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 tools I am most often using.

The list exposes Reporter’s sampling bias: I use subways more frequently than airplanes, but I spend more total time in the air.

Now, do I agree with those sentiments? Yes. I do. I would absolutely think a person who wants to spend all his free time with the parents of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend should be classified as insane. I assume most rational people would feel the same way. But here’s the thing: Every single aspect of this episode is insane. The whole idea of Kramer going into business with Jerry’s dad is insane. Another “Raincoats” subplot requires George to take a little boy he barely knows to France; still another examines the ethics of making out while watching Schindler’s List. Every element of “The Raincoats” is nuts. But only Reinhold’s insane niceness is a problem. It’s the only thing that prompts Jerry and Elaine to have a straightforward conversation about how such behavior is unacceptable.

He’s calling you to reboot the 1980’s soap opera in which he had a supporting role.

(From Apple’s CarPlay website.)

"Fox Stations Poised To Drop Nielsen, Go Exclusively With Rentrak " 

That this is even being discussed is big news:

With its long-term contract with Nielsen set to expire today, the Fox Television Stations Group was preparing to become the first network-owned TV station group to walk away from Nielsen in decades. While sources say negotiations continued over the weekend, the two companies were characterized as being at loggerheads over some key contractual and methodological issues, and that the Fox stations were considering dropping Nielsen altogether and instead using rival TV ratings service Rentrak exclusively.

A short explainer:

  • Nielsen is the company which decides how much TV shows are worth, which shows live and which shows die.
  • Nielsen “utilizes either paper diaries or combinations of paper diaries and electronic meters in all but the biggest TV markets.” This panel of roughly 20,000 households has been deemed ‘representative’ of the entire 117.5 million households in the USA. (That’s roughly one Nielsen home for every 5,800 homes).
  • Rentrak calculates TV measurements using set-top box data (no potentially erroneous diaries) from roughly 25 million set-top boxes.

"Android Wear smartwatches make Google Glass obsolete" 

Ron Amadeo for Ars:

It seems like every post about Google Glass is dripping with bias either for or against the device, so before we get into it here’s a little transparency: I’m Google Glass Explorer #1499. I paid $1500 of my own money to get Glass, and I’ve owned the device for over a year. I thought Glass was really amazing when it first showed up, and I wrote a review after about a month and half of ownership. Once the novelty wore off though, Glass spent most of its life in a drawer, only to occasionally be dusted off to try out the newest update.

Now, after playing with the Android Wear emulator for a few months and actual Wear hardware for a few days, it’s time to call it: Google Glass is obsolete. Android Wear on a smartwatch does nearly everything Glass can do and then some, and it comes in a package that is significantly more ergonomic, convenient, cheaper, and socially acceptable. Android Wear has almost all the positives of Google Glass and none of the negatives.

Glancing is better than persistence and obvious usage is just better.

Quick Sunday experiment: using an iBeacon to protect application data. If the beacon is more than 4 feet away the app locks up.

Here’s the code if you’re curious. You can pick up a beacon at Red Bear.

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