October 19, 2014

Handwriting requires exercise

Quartz has a piece with tips on handwriting, where exercising your hand and lower arm is mentioned:

Typing doesn’t build the hand and finger strength necessary to hand-write for long periods, Blain points out. Squeezing a stress ball can help with that. So can stretching out your writing hand to avoid arm injuries. An 80,000 word hand-writing binge last November landed Blain at a physical therapist for an elbow injury, because she hadn’t stretched out her arms or taken enough breaks.

Useful advice if you’ve a mind to write a longer piece, a book perhaps, by hand.

Alice Cooper guitar incoming

ASG’s got an Alice Cooper guitar coming on October 21. I’m hoping to get one because it looks marvelous.

Telltale crimson drops bespatter a snow-white palette, and from deep within a piercing gaze of savage intensity lashes out, an aphotic visage taking in an unholy landscape. There’s something brooding and transcendent in his aspect, an ominous man, pugnacious and sanguineous. Who is this man behind the ferocious Cimmerian stare? Who’s responsible for this truculent view of the World that’s black and white and spotted with blood? It could only be one man. It could only be the groundbreaking artist behind the seminal hits, “Killer,” “School’s Out,” ”Billion Dollar Babies,” and “Muscle of Love.” It could only be Alice Cooper.

October 18, 2014

Where does the t-shirt come from?

The origins of the t-shirt.

Shortly after WWI ended in 1920, the author F.Scott Fitzgerald became the first known person to use the word “t-shirt” in print when he included it in his novel, This Side of Paradise as one of the items the main character takes with him to university. And, in fact, a very slight tweak on the design of early t-shirts came about at university, the invention of the “crew-neck t-shirt”. These were made in 1932 by Jockey International Inc at the bequest of the University of South California, who wanted a lightweight, absorbent garment its football players could wear underneath their jerseys to prevent their pads from rubbing and chafing. The resulting style t-shirt was a huge hit with the team and it wasn’t long before students began popularly wearing them.

Worth a read.

October 17, 2014

Don’t hold your breath for Apple to release Thunderbolt displays

Marco Arment explains why there’s no Thunderbolt displays on the horizon.

Pushing this many pixels requires more bandwidth than DisplayPort 1.2 offers, which is what Thunderbolt 2 ports use for outputting video signals. (I wrote about this a few times.) Doing it right will require waiting until DisplayPort 1.3 in Thunderbolt 3 on Broadwell’s successor, Skylake, which isn’t supposed to come out for at least another year — and Intel is even worse at estimating ship dates than I am, so it’s likely to be longer.

It may be possible to use two Thunderbolt 2 cables to power a 5K display, but only if the GPU could treat each port as its own full-bandwidth DisplayPort 1.2 channel, the sum of which represented one logical display, and had the panel using something like MST to combine the two at the other end. But the only Mac with more than one Thunderbolt bus (not port) is the current Mac Pro, and I can’t see today’s Apple shipping an external display that none of their laptops can use.

There is no way Apple will launch proper 5K retina Thunderbolt displays, on par with the new retina iMac, anytime soon. I based my predictions on the matter on the same basis.

October 16, 2014

Netflix 24% drop proves that Wall Street is mad

Netflix stock is down 24% due to the company missing its subscriber forecast. From Recode:

The company missed on both its US and international numbers: It ended the quarter with 37.2 million domestic subscribers, and it had predicted 37.6 million; it also had 15.84 million subscribers outside the U.S., and it had told Wall Street to expect 16.16 million.

24% down because of that? 24% is a lot, to put things mildly. Now’s probably a good idea to buy Netflix stocks…

Will.i.am’s smartwatch isn’t a watch

Will.i.am’s smartwatch isn’t a watch, he says. Most people’ll disagree. Anyway, it’s happening and it’s not just an extension of your phone. The Puls, as it’s called, is a mobile device on its own, with impressive specs and its own 3G connection. This kills it for me, because there’s no way I’ll have a 3G transmitter strapped on my wrist at all times, that doesn’t sound healthy at all.

The following quote is from The Verge:

There was no word on the Puls’ battery life. At the end of the event, Will.i.am brought models out on stage who were wearing clothing that contained battery packs capable of transferring battery power to the Puls as long as part of it remained in contact with the sleeve. A jacket worn by one model is capable of powering the watch for two and a half days, he said. Technology should be part of more of the things we wear, Will.i.am. said. “Pardon me for dreaming, but fuck it — let’s dream,” he said.

Make of that what you will, but if you have to make clothing to power your devices, I think you’re in trouble. No word on pricing or real release date yet.

Facebook launches emergency check-ins

Recode, describing Facebook’s new emergency check-in feature:

Safety Check works by sending users a push notification asking them if they are safe whenever a natural disaster strikes the area they list as their current location. User’s can then see a list of their Facebook friends in the area, and see which users have checked-in as safe, and which have not.

What constitutes as a disaster is determined with local authorities. There’s no cross-reference of data at this, but that can’t be far off.

October 15, 2014

Email isn’t broken

Robert Nyman, of Mozilla fame, shares his thoughts on email. I don’t share his method these days, but stay on top of email without much effort nonetheless. This part struck me as true:

Many people complain that e-mail is broken, but I think it’s a great communication form. I can deal with it when I feel I have the time and can get back to people when it suits me. If I need to concentrate on something else, I won’t let it interrupt my flow – just have notifications off/e-mail closed/don’t read it, and then get to it while you can.