June 8, 2016

Link: Cartography Comparison: Google Maps & Apple Maps ☍

Justin O’Berne goes in depth on the differences between the two mapping products:

It’s interesting: I can easily find hundreds of articles that’ll tell me the differences between an Apple iPad and a Microsoft Surface, or even the differences between iOS and Android. But I can’t find anything comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps, despite how important they’ve become.

Although there isn’t a conclusion as to which is better, it does provide a fascinating look at what items are labeled at what zoom level and the differing philosophies behind each.

June 6, 2016

Link: iPads for India ☍

Fraser Speirs is doing some great work with old iPads:

I’m starting a new short-term project to raise money to send iPads to the Barefoot College in India.

My friend Srini Swaminathan recently asked me if we had any iPads that we could donate to the project he’s working with in India. We didn’t actually have any right then but we are coming up to the end of our lease at school and I thought there might be an opportunity.

Our lease requires that we either send the iPads back to the leasing company or buy the lease out. To buy out, we would need to pay back the fair market value of the iPads, which is currently about £100 per unit and we have 110.

I spoke to our leasing company and they generously offered a cut in the buyout price to support my plan and my intention is to try and crowd-fund the rest of the money from people who read this blog, listen to my podcasts and follow me on Twitter.

June 3, 2016

Link: The Shiny New Apple on North Michigan Avenue ☍


How well do you remember 2003? It was the year that 13 people were killed and 57 hurt when a porch collapsed in Lincoln Park. R.E.M. played the United Center. And in one of the most Mayor Daley events in Mayor Daley history, Mayor Daley ordered a team of bulldozers to destroy Meigs Field airport in the middle of the night.

It was also the year that Apple (then called Apple Computer) opened its Chicago flagship store at 679 North Michigan Avenue. It is store number 59, and the only Apple Store with an Apple logo-shaped window. […]

Soon the Apple Store that was the height of Steve Jobs’ retail aesthetic will be no more. The post-Jobs Apple is busy right now building a magnificent new semi-underground shopping experience a few blocks south. And right now the best guess is that the old Apple Store, and everything else on the western half of the block, will be bulldozed to make way for something grander. Better. Taller.

Growing up just outside of Chicago, this was the Apple Store in the area and I had the opportunity to visit a few times, but the most memorable visit was about a week after the original iPhone launch. It’ll be sad to see this store go, but if the replacement is anything like the other new locations, it’ll be an excellent upgrade.

May 31, 2016

Link: I Made You a Mixtape ☍

Federico Viticci shares the appeal of the mixtape and how it’s become a lost art:

The idea was, when you create a connection between people and connections between objects and melodies, you can make music with anything and anyone. His lesson for us wasn’t to play a flute that we had been told to buy – he was trying to say that there’s music everywhere and in every one of us if we allow ourselves to go look for it. There can be always music.

May 23, 2016

Link: Apple to Replace iPads With MacBooks in Maine Classrooms ☍

Tim Hardwick for MacRumors:

Apple and the Maine Department of Education have offered to swap school iPads for MacBooks at no additional cost, after it emerged that students and teachers overwhelmingly favor the use of laptops in class.

According to a report in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, schools in Auburn and other districts in Maine are set to benefit from the “Refresh” swap, following surveys of students and teachers across grades 7 through 12, which revealed that 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students preferred laptops over iPads.

iPads were perceived to have poor educational value in the classroom and were often used to play games in class, while laptops allowed students better opportunities for school work. The preference gap widened even more when it came to older students, who saw laptops as better devices for coding and programming tasks.

Although I know there are many, many teachers that work hard and put in way more time than their paychecks reflect, it sounds like a handful from the original article are morons with technology. You can’t turn an iPad into a viable education device for the classroom? Once again, the iPad gets dinged because it’s not a “real computer” and it sounds like some of the teachers and administrators wrote it off before they took the time to learn about some of the content-creation capabilities. Besides that, one could assume that nobody planned the deployment, instead leaving the iPads fully open for students to do whatever they wanted. Although I applaud Apple for sticking their neck out to keep the the Maine Department of Education as a customer, I worry the MacBook deployment will be just as sloppy. Furthermore, what makes anyone think students won’t play games or socially loaf on their MacBooks?