In Next Big Move, Apple Removes Screen From iPhone

Citing “radical innovation,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announced Tuesday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) that the iPhone 8 will have no display.

“This is old, outdated technology and something we need to move away from,” Schiller reportedly said. Speaking to a full auditorium at the popular event, he added, “This is radical innovation and it’s up to us to spearhead it.”

The iPhone 8, which is due to be released in the end of September, has been highly anticipated by technology analysts and consumers alike. Even before the release of its predecessor, the iPhone 7, there were predictions that Apple would be completely redesigning its flagship device for the tenth anniversary.

Apple famously announced in 2016 it was removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, citing “courage” in this instance.

When asked for further comment at the event, Schiller specified that the iPhone 8 will be a “voice-only” device. “You use your voice for everything,” he explained. “Typing and visual feedback via a display are outdated. It’s time to move on from this. By using Siri, [Apple’s voice-activated personal assistant introduced in iOS 5] you can call, text, take photos, and send these photos to iCloud or email—all without touching or looking at a screen. Basically, it’s completely unnecessary to have one.”

Analysts noted that removing the touchscreen will save Apple billions in manufacturing costs, both directly since the glass and touchscreen processors will no longer be needed, and indirectly due to the smaller battery needed to power the new phone. “See, you don’t need this massive battery anymore because you don’t have a big screen eating up power. The new battery is fifty percent smaller but gives the same battery life as in the iPhone 7 Plus,” an Apple engineer said. The engineer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Apple also announced the phone will retail at $1,256 for the 64 GB model and $1,712 for the 128 GB model. Apple’s stock reached record highs after the announcement, peaking at $2,000 per share during after-hours trading the day of the announcement, making the Cupertino-based tech giant the first company in history to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization.

“It’s really amazing,” Jennifer Price, a consumer technology analyst at Barclays Capital, noted. “It’s like Apple can’t do anything wrong. No matter what they do, people want it.”

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Note: This article is satire! Don’t freak out too much, everyone. 😉 Seriously though, I wrote it as a joke a while back when I was frustrated with Apple’s removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7, something that has been talked about quite a bit online. As you can probably tell from the article, I wasn’t a fan of that move—and I’m still not. The absence of a headphone jack is one of several reasons why I probably will not be buying another iPhone. It’s not the only reason, but it is a reason that factored into my decision. Anyway, this post is the first in a series of posts in which I plan to talk about Apple and my changing thoughts on the company. Stay tuned!

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New Theme: Libretto

Yes, I know I recently changed my blog theme… but I decided to change it again! I’ve been wanting to try out this new one for a while. Not only do I love what it looks like, I also love its name: Libretto. A libretto is the text used in an opera or other long work of music that has a vocal component. In Italian, it literally means “little book.” Whoever designed this theme must have some musical knowledge. (Or maybe they just really liked the word, which is a perfectly valid reason to choose that name!) Anyway, I like it because it’s refreshingly different from any other blog theme I’ve had for a while.

Vacation!

Palm Trees

Dear readers, I am on vacation and it is absolutely glorious. I don’t have to get up and drive to work in all the traffic. I don’t have to do actual work or listen to annoying coworkers. (Really, there are just two annoying ones but between both of them, they make enough noise for ten people.) And best of all, I’ll be to work on my writing at all hours of the day (and night) if I want to. Personally, I think every day should be a vacation day or a weekend so that I can write more. 🙂

Image source.

No Wednesday Music Today

I forgot to write a post, so there will be no Wednesday Music today. I’ll try to get something up later this week, but if I can’t, I’ll have a post next week.

People Love Me! (Serbian Version)

I keep forgetting to tell you about this very cool thing that happened. Remember when I got all excited and wrote a post about finding out the release date for a Russian TV show I’m totally obsessed with called Rodina? Well, some random Serbian guy named Aleksandar translated my post into Serbian on his blog! I don’t read Serbian well (and by that I mean basically not at all), but I’m pretty sure he said some nice things in the first paragraph where he introduces me and my blog. Aleksandar, if you’re reading this, thanks! And I hope you’ll come back to my blog and read more of it. (I make a valiant attempt to read yours. I understand probably one word in ten, but that’s okay.)

Update: Now this post is also on the blog—minus a translation, though! 🙂

Wednesday Music: Mozart’s Adagio For Violin And Orchestra in E-Major, K. 261

I feel like I sort of failed my readers this week because I didn’t have a Wednesday music post. It’s not that I didn’t know what to post (I’ve been planning to put this piece up since last week); it’s that I kind of just didn’t post. So that the Cause of Converting Everyone to Classical Music doesn’t fail, I’m posting today.

This week’s piece is Mozart, again. (Can you tell I really like Mozart?!?) It’s his Adagio in E Major for Violin and Orchestra, K. 261. I played it with my violin teacher at university and it’s one of those pieces that’s harder than it initially looks. Seriously, there are some tricky rhythms in there. Here’s a bit about it:

  • Most scholars seem to agree that it was written as a replacement for the second movement of his Violin Concerto No. 5. I’ve played the slow movement for that piece, too, and it’s also great, but apparently Mozart didn’t think so.
  • Unlike other works he wrote for violin and orchestra, this piece features two flutes instead of oboes.
  • This is completely subjective, but this is one of my favorite pieces to play on the violin. I used to play it a lot in university when I lived with two other roommates. One appreciated it; one did not. (The one who didn’t thought I was interrupting her study time too much.)

I’ve chosen the Arthur Grumiaux recording because this is what I have on my iPod and it’s one of the best. It doesn’t have those sickening slides like Joshua Bell’s rendition does. (But seriously, when was a Joshua Bell recording ever good?) Enjoy!

Or click here to see on YouTube

WordPress Comment Spam

I changed the settings on this blog last night so that posts older than thirty days will not be able to have comments left on them. I personally don’t mind when people leave comments on old posts—it’s just that the spam was getting to me. I do have a spam filter, but every once in a while a nasty little spam comment will sneak through. I suppose it’s inevitable, as I receive, on average, twenty thousand spam comments a month. No, that is not a typo. It’s pretty crazy and I’m very tired of managing it, so I’m going to try turning off the comments on old posts. If you want to discuss these posts with me, that’s fine—just leave a comment on a newer post referencing the post in question, or talk to me on Twitter. 🙂

Amusement

Okay, this is just funny. I was going through some old documents on my computer when I saw this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 8.49.15 PM

Somehow, between being created in 2005 on my old Dell laptop and being transferred to a Mac in 2006, the metadata of this file became so corrupted. The idea of creating something in Microsoft Word in 1969 is hilarious. I wasn’t born then, and Microsoft Word didn’t even exist!

I think the real question here is: was December 31, 1969 really a Wednesday? Indeed, a brief glance at this perpetual calendar reveals it was.

Changes Afoot

Note: this post is sticky; scroll down for new posts!

Apologies to anyone who has had trouble accessing this blog in the past few days. I have been switching over to a new system, so things might have been a bit odd. I think everything is up and working now.

The most important change is the URL: my address is now fluenthistorian.com, NOT blog.fluenthistorian.com. The latter should redirect to the former, but you probably ought to update your bookmarks and links anyway. 🙂

Website Hosting Woes And Domain Names

The WordPress logo, superimposed on some... futurey space stuff.
The WordPress logo, superimposed on some… futurey space stuff.

This October, I will have, as I have every year, the opportunity to make a decision about my web hosting. Right now, I own a domain and I also have a web hosting account with GoDaddy, the only web hosting service I have ever used. With this hosting account, I have the WordPress blogging platform installed and I use it for all my blogging purposes.

I’m actually considering doing something radical and new with this site’s hosting once October arrives: switching to WordPress.com hosting. I would keep the domain name the same (though I may be switching off my subdomain, but don’t worry about this, I will put in code to redirect you to the site if necessary). However, WordPress offers a domain mapping upgrade for $13 per year. This is significantly less than what I pay to GoDaddy each year for hosting (about $50, depending on what kind of coupon I can find on the internet).

Switching to WordPress.com hosting will definitely cut down on the features I have available (I can pretty much do anything with the current hosting I have). But right now, I don’t actually use a lot of the features I have. Since I like making lists with pros and cons, that’s what I’m going to do for this.

  • If I switch, I’ll be constrained to WordPress.com themes. Some of these are paid; others are free. I’ll miss trying out random themes from the internet, but my favorite theme, the one I use anyway, is actually from WordPress.com, so I will be able to continue using it.
  • I won’t be able to use plugins if I switch. That’s sad, but WordPress.com does have a ton of widgets, most of which I use anyway on this blog (through a service called Jetpack that gives non-WordPress.com users features we are missing out on). I think the plugin I would miss the most is the Simple Social Icons plugin that I’m currently using in my sidebar. There is a workaround to have something like this if I switch, though.
  • The comment form will be different from my current one. Personally, I think the WordPress.com one is sort of ugly, but I know a lot of people like it. Perhaps I’m in the minority here and my readers won’t be bothered.
  • If I switch, I’ll be on the WordPress.com social network. This is a huge plus, in my opinion. WordPress.com was started as a free option for people who didn’t want to bother with buying hosting space and setting up the WordPress platform (I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not for the faint of heart). It has blossomed into a social network over the years, always centered around blogging, but it also offers people the opportunity to interact with each other. (And the best part is it’s a non-annoying social network, like Twitter, not like Facebook, possibly my least-favorite website in existence).

Looking over that list, it seems like I’m really leaning towards switching. 🙂

Another completely unrelated issue I have with this blog is the URL. I plan on keeping the fluenthistorian.com domain. My question is whether I should drop the subdomain. See how the address for any page or post on this blog is http://blog.fluenthistorian.com? I am debating whether to get rid of that bit that says ‘blog’. I originally set it up that way so that the domain without the word ‘blog’ (i.e. http://fluenthistorian.com) could be a homepage of sorts for me. The only problem is I never actually use that homepage. I sort of wish I had just never set up the whole ‘blog’ subdomain in the beginning because if I do decide to switch it, it will be a huge headache for me with databases and important and such.

So, dear readers, any opinions on either issue I’ve discussed? Should I switch to the cheaper hosting at WordPress.com? Should I drop the ‘blog’ from my URL?