Recode: Apple Considering $400 Price Tag for Wearable

Dawn Chmielewski and John Paczkowski, reporting for Recode:

Apple executives have discussed charging around $400 for the company’s new wearable device.

Pricing has yet to be finalized for the forthcoming product, which is expected to begin shipping next year. Sources say consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.

I’d pay $400 for an iWatch, depending on its functionality and fashion appeal.

Gizmodo Invited By Apple to September 9 Event

Brian Barrett, writing for Gizmodo:

Apple has just sent out its invitations to an event on September 9th. You can expect at least one iPhone, and possibly an iWatch as well. And hey… we’ll be there!

Off the shitlist, indeed.

(via Daring Fireball)

‘Look Daddy! Santa Gave Me An iWatch Raincheck’

John Paczkowski reports for Recode that Apple’s wearable device isn’t shipping soon:

So that new wearable device Apple is introducing on September 9? It’s going to be a while before anyone is actually wearing it. Sources in position to know tell me it won’t arrive at market for a few months. “It’s not shipping anytime soon,” said one. So when does Apple plan to ship its eagerly anticipated wearable? That’s not clear, but my understanding is that we’re unlikely to see it at retail until after the holiday season — think early 2015.

That sound you hear is bank accounts and credit cards the world over squealing with glee.

(via Stephen Hackett)

‘The $15,000 Video Setup in Your Hand’

Cliff Kuang, in a profile for Wired on Instagram’s new app, Hyperlapse:

By day, Thomas Dimson quietly works on Instagram’s data, trying to understand how people connect and spread content using the service. Like a lot of people working at the company, he’s also a photo and movie geek—and one of his longest-held affections has been for Baraka, an art-house ode to humanity that features epic tracking shots of peoples all across the world. “It was my senior year, and my friend who was an architect said, ‘You have to see it, it will blow you away,’” says Dimson. He wasn’t entirely convinced. The movie, after all, was famous for lacking any narration or plot. But watching the film in his basement, Dimson was awestruck. “Ever since, it’s always been the back of my mind,” he says.

By 2013, Dimson was at Instagram. That put him back in touch with Alex Karpenko, a friend from Stanford who had sold his start-up to Instagram in 2013. Karpenko and his firm, Luma, had created the first-ever image-stabilization technology for smartphone videos. That was obviously useful to Instagram, and the company quickly deployed it to improve video capture within the app. But Dimson realized that it had far greater creative potential. Karpenko’s technology could be used to shoot videos akin to all those shots in Baraka. “It would have hurt me not to work on this,” says Dimson.

I used Hyperlapse for the first time last night, and I was very impressed. The app is very well done and easy to use — fun, too. For someone who isn’t big on shooting video, that I actually enjoyed Hyperlapse is high praise.

(via John Gruber)

‘Loving Kids Like That Is a Waste’

Sarah Terzo for LifeNews.com, on pregnant couples aborting babies with Down syndrome:

Rayna Rapp, a former abortion clinic worker who aborted a baby with Down syndrome herself, conducted a survey of women and couples who sought amniocentesis to screen for Down syndrome and other problems with their babies. All of the interviewees intended to abort if the baby was found to have Down syndrome. Some of the things that these parents say about Down syndrome children are deeply troubling to anyone who values life.

As someone who worked with many children with Down syndrome during my career with the school district, the sentiment that loving a child with Down is “a waste” is deeply offensive to me. Loving your child should come without condition, but judging by the rationale Terzo shares in her piece, many would-be parents disagree, sadly.

(via @sidoneill)

‘iOS First. Android Much, Much Later.’

Semil Shah, on mobile startups and devoting development time:

The most common trap here is the early iOS app which gets some buzz. All of a sudden, the founders hear “When are you building for Android?” The natural, enthusiastic response to sincere requests of the Android chorus is to go ahead and build for Android and seek more downloads, more growth, more revenue. I have a different view though. The proper response is: “No. Buy an iPhone.”

It’s long been my view that while Android may be winning in market share, iOS is kicking ass in terms of app design. Apps on iOS just seem to be better designed than their Android counterparts, both in aesthetic design and in experience. The depth is the killer here, I think: Apple’s APIs are better and creating for iOS is easier. Android fans crow about choice, but the device fragmentation is a real problem for third-party developers. A platform is only as good as its apps, after all.

(via Daring Fireball)

‘Why We’re Not Driving the Friendly Skies’

Stuart F. Brown, writing for the New York Times:

Trying to reconcile the conflicting requirements of the two types of vehicles invariably results in a boatload of compromises that, some say, make the flying car a nonstarter. Yet the dream lives on.

[...]

Enthusiasts have a think or two coming if they assume that one need only buy a flying car and point the nose skyward to soar above the dreary highways. Nobody gets off the ground without training and a pilot’s license, and no government agency will sign off on citizens’ routinely taking off and landing on public roads. That’s what airports are for.

Next year is 2015, the year Michael J. Fox traveled to in Back to the Future Part II. Seems that not much from that vision of the now not-too-distant future is a reality — the exceptions being video calls and a MLB team in Miami. Flying cars certainly aren’t around, but then neither is a Cubs World Series berth/win.

On Driving and Parenting

Ben Brooks, “So That’s It Then”:

You get in your car and you turn right onto James.

And you mutter: “So that’s it?”

And that really is it.

It is more strenuous to get a driver’s license than to be given the responsibility of raising a human life. And that’s both terrifying, and at the same time, the way it should be.

Even after two kids, I still cannot believe, that this is it.

Given the chaotic, traumatic childhood I had the displeasure of living through, I’ve long maintained that prospective parents should be licensed in order to rear a child. It should be just like driving — if you want the privilege (and responsibility) of driving a car, you need to first pass a test.

The legal/governmental issues around “policing” procreation notwithstanding, my main point here is simply that not everyone who has children is fit for parenthood, just as not all drivers are necessarily fit to drive (i.e., good drivers). Just as the road would be better off with less shitty people behind the wheel, so too would children be better off without people with shitty parenting skills.

On iMessage Spam

Marco Tabini, writing for Macworld:

Is Apple’s iMessage the new favorite tool of spammers worldwide? A widely-quoted recent article written by Wired’s Robert McMillan suggests it is, even going so far as to claim that iMessage “is being taken over by spammers.”

Largely based on an interview with security analyst Tom Landesman, McMillan states that, thanks to a few enterprising fraudsters who have figured out a way to take advantage of Apple’s networks, iMessage accounts for some 30 percent of all mobile spam, and that the company’s efforts at stemming the onslaught of unwanted messages are moving too slowly to catch up with the spammers.

But is the problem really that dire? A closer look at the numbers suggests that the iMessage spampocalypse may be a ways off yet.

I’m lucky to not have gotten any spammy iMessages, but if I ever do I’ll be sure to report it to Apple.

On Christopher Thomas Knight

Michael Finkel for GQ, “The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit”:

When, said Perkins-Vance, was the last time he’d had contact with another person?

Sometime in the 1990s, answered Knight, he passed a hiker while walking in the woods.

“What did you say?” asked Perkins-Vance.

“I said, ‘Hi,’ ” Knight replied. Other than that single syllable, he insisted, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this night, for twenty-seven years.

I read this story last night, and was completely enthralled. It’s a fascinating piece; very well written too. And Maine winters — in remote parts of the state especially — seem brutal. I’m amazed Knight lived through them for almost 30 years.