Perpetually in search of what’s next. Marketing + Code at Hoist Apps and Writing @ The Next Web

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Smashing through the media hype: iPhone 5s fingerprint reader not really “less secure” or “hacked”

This morning the media fear machine is swirling with the news that the iPhone 5s fingerprint reader has been “hacked” by taking a high resolution image of the user’s prints. Before we go any further, watch the video above.

The group simply called “CCC” describes the process as being simple enough to do with household material, then goes on to say in the next sentence that “the fingerprint of the enrolled user [needs to be] photographed with 2400 dpi resolution.”

For those of you following at home, taking a 2400DPI image of a fingerprint is not exactly a simple task and will require quite a bit of digital cleanup before it can be used, as per the how-to walk though. If you read through the process, it’s a long, slow process that your average thief would not likely have the time or motivation to undergo.

I’ll agree that no...

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The web isn’t as easy as it used to be for new developers

I’ve always been interested in technology and lately things have taken a new turn. More and more I’ve become interested in how the web is built and began to learn about what it takes to become a front-end web developer. The thing is, it’s not actually as straightforward as I thought it would be.

Less than ten years ago if you wanted to build your own website it was as simple as signing up for a Geocities account, hacking together a little HTML and then putting it up there for the world to see.

Today, not so much. Especially if you want to start building things for other people. With the advent of the modern web, mobile devices and responsive web design everything changed. There are now highly complex web applications that have to work on every screen size and type of device. It’s exciting, but daunting if you have no idea where to start.

There are too many...

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iPhone 5S/5C release dates for New Zealand


Update: 10/10: The iPhone 5s/5c have now been announced for New Zealand. Well, the moral of the story on this is any source can’t be trusted and you shouldn’t believe rumors.

Original Story:

For some strange reason, Apple has been completely silent about the iPhone 5S and 5C dates for New Zealand. Previously, they’ve announced us alongside Australia, but not this year.

Here’s what I’ve heard: iPhone 5S and 5C won’t be released with the initial wave of devices next week here in NZ, but we’ll get them in a second wave on October 10.

As for pricing, I’ve heard that the 5S will start at $1020 for the 16GB model and the 5C will start at $799.

I’ll update this post when I hear more but it looks like the carriers are the roadblock here, not Apple.

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Smoke and mirrors: The iPhone 5C was never the ‘cheap’ version


The rumor mill has been swirling for weeks on end with talk of the iPhone 5C. If you believed the rumors and the noise the press was making, the iPhone 5C is the cheap phone that Apple was going to release to compete in the mid-range smartphone market.

Unfortunately, all of these leaks and rumors have confused a lot of people and many are in uproar on Twitter today at how Apple could charge so much for a “cheap” version of the iPhone and how they ever believe they’re going to compete with that.

The problem here is, among all the media speculation and hype people began to believe Apple was going to introduce the iPhone 5C to compete at the low-priced end of the smartphone market. It never was. The ‘C’ does not stand for cheap.

If you look at the iPhone 5C now that it’s announced and the simple fact that Apple has suddenly chosen to discontinue the...

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Samsung announces watch but misses the point entirely


It’s obvious this was rushed out the door to “win” the smartwatch race. Samsung didn’t actually create something that adds value here, they just released a watch that does everything your smartphone does, except it’s strapped to your wrist. It even comes with Android’s abysmal battery life, only lasting 10 hours between charges.

I don’t know if they’re ignorant or just idiotic, but they’re at odds with at least a century of watch manufacture and design here. They’ve released something that isn’t visually appealing at all, doesn’t add value to the smartphone experience (by the way, it requires a system update for your smartphone to actually work too) and is so over complicated that it’s pointless.

For a smartwatch to be successful it would be something that’s visually appealing (the fashion part of...

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Microsoft’s Nokia buy makes no sense but could just work


Wow. What a whirlwind twelve hours. Late yesterday, Microsoft and Nokia started a PR assault with the headline: “Microsoft to acquire Nokia‚Äôs devices & services business.”

I’ve got to admit, I was a little in shock. I had been saying last week that I believed Microsoft would need to purchase Nokia in the near future, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

Well, here we are. Nokia, the once-great phone giant has succumb to Microsoft. An essential full-buyout of Nokia’s supply chain, distribution, manufacture, hardware design and patents. It’s hard to believe that Nokia, a company that made 12.7 Billion Euro a year just seven years ago is now lost to time.

I’ve spent the last twelve hours wondering why such a move is necessary. Microsoft and Nokia have long been in a strategic partnership, with Nokia dedicated to Windows Phone and...

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Twitter design tweak alienates existing user base but is preparing the company for IPO

Today, Twitter made an interesting tweak to the way that the website presents conversations amongst users. The company added a new indicator and way to surface conversations across their site. Behold.


The new view always shows the original tweet that started the conversation at the start, then it lists the replies below. The problem is, if you follow a lot of people that talk to each other frequently, you start seeing the same tweet repeating throughout your timeline. Over and over.

Every time someone you follow replies to the tweet, it’ll pop up again. At time of writing, a tweet by a friend is showing up five times on one page because everyone is engaging with him. It ultimately clutters the experience and ruins it for long time active users. Tweets are jumping all over the place through the feed and it jumbles the view very quickly when you follow just a few hundred people....

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Nuance spills the beans on September 10 iOS 7 launch date


We all know about the impending announcement of the iPhone 5S and 5C, the rumored date and even the colors that it’ll be available in but we still didn’t have a real confirmation from Apple that it’s actually happening.

Nuance – the company behind Siri – sent out this email earlier today to developers in their voice recognition program telling them that “as you are probably aware, iOS 7 GA (General Availability) will be released on September 10th” and that they should ensure their applications work properly with the new bits before then.

Considering Nuance’s intimate involvement with Apple in the past this is as real as it gets outside of Apple itself inviting the media to the event. Of course, there’s a chance that Nuance has no idea and is just hedging their bets that the leaks are right but given their proximity to Apple I...

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Android is better? Not if you look deeper.

A post circulated the web by a designer at Twitter yesterday – Paul Stamatiou – that made a bold claim: Android is better. The post, which covers off a range of reasons why Android is better than iOS really paints a great picture of how far Android has come since the days of Gingerbread but fails to really mention the large gaps and downfalls of the ecosystem. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

Late last year after the iPhone 5 was announced I wrote a post entitled “Why I won’t be buying the iPhone 5” which spread quite a bit. I’m here today – a year on – to admit that I have actually purchased an iPhone 5. The post itself was directly about Windows Phone 8, but that was a complete disappointment. It ultimately has gone nowhere in an entire year so I never switched. The theory was good but the execution was not there....

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The incredible intangible value of Twitter


Hot on the heels of writing about how I’ve left Facebook, I want to share just how much Twitter has changed my life. The value of 140 characters is not perceived by many to add much to their life, but it’s changed my world.

I’m 22 right now and grew up for a brief moment in a world where the internet didn’t exist. A world where kids called each other on the phone to arrange play dates and parents called each other to gossip rather than texting. This same world struggled to deal with the wide array of networking possibilities that became available with the advent of the internet.

For most of my childhood – and doubtlessly for most of you who are reading this too – I was taught by both my parents and the media that there are strange people on the internet and that it’s a place to be feared rather than embraced. That we should be careful...

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