9th January 2016


timely. interesting. quick.

At the time of writing this, more than 210,000 people have signed a petition to stop Apple doing away with the headphone jack in the next iPhone. We should firstly remember that this is merely a rumour at this time, as all news of the next iPhone is until right before the release, and we should also consider that absolutely no details have been officially presented concerning how such a change would be made. Would Apple include a pair of headphones that work with the lightning port? Would an adaptor be included? I suspect the former is likely because I cannot see Apple offering no headphones and so I do wonder how much of a problem it would be if it did happen. I also wonder if it merits taking the time to sign a petition- to move forward you often have to lose standards and this is no different to when the lightning port was debuted, when the mini-SD port died out or even when the DVD drive was omitted from many computers. 

It’s all too easy to look back on any time in the past and presume it wasn’t great, but if you take a look at 65 Photos That Prove 2015 Wasn’t The Worst Year After Allover at Architecture and Design, you can share in a moment of positivity that will make you happy for a moment. I don’t smile often, but this set of inspirational images did make my mouth form the shape of something resembling a smile.

Netflix is a superb service, in my opinion, but it can be very difficult to navigate at times. There is, however, a website that will let you search through the content using alternative genres. It is extremely basic by design, but a click on any entry will take you straight to the official Netflix site where you can then peruse what you need with much less clutter.

Now that you are feeling positive after looking at the 65 photos from 2015 detailed above, have a read of No Accident: Inside GM’s deadly ignition switch scandal to bring you back down to earth. It is not a nice subject at all, but the content of the article is extremely engaging. Here’s a snippet- “When Miller downloaded data from the Cobalt’s SDM, he was flummoxed. The reading showed that between three and four seconds before the crash, the speed of Brooke’s Cobalt had dropped from 58 miles per hour to a standstill—an impossible scenario given the facts in the police report, the reconstruction of the crash, and the laws of physics.”

Do you remember the Sinclair C5? If you do, you will enjoy this article over at Gadget Magazine which details a lot of the history behind this iconically brief invention and if you don’t, it is time to see what you missed. It may have been a commercial failure, but it remains a vividly positive memory for many of us.

At times, it may feel like the world of mobile games is dominated by in-app offerings that are designed to grab as much of your money as possible, and this is sort of true. However, if you read 10 of the best recent mobile games without in-app purchases over at The Guardian you will see that there are still some very impressive offerings out there. I can highly recommend Her Story and The Deer God which are both included in the list.

The passing of a Dalmatian named Twenty is a sad, but inspiring tale about a dog who offered support to the New York City fire department after 9/11. Strange how animals, especially dogs, really get under your skin and into your heart. “She became our mascot and companion,” said FDNY Lieutenant Gary Iorio in an emotional tribute posted on Facebook. “She really helped to build the morale in the years following 9/11. I can’t say enough about what she did to help us. She went on all the runs, she’d jump in the truck, stick her head out the window and bark. She became a local celebrity.”

In light of the first article today, it is perfectly possible that wireless headphones will soon become as commonplace as the wired equivalents most of us use today. If you are unaware of what is out there, why not check out the EARIN Bluetooth near headphones review over at OxGadgets which highlights what is possible in 2016 without wires. I can see a time very soon where wired headphones, for phones and most mobile devices, will be in the minority.

Staying with the subject of music, you may not have noticed that modern music is much louder than it was in the past. This article at the BBC explains why this is happening and the facts are quite surprising. “Although louder music is generally more exciting, the problem with over-compression is that the sound has no light and shade. For music to work, it needs to have dynamics; loud music is more impressive when contrasted with something quieter.” Thanks to Simon for the link.

You will all know who Mickey Mouse is, but did you realise that there is a fascinating story behind how he continually evades the Public Domain. It’s almost as if laws change just to suit him. “Disney’s efforts, and those of other multinational corporations with soon-expiring intellectual property, seem to have paid off. In 1976 — just 8 years prior to Mickey’s expiration — Congress completely overhauled U.S. copyright law to conform with European standards. This new law expanded already-published corporate copyrights from 56 years to a maximum of 75 years. All works published prior to 1922 immediately entered the public domain; all works published after 1922  (including Mickey Mouse) were entitled to the full 75 years of protection. Just like that, Mickey Mouse extended his copyright death 19 years — from 1984 to 2003.”

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