Class-action suit alleges 2011 Apple MacBook Pros were defective

Ars Technica:

Last week three men filed a class action lawsuit in Northern California District Court alleging that Apple’s 2011 MacBook Pro laptops were defective and that Apple did not take proper steps to compensate customers whose hardware broke.

The lawsuit specifically addresses 15” and 17” MacBook Pros from 2011, which the plaintiffs claim suffered from “random bouts of graphical distortion, system instability, and system failures.” The plaintiffs also assert that the problem is widespread, with an online survey conducted by the plaintiffs receiving over 3,000 responses from 2011 MacBook Pro owners in a single week.

As someone who has one of these affected machines and has already had one logic board failure attributed to it, I’m going to follow this closely.

How to buy food: The psychology of the supermarket

Bon Appetit:

Think about your usual supermarket routine. Chances are, if your market is designed like the majority in the U.S., you start shopping at the right side of the store and work your way around the outer rim of the supermarket—with occasional forays into certain aisles, but generally sticking to a counterclockwise route till you get to the register.

Now you may wonder, Why do I always choose to go that way?

The answer is, you don’t.

These stories of how we are subtly (and sometimes, not subtly) manipulated in these situations are always fascinating to me. Similar psychology is going on in casinos, too.

In-depth look at CurrentC and the personal data they want to collect

iMore:

Just as quickly as CurrentC popped into the limelight, questions arose around the companies intentions. Even though I don’t have an invite for CurrentC’s invite-only mobile payments and loyalty rewards system, I decided to take a look. I posted some initial findings on Twitter and a brief summary on iMore, but wanted to do a more in-depth technical post for anybody who was curious.

Hard to believe this is going to actually go anywhere even if it does get released as expected next year.

Paris / New York

Vimeo:

Paris & NY, like many large cities, have a lot in common ; transport, infrastructure, national monuments. I wanted to explore not only these comparisons but also the differences, in order to expose the beauty and individuality of each. What you cannot deny is the vibrancy and explosion of character each city has and I thought split-screen with timelapse would be a good way to help convey this.

Turns out, it’s an ad for British Airways but it’s still a fun thing to watch especially when you consider the effort that had to go into pre- and post-production.

But does he cheat a little bit at the end with the “LOVE” sculpture? Isn’t that in Philadelphia?

Extreme winds cause a waterfall in England to blow upward

This is Colossal:

Hikers exploring England’s Derbyshire Peak District earlier this week stumbled onto a rare phenomenon caused by extreme winds.

Really wild looking video but, if it’s that windy, maybe you should be careful about walking on the slippery rocks.

The ugly afterlife of crowdfunding projects that never ship and never end

Ars Technica:

Sometimes the end of funding is the beginning of a slide into radio silence, which ultimately turns into few or no backer orders fulfilled, and no satisfactory explanation for why the project didn’t pan out according to the orderly delivery schedule the creators promised.

A project can go off the rails and fail even after its funding succeeds for a number of reasons. There can be unforeseen costs, or design problems, or a team member quits or fails to deliver their part of the project. Often, when a project skids to a halt, the final updates are obscured from the public and sent only to backers, which may be part of the reason failures are often not well-publicized. Occasionally, backers who receive them pass them on or post them publicly on forums, which is as good as it gets in terms of letting the outside world know a project did not ultimately pan out.

I’ve been burned by a few Kickstarter-type campaigns. Rule of thumb is to assume the money you are handing over is a donation – if you get something in return, great but don’t hold out a lot of hope. Granted, the majority of Kickstarters complete successfully but there are still plenty that don’t. Caveat Emptor.

The man with the golden blood

Mosaic Science:

Meet the donors, patients, doctors and scientists involved in the complex global network of rare – and very rare – blood. In 50 years, researchers have turned up only 40 or so other people on the planet with the same precious, life-saving blood in their veins.

Fascinating story of how rare blood develops and the issues involved in having such an incredibly rare blood type.

Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out Apple Pay

The Verge:

a significant number of merchants, including heavyweights like Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy, are in outright competition with Apple Pay. The retailers, through a joint venture formed in 2012, are building their own mobile payment app, called CurrentC. It’s expected to launch next year. In the meantime, these retailers have no intention to support Apple Pay.

There may be a lot of good reasons to not support Apple Pay and there may be good alternatives available now and in the future but CurrentC – which needs access to your checking account – and QR codes is not either of those things.

Camera+ for iPhone is free through November 16th; here’s how to get it

PetaPixel:

Normally Camera+ would set you back $3 in the app store, but right now there’s a lesser-known promotional offering from Apple that lets you download a copy for free. You just need to know where to look.

While some of the folks behind the scenes at Camera+’s developer, TapTapTap, are unsavoury, the app itself is pretty cool and you can’t beat free. Well worth jumping through some hoops to get it.

These are the real stories behind some of the most beautiful colors in art

Huffington Post:

Manganese black. Yellow ocher. Vermilion. Ultramarine. These pigments sound delicious. Their names are so sharp and elegant, it’s as if the terms emote more meaning than just color. We can smell logwood, taste cochineal, touch mummy brown. There is just something (quite scientifically) alluring about a perfectly saturated glob of paint or an electric mound of powdered hues, especially when its name is so tantalizing.

The uniqueness of the names undoubtedly prompts those amongst us, who obsess over the various pink, purples and blues, to wonder where the terms come from. We learn the origin stories of famous paintings in art history course after art history course, but it’s rare to read about the birth of Madder red or mauve. How did the colors in Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises” or J.M.W. Turner’s “Modern Rome” come to be?

I never really thought about it but of course it’s true; these artists had to make their own paint and would of course create their own colors too.

The most epic safety video ever made

Air New Zealand: As the official airline of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand has gone all out to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies It very well may … Continued

O Canada

Thanks to my friend Sly for sending me this video and thanks to the American hockey fans who honoured all Canadians by singing our National Anthem and showing their respect on this awful day. Tears and chills.

Definitive guide to beer glasses

Digg:

A nicely crafted beer is a thing of beauty, but if you’re pouring it into just any old grimy pint glass, you’re not letting that brew reach its true potential. The right glass is key to getting every last boozy drop of pleasure.​

A lot of people don’t realize that the shape of the glass you drink your beer out of can affect the way it tastes. In general, beer glasses are designed to enhance the kinds of beers inside. Always drives me nuts when I go to a bar and ask for a specialized beer and it comes in the “wrong” glass.

Invisible iOS Home Screen icons

David Smith:

Since getting my iPhone 6 a few weeks ago I’ve been continuously trying to optimize the configuration of my home screen. The larger screen means that I now have an extra row of icons to fit onto the screen, but the physical size of device means that I can’t actually comfortably reach them.

Since you can’t arbitrarily place icons on your home screen this means the situation is actually worse. I now have to fill in the top row of icons with ‘stuff’ just so that I can easily reach my main icons without stretching.

I poked around at finding a better way and this was my solution. No weird hacks or jailbreak required.

An easy to do “hack” for those who have an issue with getting to the top row of icons on your iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple’s “All new features in OS X Yosemite” page

Apple:

OS X Yosemite introduces a beautiful new design, useful new connections between your Mac and iOS devices, and amazing new features for the apps you use most.

Lots of things to dig in to and discover if you have a Mac compatible with the required features.

How and where to use Apple Pay with your iPhone 6

Macworld:

Before you go blowing your entire paycheck on everything from big handbags to Big Macs, there are a few things to keep in mind about the platform. Read on to learn more about how Apple Pay works, how to get your iPhone ready for it, and most importantly, where you can go test it out yourself.

If you are lucky enough to have an new iPhone and live in the US, you can now buy stuff as if you lived in the future.

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Yahoo:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 38 percent compared to 37 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

More profit, more revenue, more sales. So – DOOMED!

How to make your own bootable OS X 10.10 Yosemite USB install drive

Ars Technica:

There are still good reasons to want an old, reliable USB stick. For instance, if you find yourself doing multiple installs, a USB drive may be faster than multiple downloads (especially if you use a USB 3.0 drive). Or maybe you need a recovery disk for older Macs that don’t support the Internet Recovery feature. Whatever the reason, you’re in luck, because it’s not hard to make one.

I always prefer to have at least one “offline” copy of the latest OS X version.

How a tiny fishing village became the gadget factory of the world

Tech Republic:

A mere 35 years ago, Shenzhen was little more than a fishing village clinging to the coast, peering enviously at wealthy Hong Kong across the water. But then it was chosen to become the first of China’s special economic zones under Deng Xiaoping — an area where foreign investment and entrepreneurialism was encouraged.

Since then it has rapidly grown into a massive metropolis — one of the largest cities on the planet — and along the way it has also become the manufacturing heart of the global tech industry. If Silicon Valley is the world’s software epicentre, then Shenzhen is home of hardware.

I’ve got friends who regularly go to Shenzhen for business and they marvel at the scale and speed the city operates on.

The FBI is dead wrong: Apple’s encryption is clearly in the public interest

Wired:

Apple’s new encryption has prompted a breathtaking and erroneous scare campaign led by Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. In a speech at the Brookings Institute this week, Comey went so far as to claim that Apple’s new system risks creating an environment in which the United States is “no longer a country governed by the rule of law.”

This is absurd. The only actions that have undermined the rule of law are the government’s deceptive and secret mass surveillance programs.

The FBI has been beating this drum for quite a while now. Good to see so much pushback on it. The bottom line is, if we trusted our governments to do what was right, legal and in our best interests, we’d have less of a problem. But various governments have proven they are, at the very least, “unreliable” when it comes to our personal data.

An oral history of ‘The Wonder Years’

Rolling Stone:

Though it’s been off the air for more than 20 years, The Wonder Years is one of those shows whose legacy has remained untarnished; you don’t hear many people looking back and saying it doesn’t hold up.

Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous late Sixties, the ABC show focused on a suburban family — in particular, the growing pains of youngest son Kevin, played by Fred Savage. It may be the story’s universality that’s accounted for its ability to stand the test of time, or simply that, because the show only ran for six seasons and faded away before it burned out, the series retained a level of consistent quality throughout.

I haven’t watched it since it was originally on but I remember it with great fondness.

This new “Apple SIM” could legitimately disrupt the wireless industry

Quartz:

Perhaps the most interesting news about Apple’s new iPad Air 2 tablet is buried at the bottom of one of its marketing pages: It will come pre-installed with a new “Apple SIM” card instead of one from a specific mobile operator.

It’s early, but it’s easy to see how this concept could significantly disrupt the mobile industry if Apple brings it to the iPhone.

That small announcement could be the shot heard round the telecom world.

You are Apple’s greatest security challenge

TidBITS:

Hundreds of millions of customers use Apple products. I don’t know what the iCloud numbers are, but we are talking about a company that just sold 10 million iPhones in a weekend. Security complexity increases exponentially as fringe situations encompass millions of users. With Apple operating on that scale, the rules change.

Apple thus faces one of the most complex security challenges in society, and faces it at a scale only a handful of companies need to consider.

Users want security but few are willing to be inconvenienced by it. That puts Apple and other companies between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

Hockey Night in Canada: How the CBC lost it all

The Globe and Mail:

Not only had Rogers Communications Inc. wrenched the Canadian national broadcast rights to NHL games from the CBC’s grasp with a stunning $5.2-billion payout over the next 12 years, but the Visigoths were actually at the gate.

Part of the ensuing deal, in which those in charge of the CBC meekly handed over the company’s airwaves for free, was that the Rogers people connected to Hockey Night, along with some people hired from rival TSN, would use the CBC’s studios and take over the show’s office space on the north side of the eighth floor – the plushest in the building thanks to the show’s status as the network’s biggest money spinner.

Truly appalling how Canada’s national broadcaster completely blew the deal by ignoring the importance of hockey to not only their bottom line but to the nation. Thanks to my friend Greg for the link.

Why you should celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving instead of Columbus Day

Vox:

Instead of Columbus Day, our northern neighbors spend the second Monday of every October celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving or, as they call it, Thanksgiving. As I wrote last year (what can I say, it’s my holiday tradition), Canadian Thanksgiving is a way better holiday than Columbus Day in every way. Here’s how the two holidays match up.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

Wells Fargo employee emails CEO asking for a raise — copies 200,000 other employees

Salon:

Tyrel Oates, a 30-year-old Portland, Oregon-based employee of Wells Fargo, shot to Internet fame after emailing the company’s CEO John Stumpf (and cc’ing 200,000 other employees) to ask for a $10,000 raise… for everyone at the company.

No way Wells Fargo does this but it’s a great way to put the ball in management’s court.

What it’s like to carry your Nobel Prize through airport security

Scientific American:

“When I won this, my grandma, who lives in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to see it. I was coming around so I decided I’d bring my Nobel Prize. You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.

My question is, why didn’t they notice it when he was going to North Dakota?

GT seeks to close sapphire plant and sever ties with Apple

Ars Technica:

On Monday, GT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And today, GT said in separate filings with the US Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire that it wants to terminate its contract with Apple and close the Arizona facility.

The filing to end the contract with Apple states that the terms of GT’s contract with Apple are “oppressive and burdensome,” and the separate filing requesting to shutter the sapphire plant claims that doing so is the only way to rescue GT’s business.

Anyone have any doubt that we haven’t heard all the details of this story and yet and that it’s going to get a lot uglier before its resolved?