Historic moments in photographs →

November 28, 2014 |

Bored Panda:

The photograph precipitated a dramatic change in how we perceive history. Amazing historic photos like these can make it seem like you were standing right there during that historic moment.

Books and paintings have documented history far further back, but there’s nothing like a photo to give you the sense that you’re looking at something real. A photo can still misdirect the viewer, but it’s still more faithful than a painting or book.

What a fantastic collection of pictures; it would be nearly impossible to pick one.

That said, this one of Nikola Tesla calmly sitting in his laboratory while being surrounded by lightning is pretty damn badass.

Via Josh Ginter.

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Web apps, native apps, and app ecosystems →

November 27, 2014 |

Glenn Fleishman compares the strengths and weaknesses of native apps vs Web apps from a development standpoint. In the end, what are the factors that may make a developer choose one over the other?

I’d argue that it boils down to several app ecosystem features, rather than native code advantages. When there’s a genuine choice between building a Web app or native app, and when audience and revenue are important, the ecosystem makes the difference.

Let me take The Magazine as an example, since I’ve lived with it for over two years, and most of that as its owner. What does Apple offer (and Google and other platforms as well)?

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The Sony A7 Mk II Gets Officially Announced in America →

November 26, 2014 |

Chris Gampat, The Phoblographer:

Earlier on this week, Sony announced the A7 Mk II in Japan. But today, they’re finally announcing it here in the US. The camera is the world’s first full frame mirrorless camera with image stabilization built into the sensor. It uses a five axis stabilization system they Sony claims is not the same that Olympus has despite the partnership between the two companies. The company also claims around 4.5 stops of stabilization from the new image stabilized sensor. It will work with all of the lenses that Sony has created as well as third party options, though they state that some lenses aren’t compatible.

Whoa. 5-Axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame mirrorless camera that is compatible with Leica M lenses. The whole package.

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Vanishing Spirits — The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch →

November 26, 2014 |

Ernie Button has an amazing photography project going on:

The idea for this project occurred while putting a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher. I noted a film on the bottom of a glass and when I inspected closer, I noted these fine, lacey lines filling the bottom. What I found through some experimentation is that these patterns and images that you see can be created with the small amount of Single-Malt Scotch left in a glass after most of it has been consumed. The alcohol dries and leaves the sediment in various patterns. It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results. I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. Some of the images reference the celestial, as if the image was taken of space; something that the Hubble telescope may have taken or an image taken from space looking down on Earth.

Extraterrestrial? Sounds about right:

It seems the Macallan planet would be a pretty eerie-looking world. Who would’ve thought? By the way, this reminds me, I have homework.

Via Kottke.

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Twitter may be tracking which apps are installed on your mobile device →

November 26, 2014 |

Twitter, on a support page for their “app graph”:

To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in. If you’re not interested in a tailored experience you can adjust your preferences at any time (read below). Additionally, if you have previously opted out of interest-based ads by turning on “Limit Ad Tracking” on your iOS device or by adjusting your Android device settings to “Opt out of interest-based ads,” we will not collect your apps unless you adjust your device settings.

This only applies to Twitter’s first party clients but still, it’s pretty worrisome and a blatant invasion of their users’ privacy. Even if most users were interested in having “tailored content” delivered to them, this is something that clearly should be opt-in.

Via Chris Gonzales.

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8-Bit Cinema, a collection of classic — and not so classic — movies retold in the fashion of 8-bit video games →

November 26, 2014 |

“8-bit Cinema” is a YouTube playlist by CineFix. It’s a collection of classic — and not so classic — movies retold in the fashion of 8-bit video games, which works surprisingly well.

Some really great movies are represented here, including The Matrix, Silence of the Lambs, The Dark Knight and many more. Unfortunately, their latest video is based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — the 2014 version.

After the excruciating experience of Transformers, I vowed to never again watch another Michael Bay movie, so this probably is as close as I’ll ever get to watching TNMT. Bay is involved as a producer and he’s already ruined enough childhood memories for me, thank you very much.

I’m not even going to embed the video here out of decorum but, as a personal favor to you, dear reader, I’ll leave you with the 8-bit remake of The Avengers instead:

Via Laughing Squid.

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Shawn Blanc's first Baron Fig notebook →

November 26, 2014 |

Shawn Blanc takes a trip down memory lane through the pages of his recently-finished Baron Fig notebook:

A brand new notebook is too nice to be used. Paper is so full of character. It’s tactile. Real. Fragile. Permanent and impermanent at the same time. It just begs to be used for something awesome. And I never feel that my silly ideas and temporary to-do lists qualify. But if not those, then what?

My Baron Fig and I made a pact. I would use it for the most mundane, menial, impermanent things I could think of. And if I ruined this book by filling it with nothing of consequence, then I would order another to sit on the shelf and collect dust as it waited patiently for something more historic and epic.

But the truth is, when it comes to using our everyday notebooks, quality is found in quantity; meaning in the mundane.

It’s a beautiful article.

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Attack of the 50-foot Save Sheet →

November 26, 2014 |

Jason Snell is having issues with his save sheets in Yosemite:

This morning I tried to save a file in BBEdit, only to discover that I couldn’t see half of the save sheet—it was so large, it went off the bottom of the screen.

It turns out—and thanks to Jon Gotow of St. Clair Software, maker of the excellent Default Folder X, for the answer to this—that there’s a bug in Yosemite that causes a sheet to grow taller by 22 pixels every time you use it.

If you’re experiencing the same issues, check out the rest of the article to learn how to fix it.

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The Apple Watch as a remote for Apple TV

November 26, 2014

During the latest episode of The Talk Show, John Gruber and Christa Mrgan talked about the possibility that the upcoming Apple Watch may be able to act as a remote for Apple TV. They mention Tim Cook making an offhand comment about this during an interview as the source of the idea.

The truth is, not only did Tim Cook say it, but Craig Federighi actually demoed that very same feature on stage in October, during the last Apple keynote. It was towards the end of the segment with the phone call with Stephen Colbert. You can see it in the video below, starting at about the 4:15 mark. Federighi is applying the final tweaks to his “Tripling Down on Secrecy” presentation and uses AirPlay to preview it on an Apple TV:

If you look closely, you’ll notice that he’s actually controlling the Keynote app with his Apple Watch, not just the Apple TV itself, which suggests that the remote capabilities of the Apple Watch will be more advanced than just a simple playback controller.

Gruber also wonders whether this will be a native feature or some add-on capability via an external app, but judging from the video, I definitely believe it will be baked into the watch itself from day one. The fact that it’s one of the very few things Apple has actually shown about the device strongly suggests so.

As for whether this feature will require a new Apple TV to work, I’d say that remains unclear but then again, nothing in the video suggests that there’s anything particularly special about the Apple TV Federighi is using. He just calls it “an Apple TV”, or even “my Apple TV”, almost suggesting that it’s the very same one we all already own. Of course, I wouldn’t say this is anywhere near being conclusive proof, but there you have it. Make of it what you will.

We’ll know soon enough, but this strikes me as a very easy choice for Apple. It would definitely make sense for them to use their existing installed base of Apple TV’s — there’s already a few million out there — to add another appealing feature to the watch and perhaps get even more people to buy it. Things may change very quickly after the watch’s release but as of right now, it’s the Apple TV that can help the Apple Watch gain traction in the market, not the other way around, and Apple knows it.

Personally, I think this will prove to be one of the most popular features of the Apple Watch in everyday use. I watch a ton of movies and TV shows on my Apple TV, and I’m always scrambling to find the remote. I can’t wait for it to be forever glued to my wrist.

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