Marco Arment releases Quitter for the Mac

quitter

Quitter is a Mac app that automatically hides or quits apps after periods of inactivity, inspired by my Automatic Social Discipline method. It’s great for minimizing distraction from social apps like Twitter and Slack, news readers, or even your email app.

Quitter is free, with no strings attached: Download now

Quitter looks interesting, I have it running currently and it’s been nice to be able to add the various rules to it.

Language Creation Society: Paramount Does Not Own Klingon Language

As we reported earlier this month, Paramount Pictures is trying to block a crowdfunded Star Trek fan film based, in part, on the studio’s claim that it actually owns the copyright on the Klingon language. Now the Language Creation Society has chimed in on the case, making the argument that Paramount can’t claim ownership on a fictional language.

While Klingons have been part of the Star Trek universe since the original TV series, the actual Klingon language was not created until 1984 for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, produced by Paramount.

“Given that Paramount Pictures commissioned the creation of some of the language, it is understandable that Paramount might feel some sense of ownership over the creation,” writes the LCS in a brief [PDFKlingonamici] filed yesterday with the federal court hearing the case. But, feeling ownership and having ownership are not the same thing.”

While Paramount has long asserted its ownership over the Klingon language, and official books published by groups like the Klingon Language Institute, have licensed the language from the studio, this is believed to be the first time Paramount has made a claim to ownership in a legal proceeding.

In its brief, the LCS contends that Klingon is no longer used solely within the context of a fictional universe, noting that Microsoft’s Bing search engine, allows users to translate text to and from Klingon.

Watch drones perform ‘ballet’ with 16,500 LEDs in front of Mount Fuji

Japan has some fairly strict drone regulations that bar private pilots from flying the devices in public parks, but that hasn’t stopped a fleet of the remote controlled vehicles from taking to the skies to perform a “ballet” accompanied by traditional Japanese shamisen music, set against the beautiful backdrop of Mount Fuji.

The performance was produced by Japanese company MicroAd, which used more than 20 of its LED-encrusted Sky Magic drones to fly in formation with the music, their 16,500 lights twinkling in the dusk gloom.

Engadget: Apple iPhone sales finally decline

The inevitable has finally happened. After years of continually growing iPhone sales (and corresponding revenue growth), Apple has hit a bump.

The company just announced its fiscal Q2 2016 results, and the company sold 51.2 million iPhones, a 16 percent decline from the 61 million it sold one year ago. It’s the first time iPhone sales have ever declined year-over-year.

Similarly, revenues of $50.6 billion were down 13 percent from the $58 billion it made in Q2 2015. The company warned on its last earnings call that this was likely to happen, but it’s still quite notable. Apple has describing its quarterly revenue as “record-breaking” for so long that it’s hard to remember the last time it had a down quarter. (The Wall Street Journal says it’s been an incredible 13 years.)

We finally got a headline where finally is actually appropriate.

A Flop Unlike Any Other…

M.G. Siegler:

Last year, Rolex did $4.5 billion in sales. A solid year for the premium watchmaker. Of course, it was no Apple Watch, which did roughly $6 billion in sales, if industry estimates are accurate.

The point here isn’t to compare the two devices — an Apple Watch is just about as comparable to a watch as an iPhone is to a phone. But it does provide an interesting context for Apple’s fledgling business — a new product category which has come under a lot of scrutiny since its launch a year ago. Many have called it a “flop,” which, again, is interesting in context.

[…]

The caveat here is that it has to get better than it is right now. But if history is any guide, this is always what happens with Apple products. I happen to believe Apple Watch is a bit more “v1” than a lot of other products the company has put out there. But that may just mean that it has more opportunity to grow into something truly unique, useful, and worth upgrading for as iterations come.

If this doesn’t happen, the Apple Watch may turn out to be an actual flop. Again, that’s clearly not the case right now. But if the value proposition isn’t consistently raised, this first year of sales may be the equivalent of a movie that opens to huge business, then falls 60% in its second weekend in release, then even more in its third weekend…

So let’s see what this fall has in store in terms of iteration. Then we should have a better sense of the staying power of the device.

Let’s give it… time.

The Apple Watch is far from a flop – nothing that sells millions of copies at $500+ a pop can be called a flop.

Avocado Dip

This tasty recipe was posted on here before, and got accidentally deleted when I did the jekyll migration last year. Since then, I’ve had people asking for the recipe again, so I am putting it back here now. 🙂

Avocados are great as they are flexible and can fit into any type of dishs. This dip takes avocados in a new way, and uses the other ingredients to give you a rich balanced dip.

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (pick your favourite hot sauce there is no wrong choice here)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

How to make it:

  1. Cut all around the ripe avocados down to the pit. Twist and separate the halved fruit. Remove the pit with a spoon, then scoop the flesh with a spoon into your food processor bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the food processor.
  3. Chop garlic on your board and mash with 1 teaspoon salt to paste the garlic. Add garlic paste and the red wine vinegar to the food processor.
  4. Place lid on the food processor and turn it on.
  5. While the blade is spinning, stream in extra-virgin olive oil and add hot sauce.
  6. Stop processor, taste dressing and adjust seasonings

Xbox 360 officially killed off

Microsoft is officially ceasing production of the Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country.

If you compare the lifecycle of a game console to, say, an iPhone or an iPad, you see something interesting.

We’ve gotten so used to replacing those devices every few years, and our computer perhaps every three to five.

Whereas, my 2006 Xbox 360 was still in active use until it found itself replaced by the Xbox One, especially with the recent addition of backwards compatibility for many 360 games. A friend still has my old Xbox 360 and it works great.

The Xbox 360 had a great run though.

The Real Story of How Amazon Built the Echo

Joshua Brustein, writing for Bloomberg:

The idea for the Echo was an offshoot of Project C, and many of the early employees on the Echo moved over from C. Amazon remains particularly eager to keep this project a secret, even though work on it has stopped. But a sense of the focus and scope of the idea can be gleaned from patent applications filed by engineers at Lab126.

The first activity showed up on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, 2010, when Lab126 employees applied for five patents whose titles all included the phrase “augmented reality.” Augmented reality—hologram-like displays projected into the physical world—was already a buzzword at the time. An e-commerce company wouldn’t seem like an obvious leader in the field. But Amazon’s patent applications show it was pursuing a vision that goes far beyond anything that exists as a commercial product even today, almost six years after the first patent applications were filed.

Nice deep dive into the building of the Amazon Echo, including the little known fact that it grew out of an augmented reality project

Apple updates MacBook: rose gold, no Thunderbolt 3

The updated MacBook features sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors up to 1.3 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, and faster 1866 MHz memory. New Intel HD Graphics 515 deliver up to 25 percent faster graphics performance, and faster PCIe-based flash storage makes everyday tasks feel snappier — from launching apps to opening files.* And now with up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 11 hours of iTunes movie playback, MacBook is the perfect notebook for all day, on-the-go computing.

The updated 12 inch MacBook is now available in rose gold.But, it still just has the one port, and that port is USB-C, not Thunderbolt 3