DisplayMate’s review of the iPhone X’s display →

November 16 2017

If you haven’t yet, you should make some time to read DisplayMate’s review of the iPhone X’s OLED display. It’s rather good.

The money quote:

The iPhone X is the most innovative and high performance Smartphone display that we have ever tested. First we need to congratulate Samsung Display for developing and manufacturing the outstanding OLED display hardware in the iPhone X. But what makes the iPhone X the is the impressive Precision Display Calibration that Apple developed that transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display!!”

Generally speaking, I always say to take these things with a grain of salt — this review included. It’s just one person (or one group’s) opinion, complete with included biases. But this is a pretty scientific review, and Raymond makes a strong case for the iPhone X’s display being among the best panels available for any device.

And the screen is absolutely jaw-dropping. It makes every other device my wife and I own look like mud.

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charity: water, 2017 edition →

November 15 2017

tl;dr: I’m starting another charity: water fundraiser. I want to raise at least $1,000. I would love your help.

Two years ago, I created my first charity: water fundraiser in honour of my 25th birthday. Together, we raised $150 USD. This year, charity: water completed work on the well that many of you helped me partially fund. That well gives 550 people in a community in Mozambique clean water.

Here’s what makes this so cool: now, children are able to go to school for the first time. Instead of walking miles every day to get clean water for their family, they go get educations. This well changes the future of the village.

And the well was planned and built with the community! Local residents formed water committees, which were trained to promote the best hygiene practices for health and sanitation among the community.

The photo you see above is a photo of the well that the last fundraiser paid for.

I started the last fundraising campaign because I believe in charity: water’s vision. Today, I’m doing it again.

Our last campaign raised $150 USD. This time, I’m reaching for a more lofty goal. I want to raise at least $1,000 USD. I’d love to knock that goal out of the park, but I need your help to do it.

Please donate to my campaign — anything you can give is a huge help.

100% of the money will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, charity: water will send us photos and GPS coordinates so we can see the exact community we helped.

Many of us have no idea what it’s like to be thirsty. But many people around the world don’t have that luxury. Every day, about 1,400 children die from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections and BioSand filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.

Even a small donation will make a huge difference in the lives of those in need.

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The best laptop ever made →

November 14 2017

From Marco Arment’s blog, writing about the 15” 2012-2015 MacBook Pros:

It was the debut of high-DPI Macs, starting down the long road (which we still haven’t finished) to an all-Retina lineup. And with all-SSD storage, quad-core i7 processors, and a healthy amount of RAM all standard, every configuration was fast, capable, and pleasant to use.

At its introduction, it was criticized only for ditching the optical drive and Ethernet port, but these were defensible, well-timed removals: neither could’ve even come close to physically fitting in the new design, very few MacBook Pro users were still using either on a regular basis, and almost none of us needed to buy external optical drives or Ethernet adapters to fit the new laptop into our lives. In exchange for those removals, we got substantial reductions in thickness and weight, and a huge new battery.

There were no other downsides. Everything else about this machine was an upgrade: thinner, lighter, faster, better battery life, quieter fans, better speakers, better microphones, a second Thunderbolt port, and a convenient new HDMI port.

Two thoughts.

First, this is a brilliant essay, and a year in to using my 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I almost entirely agree.

The Touch Bar is a bad idea, poorly implemented. I’m almost certain it won’t make it to the desktop line.

The new keyboard feels wonderful to me, but I completely understand why many people say it’s a bad keyboard. It’s too opinionated. I’d be happier if it had a bit more travel, too.

I miss all the ports. Basically, I want the old machine with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports where the Thunderbolt 2 ones were before. That was a great port arrangement and layout.

I do, however, strongly disagree with him about the trackpad. Using the old models makes my fingers feel cramped. That was a good move, in retrospect.

Finally, my second thought: Marco’s post felt like something Stephen Hackett would write.

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Google and Toronto partner for futuristic city →

November 8 2017

I’ve been sitting on this story for a while. Google partnered with Toronto in an effort to build a futuristic city.

I haven’t posted anything about it because there’s been no further stories about it. I was hoping Google’s intentions would get clearer, but this is what I’m left with (from the Inc. article linked above):

While the company scouted locations for the project last year, Doctoroff wrote that he envisioned the city of the future offering free Wi-Fi throughout, relying on sustainable energy, having automated trash systems, and being outfitted with self-driving cars in mind. These innovations, he said, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds and save the average resident an hour each day, thanks largely to transportation improvements.

And:

The project will take place in an area southeast of downtown Toronto. Doctoroff says the the hope is to over time extend it across the city’s eastern waterfront.

The thing is, I live in downtown Toronto. Most of the waterfront was re-finished over the past couple years. It looks really nice now. There are fewer lanes for cars, more bike lanes, and a lot of green space. Apart from the lack of wifi, most of this is already done. And I don’t think installing wifi across downtown Toronto requires Google’s involvement.

I also don’t necessarily want a company with Google’s privacy stances managing the technological infrastructure of my neighbourhood.

I was hoping deeper articles would clarify what Google and Toronto’s long-term plans are. But in lieu of that, I’m left to consider this based only on my existing knowledge of the city. But based on what I know, I don’t think there’s any real benefit to a partnership of this nature.

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Austin Mann’s Review of the iPhone X →

November 6 2017

Austin Mann’s review of the iPhone X is out. I’m a sucker for photo reviews, so I’ve really been looking forward to this. The photos are beautiful, as always, but it’s great to read an in-depth comparison between the Plus-sized iPhone cameras and the iPhone X from someone who knows what they’re doing.

His conclusion is the same as mine: the most exciting iPhone since the original (or at least the 4).

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