Solar System sticker pack for iMessage

When back in June Apple announced sticker packs for iMessage at the WWDC as part of iOS 10, I was immediately fascinated by the idea of trying to release one.

The Solar System sticker pack for iMessage in its entirety

I really wanted to create my first sticker pack themed around the thing I’m most passionate about: astronomy. I’m currently studying astronomy and wanted to share my passion with fellow iMessage users! It’s a great way to interact with friends and it also has educational potential.

The pack contains the main bodies of the solar system: the Sun, the Moon, and all the planets (sorry Pluto!).

The sticker pack can be downloaded on the App Store from here.
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A week in the Bay Area: some sparse thoughts

Just over a month ago I spent a week in the Bay Area. For the first five days I resided in Palo Alto (I attended an astronomy conference at Stanford) and then I spent the weekend in San Francisco. It wasn’t obviously enough time to get a real idea of the place and to understand how it would be to live there (also, this piece won’t take into consideration the big variations that must exist from place to place in the Bay). However, I wanted to write down some initial personal contrasting impressions and sentiments regarding the region in the world that most contributes to bring forward the tech sector . My thoughts below will be mostly sparse and limited (thus mainly a bullet point list), and possibly incorrect, but definitely honest and genuine—I recorded them in my Notes app as they came to mind (some editing and details were applied at a later stage; some points were also discussed with a couple of other British researchers who stayed with me during my time in the Bay). I will try to read more about the area in the future to correct the likely misconceptions, but I thought it was interesting to put down in writing the initial impressions that a European visitor may get.
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Clearly Google is thriving while Apple is doomed to fail

Or maybe we just don’t know yet.

In the last few months and weeks, but especially after the Google I/O developer conference held last Wednesday, the tech community on Twitter has gone crazy (as it often does). In particular, I was surprised to read a lot of praise directed at Google and their announcements. However, what was surprising was that this praise seemed to originate more as an implied critic of Apple as a company and it permeated a general sense of doom for the Cupertino company. This sentiment has accompanied Apple for a long time, especially within Wall Street, but it now reached a new extreme level probably because we are approaching the beginning of a new era in which we are not sure anymore whether having the best smartphone (i.e. the iPhone) is enough to be the best in the field. Even though these doubts are in part justified, I think fears have been amplified to unreasonable levels: Apple is not failing anytime soon even if some of their services are not as great as those made by Google, the same way that Google is not failing as a company despite Android and their hardware lacking compared to Apple’s counterparts. And for the same reasons we are not replacing Apple as the main company from which we buy most of our favourite devices anytime soon.  Continue reading “Clearly Google is thriving while Apple is doomed to fail”

Apple should buy Twitter

I generally don’t like this kind of post, but it’s been quite a while since people have been discussing whether Twitter has a prosperous future ahead. Now I have come to think that Apple should buy it in order to make it an exciting product that doesn’t need to please Wall Street investors. I believe there are at least two good reasons for this acquisition to take place.

The first one is that Apple has the resources to build a media team around the social network to both curate content and work along with Apple engineers to create new generation publishing tools. Continue reading “Apple should buy Twitter”