Good morning! Goodbye and thanks for all the fish, and for listening to me rave about coffee most mornings. (Hooray for coffee! It literally lowers the risk of early death! Of death!)
What I learned writing this newsletter…
Okay! So first of all, The Daily Authority will continue and long may it reign. (From what I’ve seen there’s a roster of new faces from AA’s news and features team ready to tackle the daily tech newsletter from different angles, so expect a lively newsletter ahead. And yep that’s my face, saying bye on a TCL Plex from 2019!)
Before that, some farewell notes from me! A few things I’ve been thinking about that have come together as I’ve been thinking about the tech space in general.
Waiting for the next-gen:
- It’s always so tempting to wait for the next thing. The next-generation smartphone with the next-gen chipset, the next laptop with a next-gen CPU, the next game console, the next update to TVs …waiting for the next-gen is a habit.
- The newer thing is always more exciting, with 10% more speed, 8% better efficiency, 16% tougher glass… the truth is it’s usually overhyped and the older one is just as good and available now.
- It’s almost never worth upgrading from one gen to another. But we always do it: we’re always convinced that the next big thing will be worth it.
- I think the wait is usually only worthwhile if it’s a major one; like the first major refresh to a MacBook Pro in years.
- Never buy the base model of anything — always upgrade to the next level for more RAM, and more storage space.
- The key here is that companies send devices to reviewers for thorough tests and, before you ask, at respected publications it is a fair, honest review process.
- But the catch is that the company will almost never send reviewers the base spec device. It’s always the mid or top-level device.
- The base device is just there to help people say: “It starts at $499,” but you’ll want to go to the next tier up to get a device with more longevity baked in every time.
- This one is tough, and I’ve struggled with it here in the newsletter. New things coming out all the time isn’t exactly great for the environment. Doing the right thing and hanging on to a device a little longer, or buying something like a Fairphone is a good feeling.
- But you’ll inevitably see figures like “1.43 billion smartphones were sold in 2021,” and it makes your small choice feel tiny.
- I don’t have an answer here other than: We probably need to buy less stuff, and holding onto your old thing a little longer is about all you can do.
Finally, inside baseball on a newsletter:
- Plenty of people ask about writing a newsletter and how to make it work, and my answer is: above all else, consistency. Just being there is the first step.
- Best day for writing a newsletter: Monday, maybe? And that’s because Sunday is the best day to be reading online.
- The cadence of the internet is to publish longer, more thoughtful pieces on a Sunday. So, you’re probably best off being outdoors and doing some gardening on your Sunday, but if you have time in the afternoon or evenings, that’s when the best long-form think pieces and features go online.
Asus ROG Phone 6 images, specs appear online: Here’s what we know about it ahead of the July 5 launch (Android Authority).
Spiritual successor to Essential Phone is up for preorder, ships in early 2023 (Android Authority).
Instagram can now verify your age with your face with new AI technology (Android Authority).
Samsung admits to making misleading water-resistance claims about seven phones (Android Authority).
Poco F4, Poco X4 GT announced: Powerful Redmi phones in disguise (Android Authority).
Netflix cuts 300 more staff amid ongoing financial struggles (Gizmodo).
Huh, here’s an Apple Maps backpack wandering the streets of Milan (Twitter).
Juul’s e-cigarettes can’t be sold in the US, FDA says (The Verge).
Italy has banned the use of Google Analytics, due to the transfer of user data from the EU to the USA (gpdp.it)
George RR Martin confirms rumors: “Yes, there is a Jon Snow show in development.” It sounds cold, but also, Game Of Thrones fell so hard after the final season, it’ll be interesting to see if it pans out (georgerrmartin.com).
In Russia, western planes are falling apart: Aircraft operators are running out of options after months of sanctions. (Wired via Ars Technica)
Japanese city worker loses USB containing personal details of every resident (The Guardian).
Weird one: Inside the subreddit dedicated to busting shoplifters. (The “pro-shoplifting” community mentioned was banned 12 days ago) (InputMag).
Digital advertising has an energy problem: A big carbon footprint given one study found 10% of the energy usage of the internet comes from online ads (WSJ, $).
Tesla launches new virtual power plant that pays Powerwall owners to help end brownouts (Electrek).
“Did early humans have any special abilities that were lost through evolution?” (r/askscience).
What’s more fun than a rare five-planet alignment of 2022? That, with Venus joining a crescent moon!
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all together in the early pre-dawn morning sky, in the same sequence as their respective orbits as well, which is handy.
- Space.com has a good guide to what you’ll see if you do make the pre-crack-of-dawn wakeup time.
- And, with Venus joining a sliver of moon on Sunday morning, the night sky will be even more fun.
- NASA has you covered too, pointing you in the direction of southeast or south-southeast sky depending on your latitude/longitude.
- “Planetary conjunctions traditionally have been more the stuff of astrology than serious astronomy,” said Mitzi Adams, a NASA astronomer and researcher in a blog on the same topic earlier in May, “but they never fail to impress during observations, particularly when the gas giants are involved.”
Have a great life!
Tristan Rayner, former editor here, now just a guy.