Apple Reportedly to Move iPhone to 3 Year Cycle →

May 31, 2016 · 18:15

Yuichiro Kanematsu:

Apple will likely take three years between full-model changes of its iPhone devices, a year longer than the current cycle. In a typical two-year term, fall 2016 was supposed to see a major upgrade. But the changes on the model to be launched this autumn will be minor, such as improved camera quality.

Unfortunately, this seems reasonable. ‘Unfortunately’ because I don’t want to wait so long.


App Store Deals — 31/05/2016

May 31, 2016 · 09:37

I strongly recommend Tayasui Sketches if you’re into drawing. Hitman: Sniper is also a pretty good tool to exercise procrastination.

Awesome Note 2 – iPad – Productivity – €3.99 > €1.99
Awesome Note 2 – iPhone – Productivity – €3.99 > €1.99
Doo – Get Things Done – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €2.99
Dr. Panda Candy Factory – iOS – Education – €2.99 > €0.99
Dr. Panda Hospital – iOS – Education – €2.99 > €0.99
Dr. Panda in Space – iOS – Education – €2.99 > €0.99
Gaia GPS – iOS – Navigation – €19.99 > €9.99
Hitman: Sniper – iOS – €1.99 > €0.99
Nisus Writer Pro – Mac – Productivity – €79.99 > €69.99
Polarr Photo Editor – Mac – Photography – €19.99 > €0.99
Tayasui Sketches II Pro – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €0.00


Apple to Revamp Music at WWDC 2016 →

May 28, 2016 · 19:16

Alex Webb:

Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t have issue using Apple Music… or iTunes for that matter. Many complain that the latter tries to do too many things. Quite frankly, it’s only a music player and secure backup tool at the moment — I do everything else via iCloud. I would however like the For You, New, Radio and Connect sections to become one.


Dropbox and the OS X Kernel →

May 28, 2016 · 19:09

Damien DeVille:

Traditionally, Dropbox operated entirely in user space as a program just like any other on your machine. With Dropbox Infinite, we’re going deeper: into the kernel—the core of the operating system. With Project Infinite, Dropbox is evolving from a process that passively watches what happens on your local disk to one that actively plays a role in your filesystem. We have invested the better part of two years making all the pieces fit together seamlessly. This post is a glimpse into our journey.

Looks like I’ll be purchasing BitTorrent Sync after all.


‘Apple Sent Two Men to My House; No, They Weren’t Assassins’ →

May 21, 2016 · 09:20

James Pinkstone:

Tom, along with his boss Ezra, had just spent most of Saturday at my dining room table with me, trying to recreate a disaster like we were Netflix green-lighting Fuller House. So far, no luck.

In the days leading up to our face-to-face encounter, they’d earned more of my trust when they acknowledged that A), they’d read the phone transcripts, and although they maintained that she was mistaken, they did not dispute my account of what Amber had told me, and B), they, too, were convinced this was not user error. Before allowing them into my home, though, I’d laid out some conditions. Their research would be strictly limited to Apple Music, iTunes, and my iTunes library, and I would always be in the room to watch them work. Any information gleaned would be used solely for iTunes and Apple Music troubleshooting. If I had a document on my desktop called “Zapruder Film Unedited,” for example, they would still leave it alone. They agreed, both on the phone and in person, so we began.

I never linked to James’ original post about how ‘Apple stole his music‘, because quite frankly, I believed it to be user error. In the meantime my friend also told me about his problems — he also lost some of his files — and Apple showed up on Pinkstone’s doorstep to try to diagnose the issue.

What other company would do that? No, seriously. Is there any other tech company that would go to such lengths to figure out what’s wrong with their product?


How Frank Underwood Helped Monument Valley →

May 21, 2016 · 09:14

Andrew Webster:

When the third season of House of Cards debuted on February 27th last year, it included a curious cameo: in one episode, newly-inaugurated president Frank Underwood was relaxing with an iPad, playing the gorgeous game Monument Valley. Two days later, the game had its second biggest money-making day to date, raking in close to $70,000 over the span of 24 hours, thanks to being featured in the show.

This is one of my favourite mobile games and one of the best I’ve ever played. The whole team truly deserves their success.


Making Listening to Podcasts Simple →

May 20, 2016 · 08:01

John Paul Titlow:

At launch, RadioPublic is focused on building a mobile app for listening to podcasts and radio-like audio content on smartphones with as little effort as possible. Unlike existing podcast players such as Stitcher Radio and Overcast, which let users curate their own list of shows, RadioPublic’s apps will offer a laid-back, nearly effortless approach to listening in the hopes of injecting the simplicity of terrestrial radio into the podcasting space.

However much I despise proprietary platforms for open projects such as podcasts, they do have a point. While the barrier for entry to finding and listening to my favourite podcasts is not an issue — I like that I can configure my feed to my liking — a less adept person would probably not have a clue what they were doing at step one:

  • download Overcast
  • add podcasts or their RSS feeds
  • create a custom playlist

I love using Overcast because of its simplicity1, but it still isn’t easy enough for those of us who do not understand how the app or podcasts work. Ideally, ‘my mom’ should have to just muddle through installing the app and then hit play. The only in-between step that I would consider adding, would be selecting a category first — politics, tech, whatever. Overcast already has a few categories with recommended podcasts, so in theory Marco could make this work. I do worry however if and how he would handle shows in languages other than English.

  1. Although Voice Boost and Smart Speed are what actually convinced me.

How Zach Grether Captured an Image of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing →

May 19, 2016 · 13:32

Zach Grether:

At 1:21am on May 6, 2016, SpaceX continued its run of aerospace brilliance with a night launch of its Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Japanese communication satellite payload to geostationary orbit. The most spectacular portion of this event was the first successful night landing of the Falcon 9’s first stage onboard their floating platform called “Of Course I Still Love You.” While this was not the first successful landing for SpaceX, it was the first one at sea at night and also one that they predicted to have a high probability of failure due to the dynamics involved with the much higher energy needed to send the satellite to a higher orbit than previous launches.

What does that have to do with me? Well, at the time, I was on Hunting Island in the southern portion of South Carolina doing what I love to do, shooting the Milky Way…. and I captured the moment!

I love a good story and this one is as good as they come – make sure to read it from beginning to end. And there’s a tutorial thrown in for those who want to learn a bit more about astrophotography.

Please check out Zach’s prints too — some wonderful images there.


Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Character Limit →

May 17, 2016 · 08:29

Sarah Frier:

Twitter Inc. is making a major shift in how it counts characters in Tweets, giving users more freedom to compose longer messages.
The social media company will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter. The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.

Twitter is so slow to innovate, and there are so many small things they could do to improve everyone’s time spent on there.

If the above comes to pass, only one question remains: will it also be included in the API for third-party clients?


I Took the Week Off

May 13, 2016 · 22:54

My apologies for not posting anything for the past week, but I’ve been completely focused on another project. We recently launched iMag Weekly — a Polish weekly web publication, which we have high hopes for. Its launch was very well received by our readers, which eased our anxiety a bit, but there was still a lot of work to be done.

I should be back to posting regularly on Monday.


Misplaced iPad Takes Its Own Vacation →

May 13, 2016 · 22:48

Nick Wingfield for the New York Times:

Last month, Shelby Bonnie’s iPad vanished from his carry-on bag somewhere at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after a red-eye flight from San Francisco. He figured he would never see it again.
But sometimes our devices aren’t ready to say goodbye.

The ending is priceless.


The Nazi Underground; The Gold Train →

May 13, 2016 · 22:44

Jake Halpern for the New Yorker:

“There are so many tunnels, who knows what else is there,” Tomasz Jurek, one of Lower Silesia’s many treasure hunters, said. “It’s the tip of an underground city.”

Lower Silesia, in southwestern Poland, is a land of treasure hunters. Until the end of the Second World War, the region—covered by mountains and deep pine forests with towering, arrowlike trees—was part of Germany. In the early months of 1945, the German Army retreated, along with much of the civilian population. The advancing Red Army killed many of the Germans who remained. Nearly all those who survived were later evicted and forced to move west. By the end of 1947, almost two million Germans had been cleared out.

In order to fill the emptied landscape, the newly formed Polish government relocated hundreds of thousands of Poles from the east. The settlers arrived in vacant towns, walked into empty houses, and went to sleep in strangers’ beds. There was furniture in the houses, but usually the valuables were missing. The porcelain dishes, the silk dresses, the fur coats, the sewing machines, and the jewelry were gone, often hidden in the ground: buried in jars, chests, and even coffins. It was a hasty solution—a desperate effort to cache valuables as people were running for their lives. The owners of these possessions intended to return, but most didn’t. And so on steamy fall mornings, when the new arrivals dug in their gardens or tilled their fields, they unearthed small fortunes.

I grew up in Lower Silesia, so I might be a bit biased, but it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Poland, especially in the mountainous regions. I assume I know more about the history of this region than people from other parts of Poland, having actually visited them many times over the years, but Jake’s reporting is truly first-rate — he mentions events and secrets that I never heard of.

If there’s only one article you can read this week, make sure it’s this one.

Photo: Wojtek Pietrusiewicz (that’s me), shot with a Nikon D700 & Zeiss ZF 2/100 @ 1/400, f/8, ISO 200, 100mm.


Forbes Wants Your Contacts if You Use an Adblocker →

May 4, 2016 · 00:46

Rob Leathern noticed an absurd contradiction in Forbes’ TOS:

So I’ve basically agreed now to not block their ads, after signing up for the express purpose of being able to see their content while blocking their ads.

Logical, indeed.

Forbes-trackers-hero

Dear Forbes, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: ads are not the problem; your trackers are. And now, you want all my contacts? Thanks, but no. I will now go out of my way not to visit your site and waste my time staring at that obnoxious quote-of-the-day page.

Forbes-trackers-3-hero


Intel Spent More Than $10 Billion to Catch Up in Mobile and Gave Up →

May 3, 2016 · 10:06

Ina Fried:

After missing the early days of the smartphone revolution, Intel spent in excess of $10 billion over the last three years in an effort to get a foothold in mobile devices.

Now, having gained little ground in phones and with the tablet market shrinking, Intel is essentially throwing in the towel. The company quietly confirmed last week that it has axed several chips from its roadmap, including all of the smartphone processors in its current plans.

They’re not doing very well with their PC chips either, considering how behind they are on their own roadmap.


Twitter Retires Magic Recs When Bots Are On The Rise →

May 2, 2016 · 22:16

Ingrid Lunden:

At a time when Twitter is looking for catchy things to capture more audience, it’s ironic that Magic Recs bot would stop working just as bots were starting to become a thing.

Doubly ironic is the fact that Magic Recs was a bot that actually worked when some have flopped. Like many others who followed it, I praised Magic Recs for being uncannily accurate in predicting interesting accounts to follow and tweets to watch. Twitter could have turned it into something that people could even pull for more Recs.

While push notifications may work out, the people using third-party Twitter clients will miss out on them. And I refuse to use the native client when it’s as bad as it is. Why not leave Magic Recs for hardcore users? While I don’t think much of the bots which seem to be popping up in many places recently, this was one that I really enjoyed.


My Photography (4) — Balloon Festival, Bielawa, Poland, 2016

May 2, 2016 · 22:09

We drove down to Bielawa today, which is more or less south of Wrocław in Poland, for the Balloon Festival. I did not expect to get the shots that I did, despite the weather not playing nice. The sunset, some two hours after the above photo was taken, was close to perfect.

Shot with DJI Phantom 4 @ f/2.8, 1/640, ISO 100.