I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and work at PlaceIQ.


The reverse side of Norway’s new currency

It is impossible for us to fully know the inner lives of octopuses, but the more we continue to study them and other forms of life, the closer we can come to a working definition of “intelligence.” The real quandary here is, when we find them, what if aliens turn out to be delicious?
Silvia Killingsworth in The New Yorker

Side by side, the scaled-keyboard issue for the iPhone 6 is pretty dramatic.

On the left is Drafts, an otherwise fantastic app which has yet to update for the iPhone 6’s layout. As a result, iOS is scaling their app up, making lines fuzzy and text larger. But it’s also scaling system UI elements like the keyboard, making them larger and spacious.

On the right is Byword, which just updated their app. Note the keyboard, almost a whole row shorter.

The issue here is there isn’t an obvious cue when an app has been scaled and when it hasn’t unless you’re very, very sharp eyed. Never seeing apps side-by-side, users don’t notice the subtle change. Hyper attentive designer friends, who usually notice every nuance, have missed this. They just notice that typing feels weird on the new phone.

It’s already difficult to adjust to typing on a larger screen, as the tap targets have moved. That they move from app to app is a horrible experience.

In the seventeen years between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people, or nearly 5 percent—a rate of loss unheard of in Europe since World War II. Moreover, much of this appears to be caused by rising mortality.

"High school junior is third teenage football player to die since Sunday" 

From The Washington Post:

Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old guard/linebacker for Shoreham-Wading River High School’s football team, was the third high school football player to die since last Friday. Cutinella sustained a head injury during a varsity game against John Glenn High School, Newsday reported.

“It was a big hit,” Shoreham coach Matt Millheiser said after Cutinella was whisked away in an ambulance.

May not have said this here, but here’s how I believe football will significantly change:

  • Affluent families will discourage or forbid their kids from playing football as the injury reports and long-term affects become established knowledge.
  • Less-affluent communities (where the risk-reward balance is more in football’s favor) will stop playing football when their high schools can’t afford significantly increased legal insurance prices as cases like these establish legal precedents.

And you’ll see soccer grow, as more kids feed that pipeline in both talent and interest.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is a difficult place for me to understand. Who is the most eccentric, electric, norm-smashing living artistic genius you can think of? Prince. Which stage performer is the exact fuckin’ opposite of Prince? That’s Garrison Keillor. That both of these men came from the same place suggests to me that Minneapolis is some sort of wormhole to another world that is constantly spewing anything and everything into our existence.

Jon Bois

On a related aside, Breaking Madden is one of the clearest examples of why sports discussion is so crucial: it’s a forum with established, shared knowledge and landmarks which allows for the comfortable discussion of everything. Sports matter because it’s a flexible forum to discus everything in the guise of discussing sports. It’s a safe place to talk about politics, race, labor, sexism, and every other awkward issue we as a society generally avoid.

Breaking Madden doesn’t talk about these issues, but rather stretches sports towards topics of dadaist absurdity and it still works. Thus Jon proves sports’ importance: whatever crazy, awkward, important issue we’ll encounter which we can’t imagine today, Jon Bois has proven sports will accommodate it discussion.

If you haven’t tried the new Post-it app, you really should. Makes great use of iOS 8’s square-detection API.

It’s a very big, epic sci-fi movie. This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.
Threshold Entertainment CEO Larry Kasanoff, on the Tetris movie in production. (Via WSJ)
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