Angry Robot

Apple Introducing New Apple TV Box in April for Holiday Launch, Still Talking With Time Warner Cable

Rumours from Bloomberg but the MacRumors piece has good context. The long lead time between announcement and availability is reminiscent of the iPhone, which was because it would have been leaked by its submission to the FCC anyway. Does the AppleTV have some new wireless tech? Or does something in the deals with content providers need to be approved? Does the thing take a cable in? Or is it just a play to get more content providers onside? Anyway, hopefully it’s true, especially the App Store part. (Some past speculation here.)

'True Detective': How Did They Pull Off That Final Shot?

Well, it’s not final: it’s not the last shot in the episode or season, more like the midway point of the (short!) eight episode season. The end of the first act, perhaps. It’s quite a show, and while I don’t like to say “you should be watching this” or “you need to see this now”, take it as implied, will ya?

Why Indie Developers Go Insane

On the sad “Flappy Bird” saga. (via)

God bless Nathan For You.

Keynote: RoboCop—half-man, half-machine, all Detroit

I saw RoboCop when I was maybe 13-14 and it BLEW MY MIND. Sometimes you can’t see the pattern until something breaks it, and RoboCop broke a lot of patterns.

The Day We Fight Back – February 11th 2014

re: NSA destroying the internet

Not about online photo storage really

I have been going through my photo collection on my computer because I was going to try out an online photo service and in the process write an article for my site about various photo storage problems and options. The service I signed up for costs $7 a month for 100 gigs. Turns out my library is 140 gigs. That would cost $15. I knew I could get it down. There are a lot of duplicates and rejected shots.

The collection starts in 2003 with the purchase of a digital camera. It was small and cost $700 for very little quality by today’s standards. The photos are sporadic. At first there are single tentative photos here and there, then – realizing the cost structure of digital photography – they blossomed, in fits. A night out, blurry and grainy. A day with visiting family members. Another night out.

They’re not from every day, but reflect conscious efforts to use the camera. A series of photos from a walk to work. Pictures of the condo I used to rent a room in. Pictures of the locations of the failed film I worked on. Of Lucy, my then-new girlfriend, now my wife.

They reflect my bizarre obsessions. There are quite a few of Toronto grafitti (all works which are now, I would assume, long gone). There are many shots of alleyways, signs, and abandoned things.

The years advance. Friends’ kids grow. A trip to Cuba, a couple jaunts to Ireland for a funeral and a wedding. Lucy cycles through various haircuts. There are shots of the first apartment we got together, and Christie subway station nearby, and the decrepit barber in between, and the tree that fell after a storm.

In 2008 I got an iPhone. The photos multiply. Many are mundane, fleeting images: a bruise I got after a bike accident. The serial number on my mom’s washing machine. A shot of a stranger on the subway. I delete a few but start realizing that these photos also tell little stories.

A year later another camera enters: the Panasonic GH1. The photos are all of a sudden much better. Some are beautiful, even. I bought the camera for its video capability as I wanted to shoot a documentary in Windsor. I took a ton of stills with it. The photos of abandoned things, of urban decay, explode.

I try to decide what to delete. I mostly delete only duplicates. There are quite a lot, as if the photos, left unsupervised, have been breeding like rabbits. But when it comes time to evaluate other photos I defer. Some of these I would have deleted years ago had I been paying attention, but now with the time passed, they seem much more interesting. Who am I to say what I will find interesting in another five, ten years?

A trip to Windsor, photos of the Detroit skyline. Around this time my dad was falling ill with dementia. There are only the occasinal photos of him. They are then followed by 40 pictures of my new Kindle. I was writing a review of it for my site.

Lucy’s parents’ cottage. My friends getting older. Abandoned buildings in Windsor. An image of my dad in the dark. I remember the occasion distinctly: he asked about my brother. I do not have a brother.

Then, 80 pictures from a shoot for work, with Star Wars characters. A trip to dim sum, with closeups of pristine teacups and chopsticks.

I start to realize I should not be writing about online photo storage problems and solutions. I start to wonder what reality my current urge to write such things obscures.

My dad is now three years dead and I have not written about it. I have but I have not shared nor finished it. But I am ok now with his absence. It does not seem as sad, or rather, the sadness has a character of beauty.

The photos continue unabated. Pics of houses for sale. A mortgage agreement. Our new house. Our new daughter. I do not want to delete anything.

I rethink.

Casting Crazy Town: Now that the Rob Ford book is being filmed, here’s who we think should star

Serious suggestion: Nic Cage as Rob Ford. If you watch the Nic Cage losing his shit video and then watch a few of Ford’s own highlights, you’ll see what I’m saying. That he has to gain about 200 pounds to do the role just makes it all the more Oscar-licious.

What's the most bullshit-sounding-but-true fact you know?

Lots of gold on this Reddit thread, such as: “The United States in World War 2 created a bomb that used bats”. (via)

Microsoft's Mobile Muddle

There’s also this and this (thanks, y)

Prolost on the just-announced Panasonic DMC-GH4

4k video, variable frame rates, high bitrates, full 10-bit HDMI output. This thing is closer to the Red in specs than my GH1.

2001: The aliens that almost were

The Champion Barack Obama

What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?

How the existence of animal play is a problem for economists, evolutionists and anyone else who believes in a “rational actor” theory of consciousness. I love it when David Graeber makes fun of economists.

The future of jobs: The onrushing wave

“Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less. But things can change.” Not sure what to say about this article. On the one hand, I think it’s generally true. On the other hand, it may have been written by a machine, or at least a sociopath. And finally, in what world are “clergy” even remotely likely to be replaced by machines?

5 things you need to know about Orwellian “Fair” Elections Act

The Tories really crack me up. They’re down in the polls because of Senate corruption and then they release this humdinger. Not to mention the immigration reform nonsense.

Competition Bureau Takes Action to Promote Competition for ebooks —Four major publishers agree to take steps that are expected to lower ebook prices in Canada

I’m parsing this as: they will allow Amazon to sell books for $10 again. Good.

Tim Berners-Lee: we need to re-decentralise the web

R.I.P. Everyone

“Who cares that you saw someone famous? Write it down in your dream journal, you piece of shit.”

HBO Posts Highest Subscription Rise in 17 Years

lower number of US subscribers than Netflix, but is much more profitable.

Awesome (via)

Ford-themed take on We Didn’t Start The Fire is effing amazing

If there was a Ford trivia quiz I think I would win it.

iPad Pro?

Some rumours were going around that sounded silly:

[Evercore Partners analyst Patrick] Wang predicts that Apple wouldn’t just simply release a larger iPad — he sees the company using the additional screen real estate to create a hybrid-style device that could serve as both a tablet and a notebook, and would make the iPad lineup more appealing to business customers.

Apple’s never targeted the “enterprise”. (Aside: I know I’m a huge nerd but when I hear that word I always think of the starship rather than business people doing business things). Why would enterprise users need a bigger iPad anyway, and/or why would Apple feel the need to change strategies to compete with Microsoft’s keyboard-wanting Surface, which is not selling anywhere near as well as the iPad? Silliness.

But then I thought about “Pro” in an Apple context, which means creative professionals, and then I realized that Apple’s pro software products – Final Cut and associated apps, Aperture, and Logic – still do not have iOS versions.

In this context, a larger screen iPad would make a lot of sense. I once bought an 11” MacBook Air, hoping to edit a project on the go. It was too small a screen to edit on, however. Certain apps need certain elements on screen at all times. Video editors need a timeline, a clip selection window and a playback window, and when the screen gets too small, the utility of these elements is compromised. Step up to a 13” Air, however, and editing works much better.

It is by no means a given that Apple will release its pro apps on iOS. They may feel that the consumer creative apps – iMovie, iPhoto, and GarageBand – fit the bill. That the iPad is only for playing around, and when you need to do real work, you go to a computer. That doesn’t sound much like this pitch though, does it? Or, you could argue that Apple isn’t that interested in the pro market any more. And as an Aperture user, I can sympathize with that. Surely the pro market is a lower priority than their much larger consumer markets in different categories, but if they didn’t care about pros anymore they wouldn’t have just revamped Final Cut and redesigned the Mac Pro from the ground up.

You could also say that yes, Apple will eventually release Pro apps for iOS but no, that doesn’t mean there will be dedicated Pro iPads. Look at the marketing for the iPhone 5s first, though: “forward thinking”. “the most advanced technology”. “desktop class architecture”. Isn’t that very close to a pitch for pro hardware? Or look at the history of any of any Apple product line since Jobs’ return: start simple, and add an increasing number of models over time. I would expect a bigger, pro iPad, and maybe even a 10” pro iPad. I just wouldn’t bet on when.

Are there other distinctions this thing could have, hardware-wise? Besides the obvious (faster processors, faster graphics, more storage), I would argue for pressure sensitivity. Artists, designers, musicians and even photographers would benefit from it. Would they make a keyboard? I doubt it. When you think of these sorts of jobs – music, design, illustration, film & video, photography – a keyboard is not the tool that they need. If anything, different custom inputs depending on the role might be interesting; imagine a mixing board for music production, for example. But really the touch screen is the ultimate custom input, and is much more direct.

A 13” display isn’t the biggest thing in the world, but if the iPad Pro displays get any bigger – and one would guess that they might eventually – Apple would probably want to make a stand for the thing that would optimize its use on a desk. You would want to approximate the ergonomics of a drafting table; the stand might elevate the thing at a 15° angle and prevent it from sliding around.

The biggest thing holding back such a device isn’t really the hardware at all but rather the software. Apple has just last year completed the consumer-level iLife suite for iOS (do they even call it iLife anymore?). The pro apps would have to be a big upgrade from those. The OS itself may need substantial upgrades as well.

That’s it – some completely unqualified speculatin’ about an unreleased Apple product. Just what the internet needed.

Crazy Town: The Rob Ford story, exclusive excerpt of Robyn Doolittle’s book

Also, Ford was reportedly ticketed for jaywalking and public intoxication last night in Vancouver.