Netflix Starts Blocking VPNs, Proxies, and Other Unblocking Services →

January 22, 2016 · 14:16

Sebastian Anthony:

Last week, on January 14, Netflix said that it would begin cracking down on customers who use VPNs, proxies, or other “unblocking” services to view content that shouldn’t be available in their country. The move is almost certainly to appease copyright holders and broadcasters. Way back in 2014, Sony Pictures accused Netflix of “semi-sanctioning” piracy by allowing “illegal subscribers” to view geoblocked content.

The first report of Netflix blocking a VPN comes from uFlix, an Australian VPN service that charges AUD$2 (£1) per month for the ability to view Netflix content from around the globe…

Still working fine for me. There are a lot of proxy, VPN and SmartDNS providers out there — hopefully some will remain to let us watch content we’re paying for, wherever we are in the world.


Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search on iPhone →

January 22, 2016 · 09:43

Joel Rosenblatt writing for Bloomberg:

Google Inc. is paying Apple Inc. a hefty fee to keep its search bar on the iPhone.

Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court.

I assume DuckDuckGo isn’t. It also doesn’t track you. You can set it up as your default search engine on iOS and OS X.

Update

For those of you wondering how much this influences Apple’s finances, Horace Dediu has a nice illustration.


DPreview Interviews Fujifilm Execs →

January 21, 2016 · 10:52

Barney Britton:

Last week, Fujifilm announced several new products including two major new cameras – the X-Pro2 and X70. DPReview was at the launch event in Tokyo where we made time to sit down with two senior Fujifilm executives – Mr. Toru Takahashi and Toshihisa Iida. As well as the new cameras, we also spoke about Fujifilm’s long-term ambitions, which cameras sell best in which countries and Samsung’s apparent exit from the camera market.

After reading the interview, I can see how they’re passionate about their products. And it explains my feelings about Fuji, which I wrote about yesterday, too.


Apple Opening Europe’s First iOS App Development Center in Italy →

January 21, 2016 · 08:59

Apple Press Release:

Apple® today announced the creation of Europe’s first iOS App Development Center in Italy, to give students practical skills and training on developing iOS apps for the world’s most innovative and vibrant app ecosystem.

The iOS App Development Center, to be located at a partner institution in Naples, will support teachers and provide a specialized curriculum preparing thousands of future developers to be part of Apple’s thriving developer community. In addition, Apple will work with partners around Italy who deliver developer training to complement this curriculum and create additional opportunities for students. Apple expects to expand this program to other countries around the world.


The New Fuji X-Pro2 and Why It Will Probably Be My Next Camera

January 20, 2016 · 14:09

I was a Nikon D700 user until recently, having made the switch from Canon in 2009. There were multiple reasons for this. At the time, the D700 was a much better full frame camera than the 5D. The former was basically a smaller pro body with a few features cut to lower the price, while the latter was a Canon 20D with a large sensor. Everything about the D700 was better, including the glass that I was lusting for. My main reason for making the switch was the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8G — a zoom lens sharper than many primes. I sold (still selling the lenses) my whole kit recently and switched to my Fuji X100T, which my wife got us a few months ago.

Continue reading →


Apple Watch Hermes Available to Purchase Online This Friday →

January 20, 2016 · 12:11

Maria Bobila:

Mark your calendars for this Friday, Jan. 22. Instead of having to visit a select boutique in a major city like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Miami for an Apple Watch Hermès, you’ll be able to easily shop for one online at both Hermes.com and Apple.com. The entire collection will be available for purchase, which includes three styles of handmade leather straps: the “Single Tour” or loop (starting at $1,100), the “Double Tour” ($1,250) and the “Cuff” ($1,500). Each style comes with a brand-exclusive, customizable watch face.

I tried the ‘Cuff’ on in Paris and I instantly loved the leather band, even though it’s not my style — it just oozed of luxury. If you know where to look, you’ll be able to get the band itself for a fraction of the price, but please note that the quality of the leather scales comparably.


App Store Deals — 20/01/2016 — Lots of Amazing Apps

January 20, 2016 · 08:51

Today’s App Store Deals is amazing — many of my favourite tools are discounted. I usually suggest paying the full price for software, especially if it’s from small software houses or indie devs, since this will help them update the apps in the future and release new versions. But if money is an issue then this is your chance to get some great software for half the price.

1Password – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.991 →
2Do – iOS – Productivity – €14.99 > €7.99
2Do – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Affinity Designer – Mac – Graphics & Design – €49.99 > €24.992 →
Amount Plus – Unit Converter – iOS – Productivity – €1.99 > €0.99
Astropad Graphics Tablet – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.993 →
Calendar 366 Plus – Mac – Productivity – €6.99 > €1.99
Clear – Tasks, Reminders – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Clear – Tasks, Reminders – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Copied – Copy and Paste Everywhere – iOS – Utilities – €0.004 →
Copied – Copy and Paste Everywhere – Mac – Utilities – €7.99 > €3.995 →
DaisyDisk – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.996
Deliveries: a package tracker – iOS – Utilities – €4.99 > €1.997 →
Drafts 4 – Quickly Capture Notes – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.998 →
Due – Reminders, Countdown Timers – iOS – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Duet Display – iOS – Productivity – €15.99 > €7.99
iA Writer – iOS – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.999 →
iA Writer – Mac – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.9910 →
iTranslate – translator & dictionary – Mac – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Moleskine Timepage – iPhone – Productivity – €4.99 > €1.99
Notability – Mac – Productivity – €5.99 > €2.99
Noteshelf – iPad – Productivity – €7.99 > €3.99
PCalc – The Best Calculator – iOS – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.9911 →
PCalc – Mac – Utilities – €9.99 > €4.9912
Screens VNC – Mac – Utilities – €29.99 > €14.9913 →
Things – iPad – Productivity – €19.99 > €9.99
Things – iPhone – Productivity – €9.99 > €4.99
Things – Mac – Productivity – €49.99 > €24.99
Yoink – Mac – Utilities – €6.99 > €2.99

Cheers!

  1. Probably the best password manager; can’t live without it.
  2. A nice alternative to Adobe’s offerings. Bought it recently and I don’t regret it one bit.
  3. Use your iPad as a tablet for your Mac. Supports iPad Pro and Pencil.
  4. Started using Copied recently, since my other manager stopped working. Great app, worth every cent. Syncs over iCloud. Not on sale — included in the list because it’s a great companion to the Mac version.
  5. A great add-on to the iOS version. Syncs over iCloud.
  6. Love it.
  7. I use this for all my tracking needs.
  8. One of the great ones.
  9. A great alternative to Ulysses.
  10. A great alternative to Ulysses. Didn’t I say that already?
  11. James isn’t bragging — it really is a great calculator.
  12. Still great.
  13. I use this to connect to my Mac from my iOS devices. Works perfectly.

American Game Developer Freed From Iranian Custody After Four Years →

January 19, 2016 · 22:23

Kyle Orland:

Hekmati, who was born and raised in the US, was first imprisoned in August 2011 after he purportedly confessed to high-level espionage for the US government. According to the confession, Hekmati’s company, Kuma Reality Games, was working with the CIA to release “games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the US does in other countries is a good measure.”

This isn’t a movie plot. Sounds like one though. There’s so much we don’t know…


Donald Trump Says He Will Get Apple to Build Hardware in the US →

January 19, 2016 · 13:57

T.C. Sottek:

Speaking at Liberty University today, Trump escalated his rhetoric on Apple’s overseas manufacturing, and claimed somehow the US would reclaim those jobs in the future. “We have such amazing people in this country: smart, sharp, energetic, they’re amazing,” Trump said. “I was saying make America great again, and I actually think we can say now, and I really believe this, we’re gonna get things coming… we’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”

In the voice of ‘Pinky and The Brain’: And then he’ll try to take over the world!


Suicide Pact →

January 16, 2016 · 20:53

Julia Medew:

They lived their lives well, and on their own terms.

Now their daughters waited on the beach. Their greatest fear was not that their beloved parents would die, but that they – or worse, one of them – would not. The Shaw sisters trusted their parents and had faith in their plan but they were still aware of the many things that could go wrong. What if the drug their mother had buried in her garden for fear of a police raid had lost its potency? What if one of them survived to be accused of killing the other?

An extremely sad story, but it’s worth reading.


French Government Rejects Crypto Backdoors →

January 16, 2016 · 20:52

Glyn Moody:

Speaking on behalf of the French government, the deputy minister for digital affairs Axelle Lemaire has rejected an amendment to the new “Law for the Digital Republic,” which called for computer companies to provide backdoors to encrypted systems.

A sensible decision, which is surprising considering the bullshit politicians have been saying lately.


Matthew Panzarino’s Sources Indicate Apple Watch 2 Is Not Coming in March →

January 16, 2016 · 12:55

Matthew Panzarino:

Several things that I’ve heard (from several sources) indicate to me that we won’t see a new hardware model of the Apple Watch in March. Design partnerships, accessories, that kind of thing maybe but not a “Watch 2.0” with a bunch of new hardware features like a camera. I could be wrong, of course, but I’ve heard enough to put it out there.

As a consumer, I’m fine with the Watch being on a two-year cycle. As a fan of the product, I’m curious as to what’s coming next. Having said that, I don’t think incremental updates are the way to go — I’d prefer to see substantial improvements between generations.


Microsoft Is Bringing Its Windows Phone Keyboard to iOS →

January 16, 2016 · 12:53

Tom Warren:

One of my favorite features in Windows Phone is its truly excellent keyboard. It’s far more accurate and easy to use than the default iOS keyboard and many Android alternatives, but you’ve had to use Windows Phone to take advantage of it so far. Microsoft is planning to make its Word Flow keyboard available on other platforms, starting with iOS.

The problem with iOS third-party keyboards is that they mostly suck due to the system’s restrictions. And they’re usually even worse for foreign languages.


Rey’s Instant Bread in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Wasn’t CGI →

January 16, 2016 · 12:27

Victoria McNally:

“You wouldn’t believe how long it took to actually perfect that one, that little tiny gag in the film,” Corbould said. “It started off with the mechanics of getting the bread to rise and the liquid to disappear, but then there was the ongoing problem of what color should the bread be? What consistency should it be? Should it have cracks in it? Should it not have cracks in it?”
“It took about three months,” he added. “The actual mechanics of it was fairly simple, but the actual cosmetic side took a lot longer.”

Mind. Blown.


iTunes Radio for Apple Music Subscribers Only →

January 16, 2016 · 12:25

Brendan Klinkenberg:

iTunes Radio, Apple’s Pandora-style internet radio service, is going behind the $10 per month Apple Music paywall on January 29th.

“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, listeners can access dozens of radio stations curated by our team of music experts, covering a range of genres, commercial-free with unlimited skips. The free three-month trial of Apple Music includes radio.”


Ulysses’ Backups Are Automatic on Both Mac and iOS →

January 14, 2016 · 14:14

Frank Steffens:

With Ulysses, you can write all kinds of texts, even novels. For you as a writer, your works certainly are very valuable, to the point that loosing them is not an option. For this reason, Ulysses will automatically back up your entire library. You can be sure that your works are safe.

This is my current go-to text editor and I did not know about this. I really hope they add Dropbox integration to the iOS version of Ulysses though — that’s the only thing that’s currently missing and it totally screws with my workflow.


Nest Thermostat Fails →

January 14, 2016 · 01:15

Nick Bilton:

The Nest Learning Thermostat is dead to me, literally. Last week, my once-beloved “smart” thermostat suffered from a mysterious software bug that drained its battery and sent our home into a chill in the middle of the night.

Although I had set the thermostat to 70 degrees overnight, my wife and I were woken by a crying baby at 4 a.m. The thermometer in his room read 64 degrees, and the Nest was off.

These kinds of things are what make me stop and think if I ever want a ‘smart home’.


PC Sales Drop by 8-10% in 2015, Macs Up by 6% →

January 13, 2016 · 10:34

Micah Singleton:

But none of those issues have affected Apple, which has kept growing its Mac sales despite declines in every other aspect of the PC industry. Apple is now the third largest PC maker in the US, passing Lenovo, according to both Gartner and IDC. Worldwide, the firms differ on Apple, with the IDC placing them in fourth place, while Gartner places them in fifth.

This is not counting iPads. They are in decline, but Apple should have easily taken the top spot were they included in the totals. And no, I don’t believe the iPad is dead.


Apple’s Tim Cook Lashes Out at White House Officials for Defending Encryption →

January 13, 2016 · 10:18

Jenna McLaughlin:

Apple CEO Tim Cook lashed out at the high-level delegation of Obama administration officials who came calling on tech leaders in San Jose last week, criticizing the White House for a lack of leadership and asking the administration to issue a strong public statement defending the use of unbreakable encryption.

The White House should come out and say “no backdoors,” Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others.

But Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by speaking of the “balance” necessary between privacy and national security – a balance that continues to be debated within the administration.

And they’re still probably using the recent and tragic Paris attacks as an excuse, despite the fact that the terrorists were using regular unencrypted SMS.


iOS 9.3 Preview on Apple.com →

January 12, 2016 · 14:52

This latest iOS release adds numerous innovations to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. There are improvements to a wide range of apps, along with great new additions to CarPlay. iOS 9.3 may even help you get a good night’s sleep. And you’ll find a preview of new features that will make using iPad in schools easier and better for students and admins.

I’m hoping that Apple is pushing forward with better keyboard (external and on-screen) for iPads.