The intriguing legal ramifications of Pokémon GO

Recently, there has been a virtual tsunami of articles about the so-called hidden dangers of using the Pokémon GO app. The vast majority of them concern potential violations of the privacy rights of both consumers and landmark-owners. The media’s Chicken Little-like take on this is that augmented reality apps are opening the door to a dystopian future.

However, what has not been widely discussed is the impact of all this on the developers of augmented reality apps.


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7 Chrome Extensions That Will Change Your (Internet) Life

Chrome extensions are like internet unicorn glitter: one little button can make your entire web experience magical. Whether you’ve got terrible grammar or have a tab hoarding problem (you know exactly what we’re talking about) or just want an excuse to have more GIFs randomly pop up in your life, you’ll find something on the list below for you.

Enjoy. 🙂

If you use Chrome, then you use Chrome extensions, and these seven extensions can be pretty handy.


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Google Enhances Crowdsourcing of Its Maps Data

Maps are a highly competitive corner of the mobile device landscape. Today, Google added features that make it easier for users to add new places, suggest edits to locations, and verify other users’ submissions.

Google announced on the Google Maps blog that adding and editing locations has been expanded worldwide in Google Maps and Google Search. In my limited tests, I only saw links to edit locations in Google Maps, but it may be that the feature is still being rolled out to Search.


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Michael Gartenberg on The iPad paradox

With some products… there’s a distinct conflict between consumer understanding of the features and the value assigned to those features. While the internet was filled with a rabid fan base of customers who loved and praised TiVo at every opportunity, most consumers didn’t understand the value of a $500 “digital VCR.”

In short, if you met a TiVo owner at a party, they were rabid…. When most people tried it, the lightbulb turned on. TiVo was not an expensive VCR — it redefined watching TV. I suspect iPad is suffering from the same paradox. Customers who buy an iPad Pro understand the power it unlocks relative to a Mac. The more they use it, the more it displaces their Mac. They “get it,” but most folks just don’t.

This is the conundrum. So many people who try to use the iPad Pro to get work done just seem to have that light bulb turn on over their head. They get it. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but it happens for a lot of people. But if you don’t try it, you’ll never get it.


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Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes that you can customize as much as you want and it never gets old.

For this dish, I substituted a classic set of ingredients and the result was amazing.

Rather than the usual flour and milk for the sauce, I like to use Ricotta cheese, which sticks to every piece of pasta and combined with a spoonful of lemongrass gives you a nice comforting, and filling dish.

What you need

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass (optional, and to taste)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheedar cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzeralla cheese
  • 1 cup paramesan cheese

How to make it

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. In the saucepan, add the onion, lemongrass and measured salt and pepper, and cook until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add the ricotta cheese to the mix slowly, and whisk frequently until evenly combined and smooth, stopping to whisk any clumps as needed.
  6. Continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. Add the pasta to the boiling pot of water and cook until still chewy and underdone, usually a few minutes less than the package directions suggest (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven).
  9. Drain and rinse with cold water until no longer steaming; set aside.
  10. Return the ricotta mixture to medium heat and stir in 3/4 of the cheeses until melted and smooth, leave some cheddar for a topping.
  11. Add the rinsed pasta and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is heated through and steaming, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  13. Transfer to a 5-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the panko crumbs and remaining cheese, and bake until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS

There are some nice new features in the latest version for iOS including:

What’s New in Version 2.3

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS brings an incredible Quick Selection Tool, a powerful and precise Magnetic Selection Tool, features many small, but awesome improvements to the selection experience on iOS, and more.

  • The advanced Quick Selection Tool lets you make incredibly accurate selections.
  • The smart Magnetic Selection Tool snaps precisely to the objects you trace.
  • Many small, but awesome changes improve the selection experience on iOS.

Selection improvements:

  • When making selections, you can now tap Invert to invert your selection.
  • The outline of selections made with the Color Selection Tool is more precise thanks to a content-aware smoothing algorithm.
  • The all-new marching ants design improves performance and has ants that actually march around your selections.
  • The Color Selection Tool is now faster (especially on older devices).
  • Added a Create New selection mode, which is now the default.
  • A live preview of your final selection is now shown when using the Add or Subtract selection modes.
  • You can now transform selections in the Arrange pane.
  • Selections now snap to layers and the canvas, just like layers do (but you can turn this off by turning off Guides).
  • Selections made with the Free Selection, Rectangle Selection, and Ellipse Selection tools now always snap to pixels, meaning there won’t be any unwanted, half-transparent pixels at the edges of a selection when you copy, delete, or transform it.
  • The selection paths of the Free Selection Tool are now made up of twice as many points, which makes them smoother.
  • When you open up Select with an already selected area, the selection tool that you were using previously will automatically become active.
  • When moving a selected area, dragging inside the selection will move it, and dragging outside the selection will now pan the image.
  • The selection outline that is added as you select with the Free Selection Tool now has a subtle animation.
  • When making selections with the Quick Selection or Color Selection tools, the selection preview now fades into the marching ants.
  • Tapping Undo after transforming a selected area sometimes used to make that area flicker. Fixed.
  • When using the Free Selection Tool, quickly tapping could sometimes make really small selections instead of adding points. Fixed.

Improvements and bug fixes:

  • Use a two finger double tap to zoom in or zoom to fit.
  • The 9:16 aspect ratio is now in the list of ratios in Crop.
  • The request to let Pixelmator access your Photos library wouldn’t appear if you tried to save to Photos before having opened an image from Photos – it does now.
  • If you use Copy to Photos to save a new image to your Photos library, you’ll now be able to use Save to Photos to save over that new image.
  • If you drag a layer that is not selected (the transform handles aren’t visible) and it does not fit in the screen, the layer will not be moved. To move it – first, tap to select it.
  • When you hold two fingers to rotate a layer but one or both fingers are outside the currently selected layer, other layers in your image will not be selected – first tap to select the layer you want to rotate, then hold two fingers inside it to start rotating.
  • Zoom animations are a little more smooth as they now have subtle ease-out transitions.

Apple Pencil improvements and bug fixes:

  • When using Apple Pencil, the brush size of the Quick Selection Tool is pressure-sensitive.
  • Selections made using Apple Pencil and the Free Selection Tool are now more accurate.
  • The transform handle area is now smaller, giving you more precision.

Pixelmator for iPhone improvements:

  • The Select and Distort tool choosers are now laid out more symmetrically.
  • The selection mode in the Select tool chooser is highlighted more clearly.
  • Tapping to choose a selection mode will now close the Select tool chooser.

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS has a bunch of other great improvements and fixes.

I’ve been using Pixelmator as my only image editor on both Mac and iOS for years now and highly recommend it.


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Android Apps on the Chromebook

Android Apps on the Chromebook

What can I say, despite being an Apple guy, I’m also a fan of Chromebooks, they are handy and portable for when you want a simple go anywhere laptop.

Using tools like Cloud9 or CodeAnywhere, you can do most of your web coding, and even connect to servers to manage sites via terminal.

Heck, using Appgyver, I recently build an iOS app without needing Xcode at all, as I built it all using Cloud9, then deployed to their site and have Appgyver perform the xcode builds.

Now, Google has released the Google Play Store and let you run Android Apps on it. This lets you do even more.

This is currently a limited release, you need to be in the beta channel in order to access it and also be on supported hardware, as it needs a touch screen to work.

One of the chromebooks that got this early release was the Chromebook Flip. The Flip was one of my favourite Chromebooks even before this, as it’s got a nice looking metal shell to it, and the touchscreen and keyboard are both responsive and quick to work with.

With Android Apps, the Flip can now not only handle dev work with apps like Cloud9, but can also do everything else that an Android tablet can do, including running the Android Slack app, or the app or any other Android app.

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Amazon’s AWS buys Cloud9 to add more development tools to its web services stack

Amazon Web Services has made an acquisition to continue building out the services that it offers around and on its cloud storage platform. It has bought Cloud9, a San Francisco-based startup that has built an integrated development environment (IDE) for web and mobile developers to collaborate together.

Cloud9 itself made the news public today in a statement on its site, which also says that the company will continue to offer its existing service while it also works on building new tools for AWS.

“We’re excited to let you, our users and customers, be among the first to learn that we have been acquired by Amazon! We will be joining the Amazon Web Services family, and we’re looking forward to working together on terrific customer offerings for the future,” co-founder Reuben Daniels writes. “In the meantime, you’ll still be able to depend on and continue to invest safely in Cloud9. It’s still business as usual—we’ll continue to work with our Ace Open Source community and to provide our innovative services to you and our hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide. Over time, we’ll work with AWS to do even more on your behalf.”

Founded in 2010, today Cloud9 supports some 40 different programming languages and lets remote teams work together to develop and edit code (with an option of using its online code editor or an Ubuntu workspace) and then test that code across some 300 different combinations of browsers and operating systems.

I actually use Cloud9 heavily via the self-hosted platform, with it running on a Digital Ocean server and works great between macbook, iPad or chromebook.


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Pokemon Go Drives Nintendo’s Shares up

Pavel Alpeyev and Yuji Nakamura, reporting for Bloomberg:

The company has added more than $7 billion in market value since last week’s debut of a new smartphone app for its Pokemon fantasy monster character franchise. The game, which lets users track down virtual monsters in their vicinity, has topped the free-to-download app charts for Apple in the U.S. and Australia since its release on July 7, according to market researcher App Annie.

Nintendo’s shares responded with their biggest intraday jump since at least 1983, when the stock started trading in Tokyo, climbing as much as 25 percent on Monday. Investors are taking Pokemon’s early success as a sign of things to come for a company that has yet to commit the most popular characters from its Mario or Zelda franchises to mobile gaming apps.

Top-grossing app in the App Store, and the topic of the week (lighthearted topic, at least) on social media.

This is a nice step towards Nintendo finally moving into the mobile game market and away from their own hardware, hopefully we’ll see other games moving towards this as well.


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Comparing iPad Pros

I remember being a kid when our family got a new kitten. We had two other cats at the time and this kitten made those full grown cats look like giants. That feeling came right back when I picked up the iPad Pro 12.9″ when it was launched. There were moments when I would pick up my new iPad Pro and just start laughing to myself at the sheer size of the thing.

It was so big in comparison to my iPad Air. The entire thing felt absurd — it’s even bigger than my MacBook. But unlike with my cats, the smaller iPad never grew larger to normalize things. Instead I just got rid of the iPad Air and my 12.9″ iPad felt normal after a bit.

But then I decided to add the 9.7″ iPad Pro to the mix, just what everyone needs. Who needs two iPads?

When I picked up the iPad Pro 9.7″ the other day I was taken right back to those kitten moments and when I first got my larger iPad Pro. The 9.7″ model just feels so tiny now. At one point I thought I was holding our old iPad mini and not the new iPad Pro — the size difference is one I am still trying to get used to.

It’s all relative, but make no mistake about it: these two devices have massively different size implications.

I’ll be posting about these two devices more, but this post serves to answer the question I am most often asked: which iPad Pro should I get? I’ve been hesitant to weigh in on this, but now having used both enough, I have some thoughts to relay.

For me which iPad depends on just one thing: do you want the iPad Pro to be your only, or main, computer? If your answer to that is yes, then you need the 12.9″ and not the smaller sibling.

The two reasons for this are: screen size and keyboard size. Both are bigger and easier to use with the larger iPad Pro. I personally cannot imagine trying to use the 9.7″ iPad Pro as my only machine, it can be done, but no thanks.

However, if you don’t want the iPad Pro to be your main computer, but perhaps just a backup to your current computers, then the 9.7″ iPad Pro seems like it would be a fantastic fit there. It’s like the 11″ MacBook Air: sure some people use it as their only computer, but it makes for a far better second computer.

I stuck to the iPad Air 2 for my regular size iPad, and have the 12.9 iPad Pro as my primary portable workstation actually.

That said, it’s nice to see a good side-by-side comparison of the two iPad Pros, and there’s a lot to be said for the larger screen on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, especially if you’re a creative professional. I think it comes down to how you are going to use the devices.


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