Overall, the iPhone 6 is a very nice big phone. I did not particularly want a big phone, but now everything is big phones. You people did this, not me.

– John Moltz reviews the iPhone 6.

24.09.2014 • Permalink

Pictured: Music industry and consumers. Not sure who is who

I can’t help but laugh – after a decade and half of Internet users demanding to avail themselves of other people’s creative output for nothing, people are losing their shit because U2 and Apple finally took digital music distribution to its logical conclusion, turning the tables and basically saying “OK, assholes: you win.” I picture the gory end of Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead, screaming “Choke on it!” as he’s torn apart by lumbering zombies.

14.09.2014 • Permalink

Expectations

Steve Jobs on the release of the original ipad:

I got about eight hundred email messages in the last twenty-four hours. Most of them are complaining. There’s no USB cord! There’s no this, no that. Some of them are like, ‘F— you, how can you do that?’ I don’t usually write people back, but I replied, ‘Your parents would be so proud of how you turned out.’ And some don’t like the iPad name, and on and on. I kind of got depressed today. It knocks you back a bit.

The food is awful, and the portions too small.

09.09.2014 • Permalink

Everybody Wants To Be A Cat

I can’t die until the government finds a safe place to bury my liver.

No, that’s not one of Roger Sterling’s killer one-liners. That’s Phil Harris, who lent his voice to O’Malley (née Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley), the smooth alley cat in The Aristocats, as well as The Jungle Book’s Balloo the Bear; as such, his voice is soldered onto the brainstems of at least two generations of Norwegian children.

Harris is mostly known for his Disney work nowadays, but he had a long, rich career as singer, songwriter, band leader, actor and comedian; he was Jack Benny’s music director for years before joining Benny’s main cast. I mention this simply because here’s a good example of a person whose large body of work most probably is lost to obscurity. Tears in the rain off the shoulder of Orion, etc.

As for The Aristocats, it’s rather special to me – in fact, it was the first movie I ever saw in a theatre; I think I was six at the time and let me tell you – it was amazing! (I had the soundtrack too, one of the few LPs I’ve ever owned, and having heard lots of Dixieland at home, Everybody Wants To Be A Cat quickly became a favorite.)

The movie is still utterly charming, but narratively, it’s far more scattershot than I remembered it being – to be fair, it’s been at least a decade since last I saw it. Visually, it’s from Disney’s “rough” period, so the artwork isn’t quite as pristine as their older stuff, but I quite enjoy that particular style, so no complaints from me.

Girlfriend pointed out that from a gender perspective, it’s a bit iffy that O’Malley has to save Marie from drowning while Duchess, the female lead, stands by transfixed and helpless, but I argued that O’Malley’s display of bravery was actually a subtle dig at her class – after all, he was an alley cat, living by his wits – in other words a doer – whereas Duchess was a member of the pampered bourgeoise. Let’s not forget they’re called “the idle rich” (unless you’re a Randian) for a reason. (It could also be argued that O’Malley is awesome.)

I was quite fascinated by Uncle Waldo; seeing a drunk — and by drunk I mean absolutely hammered — character in a cartoon was unexpected. You don’t really see that sort of thing in animated features aimed at kids anymore, though it used to be a pretty standard trope. (Legend of Korra’s first season ended with a murder-suicide, but that show probably wasn’t meant for kids.)

Lastly, the full name of the actress voicing Madame is Ruby Hermione Youlanda Clinton-Baddeley, which I thought worth mentioning.

06.09.2014 • Permalink

Seemed tough; lots of wind, though probably far less than it felt. Still, felt like rapid pace, and I added .6 km to the ride and cut the time by nearly ten minutes. It helped having the wind in my back on the return trip, though. Fair’s fair.

06.09.2014 • Permalink

Decent ride, but shorter than I’d have liked. The weather was lovely, as summer’s final surge so often is. I suspect this will be one of the last good rides this year.

04.09.2014 • Permalink

From Me To You

I’m sure I’m not the only one getting a bit tired of MC Siegler and his ilk complaining about e-mail. We get it, you want us to use something else, and preferably – I’m just taking a wild guess here – a service you’ve invested in.

[E-mail’s] the worst thing ever for about a billion reasons.

Siegler famously invested in Path, which was hard to miss if you read tech news, since he kept shilling for it. Later, Path proceeded to copy all the users’ contacts and spammed them all with requests to join the service, even after users deleted the app. (Nobody likes Path very much anymore.)

Here’s the thing about e-mail, though: I can open an account with Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and a score of others; I can even host it myself if I want. (I do). Once I’ve done that, I can send e-mail from any of these services to any of the others, including the self-hosted one, and the recipient will get it, regardless of provider. Unless, of course, you live in a dictatorship or some hacker suspects you have nude pics lying around or you can’t figure out how to set up IMAP. Even so.

Twitter, Path, Wattsapp, GTalk/Chat/Hangouts/Facebook Messenger make up just a tiny selection of messaging services out there, and while they’re often based on the same technology, pretty much none of them can actually talk to each other, thanks to the proprietary stuff that gets added. Superior communication platforms, my ass!

The one thing I’m pretty sure of is that e-mail will still be around when all these other services have gone to seed. E-mail is universal and open. This is frankly fantastic, and unsurprisingly, came around before the whoring out monetization of the Internet.

Sure, e-mail isn’t great for everything, and yes, it can be clunky, but it was born of the open Internet and after all these years, it still delivers on the promise of limitless, instantaneous communication these other services promise – and fail – to deliver. All this, and not a walled garden in sight.

02.09.2014 • Permalink