The Thieves Who Steal Sunken Warships

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The team’s search for other battle casualties in the area was no less haunting. USS Perch, a 300-foot-long American submarine, was gone. So were two British ships—the 329-foot HMS Encounter and the 574-foot Exeter. Another, the 329-foot HMS Electra, had been gutted. A huge section of the Kortenaer, another 322-foot Dutch warship, was also missing. Seven ships in all—either lost without a trace or grossly scavenged. An eighth, the USS Houston, was mostly intact, but it was clear pirates had begun gutting it as well… More at Outside.

Worth a read today if you have the time.

Called Apple Support, wish I hadn’t

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Where did my songs go?

Over the past 2 weeks I have been struggling to get in to the App Store or iTunes on my iPhone without having to go to Settings and sign out of my Apple ID. When I sign back in it works, but I then have to go to Apple Music and re-enable iCloud Music.

It’s a pain to be honest and so I called Apple Support. After some fumbling around they advised me to sign out of iCloud and ‘Reset All Settings’ which I duly did.

Some time later I had re-input my fingerprints, re-activated my debit card in Apple Pay and re-enabled setting after setting until I was happy.

And then I realised that most of my apps are missing from the Notifications screen and are not notifying me. They are still installed, but no notifications.

Anyone have any advice on how to get around this besides re-installing almost every app?

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Will bikes triumph over cars?

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Bikeshare bikes of the future, according to Dediu, will be outfitted with cameras and sensors, collecting valuable data for cities. When a cyclist rides over a pothole, it can be automatically reported to a city. Cameras on the bicycle will provide real-time data, such as pedestrian traffic and pollution. Google Street View will look like an antique compared to near real-time imagery collected from bikeshare cameras… More at CNN tech.

Not convinced.

Apple hasn’t locked me in. I have locked myself in.

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When I looked at the Galaxy S8 recently I was somewhat impressed by what I saw. Ignoring the fact that it is Android and that I am heavily invested in the iPhone, there is no way on earth that I would move to it at this time.

I am enjoying the Apple Watch and that won’t work with the S8 so to keep it I have to use an iPhone. I use iMessage all of the time and it is very useful to be able to send and receive them from my iMac so that is something else I do not want to lose.

Aside from countless apps and investments in accessories and a myriad of other purchases, there are some areas in which it could be perceived that Apple has locked me in.

Technically that is correct because I cannot use the Apple Watch with a non-Apple product. I cannot use iMessage on a non-Apple computer and so the list goes on of clever moves made by Apple that over time lock me in.

However, I look at it another way.

No one locks me in. I won’t let them.

Am I going to see my iPhone and buy an Android phone? No, why would I do that?

What current Windows PC will work better than my 2011 iMac for what I need to do? Crazily, there isn’t one.

What Android Wear watch will do a better job than my Apple Watch? Not one.

If Apple has locked me in, it is purely by making products that I get a lot out of and which have worked very reliably for many years. Nothing wrong with that kind of lock in if you ask me.

Music is about the visuals as well in 2017

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Apple Music

I have been using the 3 month free trial to Apple Music that came with my BeatsX headphones over the past week despite using Amazon Music for the past 6 months.

Surprisingly, I am finding the Apple Music much more appealing than Amazon’s offering purely on the basis of the visuals.

I’m not sure what it is that is causing such a gap between the two, but the white background of Apple Music could be one part of it. It could also be that the organisational qualities of the Apple offering make much more sense that Amazon’s ‘here is your music now navigate through multiple layers to get to what you want to play’ approach. Actually, yes, it is that.

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Amazon Music

Irrespective of why I prefer one over the other, I have been most surprised that the visuals and organisation make such a difference. It should be the sound quality, speed of songs starting up when streamed and library completeness that counts, but in all of those areas they appear to be identical.

It has come down to the visuals and I am now wondering what to do next- is the £2/month difference a lot to pay just for a better visual experience? It should be, but I’m starting to think that it may be worth it.

Forgotten Media Formats

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We remember the format wars in the vein of “Two men enter; one man leaves.” Think VHS vs. Betamax, or HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray. But in the cracks in between, some media formats came and went with hardly any notice, or have been largely forgotten in favor of other media platforms. Remember the 8-inch floppy disk, or Sony’s short-lived 2-incher? More at PM.

Lots of memories in this list.

Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are running our lives (here we go again…)

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It’s possible that this entire day is delineated by a handful of technology companies. Google Home wakes you up in the morning and later, Google recommends a lunch spot – it even gives you live information on how busy it is. It is partly responsible for your cab home, as Google is an investor in Uber. You checked in with friends on Facebook on that morning commute (you might have also used the Facebook “check-in” feature at your lunch spot).

The Trump piece you read is courtesy of the Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, the man behind Amazon. Amazon is also responsible for recognising that your fridge is out of butter, and the TV show you watch? Even if you are watching Netflix and not Amazon Prime, Netflix would not exist without Amazon, as Amazon owns the web cloud services its rival uses. With an 18% share of the smartphone market, it’s likely the apps you use are running on an iPhone. No? Well, maybe you have an Android device – owned by Google… More at The Guardian.

Our lives have always been run by large organisations. Governments, train companies, the post office etc.

Enough with the anything new and tech-related is bad. By all means be aware, but seriously…