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11 posts tagged technology

theatlantic:

One Possible Future for Movies: Projecting Them in 270 Degrees

The story was nothing special: dapper secret agents, ribbed metal briefcases carrying confidential contents, double-crossing lovers with a penchant for the extravagant, motorcycle chases that defy physics. It could have been an episode out of any old spy series.

But the audience was gripped.

South Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s latest work features all of the usual staples fit for an action-adventure film, but it captivates its audience so thoroughly by other means. Kim, who recently directed The Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Friday premiered his short feature The X using his country’s new multi-projection technology, ScreenX.

Read more. [Image: CGV]

apple airport time capsule

The husband and I are considering getting the new Apple Airport Time Capsule to back up our computers at home.  We were poking around at Best Buy on Saturday and I asked a guy in a blue polo shirt some questions.  He was pretty unknowledgeable about the product but the best part of the conversation went like this:

Best Buy employee: Do you have any other questions?

Me: Yeah, is there any way to have the Time Capsule automatically back up an external hard drive or can I only back up PCs and other Apple devices?

Best Buy employee: That depends on your external hard drive.  I’m pretty sure you could do it.  But why do you want to back up an external hard drive?

Me: In case we have some files we want to store on the external hard drive and the hard drive fails.

Best Buy employee: So you want to have a backup of your backup.

Me: Haha, good point.

MY FAVORITE PAID IPHONE APPS

As much as I’m a fan of the iOS app store ecosystem, I have purchased less than 20 iPhone apps and have never made an in-app purchase.  So when I actually do buy an app, I usually try my best to make sure it’s a good one!  Here is an overview of a few of my favorites:

Total Baby: This app has been SUPER helpful in the first month as a new parent.  It helps you track everything like when you last fed your baby, how long they’ve been sleeping, how many diapers they’ve had, which boob you last started nursing with.  I can’t imagine having to log this by hand in a notebook, or worse, trying to remember things with a sleep deprived brain.  On a fun note, it also lets you record things as milestones or diary entries so you can remember things like first epic poop blowout or first bath.

Tweetbot: I’m not much of a tweeter these days and mostly am a lurker on Twitter.  I probably am on Twitter most when watching basketball and football games because I love to read the tweets that sports writers/analysis say.  It’s also fun to follow comedians like Paula Pell @perlapell and accidental comedians like Ron Artest @mettaworldpeace.

Downcast: Since I commute from Oakland to SF everyday for work, it’s essential to have a reliable podcast app.  Downcast has more than enough of the features I want (easy to control auto downloads, downloading only when on wi-fi, rewind/fastfwd 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, etc.) and has a pretty easy to use interface.  I just wish it was easier to explore and find new podcasts to listen to and subscribe to.

Pocket: I used to use Instapaper but after awhile it seems like whoever was developing Instapaper just stopped developing it.  It was a nice solution at the time but the interface was not visually appealing and I found myself saving things to Instapaper and never going there to read them.  Pocket serves the same purpose: if you come across a long article that you’re interested in reading but can’t read right then and there, save it to your Pocket account and you can revisit it later. The tagging feature is easy to use which is helpful when it comes to organizing the million things you save.  I’ve recently started using Pocket to save interesting recipes I want to try in the future.  Pocket integration is built into a lot of other services like Feedly and there’s a Pocket extension you can install on your Chrome browser so that you can save anything while you’re browsing.      

Paprika Recipe Manager: Credit goes to Gavin for introducing me to this app.  This app is good only if you are also willing to stomach shelling out money for the Mac app so that you can take advantage of the syncing feature.  One of my features of the app include the built-in browser where you can save a recipe and it automatically guesses where to put things where as far as ingredients and instructions go so you don’t have to manually enter online recipes. Another awesome feature is the grocery shopping feature where you can go to recipe and tap a button to add all the ingredients to your shopping list (you have the option to exclude things like salt, sugar, etc that you might already have in your pantry before it’s added to the grocery list).  You can make a weekly meal plan, then add all the ingredients to your list and it aggregates the ingredients for you (for example keeping count of how many eggs you need for the whole week).  Another cool thing about the grocery list is that it groups the items on your shopping list by category (produce, frozen food, baking, beverages, etc.) so that when you’re at the store, you don’t have to bounce around the store and can systematically work your way from one side of the store to the other.  Of course the grocery list is easily synced across devices and also easy to email to anyone!  

Day One: I picked this app up for free during the App Store’s 5th anniversary sale but I like it so much I would have paid for it.  I’ve been trying for some time now to start journaling my prayers regularly and privately but have been unsuccessful.  After many failed starts, both in handwritten journals and in a password protected Microsoft Word document that I updated once every six months, I’ve finally gotten my groove with this app.  This app is a prime example of how a clean and visually appealing interface can actually make you want to use an app more.  They paid attention to all the design details even down to the choice of a lovely default font: Avenir.  You can use as many or as few of the features (weather, location, passcode lock) — look, bottom line is that this app makes you want to write more and that’s as good of a recommendation as I can make for a journaling app!  Oh yeah, I have it set up to auto sync with my Dropbox so if I lose my phone I don’t lose everything.

Hope this short list was helpful.  What are your favorite paid apps? 

HOW THE TESLA MODEL S IS MADE

parislemon:

David Chartier:

For all the incredibleness of the MacBook Air’s new battery, the device is still dependent on WiFi hotspots and, let’s face it, the internet is an essential ingredient these days for getting most things done. Now, keep in mind that adding 4G radios to the MacBook Air likely poses its own share of challenges that Apple has clearly decided to avoid for the Mac, at least so far. In general, it seems like 3G/4G radios have never been very popular in notebooks for some reason. Plus, a 4G radio would add weight to the MacBook Air—renowned for its thin and light design—and, of course, affect that incredible 12-hour battery or, in PCMag’s case, 15-hour battery.

I do wonder if we’re to the point where an LTE option for a MacBook might make sense. Weight and design were and are certainly issues, but battery life was undoubtedly another key which is probably moot now with these insane battery times.

Yes, it’s a pain dealing with carriers (just in the U.S., let alone the world), but a lot of plans already offer shared data, so this could be just another device. 

Update: As many of you have noted, OS X would have to be tailored so as to not do things like download OS updates when using the data connection. Seems like an easy enough thing to implement.

A MacBook Air with 4G connectivity would be a dream come true!

parislemon:

Randall Stross of NYT looks at the growing trend of police officers wearing tiny cameras to record all of their interactions with civilians. It may sound intimidating, but at least one study shows this is a very good thing:

THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.

Rialto’s police officers also used force nearly 60 percent less often…

Part of this reminds me of Google Glass. Part of it reminds me of End of Watch. Also interesting: Taser makes these cameras — yes, that Taser.

[via @cdixon]

More evidence that Google Glass will go the same way as Segways. Cool tech for mall cops.

futurescope:

Click, Print, Gun: The Inside Story of the 3D-Printed Gun Movement

Snip from youtube:

Cody R Wilson has figured out how to print a semi-automatic rifle from the comfort of his own home. Now he’s putting all the information online so that others will join him.

This is a story about the rapid evolution of a technology that has forced the American legal system to play catch up. Cody Wilson, a 24 year old University of Texas Law student, is an advocate for the open source production of firearms using 3D printing technology. This makes him a highly controversial figure on both sides of the gun control issue. MOTHERBOARD sat down with Cody in Austin, Texas to talk about the constitution, the legal system, and to watch him make and test-fire a 3D-printed gun.

[via nerdcore] [more @motherboard]

Scary.

parislemon:

John Gruber absolutely eviscerates this article by Tim Wu of The New Yorker.  

Wu made the all-too-common mistake of reaching a conclusion first and then trying to contort facts to make his thesis work. It does not. In any way. The “open” vs. “closed” nonsense Wu is trying to sell falls almost immediately with the very existence of Linux and well, even the history of Apple itself — Gruber:

Even more telling, and more damning to Wu’s use of this as a case study, is that soon after Windows 95, Apple radically opened up the Mac OS, in a use of the word “open” that Wu expressly states is what he means by the term: they licensed the OS to other PC makers to produce Mac clones. This was the most open decision — in Wu’s sense of the word open — in the entire history of Apple Computer Inc.

And it nearly bankrupted the company.

That’s about 700 words in, the next 3,000 words simply ad insult to injury and should embarrass The New Yorker.

Gruber even gives Wu what should have been the correct thesis for this story:

Companies run by geniuses should generally do better than those which are not. That sounds about right.

Further, good products tend to trump not-as-good products — “open” vs. “closed” has very little to do with that. Shocking, I know.

I was surprised the New Yorker would run such a dumbed down article that oversimplifies why certain tech companies are successful. Open vs. close is only one of many, many factors.

parislemon:

Terrence O’Brien for Engadget:

We’ve caught glimpses of Mozilla’s smartphone offspring before, but Mobile World Congress 2013 was really the proper coming out party. Finally we’ve been given a chance to touch it, see it action and peek at the hardware it’ll be running on. Unfortunately, at this cotillion, Mozilla failed to make a good case for anyone to court its debutante.

Firefox OS continues to intrigue me in some ways, but overall, I’m getting the sense that O’Brien will be right here. Because, well, history.

I agree, don’t have much expectation for the Firefox phone.

laughingsquid:

Google Unveils Chromebook Pixel Laptop

The TB of free cloud storage is awesome! Hope that’s the way these ultralight SSD laptops all go. The 4G option also makes the husband’s prediction that laptops will make a comeback more likely.

Looks like Twitter’s about to launch a video service called Vine

shortformblog:

Above is Dick Costolo testing it out. It looks freaking awesome. Not a ton is known about it yet, though.

I don’t think it looks “freaking awesome” but if it leads to more gif file creation then I’m all for it. :)

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