Instapaper sold to Betaworks | →

April 26, 2013 |

This was even more surprising than WWDC selling out in under two minutes:

I’m happy to announce that I’ve sold a majority stake in Instapaper to Betaworks. We’ve structured the deal with Instapaper’s health and longevity as the top priority, with incentives to keep it going well into the future. I will continue advising the project indefinitely, while Betaworks will take over its operations, expand its staff, and develop it further.

I’m genuinely happy for Marco. He’s done a terrific job with Instapaper, and now he knows it’s time for him to move on. That takes courage. I have the utmost respect for him, and I truly wish him the best for the future.

Thanks for everything, Marco.

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The 2014 iBeetle Is Like an iPhone on Wheels | The NY Times →

April 24, 2013 |

This has the potential to be really cool. The Beetle is an iconic car, probably my favorite car since its last redesign a couple years ago. Next year’s model looks promising:

Volkswagen said it collaborated with Apple to create the iBeetle, making it possible to use an iPhone to listen to music, navigate, make hands-free calls and even monitor the car’s engine functions.

This would probably be my first choice if I were in the market for a new car.

However, look at the first picture. That’s a promotional picture for the car. Isn’t it weird? Look closely, focus on the people in the background.

Yep, they’re riding their bicycles along the beach in a wonderfully sunny day. And they’re not even looking at the car.

‘nuff said.

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McDonald’s French Fries Holder Lets You Enjoy Fries As You Drive →

April 24, 2013 |

John Yong, writing for Design Taxi:

To help people gain ‘easier access’ to their fries while driving, McDonald’s Japan will be introducing a new ‘potato holder’.

Sounds great. The next big thing will be adding a defibrillator to the console, to help you out with your next heart attack.

Via Coudal.

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Rule #1: Don’t Be A Profiteering Asshole →

April 17, 2013 |

MG Siegler, on the real motives behind the live coverage of the explosions during the Boston Marathon that ran in most tech sites as events unfolded:

At some point, you’d hope that bloggers, as human beings, would be shocked and appauled enough by what’s unfolding before their eyes that they would lay down their keyboards and stop playing the pageview game, if only for a few hours. Instead, I’m afraid the opposite instincts kicked in. To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm from _Jurassic Park_: they were so preoccupied with whether or not they _could_ that they didn’t stop to think if they _should_.

Well said.

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I do not fear death →

April 04, 2013 |

Roger Ebert back in September, 2011:

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

What an amazing piece. The ending is priceless.

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Disney Shuts Down LucasArts | Kotaku →

April 04, 2013 |

Staff were informed of the shutdown this morning, according to a reliable Kotaku source. Some 150 people were laid off, and both of the studio’s current projects—Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313—were cancelled. Disney will still use the LucasArts name to license games, but the studio is no more.

There goes one of the most iconic game development studios ever, single handedly responsible for the golden age of the graphic adventure genre: The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Grim Fandango… A piece of my childhood is gone with them.

Ironically, this simpler, more intelligent way of gaming is seeing a significant resurgence in the last few years, coinciding with the explosion of smartphones and tablets as gaming devices. And it’s easy to understand why: these devices are still severely constrained in terms of raw CPU power when pitted against current dedicated gaming consoles or desktop computers. That makes them ideal for playing this type of games, where the focus is on the story and the experience, and not so much on the graphics.

Man, I loved those games.

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The cellphone is forty years old today | The Verge →

April 03, 2013 |

Wow. Forty years. That doesn’t seem possible:

On April 3rd, 1973, Motorola engineer Marty Cooper placed the first public call from a cellphone. In midtown Manhattan, Cooper called Joel Engel — head of rival research department Bell Labs — saying “Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone.” The call was placed on a Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which weighed 2.5 pounds, a far cry from today’s 4-ounce handsets.

History in the making. That reminds me that the future is ours to invent. Wall will we be talking about forty years from now? It must be something mind-bogglingly great, because if we could imagine it today, we would get there sooner.

We live in interesting times, alright.

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Leap Seconds | What If? xkcd →

March 27, 2013 |

This leads to all kinds of little headaches, particularly for programmers. For example, the clock in your smartphone’s GPS is 16 seconds out of sync with the phone’s system clock. This is because the system clock uses Coordinated Universal Time (which has leap seconds), but GPS time doesn’t. They were in sync in January of 1980 and probably never will be again.

Yep, it’s been one of those mornings.

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Ships | What If by xkcd →

March 27, 2013 |

Sea levels will likely rise a few feet by the year 2100. Current fish wet biomass is about 2 billion tons, so removing them won’t make a dent either. (Marine fish biomass dropped by 80% over the last century, which—taking into consideration the growth rate of the world’s shipping fleet—leads to an odd conclusion: Sometime in the last few years, we reached a point where there are, by weight, more ships in the ocean than fish.)

I laughed when I first read this. Then I read it again and it scared the crap out of me.

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