Filming the Show: Pardon the Intrusion? Or Punish It? – The New York Times

Joshua Henry, the star of a new Off Broadway musical called “The Wrong Man,” had tried repeatedly to signal his disapproval to the man in the onstage seating who was using his smartphone to capture his performance, but he wasn’t getting through.

By the third song, Mr. Henry had had enough. So he reached into the seats, deftly grabbed the phone out of the man’s hand, wagged it disapprovingly, and tossed it under a riser — all mid-song, without skipping a beat. “I knew I had to do something,” he explained later.

Just a few nights earlier, in Ohio, the renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter had stopped playing Beethoven mid-concerto to ask a woman in the front row to quit making a video of her. After the woman rose to reply, she was escorted out of the hall by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s president, and the music resumed.

Both artists were cheered — first in person, later on social media — for taking a stand against the growing ranks of smartphone addicts who cannot resist snapping pictures and making recordings that are often prohibited by rule or by law, that are distracting to performers and patrons, and that can constitute a form of intellectual property theft.

There’s a lot of discussion around this, in part because most of the people who use their phones during concerts or plays are not regular patrons of these forms of entertainment. It’s one thing to spend your time with your camera in your hand during a rock concert, hoping to get some pics or videos, but it’s another to do so when it disturbs both the performers and the audience, as in classical concerts or plays.

I go to the theater often, notably at my local, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and I’ve never seen people take their phones out during a play, but I have heard of such incidents that have occurred there. I have heard the occasional phone ring during a performance, even though people are told to ensure that their phones are off before performances begin. I not only put my phone and my Apple Watch in airplane mode, but I also put my Apple Watch in theater mode, so when I move it doesn’t light up and disturb anyone.

It’s really just a question of manners. People think that they can act like louts because they’ve paid to buy tickets, but they need to learn to respect others.

Source: Filming the Show: Pardon the Intrusion? Or Punish It? – The New York Times

Ringtones Composed by Brian Eno for the Nokia 8800 Scirocco Phone

Many people know that Brian Eno composed the Start tone for Windows 95, which has become his most-heard piece of music. But Eno also composed ringtones for the Nokia 8800 Scirocco phone, which was released back in 2006.

OpenCulture has an article about this today, and includes a YouTube “video” which plays all these ringtones. As the article says, they do somewhat recall the Laraji album which was part of his Ambient series of records back in the 1970s and 1980s. But when you hear the ringtones you can tell that Eno really did try to compose music out of the limited palette of sounds that was available.

At that time they were asking you to compose a piece of music, but you could only use those sounds. They would compose ringtones out of these – beep boo boop, beepy noises. So I thought, ‘That’s hopeless – what can you do with that?’ You know the sound I mean, neep neep neep; so people were composing neep-neep neep-neep nee-nee nee-nee. In the meantime things changed so they had polyphonic tones; so you could actually have more complicated sounds. It’s not really a great medium for writing music.

You can also download the ringtones here.

“Screen burn-in isn’t an uncommon issue, but it does seem especially worrisome that it’s showing up within a week or so of these units coming into usage. It’s also possible that what we’re looking at here is image retention instead of actual screen burn-in. If that’s the case, then it’s not as permanent. Neither one is good, but ‘ghosting’ goes away where burn-in may not.”

I don’t even know what to say about this. Screen burn-in – or even “image retention” – after a week? This is laughable, and it’s a shame, because it would be a good thing for Google to become a serious competitor for Apple to be pushed harder to innovate.

Source: Google ‘actively investigating’ reports of Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in – The Verge

Leica’s Owner Dreams of a ‘True Leica Phone’ – PetaPixel

During an interview with CNBC, Andreas Kaufmann (the owner and chairman of Leica) said that it was a “personal dream” of his to reinvent the smartphone camera.

“Every smartphone is wrong for photography at the moment… the phone nowadays is not fit really for photography… it’s used as a camera, it’s used as a video camera, but it’s not built that way and I think there’s a long way to go still,” he tells CNBC.

Despite offering no clear solutions, he said that he was “not sure whether the company can do [this]…[but] one dream would be my personal dream: a true Leica phone.”

The problem with this is that, while it might be a good camera, it would likely be a crappy phone, because it would run Android. So what’s the point? Or is he subtly suggesting that he wants the iPhone to integrate a Leica camera? I can’t really see that happening; Apple has too much invested in its own camera.

Source: Leica’s Owner Dreams of a ‘True Leica Phone’

Sprint Acquires 33 Percent of TIDAL and Creates Game-Changing Partnership | Sprint Newsroom

Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.

Uh, okay. Sure, they have some exclusives, but nobody cares that much.

This said, I’ve been predicting for a while that we’d see more telecom companies either buying streaming services, or working with them to bundle those services with phone contracts. One hurdle to successful streaming music is the cost of data, and presumably Sprint will either make Tidal data free, or charge much less for it.

However, Sprint, being almost entirely US-only (they have some presence in Latin America), won’t be able to offer Tidal streaming to users around the world. Perhaps they’ll make deals with other carriers, but this puts Tidal in a silo. Granted, if Sprint gets enough of its 45 million customers to opt in, that’ll be good for Sprint. Their goal is, obviously, to use Tidal – either free or at a discount – as a carrot toward locking customers into a phone contract. Because if you’re committed to a music streaming service, you’re less likely to switch to another carrier. (Or so they hope.)

Source: Sprint Acquires 33 Percent of TIDAL and Creates Game-Changing Partnership | Sprint Newsroom

It’s the moment we’ve all been dreading. Initial findings from a massive federal study, released on Thursday, suggest that radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cellphones, can cause cancer.

The findings from a $25 million study, conducted over two-and-a-half years by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma, and also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.

This is one of those subjects that has been hotly debated, but this multi-year study suggests that there is indeed an increased risk.

Personally, I use a headset whenever I make a call more than a minute or so; not because I’m worried about radiation, but because holding a phone to my ear for a long time hurts my shoulder.

I’ve also wondered about Bluetooth radiation. Those wrist computers many of us are wearing now; could they be dangerous?

Source: “Game-Changing” Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer – Mother Jones

Apple in talks to launch an MVNO in the US and Europe – Business Insider

Here’s how an Apple MVNO will work: Instead of paying your carrier every month, you will pay Apple directly for data, calls, and texts. Apple then provides you with everything you used to get from your carrier, but the Apple SIM switches between carriers to get the best service. The telecoms companies auction capacity to Apple so it can run the service.

I remember people laughing at me when I suggested this back in January

Source: Apple in talks to launch an MVNO in the US and Europe – Business Insider

Update: CNBC reports that Apple has denied this rumor. This is interesting, because Apple generally never denies rumors.

In Which I Try Out a Windows Phone, and Am Pleasantly Surprised

Just over a year ago, I experimented with an Android phone. I’d been curious about Android, and felt the best way to appreciate what it offers–and compare it to iOS–was to try it out in a real-world situation.

This past Christmas, a visitor proudly showed me his Windows phone, and I was intrigued. After getting a good tour of the Windows Phone OS, I decided to buy a cheap, unlocked phone and try it for myself. I’ve been using it off and on for the past two months. While I wouldn’t switch from my iPhone, I’m quite impressed by what Microsoft has done.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

Why Apple Should Become a Mobile Phone Provider

You can buy an iPhone and a contract with a specific mobile provider at the same time. But imagine a different situation, where Apple sells you a new iPhone or iPad and also sells you, if you choose, a contract to connect that device to any network, perhaps, even, and any country. And the provider you sign up with is Apple. For a monthly fee, Apple could provide you with a full range of services: calls, texts, data, cloud storage, music streaming, access to videos, and much more, and give you unlimited data for any of its own services. You would no longer have to worry about data caps for, say, streaming music or movies, And Apple could probably do this much more cheaply than current mobile phone operators.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.