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.

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!

5 July 2014

Link: Inspecting Yosemite’s Icons ☍

Nick Keppol at MartianCraft’s blog:

I want to focus on my favorite visual update in Yosemite — the dock icons. Before Yosemite, Apple maintained a system for icon design through a checklist of mostly unstated and understood guidelines paired with a few specific recommendations in the Human Interface Guidelines (HIG). With Yosemite, that system becomes more consistent, and regular, yet the HIG remains silent on the specifics.

This is a really good, in-depth look at Apple’s new icons and how they relate to the overall new design in OS X Yosemite.

3 July 2014

Link: Enable Hot Corners on OS X ☍

Stephen Hackett over on The Sweet Setup:

Hot Corners are basically shortcuts for your mouse. When set up, moving the cursor to a corner of the screen can trigger any number of actions…When triggered, the action is almost immediate, so some of them (like opening Launchpad) may be surprising until you become used to it.

This site has a number of great posts and worth adding on your regular reading list—I find Hot Corners especially handy on OS X and have used them for years, although initially, it does take some getting used to and can be particularly frustrating for others using your Mac.

Link: Seven Years of Magic ☍

Ben Brooks:

I’ve owned every iPhone since then, and I still have them all. My original iPhone is gone, but we still have Erin’s original iPhone. All the iPhones still get used everyday except that old original phone. On a whim I pulled it out last night, charged it, and updated it.

There were a lot of posts and stories about the original iPhone, but I really like this launch day tale and how it’s looked at from today.

28 June 2014

Link: Facebook Conducted a Psychology Experiment on Some Users ☍

William Hughes for The A.V. Club:

Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can! Which is great news for Facebook data scientists hoping to prove a point about modern psychology. It’s less great for the people having their emotions secretly manipulated.


27 June 2014

Link: Apple to Stop Development of Aperture (and iPhoto) ☍

Jim Dalrymple:

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture,” said Apple in a statement provided to The Loop. “When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS.”

The new Photos app will also replace iPhoto, giving users a more seamless experience on Apple devices. The app will allow you to edit and search your entire photos library in the cloud on any of your Apple devices.

I can criticize iPhoto and Aperture in a number of ways, but have enjoyed that they both made large strides to try to keep photos organized. I remember that original version of iPhoto was the first that I used—Apple dropped a CD into the box with the iBook I bought in February 2002. While there were a few missteps along the way, I did appreciate the ability for iPhoto and Aperture to share a library. Still, it will be sad to see a powerful tool like Aperture (which I was only starting to fully take advantage of) go by the wayside after years of stagnation.