Apple has just released iOS 7.1, the first major update to iOS 7. The new update provides a variety of security and stability fixes, some speed improvements, and UI tweaks that refine the new design introduced back in December. The update is available for all devices that can run iOS 7: the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S; the iPad 2, both Retina iPads, both iPad minis, and the iPad Air; and the fifth-generation iPod touch.
Fire up the Software Updater again, here comes the big one.
On Tuesday, Neil Young is set to unveil his long-gestating high-quality digital music player Pono at SXSW. But before he introduces it to the public, details have been announced. The device, called PonoPlayer, will reportedly cost $399 and come with 128GB of memory. They’ll start taking discounted pre-orders on March 15 via Kickstarter.
I saw this rendered image of the PonoPlayer accompany launch articles everywhere across the web. Apart from the unconventional shape of the player (looks like a mini Toblerone to me), there was something weird I noticed that I had to highlight. Check it out:
Oh no. No, no, no.
Visible file names with underscores? The ‘unknown artist’ field? No album artwork? At best, this is sloppy work on their rendered product shots. At worst, this is a clear indicator that the PonoPlayer UI will be a poor experience, and it’s making the same exact mistakes that all the iPod competitors (Creative, Samsung, iRiver, Archos & a thousand more) made back in 2002-2007.
The PonoPlayer is a purpose-built, portable, high-resolution digital-music player designed and engineered in a “no-compromise” fashion to allow consumers to experience studio master-quality digital music at the highest audio fidelity possible, bringing to life the true emotion and detail of the music, the way the artist recorded it.
I know Neil Young’s been waxing lyrical about the sound quality, and I’d be interested to know if the difference is as dramatic as he says. In the end though, I think there will always be a higher priority with devices: ease of use. If a portable music player is annoying to navigate through, it is dead in the water. This looks like it’d be a real slog.
Also: tech-related companies need to stop using the term “no-compromises”. Like the phrase “double-down” before it, those words are an absolute poison chalice.
Cook also knew the power of silence. He could do more with a pause than Jobs ever could with an epithet. When someone was unable to answer a question, Cook would sit without a word while people stared at the table and shifted in their seats. The silence would be so intense and uncomfortable that everyone in the room wanted to back away. Unperturbed, Cook didn’t move a finger as he focused his eyes on his squirming target. Sometimes he would take an energy bar from his pocket while he waited for an answer, and the hush would be broken only by the crackling of the wrapper.
Here’s why I care: it’d be simple for Yukari to espouse the ‘Apple is doomed without Steve’ narrative. It’d also be equally simple to say ‘Tim Cook makes Apple billions so shut up’ and call it a day. I don’t think either of those narratives ring completely true though, so I’m interested to see how an entire book dedicated to the subject walks the line.
Getty Images is dropping the watermark for the bulk of its collection, in exchange for an open-embed program that will let users drop in any image they want, as long as the service gets to append a footer at the bottom of the picture with a credit and link to the licensing page. For a small-scale WordPress blog with no photo budget, this looks an awful lot like free stock imagery.
Great news for websites like us. I think there’s a good chance we’ll be making use of this in the future.
Just to prove it works, here’s a picture from the Sochi Winter Olympics:
We couldn’t be more excited to launch this site, and hope that you will help us make VICE News as good as we can possibly make it. We are in this together, and as they say in French, “L’Union Fait la Force,” or “Unity Makes Strength.” So let’s go out there together and change the world.
Now is our time. Let’s take it.
Say what you want about VICE (Brooklyn hipsters, blah blah blah), but I really think they’re doing something special. Their Ukraine/Russia coverage is absolutely stunning, and running rings around any other news organisation at the moment.
Here’s my little prediction: I expect VICE to change international news & current events reporting in the same way that The Verge changed tech coverage.
Zachary Crockett on Alan Alder, inventor of the AeroPress:
The Melitta cone, a device you place over your cup with a filter and pour water into, has “an average wet time of about 4-5 minutes,” according to Adler. The longer the wet time, the more acidity and bitterness leech out of the grounds into the cup. Adler figured this time could be dramatically reduced, quelling bad-tasting byproducts.
It struck Adler that he could use air pressure to shorten this process. After a few weeks in his garage, he’d already created a prototype: a plastic tube that used plunger-like action to compress the flavors quickly out of the grounds. He brewed his first cup with the invention, and knew he’d made something special. Immediately, he called his business manager Alex Tennant.
Tennant tasted the brew, and stepped back. “Alan,” he said, “I can sell a ton of these.”
Before coffee, Alan Adler was a toymaker. He invented the Aerobie, an innovative flying disc. Then suddenly, way into his toymaking career, he put his unique skills towards creating a better single-cup coffee brewer and disrupted the whole coffee industry in the process. He also attributes a great deal of the success of the AeroPress to the internet. He said:
You would not believe the coffee shop owners in remote corners of the world who contact us and ask how they can buy some AeroPress coffee makers. I guess the message is those corners are no longer so remote with the internet.
Microsoft is planning to use pop-up warnings to entice Windows XP users to upgrade. The software maker is ending support of XP on April 8th, and will start distributing notices next week to machines running the 12-year-old operating system. Pop-up warnings will appear on March 8th following the monthly patch cycle of Windows Update, and the notification will include a link to Microsoft’s Windows XP end of support site.
Why do I get the feeling that there’s going to be a sudden upswing in electronic signage, cash registers & ATMs inadvertently showing the Windows XP desktop come next week?