The Initial Charge Linked List

 

AOL Shutting Down TUAW

Micah Singleton, reporting for The Verge:

AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog, better known as TUAW, sources familiar with the situation tell The Verge. The company — which is also shutting down its gaming site Joystiq — is in the midst of a major reorganization, and is cutting back on media properties it deems as underperforming. TUAW’s run comes to an end on February 2nd.

It’s always sad when writers lose their jobs, but I can’t say I’m surprised. TUAW hasn’t been on my radar for several years and I haven’t read it regularly since 2010.

The good news is that anyone losing their job from this will have an incredible opportunity to build something new — just as Jason Snell did with Six Colors when IDG ceased production of the print edition of Macworld.

There’s always a silver lining, even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Tailor

A neat iOS app that stitches together overlapping screenshots into one seamless image. I often take screenshots of iMessage conversations and share them with my fiancée to let her know what was discussed without having to reiterate it to her. Tailor is perfect for the job and is much cleaner than sending three or four screenshots in a row and having her try to follow the thread of the conversation through the multiple images.

Tailor is free in the App Store and offers a $2.99 in-app purchase to remove ads.

Ming-Chi Kuo on Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook Air Ship Dates

Richard Padilla, reporting for MacRumors:

Apple will begin shipping the Apple Watch in March and will also look to launch its new 12-inch MacBook Air during this quarter, according to a new report by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo.

I usually take analyst predictions with a grain of salt, but Ming-Chi Kuo’s track record is better than most.

Apple Adds ‘Free on iTunes’ Section to iTunes

I’m especially interested in some of the TV Show episodes that are currently available. I’ll be watching the free episode of Best New Restaurant with my fiancée the next chance I get and I’ll probably pick up some of the free HGTV episodes while I’m at it.

NEEO: The Thinking Remote for Your Smart Home

A really neat universal remote idea currently doing an incredible job on Kickstarter. At the time of this writing they have nearly 3,000 backers pledging more than 14 times their goal of $50,000.

I’ve been using Logitech Harmony remotes for years, but this is the kind of remote that would get me to switch. It’s a beautiful piece of industrial design paired with, what appears to be, some really nice software.

How Glenn Fleishman Stopped Using RSS and Didn’t Even Notice

I’ve been using an RSS reader for about a decade now and still check it several times a day. I can see the appeal of getting rid of my RSS reader and keeping up with the news on Twitter — having one less inbox to keep track of sounds great. But, I feel like I’d need to follow too many people on Twitter in order to make sure I didn’t miss anything interesting.

You see, I’m one of those completists that Glenn mentions. For whatever reason I can’t bring myself to ever hit the mark all as read button — I have to read every single headline and every single tweet. And from this perspective, the only way to keep myself from going crazy while still keeping up with everything is to curate a tight list of RSS feeds to subscribe to and Twitter users to follow.

Maybe I’ll change my tune at some point in the future. But, until then I’m happy continuing to read news in my RSS reader.

How to Watch NBC’s Super Bowl Live Stream

I’m not much of a sports guy. But if I end up watching some of the Super Bowl this year, this is how I’m going to do it.

Targets for Apple Watch Battery Life Revealed

Another scoop by Mark Gurman:

Our sources say that Apple is targeting 2.5 hours of “heavy” application use, such as processor-intensive gameplay, or 3.5 hours of standard app use. Interestingly, Apple expects to see better battery life when using the Watch’s fitness tracking software, which is targeted for nearly 4 hours of straight exercise tracking on a single charge.

I’d say this is on the lean side of the acceptability spectrum. It should be enough for many owners, but I can imagine the battery dying out before bedtime for more heavy users.

Microsoft HoloLens

Announced at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event yesterday, HoloLens is a virtual reality-like headset that projects 3D rendered images into the world around you. There was no pricing or hard release date announced, as anyone who follows Microsoft would have predicted.

Here’s some of the notes I jotted down while watching the HoloLens presentation (starts at about 01:37:00):

  • The promotional video looked a lot more impressive than the real life demo, which appeared more clumsy and irritating to interact with.
  • Being able to move your mouse cursor off of your computer screen and onto the world around you actually sounds neat. And, this would alleviate some of the awkwardness of having to wave your arm around to interact with the objects in HoloLens.
  • Microsoft’s Alex Kipman was listing off various applications for HoloLens while slides of those potential users were being displayed on the screen behind him. But, none of those people “using HoloLens” were actually wearing the HoloLens goggles on their head.
  • Available “in the Windows 10 timeframe” is a pretty vague release time frame.
  • The HoloLens user interface has to be intuitive on a level never seen before in computing. Otherwise, new users will either be completely lost trying to interact with the software or they’ll have to be constantly inundated with tutorial-like information in order to inform them about what voice commands and physical gestures they can use to interact with the application they’re using.
  • It doesn’t seem like you can get the same level of precision using your hands with HoloLens as you could using a mouse on a computer.

I’m skeptical about whether or not this technology will ever take hold. It doesn’t seem much more useful than a large touchscreen computer in regards to physically interacting with objects (since you can’t actually touch anything using HoloLens). And, it’s a lot easier to look like a doofus wearing a pair of goggles than it is using a touchscreen or a traditional mouse and keyboard.

But, I’d be foolish to completely write off this technology. Eventually we’re going to be interacting with computers in different ways than we are today. I’m not certain it will be this, but if the software and hardware are dramatically improved at a rapid rate over the next decade or two this could be the next big thing.

HealthCare.gov Sends Personal Data to Dozens of Tracking Websites

Cooper Quintin, writing for the EFF:

EFF researchers have independently confirmed that healthcare.gov is sending personal health information to at least 14 third party domains, even if the user has enabled Do Not Track. […] Sending such personal information raises significant privacy concerns. A company like Doubleclick, for example, could match up the personal data provided by healthcare.gov with an already extensive trove of information about what you read online and what your buying preferences are to create an extremely detailed profile of exactly who you are and what your interests are.

I find it appalling that healthcare.gov sends any information to tracking websites at all. Why would an insurance marketplace send data to Optimizely, Doubleclick, and Google? You’d think $2 billion would have bought something a little better than this.

Live From Microsoft’s Windows 10 Event

Microsoft is also live streaming the event on their own website. I’ve been following along on the aforelinked The Verge liveblog while watching the live stream airplayed from my iPhone to my Apple TV.

A Promotional Video for Google’s Project Ara

Have you ever watched someone drop their phone and the battery and battery cover fly off on impact? Imagine if every component on your phone could fall off in the same fashion when it hit the ground. That’s the only thing I can think of while I’m watching this video.

John Moltz Buys a PC

John Moltz recently purchased a gaming laptop for his son and documented the experience. I’ve never actually purchased a PC myself — when I was using PCs they were either purchased by my parents, provided by my school, or I built them myself. But, that was nearly a decade ago and based on John’s experience it looks like things have only gotten worse.

What I don’t understand is why there’s no PC OEM that takes the user experience as seriously as Apple does. Why isn’t there one with a rationalized product lineup, aimed at a broad swath of customers (Razer’s is rationalized, but only focuses on high-end gaming), that all come with a clean Windows install?

Every few years I’ll get questions from a friend or family member about what computer I think they should buy. And after doing a little research on my own I always end up giving them the same advice: I have no idea what PC you should buy, but if you think you want to switch to OS X, I recommend a MacBook Air or an iMac.

I don’t give them this advice because I don’t think they should buy a PC, in fact I’d rather they buy a PC because it’s what they’re most comfortable with and it’ll prevent me from become their lifeline when something goes wrong (as I expect I’d be if they bought a mac, since I’m the “mac guy”). The reason I don’t know what PC to recommend is because the whole market looks like a sea of poorly built hardware filled with bloatware and bad user experiences.

Like John, I’ll never understand why there isn’t one PC OEM that actually seems to care about the customer. Not one with a simple product line, with limited options in order to prevent their customers from being overwhelmed. Whenever I take a look at the PC market it feels like every OEM is trying to dump all the components that Intel and AMD couldn’t convince Apple to put in their latest MacBook Air. It’s not good at all.

JCPenney Resurrects Its Catalog

With this, JCPenney has veered as far away from Ron Johnson’s vision for the company as they possibly could. I still believe Johnson would have turned the company around given enough time, but I suppose the shareholders were more interested in quick gains than long term value — they’d rather have a catalog business and half renovated stores now, than the coolest store in the mall later.

The new catalogs will begin shipping to select customers in March focusing on former home department shoppers.

iTunes Features That Have Been Retired

Kirk McElhearn reminds us of some of the features Apple has retired from iTunes. Most of them I never used and don’t miss. But, I do wish Apple would realize the error of their ways and bring back the iTunes sidebar. Navigating iTunes became a real pain when it was removed with the release of version 12.

(Via The Loop.)

Amazon Debuts 13 New TV Show Pilots

Jacob Kastrenakes, reporting for The Verge:

Amazon is debuting its next set of TV pilots for viewers to watch and vote on. As usual, there are a lot of options here and a lot of big names. […] Amazon is also debuting six pilots for children’s series. This is an area that Netflix has been moving into in a strong way, too, as it’s an obvious genre to jump into to make these services more appealing to parents of young kids.

Marco Opens Up the Books on Overcast

I’m happy to see that the app is a success. And, the uptick in sales at the end of the year indicates that it’s going to be a sustainable business going forward with its existing business model. Overcast is a very well made app that deserves every penny it earns and then some.

Portrait of a Letterpress Printer

A short documentary about William Amer, a letterpress printer and teacher. There are few things I find more interesting than letterpress printing.

(Via Laughing Squid.)

Apple’s Constant

Jason Snell, writing on Six Colors:

Over the years I’ve said numerous times that when it comes to battery life on iOS devices, Apple appears to have a target battery life in mind and builds its hardware—a balance of power-saving software, hardware efficiency, and battery capacity—to hit that number.

The iPhone and iPad’s battery life hasn’t changed too much over the years. It seems to be one of the constants that Apple still believes they got right with the first model. If they can get additional battery life in a new model they will, but not at the expense of an improved design or more powerful features.

AMD’s Graphics, Marketing, and Strategy Executives Leave Company

It’s never a good sign when three high-level executives leave the company at the same time. I remember when I thought of AMD as the most interesting company in technology. Today, I don’t even know the names of their flagship products.

The Real Story Behind Jeff Bezos’ Fire Phone Debacle

Great piece by Austin Carr on the behind-the-scenes creation of the Fire Phone. The article makes it abundantly clear that Jeff Bezos is completely at fault for the device’s failure, but still leaves you with the feeling of excitement for the future of Amazon. It’s well written and full of interesting information about how Amazon’s Lab126 operates.

Apple Watch Launch Expected in March

Mark Gurman, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Apple is finishing up work on the Apple Watch’s software, and sources familiar with the product’s development say that the device is currently on track to ship in the United States by the end of March.

First the 12-inch MacBook Air details and now this. If you don’t already follow Mark Gurman’s writing, you really should be.

AT&T Announces Rollover Data

Russell Brandom, writing for The Verge:

Today, the company announced that starting January 25th, any AT&T customers in the Mobile Share Value system will be able to carry over unusued data to the next month.

I’m still holding onto my unlimited data plan from years ago, but this is the kind of announcement that might convince me to rethink that decision. Having the ability to bank unused data will help keep you from incurring overage fees during months with more heavy usage. This is a step in the right direction.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Sparked by Marco Arment’s recent piece, Craig Hockenberry has published his thoughts on the quality of Apple’s software. Craig chose to express his thoughts in the form of a letter to Tim Cook. It’s well written and gets to the heart of why this whole thing caught on in the first place. And, he does a great job explaining why all of this matters in the first place.

Details on Microsoft’s Next Web Browser

Tom Warren, reporting for The Verge:

Sources familiar with the company’s Windows plans tell The Verge that the new browser, codenamed Spartan, will include a host of new features not found in rival browsers. Chief among the plans for Spartan is new inking support that allows Windows 10 users to annotate a web page with a stylus and send the notes and annotations to a friend or colleague.

Mark Gurman Details Apple’s Upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air

Another great Apple hardware scoop by Mark Gurman — Slimmer design, a USB Type-C port, refined keyboard and trackpad, and several rendered images to illustrate the changes. I think it’s worth mentioning (as John Gruber pointed out), Mark never uses the word “retina” to describe the screen on the new Air.

I hope that the bit about the USB Type-C and headphone jack being the only two ports on the computer is simply a miscommunication. I can understand Apple getting rid of the extra USB port and even the Thunderbolt port — I’ve only ever had one USB device connected to my MacBook at a time and I’ve never used the Tunderbolt port. But, MagSafe would be something I’d miss. I can’t count the number of times my laptop has been saved by that little connector when someone tripped over the power cord.

Chris Morran Gets Hands-On Time With Sling TV

Talk of Dish’s new streaming video service, Sling TV, seemed to be everywhere after it was announced early this week. Headlined by ESPN and ESPN 2, it was positioned as a way for cord cutters to get access to sports content that had previously been impossible to access without a cable subscription.

But frankly, the service doesn’t look like a very good deal. It costs $20 a month and doesn’t seem to offer very much for the price. There’s only nine networks listed on the bottom of Sling’s homepage. Which brings me to the biggest problem I have with the service — it focuses on live content.

I’m not the least bit interested in watching anything live. My work schedule doesn’t typically allow for me to watch anything I’d be interested in while it’s airing and, most importantly, I can’t imagine having to sit through long commercial breaks again.

There is some amount of “on-demand” content, as Chris Morran mentions in his aforelinked piece on Consumerist:

While Sling TV will allow you to pause and rewind live feeds, there is no recording or DVR-like storage. Instead, each of the channels determines which previously aired programs from the past few days can be available on demand.

That doesn’t sound very promising.

I guess if you’re really interested in cutting the cord, but can’t live without ESPN and ESPN 2, this could be the perfect service for you. Although, you’re going to be paying a lot of money for what appears to be a fairly shallow service. But, at least you’ll be able to watch the GoDaddy Bowl at 2AM like cable subscribers can.

Continuity Activation Tool

A nifty tool that enables continuity features on macs that aren’t officially support by Apple. When I eventually upgrade to Yosemite, I may revisit this tool as my MacBook Air is one of the models that isn’t officially supported but meets all of the hardware requirements.

I would caution anyone interested in using this to only do so if you really know what you’re doing. This piece of software has to fiddle with low-level system files in order to enable these features. Make sure you have a known working backup before using the software on your mac.

Rumors of New 4-inch iPhone May Be False

Mitchel Broussard, writing for MacRumors:

Just over a month after sparking discussion of a possible new 4-inch iPhone in 2015 based on supply chain sources speaking to Taiwanese media, Chinese site Feng.com now claims its own sources are seeing no indication of such a device.

I’m still holding out hope for a new 4-inch iPhone. The 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones are a bit larger than I’d like them to be. All we can do is wait and see what September brings (unless more solid claims crop up).

Marco on Apple’s Software Quality

Marco Arment:

I’m typing this on a computer whose existence I didn’t even think would be possible yet, but it runs an OS riddled with embarrassing bugs and fundamental regressions. Just a few years ago, we would have relentlessly made fun of Windows users for these same bugs on their inferior OS, but we can’t talk anymore.

I think it’s very common for those of us who are interested in technology to complain about the focus of software development. We want large companies like Apple to pump the brakes every so often and spend their time focusing on fixing bugs and refining features rather than adding new complexities that may introduce problems to the software.

I’m very happy with the existing feature-sets of OS X and iOS. I just want everything to work more smoothly. What I think many of us are yearning for is Snow Leopard-like releases. A OS X and iOS releases that focuses on under-the-hood refinements rather than user-facing features.

I don’t care about the next version of Time Machine, I don’t care about parallax on the home screen, and I don’t care about any new ways I can view my open tabs in Safari. I just want rock-solid operating systems that I can rely on.

Netflix Announces Recommended TV Program

I have a hunch that television manufacturers are going to have to pay to get their TVs labeled with the “Netflix Recommended TV” logo. Which means there very well could be TVs that perform better than those with the certification from manufacturers who have chosen not to pay for the right to use the label.

Personally, I wouldn’t suggest anyone purchase a television with this certification or any other smart TV features anyway. It’s only a matter of time before your set gets abandoned by the manufacturer and you no longer receive software updates. Save yourself the money, buy a “dumb” TV, and use the money you saved to purchase an Apple TV or a Roku box.

Withings Announces the Activité Pop

At $149.95, the Activité Pop is built with less expensive materials than the higher-end Activité, but has all of the same activity tracking capabilities at a fraction of the cost. The Pop comes in three colors and will be available from Best Buy on January 5.

If Withings puts enough marketing behind the Pop I could see them taking over the activity tracking market from Fitbit and Jawbone.

Every New Movie and TV Show Coming to Netflix This Month

There’s a lot of great content coming to Netflix this month, most of which became available a few days ago. I’ve started rewatching Friends with my fiancée and I’m excited to see Chef again when it becomes available at the end of the month.

The Verge Reviews the Withings Activité

David Pierce:

It’s one part standard wristwatch, one part fitness tracker. It tracks your sleep, steps, and activity. It costs $450. It’s beautiful: made of carefully machined sapphire, calf leather, and stainless steel. It looks like a watch in the most traditional sense.

It’s exactly what you think it is, exactly what it should be. It’s not the future of smartwatches — it’s not even a smartwatch. It’s just a watch, with more in common with century-old chronographs and calculator watches than the Apple Watch. And the Activité, or something like it, is almost certainly the future of watches.

I’ve never really worn a watch — my entire adult life I’ve had a cell phone in my front-left pocket and don’t understand why anyone would wear something around their wrist that does what their smartphone already does. And, the difference between turning my wrist and pulling my phone out of my pocket isn’t large enough to warrant the cost of a smartwatch (both in terms of monetary cost and time spent managing the device).

But watches shouldn’t be about features, they should be pieces of jewelry that are meant to be worn for their looks. If I was ever going to wear a watch, this is pretty close to what I would want in a smartwatch. I would wear it, not because of what it can do, but because of how it looks. It would be a fashion accessory, not something meant to be fiddled with for several minutes every hour or two.

It doesn’t have to be charged every day, it doesn’t beat you over the head with a long list of features, and it doesn’t steal your attention from social situations with a bunch of notifications. It’s simple, just some sensors and a beautifully made time piece. It’s exactly what a smartwatch should be.

Mac to Surface Pro 3: Making the Switch

I remember when Apple was building sections on their website that discussed switching from Windows to OS X. A lot has changed over the past decade.

The Story Behind ‘The Song’

Neat behind the scenes video of Apple’s latest holiday advertisement.

ABC’s Apple TV App Features Full-Length Episodes for Cord Cutters

Ann Clark, writing on ABC Updates:

All Apple TV viewers can now access full episodes a week after they air. Like WATCH ABC for mobile devices and desktop, viewers can now watch such shows as Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Modern Family, black-ish, Once Upon A Time and Castle, among others, a week after they air.

My fiancé recently started watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix and will be caught up with the series very soon. She’ll be happy to know that the latest episodes will be available to her on the Apple TV without having to purchase them on iTunes. It’s a bit of a bummer that episodes aren’t available sooner, but at least ABC is showing some progress.

(Via AppleInsider.)

The Song

This is the kind of Apple ad I love.

The Apple TV Needs to Get Back in the Picture

I too would love to see Apple spends some time on the Apple TV. I’ve owned every Apple TV released including the original OS X-based model — and the second- and third-generation streaming boxes are still being used in my home today. It also happens to be on my short list of favorite devices I own (behind my iPhone and MacBook Air).

There’s a lot of potential in the Apple TV — it’d be a shame if it continues to languish simply because Apple doesn’t spend the time to improve its features and functionality.

Small Empires on Sandwich Video

Alexis Ohanian goes behind the scenes of Sandwich Video, talking with Adam Lisagor about how him and his team make promotional videos for tech companies.

AT&T Throttles Unlimited Data Users After 5GB of Usage

From AT&T’s support page regarding data usage on legacy unlimited data plans:

As a result of the AT&T network management process, customers on a 3G or 4G smartphone with an unlimited data plan who have exceeded 3 gigabytes of data in a billing period may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. Customers on a 4G LTE smartphone will experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle exceeds 5 gigabytes of data. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.

I would assume that AT&T reserves the right to throttle any of their users if they’re experiencing network congestion. That’s just how networks work. I’m one of the customers that’s still holding on to my unlimited data plan, and I don’t plan on letting go of it anytime soon. I take comfort knowing that I won’t be charged extra if I happen to use more than 5GB of data in a single billing cycle.

(Via Engadget.)

Apple TV Gets Updated YouTube App

The biggest change with the updated app is that advertisements will occasionally display before your selected video begins. Luckily, the ads are skippable after five seconds as they are when viewing YouTube in a web browser. We all knew this would happen sooner or later and it’s amazing that the Apple TV has lasted this long without pre-roll ads in the YouTube app.

I have noticed a few more problems with the new app since it was released a few days ago, though. For one the search results are truncated, only showing 20 results with no option to load more. This is a huge disadvantage from the previous version of the app. I also can’t seem to find video descriptions anywhere in the new app. The old YouTube app displayed a video description overlay along the top of the screen when you pressed the up button on the Apple TV remote. All that it shows now is the video’s title, number of views, and when it was published — handy, but not nearly as informative as the video’s full description.

And, in the old YouTube app pressing the menu button while viewing a video would give you related videos alongside the option to view more from the same uploader. You can view related videos by pressing pause in the new app, but there’s no way to view a list of videos only from the current video’s uploader.

So, if you can’t find the video that you want to watch from within the search results (which happens often as there’s only 20 results) it’s extremely difficult to get to that video, even if you’re able to find a video from the same user. Not exactly what I’d call a step in the right direction usability-wise.

The new YouTube app looks great and feels more at home alongside other Apple TV apps – all of which use tabs along the top of the screen for navigation — but there’s a lot of missing functionality that can make for a frustrating experience. I hope that updates will come over the next few months to fix these fairly obvious problems with the app.

Mozilla Finally Plans to Bring Firefox to iOS

Remember when people used Firefox? Those were the days.

#Homescreen

A neat new app by Betaworks that lets you easily share screenshots of your homescreen. The coolest part of the app is that the #Homescreen website has a Top Apps page which displays the most popular applications on the homescreens of its users.

I hope that Betaworks has aspirations of publishing pages that display the top apps in specific categories — top weather apps, top email apps, etc. That would be quite the valuable resource for iPhone owners who want to cut through the noise and just find a great app for their needs.

Here’e my homescreen that I shared a couple of days ago. I find it odd that they can’t identify iOS’s default Clock app — it seems like something they’d work on since it’s built into the OS.

How Can iPhone’s 1GB of RAM Compete with Over 2GB of RAM in Android Phones?

Glyn Williams answering on Quora:

you need four or eight times more memory, than you are actually using to be super efficient. But when the memory becomes constrained, that performance goes way down. This is why Android devices have all that RAM. iOS does not use this style of garbage collection and does not slow down in constrained memory environments. So 1GB for iOS results in more performance than 3GB for Android.

I knew that garbage collection was the reason for Android’s insatiable appetite for RAM, but I didn’t realize it was this bad. I suppose this is just another example of why you shouldn’t get too hung up on hardware specs, as they don’t tell the whole story.

(Via Cult of Mac.)

Twitter to Track Apps Installed on Users’ Devices

Twitter:

To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in. If you’re not interested in a tailored experience you can adjust your preferences at any time (read below). Additionally, if you have previously opted out of interest-based ads by turning on “Limit Ad Tracking” on your iOS device or by adjusting your Android device settings to “Opt out of interest-based ads,” we will not collect your apps unless you adjust your device settings.

Twitter is falling into the same trap that many other social networks have in the past — their need to make money outweighs anyone’s concerns about privacy and security. I’m going to cling to Tweetbot for as long as I possible can.

Geek Tees

A site that showcases T-shirts and other apparel that appeal to the geekier of crowds. I’ve been curating Geek Tees for over four years and have linked to nearly 100 t-shirts and other apparel on the site. If you’re looking to purchase a gift for a geek in your life this is a great place to look.

Twitter Nostalgia

Craig Hockenberry on the early days of Twitter when he was building the first Twitter client and users were still trying to figure out what the site was all about. It was so exciting to live through those early days.

Hashtags, @replies, and the first Twitter client — so much of what makes Twitter great was invented by the users in 2007. I still miss the days when you could use “track” to follow what others were saying about the iPhone and the site was still small enough that you could reasonably read all of it.

The Tools and Toys Guide to Cutting the Cord

My sister and brother-in-law recently canceled their cable subscription. They bought an indoor antenna and a couple of Apple TVs to connect to all of the televisions throughout their house. I helped them pick out a lot of the devices and services that they would use to fuel their media consumption. This guide on Tools and Toys would have been invaluable for them during the lead up to their transition away from cable. If you know anyone that’s cutting the cord — or even thinking about it — send them a link to this guide.

The Wirecutter Picks the Best Minivan

I’m by no means in the market for a minivan, but it’s incredible that The Wirecutter has the resources it takes to actually do automobile comparison reviews.

And speaking of The Wirecutter (and The Sweet Home for that matter), all of a sudden they’re my favorite websites on the internet. I’ve purchased bath towels, winter gloves, and a new shower head based on their recommendations and I couldn’t be happier with any of these purchases. If you’re looking to buy almost anything I’d suggest looking on The Wirecutter and The Sweethome first to see if they’ve published any guides on the product category.