Hannah Waddingham (who plays club owner Rebecca Welton) and Juno Temple (“Keeley Jones”) seem pretty amazed by their characters’ lack of consistency too. Photo copyright Apple PR, used under licence.

Let me admit: Ted Lasso puzzles me. In case you don’t know, it’s a new series on Apple TV+ (Apple’s paid streaming service), starring Jason Sudeikis as an American football (ie gridiron) coach who is hired to coach a Premier League football (soccer) team in the UK.

When I say that Ted Lasso puzzles me, I mean two things. First, I don’t know why it works, yet it does. And a lot of people agree. Search on Twitter for tweets with the words “Ted Lasso” and there’s nary a negative response. People seem to love it.

Second, I don’t know…


An ABC promotional photo for Modern Family. ©ABC

There’s a surely apocryphal story about George Best, the legendary soccer player whose Irish good looks were the perfect counterpoint to his flashing foot skills. As Best’s skills are beginning to wane, he is still a huge hit with the opposite sex. And so it is one morning that he’s waking up in a hotel suite with two Miss World contestants on either side, with champagne bottles littering the room. He calls down to room service for breakfast.

A bellhop duly arrives with the breakfast. He’s a huge Manchester United fan, disappointed that Best isn’t in his prime any more…


U.S. Intelligence’s aversion to Huawei could help China win the 5G race

Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

The smartphone revolution, now 12 years old, has seen some clunkers in its time. But the newest one is very different from its predecessors.

The Huawei Mate 30 launched this month with all the media fanfare that a multibillion-dollar company can achieve. On the surface, the device should be a hot competitor to Samsung in the premium segment. It’s a flagship phone that’s got great cameras, a fast processor, a big display, a fingerprint reader under that display, and 5G connectivity.

“Embrace the future with new possibilities,” reads the Huawei marketing blurb. The problem is, outside the borders of China…


The original iPhone was the consumer tech equivalent of the Apollo mission — but you can’t just keep going back to the moon

The new Apple iPhone 11 (L) and iPhone 11 Pro (R) are displayed during a special event on September 10, 2019
The new Apple iPhone 11 (L) and iPhone 11 Pro (R) are displayed during a special event on September 10, 2019
The new Apple iPhone 11 (far left) and iPhone 11 Pro (right) are displayed during a special event on September 10, 2019, in the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple’s Cupertino, California, campus. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Did you enjoy the iPhone launch event? Or did you perhaps feel that it was kinda more of the same — a story we’ve heard before about faster processors, better (and now more!) cameras, smarter things, new colors, and fresh software (apparently hurried along by threatened Trump tariffs).

Certainly, almost every year you can find someone saying that this year the iPhone announcement was boring for some reason or another. Apple didn’t introduce the oft-rumored augmented reality (AR) glasses; it isn’t using different materials, like carbon fiber; it doesn’t have a holographic display like Star Trek: Enterprise.

But that’s not…


Apple may have rushed to get its new iPhones shipped to beat Trump tariffs that didn’t come

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, talks about the upcoming iOS 13 at WWDC 2019.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, talks about the upcoming iOS 13 at WWDC 2019.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, talks about the upcoming iOS 13 at WWDC on June 3, 2019. Photo: Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP/Getty

A little over a week ago, Apple surprised developers by issuing a new beta of its iOS 13 operating system, which will run on the upcoming iPhones expected in September. Every year, Apple releases iOS developer betas for its x.0 version: The process starts in early June, when the features are announced at its developers’ conference (WWDC), and runs to mid-September when the new phones are shown off at an invite-only event.

But it didn’t happen that way this year.

Instead of getting a new version of 13.0, we got the first beta of 13.1, which you wouldn’t expect to…


It’s past time for a new era at Apple

Photo: James Sheppard/iCreate Magazine via Getty

I interviewed Jony Ive twice: once in 2002, immediately after the launch of the “sunflower” iMac (which looked, at first glance, like an Anglepoise lamp with a screen) and then again in 2014, at the launch of the Apple Watch. Both times, the tricky thing was maneuvering the ebb and flow of the conversation between the things he was really keen to talk about, and the ones where he couldn’t seem to find the words for what he wanted to describe.

In my writeup of the first interview, I said that in those latter moments he sounded “like a man…


A bookshelf overspill. CC-BY photo by Greg Pye.

So today, Monday 11 February 2019, is the 1,000th edition of “Start Up”, a daily list of links plus brief commentary, on my Overspill blog. (Also available on email. Open it in a new tab and keep reading.) Does that sound a lot? The first one in earnest was in October 2014, though the very first was in July 2014. At five per week, that’s 200 weeks — around four years, before allowing for holidays.

Curating a daily collection of interesting links with commentary is hardly a new idea. But the evolution of how we got here seems relevant, because…


Bitcoin’s price in US dollars from Thanksgiving 2017 to 2018. It starts at about $7,000, rises to nearly $20,000 and slumps to $4,500 in time for everyone to gather round the turkey.

It’s not hard to think there are lots of stony silences around dinner tables in the US this week. It’s Thanksgiving, when families come together to reflect on the year gone by. Last year, there were lots of excited articles about this new “bitcoin” thing whose value – measured in dollars, obviously – was shooting up and was going to go to the moon. John McAfee said so and that guy sleeps with a gun!

As you can see from the graph, the excited articles, and excited returning-home sons convincing their parents to put their 401ks into bitcoin, were right…


The brutality of the dance marathon. Still from They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? © Palomar Pictures 1969

“They shoot horses, don’t they?” asks the beautiful woman near the end of the film of the same name, as she and her partner consider their hopeless struggle to stay awake in a dance marathon – one of the US Depression’s little entertainments, where you could win a prize, and more importantly get food, if you could only stay on your feet.

The modern form of the dance marathon is the smartphone business. The latest to take one to the head is Meitu. It’s a Chinese smartphone company which previously attracted some attention for its “beauty shot” selfie system (and…


Are Android tablets used for “real work” — as Samsung claims here — or is it just a marketing claim? CC-licensed photo by Samsung Newsroom.

Since the launch of the latest iPad Pro models, there’s been a renewed debate about whether you can junk your laptop and just use an iPad Pro full-time.

I think this argument is largely based on a false premise. What the iPad Pro offers isn’t necessarily complete displacement; it’s an alternative. If you’re asking the question “can the iPad Pro replace my laptop?” …

Charles Arthur

Tech journalist; was The Guardian's Technology editor 2005-14. Author of Cyber Wars (hacking) & Digital Wars (Apple v Google v Microsoft). Speaker, moderator.

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