» Stay Off-Property

On this week’s Turning This Car Around, we talk about theme park vacations. Some tips and tricks are recounted.

» The Tao of Apple rumors

I’m back on the pages of Macworld talking about Apple possibly buying Path and/or Square, and a shocking revelation about the Apple Watch.

» The Rebound

Hey, kids. Do you like “podcasts”?

You do?! Great! Well, do you like podcasts about technology?! What’s that you say? You would but you don’t know where to find one? Well, look no further, because Dan Moren, Lex Friedman and I are proud to announce The Rebound, a work that was years in the making and could only come to fruition when Dan got laid off from Macworld. For every door God closes, he lets you make a podcast.

The hook with The Rebound: we promise it’ll be no more than an hour long. Also, we’re all at least moderately funny. Dan’s the smart one. Lex is the pretty one. I write the show notes. :(

I’m pleased as punch to be podcasting with these guys (if you haven’t tried it, punch is extremely pleasing and, strangely, self-aware enough to be pleased about that). We think it’s a good time and we think you will, too.

» Privacy

Tim Cook writing on Apple’s web site:

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

I don’t always think Apple does the best that it can with security issues, but the above is clearly true and why I prefer Apple’s business model to those of some of its competitors.

The precedent for Bulge-gate

The other day I linked to Ben Brooks’s piece on what we should totally be calling “Bulge-gate” because that construction didn’t get tired a million years ago. As it turns out, there’s a precedent for Apple hiding the bump, because it’s been shipping a product with a camera bump for a few years (so don’t give me that “Steve Jobs never would have shipped a device with a camera bump” crap).

It’s the iPod touch.


As it turns out, Apple’s product image for the iPod touch also omits the bump.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 11.42.20 AM

Some people complained to me that it’s perspective, that the bump on the iPhone 6 doesn’t show because the camera is at the other side of the iPhone. Eh, OK, it is true (see here), but if you don’t think having that image as the sole side-view of the iPhone is somewhat disingenuous then we’ll have to agree to disagree.  You may be shocked to hear that some other companies retouch product photos in order to make them look better and entice people to buy them. What has the world come to?

How come no one noticed this before? Not as many people buy the iPod touch and even fewer really use it as a camera (the camera in the touch is never as good as the one in its iPhone contemporaries). So, this isn’t a new thing Apple’s doing with the iPhone 6 and, yes, this is nitpicking. But it’s not like there’s anything else horrible going on in the world to talk about.

» Too big?

John Gruber in his review of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus:

One week in and I’m still unsure about the size of the iPhone 6 relative to that of my iPhone 5S, but I’m very sure about the size of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus: it’s too big for my taste.

I ordered the iPhone 6. And I’m more trepidatious about this iPhone upgrade than any other. I’m on record with my doubts about the larger form factor but I justified it with four reason:

  1. I thought I should try it after being so negative about it.
  2. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be and I thought choosing a larger font on a larger screen would be more palatable.
  3.  I was looking forward to the slight bump in battery life.
  4. The only feature I’ve been jealous of Android phones for is thinness. And the iPhone 6 is thinner than the 5s.

I am disappointed that the 4-inch iPhone didn’t see any kind of upgrade, it was just slid down the line like every last year’s model before it. For someone who covers technology and who paid for the Verizon Edge plan so he could get a new phone every year, getting the 6 was the only real choice.

Friday’s going to be interesting.

[Updated to add the fourth reason.]

» Six Colors

Jason Snell’s next big thing. Bookmark it.

» This has happened before, and it will happen again

U2 apparently has a long history of human rights violations.


» Let the healing begin

Apple has posted a technical note detailing how to “Remove iTunes gift album ‘Songs of Innocence’ from your iTunes music library and purchases”.

Here’s what happened: They did not force this onto your iPhone. They credited your account with a purchase and your device was set to automatically download purchased songs.

[ADDED: For example, my iPhone is not set to automatically download purchased songs and I do not have them on my iPhone. My iMac is set to automatically download purchased songs and I do have them on my iMac.  This is a conscious choice I made because my iMac has a 1 TB hard drive and my iPhone has a paltry 16 GB. I recognize that not everyone makes these decisions with the same level of deliberation as I did. But the option was, at some point, selected by the user.]

Should they maybe have considered that people might not want this album and that musical tastes are very personal and maybe it should be opt-in and not opt-out?


Is this just like installing malware on your device?

Please seek medical attention. You have what practitioners of 19th century medicine call “the vapors”.

» Mojang, maker of Minecraft, acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion

The three founders are leaving.

Naturally, this is scary for everyone who loves this game. On the other hand, I can’t think of another company that would really be better and Notch just wanted out.

We know how Microsoft loves Java, right?

OK, I mean other than that.