Apple patents slim headphone plug

This thing essentially looks like a standard headphone plug but with a bit shaved of making it D-shaped. I really hope this is just another one of those silly things created, patented and then never used.

First, we don't need a proprietary headphone connector.

Second, proprietary or not a headphone connector that only goes in one way is incredibly stupid. If we really need to move away from standard headphone adapters then use a lightning or USB-C port at least.

Third, if you can't fit a standard 3,5mm connector in the phone, guess what, you're making it too thin!

GameStop refusing to selling Xbox One and Playstation 4 bundled with digital games

The video game retailer insists on physical discs. It's clearly in GameStop's best interests to impede the digital transformation of the industry.

While we are clearly heading towards a digital future where games aren't sold on any physical media, I'd argue it should be in every gamers interest to delay this transformation as well. The way current consoles handle this is just horrible.

Your only choice is the store built in to the console. You want to buy a game? Just one price, there's no competition. Generally makes the already too expensive console games even more expensive, especially old ones that drop in price slower. (Even on a brand new game it's generally cheaper to buy a retail copy, despite the extra materials, production and transportation involved.)

Perhaps more concerning, what do you do in 10 or 20 years when you want to play an old game? The online service is probably long since shut down so unless you got the game on the drive you're out of luck.

Fortunately we have PCs in the market where the multiple digital distributors are far more likely to be around in a decade than the current console generations built in stores are.

Macbook Air

Back in late spring I got myself a MacBook Air, the 2014 11" model to be specific. 2014 because of the price, it was discounted and the 2015 went up in price despite not being much of an update.

Anyway, I noted down some thoughts on it but then never got around to posting them until now.


  • Outstanding build quality.
  • MagSafe is just amazing. Not because I trip over the cable but I love how you can just hold the power connector close to where it goes and it snaps in place. The old L-shaped connector looks like it'd be nicer though, not a big fan of how the cord stick straight out.
  • Comes with both a cable and a plug for the charger. Most PCs just come withone or the other from what I've seen. Having the option of plugging the charger straight in to the outlet or extending with an extra cable is really nice.
  • Great keyboard, but that comes from someone who has always loved scissor-switch laptop keyboards. Just like the feel of it.
  • Track pad is fantasitc. As many times as I've heard this I didn't quite believe how good it could be. Having only used PC trackpads before I expect that I'd want to by a mouse for the MacBook within a week but nope, there's absolutely no need. Nice, smothe surface. Very precise, which is usually the biggest issue with PC trackpads.
  • The screen while not the best it could be is actually really good for a TN panel. It's definitely not as bad as people like to say. I'm not saying Apple shouldn't have put an IPS display in the Air a year or two ago, they should have, but all in all I do think it's a good screen.


  • When setting up OS X I had to tell it what keyboard layout to use. It's a laptop made by a company known for tight integration between software and hardware, you'd think it would know the layout.
  • Keyboard layout is somewhat different from the standard Swedish PC layout. The main keys are the same but the Alt combos are quite different.
  • To make the last point worse, the only Alt key combo that is marked on the keyboard is '@'. Want some brackets? Time to Google or you could try random key combos until you find it. Yes, there's the keyboard viewer but most new users won't know about that, I sure didn't.
  • What you'd think would be rubber pads on the bottom is in fact just hard plastic. Provides little to no grip at all.
  • Wish I could open the lid just a little bit more. Not much of a negative, but would have been nice.
  • I had to install a third-party app to be able to close the lid and not have the computer go to sleep. OS X isn't lacking in configuration options in general so it was surprising to find it lacking this basic option.
  • I hate how the Finder can’t ever be closed and how it has an invisible window. Why? Because it always shows up in the task switcher (CMD+Tab) and if you cycle though Finder windows there is a point where there is no window in focus… The Finder is responsible for the desktop icons and that’s why you can’t close it, seems to me that’s reason enough to break out the desktop to a separate process and let the Finder just be the file manager.

More on the keyboard layout

The issue isn't just that the layout is different and not marked on the keys, the layout is also rather stupid. I see the logic behind it, but it's stupid. They put square and curly bracket on 8 and 9. So it's grouped with parentheses, makes logical sense, having to use Alt+Shift+8 to get a curly bracket however does not. Similarly backslash and the pipe symbol have been grouped with slash, logical but stupid. I also noticed that Alt+5 gives a § which is a bit odd since it has it's own key right below Esc.

On a Swedish PC keyboard curly brackets are on AltGr+7/0, square brackets are on AltGr+8/9, backslash is on AltGr++ and the pipe is on AltGr+< (On Swedish keyboard < and > are both on the key next to left Shift).

I'll give them some credit though, Apple put € on Shift+4 rather than AltGr+E. Not a big difference you might say, '4' and 'E' are close to each other and you only use on modifer key. All true, but Shift+4 is a lot easier to do with one hand. On PCs Shift+4 is wasted on '¤'. No, I have no idea what that symbol is used for either...

Fortunately, thanks to an app called Ukulele it was easy to create a new keyboard layout which works more like what I'm used to. I considered just getting used to the Mac layout but frankly, it's just stupid, and I use a PC keyboard all day at work and my main computer at home.

Ars Technica reviews Google/TP-link OnHub router

Google's OnHub is a bit of a mystery. Google shipped us this box—well, this cylinder—but it won't really talk about what's in it or why it exists.
OnHub has a solid inner cylinder surrounded by a hollow plastic shell, which serves no purpose other than to look pretty. For now the shell comes in blue and black, and Google says more personalization options will be available later.
Like a lot of things on the OnHub, the USB port is mysterious and doesn't work right now. Will it be for NAS support? A debug mode? Only time will tell.
On the top of the OnHub are a bunch of ventilation holes, but one of the holes is not a hole. It's plugged up with what Google tells us is an ambient light sensor that will someday adjust the ring light based on the amount of lighting in the room. Right now it's not active.
OnHub also has a speaker—and not a tiny, quiet speaker, but a really loud speaker. So far, we've only seen it used during setup.

Launched a bit early? I mean, $200 for a WiFi router with a hint of more functionality being added in the future, just seems like an odd move. Why not wait until you know what you'll do with it an can market it properly? Especially when as just a router it can't compete with others in the same price range?

Discs for MGS 5 Phantom Pain on PC contains nothing but Steam installer

Just a Steam installer, that's it. A DVD with a whopping 8 megabytes of data. In other words, the retail version is a Steam key bundle with some useless plastic that'll go straight in the bin (no reason to keep it).

Yet, despite this waste of plastic, manufacturing and transport, the retail version is almost 20% cheaper than buy on Steam, at least here in Sweden.

Retail price is around 399 sek which convert to roughly €42, on Steam it costs €59.99.

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