Windows 10 Review From Walt Mossberg

Windows 10 will finally give the great majority of PC users, who still use Windows 7, a familiar but improved upgrade. However, by making that upgrade free, Microsoft may be dampening, not boosting, the market for new PCs, at least in the short run.

I regard Windows 10 as a solid, evolutionary operating system that’s likely to be a good bet for people who like Windows. But don’t upgrade until more of the bugs have been worked out.

I've had the chance to use Windows 10 a bit over the past week, and I must say it's by far the best version since 7.

Reeder 3 for Mac Public Beta Now Available

Months after its original announcement Mac RSS app Reeder 3 has made an appearance in the form of a public beta. Reeder 3, which will be available as a free update for Reeder 2 owners, features an updated interface, including a transparent sidebar, and an overall look more in tune with OS X Yosemite.

In addition the new interface, Reeder 3 features a number of useful updates, like unread and starred counts for your smart folders, private browsing support, and fullscreen support for minimized layout mode. The app has added full support for Instapaper for saving articles to read later, and more features from your favorite RSS services are now supported.

I've been using the beta for a few days now and it's been reliable. One of my all-time favourite Mac apps has gotten even better.

Apple, BMW In Courtship With An Eye On Car Collaboration

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook went to BMW's headquarters last year and senior Apple executives toured the carmaker's Leipzig factory to learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

The dialogue ended without conclusion because Apple appears to want to explore developing a passenger car on its own, one of the sources said.

Also, BMW is being cautious about sharing its manufacturing know-how because it wants to avoid becoming a mere supplier to a software or internet giant.

During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said.

It would seem BMW doesn't value secrecy as much as Apple does.

Vizio IPO Plan Shows How Its TVs Track What You're Watching

According to the filing, Vizio has sold more than 15 million smart TVs, with about 61 percent of them connected as of the end of June. While viewers are benefiting from those connections, streaming over 3 billion hours of content, Vizio says it's watching them too, with Inscape software embedded in the screens that can track anything you're playing on it -- even if it's from cable TV, videogame systems and streaming devices.

This is why everyone hates the TV industry.

'Apple Music is a nightmare'

Jim Dalrymple on why he's giving up on Apple Music:

I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again.

I’m going to listen to what’s left of my music library, and try to figure out all of the songs I have to buy again. I’ll also download Spotify and reactivate the account I cancelled with them a couple of weeks ago.

☆ Surprises

I've always loved the element of surprise. I love surprising people, and I love to be surprised. To me, surprises are one of the most exciting moments of life. 

It's thrilling not knowing what will come next.

This has always been true in my personal life, as well in my dealings with technology and Apple. Apple has showed us numerous times we truly don't know what the next three, five or ten years will hold. It's part of the reason why I love following technology.

All too often we beg to know what's next, what the future holds. I'm reminded of this on many occasions - one being Apple's quarterly earning calls (which happened to be today).

I've listened to quite a few of these calls over the past five years and I'm always astounded at the questions Tim Cook & company have to answer - or try not to answer. Most of the people who ask these questions are investors, or 'analysts' with reasons to want early information regarding Apple's upcoming products or unreleased sales figures. It's understandable why they ask, but at the same time frustrating because they know Apple won't give them an answer.

When I hear these questions being asked, I often have the same thought - how disappointing it would be if Apple laid out everything: all reporting data, all future product enhancements, all plans for the future. 

How boring would it be to know exactly what's coming next and when it's coming? 

This may fall on deaf ears, but I've always appreciated the secrecy of Apple and how often we are pleasantly surprised time and time again. I'm happy not knowing everything, and even more so not knowing what's coming next.

It's the element of surprise, and I love it.

NFL Game Pass To Offer On-Demand Games On Apple TV

The NFL will reportedly offer U.S. fans full games on the Apple TV for the first time on July 31, when it will launch an overhauled, domestic Game Pass service on multiple platforms.

Subscribers to the service will gain access to all 256 regular-season games on-demand, although live streaming is being restricted to out-of-market preseason games. Beyond this, subscribers will be able to watch any game dating back to 2009.

If this report is true, live games won't be available.

Apple In Legal Hot Water With Retail Workers

According to US District Judge William Alsup's ruling:

In stores where searches were performed by the manager on duty, some employees say they had to scour the store to find a manager and wait until that manager finished with other duties, such as assisting a customer. Where searches were performed by a security guard, some employees had to wait until a security guard became available. Some employees sometimes had to wait in line. Employee estimates of the duration of the whole process, including both searches and wait times, range from five minutes to up to twenty minutes per search, with extremes occurring during busy periods such as product launches or holiday seasons. By contrast, managers estimate wait times at only a few seconds.

During my time at Apple Retail, this policy was enforced. I don't remember it ever taking 20 minutes, but I can definitely imagine that being the case at larger flagship locations.

Who's Actually Buying iPods These Days?

So who are iPods for? They're for people who don't have a smartphone, and that's about it. This makes complete sense, though. The smartphone came in and ate so many products' lunch. Apple's iPhone can do everything these iPods can do and do so much more as well.

While I don't agree with all of this article, it does make some good points.

Password Sharing And Why Netflix/HBO Can't Stop It

Netflix, HBO and other Internet video-subscription providers are theoretically leaving megabucks on the table from customers nefariously sharing login info with nonpaying users. So why aren’t they aggressively trying to block the millions of freeloaders gorging on “Game of Thrones” or “Orange Is the New Black”?

The simple reason? They haven't figured out a way to stop people from sharing accounts without affecting the user experience.

The New iPod Touch

Sporting an A5 processor from three years ago, many believed the iPod Touch may be discontinued, but in a (somewhat) surprising press release, Apple has announced a new iPod Touch complete with an A8 processor.

☆ Distractions

I'm writing this article on my iPhone. 

Maybe the fact I'm writing this article on my iPhone isn't as big of a deal as why I'm not writing it on my 27-inch iMac. 

I type faster on my Mac. I have access to a full suite of powerful editing tools. It's way easier for multi-tasking and probably more ergonomic. But there is one thing my iMac has which makes it difficult at times to use as a writing tool. 

Distractions. 

I'm a easily distracted person on many levels. It's something I've come to terms with the past few years - just how easy my mind can wander into 'la-la land' - away from where it should be. While it's not always a bad thing to be distracted (I can think of a few ways to argue the opposite), it's most troubling when I write. 

I write for many reasons. I write because I love it. I write because it's a creative output. I write because I enjoy having a body of work to share with family and friends. 

But I don't write because I have to. 

This is where my tendency to become distracted is a problem.  

My writing flow often starts with a gut feeling to be creative. 

The Process

"I'm going to write," my mind would say if it had an external voice. 

I load up my iMac, launch my favorite text editor (Byword) and I start typing away. 

"Music! I forgot music. Feels strange to write without music," my mind says once more. 

I load up iTunes and start playing some music. I notice I have unread tweets so I switch to Tweetbot. I wonder if there are any good vinyls on Amazon right now and decide to take a look. 

I kid you not, this is how my mind works. Before I know it I've completely given up on writing and find myself lost browsing the Internet, wondering what I was doing in the first place. 

The Solution

When I write on the iPhone, I don't have this problem. Opening an app creates a single vision where all external distractions are tamed. 

Something about how iOS is designed helps me to forget that distractions are a home button press away. My mind is not tempted to wander.

Instead I write. And write some more. 

Before you mention full-screen Mac apps to me, don't bother, I've already tried. It didn't help. 

While there's still a spot for the Mac in my life, I enjoy exploring alternatives, mainly the iPhone. It's easy to dismiss the power of this extremely thin computer that fits in your pocket and has all-day battery life.

For me, it could easily be the best writing tool of our generation.