March 7, 2014
Stan Sakai needs your help. His wife is ill and the bills are piling up. You might know him from his days lettering Groo the Wanderer or as the creator of Usagi Yojimbo. If you are a fan, follow the headline link to see how you can help.
To help the Sakais, Stan’s many friends have rallied in support with donations of cash and artwork. There are two major fund-raising efforts. One is a book that Dark Horse is publishing — a collection of cartoons by an incredible array of cartoonists. The drawings are so amazing, you’ll probably never get around to reading the foreword by me in it. Watch for this book. Buy it. And yes, it’s a contribution to the Sakais’ well-being but it’s also a terrific book which you should purchase just because it’s a terrific book.
The other effort is something you can get in on right now…and again, it’s to your benefit as much as it is to the Sakais’. A “Who’s Who” of great artists has donated drawings — some pre-existing, some done for the occasion — for a big online art auction that’s being run by the Comic Art Professional Society, aka CAPS. The first batch of many wonderful pieces can be bid upon right this minute over on this page. The proceeds go to two good people who need aid…and you can get a terrific, to-be-treasured art piece out of it. I’d call that a Win/Win…so go win/win and get one. Or two. Or more.
I got up there on a Saturday, and caught up with them a little bit, and then they said, “Well, let’s go look at the bird.” They were all in small hangars, all closed. We unlocked the back doors, turned on the lights, and I thought “Oh lord, there’s a spaceship.”
It’s still the most amazing aircraft. I remember seeing it at the Vancouver Air Show. They had it do a flyover of the city and watching it bank around the buildings of English Bay was incredible.
A Canadian beverage company has concocted a low-alcohol, protein-packed “fit beer” that is expected to be marketed as a sports drink later this year.
I prefer skipping the workout part and going straight to the beer part.
Mac OS X Hints:
Here is a way to disable sleeping when pressing the power button on 10.9.2.
Great tip. That action is incredibly annoying.
There are some interesting designs here, but more than anything I think this shows how companies are recognizing the importance of packaging. Apple led the way with this a decade or more ago.
Atlee Clark talking about the effect hosting the Olympic Games had on Canada:
However, there are less obvious but equally powerful outcomes from hosting the games. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver had a deep impact on the Canadian psyche, creating a brazen, publicly demonstrated drive to win. That ambition rippled into the entrepreneurial community and has influenced much of the current crop of business leaders who are dedicated to keeping Canada on the proverbial podium.
This is a brilliant app idea, assuming it works. Put an iBeacon in your luggage, get notified as your luggage arrives at baggage claim. Genius! [Via iOS Dev Weekly]
Embedded in the long linked blog post about Kangbashi, China’s so-called Ghost City that was built for a population of one million people but is largely uninhabited, is a monument to Steve Jobs.
The sculpture, a hexagon containing the outline of an apple and Jobs’ face, is not that strange in itself. What’s strange is that it is located behind an apparently unused school, in the middle of hundreds of thousands of vacant apartments in the Kangbashi New Area of Ordos, a shining metropolis built by China in Inner Mongolia that has been called the world’s biggest ghost city.
Here’s a link to the picture of the monument, to save you a bit of scrolling.
[Via Business Insider]
No specific conclusions leap to mind, but I did find this infographic fun to pore over. Obviously, the biggest circle on there is Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. The second biggest? Take a guess, then follow the link and take a look.
Also thought it was interesting that Microsoft was left off the chart completely.
All obstacles have been cleared, and the long-planned Union Square flagship Apple Store has finally received final clearance from the San Francisco City Council to demolish the current standing building and begin renovations and construction on the new store. The new building will be a two-story structure with an all-glass frontage facing Union Square, utilizing a cantilevered design that features a patio and waterfall behind the store.
Yet another reason for me to make the trip out to San Francisco. Can’t wait to see this store.
ProtectCELL’s customer data shows that iPhone users are roughly 46 percent less likely to need a replacement device, for any reason, as compared to other smartphone users. This recent research measures the cause and frequency of mobile replacements for both smartphones and tablets across ProtectCELL’s two-million-plus plans sold.
When comparing the causes for device replacement, research suggests that iPhone users are less likely to break their device, but far more prone to misplacing their phone. According to ProtectCELL, iPhone owners are 11 percent less likely to report a broken or damaged device as compared to other smartphone users, but 65 percent more likely to request a replacement due to their device going missing.
My take on this: The iPhone is built well and is less prone to breaking. And the iPhone is more desired by thieves.
As to that last, enable Find My iPhone, people.
UPDATE: According to 9to5mac, the number should have read 46% instead of 54%. Thanks to reader Zac Hall for the tip.
One of the latest signs that there’s an escalating “patent arms race” between Apple and Samsung is that Samsung in record filing more than 10 times as many European patents as rival Apple in 2013. They were the number one patent filer in Europe with 2,800 patent applications. Google wasn’t far behind with 2,200 applications whereas Apple dropped down to being number 50 on the top 100 patent filers in 2013.
According to the Financial Times, the big increase in the number of Samsung’s patent applications came in the same year that it lost a high-profile court case in the US where the judge initially awarded $1.05bn in damages to Apple. In Europe, applications typically take three to five years to be approved.
A partner specializing in intellectual property at a London-based law firm noted that “Samsung is obviously trying hard to bolster their portfolio to put themselves in a better position with regards to licensing discussions.”
This is just unfortunate, a bad trend.
Fantastic find from Kirk McElhearn. I’ve been playing with this feature and it works incredibly well. In a nutshell, click this link and try the various settings. Note that, as far as I can tell, the link works on your Mac, but not your iOS device. Thanks, Kirk.
The Apple Store app now offers a set of three free tunes via the iTunes Store app. The offer expires March 31st.
To get the songs, launch the Apple Store app, scroll down and tap on New Artists 2014. When the new page appears, tap the Download songs for free button at the bottom of the page. You’ll be taken over to the iTunes Store app and your songs will start downloading automatically.
EventBase has been supporting SXSW with a native mobile app since 2011, allowing attendees to filter events by track or topic, then build and share their event schedules with their friends. This year, they’ve added iBeacons to the mix.
Eventbase, the company that has been building the official SXSW festival app for a few years now reached out to let us know it will be deploying some iBeacons around the event this year to improve the experience. Specifically, it will be using the technology to “help attendees in Austin pick up their badge faster and get more involved in the sessions they attend.” One feature in the app will allow for real-time audience interaction during sessions:
In an industry first, Eventbase is placing beacons within select session venues. When attendees enter the venue they will receive a prompt to “Join the Conversation” within the official SXSW GO iPhone app, where they can network with other attendees in that session and participate in a discussion forum and live audience polls. In some cases, the beacons will enable quick access to an attendee’s Registration QuickCode.
In partnership with partner Urban Airship, Eventbase also provides the ability to deliver iBeacon™ triggered push notifications to app users containing highly relevant messages about the sessions they attend and the places they visit.
iBeacon was born for this.
You have to watch it now.
There iTunes Festival has made a tradition of hosting some of the biggest names in music. The app has been updated to feature the iTunes Festival at SXSW.
If you aren’t lucky enough to attend the iTunes Festival at SXSW, the app is the next best thing.
It’s no surprise that some organizations are raising safety concerns about Apple’s forthcoming CarPlay technology, but the ship has already sailed on their main concern: distracted drivers. The fact is, CarPlay will help alleviate many of the biggest distractions in cars today.
Drivers are distracted. This isn’t new, drivers have been distracted since the first automobile rolled off the assembly line—people are talking, music playing on the radio, even other cars are distracting. What is new is that, if anything, drivers are becoming more distracted. Text messages, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter and many other beeps and vibrations take a driver’s eyes off the road to focus on their devices.
What we need is a technology that will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road—that’s what CarPlay delivers. With a touch of the voice button, Siri will handle most tasks that you want to do with CarPlay. If you don’t use Siri, you’re missing out on a great technology.
Siri will be CarPlay’s secret weapon. It will allow you to manipulate CarPlay
without being physically distracted by looking down at your device. Technology and safety all rolled into one unit.
CarPlay is, from my experience with in-car navigation systems, safer than anything else I’ve used. It will feature the same intuitive interface that we’ve become accustomed to using with Apple products. This isn’t just iOS 7 thrown into a car, it’s integration built specifically for the car. There’s a big difference. Yes, you can use the touchscreen on the dashboard, but you have to use some common sense too.
In stead of worrying about a technology that is working to make driving a vehicle safer, organizations should target technologies like Google Glass, or people that text on their devices while they drive. These are distracting and offer no safety measures at all.
I understand the arguments, but technology in automobiles isn’t going away. What we can do is demand that companies that offer these technologies do everything that they can to make them safe. CarPlay does that.
Distractions come in many different forms and there is no way we will stop all of them. I would love to stop the person looking down at their phone while driving head-on towards me on the highway.
The iPhone is a popular device and CarPlay will be immensely popular as well. I want access to all of my media in the car and the ability to make and accept phone calls while I’m driving. I also want the safest way possible to do this. I currently use a Bluetooth headset for phone calls and in-car Bluetooth for my music, but CarPlay will offer me even more flexibility, features and options. It will also offer more safety.
We are never going to get rid of distractions in the car. What we can do is give drivers the technology they need to help themselves be as safe as possible. That’s CarPlay.
I’m not shocked that the middle-aged me didn’t learn anything new in the first episode, at least not in terms of science. But the people involved in the show include some of the best in the business of communicating science, and I expect I will learn enough about the craft to make tuning in for more worthwhile.
I never saw the original Carl Sagan version (it wasn’t available to us in Canada when I was a kid) and the relentless promotion of it makes me squirm a little but I’ll certainly tune in to at least the first episode. How about you? Did you see the original? Will you watch this version?
“We’re very, very concerned about it,” said David Teater, senior director at the nonprofit National Safety Council. “The auto industry and the consumer electronics industry are really in an arms race to see how we can enable drivers to do stuff other than driving.”
This is the flip side of putting more and more technology within arm’s reach of the driver. I know I’m an outlier on this but, as a motorcyclist, these kinds of technologies scare the crap out of us.
The problem with iCloud Tabs is that they’re limited to Safari, so if you’re using Chrome or Firefox on OS X, you can’t access the tabs that you have open on your iPhone or iPad. For this reason, Josh Parnham has devised a simple and clever solution: CloudyTabs is a menu bar app that lists iCloud Tabs open on all your devices.
I’m surprised at how often I access them and how useful iCloud tabs are.
The Sweet Setup:
Between losing an iPhone, never-ending security issues, and the NSA, having an account accessed by an outsider is more likely than ever. While having a good password is critical, enabling 2-Step Verification is a great way to ensure data you’ve stashed in an online service like Gmail or Dropbox is limited to your eyes only.
Yes, 2-Step verification can be a PITA but trust me, “getting hacked” is a bigger one.
According to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest, the U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. It falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.
How did the country that literally invented the internet fall behind so many others in download speeds?
It’s the same situation here in Canada – little competition means no incentive to get better/faster.
Historically, Apple has been very smart about strategy, while Microsoft has been very … shall we say … un-smart.
Now that Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella has appointed Mark Penn to the position of Chief Strategy Officer, it’s a whole new ballgame, right?
Not so fast.
From what we know of Mark Penn, the gap between the quality of strategy at Apple and Microsoft isn’t about to shrink.
Ouch. Ken Segall is very unimpressed with Mark Penn.
Unmark was just released today and I signed up. The interface is very nice and it’s really easy to use. If I had one complaint, it would be the window that pops up when you save something to read later—I don’t need that, but I don’t see a way to turn it off. An FAQ on the service has been posted too.
As the web gets more commercial, more companies want to track and know the real you. The backlash against this — and the desire to have “ephemeral” interactions in the digital world — is why Andrew Busey, the creator of iChat 19 years ago, has built Banter, a chat app with no names and little storage. The app lets people sign up with any user name and discuss … well, anything they want.
Update: It’s important to note that the iChat name was purchased by Apple from Andrew Busey, but he did not build Apple’s iChat app. Jens Alfke built iChat at Apple.
LG’s newest commercial is… odd.