jarrodwhaley.com

I make films. I'm also a nerd.

No, the Next iPhone Won’t Have a 3D Display

Jeff Rock has a theory:

Based on the resolution rumor along with the newly revealed pillars of iOS 7, I think the next frontier that Apple might be venturing into with iOS hardware is fully realized 3D Retina Displays.

Umm, no. I wouldn’t buy this idea with someone else’s dollar. 3D is stupid–it’s stupid in a movie, and it’s stupid on a phone. But let’s set aside my opinion for a minute, just for the sake of argument: there’s no evidence anywhere which would support Jeff Rock’s theory, other than a bunch of rumors which seem to misapprehend what “doubling resolution” means.

Quickly Launch Oft-Used Web Sites With Alfred 2

This is just a quick tip for those users of Alfred 2 who might not have thought of it yet: I put together a couple of dead-simple workflows which allow me to open the Web sites I use most with a keyboard shortcut. For example, I can open this site–from anywhere in OS X–with ⌘-J. I open my webcomic’s site with ^-⌘-R.

Here’s how to accomplish this:

  1. Create a new workflow in Alfred’s preferences, and name it whatever you like.
  2. Hit the + sign and add a hotkey trigger.
  3. Then just add an open URL action and include the URL you want to reach.

It’s a simple enough thing, but it saves me tons of aggravation on a daily basis.

Supreme Court Decides DNA Isn’t Patentable

From the Court’s Opinion:

[W]e hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible[…]

It’s sad that one feels such surprise when the Supreme Court of the United States of America makes a decision in favor of what is obviously the right thing for anyone other than a corporate attorney. Profit always matters more than people, period. It feels exhilarating when someone powerful challenges that fact.

Spielberg Predicts An End To Expensive Garbage

Paul Bond for Hollywood Reporter:

Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next – or even before then – will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln." He also said that Lincoln came "this close" to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.

This sounds like the best thing that could possibly happen to the American cinema. I really hope Spielberg is right.

PRISM Is Even Scarier Than You Think

Michael Arrington, I must admit, can generally be considered to be representative of flawed humanity at its worst. But I want to hear him out on PRISM and FISA, because his seemingly wild rants have an unsettling ring of plausibility in them:

[…] we won’t be able to go back and change our history. They’ll see that a decade ago we donated to Planned Parenthood and voted for President Obama. Suddenly, going out and buying a gun or two won’t be enough. The new government will know we’re not true believers in the cause. We’re secret left wing or right wing extremists, and guilty of a new crime – engaging in personal behavior designed to fool the surveillance state.

Yes, I can easily see a future law that prohibits us from engaging in behavior that is designed to trip up the surveillance machine.

There may be no point in attempting to maintain even rudimentary notions of privacy, because the entire history of everything you’ve said, done, or looked at on the Internet is already sitting on an ugly government server, ready to be mined, searched, and cross-referenced on any future date, to serve any Totalitarian purpose. And any attempt to hide what you’re interested in will seem suspicious.

Contextualize that thought within the observation that you’ve statistically committed three felonies today, and you’ll soon see that something has to be done about all of this immediately.

William Friedkin Accepts An Oscar, 1972

Here, à propos of nothing, beyond my own historical interest, is William Friedkin winning an Oscar for Directing (for The French Connection) in 1972, beating out both Peter Bogdanovich and Stanley Kubrick. Say what you will about whether the award went to the right man–Friedkin’s work on The French Connection is easily deserving of the honor. It takes a giant set of balls to stage a dangerous chase scene in the middle of New York City without the necessary permits.

I was lucky enough to hear Friedkin speak recently at a screening of Sorcerer in San Jose; he told a number of wildly amusing stories. One of them involved a New York City functionary who agreed to look the other way with respect to the famous chase scene in The French Connection–in exchange for $40,000, with which he retired to Jamaica.

Friedkin is an incredibly fascinating and woefully under-appreciated filmmaker, in my humble estimation.

iOS 7 Brings Out The Asshats

Here, for example, is Joshua Topolsky’s early take on iOS 7:

What I saw today at Apple’s annual WWDC event in the new iOS 7 was a radical departure from the previous design of the company’s operating system — what CEO Tim Cook called “a stunning new user interface.” But whether this new design is actually good design, well, that’s a different story entirely.

Here’s what he had to say last September about iOS 6 in his iPhone 5 review:

Don’t get me wrong, iOS is a beautiful and well-structured mobile operating system — but it’s begun to show its age. It feels less useful to me today than it did a couple of years ago, especially in the face of increasingly sophisticated competition.

The above opinions seem to fall into that Reverse Reality Distortion Field in which everything Apple does sucks, period. iOS 6 was “stale,” and then the second its design language changes, it’s “childish” and “confusing.” I’m not going to claim that Topolsky can’t be legitimately disappointed here, but something smells fishy when nothing Apple does will please the guy who said of the Galaxy Nexus that “There’s no lag, no stutter. Animations are fluid, and everything feels cohesive and solid.” No sane person who’s ever touched an Android device could possibly actually believe that to be true. Give me a break.

All Film Downloads 40% Off This Week

This sale is over.

For one week only–from today through June 17th–downloads of my films are 40% off. The two features are $6 each (regularly $10), and Passion Flower is just $3 (regularly $5). Grab them at this price them while you can.

Browse Anonymously With TOR on iOS

Onion Browser, a 99¢ TOR-based browser for iOS, provides what is likely the most secure browsing environment you’re likely to find on your iPhone or iPad. The good news is that despite a few potential security holes, it’s pretty much just as secure as connecting via the TOR network on your desktop machine. I’m guessing that there are a lot of Apple customers looking for something like this, given the news this week.

more »

Google Bans Google Glass From Its Own Shareholder Meeting

Matt Clinch writing for CNBC:

Tight security restrictions at Thursday’s Google shareholder meeting led even the company’s much-hyped Google Glass technology to be banned, infuriating a consumer watchdog group who accused the tech giant of hypocrisy.

By all means, snap photos of another man’s junk while you’re taking a wizz. His privacy doesn’t matter. But don’t you dare invade Google’s privacy.