Ben Lovejoy


Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer who started his career on PC World and has written for dozens of computer and technology magazines, as well as numerous national newspapers, business and in-flight magazines. He has also written two novels.

He is old enough to have owned the original Mac, and still has his Mac Portable in a cupboard as he can’t quite bear to part with it, despite the fact that he has no idea where the power supply is. He is occasionally tempted to turn up to a Genius Bar with it.

He currently owns a rather upgraded MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook Air 11, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and Thunderbolt Display 27 – and suspects it might be cheaper to have a cocaine habit than his addiction to all things anodised aluminum.

He thinks wires are evil and had a custom desk made to hide them, known as the OC Desk for obvious reasons.

He considers 1000 miles a good distance for a cycle ride, and Chernobyl a suitable tourist destination. What can we say, he’s that kind of chap.

He speaks fluent English but only broken American, so please forgive any Anglicised spelling in his posts.

If @benlovejoy-ing him on twitter, please follow him first so that he can DM you if appropriate. If you have information you can pass on, you can also email him. If you would like to comment on one of his pieces, please do so in the comments – he does read them all.

Ben Lovejoy's Recommended Gear


AAPL: 109.50

Stock Chart

When Apple ceased development of Aperture, a lot of serious photographers were very unhappy about Apple’s attempt to palm them off with Photos instead. Many headed instead to Lightroom, the photo cataloging and editing app Adobe created from the ground up specifically for photographers.

If you’re new to Lightroom, our review covers the process of converting from Aperture – everything from importing your existing photo libraries to where to find equivalent features. This piece is about getting the most out of Lightroom – especially when it comes to speeding up your workflow – via some recommended tweaks and tips.

Let’s start with my recommended settings …  expand full story

Fresh from showing how an iPhone 6s and a few cheap accessories can enable you to do a great photoshoot, Fstoppers’ Lee Morris  has now put the iPhone 6s video capabilities up against a semi-pro Nikon D750 DSLR. The results are actually quite shocking, the iPhone 6s delivering much sharper results, as seen in the 200% zoom above and video below.

There are a few riders, of course …  expand full story

Speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, Jimmy Iovine said that “Apple has taught me not to give out numbers [but] I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t doing well.”

Iovine said that while a free ad-supported tier could allow the company to rapidly acquire subscribers, a tactic popularised by Spotify, that wasn’t a route Apple wanted to take …  expand full story

One thing Adobe didn’t make clear in its recent flurry of product announcements is that its Lightroom for iPad and iPhone apps are now available for anyone to use, free of charge. Both apps have always been free to download, but were time-limited free trials unless you had a desktop license or Creative Cloud subscription – and as TNW noticed, that’s no longer the case.

“We’re seeing a lot of people come in first on Lightroom mobile, so now we’re allowing people to use it locally on their local assets, their local photos and videos on their phone and tablet for as long as they like,” Tom Hogarty, Adobe’s director of product management for digital imaging told TNW … 

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October 7

AAPL: 110.78

Stock Chart

Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Apple, Google and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.

Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

The group said that Apple has paid “a miniscule 2.3 percent tax rate on its offshore profits,” many of which have been entered into Apple’s books in Ireland. CTJ says that if Apple paid U.S. tax rates on those profits, it would owe $59.2 billion.

The controversy over the legitimacy of Apple’s overseas tax arrangements is not, of course, anything new …  expand full story

Former Apple CEO John Sculley has told the WSJ that the Sorkin/Boyle movie Steve Jobs is “extraordinary entertainment” but depicts only one side of Jobs’ personality.

It’s extraordinary entertainment, [but] was really taking one aspect of Steve Jobs’s personality.

Part of his personality was he was a passionate perfectionist, but there were so many other parts […] The young Steve Jobs that I knew had a great sense of humor. He was on many occasions, when we were together, very warm. He cared a lot about the people he worked with and he was a good person. So, I think those aren’t the aspects that are focused on in this movie … 

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October 6

AAPL: 111.31

Stock Chart

Updated parental guidelines are needed to help make informed decisions about the use of technology by children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, as it revealed that more than 30% of U.S. children first use a mobile device while still in diapers. The AAP says that “digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance.”

The Academy says that its existing policy statement was actually drafted before the first iPad was launched. A two-day symposium held earlier this year generated twelve key messages, based not just on limiting screen time but also on distinguishing helpful from harmful use of technology …  expand full story

Update: While Google has not commented directly on Porsche’s reported rejection of Android Auto, the company made a statement to The Verge in which it denied that it currently collects any of the data mentioned in the original report. It does not go as far as saying that it has not requested access to such data.

“We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”

Sportscar manufacturer Porsche has approved CarPlay for the 2017 version of its famous 911, but rejected Android Auto because Google demands access to too much data, reports Motor Trend.

As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and [sent] back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto … 

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October 5

AAPL: 110.78

Stock Chart

If you haven’t yet found your perfect Apple Watch strap among the company’s own offerings or the numerous third-party options, Apple has today officially launched its partnership with French leather fashion company Hermès.

Uncompromising craftsmanship. Pioneering innovation. Groundbreaking functionality. Apple Watch Hermès is the culmination of a partnership based on parallel thinking, singular vision and mutual regard. It is a unique timepiece designed with both utility and beauty in mind. With leather straps handmade by Hermès artisans in France and an Hermès watch face reinterpreted by Apple designers in California, Apple Watch Hermès is a product of elegant, artful simplicity — the ultimate tool for modern life.

Splashing out between $1100 and $1500 gets you a special version of the stainless steel Watch, with Hermès branding on the back, a number of special watch faces and a choice of three leather straps. Color options depend on the strap, some with suitably exotic-sounding names …  expand full story

With the construction of Apple’s new Spaceship campus now showing rapid progress, new 4K drone footage (below) shows huge glass panels in the staging area close to the metal sections.

The circular Campus 2 building is really taking shape now above ground level, even when compared to footage from just three weeks ago, and we get a sense of the scale of the excavation from the sizeable pyramid of excavated dirt just outside the ring …  expand full story

Tim Cook has emailed Apple staff on the 4th anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs, thanking them for “remembering both who he was and what he stood for,” reports the Telegraph. Cook said that Jobs was “a brilliant person” who left an incredible legacy.

What is his legacy? I see it all around us: An incredible team that embodies his spirit of innovation and creativity. The greatest products on earth, beloved by customers and empowering hundreds of millions of people around the world. Soaring achievements in technology and architecture. Experiences of surprise and delight. A company that only he could have built. A company with an intense determination to change the world for the better.

Cook also made two references which which seem to indirectly refer to less flattering portraits painted of Jobs in biographies and movies …  expand full story

The WSJ reports that Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs repeatedly tried to block production of the Sorkins/Boyle movie Steve Jobs.

Ms. Jobs repeatedly tried to kill the film, according to people familiar with the conversations. She lobbied, among others, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which developed the script but passed on the movie for financial reasons, and Universal Pictures, which is releasing the $33.5 million production on Friday … 

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October 2

AAPL: 110.38

Stock Chart

Microsoft has updated its Skype for iPhone and iPad apps to add support for two new features in iOS 9: Slide Over and Split View. This follows close behind its update of the Mac app to add Split View in El Capitan.

Millions of people use Skype every day to share URLs and photos. iOS9’s new Split View and Slide Over capabilities let you use Skype while using another app alongside it, making sharing your content even better. Imagine you’re planning a night out in London with a group of friends using IM or a group voice call. Now you can share links to bars and restaurants and decide on the best place to meet without having to leave the app, just click on the shared content and bring it alongside your Skype conversation. It’s a great way to get things done together … 

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