The Last VCR Will Be Manufactured This Month

Quartz:

Japan’s Funai Electronics, which makes its own electronics, in addition to supplying companies like Sanyo, will produce the last batch of VCR units by July 30, Nikkei reported (link in Japanese). The company cites difficulty in obtaining the necessary parts as one of the reasons for halting production.

VCRs were launched about 40 years ago. With the rise of DVDs, Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix, they’ve become completely obsolete. At its peak, Funai sold 15 million units of the home video system, Last year, it reported 750,000 in sales.

And yet, vinyl is still going strong.

Eddy Cue on the Apple TV

Eddy Cue, talking with the Hollywood Reporter on why he doesn’t like the ‘skinny bundle’:

I think it’s a misconception. Most people, at the end of the day, end up paying more, not less, for the things they love. With TV content being at an all-time high, why are people asking for less? It has a lot to do with the way it’s being provided. If I feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth, then I want to pay less and I want less things. But if it were being provided in a rich platform with the capabilities I’m talking about, I don’t think people would feel that way. People pay for Netflix as an add-on to TV, and they’re happy doing it. And why is that? Because they’re happy with what they’re getting from Netflix. So the question to ask about skinny bundles is, why are customers not happy?

They’re not getting the features that they want. The fact that I have to set things to record seems idiotic. And channel guides — I get home and I want to watch a Duke basketball game; why do I have to go hunting to find out what channel it’s on? Why can’t I just say, “I want to watch Duke basketball.” Or, even better, why doesn’t the system know that? “Here’s the Duke basketball game.” Those technical capabilities exist today. They just don’t exist for television.

Seems to me like Eddy would love to pair a skinny TV bundle with the Apple TV, but negotiations aren’t going so well.

Pokemon Go Launch Makes Nintendo Stock Prices Soar

Bloomberg:

The shares of Nintendo responded with their biggest intraday jump since 1983, when they listed in Tokyo, climbing 25 percent on Monday. Investors are taking Pokemon’s early success as a sign that the company can still churn out hits if it commits popular characters from its Mario or Zelda franchises to mobile-gaming apps.

Hard to believe it took Nintendo this long to capitalize on bringing their IP to smartphones.

 

The Ultimate Apple I/O Death Chart

If Apple does end up removing the headphone jack from the next iPhone (which I think they will), they will be ending support of the longest-running I/O port in their history.

Apple in Talks to Acquire Jay Z’s Tidal Music Service

The Wall Street Journal:

Apple is in exploratory talks to acquire streaming-music service Tidal, headed by rap mogul Jay Z, according to people familiar with the matter. Terms of the potential deal aren’t known. The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, these people said. Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna.

I don’t understand how Apple stands to benefit from purchasing Tidal.

Apple Patents Technology To Disable iPhone Cameras At Concerts

In the description of one of Apple’s new patents:

For example, an infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device’s recording function based on the command.

I really hope this is a patent Apple never, ever brings to life.

Android Nougat

This is why you don’t let the community choose your OS name. It should’ve been Nutella.

Taking The Headphone Jack Off Phones Is Stupid

Nilay Patel on the rumoured headphone-less iPhone 7:

Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left.

I could go into this topic in great detail, but I can’t really remember the last time I used the headphone jack on my iPhone. My Mac is a different story.

Brief Thoughts On iOS 10

With iOS 10, Apple has taken iMessage to the next level. In one update, it went from a basic app for messaging to a serious competitor to the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. I’m intrigued to see the type of iMessage apps which will be available at launch (I expect a ton of sticker packs).

Siri also got smarter with iOS 10. Now that it can tie into several different categories of third-party apps, I think there’s a whole new utility to Siri.

Sometimes it takes Apple a few attempts to get something right. With Notifications and Widgets, I think they may have finally made a breakthrough. Enhanced Notifications look fantastic – the ability to see more information when activating a notification. Having widgets in a second pane of the Notification Center never made sense to me. Now that they’re easily accessible with a swipe on the lockscreen, I may actually start using them.

There are many other new features I’m excited to try when iOS 10 is available this fall. Read up on all the changes here.