The Container-Technology Edition Friday, July 14, 2017

Apple’s HEIF Image Format Choice Reinvents Photography, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

While JPEG is a clever way to digitize a still image, HEIF (with its roots in the MPEG-developed HVEC video standard) is a containerization technology, capable of holding lots of different kinds of information inside one data file.

The move to use this container technology will make it much easier to extend what Live Photos and photography in general can achieve. At low image sizes.

The 5-Year Quest To Unglue The MacBook Pro’s Battery, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

Last week, iFixit announced that it has finally found a solution to "fix Apple's unfixable MacBook Pro": chemical solvents that melt the glue, are relatively nontoxic to humans, and also don't damage the computer's internal components.

"We tried seven or eight chemicals we thought would work, stuff like nail polish remover, but a lot of them weren't dissolving-y enough, others had odors that are quite offensive," Hart said. The solution the company settled on is a blend of several different chemicals, including the nail polish remover acetone, that took more than two years to develop (for the first few years, the company was trying heat alone).

iPhone 1000

Apple’s Risky Balancing Act With The Next iPhone, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It’s worth asking the question, then: If Apple released minor iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates and simultaneously released a sent-from-the-future iPhone Pro with a bunch of whizzy new features for a high price, what would you do? Some people will buy that expensive cool phone, to be sure—no matter how Apple prices that device, I suspect they’ll sell them as fast as they can make them. But if you’re ready for an upgrade and either can’t get one of those high-end iPhones or simply don’t want to spend that much on a phone, then what?


The risk Apple is taking is that the mere existence of a top-of-the-line iPhone will make the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus look dull, boring, and unworthy of desire. Up until now, pretty much everyone who buys a new iPhone has received the same model, excepting some color and storage variations. Even the iPhone Plus line is largely a scaled-up version with an improved camera. But in a world where there’s an amazingly cool iPhone, will people stop buying the “boring” models?

iPhone Silly Season, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Apple engineers are panicking” is an exciting story. “Apple engineers are in crunch mode to finish iOS 11.0 just like they are every summer” is not.

It could be that things are in worse shape than usual, and there truly is a panic to get iOS 11’s support for new iPhone hardware finished on schedule. But everything I’ve heard suggests it’s the same as usual at this point in the summer: busy down to the wire, yes; frantic panic, no.


Why Are Companies Trying To Make It Illegal To Repair Our Electronic Devices?, by Sara Behdad, Quartz

Technology manufacturers should take steps to promote customers’ right to repair their broken devices, which helps cut down on electronic waste and boost brand loyalty. But if they won’t, laws and regulations can help.

What It Feels Like, Sometimes, by Andy Ihnatko

It occasionally makes me question why I ever even try to watch something on TV, or write something, or put mustard on anything, ever.

What’s Really Going On With Spotify’s Fake Artist Controversy, by Dani Deahl, The Verge

After going through MBW’s list of 50 artists, The Verge has learned that most of the artists on the list are pseudonyms for real musicians. Just a handful of those real musicians account for a huge chunk of the list. But a source confirms that Spotify does reach out to labels to request specific types of tracks to fill out its playlists.

By way of interviews with the artists behind some of the tracks on the list, The Verge can confirm that many of the artists behind the names on the list are independent musicians. Some have public careers of their own, while others have taken on various roles behind the scenes as producers, commissioned soundtrack artists, or session musicians.

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