Everything we do has an effect on the planet. Research shows that we’re causing devastating damage to the planet by releasing extravagant amounts of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. The only way to jump-start the solution is to take matters into your own hands. The aim is to inform and inspire people to minimize the carbon emissions caused by their energy use. You might not see it, but thousands of pounds of CO2 are being released into the air when you use energy in your home, or drive your car to work every day. The algorithm asks you some questions about your energy lifestyle and gives you a unique carbon footprint score. It determines which power plants your energy comes from and identifies how much CO2 they produce. It also knows how much CO2 your car produces, so it tallies those up to give you a good idea of how much CO2 your energy use produces. App Store: Free
NASA GLOBE Observer invites you to make observations about the Earth around you. Observations you collect and submit with this app are used by scientists to validate, interpret, and understand satellite data collected by NASA from space. The current version includes two capabilities. GLOBE Clouds allows observers to make regular observations of the Earth’s cloud cover and compare it to NASA satellite observations. GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper allows users to locate mosquito habitats, observe and identify mosquito larvae, and reduce the potential threat of mosquito borne disease. Recently NASA added a new addition: Globe Trees. App Store: Free
A recent study by online security experts vpnMentor has delved through the various privacy policies of some of the most popular applications, to discover how they’re really tracking our every move. The company also created a tool that tells you all of the data different companies collect from you. For example, apps like Tinder continue to track your location even when you’re not using the app; Facebook and Instagram track your location and save your home address and your most frequently visited locations. Both Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram use the information you share on their messaging services, while Twitter and Spotify openly state they have access to any messages sent on their platforms. Device Information – Google and Amazon keep hold of voice recordings from searches and Alexa, while Apple Music tracks phone calls and emails sent and received on the devices the service is used on.
Leica is a well-known camera brand, and today it released a five minute ad that celebrates photojournalism. Called ‘The Hunt’ it shows all of the stress, fear, drive, and life-threatening situations photojournalists face as they tell their stories. It was created by Brazilian agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. We see scenes of an oppressive regime in China, an African warlord, conflict in the Middle East, and more. Although the photographers in the ad aren’t real, they do represent conditions that can happen in the real world.
Leander Kahney’s (Cult of Mac editor) Tim Cook biography is out today. Subtitled “The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level” it tells the story of Mr. Cook’s role as Apple CEO and how he has handled the company after the death of Steve Jobs. It also looks at Mr. Cook’s life before Apple, like when he worked at IBM for 12 years. After that he briefly worked at Compaq, and helped transition the company from in-house manufacturing to creating products overseas with China and Taiwan. He used that expertise when he joined Apple in 1998, where he became a leader at operations and supply chains. I haven’t read the book yet but I look forward to sitting down with it. Mr. Kahney says he didn’t dive into Mr. Cook’s personal life, so it sounds like the book is more about his role at Apple. Apple Books: US$13.99
Now that I’ve updated my Facebook cover image, computer desktop, and phone lock screen, I can tell you: There’s a teaser trailer out for the final movie in the new Star Wars trilogy, released today at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Aside from the teaser, we also got the title: The Rise Of Skywalker. It’s a teaser as opposed to a “full” trailer, so there isn’t a lot to it plotwise. We get some shots of characters, some shots of locations, and not a lick of context. I’ve only watched it about 20 times though, maybe in another viewing or two I’ll pick up something I wasn’t seeing before.
In Las Vegas, the fountain in front of Bellagio has been a landmark since the hotel opened in 1998. Through the years there have been various “shows” with the water set to music, from Andrea Bocelli to Lady Gaga. In honor of the final season of Game of Thrones, there’s a new presentation which includes music from the show, some images projected on the water, and for the first time, fire. If you like the video below, you can check out the Behind the Scenes videos posted by MGM Resorts on their YouTube channel. So far they have posted part one and part two out of four.
German video editor Thomas Weinreich created a concept video that gets rid of the desktop metaphor on macOS. Replacing it is a user interface similar to what we get with the iPad. Windowed apps are replaced by full screen apps that can be displayed into multi-window Split Views. Like Ben Lovejoy said, it seems like maybe it could be similar to what Apple is thinking of. However, I personally don’t believe the rumors of a macOS/iOS hybrid. Additionally, this concept paradigm doesn’t make sense on Macs that don’t have touchscreens. The macOS desktop metaphor might be aged, but I think it makes sense for devices that use a mouse or trackpad. What do you think?
Camera+ 2 has been recently updated to 2.0. The main focus is the camera itself. In the new design, the app is divided into three categories: Presets, Shutter modes, and Settings. Presets give you instant access to specific shooting modes, like Action Mode, Slow Shutter, and Macro. Shutter modes define how you want to shoot, with a timer, stabilizer, and Smile. Settings give you preferences like showing the grid and horizon level. Besides the new updates, Camera+ 2 offers RAW capture and editing, manual controls, depth capture and editing, and integration with your photo library. You can read more about it on the company’s blog. App Store: US$2.99
I’ve long been a fan of Urban Armor Gear (UAG). They have great cases and it’s the company I recommend for rugged cases. They’re launching a slim, rugged case for the 2018 13-inch MacBook Air. It has an armor shell and impact resistant soft core, dual lock secure screen closure, cooling vents for air flow, tactile grip, easy to access ports, and it meets military drop standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6). It’s compatible with only the MacBook Air 13-inch (2018) Model Number: A1932, and not with the MacBook Air 13-inch (2010-2017) Model Numbers: A1369 & A1466. You can pick one up for US$79.95, with free shipping and a one year warranty.
Stick & Ball TV announced today the launch of a baseball training and lifestyle network that will be coming to the Apple TV through its iOS app. It will have live and on-demand instructional videos and original content designed for players of all ages, as well as coaches. Stick & Ball TV’s CEO Jeremy Harrell said: “The response from coaches, players and industry partners has been overwhelming. Our coaches and partners recognize the passion we possess and see the potential of our streaming platform. They want to join forces to do something that has a long-term, positive impact on the game we love.” The app is free to download and you can get a free 30-day free trial. After that, premium subscriptions will start at US$9.99/month or US$99/year. You can use the code LAUNCH20 to save 20% on an annual subscription, which is valid until April 25.
The latest Apple video clip is short and sweet. It shows the Apple Watch Series 4, and all the colorful accessories that you can get with it.
Jumbo is a privacy assistant that can manage your social media. It can delete your old tweets, manage your Facebook privacy settings, delete your Google search history, and delete your Alexa voice recordings. Jumbo has no servers, so your data doesn’t leave your iPhone. When it comes to deleting tweets, there are several options to choose from, like tweets from the past day, week, month, and year. Due to Twitter’s API limitations, Jumbo can only clean 3,200 tweets at a time. Instagram and Tinder are coming soon to the app, so you can clean your Instagram photos and videos, and delete Tinder matches and messages. Personally, I also hope support for deleting Reddit posts and comments will come in the future. App Store: Free
Today Opera is launching its Reborn 3 browser. It comes with a VPN and cryptocurrency wallet built in, and it’s also ready for Web 3.0, which is defined as a more intelligent web with machine learning, natural language search, data-mining, and more. You could make a strong argument that we’re already in Web 3.0, although Opera defines “Web 3” as a blockchain-based internet. In any case, the Reobrn 3 browser is ready for it. The crypto wallet syncs between the desktop browser and the Android app, and will be added to the iOS in the future. The update also brings a new, borderless design with light and dark modes. Opera created a short sci-fi film “in which a woman travels through a futuristic world in search of regaining control of her digital life.” You can watch that film here, and download Opera here.
Apple released a new ‘Shot on iPhone XS’ film to share experiences from the Cuban surfing community. Called “Ola Cubana” it was shot by professional surf photographer Zak Noyle using the iPhone XS Max with a Freefly Novi Cinema Robot stabilizer, FILMic Pro app, AxisGO waterproof container, and BeastGrip universal lens adapter and rigging system. The video was directed by Nick Woytuk, and there is also a shorter behind the scenes video. Surfing in Cuba can be a challenge, because the materials to make the surfboards are hard to find.
Popular productivity app BBEdit left the Mac App Store in October 2014. Today it’s back. As the “go to” tool for web site designers, web application developers, writers, and software developers, this award-winning product provides an abundance of high-performance features for editing, searching, and manipulation of text, code, and HTML/XML markup. An intelligent interface provides easy access to BBEdit’s best-of-class features, including: grep pattern matching; search and replace across multiple files; project definition tools; function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages; code folding; FTP and SFTP open and save; AppleScript and Automator support; Unix scripting support; text and code completion; a complete set of robust HTML tools; and more. Mac App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)
The latest Apple video looks to show-off how its devices can empower people at work. After “bumping into” the boss, a member of small team secures a crucial meeting for her and her colleagues. Using a range of Apple’s devices and services, the team scramble to meet their tight deadline. Apple has always been associated with creative and glamorous industries. Showing its products in a more standard office environment makes for a nice change, and can perhaps be seen as something of a challenge to Microsoft. The clip’s title, The Underdogs, and it’s message underline the company’s corporate philosophy well too.
Apple has released an update to Clips, which lets people create short video clips to share on social media. Clips 2.0.6 brings the following features: Use the new camcorder filter to give your videos a retro video camera look; Choose from 8 new posters including options with solid backgrounds, colorful vintage designs, a classic blue camcorder recording screen, and an animated globe to celebrate Earth Day; Create titles and captions with 3 new Live Titles styles featuring static text that appears all at once or animated text that highlights each word as it’s spoken; Apply new 8-bit and 3D-styled stickers to add emphasis to your videos; Create songs in GarageBand and other music apps, then add them directly to new or existing Clips projects; Duplicate and rename projects; Share projects with friends via AirDrop or email, save them to Files, or upload them to cloud storage services with share extensions; ClassKit support lets students deliver video assignments to teachers using the Schoolwork app. App Store: Free
We aren’t posting any April Fool’s Day stories, but I had to highlight one of the more amusing attempts made, as it was near my native land. As of this morning, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has announced a new division, the Hot Air High Altitude Team, which includes a new hot air balloon. There’s a whole press release to read which hits all the right notes and makes it very clear at the end that they are in fact joking. (When you live in Portland, hot air balloon police don’t sound all that odd, so it’s good they were very clear about the announcement.)
All hail nerd humor! This little clip is funny, poignant, and well executed. Note the safety glasses perched atop the robot’s arm to better personify the device. And my favorite thing is the mic drop at the end. Definitely good stuff.