Jason Snell, for Six Colours:
Once that was done, I was free to play music in stereo from two HomePods. The volume is impressive—one HomePod did an okay job of filling my living room, but two HomePods can do it with no trouble. Stereo separation was clear, as I ran through a bunch of aggressive stereo mixes (The Beatles!), live albums (“Peter Gabriel Plays Live”—take that, “Hell Freezes Over”), and a collection of other tracks I’m familiar with. It all sounded good.
At the current price the HomePod is awfully pricey to be deployed in a stereo pair—for half price you can pair two Sonos One speakers—but it does sound very good. And in proper stereo, something that one HomePod—for all Apple’s talk of creating a “3-D sound field”—could not achieve alone.
I’m actually tempted to get one more HomePod myself, despite Siri being next to useless for anything but controlling music playback. I’d also happily welcome a 5.1 wireless home theatre system for Apple TV or perhaps a soundbar — they could show off their computational audio advances in the latter.
Adam Easton, for the BBC, quoting Renata Kim, a journalist for the Polish edition of Newsweek:
“I think it’s too early for an openly gay politician to become an important figure in politics,” she argues.
“We are a very conservative society. People are not ready to accept such a person as their president or prime minister,” she adds.
I try to avoid following politics because most politicians in Poland are in it for the money and their own interests. Robert Biedroń is the only politician that I know of, who seems to be a genuinely good person. I don’t care if he’s an atheist, satanist, gay, uses an Android device, or doesn’t like Star Wars — he appears to be actually trying to bring good to the people that elected him. And that’s enough for me — he’ll get my vote.
Erin Biba, for The Daily Beast:
But in my wildest dreams, I’m writing this because I want Elon to see and understand the aftermath of his tweets, because I honestly don’t know if he realizes the true extent of the wrath he brings down on people by inadvertently pointing his fanbase at them. And if he really is the good person fighting to better humanity that all of his fans say he is, then I’d hope he would want to know.
I’ve been writing about Google’s efforts to deprecate HTTP, the protocol of the web. This is a summary of why I am opposed to it.
This isn’t their first attempt and it won’t be their last foray into trying to influence the internet, but hopefully it won’t affect us as much as it could, especially since we do have alternatives to Google Search and Chrome.
Brad Sams, for Petri IT Knowledgebase:
When the Surface Book 2 was announced late last year, I had high hopes that this was going to be among my favorite laptops, ever. All Microsoft had to do was take the original Book and address the few issues with the hardware and voila, a hero device for the category.
It’s a bit hard to believe but the device was released six months ago and since that time, I have taken the high-end 15in Surface Book 2 on the road to Vegas, NYC, Seattle, Chicago and a few other locations and after all that time with the hardware, here is my long term update.
This is one of the notebooks currently on the market which pose an interesting alternative to the MacBook Pro. I am especially interested in using it for retouching photos in Lightroom, using just the 15” screen in detached mode.
It’s hard to come by extended reviews such as Brad’s, but he conveys his pros and cons succinctly. The Surface Book’s biggest issue is the power button, which sometimes fails to turn the machine on. While this seems serious, the workaround (which shouldn’t be necessary) is extremely simple.
Just the simple fact that I am looking at alternatives to MacBooks, which I have been using for over 10 years now, should be worrying for Apple. While the Surface Book 2 could potentially be an excellent Lightroom hardware platform, I would miss macOS for everything else. Oh — the keyboard supposedly doesn’t die from dust specks. Ultimately the Surface Book 2 would be a compromise, like everything in life, but Microsoft is really trying to tempt users, and is probably succeeding in some cases.
This amazing timelapse from photographer Tyler Fairbank was shot over 8 days. He took over 38K RAW stills which were then combined into 300 timelapse clips, which together created the video. Tyler used DaVinci Resolve, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Lightroom.
John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:
One of the things I’m most looking forward to next month at WWDC is seeing this sort of treatment on the Mac App Store, too.
I’ll go with coy remark and put John’s comment down as one of the new “tentpole features” of macOS 10.14.
The state of the iMac’s stand is unbelievable.
Mark Gurman and Alex Barinka, for Bloomberg:
Essential Products Inc., a startup co-founded by Android creator Andy Rubin that launched last year to great fanfare, is considering selling itself and has canceled development of a new smartphone, according to people familiar with the matter.
Too bad. I am still looking forward to an Android manufacturer gaining ground in the market, who is at least as privacy-focused as Apple.
Owen Williams, on Charged:
I’ve spent a year explaining to people that while the current MacBook Pro is a design triumph, it’s a disaster of a product that you shouldn’t spend money you’re afraid to lose on — but it’s been difficult to articulate why, particularly when the sample set is small.
Instead, I’ve decided to maintain this post, which is an ever-growing collection of public complaints about the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro so I can just send it back in response to anyone who says they’re considering buying it.
I almost tripped on my MacBook Pro’s power cord a few weeks ago and my first thought was that I really miss MagSafe, which saved my previous MacBooks a number of times. As it turns out from looking at Owen’s list, no MagSafe is one of the least important issues people are having.
Matthew Gault, writing for Motherboard:
To honor those machines, Ball has created a series of high resolution animated gifs honoring 16 machines from the era of the birth of the personal computer. He calls the project ‘I Am a Computer: Icons of Beige.’
“I think the design of these machines is so of their time, so charming in their now-obsolesce, and almost anthropomorphic in some cases that I wanted to…breathe some life into them,” Ball said. “I also love beige. Nothing is beige anymore! It’s such a cool colour.”
I love these kinds of projects.
Mark Gurman, for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has started mass production of next-generation processors for new iPhones launching later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said.
I remember exporting a video from iMovie for iOS a few years ago (an iPad Mini 2 if I recall correctly) and it took close to 30 minutes for a full 1080p render. I recently tried the same thing on an iPad Pro 10.5” — this time it was done before I returned to my couch from turning the kettle on in the kitchen, which took me less than a minute.
Apple’s chip team is amazing and I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring to the market in the future.
I took this shot back in 2009 when visiting in Las Vegas for NAB from the top of Paris Las Vegas. It’s one of many shots, but this was the moment that I had been waiting for — the sky filled out beautifully with what was left of the sunset, while being pushed out by the impending night.
Shot with Canon 50D + Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L — f/5.6, 1/10, ISO 800 @ 16 mm.
Nina Richards, on her blog:
This build is a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm replica of the NeXT Computer to house a Raspberry Pi computer. I designed and built this specifically with the aim of having it run some basic server tasks on my home network, such as storing revision control repositories etc.
This is so cool — I’d buy one in a heartbeat!
Blake Tsuzaki on GitHub:
This is a little exploration into applying ’90s-era design & principles into a modern platform with some primitive components. The assets and design metrics were (for the most part) taken from an actual installation of Windows 95. These are pixel-accurate renditions of the original design…
UIs were shockingly ugly back then. I still remember when I first saw a NeXT computer at a trade show in the 1980s, when I was just a few years old — just the resolution of the screen was amazing, but the different look of that OS stunned me and I wanted one badly.
This might not look very special today, but compared to what I was used to, it was simply amazing.
John Carmack, in a post on Facebook:
I was brought in to talk about the needs of games in general, but I made it my mission to get Apple to adopt OpenGL as their 3D graphics API. I had a lot of arguments with Steve.
Part of his method, at least with me, was to deride contemporary options and dare me to tell him differently. They might be pragmatic, but couldn’t actually be good. “I have Pixar. We will make something [an API] that is actually good.”
It was often frustrating, because he could talk, with complete confidence, about things he was just plain wrong about, like the price of memory for video cards and the amount of system bandwidth exploitable by the AltiVec extensions.
But when I knew what I was talking about, I would stand my ground against anyone.
When Steve did make up his mind, he was decisive about it. Dictates were made, companies were acquired, keynotes were scheduled, and the reality distortion field kicked in, making everything else that was previously considered into obviously terrible ideas.
His post reinforces what we know about Steve Jobs, while underlining their own relationship — it’s well worth reading.
Silicon Valley, the TV show from HBO, is probably the most horrific portrayal of the programmers/coders/tech crowd living and working in that area of the world. I realise that its supposed to be satire, but it simply isn’t. Thomas Middleditch’s character — Richard Hendricks — is particularly dreadful. He’s not only stupid, despite being a genius, he’s a criminal and displays many qualities that I despise, which are unfortunately so commonplace in the world. And Erlich? He’s even worse.
I can’t believe the show’s into its fifth season…
Frederic Lardinois, for TechCrunch:
Google is revamping its consumer storage plans today by adding a new $2.99/month tier for 200 GB of storage and dropping the price of its 2 TB plan from $19.99/month to $9.99/month (and dropping the $9.99/month 1 TB plan). It’s also rebranding these storage plans (but not Google Drive itself) as “Google One.”
Since they’re not only consolidating their storage plans under the “Google One” slogan, will this be updated in the future to include subscription services such as YouTube Red? If yes, then will users be able to select which services they want, to customise the plan (and price) to their needs or will Google go down the Amazon Prime route, where many services will just sit unused but will still be paid for?
Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica:
The Internet’s two most widely used methods for encrypting email—PGP and S/MIME—are vulnerable to hacks that can reveal the plaintext of encrypted messages, a researcher warned late Sunday night. He went on to say there are no reliable fixes and to advise anyone who uses either encryption standard for sensitive communications to remove them immediately from email clients.
The flaws “might reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails, including encrypted emails you sent in the past,” Sebastian Schinzel, a professor of computer security at Münster University of Applied Sciences, wrote on Twitter. “There are currently no reliable fixes for the vulnerability. If you use PGP/GPG or S/MIME for very sensitive communication, you should disable it in your email client for now.”
You can find an “EFAIL” paper discussing the vulnerabilities here.
A contemporary design of a Grande Maison classic created in 1968, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox watch in steel punctuates the important moments of the active man’s life. It is available in a limited series of 1,000 editions.
I have a hard time finding watches that I really like and the new limited edition Polaris Memovox is one of the few which I find simply stunning. They do offer a much cheaper Polaris Automatic but despite the differences between the two being very subtle, I don’t care for it at all.
Speaking of screen savers, if you’d like to have the aerial ones from the Apple TV on your Mac, Windows or Linux machines, then they’re just a click away.
★ Aerial — Apple TV Aerial Views Screen Saver for Mac →
★ Aerial Apple TV screen saver for Windows →
★ xscreensaver-aerial for Linux →
Johansson Design is probably the only company currently creating new screen savers for macOS, and my goal is to create (post)modern, pop-culture inspired screen savers that can be both practical and used as a form of self-expression.
They are all free and there are at least two in there that piqued my interest. You can get them for free and can donate to the author if you want to.
Hydraulic brakes, a belt instead of a chain, a weight of 16 kilograms, a SIM card slot, integrated GPS and tracking, a 252 Wh detachable battery, pedal assist, and integrated lights. All this for €1790.
Unfortunately this e-bike is only available in Belgium and Luxembourg. For now…
Benjamin Clymer, for Hodinkee Magazine:
Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, Inc., is sitting across from me at a seamless white oak table. We’ve met a few times before, and I know he cares about watches. He must, right? But I’ve never actually asked him. So I do. And thank God, he does – he recounts a tale of buying an Omega Speedmaster Professional in the early ’90s. I exhale, because the hypothesis of this interview, at least in my mind (likely not in Apple’s), is that the watch industry and its all-too-vocal supporters have got it all wrong. Jony, the creator of what is, by at least one definition, the number one watch on Earth, is a friend, not a foe. But, like any great question of power and influence, it’s not so simple.
This is one interview worth reading, especially for those of you into horology or Apple Watch. Or both! And that ending — it’s perfect.