The iMessage-Sentimentalist Edition Thursday, April 6, 2017

I'm An iMessage Sentimentalist Running Out Of Storage, by Rachel Thompson, Mashable

There's only one thing standing between me and a tonne of free space on my iPhone: my entire iMessage history. But, try as I might, I cannot bring myself to delete a single message. I'm an iMessage sentimentalist and it's becoming a problem. [...]

My iMessages are a treasure trove of digital love letters from former boyfriends and casual no-labels lovers. My feelings for each and every one of these people have long since evaporated, but I cannot, and will not, bring myself to erase the messages that passed between us.

The Disposable Society And My MacBook Pro, by Michael Rosenblum, Huffington Post

Vintage is the term that Apple uses for any piece of technology that they have sold you that is more than 5 years old. I wasn’t asking for a warrantee free repair. I was prepared to pay. But they don’t even have the spare parts. They don’t stock them. They don’t fix them. They suggested I go on eBay and see if I could find some spare parts and fix it myself. When I told them that didn’t sound like a great idea, they said they would be happy to dispose of the laptop for me - and sell me one of their brand spanking new MacBook Pros.

Apparently this is Apple standard policy. After 5 years, anything they have sold you before that is, in their minds, dead.

Very Private, or Not

In VPNs, Security-Minded Web Surfers Find An Imperfect Shield, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

But while VPNs are worth considering, they are an incomplete and flawed solution. For one thing, they often slow down internet speeds significantly. Some apps and services may also stop working properly when you are connected to a virtual network.

Still, VPNs are among several tools for better protecting your digital privacy. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons, based on tests of VPN services and interviews with security experts.

Phony VPN Services Are Cashing In On America's War On Privacy, by Nicholas Deleon, Motherboard

Don't look now, but online scammers are already hard at work taking advantage of newly signed legislation that allows Internet Service Providers to sell your online privacy, including your web browser history, to the highest bidder without your consent.

Meanwhile, In Down Under

ACCC Takes Apple To Court Over Alleged Consumer Law Breaches, by Lucia Stein, ABC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Apple after an investigation into "error 53", which saw iPads or iPhones disabled after users downloaded an Apple IOS update.

The ACCC alleges Apple represented to consumers with faulty products that they were not entitled to a free remedy if their Apple device had previously been repaired by an unauthorised third party repairer.

Apple Asked To Pay Hundreds Of Millions In Back Taxes In Australia In Wide-reaching Probe, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple is reportedly one of seven multinationals the Australian Taxation Office has asked to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes, accusing the corporations of using tactics like "debt dumping" and moving profits offshore to avoid obligations.


Microsoft Launches ‘Who’s In,’ A Social Event Planning App For iMessage, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Now the company is giving social another shot with a new iMessage app called “Who’s In,” aimed at helping friends plan events and other outings, like movie dates, dinners out, visits to nearby attractions, and more.

The app, which just launched today on the iMessage App Store, does not have an iPhone or iPad version at this time – it can only be accessed via iMessage.

SimCity: Complete Edition Review: Be Mayor And Build Your City From The Ground Up, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

You’re really going to have to build a new grammar school, add some residential housing and take care of that giant monster that just demolished City Hall this week. So goes life within SimCity: Complete Edition, the latest version of SimCity, which arrives complete with additional expansion packs such as the Cities of Tomorrow, Amusement Park, and Heroes and Villains expansion sets.

New Pebble Update Allows Watches To Keep Working Once Online Servers Go Dark, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Pebble released an update this week that decouples the smartwatches from their dependency on cloud services, meaning that whenever Pebble’s servers do shut down, users will still be able to side load apps and new firmware to their smartwatches.


The Cheese Grater Mac Pro, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

As we learned this week, the 2013 trash can Mac Pro is going to … well … the trash can. Apple has promised a new “modular” Mac Pro for sometime after 2017.

In the light of this news, I thought it would be interesting to look back a model, to the “cheese grater” Mac Pros Apple sold from 2006 until 2013.

This Tiny Lego Macintosh Is The Beautiful Lovechild Of A Raspberry Pi And E-paper Display, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

But programmer Jannis Hermanns has taken things a step further with a functional (ish) classic Macintosh built out of Lego, a Raspberry Pi Zero, and an e‑paper display. While it doesn’t quite run MacOS, the little Lego computer does run software called Docker, which can do things like work as a clock or display images on the e-paper screen.

Playing Roguelikes When You Can’t See, by Kent Sutherland, Rock Paper Shotgun

For most of us, traditional roguelikes are intrinsically inaccessible. They’re notoriously difficult, their design is complicated and often opaque, they can have more hotkeys than there are keys on the keyboard, and their ASCII-based visuals mean that it’s often unclear what’s happening on the screen. It’s these exact qualities, however, that ironically make roguelikes accessible and even appealing to blind or low-sight players.

Haiku Thursday

A Forgotten Desk Drawer Hid A Poetic Pop Culture Gem, by Shin Yu Pai, Atlas Obscura

There was nothing remarkable about the faux colonial escritoire, or writing desk, made from pressed wood and veneer, that Patrick Lyon bought in 2002 during a furniture purge at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. But several years later, during a move, he noticed some seemingly fragmentary scribbles in red ink on the underside of one of its drawers. They were short poetic fragments, some signed clearly, others cryptically: MICHAEL STIPE, G. Lee PHILLIPS, J. McK. “95”, t.g.

Bottom of the Page

How much investment will Apple need to put in to do a VPN service that is truly great (meaning: not slow), and how much will Apple charge?


SimCity is a game that I truly want to love, but I typically gave up after a few days each time I try it again.


Thanks for reading.