This is a fantastic interview with Nick Millington. I had the opportunity to speak with Nick Millington, Andy Schulert, John MacFarlane, and Patrick Spence at the tail end of 2015, and I find this interview to be very accurate. There is only one minor thing: the Play:5 saw the light of day as ZonePlayer S5 and was later rebranded. I was in the beta program for that speaker in 2009. It's also funny that Nick mentions the Russian iPod, which was a term invented here, picked up by Thomas (Meyer) and John and then made popular inside the company. The part I like best is when Nick calls John "a guy who lives three or four years in the future, and he takes for granted things that don't actually exist yet".
Mein Nachbar hat eine Playbar abzugeben. Wurde letztes Jahr auf Garantie von Sonos ausgetauscht und ist wie neu. Verschicken ist ein bisschen doof, wenn man keinen Karton hat. Ich schlage vor, nur Selbstabholung in Darmstadt. Neu kostet sowas 800 Euro, diese soll 500 kosten. Einfach hier auf :: email :: klicken und melden.
RT @shanselman: All this tech. LCDs, ARM processors, gigs of RAM, WiFi, VMs, just so I can avoid opening the fridge door? https://t.co/7hJD…
|mkalus shared this story from internetofshit on Twitter:|
|*slow clap* Now where's the robot that cooks the dinner and does the dishes?|
Avid followers of our Raspberry Pi Twitter account may be aware of just how bike-loving the residents of Pi Towers are. From the weekend cyclists to Cambridge-London-Cambridge racers, the flat land around our office calls us to jump on a bike and explore the fenlands.
In celebration of #CycleToWorkDay, we’ve brought together a collection of some of our favourite bike-themed Raspberry Pi projects, perfect for those of you who enjoy a bike ride — or a pint!
Bicycle-powered beer dispenser
The Glaswegian company Bright Signals was tasked with a tasty project: create something for Menabrea that ties in with the Giro d’Italia cycle race passing close to the beer brewery in Biella, Northern Italy.
The result? This pedal- and Pi-powered beer dispenser that went on a 4-week celebratory tour ending in Glasgow.
You can learn more about this project here.
A rather dandy Pi-assisted Draisine
For a minute in the 1800s, before the introduction of pedal power, the balance bike, or Draisine, was the fun new way of getting from A to B.
Uploaded by ecomentode on 2017-06-08.
A team at Saarland University, Germany, headed by Prof. Holger Hermanns modernised the Draisine, bringing this old vehicle up to date with power assistance thanks to the Raspberry Pi.
Read more about this Draisine here.
Raspberry Pi–powered cycle helmet
Jen Fox’s Raspberry Pi safety helmet prototype uses an accelerometer and a Raspberry Pi Zero to monitor impact force, notifying the cyclist whether or not the impact of their fall deserves medical attention.
Check out my latest Hacker in Residence project for SparkFun Electronics: the Helmet Guardian! It’s a Pi Zero powered impact force monitor that turns on an LED if your head/body experiences a potentially dangerous impact. Install in your sports helmets, bicycle, or car to keep track of impact and inform you when it’s time to visit the doctor.
While you should always seek medical attention if you have a bike accident, the notification LED on the helmet is a great way of reminding stubborn cyclists that their accident was more than just a tumble.
Learn more about Jen’s build here!
Matt’s smart bike light
This one comes up in conversation A LOT at Pi Towers. Matt Richardson’s smart bike light project uses a Raspberry Pi and hall effect sensor to determine the speed you’re cycling at; a project displays your speed in front of the bike.
Here’s the first prototype of the Dynamic Bike Headlight. I managed to get it out onto the street to try it out, too! My previous video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzRAcZq0imM View other videos on the vlog: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOPvnSRDf2EuIYj18l7iBdgt-27ZnOAdP&feature=view_all Subscribe here: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=mrichardson23 Visit my site: http://mattrichardson.com/
For those who know Matt Richardson, we hope you appreciated this blast-from-the-past, beardless Matt. In fact, we know you did.
Find out more about this bike light here.
The Bicrophonic Sonic Bike
British sound artist Kaffe Matthews has created a new type of cycling experience. The cyclist divides a virtual map into zones, and the Bicrophonic Sonic Bike plays back music to the rider based on which zone they are in, courtesy of an on-board Raspberry Pi with GPS dongle and speakers.
Bicrophonics is about the mobility of sound, experienced and shared within a moving space, free of headphones and free of the internet. Music made by the journey you take, played with the space that you move through. The Bicrophonic Research Institute (BRI) http://sonicbikes.net
As you can see from the video, the sound played can range from the calming peace of the countryside to the rather loud, disturbing buzz of the city.
Learn more about the tech behind the project here.
Hacked Kindle bike computer
David Schneider’s bike computer displays speed, distance, time and more on a Kindle he hacked with the help of a Raspberry Pi.
A Raspberry Pi and Kindle make vital information about your bicycle journey readable. Read more: http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/geek-life/hands-on/video-build-a-better-bike-computer
The experimental browser on the Kindle displays a web page hosted on the Raspberry Pi. And the glare-free E Ink display makes the screen easy to view regardless of light conditions — perfect for sunny weekend bike rides.
Find out more here.
Have you hacked your cycling experience with a Raspberry Pi? Do you have a pedal-powered project in the works? Or would you simple like to boast about your bike and cycling achievements? Let’s get the cycle conversation going in the comments below. I’ll start!
The post Some of the best bicycle projects for #CycleToWorkDay appeared first on Raspberry Pi.
A grand jury in Pennsylvania accused more than 300 priests of sexually abusing more than 1000 children, over a period of decades. The grand jury’s 1356 page report is an amazing document, a model for clarity of description in an emotionally charged environment. I don’t clearly understand who writes documents like this or how. I’m … Continued
The post Lessons from the plain, damning grand jury report on priests in Pennsylvania appeared first on without bullshit.
This is a big upgrade to the consumer version of OneDrive. You can now automatically save your desktop, your pictures and your documents folders to OneDrive. If you have Office 365, you also have a terabyte of online storage you can put to good use here. If your PC gets lost or hit by ransomware, you still have your files available to you. OneDrice protects you against ransomware by letting you roll back to previous versions.
How do you enable this? Hit the OneDrive icon, click More and then Settings. It's on the Autosave tab.
|mkalus shared this story from Fefes Blog.|
In Berlin gibt es gerade eine lustige Geschichte über eine Zivilstreife der Polizei, die von einem privaten Unternehmen abgeschleppt wurde. Die Cops haben dann da angerufen und die Firma hat sich geweigert, zu sagen, wo sie das Auto hingeschleppt haben, bis die Polizei 321 Euro zahlt. Nun haben die Cops das Auto auch ohne Hilfe der Firma orten können, weil da ein peilbares Funkgerät drin war. Nicht nur ein Funkgerät übrigens, auch ein Haufen beschlagnahmte Drogen.
Aber wie so häufig: Wenn die Staatsgewalt selbst betroffen ist, ändert sich die Perspektive plötzlich grundlegend. Die Polizei fand erst, sie habe Sonderrechte für ihre Fahrzeuge. Das Auto stand stundenlang in einer Feuerwehrzufahrt, sagt die Abschleppfirma. Money Quote:
Dem Vernehmen nach seien 20 Meter entfernt freie Parkplätze gewesen. „Die Beamten waren einfach zu faul zum Laufen.“ Und besonders clever sei es nicht, Drogen in einem abgestellten Auto zu deponieren.Aber jetzt der größte Perspektivwechsel:
Wie berichtet empfahl das Justiziariat der Polizei intern sogar ein strafrechtliches Vorgehen gegen die Abschleppfirma: „Mit Verweigerung der Herausgabe des Abstellortes liegt der Anfangsverdacht der Erpressung vor.“Oh, ach?
Wie berichtet nörgelt die Polizei auch an den 321 Euro herum, nur „eine niedrige zweistellige Summe“ sei vorstellbar.ACH NEE! Das sind ja ganz neue Töne!
We interviewed pencil reviewers with a combined 45 years of experience, and had nearly 70 paid-to-be-particular Wirecutter staffers test our top picks, to confirm that the Uni Kuru Toga Pipe Slide is the best mechanical pencil for everyday writing. Its unique lead-rotating mechanism prevents the pencil’s tip from going blunt as you write, creating the crispest and most consistent strokes for writing and drawing.
Kif Leswing reports for Business Insider on a meeting Apple held with select app developers last year where the subscription model was pushed:
An Apple representative said at the meeting that paid apps represent 15% of total app sales and is on the decline, according to a person who was there who did not want to be identified to maintain their relationship with Apple.
The message was clear: successful apps now focus on getting regular engagement from their users, not one-time sales. For developers, that meant embracing the subscription model.
If you focus on paid apps, instead of subscriptions, Apple warned, your business will eventually hit a cap.
This report comes hot on the heels of Apple's recent quarterly earnings report, during which Tim Cook shared, "Paid subscriptions from Apple and third parties have now surpassed 300 million, an increase of more than 60 percent in the past year alone."
That increase is fairly staggering to consider. Two years ago when Apple opened up subscriptions to all app types, many users and developers feared the potential for subscription fatigue. It looks like that hasn't prevented significant growth from happening – at least for now. I'll be curious to see if growth like this, and a further shift toward subscriptions over paid apps, is sustainable in the long-term.
→ Source: businessinsider.com
One conversation I’ve had a few times revolves around the question, “What’s the difference between science and data science?” If I were to come up with a simple distinction, I might say that
Science starts with a question; data science starts with the data.
What makes data science so difficult is that it starts in the wrong place. As a result, a certain amount of extra work must be done to understand the context surrounding a dataset before we can do anything useful.
Procedure for procedurals
One of my favorite shows growing up was Law & Order, one of the longest running “procedural” shows that also produced a number of spinoffs. I remember coming home from school in the afternoon, flipping on TNT and watching whatever Law & Order marathon was currently being aired (there was always something).
One distinct feature of the show is that pretty much every episode followed the exact same format:
- The episode starts with the discovery that a crime has occurred, usually a murder.
- The first half of the episode involves the police retracing history trying to figure out who committed the crime (the “Order” part).
- The police catch a suspect at exactly 22 minutes into the episode.
- In the second half of the episode, the district attorneys take over and prosecute the suspect in court (the “Law” part). Usually, they win.
The format of the show is in fact highly unusual. While it starts off with a mystery (who committed this murder?) as many shows do, the mystery is solved half way through the episode! I can imagine some TV executive 30 years ago wondering, “What the heck are you going to do for the rest of the episode if you solve the mystery half way through?”
What made the show interesting to me was that in the second half of every episode, the lawyers for the government had to convince a jury that they had the right suspect. They had to present evidence and make an argument that this person was guilty. Of course, because this is TV, they usually won the argument, but I think many TV shows would have been satisfied with just catching the criminal. In most shows, presenting the data and the evidence to an audience is not interesting, but on Law & Order, it was.
The Law & Order metaphor
Many data science projects essentially follow this format, because we start with the data. Data are available. We often don’t get to participate in its generation. Perhaps the data were collected as part of some administrative records system, or as part of some logging system, or as part of some other project addressing a different question. The initial challenge of any data science project is figuring out the context around the data and question that motivated its origination. A key milestone is then figuring out how exactly the data came to be (i.e. who committed this “crime”?).
Once we’ve figured out the context around the data, essentially retracing the history of the data, we can then ask “Are these data appropriate for the question that I want to ask?” Answering this question involves comparing the context surrounding the original data and then ensuring that it is compatible with the context for your question. If there is compatibility, or we can create compatibility via statistical modeling or assumptions, then we can intelligently move forward to analyze the data and generate evidence concerning a different question. We will then have to make a separate argument to some audience regarding the evidence in the data and any conclusions we may make. Even though the data may have been convincing for one question, it doesn’t mean that the data will be convincing for a different question.
Data science often starts with the data, but in an ideal world it wouldn’t. In an ideal world, we would ask questions and carefully design experiments to collect data specific to those questions. But this is simply not practical and data need to be shared across contexts. The difficulty of the data scientist’s job is understanding each dataset’s context, making sure it is compatible with the current question, developing the evidence from the data, and then getting an audience to accept the results.
Another in our series of posts on Vancouver’s really big transformation of a 1950’s-vintage, 28-acre car-oriented urban shopping mall into a transit-oriented mixed use community.
And now, something that surprised me.
Nine acres of the new Oakridge Centre will be a park owned and operated by Vancouver’s Park Board as a “. . .destination park for the rest of the City.” HERE is a staff report (77-page PDF) approved July 9, 2018 by the Vancouver Park Board on a remarkable, first of it’s kind relationship between a developer and the Park Board. (Thanks to Jeff Leigh, regular PT commenter).
The redevelopment of Oakridge Centre will include a new Vancouver Park Board owned and operated park. The new nine (9) acre public park will be the first of its kind of this scale in Vancouver, located partially on the roof top of the mall and partially at ground level. Although not the first Park Board Park built on structure, it will be the largest to date. This innovation in park design will offer a unique experience for existing and new residents in the area and will act as a destination park for the rest of the city. It will be designed and operated to look, feel and function as a part of the Park Board’s system with equal access for all. . . .
The new nine (9) acre public park at Oakridge Centre will offer a unique experience for existing and new residents in the area and will act as a destination park for the rest of the city. Featuring six (6) distinct park areas with a balance of lively and tranquil spaces in order to provide a wide range of activities, from social, active and fitness focused to calm, peaceful and restorative. Applying a rich layer of ecological and horticultural design, the park will create unexpected nature on a rooftop, redefining what is possible on a landscape on top of a building. Featuring a series of unique but interconnected spaces, the park will be woven together with a rich Pacific Northwest landscape and an 800m jogging and walking track.
The park will be constructed and programmed to both function and be perceived as a fully public, inviting and accessible Park Board park for all, meeting the new park’s vision to “provide a diverse and welcoming collection of park spaces balancing tranquil and active uses strongly connected by an unexpected rooftop Pacific Northwest landscape”, and “ensure vibrant interaction between the adjacent civic centre and the shopping mall uses to create a lively citywide destination while also serving the daily park and recreation needs of nearby residents”.
Click post to find out.
It’s a new super-tall Metrotown development at Beresford and McKay, very near the SkyTrain station.
This is what it used to be in 2014:
And this is still what it’s like north of the SkyTrain line on Central:
Rather than like this, south of the line:
It’s worth noting the sidewalk design, since it looks to be a requirement for every redeveloped block along the greenway.
Another conversation with a savvy insider on the civic election – one who deserves the moniker of ‘pundit’ (in the best sense) – and who had a most provocative insight: “Vision will win a majority on council.”
How? With their data base. Vision continued to renew their already-extensive and targeted contact list between elections. Unlike the new parties or independents, Vision knows who their supporters are and how to reach them.
Because of the new financing rules, it’s even more of a challenge for others to create such a list or find an expensive substitute. Pundit thinks Hector Bremner may have some data, but it’s likely out of date. There’s also a rumour that the NPA may have been in danger of losing what they had because of an in-house conflict. Regardless, says pundit, the old guard that’s left, after Bremner blew it apart, doesn’t know much about contemporary political organizing.
But has Vision, I asked, such a damaged brand that, regardless of their data, they won’t pull in the needed vote?
Pundit thinks that even with a 15 to 20 percent drop in support, their core vote won’t be bewildered by a ballot with 70-plus councillor candidates and nine for mayor (at last count). And if they fear that the progressive policies of Vision they do like, regardless of a failure on the housing file, might be threatened, they’ll be sufficiently motivated to support the party. Vision will know their names. Then it’s the job of the volunteers to get them out.
Sounds like old-fashioned political organizing to me.
I've said before that advertising is the original fake news. This article documents a decades-long effort to keep advertising away from children online, chronicling the work of Kathryn Montgomery and Jeff Chester to prevent "online playgrounds populated by the likes of Chester Cheetah and Ronald McDonald." Now they are working to prevent things like eavesdropping on children through the internet of things.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
After a seemingly endless wait, Android Oreo is finally available on the BlackBerry KEYone.
TCL Communication will roll out 8.0 to BlackBerry KEYone devices in Canada starting today, the company announced on Wednesday in an email sent to MobileSyrup.
According to TCL, the update will start rolling out at 9am ET, and will be available on both unlocked and carrier devices. In addition, the Oreo update that Rogers is pushing to KEYone devices on its network adds Wi-Fi calling, as well.
If you don’t see a notification prompting you to update your KEYone, launch Android’s Settings app, and navigate to the “System updates” sub-heading to manually update the device.
The post Android Oreo now rolling out to BlackBerry KEYone devices in Canada appeared first on MobileSyrup.
Microsoft’s ‘Your Phone’ app is out of testing and available for Windows 10 users now.
Anyone with the latest April 2018 Update can install Your Phone from the Microsoft Store.
Initially, the app was only available for Windows Insiders. However, that testing period appears to have finished.
You will need an Android phone running version 7.0 or later to use Your Phone. Microsoft has promised support for iPhones, although support will be limited compared to Android. Furthermore, the app doesn’t currently support iPhone.
When you first run the app on your PC, it asks for a phone number. Microsoft texts a link to that number, which takes you to the Play Store page for the Microsoft App.
Once you download and sign into the Microsoft app, your PC will inform you it’s connected. Furthermore, it will tell you to update your PC, if necessary, in order to access features.
Additionally, Your Phone says that if your PC doesn’t have the RS5 update — which is due out in the fall — only some features are available. For example, the app says you can still send links to your PC through the share function in you phone’s browser.
Ultimately, the goal with Your Phone is to enable a seamless connection between your smartphone and computer. This link will allow you to drag and drop photos, answer texts messages and more. However, only the photo features are available now.
The post Microsoft’s ‘Your Phone’ app now available for Windows 10 users appeared first on MobileSyrup.
Instagram has announced that users can now send private polls to one another through direct messages.
Previously, polls were only available publicly through stories by using the poll sticker feature added in October 2017.
Starting today, you can send a poll privately in Direct. Update your app to choose who you want to poll – whether it’s everyone in a big group thread or just your very best friend. Update your app now to try it! pic.twitter.com/Lfr6pwPDzI
— Instagram (@instagram) August 14, 2018
When adding the poll sticker to a story, a new option will be available to send the story directly to a private message. Everyone in the chat will be able to view the poll results in real time.
The new feature is part of a larger recent effort from Instagram to increase engagement between users on the platform. In May, the social media giant introduced an emoji slider to let users rate their specific feelings on various subjects through emoji. Last month, Instagram also added a ‘Questions’ sticker to let users create Q&A’s in stories.
Via: The Verge
The post Instagram now lets users send polls through direct messages appeared first on MobileSyrup.
It looks like HTC won’t be manufacturing or designing the U12 Life.
According to HTC leaker Llabtoofer, the U12 Life will be built by another manufacturer.
Imagine Life (Allegedly U12 Life) will be shipped with Android 8.1 on board.
Interesting fact about it, this device will be ODM manufactured…
— LlabTooFeR (@LlabTooFeR) August 13, 2018
This is an odd move for the Taiwan-based company as, unlike companies like Google, HTC typically manufactures its own smartphones. However, with its recent losses over the years and with Google purchasing a part of its phone-making business, the company is likely trying to save money wherever it can.
The HTC U12 Life reportedly features a 6-inch display with a 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution, a 636 snapdragon processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Further, rumours point to the phone including a dual camera setup with an iPhone X-style notch.
It’s possible HTC may not build or design its next flagship either.
The post HTC may use an ODM to design and manufacture the U12 Life appeared first on MobileSyrup.
It looks like Apple could be working on a custom health chip designed to process biometric data in a variety of the company’s future devices, according to a job listing first uncovered by CNBC.
Designing proprietary silicon isn’t exactly a new thing for Apple, so there’s likely truth to the rumour. The company currently makes custom processors for the iPhone. Rumours have also been swirling that Apple is working on its own silicon for its Mac line of computers and laptops, with a loose release date set for 2020. The Apple Watch also features the tech giant’s custom S3 silicon.
Further, Apple’s A11 Bionic chip, the processor featured in the iPhone X and iPhone 8, includes a specially designed ‘Neural Engine’ that ensures biometric-related processes like FaceID and Animoji, run smoothly. The 2018 MacBook Pro also features a custom T2 chip signal processor that handles the laptop’s microphone, speakers and cooling fans.
These job postings hint that Apple could have plans to create even more proprietary silicon, only in this case with a focus on health data, including a custom chip that handles processes like heart rate and managing battery efficiency in the Apple Watch.
The listing, which has since been removed by Apple, describes what the position entails.
One post says the following: “We are looking for sensor ASIC architects to help develop ASICs for new sensors and sensing systems for future Apple products. We have openings for analog as well as digital ASIC architects.” Another states that Apple is looking for someone to “help develop health, wellness, and fitness sensors.”
Of course this is all just speculation, but it looks like Apple plans to bring more accurate health tracking features to the Apple Watch and possibly even the iPhone, given that developing its own custom hardware would allow the company to retain more control over how health data is gathered.
Along with new versions of the iPhone, Apple is also expected to reveal a new Apple Watch and a revamped iPad Pro at its upcoming September hardware event.
The post New job listing hints Apple is working on custom biometric health chip appeared first on MobileSyrup.
Google is bringing some Pie for everyone, including Android Go users in the fall.
Dubbed Android 9 Pie (Go edition), the update includes a number of improvements for the budget OS.
Pie Go will provides users with more storage, faster boot times and more. These updates come with everything else included in the regular Pie update.
As far as storage goes, Android Go users will get an additional 500MB of storage out of the box.
Furthermore, Pie Go brings improved security features and a new accessible dashboard for tracking data usage.
Along with these updates, the Go editions of many apps received or are getting updates. Google Go, for example, will offer the ability to read webpages aloud.
Additionally, YouTube Go gives users the option to download and view videos offline so they use less data.
Maps Go has navigation features now as well, including turn-by-turn directions.
Files Go, Google’s storage management app, includes a data transfer tool with speeds up to 490Mbps.
Assistant Go was also updated with support for new languages including Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Indonesian. It also expanded support for device actions. Assistant Go can control Bluetooth, camera and flashlight, as well as add reminders.
Overall it’s a solid update to the platform from Google. Hopefully this continued push is enough to make it take off more in Canada.
Currently not many Android Go phones are offered in Canada. The Alcatel 1 Android Go phone is available through some carriers, namely Bell, Telus, Virgin Mobile, Koodo and Lucky Mobile.
The post Google will give Android Go a taste of Pie later this fall appeared first on MobileSyrup.
A strange new Instagram hack is replacing user profile photos with images from films and television programs, according to Mashable.
Mashable reported that approximately 5,000 tweets from 899 Twitter accounts mentioning Instagram hacks over the past seven days.
According to BBC News, not only are users unable to access their accounts, registered email addressed have also been changed to originate from Russian email client mail.ru.
As of August 14th, 2018, it appears that Instagram appears to be aware of the issue and is sending emails to notify affected users.
“We have dedicated teams helping people to secure their accounts,” reads an excerpt from an August 14th, 2018 Instagram media release.
“If you have reached out to us about your account, you will hear back from our team soon.”
The post Instagram hack replaces profile photos with film stills appeared first on MobileSyrup.
Apple has updated its Maps app to include indoor information for 18 shopping malls across Canada.
With indoor Maps, iOS users will be able to get an overview of store locations, restrooms, parking lots, escalators, stairs and more.
A complete list of the newly added malls is as follows:
- Chinook Centre — Calgary, Alberta
- Market Mall — Calgary, Alberta
- Richmond Centre — Richmond, British Columbia
- Polo Park — Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Champlain Place — Dieppe, New Brunswick
- Carrefour Laval — Laval, Quebec
- Galeries D’Anjou — Montréal, Quebec
- Fairview Pointe Claire — Pointe-Claire, Quebec
- Promenades St-Bruno — Saint-Bruno, Quebec
- Lime Ridge — Hamilton, Ontario
- Fairview Park — Kitchener, Ontario
- Masonville Place — London, Ontario
- Markville — Markham, Ontario
- Square One — Mississauga, Ontario
- Rideau Centre — Ottawa, Ontario
- Shops at Don Mills — Toronto, Ontario
- Fairview Mall — Toronto, Ontario
- Sherway Gardens — Toronto, Ontario
Since December, Apple Maps has also included indoor data for Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver international airports.
Via: iPhone in Canada
The post Apple Maps adds indoor maps of 18 Canadian shopping centres appeared first on MobileSyrup.
Twitter Favorites: [CityofVancouver] The eagle (/sparrow) has landed! The Birds, by Myfanwy MacLeod, return to roost in Olympic Village today after bein… https://t.co/wi9rgKuGi8
Twitter Favorites: [rtanglao] @davewiner I use the ue roll 2 on my handlebars ! Love it and recommend it! https://t.co/c2pXAXxR8i
I have been talking about Pinterest as a disinformation platform for a long time, so this article on QAnon memes on Pinterest is not surprising at all:
Many of those users also pinned QAnon memes. The net effect is a community of middle-aged women, some with hundreds of followers, pinning style tips and parfait recipes alongside QAnon-inspired photoshops of Clinton aide John Podesta drinking a child’s blood. The Pinterest page for a San Francisco-based jewelry maker sells QAnon earrings alongside “best dad in the galaxy” money clips.
Pinterest’s algorithm automatically suggests tags with “ideas you might love,” based on the board currently being viewed. In a timely clash of Trumpist language and Pinterest-style relatable content, board that hosts the Podesta photoshop suggests viewers check out tags for “fake news” and “so true.”
The story is a bit more complex than that, of course. It’s not clear to me that the users noted here are not spammers (as we’ll see below). It’s quite possible many of these accounts are people mixing memes and merchandise as a marketing amplification strategy. We don’t know anything about real reach, either. There are no good numbers on this.
But the threat is real, because Pinterest’s recommendation engine is particularly prone to sucking users down conspiracy holes. Why? As far as I can tell, it’s a couple of things. The first problem is that Pinterest’s business model is in providing very niche and personalized content. It’s algorithm is designed to recognize stuff at the level of “I like pictures of salad in canning jars”, and as Zeynep Tufekci has demonstrated with YouTube, engines of personalization are also engines of radicalization.
But it’s more than that: it’s how it goes about recommendation. The worst piece of this, from a vulnerability perspective, is that it uses “boards” as a way to build its model of related things to push to you, and that spammers have developed ways to game these boards that both amplify radicalizing material and and provide a model for other bad actors to emulate.
How Spammers Use Pinterest Boards as Chumbuckets
The best explanation of how this works comes from Amy Collier at Middlebury, whose post on Pinterest radicalization earlier this year is a must-read for those new to the issue. Drawing on earlier work on Pinterest manipulation, Collier walks through the almost assuredly fake account of Sandra Whyte, a user who uses boards with extreme political material to catch the attention of users. Here’s her “American Politics” board:
These pins flow to other users’ home pages with no context, which is why the political incoherence of the board as a whole is not a problem for the user. People are more likely to see the pins through the feed than the board as a whole.
Once other users like that material, they are more likely to see links to TeeSpring T-shirts this user is likely selling:
The T-Shirts are print-on-demand through a third-party service, so hastily designed that the description can’t even be bothered to spell “Mother” right.
So two things happen here. When Moms like QAnon content, they get t-shirts, which provides the incentive for spammers to continue to make these boards capitalizing on inflammatory content. Interestingly, when Moms like the T-shirts, they get QAnon content. Fun, right?
How Pinterest’s Aggressive Recommendation Engine Makes This Worse
About a year ago I wrote an article on how Pinterest’s recommendation engine makes this situation far worse. I showed how after just 14 minutes of browsing, a new user with some questions about vaccines could move from pins on “How to Make the Perfect Egg” to something out of the Infowarverse:
What was remarkable about this process was that we got from point A to B by only pinning two pins on a board called vaccination.
I sped up the 14 minute process into a two and a half minute explanatory video. I urge you to watch it, because no matter how cynical you are it will shock you.
I haven’t repeated this experiment since then, so I’m unable to comment on whether Pinterest has mitigated this in the past year. It’s something we should be asking them, however.
I should note as well that the UI-driven decontextualization that drove Facebook’s news crisis is actually worse here. Looking at a board, I have no idea why I am seeing these various bits of information at all, or any indication where they come from.
Facebook minimized provenance in the UI to disastrous results. Pinterest has completely stripped it. What could go wrong?
Pinterest Is a Major Platform and It’s Time to Talk About It That Way
Pinterest has only 175 million users, but 75 million of those users are in the United States. We can assume a number of spam accounts pad that number, but even accounting for that, this is still a major platform that may be reaching up to a fifth of the U. S. population.
So why don’t we talk about it? My guess is that its perceived as a woman’s platform, which means the legions of men in tech reporting ignore it. And the Silicon Valley philosopher-king class doesn’t bring it up either. It just sounds a bit girly, you know? Housewife-ish.
This then filters down to the general public. When I’ve talked about Pinterest’s vulnerability to disinformation, the most common response is to assume I am joking. Pinterest? Balsamic lamb chops and state-sponsored disinfo? White supremacy and summer spritzers?
Yup, I say.
I don’t know how compromised Pinterest is at this point. But everything I’ve seen indicates its structure makes it uniquely vulnerable to manipulation. I’d beg journalists to start including it in their beat, and researchers to throw more resources into its study.
Apple is on a roll. The company is seeing record high iPhone ASPs, strong momentum with Services, and a wearables platform connecting with the mass market. Revenue growth has accelerated for the past seven quarters. Apple's growth story has returned with a vengeance. Upon closer examination, it becomes evident that Apple's three primary growth levers are not created equal. While some growth levers are at risk of slowing, others are still just getting started.
Growth Has Returned
In early 2016, Apple hit a rough patch. The company reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone unit sales as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales cycle proved quite different from that of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Overall revenue trends also turned negative with Apple reporting a double-digit revenue decline in 2Q16 and 3Q16.
Just as consensus began to throw in the towel on Apple as a growth story, iPhone unit sales stabilized. As shown in Exhibit 1, revenue bottomed in early 2017 and then once again began to increase. The most recent quarter marked a record high for Apple revenue on a trailing-twelve-month (TTM) basis and the seventh consecutive quarter of sequential growth in revenue.
Exhibit 1: Apple Revenue (TTM)
There are three drivers behind Apple's return to revenue growth:
- iPhone. The average selling price (ASP) of iPhone is up $100 year-over-year.
- Services. Apple is seeing strong revenue growth from the App Store, licensing, and AppleCare.
- Wearables. Apple's wearables platform is gaining sales momentum as Apple Watch and AirPods go mainstream.
The interesting thing about Apple's latest growth story is that few people were forecasting that Apple would grow revenue via hardware sales. Instead, many said that Services would be Apple's growth engine going forward. As it turns out, things are developing differently than consensus assumed.
For the twelve months ending this past June, iPhone was responsible for 57% of Apple's year-over-year revenue growth. Services was the second-largest revenue driver, responsible for 23% of Apple's year-over-year revenue growth. Wearables was responsible for 11% of Apple's growth. As seen in Exhibit 2, iPhone has been responsible for an increasing portion of Apple's revenue growth.
Exhibit 2: Measuring Apple's Revenue Growth Drivers
It is helpful to take a closer look at the factors underpinning Apple's three revenue growth drivers.
iPhone. In 3Q18, iPhone revenue was up 20% year-over-year. The vast majority of this growth was due to Apple selling higher-priced iPhones. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the highest-priced 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones, respectively, to date. Furthermore, the iPhone X is Apple's highest-priced iPhone yet. As seen in Exhibit 3, iPhone ASP experienced a step increase beginning in 1Q18, which marked the first full quarter of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sales in addition to the iPhone X launch. Given strong flagship iPhone sales momentum, Apple has continued to report strong ASP trends. Apple reported a record high $119 year-over-year increase in iPhone ASP in 3Q18.
Exhibit 3: iPhone ASP
According to my estimates, Apple has sold approximately 120M higher-priced, flagship iPhones (8, 8 Plus, and X) since September 2017. Some of these devices were bought by former Android users switching to iPhone. However, there are only so many premium Android users out there. The majority of sales have likely gone to existing iPhone users upgrading their devices. With an iPhone installed base of approximately 750M users, less than 15% of the iPhone installed base bought a new flagship iPhone over the last nine months.
A small percentage of the iPhone installed base is responsible for driving much of the year-over-year increase in iPhone ASP. While this doesn't necessarily mean that iPhone ASPs are more fragile than they appear, it does add clarity to the current state of the iPhone business. The iPhone upgrade cycle continues to get longer while growth in customer demand for iPhone remains mediocre. Despite these challenges, the sheer size of the iPhone installed base makes it possible for Apple to sell close to 150M higher-priced, flagship iPhones in any given year.
Services. Apple's second-largest revenue driver, Services, is comprised of five items:
- Digital content (App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, etc.)
- iCloud storage
- Apple Pay
A majority of Apple's Services revenue is associated with Apple distributing digital content to hundreds of millions of people via the App Store and iTunes. Accordingly, the increase in the number of people accessing Apple's content stores, combined with existing users spending more as time goes on, is a leading driver behind Apple's strong Services revenue growth.
Licensing revenue is another major contributor to Services revenue growth as third parties are paying Apple more to get their services in front of Apple's users. It helps that Apple's grip on premium users has gotten stronger over time. AppleCare revenue is also on the rise as the number of Apple devices in the wild increases and Apple expands its AppleCare distribution efforts.
Wearables. Apple is seeing strong unit sales growth for both Apple Watch and AirPods. In just three years, Apple Watch sales have exceeded 20M units per year with a user base nearing 40M. Despite extended supply issues, Apple likely sold more than 10M AirPods during the first year on the market, and coming close to 20M unit sales is a distinct possibility in CY2018. Apple Watch and AirPods sales are benefiting from aggressive pricing, strong mindshare, growing word of mouth, and increased distribution, especially with the cellular Apple Watch Series 3. As shown in Exhibit 4, wearables unit sales (the orange portion of bar) are no longer a footnote on a Apple gadget sales chart.
Exhibit 4: Apple Gadget Unit Sales
When it comes to thinking about how Apple's revenue growth drivers will perform in the coming quarters, it is important to assess the broader environment facing each driver. At the same time, a look at Apple's product strategy is required to the weigh the impact from new products and pricing decisions.
iPhone. Among Apple's three revenue growth drivers, the iPhone faces the most headwinds. While Apple can still grow iPhone revenue with modest unit sales growth, the company will likely see less of a revenue boost from huge iPhone ASP gains. It will be difficult for Apple to increase iPhone ASP by another $100 in 2019. Instead, iPhone ASP increases will likely decline.
Apple is expected to unveil three new flagship iPhones (6.5-inch OLED, 5.8-inch OLED, and 6.1-inch LCD) next month. Even if we assume the 6.5-inch OLED is priced higher than iPhone X, the model likely won't have as large of an impact on iPhone ASP as iPhone X, given a smaller share of overall iPhone sales. Instead, the majority of iPhone sales will be found with the 6.1-inch LCD and 5.8-inch OLED iPhones. These models will likely be priced similar to this year's flagship iPhones, making it that much harder for Apple to see another step increase in iPhone ASP.
Services. There are a number of factors supporting continued robust Apple Services revenue trends into 2019. Apple Services will benefit from continued growth in the iPhone installed base. At the same time, larger industry themes such as video subscription services gaining popularity stand to benefit Apple Services revenue in a few ways. In addition to earning a share of revenue via third-party video subscriptions, Apple is widely expected to launch its own paid video streaming service in 2019. Additional Services growth levers are found with higher licensing fees from third parties, more AppleCare revenue, and a larger number of iCloud storage subscriptions. In a scenario in which iPhone revenue growth slows, it is reasonable to expect Services will represent a larger portion of Apple's revenue growth in 2019.
Wearables. Apple's wearables segment will likely serve as an Apple revenue growth engine for years. The days of Apple wearables being considered a revenue footnote are over. Over the past 12 months, Apple sold over $10 billion of wearables (Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones). Assuming Apple is able to maintain at least 30% to 40% unit sales growth over the next few years, Apple's wearables platform will reach $20 billon of annual revenue within three years. Given the still relatively low adoption rates for Apple Watch and AirPods within the Apple user base, there are plenty of potential users left to fuel unit sales growth. Over the long run, Apple will likely expand the wearables platform to include new form factors and product categories. These developments will add even more growth potential to the segment.
On the last two quarterly earnings conference calls, Tim Cook has talked about the smartphone market being one of the best for a company like Apple in the history of the world. There aren't too many markets capable of supporting 215M+ annual unit sales at an average selling price exceeding $750. Read between the lines, and Cook's confidence signaled Apple's belief that nothing will displace smartphones as the most valuable computer in our lives in the near term. For example, Cook's answer to an analyst's question about tech in the home didn't make it seem like Apple management was worried about stationary smart speakers.
Much of Cook's optimism around smartphones is supported by recent Apple financial trends as revenue growth has been driven primarily by iPhone, with Services and wearables serving in more supporting roles.
However, this doesn't mean that Apple is betting on iPhone over the long run. In fact, over the next few quarters, it is reasonable to expect that iPhone will become less of a growth driver for Apple, with the growth spotlight turning to digital content distribution and wearables as Apple's primary growth engines.
Apple continues to place bets on new products that have the potential to gradually serve as iPhone alternatives (not replacements). In essence, Apple wants to be the one to disrupt the iPhone. These iPhone alternatives, having to be powered or supported by iPhone out of the gate, will initially be viewed as rudimentary or even as toys. However, these products will be placed on the path to independency from iPhone. The Apple Watch is a great example of such a product. Apple Glasses have the potential to be an even bigger catalyst for growth.
At the same time, we are seeing Apple gain confidence in delivering services focused on distributing digital content and adding value to hardware used by a billion users. As the average number of Apple products per user increases, thanks to wearables, these services will prove essential in delivering personalized and proactive solutions to the Apple community. This strategy will provide Apple years of revenue growth opportunity and pave the way for Apple's eventual entrance into the transportation industry.
Receive my analysis and perspective on Apple throughout the week via exclusive daily updates (2-3 stories per day, 10-12 stories per week). Available to Above Avalon members. To sign up and for more information on memberships, visit the membership page.
Brooks leather saddles didn't gain the reputation they have today based purely on good looks. Although they are indeed a sight for sore eyes, it's the comfort and durability that really shine once mounted on a bike.
Sure, they may leave a slight dent in the wallet at $145 for a B17, but it's an investment that will last you a lifetime when properly cared for.
On the other hand, if neglected, a Brooks saddle might end up looking like this:
So for all the cyclists who've made that initial investment, or are heavily considering it, we're adding this latest blog post in our “oversimplified” series in an attempt to shed some very important and easy to digest knowledge on getting the most out of your Brooks saddle.
Let’s get started...
Tools of the Trade:
First things first. Using just these three items, you will be able to break-in, maintain, and most importantly enjoy the notoriously comfortable ride provided by a genuine Brooks saddle of England.
- Any old cloth - a paper towel would even work.
- Brooks Proofide - available here.
- A Brooks spanner tool - included with all Brooks leather saddles.
Straight Out of the Box:
Straight out of the box, your saddle will be ready to roll as it comes pre-polished and tightened directly from the production line. They assured us of this during our factory tour, which you can read more on here.
Having said that, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the break-in process, and maintain your saddle – ensuring it will last you a lifetime. This is where our pro-tips come in.
For a Faster Break-in:
Apply Brooks brand Proofide to the top (shiny) side of your saddle. Just use a modest amount (a dab will do ya) and massage it into the saddle using a small rag.
Lightly coat the entire surface of the saddle
Let it sit for about 10 mins
Polish it off with a clean rag to remove excess
Next we'll use that very same technique to apply Proofide to the underside, yes the underside, of your saddle. This is going to help with two things:
Softening up the entire leather hide, thus enabling your buns to break the leather in a bit quicker during your first few weeks in the saddle.
Making the vulnerable raw underside of the hide a bit more weather resistant than it would be straight off the factory floor.
Re-application is a must. Just like protecting your skin from the sun with application and reapplication of sunblock, you’ll need to protect your saddle from everyday life with the occasional coating of Proofide.
After a few months, you’ll notice the sheen from your first lather of Proofide is wearing off the top of your saddle. The leather will appear a bit rough and scuffs might start showing up. Just as you would with your favorite pair of leather shoes, go ahead and re-apply a thin layer of Proofide and polish the saddle up.
Pro-tip: Don't overdo it with your Proofide. Using too much is essentially going to leave your saddle wet, which could lead to major problems down the line. We'll discuss why in our next tip…
Keep it dry! As we just said, dampness will do your saddle no favors as far as durability goes. Overexposure to water (or dampness of any kind) can displace natural oils in the leather, which leads to drying and cracking over time. This will result in a nasty looking saddle that's no fun to ride. We know life happens and it rains, but you can protect your saddle in two very simple ways:
1. You already did some weatherproofing by applying the Proofide.
2. Grab a rain jacket for your saddle. Available here.
Lastly, keep your saddle tight. You’ll notice that as you break your saddle in, the leather hide may start to loosen up and sag like a hammock across the steel frame. This is both bad for your efficiency as a rider, and for the saddle in general. It also looks pretty ridiculous, so try to periodically tighten up when you notice this happening.
Use your Brooks spanner tool to mount the nut just inside the nose of the saddle frame.
Give this a quarter of a turn at a time until your saddle is sitting taut and proud.
Enjoy the Ride:
I know what you're thinking. "That's it?" and yes, that really is it. Using this knowledge wisely, you should have a saddle that will last you a literal lifetime, and possibly even someone else’s after that (so long as you provide them with the link to this blog post.)
The latest chapter in Twitter’s contentious relationship with third-party developers is coming to a close. In April 2017, Twitter announced plans to eventually deprecate certain parts of its API that third-party apps rely on.
Fast forward one year to April 2018, roughly 10 weeks before the scheduled API transition of mid-June. Twitter’s new API still hadn’t been made available to third-party developers. The Iconfactory, Tapbots, and other makers of Twitter clients created a website called Apps of a Feather…Stick Together to explain how the looming changes would affect customers. The ensuing uproar among users caused Twitter to delay the API transition until tomorrow, August 16, 2018. Although Twitter has not flipped the switch on the changes yet, apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot have already taken steps to deal with the changes.
Twitter is replacing its streaming API, on which third parties relied, with a new API, but it’s problematic for a couple of reasons. First, the new API does not include all of the functionality of the API it replaces. Second, it’s a paid API that, according to Apps of a Feather, would be cost-prohibitive to implement:
The free API allows us to implement some push notifications, but they would be limited to 15 Twitter accounts – our products must deliver notifications to hundreds of thousands of customers. Pricing for Premium access is $2,899 per month for 250 users. To cover this cost, a third-party app would need to charge over $16 per month to break even.
As a result, third-party developers have spent the summer preparing their apps for the transition. In July, The Iconfactory updated Twitterrific:
Sometime after August 16th, 2018, Twitterrific won’t be able to receive and display notifications natively.
When this happens, you won’t be notified when someone likes one of your tweets, quotes you, replies to you, retweets, sends a direct message, or follows you. Since these notifications also power the Today view and Twitterrific’s Apple Watch app, we will be retiring both.
Today, Tapbots joined The Iconfactory with an update to Tweetbot that accommodates the API changes. Among the changes:
- Timeline streaming has been removed, replaced with automatic refreshes every couple of minutes.
- Retweet, quote tweet, like, and follow notifications are gone.
- Mention and direct message push notifications have been reworked, which can delay them several minutes.
- Tweetbot’s Stats and Activity view that displayed aggregate like, retweet, and follower data along with chronological like, mention, reply, and follow information has been removed.
- The Tweetbot Apple Watch app has been discontinued.
I will particularly miss the Stats and Activity view of Tweetbot, which has long been one of my favorites. Twitterrific’s Today view, which was similar to Tweetbot’s Activity view, was removed from sale as a premium feature in July, will stop working when the API changes take effect, and will be retired in the future.
Whichever app you use, the biggest changes are to timeline streaming and push notifications. Twitterrific used to allow you to live-stream your timeline over WiFi, which is no longer possible. Instead, your timeline will refresh every two minutes or so over WiFi or a mobile data connection when the app is running. Tweetbot doesn’t support streaming anymore either, but it too will periodically refresh your timeline when the app is open.
Notifications are more limited as well. Tweetbot and Twitterrific used to allow users to turn on notifications for mentions, direct messages, retweets, quote tweets, likes, and follows, but don’t anymore.
As a result of Twitter’s API changes, push notifications for Tweetbot are limited to direct messages and mentions, the delivery of which may be delayed up to several minutes. In my testing, Tweetbot notifications usually took about 5 minutes to arrive after I sent one to myself from another account.
Twitterrific has taken a different approach to push notifications, eliminating them completely and suggesting that users turn on notifications in the official Twitter app instead. It’s a clever hack that allows for more kinds of notifications than Twitterrific can deliver itself. I know there’s nothing The Iconfactory can do about it, but it’s still a shame to have to install a second app just to get notifications.
How these changes shake out for third-party clients remains to be seen. I’ve used the beta update for Tweetbot over the past week, and the elimination of its Stats and Activity section has left me feeling like there is something missing from the app. I still prefer it to the official app, but the removal of that section is a meaningful loss. A similar hole will be left in Twitterrific when the Today section no longer works. Both apps have also lost their Apple Watch apps and live-streaming. If those are critical features to your use of Twitter, you may want to give the official client another try.
The changes made to Tweetbot and Twitterrific are similar, so they shouldn’t impact whether you use one over the other. The primary difference is how push notifications are handled. If you haven’t enabled push notifications, these changes aren’t meaningful. However, if you do use push notifications, the ones you use will determine which app serves your needs best. Using the official Twitter client as a substitute for native push notifications in Twitterrific makes the best of a bad situation, but relying on a second app just for notifications isn’t ideal. Still, it’s a solution that allows for a broader set of notifications than Twitterrific can deliver. For those who rely only on mention and direct message notifications, Tweetbot is a simpler approach that may be preferable.
How long third-party clients will continue to be a viable alternative to Twitter’s official app is anyone’s guess, but for now, I still prefer the experience delivered by Twitterrific and Tweetbot despite their limitations. I turned off all Twitter notifications except for direct messages a few months ago, and I haven’t missed timeline streaming during the Tweetbot beta. Notification delays for direct messages, which are noticeable, will probably affect my Twitter usage the most, but I have plenty of other ways to carry on similar conversations. As a result, these changes don’t make third party clients unusable for me, but it has caused me to reevaluate which Twitter client I will use going forward, which is a process that is ongoing.
I wish I could be more optimistic about where the future of third-party clients is headed, but I’ve written far too many stories about the many ways Twitter has undermined them, and I don’t see any end to that in sight. Twitter owes much of its early innovation and evolution to third-party developers. Where once we had a vibrant, competitive category of apps that sparked new and creative ways to use the platform, now, I’m left wondering how much longer apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot will be around with each new story like this one. It’s a shame, but unfortunately, Twitter has never recognized the value of third-party Twitter clients.
Support MacStories Directly
Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it's also a way to support us directly.
Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Plus, it's made in Italy.Join Now
After having 500 copies of the Charlottetown Boulder Park brochure printed, I needed places to put them.
I left about 50 with the office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for placement inside the Hon. George Coles Building.
Which left me with needing a place for the remaining 450.
The food trucks surrounding the park were a logical place for some of them, but, as you can imagine, food trucks are already chock full of people, food, and supplies, and the last thing they need is something else squeezed in.
So I took matters into my own hands, and ordered a 3-pack of plexiglass outdoor tri-fold brochure holders with a lid from Amazon.ca (exorbitant at $52 plus $20 shipping, but those were cheap compared to what else I found), and they arrived today, and I installed them on electric poles beside the food trucks, ideally located where patrons waiting for their orders can improve their geological knowledge.
Please pick one up the next time you’re waiting for your burger, or your rolled ice cream, or that you’re looking for a shady spot to while away the hours.