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I fixed Apple’s red iPhone with a $14 screen protector – The Verge

The new red iPhone looks just awesome. Well, the back of it does, anyway. I’ve never been a fan of phones with white bezels. I find them distracting — particularly in sunlight — and have always preferred the “single slab of glass” appearance that a black border gives off. So I was disappointed that Apple went with white on the front of the Product Red iPhone. It wasn’t surprising given that’s what you get with the gold and rose gold iPhones. But Apple hasn’t always done that. The white iPhone 3G and 3GS had a black on the front. More recently, the same was true for the iPhone 5C, which had a black faceplate opposite its vibrant colors around back.

But sadly that’s not the direction Jony Ive went for the special edition iPhone 7. So what’s a person to do? Well, you could buy a second phone and swap the displays, as seen in the video below. But that might get expensive unless you’ve got a friend who for whatever reason wants a white front on their black iPhone.

There’s another, far more affordable option: just buy a screen protector.

The red’s nice, but the white bezel makes it look cheap. Apple should have made the bezel and home button black.

Source: I fixed Apple’s red iPhone with a $14 screen protector – The Verge

Streaming Music Services, From Most Screwed to Least Screwed – Gizmodo

[…] looking at the landscape, streaming services in general are kind of fucked. The payment model for streaming music services makes it very difficult for companies to actually make money. In addition to infrastructure costs, payroll, and marketing, music licensing fees paid to the labels mean that the profit margin for subscription streaming is often negative. Profitability, even for the biggest players, is still largely a pipe dream. As a result, it’s a game where only services with a lot of funding and a lot of users (Spotify), or a lot of backing by a parent company and a lot of users (Apple Music), are relatively safe. At least for now.

But who is the most fucked? Who is just sort of fucked? Who has the best shot at surviving? Here is a ranking of streaming music companies, ranked from most to least fucked.

A good overview of the many streaming music services, including a bunch most people have never heard of.

Source: Streaming Music Services, From Most Screwed to Least Screwed

Things Broken in iTunes 12.6

Apple released iTunes 12.6 a few days ago, and re-released it yesterday. (Why was it re-released? This might explain part of it.)

As we’ve been seeing in recent times, every new Apple release contains a number of really obvious bugs and interface glitches. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Up next clearThe Clear button for the Up Next queue is at the bottom of the list, rather than at the top, which is a lot more logical. And sometimes, when I click the Up Next button on the MiniPlayer, it opens scrolled to the bottom, as you can see at the left. This makes the Clear button – well, text link – more visible, but it doesn’t show the next upcoming tracks. There’s no logical reason to put this button at the bottom of the list. It’s bad design, bad usability, and, frankly, it’s just lazy to allow iTunes to ship like this.

History glitches. If I click the Up Next button in the iTunes window, or in the MiniPlayer, then click History, I sometimes see just a few tracks like in the screenshot below, then a bunch of tracks that are dimmed, that I cannot access, and for which I cannot invoke the menu by clicking the … button.

History

The MiniPlayer close button was buggy. Sometimes it would not display, and you had to resize the window to make it visible. This appears to be fixed in the second version of iTunes 12.6.

TV & Movies in the Music library. This is no longer visible by default, as it was in the first release of iTunes 12.6, but it’s still visible behind the Edit menu. I think it’s because of this.

For now, that’s all I’ve found. Feel free to post a comment if you’ve found antything broken in iTunes 12.6.

Ask the iTunes Guy: A look at new features in iTunes 12.6

itunesguy-thum-100004188-gallery.jpgApple recently released iTunes 12.6, and it addresses some issues that readers have been writing me about for some time. In this week’s column, I answer a couple of those questions and explain some of the changes in iTunes 12.6. Apple has—finally—brought back the ability to open playlists in their own windows. And the MiniPlayer, that small floating window that lets you control iTunes, has been updated. Read on to find out what’s new in iTunes 12.6.

Read this week’s Ask the iTunes Guy at Macworld.

Theater Review – Antony and Cleopatra, by the Royal Shakespeare Company

Together with a new production of Julius Caesar, the RSC has started a run of Antony and Cleopatra. Much of the same cast is present in both plays (and will also be in Titus Andronicus, later this year), and the title roles are played by Anthony Byrne and Josette Simon. Using many of the same set elements and wardrobe, these two plays are of a piece, both in design and direction. Here, Iqbal Khan, who brought us 2015’s visceral Othello, takes the helm.

As much as I loved Julius Caesar, I was bored by Antony and Cleopatra. The first part of the production seemed aimless, with no solid direction in the plot. It was very hard to follow, in part because of Josette Simon’s strange delivery, but also because the various actors seemed to be trying to do very different things. Simon seemed to be acting like someone in a silent movie, but with words. Her speech was stilted, her gestures overdone, and it wasn’t clear whether this was meant to portray Cleopatra as somehow crazy, or whether it was just a mannered way of performing.

Anthony Byrne, however, was the star of the show. I’ve seen him for several years in the history plays, and recently as a wonderful Kent in last year’s King Lear, and it’s great to see this actor in a starring role. Byrne, while not young, is an actor with quite a future. He can be powerful and sensitive, with excellent movement, and he commands attention. His only problem is that his booming voice sometimes dominates the other actors, who project much less.

Antony and Cleopatra production photos 2017 2017 Photo by Helen Maybanks  c RSC 214592

(Photos: Helen Maybanks for the RSC.)

The second part of this long production – three hours, plus a twenty minute intermission – is a bit more focused, but the struggles between Antony and Octavius Caesar seem trivial. Things are confusing, and Octavius Caesar, played by Ben Allen, is unconvincing, and doesn’t seem like a leader, but more like an angry child.

Andrew Woodall’s Enobarbus is one of the highlights of the show. I felt his Julius Caesar was a bit over the top, but here he is more restrained. His cockney accent may not have been necessary, but he projects more power in this play than he did in Julius Caesar.

Antony and Cleopatra production photos 2017 2017 Photo by Helen Maybanks  c RSC 214750

The sets and lighting were magnificent, far more interesting than in Julius Caesar, but the beginning of the production was marred by a VERY LOUD, uninteresting dance piece. I don’t know why, but RSC productions use this technique often, and this type of dance number generally adds nothing to the production. The music doesn’t need to be that loud; the theater is quite small.

The ending, where Cleopatra has herself bitten by an asp, falls flat. Josette Simon’s over-the-top acting and the way she manipulates the small rubber snake just aren’t believable. This seems to be a trend at some RSC productions recently. Even some excellent productions – such as the 2015 Othello, or last year’s King Lear – drop the ball in the climactic scene.

In the end, this is a beautiful production, but it is muddled by trying to do too much, and by Josette Simon’s odd acting. I’ll see it again, to see if I was wrong, or to see if the production tightens up, but this is one of the more disappointing Shakespeare plays I’ve seen at the RSC. I don’t expect every one of their Shakespeare productions to be excellent, and this one made me feel the way I did seeing last year’s Cymbeline.

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Kirkville

Writings about Macs, music, and more by Kirk McElhearn