Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
I’m used to thinking of Austin Mann’s iPhone camera reviews as annual events, but this time it’s only been about a month and a half. To test the new iPhone X’s camera, he took it on a Ker & Downey adventure through Guatemala:
I’ve heard folks saying they want something new for some time now. After being conditioned to a tick-tock upgrade cycle with a radically new iPhone design every two years, the last four years have felt a little uneventful. The iPhone X is the most radical change we’ve seen since the introduction of the Plus, and maybe ever.
Speaking of the iPhone X, designer and photographer Sebastiaan de With published a post about how far the iPhone’s design has come since 2007:
10 years ago, the first iPhones were in our hands and we were in awe at what a device its size could do. At the time, I also found the design of this device remarkable: it didn’t look like any other cellphone or Apple product. Its particular styling of metal and glass was a completely new thing. Apple would proceed to radically innovate in the industrial design of its iPhones for the next decade.
Looking at iPhone X, you can see how Apple has taken 10 years of those innovations in industrial design and essentially summarized it.
Click over for the great photos if nothing else.
I discovered the awesome video above via Peter Farnan at Open Culture, who provides some context:
In addition to his keen melodic sensibility, Sinatra also set a high bar with his technique. In the video at the top of the post from 1965, we see the consummate artist record “It Was a Very Good Year” in the studio, while smoking a cigarette and casually sipping what may be coffee from a paper cup in his other hand.
As Sinatra shows us in this footage, great sound in the studio came from the professionalism and attentive technique of artists and engineers who got it right at the source.
He wasn’t called “The Voice” for nothing.
Photographer and artist Erik Pickersgill captured photos of what we’d all look like if we didn’t actually have smartphones and other devices in our hands. Tell me if this scenario noted on the project’s about page rings familiar:
Family sitting next to me at Illium café in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn’t have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online. Twice he goes on about a large fish that was caught. No one replies. I am saddened by the use of technology for interaction in exchange for not interacting. This has never happened before and I doubt we have scratched the surface of the social impact of this new experience. Mom has her phone out now.
As mindful as I try to be about my device usage, I’ve been in the shoes of both parents in that story. Not proud of it.
Teenage sibling filmmakers Julien and Justen Turner of Dreadhead Films made this hilarious low-budget music video as an extra-credit assignment for Julien’s biology class. Not only is the song catchy, you’ll actually learn a thing or two from it. (Trust me, you’ll be singing “All my cells are dead, if my genes go left unread” for the next several days. You’ve been warned.)
+ Another amusing video project is this guy’s fake commercial to help sell his girlfriend’s ’96 Honda Accord.
In last month’s 25th episode of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast, Dallas Taylor examined how the sound and music from video games comes together to create a more immersive player experience:
Video games are a growing industry and every play-controlled experience is defined by its harmony of music, sound effects, and voice acting. In this episode, we reveal how these elements of a video game’s soundscape are crafted and come together to tell an interactive story. The most sophisticated sound design in video games allows those without the ability to see a chance to engage with some of our greatest modern entertainment.
I’m a lifelong gamer, and there are interesting things about game sound design in this episode that I hadn’t even thought about before. I guess that’s a testament to good game design: You’re not supposed to notice what makes it work.
Gabe Weatherhead of Macdrifter has had enough of Twitter (both the company and the service):
Without any humor or reluctance, I can say that Twitter is not healthy for me. This is a hard thing to admit. I’ve met some of my best friends through Twitter. I learned of major world events and new episodes of Adventure Time. I’ve seen enormous kindness and terrible betrayal through the lens of Twitter. Maybe this is the problem. It’s impossible to comprehend the variety of human experiences I need to interpret while scanning Twitter. Yet, Twitter is far from a magnifying lens. It’s more like a kaleidoscope or a fun mirror. It’s showing what humans pretend to be when we perform for each other. The greatest attractor in social technology is the grotesque exaggeration. We love to see the extreme. We eagerly drool when our view of the world is stroked and we are told that we are the righteous minority.
There’s a lot to chew on in this piece.
I find myself in a similar boat, at least in terms of finding Twitter less and less useful as a platform as time goes on. I still check it often, but as Gabe asks readers to notice, I usually come away not having learned anything too useful or memorable. And my experience is fairly vanilla; I don’t have to deal with the extreme levels of abuse that so many others do, which Twitter (the company) is doing almost nothing to halt.
Neat Stuff We Published This Week
- Guide: “Everyday Carry: Stargazer”
- Children’s book about words relating to the natural world: The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
- An excellent Christmas album, now with four more songs: Simply Christmas (Deluxe Edition) by Leslie Odom Jr.
- Surprisingly powerful and affordable wireless audio: Anker Classic Bluetooth Speaker
- BB-8’s evil counterpart: Sphero’s BB-9E App-Enabled Droid
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.