Tech

U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’ iTunes Release Was About Relevance, Not Altruism

In 2014, it takes Apple and U2 to pull off a musical monoculture that rivals both Beyoncé’s 2013 sneak attack and Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want In Rainbows launch. The tech giants and the world-dominating rockers continued their decade-long business collaboration in a big way yesterday during the launch of Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and two different versions of the iPhone 6. Unbeknownst to the masses, Apple released U2’s unannounced but highly anticipated new album, Songs of Innocence, straight into the music library of every iTunes user worldwide. “This will be the largest album release in history. Over a half-billion people own it. Right now,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced, before Bono and co. closed out the presentation at Apple’s Cupertino, California campus with the album’s opening track, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).” … Read More

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A Music Hoarder’s Eulogy for the iPod Classic

So there was an Apple event this week. Didja hear? There was a bit of coverage. Most of it focused on the zippy new iPhone 6, or the totally logical and necessary iWatch (seriously, I stopped wearing watches because of my iPhone, the snake is eating its own tail here), or the surprise free album by U2. But it also marked the official end of the “iPod Classic” — which, like Coca-Cola Classic, used to just be the damn iPod — and nobody seems to care all that much. Am I the only one who mourns for the… Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Ethereal Photos Make WiFi Signals Visible

Chances are, invisible forces are swirling around you right this minute — unless you’re surfin’ the ‘net via Ethernet cord, in which case we must ask, do you know what year it is? PhD student Luis Hernan says these forces “can be characterised in the same terms as… ghosts and spectra.” But these ghosts aren’t lost spirits wandering the earth (probably not, anyway): they’re WiFi signals. A whole landscape of electromagnetic signals, flying through the room, powerful but completely unseen. The spectral power of these sprightly signals inspired Hernan to design a system to help us visualize them, shedding some literal light on the mystery of WiFi. … Read More

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A Brief Visual History of On-Screen Text Messages in Movies and TV

In college, one of my professors made an casual observation that struck an eerie chord, and has stayed close to mind since. “In a way, we’ve all become cyborgs,” she said, matter-of-factly. “How often is your phone not within a couple inches of your hand?” Of course, our technological dependence isn’t news anymore. And with the onslaught of wearable tech and Google Glass finally being made available to purchase (for a cool $1,500), we’re becoming more cyborg-ish than ever. … Read More

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The Fate of Television Will Be Decided by People Who Don’t Know What HBO Is

Home Box Office introduced the “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO” slogan all the way back in October of 1996, and in spite of the fact that it seemed culturally ubiquitous in the years that followed, its penetration somehow didn’t extend to the eyeballs of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. So yesterday, during oral arguments for the American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, Inc. case, Aereo attorney David C. Frederick had to explain to Justice Scalia that HBO is not TV — as in, you can’t get it free, over the airwaves, since it is in fact a premium service. And these are the people who are deciding, in the words of the New York Times, the future of television. Worried yet? … Read More

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