The Build-Skills-Progressively Edition Monday, October 1, 2018

Apple Brings 'Everyone Can Create' Curriculum To Everybody In The Apple Books Store, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Apple has widened availability of the Everyone Can Create curriculum, and has now posted the materials on the Apple Books marketplace not just for teachers, but for those wanting to learn from the materials as well.

Everyone Can Create includes four new project guides for drawing, music, video and photos now available for free in Apple Books. Each guide provides a series of projects that build skills progressively, helping students gain not just basic skills, but advanced vocabulary and techniques in each medium. A new teacher guide provides 300 lesson ideas across media, projects, and subjects.

No Studio Needed: How Anyone Can Make A Hit Record With A Laptop, by Dani Deahl, The Verge

When I walk into music producer Oak Felder’s studio in the hills of Los Angeles for episode 4 of The Future of Music, it doesn’t feel like a “traditional” label studio. That’s because it’s not. Felder bought the property and transformed it from a house into a vibey, chill-out compound that happens to have a fully built recording studio in the lower level. This might be the upper echelon of what a modern home studio is, but it’s recognizable as a home studio nonetheless.

Oak Felder is a songwriter and record producer who is one half of Pop & Oak, who are responsible for crafting hits like Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love,” Alessia Cara’s “Here,” and Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry,” among many others. He splits his time between Atlanta, where his actual home is, and LA at this home studio on steroids. Even though celebs come in and out of this space regularly to create their next hits, if you look closely at the gear Felder uses to make all these songs you hear on the radio, it’s not much different from what bedroom producers use around the world. Instead of a big traditional mixing board, there’s a desk for his laptop, where he plugs in and works off of Apple’s DAW, Logic.

“My main computer is a laptop,” Felder tells me. “So, technically, I’m mobile everywhere.”

Journalists Just Can’t Quit Microsoft Word. But Some Are Trying., by Rachel Withers, Slate

Earlier this year, when setting out as a freelance writer, I found myself for the first time without the backing of a work computer with Word or a free student account. I faced a dilemma: to pay or not to pay for Microsoft Word. With a perfectly good word processor attached to my Gmail, was it really worth about $7 or $8 per month to be able to type onto the traditional white page I was used to? What settled it was the realization that I needed trusty old Word to communicate with my hopefully soon-to-be editors. Track Changes was the language in which the writer-editor conversation was carried out, at least in my experience. Even if I were to convert my Google words to Word words, and my editor’s Word edits to Google edits, and download my Google response to those edits as a Word response to be sent back, too much could get lost in translation.

Journalism is just one of the many industries debating its continuing relationship with Word. But unlike most industries, we let this debate play out within our work. Writers have been calling for an end to Word for more than a decade now, from Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times to Tom Scocca here in Slate. In his 2012 piece, Scocca compared filing a story in Word in 2012 to filing a story via fax in the ’90s, calling it “cumbersome, inefficient, and a relic of obsolete assumptions about technology.” In a post responding to Scocca’s piece, the pseudonymous blogger Otaku-kun points out that the program is still incredibly important to other professionals, even if not for writers: “Ask any lawyer writing a brief, a scientist writing a grant, or a student writing a dissertation how useful Word is and you’ll get a very different perspective than that of people writing tweets about how Word is too complicated for their blogging.” (Remember blogging?)


iPhone XS Max Can Replace Your iPad Mini, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

While the iPhone is smaller, it’s big enough for most of the jobs we asked it to do. Realistically speaking, the 6.5-inch display is as good as the 7.9-inch one for reading ebooks. There’s more page flipping, but that’s not a significant drawback.

The same goes for social-networking sites like Facebook and Instagram. The experience isn’t as good as the larger screen. But it’s good enough.

Mimeo Photos Launches Apple Photo Project Ordering Service, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The company has unveiled a conversion tool and Apple Photo Project Ordering Service. This tool allows Mimeo Photos customers to convert and reprint Apple photo projects instantly.

NHL Redesigns Its Streaming App To Bring You More Of The Action, by Saqib Shah, Engadget

And with the new season about to get underway, the app is getting a redesign and adding almost 50 percent more pre-and post-game shows -- along with intermission broadcasts. Immediately noticeable are the overhauled Team Pages that put video up-front and center moments after the puck drops on every new match, including a new pinned video player at the top of each article.


Autonomous Everything: How Algorithms Are Taking Over Our World, by Bruce Schneier, Literary Hub

I am less worried about AI; I regard fear of AI more as a mirror of our own society than as a harbinger of the future. AI and intelligent robotics are the culmination of several precursor technologies, like machinelearning algorithms, automation, and autonomy. The security risks from those precursor technologies are already with us, and they’re increasing as the technologies become more powerful and more prevalent. So, while I am worried about intelligent and even driverless cars, most of the risks are already prevalent in Internet-connected drivered cars. And while I am worried about robot soldiers, most of the risks are already prevalent in autonomous weapons systems.

Also, as roboticist Rodney Brooks pointed out, “Long before we see such machines arising there will be the somewhat less intelligent and belligerent machines. Before that there will be the really grumpy machines. Before that the quite annoying machines. And before them the arrogant unpleasant machines.” I think we’ll see any new security risks coming long before they get here.

From Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World.

Inside Wayback Machine, The Internet’s Time Capsule, by Zachary Crockett, The Hustle

At 300 Funston Street in San Francisco’s Richmond District, there’s an old Christian Science church. Walk up it’s palatial steps, past Corinthian columns and urns, into the bowels of a vaulted sanctuary — and you’ll find a copy of the internet.

In a backroom where pastors once congregated stand rows of computer servers, flickering en masse with blue light, humming the hymnal of technological grace.

This is the home of the Internet Archive, a non-profit that has, for 22 years, been preserving our online history: Billions of web pages, tweets, news articles, videos, and memes.

Bottom of the Page

Once upon a time, when a company 'proudly' proclaimed that their products were cross-platform, they may just meant that their products were available on both Windows 95/98 and Windows NT/2000. And we Mac users were disappointed.

Similarly, today, if your product is only available on macOS and iOS, I don't think you should be marketing your product as cross-platform. In my opinion, to be limited to only one company's platforms, no matter how big the platforms are, is not truly cross-platform.


I'm not necessarily looking for Windows (which I use at work) or Android (which I don't use at all) support. What I am expecting, if you are advertising cross-platform, is support for the Web platform.

(And, no, please don't force me to use Facebook login.)


Thanks for reading.