iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Review: The Best iPhones—but Not for the 5G

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Review: The Best iPhones—but Not for the 5G

Don’t consider Apple’s latest iPhones for the superfast 5G network connection, but for the best design in years and a great set of cameras

By Joanna Stern

Let’s start with the good news: The iPhone 12, the first with 5G, is indeed the fastest 5G smartphone. The speeds will knock(näk) your masks off, as we say in 2020.

Now the bad news: To see those speeds, you need to move really, really slowly. After locating your carrier’s(ˈkerēər) high-speed tower, stand right next to it, tap download, then freeze.

Despite being marketed as our technological(ˌteknəˈläjək(ə)l) savior(ˈsāvyər), 5G—the next generation of cellular(ˈselyələr) connectivity—is not a killer feature for the new iPhone 12 models. At least not in the U.S., not yet.

Don’t get me wrong: The cellular speeds can be insanely(inˈsānlē) fast. In some tests, it’s up to 30 times faster than my home broadband. Just persuade(pərˈswād) the marketing department at MetLife Stadium(ˈstādēəm)—home of New York’s football teams and lots of Verizon high-speed 5G antennas(anˈtenə)—to let you work on the field(fēld). (I did; see the video.) Just bring a power pack because 5G is a battery(ˈbadərē) drain(drān).

It’s best to think of 5G as an invisible feature—something that might one day come in handy(ˈhandē). What makes this the best iPhone upgrade in years are a fabulous(ˈfabyələs)-to-hold design and substantial(səbˈstan(t)SHəl) camera improvements.


A Guide to Being in Action (上)

A Guide to Being in Action (上)

By Leo Babauta

I have a couple of clients who’ve been stuck in inaction for months now, and they’re desperate(ˈdesp(ə)rət) to get into action.

So we’ve set up structure and training so they can train themselves to be in action much more of the time.

It’s trainable, if you’re willing to commit yourself.

In this short guide, I’ll talk about how to train.

Commit to Possibility

When we are not feeling motivated to take action, and we’re feeling burdened or bleh(blä) about a task … it’s because we aren’t connected to some possibility in our lives.

What is it that you want to create in the world? What do you want to change in your life, or in the lives of others?

If you get clear on that possibility, and feel connected to it, you’re going to feel much more energized(ˈenərˌjīz) and inspired(inˈspī(ə)rd) to tackle(ˈtak(ə)l) your tasks.

Some examples of possibility:

Create an income with my new business to support me and my family
Help people overcome their feelings of inadequacy(inˈadikwəsē)
Help my team feel more energized and connected to meaning
Help keep my family safe and happy
Help 100 million people change their lives with uncertainty training (my mission)

There are lots of other possibilities, but the important thing is to connect to yours, before you even take on a task. And reconnect when you’re feeling like not doing it.

Then commit to creating that possibility, even if it feels difficult or scary(ˈskerē).


Horror movies haven’t fixed my family, but they’re helping

Horror(ˈhôrər) movies haven’t fixed my family, but they’re helping

By Chris Campeau

I’m seven years old and I can’t sleep; a woman’s screams are lifting from the vents(vent) in my bedroom floor.

Gingerly(ˈjinjərlē), I make my way downstairs(dounˈsterz), and to my relief(rəˈlēf), the shrieks(SHrēk) aren’t coming from my mother. On our two-foot-deep television, my oldest brother is watching a teenaged(ˈtēnājd) girl try to evade(əˈvād) a man in a striped(strīpt) sweater(ˈswedər). Beneath(bəˈnēTH) a fedora(fəˈdôrə), the man’s face is a mess of sores(sôr) the likes of which I’ve never seen (and shouldn’t be seeing at an age as tender as his skin). My brother, with his back to me, has no idea I’m in the room. Fright-stricken(ˈstrikən), I tiptoe(ˈtipˌtō) back to my bedroom. There, I live out the first of many nightmares in which Freddy Krueger fillets(fiˈlā) me. My pledge(plej) is obvious: to stay as far away from horror movies as I can.

That year, 1995, my parents separate, and something comes over me. I watch Stephen King’s It, John(jän) Carpenter’s(ˈkärpən(t)ər) Halloween(ˌhaləˈwēn), and Frank Marshall’s Arachnophobia(əˌraknəˈfōbēə). Fear sticks to me like blood on bedsheets, but I can’t get enough. Remorseful(rəˈmôrsfəl) for disrupting our familial(fəˈmilyəl) foundation – and eager(ˈēɡər) to please us – my father permits(pərˈmit) my brothers and me to rent whatever R-rated movies we want. Every other Sunday, when I return from a weekend at his house, I beg my mother to allow us the same liberty(ˈlibərdē): “ … but Dad lets us watch them. I’m not scared!” Irritated(ˈirəˌtādəd), she shuts me down. It’s just as well. She knows Pet(pet) Sematary(ˈseməˌnerē) chilled(CHild) me dry.


Once the Disease of Gluttonous Aristocrats, Gout Is Now Tormenting the Masses

Once the Disease of Gluttonous(ˈɡlətnəs) Aristocrats(əˈristəˌkrat), Gout(ɡout) Is Now Tormenting(ˈtôrmen(t)iNG) the Masses(mas)

It can be tempting(ˈtem(p)tiNG) to ascribe(əˈskrīb) the affliction’s(əˈflikSH(ə)n) prevalence(ˈprev(ə)ləns) to our current climate(ˈklīmit) of indulgence(inˈdəljəns), but that’s not the full story.

By Ligaya Mishan

It has come for genius(ˈjēnyəs) and aristocrat, conqueror(ˈkäNGkərər) and king. Like a succubus(ˈsəkyəbəs), it descends(dəˈsend) at night, first as a fevered(ˈfēvərd) dream, then pain in darkness, the body turned rude(ro͞od) animal, reduced to its lowest, humblest(ˈhəmbəl) extremity(ikˈstremədē): the foot, red and swollen(ˈswōlən), throbbing(ˈTHräbiNG) like a heart. You are left to hobble(ˈhäbəl), if that; the flutter(ˈflədər) of a bedsheet over the distended(diˈstendəd) foot is anguish(ˈaNGɡwiSH) enough, let alone the full weight of the body bearing down. To take a step is to see the abyss(əˈbis). Often the pain is concentrated(ˈkänsənˌtrādəd) in the big toe(tō), ridiculous, stubby(ˈstəbē) and chubby(ˈCHəbē), Napoleonic(nəˈpōlēən), the fat(fat) piggy(ˈpiɡē) sent to market. So acute(əˈkyo͞ot) is the sensitivity(ˌsensəˈtivədē) of this bloated(ˈblōdəd) hallux(ˈhaləks) — “so exquisite(ekˈskwizət) and lively(ˈlīvlē),” in the words of the 17th-century English physician(fəˈziSHən) Thomas Sydenham(ˈsidnəm, ˌsidnəm), chronicling(ˈkränək(ə)l) his bouts(bout) with the disease — that the faintest(fānt) footfall of a sympathetic(ˌsimpəˈTHedik) visitor is a gunshot straight(strāt) to the nerve(nərv). The American poet and novelist(ˈnävələst) Jim Harrison(ˈherəsən), writing in 1991, likened his throes(THrōz) to those of “a wolf with the steel(stēl) teeth of a trap buried(ˈberēd) in its paw(pô).” It will not help, at such a moment, to recall that Alexander the Great, Charlemagne(ˈSHärləˌmān), Leonardo da Vinci(liōˌnardō də ˈvinCHē), Isaac(ˈīzək) Newton and Henry James(jāmz) reportedly suffered thus, and that you have joined, in your abasement(əˈbāsmənt), the noblest(ˈnōbəl) ranks.

The disease can be chronic(ˈkränik) (the pain goes away but may return at will) and excruciating(ikˈskro͞oSHēˌādiNG) (if not fatal(ˈfādl)), yet say its name — gout — and people snicker(ˈsnikər). It has a whiff((h)wif) of the powdered(ˈpoudərd) wig(wiɡ), of a time when the powerful could continue to rule the world even half incapacitated(ˌinkəˈpasəˌtādəd), with one grotesquely(ɡrōˈtesklē) tumescent(t(y)o͞oˈmes(ə)nt) foot lolling(läl) atop a dainty(ˈdān(t)ē) cushioned(ˈko͝oSH(ə)nd) stool(sto͞ol), like some priapic(prīˈapik) cartoon(kärˈto͞on).


Prepare to double

Prepare to double

By Derek Sivers

CD Baby doubled in size every year for the first six years. Both customers and profit, almost exactly(iɡˈzak(t)lē) 100 percent growth each year.

Because the business needed a warehouse for the CDs, I always had to buy more shelving(ˈSHelviNG). Each time I did, I’d buy twice as much as I had before. It always filled up fast, even when it got warehouse-sized. When I had filled a 5000-square(skwer)-foot warehouse, I rented 10,000 square feet. When I filled up 10,000 square feet, I rented 20,000 square feet. Even that filled up fast.

But no matter what business you’re in, it’s good to prepare for what would happen if business doubled.

Have 10 clients now? How would it look if you had 20 at once? Serving 80 customers for lunch each day? What would happen if 160 showed up?

Notice that “more of the same” is never the answer. You’d have to do things in a new way to handle twice as much business. Processes would have to be streamlined.

Never be the typical(ˈtipik(ə)l) tragic(ˈtrajik) small business that gets frazzled(ˈfrazəld) and freaked(frēk) out when business is doing well. It sends a repulsive(rəˈpəlsiv) “I can’t handle this!” message to everyone.

Instead, if your internal processes are always designed to handle twice your existing load, it sends an attractive(əˈtraktiv) “come on in, we’ve got plenty(ˈplen(t)ē) of room” message to everyone.


Elon Musk’s vision of the future takes another step forward

Elon(ē) Musk’s vision(ˈviZHən) of the future takes another step forward

A pig now has one of his implants(imˈplant) in its brain

In idle moments, people sometimes dream about the future. Of cars that can drive themselves. Of travelling to other planets(ˈplanət). Of moving objects by the power of thought. Whichever particular dream you have, though, Elon Musk is probably trying to make it real. Self-driving cars and travel to Mars are the provinces(ˈprävəns) of two of his firms, Tesla(ˈteslə) and SpaceX respectively. Moving objects by the power of thought is the province of a third, Neuralink(ˈn(y)o͝orəl). And on August 28th, at a presentation(ˌprezənˈtāSH(ə)n) broadcast over the internet, Mr Musk showed off the firm’s progress. The highlight was the appearance(əˈpirəns) of Gertrude, a pig with a chip(CHip) implanted into her brain.

Reading the brain’s electrical(əˈlektrək(ə)l) signals, a technique called electroencephalography(əˌlektrōənˌsefəˈläɡrəfē) (eeg), started more than 100 years ago and is now routine(ro͞oˈtēn). It generally involves placing electrodes(əˈlektrōd) non-invasively(inˈvāsiv) on the scalp(skalp), though it sometimes requires the invasive insertion(inˈsərSH(ə)n) of wires into the scalp or the brain itself.

Non-invasive eeg provides useful information, and can even be employed to do things like playing simple computer games via software which interprets(inˈtərprət) the signals received and turns them into instructions. It is, though, a crude(kro͞od) approach to monitoring the activity of an organ(ˈôrɡən) that contains 85bn nerve cells and trillions of connections between them. Invasive eeg offers higher resolution readings from those nerve cells, albeit(ôlˈbēit) at greater risk because of the surgery(ˈsərj(ə)rē) involved. The device Gertrude carries, known technically(ˈteknək(ə)lē) as a brain-computer interface (bci), carries invasiveness one stage further still by making the eeg recorder a potentially permanent implant.


For the Experience

For the Experience

By Steve Pavlina

One framing that I find empowering is to do something for the experience.

If you choose not to do something, you don’t get the experience, which means you miss out on a lot of potential benefits.

When you lean(lēn) into new experiences, you’re likely to gain some or all the following:

New lessons
More character growth
Perspective(pərˈspektiv) shifts and reframes(rēˈfrām)
New friends
Maybe a whole new social circle
New income-generating ideas
New invitations(ˌinvəˈtāSH(ə)n)
New opportunities
New memories
More knowledge
New skills
More emotional(ē) depth
More emotional resilience(rəˈzilyəns)
A more optimistic(ˌäptəˈmistik) attitude
More excitement and passion
Less boredom(ˈbôrdəm)
A sharper(ˈSHärpər), fitter(ˈfidər), less fragile(ˈfrajəl) brain(brān)

New experiences make you smarter and enrich(inˈriCH) your life in so many ways. Even a relatively short one-time experience like going to a lecture(ˈlek(t)SHər) or a concert(ˈkänˌsərt) can change the direction of your life or give you a strong memory you’ll cherish(ˈCHeriSH) for decades.

Sometimes you’re choosing between one interesting experience and another, but more often it’s a choice between something new and something familiar(fəˈmilyər).

New experiences are uncertain though. They can seem scary(ˈskerē), even when they aren’t truly threatening(ˈTHretniNG). It’s actually good and healthy(ˈhelTHē) for you to be knocked off balance now and then – it makes you stronger.

When you don’t lean into new experiences, you miss out on the wonderful romance(rōˈmans) that awaits you.


For Musicians, It’s a New Gig Economy

For Musicians, It’s a New Gig Economy

From opera and classical to hip-hop, out-of-work musicians find inspiration—and even a little money—in a network of pop-up street performances across the city. g

Opera(ˈäp(ə)rə) singers delivered arias(ˈärēə) from the balcony(ˈbalkənē) of a historic Victorian(vikˈtôrēən) house to a masked audience on the street below. In Prospect(ˈpräˌspekt) Park, jazz(jaz) combos(ˈkämbō) played for onlookers sprawled(sprôl) on blankets or dancing in the slanting(ˈslan(t)iNG) autumn light. As the sun began to set, about a mile(mīl) to the south a saxophone(ˈsaksəˌfōn) player took a long porchfront(pôrCH) solo(ˈsōlō), the notes shimmering(ˈSHim(ə)riNG) above the rumble(ˈrəmbəl) of a passing train.

Such gatherings have been taking place across the country, from front-yard concerts(ˈkänˌsərt) in Cleveland(ˈklēvlənd) and Pasadena(ˌpasəˈdēnə), Calif(ā)., to open-air performances in Nashville(ˈnaSHˌvil, ˈnaSHvəl). The events highlight the challenges musicians face because of Covid-19—and especially as they prepare for the winter.

Pop-up music events have proliferated(prəˈlifəˌrāt) across New York during the warmer months, giving isolated(ˈīsəˌlādəd) and underemployed musicians a chance to play together. The performances range from classical and bluegrass(ˈblo͞oˌɡras) to reggae(ˈreˌɡā) and hip-hop, drawing audiences from the neighborhood, the city and beyond.

Some began as busking(ˈbəskiNG) and evolved(ēˈvälv) into tip-supported D.I.Y. residencies(ˈrez(ə)dənsē). Others function more like traditional gigs but take place on stoops, sidewalks or even a Queens parking lot. In Long Island City arts nonprofit Culture Lab LIC has turned one into an open-air beer garden with a taco(ˈtäkō) truck(trək), where players perform for outdoor diners.


Find Freedom of the Mountain in Everything You Do

Find Freedom of the Mountain in Everything You Do

By Leo Babauta

In the last week, two separate(ˈsep(ə)rət) men told me they fantasize(ˈfan(t)əˌsīz) about leaving everything behind and living on a mountain.

I can relate(rəˈlāt) to this fantasy(ˈfan(t)əsē), because I’ve had it myself — live a simple life, away from the chaos and burden of this crazy world.

What we (and many others) crave(krāv) is not really the mountain, but freedom. Simplicity(simˈplisədē) and space and the liberating(ˈlibəˌrādiNG) feeling of freedom.

We think if we simplify and let everything go and get our lives free of the burdens, we’ll feel free.

But what I’ve found is that getting rid(rid) of everything and living a simple life doesn’t necessarily give you that freedom. You’ll find a way to experience life as burden and trapped. That’s because we create the feeling of burden and trappedness for ourselves. It’s not the external(ikˈstərnl) circumstances, but something we create with our minds.
A teacher a few years ago gifted me with a liberating idea: find the freedom in your current life, without having to change a thing.
And I’ve found that it’s completely possible. And also that I forget to do it, a lot!

If you’re interested in playing with this, you can try it now. In this moment, can you find a feeling of freedom? Can you experience this moment as if you were living a simple burden-free life on a mountaintop? Can you create this feeling of freedom for yourself right now?

It’s a relaxing of the mind, a feeling of openness and liberation, of joy and space. And we create it.

If you can do that, try this practice:

In anything you do today and for the next few days, try to remember to practice creating freedom. You might be washing a dish, answering an email, talking to someone, driving, anything.
Notice in the moment the feeling of burden and closedness that you’ve created for yourself.
See if you can create a feeling of freedom without changing what you’re doing externally(ikˈstərnəlē).
Enjoy this joyous(ˈjoiəs) feeling of freedom!
And repeat, all day long.

What is it like to live freedom without having to change anything? This doesn’t mean you never change anything externally, but it means you’re liberated from having to do so.


This is what it’s like to love an old dog

This is what it’s like to love an old dog

By Abigail Cukier

The pandemic puppy(ˈpəpē) craze(krāz) has come at a peculiar(pəˈkyo͞olyər) time for me. As so many people are seeking the comfort and companionship(kəmˈpanyənˌSHip) of a young dog, mine has just turned 15.

We recently had a backyard visit to meet another family’s new puppy. He was utterly(ˈədərlē) adorable(əˈdôrəb(ə)l). He pranced(prans) and played, nipped(nip) and licked(lik). Our friends beamed(bēm) as they told us about his first days at home and how he was already sleeping through the night. It was truly puppy love.

Later that night, as I walked behind my dog to give her a boost(bo͞ost) as she climbed(klīm) the stairs(ster), and the next morning, when I heated(ˈhēdəd) up the homemade food that helps control her kidney(ˈkidnē) disease(dəˈzēz), I thought about how you don’t consider this level of extra care when you bring home a furry(ˈfərē) new family member. But that is often what that puppy love turns into.

I am lucky to know this more “mature(məˈCHo͝or)” love. To love, and to be loved, by an old dog, is truly a privilege(ˈpriv(ə)lij).

For a long time, I denied(dəˈnī) it. My husband would remark on how Skyler, our German short-haired pointer, wasn’t running as much at the park or was a bit slower on the stairs, and I told him he was imagining it. For the longest time, I really didn’t see that my high-jumping, fast-running girl was getting older. But these days there is no denying it.

The chocolate fur(fər) on her face is flecked(flek) with white and her wise(wīz), dark eyes are hooded(ˈho͝odəd) by grey brows(brou). Sometimes, she will fall while eating from her bowl(bōl) and wait patiently for someone to help her up. On our daily walks, one of my favourite times of day, I sometimes have to stop and let her rest or pick up her hind(hīnd) legs if she starts to fall. But still we walk.