Why Apple Watch Always Shows 10:09

If you’ve seen Apple’s Watch commercials or online advertising and promos, you’ve seen 10:09 as the default time on each watch face. Why? Steven Tweedie knows:

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015. If you see an advertisement for a watch, chances are you’ll see the watch’s time set to 10:10.

Watchmakers have traditionally chosen 10:10 as their display time because it ensures that the watchmaker’s logo, which is usually engraved beneath the 12, isn’t obscured by the watch hands. On top of that, having the hands at 10:10 is symmetrical.

Apple, however, chooses to display a slightly different time on all of its Apple Watch promotions, setting the time one minute ahead to 10:09 rather than 10:10.

Apple is a rather deliberate company which pays attention to details that others ignore.

Apple Watch

So, what’s with 10:09?

Apple wants the Apple Watch’s time to be ahead of even Timex, and displays a specific time of 10:09:00 or 10:09:30, both of which allow Apple to consider itself “ahead of the times” with the Apple Watch.

That’s just so much bull. At 10:09, Apple is actually behind the times of other watchmakers, not ahead. I say it’s because 10:09 is perfect symmetry, while 10:10 is not.

What Every U.S. State Is Best At

I love these lists. Easy to read, easy to argue for and against. Kate Peregrina:

Each of the 50 states is special in its own way. But much like a class of pampered elementary school students, everyone gets an award for something. Here’s what’s written on the certificate sure to be hanging from each state’s fridge.

Those I find interesting:

  • California: Most breastfed babies
  • Hawaii: Least likely to collide with a deer
  • Lousiana: Most residents born in state
  • Missouri: Best trails
  • Nebraska: Most homes with indoor plumbing (probably per capita)
  • Pennsylvania: Most revenue from casinos (hard to believe)

The 8 Best Job Interview Questions To Ask

These are questions for the interviewee to ask the interviewer. From Jacquelyn Smith:

The hiring manager asks the applicant questions to figure out if they’re the ideal candidate, while the interviewee asks the employer questions to figure out if they’re the right fit.

But even when the hiring manager is the one in the hot seat, they’re still evaluating you as a potential employee. So it’s imperative that you ask good, smart questions — ones that will impress the interviewer.

Good list. Among my favorites:

  • What’s the most frustrating part of working here?
  • How did you get your start?
  • What keeps you up at night?
  • What concerns/reservations do you have about me for this position?

Use A Mac To Turn A Photograph Into A Fine Gallery Style Portrait Painting

There is no shortage of photo enhancement apps for Mac, iPhone, or iPad. The iOS App Store alone has hundreds and hundreds of apps which add filters and effects to digital photos. Mac users have fewer choices, but choices have improved in recent years (as attested by the few dozen new and inexpensive photo effects apps cluttering my Mac).

Many of these Mac photo apps are one-trick pony tools that don’t cost much and deliver a few simple effects. Portrait Painter is a new one which does what many others do not. It takes your photo and turns it into a gallery style painting.

Take a look at a few sample photos which have been converted to digital paintings.

Portrait Painter Sample

Even ordinary, plain, uninspired photos can take on a new life when converted to a more artistic painting.

The most mundane photo can become a masterpiece worth printing and sharing. Portrait Painter’s controls are remarkably simple to master, though trial and error is the attitude you need at first.

Drag and drop a photo onto Portrait Painter, select a preset with a click, then adjust settings using the handy slider controls.

Portrait Painter Sample

Click any of the images above for a larger, pop up, closeup gallery view.

Portrait Painter has to paint styles. The classic color palette, and a brighter color palette. The presets are numerous and make it simple to create a photo painting with a click.

Other features include the smooth skin tool which smooths away freckles and wrinkles. Because the end result emulates a painting, the tools have controls for brush strokes, brush length, bristle strength, and canvas.

For on-the-go paintings there’s both an iPad and iPhone version, though the Mac version costs more than both combined. I have to admit that this is a fun way to add color and life to even the most plain digital photos

Tesla Model S vs. Ferrari F12

Nicole Wakelin:

Two very different and very powerful cars have at it on the track to see which is the fastest in a flat out drag race. The Tesla Model S P85D has 691 horsepower, while the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta has a much higher 730 horsepower. The Tesla is also a heavier car, which stacks the deck against it even further, but the Tesla isn’t completely out of the race.

Who wins? Check out the video to see. It’s not really close.

The Hottest Hot Rod

Rick Osentoski has a list of the hottest of the country’s hot rods (over 40 pages of clicks and ads but some great cars).

Last weekend in Detroit, the top hot rod builders in the country gathered for the 63rd annual Autorama show and the annual competition for the Don Ridler Memorial Trophy, given each year to the most impressive custom car. While the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster title goes only to older cars, the Ridler is open to anything — and this year’s winner demonstrates the skill needed to blend old and new engineering into something unique.

My favorite? A 1959 Rambler American Wagon.

1959 Rambler American Wagon

Apple Watch Prices

What everyone wants to know about Apple Watch revealed by Jacob Siegal.

Tim Cook revealed on Monday the following prices for the various models of the Apple Watch:

  • Apple Watch – 38mm: $549 – $1,049 (Prices vary based on watch band)
  • Apple Watch – 42mm: $599 – $1,099 (Prices vary based on watch band)
  • Apple Watch Sport – 38mm: $349
  • Apple Watch Sport – 42mm: $399
  • Apple Watch Edition: $10,000 – $17,000

$17,000 for a watch that will be obsolete in four or five years.

How To Use Your Mac To Re-date, Re-name And Re-organize Photos Based On EXIF Data

Mac users who are also photographers come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities. If you have 30,000 photos stuffed into iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom, then you’re more serious than most folks with a camera and a Mac, and you can spell EXIF.

Most cameras today spit out plenty of EXIF data with each photo. Exchangeable Image File Format is important because it carries detailed information about the camera, file format, date and time, and much more inside the photo file. With the right Mac app that data can be used to change dates and rename photos for easier organization. All you need is shootShifter on your Mac.

I prefer to think of shootShifter as a photo and video organizer (yes, it does videos, too) which lays out files in a chronological order, but every file, photo or video, can be modified by date or name using the built-in tools.

shootShifter

It’s simple to apply date changes to an entire folder of photos. Why would anyone need to do that? Remarkably, there are times when the camera’s date is off, wrong, or reset. Those dates show up in the photo’s metadata and shootShifter can fix it by changing to whatever date and time you want.

The built-in magnifying loupe gives you an option to delete photos that don’t measure up, so shootShifter works as a photo organizer, too. Photos and video clips can also be renamed using the built-in tools.

shootShifter

Other Mac tools can edit EXIF metadata and still other apps can be used to organize photos, but shootShifter does both and is nominally priced considering it fixes time and file names so quickly.

Why Samsung Sells Copiers

In light of the nearly-an-iPhone-6-clone Galaxy S6, Kate MacKenzie offers an irreverant look at Samsung’s research and development division.

Of course Samsung sells copiers. There’s a whole division of copiers. We call them copiers. You can buy one to copy a document. Samsung calls them R&D devices.

There’s no need for Samsung to employ expensive engineers to design new products. All they need to do is use a copier, make copies of Apple’s latest smartphone and tablet designs, hand the copies to manufacturing and say, “Build this and stick a Samsung logo on it.”

Funniest Bumper Stickers

Only click through the list if you’re totally bored but need a little laugh. 15 Bumper Stickers Guaranteed to Make You Laugh (not sure what you get if you don’t laugh; so the guarantee may not amount to much).

My favorite.

Bumper Stickers

5 Hottest Cars You Can’t Buy

One day I hope to be able to go to real car show (not the local auto show sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank). The place where they show off cars that are not being built and you couldn’t afford if they were. Jim Holder has examples.

There are an awful lot of fast cars and supercars on display this year. What you see now is an industry that has got its swagger back and wants to show off a bit rather than put its hair shirt on about high miles per gallon and these slightly more mundane things.

Like the kinds of automobiles you can only look at, not touch, can’t afford.

Audi R8 V-10 Plus

Spoiler Alert!

  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman
  • BMW 2201 Gran Tourer
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce
  • Ferrari 488 GTB

How To Keep Awake Pesky, Sleeping Mac Hard Disk Drives

Allow me to be the first to point out that my sleeping disk drive problem isn’t a problem that every Mac user has. If you don’t have a problem with disk drives going to sleep when you don’t want them to, and there are many who do not, fine. Move along; there’s nothing to see here. But if you’re using a Mac app and click the Open menu and have to wait 10 to 20-seconds for a sleeping disk drive to spin up, here’s the solution.

First, the problem. My Mac is home to a number of external disk drives connected to my Mac via USB. There’s Time Machine, a couple of disks that are clones of my Mac, and a couple of disks where I store backup files. Some of the disk drives are from different manufacturers, and most spin down into sleep mode at the worst possible time. So, opening up an Open… dialog box requires the disk drives to spin back up and that takes time and reduces my patience.

Next, the solution. Actually, it’s a simple, elegant, remarkably useful Mac utility that just works. It’s called Disksomnia. It runs in the background (but is accessible from the Mac’s Menubar) and every x-number of seconds or minutes (you get to choose in Preferences) Disksomnia writes a little text file to the external disk drive of your choice, thereby keeping the disk drive alive, awake, ready to be viewed when you click an Open… menu.

Here’s what Disksomnia looks like in the Menubar.

Disksomnia

How simple is that?

Click the On button to activate Disksomnia. Then, click the Preferences to setup Disksomnia. You can tell it’s working because the icon in the Menubar is solid (not greyed out), and the timer counts down when the next text file copy function begins.

Disksomnia works with external disk drives connected to you Mac, and effectively fixes those that refuse to honor Energy Save preferences. Any Mac user with files on multiple disk drives will understand the Open… dialog box and wait routine.

Preferences are nominal, simple, and mostly– but not quite– self explanatory.

Disksomnia Preferences

Disksomnia writes a small text file to each external disk drive every x-number of seconds (up to 999, but I left my setting at 55-seconds) to keep that disk drive spinning. The plus sign lets you select which hard disk drives to enable, and it can be set to work only when specific applications are running.

So, every 55 seconds Disksomnia writes a small text file to the selected disk drives, which prevents them from spinning down and going to sleep, which prevents the need to wait for a disk drive to spin up when opening the Open… menu in an app.

The only problem I ran into had to do with permissions on specific external disks which would not show up in the Disksomnia selected disk section (left sidebar). A quick email to the developer got a response the same day with a solution– change the permissions of the disk drives that could not be selected.

Disksomnia - Disk Permissions

All I needed to do was to select the disk drive in the Finder, do a Get Info, and select the Ignore Ownership on this Volume at the bottom of the settings. That was it.

Disksomnia is a bit more expensive than I would have preferred but it stopped a longstanding and very annoying problem– waiting for sleeping external disk drives to spin up so I can save or open a file.

What gets written to the text file? A bit of an homage to The Bee Gees, circa 1978.

Ah ha ha ha, stayin’ awake, stayin’ awake

Wonderful.

Compared: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 To Apple’s iPhone 6

Daniel Howley’s review compared the S6 to a standard display iPhone 6 instead of the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a screen size closer to the Galaxy model. Amazing similarities in the Samsung phone (Samsung has been sued by Apple and lost for copying Apple’s designs).

With a trimmed down TouchWiz, Samsung may finally be able to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the software department. It’s still too early to tell whether Samsung’s Galaxy S6 has what it takes to topple the iPhone 6, but based purely on how the phones match up on paper, the S6 at least has a shot.

Of course, Apple will announce iOS 9 this summer, and introduce the iPhone 6s models a few months after that.

The Bouncing Brick

I love this. Zach Doell on what happened when a would-be thief threw a brick into the window of a Mercedes.

Pub owner Gerry Brady and his business partner left work late one night to find a man passed out in the road next to his partner’s Mercedes E-Class Coupe. When he came to, the man was adamant that neither of the two call the police or an ambulance. Noticing the various damage to his partner’s car, Brady called the cops and reviewed his security footage to see what happened.

What happened is what should have happened.

After pelting the Mercedes’ windows with a few smaller stones, the thief then graduates to a large brick, but it’s quite obvious this Mercedes just isn’t giving up without a fight. The hurled brick bounces off the Mercedes and collides with the would-be crook’s face – knocking him out cold.

‘Beefalo’?

Anne-Marie Bullock:

There is a strange hybrid creature – an alien, the result of a failed breeding programme – causing havoc in the Grand Canyon.

Its destructive ways are alarming both environmentalists and Native American groups who want it removed, yet tourists find it so intriguing they’re putting their lives at risk to catch a glimpse.

It’s called the ‘Beefalo.’ Seriously.

This thirsty beast can consume 10 gallons each per trip to a watering hole, which means they can drink a source dry in no time.

But the animals’ environmental impact doesn’t stop there. They also defecate at the watering holes and their hefty weight compacts the soil.

Looks like a buffalo, works like a cow.

How To Edit Fonts For Fun, Profit, And Art

Way back in the day, during another life, in the days when Apple was a fledgling company that produced the LaserWriter printer, I dreamed of designing fonts for the masses. The tool of choice back then was Fontographer which Mac designers used to turn bit-mapped fonts into beautiful works of artistic fonts.

As it turned out, Fontographer was a great tool for those with patience and artistic ability and a more youthful me had less of both. Then along came TypeStyler, the Mac app which took any font and manipulated words, stylized letters, and constructed text logos with little more than point and click. It was, for those in the last century and users of Mac Classic OS, the de facto way to turn text into art.

TypeStyler came upon hard times during the early days of OS X and seemingly vanished from planet earth. A few years ago it returned, better than ever, and more affordable. What you see is what you get. Letters and words turn into art with just a few clicks.

TypeStyler

As if not wanting to ruin a good thing by improving the look and feel, TypeStyler today looks and works much like the original from back in the day. Toolbar across the top highlights basic functions, while floating palettes of tools and preferences for each can be moved around on the Mac’s screen.

TypeStyler takes pretty much whatever font or graphic shape you throw at it, and turns it into art; grunge effects, gradient fills, strokes, color combinations of each element, even 3D-like graphics. TypeStyler doesn’t care much about what size you want your creation to be. Choose stamp size or poster size. Also built-in are commercial quality packaging prototypes, a 3D visualizer (think spheres, cones, disks, planes, cylinders, et al), and the whole shebang works well and plays nice-nice with Photoshop, Illustrator, Apple’s Keynote, and other Mac graphic design tools.

The package of font and shape tools makes TypeStyler an easy way to create posters, logos, advertisements, video titles, brochures or tracts, catalogs, newsletters and anything else that need a stylistically designed combo of text and shapes.

While TypeStyler was hibernating many Mac designers flocked to Art Text which remains a popular choice for font and text manipulation; which works much the same way but costs half as much.

Shoddy Reporting

Rene Ritchie busts the attention grabbing headline that Apple’s OS X and iOS have more security vulnerabilities than other popular computer operating systems.

The relative security of a platform has nothing to do with how well a company reports the vulnerabilities they fix — though seeing good reporting is certainly comforting. The relative security of a platform certainly has nothing to do with grossly distorted and disingenuous attention-bait.

In other words, don’t worry. For OS X and iOS users, there are more threats to your security from the government, your family, your neighbor, or co-worker than from a list of so-called ‘vulnerabilities.’

Tesla’s Elon Musk Hates This Toyota

It’s quite likely that Drew Harwell is drawing on his imagination rather than asking Tesla CEO Elon Musk what he thinks about Toyota’s new hydrogen powered car, but it’s the future so anything goes, right?

Toyota this week officially rolled out what it’s betting will mark “a turning point” in automotive history — a sleek, affordable, eco-friendly “future” car that can drive for 300 miles, takes less than five minutes to charge and comes with three years of free fuel.

It’s everything haters of gas-guzzling car culture could love. And the biggest name in electric cars hates it.

Harwell is talking about Toyota’s Mirai (means ‘future’ in Japanese), a mass market car that runs on hydrogen fuel cells, so it’s even more green than electric cars, which is probably why Musk hates it, though hate is such a strong word. Musk actually said this:

If you’re going to pick an energy source mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. The best-case hydrogen fuel cell doesn’t win against the current-case batteries. It doesn’t make sense, and that will become apparent in the next few years.

Musk isn’t so much on ‘hate‘ as he is on ‘dumb‘ which changes the meaning a bit. So, why is it a dumb idea? And, why do we have to wait a few years to figure that out?

Muslims Predict Jesus Will Defeat ISIS, Beginning in 2015

Good grief. Where do these things come from? Dr. David Liepert:

One way or another the end of ISIS is in sight, and it’s all resting securely in the hands of Jesus, peace be upon him.

Uh, OK. How’s that again?

Mainstream orthodox Muslim websites are already predicting Jesus’ return as early as 2022, starting an Islamic prophetic clock set to run over the next 7 years, in the purportedly rapidly approaching run-up to Armageddon.

Somehow I missed that even though I’m known to watch CNN.

Even though ISIS claims they’re fighting on the side of the angels, it’s obvious they’re not, and it should become progressively clearer to even the most misguided Jihadi that either ISIS is wrong about Armageddon or that they’re on the wrong side, because of all the things Muslims know are supposed to happen.

Oh, boy. I see a mini-series in the making. Maybe it will be limited to Netflix. What about Jesus?

Even though Muslims and Christians disagree about what he is, with Christians claiming he’s God and Muslims declaring he’s not, everybody agrees about what sort of a person he was, is and will be: a man who fulfilled the Jewish Covenant and taught benevolent compassion to his followers, his example remaining a source of hope and inspiration to all humankind for the rest of time.

Sigh.

If You Take Photos Seriously You Need This Mac App

As a photographer, Mac user, and app reviewer I try not to review the same apps too often, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case. If you take photos and store them on your Mac you will love using Snapheal. There are a number of apps that help to remove unwanted objects in a photo and they range from nearly free to Photoshop’s monthly rental fee, but none do the deed quite as easily and effectively as Snapheal.

Start with an otherwise decent photograph that happens to have a few objects visible in the photo that you’d rather not see. Trees, telephone poles, people, pimples, or whatever. Snapheal’s simple tools make it a pleasure to delete objects you’d rather not see in the photo.

Here’s a perfect example.

Snapheal

Snapheal comes with a few additional features for color correction and photo enhancement but the claim to fame is ‘healing’ a photo by removing objects or imperfections you don’t want in the photo.

Pimples are easy. Simply dot the offending blemish with the Snapheal tool. The tool ‘reads’ the area around the pimple, then fills in the blemish hole with skin texture and tone that matches the surrounding area. The same goes for poles, trees, wires, lines, even people. Objects are erased, but the gap is filled into by calculating the texture and color of the nearby portion of the photo; think of it as spot healing.

Snapheal comes in two versions; vanilla which should be used mostly for quick photo enhancements and removal of unwanted objects, and Pro which is faster and has more precise healing, but also works as a plugin to Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture (for as long as it lasts). The developer makes a try-before-you-buy version, but that requires an email address and you will be bombarded with offers forever and ever.