Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

A Familiar Interface

March 19, 2013

Tomorrow I’m going to upload an in-depth on my view of the future of computing, and what I don’t think it is, but it seems like a good idea to preface that article with this (albeit shorter) one.

On a public discussion on my Facebook page about the future of computing and interfaces, one of my friends proposed some ideas for what an Apple-made “iWatch” would do out-of-the-box:

1. Interface with Siri
2. Interface with Maps
3. Interface with Notification Center
4. Interface with the Phone app
5. Interface with Passbook

Apple already ships something with every iPhone that does most of the above, and more, and it utilizes our natural senses. Apple has actually been shipping this device for years: It’s the earbuds (now “EarPods”) which Apple includes with every iPhone.

Press and hold the middle button on the EarPod’s remote to activate Siri. Talk into the microphone (also on the remote) and you’re having a conversation with Siri. Ask her to take you somewhere, and she’ll tell you directions as you drive. You can also ask her to make phone calls for you, play music, send txt messages, set reminders and alarms, add calendar entries, and the list goes on. You can do all that without taking your phone out of your pocket.

Makes you wonder just how much of a void an iWatch could fill — notifications on your wrist, ooooohhhhhhhh — and just how future-thinking the idea is.

Apple already makes a wearable interface for the computer in your pocket. And Apple gives it away with every iPhone. It only differs from the rumored “iWatch” in that you wear it in your ears and not on your wrist. I hope this serves as food for thought.

“Apple Is Doomed”

March 15, 2013

The sentiment that Apple is a failing company is expressed seemingly everywhere. Blogs, news sites, TV news stations, the water cooler; it’s hard to avoid the message that Apple is being obliterated by Samsung and Google. As a former Apple representative (at Portland State University) and current Apple fan and observer, all of this nonsense sometimes drives me insane. Apple isn’t flailing like a fish out of water, it’s one of the strongest companies in the world.

The iPhone 5 singlehandedly increases the U.S. GDP by .5%.

But.

IPHONE COULD GO WAY OF BLACKBERRY?

This narrative that Apple — the most profitable company in the world — is sinking into oblivion is a-series-of-words-I-shouldn’t-say-here.

However profit isn’t the only way to evaluate a company; we have to look at its accomplishments, too. What follows is a short list of Apple’s activity in 2012:

  • Two new 9.7″ iPads, introducing the most impressive display ever on a portable device.
  • An addition to Apple’s iPad lineup: the iPad mini.
  • A new iPhone with a completely new design.
  • Completely redesigned iPod nano and iPod touch.
  • Redesigned 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros featuring retina displays.
  • An extremely redesigned iMac.
  • Two brand new operating systems; iOS 6 and Max OSX 10.8. Three if you include iPod nano’s “nano OS”.
  • Even more updates to its software and services; iTunes, iCloud, etc.
  • Apple also designed and introduced a new processor, the A6 chip (and its A6X variant for the 4th gen iPad) — it also introduced the A5X for the 3rd gen iPad and a redesigned A5 for the reduced-price iPad 2.
  • And the MacBook Airs, Mac mini, and Apple TV received spec bumps.
  • And that’s just a top-of-my-head list. That doesn’t include things such as iTunes Store milestones, Apple’s strategic acquisitions, advertising, retail improvements, data-center-building, and everything else that Apple does with its money.

    Apple has been busy. It’s far from sitting on its laurels and letting its competition pass it by. The idea that Apple is doomed is outright maddening, and it would be nice for the nonsense to end.

    Divergence

    February 3, 2013

    When I picked up my iPad mini, my personal reasoning was that it would be the travel iPad and my 3rd gen iPad would effectively act as a desktop computer for me. Honestly, the idea was that I’d be able to shave even more weight off of me when I’m away from home.

    Whether fortunately or unfortunately, or both, my iPad mini hasn’t ended my 3rd gen iPad’s presence outside of my home. I now travel with both, so the initial goal was to shave off weight failed miserably as now my bag is heavier. 3rd gen iPad, iPad mini, and chargers for my two iPads and iPhone. It’s kind of mental.

    The more I use both iPads, the more they diverge in use cases, and the more it’s beneficial to carry around both.

    Apple advertises the iPad mini as just like a full-sized iPad, only smaller, which I’m beginning to think that that’s deceptive. The two devices are incredibly different in usage and complement each other to create a near-perfect computing setup. Some examples:

    The large iPad has a full-sized keyboard which is easy to type on. The iPad mini’s keyboard is too small for long form typing and that alone eliminates it as the traditional computer replacement that the large iPad is.

    On the other hand, the large iPad is too big and heavy for leisurely “consumption” of information. Whereas one can hold an iPad mini in a single hand for hours and scroll or flip through pages with the other, the large iPad commands two hands or a surface to support for long periods.

    Returning to productivity, the iPad mini is too small to effectively create big Keynote presentations, where the large canvas on the big iPad is perfect for manipulating objects. The exact same thing applies to spreadsheets, music creation, and drawing.

    If we turn to gaming, we also return to the fact that the large iPad is kind of relegated to tables or other surfaces. It’s fine at tabletop games like Monopoly, but one of my favorites, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy? The large iPad’s size makes it less fun. The iPad mini’s handheld-ability transforms the game into something super fun.

    In my line of hobby — writing — the iPad mini’s casual browsing chops makes finding news and inspiration a breeze. It outright speeds me up and frees up a bit of my time in each day. The large iPad alone caused me to be slower, and if I used the iPad mini alone I’d be an even slower blogger than that.

    But that’s just me. However if one assumes that the majority of people don’t do more than web browsing, email, office productivity stuff, and some games on the side, a large iPad and iPad mini is effectively the perfect computing setup. In the future when iPads get more horsepower and a Wacom digitizer built in, and more size options, two iPads combined will make the perfect computing setup for nearly everybody.

    What I’m most curious about is if Apple actually believes that the large iPad and iPad mini truly are “two of a kind”. Either Apple has its own ideas or it’s intentionally making the iPad mini seem like something it isn’t, which in my experience is a mistake.

    22: A Lot To Think About

    February 1, 2013

    1. Rise Of The Indonesian Apes

    Ryan Broderick, BuzzFeed:

    Earlier this week, a group of about ten monkeys went on a rampage through the Eastern Indonesian village of Toddang Pulu. The gang of monkeys broke into homes, attacking and biting villagers and sending the community into a panic.

    Uh oh.

    When the Gibbons turn, it’s time to panic.

    2. Europe Hates The Mac Pro

    This is interesting. Because of an EU amendment, Apple won’t be able to sell the current Mac Pro in Europe after March 1st, 2013. I’m curious how much Apple honestly cares about this news, because A) it had to see this coming and B) I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Apple sells no Mac Pros in Europe on most days. Certainly if the Mac Pro was currently important enough for Apple in Europe, it would have been updated to get around this amendment a while ago.

    Honestly, the Mac Pro being unavailable for sale in Europe is probably a minor inconvenience for Apple at worst. I could be completely wrong, but that’s my guess.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    3. US Senator: Video Games Are A Bigger Problem Than Guns

    And politicians like Senator Lamar Alexander are a bigger problem than both.

    4. Warm Bodies Expected To Be Hot

    ScreenCrave is predicting that Warm Bodies will pull in $15 million over the weekend, despite being Super Bowl weekend.

    I hope that this turns out to be correct — from what I’ve seen so far, Warm Bodies looks like it’s going to be a welcome addition to the zombie-comedy subgenre. It’s generally not a good idea to hold your breath, but at least cross your fingers.

    5. I Don’t Know Whether To Root For Selena Or Feel Bad For Justin

    Way to kick a guy when he’s down. Selena Gomez is tweeting pictures of herself being overjoyed, apparently to “send a message” to Justin Bieber, her ex. I tend to disagree with the expression “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, but if Selena is intentionally teasing Justin, dang, that’s cold… albeit vaguely entertaining. I have a sudden desire for popcorn.

    via @cambio on Twitter

    6. Speaking Of Senators

    Love or hate Senator Al Franken, he does say some pretty sensible things. For example, at a Senate hearing on gun violence, he said the following:

    I want to be careful here — that we don’t stigmatize mental illness. The vast majority of people with mental illness are no more violent than the rest of the population. In fact, they are more likely to be the victims of violence.

    I agree completely. The fact that the gun control debate has been stigmatizing mentally ill people is disconcerting. Particularly in my network, what I hear from the opponents of sweeping gun control laws, is that it’s mentally ill people that need to be kept away from guns. Call my experiences anecdotal, but I’m glad that a senator is addressing it.

    via Al Franken on Facebook

    7. Cutting The (Vocal) Cords

    Over the past few days I was tasked with babysitting my younger brother and his dog, and the dog was sometimes a little bit loud. Joking around, I did a search to see if surgery exists to remove a dog’s vocal cords, and I was shocked to find that the surgery does exist.

    It’s called “devocalization” and it’s basically cutting the vocal cords of a dog or cat. That’s kind of an abhorrent practice, and the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) is looking for volunteers to lobby congress to make devocalization illegal. The problem is that ISAR is a nonprofit and can’t lobby congress, so it needs other people to.

    Here’s hoping that ISAR succeeds. It’s not often that a joking search turns into a harsh realization.

    8. Best Practices For Humor On The Web

    Jim Cooke, Gawker:

    It’s unfair of us, America’s self-indulgent online writers, to expect the average reader to be able to tease out these hidden meanings. Going forward, we recommend the following guidelines when using “humor” online—so everyone can enjoy the fun.

  • Blinking text: When the reader sees the text blinking, he will say to himself, “Ahoy! Humor ahead.”
  • Spanish punctuation: It’s a stretch to imagine that readers can pick up on subtle humor when it’s formatted so that it blends seamlessly into the rest of the text. But what happens when they come across an exclamation point… that’s upside down? Ay, dios mio!
  • Footnotes: All instances of humor should be fully explained with footnotes. A simple rule. Follow it.
  • Pictures of clowns: Not everyone is a librarian type who can understand and appreciate the meaning of words, punctuation, footnotes, or writing in general. Pictures of clowns send a clear message: humor, in this vicinity.
  • The article is a little bit satirical, however it does drive home an irritant that everyone who communicates in text over the Internet has to deal with. It’s very tough for emotion to shine through, and the inventor of emoticons is a genius — the winky face has protected me from a lot of misinterpretations.

    via Gawker on Facebook

    9. How Jason Bateman Convinced Melissa McCarthy To Star In Identity Thief (Video)

    Check out this interview with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.

    I’m kind of excited for Identity Thief — I’m a Jason Bateman fan and I know someone who’s experienced identity theft, so it might be fun to see Bateman take on that role.

    Another fun thing, though, is that apparently alcohol was involved when Jason Bateman convinced Melissa McCarthy to play the identity thief. Awesome.

    via IMDb

    10. The Most Valuable Feedback

    I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the most valuable feedback that one can give is negative feedback, and maybe it’s time to expand on that.

    In my mind, the saying that “if you have nothing good to say, you shouldn’t say anything” is misguided. How do you know what problems that you need to work on if people don’t tell you? People who are honest and strong enough to tell you that you suck, at risk of your ire, are the people who help you grow.

    As an example, if I received no negative feedback from my college instructors, I’d still use contractions in formal papers. Today I reserve contractions for informal writing, such as on this blog.

    Speaking of this blog, honestly its biggest problem is that very few people give me any negative feedback — in fact, I haven’t seen much negative feedback at all in my more than two years blogging. If you compare my very first entry to today’s, the difference in writing quality is surreal. I’ve had to identify almost every problem on my own, which isn’t a big deal, but I’ve received the exact same “good” feedback since the mediocre first post.

    If you have something negative to say about my work or anyone’s work in any industry, say it. We can’t work on fixing our flaws if we don’t know what they are, and if we aren’t aware of flaws it can severely affect our professional lives. If I think that I’m an awesome writer but I’m not, I wouldn’t have a single gig outside of this blog.

    I’ve been told that I’m a good writer enough. While I appreciate having readers that like me, I need to make clear that I don’t care to know if you think that I’m a good writer today. If you want to take the time to give me feedback, tell me what I need to know to be an even better writer tomorrow. Tell me how to properly use and ; since I regularly confuse the two.

    Obviously not all negative feedback is fantastic. For example, a straightforward disagreement of opinion helps nobody. “Trolling” helps nobody. If you tell me that my blog sucks because Apple sucks, I’ll point you to blogs that you’re more likely to appreciate.

    Negative feedback, as long as it’s constructive, is volumes better for people than positive feedback. Receiving negative feedback can suck particularly for people that pour time, energy, and money into something that they regard as their baby, and they may (will) retaliate. But at the end of the day there are few better ways to show respect.

    21: Paying The Bills

    January 26, 2013

    1. Unlocking Phones Is Illegal Again

    I’m not sure that this was ever a concern of mine, but this is an example of the US government just not getting the tech industry. I feel slightly ignorant since the decision to make unlocking phones illegal today happened in October, but one thing is clear: Jailbreakers beware.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    2. Mean Girls Is Amanda Seyfriend’s Best Work, So Says Amanda Seyfried

    Yesterday I basically raved about Amanda Seyfried, and she’s already in the news again; this time for telling IndieWire the film that she considers her best work.

    I’ve just worked a long time. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities here and there and I’ve made some good choices with the help of my amazing team…. I still look back at ‘Mean Girls’ as my best work.

    I guess that I need to watch Mean Girls again.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    3. Django Unchained Tied To Pulp Fiction

    Now this is cool. Apparently Quentin Tarantino links his films together in little, pretty unnoticeable ways. Christopher Walken’s character in Pulp Fiction is a descendant to a gang member named in Django Unchained. It’s very interesting, and of course something that Tarantino would do.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    4. Miley Cyrus Eats Pizza, Gets Sick

    Honestly I’m slightly biased because I have a strong distaste for “Hannah Montana”; Miley Cyrus’s use of my name led to me being teased a lot by my friends. Some people outright called me “Hannah”, others who knew my nickname “Tanner” called me “Tannah Montana”, and it’s been very irritating.

    So as far as I’m concerned, Cyrus getting sick from eating pizza is definitely news. Normally I don’t like to hear that people get sick, but in this case it’s awesome.

    via @cambio on Twitter

    5. Steve Wozniak Hates The Steve Jobs Movie (So Far)

    Any Apple fan could have told you that the trailer for jOBS looks to be inaccurate, but no one has more authority than Steve Wozniak himself. So what does Wozniak have to say?

    “Admin”, Studio Briefing:

    in two emails to the Gizmodo tech site, has pronounced it “Totally wrong.” In fact, he said, he was “embarrassed” by the entire clip. What actually happened in real life, he said, is that he had been “inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club” to build an affordable computer. “Steve J. wasn’t around and didn’t attend the club,” he pointed out. “Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed [and] always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs.” As for how he himself was portrayed in the film by Josh Gad: “I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. … I never wore a tie back then. I wore blue jeans and the same style blue button-up shirt every day of my life.”

    Not surprising at all. Tap or click here (YouTube link) to watch the clip in question.

    via IMDb

    6. Android Redefines Feature Phones

    Preston de Guise, unsane.info:

    Android is going into two entirely different markets when it comes to mobile phones. There’s the area everyone focuses on – smartphones. That’s where people get confused over number of phones sold vs web usage coming from the phones. Then there’s the other market – the market where the cheaper Android phones are going head to head against the feature phones.

    And this is why Android’s market share means next to nothing. Android is a smartphone OS, but that doesn’t mean the phones it powers are deserving of the title.

    I’d wager that if you were to remove the people who only use their Android phone to make phone calls and txt friends, the iPhone would have a higher share if the smartphone market than Android phones. But that’s just my guess.

    7. Rumor: The Next iPad (5th Gen) To Look Like iPad mini

    I use both a 5th gen iPad and an iPad mini; in fact at this moment I’m using the two side-by-side. It’s honestly disgusting how much better the iPad mini looks. It’s solid. It’s beautiful. It f***ing glistens in the light.

    Apple should be ashamed that the iPad mini — which costs $170 less than the 5th gen iPad — looks so much better in comparison. If the 5th gen iPad doesn’t take design cues from the iPad mini, it will be a tragedy.

    This rumor had better come to fruition.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    8. Men Commit More Research Fraud Than Women

    Now this is interesting albeit maybe unsurprising. Apparently, of researchers who commit fraud of one sort or another, 2/3 are men.

    I say that this is “maybe unsurprising” because, while I don’t know the numbers, I’m guessing that male researchers outweigh female researchers. If A) there are more male researchers than female researchers, and B) we assume that each gender is equally ethical, then C) females would likely commit an equal amount of fraud as males.

    Of course I have no proof of my above guess, so take it as the speculation that it is.

    via @dougcoulson on Twitter

    9. Apple Terminates Relationship With Chinese Manufacturer Because Of Underage Labor

    Apple fired Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics — one of its suppliers — for employing underage kids. Good for Apple.

    I’m surprised that the headline of the original article doesn’t read “Apple Responsible For Layoffs In China”.

    via FlipBoard for iOS

    10. Paying For Articles

    Despite me writing basically for free, I’ve long held the belief that writers deserve to be paid for their work. This stuff isn’t easy; it’s a job, paid or otherwise. My mom classifies blogging for yourself as an internship, which is a good way to think about it. I’m not getting paid but I am gaining experience and learning something new every day.

    But even internships are considered “work”, and internships do lead to paying gigs in the future. Or so they should.

    Some of my favorite blogs are written by writers who go unpaid. These are people who pour their heart out into onto the web sometimes every single day, putting in an hour or two or three, and receive nothing in return except satisfaction. Last I checked, satisfaction alone doesn’t pay a single bill, which is kind of unfortunate.

    Some writers have a large enough audience where they can plaster ads on their site and make at least a little bit of money in ad revenue. That’s all fine and well, however the problem that I see is that our readers become a product that we’re selling to advertisers, which isn’t cool. If I’m going to earn money, I should be selling my articles, not selling you.

    Unfortunately that isn’t reality, and sometime in the near term (1-2 years) ads will go up on unkommon.net, at least until I’m comfortable asking you to pay for my articles. I’m hoping that I never lose sight of my goal which is to make money in an honest fashion.

    To remind me of my goal I do outright pay for some of my news, The Magazine and Matter. Those two publications are very good, and the reason they are very good is that they have to be worth paying for. With ad-based compensation, we only need to be good enough to drive traffic. If we’re asking you to pay us, our work better be outright fantastic otherwise you’ll go elsewhere.

    If you’re a regular reader, and you spend four minutes on my blog every day of the week (in the future when I write more) on average, that’s two hours of entertainment that I’m giving you each month. The cost of a two hour movie in theaters is $10. Now, the cost of movies is overpriced, so if we’re comparing just time of entertainment, this blog probably deserves $4 each month from each daily reader.

    Obviously I’m not good enough to ask $4 each month from anybody yet, but when I am good enough, that’s probably going to be what I ask to read articles here. Just a multi-year heads up. ;-) In the interim you should pay for other articles that are worth paying for; don’t be intimidated, trust me, those articles will usually be better than anything ad-based. Because they have to be.

    Apple Replaced My iPad For Free

    January 23, 2013

    fresh iPad

    Cracking your screen isn’t exactly covered under warranty, but a Genius at my local Apple Store sympathized and outright replaced my cracked iPad with a scratch-free new one.

    Unfortunately my iPad cracking kept me up all night and I got no sleep, so I’m going to get around to doing that now. Regular entries resume tomorrow, I’m back in business!

    Montana

    18: Oh No! My iPad (3rd Gen) Fell And Cracked! :(

    January 22, 2013

    Well. Thankfully I at least gathered articles for today’s entry. I was saying goodbye to a cute girl and my iPad was on my lap, and it slipped and fell to the floor. The result:

    Shattered iPad Corner

    Hopefully Apple replaces it. Fingers crossed. I’m too in shock to write blurbs on the nine news articles I want you to check out, so what follows is just a few links. I’m stunned.

    1. Wrath Of The Titans Insults Intelligence

    2. Intel (Finally) Ramping Up Investment In Mobile

    3. How To Limit iOS Device Time For Your Kids

    4. Pope Benedict XVI Tweets In Latin

    5. iPad or iPad mini?

    6. iPhone 5 Jailbreak “Behind The Scenes”

    7. First Kick-Ass 2 Photo

    8. Surprise: Google Doesn’t Like Microsoft

    9. Anti-Apple Anger

    17.5: Locked In

    January 19, 2013

    At present I own three computing devices that I use regularly — iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), and iPad mini — all Apple products running iOS 6. Including previous purchases, I’ve owned six iOS devices in a little over five years. My computing lifestyle is shaped by a single company, and what follows is an argument in favor of that scenario.

    To say that I’ve invested a significant amount of time and money in the iOS ecosystem is an understatement. I’ve spent $2,554 just on iOS devices themselves over the course of a little more than five years, and probably a similar amount in software and services.

    Let me rephrase the previous paragraph; even if I wanted to, leaving iOS for a competing platform would be difficult and the financial hit would be depressing. It’s in my best interest to stick to using iPhones and iPads because otherwise I’d have to start over which, again, is unreasonable. The kicker is that the longer I stay with iOS, the more I invest in it and the more locked-in to the platform I become!

    Fortunately I haven’t ever wanted a device powered by Android (which you may know as Apple’s primary competition). In the history of iOS and Android I haven’t once paused and thought that Android might be the superior operating system; the “open” ideology behind Android clashes with my own behaviors, whereas I align with iOS.

    Unfortunately I actually like what Microsoft has done with its Windows Phone operating system. So while I do still genuinely prefer iOS, my potential future with Windows Phone is definitely a casualty of being locked-in to the iOS ecosystem.

    So the question becomes is it a smart idea to heavily invest in a single ecosystem and lock yourself into it? As far as I know, the time and money I’ve spent on iOS has let me get the most out of the platform, and its value to me is very high. If a company’s ideals closely match your own and you believe that it has a future, locking yourself into its platform and getting the most value for your time and money is probably smart.

    If you aren’t sure, it’s probably a good idea to keep an open mind and not invest too much in a given platform until you find the one that you can stand behind no matter what. I’ve stuck with Apple in times good and times bad, and when the day ends I’m rewarded for it; but maybe that’s just me. I’ve copied and pasted the following quote before, but it’s one of my favorite web comments and it’s relevant enough to end with.

    LareneDepopiet, CNET Commenter:

    Companies, or brands have a style, a culture, a language, and that adds up to something close to a personality. This is very clear internally in the way decisions are made, priorities assigned, and generally what values are held. Finding that a companies values or priorities are a good match for your own, which you may not do consciously, will make you more receptive to its products or services. there is nothing wrong with that, it does not make you a fanboy or a zombie.
    Just like you are more forgiving of your friends’ faults because you value their qualities, you can be more accepting of a product’s weaknesses because you appreciate a company’s culture. That does not make you stupid. In fact, in the long term, it may be smarter because you reward the companies who have values consistent with yours, even when their products are not, objectively, the absolute best in a category.

    I agree completely. And this probably isn’t the last time I’ll post that quote, sorry in advance. ;-)

    14: You’ve Gotta Dream A Little Dream

    January 13, 2013

    1. #cut4bieber

    100 Reasons to Recover:

    Last night, an anonymous 4chan user decided it would be really funny to start a trend on twitter called #cut4bieber, to try to get little girls to cut themselves.

    This is sad. Self-harm is a scary thing, and it’s almost worse since somebody is using a valuable communication tool to inspire kids to cut themselves. As an avid Twitter user this really makes me feel uneasy.

    2. White House: We Won’t Deport Piers Morgan

    The petition to deport Piers Morgan because of his opinion on gun control received enough signatures to garner a response from President Obama’s staff. Unfortunately for the ethnocentrics in the US, the President likes Piers.

    via Gawker on Facebook

    3. Is Tina Fey A (Wo)man Or A Muppet?

    After the fantastic news that Ricky Gervais has a role in the next Muppets movie, we now know that Tina Fey is also going to star in it. This Muppets movie sounds better the more I hear about it. Let’s hope that no one screws this movie up.

    But it’s The Muppets, so I’ll see it no matter what. ;-)

    via FlipBoard iPad app

    4. The MacBook Pro Vending Machine

    Drexel University has installed something nifty in its library: A vending machine that spits out MacBook Pros for students to rent. Awesome.

    5. LinkedIn Has 200 Million Registered Users

    It certainly isn’t bad news that 200 million people in the world have registered for LinkedIn, but as Liz Gannes in the All Things D story said, it’s a “BS metric”. Anytime a services company chooses to report how many people have registered and not how many are active, be slightly weary. I’m sure MySpace still has a lot of “registered users”.

    via FlipBoard iPad app

    6. Free Beer Too!

    If you happen to be in or around London this upcoming Thursday, reserve your spot at a free advance screening of Wrong Turn 5 at The Horse Hospital.

    Oh yeah, there’s no need to sneak in your own drinks — the beer is free.

    via Thirst iPad app

    7. White House: Also, No Death Star For You!

    Remember that petition for the US to start developing a Death Star? The President’s staff finally responded, and it isn’t good news for the Death Star proponents.

    The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.

    The Administration does not support blowing up planets.

    Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

    Read the rest. It’s golden.

    via a friend on Facebook

    8. Now Public Libraries Are Copying Apple, Too

    Later this year Bexar County, Texas is going to build an “100 percent digital public library” modeled after Apple Stores.

    This is fascinating not only because Apple can now say it inspires libraries, but that this is the first all digital public library in the US. It’s stunning that it’s 2013 and we still aren’t that evolved, but it’s nice to see that change is in the air.

    via FlipBoard iPad app

    9. Noooooo

    It looks like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot — where the turtles are adult aliens — might begin production in the Spring. Insert sad face.

    via FlipBoard iPad app

    10. The Faux Twinkies

    Following up on last week’s post about the alternative to the late Twinkies, I’ve managed to pick up a box of 6 “Dreamies” to try. I think that it’s fair to chalk up some initial impressions, so without further ado…

    20130113-193946.jpg

    From the design to the individually-wrapped packaging, Dreamies look like Twinkies. But as the saying goes, it’s what’s inside that counts.

    20130113-194158.jpg

    20130113-194241.jpg

    There is next to no creme filling in Dreamies; unless the entire box of 6 is the result of some malfunction, the creme filling is meaningless. To add insult to injury, the dough isn’t very spongy — as my roommate said, it’s more cake-like than anything.

    Which is all fine and good, but Dreamies shouldn’t be positioned as the next Twinkies.

    20130113-194333.jpg

    13.5: It Just Crashes

    January 11, 2013

    I’ve been using Apple products seemingly exclusively over the past eight years, and I’ve come to expect a lack of “first world problems” to complain about. Anytime there is a software issue, Apple fixes it, and we all move on with our lives. The “Purchased” section of the App Store, however, is a glaring exception to that rule.

    “Purchased” is one of the nifty things that came with iCloud in 2011, allowing iOS users to browse their entire app purchase history and re-download apps on-the-fly. Unfortunately since it’s release it’s been the single part of the iOS ecosystem that reliably crashes my iOS devices.

    If I open up the App Store and tap the “Purchased” tab on my iPhone 4, and scroll for 30 seconds? Crash to the home screen.

    What if I browsed the Purchased section of the App Store on my 1st gen iPad? It crashed.

    My third gen iPad has 1GB of RAM and a dual core processor. So obviously it won’t crash like the iPhone and iPad before it? Nope. Crash.

    As you may know I recently picked up an iPad mini. This is Apple’s newest iOS device, of course it will run flawlessly when browsing the Purchased section of the App Store, right? Wrong again Bob.

    Crash, crash, crash, crash. On every iOS device that I’ve owned, old or brand new, since 2011 when Apple released that Purchased section in the App Store.

    One can argue that the Purchased section of the App Store is probably the least important part of iOS and that I’m making a fuss over nothing. That I might be one of five people in the world who bothers to ever tap that tab, that maybe the reason it crashes is because I’ve downloaded a helluvalot of apps. But that isn’t the point. The point is over the course of my time as an Apple customer, I’ve come to expect a certain level of fit and finish with everything that Apple does.

    It’s one thing for a 3rd party app to crash my iOS devices. It’s a completely different thing when the #1 cause of crashes on every iOS device I’ve owned since 2011 is something that comes bundled with them. It’s amazing that this hasn’t been fixed yet.

    Apple does great, but it needs to do better.

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