The Initial Charge Linked List


Marshall Announces a Smartphone

Lynn La, writing for CNET:

If you’re an audiophile, the news of Marshall’s debut smartphone may be music to your ears. The audio and sound company, which specializes in making amplifiers, speakers and headphones launched a smartphone today called the London.

As Marshall’s first smartphone, the device emphasizes high-quality sound and sports a number of features that promise to boost a user’s listening experience.

The device doesn’t look completely ridiculous, especially compared to other Android devices on the market. But, I don’t understand who would actually buy this thing. I’d guess that most users who care about audio quality and love music are far more likely to just buy an iPhone than even consider the London.

It’s Simply Too Early to Call the Apple Watch a Flop

We haven’t even been through a single holiday season yet, and the Watch has been available for just a few months. The only reason anyone is pulling the doom card so early is for the potential “I told you so” opportunities.

Netflix CEO Tells Subscribers to Brace for Higher-Priced Plans

The cost of cord cutting is destined to increase over time. I just hope price-conscious users continue to have inexpensive options in the future. I always thought Netflix would be that option, but maybe that isn’t the case.

Google Adding iPhone-Like Visual Voicemail to Android M

Ryan Whitwam, writing for Android Central:

Voicemails are terrible. Anyone willing to sit through the message and talk to a machine rather than send you a text message probably doesn’t have good news. Android M will make the whole process a little less painful with native visual voicemail. It’s just a basic implementation in the preview, and it won’t work on all carriers just yet. Still, pretty cool.

I thought Android added this year’s ago, but I guess it was never built into the OS. Either way, it feels like a case of “too little, too late” — the days of voicemail being a thing are behind us. Now it’s all text messages, email, and DMs.

Twitter for iPhone Adopts Native iOS Share Sheet

I’m glad Twitter added this, but I’m sticking with Tweetbot.

Adobe Needs to Kill Flash

Graham Cluley:

It’s perhaps not surprising that some think it’s time for Adobe Flash to call it a day, pack its bags, and leave town for good.

Amongst those who would be happy to see the back of Adobe Flash is Alex Stamos, Facebook’s newly-appointed security chief.

In a tweet this weekend, Stamos – who is a respected member of the security community who is credited for improving the security stance of Yahoo at his previous job – said that it was time for Adobe to announce when Flash would be killed off, and for browsers to assist by dropping support at the same time.

I uninstalled Flash from my Mac right around the time John Gruber wrote about using Google Chrome as a sort-of Flash player for websites that practically require it. Since then I’ve needed Chrome less and less often, experienced improved battery life, and had a cooler running MacBook to boot.

At some point Flash will be no more. I just hope it goes quietly — without users or browser makers having to drag it away, kicking and screaming while Adobe loudly protests during the process.

(Via Nick Heer.)

Evan Williams on Twitter and Developers

Julie Bort, writing for Business Insider, quoting Twitter co-founder Evan Williams:

The API was, “One of our strategic errors we had to wind down over time,” Evans explained. “It wasn’t a win/win for developers, users and the company.”

But Twitter needs to do something to bring developers back, he suggested. “Twitter should be more of a platform than it is,” he said, hinting that this is exactly what Twitter is working on now, not waiting for a permanent CEO.

“There are a lot of things going on. New products, new source of revenue,” he says. When pressed on what those new revenue streams looked like, he says. “I’ve already said too much.”

Williams is currently a board member at Twitter and I hope that he still has enough clout to ensure that this “hinting” turns into more than just rumors. I would love to see Twitter back to its glory days of 2007-2008, but in order to do that they need help from third-party developers.

Twitter is a lot of different things to a lot of different people — a social network, a news feed, a micro-blogging platform, etc. Giving third-party developers a more robust API would allow them to make clients that could play to whatever strength a given user prefers from Twitter. And, improving developer relations along the way would help reassure them that access isn’t going to be functionally revoked like it has been in the past.

I’m cautiously optimistic.

Apple Reportedly Moving Forward with Streaming TV Service

Claire Atkinson, reporting for the New York Post:

The Cupertino, Calif., tech firm is making broadcast networks the centerpiece of its cable-killer TV app — and talks with all four networks are rapidly gaining momentum, The Post has learned.

“The platform is ready and it rocks,” said one source.

Atkinson’s sources also say that Apple has enlisted the help of the major networks to obtain streaming rights from the local TV affiliates. And, Apple is hoping to have it ready for launch as early as late fall.

I can’t wait to see what this service looks like. And as long as they can keep the price low, I might be a buyer.

Google Photos May Be Uploading Your Pictures, Even If You Don’t Want It To

A great reason to use iOS — if you uninstall an app, it and all of its services are gone without a trace. That’s apparently not the case on Android.

(Via The Loop.)

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo CEO, Passes Away at 55

Liam Stack, writing for The New York Times:

Satoru Iwata, who as chief executive of Nintendo oversaw the introduction of gaming systems such as the Nintendo DS and the Wii, died on Saturday in Kyoto, Japan. He was 55.

The cause was a bile duct growth, the company said.

A former video game development star, Mr. Iwata was appointed president of Nintendo in May 2002 and became the chief executive of Nintendo of America in June 2013, the company said.

Man, such sad news.

Apple Working with Artists to Produce Music Videos

Amy Phillips, writing for Pitchfork:

The launch of Apple Music hasn’t only included a new radio station, social network, and streaming service. Apple have also started creating their own original content. The company made Drake’s amazing “Energy” video in-house, as well as Pharrell’s “Freedom” and Eminem’s “Phenomenal”. Next up: M.I.A.’s “Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border”, coming to Apple Music on Monday, July 13.

At want point are we going to start thinking of Apple as less of a distribution channel and more of a record company?

SuperDuper! and El Capitan Compatibility

Dave Nanian, developer at Shirt Pocket:

This means that, for those using El Capitan, we can’t hint obliquely that we’re compatible, as we have in the past, where our current version worked even though we couldn’t declare that compatibility until the final build. This time, the current version of SuperDuper is dead in the water on El Capitan. It just won’t work.

But don’t dismay: we’ve worked to change that. I’m happy to say, to those of you who are on the Beta (and those who are going to join the public beta today), we’ve developed and tested a Beta version of SuperDuper that makes bootable copies of El Capitan.

It’s a clever workaround that only requires the user to reinstall the OS from the App Store after booting from a backup. This means you’ll have an extra step before becoming fully functional, but without that additional step you’re vulnerable to certain types of malware (although, I’m not aware of this kind of malware existing in the wild). And as an added benefit, the OS reinstall builds certain caches which will speed up boot time.

Apple Releases New ‘Hardware and Software’ Advertisement

They’ve also released an ad titled “Loved,” both of which are part of a new ad campaign with the tagline: “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

Stolen YouTube Videos Going Viral on Facebook

Will Oremus, writing for Slate:

The problem was that Sandlin had never posted it to Facebook, and the version of it that appeared in millions of users’ News Feeds overnight wasn’t his. Rather, a British lads’ magazine called Zoo had apparently downloaded (or “ripped”) his video from YouTube, edited it to strip out references to Sandlin and his SmarterEveryDay channel, and posted the edited version on its own page, using Facebook’s native video player.

This type of downloading and re-uploading has been a problem for video sharing sites since the beginning. It’s just a shame that it’s happening on the most popular social network in the world. But, Facebook has created an environment where this sort of thing happens because Facebook wants anything and everything shared on the site to live on Facebook.

However, it appears that the viral nature of videos hosted by Facebook and their ability to garner many more views than their YouTube counterparts is partly due to the playback mechanism. Videos hosted by Facebook auto-play as a user scrolls past them whereas YouTube videos require a click to get a view. That means Facebook isn’t exactly counting the number of people that watched the video, they’re counting the number of people who watched or simply scrolled past the video in their news feed.

Hopefully Facebook will make the necessary changes to prevent this kind of abuse in the future. Or, users will start to wise-up and quit using the service. Although, I’m not confident either one of those things will happen.

Battery Life With iOS 9 and Apple Watch Betas

Dave Mark did some testing to see what his battery life was like while using iOS 9 beta 3 and latest beta of watchOS 2.0. His results were quite impressive and fall in line with my experience on the iOS 9 public beta. I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, but I haven’t seen any signs of poor battery life — I’ve been getting the same 9-12 hours per charge as I did when I had iOS 8 installed.

Samsung Accelerating Launch of Next-Generation Galaxy Note

Jonathan Cheng, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

In a break with recent tradition, Samsung Electronics Co. will move up the autumn launch of its oversize smartphone lineup by several weeks to mid-August, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The South Korean company’s move is part of a bid to give its Galaxy Note smartphone-tablet hybrids some breathing room before mid-September, when Apple Inc. typically unveils its refreshed iPhone—a product whose popularity has the potential to monopolize media and consumer attention for weeks.

What segment of the market do Android handset manufacturers go to now that Apple is dominating the profits in large-screened phones? The only other place to go is the low-end, but there isn’t much money to be made there and it definitely doesn’t come with the same type of prestige as the high-end of the market does.

Linky 5.0 Brings Better Sharing for Twitter on iOS

Federico Viticci, writing for MacStories:

For the past nine months, I’ve been using Linky every day to tweet links and quotes from Safari and other apps. Unlike the built-in Twitter share extension, Linky comes with thoughtful touches such as highlighting for links and text that exceeds the 140-character count – if you share dozens of links on a daily basis, the convenience of details adds up, and Pragmatic Code found a good niche for Linky to thrive.

I’ve been using a combination of iOS’s built-in Twitter extension and Cite to share links, photos, and textshots to Twitter. But, Linky looks like a great, all-inclusive solution that has many of the niceties I’ve been hoping for.

Showtime on Apple TV

You can sign up right on your Apple TV or through the Showtime app, available in the App Store. I don’t have much experience with Showtime programming, but I look forward to spending my 30-day trial sampling some of their shows and movies.

Apple Details How it Tests Accessories Sold in Retail Stores

From the recently publish Tested by Apple web page:

Each case design for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has to go through a series of tests before it reaches the Apple Store. So you can be sure the case you buy is a perfect match for your iOS device.

I wish every retail store cared this much about the quality of the products they sold.

Google’s Ad System Has Become Too Big to Control

Kevin Montgomery, writing for Wired:

Currently, Google allows advertisers to target their ads based on gender. That means it’s possible for an advertiser promoting high-paying job listings to directly target men. However, Google’s algorithm may have also determined that men are more relevant for the position and made the decision on its own. And then there’s the possibility that user behavior taught Google to serve ads in this manner. It’s impossible to know if one party here is to blame or if it’s a combination of account targeting from all sources at play.

Jason Snell Goes Hands on with Photos for Mac 1.1

New features include batch titling, album sorting, editing extensions, the ability to add geotags to photos, and more. It sounds like a solid update.

Content Blockers, Bad Ads, and What iMore’s Doing About It

Rene Ritchie, in response to Dean Murphy, Nick Heer, and John Gruber:

Dean’s right, Nick’s right, and John’s right. Of course they are. As I said in the original response, I know that, you know that, and everyone working at iMore and our parent network, Mobile Nations, knows that. Ads in and of themselves aren’t bad, and can indeed provide a service where everyone wins, which is why so many sites and so many mediums employ them. But many of the ads—and the services that deliver them—suck. We all know that.

Saying “bad ads suck; you hate them and so do we,” is a ten-word answer, though. It’s easy. What’s hard are the next ten words, and the ten words after that—how we make things better.

I’m a big fan of everything published on iMore, but I always find it hard to get past the JavaScript-laden web pages covered in ads, navigation bars, and an application download banner. I usually end up reading iMore articles in Instapaper and that’s a shame.

Online publications should never force their readers to use alternative means in order to have an enjoyable reading experience. But, I hope this situation encourages iMore (and their parent company, Mobile Nations) to rethink the amount of cruft they deem acceptable in their design — there’s no reason a primarily text-driven site should have pages weighing in at over 10MB.

It’s unfortunate that this sort of public shaming needs to happen, but it could be the only thing that motivates large publications to make positive changes. Complaining in public is one of the most effective ways to get your point across and actually elicit a response from the site in question. Eventually, enough major publications will lead by example by making the necessary changes and a large portion of the sites we enjoy most will begin to follow suit. Readers will only put up with it for so long and everyone’s patience is beginning to wear thin.

Meet the New Logitech

From Logitech’s press release:

Today Logitech revealed its biggest brand transformation in its history. Building on its heritage as a technology company, Logitech has placed design at its core. It is crafting a portfolio of products that go beyond PC peripherals, to products that have a place in every aspect of your daily life. This brand reflects the company’s reinvention, with a colorful new attitude and a re-imagined logo. You’ll even see a new label for our latest product categories: Logi.

I was a huge fan of Logitech products when I was building my own desktop computers and using Windows as my primary operating system. I used their mice, keyboards, speakers, and gaming controller. But times have changed and, aside from their Harmony Remotes, I haven’t purchased a Logitech product in nearly a decade. I doubt this rebranding is going to change that, but at least they’re trying.

Tidal Now Has a Family Plan

I haven’t paid much attention to Tidal. It was pretty clear to me that it was doomed from the start — launching a streaming music service in the lead-up to Apple releasing a competing product is typically a recipe for failure. And, this new family plan continues their tradition of bungled launches.

Why would anyone pay $4.99 a month for every person they add to their existing ($9.99 a month) plan when Apple is only charging $14.99 for up to six users?  It’s asinine. Apple demolished the competition when they announced family plan pricing and no one has been able to compete with them on that front.

Latest iOS 9 Beta Includes Separate Folders for Selfies, Screenshots

Mikey Campbell, writing for AppleInsider:

Photos in iOS 9 parses out pictures taken with an iPhone’s front-facing camera into a folder called “Selfies,” while placing screenshots in another self-named folder. It is not yet clear if the feature will make it into the shipping product set to launch this fall, but the auto-collation feature is a blessing for many.

This is going to make my life a lot easier.

Nate Swanner on Switching to DuckDuckGo

He gets it. Bangs are the best thing to happen to web search since Google Images. Everybody should just switch to DuckDuckGo.

Stephen Hackett Goes Independent

Stephen Hackett:

Starting at the end of this month, I’ll be working from home, recording and editing podcasts, writing here and elsewhere, including The Sweet Setup and monthly at iMore. 512 Pixels took the back burner when we founded Relay last year, and I’m looking forward to giving it some much-needed attention.

I wish Stephen the best of luck and urge everyone to help support 512 Pixels by purchasing one of these snazzy shirts on Teespring.

Amazon Celebrates Twenty Years with ‘Prime Day’


Prime Day is a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members. On Wednesday, July 15 new and existing members will be able to shop thousands of Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and will receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping. Members will find deals starting at midnight PDT, with new deals starting throughout the day, as often as every ten minutes. Not a Prime member? Try Prime today and get immediate access to deals on July 15.

Incredibly clever promotion. If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, this is a great time to sign up.

iOS Regaining Music Support Over Home Sharing in iOS 9

Eddy Cue regarding Home Sharing music in iOS 8.4:

We are working to have Home Sharing in iOS 9.

This new Apple never ceases to amaze me. Just a few years ago it was unheard of for an Apple executive to reply to user questions on Twitter. Now, it’s practically commonplace.

All Apple Stores Revamping Third-Party Accessory Selection with Apple Designed Boxes

Either Jony Ive grew tired of seeing less-than-stellar accessory packages in their retail stores or Angela Ahrendts wants to limit the number of SKUs and unify product packaging in the process.

OpenDNS to Be Acquired by Cisco

David Ulevitch, founder and CEO of OpenDNS:

This morning Cisco announced its intention to acquire OpenDNS. I often say we have the best users and customers in the world, and I mean it. […] Today we protect 65 million Internet users spread across more than 150 countries. That number includes the employees of more than 10,000 organizations, from small businesses to global deployments with Fortune 500 enterprises. Believe me – That’s a lot of motivation!

I stopped using OpenDNS months ago and, with this announcement, I can assure you I won’t be returning to it.

Square Debuts Payroll Services

Moving ever closer to a soup to nuts solution for small businesses.

‘Safari is the New IE’

Nolan Lawson:

At this point, we in the web community need to come to terms with the fact that Safari has become the new IE. Microsoft is repentant these days, Google is pushing the web as far as it can go, and Mozilla is still being Mozilla. Apple is really the one singer in that barbershop quartet hitting all the sour notes, and it’s time we start talking about it openly instead of tiptoeing around it like we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings. Apple is the most valuable company in the world; they can afford to take a few punches.

Apple was all-in on web technologies around the time of The Sweet Solution. But, now that so much development time is spent on native applications it’s in Apple’s best interest to focus their efforts on giving those developers the best experience they can. Unfortunately that leaves web developers out in the cold, but hopefully outcry from members of the community like Nolan will encourage them to readjust their strategy and improve their browser in the near-future.

Apple Reportedly Planning Increased Storage in Next iPhone

Man, I hope this is true. 16GB storage capacities feel a bit too paltry at this point. 32GB should be the smallest storage capacity available.

Publishing Songs in Connect

Dave Wiskus:

Uploading a song in the Music app is clunky. In order to get the song to post, it has to be available in My Music. Which means that I need to import the track to iTunes on my Mac, convince it to sync with my iPhone (a process that took about 12 hours and restoring my phone from a backup), and then go searching for it in a list that doesn’t immediately present with a search field.

This was exactly what I was worried about when I wrote about Apple Music two weeks ago:

If there’s any resistance along the way — Apple doesn’t nail the publishing tools, artists get more attention on Twitter or Facebook, etc. — it could suffer the same fate as Ping.

The good news is that Dave received an email from Trent Reznor assuring him that they were aware of the growing pains and are taking steps to address them. Hopefully sooner than later.

Home Work Episode 169: Focusing with Shawn Blanc

A great episode from Dave Caolo and Aaron Mahnke with Shawn Blanc as special guest. They discuss The Focus Course, working from home, and answer listener questions (including one from yours truly).

iPods in Unreleased Colors Spotted in iTunes 12.2

The fact that Apple might release these new iPod colors on a random Tuesday in July shows how far the iPod has fallen.

Jefferies Analyst, Ange Wu: iPhone 6C to Feature Metal Casing

I hope this proves true and that it’s both launching this year and coming in storage capacities higher than 16GB.

DuckDuckGo Improves !Bangs Discoverability

Jason Dorweiler:

We’ve heard from a lot of users about how much they love bangs. Unfortunately, finding bangs for your favorite sites from our current list of over 6000 bangs can be kinda difficult. To help with this we’ve taken a few steps to improve bang discovery.

Entering “!” in DuckDuckGo’s search box will now pop up an autocomplete menu with a list of Bangs and if a word in your search term matches an existing Bang you’ll receive a message letting you know which one you could have used.

Mac Power Users with Guest, John Gruber

If you’re doing any road tripping this weekend, load this up on your mobile device to listen to during the drive. Katie and David talk with John about the origins of Daring Fireball and the workflows he uses to publish the site.

Twitterrific’s New Facial Recognition Feature

Preshit Deorukhkar shows how an image is displayed in Twitterrific — with its new facial recognition feature — compared to Twitter’s official app. I wouldn’t mind seeing this feature in Tweetbot.

Apple Removed Home Sharing Support for Music in iOS 8.4

Chance Miller, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

As pointed out by several users on Apple’s Support forum, the company appears to have removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4. The Home Sharing support page has also been updated to reflect that the feature is not present in iOS 8.4.

You can still use Home Sharing to stream music from the mac to an Apple TV, but the option is no longer available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Hopefully support for it will return in a future version of iOS.

Apple Updates Leadership Page

Jony Ive has now officially taken the role of Chief Design Officer with Richard Howarth and Alan Dye becoming vice presidents of industrial design and user interface design, respectively.

The Real Difference Between iTunes Match and iCloud Music Library

Kirk McElhearn:

When you match and download files from iCloud Music Library (without having an iTunes Match subscription), however, you get files with DRM; the same kind of files you get when you download files from Apple Music for offline listening. (These files should have DRM, so you can’t just download and keep all the music you want for $10 a month.) But if you’re using Apple Music, and not iTunes Match, Apple doesn’t make a distinction between which files were originally yours, and which you downloaded for offline listening from Apple Music.

If you plan on making use of iCloud Music Library, be sure to keep copies of your original files. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying for Apple Music indefinitely or risk losing your music library all together.

‘Might I Suggest an Alternate Headline to Forbes: Here’s an Article for Someone Who Just Discovered the Internet Today’

G. Keenan Schneider does a great job tearing apart Maxine Joselow’s recent Forbes article, entitled “5 Tech Gadgets You Think You Need For College, But Don’t.” Although, I’m surprised he doesn’t point out the absurdity of a college student buying a 50-inch television for their dorm room. Maybe I’m out of touch, but who actually does that?

How to Turn Off Automatic Subscription Renewal in Apple Music

Whether you think you’ll enjoy Apple Music or not, I suggest turning off automatic subscription renewal to prevent a surprise charge in three months.

Apple Drops discoveryd with OS X 10.10.4

I would consider this worthy of a “finally.”

Also, John Gruber had an interesting note about this update:

At WWDC, word on the street was that Apple closed over 300 radars with this move. Not dupes — 300 discrete radars.

I wouldn’t hesitate to hit the update button on this one.

Photos of the Next Generation iPhone Casing

Mark Gurman with yet another scoop. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much to see here — most of the changes in the next iPhone will be under the hood.

Jim Dalrymple Talks to Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine about Apple Music

Required reading for anyone interested in Apple’s thought process behind Apple Music.

Apple Releases iOS 8.4

Federico Viticci:

Apple has released iOS 8.4 today, bringing a redesigned Music app with Apple Music support, audiobook listening features for iBooks and CarPlay, and iBooks Author textbook support on iPhone. […]

iOS 8.4 is available now through Apple’s software update. Beats 1 will debut today in Apple Music for all users today at 9 AM PT.

Unfortunately, I won’t have time to update my devices until later tonight or tomorrow.