Archive for October 2016

The Disappeared-Data Edition Monday, October 31, 2016

iOS 10.1.1 Will Let You See Your Health Data Again, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The iOS 10.1 update fixed a lot of stuff, but it caused a major problem for some users of the Health app: data disappeared in some cases, and even resetting phones and restoring them from fresh backups wouldn't bring it back.

Jony Ive Talks About Putting The Apple 'Touch' On The MacBook Pro, by Connie Guglielmo, CNET

“We don’t limit ourselves in how we will push — if it’s to a better place. What we won’t do is just do something different that’s no better,” Ive said in an interview earlier this week to explain the design of the MacBook Pro, a major reboot of Apple’s most powerful laptop line.

That thinking explains why Apple “many, many years ago” decided against adding touchscreens to the Mac, even as rivals dressed up Windows tablets and PCs with multitouch displays. Instead, after two years of tinkering with larger touchpads and other approaches he won’t reveal, Ive and his team came up with a slim, multitouch strip that replaces the function keys at the top of your keyboard. That OLED display lights up to serve a changing menu of buttons, control sliders, dials, tools and even emojis that change depending on the app you’re using.

Where To Go From Here, by

very update to the MacBook and MacBook Pro have been wrought with various trade-offs. Sometimes we mock the choices, but even in my poking, I’m glad there is a company that is trying to push just how thin can we get a computing device. I don’t think Apple is willing to stop until it’s paper thin.

iPod: How It Changed Apple, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

By fixating on the iPod itself, I completely overlooked iTunes, introduced a few months earlier. I wasn’t alone in missing the forest for a tree: As popular as the iPod would become, no one imagined that it would be iTunes that would unleash Apple’s potential as it unlocked hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue and profit.

How Does Apple Watch Calculate Active Calories?, by Appcessories

Apple’s Health app obtains calorie data from a wide range of sources, including iPhone’s built-in M8 motion coprocessor, your Apple Watch, and third party apps through HealthKit.

Your Apple Watch calculates your total calorie burn, which includes the BMR/RMR calories that you have burned anyway. The Workout app reports active calories, which don’t include BMR calories, while the Activity app shows you both active and resting calorie burned – total calories. You need to calibrate these devices with your age and weight to get accurate estimates of calories burned.

The Startup-Chime Edition Sunday, October 30, 2016

With The New MacBook Pro, The Startup Chime Is Dead, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

However, the startup chime is ingrained into the experience of having a Mac, I’m sad to see it go. A Mac without the chime feels broken, even if I know it isn’t. I don’t power down my machines often, but I liked hearing the chime when I power them back up.

It’s tradition.

It’s like losing the Happy Mac all over again.

How Google, Apple And Microsoft Just Saved The PC, by Mike Elgan, Computerworld

Each company introduced advancements that users didn't ask for, didn't think they wanted and are already complaining about.

Why? Because we love new technology in theory but hate it in practice.

Need An All-purpose Dongle For Your New MacBook Pro? Use The Microsoft Display Dock!, by Dennis Bednarz, WinBeta

The dock features an HDMI and DisplayPort port as well three regular USB-A and one USB-C port (plus one on the back for connecting the dock itself). Compared to other dongles, the Continuum Dock offers the most for its price. It looks good, it can charge your MacBook, and has all of these ports.


4 Essential Time-Management Apps For Type-B Personalities, by Mike Brown, Inverse

f you’re someone that takes things easy, doesn’t get too upset about winning or losing, or struggles to get hyped up about organization tools, you’re probably a type B personality. Compared to their ambitious, aggressive brethren, the type A, type Bs have long lamented the lack of time management apps that cater to their needs. Too many of them throw up needless options, strange buttons or integrations that don’t seem to make sense. A calendar attached to a to-do app? Who needs that?

Thankfully, help is at hand. There’s an array of task apps for both smartphones and computers that will help organize your time effectively and push you off delaying that one extra task. Here’s four of the best tools to help manage your time effectively.

Pinball Meets Tron In PinOut! From Mediocre, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice

PinOut! is one long, continuous journey. There is only one game mode, and the goal is to race against time and see how far along in the long pinball table you can get.

Pull My Finger: Some Joker Made A Fart App For MacBook Pro’s New Touch Bar, by Buster Hein, Cult Of Mac

Apple’s magical new MacBook Pro hasn’t even shipped yet, but that hasn’t stopped one developer from creating the first Touch Bar fart app.


Why Freemium Apps Suck For Everyone (And How Apple Is Killing Paid Apps), by Graham Bower, Cult Of Mac

Like Steve Jobs said about music, I believe that people want to own their apps. That way you know what the total cost will be. And, once purchased, you can be sure you get full access to everything you need with no surprise extra costs.


An Ode To The 11-inch MacBook Air, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

The 11-inch MacBook Air was too small of a computer for most everyone I knew; I had many friends who'd outright laugh or baffle at how I could read or type on such a teensy screen. But it was just right for me, especially going from the behemoth of a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Its lightweight and travel-sized body was the perfect fit for my changing lifestyle, especially when I began frequently traveling to tech events and visiting friends across the country.

Goldman Sachs Pushes Apple To Make Rival Bid For Time Warner, by Josh Kosman, New York Post

Goldman is trying to persuade Apple to make a rival bid for Time Warner, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said. [...] Cook’s company has expressed interest in buying Time Warner in the recent past, and there is some belief that judging from his comments this week, he will not let AT&T carry the day.

The Hunting-For-Keys Edition Saturday, October 29, 2016

What It’s Like To Use Apple’s New MacBook Pro ‘Touch Bar’, by Lisa Eadicicco, Time

My main criticism so far is that since the Touch Bar is so small, it can be hard to see which tab is which on the Touch Bar. It would be easier to differentiate between tabs if the Touch Bar showed the logo for the website instead of a miniature version of the page.

Why Apple’s MacBook Touch Bar Was The Right Thing To Do, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Having a discrete bar that can update with context, allowing you to take those dozen daily actions makes total sense. Far more sense than bolting a touch screen onto a non-touch-optimized OS and forcing you to poke at tiny buttons meant for a mouse.

Why Apple’s MacBook Touch Bar Was The Right Thing To Do, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The Touch Bar is not the answer to “How do we bring touchscreens to the Mac?”, because that question is not actually a problem. The Touch Bar is the answer to “These keyboard F-keys are cryptic and inflexible — what can we replace them with that’s better?” That’s an actual problem.

Sober Thoughts On Apple's New Touch Bar For MacBook Pro, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

I’m wondering if we’ll look back a year from now and see the Touch Bar as a landmark improvement to the user interface, or as a cool-looking feature that nobody uses that much.

Apple’s New Touch Bar Is A Usability Disaster, by Boyang C., Medium

The hardware keyboard is something that the majority of us have learnt to navigate solely by touch over the years. Without providing any haptic feedback (which in itself is inferior to physical keys), the touch bar offloads this interaction to our eyes, which are already occupied by on-screen content.

Thunderbolt 3 Ports On Right Side Of 13-Inch MacBook Pro Have Reduced PCI Express Bandwidth, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has published a detailed support document highlighting the capabilities of the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports on the new MacBook Pro, unveiling some previously unknown details and outlining the different adapters that are needed to connect various accessories.

Little Bit Of Joy

An Email History Of The 2001 iPod Launch, by Steven Levy, Backchannel

Finally, I asked [Steve Jobs] about the idea of introducing a device designed for fun in a time when the nation was still in mourning. He lowered his voice a register. “It’s a tough time, but life goes on,” he said. “It must go on. I think we’re feeling good about coming out with this at a difficult time. Hopefully it will bring a little bit of joy to people.”

Married To Their Smartphones (Oh, And To Each Other, Too), by Brooke Lea Foster, New York Times

Married or not, many of us sleep with our phones on our night stands, pocket them as we go from room to room and think nothing of using them in the presence of our partners, whether they are talking or snuggling or reading beside us.

Experts say that smartphone use is meddling in our marriages in ways that are sometimes benign but often frustrating, causing quarrels and forcing couples to address an ever more important question: At what point are we choosing to spend more time with our smartphones than with our spouses?

The Original In-App Purchase, by Ernie Smith, Tedium

Before software, purchases generally worked like this: You walked into a store, you bought a physical object, and that object was yours until it became damaged or outdated, and you threw it out. But software, being much smaller in physical space than any commercial object that came before it, wasn’t limited by these rules. Data came in bits and bytes, and could be dripped out or distributed in any number of ways. And that data was getting smaller by the day. Floppy disks begat smaller floppy disks, which begat hard drives, which begat CD-ROMs. If you had a modem, you didn’t even need another disk! It makes sense that shareware came out of this floppy-copyin’ state of affairs, because we needed a business model that encouraged copying.


Review: Civilization VI Is A Beautiful Prance Through History, by Steven Strom, Ars Technica

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating ahistorical societies, but were always too afraid of numbers to give Civ a shot, there’s never been a better time to dive in. Newcomers will also be spared the trouble of un-learning all the franchise lessons that Civ 6 throws out of the series’ window. Civ 6 is both the easiest-on-the-eyes Civilization yet and the series’ biggest departure from tradition (among the mainline “numbered” games, that is).


Developers Now Able To Offer Promo Codes For In-App Purchases, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today announced that it is now letting developers create promo codes for in-app purchases, giving developers a way to allow early testers, reviewers, and press to unlock content that would normally only be available through a purchase.

How To Create A Travel App: The Story Of Esplorio, by Tim Fernado, Telegraph

If I could give one piece of advice for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, it would be this: hire a great team and get them to use the product that they build (what industry calls “dogfooding”). We found that our team understood the product, customer and pain points so much better.


Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users By Race, by Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr., ProPublica

The ad we purchased was targeted to Facebook members who were house hunting and excluded anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people. [...]

When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”

Bottom of the Page

I haven't use function keys for many many months now. Even on Windows machine, I haven't been using F1 for help, nor F5 for refresh. (Although I did just recently used F12 in Chrome.)

But, then, come to think of it, I've never considered those top rows of buttons on my current MacBook Pro as function keys. Rather, there's the Play/Pause button, which I use often. (After years of using an iPod, I still misses a physical Play/Pause button on my iPhone.) There are the volume buttons, and also the brightness buttons, all four of which I use often too.

And the Esc button. I use it all the time, when Safari pops up a dialog box, asking if I want to save the two-factor-authentication one-time-password when I use online banking. (I've never used Cmd-period.)

If Apple does want to get rid of buttons -- and we all know Apple enjoys getting rid of buttons, may I offer the following as sacrifice to please the industrial design gods?

1. Launchpad button. We're de-emphasising the grid of app icons on iOS and Apple TV already, so why keep this on the Mac?

2. The right-side Option key. One is enough.

3. The right-side Cmd key. Ditto.

4. The fn key. Who uses function keys?

5. Caps Lock. "Don't shout" have been in almost every USENET newsgroup's FAQ post since 1992.

6. Mute key. Just copy the iPad: long-press on the volume-down key.

And pick up some courage, and try rearranging the remaining keys, and I'm sure you can find enough space to put up a Touch Bar.



Thanks for reading.

The Touch-Bar Edition Friday, October 28, 2016

The New MacBook Pro Looks And Feels So Good It's Unreal, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

We’ll start with the marquee feature, the Touch Bar. What you might not have gathered from the keynote is that it has a matte finish, which makes the buttons on it somehow feel a little more physical. It’s bright, but not so bright that it distracts — it seems to be about on par with the brightness of the backlit keyboard.

I have questions about whether or not all these changing function buttons will be comprehensible, but in my brief time with them they all made sense to me. There’s no haptic feedback on them, unfortunately, but obviously they all worked perfectly. That included quickly applying filters in Photos and sorting emails in Mail.

Does The Mac Still Matters?, by Shara Tibken and Connie Guglielmo, CNET

“We didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro,” he says. “In our view this is a big, big step forward. It is a new system architecture, and it allows us to then create many things to come, things that we can’t envision yet.”

That might not be completely candid. Ive tells us he and his team have spent the last 20-plus years learning and building from each new design. Along the way, they’ve experimented with anodizing and finishes, played around with new materials beyond aluminum (or “ah-loo-MIN-ium,” as anyone who has listened to him narrating new product videos knows). And, of course, new ways to interact with Apple’s products, like the Touch Bar.

“We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction,” Ive said. “But [it] still just marks a beginning.”

Perpendicular Philosophy, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Microsoft believes that traditional computer interfaces and modern mobile-device touchscreen interfaces should be melded together, blurring the lines between tablet and PC. This week’s introduction of the Surface Studio—think of an iMac that can be folded down onto your desk and used as a gigantic iPad—is perhaps the most impressive iteration of that belief to date.

Apple, in contrast, believes that touchscreen interfaces are great and computers are great and they’re not the same thing. Apple has steadfastly resisted adding touchscreens to the Mac, and when you ask the company’s executives why, they have been remarkably consistent on this point for the past few years.

The Future Of PCs And Macs Is Expensive, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

The personal desktop computer used to once be an exclusive and expensive machine, though we now know it and its laptop counterpart as a mass-market commodity that most people can afford. This week, however, the companies that defined the personal computer, Microsoft and Apple, gave us a glimpse of the future and it looks like a return to the past: the PC is going back to being an exclusive and expensive machine.

Apple’s Prices For MacBook Memory And Storage Are Detached From Reality, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

You could even buy a complete HP computer with a 17-inch screen and a 2 TB hard drive for only slightly more than the MacBook Pro upgrade.

Apple's Cord Situation Is Completely Out Of Control, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

Apple's head of design Jony Ive said last month that "we believe in a wireless future." But my immediate future — deciding whether or not I buy a new MacBook Pro — looks to be full of different cords and dongles.

The Mac Line Is Still Kinda Broken, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

However, Apple left a lot of work undone. Most of the Mac line is in as big of a mess as it was yesterday. Desktop users really have only one decent choice — the iMac — and now it is behind the MacBook Pro.

Apple Updates Final Cut Pro X & iMovie With Support For Touch Bar In New MacBook Pros, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

The update, which will available to download today on the Mac App Store, adds support for the Touch Bar in the just-announced 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro. The update also brings refinements to the app’s revolutionary Magic Timeline.

Microsoft Explains How Word, PowerPoint, Excel, And Outlook Work With Touch Bar, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

In Word, users will be able to use "Word Focus Mode," which eliminates the clutter of on-screen ribbons and commands "so you can simply focus on your work." All of the relevant UI is then moved down onto Touch Bar, with classic buttons like copy/paste, bold, italics, underline, list, indent, and more found on Apple's new multi-touch panel.

TV App In Apple TV

Apple’s New ‘TV’ App Is Its Way Of Simplifying All Your Streaming Content, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

At today's event, Apple unveiled its newest video streaming system: an app called TV. Similar to what rumors stated, the new app is meant to help users find their most watched content across all the streaming services they may subscribe to by aggregating those shows and movies in one place. TV will also recommend new content to watch based on your history.

Apple’s New TV Universe Has A Few Conspicuous Holes In It, by Mathew Ingram, Fortune

As an all-in-one service for finding video to watch, the app looked fairly impressive. But it has two rather large holes in it: It doesn’t allow you to search for shows that are available on either Netflix or on Amazon’s Prime Video


Apple Launches New Website To Promote Accessibility Features, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Cook says that Apple believes that if people have access to its product they can help push humanity forward and "change the world in the process."

60dB Brings Personalized, Short-form Audio Stories To iPhone And Soon, Echo, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

A new mobile application called 60dB, launching today, wants to offer a better, more personalized radio service focused on short-form audio content. The app includes news, sports, business, entertainment, comedy stories and more, from a variety of publishers, which are customized to your interests the more you use the service. A separate section for longer stories is also available, for when you have more time to devote to listening.

Minecraft Is Coming To Apple TV By The End Of The Year, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

During its "Hello Again" event today Apple revealed that the popular crafting video game Minecraft is heading to the fourth-generation Apple TV sometime by the end of 2016.


It’s Bill Murray: A Facial Recognition Algorithm Settles The Debate, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

One of the ways computer scientists test the accuracy of their work is to map one person’s distinctive facial expressions onto a simulation of another famous face. The idea is that if their model is good enough, Hillary Clinton still looks like Hillary Clinton, even when she’s making a Tom Hanks expression.

Camera-phone Lucida, by Jacob Mikanowski, The Point

Art changes all the time, and when it changes, so does its history. Strong forms give birth to their own ancestors. The word “selfie” only dates back to 2002, when it was coined on an Australian internet forum (and what an antique wind already blows from that word “forum”) by a clumsy drunk who took a photo of himself after tripping over a staircase at a friend’s twenty-first birthday party, and it hasn’t been in widespread use for more than a few years. By 2013 it was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year. By now, in 2016, the selfie is as common as water, responsible for a clutch of hideous gadgets as well as several dozen fatalities: a plane crash, a boat capsizing, and at least one (alleged) dolphin murder.

Pushing That Crosswalk Button May Make You Feel Better, But …, by Christopher Mele, New York Times

Though these buttons may not function, they do serve a function for our mental health, Ellen J. Langer, a psychology professor at Harvard University who has studied the illusion of control, said in an email.

“Perceived control is very important,” she said. “It diminishes stress and promotes well being.”

Bottom of the Page

My first impression of the Touch Bar -- not that impressed. I have yet to be convinced this is the future.


One of the first computer I used -- it was probably in secondary school -- has function keys on the left side of the keyboard.


Thanks for reading.

The A-Little-More-Time Edition Thursday, October 27, 2016

Apple Delays AirPod Rollout, Don’t Expect Them In October, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

If you’ve been waiting for Apple’s AirPod wireless headphones to go on sale, you’re going to have to wait a little longer. Apple says that it is not ready and will need “a little more time.”

“The early response to AirPods has been incredible. We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Can I Turn This To A Hackintosh?

The Surface Studio!, by Penny Arcade

Moving the Studio from one position to the next is startlingly easy. You can adjust it to whatever angle is most comfortable for you with two fingers. Once there the Studio provides enough resistance to draw comfortably without worrying about pushing it out of position. When you are drawing on it, the screen is completely engrossing. At a distance the screen is beautiful but when you are on top of it drawing, it’s absolutely stunning.

Microsoft Is Making A Play For Apple's Base Of Creatives, by Roberto Baldwin, Engadget

That's all Microsoft wants. It wants you to think you're cool when you buy its products because it's achieved that status in the eyes of artists. These hip new users probably won't do much for the company's bottom line (remember Apple almost died when all it had were the cool kids), but it'll give it some much needed counter-culture clout. And if you happen to fall in love with a piece of metal and plastic and tell all your friends about your latest symphony, that's even better.


Moneydance 2017, by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

The new version adds a fully encrypted incremental syncing engine that enables you to sync files across multiple computers and mobile devices, and it can now use any shared folder (such as Dropbox) to sync data with end-to-end encryption. It also adds integrated support for Python scripts, enabling you to use the new script editor to build and run your own scripts or extensions.

Why Google Should Be Your Favorite Calendar App, by Rob LeFebvre, AppAdvice

Why mess with sync and permissions and then learn a new layout when you can just use Google Calendar right on your iPhone the way it was intended?


Log Littering, by Daniel Jalkut, Bitsplitting

The two big losses, in my opinion, are that the sheer size, number, and variety of logging messages makes it impractical for users to skim the console for “real problems,” and that the resulting logging archives are so large that it’s impractical to casually include them with bug reports to Apple or 3rd party developers.


Apple Prepares For Finishing Touches At Campus 2, Extends Construction Schedule Into 2017, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple has updated its general construction schedule for its new Campus 2 site, pushing back its estimated end date for building construction by three months and noting the start of landscaping work expected to last into the second quarter of next year.

Qualcomm To Buy iPhone Apple Pay Chip Manufacturer NXP For $47 Billion, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The deal, if approved by regulators, will put the one-time manufacturer of the motion co-processor and the current supplier of the Apple Pay near-field communication chipset under Qualcomm's control.

Bottom of the Page

Have you learnt to remap the Caps Lock key to be your new Esc key yet? Have you gotten used to pressing the Caps Lock key for all your Esc needs?


I'm a vi person.


Thanks for reading.

The Rosy-Forecast Edition Wednesday, October 26, 2016

After First Revenue Decline In 15 Years, Apple Forecasts Return To Growth In Holiday Quarter, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

As expected, Apple on Tuesday posted its first year-over-year revenue decline in 15 years for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, but the company is guiding for a rosy forecast next quarter on strong anticipated iPhone sales.

Apple is forecasting revenue between $76 billion and $78 billion for the three months ending in December, typically a lucrative quarter thanks to the holiday shopping season. The guidance is up from the $75.9 billion performance put in at the same time last year.

Analysts Fail To Perform Jedi Mind Trick On Apple CEO, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Analysts are like the rest of us. They want to know what Apple’s got up its sleeve in terms of new product introductions. The difference between them and us is, every three months they get on the phone with Tim Cook and get to ask him a question or two. And some analysts just can’t resist an attempt to get Cook to slip up or play coy or otherwise violate the first rule of Apple Club: We do not comment on unannounced products.

Tim Cook Says Apple Is Interested In Both Content Creation And Ownership, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

His comments on original content could fuel speculation that Apple plans to make more original content or perhaps acquire a high-profile content maker.

Shooting Pictures

Stress-testing iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait Mode, by Brian L.w. Moore, Medium

Portrait Mode is definitely not perfect! Straight lines and crisp edges in the foreground are Portrait Mode’s greatest difficulty. But, on the flip side, the effect is applied quickly, and seems to focus on exactly the plane I want it at. Plus, its “stepping” between objects in the foreground and background is really impressive.

Why The Golden Ratio Is Better Than The Rule Of Thirds, by Jon Sparkman, Petapixel

A long time ago I was a young art student, being told about the “Rule Of Thirds.” I was told it’s one of the most important fundamentals of art and photography, as it helps you get the right composition in your images.

Overlay a tic-tac-toe/noughts and crosses grid over your image and crop or move your picture around so that the “points of interest” lie on the lines or line intersections. Sounds simple enough. It has been the basis of countless millions of images throughout the centuries. But is it perfect? No! Is there a better, more bada** brother to the grid? Yes! Enter the Golden Ratio.

Watching TV

The Beautifully Annoying Siri Remote, by Ken Segall

Lapses of this type make it difficult to defend Apple when it is accused of favoring design over function. It’s hard to think of the Siri Remote as anything but design run amok. It’s beautifully annoying.

Where The Heck Is My Esc Key?

Images Of New MacBook Pro With Magic Toolbar Leaked In macOS Sierra 10.12.1, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

An OLED touch panel is located on top of the keyboard, where the function keys would normally be placed, and it very clearly supportsTouch ID, as it is seen used with Apple Pay.

New macOS Virtual Keyboard Layouts Confirm Rumors Of MacBook Pro OLED Touch Bar, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Three additional sets of layout files are included in system resources on macOS 10.12.1, with each image depicting a virtual keyboard that lacks the standard tactile row of function keys.

No Hardware Escape Key On New MacBook Pros? Don’t Fret, macOS Sierra Lets You Remap The Escape Action To A Modifier Key, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

In macOS 10.12.1, you can now select an Escape action, and remap it to the Caps Lock, Control, Option, or Command keys.


Powerbeats 3 Wireless Earphones Now Available To Buy, Featuring W1 Chip And 12 Hour Battery Life, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Powerbeats 3 feature up to 12 hour battery life on a single charge, with a ‘Fast Fuel’ 5 minute top up charge providing an hour of playtime in a hurry.

Duet Display For iPad Gains 'Pro' Drawing Features, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Duet Display, the app that allows you to turn your iPad into an extra display for your Mac, is today gaining new features designed to turn theiPad Pro into a high-performance graphics tablet able to compete with Intuos or Wacom drawing tablets.

Track And View Your Spending In The Blinq Of An Eye, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go and when it comes to tracking your expenses, it should be an easy task. Apps like Mint are awesome if you need an extensive personal finance app. But, if you are just in the market for a quick way to track and view your spending, check out Blinq.

Elgato Introduces The Eve HomeKit Compatible Wall Switch, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

It transforms any single or multi-bulb setup into a Siri-enabled lighting system, so you can use your voice to control your existing bulbs regardless of their shape, size or color.


The NYT Buying Wirecutter And Sweethome Is So Much More Amazing Than You Think, by Matt Haughey, 15 Minutes In The Morning

The breakthrough is Brian Lam launched a new content site in 2011 that wasn’t ad supported, instead opting for supporting it via Amazon affiliate fees from purchases. He also self-funded the whole thing, never taking investment money and got to plot his own trajectory without having to answer to anyone.

Bottom of the Page

The first iPod shuffle came with a new feature in iTunes (the app): autofill. This was to allow iTunes to automatically fill up the shuffle with random songs from a larger music library on the computer.

Today, subscribers to Apple Music has a much larger music library than the storage capacity of the iPhone. So why isn't there an autofill feature for my iPhone?


Thanks for reading.

The Portrait-Mode Edition Tuesday, October 25, 2016

iOS 10.1 Adds Portrait Mode For iPhone 7 Plus, Fixes Numerous Bugs, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The major addition in this update is the addition of Portrait mode in the Camera app for iPhone 7 Plus users. Portrait mode focuses on faces while blurring backgrounds to create a depth effect in photos.

Here’s What You Can Do With The Crazy New Portrait Mode For The iPhone 7 Plus, by Yashad Kulkarni, Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

While the feature is still in beta even after the release of iOS 10.1, it already works quite well. Our own Yashad Kulkarni (Romain is writing this) has been playing with the feature for a few weeks now. Here are some of his shots.

iOS 10.1 Portrait Mode Review: Magic In Its Imperfections, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Because when it comes down to it, we take photographs to capture memories. To evoke feelings. We take pictures of our animals, our kids, and our friends to freeze-frame a moment in time. And what matters most about those images is that they properly capture that emotion — unless you're into photography for the art of the craft, chances are you're not going to care if you snap a perfect "bokeh" blur behind your pet.

Apple Updates macOS Sierra To 10.12.1 With Mail, Safari, Photos Fixes, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

After a month-long beta period, Apple has released the update to macOS Sierra 10.12.1 with iPhone 7 Photos compatibility fixes, Safari security enhancements, and more.

Apple Releases watchOS 3.1 With Bug Fixes, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

watchOS 3.1 focuses mainly on performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues that have popped up since the release of watchOS 3.

tvOS 10.0.1 Software Update For Apple TV Is Now Available For Everyone, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new version is a minor release that includes bug fixes and security improvements. A future update is expected to bring single sign-on.

For Mobile, PowerPoint Still Can't Match Apple Keynote, by Galen Gruman, InfoWorld

This is what Microsoft should be figuring out for PowerPoint. After all, when you are on the road, you're dealing with uncertain, changing environments. Apple designed for that reality; Microsoft did not.

70-year-old Grandpa Codes iPhone App To Help 27-year-old Granddaughter, by Jonathan Winslow, The Orange County Register

An Orange senior and his granddaughter have grown closer than ever thanks to an unexpected partnership developing a new app – with grandpa handling all of the programming.

Luis Guerra, 70, and Alexandra Garcia, 27, have been working for more than a year on “KliqueShare,” an app meant to streamline renting and sharing items, especially in college communities. The app, available on the iOS App Store, lets you keep track of things you’ve shared, make requests for items you need and list items that you’re willing to rent out or sell.

How Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses Became A Money-Printing Machine, by Roni Jacobson, Backchannel

Snapchat started out as the anti-Facebook. Its vanishing messages were a breath of fresh air in an increasingly claustrophobic internet where one’s online presence was forever preserved. But the Snapchat of today is a different company. In the brief year since sponsored lenses launched, the cult of the barfing rainbow has become nothing less than the new king of advertising.

The Original iPod: A Re-review, by Jacqui Cheng, Ars Technica

The original iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, but it's the one that will end up marking the point in history when MP3 players became all the rage. Its unique controls, playlist functionality, easy syncing ability with iTunes, and of course the iTunes Music Store helped to put the iPod and its successors into millions of hands. Even today, 10 years after its first debut, the original iPod can still function as a real, usable music player, even if it does lack the fancy touchscreen and wireless syncing capabilities of its more modern counterparts.


Apple Replaces Support Profiles With New Tool That Only Shows Devices Signed Into Your Apple ID, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The new "Get Support" tool only lists Apple products signed into any given Apple ID, whereas the old Support Profiles page allowed customers to add additional products, including those owned by others. The change is cumbersome for families in particular, as managing multiple devices is now more difficult.

Moleskine Releases Timepage For iPad, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Timepage on the iPad includes everything that made the iPhone version a favorite and more. It's truly a companion to Timepage for iPhone, not a scaled up version.

MyScript Nebo: The Best Note-taking App For iPad Pro And Apple Pencil, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

To create a proper diagram, just draw shapes and text as required, then tap the shape to convert it to a well-drawn image. I was flabbergasted at just how well this works; lines are straightened, the app attempts (very well) to align rectangles, arrow-like lines become perfect arrows, and so on. Need to remove some of the objects? Tap on one to highlight it and delete or edit it.

Civilization VI Now Available For Mac Via Steam, Mac App Store Version Coming Soon, BY Juli Clover, MacRumors


On iMessage’s Stickiness, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Apple wins by creating devices and experiences that people want to use, not that they have to use.

The New York Times Is Buying The Wirecutter For More Than $30 Million, by Peter Kafka, Recode

The Times will pay more than $30 million, including retention bonuses and other payouts, for the startup, according to people familiar with the transaction.

Brian Lam, a former editor at Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, founded The Wirecutter in 2011, and has self-funded the company’s growth.

Bottom of the Page

When I bought my first iPod, podcasts was just beginning to be a thing. Ten plus years later, managing podcasts and episodes is still not as good as it can be.


Thanks for reading.

The Beauty-And-Refinement Edition Monday, October 24, 2016

Still Ticking: The Improbable Survival Of The Luxury Watch Business, by Simon Garfield, The Guardian

But the watch has always been a computer; the difference now is what it computes. A dial that once etched out our lives in hours and minutes, its accuracy dependent on our capacity to set it in motion and wind it, may now keep us connected with the rest of the earth, via GPS and overnight wireless charging. Yet the remarkable thing is not the emergence of texts and emails on the wrists – that was always going to come at some point – but how robust the traditional and mechanical wristwatch has proven itself alongside the new technologies. Alongside the absurd complications of the fattest new timepiece comes something we are evidently keen to hang on to – a belief that beauty and refinement are ends in themselves, and that the workbench of the skilled engineer is still revered more than the production line. A beautiful ticking timepiece gives us something back – transporting us, perhaps, to an imagined time when time was still our friend.

Apple's Health App Now Tracks Sexual Activity, And That's A Big Opportunity, by Lux Alptraum, Motherboard

Apple has long viewed sex as something taboo—and when it comes to porn and sexual entertainment, that probably won’t change anytime soon. But the latest iteration of Health is a step in the right direction.

And while it could certainly benefit from a bit of expansion—recognition of the possibility of multiple partners, a more nuanced reflection of what “protection” might mean for different users, ability to indicate a partner’s gender, just for starters—it’s still a huge step forward from a historically-sex-unfriendly company. Much as we try to deny it, sexuality is a fundamental and important part of human life. It’s wonderful to see Apple finally allowing it to be truly integrated into our tech as well.

The iPod Is Now 15 Years Old, by Jordan Novet, VentureBeat

Today, the iPod still has a presence in Apple’s online and physical stores, along with Macs, MacBooks, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, iPads, and, of course, iPhones. In the recently opened Apple Union Square store in San Francisco, a few iPods are on display for testing out certain speakers, below shelves of Beats headphones. [...]

At Apple, the underlying iTunes is still going, and a big part of the company’s current strategy is the Apple Music streaming service. Increasingly, instead of downloading songs to a portable device, people are simply streaming them. While iPod financial figures are missing from today’s Apple earnings statements, you can now find information about the growing Services business, which includes Apple Music, among other things. In its most recent quarter, Services brought Apple $5.97 billion in revenue.

Does Advertising Ruin Everything?, by Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Harvesting was perhaps the original U.S. industrial activity. Economic growth relied on the reliable conversion of plants and animals into salable products, like cotton and beef. But the 21st century’s most successful industrialists, like Facebook and Google, harvest another commodity as abundant as wheat or crude oil. In the new industry, the fields are media and entertainment, the harvesters are advertisers, and the crop is attention.

In his new book, The Attention Merchants, the Columbia University professor and writer Tim Wu traces the history of the advertising business from its origins in the 19th century to the modern phenomenon of ad-blocking software on websites.

Elegant Physics (And Some Down And Dirty Linux Tricks) Threaten Android Phones, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

The vulnerability, identified by researchers in the VUSec Lab at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, targets a phone’s dynamic random access memory using an attack called Rowhammer. Although the attack is well-known within the cybersecurity community, this is the first time anyone’s used it on a mobile device. It’s troubling because the so-called DRAMMER attack potentially places all data on an Android phone at risk. [...]

This research looks at Android rather than iOS because Google’s operating system is based on Linux, which the researchers are intimately familiar with. But they say it would, in theory, be possible to replicate the attack in an iPhone with additional research.


Apple Sponsoring Annual Fashion Met Gala For Second Year Running, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple's continuing support for the gig outlines its deepening ties with the fashion industry, with the company's timepieces turning up on the wrists of celebrities and in glitzy magazines, Apple stores taking a page out of Burberry's fashion playbook thanks to Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts, and even audio accessories like Beats headphones becoming fashion statements.

iOS Just Got A Paper On Nuclear Physics Accepted At A Scientific Conference, by Christoph Bartneck

Since I have practically no knowledge of Nuclear Physics I resorted to iOS auto-complete function to help me writing the paper. I started a sentence with “Atomic” or “Nuclear” and then randomly hit the auto-complete suggestions.

Bottom of the Page

I've always been an iPod mini/nano kind of person. The 'full-sized' iPod was too expensive for me, and I really don't need that much disk-space since I mostly listen to audiobooks and podcasts -- content that doesn't demand keeping a large portable library to bring around.

I do miss the portability of an iPod nano. I wish there is a small device with the form factor of a small iPod running something akin to watchOS. I don't like to wear a watch (anymore); I'm probably more of a pocketwatch kinda person.


Thanks for reading.

The Baby-Screen-Time Edition Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pediatricians Revise Thinking On Screen Time; Ditch Ban For Kids Under 2, by Beth Mole, Ars Technica

Most notably, the academy ditched its strict ban on screen time for kids under the age of two, which had been in place since 1999. Now, the AAP acknowledges that not all screen time is equal, and even very young kids can benefit from certain types of media if parents and caregivers are involved.

Specifically, the AAP now says that for kids of any age—notably infants 0 to 18 months—video-chatting (e.g. Skype and FaceTime) is A-OK with supervision. There's little data to suggest that this is beneficial, but observational studies indicate that babies younger than 18 months can indeed emotionally engage with remote relatives over video chat. This can “facilitate social connections,” the AAP notes. But, for the 0 to 18-month crowd, video-chatting is all the screen time they get.

Why Siri Needs To Get Smarter Faster, by Mike Elgan, Fast Company

Given Apple's historically conservative approach to launching new product lines based on bleeding-edge technology, however, it's unlikely that we'll get see-through AI iPhones and mixed-reality Apple headsets anytime soon.

But a new version of Siri with radically better AI? That sounds more likely—and more urgent for Apple.

Smartphones Make Things Easy. And So Boring., by Laurie Swope, Boston Globe

On some lonely days — days of driving in traffic myself, running errands, navigating big-box stores — these conversations are the only company that I get, and I treasure them. But we are never really alone now, are we? Encircled by virtual buddies — vast social networks that distract us from loneliness but don’t cure it — we no longer have to look up when we are in line at the grocery store. When we can chat with hundreds of Facebook friends at any moment, it would seem somehow weird to talk to the stranger sitting next to us on the park bench. We are so addicted to the digital flask in our pockets — the limitless wellspring of Internet information and superficial relationships — that we cannot focus on the real people before us.

The greater misstep, of course, is not paying attention to the people we do know. At a park not long ago, I saw a young girl give a flower to her mother, who took it without glancing up from her phone. Nearby, parents and their two children sat in silence, each playing Pokemon Go.

Sunday Puzzle

How To Solve The World’s Hardest Logic Puzzle, by Brian Gallagher, Nautilus

One mark of Smullyan’s legacy is the interest philosophers and logicians still have in his most difficult puzzle, known as the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever. The title was given by a philosopher of logic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a colleague of Smullyan’s named George Boolos, who—no slouch himself—adored logical challenges of any sort. He once tested himself by giving a lecture on Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem, “one of the most important results in modern logic,” using only single syllable words.


Game Day: Mini Metro, by John Voorhees, MacStories

I’ve tried lots of great games this year, but it’s been a while since I found an iOS game that I could get lost in the way I did with some of my favorite iOS games.

Pokémon Go Made You Walk 25 Percent More Than You Used To, by Eric Johnson, Recode

Pokémon Go’s creators want the hit mobile game to get people out of the house and exploring their neighborhoods. A new study confirms that’s really happening.

JBL Reflect Aware Review: Amazing Lightning Connector Headphones, by Alex Hernandez, Techaeris

First I will say that using a Lightning connector over the 3.5mm headphone jack produces no audible difference in sound quality to my ears. That being said, the sound produced by the Reflect Aware is absolutely top notch but you will have to tweak the EQ to get the sound you want.


Today’s Kids Are Getting Ahead By Learning How To Code Apps, by Anna Davies, New York Post

Neurotic New York parents are insisting that tots as young as 2 learn the basics of coding — the instructions used to create Web sites, software and apps. They’re snapping up tech-teaching toys and paying hundreds of dollars for computer-programming classes for the pre-K set.


Indonesian Nationalism Takes A Bite Out Of Apple, by AFP

The iPhone 6S and 7 are yet to be released in Southeast Asia's largest economy as Apple struggles to fulfil requirements that phone makers must have 20 percent "local content" for 4G handsets sold in the country. [...]

Apple has encountered problems in other emerging markets, notably India where the Silicon Valley giant is facing roadblocks in its quest to open stores instead of selling products through third-party retailers.

AT&T And Time Warner Reveal Merger To Create ISP, TV, And Media Giant, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

AT&T already is the largest pay-TV provider in the US thanks to last year's purchase of DirecTV. It is also the third largest provider of home Internet service after Comcast and Charter, and the second largest provider of mobile data and voice services after Verizon Wireless.

"Owning content will help AT&T innovate on new advertising options, which, combined with subscriptions, will help pay for the cost of content creation," AT&T's announcement said. "This two-sided business model—advertising- and subscription-based—gives customers the largest amount of premium content at the best value." AT&T also pointed out that Time Warner's business requires few capital expenditures and is lightly regulated, unlike much of AT&T's existing business.

Bottom of the Page

I suspect I enjoy listening to audiobooks and podcasts whenever my ears are free -- such as during my commute or when I am cleaning dishes -- so that I don't have to listen to the voices inside my head that tell me all sort of nonsenses so as to raise my anxiety level.

Which is why I now resort to listening to BBC World Service when I am awoken in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep because of all those voices in my head.

(Yes, I know that my number one job is to get back to sleep. But I have no idea how to switch off The Voices.)

And how do I listen to BBC World Service on the radio? iPod nano.


Thanks for reading.

The Connecting-CPR Edition Saturday, October 22, 2016

App Helps Save Seattle Man After Heart Attack, by Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Seattle officials say the rescue shows the potential the free download has for connecting CPR-trained citizens with patients who urgently need their help. It's being used in 2,000 U.S. cities in 28 states.

"I put it on my phone yesterday," said DeMont's wife, Debi Quirk, a former registered nurse. "He would not be here as we see him today."

Seattle officials hope DeMont's story will help persuade thousands more people to sign up for notifications; so far, about 4,000 people in Seattle have downloaded PulsePoint since the city adopted it earlier this year with financial support from an employee charitable fund at Boeing. The goal is to have 15,000 using it.

How A Bunch Of Hacked DVR Machines Took Down Twitter And Reddit, by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

What began as a two-hour morning outage spanned well into the afternoon as Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, Github, and many other popular websites and services became effectively inaccessible for many American web users, especially those on the East Coast.

The websites were not targeted individually. Instead, an unknown attacker deployed a massive botnet to wage a distributed denial-of-service attack on Dyn (pronounced like dine), the domain name service (DNS) provider that they all share.


Scheduling Availability In Microsoft Outlook On iOS, by Chad Garrett, The App Factor

When you compose a new email, Outlook gives you the ability to sneak over to your calendar and tap on the times you are available; typically between appointments. For example, I might have a meeting from 9-10, 2-3 and 3-4. All I need to do is tap in the empty time slots on the calendar to send the recipient when I am available. Tapping the hour blocks of 8-9 and 10-2 copy the times to the email that is very easily readable to my requester.

Go Play: Mini Metro, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Mini metro reminds me a whole lot of SimCity, and in the best way. You can appreciate it on a very simple level, but if you really get into it you’ll discover all sorts of layers of strategy. Don’t connect too many circles together, for instance—they’re commuter stations, and the people who arrive there want to go to squares and triangles, not other circles. The list goes on.


A Walking Tour Of The Places Where I Hit Rock Bottom, by Michelle Tea, BuzzFeed

You might not be familiar with the term, “geographic” as used by recovering alcoholics. It refers to a time of geographical relocation whilst in the throes of active alcoholism. Like, your life is falling apart and shit is pretty fucked up and you come to the conclusion that if you just split town you could chill out and be normal again. This does not work, because locale was not your problem so much as your irrational compulsion to consume large quantities of alcohol regardless of the consequences. So, you can move to Detroit or Atlanta or Berlin or New Hampshire or Tucson but you bring your sloppy, slobbery, slurring self with you and re-create some version of your native problem in your fascinating new environment. I pulled my best geographic in 2001 when I moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco, my poor codependent, practically teenaged boyfriend in tow. Together we watched me bottom out in our cool new city. Now, 15 years later I’m back in the City of Angels. A lot has changed, no? Join me and my sidekick, Sandwich, as we visit some of my personal alcoholic bottom hot spots.

The Saved-Money Edition Friday, October 21, 2016

Comment: IBM’s Apple Deployment Stats Should Be A Lesson To Enterprise Companies Everywhere, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

It said that the default attitude to Macs within the company used to be that they were more expensive, more challenging/expensive to support and required retraining. The reality, it discovered, was rather different. We already learned last year that support costs turned out to be dramatically lower for Mac users, and the company revealed that it also saved money in other ways.

Hard drive encryption, for example, used to be something the company had to implement on top of a standard Windows installation; with macOS, FileVault is a standard installation option. It also saved money on anti-virus protection, XProtect built-in to Macs while Windows machines require third-party software. Beyond this, however, it reported improved employee productivity – and even found that user satisfaction with Macs was helping staff retention rates.

A Cashless Future? Sounds Like A Dream But Don’t Be Fooled, by Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

You don’t have to pine for the days of bringing wages home in a brown paper packet to worry about whether a cashless future serves corporate interests rather better than social ones.

Don’t Hold Your Breath For An iPhone Edition, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Let me add here a note about something that’s been bothering me for months: the notion that Apple is going to do something “special” next year to commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. I would wager heavily that they won’t. Apple under Tim Cook is a little bit more prone to retrospection than it was under Steve Jobs, who was almost obsessively forward-thinking, but only slightly. They made a 40-years-in-40-seconds video to commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary this year, for example, but it was only 40 seconds long. Blink and you missed it.

Apple is not going to make a special edition of any product — let alone the iPhone, their most important product — just to mark an anniversary. Don’t tell me about the 20th Anniversary Macintosh — that was a product from the old Apple that was heading toward bankruptcy, and a perfect example of why they shouldn’t do something special to mark something as arbitrary as an anniversary.

Five Ways To Master The Stand Ring On Apple Watch (And Have Fun Doing It), by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

So I came up with a plan. An evil plan. You see, the Stand Ring is really based around a minute of movement rather than strict standing versus sitting — it wants to see you get up and walk around, or step away from the standing desk and do something more energetic.

If I wanted to get my Stand hours, I was going to have to turn that one minute of "standing" into something a bit more fun and useful. Enter: The Stand Ring games!


TakeTen App To Restore Calm In A Stressful World, by Emily McDaid, Silicon Republic

TakeTen is a biofeedback app that helps young people manage their physiology and emotions. It shows them a visual depiction of their stress levels – via an iPad or iPhone – and teaches them how to bring themselves back to calm.

Review: Zagg Slim Book Pro, by Christopher Null, Wired

This iteration on the Zagg Slim Book—the Slim Book Pro—sees a number of incremental changes, the most notable of which is that the keyboard is now detachable, magnetically connecting to the case unit when you want it.


‘Alan Turing Law’ Unveiled By Government Will Posthumously Pardon Thousands Of Gay Men Convicted Of Historic Offences, by Ashley Cowburn, The Independent

Announcing what has been dubbed as the ‘Alan Turing law’ justice minister Sam Gyimah said the Government would seek to implement the change through an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill. It will effectively act as an apology to those convicted for consensual same-sex relationships before homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967.

The Tech Media Mogul Who Changed My Life, by Karen Wickre, Backchannel

David could be enigmatic, was sometimes uncommunicative, and he did change his mind now and again. At the same time, he embodied much of what is familiar in the tech landscape today: It can be fine to pursue ideas based on curiosity; failures come and go; and serving readers first is a laudable goal. Rather than run his magazines according to the old rules of publishing, David allowed his titles to reflect the optimistic new industry he covered, which celebrated innovation over tradition.

For reasons I still don’t fully understand, David thought I was worth a try in an unknown job at a young company in a very young industry. In the years since, he celebrated my path, and I grew to appreciate the wide web he created. From that one-off job David offered me have come the working and personal relationships that make a life. I’m lucky I can credit a single man who first opened that door.

The Hello-Again Edition Thursday, October 20, 2016

Apple’s Holding A Mac Event On October 27th: 'Hello Again', by Nilay Patel, The Verge

As expected, Apple just sent out invites for an event in Cupertino next week on October 27th. The tagline on the invite, "hello again," is a clear reference to the Mac, which was originally introduced with the word "hello" in 1984.

How Shared iPads And Apple TV Can Change Health Care Delivery, by Todd R. Weiss, eWeek

When patients are admitted to hospitals today, they typically have a white board mounted in their rooms where caregivers list their names, medicines and medical notes to help guide the care of the patient.

But at the newly built Jacobs Medical Center in San Diego, white boards have given way to Apple iPads and Apple TV in each room, where patients will be able to log in once they are admitted. Using the iPads, patients will be able to access deeper details about their caregivers, in-room controls for lighting, window shades and room temperature, as well as peruse their personal medical records and details about their treatments and upcoming procedures. Using Apple TV, patients will have access to entertainment and streamed video, as well as maintaining connections with friends and family using social media and video including FaceTime and Skype.

Apple Wants To Get Inside Your House Before You Buy It, by Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg

Inside this four-bedroom stucco house in Alameda, California, Kaiserman, president of the technology division at construction company Lennar Corp., was pitching a vision of a home controlled via iPhone or iPad.

Tap your phone, and AC/DC’s “Back in Black” blasts. Tap again, and the bath runs at a blissful 101 degrees. Sweet, right? Of course, your dad might view it as a bit over the top. All told, $30,000 worth of gadgets and gizmos were on display here, many run with Apple’s free HomeKit app.

How The Web Became Unreadable, by Kevin Marks, Backchannel

But if the web is relayed through text that’s difficult to read, it curtails that open access by excluding large swaths of people, such as the elderly, the visually impaired, or those retrieving websites through low-quality screens. And, as we rely on computers not only to retrieve information but also to access and build services that are crucial to our lives, making sure that everyone can see what’s happening becomes increasingly important.

We should be able to build a baseline structure of text in a way that works for most users, regardless of their eyesight. So, as a physicist by training, I started looking for something measurable.

The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive, by Ian Leslie, 1843

Fogg presented the results of a simple experiment he had run at Stanford, which showed that people spent longer on a task if they were working on a computer which they felt had previously been helpful to them. In other words, their interaction with the machine followed the same “rule of reciprocity” that psychologists had identified in social life. The experiment was significant, said Fogg, not so much for its specific finding as for what it implied: that computer applications could be methodically designed to exploit the rules of psychology in order to get people to do things they might not otherwise do. In the paper itself, he added a qualification: “Exactly when and where such persuasion is beneficial and ethical should be the topic of further research and debate.”

Fogg called for a new field, sitting at the intersection of computer science and psychology, and proposed a name for it: “captology” (Computers as Persuasive Technologies). Captology later became behaviour design, which is now embedded into the invisible operating system of our everyday lives. The emails that induce you to buy right away, the apps and games that rivet your attention, the online forms that nudge you towards one decision over another: all are designed to hack the human brain and capitalise on its instincts, quirks and flaws. The techniques they use are often crude and blatantly manipulative, but they are getting steadily more refined, and, as they do so, less noticeable.

David Bunnell (1947 - 2016)

Remembering David Bunnell (1947-2016), The Maverick Who Helped Invent Tech Media, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

In 1973, a former schoolteacher named David Bunnell got a $110-a-week job as a technical writer for a tiny Albuquerque-based maker of calculators called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, Inc., or MITS. In later years, he admitted that he knew virtually nothing about electronics at the time. But he was there in 1975 when MITS introduced a microcomputer, the Altair 8800. The machine kicked off the PC revolution, including inspiring two budding computer nerds named Bill Gates and Paul Allen to write a version of the BASIC programming language, which led to them founding a company they called Micro-Soft.

Starting in April 1975, Bunnell edited MITS's newsletter about the Altair, Computer Notes—a periodical that, as far as I know, was the first devoted entirely to the subject of personal computers. He went on to start Personal Computing, one of the first slick magazines on the topic. Then he cofounded both PC Magazine and PC World, the Coke and Pepsi of PC publications. And then Macworld—both the magazine and the trade show. At one point, four of the top 10 computer magazines were ones he'd started, and PC Mag, PC World, and Macworld are all still very much with us in online form.

Remembering David Bunnell, The Macworld Founder Who Relished Lying To Steve Jobs, by Macworld

A few weeks after Steve Jobs posed for the cover of the first issue of Macworld, he changed his mind. He didn’t want to be on the cover anymore.

So David Bunnell, the founder of Macworld, used one of the oldest tricks in publishing: He lied about the magazine going to the presses.


Apple & IBM Launch First ‘MobileFirst For iOS’ Education App, Watson Element, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

The new iPad app, IBM Watson Element for Educators, offers insights on students to teachers, including: “data on interests, accomplishments, academic performance, attendance, behaviors and learning activities.”

One Month With My iPhone 7 Plus: The Best Device For Important Work, by Matthew Miller, ZDNet

While on site for a marine casualty where more than 100 people were helping with the response, every person I saw using a phone, except for one Samsung Note 5 user, was using an Apple iPhone. There are several reasons I consider the iPhone 7 Plus to be the best phone for business, especially when you need your phone to perform reliably for long periods of time or the job just doesn't get done, and they include:


Apple Sues Mobile Star For Selling Counterfeit Power Adapters And Charging Cables Through Amazon, by Jack Purcher, Patently Apple

Late yesterday Apple filed a trademark infringement cases against Mobile Star LLC for selling counterfeit power products such as power adapters and charging cables through Apple believes these counterfeit products could lead to fires and are therefore a risk to the public.

Bottom of the Page

To use the tagline 'Hello Again' demonstrates... er... courage?

The new Macs better be significantly better.


Thanks for reading.

The Ditched-All-Notebooks Edition Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Apple Pencil Is Changing Rapha’s Design Workflow, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

“Before iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, I had so many notebooks floating around,” Rapha’s head of design Alex Valdman told me. “One in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, work, totes, back packs, a mini one in my wallet. You get the picture. Always a notebook at arms reach.”

But Valdman’s workflow changed quite a lot with the iPad Pro. Like any other computer, it’s much easier to share a drawing once it’s just a file on your iPad Pro or laptop. Valdman went one step further and ditched all of his notebooks even for the very early sketches.

Why An ex-Apple Design Chief Got Square To Abandon The Audio Jack, by Ariel Bogle, Mashable

Think of the Square Reader as an argument for ruthless simplicity.

"It's iconic, it's simple, it does exactly what it's supposed to do and nothing more." Or so says Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at the U.S. payment technology company and veteran of more than eight years of Apple design.

Apple, Samsung, And Good Design—Inside And Out, by Om Malik, New Yorker

As I read the coverage of the iPhone 7 design, Samsung’s troubles, and the legal rumbles between Apple and Samsung, it became obvious that we, collectively, have a misunderstanding of what design is, especially when it comes to connected devices. Many technology reviewers make the very human mistake of thinking about beauty and design as skin deep, overlooking what’s inside. I look at the new iPhone 7—and particularly the iPhone 7 Plus—and see huge technological leaps.

What Happens To American Myth When You Take The Driver Out Of It?, by Robert Moor, New York Magazine

The experience of driving a car has been the mythopoeic heart of America for half a century. How will its absence be felt? We are still probably too close to it to know for sure. Will we mourn the loss of control? Will it subtly warp our sense of personal freedom — of having our destiny in our hands? Will it diminish our daily proximity to death? Will it scramble our (too often) gendered, racialized notions of who gets to drive which kinds of cars? Will middle-aged men still splurge on outlandishly fast (or, at least, fast-looking) self-driving vehicles? Will young men still buy cheap ones and then blow their paychecks tricking them out? If we are no longer forced to steer our way through a traffic jam, will it become less existentially frustrating, or more? What will become of the cinematic car chase? What about the hackneyed country song where driving is a metaphor for life? Will race-car drivers one day seem as remotely seraphic to us as stunt pilots? Will we all one day assume the entitled air of the habitually chauffeured?

Flaw In Intel Chips Could Make Malware Attacks More Potent, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers have devised a technique that bypasses a key security protection built into just about every operating system. If left unfixed, this could make malware attacks much more potent.


Review: Beats Solo3 Wireless, by Christopher Null, Wired

While a typical Bluetooth connection craps out at about 25 to 30 feet (at least in my house), the Solo3 delivered perfect sound a whopping 120 feet away from my phone. From there it stuttered, finally dying completely at 135 feet away.

Also under the hood is an upgraded battery, which is totally worth the extra 10 grams.

49-Word Review Of The $49 iPhone 7 Plus Case, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Best of all, it eliminates the camera bump.

The Best iOS App For Annotating Images, by Joe Caiati, The Sweet Setup

When you need something more capable and powerful, Annotable has the right tools, design, and speed to suit your needs, and that’s why we think it’s best markup app for iOS.


Apple News Format Gains HTML Text Formatting For Expanded Content Support, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

Apple provided a list of newly supported HTML markup and tags in the email.

Rumor Today

Apple Plans To Launch New Macs At An October 27 Event, by Ina Fried, Recode

The Mac event is expected to take place at or near Apple’s Cupertino campus rather than in San Francisco, where the company held many recent events, including the iPhone 7 announcement.

The Connectivity-Problems Edition Tuesday, October 18, 2016

iOS 10.0.3 Fixes iPhone 7 Cellular Connectivity Problems, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple has just released iOS 10.0.3, a minor update to iOS 10 intended to fix cellular connectivity problems with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Unlike most iOS updates, this one is available exclusively for the newest iPhones, since older iPhones and iPads running iOS 10.0.2 don't seem to be affected.

Angela Ahrendts Talks Concepts Behind Next-Generation Apple Stores At Most Powerful Women Summit, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Ahrendts said that her big pitch for Apple was to integrate Apple's retail and online stores and turn the company's physical prescence into a bigger part of the communities they operate it. Cook, much to her surprise, loved the idea.

She said that she believes that "the bigger the company, the bigger the obligation" of that company to do something other than rake in profits. One of the things on her agenda was education, so Ahrendts planned on a next-generation of Apple retail stores that could function as something more than retail stores.

The Special Features That Enable Apple To Remove Security Tethers From Demo Devices, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The iPhone will reset when the device is powered off and then plugged in. When removed from the Apple Store, the stolen iPhone can’t do anything but ring for Find My iPhone until the battery dies. The iPhones are also Activation Locked using iCloud as a deterrent just like customer iPhones.

How Secure Are Fitness Devices?, by Bryon Moyer, Electronic Engineering Journal

Turns out that the Apple Watch was the only device using randomization, changing the MAC address at reboot and approximately every 10 minutes. They used a phone app called RamBLE on Android phones to track locations; it demonstrated that it’s possible to create a map of where you’ve been from the MAC address.

What Was Life Like Before Smartphones?, by Alex Balk, The Awl

Life before smartphones was boring because you didn’t feel crazy all the time. It was boring because you could still believe that what happened next might be okay. It was boring because you could look beyond what was in your hand and what you saw there was ambiguous enough that you needed to determine its shape on your own, rather than passively accepting whatever was presented to you. Life before smartphones was boring to the extent that your brain had to do actual work back then, and there is nothing your brain hates more than doing actual work. Your lazy brain is trying to trick you into thinking things were worse when you forced it to exercise all the time. Don’t believe your brain! Life now is boring, your brain is just confusing you with fear so that you won’t make a big deal about it.


Apple's Beats Debuts Celebrity-laden Ad Promoting New Wireless Headphones, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple-owned Beats on Monday premiered a new video ad on Twitter, promoting the brand's latest wireless headphones: the BeatsX, Solo3 Wireless, and Powerbeats3 Wireless.

Ozlo Virtual Assistant Launches On iOS And The Web, by Khari Johnson, VentureBeat

Calling itself one of the last independent AI-powered assistants, the Ozlo personal assistant was made publicly available for the first time today on iOS and the web.

Ozlo will expand to become a voice-enabled Amazon Alexa skill, and it will soon be available on bot platforms like Facebook Messenger as well, CEO Charles Jolley told VentureBeat in a phone interview.


Your Brilliant Kickstarter Idea Could Be On Sale In China Before You’ve Even Finished Funding It, by Josh Horwitz, Quartz

The Israeli entrepreneur had spent one year designing the product that would make him rich—a smartphone case that unfolds into a selfie stick. He had drawn up prototypes, secured some minimal funds from his family, and launched a crowdfunding campaign. He even shot a professional promo video, showing a couple taking the perfect selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower.

But one week after his product hit Kickstarter in December 2015, Sherman was shocked to see it for sale on AliExpress—Alibaba’s English-language wholesale site. Vendors across China were sellingidentical smartphone case selfie-sticks, using the same design Sherman came up with himself. Some of them were selling for as low as $10 a piece, well below Sherman’s expected retail price of £39 ($47.41). Amazingly, some of these vendors stole the name of Sherman’s product—Stikbox.

Made Men, by The Economist

“We go to places nobody thought were possible”, explained Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, at the inaugural event. Naples lags far behind northern Italy for transport and digital infrastructure, and criminality is rife. The Camorra, a mafia gang, runs one of the biggest drug-trafficking enterprises in the world from the city. The neighbourhood in which Apple has opened the academy (it is located inside a new campus of Federico II University) used to be more dangerous. “We used to see our friends die on the ground,” recalls Davide Varlese, a cousin of Mr Ciarravolo. But things have improved over the past decade as authorities have clamped down. At least the Camorra doesn’t come asking for money in bars any more, locals say.

Bottom of the Page

As someone who has been using computers for most of his life, there are two things that I miss on the little computer in my pocket.

Firstly, here I have a little computer that is always connected to the internet, and I can't run cron jobs to do little things here and there.

Secondly, here I have a little computer that has more RAM than my first Mac, and almost all of the apps that I use cannot undo my mistakes.


Thanks for reading.

The ... Edition Monday, October 17, 2016

Apple CEO Says iPhone's Future Is In AI, by Waichi Sekiguchi, Nikkei Asian Review

Cook, who was visiting Japan for the first time as CEO, said Apple will open a research and development base in Yokohama, near Tokyo, later this year. The facility -- the first of its kind outside the U.S. -- will develop AI and other technologies. Cook described it as a center for "deep engineering" and said it will be "very different" from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China.

Why Apple And Google Are Moving Into Solar Energy, by Chris Baraniuk, BBC

“For these big corporations, electricity is one of their biggest costs,” says Ash Sharma, a solar energy analyst at IHS Technology. “Locking that in at a low price is really critical for them.”

Why Jamaica Knows About Apple’s New Products Before The Rest Of The World, by Joon Ian Wong, Christopher Groskopf, Quartz

Apple’s product launches are notoriously secretive, but the Cupertino, California tech giant is sure to do one thing ahead of a big reveal: file trademark paperwork in Jamaica.


My Favorite Productivity App Is A Free Feature That's Already On Your iPhone, by Libby Kane, Business Insider

The point is that that Reminders is a great app, and everyone should know about it. Essentially, it's a to-do list that reminds you when it's time to do something (duh), without the complication of creating calendar events. No bells, no whistles. Just reminders.

Disk Drill 3 Review: Mac Utility Now Recovers Data From iOS Devices, Too, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Although Disk Drill 3 won’t win awards for the iOS recovery speed, in almost every other regard, the software is faster than previous versions, and works harder at discovering files for recovery—up to 30 percent more, according to the developer.


Feds Walk Into A Building. Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones, by Thomas Fox-Brewster, Forbes

In what’s believed to be an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple iPhones, or any smartphone that uses fingerprints to unlock, California’s top cops asked to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use their biometric information to open their mobile devices.

Bottom of the Page

I wonder if Apple's AI is going to discover that sometimes I enjoy listening to classical music, and sometimes I enjoy listening to Cantopops, but I never enjoy having a single playlist that contains both classical music and Cantopops.


Thanks for reading.

The Monitor-Your-Heart Edition Sunday, October 16, 2016

You Can Monitor Your Heart With A Smartphone. But Should You?, by Erin Ross, NPR

"We have patients come in who have different kinds of monitors like these. Many of them are very concerned because they've recorded values that seem way outside of the normal range," says Dr. Marc Gillinov, a cardiac surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and an author on the study. The study was designed find out if those readings are accurate.

Overall, the Apple Watch and Mio Fuse did best, with about 91 percent accuracy. The others fell in the 80 percent accuracy range, both overestimating and underestimating wearers' heart rates.

For most people, errors like these aren't a big deal, says Gillinov. But for elite athletes and cardiac patients who try to keep their heart rates in certain ranges, these devices might not be the best choice.

'Really Bad Chess' Review - Rook No Further, by Rob Funnell, TouchArcade

Compared to the balance, strategic depth, and elegance of the age-old board game, Zach Gage’s most recent release is really bad chess. It is highly likely you will start a game with an abundance of the most powerful pieces versus a far weaker opponent, and it will likely not take as much tactical meticulousness to break down their defence; anyone looking for a chess simulator will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, once preconceptions of similar titles are left behind, Really Bad Chess manages to turn a tiresome, tricky and intimidating game into one perfectly suited for the immediacy of mobile gaming.

Your Phone’s On Lockdown. Enjoy The Show., by Janet Morrissey, New York Times

But in late 2015, Mr. Chappelle discovered a technology called Yondr. Fans are required to place their cellphones into Yondr’s form-fitting lockable pouch when entering the show, and a disk mechanism unlocks it on the way out. Fans keep the pouch with them, but it is impossible for them to snap pictures, shoot videos or send text messages during the performance while the pouch is locked.

“I know my show is protected, and it empowers me to be more honest and open with the audience,” Mr. Chappelle said by email.

Bottom of the Page

I just want to tell you that I feasted on kuay chap with my wife, and I am so full now that I cannot walk. That's all. Have a happy Sunday.


Thanks for reading.

The How-Time-Appears Edition Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hands-on: Apple Watch Nike+ Special Features In Action Ahead Of October 28 Release, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple Watch Nike+ features two unique watch faces that feature Nike’s signature font and Volt color with both digital and analog versions. You can customize the style of both Nike watch faces including how the time appears, plus there’s a permanent complication that offers instant access to the Nike+ Run Club app.

Apple Has A Temporary Workaround If The Home Button Fails On An iPhone 7, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A dialog prompt warns that the home button is in need of repair, but presents an alternative onscreen home button for temporary use until the phone has been turned in to Apple for servicing.

Lost In Sierra: Five Missing Features, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

Although Apple mostly adds features to new releases of the Mac operating system, it’s not uncommon for the company to remove small options or support for an older technology. Needless to say, Apple doesn’t trumpet these removals from the rooftops, as it does with new features, leaving it to users who relied on a previous behavior to discover the change.

Here then are five features that have gone missing from macOS 10.12 Sierra.

Elementary Teacher Uses Technology To Help Dyslexic Kids Develop Love Of Reading, by Julie Fancher, The Dallas Morning News

Patterson first discovered Bookshare four years ago when she was working with a student who, while not dyslexic, struggled with reading and retaining word patterns. She realized it could be a solution for her dyslexic students to help them practice reading and what they were learning through the Take Flight program. [...]

For students who find Bookshare especially helpful, Patterson works with parents, who can sign students up for an individual membership, which is also free.


iPhone 7 Review: Much-needed Improvements At A Cost, by Victoria Woollaston, Wired

The iPhone 7 is mainly aimed at people with the iPhone 6. There are enough upgrades from its earlier predecessor for you to part with your money for the latest handset, and chances are you’re coming to the end of a two-year contract anyway and the timing is right. You’ll benefit from the better cameras, 3D Touch and boost in performance without feeling like you’re swapping like-for-like.

iPhone 7 Plus Review: Brilliant Battery Life Is Almost Worth The Money Alone, by Victoria Woollaston, Wired

We’re not sure the boost in battery is proportionate with the amount you’ll pay for the device, but couple it with the improved camera and overall sturdiness of the device and it comes incresingly close.


Upgrading To macOS Sierra Will Break Your SSH Keys And Lock You Out Of Your Own Servers., by Quincy Larson, FreeCodeCamp

It turns out Apple decided to quietly force 2048-bit RSA keys on everyone, which has been a mild inconvenience for some, and a confused panic for others.


This Twenty-Something Forced Silicon Valley To ‘Show Her The Numbers’, by Miranda Katz, Backchannel

On October 11, 2013, Tracy Chou returned home from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Minneapolis and fired off a Medium post asking: Where are the numbers? She had been mulling the question since attending a breakfast several days earlier at the conference, where Sheryl Sandberg brought up the dire state of women’s representation in tech and posited that the gender gap was only getting worse. That caused Chou to raise an eyebrow — not because she disagreed, but because she couldn’t imagine what data Sandberg might be referencing.

“It just made me think, what numbers is she talking about, exactly?” Chou recalled. “Because nobody really had those numbers, and to my knowledge I had the best just at the back of my mind, from having talked to people at different companies. I couldn’t imagine she had any access to any better numbers. I didn’t believe that existed.”

FM Stations That Don’t Reach Far, But Reach Deep, by Brett Sokol, New York Times

After going on the air last year, “I was shocked by how much more excited people were about FM as opposed to web radio,” he said. “People told me they really missed ‘old fashioned’ radio. In my opinion, what they’re missing isn’t just the radio. It’s local, live, smart, real grass-roots interactions, discussions and music.”

Bottom of the Page

There are two different ways to get to the widget page on iOS 10. Method number 1: go to the home screen and swipe to the right. Method number 2: pull down the notification screen, and swipe to the right.

In method number 1, if you scroll all the way up, the search field will be activated, and you can start typing in search terms. In method number 2, if you scroll all the way up, nothing happens.

Why are they different? Why do they need to be different?


Thanks for reading.

The Reality-Time-Machine Edition Friday, October 14, 2016

Apple CEO Tim Cook On Virtual Reality: “There’s No Substitute For Human Contact”, by John Paczkowski,, Eimi Yamamitsu, BuzzFeed

“There’s no substitute for human contact,” Cook told BuzzFeed News. “And so you want the technology to encourage that.” It’s not the first time Cook has indicated that Apple might favor AR. “We are high on AR for the long run,” Cook said during an earnings call this past summer. “I think AR can be huge.” Huge, indeed — one could look to the sudden and explosive success of Pokemon Go to see an immediate real-world example.

How To Turn Your Self-Driving Car Into A Time Machine, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

Let’s imagine there’s some cool new immersive app that lets you select a year in history on your drive across Manhattan. Want to catch a glimpse of Bob Dylan walking to a gig on Macdougal Street? Set your car’s dial to 1968. Or, to witness a zeppelin landing on the dirigible deck of the Empire State Building, drive into the year 1931. Want to drive alongside a crowd of 1,000 people marching to the lower tip of the island for the inaugural lighting of the Statue of Liberty’s torch? Head on over to October 28, 1886. (Granted, the fireworks that night were rained out, and the torch light malfunctioned, but hey!)

Happy Experience

How Disneyland Is Taking Cues From Uber And Apple To Make Sure Everybody Enjoys Their Vacation More, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

As Laiwala explains, though, the long wait was because Disney isn't big on doing things just for the sake of keeping up with current trends, and prefers to do things right. Before Disney even considered building an app, it spent years watching the market, making sure that the whole app economy is "here to stay," rather than a passing tech fad.

"We don't use technology for the sake of technology," she says.

Apple Stores Removing Security Tethers From iPhone Display Models, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The customers who do attempt to steal iPhone display models, if not caught by security or CCTV cameras where installed, will walk away with unusable devices, as Apple will place them into Lost Mode remotely using Find My iPhone.


Apple Begins Selling Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus In The U.S., by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Customers can now choose to purchase an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus without a SIM card at full retail price.

Dragon Professional Individual For Mac, V6 Review, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Transcription is now fully integrated into the application. Moreover, they've removed the need for training. Dragon instead trains its transcription engine with the first 90-seconds of your first transcription file.

Health Importer Makes It Easy To Move Health Data Between iPhones, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Loewenherz created Health Importer, a simple $2.99 utility that does exactly what you'd expect: the app restores a backup of the Health database, keeping old entries with every data point logged from your iPhone, Apple Watch, or third-party apps.

Evernote Admits Bug Caused Data Loss For Some Mac Users, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Lost attachments may potentially be accessible through the premium note history feature, so Evernote is providing all affected users with one year of free Evernote Premium service.


The Apple Two-step: My Disastrous Attempt To Use Apple’s Two-factor Authentication, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

I activated two-factor authentication (2FA) and easily logged into my iMac, but was unable to log into any of my other devices. Apple’s support site was no help, and I eventually had to call AppleCare.

The Too-Unreliable Edition Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?, by Walt Mossberg, The Verge

Yes, Siri can usually place a call or send a text. It can tell you sports standings, Yelp restaurant reviews, and movie times — features Apple added years ago. And it must be said that all of its competitors have their own limitations and also make mistakes.

But, in its current incarnation, Siri is too limited and unreliable to be an effective weapon for Apple in the coming AI wars. It seems stagnant. Apple didn’t become great by just following the data on what customers are doing today. It became great by delighting customers with feats they didn’t expect. The AI revolution will demand even more of that.

Teaching Siri To Snark, by Brandon Ambrosino, Popular Mechanics

Yes, sometimes explaining a joke ruins the joke. But researchers who want to teach robots how to be sarcastic have to think hard about the basic mechanisms of how sarcasm works.

One key element of human sarcasm is the counterfactual, says Penny Pexman, professor of psychology at the University of Calgary. Quite simply, a person says one thing but means another. (Perhaps that's why some humans, with an ear tuned toward facts, have such a hard time interpreting sarcasm correctly.)

Control Life

Building A Smart Home With Apple’s HomeKit, by Jon Chase, The Wirecutter

Unlike most current smart-home platforms, HomeKit doesn’t require the use of a hub to control groups of devices, though an Apple TV (or an iOS device you leave at home) is required to act as a gateway when you’re away. But even without a hub, HomeKit devices can easily be configured to work together as part of a modest home automation setup, and in our testing they require less fuss and troubleshooting than most other smart-home platforms.

The Binge Breaker, by Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic

While some blame our collective tech addiction on personal failings, like weak willpower, Harris points a finger at the software itself. That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible. The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.” “You could say that it’s my responsibility” to exert self-control when it comes to digital usage, he explains, “but that’s not acknowledging that there’s a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down whatever responsibility I can maintain.” In short, we’ve lost control of our relationship with technology because technology has become better at controlling us.


Apple's New Ad Explores The Redesigned Apple Music, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Apple today debuted a new ad aimed at exploring some of the new features in the redesigned Apple Music. The full ad functions as a basic overview of the service, letting potential users know what they can expect from it.

iPad App Helps Astronauts Track Dietary Intake, by IANS

An iPad app, designed specifically for use in space, simplifies the way astronauts track their dietary intake and offers greater insight for physicians and researchers on the Earth looking to keep crews healthy and fit, NASA said.

The International Space Station Food Intake Tracker (ISS FIT) iPad app, recently delivered to the space station, gives astronauts real-time feedback about their dietary habits.


Apple Says 'No Evidence' Of Photo Theft From Apple Store Customer Phones, by Daniel Van Boom, CNET

"We are investigating a violation of Apple's business conduct policy at our store in Carindale, where several employees have already been terminated as a result of our findings," Apple said in a statement.

Despite workers being fired, the company added that, based on its investigation, "we have seen no evidence that customer data or photos were inappropriately transferred or that anyone was photographed by these former employees."

Days Are Numbered On The iPhone's Physical Home Button, by Abdel Ibrahim, AppAdvice

These are the five major functions of the Home button. However, starting in 2015, Apple began to enable alternative ways to access some of these functions.

Bottom of the Page

I live in Singapore. I am seldom alone. I don't drive a car; I commute via buses and trains, which are always crowded. I work in an open office.

And I almost never use Siri.


Thanks for reading.

The Mental-Load Edition Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Echo, Interfaces And Friction, by Benedict Evans

Even the Apple Watch, mocked as ‘a watch that needs to be charged!’, is now good for two days of normal use, which in practice means that, presuming you take it off at night, you never think about the battery at all. Again, this is all about friction, or perhaps mental load. You don’t have to think about cables and power management and switches and starting up - you don’t have to do the routine of managing your computer.

Apple’s Recycling Robot Wants Your Old iPhone. Don’t Give It To Him., by Amelia Urry, Grist

But there’s a commercial interest at work here, too, and — sorry Liam — handing your old devices over to the company that made them might not be the best option for you or the planet. Because Apple has a proprietary interest in keeping decommissioned or counterfeit iPhones off the market, it imposes a “full-destruction” policy on its recycling partners — which means that some components that could be reused wind up destroyed instead. That’s quite a waste.

Jimmy Iovine On The Future Of Apple Music And Why Everyone Is Getting Everything Wrong, Dan Rys, Billboard

With Apple Music's recent redesign and its continuing foray into exclusives, both in audio streams and now its latest push into video, Jimmy Iovine breaks down the misconceptions of his strategy at Apple, the difficulty of marrying the music world with the tech world and the evolution of the company he's building now. "We are an adjunct to labels and artists," he says. "Yeah, it's a popular culture company, but it's also a tool. And that's what we're building. We're not in the record business."

Dash Follow-Up

Solving For Dash, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Mistakes were clearly made on both sides, and there may be no way for the real truth to ever be known, or for everyone to win. But there's a way to stop anyone else from losing further: Fix it, unilaterally, because you're Apple, and you can.


OmniGraffle Standard And Pro For Mac Gets A Big Update, by John Voorhees, MacStories

It's hard to capture exactly what OmniGraffle 7 is. Sure, it's a vector drawing and diagraming tool, but the power of OmniGraffle lies as much in the flexibility of its tools as anything else. By giving users the ability to tweak virtually any property of a shape, line, or other graphic element on its canvas, OmniGraffle works equally well for prototyping an iPhone app as it does for laying out an addition to your house or creating a corporate organization chart. With Version 7 of OmniGraffle, The Omni Group plays to its strengths, further extending the power, adaptability, and ease of use of those tools in what adds up to an outstanding update.

Review: Belkin’s New Lightning Adapter Lets You Charge iPhone 7 And Listen With Headphones At The Same Time, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

In my tests, the Belkin adapter didn’t noticeably change the audio quality of Apple’s Lightning EarPods versus going directly into the iPhone. There was the odd occasion when going from one Lightning port on the adapter to the other caused audio to stop working until I unplugged and reconnected the headphones a second time, but that shouldn’t be something you run into in real world much.

Channels Streaming App Updated To Version 2.0, Brings Integrated Programming Listings To Apple TV, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The new version allows for users with an antenna and a HDHomeRun or a CableCARD/HDHomeRun Prime setup to see what's on television in a format close to that of a conventional television set-top box.

Netatmo Launches Health Home Coach Enabled For Apple's HomeKit, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The Home Coach uses four sensors to track noise, humidity, air quality, and temperature. Several of them can be networked together to monitor multiple rooms.


Supreme Court Hears Samsung V. Apple Oral Arguments, by Jordan Golson, The Verge

The arguments the Supreme Court heard today address how much of the profits from a product — in this case, a smartphone — should be awarded to the holder of a design patent when their patent is infringed.

NSA Could Put Undetectable “Trapdoors” In Millions Of Crypto Keys, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers have devised a way to place undetectable backdoors in the cryptographic keys that protect websites, virtual private networks, and Internet servers. The feat allows hackers to passively decrypt hundreds of millions of encrypted communications as well as cryptographically impersonate key owners.

I’m A Doctor. If I Drop Food On The Kitchen Floor, I Still Eat It., by Aaron E. Carroll, New York Times

There’s no magic period of time that prevents transmission. But even though I know bacteria can accumulate in less than five seconds, I will still eat food that has fallen on my kitchen floor. Why? Because my kitchen floor isn’t really that dirty.

Our metric shouldn’t be whether there are more than zero bacteria on the floor. It should be how many bacteria are on the floor compared with other household surfaces. And in that respect, there are so many places in your house that pose more of a concern than the floor.

Bottom of the Page

Winter is coming. (For some of us.) (Literally and figuratively.) (Your mileage may vary.)


Thanks for reading.

The Time-Efficient Edition Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Longform Mobile Journalism: Why One Reporter Produced An Entire Documentary Using Mobile Devices, by Caroline Scott,

As smartphone technology improves and audiences continue to turn to social media to get the news, publishers are experimenting with video formats and using mobile journalism techniques to produce short-form content in a more time-efficient way.

Leonor Suarez, television journalist at Spanish regional public broadcaster, Radiotelevisión del Principado de Asturias, has taken this concept one step further, producing an entire 50-minute history documentary using her smartphone.

Apple Pay, Now 2 Years Old, Looks For Ways To Be More Useful, by Olga Kharif, Bloomberg

Apple Pay, which turns 2 years old this month, is facing stiffer competition and needs to find ways to stand out in a crowded field. In the next year, most retailers and fast-food restaurants will start their own mobile-payment services, and some of them will also offer Apple Pay. The service, which expanded into Russia earlier this month, is looking to absorb more functions of people’s traditional wallets, such as transit cards and retail loyalty cards.

Dash Follow-Up

Apple Responds To Dash Controversy With Proof, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

“Almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews were detected across two accounts and 25 apps for this developer so we removed their apps and accounts from the App Store,” Apple spokesperson, Tom Neumayr, said in a statement provided to The Loop on Monday. “Warning was given in advance of the termination and attempts were made to resolve the issue with the developer but they were unsuccessful. We will terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers.”

Dash And Apple: My Side Of The Story, by Bogdan Popescu

What Apple has done: on Friday they told me they’d reactivate my account if I’d make a blog post admitting some wrongdoing. I told them I can’t do that, because I did nothing wrong. On Saturday they told me that they are fine with me writing the truth about what happened, and that if I did that, my account would be restored. Saturday night I sent a blog post draft to Apple and have since waited for their approval.

Tonight Apple decided to accuse me of manipulating the App Store in public via a spokesperson.

Dash And Apple’s Statement, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

Apple’s statement is consistent with Apple’s doing the right thing, though. There’s a very good chance that they are.

Apple Responds To Dash Controversy, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Popescu concludes his response by publishing a recording of a phone call with an Apple representative. Popescu did himself no favors by doing so. For one thing, it’s a breach of trust. But for another, I think Apple comes off well in this recording. They’re bending over backwards to give Popescu another chance and have his account reinstated.


Apple Assisting In Donations For Hurricane Matthew Victims, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Facebook Workplace Officially Launches On The Web And iOS, Set To Compete Head-on With Slack, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

Facebook today officially announced the release of their Workplacebusiness product. Originally titled Facebook at Work, the new product is set to compete head-on with other similar services like Slack and Hipchat.


Smart Machines And The Future Of Jobs, by Jeffery D. Sachs, Boston Globe

There is neither a consensus nor deep understanding of the future of jobs in an economy increasingly built on smart machines. The machines have gotten much smarter so fast that their implications for the future of work, home life, schooling, and leisure are a matter of open speculation.

Even Bugs Will Be Bugged, by Matthew Hutson, The Atlantic

When Mark Zuckerberg posted a picture of himself on Facebook in June, a sharp-eyed observer spotted a piece of tape covering his laptop’s camera. The irony didn’t go unnoticed: A man whose $350 billion company relies on users feeding it intimate details about their lives is worried about his own privacy. But Zuckerberg is smart to take precautions.

Even those of us who don’t control large corporations have reason to worry about surveillance, both licit and illicit. Here’s how governments, terrorists, corporations, identity thieves, spammers, and personal enemies could observe us in the future, and how we might respond.

Bottom of the Page

When was the last time that 'the future' isn't scary?


Thanks for reading.

The Significant-Step-Up Edition Monday, October 10, 2016

The iPhone 7 And iPhone 7 Plus Review: Iterating On A Flagship, by Joshua Ho & Brandon Chrster, Anandtech

Overall, I think that if there’s any phone that is worth 650-750 USD at its base, it’s the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. If you’re upgrading from the iPhone 6s Plus you probably won’t find a ton of differences, but it’s still a significant step up in display, camera, speaker quality, battery life, and system performance. There are some software bugs and minor performance issues, but there’s nothing that really stands out as a showstopper and these issues are due to be fixed within the coming weeks. The iPhone might not excite like smartphones once did, but the amount of attention to detail and execution in the hardware is unparalleled and a cut above anything else in the industry.

iMessage Is The Glue That Keeps Me Stuck To The iPhone, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

Over time, iMessage has become indispensable in my everyday life. If the gadgets I have to carry with me on a daily basis are the bones of my tech existence, iMessage is the connective tissue. It’s quick work chats; it’s sharing location on the way to a meeting or dinner; it’s sending a GIF of a hug to a friend who is having a bad day; it’s keeping in touch with mom; it’s getting a series of poop emojis from my niece on her iPod Touch.

[...] But other messaging apps feel like disparate, fragmented experiences, whereas iMessage has collated most people I communicate with into one place.

Not Just Siri That's Doing The Listening

Apple Watches Banned From Cabinet After Ministers Warned Devices Could Be Vulnerable To Hacking, by Peter Dominiczak, The Telegraph

Under David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore the smart watches, including Michael Gove, the former Justice Secretary.

However, under Theresa May ministers have been barred from wearing them amid concerns that they could be used by hackers as listening devices.

Simply Powerful

Life After Death For Apple’s Xserve, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple put the final nail in the Xserve’s coffin in January 2011 when it officially stopped selling rack-mounted servers. Instead, the company started pushing server customers toward Mac Pros and Minis. On Sept. 20 of this year, Apple lowered that coffin into the ground when macOS Sierra dropped software support for the systems. And while Xserves running El Capitan will keep getting security updates for a couple of years and the current build of the macOS Server software still runs on El Capitan, the hardware will soon be completely buried.

For a few years after the Xserve’s death, the company offered Mac Pro and Mac Mini Server configurations that could do some of the same things, but even those options eventually disappeared. Even though Apple never offered true server-class hardware again, that doesn’t mean the hardware isn’t still out there doing its job. In our Sierra review we asked those of you who are still using Xserves to get in touch, and plenty of you did.


Level EX Blends Video Games, Medicine In New Surgical Training App, by Heather Mack, Mobihealthnews

There are only so many ways to practice surgery, and mistakes aren’t forgiven easily. For medical students and physicians in need of continuing surgical education, the options in institutional settings are cadavers (open only to students) or in the few surgical simulation centers around the country. So Chicago-based technology company Level EX is addressing that by bringing the visual effects from the entertainment and gaming industries into medicine with mobile apps.


We’re So Addicted To Our Gadgets That ‘Unplugged’ Tourism Is Booming, by Marina Lopes, Motherboard

These days, vacation can feel like work. Between Facebook updates, Instagram posts and tweets of your shower thoughts, memorializing your vacation can overpower the trip itself. In fact, 41 percent of millennials feel that their phones are keeping them from living in the moment when traveling, according to a JWT Intelligence consumer trends survey. And over half of those who plan on unplugging during vacation aren’t able to, according to an Intel digital behavior study.

So how much are tech addicts (i.e. most of us) willing to pay for someone to cut them off? It turns out, quite a lot. And the travel industry is readily capitalizing on our addiction to glowing screens.

The Neighborhood Bookstore’s Unlikely Ally? The Internet, by Amy Haimerl, New York Times

“Bookstores are being reinvented by taking advantage of how the world has changed,” said Oren Teicher, chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent sellers. “The whole ability to put technology to work for you has changed everything.”

Some bookstores are investing in infrastructure, such as in-shop e-book printers and new back-end systems, while others are embracing social media as an inexpensive way to connect with new customers.

Bottom of the Page

Liked many children who enjoyed reading books, I used to think owning a bookshop and selling books will be a cool job to be doing when I grew up. Of course, like many children who grew up, I realized reading books and selling books are totally different things.

But still, the dream lingers. I wonder, now with the internet and the web and the e-commerce and everything, is it easy to sell books, if profit is not a priority?


Thanks for reading.

The Join-Them Edition Sunday, October 9, 2016

Award-winning Teacher Makes Mother, Steve Jobs Proud, by Dexter Cabalza,

And when she saw how the very same devices tend to divide the students’ attention because of the gaming apps, she thought: “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

She thus tapped her students’ expertise on games such as Minecraft—a build-your-own-world game—to design domes for endangered plant species or explain the importance of coral reefs.

In Quest For Better AI, Tech Companies Gobble Up Smaller Companies: Study, by Berkeley Lovelace Jr., CNBC

In a race to create the best AI tech solutions in an increasingly hot sector, U.S. tech giants like Alphabet's Google and iPhone maker Apple have been quietly snapping up dozens of artificial intelligence companies over the last five years, according to a recent report from analysis firm CB Insights.


How To Master... macOS Sierra, by Craig Grannell, Stuff

Although the OS X name has been consigned to history (we’re now in the era of macOS), your Mac will seem broadly familiar on installing macOS Sierra. But there are new features – big and small – from Siri integration and iCloud Desktop sync through to handy tweaks to Photos and the means to nuke vom-inducing animations.

PDFpen And PDFpenPro 8.2, by Agen G. N. Schmitz, TidBITS

Both editions now support iCloud sync, enabling you to sync automatically with other Macs as well as PDFpen for iOS.


Apple To Expand Italy Developer Program, Will Partner With Five Universities For New iOS Foundation Program, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Jackson explained that Apple is working with at least five universities in the Campania region to expand Apple’s initiatives in Italy with a new iOS Foundation Program. This program would see Apple offer a three to four-week course in app development to students. Apple hopes that the iOS Foundation Program will serve up to 800 students during its first year, with that number increasing from there.

Virtual Reality Is In Desperate Need Of Real Storytellers, by Helen Klein Ross, Lithub

In 1895, the first film screening was one-minute long: L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de La Ciotat wasn’t a story, it was 60 seconds of terror for a Parisian audience who panicked, thinking a train was coming at them. Without storytellers, the medium of film might have fizzled as its naysayers predicted, a wild ride that audiences would take only once. If VR is to move beyond shrieks and sweaty palms, storytellers must play an integral role in its development.

Bottom of the Page

I am feeling restless this entire Sunday... but I am not sure where I am going and what I am aiming for. I'm not bored. I'm not anxious (unusually). I am not happy. I am not sad.

I have no idea.


Thanks for reading.

The Cloudy-Outlook Edition Saturday, October 8, 2016

Syncing Feeling: iCloud Drive In macOS Sierra, by Jason Senll, Six Colors

For many classes of Mac user, the risks are low and the benefits are great. For other classes, the right answer is to do what Apple recommends in its tech note: walk away.

“OS X” Branding Lingers On, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

With Apple changing Mac OS X to macOS this summer, it’s not surprising that some loose ends with the old branding are still easy to find. In comparison with actual issues, this is admittedly silly, but I’ve turned it into a little game.

Using The Bedtime Timer In iOS 10, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The Bedtime timer sets its own alarm for waking you up in the morning, so you don’t need to set one in the Alarm screen unless you need to make sure you’re up at a particular time.

Inside Apple’s New Audio Adapter, by iFixit

[I]t appears Apple’s engineers did their job, and this tiny adapter performs better than most people expected or even thought possible.


Facebook’s New Events App Could Be A Trojan Horse Rival To Google Calendar, by Tim Peterson, Marketing Land

Facebook has become a popular place for people to pencil in their plans. Every day more than 100 million people — about 9% of Facebook’s daily audience — use the social network’s events feature, per Facebook. So now Facebook is spinning off events into own mobile app — which may become more than an event-specific calendar and more of a general-purpose calendar a la Google Calendar.

This Brilliant iPhone Hack Is The Perfect Solution To That "Ducking" Autocorrect Problem, by Melanie Ehrenkranz, Mic

Just create a new iPhone contact for "fuck fucker" (or any other curse words that your operating system tries to autocorrect) for unobstructed swearing.


How To Cut Cake Fairly And Finally Eat It Too, by Erica Klarreich, Quanta Magazine

Two young computer scientists have figured out how to fairly divide cake among any number of people, setting to rest a problem mathematicians have struggled with for decades. Their work has startled many researchers who believed that such a fair-division protocol was probably impossible. [...]

The algorithm is extraordinarily complex: Dividing a cake among n players can require as many as n^n^n^n^n^n steps and a roughly equivalent number of cuts. Even for just a handful of players, this number is greater than the number of atoms in the universe. But the researchers already have ideas for making the algorithm much simpler and faster, said the other half of the team, Haris Aziz, a 35-year-old computer scientist at the University of New South Wales and Data61, a data research group in Australia.

Bottom of the Page

I don't see how Apple can follow Google in offering significant storage space on iCloud for free for life. Google can do it because every year that the company offers free cloud storage space is another year it can generate advertisment revenue out of customer's data. Apple -- at least with its current business model -- doesn't do that. Whatever portion of profit from the sale of phones Apple extract out to offer free iCloud storage, that money will run out eventually.

However, I do see Apple offering free storage space for a fixed amount of time. For example, customers may get 2 years of 1 TB free with the purchase of an iPhone. When the 2 year period is up, customers either have to start paying for iCloud, or buy another phone to get another 2 years free.

Of course, if Apple do pursue this, Apple should definitely give more years of free storage to Mac customers. After all, Apple doesn't give us good reasons to buy a new Mac every other year. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Purgeable-Space Edition Friday, October 7, 2016

When Free Space Isn’t Free: Purgeable Storage In macOS Sierra, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Now here’s the big change in macOS Sierra: Apple adds the amount of truly free space to the amount of purgeable space, and that’s what is displayed on your Mac as the amount of free space on disk. [...]

In an ideal world, your Mac should treat that free space as real free space, and there’s no need to peek behind the curtain. In the shorter term, there will probably be bugs and incompatibilities, and if you’re someone who cares about what’s going on behind the scenes of your Mac, you should be aware that not all free space is the same.

Instagram, Snapchat & How My Love For Photos Has Changed!, by Om Malik

“You should take the time to critically look at all your photos, and figure out why you like them and why you don’t like them,” he told me. The creator of Lenka app has been making photos for a decade. Our conversation ended up being about Instagram and how it has influenced what the world thinks of as popular photography styles.

Dash Follow-Up

'Dash' App Removed From App Store For Alleged Review Manipulation, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple initially declined to offer more information, but after Dash's App Store removal started making headlines, Apple told Popescu it was due to App Store review manipulation, such as paying for positive reviews, something he denies doing.

Apple’s Judicial System, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

No matter what the context, we expect that the accused see the evidence against them, we expect avenues for appeal to be made available, and we expect proportional penalties.


Uber Has Always Looked Unstoppable. Then It Went To China, by Brad Stone and Lulu Yilun Chen, Bloomberg

At the Beijing offices of the ride-hailing startup Didi, many employees refer to Cheng Wei, the founder and chief executive officer, as laoda, or “big boss.” Others use his English nickname, Will. This summer the world came to know him by another designation: the Uber Slayer, the one entrepreneur who managed to beat back the relentless advance of the richest, most rapacious startup since Bill Gates ran Microsoft. In August, after a multibillion-dollar, year-and-a-half-long battle, Uberagreed to sell its business in China and depart the country.

It was a face-saving retreat for Uber, which got a 17.7 percent ownership stake in Didi and $1 billion in cash. But it was a huge victory for Cheng. Eight weeks after the deal, on the fifth floor of the company’s headquarters, he’s careful to sound magnanimous toward his vanquished rival. “Uber is a great company,” he says. “They have the best strategy in China among all the Silicon Valley companies. They are more agile than Google. They aren’t like this in other parts of the world, but in China they’ve learned to show goodwill. They are not like a usual foreign company in China, but more like a startup, full of passion, feeling like they are fighting for themselves.”


Apple Watch Series 2: Second Opinion Review, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Most people with an original Apple Watch will get enough of an improvement out of watchOS 3 that they won't need to consider upgrading to Series 2. The exception is anyone who's been waiting for route tracking or water workouts. Then — take note, triathletes! — the upgrade is significant.

For anyone who hasn't yet gotten an Apple Watch, especially now that Google Wear and other competitors seem stalled or stagnant, Apple Watch Series 2 is a better starting point than ever. And, if you don't need GPS, or the extra brightness, battery life, or water resistance, Apple Watch Series 1 might be even better — it has the same amped-up performance, but at a lower price.

Spotify And Apple Music Get Unofficial Mixes, The Best Part Of SoundCloud, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Apple struck a deal with Dubset in March, and Spotify did in May, BPMSupreme reported. But the remixes are finally beginning to stream today, starting with this DJ Jazzy Jeff remix of Anderson .Paak.

Duolingo’s Chatbots Help You Learn A New Language, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Today’s chatbots, for the most part, aren’t all that useful, but what if you could use them to learn a new language? When it comes to learning languages, using what you’ve learned in the context of a conversation is extremely useful. If you are learning online, though, you often don’t have anybody to talk to. That’s why Duolingo today introduced chatbots to its app that allow you to have AI-powered conversations.

This App Encourages You To Actually Check Off Those Items On Your Bucket List, by Timothy R. Smith, Washington Post

For a procrastinator , a bucket list can be more about failure than fantasy. It exists in your head, always changes and is never completed — an endless tally of unlived dreams.

As with seemingly everything since the introduction of the iPhone, however, there’s an app for the bucket list. It’s called Soon, and it’s wonderful.

Turn Ordinary Videos Into Beautiful Artworks With Prisma, by Stan Schroeder, Mashable

Prisma, the photo app that applies neural network magic to photos for a wide variety of artistic effects, now also works with 15-second videos.


How To Talk To A Woman With No Headphone Jack., by Sarah Hutto, McSweeney's

When you see a woman with no headphone jack, it can be intimidating, to say the least. Many men assume that a woman would only forgo a headphone jack by choice. But, with the technological landscape being so complex, it can be easy for a woman to get overwhelmed when making decisions about her headphones.

Maybe it’s been so long since she’s used headphones with a jack that she’s forgotten how much more reliable the sound quality can be. Or maybe when buying the headphones, she was unaware that corded headphones are still widely available on the market. Whatever her reasons, you want to be sure she sees what she’s missing out on and give her the chance to downgrade. To do this, you will need to overcome a few obstacles.

The Pie-In-The-Cloud Edition Thursday, October 6, 2016

Apple Is Said To Plan Improved Cloud Services By Unifying Teams, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple cloud services teams run by executive Eddy Cue, including Siri, Maps, iCloud, Apple Pay, Apple News and parts of iTunes and Apple Music, will move together into the company’s existing Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California, the people said. Currently, most Apple services are developed separately from each other in office parks rented out in other parts of Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California. [...]

Apple is also reorganizing its cloud computing resources to bolster its services business. The company is moving its infrastructure -- things like software to process Siri queries and Apple Music downloads -- onto a single, Apple-made system, according to people familiar with the matter. Code-named Pie, the platform gives Apple more control and may speed up load times.

Apple Creates 'Orchard' Program To Find Upcoming Marketing Talent, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Participants of the Orchard will also go through a set curriculum, receive mentoring from Apple employees and work on Apple projects. Enrichment opportunities and sessions with leaders of Apple departments outside of marketing will also be available.

Yes, The iPhone 7 Lenses Really Are Sapphire, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

So why is it scratching?

It's not. The lower hardness tools aren't scratching the lens. They're fracturing it.

Apple Inexplicably Terminates Developer Account For Popular Developer App Dash, Apps Removed From App Store, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

For unknown reasons, the developer account associated withpopular developer app Dash, a utility tool providing offline API documentation, has been terminated by Apple. Consequently, both Dash apps for iOS and macOS have been pulled from the respective App Stores, crippling the developer’s business model in an instant without any explanation. The iOS app cannot be sold outside of the App Store, but the Mac version is now only available through the developer’s site.


The Best iOS Email App Just Came To The iPad And It’s Wonderful, by Jeff Weisbein, BestTechie

It automatically scans your emails for purchases, receipts, attachments, calendar dates, and more and then will automatically put those emails into separate, appropriately-labeled folders (e.g. Subscriptions, Travel, Packages, Bills & Receipts, Entertainment, etc).


MailChimp And The Un-Silicon Valley Way To Make It As A Start-Up, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

In fact, it’s possible to create a huge tech company without taking venture capital, and without spending far beyond your means. It’s possible, in other words, to start a tech company that runs more like a normal business than a debt-fueled rocket ship careening out of control. Believe it or not, start-ups don’t even have to be headquartered in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.

There is perhaps no better example of this other way than MailChimp, a 16-year-old Atlanta-based company that makes marketing software for small businesses. If you’ve heard of MailChimp, it’s either because you are one of its 12 million customers or because you were hooked on “Serial,” the blockbuster true-crime podcast that MailChimp sponsored.

The Rise And Fall Of The 1-900 Number, by Shaun Raviv, Priceonomics

The 900 industry offered much of what the Internet later would. But instead of offering it for free alongside poorly-performing ads, 900 numbers supported content creators. A typical call cost $1.99 for the first minute, and 99 cents for each additional minute. The average call length was three and a half minutes. That brought the total to about $5 per call, split among the carriers, the service bureau (like ATS), and the owner of the number. In 1989, the DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince rap hotline earned the stars at least six figures of income.

The business was so booming that two books on making money off 900 numbers—including Bentz’s—sold nearly 50,000 copies between them. Industry billing grew from an estimated $60 million in 1988 to almost a billion dollars in 1991.

The Day-By-Day Edition Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Life, As Seen Through 73,732 Digital Photographs, by Jason Snell, iMore

In life, the steps we take are small. It's the number of them that adds up in the end. I bought a digital camera the week before my daughter was born, and now she's a teenager. That happened a day at a time. And the pictures I've taken during her life have similarly changed and improved, iteration by iteration. One view of my Photos library tells that tale — in terms of my life, and the cameras I've used to document it.

Things may not feel that different, but they're changing day by day.

A Declining Trajectory, by Matt Gemmell

It’s a lot of stuff to maintain, let alone update and improve. And for much of the flagship product line-up, there’s a yearly march of new releases, presumably compelled by stakeholder demand and market scrutiny. There has to be a new iPhone — and accompanying major iOS version — in autumn. Ditto for macOS, and watchOS. The cycle never stops.

And now, the cracks are showing.

Developers: Stop With The Stupid, Pretentious, Self-Absorbed Release Notes, by Kirk McElhearn

Users look to release notes to find out what is new, and what has been fixed. If you cannot quickly see these changes in the release notes, you miss out on something important.

The Pixel Event

The Google Phone, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

But even the best software is pointless without compelling hardware to run it. And if you’re Google, would you trust the future of the company to your hardware partners? No, you’d want to control the entire thing, end to end. [...]

In making its own hardware, Google is pitting itself against Apple for the first time, Google phone vs. iPhone. Those are very high stakes, with very little margin for error. So it looks like Google decided to follow a simple dictum:

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Third Time’s The Charm: Google Is Trying To Be A Phone Company, Again, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Google’s stuck in a place where it needs to give its own Android phones unique features to differentiate them from the crowd, which is doubly true since they’re being sold at iPhone and Galaxy prices instead of Nexus prices. But it makes most of its money by building out large userbases and making its products and services as available to as many people as is realistically possible. In that tug of war, Google will ultimately be pushed to do whatever is best for its bottom line, something that may damage its nascent phone business.

OK Google, Why Is iCloud Storage So Expensive?, by Thomas Ricker, The Verge

Google, meanwhile, is doing exactly what Apple should be doing. People who buy Google’s new Pixel phones are given free unlimited Google Photos storage to host all their original photographs and 4k video. For Google it’s a fair trade, it gets to scrub your photos for anonymous data that will ultimately help it sell better ads, and Pixel owners never have to worry about seeing a "storage is full" message when uploading their imagery. Apple’s not making money from ads like Google, but it definitely wants the world to think iPhone when deciding what camera to buy next.

Yahoo Scans!

Exclusive: Yahoo Secretly Scanned Customer Emails For U.S. Intelligence - Sources, by Joseph Menn, Reuters

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency's request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

Delete Your Yahoo Account, by Sam Biddle, The Intercept

There’s no good reason to have a Yahoo account these days. But after Tuesday’s bombshell report by Reuters, indicating the enormous, faltering web company designed a bespoke email-wiretap service for the U.S. government, we now know that a Yahoo account is a toxic surveillance liability. [...]

An Apple spokesperson said “we have never received a request of this type,” and that “If we were to receive one, we would oppose it in court.”


Apple Seemingly Discontinues Third-gen Apple TV, Removes It From Online Store, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In an email sent out today to employees and education partners, obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple confirmed that it is discontinuing the device, shifting its focus entirely to the fourth-gen, tvOS-powered model.

The Best iOS Music App Replacement, by Richard Anderson, The Sweet Setup

If the stock iOS Music app doesn’t fit your needs and you’re not interested in a streaming service, you have a surprising number of options. Your iOS music library, like your calendar, your contacts, and your photo library, is open to other apps. There’s Music app replacements that will fit anyone’s needs, many with features that the stock app either buries or doesn’t have at all. Here are a few of our favorites.

Habitify For iPhone And Mac Tracks Your Habits, Features Custom Reminders And Donates Cash To Charity, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

You have a lot of excellent options for tracking your habits, but Habitify is one of the first we’ve seen that not only looks good, it also includes a charity donation when you do well.

The Drobo 5C Is A Great Product For Local Storage And Back-up, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

I use my Drobo 5C as the central repository for all my media files. I’d recommend that you consider doing the same.

Candle From Twelve South Promises 'New Mac' Scent, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Twelve South, the "New Mac" candle features notes of mint, peach, basil, lavender, mandarin, and sage, which somehow magically combine to mimic the smell of a new Mac.


Imagining A Cashless World, by Nathan Heller, New Yorker

So far, the U.S. still embraces cash, because our concept of wealth is material: we collect it, handle it, hoard it. American money is private. Sweden has embraced cashlessness more readily in part because it finds the value of currency in the transfer and velocity, the social path it follows, the bonds it traces. It’s social: a network conception of wealth. The two conceptions met on nights like this, when fantasies and friendships came together in a hideaway of space and time, remaking each other among fleeting opportunities. We weren’t thieves, and yet we lived as if we were.

Online Behind Bars: If Internet Access Is A Human Right, Should Prisoners Have It?, by Dan Tynan, The Guardian

But in a world increasingly defined by technology, denying internet access makes it harder for inmates to prepare for life on the outside, notes Dave Maass, investigative researcher for campaign group theElectronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). It makes it harder for inmates to report on conditions inside prisons or communicate with their families – and also contravenes the May 2011 declaration by the UN that internet access is now a fundamental human right.

Bottom of the Page

Steve Jobs: Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

The Technologically-Embedded Edition Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Embedded Beings: How We Blended Our Minds With Our Devices, by Saskia K Nagel, Aeon

The fruits of the Enlightenment allowed us to consider ourselves as rugged individuals, navigating the world by our wits alone. This persistent cultural meme has weakened, particularly over the past decade as research in social neuroscience has emphasised our essentially social selves. Our relationship to our devices provides a new wrinkle: we have entered what the US engineer and inventor Danny Hillis has termed ‘the Age of Entanglement’. We are now technologically embedded beings, surrounded and influenced by the tools of modernity, seemingly without pause.

In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone with the catchphrase ‘this changes everything’. What we didn’t know was that the everything was us.

Turning Attention Back To Podcasts

Spoken Editions Goes Live On iTunes So You Can Listen To Your Favorite Websites, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The podcasts are powered by SpokenLayer, a company that has developed a service that quickly turns a publishers’ RSS feed of articles into audio recordings that can be distributed anywhere – in iTunes, on SoundCloud, on the web, or any other audio platform. The idea is not only to allow consumers to “hear” from their favorite websites instead of reading them, but also to give each publisher’s brand its own distinctive voice.

Bandwidth To Spare

Apple To Make macOS Sierra Available As Automatic Download Beginning Today, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

Apple told me on Monday that it is making its new macOS Sierra available to customers as an automatic download beginning today. What this means for users is that if you have auto update downloads enabled, macOS Sierra will download in the background for you.

Apple Adopts Windows 10 Tactic To Auto-download Sierra To Macs, by Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Apple has taken steps to reduce possible criticism of the change: The Sierra upgrade -- which tips the scales at 4.8GB -- will not auto-download to a Mac short of storage space. And if the Mac's storage shrinks sufficiently before Sierra is installed but after the upgrade has downloaded, the file will be automatically deleted.

How To Prevent Your Mac From Automatically Downloading And Installing macOS Updates, by Christian Zibreg, iDownloadBlog

If you don’t want macOS updates to download silently in the background, you can disable this feature with a few clicks in your App Store preferences.


Adobe Unveils Photoshop And Premiere Elements 15 For Mac, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Photoshop Elements includes a new Transform tool that's able to turn frowns into smiles, adjust squinting eyes, and make other quick, easy adjustments to photos in a matter of minutes.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Review: Image Editor Boosts Its Photo-manipulation Features, by Jackie Dove, Macworld

If you are a photo enthusiast who seeks special effects goodness without the learning curve, Photoshop Elements is the ticket. While I found at least two of the new guided edits less than compelling, improvements to the Organizer were uniformly useful.

Well Rounded, by And Now It's All This

I was perfectly happy with PCalc’s old behavior, which always rounded halves to even, but, shockingly, James has to consider the needs and wants of customers other than me. Now there’s rounding for everyone.


Security Design: Stop Trying To Fix The User, by Bruce Schneier

Traditionally, we've thought about security and usability as a trade-off: a more secure system is less functional and more annoying, and a more capable, flexible, and powerful system is less secure. This "either/or" thinking results in systems that are neither usable nor secure.

Bottom of the Page

What should I listen to so that I can forget about work, de-stress, and get to sleep easier? Audiobooks, music, NPR, or podcasts?

Too many choices, I tell you. That makes me anxious.


Thanks for reading.

The Put-A-Price Edition Monday, October 3, 2016

Things That Keep Me Coming Back To iOS, by Erna Mahyuni, Stuff

I like knowing that I don't have to wait for my carrier to approve an update to my phone; that any security update is going to come as soon as Apple has it ready. That so long as my phone is within two to three generations of the latest model, it'll be updated.

It's hard to put a price on peace of mind.

Hitting Ctrl + Alt+ Confused With Cellphone, by Laura Porter,

Three minutes earlier, as my husband ranted about the absurdity of communication in the 21st century, I had texted him in Vermont.

“Dad is fighting with his phone. Could you please call him and help him?”

The Ill-fated Tale Of Phoneys, The Stupid Little Sticker Pack That Went #1 On The App Store, by Adam Howell, Medium

Wednesday night of this week, John Gruber wrote, “This is very clever, and I can see how it could be damn funny, but I wouldn’t be surprised ifPhoneys gets pulled from the App Store.” Shortly after John’s post — I mean, you can’t buy press better than that, a post from Gruber about $.99 stickers so clever that Apple was sure to pull them? — Phoneys, the stupid little sticker pack I’d launched just a few days before, climbed to #1 Top Paid and #1 Top Grossing in the iMessage app store.

Thursday night, last night, Bill from Apple called me.

The days leading up to that roller coaster span of 24 hours were a surprisingly efficient example of the creative process.


App Aims To Conduct The World’s Largest Mental Health Study, Reduce Suicides, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

A project called How is the world feeling? is aiming to use an iOS and Android app to conduct the world’s largest study of mental health over a one-week period starting on October 10. The aim is to gather data from ordinary people to identify patterns in emotions, then to open-source anonymized data to mental health professionals in a bid to devise approaches to reducing suicide rates.

LittleBits Adds Bluetooth LE Module So Kids Can Control Their Creations From An iPhone Or iPad, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Kids electronics kit makers LittleBits have long used an iOS app to help kids build their own gadgets, but the addition of a Bluetooth LE module means that their creations can now be directly controlled by an iPhone or iPad.


Apple’s Retail SVP Angela Ahrendts Drops ‘Online Stores’ From Title, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

It appears the new title is a cosmetic change for its retail branding rather than a change in roles for Ahrendts. It’s my understanding that the title change is to better reflect Angela’s role that merges both retail stores and online retail operations, and not a result of a shift in responsibilities. Her updated bio still notes that she is responsible for “strategy, real estate & development, and operations of Apple’s physical stores, Apple’s online store and contact centers.”

The Economics Of Dining As A Couple, by Megan Mcardle, Bloomberg

Marriage counselors tell us that couples frequently tie the knot without discussing the core matters that can cement or sunder their marriage: finances, children, religion. Well, let me add one under-discussed biggie to the list: restaurant dining.

I am eternally astonished to find not only that many couples I know failed to discuss this key area before they marched up to the altar, but also that many of them still have not developed a joint dining strategy even after 10 or 20 years together. This is madness. You are placing undue stress on your relationship, and you are very probably having a suboptimal dining experience, thereby wasting time and money and missing out on deliciousness. As a romantic economist might put it in a wedding-reception toast, couples have the chance to jointly move to a higher utility curve.

Why The Infinite Improbability Drive Is Really, Really Improbable, by Elisabeth Sherman, Inverse

Bruckner confirms that using probability to get anywhere deliberately would be futile because “with probabilities, there is no determinism.” But even if you wanted to build a spaceship that used probability as part of its operating system, you wouldnt have much luck.

“Your entire spaceship, which is macroscopic, would have to behave like a quantum particle. Every single atom in this spacecraft would be forced to behave like every other atom,” he explained. “Macroscopic things cannot be made to behave like one atom or one electron.”

The Thumb-Twinge Edition Sunday, October 2, 2016

Out Of Hand, by Stephanie M. Lee, BuzzFeed

To be a perpetually plugged-in, emailing, texting, sexting, swiping, Snapchatting, selfie-taking human being in 2016, a little thumb twinge is the price of admission. There are the media-anointed outliers: the Candy Crusher with a ruptured thumb tendon, the woman who over-texted her way to “WhatsAppitis.” And then there are people like the 18-year-old woman who said, “If I’m scrolling down Tumblr for more than half an hour, my fingers will get sore.” “When I hold my phone,” a 22-year-old complained, cradling her iPhone in her palm, “my bottom finger really hurts.” A 30-year-old software engineer said his fingers “naturally curl inwards,” claw-like: “I remember my hand did not quite use to be like that.” Amy Luo, 27, suspects her iPhone 6s is partly to blame for the numbness in her right thumb and wrist. Compared with her old iPhone, she said, “you have to stretch a lot more, and it’s heavier.” Dr. Patrick Lang, a San Francisco hand surgeon, sees more and more twenty- and thirtysomething tech employees with inexplicable debilitating pain in their upper limbs. “I consider it like an epidemic,” he said, “particularly in this city.”

To be clear, no one knows just how bad this “epidemic” is. At best, we learn to endure our stiff necks and throbbing thumbs. At worst, a generation of people damage their bodies without realizing it. In all likelihood, we are somewhere in the middle, between perturbance and public health crisis, but for the time being we simply don’t — can’t — know what all these machines will do to our bodies in the long term, especially in the absence of definitive research. What we do know is that now more people are using multiple electronics — cell phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops — for more hours a day, starting at ever earlier ages. But we weren’t built for them.

Why Your Smartphone Is So Hard To Ignore, by Kelly O’Brien, Boston Globe

Your brain is not actually multitasking but quickly switching its attention back and forth. Each switch costs you time and mental energy as you refocus on the correct portion of the article. And in the time that you were away on Facebook, some of the information in your working memory faded away, so you’ll probably remember less of what you read by the time you’re done.

Don’t feel bad. As Adam Gazzaley, a neurology professor at the University of California San Francisco, and Larry Rosen, a professor emeritus of psychology at California State University Dominguez Hills, lay out in their forthcoming book on the topic, this behavior isn’t a personal failing of yours but an evolutionary failing of humanity.

The Cobalt Pipeline, by Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post

The world’s soaring demand for cobalt is at times met by workers, including children, who labor in harsh and dangerous conditions. An estimated 100,000 cobalt miners in Congo use hand tools to dig hundreds of feet underground with little oversight and few safety measures, according to workers, government officials and evidence found by The Washington Post during visits to remote mines. Deaths and injuries are common. And the mining activity exposes local communities to levels of toxic metals that appear to be linked to ailments that include breathing problems and birth defects, health officials say.

The Post traced this cobalt pipeline and, for the first time, showed how cobalt mined in these harsh conditions ends up in popular consumer products. It moves from small-scale Congolese mines to a single Chinese company — Congo DongFang International Mining, part of one of the world’s biggest cobalt producers, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt — that for years has supplied some of the world’s largest battery makers. They, in turn, have produced the batteries found inside products such as Apple’s iPhones — a finding that calls into question corporate assertions that they are capable of monitoring their supply chains for human rights abuses or child labor.


Best Password Manager Apps For iPhone, by Lory Gil, iMore

Password managers are digital vaults where you can keep all of your important information, like logins, credit card numbers, PINs, and more. You can even create a secure note with secret stuff, like future baby names or the answers to life. If you haven't already invested in a password manager, take a look at our favorites and see if any of them suit your needs.

Axon Is A New Health Care Solution That Works With Apple’s ResearchKit, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

It provides a point-and-click interface that connects ResearchKit (and additional capabilities) with Medable's HIPAA compliant platform for creating and launching clinical study apps and submitting them to the App Store.

Bottom of the Page

I don't think my wife will allow me to wear Apple's AirPod around the house all day long. So, no ear-computer for me.

I do wonder how long more before the ear-computer will respond to Hey Siri without the double-tapping beforehand.


Thanks for reading.

The Frame-Our-Shots Edition Saturday, October 1, 2016

iPhone 7 Plus Depth Effect Is Legit, by Stu Maschwitz, Prolost

Portrait Mode photos aren't just photos with a blur applied. They have the potential to be photos that are more about what they are photos of. It gets back to one of the oldest, most durable posts on this site: Less is More. We frame our shots carefully, and shallow depth of field allows us to frame our shots in depth as well.

Sometimes that makes the photo prettier. Often, it can make the photo.

Keeping Things

Apple CEO Tim Cook Stops By Utah To Discuss Encryption, ‘Making People Safer’ And Steve Jobs, by Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune

"His spirit will always be the DNA of the company," Cook said of his colleague and friend. Jobs' vision, he said, was to make the best products that enrich people's lives.

"Lots of things will change with Apple," Cook said, "but that will never change."

My Visit To The Apple Museum, by Ken Segall's Observatory

Walking around this place did make me a bit wispy and emotional. It reminded me how fortunate I was to have had a hand in the marketing of many of these objects—an not getting stuck in some ad agency writing ads for insurance or toilet paper.


How To Steal An AI, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

In the burgeoning field of computer science known as machine learning, engineers often refer to the artificial intelligences they create as “black box” systems: Once a machine learning engine has been trained from a collection of example data to perform anything from facial recognition to malware detection, it can take in queries—Whose face is that? Is this app safe?—and spit out answers without anyone, not even its creators, fully understanding the mechanics of the decision-making inside that box.

But researchers are increasingly proving that even when the inner workings of those machine learning engines are inscrutable, they aren’t exactly secret. In fact, they’ve found that the guts of those black boxes can be reverse-engineered and even fully reproduced—stolen, as one group of researchers puts it—with the very same methods used to create them.

Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs, by David Gareber, Evonomics

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by century’s end that countries like Great Britain or the United States would achieve a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.