Gizmodo's take on Apple this year is unsurprisingly negative
In 2015, Apple made a series of flashy new introductions of both hardware and software. Several seemed amazing at first, but on closer inspection, they were all disappointing. Here is the year in Apple things that sucked.
Leave it to the wordsmiths at Gizmodo to end this year with a thud. Conveniently, they don’t hold every other tech company to such ridiculously high standards or ensure that their writers take a minute to consider if something they’re putting together might be better suited for their personal blog instead of the front page of a news site.
Alternatively, 9to5Mac has a worthwhile retrospective on Apple’s 2015.
Google and Ford working together on self-driving cars
Google just found a major partner for its self-driving car program. A report from Yahoo Autos claims that, during CES, Ford will announce a joint venture between it and Google to build self-driving cars.
Similar to how the company handles its Nexus line of phones, it only makes sense to keep the hardware in the hands of people who’ve been doing it for years and let Google handle the software.
Interesting contrast to how Apple is apparently handling the development of their car project, which is apparently being done entirely in-house but includes former Ford employees amongst others.
Gwenpool is getting her own book from Hastings, Gurihiru
Gwenpool is here to stay. After becoming a meme-worthy cosplay sensation at this past Comic Con International in San Diego, the dimension-hopping merc known as Gwenpool made a big splash in a number of comics – notably “Howard the Duck” and the “Gwenpool Holiday Special.
I know I’m not the target audience here but this is getting a little out of hand. The idea of Gwenpool is interesting I suppose but it feels like the joke landed a long time ago.
Full disclosure, I’m not a Deadpool fan or into much of the absurdist stuff in comics, which may have something to do with my opinions here. That aside, if people are into the idea and are buying her books, why not? The art looks great.
Apple isn't too late to the streaming music market
Let’s lay out just how large the head start its competitors have. Apple Music is essentially in fourth place, miles behind Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube, and all the companies ahead of Apple are only getting bigger and better. Pandora, which has 78 million active users, just bought Rdio and has plans to launch an on-demand service late next year, giving its users an in-house option and push it into direct competition with Apple Music.
We live in a world where 6.5 million paying subscribers is considered a “failure”. The service isn’t perfect, sure, but it’s far from terrible. For the millions of people out there with iPhones that are looking for the easiest way to listen to music, it’s right there in front of them and it’s only going to get better.
It doesn’t take Spotify losing for Apple Music to be considered a success. It’ll be improved over time and will likely attract and lose users as most other services do. At five months, I think it’s a little early to consider it a non-contender.
Vaughan, Martin, and Vicente release first issue of Barrier
Out today, likely timed with this week’s release of the hardcover physical release of their originally digital-only endeavor The Private Eye, Barrier #1 hit Panel Syndicate from the exact same team. It’s follows the tried and true distribution method of pay what you what for a DRM-free copy in your choice of PDF, CBR, or CBZ formats. Like before, it’s a landscape-oriented comic to work better with digital devices. It’s 52-pages of comics goodness and stated to be the first of five total installments.
Barrier’s incredibly compelling and, unsurprising for BKV, salient first issue is about a woman from the southern tip of Texas named Liddy who patrols the US/Mexico border and Oscar, a man from Honduras who’s willing to do just about anything to cross into the United States.
Fans of The Private Eye will recognize not only the team but the publishing model used here. The book itself sounds very topical, given the state of the world, and looks amazing visually because of the work put in by Martin and Vicente.
If you’re not familiar with Panel Syndicate, they offer books on a pay-what-you-want model. That’s not to say you shouldn’t pay for the books, but it’s a flexible structure for all readers so they can experience it regardless of their financial situation while still rewarding the creators for their work.
Reeder 3 available on iOS
First off, the update adds support for using Instapaper as a sync service. Instapaper joins services like Feedbin, Feedly, and Feed Wrangler as services supported by Reeder. The update also introduces a Safari View Controller, meaning that you no longer have to exit the Reeder app itself to view links. Instead, they will open directly within the app, making for a much more seamless experience.
Various other interface tweaks have been made, as well. There are now font size options, unread and starred counts for smart folders, a new archive folder, font options for the article viewer, and more.
If you’re not using RSS, and specifically Reeder, already for your news consumption, you should be. The new update adds a handful of really great features to enhance the overall experience for any iOS device, not just the latest and greatest.
The Fantastic Four sequel has disappeared from Fox's schedule
Despite Fox’s initial insistence that the Fantastic Four sequel was moving forward despite the box office failure of the first film, Fox has now officially removed the Fantastic Four sequel from their release schedule.
Can’t say I’m shocked.
Sony is working on PS2 emulation for the PS4
What exactly is Sony up to with emulating PlayStation 2 games on the PS4? A report this week from Wired confirmed that the company is, in its own words, “working on utilizing PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation,” but it seems that the PlayStation 4 already has this capability (at least in part), and Sony has done nothing to publicize it.
This far into a new generation of console, do we really need PS2 emulation? There’s more than enough to play on the PlayStation as it stands today.
Couple that with the fact that every studio seems to be re-releasing their older titles as “HD remakes” and I feel like we have signs of not only an industry that’s afraid to take a chance on new IPs but a fanbase that is supporting it.
Replaying all the old games from your childhood past, which in all likelihood the majority of people will try for a brief period of time before switching back to newly released titles, is just that: it’s past. Move on.
The MCU needs more Doctor Doom
While a First Family reunion and subsequent integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be a sentimental and feel-good story, the Four aren’t what Marvel needs (or, at this point, likely wants). What Marvel needs are good villains, and it just so happens that one of most iconic Marvel villains ever created is actually bundled into Fantastic Four’s film rights.
That’s right: The best part of the Fantastic Four is actually Doctor Doom.
It’s easy to overlook Doctor Doom’s impact on superhero films, given that he’s been a part of some serious duds over the past few years but his presence in Marvel’s comic book universe is a completely different story.
While Marvel seems to have all but forgotten about the comic book incarnations of Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny, the Doom has been ruling over the Marvel U for some time within the pages of Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers and Secret Wars.
He’s arguably the most important villain in Marvel’s comic book universe right now and would likely make for a pretty amazing Avengers villain on screen, if he were even given the proper treatment. If there’s any aspect to get really excited about with the rumoured discussions between Marvel and Fox… it’s Doom.