VINE BE LIKE

Remember the month or so when Vine was good? When you had real artists using it, who managed to be funny and clever while constrained by a six-second clip? I was never one of them, but you had some seriously brilliant people on there.

Now every other video starts with “PARENTS BE LIKE…” or “TEACHERS BE LIKE…” or “BLACK GIRLS BE LIKE…”

Here’s a tip for you aspiring satirists out there: if you have to flag your satire as “I AM MAKING FUN OF SOMEONE AND THIS IS WHO IT IS, THE JOKE STARTS NOW” you’ve failed before you’ve begun.

Also, anyone who uses the “_____ be like” sentence structure should report to the main office to have their internet privileges revoked. Don’t worry, you can earn them back. But you definitely need a solid two-week suspension so you can think about what you’ve done.

Interesting note: of the nine stories here, three explicitly mention Windows Vista as a primary reason for switching from PC to Mac.

I wonder how many people, ten years from now, will say the same about Windows 8.

The iPhone mission statement, 7 years ago today. Look at the changes they’ve made from the original model to the 5s and 5c, and you can see this principle guiding every single one.

Just Say No To Upworthy.

Upworthy is everything that’s wrong with the internet.

"You won’t believe this one crazy thing Congress did! The most informative 5 minutes you’ll spend today! We could sum it up in the headline but then you might not click the link!"

- click, load, fullscreen ad pops up -

"Small children shouldn’t be slaughtered indiscriminately. Click ‘I agree’ to sign up for our email newsletter, or ‘I disagree’ to look at the thing you came here to see, you heartless monster.”

Just say no to clickbait headlines that read like sidebar ads on a porn site.
Just say no to websites that show you invasive and guilting newsletter prompts.
Just say no to any pseudo-journalistic aggregator site that makes money by exploiting the good intentions of college-age liberals.
Just say no to Upworthy.

It’s hard to overstate the gamble Jobs took when he decided to unveil the iPhone back in January 2007. Not only was he introducing a new kind of phone — something Apple had never made before — he was doing so with a prototype that barely worked. Even though the iPhone wouldn’t go on sale for another six months, he wanted the world to want one right then.

The iPhone could play a section of a song or a video, but it couldn’t play an entire clip reliably without crashing. It worked fine if you sent an e-mail and then surfed the Web. If you did those things in reverse, however, it might not. Hours of trial and error had helped the iPhone team develop what engineers called “the golden path,” a specific set of tasks, performed in a specific way and order, that made the phone look as if it worked.

Great read.

Between the Lines: What Apple told us today

1. The iPhone 5 and 5s’s crazy manufacturing process is expensive.

Apple apparently wasn’t just blowing smoke when they talked about the intense specifications they had for the iPhone 5 in production. The mirror-like polished edges and precise alignment of the glass segments with the metal back give Apple’s flagship a level of quality that to this day remains unmatched by anyone else. And this level of quality doesn’t lend itself well to a $100 price reduction. This is why we now have a free 4s and a $100 5c instead of a free 5c and $100 5.

The advantages here are myriad. The margins on the $550 5c are much juicier than the margins on a $550 iPhone 5 would have been, for one. Secondly, $99 for this year’s model is a much more appealing deal than $99 for last year’s model, even if this year’s is last year’s in a new body. And, of course, there’s the obvious avoidance of the “why get the 5s when the 5 is half the price and looks the same?” issue they faced in 2011.

2. Anodizing black aluminum is hard and not worth it. Anodizing gold aluminum is easy and worth it.

This was, to my knowledge, first put forward by Rene Ritchie on August 16th of this year:

According to our own Ally Kazmucha, who’s no stranger to the process, gold is among the easiest colors to anodize onto an iPhone. It involves simple chemical reaction, with the possible addition of dye depending on the exact color they want to produce. (True black, conversely, is the hardest, and takes the most time, which is likely why we currently have “slate” instead.)

Combine that with the general consensus that “scuffgate” affected the black iPhone more than the white and it’s not hard to see why Slate has been replaced with Space Gray (which really should have been called Graphite).

3. Apple is feeling no pressure from low-cost Android phones.

While I admit that I was a bit caught up in the “Apple’s going to put out a $399 iPhone!” mania myself, I’ve always insisted that Apple’s only genuine competition exists in the high-end. iPhone profits are stolen by the Samsung Galaxy S4, not the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim.

Lots of people are buying cheap Android handsets, this is true. Lots of people are buying cheap laptops, too, but that never spurred any action from Apple. Not to go all crazy with a list within a list, but from what I can see, Apple doesn’t care about that market for three primary reasons:

  • Cheap phones don’t have good profit margins.
  • Cheap phones typically suck* and Apple doesn’t do suck.
  • People who buy cheap phones are not typically going to then buy lots of apps, and apps being sold keeps developers happy and the ecosystem healthy.

* Yes, I know, Nexus 4. That’s different: Google is an ad company, not a hardware company. They can afford a pretty big loss on hardware.

The 5c might not gain as much traction as a $350 plastic iPhone 4S might have in emerging markets, but notice that word, “emerging”: the Chinese middle class is exploding, faster than anyone really seems to grasp. The market for high-quality phones is ever-expanding in Asia, and Apple will be there with the 5c and 5s to welcome them to Western consumerism.

Apple is very rich, very powerful, and very patient - they won’t short-sightedly try to capture Chinese audiences with a low-quality handset. Surveys have shown that more Android users switch over to iOS than the opposite, mostly thanks to sub-par experiences with budget devices. All those cheap Androids are going to drive more and more people to the iPhone as it becomes more and more accessible to them thanks to some newfound wealth.

4. iPhone 5c is the new iPhone for everybody.

We all saw the 5c leaks and we thought “cheap iPhone for Chinese market share!” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The 5c is, in fact, aimed directly at the American middle class, Apple’s bread and butter. This is the device that Apple’s promoting the hardest, the device that Apple shows you on the front page of their website, the device they’ve shown us a TV ad for.

Apple’s not stupid - they’ve seen how well the cheaper, older iPhones sell. A cheaper, newer iPhone? This thing is going to fly off the shelves. This is the iPod Mini of iPhones: derided as too expensive, dismissed as too close in price to the high-end model to tempt buyers, and - mark my words - incredibly successful.

I remember testing this out with Siri back in the iOS 5 days and it didn’t understand what I wanted, directing me to a web search.

This seems like a no-brainer feature: a lost phone will literally tell you who it belongs to and how to get in contact with them.

Glad to see it in iOS 7.

mnlst:

Elon Musk’s idea of a train running at high speeds in a tube placed on pillars isn’t that new, apparently. The main difference is that he could actually afford the technology and the money to build such a train.

(Amazing Stories, January, 1939)

So this is definitely a condom, right?

(via parislemon)

And even if a year from now it becomes slow and outdated, it’s still going to have a great screen, and it’s still going to stream Netflix in 1080p. That’s not much of a downside.

Seriously?

Sword & Sworcery is probably the best iOS game I’ve ever played, and it has a Mac/Windows/Linux version that’s every bit as good. You can get it here for dirt cheap, in a bundle along with ELEVEN albums from Jim Guthrie, the man behind the amazing music found in the game, and some documentary that’s probably good. Oh, and it’s for charity.

And it’s totally neckbeard friendly: All music comes in your choice of FLAC or MP3 (or both) and the albums, game, and documentary are totally DRM-free. You get to choose how your money is spent, deciding how much to give to Jim, how much to give to charity, and how much to give to Humble Bundle.

The albums are pay-what-you-want. To get the game and the documentary thrown in, you just need to pay more than the average price, which at time of posting is $3.51. For less than five bucks, this is an absolute steal.