The ... Edition Monday, June 20, 2016

Boxee Founder Avner Ronen Launches Public, An App To Broadcast Text Chats, by Janko Roettgers, Variety

For eight long years, Avner Ronen tried to reinvent television with his consumer electronics startup Boxee. Now, Ronen is back with Public, a messaging startup that aims to rethink broadcasting itself as a text medium, complete with Gifs and emoji to boot.

“I believe messaging could be a third medium for broadcasting conversations,” Ronen told Variety during an interview this week. “It’s been around for decades on audio (radio and now podcasts) and video (TV and now YouTube). I believe messaging could be a third platform for conversations.”

Blue Dot

The Geek Behind Google's Map Quest, by Linda Kinstler, Fast Company

Ed Parsons, Google's geographer-in-chief, is leaning over an 18th century woodcut map from the Chonhado, the Korean atlas of the world. Here, on thin parchment, the earth is a wobbly blue watercolor dot centered around the sacred Mount Meru, close to a large red circle representing Beijing. China and Korea make up the large part of the map, while the foreign lands beyond their borders are like afterthoughts, represented only by a thin peripheral strip of land.

Ed’s friend Tom Harper, the soft spoken maps curator at the British Library, explains the strange cartography. "The rest of the world wasn’t necessary to this insular culture at this time, so it just doesn’t appear," he notes.

Because of this obvious disregard for Western imperial standards of empiricism and accuracy, the Chonhado was derided for decades by cartographers and historians. And yet its premise—putting yourself at the center of the world—isn’t far from that of the digital maps being ferociously assembled today by Google and other modern-day mapping giants. In this vision of the world, we are the tiny blue dots at the center of the map, like billions of miniaturized Chonhados.


Review: Airmail, An E-mail Client That I Don’t Hate, by Chris Lee, Ars Technica

Airmail's not perfect, but it’s far better than all the others I've tried. It fits my workflow, doesn't crash, and doesn't silently stop receiving new e-mail (thanks Mail). With stronger integration with a contacts application or a better built-in contacts application, I'd be totally satisfied.

Data Backup Pro Is Like Apple’s Time Machine On Steroids, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Data Backup Pro (DB Pro) is an intelligent backup utility for Macs that makes copies of your files, folders, volumes, drives, or RAIDS. It’s targeted to the in-home or single Mac user, not businesses or enterprises.

Bank Of America Now Rolling Out Support For ATM Withdrawals Using Apple Pay, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

When the smartphone is tapped on the NFC logo, users are prompted to enter their PIN number and are then taken to a screen that’s familiar to anyone that has ever used an ATM before.


India Unveils Broad Foreign Investment Reforms After Central Bank Chief's Exit, by Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh, Reuters

India announced on Monday sweeping reforms to rules on foreign direct investment, opening up its defence and civil aviation sectors to complete outside ownership and clearing the way for Apple to open stores in the country. [...]

"We will inform Apple to indicate whether they would like to avail new provisions," Rajesh Abhishek, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, told a news conference.

March … I Mean April… I Mean May 2016 Is The 6th … I Mean 7th… I Mean 8th Temperature Record-Breaking Month In A Row, by Phil Plait, Slate

N.B. If this article sounds familiar, it should. This has been happening so frequently I just copied the post for March April and updated it.

This Timelapse Of Singapore Growing Out Of Nothing Is So Unbelievable People Think It’s CGI, by Isaac Taylor, M2

A video released last week by Keith Loutit, an Australian filmmaker based in Singapore, has received accolades from all quarters. To an average internet denizen a timelapse is fairly passé. “Oh wow, a video that took over a year to create and contains thousands of still images taken at large increments of time, yawn. Next.”

However this new video by Loutit is turning heads, and even making industry veterans ask whether he used CGI to morph some of the images and buildings together. But it’s all entirely legitimate.

Bottom of the Page

I am amazed that I have survived thirty-odd years of not having a computer in my pocket.

(There was a rather brief period when I had a Handspring phone / PDA in my pocket. That was a wonderful time too, except that I've had to keep buying stylus that I lost.)

(Of course, on the other hand, since the iPod days, I've lost count of how many earphones I've purchased.)

Anyway, back to my amazement. I am amazed.


Thanks for reading.