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robotlyra: Me: *watching* What the hell is the point of th- OH...

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Me: *watching* What the hell is the point of th- OH MY GOD

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5 hours ago
awesome. I want the back story.
New York
1 hour ago
Hold my beer and pass me that duck tape I have an idea.
11 hours ago

It's Crazy That the Best Smartphone Is Stuck Running an Old Version of Android

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It’s here!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 won rave reviews when it launched just a few weeks ago, with both mainstream and enthusiast publications showering the smartphone with near-unqualified praise—something of a rarity among tech reviewers.

“The Note 7 is the best Android phone I’ve ever tested,” said Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal, while Android Police’s Andrew Martonik called it “the real deal.” And over at Quartz, Mike Murphy said the Note 7 is “probably the best phone on the market right now,” with the caveat that Apple is widely expected to introduce new iPhones in early September. Who knows how those devices may change people’s calculations when considering a new phone?

There’s just one problem when it comes to the Note 7, which counts among its chief features an iris scanner than can unlock the phone and the single best display ever put on a smartphone (according to the DisplayMate research firm): No one seems to be sure when it’ll be upgraded to the latest version of Android.

When you unbox the Note 7 for the first time, you’ll find that it’s running last year’s version of Android, which is known as Marshmallow. (This version is sometimes referred to by its version number, or Android 6.0.) There’s nothing wrong with Marshmallow, of course; it’s a perfectly capable operating system that runs Snapchat, WhatsApp, Pokémon Go and all the other apps that make life worth living.

That being said, there is something a little unseemly about a brand new device that costs nearly $1,000 not running Google’s latest and greatest mobile operating system, Nougat (or Android 7.0), which was released on Monday and adds features like support for running windows side by-side (so you can more easily multitask on-the-go) and an expanded library of 1,500 different emoji. That’s a lot!

Drawing on the Note 7 with the included stylus. Image: Samsung

Unlike with the iPhone, which gets software updates when Apple says it does, Android smartphones are beholden to a byzantine process whereby the wireless carriers typically have ultimate say when and where your device will receive an update. That’s why Android phones can go several months without receiving a major software update, and why owners of the Note 7 will likely be waiting a while to receive some tasty Nougat.

How long are we talking? It’s hard to say with any real specificity, particularly because the wireless carriers are pretty cagey when it comes to this kind of thing. Verizon Wireless, for example, told Motherboard that it didn’t have any information as to when its version of the Note 7 will be upgraded to Nougat. An AT&T representative told Motherboard he was looking into the matter but did not have an answer by the time this story was published. T-Mobile and Sprint have yet to reply, but we’ll update this story if and when we hear anything back from them.

Samsung, for its part, recently told the Korea Times that it expects to have Nougat ready for the international version of the Note 7 in two to three months. Close, but no cigar, unfortunately.

Is there anything that you can do in the meantime to expedite the process? Not really; the carriers have all the power here. Google’s own Nexus line of smartphones (of which new ones are expected before the end of the year) do get Android software updates as soon they’re available, so that’s one option for people who absolutely must be on the bleeding edge of Android. And Google says LG’s upcoming V20 smartphone will be the first new smartphone to ship with Nougat when it’s introduced next month, but that’s cold comfort for anyone specifically wanting Samsung's flagship device.

In the meantime, Note 7 owners can comfort themselves with the knowledge that their smartphone is among the very best that money can buy right now. It just so happens to be running last year’s software.

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1 day ago
Any guesses as to when this month's best Android phone will run this month's version of Android?

I say January.

The 100 best films of the 21st century


The editors of BBC Culture polled 177 film critics from around the world about the best films made since 2000 and compiled the results into this list. The top film? David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. Here's the top 20:

20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Eternal Sunshine, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Zodiac seem too high on the list but I'm not sure what I would move up instead. It'll be interesting to see how the consensus changes as these films age. Also, I've seen exactly half of the films on the full list...time to get watching.

Tags: best of   lists   movies
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3 public comments
1 day ago
I've never found anyone who would tell me number 11 is worth seeing.
I thought Pan's Labyrinth was okay by not as good as it should have been.
I have never understood why people say Children of Men is a good movie. Maybe I need to see it again because
No Country for Old Men was obviously done well but I didn't really like it until the second viewing.
Mulholland Drive is the best Lynch film but not my favorite Lynch film.

I need to watch a movie tonight. My wife hasn't seen The Will Be Blood so maybe tonight's the night.
1 day ago
Curious to hear what my 3 followers think of the top 20 here. Any glaring snubs or flubs?
Victoria, BC
1 day ago
1-6 should be the fast and furious franchise =). but also zoolander came out 2001, soooo wtf critics?
22 hours ago
Holy Motors is a mesmerizing film, but definitely not top 20. Strong contenders: Inglourious Basterds, Royal Tenenbaums, Apocalypto, Shaun of the Dead (no, seriously.)
22 hours ago
Also, depending on where you let Pixar films fall, this list has no comedies, which is ridiculous.
18 hours ago
Im with KT, the cornetto trilogy (especially hot fuzz for me) should unquestionably be on there.
1 day ago
Number four is a surprise, although only that it's recognized by the critics.
Weston, Connecticut

Uber is returning and Avatar are running a Kickstarter to...

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Uber is returning and Avatar are running a Kickstarter to Support it. Don’t know about Uber? The video above basically explains it, but the core of it is Uber is a serious-mode alternate-history superhero comic that tries to explore the ramifications of Germany having invented an army of superhumans right at the close of the war. It’s primarily a Germany-Invents-The-Bomb story, but through a metaphorical filter. We did five trades of material previously, and are coming back to finish the story with a whole second volume.

Lots more details beneath the cut, including a look through the various incentives and a FAQ…

Let’s start with a couple of quotes from people who like Uber.

“Situating the superhuman in its only credible real-life context, UBER gives us an appallingly logical and brilliantly-imagined world where the Third Reich’s science lived up to its rhetoric. In a carefully-realized geopolitical landscape, the giant names of the Second World War act out their revised destinies to jaw-dropping and spectacular effect, with Kieron Gillen right at the top of his dazzling form and his artistic collaborators expertly embellishing the vast historical canvas he’s prepared for them. Making fifteen-foot-tall invulnerable monsters with reality-warping psychic abilities seem as acceptable and grimly inevitable in its alternate timeline as nuclear weapons came to seem in ours, UBER is simply the most compelling, addictive and ambitious ongoing comic-book series that I have seen in years. Unless you happen to be made of vapour, it will grip you and refuse to let you go.“

- Alan Moore.

"If you find yourself transfixed by history and its horrors—if you want to surrender to revulsion and catharsis—if you want to shed all triggers, all defenses, all sensitivities, and let something touch the absolute raw screaming nerve in you—

UBER is waiting.”

-Marguerite Bennett

…Which is all very kind. People have interesting responses to Uber. I recall speaking to Matt Fraction shortly after he’d read some of it, and he was trying to understand how my brain didn’t just snap when I switched between writing Young Avengers and writing Uber. He has a point. I can’t think of many two books in the same genre that are tonally that far apart – and none that are written by the same person. I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’ll put a warning here though. Uber really is a brutal book. I don’t consider it gratuitous, but it tries to invoke much of World War 2. You should consider basically any of the major trigger warnings attached to it. It has serious intent, and I tried to think the choices through, but it is basically a scream.

There’s a line I regularly use about Uber: I hope you find it compelling and fascinating. I hope you don’t enjoy it.

It’s primarily a book about war. It’s secondarily a book about horror. Most other concerns are tertiary.

It’s also a book that definitely gets a lot less attention than many of the things I write, for obvious reasons. UBER: INVASION was at least in part conceived as a clean entry point to jump aboard, but one of the good things about the kickstarter is that Avatar are offering a variety of ways to catch up with the story so far in an inexpensive fashion. You can get the whole of the series digitally for $29, for example, including the first two issues of the next series. You can get the whole series in trade in a fancy-slip-case, plus a bunch of other stuff for well beneath RRP.

Anyway – go have a nose at the Kickstarter and see if there’s anything which appeals, or at least watch the video of me wandering around. Thanks to Quinns for filming me too. He’s a hero.

Here’s a FAQ…

Wait – Avatar is a proper company. This isn’t really what Kickstarter was meant for, is it?

I agree, at least originally. But Kickstarter has undergone feature creep. It’s used for a bunch of stuff now. On a personal level, I mainly buy boardgame and miniature stuff from pre-existing companies with a good record of shipping and basically acts like a glorified pre-order system. Plus marketing – Kickstarter has become something that’s often about raising awareness.

In this case, I see what Avatar doing is more akin to that. Between them and their sub-labels, they’ve already ran twelve kickstarters I can find. They are raising funds for production, but they do so by providing opportunities to buy stuff while also making people aware a new series is coming.

In the case of this kickstarter, they’re basically doing two things…

  1. Offering covers for the high-end ultra-rare covers collector market.
  2. Providing people with ways to try Uber stuff in an inexpensive manner.

The people who want the former category know who they are – they’d normally be buying deals like this at a con, but now they’re essentially buying it direct. It’s something that is core to Avatar’s business model.

The two deals which stand out for the latter are the $29 Digital Defender package and the $89 Backbone of America Package. The former is the cheapest way you can get to read the whole of the first volume of Uber in digital, plus the first two issues of the next one. The second one is way beneath the RRP of the whole series just for the five trades, not even including the issues of Invasion, the free-T-shirts, and the very lovely slipcase. I understand that’s nearly $300 worth of stuff.

Basically, via this Kickstarter Avatar is offering competitive deals as a way to raise funds for an expensive project they’re already enormously committed to. I raised my eyebrow originally when Avatar suggested this, but when I saw what they wanted to offer people, I felt I could hardly object.

I want people to have easy ways to get into Uber, and this is the easiest way ever.

If there’s nothing in here which appeals to you and you just want to wait for the series to launch? That’s obviously cool too.

Shipping outside the USA?

Yeah, the charges are pretty hefty outside the USA, but free within the USA. If you want to support outside the USA, the digital-only categories are probably the place to look.

How much have you actually done?

I’m about to hand in issue 7, and Daniel is approaching the end of issue 5. As I said, Avatar have really committed to this.

I have all of Uber in singles, and plan on buying Invasion that way too. Do I need to worry about anything with Kickstarter, or should I just ask my LCS to order it normally when it gets solicited?

Nope, you’re fine. It’ll be solicited like a normal book. All is well. Just speak to your shop about it.

Though obviously if you want to tell friends “hey - that comic I was telling you about is available cheap” we’d be enormously grateful.

What formats are the digital copies?

They’re provided as PDF or CBZ files from the Comic Cavalcade digital store.

What about more questions?

Ask me stuff and I’ll cut and paste them into this masterpost as I do so.

Thanks for reading.

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For Kim


Many of you in the iOS community know Daniel Steinberg. Even if you don’t know him personally, you’ve probably seen one of his many outstanding talks about Swift. If you know him personally, you know that Daniel is a wonderful, warm, kind person.

As many of you have already heard, Daniel’s wife Kim passed away after a car accident late last week. This would be awful news for anyone, but it’s particularly heartbreaking to see happen to someone like Daniel, who’s already gone through enough tragedy for many lifetimes.

Even in the depths of such horror, the focus that Daniel and Kim had on helping others shines through. Kim was an organ donor, and Daniel fought through an emotional roller-coaster I can’t even begin to fathom to make sure sure that her senseless death allowed others to live through her donation.

I’ve run into many people here at 360iDev who’ve expressed tremendous sympathy for Daniel at this awful time, and wondered if there’s anything we can do in her memory. I reached out and asked him if there was a place where donations could be made in Kim’s honor.

He and his daughter Maggie have chosen SmileTrain, a charity which works to perform life-changing surgeries to correct cleft palates as the place they would like those of us who wish to donate in her honor should support.

If you’ve ever been affected by one of Dan’s talks, or by one of his million small gestures of kindness, please join me in donating in memory of Kimberli Diemert.

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1 day ago
Cary, NC
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mygayisshowing: Lmao

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