The Holy-Grail Edition Thursday, April 13, 2017

Apple Has A Secret Team Working On The Holy Grail For Treating Diabetes, by Christina Farr, CNBC

Apple has hired a small team of biomedical engineers to work at a nondescript office in Palo Alto, miles from corporate headquarters. They are part of a super secret initiative, initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to develop sensors that can non-invasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Such a breakthrough would be a "holy grail" for life sciences. Many life sciences companies have tried and failed, as it's highly challenging to track glucose levels accurately without piercing the skin.

This Is How Inaccessible Tech Was For Blind People 20 Years Ago, by Yvette Tan, Mashable

The task of reading a printed document, for instance, had to be scanned in to the computer and analysed with OCR (optical character recognition) software — a tedious process. [...] "I had a talking GPS system before but it was around $1000, and you needed to bring it into the supplier to get it updated regularly," Woodbridge explains.

Today, all of that is replaced by his iPhone.

Protect and Restore

Theft And Loss Recovery For iOS Users, by Fraser Speirs

Fortunately, the bag was stolen on the final day of the trip and not the first, otherwise we would have had serious problems throughout the holiday. This is another post for another time, but it's kind of shocking how crippling the loss of a phone is.

Certainly, the loss of the devices themselves is not trivial but the bigger concerns are (a) how to protect the data that is on those devices or accessible through them and (b) how to get back into my accounts and data in order to continue my trip.

Not The Future Of Computing

The Mac Is Turning Into Apple's Achilles' Heel, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

The Mac has become a major headache for Apple, and management is on the verge on going down the Mac rabbit hole, funneling an increasing amount of resources and attention into a product category that doesn't represent the future of personal computing. The risk is that Apple will be stuck with a $25B legacy business and corresponding user base that will threaten the company's increasingly ambitious product strategy.


Apple disclosed a few facts about its pro Mac users as measured by pro software usage. The data contains clues as to where Apple's product strategy may be headed. According to Apple, 70% of the Mac user base does not use pro software and would not classify as pro users. This is another way of saying that the iPad Pro could do quite well serving the needs of 70M Mac users. Meanwhile, the other 30% of the Mac user base wants and needs the power and flexibility that Apple has historically had trouble selling.

Apple will likely position the Mac as a computing platform for legacy pro users while iOS will be targeted to everyone else.

Packing The Laptop, by David Sparks

The real problem is that we all have this list of things that are either impossible or a lot more difficult on the iPad than they are on the Mac. When deciding whether you are going to use a iPad for 10 minutes or a five day trip, we still have to go through the same calculus.

Growing Number Of 15″ MacBook Pro Users Report ‘Popping’ Sound Coming From Their Laptop, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Users explain that the sound is a popping similar to that of when you “slowly squeeze a plastic bottle.” While some users explain that there doesn’t appear to be a rhyme or reason as to when the popping sound occurs, other say that it seems to happen during more intensive tasks like gaming and video streaming, especially when the MacBook Pro’s fans start to kick in.

The 'Nothing' Action

Workflow Automation App Has No ‘Further Updates Planned’ Following Apple Acquisition, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

According to an email reply a user received from Workflow support, there are no ‘further updates planned’ for the automation app although they will continue to maintain its existing functionality — presumably with occasional bug fix releases.


Clips Review: Creative Fun Amidst Idiosyncrasies, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Clips is a clever app, but at times it’s also a bit of a head-scratcher.

Now You Can Fly Selfie Drones Inside Apple Stores, by Kelly McSweeney, ZDNet

[Y]ou can try one right inside an Apple store. Zero Zero Robots announced that its autonomous camera drone, the Hover Camera Passport, is now available exclusively on and in Apple stores in several countries.


Watch: A Maker Shows Us How He Made His Own iPhone From Parts, by Carla Sinclair, Boing Boing

Here's a fascinating video made by a programmer from the US who decided to make an iPhone 6S practically from scratch. After thinking about this project for 9 months, he "dove in with both feet." He traveled to Shenzhen, China and went shopping in the bustling back alley markets of Huaqiangbei to find all of the many parts, having to return numerous times to exchange pieces that didn't work or to get even more parts.

Google, Burger King Feud Over Control Of The Google Assistant, by Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Before the ad was disabled, the Google Assistant would verbally read a list of ingredients from Wikipedia. Of course the internet immediately took to Wikipedia to vandalize the burger's entry page, with some edits claiming it contained "toenails" or "cyanide."

Bottom of the Page

This morning when I was buying my usual cup of coffee (or as we locals call it here in Singapore: kopi), I overheard this particular sentence in the conversation between two staff: Today's water not as wet, right?

I still have no idea what that sentence meant, and I regret not asking there and then.


Thanks for reading.