Editorial

In pursuit of building blocks and the Big Idea

Far more often than not, the big idea is an abject failure.

When we think about building the future, we rarely stumble across the perfect path to do so on the first try. Often, we grasp at perceived futures — ways we expect our world to change and improve — but it's very seldom the best way to build our actual future.

This isn't an admonishment to never strive to create the next big thing; nor is it a bleakly worded yet heartfelt kick in the pants encouraging you to reach for the stars.

You should always reach for the stars and always strive to create the next big thing. But if you hope to succeed, your best guides are those who have gone before you — and failed.

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Are new Macs coming at WWDC?

2014's WWDC was a disappointment for anyone hoping for new hardware — it was a software-only event. Is history going to repeat in 2015?

I don't think so. Two years ago wasn't the first time Apple didn't do any hardware announcement at its Worldwide Developer Conference — though a new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac followed it by a couple of weeks — and it might not be the last. At WWDC 2015, however, I'm rather hoping for a new Mac.

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Apple's FaceTime is end-to-end encrypted. Google Hangouts... isn't

Lack of end-to-end-encryption means that conversations on Hangouts, if subject to a legal order, can be wiretapped or otherwise surveilled.

Google hadn't disclosed this information until a recent Reddit AMA (ask me anything) and a Vice follow-up that resulted. It's not clear whether Google has been asked to provide access to Hangouts, but the potential is there.

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The future of iPad

Turning the clock back to 2010, the iPad was something of a risky move for Apple.

At that time, netbooks had a strong market presence. Apple was pressured to respond but the company was loath to embrace the chintzy plastic, slow performance, low battery life and particularly the cramped keyboard of the netbook's heyday. Indeed, the iPad was to the netbook what the iPhone was to the BlackBerry -- a rejection of compromised input at the expense of software-defined touch display.

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Streaming is the future of music, and that future is now

Over the past decade Apple has completely changed the way we consume music.

In the span of only 10 years we've gone from ripping CDs onto our iPods to downloading MP3s from iTunes to storing and streaming music from the cloud. With WWDC 2015 right around the corner, it's how Apple plans to tackle streaming music that has my undivided attention.

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FileMaker at 30: A look at one of the Mac's most successful apps

FileMaker celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. FileMaker has seen a lot of changes along the way, but it remains one of the Mac's most versatile and powerful database apps.

FileMaker got its start back in the early 1980s as a program for PC-compatible computers running MS-DOS. The software changed hands a few times, including a brief ownership by Microsoft. The powerful database program remains one of the most enduring and successful Mac apps ever released, and it's stronger than ever with its version 14 release.

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Enough with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0: I'm ready for USB-C!

Think USB-C on the new MacBook is a mistake? Get over it. We're going to be seeing a lot more.

The Internet outrage machine has produced much sturm und drang over Apple's the new MacBook and its use of a USB-C connector instead of USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt, as is available on other Mac laptops. I have to say, though: I'm ready for a new peripheral interface.

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Comic: Apple Watch Launch — Day 5,257

Ed: Welcome to this week's edition of The Pixel Project: a weekly comic from Diesel Sweeties' Rich Stevens on Apple, technology, and everything in-between. Today: Apple Watch Launch : Day 5,257

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How the Apple Watch is changing my health for the better

The Watch has done for me what no other health gadget has: tracked my full-contact sport and kept me accountable.

One of the chief reasons I've been so excited for the Apple Watch these past few months is the possibility of using it to properly track my movement and exercise day-to-day. Four nights a week I play roller derby, a full-contact sport on quad roller skates, which has proven... difficult for most health and fitness gadgets to track. Steps aren't tracked nor helpful when you're talking about wheeling around, nor can most devices be worn without fear of them falling off or otherwise being destroyed.

But two weeks in, not only is the Apple Watch giving me proper tracking data for my full-contact sport — it's making me healthier all-around.

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NSFW: Apple's benign neglect of the Mac App Store

A new Mac app shot to the top of the App Store charts by selling fewer than 100 copies. What does that say about the state of the Mac App Store?

Sam Soffes recently released Redacted, a $4.99 Mac app that makes it easy for you to pixelate, blur, or add black bars to images. If you already have an image editing app that does this, it's no big deal, but it's a handy utility for people who need that capability and nothing more.

I doubt Soffes was expecting to burn up the Mac App Store charts when he released it. But that's exactly what happened.

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