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Apple and AT&T activate LTE Band 8 to give iPhone users in Puerto Rico cellular service by Loon Balloon | TechCrunch
from Daring Fireball

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Apple, AT&T, the FCC and Alphabet’s X division have all put into motion efforts to give residents of Puerto Rico more cellular connectivity.

Apple has been working with AT&T to extend and activate cell service for users in Puerto Rico. To improve what is a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that has been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it has not been licensed. This will allow iPhones to connect to Alphabet X’s Project Loon balloons in the region, which were activated today.

This should allow users to send text messages and access some critical online services.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
kensegall.com
from Daring Fireball

Ken Segall:

Apple advertising was always creative and fun, but it was also intelligent and accurate. That’s what made it the industry’s “gold standard” for marketing.

That’s why it makes me nervous when I see today’s Apple playing loose with words and images to sell a product.

Case in point: the “all-screen” iPhone X.

Of course we can see with our own eyes that iPhone X is not all-screen. It has a noticeable edge around the entire display, which even the Samsung S8 does not have. And then there is “the notch” — the object of many a critic’s venom.

I don’t have a problem with the side and bottom edges of the iPhone X being described as “all screen”. It’s not the same as Samsung’s Galaxy Edge sides, but I dislike the way those Edge phones look when I hold them. If there were no notch — that is to say, if the top of the iPhone X looked exactly like the bottom — I would have no problem declaring that “all screen” would be a fair description.

But with the notch? No way. Here’s one simple way to think about it: what does Apple do 2-3 years from now if they ship an iPhone with no notch? Describe it as “Really all screen this time”?

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ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
Apple's new flagship store an understated gem on the Chicago River - Chicago Tribune
from Daring Fireball

Blair Kamin, architecture critic for The Chicago Tribune:

Chicago’s new Apple store is thrillingly transparent, elegantly understated and a boon to the city’s riverfront.

With its huge sheets of laminated glass and an ultra-thin roof of lightweight carbon fiber the store, opening Friday, is simultaneously present and absent, there and not there. From North Michigan Avenue, you look through its glassy membrane and see the river’s blue-green waters and passing tour boats. A plaza of tiered granite steps spills down to the riverfront.

Looks beautiful — very much in the same spirit as Apple Park.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
iPhone 8 Plus vs. Google Pixel 2 Camera Shootout: Apple Wins
from Daring Fireball

They scored it 6-4 in favor of the iPhone 8 Plus but the bottom line is that both are good cameras. My favorite in favor of the iPhone is the fountain photo; for the Pixel, low light no-flash photo.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
Jimmy Kimmel’s FULL INTERVIEW with David Letterman - YouTube
from Daring Fireball

“Does anyone know where I can buy an untucked shirt?”

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ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
Developer Camp 10th Anniversary Tickets, Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite
from Daring Fireball

The 10th anniversary edition of Developer Camp — formerly iPhoneDevCam and iOSDevCamp — is being held November 10–12 in San Jose. This is a great event, organized by Dom Sagolla, with a great record of diversity. Use this URL (with the “DF2017” code) and you’ll save 50 percent on tickets. This isn’t a sponsorship — I’m just happy to promote this event, and feel like the DF audience includes a lot of people who would enjoy this.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
The Pixel 2 XL would be the best phone if its screen wasn’t so awful - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge:

I’m a satisfied Android user, and I know for a fact (because I’ve reviewed every other major flagship out there) that no other Android device can bring me as close to mobile nirvana and contentment as these new Pixels do. But for the majority of this week, I’ve opted to use the smaller Pixel 2, owing to just how poor the Pixel 2 XL’s screen is.

This situation upsets me because the 2 XL has numerous desirable advantages over the 2: much smaller bezels, a larger battery that lasts longer, and just a bigger canvas on which I can pen my letter of complaint to LG Display, the maker of the offending screen in question. […]

Another big chunk of the “why” is in the blue cast that befalls the screen if you ever hold it at an angle that’s less than perfectly in front of you. You’ll know this issue from the year 2011, when Samsung was just getting started with its mobile OLED technology and phones like the Galaxy S II looked gorgeous up front but had the weakness of looking blue from almost any oblique angle. The OLED panel on Pixel 2 XL doesn’t even have the decency to look stunning when viewed under perfect circumstances. But it does have that aggravating blue cast that we thought we’d left in the past.

This sounds dreadful. And this is why Apple had to source all of its OLED displays for the iPhone X from Samsung. There’s no way Apple would ship a display like this.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
The Pixel 2 costs more at Google's own pop-up stores - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

But the worst part of this is that these pop-ups, which are basically Google stores in the minds of visitors, are overcharging people for the new Google phones. The one in Manhattan definitely is, at least. All models of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are marked up by $30. The $649 Pixel 2 is marked up to $680. The 128GB model is $780. 64GB XL 2? $880, and it’s $980 for the 128GB version.

Apparently they’ll price match the regular rates if you call out this nonsense, but it’s still pretty inexcusable. Not even Verizon itself is charging a penny extra for the Pixels when you buy direct from the carrier. And you’re walking out of here with a Google shopping bag. How is the company okay with this?

Bizarre.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Hey Siri: An On-device DNN-powered Voice Trigger for Apple’s Personal Assistant - Apple
from Daring Fireball

Deep dive into how “Hey Siri” actually works. I’m really enjoying these layman’s explanations of how these things work. The Machine Learning Journal is the new “open” Apple at its best.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Consumer Reports expects Tesla's Model 3 to have 'average reliability'
from Daring Fireball

Phil LeBeau, writing for CNBC:

There may be only a few hundred Tesla Model 3s on the street, but Consumer Reports already has an opinion on the new car’s dependability.

“We are predicting that the Model 3 should have about average reliability,” said Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

Why is Consumer Reports making predictions like this? Their entire reputation is built on the idea that their scores are based on rigorous testing and large scale surveys. Is this just clickbait? It comes across as an unjustified hit piece.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening - YouTube
from Daring Fireball

Somehow I don’t think Apple is going to play this one as the prelude to their next event.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
4 days ago by josephschmitt
What the IoT industry can learn from Apple’s revival of the Mac | Network World
from Daring Fireball

Steven Max Patterson, writing for Network World:

In 2007, the Mac was on life support. Consumers and companies bought Windows XP and Vista machines instead of Macs. The Mac had been very proprietary up until then. The hardware platform was based on the Motorola 6800 family, which came in third behind Intel and AMD and the PowerPC. It ran a proprietary OS with components of FreeBSD Unix, but it was not Unix compliant.

The Mac transitioned that same year. It had been a proprietary device running a proprietary operating system, with a beautiful proprietary user interface (UI) in an elegant ergonomically designed enclosure. Apple pivoted by shifting to the Intel platform and FreeBSD Unix, complying to the Single UNIX Specification (SUS). The Mac today is a PC running an open-source operating system with beautiful proprietary UI in even more elegantly designed enclosures. FreeBSD influenced the evolution of the MacOS. Since the transition, many FreeBSD Unix components were rewritten and many APIs were added.

I count at least nine glaring errors in just these two paragraphs.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
4 days ago by josephschmitt
spreadprivacy.com
from Daring Fireball

DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you. DuckDuckGo + Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention together address the top three private browsing misconceptions:

41% of users believe private browsing prevents websites tracking them.

39% of users believe private browsing prevents ads from tracking them.

35% of users believe private browsing prevents a search engine from knowing their searches.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Google Pixel 2 review: plainly great - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Dieter Bohn, reviewing the new Pixel phones for The Verge:

Without fail, every person who has picked up the Pixel 2 XL has said virtually the same thing: “It feels like it’s made out of plastic.” I said it myself when I first held it. Of course, neither the Pixel 2 nor the Pixel 2 XL are made out of plastic. They’re made out of Gorilla Glass and aluminum, just like every other high-end phone these days.

But Google coated all that aluminum with a textured finish that hides most of the antenna lines and also makes the phones easier to grip. Google took what could have been a visually impressive design and covered it up in the name of ergonomics. It literally made a metal phone feel like a plastic one. It chose function over form.

Interesting design decision.

On the display colors:

The screen, especially on the 2 XL, has been polarizing. Google opted to tune the display to sRGB (the Galaxy S8, by comparison, offers four gamut options), so it looks a little more like the iPhone’s screen. But more than that, on the 2 XL the colors look muted in a way that many Android users I’ve shown it to found distasteful (even with the “vivid colors” setting turned on). I think many Android phones, especially from Samsung, are so vivid as to be phantasmagoric, so Google’s choice was to make this more “naturalistic.”

My take ever since last year (I bought a Pixel 1) is that the Pixels are targeting people whose taste runs toward the iPhone hardware-wise, but who prefer Android over iOS. Actually, not Android over iOS, but the Google ecosystem over Apple’s. They’re iPhones for Google people. I find Samsung displays to be technically impressive but downright garish in terms of saturation.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Behind the Google Pixel 2 camera technology - CNET
from Daring Fireball

Stephen Shankland, writing for CNet on the ways “computational photography” improve the cameras in the new Google Pixel phones:

Some of Google’s investment in camera technology takes the form of AI, which pervades just about everything Google does these days. The company won’t disclose all the areas the Pixel 2 camera uses machine learning and “neural network” technology that works something like human brains, but it’s at least used in setting photo exposure and portrait-mode focus.

Neural networks do their learning via lots of real-world data. A neural net that sees enough photographs labeled with “cat” or “bicycle” eventually learns to identify those objects, for example, even though the inner workings of the process aren’t the if-this-then-that sorts of algorithms humans can follow.

“It bothered me that I didn’t know what was inside the neural network,” said Levoy, who initially was a machine-learning skeptic. “I knew the algorithms to do things the old way. I’ve been beat down so completely and consistently by the success of machine learning” that now he’s a convert.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
‘A Soulless Coward’: Coach Gregg Popovich Responds to Trump | The Nation
from Daring Fireball

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner — and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers — is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day.

The NFL is a decidedly conservative sports league — certainly in the lowercase-c literal sense of the word, and I would argue in the political sense of the word too. The NBA is not. NBA players could take this kneeling-during-the-anthem issue with Trump to the next level.

(My two cents on the kneeling issue: Kneeling is not disrespectful. In fact, kneeling is universally seen as a deep sign of respect, everywhere from church services to Game of Thrones. Colin Kaepernick began his silent protests during the national anthem, he did so by remaining seated on the bench. I can see the argument that sitting is disrespectful. I’m not saying Kaepernick should have been punished or vilified for sitting. I’m just saying that if you want to base your argument on “respect” for the flag and national anthem, if players are sitting on the bench, you have a case. But not kneeling. Kneeling is respectful — that’s why Kaepernick and his 49er teammates switched to it. Anyone objecting to players kneeling during the anthem is, no matter what they say, arguing about something other than “respect” for the flag and anthem. My take is that they’re objecting to a lack of compliance and obedience, a refusal to just let the matter fade away.)

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
The new MacBook keyboard is ruining my life | The Outline
from Daring Fireball

Casey Johnston, writing for The Outline:

I was in the Grand Central Station Apple Store for a third time in a year, watching a progress bar slowly creep across my computer’s black screen as my Genius multi-tasked helping another customer with her iPad. My computer was getting its third diagnostic test in 45 minutes. The problem was not that its logic board was failing, that its battery was dying, or that its camera didn’t respond. There were no mysteriously faulty inner workings. It was the spacebar. It was broken. And not even physically broken — it still moved and acted normally. But every time I pressed it once, it spaced twice.

“Maybe it’s a piece of dust,” the Genius had offered. The previous times I’d been to the Apple Store for the same computer with the same problem — a misbehaving keyboard — Geniuses had said to me these exact same nonchalant words, and I had been stunned into silence, the first time because it seemed so improbable to blame such a core problem on such a small thing, and the second time because I couldn’t believe the first time I was hearing this line that it was not a fluke. But this time, the third time, I was ready. “Hold on,” I said. “If a single piece of dust lays the whole computer out, don’t you think that’s kind of a problem?”

The reliability of the new MacBook/Pro keyboards seems like a huge problem. A piece of fucking dust? Say what you want about the feel (and sound) of these new keyboards, the one thing that must be true for any good keyboard is that it has to be reliable. Like totally reliable. So reliable that it’s confusing when something does go wrong. That’s how Apple laptop keyboards have always been, dating back to the earliest days of the PowerBooks. There’ve been some I didn’t enjoy — the squishy-feeling iBook G3 keyboard comes to mind — but they’ve always been reliable.

I find these keyboards — specifically, the tales of woe about keys getting stuck or ceasing to work properly — a deeply worrisome sign about Apple’s priorities today.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
BBEdit 12: Here's to a million more - Six Colors
from Daring Fireball

Jason Snell:

Have I written more than a million words in Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit? I probably passed that mark a while ago, but who’s counting? It’s been my primary writing tool for the last 20-plus years, and it’s still going strong. Today marks the arrival of version 12, with a bunch of new features and changes — Bare Bones Software says more than a hundred of them. “Almost every line of code has been touched,” according to BBEdit author Rich Siegel. […]

I do a lot of text and data formatting in BBEdit, and one of the great additions in this version is a Columns editing command, that enables quick processing of comma- and tab-delimited text ranges — you can cut, copy, delete, and rearrange columns. You might think that sounds like an esoteric feature, but I’ve probably pasted a tab-delimited text block from BBEdit into Microsoft Excel purely for column management hundreds of times at this point. Now I don’t have to. (Though I’d love it if BBEdit would add support for even more functions on columnar data, like sorting and maybe even styling.)

BBEdit’s longevity and continuing excellence is simply remarkable. I’ve been using it since sometime in 1992 (version 2.2?), and in 1993 I bought the first commercial release, version 2.5. 25 years.

BBEdit’s release notes remain the gold standard for comprehensiveness and clarity. One important change: Bare Bones has officially sunsetted TextWrangler — it’s replaced by a free mode in BBEdit itself. BBEdit’s free mode has more of BBEdit’s full feature set than TextWrangler ever did.

See also: Michael Tsai’s roundup of commentary on the release.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
302 Found
from Daring Fireball

Jean-Louis Gassée, on Tesla’s production problems with the Model X:

My first serious doubts about Tesla didn’t stem from missed schedules, I’ve been guilty of too many of these, they’re part of tech life. What seriously worried me was a July 2016 visit to Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. In taking delivery of my wife’s Model S, we were treated to a group tour of the site. Everyone marveled at the robot porn, at the activity on the assembly line, at the endless stores of spare parts piled to the ceiling.

Everyone but yours truly. […]

As I watched Tesla’s messy, hiccuping line, with workers dashing in to fix faulty parts in place, my mind travelled back to the Honda plant I had visited years ago in Marysville, Ohio. Clean, calm, everything moved smoothly. I was so shocked by the contrast that I imprudently voiced my concern. That didn’t go over well with my fellow Tesla owners. I was a killjoy, I was calling their choice into question.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt

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