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.

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


Thanks for reading.