The technical side of a french guy.

Serial Season 2

First season of Serial wasn't very compelling for me because of my lack of interest in the subject. This year is about the Bowe Bergdal case : the only US private who was taken hostage in the Afgan war. The in depth coverage is astounding. I'm in the third episode now, and I'm completely into it. Give it a try.

Serial Website - Listen in Overcast

To Scale : The Solar System

I couldn't pass on sharing this, as I'm reading Stephen Hawking's "A Briefer History of Time".

Giving some perspective of the real scale of our solar system really helps understanding why things like getting on Mars or sending a probe to Pluto (which isn't even represented in the video) are no small feat.

EU court rules “Skype” is too similar to “Sky,” blocks trademark application

Mark Walton, for Ars Technica :

Would you confuse "Skype" with "Sky"? It's tough, I know, but in attempting to trademark the Skype name and bubble logo, the General Court of the European Union has ruled that the name of Microsoft's Skype is so similar to British broadcaster Sky the public is likely to confuse the two.
As a French law student, I was taught to have a high opinion of the CJEU, because of it's role as the European Union's Supreme Court, who punishes countries' misdemeanor and EU's law transgressions.

Obviously, this is not the case today.

I doubt that anyone previously confused Skype and Sky as the same entity before. Okay, both use the "Sky" word, and have some representation of a cloud in their trademark, but I doubt they are the only ones to do so. More so, Skype was founded in 2003 and was a pure European product : it was made by Swedes, Estonians, and Danes before it was bought by eBay in 2005.

The best conclusion possible to this decision was made by Walton himself :

For now, just be aware that talking into your Sky+ remote isn't the way to make VOIP calls, and clicking the video icon in Skype won't bring up the new season of Game of Thrones.

Was anyone this confused?

Passion Pit new album : Kindred

Last week, Passion Pit released their new album : Kindred. As a big fan of their work, you could expect my excitement when I saw it on Spotify's recommendations. And boy was I disappointed! After the first listening, I just wondered what I just heard. This wasn't the Passion Pit that I knew, who could make amazing songs like Sleepyhead and The Reeling. This was just another bland pop record for me.

But I couldn't give up on it. And I was right to do so.

For me, Kindred might be the best Passion Pit album yet. Michael Angelakos do what he does the best : make catchy pop songs. And it shows in Lifted Up and My Brother Taught Me How To Swim (for me the 2 best titles in the album). Both are very catchy songs, with very ingenious electronic rhythms. The rest of the album is mostly good, with songs like Five Foot Ten using arcade game sounds (who give an interesting mix), Dancing On The Grave offering a melancholic tone, and Until We Can't (Let's Go) who makes you want to smash everything around you (great when you go for a run). And Angelakos voice is incredible, as usual. You keep wondering how he does it.

I'm not qualified to do a full review of the album, so all I can say is that if you know Passion Pit already, you should not be disappointed (and if you are, give the record another chance). If you aren't, but you like bands like Foster The People, you should go listen it. And if you're looking for some catchy songs, it's for you.

Kindred is available on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Photos for OS X is here

Condensed View
I previously talked about the Photos app for MacOS, during my search for a better photo management system. As I said, I previously used (and still use for backup) a combination of Dropbox and OneDrive to store my pictures, but some of them were on both Google Drive and Google Photos because I previously used an Android device, and I also used Picturelife and was getting ready to upload all of them to Amazon Cloud Photos (because Prime membership).

As you can imagine, this was not an ideal setup. Because I used too many services, some of the files were not replicated correctly on my "Master save" (OneDrive), leading into situations like almost loosing half of the pictures I took from my trip to New York City with my 2 best friends (which, ironically, are the photos that I care of the most). Also, it was just a pain in the ass managing all of this.

So, when Apple finally released the stable version of Photos, I was kinda exited. And I wasn’t really disappointed.

The editing tools of the Photos app.

I’m not going to do a review of the app, I’ll let people like Alex Guyot from Macstories doing this way better than I could. But here is a TL;DR version of it : If you have an iPhone and a Mac, and looking for a solution to keep all of your picture safe and avalaible easily on all your devices, this is the way to go.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to upload 5000 pictures over my very slow ADSL connexion (my peak upload speed is 70 kB/s). See you in 2 weeks!