Jony Ive has left the building. Wow. I’m one of the true believers in the Lennon-McCartney dynamic of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive. Steve Jobs was a true design champion, and knew how to give someone as gifted as Ive the space and the constraints to do his best work. When Jobs passed, Ive had the tools to continue to be a design leader, but he also showed signs of weakness - particularly around software UI and UX.

The biggest problem with the departure of Ive is that the company is restructuring rather than replacing him. Design now reports to Operations. There’s a gap in the idea of who, in a very specific sense, is driving design at Apple. And Apple has always been a design led company.

I’d figured he had proteges there, and many great designers would have wanted to be part of his team. There’s been rumours of his desire to leave for a few years now, so I’d have thought a succession plan may have been underway. But the changes suggest this is the true end of an era for Apple.

I’m sure there’s a roadmap for the next couple of years of new hardware. How things evolve beyond there will be very interesting to watch.

Culture

Memes Are the New Pop Stars: How TikTok Became the Future of the Music Industry

Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ is both a chart-topping phenomenon and a turning point for the music business. Here’s what happens when a social media platform becomes a label.

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Zuckerberg: Very Good Case Deepfakes Are Completely Different From Misinformation

In an interview, the Facebook CEO hinted that the company is trying a new approach to misleading videos created through artificial intelligence. IMO deepfakes are going to become the biggest media disinformation problem of the 21st Century.

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How Social Media Regulation Could Fail To Stop The Bad Stuff And Just Make The Platforms Stronger

A dystopian ‘Op-ed from the future’ from science fiction writer Cory Doctorow, but an interesting thought experiment in how regulation needs to be well thought through to actually do what we need it to.

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Dozens Of Colorado Drivers Got Stuck After Blindly Following Google Maps Into A Mud Pit

This week, nearly a hundred drivers followed a digital Pied Piper into an empty field in Colorado. This isn’t your usual error, but a traffic avoidance detour near an airport gone wrong. And when enough cars were all given the same suggestion, does it seem a bad idea if there’s a bunch of cars coming with you?

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Destroyer of worlds

A fascinating look at the man who created 8chan, one of the nastiest corners of the internet. A painful and angry childhood took him down one path, but now he’s in a very different place and sees ‘unbridled freedom of speech’ as a theatre where only the worst and loudest ideas win.

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Woah...

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance—by their heartbeat

The Jetson prototype can pick up on a unique cardiac signature from 200 meters away, even through clothes.

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How Cutting-Edge Tech Is Empowering Ancient Archaeology

Scientists are using new high-tech tools like lidar cameras, 3D mapping, drones, and more to revolutionize archaeology — and restore old buildings like Notre Dame Cathedral.

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GrubHub is buying up thousands of restaurant web addresses to control their web presence

It also appears to publish shadow pages without owners’ consent – sometimes in direct competition with real websites. A messy situation where a digital business partner slowly takes too much control.

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Raspberry Pi 4 on sale now from US$35

As nerdy as this tiny computer is, the specs are closing in on being able to replace a desktop for many basic operations. It now supports dual monitors, has 4K video hardware decoding, and lots of ports and add-ons available. It’s great to see this little thing keep evolving but maintain its tiny price.

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Latest Byteside podcasts

This week I kicked off the latest show, The Game Table, all about tabletop gaming and the communities that drive these games. Here’s the first few episode links (and there’s a competition running to win some books and trinkets so get on it!)

Jerry Holkins & Jeremy Crawford on Acquisitions Inc and the magic of D&D

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Deborah Ann Woll and Xander Jeanneret from Relics & Rarities

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Kate Welch & Pat Rothfuss on making characters and the easy way to be a good DM

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Matthew Lillard, WizKids, and making cool enhancements to our tables

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