ExtraBITS for 3 June 2013
We have a heaping helping of ExtraBITS this week, including the death of the Camino browser, the EFF’s fight for podcasting, Apple’s cheaper iPod touch, Tim Cook’s grilling at D11, Glenn Fleishman’s purchase of The Magazine, and copyright in space. We ask whether Internet access is a human right and what effect electromagnetic fields have on humans. We also wanted to share pointers to a number of our own articles that didn’t fit in this week’s issue: a preview of the next generation of the Opera Web browser, the new Analog Camera app for the iPhone, how to move a Dropbox folder to another disk, the proper pronunciation of GIF, and Macworld’s ideas for Apple.
The End of the Line for Camino — After more than 11 years, development on the open-source Camino Web browser has ended. Back in the dark ages of Mac OS X, before Safari and Chrome, the Camino Project was established to graft a Mac-native interface onto Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine. Many of Camino’s developers were later hired by Apple and Google to work on their respective browsers. Web browsing on Mac OS X wouldn’t be what it is today without Camino, and for that, we thank the developers, salute them, and wish them the best in whatever they do next.
Help the EFF Save Podcasting — The Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking for your help to fight a patent troll who wants to kill podcasting. Personal Audio claims to have a patent on key podcasting technologies, and has been legally threatening many podcasters, including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks. Though the EFF has already raised over $60,000 as of this writing, beating its $30,000 goal in under 10 hours, legal fees can get expensive, and they need all the help they can get. So if you love podcasting, or just hate patent trolls, consider supporting their cause!
Apple Releases Cheaper iPod touch — Apple has released a new 16 GB variant of the fifth-generation iPod touch, which features a Retina display, but lacks a rear-facing camera and a loop attachment. The “new” model replaces the 16 GB fourth-generation model, which was still being sold. The fifth generation of iPod touch was unveiled in September 2012, starting at 32 GB of capacity for $299.
Liveblog of Tim Cook’s Appearance at D11 — Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to kick off the 11th D: All Things Digital conference. Though Cook was, as usual, careful not to give too much away, he called television an “area of great interest.” Cook also expressed an interest in wearable computing, though he dismissed Google Glass in favor of wrist-based solutions, and he suggested that Apple will make iOS more open to third-party developers in the future.
Glenn Fleishman Buys The Magazine from Marco Arment — Our own Glenn Fleishman has purchased The Magazine from its creator, Marco Arment, after having served as executive editor since the second issue. Arment launched The Magazine in October 2012 as an iOS-exclusive, general-interest magazine for geeks. Arment also recently sold another creation of his, Instapaper, leading to questions about his future plans. However, there are few questions about Glenn’s plans for The Magazine: they include a Web site redesign, a refresh of the app, and an upcoming podcast.
In Space No One Can Hear You Violate Copyright, or, Copyright Control to Major Tom — Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield wowed the world with his haunting zero-gravity performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station, but how did he avoid the copyright cops when he landed on terra firma? The Economist’s mysterious “G.F.” breaks down the potential complications and pitfalls of copyright in space. While Commander Hadfield secured the rights from Bowie long before blasting off, does interplanetary war erupt if a Martian downloads “Game of
Thrones” from BitTorrent?
Arguing that Internet Access Is a Human Right — In the Communications of the ACM, Cornell professor Stephen Wicker responds to a 2012 New York Times editorial by Google Chief Internet Evangelist and ACM President Vint Cerf that posits that Internet access is not a human right. In disagreeing, Wicker argues that a human right comprises both an “abstract expression of the right and some means for enabling that right,” and goes on to point out that the consequences of the Internet meriting human right status include non-discriminatory access to a wide variety of
ISPs and support for common carrier rules that prevent ISP blocking or discrimination based on content.
Mark Morford on the Nocebo Effect with Electromagnetic Fields — Prompted by a study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research about perceived sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, columnist Mark Morford of SFGate.com has penned a powerful commentary about why some people may suffer very real symptoms from seeming exposure to radio waves from Wi-Fi gateways and cell phones. He doesn’t dismiss either the severity of these symptoms or the fact that there are innumerable aspects of modern life that have been proven detrimental to human health, but emphasizes that we similarly cannot
discount the power of suggestion or conviction.
Opera Releases Chromed Preview of Next Browser — Opera Software released a preview version of its Opera 15 Web browser with a smattering of new features. But the big news is this is the first version of Opera to use Blink, the new Chromium-based rendering engine, after ditching its home-brewed Presto engine. If you’re a long-time Opera user, you may find that Opera Next is missing some features and plug-in compatibility, so read the full story to find out about the changes.
Putting Analog Camera in Your iPhone — Does the iPhone need yet another photo filter app? Realmac Software’s Analog Camera makes a persuasive argument for why it should take over from similar apps. Analog Camera features a unique, gesture-based interface that makes taking and editing photos fast and fun.
How to Relocate a Dropbox Subfolder to Another Disk — Jeff Carlson wanted to use Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature for automatically copying photos from iOS devices, cameras, and memory cards, but doing so would fill up his 256 GB SSD with image files. Instead, he created a symbolic link (symlink) in Mac OS X to relocate the Camera Uploads folder to a separate volume.
GIF Creator Says “Jif,” Once Again — Steve Wilhite, the inventor of the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), received a Webby Award for lifetime achievement. He reiterates that he intended it to be pronounced like “jif.” (Not to be confused with the peanut butter.)
Macworld’s Ideas to Improve Apple Products — Macworld is on a winning streak of constructive suggestions for how Apple could improve the products we all rely on every day. Josh Centers takes a look at some of their best ideas.