The Sour-Note Edition Sunday, September 23, 2018

No Sex Please, We're Apple: iPhone Giant Seeks TV Success On Its Own Terms, by Tripp Mickle, Joe Flint, Wall Street Journal

Tim Cook sat down more than a year ago to watch Apple’s first scripted drama, “Vital Signs,” and was troubled by what he saw. The show, a dark, semi-biographical tale of hip hop artist Dr. Dre, featured characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion and drawn guns.

It’s too violent, Mr. Cook told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine, said people familiar with Apple’s entertainment plans. Apple can’t show this.


As a consumer-product company, Apple is especially exposed if content strikes a sour note, said Preston Beckman, a former NBC and Fox programming executive. For Netflix, the only risk is that people don’t subscribe, he said. “With Apple, you can say, ‘I’m going to punish them by not buying their phone or computer.’ "

Apple Park Visitor Center Adds New, One-of-a-kind Avenues Depicting Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone XS In Exquisite Detail, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

While standard Apple retail locations around the world have been receiving new graphic panels and 3D Feature Bays for the launch of the Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone XS, and upcoming iPhone XR, Apple Park Visitor Center is a wholly unique place. Coinciding with yesterday’s product launches, the store section of the space received some new and incredibly unique displays.


Brydge 12.9 Series II Bluetooth iPad Pro Keyboard Review, by Bill Henderson, The Gadgeteer

The Brydge has made my portable life more efficient, productive and fun. I may not be a quick typist, but my typing speed has noticeably improved since using the Brydge keyboard. It’s a keeper.


The Coders Of Kentucky, by Arlie Hochschild, New York Times

Mr. Gopal is at the forefront of a new movement to bring money and jobs from the coastal capitals of high tech to a discouraged, outsource-whipped Middle America. Ro Khanna, the Democratic representative from California whose district includes Apple, Intel, LinkedIn and Yahoo, was among the first politicians to float the idea of Silicon Valley venturing inland. “Why outsource coding jobs to Bangalore when we can insource jobs to eastern Kentucky, poor in jobs but rich in work ethic, and every one I.T. job brings four or five other jobs with it?” he said.


Instagram, My 3-Year-Old Daughter, And Me, by Carla Bruce-Eddings, The Cut

I’m not sure I know how to model a healthy relationship with technology when my own perception of its usefulness and value is constantly changing. I’m still reeling, a bit, from witnessing its rapid evolution: from screeching dial-up connections and landlines bound by whorls of wire to Alexa and wireless headphones. I’ve been coerced into adapting, but I still have no real estimation of the long-term effects of this change. And now I’m attempting to teach my daughter how to live comfortably, freely, within this state of surveillance and existence curation, hoping that she’ll find a steadier footing than I have. In the meantime, I’ll continue my record-keeping. I’m sure it’ll be illuminating one day, in ways none of us can quite imagine.

For Museums, Augmented Reality Is The Next Frontier, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

In the exhibit, visitors will wear HoloLens headsets and watch Jemison materialize before their eyes, taking them on a tour of the Space Shuttle Enterprise—and through space history. They’re invited to explore artifacts both physical (like the Enterprise) and digital (like a galaxy of AR stars) while Jemison introduces women throughout history who have made important contributions to space exploration.

Interactive museum exhibits like this are becoming more common as augmented reality tech becomes cheaper, lighter, and easier to create. A few years ago, the gear alone—a dozen HoloLens headsets, which visitors can wear as they file through the exhibit—would have been out of reach. Now, as the technology becomes easier to use and the experiences easier to create, museums are increasingly turning to them as a way to engage visitors—whether that's fleshing out the skeletons on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of History, or taking a tour of Mars with astronaut Buzz Aldrin (as a hologram, naturally).