The ... Edition Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thoughts And Observations On This Week’s iPhone 7 / Apple Watch Series 2 Special Event, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

There is a large contingent of pundits who apparently would be more excited about a new iPhone that looked entirely different but had the exact same components as the iPhone 6S than they are by the actual iPhones 7, which are shaped like the 6S but have amazing new components. I don’t get that mindset at all. It’s like being a car pundit and judging the new Porsche 911 with a “meh” because it looks like the previous 911, and never even considering what it’s like to actually drive the new car.

S Club 7?, by And Now It's All This

But the 7 is the third version of this enclosure design, and it seems extremely unlikely we’ll see an S version of it. More important, next year is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, and Apple will certainly mark the occasion with a major change in case design. Sadly, there will be no S Club 7.

Apple AirPods Design Prompts Hilarious But Necessary Accessory Idea, by Adario Strange, Mashable

Whether it's a total hoax, Photoshop joke or an earnest attempt at addressing a need, the AirPod Safety Strap is simply awesome for a number of reasons.

Classic Days

An OS 9 Odyssey: Why These Mac Users Won’t Abandon 16-year-old Software, by Richard Moss, Ars Technica

OS 9 diehards may hold on due to one important task they just can't replicate on a newer computer, or perhaps they simply prefer it as a daily driver. It only takes a quick trip to the world of subreddits and Facebook groups to verify these users exist.

Certain that they can't all be maniacs, I went searching for these people. I trawled forums and asked around, and I even spent more time with my own classic Macs. And to my surprise, I found that most of the people who cling staunchly to Mac OS 9 (or earlier) as a key component of their daily—or at least regular—workflow actually have good reason for doing so.

How Apple Killed The Cyberpunk Dream, by Jacob Brogan, Slate

There is a lesson in such stories: Power cables and headphone cords may be irritating, but they also serve as tethers, helping bind us to a world that we can manage. Following their tangled paths, we intuit something about the currents—of information, of energy, of power in every sense—that course through them, even if we don’t fully understand what those pulsations mean. Though the prefix “cyber-” has roots in notions of control, it still suggests an incomprehensible electronic ether. In that sense, cords were cyber’s punk counterpoint: The knowledge that we still had to plug in assured us that we could always unplug if things got weird. A cord was punk because it was crummy—because it inevitably fell out, frayed, or failed—and because it was punk it held out a distant possibility of resistance.


How Google And Others Are Plotting The Revenge Of The Web App, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

For about a decade now, a faction of technologists have argued that the web can provide sufficiently app-like experiences. Steve Jobs originally felt this way about iPhone software, and Google bought into the concept with Chrome OS, a computing platform that was little more than a web browser at its inception. Web apps represent an optimistic view of the world, in which users are free from walled garden app stores, and developers don't have to rebuild their software for a half-dozen platforms.

In recent years, that optimism has faded, as native apps have handily outperformed web-based ones—both in the marketplace and in terms of the speed they deliver to users. Still, Russell and others believe the web app is ready for resurgence. Developers are getting frustrated with the app store model, and might benefit from the low friction that the open web affords when it comes to getting their wares in front of consumers without middlemen. At the same time, new web technologies allow for apps that are fast and full-featured.


EU Countries Set Sights On Apple Tax Bonanza, by Alex Pigman, AFP

"We are making a huge effort to reduce our public deficit, it is essential that this revenue not get lost," Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on the sidelines of two days of talks with his EU counterparts.

"If it's legally accurate, you can be sure that as minister of finance I will take it," Austria's Hans Joerg Schelling said at the meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia.

A Robot May Be Training To Do Your Job. Don’t Panic., by Alexandra Levit, New York Times

I think the only way forward is to look at artificial intelligence developments as an opportunity rather than a threat. We need the mind-set that success is no longer about our level of knowledge but about our level of creative intelligence. If we accept the process of lifelong learning, in which we adapt to new ways of working as technology improves, we’ll always find roles that take advantage of our best qualities.

Bottom of the Page

I used to be able to forget things. I used to be able to selectively un-remember things, wipe my memory clean, and pretend nothing happened. Did not exist.

I used to be able to only remember things that I want to remember. I used to be able to look forward to tomorrow because I can ignore yesterday.


Thanks for reading.