MyAppleMenu - Aug 2015

Mon, Aug 31, 2015The There-Will-Be-Blood Edition

Apple’s Ad Blockers Rile Publishers, by Daisuke Wakabayashi And Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal

Putting such “ad blockers” within reach of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users threatens to disrupt the $70 billion annual mobile-marketing business, where many publishers and tech firms hope to generate far more revenue from a growing mobile audience. If fewer users see ads, publishers—and other players such as ad networks—will reap less revenue.

The move also is a competitive weapon against Apple rival Google Inc., which makes more money from Internet advertising than any other company in the world.

Life After Content Blocking, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Ad Blocking is now moving from third party initiatives to a broad assault based on platform technology. This is going to be painful for those whose ad-supported business model is in danger of breaking. There will be blood.


Apple TV 4 Coming In October For Under $200, Apple TV 3 Stays & Gets New Streaming Service, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

According to sources, the fourth-generation Apple TV will be priced below $200, and is on track to become available in October. Apple executives are apparently still finalizing the price of the revamped living room device, but the latest options call for a starting price point of either $149 or $199, both higher than the third-generation Apple TV.

Looking Out

Alien Transit Systems May Be A Giveaway In The Search For ET, by Michael Lemonick, Scientific American

Over the past few years, for example, Loeb has suggested searching for aliens by looking for artificial lighting on Pluto, in the admittedly unlikely event that extraterrestrials (ET) have set up an outpost there. He also has proposed trying to detect industrial pollution on distant exoplanets. His latest notion, laid out in a paper he and a co-author just put online: We should look for the microwave beams ETs might use to send light sails wafting between the planets in their home solar systems.

Parting Words

We need to talk about C++. Seriously.

— Nap (@zapnap) August 29, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Aug 30, 2015The Loudest-Activists Edition

Apple Takes Washington, by Tony Romm, Politico

A private conference in Washington with the attorney general (in itself a rarity for many tech magnates) would have been unthinkable for Cook’s irascible predecessor, Steve Jobs, who actively disdained D.C. Cook, much as he sought to shirk Jobs’ shadow as CEO, had also endeavored quietly to rethink his company’s relationship with the nation’s capital, becoming a leader not only ready to engage its power brokers but challenge them openly when it mattered most.

In the months since Edward Snowden’s surveillance leaks rattled the tech industry, Cook has become one of corporate America’s loudest activists on a range of issues. He’s met with members of Congress. He’s reached out personally to top administration officials, including, most recently, Holder’s replacement, the newly minted Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Cook has brought his name and Apple’s brand to bear in major national debates, especially same-sex marriage and equality. And his brand of passionate, targeted political activism has furthered his company’s vast political agenda, from advancing tax reform in Congress to addressing the pitfalls of surveillance—a privacy debate that continues to confound the nation’s capital.

Loose Ends And Hiccups

Migrating To A New Mac In The Real World, by Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS

So I packed up my old iMac, took out a credit card, and within minutes walked out of the Apple Store with both my old iMac and a new iMac with 5K Retina display. I drove home, anxious to discover whether Time Machine really would do what it was supposed to do. Would it “just work”?

The answer is “more or less”; I did get all of my backed-up files restored, and most of my settings as well, but there were more than a few loose ends and hiccups along the way.

Follow-Up Music

Apple Did Not Stop Tidal From Streaming Drake’s Set At Katrina Benefit, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

Drake’s decision not to participate in Tidal’s live stream of the Lil Weezyana Festival was precisely that — Drake’s decision. And sources familiar with the situation tell BuzzFeed News that Apple did not threaten Tidal with any legal action whatsoever — let alone one with $20 million in liabilities attached to it. “No one even knew this was going on until the Post piece hit,” one of the sources said, adding that it’s not even within Apple’s power to file such a suit.

Previously: Tidal Faces $20M Lawsuit Over Drake’s Apple Music Deal, by Emily Smith, New York Post


Johns Hopkins Taps Apple Watch, ResearchKit For Upcoming Epilepsy Study With Eye On Seizure Prediction, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Seeking deeper insight into epileptic seizures and their effect on the human body, Johns Hopkins' ResearchKit study will collect heart rate sensor and accelerometer data from Watch, gyroscope data from iPhone and dynamic user feedback to track a variety of biometric measurements during a seizure episode, according to a source familiar with the project. The iPhone and Watch apps, now in beta testing, are slated to go live on Sept. 18.

An App Connects Users With Start-Ups That Are Hiring, by Jonah Bromwich, New York Times

But while Planted isn’t likely to hook users up with their dream jobs, it does excel at identifying real start-ups that are actually hiring. The job search is demanding and exhausting, and one of the hardest parts is simply finding new places to apply. Planted helps to solve that problem.

This App Will Teach Your Kid To Play The Piano, by Jordan Shapiro, Forbes

These days, developers are trying to create video games to teach just about everything. It seems pretty clear that learning through digital play can be extremely effective. So there’s a race on to build the best apps and games to teach each and every subject. I recently tested an iPad app designed to teach music and I was reminded of a few key things we should all keep in mind about learning through digital play.


Apple Removes Mixi’s Monster Strike From Japanese App Store, by Serkan Toto

So far, Mixi itself isn’t saying much. The company did, however, update the official Monster Strike page with a message that indicates Apple saw problems with a serial code input form inside the app and asked to remove it.

Parting Words

now that's art.

— rstevens Ʒ (@rstevens) August 29, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Aug 29, 2015The Moving-On Edition

Yin And Yang, by Casey Liss

A year ago — hell, even a month or two ago — these emails would have really ruined my day, if not my whole week. Today? I’m writing this post, and then moving on with my day, saying extra thanks to all of those wonderful people in my life. That includes you, a reader of my site. At this point, I’ve become numb to these sorts of attacks.

I can be your mechnical-turk-email filter that not only removes spams, but also emails from assholes. Hire me.

Upcoming From Apple

Apple Is About To Lay Down Its TV Cards, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

A native SDK that takes advantage of the hardware fully will, for the first time ever, turn the Apple TV into a platform, a self-sustaining life form that Apple likely hopes will dominate competitors who have done only slightly better about adding third-party support.

Pentagon Teams Up With Apple, Boeing To Develop Wearable Tech, by David Alexander, Reuters

The group will work to advance the development and manufacture of so-called flexible hybrid electronics, which can be embedded with sensors and stretched, twisted and bent to fit aircraft or other platform where they will be used.

The End Of One-To-One

Apple To Retire One To One Apple Store Training Program Sept. 28th, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

One to One launched in 2007 as a $99 per year subscription program where a Mac user could make appointments with a “Creative” at an Apple Store to learn more about using their Mac and creating content with either consumer or professional applications. Apple cites “fewer customers” signing up for One to One as the reason behind the service’s upcoming closure.

Why I Won't Be Sad To See One To One Go Away: It's A Money-Loser For Retail Stores, by Peter Cohen, iMore

Still Chased By Ghosts

Pac-Man 256 Retools Classic Fun For iOS, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The basics of the Pac-Man formula are still there. You still eat dots, get chased by ghosts, and eat power pellets that let you turn the tables on the ghosts. But, of course, Hipster Whale has mixed things up.

Search Means Search

App Store Bitching, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

In the seven years since the App Store was established, I have never tapped on the Search button without wanting to immediately type in a search term. And yet for seven years, the App Store has forced me to stare stupidly at my phone for a second as I wonder why there’s no keyboard for me to type on.

The Lawyers Are In Action

Tidal Faces $20M Lawsuit Over Drake’s Apple Music Deal, by Emily Smith, New York Post

Lawyers were called in because the event was being streamed live via Tidal — and Drake has an exclusive deal with Apple Music said to be worth up to $19 million. Sources say the tech giant threatened to sue for $20 million if Drake appeared, or if his music was streamed live, on Tidal.

Creating Worlds, Visiting The World

Typewriter, You're Fired! How Writers Learned To Love The Computer, by Joe Moran

Even by the standards of the bulbous grey contraption that was the 1980s computer, the Amstrad PCW 8256 was an unlovely thing. The poet Hugo Williams, deciding to stick with his old Adler typewriter, dismissed it as a “grisly gulag of beige plastic”. But while it failed to win over Williams, the Amstrad did manage to convert a vast army of his fellow authors. Its launch 30 years ago, in September 1985, was a significant moment in British literary culture – the tipping point when many writers, published and aspiring, made the trek to Dixons, where it was exclusively sold, and joined the computer age.

The Virtual Reality Of John Carmack, by David Marlett, D CEO

I pull Carmack back to virtual reality, and he adjusts without the slightest intermission of his upbeat tempo. “I think there is a moral aspect to [virtual reality technology], to take some slice of all of the experiences money can buy and replicate them digitally for everyone to experience,” he says. “I want to see a world where there are a billion people in VR who are experiencing that wealth multiplier. If it can do one percent of the experiences of life, and we multiply that times a billion, that is a huge thing.”

He drives his point home with the analogy of a private island, explaining that although in “reality” few can have their own island, everyone can experience having their own in “virtual reality.” He likes this point ... that VR can avail the experiences of the 1 percent to the 99 percent. The redistribution of wealth is certainly not in his libertarian mindset, but the open distribution of virtual experiences? This is important to him.

More Time Is Better Than More Money., by Kevin Kelly, Hi

Time is the one thing you can give yourself in abundance. It is often the one resource the young own. Ironically, if you exploit your gift of time as you travel, you’ll gain more than any billionaire can. Without exaggeration, you’ll earn experiences that no amount of money can buy. Seriously. Although it tries, money cannot buy what time delivers.

Parting Words

I'm one of the six billion people who didn't use Facebook on Monday. Welcome to the social.

— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) August 28, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Aug 28, 2015The Sassy-Siri Edition

Apple Announces Expected iPhone 6S Event For Sept. 9th: ‘Hey Siri, Give Us A Hint’, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has just sent out official invitations to media outlets for its next special event on September 9th. The tagline this year reads “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” The event will take place at 10 am PT at Bill Graham auditorium in San Francisco, California.

Siri Knows About Apple's New iPhone Event On Sept. 9, by AppleInsider

As is usually the case with Siri's canned replies, she can be a bit sassy when pumped for clues. "You're cute when you're desperate for information," she might say.

Apple Loses Key Music Streaming Executive, by Matthew Garrahan, Financial Times

Since the completion of the deal Mr Rogers has led the development of Apple’s Beats1, hiring Zane Lowe, the former BBC radio DJ, as a presenter and crafting an eclectic mix of shows streamed from London, New York and Los Angeles that have been well received by critics and listeners.

News of his departure caught colleagues off guard. He is leaving the west coast to work for a Europe-based company in an unrelated industry, people familiar with the situation said.

Apple's First Employee: The Remarkable Odyssey Of Bill Fernandez, by Jason Hiner, TechRepublic

Perhaps best known as the guy who introduced Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Bill Fernandez speaks out on Apple's founding magic, how love built the first Mac, and the interface of the future.


Astropad Mini Hands On: Turn Your iPhone Into The Ultimate Drawing Tablet, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Drawing feels smooth and effortless, just as on the full Astropad iPad app, and though using an iPad pressure-sensitive stylus on an iPhone takes some getting used to—I found it most functional when my iPhone was lying on a table, rather than trying to hold it up—it's still a pretty delightful experience.

Workflow 1.3 Brings Powerful Widget, Sync, Health Actions, And More, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Version 1.3 simplifies how workflows can be launched and executed thanks to the widget, it makes it easier to share workflows between devices, and it expands the scope of the app beyond traditional productivity and automation with Health actions.

Portal Lets You Use Your iPhone As A Wireless Thumbdrive, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The new version offers a better alternative to something like Apple’s AirDrop, for example, as it lets you transfer as many files as you’d like, with no file size limits, while also not counting against your data plan due to its use of Wi-Fi to make the file transfer.

PayAnywhere's Mobile Card Reader Brings Apple Pay To Small Businesses, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

Apple has partnered with PayAnywhere, a mobile credit card reader service that is currently used at over 300,000 locations in the United States. Apple Pay is already supported by the largest banks, retailers and credit unions in the country, and the latest integration with PayAnywhere allows small businesses to take advantage of the contactless payment service.

Parallels Access 3.0 Review: Remote Access With Added File Sharing And Apple Watch Support, by Cliff Joseph, ZDNet

Remote-access apps are a popular category on both the Apple and Android app stores, so Parallels Access certainly has plenty of competition. However, its graphical interface helps it stand out from its rivals by making it easier to use desktop software with the touch-sensitive controls of mobile devices. That interface, along with useful features such as the File Manager, make it one of the most efficient and productive options for getting work done when you're away from the office and need to connect to a remote computer.


Swift Diary #13: The Addiction, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

But here’s what happens now. Sometimes I go to write some Objective-C code and I sigh at the effort — because I know the Swift version is half as long. I sigh at jumping to the top of the file and adding an import, and I sigh at switching to the .h file and adding a method.

Your Job As A Founder Is To Create Believers, by Joseph Walla


Google Offers 'Short Term Fix' To Help Ad Publishers Bypass Apple's iOS 9 Security Protocol, by AppleInsider

Google on Thursday informed developers of a five-line bit of code crafted to sidestep Apple's upcoming App Transport Security encryption feature in iOS 9 by creating HTTPS exceptions, which could in some cases block mobile ads from appearing.

The Inadequacy Of Word Processors For Academic Writing, by Linda Glassop, Comwriter

The Art Of The Out-Of-Office Reply, by Emily Gould, New York Times

While most vacationing email recipients keep it simple (listing the contact information of their next-in-command and making a vague promise to get back to you by a certain date), some cannot resist the opportunity to inject a bit of their personality into their correspondents’ inboxes in absentia.

The New Rules Of Mobile Etiquette, Or : When And Where Is It OK To Use Your Phone?, by Vicky Gan, The Atlantic

Parting Words

DMs longer than 140 characters. Non-square Instagrams. I find arbitrary constraints comforting, please stop.

— Heather Kelly (@heatherkelly) August 27, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Aug 27, 2015The Go-To-Bed Edition

F.lux's New 'Backwards Alarm Clock' Is The Sleep Angel On Your Shoulder, by Damon Beres, Huffington Post

A version of the f.lux app released last week includes a "backwards alarm clock," which will remind you to go to bed if you're still using your computer when you should be catching z's. The app sends an alert every half-hour in the nine hours leading to your wake-up time. For example, if you're on your computer at 10 p.m. and you're supposed to rise at 7 a.m., f.lux will tell you you're cutting into valuable sleep time.

Tinybop’s The Everything Machine: Budding Engineers, Your App Has Arrived, by Cool Mom Tech

It incorporates visual programming elements plus mechanical and electrical engineering in a platform for inventing and building cool stuff. Or in human language, it lets you design and build all kinds of “machines” on your iPad, using your tablet’s own features and functions.


Goodbye To The Ghosts Of Emails Past, by Jeffery Battersby, Macworld

After using Apple Mail for a few years you may have noticed that, when adding contacts to a new email message, a long list of email addresses appears. Some of these may be in your address book, but it’s often the case that these names are people you haven’t sent messages to in years or that you emailed once, but have no intention of emailing ever again.

Why the long memory? Apple’s Mail app, for the sake of convenience, collects the names of everyone you send email to so you don’t have to chase down an email addresses for people who aren’t in your Contacts app. It’s a nice feature, but may make addressing email messages a little messy after a few years go by. Fortunately, you have a couple of options for cleaning up the mess.

How To Back Up Your iTunes Media, by Kirk McElhearn, Intego

Now if you're short on space, there are some iTunes media files that you don't need to back up. Here's an overview of how to back up your iTunes media files, and which ones you need to back up.

3 Apps To Get Homework Done Faster, by Ann Dolin, Additude

Instead of wasting time on Snapchat, use these clever apps to help you study smarter and get your homework done faster.

Dispatch 3.0 Brings iPad App, Improvements To Actions And Snippets, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Dispatch is still the email client to have if you want to make messages actionable and leverage other apps you may already use – such as OmniFocus, 2Do, Todoist, Fantastical, and dozens of others – to make email part of your existing iOS workflow. Dispatch is a versatile email client that understands the convenience of app integrations and shortcuts, and that fully embraces extensibility to make triaging email faster and more efficient.

This App Tells Your Friends You Got Home Safe, by Joseph Erbentraut, Huffington Post

A free new iPhone and Android app called Companion allows users to let friends or family members identified as “companions” keep an eye on them through their GPS location while traveling to their destination. When they make it home, companions are automatically notified via text message, as is the case should users not arrive at their destination by their GPS-predicted arrival time.

This One-Afternoon Project Could Change How You Meet Friends, by Nitish Kulkarni, TechCrunch

Frustrated by how difficult it was to have spur of the moment get-togethers with friends, Stanford classmates Joseph Lau and Nikil Viswanathan spent a Friday afternoon in San Francisco’s SoMa district building what they called Down To Lunch.

OmniFocus 2 For Mac Scores Performance Improvements In Latest Update, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Pregnancy Apps Do Everything But Ease Labor Pains, by Nick Bilton, New York Times

Pocket 6.0 Introduces Recommendation, Lays The Foundation For Future Features, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Etsy For iOS Now Alerts You When 'Local' Sellers Are Nearby, by Joe White, AppAdvice

Lara Croft GO Hits iOS With Puzzle-Based Gameplay, by Trevor Daugherty, 9to5Mac

After being announced back at E3, Lara Croft GO has officially been released on iOS and Android. The turn-based puzzle game will offer a new look into the world of Tomb Raider with its animation based design. Square Enix leans heavily on the success of Hitman GO, melding its board game style navigation with the world of Tomb Raider. The gameplay is based around simple puzzles with beautiful graphics.


Apple’s Content Blocking Is Chemo For The Cancer Of Adtech, by Doc Searls

As Expected, Apple Replaces iPad Smart Signs With New ‘Pricing’ Apps On Demo Devices In Apple Stores, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

How To Turn Off Video Autoplay On Facebook And Twitter, by Michelle Fitzsimmons, TechRadar

Parting Words

My new consumerism low is Google Maps browsing the inside of my old pharmacy to find a product I can't recall name of

— Sarah N. Emerson (@SarahNEmerson) August 26, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Aug 26, 2015The Crappy-Retro-Look Edition

How A Retro Camcorder App Became A Huge iPhone Hit, by David Pierce, Wired

Thomas Worth swears he didn’t expect any of this. He never expected that, 10 days after it launched, VHS Camcorder, his goofy $3.99 video app, would be No. 2 on Apple’s chart for paid apps, second only to Minecraft. Or the torrent of email, tweets, and castigating for an Android version. (It’s coming, by the way.) Most of all, he didn’t expect people to love this crappy retro look as much as he does.

The Apple Watch At Work And Play, by Fraser Speirs

In the time since I got the watch I've been at work, travelled away from home during the summer holidays and am now back to work again for the new term. I was reminded that I wanted to write this when I noticed how dirty my watch had become from my constantly interacting with it during the day.

One of the things about the life and work of a teacher is that, firstly, your day is highly scheduled. There are rarely more than a couple of hours in a working day where your use of time is not dictated to you. The second thing is that you live and die by your management of a hundred small things to do, tell people, collect, hand out, look for or send for.

What Does The OS X Activity Monitor’s “Energy Impact” Actually Measure?, by Nicholas Nethercote

“Energy Impact” is a flawed measure of an application’s power consumption. Nonetheless, it’s what many people use at this moment to evaluate the power consumption of OS X applications, so it’s worth understanding. And if you are an OS X application developer who wants to reduce the “Energy Impact” of your application, it’s clear that it’s best to focus first on reducing wakeup frequency, and then on reducing CPU usage.


Apple Updates Logic Pro X And MainStage With Acquired Alchemy Synth, Logic Gains Apple Music Sharing, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac

Swift Publisher 4 For Mac Brings A New Look, New Templates, And Photos Support, by Joseph Keller, iMore

VMware Launches Fusion 8 With Windows 10 & OS X El Capitan Support, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Aura Turns Gmail Alerts Into OS X Native Notifications, by Thorin Klosowski, LifeHacker


When To Avoid Libraries, by Benjamin Sandofsky

At scale, life is easier when you rely on as few third-party libraries as you can get away with. Fortunately, you don’t need that many. That seems odd coming from a web background, but Cocoa is a “batteries included” platform. Out of the box, you’ve got frameworks for animation, networking, persistence, and everything else you need for most apps.

On Scripting, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

The trend toward silos, sandboxing, and highly-controlled experiences is clear.


Apple Revamps Retail Store Appointment Scheduling With New Look, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s combined appointment scheduling service is being referred to as the “Concierge” and is deeply integrated into individual Apple Retail Store pages with today’s update, versus it previously being its own website.

Why Has Apple Broken Its Vow Of Silence?, by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC

This is a company that has delighted in forging its own path, deaf to the day-to-day hubbub of the markets. Perhaps the fact that it now seems to be listening to that noise is what should really worry investors.

Top German Court Rejects Apple Touchscreen Patent Appeal, by Eric Auchard and Peter Maushagen, Reuters

In a statement, the appeals court said it confirmed a ruling by the lower Federal Patent Court that canceled Apple’s German patent, based on the technique’s similarity to a phone released by Swedish company Neonode Inc a year before the iPhone’s 2007 launch.

What's Behind America's Burning Desire To Stick With Tipping At Restaurants?, by Michael McGrath, The Guardian

Many Americans don’t want to let go of tipping because they see it as a step toward socialism, or because they don’t want to lose the power to judge service.

Subway Love, by Max Stossel

Parting Words

They are everywhere!

— SciencePorn (@SciencePorn) August 26, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Aug 25, 2015The Reassuring-Performance Edition

Tim Cook Assures Investors, Via Jim Cramer Email, That Apple Is Still Seeing Strong China Growth, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Cook says that their performance so far this quarter is ‘reassuring’ and believes that China is an unprecedented opportunity over the long term, thanks to the growth of the middle class in the region.

Apple CEO Tim Cook May Have Violated SEC Rules With Jim Cramer Email, by Jennifer Booton, MarketWatch

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook’s decision to give a rare midquarter update on the company’s performance in a private email to CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday may have violated federal disclosure rules, lawyers said Monday.


10 Things That iTunes Does Right, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

You can condemn it for many problems, but it's good to sometimes take a step back and give it credit for the features that work so well that you hardly pay attention to them. I've picked ten things that iTunes does right.

The Best Online Backup Service, by Wirecutter

Everyone who uses a computer needs a dependable way to back up their data. After carefully comparing 20 services and testing six, we believe that CrashPlan continues to be the best online backup service for most people, as it offers a great combination of useful features at an attractive (though not rock-bottom) price. Its user interface is a bit homely, but it still makes the process of restoring files less painful than the competition. It provides top-notch 448-bit encryption, its desktop app offers the unique option of peer-to-peer backups (letting you forgo paying for cloud storage, if you like), it gives you fine-grained control over its behavior, and—assuming your Mac or PC has a reasonable amount of RAM—it delivers solid performance.

Acorn 5 Slices, Dices, Filters, Crops, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

You Can Fine Tune iTunes With beaTunes 4.5, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

One of my favorite features is the ability to search for and add missing data such as album artwork, which is more comprehensive than similar features in iTunes itself.

Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 iOS Review, by Craig Lloyd, Gotta Be Mobile

Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on iOS is a decent game, and the fact that there are no in-app purchases to worry about makes it even better, but I can’t help but yearn for the older Roller Coaster Tycoon games and their simpler interfaces.

Parting Words

Working from home

— Igal Tabachnik (@hmemcpy) August 24, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Aug 24, 2015The Hermit-Programmers Edition

A Salute To Solo Programmers, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Parkinson’s Law tells us that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Applied to software, this means that applications tend to bloatware, obese programs whose complexity makes them nearly impossible to debug and maintain. Today, we look at happier counterexamples, past and current, of ambitious products created by “hermit programmers”.

Phone And Laptop Encryption Guide: Protect Your Stuff And Yourself, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Using strong PINs or passwords and various Find My Phone features is a good place to start if you’d like to limit the amount of cleanup you need to do, but in this day and age it’s a good idea to encrypt your device’s local storage if at all possible. Full-disk or full-device encryption (that is, encrypting everything on your drive, rather than a specific folder or user profile) isn’t yet a default feature across the board, but most of the major desktop and mobile OSes support it in some fashion. In case you’ve never considered it before, here’s what you need to know.


What To Do When Apple Music Has Its Head In Cloud, by Rob Pegoraro, USA Today

This New App Could Tell You Whether You're More Productive During The Day Or The Night, by Irish Examiner

“If you notice for example that your brain test scores are highest early in the day, you might be well advised to undertake important tasks that require a bit more brainpower first thing in the morning.”

OneNote For iPad Tips To Make You More Productive, by Michael Ansaldo, Macworld

Here are a few cool ways the app can make you more efficient around the office.

Photoflow For Mac Is A Beautiful Desktop Client For Instagram, by Alan Henry, LifeHacker


4 Things We Learned When Apple Rejected Our First Watch App, by Robert Jackson, VentureBeat

But a funny thing happened on the way to launch: Apple rejected us. We absorbed Apple’s feedback and, backed by a new design philosophy, we came up with a superior product on our next attempt and Apple approved us.

The rejection turned out to be a tremendous learning opportunity that we would like to share.

Parting Words

Pablo Casals on why he practiced at 90.

— Chris Schroeder (@cmschroed) August 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Aug 23, 2015The Turn-Coat-In-Future Edition

Don’t Be Apple, by Jon Evans, TechCrunch

Apple may be more benevolent than Amazon, Facebook, Google, or Microsoft — but it is also more dictatorial than any of those. Benevolent dictators are wonderful until suddenly they aren’t.

‘It May Seem Silly’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

This advice is madness. Evans is recommending against using a platform that is secure and private today, from a company with a consistent decades-long track record in this regard, because in the future they might turn coat and become an accomplice of government mass surveillance, even though, if that came to pass, we could and would all just abandon the use of Apple products.


Apple Watch Banned From HSC Exams And Schools, by Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald

Students in NSW will be banned from wearing smart watches in their HSC exams this year as schools and exam boards battle to keep up with new ways to cheat. The NSW Board of Studies has this week emailed all Year 12 students with a list of items prohibited from this year's exam rooms. At the top of the list are Apple Watches, followed by iPhones , iPads and correction fluid.

Review: iHome iSP5 SmartPlug Featuring Apple HomeKit Support, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice


Adobe Drops Fonts, Leaves Users Stranded, by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion, InDesignSecrets

We have been Creative Cloud supporters since the beginning, but this is an alarming decision that shows either a lack of understanding or concern for the impact it has on both loyal customers and new folks just getting started with InDesign.

Ways To Think About Cars, by Benedict Evans

Cars are going to change a lot in the next few decades. Electricity on one hand and software on the other change what a car is, how it gets made and who might own one. They might also change the key players. As is often the case when an industry is going to be turned upside-down, there are actually a number of separate things happening, which feed into each other and accelerate the pace of change.

Parting Words


— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) August 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Aug 22, 2015The Get-Something-Done! Edition

How To Survive Working At Home, by Daniel Jalkut, iMore

I want to share with you some of my advice for getting the most out of working from home, whether you're relocating for a short stint, or it's the start of a life-long change in how you do your work.

Some of the lessons I've learned fly in the face of those dreams we hold on to in the office: All those delicious freedoms turn out to be some of the hardest aspects to the setup. No alarm clock? Good luck figuring out when you start your day. No lunch time? Don't forget to eat. No boss looming over you? Better make sure you actually get something done!


Dr. Dre Apologizes To The ‘Women I’ve Hurt’, by Joe Coscarelli, New York Times

While he did not address each allegation individually, he said: “Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.”

Apple, where Dr. Dre, 50, now works as a top consultant, also issued a statement: “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”

Spotify CEO: Sorry About Our Super Creepy New Privacy Policy, by Caitlin McGarry, Macworld

Spotify is in full damage-control mode after the streaming music service’s new privacy policy spurred a wave of Internet outrage. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized for the kerfuffle on Friday, and promised that the company is revising its privacy policy in the coming weeks to “better reflect” its intentions.

Terms And Conditions Are The Biggest Lie Of Our Industry, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

You’re not going to read 20,000 words before using the iTunes Store.


Apple Launches iSight Camera Replacement Program For iPhone 6 Plus, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today launched an iSight Camera replacement program for the iPhone 6 Plus, which will see the company replacing the camera module in a small percentage of iPhone 6 Plus devices that have a faulty rear-facing camera.

'Pooductive' Is The iPhone App That Lets You Talk To Complete Strangers On The Toilet, by Jeff Parsons, Mirror

'Pooductive' is an app that turns toilet time into a sociable activity. It lets you chat or play games with anyone else who happens to be "taking care of business" at the same time.

Trade Your Writing Pad For Your iPad And Take Notes In Whink, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice


How To Remind Users They Changed Their Password, by UX Movement

Instead of giving users a wrong error message, tell them how long ago they changed their password. This will help them realize why logging in with their old password is failing.

How Apple Got Siri To Run Much Faster, For A Lot Less Cash, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

Apple has moved to a hot new technology called Apache Mesos to make sure that its Siri personal digital assistant continues to get faster — and for a much cheaper server infrastructure bill.


Unraveling The Enigma Of Nintendo's Virtual Boy, 20 Years Later, by Benj Edwards, Fast Company

How the 1990s VR craze inspired an infamous—and still misunderstood—failed video game console.

Parting Words

There's not a day goes by that I don't think about this caption.

— Dan Berry (@thingsbydan) August 21, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Aug 21, 2015The Digital-Narrative Edition

Why You Need An App To Understand My Novel, by Iain Pears, The Guardian

I began Arcadia – a novel conceived and written for an app – over four and a half years ago when a lot of people were musing about digital narrative. After working my way through three publishers, two designers, four sets of coders and a lot of anguish, I am no longer surprised that few others have done anything about it. I also understand why the NHS database could go five times over budget and not work. What should be a simple task – write story, create software, publish – turns out to be anything but in practice.

Ask The iTunes Guy: More Changes To iTunes 12, More Problems To Fix, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Another update, another series of changes and problems. Apple’s recent update to iTunes—version 12.2.2—made some changes, and I look at one issue when purchased content now shows up in iTunes libraries. I also examine new playlist views in iTunes 12, new music sorting in the Music app with iOS 8.4, and answer a question about buying music from the iTunes Store in other countries.


New App Creates Customized Radio News Content, by Mark Huffman, ConsumerAffairs

Meep is an app following in Pandora's footsteps, but with one huge difference. Instead of music, the iPhone app creates a radio station delivering news about a user's particular interests.

The Everything Machine, by

1Password For iPhone And iPad Picks Up Vault Switching And Touch ID Improvements, by Joseph Keller, iMore

There Is No Faster Way To Record Video Than With FastCap, by AppAdvice

You tap to open the app and it starts recording immediately. You do not have to click a button, focus anything, or turn something on. Just open the app and record.

Yahoo Weather Will Now Alert You To Approaching Rain, by Joseph Keller, iMore

The app's new alerts will tell you 15 minutes before rain or snow is expected to start so you can be prepared.

Patterning Is An Unbeatably Fun, Powerful Way To Make Beats On Your iPad, by Martin Bryant, The Next Web

Three Ways Geronimo Will Change How You Deal With Your Email, by Sarah Mitroff, CNET


Apple Shares New “If It’s Not An iPhone, It’s Not An iPhone” Ad Highlighting Apple Pay, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Location, Sensors, Voice, Photos?! Spotify Just Got Real Creepy With The Data It Collects On You, by Thomas Fox-Brewster, Forbes

Music streaming market leader Spotify has decided that it wants to know a lot more about you. It wants to be able to access the sensor information on your phone so it can determine whether you’re walking, running or standing still. It wants to know your GPS coordinates, grab photos from your phone and look through your contacts too. And it may share that information with its partners, so a whole load of companies could know exactly where you are and what you’re up to.

'Space Jam' Forever: The Website That Wouldn't Die, by Erik Malinowski, Rolling Stone

The site lay more-or-less dormant for the next 14 years. But that changed for good in late 2010, when the Internet, exponentially bigger than it was in 1996, rediscovered the site – almost entirely unchanged from its initial launch. It was reborn as a viral sensation, the web's equivalent of a recently discovered cave painting. We laughed at the site because we couldn't believe anything was ever designed this way, but also because it still existed. It remains one of the most faithful living documents of early web design that anyone can access online.

Parting Words

I used to get my news in the paper, or on TV. Then on the web. Then on Twitter. Now I'm looking for a way to not get news anywhere.

— Matt Gemmell (@mattgemmell) August 19, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Aug 20, 2015The Staying-Private Edition

The Most Secure Way To Communicate? An iPod Touch, by Joseph Cox

Whether you’re a journalist communicating with a source, a friend planning a surprise party for your hack er buddy, a philandering spouse trying to hide your Ashley Madison dates, or just a generally private person who wants to keep your communications away from prying eyes, the iPod Touch is a pretty simple option for staying private. With the right software, you can message people over mobile instant-message apps or make encrypted voice calls.

All it takes is making sure that the model is Wi-Fi only, scrupulously keeping it updated, following a few vital steps to lock it down, and, finally, installing an encrypted communications app. After that, you’ll be able to exchange seriously secure messages.


iWatermark (For iPhone), by Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine

If you take your photographic work on the device seriously, iWatermark is an iPhone app can help you protect your ownership of your images by using the long-practiced technique of superimposing marks on the image that show its yours.

Sideclick Is Shaping Up To Be A Killer Remote Control For Streaming Video, by Jared Newman, Macworld

Some of the best ideas are the ones that only seem glaringly obvious after they’ve been invented. That may be the case with Sideclick, a $30 device that adds more TV controls to the remotes that come with Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google’s Nexus Player.

Adobe Debuts Captivate Prime, A Learning Management System, by MacTech


Good, Great, And 10x, by David Grandinetti

The more interesting answers started to come when I followed up with, ”What's the difference between a good programmer and great programmer?”

This was the point where people took a bit more time.


Apple To Hold Bond Sale Between $500M And $1B In Australia, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Parting Words

what visiting beautiful historic locations is actually like:

— Sebastiaan de With (@sdw) August 19, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Aug 19, 2015The Overnight-Success-In-Six-Years Edition

How Relay FM Proves That Podcasts Aren’t An Overnight Success, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

When Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett launched Relay FM, they expected to build a small independent network of weekly tech podcasts. Just a year later, Relay FM features 16 different shows and delivers 1.5 million downloads every month. Building this loyal audience was an overnight success six years in the making.

Apple To Simplify Retail Stores By Demoting iPods To Shelves, Dropping iPad Smart Signs, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Now, when a customer wants to buy an iPod, she or he can simply pull it off a shelf without needing to wait for the product to be brought from the back room.


Apple CarPlay Review: Siri’s Finally On The Right Road, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

CarPlay is undoubtedly the future of in-car technology. Siri, after years of rearing, is worthy of helming a system that makes car maker’s own dashboard controls feel like DOS. But it isn’t a complete joyride. Apple’s services are stuck in the slow lane compared with Google’s beloved maps and Google Now.

Apple Pushes RAW Compatibility Update To OS X Yosemite With Support For More Cameras, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Let Your Family Automatically Know When You’re Leaving Work, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Just enter the recipient’s phone number, your message, and the time range when you normally leave work. The app will then use your location to determine when you are leaving and send a text message to your recipient.

Parallels Desktop 11 Launches With Support For El Capitan, Windows 10, Cortana And More, by AppleInsider


Paper, The Popular iPad Drawing App, Is Coming To iPhone Soon, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Google Gets Into The Wi-Fi Router Game…and Plants A Flag In Your House, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Parting Words

did you know that you can't read Oracle's Terms of Service on their website without agreeing to it? workaround:

— Yan⚠ (@bcrypt) August 18, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Aug 18, 2015The iPhone-Videos-Into-Sundance-Films Edition

How To Make A Movie With An iPhone: An Interview With Tangerine Director Sean Baker, by Caitlin McGarry, Macworld

Tangerine director Sean Baker used his iPhone 5s to direct the movie, the first iPhone film shot in scope, which you wouldn’t guess if you saw it on the big screen (and you should—it’s now playing). Tangerine isn’t composed of shaky handheld footage, like the terrible videos littered throughout my Camera Roll. It looks cinematic.

Baker used a few filmmaking tips and tricks to polish his iPhone-shot dailies, but he says literally anyone can re-create what he did—and maybe even see the finished product debut at Sundance Film Festival, like Tangerine did this year. I asked Baker how he pulled it off and what equipment amateur filmmakers can use to turn their iPhone videos into Sundance films.

Apple's Renamed 'Apple Music Festival' Set To Kick Off In London On Sept. 19 With Connect Tie-Ins, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Announced dates have One Direction playing on Sept. 22, Disclosure on Sept. 25, Pharrell on Sept. 26 and Florence + The Machine on Sept. 28.

It appears that Apple is making the most of its Apple Music branding, as users can tune in to Beats 1 for official coverage and follow a special Apple Music Festival page on Connect.


Hello, Mac 911? Troubleshooting Continuity Calls Between Mac And iPhone, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Brian Cox's Wonders Of The Universe (For iPad), by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

In Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe iPad app, one of England's most renowned science educators takes you on a journey that spans time and space, while reminding you that you are an integral part of the cosmos. Whether he's in the desert, holding up a meteorite that's older than any earthly rock yet contains the precursors of amino acids, viewing a solar eclipse from India, or taking us on a virtual tour of our neck of the Milky Way, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Walk Me Up Alarm Clock Makes Your Feet Hit The Floor, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

The alarm tone will continue to ring until you actually get out of bed and begin to walk. You can set the number of steps and intensity of them, per alarm.

Disney Launches New App That Gives Users Full Access To Its Theme Park Gift Shops, by Cooper Smith, Orlando Weekly

Don't worry, Disney has finally solved the problem of you not spending enough money in their parks.


'Call 911': Man Whose Truck Fell On Him Says Apple's Siri Made The Call That Saved His Life, by Associated Press

On A Stick

The US Love Affair With Food On A Stick, by Vanessa Barford, BBC

"It's some sort of extreme sport on a stick. It's 'what can I put on a stick that nobody's done before?'"

Parting Words


— Joey Ellis (@joeyellis) August 17, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Aug 17, 2015The Natural-Curiosity Edition

Innovative 'WonderBox' App Revs Up Kids' Curiosity, by Jinny Gudmundsen, USA Today

Kids ask dozens of questions a day. Why does the weather change? What is smell? Where is the Eiffel Tower? A new app called WonderBox seeks to harness kids' natural curiosity to provide deeper learning connections for both kids and their families. The iOS app is revolutionary in how it combines learning videos with challenges that ask kids to create something new; and then it provides a safe environment for the sharing of these creations and discovered "wonders."

Apple's Reach

Apple Debuts Three New Apple Music Ads Featuring Artists Such As James Bay &Amp; Kygo, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

New Dr. Dre Album Serves As A Test For Apple Music, by Ben Sisario, New York Times

The album very likely benefited from the promotional push for the film. But for the music industry, it also demonstrated the reach and marketing power of Apple’s system.


PowerPhotos Review: Take Better Control Of Your Photo Library In Photos For OS X, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

While Photos is streamlined and zippy compared to iPhoto, its stripped-down approach can be confusing. PowerPhotos takes some of the shock out of Photos for OS X by helping bridge the gap between old and new.

Commander Is A Useful 'Finder Alternative' For Power Users, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

A dual-panel file manager for Mac OS X 10.9 or higher, it allows you to use two panels at once, set up your own hotkeys for a variety of actions, and more.

If I remember correctly, the very first file manager that I've used -- and actually liked -- was Norton Commander.


Avoid The Feature, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

All of this leads to my seemingly counter-intuitive advice: avoid being featured by Apple in the App Store when you first launch your app at all costs. Apple may hate me being honest in this regard, but they shouldn’t: it behooves neither the app makers nor Apple to have a bunch of apps featured that aren’t going to provide long-term value to users. It’s the short-term gain for long-term pain trade-off. Big picture: it won’t be worth it.

PSA: Beware Of Sudo On OS X, by Rondam Ramblings

Apple ships sudo with tty_tickets disabled by default. What this means is that if you use sudo to give yourself root privileges, your sudo authentication is not bound to the TTY in which you ran sudo.


$2b Fee Sticking Point As Apple Wrangles With Australia's Big Four Banks, by James Eyers, Sydney Morning Herald

Fairfax Media understands fees are a big sticking point in the negotiations, with big banks not willing to give Apple a slice of the $2 billion a year they earn in interchange fees, which are paid by merchants for use of payments infrastructure.

The Covert World Of People Trying To Edit Wikipedia For Pay, by Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic

Even minor changes in wording have the potential to influence public perception and, naturally, how millions of dollars are spent.

Parting Words

— Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) August 16, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Aug 16, 2015The Null-Pointer-Dereference Edition

New Privilege Escalation Exploit Discovered In OS X Yosemite, Also Affects Just-Released 10.10.5, by Sam Oliver, AppleInsider

The exploit was discovered by Italian developer Luca Todesco, who relies on a combination of attacks — including a null pointer dereference in OS X's IOKit — to drop a proof-of-concept payload into a root shell. It affects every version of OS X Yosemite, but seems to have been mitigated in OS X El Capitan, which is nearing release.

Todesco did not disclose the problem to Apple before sharing it publicly early Sunday, so it remains to be seen how quickly the company will respond.

Array Of Content

Guggenheim Museum Releases New Free App For iPad, by Dexigner

The new iPad app brings together a rich array of content highlighting the museum's collections and exhibitions as well as its publications archive, offering access to more than 100 out-of-print titles dating back to the 1930s.

Browser Fairy Overcomes Browser Commitment Phobia, by TJ Luoma, MacStories

Browser Fairy allows you to set different browsers to open different links, rather than having to use the same browser for everything.


How To Create A Recoverable Workspace In Mac OS X For Safe Photo Editing, by Michael Archambault, PetaPixel

Many photographers unfortunately know the horror of editing a photograph and accidentally saving over the original copy all too well. While Lightroom implements a non-destructive system for saving files, Photoshop can be a bit more dangerous, and accidents do occur. Today, we will show you how to set up a safe workspace area on your Mac that will back up photographs as you edit them.

'Drunk Mode' App Is Redefining The College Party Experience, by Andrew Isaac Burrill, The Huffington Post

Not only does this app protect your own social and mental health, it also ensures that you are paying proper to attention to the safety and well being of the friends you went out with for the evening.

Mobile News App Wildcard Bets On A Card-Based Design To Attract Users, by Rachel Raudenbush, Digiday


New 'Magic Mouse 2' And Apple Wireless Keyboard With Bluetooth 4.2 Appear In FCC Filings, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

The internals of both devices will see a notable overhaul in their Bluetooth capabilities, with each device getting a bump from Bluetooth 2.1 to Bluetooth 4.2. The upgrade will bring about Apple accessories that should see a noticeable increase in battery life and more robust communication between the input devices and the main computer.

Apple And Google May Have To Show Tax Paid In Australia Under Senate Proposal, by Bridie Jabour, The Guardian

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas In A Bruising Workplace, by Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld, New York Times

Even as the company tests delivery by drone and ways to restock toilet paper at the push of a bathroom button, it is conducting a little-known experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers, redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable. The company, founded and still run by Jeff Bezos, rejects many of the popular management bromides that other corporations at least pay lip service to and has instead designed what many workers call an intricate machine propelling them to achieve Mr. Bezos’ ever-expanding ambitions.

Parting Words

I can feel a lifetime of dread in that tiny moment when your phone freezes for a split second because a call is about to come in.

— Roman Mars (@romanmars) July 30, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Aug 15, 2015The Not-A-PC Edition

iPad: A Consumption Device, After All?, by Lukas Mathis, Ignore The Code

The thing that’s preventing people from using the iPad productively is not the small screen, it’s the operating system.

Right now, for most of its users, the iPad is a consumption device. It’s not a PC replacement, and it’s not really much better than a phone for gaming or watching movies or reading. That puts it into an awkward position. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s no reason the iPad couldn’t replace most PCs in people’s homes, and be better than those PCs at most tasks people currently use PCs for. No reason — except for Apple’s lack of willingness to make the iPad into that device.

Bad Comments Are A System Failure, by Jessamyn West, Medium

Allowing your community members to be harassed and stalked and driven off is unconscionable. Allowing your comments section to turn into the worst parts of the internet is bad for business, or should be. Abdicating the responsibility of good community management makes all of us Internet People look bad and is a completely avoidable failure mode that site owners should work harder at getting right.

Bands And Kits

Apple Introduces New Apple Watch Link Bracelet Kit, L/XL Sport Bands To Fit Larger Wrists, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today introduced a new Link Bracelet Kit, which is equipped with six additional stainless steel links to make the 42mm Link Bracelet able to fit wrists that exceed 205mm.

You Can Now Order A Standalone Modern Buckle Watch Band From Apple For $249, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Stuff. Now Lets You Recover Deleted Files, Contacts, And Calendars, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Not only can you recover files that you've deleted, but also restore contacts, calendars, and reminders. This new feature also shows you how long it will be until those items are permanently deleted if you choose not to restore them.

Suspicious Package Lets You Inspect .Pkg Files Before You Install Them, by TJ Louma, MacStories


The Increasingly Long Lives Of Old Macs, by Dan Moren, Macworld

On The Apple Back Door Rumors … Remember Lavabit, by Marcy Wheeler, Emptywheel

Still, it’s worth noting that Yates’ claim that FBI doesn’t want keys to communications isn’t true — or at least wasn’t before her tenure at DAG. Because a provider, Levison, insisted on providing his customers what he had promised, the FBI grew so distrustful of him they did demand a key.

Parting Words

I probably would've just gone with, "We have a ghost"

— Bridger Winegar (@bridger_w) August 14, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Aug 14, 2015The Read-Between-Meetings Edition

The Rise Of Phone Reading, by Jennifer Maloney, Wall Street Journal

Mr. Vestal’s iPhone has offered him a way to squeeze in time for reading that he otherwise might have given up. He reads on lunch breaks. He even reads between meetings as he walks across Microsoft’s Seattle campus, where he works as a program manager.

Before he tried it, he wondered whether reading in snippets might be dissatisfying. But to his surprise, he found he could quickly re-immerse himself in the book he was reading. “I want reading to be part of my life,” said Mr. Vestal, age 35. “If I waited for the kind of time I used to have—sitting down for five hours—I wouldn’t read at all.”

Vertical Video On The Small Screen? Not A Crime, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

Holding your phone “the wrong way” to shoot a video provokes surprisingly apoplectic reactions. Professional videographers tend to regard vertical videos as the mark of an amateur, and they react to these clips with the same sense of wounded outrage that snooty writers reserve for people who confuse its and it’s, or who type two spaces after a period when everyone knows there should only be one.

But perhaps there’s a deeper reason that Mario, Fafa and many professional videographers become so enraged: They worry they are on the wrong side of history. The future of video, it turns out, just may be vertical.

Things That Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now, by Scaachi Koul, New Yorker

Someone will post a photo of a brunch sandwich—like, a really great brunch sandwich, one with bacon and avocado—and I won’t get to comment, “omg where.”

Backup Before Updating Your Stuff

Apple Releases OS X 10.10.5 To Squash Mail, Photos, And QuickTime Bugs, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The update contains a fix for a bug that gives attackers unfettered root privileges, a feat that makes it easier to surreptitiously infect Macs with rootkits and other types of persistent malware.

Apple Releases iOS 8.4.1 With Improvements To Apple Music, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

iTunes 12.2.2 Update With Bug Fixes For Apple Music Released, by OS X Daily

Apple's Diversity, Or Lack Thereof

Inclusion Inspires Innovation., by Apple

We are proud of the progress we’ve made, and our commitment to diversity is unwavering. But we know there is a lot more work to be done.

Some people will read this page and see our progress. Others will recognize how much farther we have to go. We see both. And more important than these statistics, we see tens of thousands of Apple employees all over the world, speaking dozens of languages, working together. We celebrate their differences and the many benefits we and our customers enjoy as a result.

Apple Wants To Be Diverse, But White Dudes Still Run Things, by Davey ALba, Wired

That may sound like a whole lot of progress. But a closer look at the actual composition of Apple’s workforce tells a more dismal story.

Apple Reports Little Progress In Workforce Diversity Efforts, by Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

Apple more than doubled the number of women, blacks and Latino workers hired in the last year, according to a report released Thursday, but the result was only an incremental improvement in its overall workforce diversity figures.


Apple Recalling Some Apple TVs, by Topher Kessler, MacIssues

If you recently purchased an AppleTV, then its possible you may receive an e-mail from Apple requesting you ship the system back to Apple for a replacement. For unknown reasons besides mention of a faulty component, Apple has initiated the recall, and is offering affected users an iTunes gift card for the inconvenience.

Listening To Classical Music On Apple Music, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

I recently made some suggestions about how you can manage a classical music library in iTunes. Apple Music, however, can be even more of a challenge for listening to classical music. This isn’t surprising; the music streaming model is designed around the “song” rather than multi-movement works, such as symphonies and sonatas. Here are a few tips to help you listen to classical music more efficiently.

Art App Helps Teens With Depression, by Madeleine Dore, ArtsHub

Harnessing the power of art to improve our general wellbeing, the team behind the online initiative Rosie Respect have created the free iPhone app Wake Up Rosie.

Dedicated to helping young women develop courage and resilience, Wake Up Rosie is a modern alarm clock that helps people start their day in the right frame of mind through inspiring music and design. Each time the alarm sounds, Wake Up Rosie will send the user an inspirational image designed to give you a boost.


Facebook Is Open-Sourcing Its Parse SDKs, Starting With iOS, Android, And Mac OS X, by Jordan Novet, VentureBeat


Apple's Products Are Getting Harder To Use Because They Ignore Principles Of Design., by Don Norman

Apple has gotten carried away by the slick, minimalist appearance of their products at the expense of ease of use, understandability, and the ability to do complex operations without ever looking at the manual.

Apple V. Samsung: Court Rejects Samsung's Latest Appeal, by Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News

Without comment, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Samsung's bid to reconsider a previous ruling largely backing Apple -- leaving the U.S. Supreme Court as the only legal option left for Samsung to try to overturn hundreds of millions of dollars in damages it now owes Apple in their ongoing patent feud.

Parting Words

One of my greatest professional regrets is I was unable to convince NYTimes to make the “printer-friendly” button say “fit to print”

— Karen McGrane (@karenmcgrane) August 12, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Aug 13, 2015The Only-Minority-In-The-Room Edition

Apple Partners With Code2040 To Improve Diversity In Tech, by Brendan Klinkenberg, BuzzFeed

On Wednesday morning, the most valuable company in the world announced a partnership with Code2040, a nonprofit trying to close the diversity gap in the tech industry. That mission, in part, comes down to the organization’s fellowship program. Each year since 2013, Code2040 has accepted a class of fellows — “top performing Black and Latino/a college level computer science students,” per the organization’s website — and given them both on-the-job skills as well as tools to help them prepare for situations that might arise when you’re the only minority in the room at work. Then, it places them at prestigious internships in the tech industry.

Apple Left Racist, Sexist Ringtones Unchecked For Years, by Marissa Lang, San Francisco Chronicle

On Monday, after a call from The Chronicle, Apple removed dozens of offending ringtones and at least one app from HaHaas Comedy that allowed users to access long lists of “funny Asian” and “gangsta Indian” ringtones.

Some, like the ringtone titled “For Best Friend (Ghetto)” by Asian Andy, had been available for purchase for more than four years.

Doing Business In An iPhone World

A Leaked Memo From Apple Describes A Huge Packaging Redesign Initiative For Its Retail Stores, by Jim Edwards, Business Insider

All suppliers of bags, cases and other knick-knacks in the Accessories section of Apple stores will only be allowed to sell products if the boxes they come in feature a white background, with typefaces approved by Apple, and product shots that conform to Apple’s preferred angles, the memo says.

Why Shopping Apps Are Struggling To Break Out, by Ian P. Murphy, RetailDIVE

But retailers’ native apps face an uphill battle: It turns out there’s a limit to the number of apps a consumer will use. On average, according to Forrester Research, smartphone users spend 85% of the time on their phones using native apps, but the majority of that time is dedicated to just five apps—and breaking into that top five is a challenge for any app dedicated to a single brand.


Apple Issues Rare Software Update For 7th-Gen iPod Nano Devices, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple on Wednesday released an unusual standalone update for the seventh-generation iPod nano, making unspecified changes to the media player's proprietary operating system.

Let the Apple-Music-on-iPod-Nano rumors begin.

Apple Updates Boot Camp With Windows 10 Support, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

The Most Annoying iCloud Music Library Issues We Hate To See, by Kirk McElhearn, Intego

CIO: 7 Mac Migration Dangers To Avoid, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Former Speek Exec Offers New Way To Tour D.C., by Zoe Sagalow, Washington Business Journal

The goal, according to the app’s website, is to provide a local tour guide to inform users about a city and the city’s main attractions in a format that allows users to travel at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Google For iOS Updated With Always-On ‘Ok Google,’ Improved Local Search Results, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

You can now say “Ok Google” while on any webpage to get detailed answers about whatever topic your researching. For instance, you could say “Ok Google, where was he born?” while reading an article about Paul George. You could also say “Ok Google, how far away is this place?” while reading about a restaurant or shopping location.

Setlists 2 Brings Tons Of New Features For Avid Musicians, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

The basic crux of the app is that it helps you ditch paper setlists in favor of digital organization. In addition, you can use the app to show lyrics and chords to your songs while you're practicing or playing a show.

PDFpen 7.3 For Mac OS X Improves Scanning, by MacTech

Bringing Grayscale To Life With Codijy Color Magic 3 For Mac, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

Twitter Takes On Messaging Apps By Removing 140 Character Limit From Direct Messages, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac


Swift-Er SDK, by Apple

Parting Words

The sequel to Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a lot steamier.

— You can call me Q (@QuintinForbes) February 15, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Aug 12, 2015The 1-Star-Reviews Edition

Iterate And Release Often, by Dan Counsell

You’ve spent the last six months or more working on a major overhaul of your app. You’ve refreshed the UI. Improved the app icon. You’ve even added a bunch of new features and removed the crusty old stuff that no one ever uses. You release it expecting universal praise. Instead, you're met with a barrage of angry tweets and a bunch of 1 star reviews from your once happy users.

Pick A Card, Any Card, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

We computer “experts” have faith in the deterministic nature of our machines. Web apps destroy that faith.


Outlook 2016 Review: A New Coat Of Paint On The Same Reliable Personal Information Manager, by Nathan Alderman, Macworld

It’s Microsoft Outlook: You almost certainly know what to expect from it. It does its job well, but brings nothing new to the table. If you need Exchange-based mail for work, or want a desktop alternative to the very good Outlook365 web client, it won’t let you down.

InboxVudu’s New iOS App Helps You Conquer Your Email To-Do List, by Martin Bryant, The Next Web

InboxVudu generally does a good job of picking out things people are asking me to do.

Apple Store App Updated With Support For Gift Card Purchases, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

You Can Now Find All Of Beats 1's Archived Shows In One Place, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Parallels Launches Parallels Access 3.0 Remote Access App, by MacTech


Swift Diary #11: Objective-Swift, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

Given that, I made the pragmatic decision to start using @objc protocols, classes, and collection types where those things make sense, where Swift fought against my design.

And suddenly the language is a joy to use. It’s like Objective-C but with type inference, no .h files, fewer imports, shorter syntax — and I get the things I was missing.

I'm Waiting For All Self-Driving Vehicles All The Time

The City That Lets Cyclists Jump Red Lights, by Hugh Schofield, BBC

Cyclists in Paris no longer have to stop at every red traffic light - new rules mean that in certain circumstances they can ignore the signals and keep going. The aim is to make the city's roads much safer.

Parting Words

What time is it, @guardian?

— Martin Bryant (@MartinSFP) August 12, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Aug 11, 2015The Prioritise-With-Ease Edition

The Hidden Editing Power Of Photos For OS X, by Jeff Carlson, Macworld

Photos for OS X is designed to appeal to a broad audience, with simple editing tools that let anyone improve their photographs. But is that it? Even though it’s a 1.0 product (replacing iPhoto and Aperture), a lot of editing power is actually hidden beneath that user-friendly surface.

How To Stop To-Do Lists Ruining Your Life, by Hannah Marriott, The Guardian

According to cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist Daniel J Letvin, many successful people use 5x3 inch index cards to plan their tasks, writing one “to-do” on each card. The key here is that, unlike a long paper list, cards can be re-prioritised without any effort – and the ability to prioritise your tasks with ease is crucial to avoiding feeling overtaxed in the moment.


Unicorns Review: Use Your Mac To Stream Online What's Happening On Your iPhone, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

App developers can use it to demo their latest project, get feedback from other developers or clients, or other tasks that require collaboration. If you’ve been designated as the unofficial tech expert in your family, you can use Unicorns to help out a family member by showing how to do a particular task. And since it’s free, there’s really no risk in trying it out.

OneNote 2016 For Mac Deserves Wider Adoption, by Erik Eckel, TechRepublic

Twitterrific For iOS Updated With Design Tweaks And iOS 9 Features, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac

Snapchat Updated With New ‘Travel Mode’ Feature To Reduce Mobile Data Usage, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Plex For iOS Updated With Rotten Tomatoes Integration, Refreshed Interface, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

5 Weird iOS Keyboards For Expressing Your Wacky Self, by Oscar Raymundo, Macworld

The Adventures of Wisely

Video game dad jokes are the best dad jokes

— Lucy James (@lucyjamesgames) August 9, 2015


Could Your iPhone Become More Expensive In China?, by Lorraine Luk, Wall Street Journal

In a rare move, China devalued its currency on Tuesday and analysts say given Apple’s large exposure to the China market, it could hit the Cupertino, Calif. company’s sales in U.S. dollar terms.

The Alphabet Net

Google Restructures, Naming Parent Company Alphabet, by Zach Miners, IDG News Service

Google will become a subsidiary of a new parent company called Alphabet, under a massive restructuring arrangement designed to let the company’s businesses operate more efficiently.

A,B,C As Easy As 1,2,3 — Follow The Money In The Google Renaming, by Kara Swisher, Re/code

It’s an effective message to Wall Street to make the company structure more clear, even if it is not really that different from before (all these units once rolled up to Google CEO Larry Page and now will roll up to Alphabet CEO Larry Page).

Giving Google Room To Dream Big Beyond Search, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

Over the last few years, the tech industry’s outsized ambitions to press ever more deeply into our lives has generated both worry and amusement. Tech founders increasingly argue that every sector of modern life, including health care, transportation, media and education, will be improved by the liberal application of computing technology.

Now Google has created a structure to realize just this supposed utopia.

Pichai Tapped To Run Restructured Google Within Alphabet, by Brad Stone, Bloomberg

On Monday, Pichai, 43, was tapped to be chief executive officer of Google itself, the dominant unit of the new holding company Alphabet Inc., a stunningly rapid ascent to the top echelon of U.S. business. Now comes the hard part. His new role will be about positioning Google for the future, which hands him some of the toughest jobs in all of tech -- like shifting the profit engine from the desktop to mobile and combating the rapid growth of Inc. in e-commerce and cloud computing and Facebook Inc. in social networking.

And Then, There're These

$440b company just radically changed corp structure to advantage innovation while you debate whether your VP will like slide 14 of the ppt

— Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) August 10, 2015

The new parent company will be able to pursue new areas of interest that had previously been off-limits to Google.

— Tom Randall (@tsrandall) August 10, 2015

Crossing my fingers that the Alphabet reorganization will finally dilute their focus enough so an RSS reader makes sense again.

— Paul Bausch (@pbausch) August 10, 2015

Parting Words

Newspaper correction of the day from this morning’s @thetimes

— Mr Eugenides (@Mr_Eugenides) August 11, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Aug 10, 2015The Leave-Your-Door-Unlocked Edition

Deleting Your Browser History Could Land You In Prison, by S.E. Smith, The Kernel

Instead of being a resource for readily available information that citizens can access at will, the Internet is becoming a tool for spying on citizens and residents of the United States. People no longer enjoy the explicit right to privacy that would protect them from warrantless wiretapping and seizure of Internet records. As Matanov’s case illustrates, they’re also not entitled to the legal protection of being allowed to have control over their own browser history and private records.

In an interview with the Nation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Hanni Fakhoury observed: “The idea that you have to create a record of where you’ve gone or open all your cupboards all the time and leave your front door unlocked and available for law enforcement inspection at any time is not the country we have established for ourselves more than 200 years ago.”


Mac USB Ports Stopped Working? It’s Likely Easy To Fix, by OS X Daily

500px's Redesigned iOS App Is An Instagram For Pros, by Jon Fingas, Engadget

I May Never Leave Home Again, by Alex Beam, The Boston Globe


Put Down Your iPad And Go To Sleep — Really, by Bill Elliott,

Netscape Changed The Internet—and The World—when It Went Public 20 Years Ago, by Alice Troung, Quartz

It was 20 years ago today that Netscape went public, setting off what we now know as the first dot-com boom.

Parting Words

A chilling warning for the old people in my village.

— Tom (@tdawks) August 9, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Aug 9, 2015The How-We-Are-Touching-Them Edition

What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Being A Son And A Father, by Nick Bilton, New York Times

While I stood waiting for my mother’s shrimp, I watched all these people toiling away and I thought about what Mr. Jobs had said about the waitress from a few years earlier. Though his rudeness may have been uncalled-for, there was something to be said for the idea that we should do our best at whatever job we take on.

This should be the case, not because someone else expects it. Rather, as I want to teach my son, we should do it because our jobs, no matter how seemingly small, can have a profound effect on someone else’s life; we just don’t often get to see how we’re touching them.

An App Alert Is As Distracting As A Phone Call, Even If You Ignore It, by Charlie Sorrel, Fast Company

"Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance," say the report's authors. "We found that cellular phone notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task."


A Stickler For Details: Implementing Sticky Input Field In iOS, by Meiwin Fu, Medium

Being able to dismiss the keyboard interactively is not really a big deal, it’s probably a small detail that most users wouldn’t even notice. But, it certainly adds a nice touch to the app.

However, It’s unfortunate that the implementation is far from obvious. Developers have tried many approaches with varying degrees of success. There are few open source projects, blog posts and StackOverflow entries related to this subject, offering solutions ranging from simple to painfully complex.


Apple’s Fitness Guru Opens Up About The Watch, by Scott Rosenfield, Outside

“The team really focused on saying, ‘As fitness and activity and trends come and go, what would always be a good recommendation?’” Blahnik says. “It came down to sit less, move more, and get some exercise.” That formula became the foundation of Activity, the Watch’s all-day fitness tracker app.

The Best And Worst Of Apple Music's Biggest Album Debut, by Dave Rudden, TechRadar

Teenagers Keep And Make Friends Online, Pew Says, by Dino Grandoni, New York Times

Researchers say they have discovered something that teenagers already know: Young people use the Internet to maintain friendships made at school or work, but also to forge entirely new ones with peers they meet while browsing social networks like Instagram or playing a game like Call of Duty.

Parting Words

"Dr. Dre does not tweet"

— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) August 7, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Aug 8, 2015The Twenty-Blocks-To-Work Edition

Dark Sky 5 Offers Hyperlocal Weather Forecasts For iOS, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

So why does Dark Sky stand out, and why has it has become one of my most-used apps? On its initial screen, under the current conditions, it provides a forecast for the next hour that is usually on target. Not everyone will care about this, such as those in California or other places in the world where the weather doesn’t change much. Nor will people who spend little time outside. But here in upstate New York, and speaking as someone who exercises outside most days, I care deeply about the weather. And more to the point, I care deeply what the weather is going to do soon, right where I am.

The Pleasure Of Practicing: A Musician’s Assuring Account Of Creative Homecoming And Overcoming Impostor Syndrome, by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Having grown up playing guitar and working to become a professional musician as a young adult, studying at a conservatory and winning some competitions along the way, Kurtz found himself disillusioned and exasperated with his progress, with the disheartening sense that “ambition and expectation are sometimes not enough.” So he gave up the dream of becoming an artist, borrowed a book from the New York Public Library to learn typing, and got himself a “real” job as an editorial assistant in New York, to which he walked twenty blocks to work every morning, “stunned and heartbroken, a sleepwalker.”

Selling The iPhone

iPhone’s Annual Cycle Of Advertising, by Ken Segall

I do find myself wondering if iPhone might not be better served with an engaging, long-running campaign. One that creates equity for the brand, and makes iPhone even more resistant to competition.

When the product has become a platform, maybe the advertising should be a platform too.

Apple’s Latest ‘If It’s Not An iPhone Ad’ Highlights Taking Photos And Videos, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac


Ask The iTunes Guy: Importing Single CD Tracks, iCloud Download, Apple Music DRM, And Status Bar Toggles, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Lots of readers are writing in with questions about iTunes 12 and its quirks. In this week’s column, I explain how to import single tracks from CDs, which is different in the latest version of iTunes. I look at the iCloud Download column that displays in list views. I try and explain why Apple Music’s music files have DRM. And I highlight a bug in the way iTunes displays some information about playlists.

Digging For Trashed Pictures In Mac’s Photos App, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

Google Maps’ “Night Mode” Feature Makes It Easier To Navigate In The Dark, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch


EU Finds No Evidence Of Apple And Music Labels Colluding To Kill Free Music, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

The European Commission failed to find evidence of collusion among the major music labels and Apple to quash free music streaming services such as those offered by Spotify, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter.

Investigators examined whether the labels conspired with one another or with Apple on Apple’s new streaming music service in a way that would hurt rivals. The probe failed to turn up any illegal activity, though the EU will continue to monitor the market, sources said.

iTunes Store Music Links Open In Apple Music, And This Is Bad For People Selling Music, by Kirk McElhearn

So if you do want to sell your music, and not direct people to Apple Music where they can stream it, you’ll need to change, and then check, all your links. For small labels, this isn’t a big deal, but for larger labels, this is quite a job. It’s a bit unfair that Apple has done this, without, apparently, alerting labels.

Parting Words

The history of button visual design (via @manabuueno)

— Alex Vanderzon (@alexvanderzon) August 7, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Aug 7, 2015The Removed-Standalone-Tab Edition, One Of The World’s Biggest Stores, Gets A Redesign, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

A redesign of that went live today removed the standalone ‘Store’ tab, and the ‘’ domain entirely. This is an enormous change for one of the biggest online retail stores in the world.

New Website Encompasses Built-In Store, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Knowing what I know about the old online store, this was a massive behind-the-scenes undertaking, but the result looks and works like what most people would have expected all along.

This App Could Be The Future Of Psychological Therapy, by Alex Heath, Business Insider

Ustwo, the design studio behind the hit iPhone game Monument Valley, has teamed up with a pair of tech savvy psychologists to make a new app called Moodnotes that they think could usher in a new, more approachable model of delivering psychological therapy.

On the surface, it looks like a simple journaling app. But it actually offers much more.

You tell Moodnotes how you’re feeling, and it charts your emotions over time. It gives you feedback on what you’re feeling and challenges you to think more positively about situations.


Apple's Back To School Sale Kicks Off Online, Expands To Additional Countries, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

How Your Phone Can Protect You From Sunburn And Deer Ticks, by Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post

There are two health issues many Mid-Atlantic residents fret about each summer: sunburn and Lyme disease. It turns out that smartphones, which most people have at hand even while on the beach or in the woods, can be helpful in amplifying or allaying those concerns.

Microsoft Translator App Now Available On iPhone And Apple Watch, by John Callaham, 9to5Mac

HBO Now For iOS Gains Chromecast Support, More In Latest Update, by Stephen Hall, 9to5Mac


Microsoft Open Sources (Most Of) Its iOS-Apps-on-Windows Compatibility Layer, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Microsoft announced today that large parts of Project Islandwood are being open sourced. The first code release is available on GitHub right now, published under the liberal MIT license. With it, Objective-C programmers can write Universal Windows Apps that'll run on Windows and, soon, Windows Mobile, Xbox, and even the HoloLens augmented reality headset.


Jimmy Iovine Interview: Producer Talks Apple Music, Zane Lowe, And Taylor Swift’s Wrath, by Jimi Famurewa, Evening Standard

“Eddy [Cue, Apple senior VP] woke up on Sunday morning,” says Iovine. “He called me and said, ‘This is a drag’. I was like, ‘Yeah, maybe there’s some stuff she doesn’t understand’. He said, ‘Why don’t you give Scott [Borchetta, Swift’s label boss] a call? I called Scott, I called Eddy back, Eddy and Tim [Cook, Apple CEO] called me back and we said, ‘Hey, you know what, we want this system to be right and we want artists to be comfortable, let’s do it’.”

So just like that, it was done. Apple would go back on its initial plan and pay artists per stream during the three month-free trial of Apple Music. A flurry of morning phone calls and this axis of power had agreed to a policy change estimated to be worth millions of pounds in customer acquisition. How long did it take? He says he’s not sure but he remembers “getting a pair of espadrilles for Fathers’ Day”. Financial clout and beach-appropriate footwear; it seems fitting for a man who suddenly finds himself a major player among Silicon Valley’s hoodied kajillionaires.

Apple's ResearchKit Expands Internationally, by Arielle Duhaime-Ross, The Verge

Starting today, people who live in Hong Kong and the UK will be able to access the MyHeart Counts app, which collects data on physical activity and cardiac risk factors for a heart disease study run by Stanford University.

Parting Words

— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) August 6, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Aug 6, 2015The Self-Diagnosis Edition

Apple Will Fix Mac OS X Bug Amid Security Concerns, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

The tech company will patch a serious “privilege escalation” bug in the next security update to its desktop operating system, Mac OS X 10.10.5, the Guardian has learned.

Heart Patient: Apple Watch Got Me In And Out Of Hospital Fast, by Neil Versel, MedCity

At the hospital, “Everybody was interested [in this self-diagnosis with the help of the Apple Watch], but nobody was convinced,” Robson said. But attending cardiologist Dr. Jerrold Glassman confirmed the ailment. “This was one of the rare instances where the patient was right in self-diagnosis,” Robson said.

“I was watching [my heart rate] on my watch while they were watching on a [medical-grade] monitor, and they synched up,” according to Robson.

iPhones, The FBI, And Going Dark., by Nicholas Weaver

Despite this, "best" does not mean "impregnable". The FBI claims that iPhones are "bricks" containing no useful information and Apple claims that iMessage is "end-to-end" secure. Neither is the case. A suspect's iPhone is hardly a brick, but rather a vast trove of information and iMessage, rather than being an impenetrable fortress, is actually metadata-friendly and seems designed to support a backdoor.

Business Machines

IBM, Apple’s Rival-Turned-Partner, Plans To Help Other Companies Adopt Macs, by Robert Mcmillan, Wall Street Journal

From The Department Of Strange Bedfellows, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I don’t know if this IBM partnership in and of itself is a big deal, but I think the general trend toward MacBooks being the de facto standard laptop for any sort of professional use, across all fields, is a huge deal.

Mac At Work: IBM Launches Services To Deploy Macs At Scale To The Enterprise Via Cloud, by IBM


Put Away The Paper And Use Cloud Outliner 2, by AppAdvice

Whether it is for work or school, the app keeps your thoughts, ideas, homework, paperwork, and all of those nifty documents structured nicely.

A New App Revolutionizes The Sketchbook, by Elizabeth Stamp, Architectural Digest

Wunderlist For Mac Now Lets You Add To-Dos And Reminders Without Switching Apps, by Abhimanyu Ghoshal, Mashable


Apple Updates TestFlight With Support For iOS 9 And watchOS 2 Betas, App Thinning, by Federico Viticci, MacStories


“Guys, if my calculations are correct, we would have 13% more fun if we left the pool and programmed instead.”

— Allen Pike (@apike) August 4, 2015


Time is difficult. #programming

— Graeme Foster (@GraemeF) August 5, 2015


Apple Defeats Bid For Group Suit Over Texts Lost In Phone Swap, by Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh on Tuesday ruled the case can’t proceed as a group lawsuit because it’s not clear enough that all proposed members of the suit suffered an inconvenience due to any “contractual breach or interference” stemming from the iMessage system.

Apple Music Hooks 11 Million Trial Members, App Store Has Record July, by Marco della Cava, USA Today

One month after unveiling its new streaming music service, Apple has locked in 11 million trial members, company executives tell USA TODAY.

"We're thrilled with the numbers so far," says Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, adding that of that sum 2 million have opted for the more lucrative family plan at $14.99 a month for up to six people.

Parting Words

Times Square billboard. With that quotation, no wonder @pennjillette and I are selling so well.

— Teller (@MrTeller) August 5, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Aug 5, 2015The Fright-Fest Edition

What You Need To Know About The Thunderstrike 2 Worm, by Rich Mogull, TidBITS

Nearly everyone can ignore Thunderstrike 2 entirely. The research really is excellent, compelling work that the Wired piece unfortunately turned into a bit a fright-fest. The Web attack vector, in particular, is blocked in OS X 10.10.4. The worm can’t automatically jump air gaps — those in sensitive environments can easily protect themselves by being careful where they source their Thunderbolt devices, and this entire family of firmware attacks is likely to become a lot more difficult as hardware improves, and as device manufacturers update their firmware code.

Don't panic.

Don't Let A Disability Stop You From Using Your Smartphone, by Edward C. Baig, USA Today

A quarter of a century ago, when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, the idea that we'd all be carrying smartphones (and some of us wearing smart watches), much less scaling mountains with them, would have seemed unfathomable. It would have been even more remarkable to think back then that people with a variety of physical impairments — poor vision, motor disabilities, hearing loss — would be getting the same rich experiences from such devices.

Apple Pay To The Rescue!, by Craig Hockenberry, iMore

The first time you experience this seamless transfer of your accounts with Apple Pay, you're going to want it everywhere you purchase goods and services. That, combined with very positive word-of-mouth, is going to make entering a card number feel very antiquated. And I suspect this change will come about very quickly.

The Apple experience described by Craig Hockenberry is very interesting and positive.

On the other hand, I just realized last night that one of the iMessage from my wife never reached my phone.


Manage Classical Music In iTunes 12, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

iTunes has always been designed for “songs,” and, for the most part, classical music isn’t a song-based genre. Because of this, organizing classical music in iTunes can be a bit complicated. But with a few workarounds, it’s possible to maintain a large classical music library in iTunes. Here’s how.

How To Get A New Finder Window The Size You Want, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Thumbly 1.0 Review: A One-Handed Alternative iOS Keyboard, by Brian Beam, Macworld

As its name implies, Thumbly is an alternative iOS keyboard with a layout that's optimized for one-handed typing. Rather than using the regular typewriter-style keyboard layout that spans the entire screen, Thumbly's keyboard is laid out like a fan at the bottom corner of the device.


A Eulogy For Objective-C, by Aaron Hillegass, Realm

With Swift coming out last year and everyone being very excited about it, including me, I thought it might be fun to do a talk that was sort of a eulogy for Objective-C. I’ll try to stick with the standard eulogy tropes: we go over the life of the person, we say what we appreciated about them, then we talk about how their influence lives on. Then, in a break from tradition, at the end I’m going to say that Objective-C is not really dead. It’s a Eulogy with a twist.

We're Heading Straight For AOL 2.0, by Jacques Matteij

If the current trend persists we’re heading straight for AOL 2.0, only now with a slick user interface, a couple more features and more users. I personally had higher hopes for the world wide web when it launched. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it turned out that the end-run the WWW did around AOL because it was the WWW was open and inclusive ended up with different players simply re-implementing the AOL we already had and that we got rid of because it was not the full internet.


Beats 1 Replays Let You Catch Shows You Missed, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Apple has now started uploading full versions of its Beats 1 radio shows on Apple Music's Connect. If you follow a favorite DJ on Connect, such as Zane Lowe or Julie Adenuga, you'll be able to find full replays of their most recent shows, commentary and all.

Taylor Swift, Pop Star And Apple Music Crusader, Graces Vanity Fair's September Cover, by Josh Duboff, Vanity Fair

Apple surprised Swift by almost immediately changing its plan not to compensate artists during the trial period of its new streaming service. Says Swift, “Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about,” she says. “And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine.”

How To Vacation Like It’s 1999, by Nick Bilton, New York Times

One obvious solution is to leave your smartphone and tablet at home. But that ignores the fact that our devices have replaced some vacation essentials, including physical books, magazines, music player, cameras, maps and in-flight entertainment.

Believe it or not, there are ways to unplug that don’t require you to downgrade to a CD player.

Parting Words

— loydcase (@loydcase) August 5, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Aug 4, 2015The Drive-By-Attacks Edition

0-Day Bug In Fully Patched OS X Comes Under Active Exploit To Hijack Macs, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Hackers are exploiting a serious zero-day vulnerability in the latest version of Apple's OS X so they can perform drive-by attacks that install malware without requiring victims to enter system passwords, researchers said.

Security Researchers Build On PC Vulnerabilities To Create First Firmware-Based Mac Worm, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac

In fact, the researchers found that of the six vulnerabilities they tested on PCs from various manufacturers, all but one also affected Macs.


My Favorite Mac: The New 12″ Retina MacBook, by TJ Luoma, MacStories

After three weeks of use, I can say with absolute certainty that I regret absolutely nothing about this MacBook. I don’t even mind the fact that I didn’t get the Space Gray model, since I have a lot of other silver-colored accessories, like the SuperDrive, and my external USB drive. I have FileVault 2 running and haven’t noticed any slow-downs. I have over 300 GB free on my internal drive, so there’s plenty of space. I have used Apple’s new Photos app and performance is good, at least so far with my “test” library. The most CPU-intensive stuff I have done is some very light audio editing using Fission and Audacity (basically trimming, applying a few effects, and exporting) and performance has been fine. I can watch 1080p video in VLC without any issues.

And all the while the MacBook runs smooth, cool, and quiet. The screen still amazes me every day. I still love the keyboard every bit as much as I did the first time I tried it. The size and weight (or lack thereof) are both very impressive. Grabbing my laptop to go with me is no more of a problem than grabbing my iPad would be, and I get all of the advantages of having OS X with me wherever I go.

Tested: Six Third-Party Apple Watch Bands, by Sarah Jacobson Purewal, Macworld

While Apple has a ton of great-looking options, its designs can be limiting if you’re not a fan of their looks, price points, or materials. Luckily, third-party Apple Watch bands have hit the market, offering more affordable leather straps, glittery sport-like bands, mixed-metal designs, and more—not just cheap $20 knock-offs of Apple’s own unique bands.

Brain Training App Could Help People With Schizophrenia, by Kate Kelland, Reuters

A "brain training" iPad game developed in Britain may improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, helping them in their daily lives at home and at work, researchers said on Monday.

Miss Your Friends? Meet With A Pixcall And Sync Photos, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Pixcall is a photo messaging type of app where you take photos at the same time as your friends and family by creating an event.

This Mac App Gives You One Reminder That Will Make Your Day A Little Healthier, by Nathan Mcalone, Business Insider

Creators Red Davis and Hector Simpson are fans of the the Apple Watch’s reminder to stand up every hour. But they want everyone to get up from their collective desks and move around a bit, not just Apple Watch owners, so they created Stand.


The Post-Mac Interface, by Adam Baker, Medium

It’s been almost 20 years since the Anti-Mac design principles were proposed, and almost 30 since the original Apple Human Interface Guidelines were published. Did the Anti-Mac principles supersede those of the Mac?

Here I reflect on the Mac design principles of 1986, the Anti-Mac design principles of 1996, and what I observe as apparent (and cheekily named) Post-Mac design principles of 2016… er, 2015.

Parting Words

If you want to be a healthy and sane manager/leader in 5 years, start meditating now. Wish I had an easier piece of advice, but that's it.

— Camille Fournier (@skamille) August 4, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Aug 3, 2015The Who-Needs-Whom Edition

What The Ad Blocker Debate Reveals, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Publishers who rise to condemn new (and still unproven) ad-blocking features on iOS and OS X ought to ask themselves one question: Who needs whom the most?

Apple’s move answers the question. No need to think it’s building ad-blocking technology to monopolize the field to the benefit of its iAd platform whose revenue can’t “move the needle” for a company where revenue and profits mostly come from hardware (see the last 10-Q report page 25). Apple’s “ulterior” motive is making everyday use of its products more pleasant, resulting in more sales: the usual ecosystem play.


How To Avoid Data Overage Charges When Traveling To Canada, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Move To Apple Music 1.1.6 Review: Transfer Your Spotify And Rdio Playlists To Apple Music, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

If you’ve got a music collection on Spotify or Rdio, it’s a no-brainer to spend $5 and have much or most of it imported into Apple Music; it’ll save you a lot of time. You just need to be patient.

Apps To Complement Summer Fun, by Jinny Gudmundsen, USA Today

Do your summer plans with your kids include going to the zoo or hightailing it off to a marine wildlife park or aquarium? Have you and your kids been snapping lots of photos? And are your kids busy building forts and creating things to play with? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, here are some apps that can enhance your kids' already memorable summer.

Tinderbox 6.3.1, by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

Or So I Heard

Hot singletons in your area desperate for refactoring

— Matt Adereth (@adereth) August 1, 2015


The New York Times Built A Robot To Help Make Article Tagging Easier, by Justin Ellis, Nieman Lab

Parting Words

#1 best cosplay cat

— Holly Green (@winnersusedrugs) August 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Aug 2, 2015The Misery-All-Around Edition

This App Tells You How Your Town Will Look After Decades Of Climate Change, by Heather Dockray, Good

Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Hot summers. Cold summers. In short: misery all around. Climate change is already here and well on its way to making life on earth that much more difficult in the upcoming century—unless huge interventions are taken. A new app called ‘Free Notes’ hopes to make the consequences that much clearer to people across the globe. Simply download the app, input your town, and Free Notes will tell you how climate change will affect it, after decades of global warming.

Can't Stop The Music, by Allen Pike

Apple Music may take off, or its quirks and pitfalls may prevent it from really getting traction. Regardless, we’ve seen the writing on the wall: we’ve built our apps on a data source that we don’t control, and it’s slowly being eroded out from under us.

Given this struggle and the relatively modest sales volume of DJ apps in 2015, some folks have asked why we don’t just bail on music apps entirely.


I Don't Know How People Survive The Internet Without Password Apps Like This, by Matt Johnston, Business Insider

Whichever way you decide to go, I highly recommend a password manager for everyone out there. I can't imagine getting around the web day-to-day without it.

The Best Virtual Reality Apps For iPhone, Compatible With Google Cardboard, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

Google Cardboard version 2 models come with a dedicated button that taps the screen on your iPhone. Apps that take advantage of this can have simple input methods.

For the more crafty among you, instructions to build your own Google Cardboard accessory are available for free from the search giant. There's also an official Google Cardboard app for iOS that will get you started with some basic demos.

Photokeys For iOS Lets You Create Custom Keyboard Themes From Your Photos, by Jackie Dove, The Next Web


Safari Vs. Chrome: Power Consumption, by Michael Tsai

I love Safari as an app. Neither Chrome nor Firefox has ever felt very Mac-like to me. Yet I’m increasingly using Chrome because Safari can’t get the job done.

Why Do Apple Music's Own Curated Playlists Have Songs That No One Can Play?, by Nathan Ingraham, The Verge

Granted, part of the fun of streaming music is the fact that artists and record labels can change the rights they’ve granted to a service and pull their songs, but the fact that I first noticed this right after launch just didn’t make a whole lot of sense. (One theory could be that many of these playlists were pulled into Apple Music from the Beats Music service it replaced, but it would surprise me if Beats had access to music that Apple doesn’t.)

Tech Shuttle Drivers Unanimously Approve Teamsters Contract, by Jeff Elder, Wall Street Journal

Drivers of commuter shuttles for six Silicon Valley companies voted unanimously Saturday to approve a proposed three-year contract that the Teamsters Union said will raise their pay, make them eligible for overtime and paid holidays, subsidize health care and address the issue of split shifts. [...] Apple said it is working with several contractors to increase drivers’ pay and working conditions.

The Postmates Problem: Why Some Restaurants Are Forced To Fight The Delivery App, by Sara Jones, The Verge

Instead of asking permission, Postmates links consumers with restaurant listings through the local search and discovery service app Foursquare, takes orders, then calls them into restaurants and sends its couriers to pick them up. Restaurants are understandably wary of that arrangement, and some in Seattle and San Francisco are starting to speak out — including to lawyers.

Sadly, How Windows 10 Reveals Microsoft's Ethics Armageddon, by Lauren Weinstein

This is certainly not to imply that every minor user interface or operations decision must be opt-in only -- but at the very least, issues of significant magnitude must be clearly and openly spelled out in advance, not relegated to "if we're lucky most users won't notice what we did" status.


Sah-Ry, Eh? We’re In The Midst Of The Canadian Vowel Shift, by Meagan Campbell, Maclean's

The Great Vowel Shift of the 14th- to 18th centuries marked the leap from Middle to Modern English, with Norman pronunciations rapidly changing words such as “lake” to no longer rhyme with “latté,” as they do in other Germanic languages. That shift was responsible for most of the irregularities in English—the thousands of words pronounced differently than they are spelled. The changes today could lead to even more oddities in English in Canada and the U.S. Vowel shifts are messy.

Parting Words

Flew into #London #Heathrow with @SAS via #Oslo yesterday to this epic view. #iPhone6 #vscocam #Apple #photography

— Maria Farrelly (@mariafarrelly) July 29, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Aug 1, 2015The Back-Door-Keys Edition

Crypto Wars, by RevK's Rants

Let's try something simple - assume governments get some "back door keys" in there...

Open The Music Industry’s Black Box, by David Byrne, New York Times

Before musicians and their advocates can move to enact a fairer system of pay, we need to know exactly what’s going on. We need information from both labels and streaming services on how they share the wealth generated by music.

Apple Boxes

iMac box is a trapezoid with the front 10° out of parallel with the back. Which means that if you have 36 of them...

— Chris Espinosa (@cdespinosa) August 1, 2015


Everything You Need To Know About iCloud Music Library, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

This OS X App Sends iTunes Music, Spotify And Other Audio To Your Chromecast, by Janko Roettgers, Variety

Apple uses AirPlay to send media from Macs and iPhones to Apple TV devices and Airplay-compatible loudspeakers; Google has struck some partnerships with consumer electronics manufacturers to bring casting to connected loudspeakers, and Spotify is pushing its own “Spotify Connect” technology for the same use case. The results are often apps that only work with some speakers or connected devices, forcing consumers to find creative solutions like Soundcast.

Nine Apps For Travel With One iPad And More Than One Kid, by Warren Buckleitner, New York Times

One solution is to follow the lead of experienced teachers and adjust the context (instead of the children). Do you have two children who are at each other’s throats? Give them a project that lets them work together toward the same goal.

Here is a starter list of apps for all ages and subjects that can do the same thing in a much smaller space. While they won’t replace a sandbox, they can go a long way to replicate the same play dynamic by using the tablet’s multitouch capability so many hands can work together, all at the same time.

Audio Hijack 3.2 Boosts The Power Of Time Shift With Better Controls And A Global Hotkey, by Joseph Keller, iMore


The 'No True Programmer' Fallacy, by Jacques Mattheij

We’re quick to forget how hard our initial mastery of a subject is and of course it is nice to belong to some elite group. But talking people down and telling them what they can’t do is really bad form, instead we should be lifting those that wish to acquire the skill up.


Inside Spotify's Plan To Take On Apple Music, by John Paul Titlow, Fast Company

Brian Whitman landed at Spotify just in time. The MIT Media Lab alum and machine listening expert joined the product team at Spotify early last year when the streaming giant dropped a reported $100 million to acquire The Echo Nest, the music data company he cofounded a decade ago. Since his time at MIT, Whitman, along with cofounder and fellow PhD Tristan Jehan, has focused obsessively on the intersection of big data, artificial intelligence, and music, using that sweet spot to try and redefine music discovery in the age when songs flow freely like water and new artists pop up by the hour. Today, he's sitting across from me in a conference room in Spotify's New York headquarters showing me what his team has been building for the last few months.

For Sympathetic Ear, More Chinese Turn To Smartphone Program, by John Markoff and Paul Mozur, New York Times

She is known as Xiaoice, and millions of young Chinese pick up their smartphones every day to exchange messages with her, drawn to her knowing sense of humor and listening skills. People often turn to her when they have a broken heart, have lost a job, or have been feeling down. They often tell her, “I love you.”

Xiaoice (pronounced Shao-ice) can chat with so many people for hours on end because she is not real. She is a chatbot, a program introduced last year by Microsoft that has become something of a hit in China. It is also making the 2013 film “Her,” in which the actor Joaquin Phoenix plays a character who falls in love with a computer operating system, seem less like science fiction.

Parting Words

Poetry is hard.

— Glennon Doyle Melton (@Momastery) August 1, 2015

Thanks for reading.