• Long Form

    The Humane AI Pin is bad, actually

    David Pierce, The Verge:

    That raises the second question: should you buy this thing? That one’s easy. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. The AI Pin is an interesting idea that is so thoroughly unfinished and so totally broken in so many unacceptable ways that I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d recommend spending the $699 for the device and the $24 monthly subscription.

    David Pierce absolutely whirlwind dunking on the Humane AI Pin in his review this morning. Goddamn!

    Cherlynn Low at Engadget did not care for it either.

    If the headline of “The Humane AI Pin is the solution to none of technology’s problems” wasn’t clear enough, here’s a pretty damning pull quote:

    Not only is the Humane AI Pin slow, finicky and barely even smart, using it made me look pretty dumb. In a few days of testing, I went from being excited to show it off to my friends to not having any reason to wear it.

    I had a feeling that the Pin was a solution looking for a problem, but I didn’t realize it’d be this downright useless or bad. Not the best first step for the Humane team.

    Thursday April 11, 2024
  • Long Form

    If you're like me, you are going to LOVE the Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast

    Overcast.fm:

    Join Seth Meyers as he sits down with fellow SNL alum and comedy-music sensations The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) to discuss their wildly popular and groundbreaking series of SNL Digital Shorts that aired on Saturday Night Live beginning in 2005. Episode by episode they’ll discuss how each short was created, what the response to it was at the time, and what impact, if any, it still has today. Aided by Seth, the guys will relive their time at SNL and reminisce on the nearly 50-year-old show from a time when putting short comedy sketches on the internet was so novel that they maybe even helped launch YouTube to do it. Along the way they’ll talk all things SNL from guests, fellow cast members, and favorite live sketches including many that never aired.

    The Lonely Island has had a near direct line to my funnybone since I first became aware of them and their work in 2005.

    In fact, the free giveaway of “Lazy Sunday” was my first iTunes video “purchase”.

    Since then, they’ve released three albums, over a hundred shorts, and produced two of my favorite comedies of all time, in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Hot Rod.

    Suffice to say, the moment I heard that Andy, Jorma and Akiva were going to be doing a watchalong/look back podcast with Seth Meyers, I was in.

    The first episode hit on Monday, and is more about their road to Saturday Night Live and their struggles in getting on air. The Lonely Island gang are great storytellers, and their friendship comes through (though I believe its all recorded remotely). Seth acts as the perfect host, and if you are at all a fan of how comedy is made or the behind the scenes of SNL, I cannot recommend this enough.

    If you’re not aware of The Lonely Island for whatever reason, get on watching Popstar. Immediately.

    Tuesday April 9, 2024
  • Long Form

    Apple Opens the Door for Video Game Emulators?

    Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

    But there’s another important update to the App Store guidelines, and this one applies worldwide. For the first time, Apple is allowing developers to create and distribute game emulators on the App Store. The news was confirmed by Apple in an email sent to developers. Since the very first iPhone, developers have been finding ways to distribute game emulators to iOS users. The App Store guidelines have never allowed emulator software, but some apps have had luck bypassing Apple’s review process by disguising their apps and hiding emulators within them. But that’s changing now with the App Store’s new guidelines.

    Discovered late in the day yesterday was a bunch of changes to the App Store guidelines presented to developers by Apple.

    The key change presented seems to be that of allowing — in the EU — music apps to allow signups via their own web interface, versus through the App Store alone.

    In the mix further down, however, is the revelation that game emulation is now allowed.

    Android users have been able to do this for ages, but now, iOS — and presumably iPadOS + tvOS users — will be able to do the same without using some of the complicated go arounds in use currently with Altstore.

    Now I’m just hoping that two of the Altstore’s best...

    Delta, a Nintendo focused emulator for iOS

    Provenance, a multi-system emulator that’s also available on tvOS

    …make their way to the AppStore.

    I do wonder if someone’s gonna try to have something up as early as this week...

    Saturday April 6, 2024
  • Long Form

    Microsoft Makes a Stand ALL Game Companies Need to Follow

    Jez Corden, Windows Central:

    As part of the emails to her team, Sarah Bond revealed that Microsoft has now set up a dedicated team to ensure the future-proofing of the current Xbox game library against future hardware paradigm shifts, ensuring that our games remain accessible long into the future. "We have formed a new team dedicated to game preservation, important to all of us at Xbox and the industry itself," Bond said. "We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility to our players, and we remain committed to bringing forward the amazing library of Xbox games for future generations of players to enjoy."

    As far as I’m concerned — especially with the model of video game distribution becoming a digital one — this is table stakes for Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, et al.

    The hard part is going to be the growth of GAAS titles: how can a game be preserved if the events have ended and servers have gone offline?

    Far too often, gaming (hell, media, period) is focused on new and next, when past and current should be celebrated just as much. May this be the first major shot in a series of events ensuring that the work of talented creators can be engaged with years down the line.

    Saturday April 6, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Dark Side of Trader Joe's

    Adam Reiner, TASTE:

    After six months of conversations with five founders of small to midsize food brands, it appears to be an open secret in the consumer packaged goods industry that Trader Joe’s outsources inspiration for new products by targeting emerging brands under the guise of recruiting them to manufacture private-label items. Private labeling is the ubiquitous (and often clandestine) practice of consumer food brands creating exclusive products for third-party retailers. The terms of these contracts vary, but the enlisted food brand typically receives compensation in the form of a production fee or profit-sharing arrangement.

    According to these sources, Trader Joe’s commonly solicits product samples and even asks for potential recipe adjustments—a revealing and time-consuming exercise for bootstrapped founders—before inexplicably abandoning the negotiations and releasing its own private-label versions of similar products at lower prices.

    Yikes on bikes, folks.

    This is a pretty damning expose of how Trader Joe’s decieves smaller food brands under the guise of a partnership, then undercuts them when the financial terms are deemed untenable by the brand themselves.

    I recognize, in all these instances, Trader Joe’s didn’t even need to offer to work with them before ripping them off, but the boldness to proceed even after trying to work together is NOT a good look.

    Friday April 5, 2024
  • Long Form

    Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Have A LOT in the Works

    Zack Baron, British GQ:

    These days, Nine Inch Nails, which Ross joined as a full-time member in 2016, present a different problem – how do you make something old, something so already well-defined, new again? There are years when Reznor feels like he has the answers and years when he’s less certain. He has put the band on hiatus more than once; after the last Nine Inch Nails tour, in 2022, Reznor deliberately took a break from playing shows as well. “For the first time in a long time I wasn’t sure: what’s the tour going to say?” Reznor told me. “What do I have to say right now? We can still play those songs real good. Maybe we can come up with a new production. But it wasn’t screaming at me: this is what to do right now.”

    A really great profile of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as they’ve asserted themselves as a go-to in the world of film scores.

    But now that they’ve established themselves in that world, they’re now thinking bigger: the return of Nine Inch Nails, their own production company, fashion, and something with Epic Games.

    You might not peg me as a NIN fan, but 1999’s The Fragile is one of my favorite albums of all time, and its been really great over the last few decades to see Reznor get clean, get healthy, become a family man, and establish himself as a true icon in music, technology and film.

    I am very excited to see what he and Ross have planned with all their new projects.

    Friday April 5, 2024
  • Long Form

    Uniqlo's Got a Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom T-Shirt Line Incoming

    Polygon

    Uniqlo’s latest video game collaboration may be its best yet. It teamed up with Nintendo on six T-shirts inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and they’re coming to stores in late April. Each $24.90 T-shirt features iconography and characters from Tears of the Kingdom.

    As usual, Uniqlo has put together a pretty sweet series of tees for a licensed property.

    I think the pocket tees with the Korok’s peeking out is the most clever of the set.

    Wednesday April 3, 2024
  • Long Form

    Yahoo! To Acquire Artifact, The Ex-Instagram Founder's News App

    The Verge

    Instagram’s co-founders built a powerful and useful tool for recommending news to readers — but could never quite get it to scale. Yahoo has hundreds of millions of readers — but could use a dose of tech-forward cool to separate it from all the internet’s other news aggregators. And so, the two sides are joining forces: Yahoo is acquiring Artifact, the companies announced on Tuesday.

    The few times I gave Artifact a spin, I did think it was a compelling way to have news articles raised up and aggregated to your personal taste. At the same time, the weird social features seemed to get absolutely drowned by people trying to push their app/crypto/etc.

    Keep the algorithmic news, drop the tech bros holding court like this is LinkedIn, and I think Yahoo! may actually have something compelling in their portfolio that isn’t Fantasy Sports related.

    Tuesday April 2, 2024
  • Long Form

    Oh, That's How They Make That

    Driving home from another great Super Art Fight event, I had my Apple Music library on shuffle.

    Not sure if that’s just a me thing to do, or others handle their music libraries the same way, but that’s not the point.

    The song “War on Torpour” from the amazing Canadian post-rock band Do Make Say Think came on, off their 2017 release Stubborn Persistent Illusions.

    It’s a hell of a song, and a great kick off to an album. After a slow, yet intense build, the song goes in all sorts of directions.

    Here, give it a listen.

    Pretty rad, right? Comes in with a lot of energy and a feeling of catharsis, not to mention the drumming is out of this world.

    Thing is, for years and years, I just knew that song and its driivng force. Honestly, that’s really what I knew of Do Make Say Think’s music - the sound, the noise, the feeling.

    During COVID, I looked up a live performance of the band – and not only is there a killer rendition on YouTube, via House of Strumbo, but I was hit upon not just delight at how well they performed the song, but a reminder that I was seeing – finally – how that incredible noise was made. You can forget that these songs are the efforts of individuals, making noise, together.

    That should be timed to the song’s appearance in the video. If not, it’s at 24:45.

    It was a crash course for me in not just respecting their efforts, but seeing the craft which spawned it. The magic trick, explained, even if I couldn’t believe it, as my ears and eyes couldn’t jive their perceptions of the work.

    I don’t want to sound like an Old Man Yelling at a Cloud here, but I think we forget the art we digest is through the skill and effort of the artesian. They made the magic. Their dedication gave us something to appreciate and love.

    And that hung with me on this drive home, how lucky we are to just be able to digest the art of so many, so easily, in a way more accessible than ever before. It’s a lucky time.

    Sunday March 31, 2024
  • Long Form

    The WGA Urges Congress To Regulate AI

    Jennifer Maas, Variety:

    The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and other unions representing film and TV writers and journalists sent a letter to Congress Thursday urging protections for their industries in any legislation regarding Artificial Intelligence.

    Addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the letter was co-signed by the NewsGuild-CWA, Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), and National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA).

    “So far this year, our members have witnessed the impact of unregulated AI on their jobs,” the letter, obtained by Variety, states. “Major news media companies, including Gannett and G/O Media sites, deployed AI articles with fake bylines to replace the work of hardworking local and digital journalists and writers. Film and television writers won critical protections in their collective bargaining agreement, but their work continues to be used by AI developers without their consent.”

    This is going to be the first of many instances of different worker organizations speaking up and speaking out to their government about further regulating AI.

    My galaxy brained take? The AI revolution will lead to greater adoption of unions and collective bargaining. And I couldn’t be more for that.

    Thursday March 28, 2024
  • Long Form

    Netflix and Jerry Seinfeld Present...The Pop-Tart Movie (Really)

    Netflix on YouTube:

    Michigan, 1963. Kellogg’s and Post, sworn cereal rivals, race to create a pastry that will change the face of breakfast. A tale of ambition, betrayal, sugar, and menacing milkmen, Unfrosted stars Jerry Seinfeld in his directorial debut.

    Unfrosted is coming to Netflix on May 3.

    Following in the footsteps of other Movies About How This Thing Was Made, like The Social Network, BlackBerry, Air, Tetris, The Founder and many, many others, Jerry Seinfeld (of all people) directs the story of the humble Pop-Tart in Unfrosted.

    Personally, I thought Jerry was more of a cereal guy, but I suppose I was wrong.

    Strong cast, with people like Melissa McCarthy, Bill Burr and Hugh Grant, so maybe this won’t be too bad? Or maybe it’ll just slide off the public consciousness like most Netflix movies.

    Do you think we get a S’mores Pop-Tarts post credits scene?

    Thursday March 28, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Tragic Sitatuion of the New York Times Paywall

    Mike Langley, McSweeny’s:

    That’s a good one. Ha ha. Go ahead and type your email address in the box. Please.

    Look, just write it. Hit the enter key. Now give me your password. Don’t make this harder than it has to be.

    What, you want me to level with you? You want to know how real this gets?

    If I let any more non-subscribers in, they’re gonna kill me. They’re gonna kill my family. Bam. Done.

    That’s right, just type the password in the box. Nice and easy.

    That wasn’t so bad, was it?

    A gloriously grim first person article from everyone’s favorite paywall, The New York Times. Absolutely nails it.

    Granted, it must be effective, as I now pay for two newspaper subscriptions, not also including Apple News+.

    Thursday March 28, 2024
  • Long Form

    The NYT Takes Meta's New A.I. Fueled Smart Glasses Update for a Real-World Spin

    The New York Times (Paywall):

    The concept of the A.I. software is so novel and quirky that when we — Brian X. Chen, a tech columnist who reviewed the Ray-Bans last year, and Mike Isaac, who covers Meta and wears the smart glasses to produce a cooking show — heard about it, we were dying to try it. Meta gave us early access to the update, and we took the technology for a spin over the last few weeks.

    The artificial intelligence technology in Meta’s new Ray-Ban smart glasses uses cameras and image recognition to give the wearer information about what he or she is looking at. We wore the glasses to the zoo, grocery stores and a museum while grilling the A.I. with questions and requests.

    The upshot: We were simultaneously entertained by the virtual assistant’s goof-ups — for example, mistaking a monkey for a giraffe — and impressed when it carried out useful tasks like determining that a pack of cookies was gluten-free.

    Is this impressive tech? Absolutely. Do I see a use for it in my day to day life? Absolutely not.

    I feel awkward enough asking Siri for anything, and I’ve been using her since my iPhone 4S way back in 2011.

    Maybe the more digital native generations will glom onto this, and maybe future updates will make the process less awkward, but the more I see breakdowns like these, I see solutions looking for problems, rather than the other way around.

    If this sort of thing is your jam, though? It’s some of the best integrated A.I. tech I’ve seen so far.

    Thursday March 28, 2024
  • Long Form

    #FastFoodArmsRace: Screw It, Canned Hot Dog Water

    Chew Boom:

    7-Eleven has unveiled a bold addition to its beverage lineup with the introduction of Big Bite Hot Dog Sparkling Water, developed in partnership with Miracle Seltzer. This unique offering joins the array of 7-Select sparkling waters, presenting fans with a range of innovative flavors.

    In collaboration with Miracle Seltzer, 7-Eleven has curated a selection of sparkling waters featuring intriguing flavors such as Lemon Lime, Green Apple, Sweet Orange, and the unconventional Hot Dog, inspired by one of 7-Eleven’s signature snacks, the Big Bite Hot Dog.

    …wait, what the hell?

    The Big Bite Hot Dog Sparkling Water promises to encapsulate the essence of the iconic 7-Eleven hot dog experience, complete with the flavors of ketchup and mustard. This innovative beverage aims to transform the traditional pairing of hot dogs and sodas, allowing consumers to enjoy the essence of their favorite snack in a refreshing bubbly form.

    That’s it. Wrap up the run of the human race. We’re done here.

    While details regarding the availability of the Big Bite Hot Dog Sparkling Water will be disclosed on April 1, the rest of the 7-Select x Miracle Seltzer range, including Lemon Lime, Green Apple, and Sweet Orange flavors, can already be found at select 7-Eleven stores.

    OH! It’s a gag. Thank God.

    Wednesday March 27, 2024
  • Long Form

    Scarlett Johansson Joins Next JURASSIC WORLD Movie

    The Hollywood Reporter:

    Scarlett Johansson is taking a bite out of a new blockbuster. The actor is in talks to join Universal’s new Jurassic World movie, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

    Universal is moving quickly on the film, which has a July 2, 2025, release date. Gareth Edwards is directing the new Jurassic World, which has a script from Jurassic Park scribe David Koepp. Edwards stepped into the role after David Leitch exited following a short attachment to the project.

    The film returns Johansson to the world of franchises. She starred as Black Widow in a number of Marvel Studios movies, including the Avengers features, but unlike some co-stars in the superhero world, has had no trouble breaking out in other projects. She has earned two Oscar nominations, for Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. She has a voice role in the upcoming animated feature Transformers One, and has a big-budget Apple feature co-starring Channing Tatum also due out this year.

    I have to say, I’m a little bit surprised that Johansson is returning to the world of franchises given the less than stellar exit from the MCU she had (she was totally in the right for going after Disney for her money, though.)

    On paper, this should be a redemption installment for the Jurassic films, with Edwards in the director’s chair (I LOVED The Creator) and the original writer David Koepp writing the script. At the same time, I thought Jurassic World: Dominion would make up for the errors of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom…and it most certainly did not.

    One thing is for sure: If there’s no locusts in this one, it will be at the very least, better than Dominion.

    Monday March 25, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Guardian Looks Back at John Carpenter's THE THING

    The Guardian:

    Audiences didn’t like the ending. They wanted to know who the Thing was – which was left up in the air. They hated that but I don’t care, that’s the way I wanted to end it. The film was about the end of the world. Its bleakness was the reason it wasn’t a success at the time, but I think also why it has endured. In fact the film was an enormous failure. I got fired because of it and was out of work for a while, but slowly its reputation changed. Not everybody’s convinced, though. There are still plenty of people who think it’s a piece of trash.

    The Thing is one of my favorite movies ever, though I didn’t see it until well into the 2000’s. It’s so interesting to me how a piece of art can be reconsidered so heavily over the years.

    Back in 1982, John Carpenter (who is quoted in the pull quote above) was put into Director Jail for this film. In 2024? He’s heralded as a master of the craft. (And he makes some awesome albums now, too.)

    Monday March 25, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Anti-Influencer Revolt Has Begun, And I Could Not Be Happier

    NPR:

    The world of influencing is pretty simple.

    Companies from the likes of Airbnb to Amazon to Louis Vuitton pay people with a lot of followers on social media to promote their products. These creators then make content, typically videos, where they recommend the products and services, often adding a discount code their followers can use to sweeten the deal.

    It has evolved over time and can now include things like the “come shopping with me” trend that emulates the feeling of casually shopping with a friend. The influencers film themselves walking around stores and filling their carts with clothing, makeup, cute little bowls for your ramen noodles and, of course, Stanley cups.

    De-influencing encourages people to buy less stuff and instead use what they already have.

    I did not expect to share two articles related to sustainability today, but here we are.

    In what I’d chalk up as another moment in the win column for Gen-Z, The Kids® are pushing up against the last few years of influencer culture, and saying, “Hey, wait, why do we need all of this crap?”

    As someone who has been looking around his house and considered purging quite a bit, it’s a concept that I can absolutely agree with. Ironic, given how much of my last day job involved influencers.

    I think the next generation is putting a strong focus on being genuine, real, and considerate, and rejection of capitalistic norms like these is just another example of it.

    Now, how much this eventually effects our economy and relationship with countries that produce all of this junk…that’s for someone much smarter than me to consider. In the meantime: I breathe a sigh of relief that some people are still considering more than themselves.

    Monday March 25, 2024
  • Long Form

    A Lesson on Selling Sustainability via Product Packaging

    The Dieline:

    Let’s say you’re a sustainable healthcare company selling over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in compostable and refillable packaging. Pain relief, allergy, cold and flu—all the good stuff that prompts many late-night Walgreens runs. You offer consumers a bottle—a beautiful, frosted glass bottle that looks great in a medicine cabinet—they can fill for the rest of their lives.

    Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? You can high-five yourself because you’ll never buy Tylenol again. That’s just another plastic bottle that would likely end up in a landfill.

    But you’re also a young brand with maybe just a few years under your belt. And now, lo and behold, Target comes calling. They want to stock your products because they believe in your core mission of sustainability. Swell, huh? But now you not only have to stand out on the shelf, you need to explain to shoppers—who have no clue who you are—what your brand is and how it actually works.

    Very cool write up from The Dieline, not just showcasing some very cool, very effective packaging design for the sustainable medicine brand Cabinet, but also digging into the tough parts of selling to customers the “buy the package once, then refills only after” ethos.

    This made me excited to buy aspirin, y’all.

    Monday March 25, 2024
  • Long Form

    Disney+ Shows Off Their First Season of DOCTOR WHO

    Disney+ on YouTube:

    The upcoming season of “Doctor Who” follows the Doctor and his companion Ruby Sunday as they travel across time and space, with adventures all the way from the Regency era in England, to war-torn future worlds. Throughout their adventures in the TARDIS – a time-traveling ship shaped like a police box – they encounter incredible friends and dangerous foes, including a terrifying bogeyman, and the Doctor’s most powerful enemy yet.

    A new era, a new Doctor, an influx of cash money from the mouse, this should make for a great time.

    I really enjoyed the anniversary specials over the holidays, including the debut of Ncuti Gatwa, who was a lot of fun in the role, so I look forward to the release!

    For the first time, it’s a world-wide debut, with episodes hitting Disney+ around the world starting on Friday, May 10th, 2024 at 7pm Eastern. That’s midnight, UK time.

    Friday March 22, 2024
  • Long Form

    Baldur’s Gate 3 developer is moving on from Dungeons and Dragons

    Larian will NOT be making a Baldur’s Gate 4, it seems. I just heard so many of my friends groan at this news.

    Friday March 22, 2024
  • Long Form

    I'm Not Smart, But I Sure Have Thoughts on the DoJ Filing Against Apple

    The internet was ablaze yesterday, as the United States Department of Justice officially did as rumored and decided, well, they were gonna sue Apple!

    As The New York Times (paywalled) put it…

    The federal government’s aggressive crackdown on Big Tech expanded on Thursday to include an antitrust lawsuit by the Justice Department against Apple, one of the world’s best-known and most valuable companies.

    The department joined 16 states and the District of Columbia to file a significant challenge to the reach and influence of Apple, arguing in an 88-page lawsuit that the company had violated antitrust laws with practices that were intended to keep customers reliant on their iPhones and less likely to switch to a competing device. The tech giant prevented other companies from offering applications that compete with Apple products like its digital wallet, which could diminish the value of the iPhone, and hurts consumers and smaller companies that compete with it, the government said.

    Sixteen states! Eighty eight pages! This is a Big Boy Document! They are serious about this one.

    Let’s dig more into those accusations, shall we?

    By tightly controlling the user experience on iPhones and other devices, Apple has created what critics call an uneven playing field, where it grants its own products and services access to core features that it denies rivals. Over the years, it has limited finance companies’ access to the phone’s payment chip and Bluetooth trackers from tapping into its location-service feature. It’s also easier for users to connect Apple products, like smartwatches and laptops, to the iPhone than to those made by other manufacturers.

    This is the point and purpose of having a technology stack. Integrated systems which work together. Guess what? If you want to use a Fitbit (Google product) with an iPhone, you can. If you want to connect your iPhone to a Windows machine? You can.

    You can do those things. But it’s better, easier, and works more cohesively via Apple products. Because Apple can account for all of their hardware and its quirks. This is no different – in my opinion – than JoyCons working more accurately on a Nintendo Switch than on an iPad. You sure can connect JoyCons to an iPad, but they sure as hell don’t work as well.

    The lawsuit asks the court to stop Apple from engaging in current practices, including blocking cloud-streaming apps, undermining messaging across smartphone operating systems and preventing the creation of digital wallet alternatives.

    Blocking cloud-streaming apps? OK, yeah, you’ve got a point. I think that’s a great idea to open that realm up. That’s what the EU has done with their DMA (Digital Markets Act), and Apple responded with their latest iOS update to account for it. The response to Apple’s response has been mixed, but there’s precedent. Go for it, DoJ!

    Undermining messaging across smartphone operating systems? Uh…the only thing they have is iMessage, which allows Apple based users to use their version of a more secure enclave for messaging, a’la a Signal. If an Android user – who does not have iMessage – sends a standard SMS text to an Apple user, guess what? Apple users get that SMS. Yes! There is that green bubble versus the blue bubble thing – but that is almost exclusively a US based issue. Internationally, most people use WhatsApp…which doesn’t support SMS.

    At best, maybe Apple should develop an iMessage app for Android or Windows. But I’ll be honest, I don’t see the point. And I know, you might argue “WHAT ABOUT RCS?” Apple’s on it. Sure, they got strong armed into it, but it’s happening.

    Preventing the creation of digital wallet alternatives? I don’t even know what we’re fighting about here. The crummy US banking system already has tools like Zelle for you to send money. Perhaps I’m out of my realm here, but I definitely know that I’m not inclined to use a third-party payment tool.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ve got the government taking credit for Apple’s success by way of the 90’s antitrust case against Microsoft, you’ve got the weird breakdown of calling Apple the primary vendor of “performance smartphones”, which isn’t a thing, but if it were, you could go after Ferrari or Bugatti for being successful there, it just goes on and on for 88 pages of nonsense. Minus that one decent argument about app installations / the App Store.

    Let’s wrap this up, with the last bit from the New York Times story:

    “Competition makes devices more private and more secure,” said Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. “In many instances, Apple’s conduct has made its ecosystem less private and less secure.”

    What better way to make things more private and more secure than opening it up to anyone and everyone, and not locking the doors behind them. Do they hear themselves?

    Up next: Merrick Garland finds out his newly bought PlayStation 5 copy of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth won’t play on his Nintendo Switch, so he sues Sony.

    Friday March 22, 2024
  • Long Form

    Max FINALLY Shows Off THE PENGUIN

    Max on YouTube:

    The next chapter in @TheBatman saga from Matt Reeves. Academy Award Nominee Colin Farrell is #ThePenguin in the new Max Original Series coming this fall to Max.

    It’s been a bumpy two years since the release of The Batman, with writers strikes, actors strikes, and more, but the spin-off series The Penguin is finally on its way.

    With the above teaser, we now know that the series will hit Max this Fall, and yes, Colin Farrell remains unrecognizable under all that makeup.

    It looks like a no-nonsense crime drama, and I cannot wait to return to the orange hued version of Matt Reeves' The Batman universe.

    Friday March 22, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Struggles of Deciding Where to Host Your Site

    Right now I’ve got a mix of sites on different hosting.

    I’ve been thinking lately about merging my WordPress stuff into Micro.blog, but now omg.lol’s creator is hinting on their own blog service.

    What the heck do I do? I’d like something cheaper, lightweight, and distributable. That’s all I’m considering in this.

    Wednesday March 20, 2024
  • Long Form

    AI is Coming for the iPhone, Whether We Like It or Not

    The Verge, paraphrasing Bloomberg (Paywalled):

    Apple is reportedly in “active negotiations” with Google to bring its Gemini generative AI technology to the iPhone, Bloomberg reports, and has also considered using OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

    CEO Tim Cook has already confirmed that Apple is spending “a tremendous amount of time and effort” on artificial intelligence features, and plans to release them to its customers “later this year.” Bloomberg’s report suggests that the AI features built into Apple’s products could eventually be powered by a mix of first- and third-party AI models. Apple’s models could power on-device generative AI with iOS 18, releasing later this year, while cloud-based AI features like text- and image-generation could come via partnerships with the likes of Google.

    Yet another instance of Google getting a taste of the iPhone, should their partnership come to fruition instead of the one with OpenAI.

    That said — given that Apple has recently made acqusitions in the AI space — I’d say this is a temporary leg up until they have their own version ready to go, a’la Apple Maps.

    It’s now not an if, but a when.

    Monday March 18, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Pentagon's "There Are No Such Things as UFOs" Report has people asking a lot of questions already answered by the report

    The New York Times:

    In the 1960s, secret test flights of advanced government spy planes generated U.F.O. sightings. More recently, government and commercial drones, new kinds of satellites and errant weather balloons have led to a renaissance in unusual observations.

    But, according to a new report, none of these sightings were of alien spacecraft.

    The new congressionally mandated Pentagon report found no evidence that the government was covering up knowledge of extraterrestrial technology and said there was no evidence that any U.F.O. sightings represented alien visitation to Earth.

    The 63-page document is the most sweeping rebuttal the Pentagon has issued in recent years to counter claims that it has information on extraterrestrial visits or technology. But amid widespread distrust of the government, the report is unlikely to calm a growing obsession with aliens.

    Suuuuuuuure. There’s nothing. And the report is true, not at all trying to calm a public hysteria.

    And nice job trying to cover it up with the “individuals’ preconceptions and confirmation biases” dodge, Pentagon!

    Saturday March 9, 2024