The Room-For-Exponential Edition Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Apple Has A New TV Show, So Will It Finally Buy A Big Media Company? No, Says Eddy Cue., by Edmund Lee, Recode

So now that Apple is producing original content, Recode senior editor Peter Kafka asked Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of content, a key question at the Code Media conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, Calif.: Will Apple finally just go ahead and buy a big film studio or media company like Sony Pictures or Time Warner or Netflix or Lionsgate?

Short answer: No.

Eddy Cue Says Planet Of The Apps Will Premiere This Spring & Be Ad-free, Watch The First Clip Now, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

While we still don’t have a solid release date, Cue said that the show will premiere in the Spring and be available exclusively on Apple Music and in a Planet of the Apps application that will be released. Episodes will be released one at a time. Cue and Silverman also noted of a “rubber band” idea that will allow users to dive deeper into specific parts of the show, then bounce back to the main story line. The show will also be ad-free.

Apple Music Now ‘Well Past’ 20 Million Subscribers, Eddy Cue Says, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Eddy Cue also explained that while Apple Music is growing, Apple is not satisfied with where the service is at right now and sees room for “exponential.” Cue noted that around 100 million people are currently subscribing to streaming music right now, but that the number of people listening to music is much greater than that.

Furthermore, Cue was asked about Apple’s effort at securing exclusive rights to music. The Apple executive explained that exclusive streaming rights are more of a promotional strategy rather than a long-term move by artists. Cue went as far as to say that exclusives would “are never good for the long-term basis” of the music industry.

Powering Mac

Why The New MacBook Pro's Battery Life Is Great For Some, Not So For Others, by Stan Schroeder, Mashable

Apple managed to significantly decrease the power draw of the new MacBook Pro under low power usage conditions — basically when the computer is idle. So if you're just reading an article on a website, with nothing going on in the background, you can expect the battery to last up to 18 hours, according to Slaney's calculations. [...]

Under heavy load, however, the power draw is similar to the earlier generation, but the new MacBook Pro has a 25% smaller battery, so when you push it hard, you won't get great results.

Privacy Matters

Now Sites Can Fingerprint You Online Even When You Use Multiple Browsers, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

The new technique relies on code that instructs browsers to perform a variety of tasks. Those tasks, in turn, draw on operating-system and hardware resources—including graphics cards, multiple CPU cores, audio cards, and installed fonts—that are slightly different for each computer.


Apple Promoting Portrait Mode Depth Effect In Latest iPhone 7 Plus Video Ads, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has published new iPhone 7 Plus video ads that highlight Portrait Mode with the flagship model’s Camera app.

W1 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Compared: Apple AirPods, Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3 & BeatsX, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Due to the laws of physics, bigger is always better where speakers are concerned. The Beats Solo3 are unquestionably the best W1 wireless headphones for sound quality with large drivers providing consistently strong and clear sound, with the trademark Beats bass. This should be unsurprising as the cans dwarf the other models here.

From the remaining three earphones, the Powerbeats offer the best overall sound but are again bulkier than the BeatsX or AirPods. AirPods have impressive sound for how small they are, easily besting EarPods, and are superior to the BeatsX thanks to their louder maximum volume and a more evenly distributed balanced sound signature.

Apple's Beats 1 Radio Station Launches In Singapore, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The availability of Beats 1 is notable for a country in which iPhones usually launch the same day as in the U.S., and where Apple's streaming music service has proved very popular since its debut in 2015, when it went live in over 100 countries worldwide.

These Commute-Friendly Apps Don’t Require A Data Connection, by Michael Duran, Wired

Connectivity sucks on the subway, it’s a pain on a plane, and even if you take the bus, it’s smart to keep data usage in check. Whether you get to work by land, sea, or air, these apps have offline skills to help you work—and decompress—while you’re off the grid. Just don’t use them while you’re driving.


Apple Joins Wireless Power Consortium/Qi, Lending Weight To Rumor Of Wireless Charging For iPhone 8, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Long-running rumors that Apple will add wireless charging to the iPhone 8 have been lent additional weight with the news that the company has joined an industry group devoted to wireless power.

If You Want To Learn Faster, Overclock Your Audio And Video, by Clive Thompson, Wired

Power consumers of podcasts already know that 1.5X speed is their friend. About half the people who use podcast app Overcast listen on Smart Speed, which gooses the audio by eliminating moments of silence. Ten percent of Audible listeners crank up the speed dial. And as online videos become an increasingly important platform for acquiring new skills, speedup behavior is edging into the mainstream. Nearly 10 percent of people watching Khan Academy videos view them faster than normal.

Sure, we could bemoan this trend as another bleak marker of our hypermetabolized world: We’re racing through life, grimly optimizing every waking moment! (Overcast actually tells you how many hours of your life it has saved you.) But me, I’m in favor of overclocking video and audio. It’s a clever adaptation. In an age where more and more information arrives as multimedia, we’re reinventing the noble art of skimming.

Why Music Ownership Matters, by Ted Gioia, The Smart Set

Of course, this was all irrational. Wasn’t it? Music doesn’t sound better when it’s stored in an orange crate. Everybody knows that. Songs don’t change if you borrow them instead of owning them. That’s obvious to all.

But do the geniuses running the major record labels really understand what happens when you remove this irrational pride of ownership from the musical experience? Will fans devote as much discretionary income to music as in the past? Will songs have the same impact on lifestyles and on the mainstream culture?