The Superior-Alternatives Edition Sunday, February 14, 2016

All The Best Apps On My iPhone Made By Google And Microsoft, by Dora Spenlow, The Marshall Town

On the whole, the iOS experience on the iPhone is a terrific one and I do use many iOS features constantly, like Apple Pay, iCloud and plenty more. But where apps are concerned, I only use Apple’s apps when I have no other choice because the alternatives are far superior.

The silver lining: this is still better than a platform where the only good apps are first-party apps.

Creating A Computer Voice That People Like, by John Markoff, New York Times

Most software designers acknowledge that they are still faced with crossing the “uncanny valley,” in which voices that are almost human-sounding are actually disturbing or jarring. The phrase was coined by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970. He observed that as graphical animations became more humanlike, there was a point at which they would become creepy and weird before improving to become indistinguishable from videos of humans.

The same is true for speech.


Giving Your Boo Your Password Is Dumb. Do This Instead, by Brian Barrett, Wired

It’s increasingly easy to share an account, while keeping your personal information to yourself. Better still? In most cases this also means that you’re able to maintain your own profile. After all, just because you share one heart doesn’t mean you also share an appreciation for third-wave ska on Spotify.

Below are all the popular digital services we could find that allow you to enlist as individuals, rather than as password pals. Do it for your relationship. Do it for your playlists. But most of all, do it for your security.

Serato’s New App Will Automatically DJ For You, by Mike Davies, Lessthan3


10 Philosophies For Engineers, by Software Engineering Daily

Software engineering is full of lies and people who will try to take advantage of you.


Bits Are Beating Atoms: The Google, Facebook, Apple And Amazon Shuffle, by Peter Yared, VentureBeat

It is incredibly difficult to keep moving more atoms at a massive scale. Google and Facebook’s bits are virtually free of earthly bounds, while Apple and Amazon’s atoms are increasingly shackled by reality.

Music Can’t Last Forever, Not Even On The Internet, by Klint Finley, Wired

The trouble is that, even as music has become more durable, it has—paradoxically—also become more ephemeral. Your physical records don’t evaporate if the store you bought it from closes shop or the record label that published them goes out of business. If a streaming music company goes under, a stockpile of important cultural artifacts could go with it.

Apple To Open First Offshore Technology Development Centre In India, by V L Srinivasan, ZDNet

Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did, by Quy Huy and Timo Vuori, Insead

Nokia people weakened Nokia people and thus made the company increasingly vulnerable to competitive forces. When fear permeated all levels, the lower rungs of the organisation turned inward to protect resources, themselves and their units, giving little away, fearing harm to their personal careers.

The Fall… And Rise And Rise And Rise Of Chat Networks, by Monty Munford, Ars Technica

But, for this rising chat network tide that is lifting all the boats at Viber, Palringo, Hike, KakoaTalk, Line, WeChat, Kik, and countless emulators and imitators that haven't even been founded yet, the future looks very, very bright indeed. We have come a long way from CB radio, and in the argot of those subversive CB days, that’s a big 10-4!

Bottom of the Page

I thought I've seen 'em all: the signboards on the local highways here that warn of traffic conditions ahead. I've seen warnings about traffic jams, about lane closures due to tree prunings or plant waterings, about accidents.

But tonight, while travelling home, I saw a new one: "Man Walking On Lane 1 After SLE Exit."


Thanks for reading.