I spent the weekend having Real World Interactions with Online Friends. It was a blast. We met in the middle, more or less, and went to a BBQ and music festival. The weather was lovely, the music was expectedly and unexpectedly good, and the food was delicious and fattening. The conversation was best of all, and The Male Halves put up with us beautifully. If my links are a bit random this week, blame the fact that I was out having fun, offline.
First up, it seems that Apple released a new phone. And not everyone is happy about it. Oh, not the phone. That is just as Absolutely Fabulous as every iteration before it has been (with one exception; see below). But apparently the process of acquisition is as important as the acquisition itself. I was hoping fervently that this blog post was a joke, but the update makes it clear that it isn’t. (h/t @drewmagary)
A very disappointed AT&T customer explains how his unboxing experience was ruined. You must read the whole thing. It opens with this:
I was invited into the AT&T store this morning, after a long wait, to purchase my iPhone 5. I avoided looking at the display model iPhones on the way in, and averted my gaze from everyone elses iPhones. I wanted to enrich the experience of opening my own iPhone 5, and make it more special than it already would be. The sales rep retrieved the iPhone I requested…
Then he then proceeded to open the iPhone himself, with his back to me.
My stomach sank. Opening an Apple product is a religious experience. It’s one of the best things about the first day with your shiny new device. He took that from me. I felt like this sales rep had stolen from me. They were stealing from everyone. No one was opening their new iPhone. Is it not supposed to be special anymore?
And it just gets better. For what it’s worth, a few years ago, after I figured out what “unboxing” was, I tried to take pictures and make it a Very Special Moment. I giggled too much to get all the way through. So I went back to opening the box and removing the Shiny New Product the old, boring way.
Next, as you probably read somewhere (OK, everywhere), Apple stopped using Google Maps in iOS 6 and cobbled together its own map program. The spaces between the cobbles are showing, and it’s not pretty. The Verge has a rundown of the flaws here. The program will improve as more people use it (Google Maps works the same way), but in the meantime you might want to supplement it by using GMaps through your web browser.
Mike Dobson, a professional cartographer, has a lucid and informative post on where Apple went wrong:
The issue plaguing Apple Maps is not mathematics or algorithms, it is data quality and there can be little doubt about the types of errors that are plaguing the system. What is happening to Apple is that their users are measuring data quality. Users look for familiar places they know on maps and use these as methods of orienting themselves, as well as for testing the goodness of maps. They compare maps with reality to determine their location. They query local businesses to provide local services. When these actions fail, the map has failed and this is the source of Apple’s most significant problems. Apple’s maps are incomplete, illogical, positionally erroneous, out of date, and suffer from thematic inaccuracies.
When you assemble a mapping and POI database from suppliers who operate with markedly different data models, it is unwise to assume that simple measures of homogenization will remedy the problems with disparate data. Apple’s data team seems to have munged together data from a large set of sources and assumed that somehow they would magically “fit”. Sorry, but that often does not happen in the world of cartography. Poor Apple has no one to blame but themselves.
I use Google Maps all the time, and I’m glad my phone uses the Android OS, because I don’t really feel like waiting for the iPhone army to input all the data Apple needs for its program to catch up. And as good as GMaps is, I still use paper maps a lot.
Next, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books have been issued in an omnibus volume by the Library of America. In addition to the novels, there are supplemental texts. About time, too! (h/t @JanetNorCal)
Finally, I follow a number of romance reader/bloggers on Twitter and through my RSS feed. If you’re not reading them, you’re really missing out.
At Something More, Liz McC looks at another beloved children’s author, Maud Hart Lovelace, who wrote the Betsy-Tacy books. Liz has a cool personal connection to the books, too.
At Instalove Book Reviews, Kelly recounts her Summer Of Harlequin. She read multiple books across a number of Harlequin’s lines and now she tells us which ones made her want to read more and which didn’t. I loved the way she approached the project and her reactions to each line. I hope she finishes the ones that are still in her TBR.
And last but most definitely not least, the undoubtedly misnamed Mean Fat Old Bat reviews romance books from the perspective of a mature reader who has only recently started reading the genre. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to her take on books I’ve loved, hated, or have yet to read. Her reaction to an extremely popular contemporary romance may be my most favorite review yet.
Enjoy your week!