A few tech tidbits from around the web.
3/28/2016 10:53:33 AM
This is what I do
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I spent much of this past week weekend clearing the stuff out my office, where I’d previously mastered the art of “faux clean” by neatly stacking and packing an astonishing array of junk (mostly older or unused technology products) in my closet. This work followed a number of excursions into the likewise-stuffed unfinished part of the basement, where I keep the boxes for all this stuff. I want to get rid of all the physical stuff—photo books, gadgets, whatever—that ties us down. It’s happening slowly, and is an ongoing process, but I made a lot of progress this weekend.
I also spent some more time learning Swift, which I’m coming to see as a modern replacement for Visual Basic. By which I mean, something that is just as powerful as a “real” language (C# or, in this case, Objective-C), at least for most, but offers superior readability, maintainability, and simplicity. I wish Microsoft had made it: The worst thing about Swift is you pretty much have to use a Mac. (For now. I know it’s open sourced, but all the online learning is based around making iOS apps.)
You can’t learn without doing.
Surface Book is $100 off through April 9
If you’re interested in Microsoft’s stunning Surface Book, you can save $100 if you purchase the device from the Microsoft Store by April 9. The bad news? This deal is U.S. only, sorry. And the $100 sale is only good on the first three models (Core i5/128 GB SSD, Core i5/256 GB SSD, Core i5/128 GB SSD, dGPU).
Of course, Surface Book is still quite expensive, running (during the sale period) from $1400 to $1800 for the sale models, and up to $3200 for the insane versions.
HTC blames Microsoft for not including the One M8 in the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade list
When Microsoft finally started shipping Windows 10 Mobile to existing devicesearlier this month, many Windows phone fans were disappointed to discover that their handsets did not make the list. And while we mostly focus on Lumias here, since that’s most Windows phones, there are some high-end third party devices that aren’t on the list too, most notably the HTC One M8.
So now HTC is blaming Microsoft, at least according to this tweet from HTC’s corporate account:
Microsoft decided not to include HTC One M8 to receive the Windows 10 update.
Perhaps Microsoft will reconsider this one too, since they are apparently reevaluating their decision to leave another flagship, the Lumia Icon, off the list too.
Great article about Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Buzzfeed has a great article about Google CEO Sundar Pichai that you may want to read.
Google is sprinting to attract its “next billion” users. For the most part, these are people in the developing world; people who will go online, for the very first time, using one of Google’s Android-powered handsets. Which puts Google in the position of being seen as both a corporate NSA and modern East India Company.
Pichai clearly understands there are all sorts of things we don’t want anyone to know. “We need to design systems so that we give people a very easy way to say, ‘I need to be off the grid, I need this to be private,’” he says over a smashed avocado at the Wynn, moments after being buttonholed by Barry Diller in a nearby hallway. Can Sundar Pichai transform Google’s image? Can he make you actually like Google again?
And a few headlines that made me smile. OK, frown …
“Microsoft Made a Special Version of Windows 10 for China’s Government”
Right. We already knew this. Why are we pretending its news?
“Microsoft Band now lets you compete with friends”
No it doesn’t. It will, someday, whenever some coming update arrives. But this is how you can tell the difference between the people who use Microsoft’s products and the people who just write about it. My headline? Microsoft Band Users Will Be Able to Compete With Facebook Friends.
“Apple expected to revamp its iPhone lineup in 2017; 5.8-inch model could be launched”
It’s never too early to speculate!
“Sony could bring the PlayStation VR experience to the PC”
You just never know.
“Forget the Small iPhone. Is Apple Going Charger-Free?”
Yeah, the iPhone SE is so last week. Get with the times!
“Feature-packed Windows 10 Mobile concept too good to be true”
Sure. Because examples of a fan-generated concept turning into a real product are non-existent.