1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study by Carrozzeria Boano Torino.
Great interview with Horace Dediu for Forbes.com:
Q: Is Tim Cook the right CEO for the company at this time?
A: I hold the belief that he’s been CEO for much longer than it seems. Jobs was not a CEO in any traditional sense. He was head of product and culture and all-around micromanager. He left the operational side of the company to Cook who actually built it into a colossus. Think along the lines of the pairing of Howard Hughes and Frank William Gay. What people look for in Cook is the qualities that Jobs had but those qualities and duties are now dispersed among a large team. The question isn’t whether Cook can be the “Chief Magical Officer” but rather whether the functional team that’s around Cook can do the things Jobs used to do.
I hate iOS Safari. It has nothing to do with me being a web developer. I just find the performance of the browser to be substandard compared to a desktop browser. That’s to be expected considering the machine sitting atop my desk has somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 times the processing power of my iPad, but every time iOS Safari struggles to play an animated gif or fails to load a simple js slideshow, I get a little frustrated. It would be one thing if iOS Safari couldn’t handle heavy lifting, but it regularly balks at tasks that browsers on desktops mastered a decade ago.
Trying another browser is no guarantee of better performance, either. The same performance issues hinder Chrome for iOS, as well. Once again, it’s all about the hardware.
Anyway, the point is, I’m not happy with browsing in iOS, and so am open to new browser apps that purport to offer an improved experience. That’s why I was excited to try out Coast, the new browser for iOS developed by Opera. There’s been a lot of fanfare in the tech press since its release a couple days back, and it’s well deserved.
Coast, being still subject to the hardware limitations of iOS devices, doesn’t offer much in the way of performance improvements, at least from what I’ve seen in the past couple days I’ve had to play around with it. But that’s not what makes Coast an improvement over every browser I’ve used on a mobile device, regardless of the operating system.
Coast’s strength is in its interface. It’s, well, minimalist. That word is easily overused in technology, but minimalism is a worthy goal for app development, especially in environments such as mobile where real estate is limited. Opera achieved this goal in part by doing away with the URL bar, a feature that has been ubiquitous in browsers. Imagine that, a browser with no URL bar.
What a user gets instead is a home screen, not unlike the home screens of phones and tablets anywhere. Instead of apps, the home screen in Coast has websites. A user can add and remove icons for any web page they see fit. For pages not represented by an icon, there’s an integrated URL/search bar prominently placed on the home screen to aid the user. While in a website, a small nav bar at the bottom allows the user to return to the homes screen or swipe through history. There are no tabs, just many, many past pages waiting for the user in the history.
So, the URL bar hasn’t completely disappeared, it’s just moved. One clunky feature of this interface is that, in the current build, you have to jump out of a website to the home screen in order to enter a new address. I can’t speak for the developers, but they left a lot of real estate in that bottom nav bar, and an icon that pops up a field would be nice. Yep, it’s a neat idea to get rid of the URL bar, but the reality seems to be more challenging.
The interface isn’t completely intuitive (it took me a good five minutes to figure out how to close a web page), but once a user gets the hang of it, it becomes natural. Once I got used to it, I began to like Coast enough that it’s now my default browser.
The point of Coast seems to be to introduce the smoothness of apps into a browser. In that, it’s hindered only by the fact that websites are not apps, and websites are what Coast is presenting to the user. However, Coast is a wonderful start at shaking up the way a browser is supposed to work. Once those rules can be shown to be arbitrary and unnecessarily restrictive, the web can only get better.
Rachel Metz at MIT Technology Review says Apple Needs a New Category to Reinvent.
I love that Apple is the only company that ever is ever told it needs to “reinvent” anything.
It’s also the typical, jaded and cynical response we often find in the technology press to anything new announced by Apple. It’s also extremely short-sighted and stating the obvious. Once a revolution happens, evolution steps in to define things. This is the case with the iPhone. It came into the world in 2007, revolting against all the “smartphones” at the time. Since then it’s been a constant and consistent refinement of the product and platform, interspersed with some mini-revolts along the way–the App Store, new Maps and Retina displays to name a few.
Maybe some of those examples aren’t as mini now that I look at them, but I digress.
The point is, if anyone is aware of when and where revolutions and evolutions in consumer electronics need to take place, it’s Apple. Sure, on a month-to-month, year-to-year basis Apple’s announcements might seem minor, but take a step back and look at the bigger picture if you want a better view of where things are headed.
Maybe I’m wrong, and Apple coasts on the successes of the iPhone and iPad for the next 10 years.
Ha, yeah right.
Seen scribbled on a wall in Jim Jarmusch’s Down By Law (1986)
So Samsung gets to call “first” on the smartphone watch competition.
Good for them.
Now let’s wait for someone to come out with genuinely great wearable computer device.
One of my new favorite old cars, the International Harvester Scout.
Here’s a soft top version from 1976:
George Carlin has been one of my favorite comedians ever since I first saw his HBO special, Jammin’ In New York, in high school back in the 90s. He had this unique ability to take keen observations coupled with his strong command over the English language and communicate them to the audience in a way that was both highly intelligent and raw as fuck.
After watching this performance I quick searched for as many of his other performances as I could find, whether it was on video or audio-only. I even found one of his records in my parents’ vinyl collection (Toledo Window Box).
One Carlin’s the seminal monologues was “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” from 1972 (check it out on YouTube). On 30 October 1973, Pacifica station WBAI broadcast the routine uncensored which lead to the supreme court case, Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, which formally established indecency regulations in American broadcasting.
So last week I said to myself, fuck this shit. I love that cocksucker, George. It’s time someone designed some goddamn posters honoring him and his seven fucking words.
I’m screen printing them by hand and you can buy them here.
A version of this post originally appeared on The Combustion Chamber.