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AirPods Still on a 6-Week Shipping Delay

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AirPods are, in my opinion, the best new Apple product in years. I forgot to pack them on a recent trip (out to California for the Mac Pro roundtable), and using wired ear buds for a day made me love my AirPods even more.

But if you order them today, they’re still on a 6-week shipping delay. They’re either unexpectedly popular (like last year’s iPhone SE) or unexpectedly difficult to manufacture (or both).

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jheiss
10 days ago
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I'm about three weeks into a seven week delay on my order
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Snooooooow! Traaaiiiinnnnnn!

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When the first train rolls into the station after a big snowstorm, you’d best stand well clear. This was the Rhinecliff Amtrak station in New York.

Tags: this is a metaphor for something   trains   video
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jheiss
43 days ago
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If that woman avoided severe injury from a collision with that iron column she is very lucky.
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Relive the 1917 Russian Revolution through the voices of the day

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Romanovs In Color

“1917. Free History” is a project that lets you relive the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution from letters, photos, videos, and texts written at the time.

The project consists entirely of primary sources. It includes not a trace of invention. All the texts used are taken from genuine documents written by historical figures: letters, memoirs, diaries and other documents of the period.

“1917. Free History” is a serial, but in the form of a social network. Every day, when you go onto the site, you will find out what happened exactly one hundred years ago: what various people were thinking about and what happened to each of them in this eventful year. You may not fast-forward into the future, but must follow events as they happen in real time.

“1917. Free History” is a way of bringing the past to life and bringing it closer to the present day. It is a way of understanding what the year 1917 was like for those who lived in Russia and in other countries. We have scoured archives and storerooms for texts, photographs and videos, many of which have never seen the light of day before.

For instance, 100 years ago today writer Maxim Gorky wrote:

The events currently unfolding appear grandiose, moving even, but the meaning behind them is not as profound and great as everyone takes it to be. I am trying to remain sceptical, although I am also moved to tears by the sights and songs of the soldiers marching to the State Duma. We can never go back, but we’ll not move much forward. A sparrow’s step maybe. A lot of blood will be spilt — more than has ever been spilt before.

Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov wrote:

My assistant came in late today. He tried to explain that the revolution has halted all street transport. I believe that a revolution is no excuse for being late!

The image at the top of the page is Tsar Nicholas II with three of his daughters. Spoiler: he abdicates his throne tomorrow.

See also Who are you in 1917 Russia? (I ended up in the Democratic Right quadrant, just right of center.)

Tags: Ivan Pavlov   Maxim Gorky   Russia   Russian Revolution
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jheiss
45 days ago
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Same Democratic Right quadrant for me, about (3,-1)
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★ Additional Details on the New App Store Review Features

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Jim Dalrymple, writing at The Loop:

When you are prompted to leave a review, customers will stay inside the app, where the rating or review can be left for the developer. It’s easier for customers and the developers still get their reviews.

Apple is also limiting the amount of times developers can ask customers for reviews. Developers will only be able to bring up the review dialog three times a year. If a customer has rated the app, they will not be prompted again. If a customer has dismissed the review prompt three times, they will not be asked to review the app for another year.

Customers will also have a master switch that will turn off the notifications for app reviews from all developers, if they wish to do that.

I spoke with Apple today about these features, too. A few questions I got answered:

  • The replies that developers will be able to leave on App Store reviews will be attached to the user review to which they’re replying. It’s not a thread, per se, because users can only leave one review, and developers can only leave one response to each review, but they will be connected visually. Users can then edit their review, and developers can then edit their reply. Developers have been clamoring for something like this ever since the App Store opened in 2008.

  • An individual app can prompt three times for a review per year, period. This counter does not get reset each time the developer updates their app. Good.

  • The new APIs will be eventually be the only sanctioned way for an iOS app to prompt for an App Store review, but Apple has no timeline for when they’ll start enforcing it. Existing apps won’t have to change their behavior or adopt these APIs right from the start.

  • One reason developers prompt for reviews even after you’ve already reviewed a previous version of an app is that the average rating for an app gets reset with each update to the app — and a 4 or 5-star average rating can have a big effect on the number of downloads an app gets. From a developer’s perspective, it sucks when you replace a highly-rated version of your app with a minor bug-fix update and your average rating gets erased. It’s a tricky problem to solve, though — sometimes the latest update of an app really does deserve a new average rating, for better or for worse. I asked if this policy was changing, and Apple had nothing to announce — but they did acknowledge that they’re aware that the current policy is what led to the problem of apps badgering users too frequently for reviews.

I’ve long been a critic of apps begging for reviews (OpenTable, I’m looking in your direction). Three years ago, while linking to the excellent Eff Your Review website, I wrote:

I’ve long considered a public campaign against this particular practice, wherein I’d encourage Daring Fireball readers, whenever they encounter these “Please rate this app” prompts, to go ahead and take the time to do it — but to rate the app with just one star and to leave a review along the lines of, “One star for annoying me with a prompt to review the app.”

It’s good to see Apple doing something about this. A limit of three prompts per year, and a system-wide switch to turn off all such prompts, go a long way toward fixing the problem from the user’s perspective. If Apple can figure out a fairer way to compute the average rating for apps across updates, they can help solve it from a developer’s standpoint too.

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jheiss
93 days ago
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How about prompting me out of band (e.g. via email or iTunes) so that I'm not asked for a review right when I'm launching the app and probably trying to accomplish something quickly? I have in mind the occasional emails I get from Amazon to review things that I've purchased. I almost always dismiss the in-app requests for a review because the timing is bad.
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HandBrake 1.0.0 Released After 13 Years of Development

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Finally out of beta, just in time for the demise of the optical disc.

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jheiss
122 days ago
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Maybe the streaming video services will eventually have reasonable catalog depth, but they certainly aren't there now and show no sign of heading that way. Very few of the shows and movies my family wants to watch are available for subscription streaming. Usually the cost of a one time stream is similar to the cost of a used optical disk on Amazon, so I buy the disk and rip it and now I've got that content forever.
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4 public comments
tingham
122 days ago
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Does Gruber even use a Mac anymore bro?

Seriously though, I use handbrake on a weekly basis, it's essential. I just went to see if I could find a way to donate to their project but it looks like they only use ad revenue from the .fr site. Weird.
Cary, NC
martinbaum
123 days ago
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0% in my case. For a while it was the only easy way to make H.265 4K on a Mac.
peelman
123 days ago
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Christ Gruber. Handbrake is for transcoding video. A task that transcends optical discs.
Seymour, Indiana
mrnosuch
123 days ago
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I've transcoded lots of videos with Handbrake, and less than 1% of them came from an optical disc.
Munich, Germany

Donald Trump Lost Most of the American Economy in This Election

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Jim Tankersley, writing for The Washington Post:

In the modern era of presidential politics, no candidate has ever won the popular vote by more than Hillary Clinton did this year, yet still managed to lose the electoral college. In that sense, 2016 was a historic split: Donald Trump won the presidency by as much as 74 electoral votes (depending on how Michigan ends up) while losing the nationwide vote to Clinton by 1.7 million votes and counting. [Note: It’s now over 2.2 million votes and counting.)

But there’s another divide exposed by the election, which researchers at the Brookings Institution recently discovered as they sifted the election returns. It has no bearing on the election outcome, but it tells us something important about the state of the country and its politics moving forward.

The divide is economic, and it is massive. According to the Brookings analysis, the less-than-500 counties that Clinton won nationwide combined to generate 64 percent of America’s economic activity in 2015. The more-than-2,600 counties that Trump won combined to generate 36 percent of the country’s economic activity last year.

I will say it flatly: Trump voters are ignoramuses, bigots, and/or fools. But time is not on their side. This is their last gasp.

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jheiss
151 days ago
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Many of them are fools, but they're also desperate. If those of us doing well in the modern economy don't do something about income inequality, and consider something like a basic income, this will not end well. Technology and robotics will continue to put low skill workers out of work with little hope of a replacement job.
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jkevmoses
151 days ago
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Gruber sounds like a Michigan fan after this weekend. To blanketly make the statement he does at the end of the article is sad. There are some people who voted for Trump who are what he says but to say ALL are like that is just not true.
McKinney, Texas
ddillinger
151 days ago
Technically, I suppose you're right. A handful of them are the one-percenters who are going to laugh all the way to the bank.
jkevmoses
151 days ago
I'm not sure a majority of the people who live outside of coastal California, Chicago, New York (City), and other parts of the North Eastern US can be called the one-percenters. Looking at the election map the clear divide is generally between the cities and the suburban and rural areas of the country. Very different demographics and very different priorities when it comes time to vote.
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