the current incumbent…), the Declaration of Independence, a list of countries of the world, a list of chemical elements from hydrogen to meitnerium, a cross-reference of standard to metric measure conversions, and the Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Russian alphabets.

Kind of interesting, especially for us trivia nerds, but a little odd to have this info buried in the Dictionary app.

Remembering Robin Williams: His Best Appearances on TV and Film

Mashable:

Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died on Monday at the age of 63. As a performer, Williams had the rare ability to make audiences laugh and cry. In remembrance of Williams and his long legacy, we’ve compiled some of his finest moments from television, stand-up and film.

I was reminded by my friend Sly that I heckled Robin Williams during the taping of his HBO Special, “Live on Broadway”. He goes off on that Canada rant because some idiot in the audience (me) yelled out, “Yay Canada!” I met Williams years later on the show floor of Macworld Expo and we chatted for almost 30 minutes. I asked him about the heckling and he (jokingly) called me “an a-hole”. “You don’t heckle on Broadway!” he said.

Microsoft reignites Mac vs. PC conflict for new Surface Pro 3 ads

The Verge:

Microsoft is bringing the Mac vs. PC battle back with full force today.

While the company targeted the MacBook Air at the launch of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s latest ads place both devices head-to-head. It’s a style that’s similar to how Microsoft has targeted the iPad and even Siri recently, and one that mimics Apple’s classic ads from the ‘00s. There’s three 30-second spots in total, and each focuses on the touchscreen and pen benefits of the Surface Pro 3 over Apple’s MacBook Air.

As always – don’t read the comments section.

Water and air are all you need to make one of world’s most important chemicals

The Conversation:

Researchers have developed a method to produce ammonia simply from air and water. Not only is it more energy efficient than the century-old Haber-Bosch process currently in use all over the world, but it is also greener.

Ammonia – made up of three parts hydrogen and one part nitrogen (or NH3) – has had a momentous impact on society. Without the mass production of this chemical, it is estimated that as many as a third of us won’t be alive. This is because its main use is to make fertilisers, which have helped improve crop yields and sustain a large population.

I had no idea that ammonia production “consumes nearly 2% of the world’s energy supply” but as the article points out, even this process is no where near as efficient as Mother Nature.

Simplifying the bull: how Picasso helps to teach Apple’s style

New York Times:

Steven P. Jobs established Apple University as a way to inculcate employees into Apple’s business culture and educate them about its history, particularly as the company grew and the tech business changed. Courses are not required, only recommended, but getting new employees to enroll is rarely a problem.

Although many companies have such internal programs, sometimes referred to as indoctrination, Apple’s version is a topic of speculation and fascination in the tech world.

As usual, take whatever Brian Chen says with a truckload of salt (he gets several details wrong, as usual) but it’s still an interesting look at a little known aspect of Apple.

Bring back the dark: How our overuse of artificial light is changing nighttime for the worse

Slate:

You don’t know night. Not real night, the way it was experienced pre-electricity; what we lost when we developed the ability to light up the night sky.

That sounds obvious to someone living near Times Square or in Vegas, but those are only extremes in a phenomenon that touches nearly all of us: Two-thirds of the world’s population, and 99 percent of people living in the continental U.S. and Western Europe, no longer experience what we might call true night — one free from the glow of artificial lights.

I’ve been a City Kid my entire life. I still remember the night I was walking outside on my dad’s farm and couldn’t figure out why, with no light around, it was so bright outside – I could see my shadow. I looked up and literally gasped at the sight of the Milky Way – which I had never seen before.

2014 World YoYo Champion, Gentry Stein

I loved playing with a YoYo when I was a kid. Tough to take this “championship” seriously but you have to admire his skill and showmanship. If I tried any of those tricks, I’d end up tied in knots tighter than a pair of handcuffs.

National Geographic’s 2014 photo contest winners announced

National Geographic:

National Geographic Traveler magazine received more than 18,000 entries from around the globe. With thousands of pictures to review, judges found themselves wandering through stunning ice caves, mysterious desert views, and intriguing scenes from cultures throughout the world. Which photos were selected as the best of the best?

As always, some absolutely incredible shots in this collection.

Service tells you how much smarter you are than your friends

Pando Daily:

Using the highly scientific process of…hunting for fancy words in tweeted headlines…Beak allows users to calculate the grade level of their tweets.

Not scientific at all but fun to use for comparison’s sake. I tweet at a level of 7th Grade. Which sounds high to me.

Selling an old iPhone? Here are things to consider

New York Times:

You can sell old iPhones — a lot of Android phones, too — to a number of online companies. Gazelle.com, cashforiphones.com, usell.com and icracked.com are just a few of them. Amazon and eBay are also vibrant marketplaces for used iPhones. I don’t know which one offers the best price or which are the most reputable. I don’t have enough used iPhones to do comparison testing.

But looking at the prices offered for the used iPhone 5s may offer some insight into what phone to buy next if you intend to sell it after a few years of use.

I’ve used Gazelle for several iPhone sales. Not the best price but definitely the easiest and less hassle.

Apple contributes $1.6 million to Chinese earthquake relief

TUAW:

In the wake of China’s 6.5 magnitude quake that hit the country over the weekend, Apple is doing its best to help out. As reported by CRIENGLISH, Apple is donating 10 million yuan, or roughly US$1.6 million, to the relief efforts.

You have to feel for the people affected. I’ve been in three very minor earthquakes and they were terrifying. I can’t even imagine what a 6.5 magnitude quake would feel like.

Disappearing burgers: Why so many chefs make it so hard to order their most popular dish

Grubstreet:

Pity the New Yorker who wants to eat an excellent burger for dinner while sitting at a proper table. The city is awash in outstanding burgers, but the simple task of ordering one at prime time feels like it’s become increasingly difficult.

The problem: More top New York chefs limit their burgers by selling them in very small quantities, or only at lunch, or only for the first 30 minutes their restaurant is open, or maybe just to the people sitting at the bar but not in the dining room, or possibly only on Mondays.

What a weird story and, I’m sorry, but “At Porter House, you can get the burger for $19 at lunch, or $26 at night at the bar” means I would never pay that much for a burger, no matter how good New Yorkers said it was.

1Password on sale, iOS 8 version will be a free update

AgileBits:

We are announcing that, for Mac and iOS users, our updates coming this fall for Apple’s OS X Yosemite and iOS 8—yes, including our awesome new Safari and in-app extension—will be free for current owners.

We’ve put 1Password for desktops on sale for 30 percent off, and 1Password for iPhone and iPad on sale for a whopping 40 percent off (1Password 4 for Android remains free-to-try through August 18!).

Get 1Password for Mac for just $34.99 and 1Password for iOS for just $9.99.

I personally highly recommend 1Password.

How to make eggs in a mug in 90 seconds

Epicurious:

Whether you’re making breakfast in an office or a college dorm room, the only kitchen tools you’ll need are a microwave-safe mug and a fork. From fast scrambled eggs to tomato sauce “baked” eggs, here are five tasty ideas for how to make eggs in a mug in 90 seconds.

I’m not much of a cook (but I do make a pretty tasty pasta sauce), so I’m always on the look out for quick (cause I’m lazy) and easy recipes. This looks like it would fit the bill.

Why some schools are selling all their iPads

The Atlantic:

For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning?

It’s a question that has been on many minds since 2010, when Apple released the iPad and schools began experimenting with it. The devices came along at a time when many school reformers were advocating to replace textbooks with online curricula and add creative apps to lessons. Some teachers welcomed the shift, which allowed their students to replace old poster-board presentations with narrated screencasts and review teacher-produced video lessons at any time.

Four years later, however, it’s still unclear whether the iPad is the device best suited to the classroom.

It’s an interesting article from the other side of the question. Before you knee jerk react to the headline, read the story. It certainly does make some interesting points.

This map lets you watch DDoS attacks in real time

The Daily Dot:

We hear about distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks all the time. Now, thanks to a new map, we can see how often these attacks occur, who’s getting targeted, and who’s doing the attacks.

The map, called IPViking Live, comes from a company called Norse that specializes in monitoring malicious online activity. The map is not comprehensive; it shows “a small subset” of DDoS attacks aimed at servers that Norse has set up as dummy targets. These “honeypots” collect information about the automated attacks that stream in from countries like China, Thailand, and Russia. Hovering over a location will show you attacks originating from that site.

Mesmerizing. And a little scary.

This May Be The Greatest Vancouver Fireworks Video Ever

Super Vancouver:

Taking your $3,000 Canon 5D camera, mounting it on a tripod and waiting until 10:00 pm to film the Celebration of Lights fireworks now seems rather basic compared to the effort put into this clip.

The team behind the Youtube video titled “Sparks: A Honda Celebration of Light Story” took the time to create a story, shoot at multiple Metro Vancouver locations and artfully edit together the video perfectly.

I have lived in Vancouver for many years and have seen a lot of videos – Vancouver is the most beautiful city in North America and gets filmed a lot – and this is, without a doubt, one of the top 5 best I’ve ever seen.

Drive-cloning utilities: The best Mac apps for making a bootable backup

Macworld:

Good backups are essential for every Mac user. Tools such as Apple’s Time Machine, included as part of OS X, make it easy to store multiple versions of every file from your computer on an external drive or an AirPort Time Capsule. And if you want the security of off-site backups without having to physically move drives around, an online backup provider such as CrashPlan is a good option.

But while both these forms of backup serve important purposes, I also recommend maintaining a clone (also known as a bootable duplicate)—a complete, identical copy of your startup volume, stored on an external drive in such a way that you can boot your Mac from it if necessary.

I’ve always recommended multiple backups. Using these apps will make the process relatively easy.

The best tablet you can buy

The Verge:

There are countless tablets available for purchase today, and we’ve surveyed all of the models you might come across in your local electronics store or on Amazon’s virtual shelves. It’s almost a tie for first place, but not quite.

Obviously, this doesn’t surprise anyone at The Loop but take a look at The Verge’s third choice. Their description of the Asus Nexus 7 doesn’t seem to warrant its score.