March 5, 2015

The $1,000 vinyl

Wired’s story about hot press vinyl is an interesting read. As always, sound quality is a complicated – and personal – topic.

“There’s actually little reason why any two discs should sound the same,” says Masterdisk’s Scott Hull. “A grading system based on the different significant factors makes sense: surface noise, relative distortion during playback, and things like skips and major pops.” Before this becomes a hot stamper endorsement, Hull lowers the boom: “Saying one disc is wrong and another is right is very controversial. Only the producer, the mastering, and cutting engineers really know what that record was supposed to sound like.”

March 1, 2015

HTC does VR headset with Valve

HTC on the Vive VR, powered by SteamVR from Valve headset:

The Vive headset was developed in conjunction with Valve, creators of such ground-breaking games as Portal and Half-Life. HTC manufactures some of the finest consumer electronics on the planet and Valve is an unrivaled architect of virtual worlds, so you know the collaboration is something special. Vive is powered by Valve’s SteamVR so plenty of games that take advantage of its capabilities will soon be available on the Steam service.

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Things Enjoyed in February 2015

These posts are meant as wrap-ups for what I’ve been up to this month, or rather, the month before. Perhaps some of these things will interest you as well? This list is for February 2015.

  • Den morronen by Thåström, on vinyl of course. It’s on Spotify if you want to listen, in Swedish.
  • Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones, because it’s been a month of a lot late night music. These are not for everyone, they’re snug on your head, almost painful to begin with, but the sound quality is amazing.
  • Tenacious D live, an all acoustic show in Stockholm. It was a good show, impressed by Jack Black and Kyle Gass rocking it so much and hard, without any breaks.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with the version 3.0 overhaul, both playing the actual game, but also looking at Skywind, Morrowblivion, and the OpenMW project. A rabbit hole for someone like me…
  • Alto’s Adventure, the hyped and stylish iOS game. It’s fun.
  • Writing has actually been really rewarding this month. I’ve struggled for sure, being ill and whatnot, but it’s been fun. That’s not always the case, because art hurts (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), but when it works, it flows.

Previously: Things I enjoyed in January 2015.

February 28, 2015

February 27, 2015

If you add a lot of numbers together, it’ll be more than other numbers

When lumped together, so called no-name brands – all of them – outsold both Apple and Samsung. Again, they’re lumped together. All of them.

This group of so-called Brand X suppliers claimed 29 percent of the worldwide tablet market in 2014, shipping some 70 million devices, the researcher found. That’s a greater market share than top vendors Apple (at 26 percent) or Samsung (at 17 percent), according to the researcher.

And this is news, how? All bananas in the world, combined with melons and pears of course, now outsells mangoes. Breaking. Recode hit a new low with rehashing this study.

February 25, 2015

A typewriter repair man’s story

Fascinating story about typewriter repair:

From the age of five, Schweitzer said he spent evenings at home working on machines with his father at a workbench and watched as his father manufactured typewriter ribbons in the basement. By 10, Schweitzer was spooling ribbons and taking off cover plates, from the start deriving a sense of satisfaction from taking the gadgets apart and puzzling them back together again. Schweitzer joined his father in the trade full-time in 1959.

February 24, 2015

Permalinks are design too

Matt Gemmell on permalinks:

If you’re like most people, your permalinks (the permanent links to individual posts) probably look like this:

yourdomain.com/2015/02/24/title-of-post

We’re all familiar with those URLs. The date of the post is explicit, so you need never wonder when it was written, or how recent it is.

Here’s the thing, though: they’re horrible.

Agreed. To me, the permalink structure is as a part of the design. That said, there are sometimes reasons for dates, or at least numbering, in permalinks. They’re used by services such as Google News. That’s not an excuse though.

February 22, 2015

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On App Store revenue share

Jeff Hunter of AnyList wrote an open letter (let’s not dwell on that…) to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He suggests a tiered revenue share, instead of the 70/30 split between app developers and Apple of today’s App Store.

For an independent developer, the difference between their gross revenue and their net revenue after Apple’s 30% cut could very well be the difference between being able to work full-time building for the App Store or not. At $100K in net revenues per year, you may be a successful independent developer. At $70K in net revenues per year, your spouse could be telling you to get a day job.

I had intended to pass Hunter’s post up, but too many linked to it, and sent it to me for that matter, with the general consensus that this is something Apple should do. Give more money to the developers, and we’ll get more and better apps. Win-win, right?

Read more →

February 21, 2015

Ello’s ads

Ello, the social network you wanted an invite for, got one, and then promptly forgot, now has a chief marketing officer in the form of Rene Alegria. He’s got this to say about the future of Ello, which is totally ad free:

“We’re currently not playing with the idea of dropping any ads,” Alegria said. “We are absolutely planning on internal campaigns that capture the spirit of our artist community.”

Yeah…

Ello’s due to step out of beta soon, and an app is in the works. I’m on there, just don’t expect any interaction on my part just yet, if ever.

February 20, 2015

Lenovo owns up to the Superfish fiasco

Lenovo fucked up recently, with evil adware software on their computers. First they defended the software, called Superfish, but as the media frenzy built, they’ve taken a different approach. The US Lenovo Twitter account has apologized, and links to this support document, which explains how you uninstall Superfish. It’s a refreshingly prompt response to heir fuck-up, one that should be commended, but obviously the software shouldn’t have been installed in the first place, and customers are calling for heads to roll. Hopefully this whole thing will make others look closer at what’s installed per default on their Windows computers, because that’s more often than not a cesspool of bloatware at best, and spyware at its worst.