Forget the Ones and Sixes, Show Me the Sevens and E’s

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New flagship Android phones are being announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, right now. There's the new HTC One M9, which is a nice evolution of the One line, which is fine (but apparently now playing catchup camera-wise after two generations of a noble and failed experiment with "ultrapixels"). The Samsung Galaxy S6 is also coming any moment, with an all- or mostly-metal build and one version with the "Edge" side screens. That's a yawn for me.Here's what does interest me (and … [Read more...]

Sundar Pichai’s Verbal Black Hole

Google's head-of-pretty-much-everything, Sundar Pichai, gave a lengthy interview to Forbes, which I was really excited about. As a new-ish fan of Android, a heavy user of Google services, and someone who is very bullish on Chromebooks, I was very interested to hear what the man at the center of it all might have to say about the company's grand vision.And Christ, it was hard to get through. Interviewer Miguel Helft asks Pichai to name a few of Google's big priorities, and I dare you to stay … [Read more...]

Adapting to Reading on Screens (or, Nostalgic for the Smell of AMOLED)

Turns out that the young folks these days prefer to read longform material in print, not, as one might expect, on the screens of their devices. In fact, they seem to be the demographic that most prefers print to digital reading. I find it a tad baffling, but as one of the subjects of Michael S. Rosenwald’s piece in the Washington Post notes, unlike a smartphone or a tablet, a print book asks nothing more of you than to be read. No Twitter streams or YouTube distractions to be found there. I do g … [Read more...]

Just Let People Use Their Damn Gadgets

Here’s Federico Veticci on iPads as cameras: And yes, I think I’d look silly shooting photos with an iPad in public. But, to put it bluntly, whatever. At the end of the day, any device that facilitates memories is a welcome addition to our computing lives. I’d always been put off by the hostility from tech elites about people taking pictures with their iPads’ and tablets’ cameras. (Excepting of course at events like concerts where they rudely obstruct others’ views.) People own tablets, they wa … [Read more...]

Oliver and I are Going to Die

Oliver Sacks thinks differently from me. He will be dead soon. He’s handling it much better than I would: I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight. I am, to the best of my knowledge, no nearer to death than any other reasonably healthy 37-year-old American male, but I almost never feel “intensely alive.” If any … [Read more...]

Apple and the Heresy of Control

In an episode of the podcast Clockwise this week, the panel offered their opinions as to what Apple as a company should be wary of that might threaten its titanic dominance of the consumer tech space. The answers were fine, mostly dealing with how Apple needed to be careful about letting too many things die on the vine, or letting hubris cloud its ability to maintain its level of quality. But I couldn’t help but feel like the distillation of the responses could be summed up as, “Apple might get t … [Read more...]

You Got Taylor Swift in My Trent Reznor!

I am not generally impressed by Taylor Swift. I like some Nine Inch Nails and respect Trent Reznor, but I also think the whole act is a little overwrought and silly sometimes.I had no idea that the two, not unlike peanut butter and chocolate, could be so good together.And now, of course, "Shake it Off" is stuck in my head, and I'm beginning to get why the people like this Swift person so much. God dammit. … [Read more...]

Apple’s Well-Earned (If Worrisome) Stranglehold

Ewan Spence declares that Apple has “taken down” Android, and it’s hard to argue with him: Through careful financial management, Apple built up the resources to invest heavily in component hedging. The ability to buy components years in advance and have a monopoly on supplies of a product, has been used time and again to keep Apple’s bill of materials low while restricting the availability of new technology to its rivals. …If you’re competing against Apple, you’re not going to be allowed to … [Read more...]

Why Not-Being in the Future Completely Sucks

Adam Frank at NPR's 13.7 blog on why we shouldn't be hung up about death, even though there's no afterlife: [E]ven though none of us existed 1,000 years ago, you don't find many people worrying about their nonexistence during the Dark Ages. Our not-being in the past doesn't worry us. So, why does our not-being in the future freak us out so much? Oh pick me! I know!Because we experience time linearly, in one single direction, so we'd have no reason to be concerned about not existing in the … [Read more...]

My Deep, Insightful, and Entirely Novel Think-Piece on Living One Day without a Mobile Device

It fucking sucks! I hate it! It's total bullshit! Who are you people??? What is going on??? Oh my GOD I just hate EVERYTHING.I sold my iPad, and now I'm waiting a day for a return and exchange on a phone to go through. Thus, no mobile device. Ugh! Why would anyone voluntarily do this?Gah!!! … [Read more...]