23 July 2014

Link: Brooklyn’s Handmade Headphones ☍

Casey Johnston of Ars Technica visits Grado Labs:

Buried in a packed townhouse on a quiet street in south Brooklyn is a manufacturing operation that produces some of the most renowned headphones in the business. Despite Yelp reviews for the business, Grado Labs doesn’t sell directly from its location to consumers, though it does take the occasional walk-up request for repairs. For the most part, its long-time employees, including owner John Grado and his son Jonathan, tinker away through four crowded floors on audio gear that hasn’t appeared in advertising since the 1960′s.

22 July 2014

News: Apple Reports Q3 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter ending June 28, 2014. In the conference call, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share…

Link: Some Thoughts on ‘Stickers’ ☍

Matthew Panzarino:

It emphasizes the reliability of the MacBook Air by showing that some of them have scuffs and scrapes. It’s rare in that it shows Apple products in a non-retail-box condition. The only recent personalization example I can find is iPhones in cases, which are shown in its ‘Powerful’ ads — but those don’t show any actual ‘damage’. The way Apple products look after customization and ‘real world’ use isn’t often represented in Apple ads. As Jeff Carlson points out, these are likely someone’s real machines.

The first thing I thought of with this ad was that it was a less-’90s-cliché, skewing-younger, more playful (and literal) version of the “What’s on Your PowerBook?” ad campaign. It’s showing how a generic machine can mean so many different things to so many different people.

Link: Didn’t Read Facebook’s Fine Print? ☍

Amanda Scherker for The Huffington Post (via The Loop):

In your defense, Carnegie Mellon researchers determined that it would take the average American 76 work days to read all the privacy policies they agreed to each year.

Most of it is not surprising, but it seems Facebook is getting even more ad- and tracking-oriented. This article highlights the important things, so at least you’ll know what terms you’ve agreed to.

21 July 2014

Link: Stickers ☍

Apple’s new ad is a bit odd, showcasing the various ways people personalize their MacBook Airs with stickers, but I like it (not sure if it made Jony Ive cringe). I especially thought the vintage Apple logo nods are a nice way to subtly acknowledge the past. It’s also been posted on YouTube.

15 July 2014

News: IBM and Apple Get Together to Do Business

A little while ago, Apple and IBM announced that they’d be forming a partnership utilizing iOS devices and IBM’s services in enterprise use. While this does not mean that the PowerPC chip will be back in Macs, it seems that this could give Apple some more help in the enterprise sector…

10 July 2014

Link: Thord’s Screens ☍

Thord Daniel Hedengren reminded me that the AlphaSmart was once a thing:

I’ve recently added another screen to the arsenal. Behind it is probably the least capable computer I’ve ever owned, but it doesn’t matter because the screen is great for its purpose. The screen is LCD and for most purposes it shows four lines of text, no graphics, although I can change the system settings to squeeze out six lines. I don’t like that though, it’s too hard to read with the low resolution and the fact that the text has no padding whatsoever, thus almost touching the plastic casing. This little thing is a dumb keyboard computer called NEO, made by Alphasmart back in 2006 or something. I found it at a flea market for next to nothing. It does one thing and one thing well: It lets me write outdoors, because LCD performs fairly well in direct sunlight, and excellent in the shade. Add to that the supposedly 700 hour long battery life of this thing on three AA batteries, and you’ve got an outdoors typewriter right there. In fact, this is fairly close to the e-ink typewriter I’ve been dreaming of.

I remember these, but feel like most disappeared around the mid-aughts.

Link: Time For a New Challenge ☍

Myke Hurley:

Today I am announcing that I will be departing 5by5 on July 16th 2014.

The last 18 months have been a tremendous experience, but it is time for me to move on to new things. I have new goals that I want to tackle, and to be able to do this I need to be independent again.

I’ve enjoyed a number of Myke’s shows, many of which transitioned over from 70Decibels. Although I’ll be especially sad to see The Prompt wrapping up, I think it’ll be great to see what he does next.

Thanks, Myke!