Newsletter: 20th February 2016

The death of Harper Lee is of course a very sad moment, but all of the adoration coming forth is well deserved in my opinion. I kind of meandered through school, and in particular English classes, until we had to study To Kill A Mockingbird. The book grabbed me and made me interested in reading and writing, interests that have never left me. It will always remain one of the best books I have ever read. Should also note that the novelist and cultural theorist Umberto Eco passed away as well. The Name of the Rose is a stunning book if you have not read it yet.

I have never seen Star Wars. Most people haven’t. Unless you were alive and aware in 1977, the movie we call Star Wars is not, in fact, the same Star Wars that crowds lined up around city blocks got to see when the lights finally dimmed and the 20th Century Fox fanfare subsided. When the film was re-released into theatres in 1981, the “original” version was already gone. No longer just Star Wars, the film was now Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope.” More at Movie Mezzanine. The same has happened to ET and few people have noticed. It is only when you see the originals that you realise just how much they have been ‘improved’.

Inside baseball for a moment. is now a blog as well as a home for the newsletter. A few people asked for the ‘blog style’ to return and so I figured that we may as well have the best of both worlds and have the blog and newsletter work together. Thanks for all of the feedback so far.

“Shortly after the phone in question was seized from an SUV belonging to Farook and his wife, someone changed an Apple ID that might have allowed the phone to back up data to iCloud—which would have given the government a chance to seize the data with a court order. But because that ID was changed, there is no chance the phone could have ever backed up additional data to iCloud, a senior Apple executive said on a call today with reporters.” This story is going to run and run, and I for one hope that it gets played out to a conclusion. There are varying views on Apple’s stance, but I for one am leaning towards feeling more secure because my data is so hard to get at. The argument that ‘if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about’ is completely different to our fundamental right to privacy. If you are unaware of the Apple vs FBI story, go here. Or you could listen to Donald Trump- “I think what you ought to do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number. How do you like that? I just thought of that,” he declared. “Boycott Apple!” 

The best news photos captured in 2015 have been announced and there are some cracking shots included. PetaPixel has detailed which cameras were used to capture the photos and every single one is a traditional high-end camera. I wonder how long it will take for a phone to be used to capture a winner?

“When Pizza reached 100,000 followers on Tumblr, she posted a picture of a pizza box, takeout chicken wings, and an orange soda spread out on her bed: “pizza and chicken wings 2 celebrate.” One fan replied, “CONGRATULATIONS GIRL! YOU DESERVE IT!” Another: “MOTHER OF GOD 100K?!?!” An anonymous user was unimpressed: “you only have 100k because of ur url.” But Pizza shot that down: “uh no i had 93k before i got this url so excuse u.” If you are struggling to understand what makes teens tick on the web, The secret lives of Tumblr teens may help you.

What will our cities look like in 100 years? Well, Samsung has thought about this and come up with some ideas. I’m not convinced that cities will look too different than how they are today, but it’s nice to consider realities as bizarre as these.

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