The Prone-To-Art-Appreciation Edition Monday, August 14, 2017

How Art-Based Apps Are Bringing People Back To Museums, by Simon Davies,

In some ways apps are already turning millions of us into artists without us really thinking about it. The rise of visual social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat has made many millions of users more aware of aesthetics than they ever have been before. Consciously or subconsciously, we think about framing, lighting, colour and composition every time we take a selfie or a photo of our food. If anything, this means despite the drop in gallery attendance figures, the public is more prone to art appreciation than it ever has been before. Perhaps these art-specific apps can help bridge the gap.

Apple Has To Face Question Of Its 'Red Line' In China- Nikkei Asian Review, by David Schlesinger, Nikkei Asian Review

Where is your red line, the point beyond which you are not prepared to go? If you are doing business in China and you have not had that discussion with your chief executive and your board, your company is playing with fire -- and with its reputation, bottom line and future.


We have no idea what Apple's board room discussions have been. I sincerely hope they have had them; this is far too important and consequential a decision to be made on the fly and under time pressure.

How The Dumpling Democratized Emoji, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

The meal that launched Lu and Lee’s dumpling-emoji dream happened to involve Chinese potstickers. But as they began to take the project seriously, they realized that one argument in its favor was that dumplings are beloved on a global scale in a way that few foods are.

“We did some discovery and research,” says Lu. “The dumpling is actually universal. Georgia has khinkali. Japan has gyoza. Korea has mandoo. Italy has ravioli. Polish people have pierogi. Russian people have pelmeni. Argentians have empanadas. Jewish people have kreplachs. Chinese people have potstickers and various other dumplings. Tibet and Nepal have momos. Turkish people have manti.” Given how integral dumplings are to so many cultures, “the fact there was no dumpling emoji told me whatever system was in place had failed,” adds Lee.


Hands On: Due 2.5 For iPhone Bolsters Apple Watch Reminders And Fixes More Sync Issues, by Mike Wuerthele and Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Due does many things —but what it's known for is not letting you go. If you've told it you want to be reminded to do something, it is a terrier at your ankles until you do it.

This latest version, Due 2.5 for iOS doesn't let up and it now gives you new options for adding these reminders.

Nike, Strava And Instagram: 10 Of The Best Apps For Runners, by Ian Tucker, The Guardian

If you go for a run and there’s no trace of it online, did it really happen? While veteran runners will groan at such data dependency, for many modern runners a jog isn’t over until it’s been uploaded, the results scrutinised for signs of progress and they’ve received a few “likes” and comments for their efforts.

Most running apps will track your run using your smartphone’s GPS, creating a map of your route, plus data about your pace and distance. If you use a smartphone you’ll probably have to strap it to your arm – the advantage of this is you’ll be able to use your device to listen to music and podcasts as you go; the disadvantage is that reaching the screen (particularly through a plastic rain protector) is a faff.

As you pile on the miles you may prefer to invest in a sportwatch such as those made by Garmin, Samsung or Fitbit – if funds allow, try to buy one with a built-in heart rate monitor and music storage, such as the Apple Watch 2, LG Watch Sport or the Samsung Gear S3.

Wacom Bamboo Sketch Stylus Is Good For The Basics, by Isaac Rockett,

For Wacom being a company who prides themselves on serving the art industry, they have made an interesting choice here. I don’t believe they could have made it much more accurate than they did, but knowing their branding I am surprised that they released it at all. All of this isn’t to say that the Sketch is garbage; it isn’t. It’s just not for art. It’s for back of the napkin sketches, quick notes, or drawing changes onto a photo while talking to a customer.


The Messy, Confusing Future Of TV? It’s Here, by Kevin Roose, New York Times

What happened to the glorious, consumer-friendly future of TV? We were told that the internet would usher in a golden era of streaming video, and that incredible shows and movies would be a click away through low-cost, easy-to-use services. The $100-a-month Time Warner cable packages that required navigating a byzantine menu of third-rate channels would be a distant nightmare.

Instead, we’ve rushed headlong into a hyper-fragmented mess, with a jumble of on-demand services that, added up, cost more and often offer less than the old cable bundle. There are lots of great shows and movies being made, but finding them has become harder than ever.

Bottom of the Page

I am learning to solve Sudoku puzzles. I've bought a book with an introduction by Will Shortz, who advised that the puzzles have unique solutions, and no guessing is required.

As opposed to real life, I guess.


Thanks for reading.