12th January 2016

Apple recently blocked f.lux for iOS from being side-loaded on to iPhones because it ‘violated the Developer Program Agreement’. If you did not know, f.lux is a simple app designed to reduce eye strain when using a screen at night and it really does work. So, why would Apple want to block it? Presumably because it has just announced the iOS 9.3 preview which includes a feature called ‘Night Shift’ that works just like f.lux. Guess we should give Apple credit for being consistent when it comes to such things…

I am guessing that 99.5% of people love Lego and with good reason, but thesealternative Tsumiki bricks from Japan offer something new. What’s more, the manufacturer made them with forest conservation organization More Trees so there is little downside here. An interesting idea, but nothing beats Lego for me!

A variety of impressive numbers can be picked to describe Xiaomi’s Redmi 3 Android phone such as the huge 4,100mAh battery or the all-metal body. Or maybe an octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, or the 5″ screen in front of a 13-megapixel camera with fast autofocus on the rear and a 5-megapixel snapper in front. A micro-SD? Two SIM slots? Yes, yes- it is all very impressive, but one number will impress you above all of the above. It costs $107. More at TNW.

I haven’t used a standalone camera for a long time now and as time passes, I can see the improvements in phone camera technology just by looking at my library. Today, we are likely in a space that standalone cameras inhabited 4-5 years ago, or maybe even more recently, in terms of quality and this is shown off well by The Best Of Your Mobile Photos over at XDA Developers. Some stunning shots here.

If you have some spare time, I suggest you read The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare over at the NYT Magazine. It’s far from short, but is a compelling use of your time. “When the Grahams heard in 1998 that Wilbur Tennant was looking for legal help, they remembered Bilott, White’s grandson, who had grown up to become an environmental lawyer. They did not understand, however, that Bilott was not the right kind of environmental lawyer. He did not represent plaintiffs or private citizens. Like the other 200 lawyers at Taft, a firm founded in 1885 and tied historically to the family of President William Howard Taft, Bilott worked almost exclusively for large corporate clients. His specialty was defending chemical companies. Several times, Bilott had even worked on cases with DuPont lawyers. Nevertheless, as a favor to his grandmother, he agreed to meet the farmer. ‘‘It just felt like the right thing to do,’’ he says today. ‘‘I felt a connection to those folks.’’”

There may just be a new messaging app that is about to take over the world, and it is called Peach. It looks like a standard communications app until you start to understand how the features work. Type ‘GIF’ to start searching the GIPHY database for images to share, type ‘DRAW’ to bring up a drawing tool and so on. Clever stuff with the potential to become very popular indeed.

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