The Utterly-Compelling Edition Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Spike Jonze And FKA Twigs Made A Jaw-Dropping Short Film For Apple's HomePod, by Tim Nudd, Adweek

The 48-year-old Oscar winner has directed a new four-minute short film for Apple’s HomePod speaker featuring yet another marquee collaborator—the English musician and dancer FKA twigs. The result is a stunning piece that’s charming, surreal, emotional, playful, theatrical and utterly compelling—one of the most remarkable ads of the year so far.

The Improbable Rise Of The Daily News Podcast, by Felix Salmon, Wired

For-profit podcasting, then, is now matching and even eclipsing public radio in terms of ambition and budgets. It might have started out producing small indie movies, but now it’s regularly putting out serious blockbusters aimed at a mass audience. Public radio now needs to up its own game and rise to meet the challenge, even as podcasting itself is moving on to even greater things.

Retweets Are Trash, by Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

Tech companies have designed their interfaces to maximize the spread of information, to amplify faster, to increase the ß in the network. They could peel away those layers—increase the friction of posting, make it harder to amplify information with a single click, redesign user interfaces to encourage thoughtfulness. These things wouldn’t make the neo-Nazis go back into hiding or end vicious political dog piles, but my modest experiment has convinced me that a better social-media atmosphere could emerge, one that centers less on stoking outrage and more on … everything else.


Video Demonstrates iPhone 6s Performance Before And After Battery Replacement, by AppleInsider

A video posted to YouTube over the weekend compares the operating performance of an iPhone 6s before and after its battery is replaced, demonstrating in real time the nominal gains users can expect to see when a device is no longer software throttled.

Hands On: Twitterrific 5.2.4 Will Make You Like Twitter On The Mac Again, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

If more of us used Twitter on our Macs we might yet have an official app that worked well and was a pleasure to use. As it is, we have Twitterrific 5.2.4 which is an unofficial app that works superbly and is a pleasure to use. We can live with that.

Can Restaurant Apps Make Splitting The Bill A Thing Of The Past?, by The Guardian

Location-tracking technology tells the restaurant you have left, the light on the totem changes colour from blue to green and the bill is automatically deducted from whatever account you signed up with. Clever, eh?

iBooks To Apple Books? Latest iOS 11.3 Beta Reverts To Former For Now, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Originally named iBooks, and then just ‘Books’ in 11.3, the company is now reverting that back to ‘iBooks’ in the latest iOS 11.3 beta.


It's Time To Ditch SMS 2-Factor Verification, by Den Delimarsky

It’s 2018, and it’s time we understand that SMS 2-factor authentication is not a good way to double-check the users’ credentials. It’s been shown many times that phone numbers can be compromised.


A Small Town Kept Walmart Out. Now It Faces Amazon., by Alana Semuels, CityLab

In some ways, Greenfield’s lack of big-box stores might have accelerated residents’ transition to e-commerce. While there are shops downtown, those don’t offer the selection of a Walmart or Target. And since the only big stores are a 30-minute drive away, many in Greenfield have started buying off Amazon instead. “There are only a certain number of things you can get downtown,” Danielle Jenczyk, a 37-year-old Greenfield resident told me. Jencyzk told me she shops on Amazon for just about everything, since she gets free shipping through her Prime subscription and because she can look at product reviews before she buys anything.


The whole state of Vermont has long been a difficult place for big-box stores to locate—the state won’t get its first Target until later this year. That’s in large part because of Act 250, a state law that gives regional environmental commissions the power to deny building permits for big projects. But despite those successes, Paul Bruhn, the executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, a nonprofit that seeks to protect the state’s architectural heritage, is concerned about the future of Vermont’s downtowns. “With most small businesses, you don't have to take away all of their business for them to fail,” Bruhn told me. “A business that loses 10 percent to 20 percent because of Amazon, that’s a big impact.”

Bottom of the Page

Don't you wish you can watch that wonderful Apple HomePod ad with some good speakers, instead of on the little iPhone?


Thanks for reading.