Augmented reality in aerial navigation

There’s been a lot of talk about AR and VR. I think AR will hit the market sooner and bigger than VR. This video shows a practical example of how AR can help in training pilots.

The dark origins of Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.

I love these origin stories – as a kid, I was a big fan of Roman and Greek mythology. Our present version of Valentine’s Day, regardless of your feelings about the day, is certainly better than its origin story.

This film editor kept Deadpool from flying off the rails

The Verge:

Amazingly, the new Deadpool movie does work. That has a great deal to do with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s screenplay, but so much of what keeps the film from flying out of control is the editing. Julian Clarke had to do the heavy lifting in Adobe Premiere to strike a balance between the character’s love of gore and gleeful absurdity, making a movie that’s accessible to both fans and neophytes. It’s not easy, since Deadpool seems made for situations that fly out of control. I spoke with Clarke about the film, the challenges he faced making it, and why the sequel might be harder to pull off than anyone expects.

Interesting interview with the editor of the film and the particular challenges he had in keeping the level and tone just right. I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve heard good and bad things about it. But, from the trailers, it feels like one of those movies you’re either going to immediately form an opinion about one way or the other. Personally, I loved what I saw in the trailers and during the marketing campaign leading up to this weekend’s release.

Why a die-hard mechanical watch lover can’t get the Apple Watch off his wrist (and why that matters)


Having worn an Apple Watch almost exclusively for the last month, I feel absolutely confident that mechanical watches aren’t going anywhere for now. But the Apple Watch isn’t either.

It’s almost improbably well done, and it shows a willingness to think creatively that ought to be heeded by the luxury watch industry – and it also suggests to me that underestimating its impact, and Apple, is dangerous.

This is a long and well detailed review of the Apple Watch from the point of view of a person who loves and lives for mechanical watches. This is a guy who reviews $95,000 mechanical watches on a regular basis so his opinions regarding the Apple Watch are very interesting.

Warning: Adobe Creative Cloud deletes data in your Mac root directory


Here’s a major warning to those of you who use Adobe Creative Cloud on a Mac: the latest version of Creative Cloud has a bug that deletes unrelated data from your root directory without warning.

The bug in Adobe Creative Cloud version was discovered by the cloud backup service Backblaze, whose customers were having their data deleted by Adobe’s app.

This is yet another in a long line of issues with apps in Adobe’s Creative Cloud and it may be the most destructive one yet. I was forced to use CC but I don’t do any of the updates as they pop up. I know Adobe screws this stuff up on a regular basis so I keep myself one update behind.

Piezo 1.5 arrives; Piezo exits the Mac App Store

Rogue Amoeba:

While the App Store has many shortcomings, it’s the onerous rules and restrictions Apple has for selling through the Mac App Store which pose the biggest problem. The type of software we make is precluded from being sold through the store, particularly now that sandboxing is a requirement, and Apple has shown no signs of relaxing those restrictions. Fortunately, unlike iOS, the Mac platform is still open. We’re able to distribute and sell direct to our customers, right from our site. We’ve got almost 15 years of experience and success doing just that, and we have no plans to stop.

I get why Apple does sandboxing and, in broad terms, it’s great for users. But we are seeing more and more developers unable to create the products they want because of sandboxing. The good news is that companies like Rogue Amoeba make products for more experienced users and those users will always be able to find and buy stuff directly from Rogue Amoeba. Buying direct is my preferred method, too. It may be less convenient but it puts more money directly in the hands of a developer in know and trust.

The new iPhone fashion shoot: bikinis, foam core, and flashlights


When I heard the iPhone 6s was coming out on September 25, I decided now was the best time to create a new video to prove once and for all that quality photography can be taken with any budget.

Instead of using a fancy studio (which was actually just my garage in the last video) I decided to do the shoot around my house and then outside at the beach. Instead of seamless paper I decided to use backgrounds that anyone could easily find. Most importantly, I limited my lighting budget to about $40 maximum per shot.

I love this post because it shows you don’t need a ton of gear to get great shots. With your iPhone, some stuff you can buy at Home Depot and a little ingenuity, you can create your very own fashion shoot. Thanks to iheartapple2 for the link.

Why fruits and vegetables taste better in Europe


“The bottom line here with the industrial tomatoes is that tomatoes have been bred for yield, production, disease resistance,” Klee told me. “The growers are not paid for flavor — they are paid for yield. So the breeders have given them this stuff that produces a lot of fruit but that doesn’t have any flavor.”

“We are raising a whole generation of people who don’t know what a tomato is supposed to taste like.” That’s why you see gigantic strawberries and fist-size apples on the store shelves. Since Americans like their produce big, and big fruit is more efficient to grow, growers do everything they can to supersize their fruit, even at the expense of flavor.

Anyone else noticed this? I did especially when I was in Italy. In particular, the tomatoes tasted amazing and completely different from the blandness of what we get in supermarkets here in North America.

The science behind OK Go’s latest jaw-dropping video

The Daily Dot:

To shoot the video, the band hopped aboard a special fixed-wing airplane, lovingly dubbed the “vomit comet” by astronauts in training thanks to its ability to induce, well, vomiting. The plane, provided and operated by the company S7, climbs higher than a commercial jet and then the pilot begins to take it on a parabolic flight pattern. In other words, the plane goes up at a steep angle, then back down again, creating 25 seconds of weightlessness for the cargo (i.e. OK Go and crew).

Dave posted this morning about the video. Here are some details about how they accomplished it.

Gravitational waves exist: the inside story of how scientists finally found them

The New Yorker:

Twenty-two years ago, construction began on an enormous detector, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Then, on September 14, 2015, at just before eleven in the morning, Central European Time, the waves reached Earth.

Marco Drago, a thirty-two-year-old Italian postdoctoral student and a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, was the first person to notice them. He was sitting in front of his computer at the Albert Einstein Institute, in Hannover, Germany, viewing the LIGO data remotely. The waves appeared on his screen as a compressed squiggle, but the most exquisite ears in the universe, attuned to vibrations of less than a trillionth of an inch, would have heard what astronomers call a chirp—a faint whooping from low to high.

This morning, in a press conference in Washington, D.C., the LIGO team announced that the signal constitutes the first direct observation of gravitational waves.

The science involved in this is mindbending. Can you imagine the excitement of the scientists on hearing that first chirp?

Low Power mode: perfect for vacations


I just returned from a two week vacation in which I used my iPhone 6s to take hundreds of photos and videos, find places to eat, and get public transit directions to and from various places in unfamiliar cities. It was also the first time I had no concerns about my iPhone battery running out of juice before I returned to my accommodation at night, and it is all thanks to Low Power Mode.

I use LPM whenever I’m out riding my motorcycle. I don’t want to take a chance of running out of juice but also don’t want to carry around a backup battery. I really like the tip of how to quickly turn LPM on and off.

Why driverless cars will screech to a halt


Think about it: Every driver makes hundreds of daily driving decisions that, strictly speaking, break driving laws (for example, crossing the yellow line to pull around a double-parked vehicle). It all works out fine because of something called “human judgment.” But what company is going to program its driverless cars to break the law? And what regulators will approve that product, knowing that it has been programmed to break the law?

Will insurance policies for driverless cars cover the car itself? Or will they cover the owner of the vehicle? Or perhaps the technology company that controls the car’s routes? Who will be responsible if there is an accident? The individual owner or the vehicle manufacturer? Or the company that designed the navigation system? To cut through this conundrum, some have proposed the creation of the legal fiction of “virtual drivers” who will purchase “virtual insurance.” But this gobbledygook is just vaporware for the fact that nobody knows how to move through this morass.

I disagree that driverless cars won’t happen but the writer brings forward several points that are glossed over by driverless car advocates. The legal, ethical and even employment related issues are massive and aren’t being discussed nearly enough.

1Password 6 for Mac review: Enterprise features and lots of small improvements


Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, there’s a good chance that you have, by now, become aware of how tragically easy it can be for your online credentials to be stolen. From picking weak combinations of characters that can be easily guessed—it’s somewhat sad that, in 2016, “password” is still the most common passphrase—to reusing the same password across multiple websites, it doesn’t take much to make a mistake that could very well turn out to be fatal.

While there is no bulletproof solution to this problem, the easiest way to alleviate it is to engage the services of a password manager—an app designed to provide an encrypted digital vault in which all your different logins are stored. This way, you can use completely different (and highly secure) credentials for each website while only having to remember the one “master password” that unlocks your vault.

AgileBits’ 1Password is perhaps one of the most venerable members of this family of programs, and one that, with its newest version 6.0 release, aims to retain its position as the leader of the pack.

I don’t need or use the new enterprise features but I can’t recommend 1Password enough. It (and apps like it) are invaluable in keeping my passwords long, complicated and secure.

Everything you need to know about Twitter’s new timeline tweaks

Fast Company:

Twitter is rolling out a revised version of the timeline that indeed shuffles around some tweets into an order that isn’t purely reverse-chronological—but it doesn’t blow away the old format in the manner that had some users writing obituaries for the service.

I spoke with Michelle Haq, a Twitter product manager in charge of the timeline, about what’s new. Without further ado, some questions and answers.

Reading this, you can understand better how and why Twitter is making this relatively minor change. The good news is that is opt-in – if you’re like me and don’t want Twitter to “curate” your tweets, you won’t see any difference.

Super Bowl confidential: the secret story behind Apple’s “Lemmings”

Ken Segall:

In honor of the Super Bowl I’m setting the time machine back to 1985, when Apple ran its notoriously awful Lemmings commercial on that year’s Super Bowl.

Just twelve months earlier, Apple had stunned the technology and advertising worlds with its famous 1984 commercial, and Lemmings was meant to carry on the blockbuster tradition.

Instead, it was a dud of extraordinary proportions.

But what exactly is the origin of Lemmings? It’s a story that’s never been told publicly, and it’s definitely not what you think. Join me now on this journey down memory lane…

Segall is one of those guys who was deeply involved with Apple (he came up with the name “iMac”) and I love his stories of the behind the scenes goings on at Apple during his time working with the company.

NASA’s space tourism posters will make you want to suit up


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a knack for space-themed travel posters. A little over a year ago, its “Exoplanet Travel Bureau” series made its debut with an homage to the iconic WPA prints of the 1930s. This year, the JPL commissioned Seattle-based design firm Invisible Creature to be part of a project/gift for staff. Invisible Creature designed three “travel posters” to be included in the “Visions Of The Future” 2016 calendar. Among the collection are visuals for a multi-planet tour, a stop at Mars and exploring Enceladus, Saturn’s icy moon.

For those of you wanting to remain on Earth, the JPL will make the artwork available as downloadable posters soon, but for now, you can purchase high-quality prints from the source.

The look and feel of these posters is spectacular. Very art deco.

Tim Cook deleted his blurry Super Bowl photo

The Verge:

Well you did it, mean-spirited internet humans. Tim Cook has deleted the Super Bowl picture that sent Twitter into a tizzy on Sunday night. As the Denver Broncos celebrated their Super Bowl 50 victory, Apple’s CEO made his way onto the field and took a photo of all the excitement (and confetti). He uploaded it to Twitter with a message congratulating the Super Bowl champs.

Now, either Cook didn’t take much time to review his shot or he just didn’t care, but it was a very blurry snapshot of what must’ve been a thrilling moment. Although he took a second, far better shot minutes later, the damage was already done — and the mockery and ridicule came flying. There were too many “Shot with iPhone” jokes to count.

There are several lessons here: Always check your photos before posting. The internet never forgets. Anyone can take good shots with the iPhone but anyone can take bad shots with it as well. And, if you’re the CEO of a company that makes cameras, make sure your shots are really good before you post them.

Look closer: Macro photos of beautiful vintage Macs


One of the joys of macro photography is that for most of our lives most of us just don’t look at the world in that much detail. Whether you’re shooting or just looking at close-up shots, there’s something a bit magical about taking the time to examine things around us in minute detail. What they reveal is the “analogness” of those apparently crisp, perfect objects, their imperfections, and the artifacts of their manufacture.

So join me. Come near. Nearer! Let’s quite literally take a close look at some of the vintage Apple hardware in my collection.

As awful as the slideshow is, it’s a great example of macro (close up) photography and the beauty and attention to detail of some of Apple’s hardware.

Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse

Ars Technica:

The Expanse series takes place two centuries from now in the Belt, a ring of asteroids that orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. People who have migrated to the Belt come from all over Earth speaking dozens of languages, and they’re often isolated for years at a time on remote mining stations. To communicate, they evolve a creole called Belter, which becomes the lingua franca for what is essentially the solar system’s new proletariat. The problem? In the book, Belter could be referenced. But now that The Expanse was coming to television, people would actually have to speak the damn thing. SyFy suddenly needed a linguist who could build a language out of dozens of parts. Luckily, Franck knew a guy. He soon recommended Farmer, who delivered a lot more than they bargained for.

I’m really enjoying this show. It started off a little slow but hit its stride about four episodes in.

Twitter says your timeline isn’t changing


Were you panicking at the thought of Twitter messing with your timeline order? Were you declaring #RIPTwitter and getting ready to move to Peach? Relax. Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has piped up to say that there’s no truth to the rumors of a Facebook-like feed arriving next week.

“Hello Twitter! Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week.” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO on Twitter.

As usual, Twitter lost its collective mind over this. But Twitter stepped up and squashed the rumor. Now we can all go back to bitching about something else.

Reviewed: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition

Ars Technica:

No matter your edition or specific RPG of choice, today D&D continues to be the measuring stick by which other pen-and-paper games are judged, be it on sales, popularity, or even complexity. For many gamers over the course of the game’s existence, D&D has been the entry point into role-playing which sparks a lifetime of storytelling and adventure.

So, with more than a year behind it, how does the newest edition of D&D hold up for newbies and hardcore fans alike?

I’m tempted to find a game to play this latest edition but I’m afraid the game won’t be as fun in middle age as it was in high school and college. I think I’ll leave my fond memories of playing intact.

Every fitness tracker but Apple’s is a privacy nightmare

The Daily Dot:

A new study of the leading fitness trackers on the market found that most of these devices leak your data to a far wider audience than you might imagine—and, in some cases, allow others to alter your information.

The study found that, in every case save for the Apple device, the wearables emitted a unique Bluetooth identifier that allowed a third-party to track the device’s movement over time if the device was not actively paired with another device.

The researchers did not find any security holes in Apple’s signature wearable.

This will only get worse. As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, it will become even more obvious that security of our data is, at best, a secondary issue to many manufacturers. It becomes of even greater concern as our devices start to collect significant health data.

Apple is killing some iPhones repaired by third parties but there’s sort of a good reason


Apple doesn’t have to leave Touch ID security this way. It could detect hardware changes and require extensive user reauthentication. It could offer third parties some type of parts-vetting process. It could give customers more leeway to choose what risks they want to take. Instead, Error 53 is excessively paternalistic. It’s good to help protect consumers by building in precautions and encouraging the use of high-quality parts, but Apple isn’t a parent. It shouldn’t literally take customer’s phones away if they do something it doesn’t like.

Like the writer, I get why Apple does this but, as seems typical for the company, they lack subtlety in their implementation. The other issue is, while almost anyone can buy an iPhone, not everyone lives conveniently close to an Apple Authorized Repair Facility.

Airplane!’s creators reveal the origins of “Don’t call me Shirley”


There are few movies as quotable as the 1980 disaster-movie parody Airplane! — and of the movie’s many memorable gags, arguably the most enduring is the moment when reluctant pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) tells Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), “Surely you can’t be serious,” and Rumack replies, “I am serious — and don’t call me Shirley.”

As part of our weeklong 100 Jokes That Shaped Comedy series, we dug into the origins and execution of that exchange — as well as the overall comedic mechanics of Airplane! — with the trio who wrote and directed the film, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker.

Airplane! is one of the funniest, silliest movies I’ve ever seen, and as enjoyable now as when I first saw it as a kid. I remember hearing that line for the first time and using it in real life millions of times since. One of the funniest lines ever uttered in a movie.

Watch the amazing verbal choreography behind Grease Live

The Verge:

…this video from the show’s associate director Carrie Havel shows you a small slice of the action, with Havel coordinating the live footage — singing along to “Great Lightning,” but with all the lyrics replaced with camera numbers.

It just goes to show that when it comes to live performances, the choreography behind the scenes is usually as impressive as what’s on stage.

This behind the scenes stuff is fascinating. You can’t begin to imagine the work that goes into a production like this and then to add to the pressure, they’re doing it live. Incredible work.

Amazon plans hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores, mall CEO says


After dipping its toes into brick-and-mortar retailing last year with its first physical bookstore, online giant Inc. is poised to dive into the deep end.

The Seattle company plans to open as many as 400 bookstores, Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of mall operator General Growth Properties Inc., said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

While nothing official has been announced by Amazon yet, if true, this seems like a bit of a head scratcher. After all, Amazon has been the prime suspect in the decline of traditional bookstores. But the best part of this story is the line, “Physical stores would give Amazon customers a place to leaf through books before buying them.” You don’t say. What a clever idea.

Zagg to buy iPhone battery case maker Mophie for $100 million


Mophie, the accessory maker best known for its iPhone battery cases, is being bought for at least $100 million by rival Zagg.Zagg CEO Randy Hales said in a statement that the deal creates “numerous opportunities” to boost profits and revenues by combining the two companies’ strengths and distribution networks. Mophie CEO Daniel Huang and operating chief Shawn Dougherty will continue in their current roles, reporting to Hales. The deal, approved by both boards, should close later in the first quarter.

I’ve always been a fan of the Mophie products. I met their people several times at Macworld Expos and really liked them. Hope this works out well for all involved.

8 things you really should know about Facebook photos

The Daily Dot:

Upwards of 360 million photos are uploaded every day to Facebook. But are you still posting pics like it’s 2006?

From creating a disappearing profile photo to stopping the Facebook app altering your images when you upload them, here are eight pro tips you seriously need to know.

I don’t post a lot of pictures on Facebook but I know lots of people do. There are some good tips here regarding privacy, ideal dimensions, filters and auto-enhancing.

Hand engraved Apple Watch

Viljo Marrandi:

Our owner and operator, Viljo Marrandi, has been doing handwork since childhood, growing up the son of a carpenter and wood carver. Beginning with a one week class taught by master engraver, Sam Alfano, in Antwerp, Belgium, Viljo was fascinated with the art. After practicing his craft for several years, Viljo received private lessons from Scott Pilkington, another renowned engraver and custom crafter, and honed his skills at English scroll with engraver Simon Lytton.

Viljo named his company, “Bottega Marrandi,” the word “Bottega” meaning “Workshop” in Italian. So welcome to his workshop, we think you will love it.

Check out the pictures of the Apple Watch engravings. If you’re looking to really personalize your Watch, these designs would be amazing. No idea about costs – I have neither money nor an Apple Watch. Thanks to my friend George Canellis for the link.