Walmart Pay — Easy and Intuitive →

December 10, 2015 · 07:37

Chance Miller:

To use Walmart Pay, you have to be in a Walmart checkout lane. Then, open up the Walmart app on your phone, choose the Walmart Pay option, scan then QR code displayed on the checkout terminal, and wait for the employee to finish scanning your items.

I wonder if the people who create (or tell others to create it for them) such products ever try to use what they’re competing against — Apple Pay in this case.


Apple TV Subscription Service Put on Hold →

December 9, 2015 · 08:49

Matt Weinberger:

Moonves said that Apple and CBS were close to settling on a price point of between $30 and $40 per month for these bundles — Moonves specifically mentioned the price point of $35 multiple times — before Apple decided to pause and reconsider.

I’m really hoping this is something which will be worth it, available worldwide, and that Apple holding off today will allow them to create a superior product in the future.


Apple’s Secrets Revealed →

December 9, 2015 · 08:13

Yoni Heisler:

One of the more interesting aspects of Apple’s legal battle with Samsung is that it gave us an unprecedented look behind the veil of secrecy that typically shrouds all aspects of Apple’s product development and day-to-day operations. Over the course of discovery, innumerable court filings, and a fascinating trial, the inner workings of Apple were brought to the forefront for the first time in history. From photographs of iPhone prototypes to how Apple conducts market research, Apple’s legal battles with Samsung provided tech enthusiasts with a treasure trove of previously top-secret information.

I found the details of how the iPhone came to be most fascinating. The early iPhone prototype pictures can be quite shocking too.


Mossberg: Google Should Build Hardware — but Not Like This →

December 8, 2015 · 23:09

Walt Mossberg:

But the worst part about this device, which starts at $499 for the tablet alone, is that Google has made no discernible effort to create software to match the screen real estate afforded by the first tablet it has designed and built itself. It has forfeited the big advantage its rival Apple has traded on for decades: the ability to blend your own hardware and software to provide a superior user experience.

I was curious what they came up with. I’m not any more.


iPhone 6C and Apple Watch 2 Rumoured to Be Shown During March 2016 Event →

December 8, 2015 · 22:24

Mark Gurman:

Apple is currently planning a March 2016 event to unveil the second-generation Apple Watch, according to sources with knowledge of the plans. The second version of the Apple Watch would then ship by April, nearly a year after the original model first went on sale. Apple has also been working on a new “iPhone 6c” with a 4-inch display, which also could appear at this event, according to the sources…

Normally I would call ‘bollocks’, but Mark has had an exciting track record last year.


More Details on the Smart Battery Case From the Verge →

December 8, 2015 · 15:31

Lauren Goode lists all of the features — and there a few of them — of the Smart Battery Case, and summarises:

Apple’s smart battery case is good, then, if you want a softer case or a “passive” battery charging experience, with zero control over or understanding of how the case actually charges your phone. Maybe that’s what Apple is hoping: that buyers of this thing will slip it on and never take it off, charging their iPhones entirely through the case’s Lightning port going forward, forgetting about its big ol’ bump in the back. They will be pleased, finally, with their iPhone 6’s or 6S’s battery life, and the memory of spending an extra $99 for it, rather than having it just work that way in the first place, will eventually fade away.

For the record: I just wish the 6S had the battery life of the 6S Plus.


Joanna Stern on the iPhone 6S Smart Battery Case →

December 8, 2015 · 14:55

Joanna Stern:

Even better, Apple fixes many of the issues I’ve had with cases over the years. It uses the same Lightning cable as the iPhone to charge, and it tells you how much power is remaining right on the phone’s screen. Besides, the case doesn’t feel like the stuff plastic forks are made of.

The Lightning cable is what made me want one, but the fact that it shows the amount of power left right on the iPhone’s screen is a great addition.

Still, I’ll take it over all the ugly messes sold by Mophie, Anker and others, especially since it provides better protection for the phone. A lip curves just above the screen to prevent the glass from hitting a hard surface and an interior lining provides better shock absorption than hard plastic. Plus, the grippy material is much easier to hold and doesn’t feel like it will slip from my hands.

I have a Mophie case and I can’t stand the plastic.

Here’s the best part about the design: There are no blinking LED lights on the case to tell you how much power is remaining. As soon as you attach it, the percentage of power remaining in the phone and the case is displayed on the iPhone’s lock screen. You can also see both battery levels by swiping down in the notification center.

Apple even integrated a passive antenna into the case so cellular reception doesn’t suffer.

Apple’s attention to detail is still alive and kicking.


Living With Depression [video] →

December 8, 2015 · 14:31

CallMeKat:

Hope this helps you understand the process. I made this because many people seem to think that being depressed is something you choose and that in the end, it all comes down to looking out the window and listening to sad music.

The truth is, it’s very much beyond your control.


‘Windows Trackpads Have Been Terrible for What Feels Like Forever’ →

December 8, 2015 · 14:00

Tom Warren:

Windows trackpads have been terrible for what feels like forever. Luckily, the Dell XPS 13 trackpad feels like the perfect size. It’s still the same large glass pad with a soft finish like earlier in the year, but Dell has definitely improved the driver situation, so the trackpad performs very smoothly across Windows 10. I still notice some occasional scrolling issues in Chrome, but I have those problems with every Windows laptop I use. The cursor doesn’t randomly jump across the screen anymore, and two-finger scrolling is smooth everywhere it needs to be. I’ve tested many Windows laptops this year, and this is without a doubt one of the best experiences for using gestures and just simply scrolling. You would think Microsoft’s own Surface Book trackpad would be better, but Dell has done a great job of balancing the size and position relative to the small form factor of this laptop.

I should note here, though, that Dell had to replace my XPS 13 due to a trackpad issue. The original unit clicked and felt slightly loose, and even the replacement unit felt like that out of the box but appeared to oddly remedy itself.

I’ve been using a Surface Pro 4 trackpad recently and while using a single finger on it is fine, using two or more is an absolutely terrible experience.

Tom Warren notes that he ‘notices scrolling issues in Chrome but has them on every Windows laptop that he uses’ — this sounds as if he’s just given up and accepted their inferior quality for whatever reason. I find this completely unacceptable. Apple’s trackpads have been near perfect for years and their’s is the only one which I actually want to use instead of a mouse. Accepting anything less than excellence is not good enough.


Mailbox and Carousel Will Be Shutdown by Dropbox →

December 7, 2015 · 21:23

Drew Houston & Arash Ferdowsi:

To our Carousel and Mailbox users, thank you for embracing these products—and we’re sorry. It’s not easy to say goodbye to products we all love. But ultimately, we think this increased focus will help us create even better experiences for you in the months and years to come.

I never used Carousel, but I was always a big supporter of Mailbox and hoped that one day they would transform it into what email could and should have been. While waiting, I switched over to FastMail with my own custom domain — it has been much better than I could have expected. But it’s still not what I want – a combination of Slack and email, which would make life easier.

P.S. FastMail kills Gmail in every regard. It also has Push in Mail.app on iOS for a while now.


Running Very Long Distances Can Make Your Brain Shrink →

December 7, 2015 · 10:34

Akshat Rathi:

They found that, for the first 2,500 kilometers, runners’ cartilage—the shock-absorbing material found between bones—degraded. But after that, the cartilage actually started to recover.

“It was thought that cartilage could only regenerate during rest,” lead researcher Uwe Schütz told New Scientist. “We have shown for the first time that it can regenerate during running.” The researchers revealed their results at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Extraordinarily, they also found that a runner’s brain shrinks as much as 6% by the end of the race.

What’s amazing is how little we still know about how our bodies actually function.


Rebooted Like a Fucking PC →

December 7, 2015 · 10:07

Don Melton:

The plan was to fix the short circuit in my heart by resetting it with a strong jolt of electricity. So strong, in fact, that I would need to be briefly put under to prevent trauma. Apparently it hurts. A lot.

By this time I’d had so many needles jabbed into me and so much hair peeled away by multiple ECG sensors, that strapping me to a work bench and rebooting me like a fucking Windows PC didn’t seem all that strange or unpleasant.

And it wasn’t. I don’t remember a thing.

Glad he’s OK. Hope to meet him someday and talk about transcoding.


‘You Get Almost Star-Struck When You Meet R2-D2’ →

December 5, 2015 · 08:43

TIME:

“The moment you meet BB-8, you build up some form of weird human connection,” says Marco Grob, who photographed the new Star Wars character for this week’s TIME cover. “It has one eye that has this really cute way of looking at you. It’s just incredible.”

Watching both droids run around the studio is great — BB-8’s whimsical antics made me laugh.


iPad Pro and USB 3 Over Lightning →

December 5, 2015 · 08:13

John Gruber:

I don’t know when we’ll see Apple take advantage of this new Lightning port (the cable that ships with the iPad Pro is still just USB 2), but I think it’s every bit as capable as USB-C. I bet it can handle not just USB 3, but also Thunderbolt and DisplayPort/HDMI 4K.

I’ll gladly accept faster transfer speeds, even though I do close to everything over Wi-Fi anyway. I hate the fact that an optional cable will be necessary to take advantage of them. Reminds me of the time that I bought an iPad charger for my iPhone — it really should be included in the box.