In this section, we recommend the content that we liked most this week. It may not be new, and have a range of formats, the only thing that matters is that it managed to distinguish itself from everything else we heard, read or viewed in the past week.
When Apple launched the iPhone X, the sensor array housing, aka the notch was perhaps one of the most divisive feature. You see the home button add a lot of purposeful functionality to it, one of the most important to Apple was the way it made any iPhone easily identifiable. That's great product design, imbue a useful piece of hardware with a significant and unique design characteristic and everyone will associate even the slightest hint or stylised shape with your product.
Removing such an asset must have been a tough decision for Apple engineers and marketing teams. So they came up with another feature that would become a useful part of the device and strong "landmark" of the iPhone X and future devices. The notch.
Brad Elis wrote a great deep dive article about the notch, as he puts it "fortunately, deep nerd shit is my specialty". It's an impressive look, on how much detail Apple as put on such a small (but important!) part of the device.
If you're a Black Mirror fan, then you should give a try to The Big Loop. This new podcast shares a lot with the Netflix series. The theme aims directly at weird horror, drama and sometimes intelligently scripted intriguing concepts of utopian futures. Episodes are independent of each other, so you can start to listen to whatever episode you fancy. This episode, the most recent one, is called "The Surrogate" and it tells the story of a woman whose profession deals with being the receptacle for the clients' bad memories and traumas, within this futuristic company that has the technology to do so. This start getting weird very fast and she starts experiencing things that aren't there, that she can see, hear and even touch.
It's masterfully produced with great voice acting and the stories are very well written indeed. It's produced by Paul Bae, who's also related to The Black Tapes Podcast.
Are you big on Japan anime universe? I sure am, always looking for exciting, beautiful new shows to sink my teeth into. Unfortunately, in recent years I found myself lacking the time to indulge in this hobby as much as I would like, I even dropped my Crunchyroll subscription. Netflix to the rescue. Effectively Netflix is becoming a great place to search for old classics and new and exclusive series alike! That's exactly the case for Netflix original content new Anime, "Devilman Crybaby". It's raw, a lot of times even disturbing, the artwork has a lot of flair for 70's Japanese manual drawing style and the story and rhythm is unlike any other show I've seen to date.
All of that is to say that it’s visually stunning, thanks to director Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Ping Pong: The Animation, Adventure Time). And for as unusual and bizarre as it frequently gets, Devilman Crybaby is easily the most addicting and innovative Anime in a while.
What does a bullet train in Japan has in common with birds? Several things, in fact, different parts of it imitate different birds or more specifically some part of the anatomy of those birds. From the feathers to the beak, mimicking nature made the 1997 model of the bullet train, 10% faster, 15% more efficient and reduced the noise it produced. It's just one example of Biomimicry and how engineers learn to solve complex problems by observing nature and identifying the solutions achieved by evolution.
Castro 2 is one of the best podcast players available but like so many others, its revenue it's not enough to sustain its two developers. Despite its quality, it suffers from a few disadvantages because of its a paid upfront app in a market that has been transitioning to, free with in-app purchases, advertisement, and subscriptions. According to its developers, this app made most of its revenue in the first month after launch an now the few sales they have aren't capable of sustaining its continued development. Has they are working to release a third version of the app they already have run out of money and are now using the revenue obtained by selling the Unread app last year. Listen to this episode to understand the difficulties of indie developers and their search for a sustainable business model, and maybe buy a copy of Castro 2; it worths more than the few dollars it costs in the App Store.