AnandTech reviews the Samsung 850 EVO SSDs →

December 09, 2014 |

Well, it’s decidedly a mixed bag:

In other words, the 850 EVO falls into the infamous middle-class. It doesn’t have an obvious niche in the market because it’s too expensive for the value-oriented buyer and it’s not fast enough to be considered as a competitive high-end SSD. If Samsung shaved $30 to $50 off the price, the 850 EVO would be competitive against the other value drives because the five-year warranty and Samsung’s top-of-the-class software suite add some value, but with the current pricing there are just better options on the market.

That’s unfortunate, because Samsung SSDs have all been pretty good lately. Looking at the bright side, this may be a great opportunity to pick up one of last year’s excellent 840 EVOs instead, which have dropped quite a bit in price by now.

I own two 840 EVOs myself (both the 250GB model), which I used to upgrade my iMac and my MacBook Pro a few months ago, and I couldn’t be happier with them. I can recommend them without hesitation if you don’t want to wait for the 850 EVO, or if you don’t feel like paying the $30-$50 premium it currently commands.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Jason Snell's favorite Mac apps →

December 09, 2014 |

Solid recommendations all around from Jason:

I spend a lot of time at my Mac. I love my iPad and iPhone, but my Mac is still where I spend most of my time. Between writing and making podcasts, this is the place where my tools of choice reside. Since it’s the end of the year, I figured, why not mention a bunch of Mac apps that I use every day? If there were a gift-giving holiday coming up, you could even use that as an excuse to buy them.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Hollywood in Vivid Kodachrome →

December 08, 2014 |

Chris Rovzar, Vanity Fair:

Suddenly, in the late 1930s and the 1940s, the American viewing audience went from thinking of Hollywood in black and white to experiencing it in stunning, rich color. Kodachrome was the vessel that brought hyper-real, hyper-beautiful stars into movie houses, magazines, and homes. In a new book, Hollywood in Kodachrome, David Wills collects some of the most brilliant images from 1940s Hollywood, including stills of Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Marlene Dietrich, and Frank Sinatra.

It’s not Sinatra’s best picture, but I’ll take it anyway.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢
♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Apple forces Panic to remove iCloud Drive feature →

December 08, 2014 |

From the Panic Blog:

Transmit iOS 1.1.1 is out, fixing a few bugs in our surprisingly powerful file management app for your iPhone or iPad.

Also, at Apple’s request, we had to remove the ability to “Send” files to other services, including iCloud Drive.

In short, we’re told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 — “Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected” — but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive.

This is getting ridiculous. Marco Arment has a good theory on why these seemingly arbitrary rejections keep happening all the time:

One hand isn’t talking to the other: engineering makes great features available to developers that could be used to build amazingly useful and powerful applications, then the App Store bans anything beyond their most trivial uses.

This sure feels like the ramifications of an internal turf war. I hope the higher-ups at Apple realize how important it is to resolve this quickly, because their devices, users, and developers are all suffering unnecessarily.

Apple needs to get their act together on this, and soon.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The Best Everyday Carry Pocket Knives →

December 08, 2014 |

I’m not much of a knife person, but even I can recognize how thorough and meticulous Ben Brooks has been in this article for Tools and Toys. Great overview and some really cool looking images that almost make me want to go buy one right now — and an entire woodshed to go with it. If you’re in the market for a new pocket knife, check it out.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

How 8 Famous Photographers Have Changed Over the Past Year →

December 08, 2014 |

Speaking of The Phoblographer, this is an excellent article:

A year can change someone, especially if you’re a goal-driven photographer always trying to make progress. Every year, each photographer tries to make changes that move them forward, but some do better than others.

We talked [to] eight of the top photographers in the world about how they progressed and what they did that made a difference.

Great stories and advice in here, not to mention some truly gorgeous photographs.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Working for The Man should be a last resort →

December 08, 2014 |

David Cain:

According to my critics, even if you find your standard weekday boring, painful or unfulfilling, you ought to embrace it, simply because a third-world coal miner would kill for your benefits package. When so many have so little, attempting to escape a situation in which you can reliably feed yourself and fund a retirement could only be an act of the utmost ingratitude.

A minority of us believe the opposite is true — that escaping from an unfulfilling mainstream lifestyle isn’t a moral failing, but rather a moral imperative. It’s precisely because we have all the necessary freedoms at our fingertips (and because others don’t) that spending our lives in the stable isn’t just foolish, but wrong. To remain, voluntarily, in a life where your talents are wasted and your weekdays are obstacles is to be humble in all the wrong ways.

It’s impossible to overstate just how important David Cain’s writing has been to me since I decided to escape the corporate world myself.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The Phoblographer's First Impressions of the Sony A7 Mk II →

December 08, 2014 |

Seems exactly what many people were expecting: a slightly improved version of the original Sony A7 with built-in 5-axis in-body image stabilization:

What we’re very happy about though is the image stabilization that can surely endure most problems that you’ll encounter when shooting if you practice logical exposure manipulation.

I admit I was hoping for a more enthusiastic reaction, but it’s true that the A7 was already an excellent camera, so there was not much margin for improvement to begin with.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’ Gameplay Video →

December 06, 2014 |

Sony unveiled the first official gameplay demo of ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’ during today’s PlayStation Experience event. Even in its current unfinished state, the game looks absolutely stunning:

I’ve always enjoyed adventure games, but during the past decade I missed a lot of them. I took a seven-year hiatus from gaming between 2005 and 2012, during which time I didn’t even own a console. When I decided to start gaming again last year I thought about buying a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, but I figured this was a great opportunity to discover all the great games of the last generation that I had missed.

At that time, both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 were heavily discounted, and most games were easy to find in used condition for just a few bucks. The reason I chose the PS3 over the slightly cheaper Xbox 360 was just so that I could play through the Uncharted games, and I’m so gad I did. After finishing them all, I can confidently say Uncharted may be my favorite video game series of all time.

Judging from what I just saw on this video, it looks like Nathan Drake’s next adventure will be his best ever, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. I may have to seriously reconsider my decision to not buy the PS4 when this game comes out.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢