BMW to Charge $80 Annual Fee for Apple CarPlay


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Greg Fink, reporting for Car and Driver:
BMW will turn Apple CarPlay into a subscription service beginning with its 2019-model-year vehicles. The German automaker currently charges a one-time $300 to add Apple CarPlay capability to navigation-equipped BMW models. Going forward, though, navigation-equipped BMWs will come with CarPlay at no charge for one year. Following that first year, customers will need to pay an annual fee of $80 to maintain the relationship between their Apple device and their BMW’s infotainment system.
That is some serious next-level bullshit right there.

How to Use a Zebra Ink Cartridge With Studio Neat’s Mark One Pen


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When I linked to Studio Neat’s Mark One: Apollo Edition Kickstarter campaign the other day, I mentioned that I use a Mark One using Zebra ink refills, thanks to a 3D-printed converter. A few readers asked how to obtain this converter. I’m linking here to the model. I don’t own a 3D printer — the guys at Studio Neat made this for me as a favor — but this if you have access to a 3D printer this should get you started. The refills you need are the JSB-04 (0.4mm, very fine) or JSB-05 (0.5mm, fine), and, of course, you can get them at JetPens.

Morning Brew


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My thanks to Morning Brew for sponsoring this week at Daring Fireball. There’s a reason over 1 million people (including me) start their day with Morning Brew — the daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Business news doesn’t have to be dry and dense. Morning Brew is to the point and funny. Make your mornings more enjoyable, for free. Check it out.

Instagram ‘Tag Cleaners’ Are Fighting Against Digital Vandalism


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Megan Farokhmanesh, writing for The Verge:
Tag cleaners, as they call themselves, drown out gore, harassment, and more by flooding a user’s tagged photos with pleasant images. It’s benevolent spam. The most prolific accounts are usually reposting the same images ad nauseam in quick bursts. Randomfloweracc, run by a 17-year-old named Lori, uses cartoons like Rilakkuma or Hello Kitty. Naomi, owner of cute.cleanup, is also partial to Sanrio characters and rainbows. […] Instagram appears to have removed all of the tagged photos of Devins’ death, but there’s little to stop abusers from creating new accounts and restarting the cycle again. In the days following her death, The Verge noticed waves of these photos, both originating from the same accounts constantly reposting, as well as multiple new accounts cropping up. Reports filed by The Verge usually resulted in photos being taken down in minutes; but in some cases, that’s all Continue reading "Instagram ‘Tag Cleaners’ Are Fighting Against Digital Vandalism"

Today’s Proceeds From the Apollo Reddit App Are Going to the SPCA


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Christian Selig:
So yeah, to try to help some today 100% of Apollo’s proceeds (every penny I make) will be donated to the local SPCA animal shelter. Apollo’s free to download with a Pro version that adds some extra features, as well as an Ultra version that adds a few more, so if you unlock those today it’ll be completely going to the animals and you get a little treat as a thank you for being awesome! You might remember we did the same thing a year ago and raised $5,000 for the SPCA. I really want to try to hit $10,000 this time, I really think we can do it!
Fantastic app, great cause. Apollo isn’t just a truly nice native iOS app; it simply makes Reddit readable for me.

Jony Ive Describes the 20th Anniversary Macintosh in 1997


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This was so early in Ive’s career that he still had hair, and went by “Jon Ive”. The 20th Anniversary Mac was a weird beast, starting with the fact it commemorated the 20th anniversary of the company, not the Mac (which was 11 years old at the time). The main thing is it was never meant to sell at scale — it started at $7,500 and according to Wikipedia Apple only ever made 12,000 of them. It was a shipping prototype, effectively. But the design clearly presaged what we now know as the modern iMac, which effectively is the modern desktop: all-in-one design, LCD display (this was truly radical in 1997), good built-in speakers, and an attempt to minimize the tangle of cables most PCs and Macs had in the back. All the hallmarks of Ive’s design sense are there.

Ken Rosenthal on Jayson Stark


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Ken Rosenthal, writing for The Athletic:
Sometimes, I wish I could think like Jayson — and sometimes, with all the stuff ping-ponging around his brain, I’m grateful I cannot. But always, I wish I could write like him. Jayson’s writing is conversational, entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny. He doesn’t take himself seriously. But he takes his audience extremely seriously, and considers no detail too small in his service of the reader. Among his many attributes, Jayson has a knack for engaging relatively obscure veterans who are keen observers of the game, and then elevating them to oracles in his columns. After a long night of October baseball, 99 percent of us will gather in the clubhouse around the star of the game. Jayson will be off in the corner, talking to whoever he has identified as this year’s Corky Miller or Casey Candaele or Skip Schumaker or Mark DeRosa — and naturally, getting the Continue reading "Ken Rosenthal on Jayson Stark"

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Who Led Liberal Wing, Dies at 99


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Linda Greenstone’s obituary for The New York Times is utterly compelling. This anecdote says a lot:
Justice Stevens was known around the court for treating others with sensitivity and respect. One former law clerk, Christopher L. Eisgruber, described in a 1993 essay an incident at a party for new clerks: Before Justice Stevens arrived, an older male justice had instructed one of the few female clerks present to serve coffee. When Justice Stevens entered, he quickly grasped the situation, walked up to the young woman and said: “Thank you for taking your turn with the coffee. I think it’s my turn now.” He took over the job.

NYT: ‘Notre-Dame Came Far Closer to Collapsing Than People Knew’


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The New York Times:
The New York Times conducted scores of interviews and reviewed hundreds of documents to reconstruct the missteps — and the battle that saved Notre-Dame in the first four critical hours after the blaze began. What became clear is just how close the cathedral came to collapsing. The first hour was defined by that initial, critical mistake: the failure to identify the location of the fire, and by the delay that followed. The second hour was dominated by a sense of helplessness. As people raced to the building, waves of shock and mourning for one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable buildings, amplified over social media, rippled in real time across the globe. That Notre-Dame still stands is due solely to the enormous risks taken by firefighters in those third and fourth hours.
Fascinating investigative journalism and excellently illustrated presentation on the web. Highly recommend reading on an Continue reading "NYT: ‘Notre-Dame Came Far Closer to Collapsing Than People Knew’"

★ Apple Is Sending Out Another Silent Update To Fix the Webcam Flaw in Zoom’s Partner Apps


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Nicole Nguyen, reporting for BuzzFeed News:
The fallout from Zoom’s massive webcam vulnerability continues. In a report published today, security researcher Karan Lyons shows that the same flaw — which gave attackers easy access to laptop cameras and microphones — affects RingCentral, which is used by over 350,000 businesses, as well as Zhumu, essentially the Chinese version of Zoom. On July 16, Apple confirmed that it had released another silent update to Macs patching the vulnerability affecting Zoom’s partner apps. The update, which went out this morning, requires no user action, but may take some time to roll out to all impacted Macs. Lyons tweeted that Apple’s latest update takes action on 11 different apps, all vulnerable to the Zoom webcam flaw.
So here’s an interesting question. I’ve been using the phrase “nonconsensual technology” to describe Zoom’s invisible web server that remained installed and running even after you deleted the Zoom app. Continue reading "★ Apple Is Sending Out Another Silent Update To Fix the Webcam Flaw in Zoom’s Partner Apps"

Business Insider: ‘Google Is Trying to Convince Congress It Has Search Competition’


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Nick Bastone, reporting for Business Insider:
“In our core search business, consumers can choose among a range of options: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, and many more,” Cohen said. “Specialized search services are strong competitors, too, including companies like Amazon, eBay, Kayak, Travelocity, Yelp, and others.” But recent statistics paint a different picture. According to StatCounter, Google accounts for over 92% of the search engine market share worldwide as of this June. Its closest competitor, Bing, accounted for just over 2.5% of the market.
Competition isn’t the right word. Yes, there are competing search engines, clearly. The right word is monopoly, and it’s just as clear that Google has a very strong monopoly on the search engine market. Monopolies aren’t illegal — but monopoly holders are subject to regulations that non-monopoly competitors are not. That’s the issue. Google’s argument shouldn’t be to simply say that they have competition, it should be Continue reading "Business Insider: ‘Google Is Trying to Convince Congress It Has Search Competition’"

The Omega Speedmaster: The Watch That Went to the Moon


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Krishnadev Calamur, writing for The Atlantic:
In other words, the Speedmaster and watches like it provide a sense of permanence in an age with little of it. The Speedmaster available today is virtually the same as the one Aldrin wore on the moon, or indeed the one Omega introduced way back in 1957, as a tool for race-car drivers. It is unchanged because there’s nothing to change: The mechanical watch is, along with the bicycle, an arguably perfect invention. If wound every day and serviced regularly, it can run for perpetuity. There aren’t many things you can say that about in our era of fast fashion and biennial phone upgrades.
This is, to me, exactly the appeal of mechanical watches.