Archive for January 2018

The Moves-With-You Edition Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Make Room For HomePod, by Bob Ankosko, Sound And Vision

"We think we can create a new kind of music experience in the home that sounds incredible, and is fun to interact with. That’s what’s driving us with HomePod. And it can also be the hub for your smart home. Voice technologies like Siri are also gaining in popularity with Siri responding to over 2 billion requests each week. This helps us understand how people actually interact with their devices, what they ask, and helps us create a product for the home that makes sense. We don’t think it’s just about HomePod though, or any one product, it’s about creating an experience that moves with you throughout the day — so the experience you have at home, is replicated in the car with CarPlay, at work with iPad and Mac, and when you’re out for a run with Watch and iPhone. You can listen to the same music, control your home accessories or ask Siri to do something for you, wherever you are."

The Death Of macOS Server, by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, ZDNet

I've looked over Apple's suggested software list. Many of them are fine recommendations, DNSMasq, for example, is an excellent caching DNS server. But, Apple promised that macOS Server is "so easy to use, you don't need your own IT department." That's no longer the case. If you're depending on macOS Server to run your business in the future, you're going to need an experienced full-time sysadmin.

Why Apple Sells Just 2.5% Of India's Smartphones, by Manish Singh, CNBC

Setting up shop at busy malls in megacities could help with marketing, but it's unlikely to be enough for the company to make inroads in the world's second-largest smartphone market.

The U.S. tech giant has regularly reiterated its commitment to India, but there are two pressing issues that analysts and users say continue to cripple the reach of iPhones in the nation: The company's phones are too expensive for many Indian consumers, and Apple's core services such as Apple Maps and Siri don't work well locally.


Review: The iPhone X, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

Three months in, and I still hate where Control Center is on this phone. I still accidentally invoke the Cover Sheet when I don’t want it and struggle to do this one-handed. Apple needs to revisit this in iOS 12.

CNN Blames Apple For Mishap That Saw Users Receive Multiples Of The Same Push Notification, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple News users with CNN as a source received the push notification for the story in inordinate amount of times for no apparent reason. In a statement just shared on Twitter, CNN is blaming Apple for the error, saying that its server logs show that it only pushed the alert once.

Microsoft Office For iOS Updated With Improved Collaboration, Drag & Drop Support On iPad, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iOS all now support co-authoring, which Microsoft says makes it easier for multiple users to collaborate on documents.

Pocket Informant Now Available On Mac App Store As Informant 1.0, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

It’s a cross-platform day planner app that combines your Calendar, Tasks, Projects, and Notes into a single app. Users can combine multiple personal or work calendars from different sources such as iCloud and Google.

Verena, An iOS App To Help Protect People In Abusive Situations, by Jason Kottke

Verena was built by Amanda Southworth, a 16-year-old iOS developer who created the app to help her LGBTQ+ friends in the aftermath of the election of a known abuser to the White House in 2016.

Review: Outcast Delivers The Best Apple Watch Podcast Playback Experience Yet, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

It is possible to download episodes on-the-fly and play them back over wireless headphones, and Outcast offers the most straightforward and understandable version of that.


Can Our Phones Save Us From Our Phones?, by Robbie Gonzalez, Wired

The gold standard, though, is Apple's Do Not Disturb While Driving mode, which silences your iPhone and darkens its screen when you're in a moving car. (Try to use your phone while the feature is active and it interrupts you, forcing you to clarify—or lie about—whether you're behind the wheel.) "I love that feature. It's so good. It reminds me not to be a sociopath," says Andrew Przybylski, an experimental psychologist at the Oxford Internet Institute who studies the factors that underpin self-regulation of technology use. Przybylski is more skeptical than most of what he calls the "moral panic" surrounding tempting tech, but finds real value in the impulse-checking features of Apple's fix. More than social-media usage or screen time, he says, the number one thing people should be worried about when it comes to the allure of our devices is distracted driving, "because it's actually deadly."

Whether they're saving your life or simply reclaiming a few minutes of your day, xTab, Space, and DNDWD accomplish something that few apps, extensions, or devices do: They interrupt you in the middle of the habit you're trying to change, causing you to stop and confront your behavior, and consider how you might change it. All of which is critical, because research suggests that successfully rewiring one's habits hinges in large part on self-reflection.

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One of the website that I visit regularly is, essentially, a listing of new titles on Netflix. (Both iOS and tvOS NetFlix apps aren't great for discovery of new stuff.) Going through the new titles list, I'll add anything that is interesting to my Netflix queue.

I usually just watch one or two shows only at any one time. (There are three other shows where new episodes show up only on a weekly or monthly basis.) So, whenever I am free and want to watch some television, I just open the Netflix app and continue on that same show where I left off. No need to make any decisions on which channel to switch to. Only when I finished a show will I have to use more of my gray cells to select a new show to start.

After all, watching TV shouldn't be hard, right? (I'm imagining Chidi, choosing between watching channel 5 versus channel 12...)


Back in the early 90s, when I first arrvied at the United States for my studies, one of the magazines that I frequently purchase was TV Guide. And I will look over the pages and pages of television listing, and be amazed at all the television I could be watching.

But of course, just like everything in life, most of television is junk. And I'll settle down with only a few programs that I enjoy. Maybe because I was younger and my brain hasn't deteriorated yet, and that there aren't that many worthwhile television programs, I could remember the channels and the timeslots of all these programs. It wasn't 'appointment TV' -- well, maybe except Twin Peaks -- and other activities, like having dinner with friends, took precedent. But, when I am back in my room, I typcially could recall which channel to tune to in order to catch my favorite programs.

(Cheers: Thursdays, 9pm, Channel 4.)


When I was growing up in Singapore, there were only four television channels, two from the Singapore government, and two from the neighboring Malaysian government. Between the channels: television programs in four different languages, two of which I didn't understand. Two of the channels only ran from 3pm to 12 midnight, while the other two ran from 6pm to 12 midnight.

Which, you can probably guess, there weren't too many television programming to choose from. Bascially, it's the same channel every night for my family; if there's something okay on that channel, the TV stays on. Otherwise, no TV.

No decisions required to choose a TV channel for the whole family.


There may be a day when I have to make a decision, when I am in the mood of watching TV: should I open the Netflix app, or should I open the Apple to-be-announced television service app.


Thanks for reading.

The Healthcare-Role Edition Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Thanks To Apple, I’m Going To Beat My Type-2 Diabetes, by Bryan M. Wolfe, AppAdvice

In a short period, Apple has become a key player in healthcare. Thanks to Apple Watch and Apple HealthKit, the company is making it easier than ever for each of us to monitor and improve our health.

Each year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. As one of those, I’m glad Apple is taking an active role in healthcare. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.

My Year With A Distraction-free iPhone (And How To Start Your Own Experiment), by Jake Knapp, Medium

Having a blank desktop on the phone is surprisingly calming. Once I’d cleared off so much stuff, I wanted to keep it clean. I found it really useful to ask myself why each remaining app was on my phone. Was it a tool that made my life better? Or was it dragging me along for the ride?

Child Development Experts Urge Facebook To Pull Messenger Kids App, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

More than 110 child-health advocates have called on Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to pull the firm’s Messenger Kids app aimed at under 13s, warning of the dangers of social media for children.

In an open letter led by the Boston-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, signed by doctors, educators and child health experts including baroness Susan Greenfield, warn that “younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts”.

Coming Soon

iOS 11.3 Will Allow Parents To Approve Family Purchases Using Face ID, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

With this beta, we have been able to approve a purchase on a parent’s device using Face ID. The first time a purchase approval request is received, the parent must enter their password. After entering the password for the first time, iOS asks if the parent would like to enable Face ID for future approvals.

Not Coming Soon

Apple Delays iOS Features To Focus On Reliability, Performance, by Ina Fried, Axios

Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned.


Software head Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a meeting earlier this month, shortly before he and some top lieutenants headed to a company offsite.


Apple Celebrates Brazilian Carnival With Lively ‘Selfies On iPhone X’ Ad And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The featured microsite is mostly made up of selfies shot on the iPhone X using the Stage Light Portrait Lightning effect. It also features tips on using Portrait Lighting and a new video.

Using iPad For Long-Form Writing, by

Overall, I’m very happy with my choice to move most of my long-form typing to iPad. And I’m very pleased with the Canopy/Magic Keyboard combination. I resisted the notion of attaching a keyboard to an iPad for too long. I stand by my original opinion that for many, many tasks, iPad is much better as a slab of glass with no mechanical keyboard. Thus I still have no interest whatsoever in an iPad with an integrated, always-connected hardware keyboard for my own uses. I also have no desire to see iOS and macOS merge completely into some sort of combined touch/pointer Frankenstein.

However, designating my iPad as my main blogging device by optionally attaching a Magic Keyboard on occasion will help me fulfill one of my goals for 2018, which is to spend more time in iOS and to get even more use out of my iPad.

These Are The Five Best Things About Using The iPhone X, by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET

Face ID doesn't always work when I want it to, but when it does, it can whisk me right into password-protected websites such as Amazon and my bank. That saves me from having to type my password a million times. It works similarly to registering your fingerprint to access a site -- except you literally never have to lift a finger.

The Seven Apps Every Woman Should Own, by Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

Take the dating app Bumble, for example, which was started by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and has been designed with a women-centric interface. When two users of the opposite sex match on Bumble, the woman must send the first message, bucking the convention that men make the first move. Focusing on women has paid off; Bumble had a stellar 2017 and is valued at more than $1bn ($710m). And Bumble is just one of a growing number of apps designed with women in mind. From pedicure-scheduling to confidence-boosting to pill-planning, when it comes to a female need, there’s now often an app for that. Here, Guardian writers recommend some of their favourites.

Hands-on: Elgato Eve Button Lets You Program Multiple HomeKit Scenes With A Click, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Eve Button [...] is designed to let you activate specific HomeKit scenes with a physical button click — without using Siri or the Home app. You can still create groups of actions and automations through HomeKit, but having a physical controller can prove more convenient or accessible in certain situations.

Creating Business Cards Is A Breeze With Business Card Shop For macOS, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The app is easy to use. Choose a template or start from scratch. Customize your card. Print cards on your own inkjet/laser printer. You can also submit your design to an online commercial printer if you want special UV finishes or raised inks.


Ten Days In Shenzhen, by Karim Jean Yaghmour

Unlike software where exploring the realm of possibilities and trying each one out is almost always only a click away, exploring the world of what's possible in hardware can only be done for so long in a seated position. Yes, you can find a lot of blogs with pictures and videos on Youtube on any given hardware topic. You can even take the time to explore the entire online catalogue of shops like Sparkun and Adafruit – which I did btw. But that's not enough. There comes a point where you need to touch and try. In the software world, if I want to try a project, I just grab it from github, build it and go from there. It doesn't work? No issues, go back to github, wash, rinse, repeat. For hardware, you actually have to look for parts in catalogues, order them, wait for them to arrive, try them and then decide whether you need to repeat that loop again because what you got doesn't do what you thought it did. The iteration loop is orders of magnitudes slower and that's especially painful when you're in a learning process because it means you're not learning as quickly. Plus, it's not free. You actually have to buy those parts with real money and possibly pay for shipping because it isn't sold by Amazon or the likes.

That's when you realize that having people around you who already have significant experience in hardware is priceless. Their map of what's possible and what's not and how to implement a specific part of a design in hardware is something no amount of self-exploration can replace. For me, being able to reach out to my friend and hardware mentor David Anders (also known as prplague) has been and continues to be invaluable. Dave was often able to point out pitfalls and steer me in the right direction when I was stuck. He was also helpful in administering the occasional slap in the back of the head when I was biting off more than I could chew.

By September of last year it was evident to me that a stop by Shenzhen was warranted

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I don't know how to do small talks. I don't hate them. I don't run away whenever a small talk situation arises. I'll just, most of the time, remain silent and hope other people will continue discussing the weather without me opening my mouth.

Which is rather awkward when the number of people involved in the small-talking session is two: the other person, and me.

To compensate, when I know in advance that there will be small talk scenarios up ahead, I almost always plan out potential topics to talk about. Do I know anything about the person? Interests? Hobbies? Work? Are there any noteworthy but non-controversial things that happened recently? Do I recall what I've read, or watched, or listened, lately?

This is more tiring than debugging regular expressions.

Which is my way of saying that I welcome the end of the 200,000 years of modern human civilization when smartphones were invented, which caused everyone to just sit around and look at their phones and stop talking to each other.


Thanks for reading.

The Early-Days Edition Monday, January 29, 2018

Podcast Listeners Really Are The Holy Grail Advertisers Hoped They'd Be, by Miranda Katz, Wired

Though it’s still early days, the numbers podcasters are seeing are highly encouraging. Forget those worries that the podcast bubble would burst the minute anyone actually got a closer look: It seems like podcast listeners really are the hyper-engaged, super-supportive audiences that everyone hoped.


Still, Apple’s new tool comes with caveats. For starters, it currently only counts users listening with devices that have been upgraded to iOS 11, so it’s best viewed as a representative sample of listeners, rather than hard data on how a show’s listenership is growing over time. And tracking ad-skipping is still a squishy business: Thanks to new technology that supports dynamic ad insertion, the length of a given ad break can vary depending on when a listener downloads a new episode, which can make it difficult to get an exact read on how many people might be skipping past the branded bits. But for a digital medium that’s had comically little data available to date, even slightly imprecise numbers will go a long way.

Corporate Taxes Magic, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

This tax-free transfer [of intellectual properties] generates a huge amount of future profits based on the revenue stream the patent will generate. A look at the hundreds of billions exfiltrated by companies such as Apple and Google (and thousands of others across the world) shows the magnitude of the problem. We could attempt to tax the intra-company transfer of a patent, but on what basis? How does the tax person assess the present value of future royalty payments? Short of prohibiting such transfers, there seems to be no realistic possibility to avoid the legal exfiltration of profits.

That such transfers kept happening right under the noses of so many vigilant tax entities for so many decades should give us a hint of the basic impossibility.

Apple Pays Biggest Aussie Tax Bill In Years, by

Apple's statutory 30 percent tax bill of $76.6 million was compounded by a number of additional tax expenses, adding up to a total income tax expense of $183 million for 2017. This included a tax adjustment of $90.3 million related to prior years and a deferred tax income expense of $12.6 million.

Apple Increases Profit, Still Pays Zero Tax In NZ, by New Zealand Herald

The company's overall revenue shot up from $744 million in 2016 to $811 million in 2017. Despite this increase in revenue, the local tax authority has not received a bump in payment from the consumer electronics company.


WhatsApp Adds CarPlay App For Messaging Whilst Driving, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

With its latest update, WhatsApp users are finding a new icon app appear when they connect to CarPlay. A WhatsApp icon and basic on-screen app interface are now part of the CarPlay experience, beyond what was already offered by WhatsApp’s SiriKit integration.

Belkin WeMo Bridge For Apple HomeKit, by Kiowa Country Press

Overall, Belkin's WeMo Bridge works as expected out of the box, with minimal effort to set up.


Fitness Tracking App Gives Away Location Of Secret US Army Bases, by Alex Hern, Washington Post

The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.

However, over the weekend military analysts noticed that the map is also detailed enough that it potentially gives away extremely sensitive information about a subset of Strava users: military personnel on active service.

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When Apple moves macOS to ARM, will I be able to dual-boot my iPad Pro into both iOS and macOS?


I hope there is a March event this year, with new Macintosh computers for the non-pros.

1) MacBook - Mr Jony Ive is listening, and a new laptop with a better keyboard will be available real soon now, right?

2) iMac - With the iMac Pro, Apple has demonstrated it can make a truly quiet desktop.

3) Mac mini.


Thanks for reading.

The True-Stereo Edition Sunday, January 28, 2018

How HomePod Works With Apple Music, iTunes Match, iCloud Music Library, AirPlay, And FLAC Files, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Since my hands on with the HomePod, I've gotten a number of questions about how the HomePod deals with streaming from Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, AirPlay sources like your Mac, and if iTunes Match works at all in this crazy new world.

I'm still trying to sort a lot of this out myself, but here's how everything is supposed to work, from what I've been able to confirm. I'll be updating this article as I hear more.

We Listened To Apple's HomePod -- And Now We Want Two, by David Carnoy, CNET

Ultimately, my initial impression is that the HomePod sounds very good for the type of speaker it is and it certainly stacks up well against the competition -- some of it less expensive, some of it more. But like all speakers, it has its limitations and the HomePod left me wanting for true stereo sound. Which is probably why the only time I got truly jazzed during the demo was when they paired the two HomePods together and delivered some real separation.

Apple Touts HomePod Sound Quality In First Collection Of Ads, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple today has shared four brand new HomePod ads on YouTube. The ads are each 15 seconds long, focusing primarily on the speaker quality.


iPhone X: 5 Things That Drive Us Absolutely Nuts, by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET

On one hand, Face ID and gestures prove that iPhone users can live without a home button. On the other, learning the ropes takes time, and the swipey stand-ins don't always make a lot of sense. Some iPhone X gestures feel half-baked.

So here we go, my five personal worst iPhone X navigation offenders. Stay tuned for a future piece on some of the things I truly do love about the iPhone X.

Ditch Your Smartphone Keyboard For Gboard, by Brian Barrett, Wired

Gboard contains too many other useful features to tick off every single one, but the shortcut to understanding the scope of its powers is the knowledge that it has Google built right in. That means you can search the entirety of the internet directly from your keyboard. You can translate words and phrases in real time from any app that allows typing. It supports voice-to-text in dozens of languages. It’s a pro-grade multitool in a world full of butter knives.

There's A (Gardening) App For That, by Julie Campbell, The Herald Bulletin

It’s no secret that winter is a gardener’s least favorite season. So while you’re dreaming of spring, why not check out some colorful new gardening apps for your phone or tablet? Your green thumb will thank you for scrolling when warmer weather hits!


Improving Workplace Culture, One Review At A Time, by Lizzie Widdicombe, New Yorker

One day in 2007, in Seattle, Rich Barton, the C.E.O. of the real-estate Web site Zillow, was getting ready for the company’s annual reviews. The process—talking to each employee about his or her performance and whether he or she would be getting a raise—called for discretion and tact. On his computer, he pulled up a spreadsheet containing the salary and stock options for every employee, and pressed Print. However, instead of sending the document to his personal printer, he sent it to one in the middle of the open-plan office. When Barton’s assistant realized the mistake, she rushed across the room to retrieve the document before anyone could read it. She succeeded, but the moment stayed with Barton. As he likes to tell people, it led him to wonder: why, exactly, was this information secret, aside from the fact that making it public could be extremely awkward?

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Today, I watched a whole bunch of documentaries on the Netflix app in my iPad, while I worked in Sublime Text app on my Mac, while I occasionally checked my RSS feeds in the Reeder app on my iPhone.


(I'm not sure about my productivity though. But, I am happy. That's all it matters, right?)


If you really must know:

1) Saving Capitalism
2) Under an Arctic Sky
3) AlphaGo
4) Last Days in Vietnam


Thanks for reading.

The Audio-Profile Edition Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Deep Dive Into HomePod's Adaptive Audio, Beamforming, And Why It Needs An A8 Processor, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

In the case of Apple, it's using array of six microphones and a digital signal processor (DSP) to understand the environment based on its acoustics, and adapt the device's output to better suit its physical location and the room's audio profile. Considering the multiple speakers and the microphone array, it is possible for such a system to customize the output of each speaker to allow for a similar sound to be heard through as much of the environment's space as possible.

If HomePod is running a realtime DSP that can alter the sound emitted from each of the device's seven tweeter speakers, it can constantly change the profile even if the environment itself changes, such as the mass of the listener moving to a different location in the same area. The experience is consistent regardless of position, with Hines adding the consistency will make listening to music "more seamless and more immersive."

Up Close With Apple’s HomePod, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Apple’s approach also means that you need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to get set up with the speaker (it works in tandem with Apple TV, but the set-top box can’t be used to get up and running). One of the upsides of that limited offering is an extremely streamlined setup experience. It’s really similar to pairing Apple’s AirPods, with a dialogue box that pops up on the mobile device. From there, you choose which room you’ll be putting it in, enable Siri and opt into personal requests.

That last bit involves using the speaker to offer up things like notifications. At present, the HomePod isn’t capable of differentiating users based on voice, so things can’t be personalized to that degree. The workaround the company has come up with for dealing with this is only enabling that functionality when the device detects that the mobile device used to set it up is present.

HomePod Vs. Amazon Echo Vs. Google Home Max Vs. Sonos One: Speaker Showdown, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

On the HomePod, every part of a choral harmony sounds just as clear as the lead vocalist — no easy feet for a single 6.8-inch speaker. Harmonies do sound beautiful on the Sonos One, but blend more into a single musical phrase; you can't isolate the singers in your mind as well as you can through the HomePod.

It reminds me a bit of the difference between seeing an a capella group sing live (for kicks, let's say unplugged) versus a recording. When you see a group live, your eyes and brain can help map certain harmonies to the singer producing them; on a recording, without expert separation, it's harder for your brain to make those connections.

Bug Report

Bad Apple #1: iCloud Photo Library Re-uploading, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

I was seeing some strange problems on my 27-inch iMac running macOS 10.13.3 High Sierra. Messages wasn’t getting or sending messages, Wi-Fi calling wasn’t working, and after upgrading to 10.13.3, I was unable to turn auto-unlock with my Apple Watch. To solve these problems, I turned iCloud off and back on. Despite the iCloud preference pane throwing an ominous error, the problems did indeed disappear.

However, there’s a nasty side effect of turning iCloud off and back on: iCloud Photo Library needs to re-upload all your photos. It does this in order to compare the library’s contents to the synchronization “truth” at iCloud. Fair enough, except that this process can take days, depending on the size of your Photos library and the speed of your Internet connection. Bad Apple! We don’t see that sort of poor performance with Dropbox or Google Drive, and this behavior is both unnecessary and driving people away from iCloud Photo Library.


This 1983 Demo Says So Much About Apple’s Past, Present, And Future, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

As you might understand, I got a Proustian rush from revisiting the Lisa and Apple IIe demos I witnessed in person when I was 18, as one of 1,500-plus attendees who filled the hall and overflow space to capacity. We were the first members of the general public to see the machines, one week after Apple formally announced them at its annual meeting in Cupertino at De Anza College’s Flint Center. And in retrospect, we were unimaginably fortunate. After all, lots of Apple aficionados would kill to get into the one of the company’s current product launches, but only members of the press, VIPs, and various other invited guests need apply.

What I didn’t realize until I watched the video is that seeing the meeting all over again wasn’t just an act of personal nostalgia. Between them, the IIe and Lisa, and the way Apple explained them to us BCS members, are full of lessons that remain resonant in the era of the iPhone.

The Little-known Apple Lisa: Five Quirks And Oddities, by Benj Edwards, Macworld

The Mac borrowed heavily from the Lisa, and the Mac went on to great things while the Lisa floundered. As a result, it’s tempting to treat the Lisa as merely a footnote in the history of Apple. But as anyone who has used a real Lisa knows, Apple’s first GUI-based computer played host to many distinctive quirks and traits that tend to get overlooked in the history books.

The machine’s 30th anniversary is as good a time as any to take a look at a handful of both odd and useful features that truly made the Lisa something unique.


Apple Gets Its Animojis To Sing Nominated Songs In Amusing Ads For The Grammys, by Tim Nudd, AdWeek

Two 60-second spots feature an alien Animoji and a dog Animoji singing songs that are nominated for music’s top award:”Stir Fry” by rap trio Migos, and “Redbone” by Childish Gambino.

'Algebra Nation' App Helping Students At R.B. Stall High School Master Algebra, by Brodie Hart, ABC4

“You can test yourself, get help from the tutors on Algebra Nation,” Shine added. Algebra Nation is an app that’s giving freshmen at Stall High School access to tutoring videos that walks them through algebra problems. There’s also a forum where students can chat with study experts to get help.

“They’re making gains, that’s the big thing,” said Hope Gamble, an algebra teacher at Stall High School. She say the app gives both teachers and students more options. “I can still be teaching somebody who wants that teacher in front of them and then they can be listening on the iPad.”


Apple Goes Back To The Future With Web Apps, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Apple's about to introduce Service Workers in Safari 11.1. So. what are Service Workers, and why might they matter to you or your enterprise?


Steven Soderbergh Says He’s Done Directing Studio Movies And Wants To Only Shoot On iPhones, by Eric Kohn, IndieWire

The filmmaker has experimented with digital cinematography for years, going back to 2002’s “Full Frontal,” but found that the iPhone offered unparalleled quality. “People forget, this is a 4k capture,” said Soderbergh, who was long a passionate advocate for the high-end RED cameras. “I’ve seen it 40 feet tall. It looks like velvet. This is a gamechanger to me.”

Asked if he would commit exclusively to shooting on iPhones going forward, he replied, “I’d have to have a pretty good reason not to be thinking about that first… There’s a philosophical obstacle a lot of people have about the size of the capture device. I don’t have that problem. I look at this as potentially one of the most liberating experiences that I’ve ever had as a filmmaker, and that I continue having. The gets that I felt moment to moment were so significant that this is, to me, a new chapter.”

The Dirty War Over Diversity Inside Google, by Nitasha Tiku, Wired

What followed, the employees say, was a wave of harassment. On forums like 4chan, members linked advocates’ names with their social-media accounts. At least three employees had their phone numbers, addresses, and deadnames (a transgender person’s name prior to transitioning) exposed. Google site reliability engineer Liz Fong-Jones, a trans woman, says she was the target of harassment, including violent threats and degrading slurs based on gender identity, race, and sexual orientation. More than a dozen pages of personal information about another employee were posted to Kiwi Farm, which New York has called “the web’s biggest community of stalkers.”

Meanwhile, inside Google, the diversity advocates say some employees have “weaponized human resources,” by goading them into inflammatory statements, which are then captured and reported to HR for violating Google’s mores around civility or for offending white men.

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I blame Phil Schiller, I blame Tim Cook, I blame Steve Jobs.

I blame Apple for making me pause, just for a half a second, a bit puzzled, a bit unhinged, as I came to this particular chapter in this book that I was reading.

The book was 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, and I was reaching the part of the story set in the 1960s. And one name pops up: Malcom X.

And I pause for just a moment, the flow of the story interrupted, while I pondered: now, how do I pronounce the X in Malcom X?



Thanks for reading.

The Taking-The-Temperature Edition Friday, January 26, 2018

I Tried Apple's Improved Health App. Here's What I Found, by Edward C. Baig, USA Today

For now you can’t send medical records from the app to a new doctor or some other health care provider you’re considering. You can let them look at your phone screen, which might not exactly be convenient. Apple won’t say, but I’m guessing they’ll get around to letting you send data through the app.

Nor can you contact the hospital or clinic directly within the app, should you want to consult with someone about test results that seem out of whack or beyond a “normal” range. If that happens you’re expected to contact your doctor directly the old fashioned way, assuming the physician hasn’t gotten in touch with you first.


Apple is just getting started here. I look forward to taking the temperature of this app once iOS 11.3 is no longer in beta and more medical institutions come on board.

Up Close With Apple HomePod, Siri’s Expensive New Home, by Lance Ulanoff, Medium

Recently, though, I heard Apple’s HomePod again in a variety of scenarios and spaces. It sounded even better, especially when compared to larger Google Home Max and the aurally excellent Sonos One, the HomePod’s separation of sounds and fidelity to original instrumentation is astonishing.

This listening experience also added the smarts, or utility, that was missing back in June. Apple’s HomePod is, finally, a functioning Siri smart speaker.

Emerging LA Filmmakers Create Short Films With Small Budgets And Big Ideas, by James Hughes, Apple

In Los Angeles on a Saturday morning in November, a crew of 10 students from Hollywood High School, helmed by 17-year-old director Celine Gimpirea, are transforming a corner of the Calgary Cemetery into a movie set. In The Box, a boy slips inside a cardboard box and finds himself transported to other realms. On this well-manicured, impossibly green lawn, among rows of flat, black granite grave-markers, are rows of flat, black camera cases holding DIT stations, iPads and MacBook Pros — the tools that will bring the story to life.

Gimpirea’s is one of three teams of filmmakers involved in a month-long filmmaking workshop connecting creative professionals with emerging talent. The teams worked with powerful tools from Apple, including the MacBook Pro, iMac and Final Cut Pro X, as well as the RED Raven camera for shooting, and worked alongside Apple Retail experts and industry pros. LA-based independent filmmaking collective We Make Movies provided post-production supervision to help the filmmakers realize their visions.

Apple Finally Gets Cupertino’s Permission To Occupy Parts Of Apple Park Spaceship Building, by Chris O'Brien, VentureBeat

About one year after construction on the first phase of Apple Park was originally scheduled to be finished, the city of Cupertino has finally granted Apple a series of temporary occupancy permits that allow employees to move into parts of the main building.


Last February, when Apple announced that the name of the new campus would be Apple Park, the company also said the new headquarters would be “open to employees” in April 2017. That proved to be overly optimistic.


Logic Pro X Gets Major Update: ChromaVerb, Vintage EQs, Multi-Effects, Much More, by Justin Kahn, 9to5Mac

While we are getting a very long list of minor tweaks and enhancements here, version 10.4 is bringing some major new features to the table along with some serious gear in the way vintage EQ emulation, new orchestral instruments, a pair of multi-effect plug-ins and hundreds of new sounds.

Apple Updates Clips With New Poster For Chinese New Year & More, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

The update also improves browsing and recording selfies on iPhone X, and fixes an issue with the Top Secret poster animation.

Apple Watch Series 3 With Cellular Coming To Singapore & Hong Kong Next Month, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has updated its website in Singapore and Hong Kong to announce that the Apple Watch with cellular will be available for preorder on February 2nd. The first orders will arrive to customers one week later on February 9th.


Mistakes In Time, by Aaron Harris, Y Combinator

And then something funny happened. I let go of the need to be immediately great, and started focusing on getting just a little bit better at what I was doing. Now that I think about it, this is the same thing that happens when I work with startups to set weekly growth goals. With a startup, the goal isn’t to go from $0 of revenue to $1mm of revenue in a day. The goal is to build the first version of a machine that consistently delivers growth. As you iterate on the machine to make it a little better each day, the growth that results compounds on itself unbelievably quickly. When you look back over the growth curve of a great company, it seems impossible that it started out with nothing.

When you let go of that need to be immediately great, you are also able to better learn from the people around you. Rather than compare yourself to where people are, and decide that it would be impossible to match them in the time you have, you think more about how to get gradually better over the time you have.

The Spring-Update Edition Thursday, January 25, 2018

Apple Previews iOS 11.3, by Apple

This spring, iOS 11.3 will deliver exciting new ways to experience augmented reality on iPhone and iPad, new Animoji on iPhone X and the ability to view health records in the Health app.

Apple Confirms iOS 11.3 Will Let You Turn Off Controversial Throttling Of Older iPhones, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple has just announced that its next update to iOS 11, version 11.3, will include a toggle for disabling processor throttling and slowed performance in iPhones that contain older, chemically-aged batteries. CEO Tim Cook tipped that this feature was on the way in an interview with ABC News last week.

Apple Is Adding A New Privacy Icon To iOS And macOS To Prevent iCloud Password Phishing, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple already has numerous privacy safeguards and transparency measures in place across both operating systems that alert users when apps are requesting their location, calendar, photo library, contacts, and so on. But this new icon seems to have a specific purpose: it’s likely designed to thwart phishing attempts.

iOS 11.3 Makes Multitasking Faster On The iPhone X, by Dallas Thomas, Gadget Hacks

When you're using the app switcher on the iPhone X in iOS 11.3, you'll probably notice this right off the bat: The time it takes for the multitasking interface to actually come up has been reduced. In other words, when you swipe up from the bottom, then pause to see your recent apps, that pause itself has been cut in half, roughly.

iOS 11.3 Simplifies Face ID Checkout On iPhone X W/ Clearer Instructions, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has added a new prompt that appears before the Face ID process begins. At the bottom of the purchase window, you’ll now see a “Confirm with Side Button” instruction with an accompanying graphic.

Apple Wants To Gather All Your Medical Records In The Health App, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and others are already testing the feature with their patients. Health Records is based on on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard when it comes to data formats and APIs.

So it means that those hospitals and clinics will be able to push this data to your phone directly. You’ll receive a notification alerting you that you just received a new medical record. Data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode.

Apple’s AR System Can Now Recognize More Real-world Objects, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

The newest version of ARKit, version 1.5, has support for vertical planes. That is a technical way of saying that it allows the sensors on an iPhone (or iPad) to not only recognize the floor you’re standing on, but the windows and walls around you as well. So when app developers are making AR apps now, they can build in features that would utilize the vertical spaces around you as well as the horizontal space.

Apple To Take On Messaging Rivals With Launch Of Business Chat, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The feature will allow consumers to talk to a business’s service rep in iMessage, make payments via Apple Pay, and schedule appointments, depending on the business’s needs.

The move represents a major push by Apple to shift B2C communications, payments, and customer service to its own messaging platform, and away from tech companies that today dominate business messaging, like Facebook Messenger, Google, Twitter, and, as of this month, WhatsApp, which has just launched its own WhatsApp Business app.

Changes To macOS Server Are Coming In The Spring, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Apple says that macOS Server — available at the Mac App Store for $19.99 — is changing to focus more on management of computers, devices, and storage on your network. As a result, some changes are coming in how Server works.

Get The I Out: iBooks Rebranded As 'Books' In iOS 11.3 Beta 1, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

Under the direction of Chief Executive Tim Cook, Apple has gradually moved away from its iconic "i" naming scheme, transitioning to products and services with the company name in front of them.

[...] Upon installing iOS 11.3 beta 1, users will find that the app is now simply named "Books," much like the Apple Music app on iOS is simply "Music."

Sounds of HomePod

First Take: One Hour With Apple’s Newest Product, HomePod, by Madeline Buxton, Refinery29

To start, HomePod looks good — really good. Both the black and white versions are sleek and, thankfully, at 6.8 inches high, surprisingly smaller in person than they appear in photos. The device is comparable in size to the Sonos One, and is much smaller than its rectangular Google competitor, Google Home Max. It blends in so seamlessly that I didn't even notice it when I walked into the room.

Aesthetic, however, is only a very small part of the puzzle and one you'd expect Apple to excel at. Fortunately, HomePod also delivers where it counts: The sound. When I listened to the speaker next to Google Home Max, the latest Amazon Echo, and Sonos One, the vocals were consistently crisper and clearer on HomePod. The pluck of guitar strings pops, and bass notes have the robust thump-thump you want from them.

HomePod Will Support Lossless FLAC Audio Playback As It Appeals To Audiophiles, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple added support for FLAC, a universal open-source standard, to all of its major platforms last year. While most will never use this audio format, it’s nice to see Apple taking audio seriously, especially with the HomePod.


Farrago Is A Powerful Soundboard For Podcasters, Live Performers, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

For podcasters and live performers, Farrago provides a quick and easy way to have a library of sound effects at your fingertips. You can drag your clips into a grid, each of which is assigned a keyboard hot key; then, during your performance, you can trigger the sound clip with cursor or keyboard.

Field Trips Just Got Cooler: Waypoint EDU, by Brett Terpstra, MacStories

From the student perspective, it works like this: students see a waypoint on a map of their current location and move around to find it. A la Pokemon Go, they search by looking through their phones, scanning for an out-of-place object such as a (miniature) colosseum sitting in a park. Once they've found the waypoint, they answer a quiz question to reveal the next waypoint. Think augmented reality geocaching.


Swift Playgrounds 2.0 Lets You Subscribe To Playgrounds From Third Party Creators, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Once the lessons are over, Swift Playgrounds has a collection of challenges that can be undertaken, and Apple plans to add new ones over time. In addition to the coding keyboard, there is also a Snippets Library to hold commonly-used pieces of code, a keypad that automatically pops up when typing numbers, and a feature called Touch to Edit that developers drag the boundaries of a statement around existing code.

Apple Signals Transition Away From 32-Bit App Support On The Mac, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple hasn’t announced a date by which it will end 32-bit app support on macOS, but the beta release of macOS 10.13.4 includes notifications signaling to users that the transition to 64-bit apps has begun.

Apple Adjusting App Store Pricing & Developer Payouts In Select Countries Due To Tax Changes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company says that value added tax, or VAT, has changed in some countries and thus it will adjust developer proceeds. Other countries will also see App Store prices updated.

Start Your Days Right With A Consistent Shutdown Routine, by Chris Bowler, The Sweet Setup

It may sound backwards, but the key to starting your days off right is to finish them well. When you take the time to clear your mind — and your inboxes — it makes it so much easier to start your day with clarity. You’ll be off and running and working on the things that matter most to you with far less effort and friction.


It was Cal Newport’s Deep Work and his blog that gave fresh legs to the idea of ending your day well. He recommends what he calls a “shutdown ritual” where a specific routine helps you to end your workday, disengage from thinking about your work, and sets you up for a successful start when you return the next day. The purpose is to be more successful in your work while also freeing your mind to be fully engaged in other areas of your life when you’re away from work.

Pricing Philosophy, by Derek Sivers

Point is: even your pricing can be creatively based on your own philosophy. Question the norms.

Code Like A Weaver, by Kristina Taylor, TextNow

My mom’s never written a line of software in her life, but she taught me how to program. She taught me arithmetic and fractions through baking, data structures through laundry, and programming and algorithms through weaving. Does that sound crazy? Let me explain.


We Are Truly Fucked: Everyone Is Making AI-Generated Fake Porn Now, by Samantha Cole, Motherboard

“You could argue that what’s new is the degree to which it can be done, or the believability, we’re getting to the point where we can’t distinguish what’s real—but then, we didn’t before,” she said. “What is new is the fact that it’s now available to everybody, or will be... It’s destabilizing. The whole business of trust and reliability is undermined by this stuff.”

The Available-In-White-and-Space-Grey Edition Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Apple Announces HomePod Available To Order This Friday, In Stores On February 9, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Today in a press release, Apple announced that its HomePod device will be available to order beginning this Friday (January 26) for the previously announced price of $349, and will ship for a release date of Friday, February 9. HomePod will be available in two color options: White and Space Grey.

Tim Cook’s Visit To Shopify All About Augmented Reality, As Apple CEO Praises ‘Profound’ Emerging Technology, by Financial Post

Cook said Apple’s experience in integrating hardware with software and services will set its offering apart from similar products by Amazon and Google. “Competition makes all of us better and I welcome it,” Cook said. “(But) if you are both trying to license something and compete with your licensees, this is a difficult model and it remains to be seen if it can be successful or not.”


“We think one thing that was missing from this market was a quality audio experience, a very immersive audio experience,” Cook said. “Music deserves that kind of quality as opposed to some kind of squeaky sound.”

HomePod Can Play Purchased iTunes Music, Podcasts And Stream Beats 1 Without Apple Music Subscription, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Users can continue to buy albums from iTunes and expand their collection of purchased songs associated with their iTunes Store account, and ask Siri to play those on HomePod.

If you add music to your home iTunes library that was not acquired through a purchase, HomePod will not be able to access it. It appears HomePod doesn’t have Home Sharing, which would enable that kind of feature.

Apple Shares New HomePod Details Including Gesture Controls Ahead Of Launch, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

HomePod will support three tap gestures: single tap for play/pause, double-tap for next track, and triple-tap for previous track.

Apple Releases iOS 11.2.5 With HomePod Support, External Audio Source Control, Fix For Messages Bug, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Besides adding compatibility with HomePod, the primary user-facing feature of today's release is a new set of controls for audio playback on external devices. When viewing Control Center on your iPhone or iPad, if you open the expanded audio playback tile (either by tapping the signal icon in the top-right corner, or by using 3D Touch or a long press), compatible external audio sources now display as separate UI tiles underneath the main audio tile.


Apple also mentions in the 11.2.5 release notes that Siri can now read the news by being asked, "Play the news." [...] U.S. users can choose from four news sources – NPR, CNN, Fox News, and the Washington Post – which play their daily news podcasts upon your request. You can also ask for news specific to Sports, Business, and Music.


Apple's Latest iTunes Release Includes HomePod Support, by AppleInsider

In the brief release notes provided alongside iTunes 12.7.3, Apple touts compatibility with its forthcoming smart speaker, as well as user interface enhancements that should improve usability once the device sees release next month.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 And Meltdown Patches For Sierra And El Capitan Released, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

It also patches the bug that allowed the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

Pixelmator Pro 1.0 Whirlwind Review: An Affordable Alternative For Pro Photoshop Users, by Jeff Carlson, Macworld

It’s good to see that the team behind Pixelmator looked at their well-regarded application and said, “We think we can do better.” Pixelmator Pro is a good start, although one with a few early-version hiccups to work out. The impression I get is that Pixelmator Pro, in its 1.0 incarnation, is overall a brisk and capable image editor, but it’s still brittle in places. I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Agenda Review: Mac-Based Note Taking With A Calendar-Focused Twist, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The difference that sets Agenda apart is its perspective on note taking, which is firmly grounded in the calendar. That doesn’t mean it takes over and clutters your calendar – far from it. Agenda is organized around dates regardless of whether you incorporate notes into your calendar.

DuckDuckGo Launches Browser Extensions, Revamped Mobile Apps For Increased User Privacy, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

In addition to the existing private search feature DuckDuckGo is known for, the extension and app now offer built-in tracker network blocking, smarter encryption, and a Privacy Grade rating for sites you visit.

Adobe Announces Sensei-powered Updates To Photoshop CC, Third-party Integrations For XD, More, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Today’s announcements bring features and improvements developed thanks to Adobe’s work in machine learning and from customer feedback and requests in the Creative Cloud desktop apps.


Cynical About Apple’s Move Into UK Schools? Well, It Turns Out They Need All The Help They Can Get, by Nicole Kobie, Wired

In the end, programmes such as Apple's iOS making course aren't perfect, but they're better than nothing. "Right now, we're still in a situation where computing in schools is fragile, it's patchy, its future is uncertain," Mitchell says. "All the help we can get is just phenomenal. The fact that these companies are going into schools and helping is something we should be grateful for."

But beggars can be choosier than that may suggest, notes Alan O'Donohoe, a former teacher who now works for a small ed-tech company. If you're not able to afford Apple products to access its learning materials, there are alternatives – and they're not all industry-led, from the Cambridge-created Raspberry Pi to MIT's Scratch.


How A New Technology Is Changing The Lives Of People Who Cannot Speak, by Jordan Kisner, The Guardian

The film critic Roger Ebert, whose jaw was removed to treat cancer, wrote in 2009 about how frustrating it was to use one of these generic voices: “I sound like Robby the Robot. Eloquence and intonation are impossible.” He was tired of being ignored in conversations or coming across like “the village idiot”. He went on: “We put men on the moon, people like to say about such desires: Why can’t I have a voice of my own?”

This is the problem Patel has set out to solve. In 2007, she began researching technology that would allow her to make customised digital voices that sounded more like the humans they would represent. By 2014, the technology was sufficiently developed for Patel and her team to set up what they claim is the world’s first “voice bank”, an online platform where anyone with an internet connection can “donate” their voice by recording themselves reading aloud on to the Vocal ID Voicebank, which is programmed with stories crafted to capture all the phonemes in the English language. (Early donors were required to upload 3,487 sentences; now, Meltzner can create a voice with as few as 1,000 sentences, though more material makes for a more human-sounding voice.)

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I wonder how Apple is going to demo the HomePod in its stores. The sound quality of the HomePod is probably the main draw of the speaker; how does one demonstrate that in crowded wide-open spaces in malls?


Will you listen to a podcast that has two hosts, one of whom you've enjoyed quite a lot from the work this host has done in other podcasts, while the second host is someone you'll really can't stand listening to, based on the performace of this host in other podcasts?

Turns out, after listening to a few episodes, I can't stand this podcast.


The more I remind myself that I will die one fine day, the less meaning I find in many of the things that I do everyday.


Thanks for reading.

The Joined-Up-Thinking Edition Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Apple’s App Store Preview Needs To Steal Some Ideas From Google Play, by Craig Grannell, Revert to Saved

The point about purchasing is perhaps the most important. If I read an article about new Android apps and games and end up on Google Play, I can click a price button, pay for the item, and send it to my Android device, ready for when I next use the thing. With Apple, I can, what, email a link to myself like it’s 2003? It’s absurd that with such a joined-up ecosystem in so many ways, Apple lacks joined-up thinking when it comes to its store.

What I Wish The iPad Would Gain From The Mac, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

I made the iPad Pro my primary computer when it first launched in late 2015. The transition pains from Mac to iPad were minimal, and the device has grown even more capable since that time thanks to improvements in iOS. My need for a Mac is now extremely rare.

My desire for a Mac, however, still exists in a few specific use cases. There are things the Mac has to offer that I wish my iPad could replicate.

Saving Our Children From Smartphones, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

I fall on the side of It’ll Be Different This Time. We don’t need committees and yearly progress reports, but we can’t be passive, we need to proactively protect our children and ourselves. The trouble with simple answers is such responsibility doesn’t lie in any single place.

Apple Bows Apple Music For Artists To Provide Acts With Deep Analytics Dive: Exclusive, by Melinda Newman, Billboard

Apple Music for Artists debuts more than two years after Spotify, Pandora and YouTube bowed their own artist dashboards. While admittedly a late entry, Apple hopes to make up for its tardiness with the depth of information available, level of transparency and the ease of use provided by the clean user interface.

In addition to broad strokes, artists can drill down on a granular level in myriad ways. A global map allows musicians to click on any of the 115 countries in which Apple Music/iTunes is available and find out what’s happening with their music. They can select individual cities and see how many plays and sales they have in each market, as well as look at their top songs in every city. They may further examine the listener demographics per city, for example, calling up how many times females ages 16-24 in Los Angeles have listened to a particular song.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Learned To Code In College, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

That Cook can code may not be immediately obvious as he ran Apple's worldwide operations before becoming CEO of the company, but it's no surprise. Before going to Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for his MBA, Cook graduated from Alabama's Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, a major that requires a programming background.


Pixelmator Pro Adds New Cropping Features Alongside Numerous Bug Fixes In Latest Update, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Pixelmator team has today released an important update to Pixelmator Pro, adding new cropping abilities that didn’t quite make the cut for the 1.0 release. Other changes include tweaks to selection and text tools and many more bug fixes.

Bear (For Mac), by Jill Duffy, PC Magazine

Bear aims for simplicity by doing away with folders, notebooks, and elaborate text styling, giving you a place to simply create notes and store them. It supports Markdown and uses tags for organization, but doesn't have too many tools and features aside from that. The Pro account, which you need for syncing among devices, is cheap.

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Things that have been invented, believed to be the future, and then obsoleted, all within my lifetime:

1) BBS
2) Teletext
3) CD
4) Gopher


Thanks for reading.

The Girls-Education Edition Monday, January 22, 2018

Apple Partners With Malala Fund To Help Girls Receive Quality Education, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch

Apple has teamed up with Malala Fund to support girls’ education, becoming Malala Fund’s first Laureate partner. Founded by Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin, the Malala Fund aims to empower young girls and help them access the quality education they deserve.

With the support of Apple, Malala Fund expects to double the number of grants awarded through its Gulmakai Network and launch its funding programs in India and Latin America, with the goal of extending secondary education to more than 100,000 girls. Apple will also help Malala Fund with technology, curriculum and education policy research.

I Had An Apple Store Experience From Hell — And It's Clear There Are Larger Problems With Apple's Retail Presence, by Avery Hartmans, Business Insider

The lack of signage indicating where to stand and who to talk to is extraordinarily frustrating. Having no clear points of contact or direction is confusing for all types of customers, even someone who knows exactly what she needs and how to ask for it. I know that Apple envisions having a store where customers can flow in and out, or congregate like a "town square," but sometimes, it's just easier to stand in a line. At least from a customer's standpoint, you know where you need to be.


This brings me to the biggest issue I had: In Apple's world, every employee seems charged with helping every customer and every other fellow employee at once. Nearly every time I spoke with an employee during my week-long Apple odyssey, they interrupted me to talk to someone else, or were interrupted by a customer or fellow employee. The result made me feel like no one was listening to me or taking my concerns seriously — and the shoddy repair job from my first visit didn't instill me with any more confidence.

This Hearst Ranch Has Raised Cattle Since 1865, Now It Also Powers Apple's Headquarters, by Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC

Hearst's 3,000-head cattle operation at Jack Ranch itself is markedly old West: "There is a code among cowboys that transcends copyrights, technology, and other manifestations of culture that some folks may consider 'modern,'" the website says. "The cowboy way is simple..... It may sound like a bygone era, but it is our reality."

But 150 years after George Hearst bought the ranch, it took on a new, ultra-modern function: A 2,900-acre solar farm, which until now has been contracted by Apple to run the company's Cupertino headquarters.

Exclusively Algorithmic

Spotify Limited & Apple Records, by M.G. Siegler

If, consumers are conditioned by video services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and the like to pay for multiple services, Spotify can easily make this move. If consumers are not, this is going to be a lot harder for Spotify to execute — not least because they’re going to enter an even bigger war with Apple (and presumably Amazon, and Google, etc).

That is to say, people are used to paying for a music service and having access to basically all music in existence — which is still wild! They’re not used to having to pay for Spotify and Apple Music in order to get access to all the content they want. I think this will change for the reasons listed above, but it’s going to be a harder transition, largely because music is more passive than video content is — it would (and will) be annoying to have to remember which song is streaming on which service.

How Spotify Beat Apple To Charting The Future Of Music, by Victor Luckerson, The Ringer

The exclusives gambit didn’t work for a few reasons. For one, these albums were only exclusive in the legal sense. They were all easily piratable with no more than a Twitter search or a visit to The Pirate Bay. Because the deals were mostly timed exclusives, fans also knew they could just wait a few weeks to stream the album, killing any real incentive to switch platforms. And while Tidal and Apple were locked in an exclusives arms race, Spotify was refocusing its entire user experience around curated playlists such as Discover Weekly and RapCaviar. That meant even if the album of the moment wasn’t on Spotify, something similar could be served up immediately.

“You want to be able to hear that really cool album that is exclusively available at a particular place, but you also just really need something that’s very good at providing you with hours of listening pleasure every day,” says James McQuivey, a tech and media analyst at Forrester. “Spotify has basically been able to overcome what’s generally really well understood about media streaming services—exclusive content matters. They’ve created an experience that does allow people to do what they want to do in the world of music, which is listen to hours of music every day and have that music be interesting and varied and true to their tastes.”


Apple Gets Muhammad Ali To Sell You On iPhone X Selfies, by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET

In an ad released on Sunday, Cupertino gets the self-styled "Double-Greatest," Muhammad Ali, to bolster your self-belief.

The soundtrack is one of the, well, greatest speeches he ever made. The one where the boxing genius explains just how great he is.

Apple HomePod: Late, And Pricey, But This Smart Speaker Could Still Have One Advantage Over Its Rivals, by Steve Ranger, ZDNet

Apple faces a tough battle to break into a market with established companies offering cheaper products. But if it can convince enough people that it can do a better job of protecting privacy than its rivals, then it could still capture the premium and privacy-conscious segment of the smart home market. Apple may be late to the game, but it still has a shot or two in its locker.


Observations Of Apple Open Source, by Andrew Hyatt

Apple Open Source is a truly a strange beast. In many ways, it portrays Apple as a company that values open source and wants to give back to the community. But in many ways, it falls short of this and represents an effort to look like they care about Free & Open Source Software.


Why I Deleted The Instagram App — And You Should Think About It Too, by Kerry Flynn, Mashable

I understand some people — maybe a decent amount of Instagram's 500 million daily users — are inspired by the photos they see in their feeds. For my colleague Miriam Kramer, her highly curated Instagram account is a much-preferred distraction to the Facebook app. For one of my best friends Lizza Monet Morales, Instagram is part of her career as an actress, TV host, and social media personality.

For me, Instagram is a place of fakeness, humblebrags, and harassment, and I don't want to be a part of it anymore. That's why when I got an iPhone X for Christmas and started fresh by not restoring from backup, I didn't bother downloading Instagram.

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My daughter was introduced to Spotify before Netflix. And her first comment after browsing and searching through Netflix: why aren't all movies available in Netflix?


Thanks for reading.

The Substantial-Business Edition Sunday, January 21, 2018

Apple’s Enterprise Evolution, by Ron Miller, TechCrunch

Back in 2010, Apple’s iconic co-founder Steve Jobs was not entirely enthralled with the enterprise. [...] Back in those days, IT kept tight control over the enterprise, issuing equipment like BlackBerries and ThinkPads (and you could have any color you wanted — as long as it was black). Jobs, who passed away in 2011, didn’t live long enough to see the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and “Consumerization of IT,” two trends that were just hovering on the corporate horizon at the time of his death.


That movement has helped fuel Apple’s enterprise evolution. Over time, Apple has partnered with enterprise stalwarts like IBM, SAP and Cisco. It has provided tools for IT to better manage those i-devices, and Macs, too, and it has built the enterprise into a substantial business (to the extent that we can tell).

iOS 11’s Lower Adoption Rate, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

If Apple wants to counter the narrative surrounding iOS 11 and see these adoption rates pick up again, I think they'll have to demonstrate – not merely promise – that their next software update will have practical, tangible benefits on the everyday usage of an iOS device.

Omaha Officials Might Be Pursuing Part Of Apple's Expansion Plan Without Even Knowing It, by Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

Given Omaha’s reputation as a center for back-office operations as well as data center facilities, the Apple announcement perked up some ears in local economic development circles last week.

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive David Brown said his organization’s economic development staff is already responding to site selectors’ requests for two data center proposals, but no one knows yet which companies are behind the requests, as those companies haven’t been disclosed.


Portrait Camera App 'Focos' Gains Real Lens Optical Effects And Improved Shooting Mode, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The app recently made our end-of-year best iOS app list for its impressive granular aperture and bokeh adjustment tools, but version 1.2 builds on the existing feature set by adding the ability to apply real lens optical effects to depth images.

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I'm at the stage in the Sudoku book where the puzzles are transiting from 'Demanding' to 'Beware! Very Challenging'.


I've turned off the footer in the Kindle app. This is the part of the user interface where it tells me how far I've progressed through the book via two different numbers: a percentage (23%), and a pair of numbers (Page 190 of 867). I don't want to know when I am reading too slow, because I'm enjoying too much to go fast.

(The book is 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, if you must know.)


答案有三个 答错再答一个


Thanks for reading.

The Accurate-Numbers Edition Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dictation Eases Data Entry, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

In fact, I’d suggest that dictating numbers into iOS might be the most accurate way of entering them manually. It’s easy to make mistakes when transferring your gaze back and forth between a sheet of paper and the keyboard, and it’s also easy to tap a wrong key accidentally. But when you’re dictating, you can devote all your attention to reading and speaking the numbers, eliminating both context-switching and typing mistakes.

Tim Cook: 'I Don't Want My Nephew On A Social Network', by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

“I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time,” he said. “I don’t subscribe to that at all.”

Even in computer-aided courses, such as graphic design, technology should not dominate, he said.

“There are are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not.”

Tim Cook Talks iPhone Batteries, by Michael Tsai

If you didn’t somehow figure out that Apple had amended the release notes and decode that “power management” means they’re slowing down your phone, you weren’t “paying attention.” That’s the message from Apple’s CEO?

The New New Campus

Denver Not Biting On Apple’s Proposed Second Campus, by Tamara Chuang, Denver Post

“The project is really for a technical support center, and while we have existing Apple locations, we’re not confident that the wages of a technical support center would support wage growth opportunities in Colorado,” said Sam Bailey, vice president of economic development for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. “They are looking in lower-cost markets.”

Texas Misses Out On Apple's New Corporate Campus, by Melissa Repko, Dallas Morning Star

Apple may have cut Texas and California from the list because the company already has a large presence. Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. Austin is home to Apple's second largest campus. Apple has about 8,000 employees across Texas, including approximately 6,000 who work in Austin.


Apple Receives FCC Approval For HomePod, Suggesting A Launch Could Come Soon, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Ahead of the promised "early 2018" launch of the HomePod, Apple has received official FCC approval for the smart speaker. Now that FCC approval has been obtained, Apple is free to begin selling the device at any time.

iMac Pro Review: Mac Pro Power In The Shape Of An iMac, by Jason Snell, Macworld

What it is, today, is the fastest Mac around, with fast processors, storage, and connectivity, all attached to that gorgeous 5K screen. If you aren’t sure if you need an iMac Pro, you probably don’t. But for those of us who can put the 8, 10, 14, or 18 cores in iMac Pro to work, along with the Radeon Pro Vega GPU and the fast SSD storage, it’s an amazing combination of Mac Pro and 5K iMac.

This App Filled The Void Google Reader Left In My Heart, by Hayden Manders, Nylon

There are other apps that do the same thing—putting the articles you want to read in one place—but Pocket has innocuous details that truly make it feel like, well, a personal pocket. For one, the desktop extension has made saving stories to my Pocket as easy as one click: install the extension, stumble across an article, click the button, and boom! Open the app on your mobile device, and it’s there. It’s Pocket’s mobility that truly makes internet’ing so thrilling.

This Chatroom Only Opens When Your Phone’s About To Die, by Samantha Cole, Motherboard

I just tried to kill my phone battery on purpose so I could talk to a bunch of strangers for a few moments. I took a call in the cold, turned my screen brightness up to max power, connected my Bluetooth headphones and let YouTube play at 1080p HD.

All of this felt cruel, but it was necessary if I were to meet my new friends in the void below five percent. Die With Me, an app launched Wednesday on iOS and Android, is a chatroom that’s only accessible during those dark moments where your phone’s about to kick it.


What Happens To The Traffic You Send To The App Store?, by iA

The good news is: Blogging pays off. The traffic you create on your side does translate into higher sales. But if it results in sudden spikes you get punished. Most probably the anti-spam algorithm kicks in assuming that you want to game the rankings and ranks you down. In consequence, you do not get proportionally more sales, when at the same time you fall in the rankings. A sudden spike in traffic and sales gets punished, no matter whether its real or fake traffic. There is not much we can do about that but whine. Or is there?

How To Design Non-Addictive UX (It’s Really Not Hard), by Bruce Nussbaum, Fast Company

If you deconstruct what “great UX” actually translates into, you often get an addictive digital site where consumers are manipulated to feel compelled to visit again and again. It is a space where you are captured, examined via your data, and targeted by advertisers selling you stuff. Las Vegas gambling casinos have long been known to be designed for addiction. Kids aren’t allowed at slot machines. They are, however, permitted to get in front of any screen that comes their way, and they are pulled into what companies love to think of as a “great consumer experience”–as we all are.

Hence the need for a new Detox Design. We need to use all the practices of UX to help get us off our addiction to devices. Here are a few suggestions for how to do Detox Design.

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I wonder if the designers in Apple ever have desires to design not just an office park, but an entire city? Or did they take a look at Celebration and immediately backoff from that idea?


Thanks for reading.

The New-Campus Edition Friday, January 19, 2018

Apple Says It Will Decide New Campus Site Without An Auction, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple’s new campus is unlikely to be located in California, where the tech company’s headquarters are housed at its sleek “spaceship” Apple Park campus in Cupertino, or in Texas, where it has facilities in Austin that house customer service and some computer assembly operations, said Cook in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday.

“We’ve narrowed the list a lot,” Cook said of potential sites. “We wanted to narrow it so we prevent this auction kind of process that we want to stay out of.”

Apple Is Blocking An App That Detects Net Neutrality Violations From The App Store, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

“I probably could have gotten away with calling it a speed test,” he said. “But I wasn’t going to lie to get it published.”

Because Wehe is basically just making requests to Choffnes’s server at Northeastern (which he controls), there is no reason to think that the data it returns is inaccurate, and Apple’s suggestion that people receive no benefit from knowing they’re being throttled would seem to ignore the widespread public outrage about the FCC’s recent vote to repeal net neutrality.


Update: After this article was published, Apple told Dave Choffnes that his iPhone app, designed to detect net neutrality violations, will be allowed in the iTunes App Store. According to Choffnes, Apple contacted him and explained that the company has to deal with many apps that don't do the things they claim to do. Apple asked Choffnes to provide a technical description of how his app is able to detect if wireless telecom providers throttle certain types of data, and 18 hours after he did, the app was approved.

Office For Mac Finally Has Real-time Collaboration In 16.9.0 Update, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Microsoft has released a major Office update for Mac. Update 16.9.0 finally brings long-anticipated real-time collaboration features and automatic cloud saving. Notably, the Mac version of this software is now built from the same codebase as the Windows version, which means that Office shares a codebase across all platforms for the first time in 20 years.

The Mac version of Office has often lagged behind Windows in features (some periods have been better than others). But this change could lay the groundwork for better parity moving forward. A shared codebase doesn't necessarily mean everything will be the same, but it does mean that supporting all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android) will be simpler on Microsoft's end.

No, Apple Is Not Creating 20,000 Jobs Because Of The Tax Bill, by Jordan Weissmann, Slate

Apple has long paid an extremely low tax rate, and it is only really bringing its overseas profits “home” on paper. In reality, the company has always been able to access that money by borrowing against it at dirt cheap rates, which it’s previously done to fund dividends and buybacks for its investors. The specific investments Apple announced today, such as the more than $10 billion it plans to spend on new data centers to support its growing cloud-based businesses like Apple Music, are things it likely would have needed to do not matter what happened in Washington.


Apple did not announce a $350 billion investment in the U.S. economy today. It’s not even clear Apple announced it was actually increasing its domestic investment. It certainly did not announce that it was creating jobs because of Trump’s economic magic. The company announced its tax bill and, in the same breath, made some promises about capital expenditures in the states. Then it let the press and conservatives fill in the blank. I guess it’s a clever strategy, if you’re quietly trying to pander to this White House.


Apple Overhauls App Store Web Interface With New iOS-like Design, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The new redesign takes cues from the all-new App Store in iOS 11, which offers larger images, a focus on curation and reviews, and more.

It’s Time For Apple To Build A Less Addictive iPhone, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Deeper control over notifications is something iOS desperately needs at this point.


Leading European Technical Colleges Adopt Apple’s Everyone Can Code Initiative, by Apple

Apple today announced 70 colleges and universities in Europe have adopted Everyone Can Code, a comprehensive program designed by Apple to help everyone learn to build mobile apps. These colleges and universities are adopting Apple’s App Development with Swift curriculum, helping to create opportunities for all students and equipping them with the skills they need to pursue careers in the booming app economy.


The Man Trying To Fix Mount Everest's Towering Poop Problem, by Sarah Emerson, Motherboard

More than 26,000 pounds of human excrement is dumped at Mount Everest’s Base Camp annually. There, it remains, fetid in blue barrels (equipped with toilet seats!), until Sherpa porters can transport it to Gorak Shep, a frozen lakebed that’s become Everest’s ad-hoc landfill.


“You can’t keep putting [excrement] in open pits near water sources and not expect to see an environmental problem,” Porter said.

Their solution? Convert all that waste into usable power with something called a “biogas digester.”

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My guess of the new office being likely to be in Texas was wrong. (I did not watch that ABC video.)


Aren't there scientists working somewhere to invent some genetic modifications or something that will allow us humans to live without needing to poop?

Or would that rob too much attention away from Facebook?


Thanks for reading.

The Get-Noticed Edition Thursday, January 18, 2018

How A Two-man Vancouver Team Created Apple’s 2017 Game Of The Year, by Chad Sapieha, Financial Post

“We work wherever we want, but primarily home, coffee shops, and the Vancouver Public Library – anywhere that has power and internet, basically,” says Ringrose. “I’ve got a second bedroom and den that have been converted into a small office space where most of the magic happens. I’ve got a 2015 MacBook Pro to do all the heavy lifting, and a drawer full of old phones that I use as test devices. It’s simple, but that’s all you really need. Jason’s home office is a few blocks away, too, so it’s pretty convenient if we ever need to work in the same physical space.”

Such humble headquarters are common in the world of indie game design. The question is how Ringrose and Ennis managed to create a game that managed to get noticed and become a financial success when hundreds of other games developed in similar environments fall by the wayside daily.

Gorgeous 50-megapixel Panoramas Shot On An iPhone At 20,000 Feet, by Jason Kottke

Over on his Instagram account, photographer Vincent Laforet is sharing some 50-megapixel panoramic photos he shot for Apple. He strapped an iPhone 7 to the bottom of a Learjet, set it on Pano mode, and flew it over various landscapes at a height of 20,000 feet.

Tim Cook Says You’ll Soon Be Able To Turn Off The System That Slows iPhones As The Battery Gets Older, by Greg Kumparak, TechCrunch

And soon, it seems, you’ll be able to turn off the battery/performance balancing system all together. Tim Cook mentions the coming change in an interview with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis.

Apple Throttling Woes: Blame Small Batteries, Not Planned Obsolescence, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

The backstory here is that lithium-ion battery technology has hit a brick wall. Dramatic gains in the power and lifespan of lithium-ion batteries have stopped. Yet device makers continue to use lithium-ion batteries because there’s just no viable alternative at the moment.

HomePods Rumors

Inventec Begins Shipping Long-awaited HomePods, by Lauly Li, Taipei Times

Inventec Corp, one of the two assemblers for Apple Inc’s HomePod, has started shipping the US company’s long-awaited “smart” speaker with an initial shipment of about 1 million units, industry sources said.


HomePod shipments this year are expected to reach between 10 million and 12 million units, with Inventec and Hon Hai each fulfilling half of the orders, the source said.

With HomePod Around The Corner, Siri’s “Give Me The News” Feature Exits Beta, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

When you say "Hey Siri, give me the news" to your iOS device, Siri will now immediately begin playing a daily news update from a popular news podcast—NPR by default in the United States. Coming shortly before the launch of the HomePod smart speaker, also powered by Siri, this small feature is the latest that brings some Alexa or Google Assistant-style interactions to Apple's ecosystem.

[...] The feature has to be activated by the hands-free "Hey Siri" prompt used in CarPlay or in the upcoming HomePod's screenless interface.

Money Movement

Apple Accelerates US Investment And Job Creation, by Apple

Apple expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the US over the next five years and create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one. Apple already employs 84,000 people in all 50 states.

The company plans to establish an Apple campus in a new location, which will initially house technical support for customers. The location of this new facility will be announced later in the year.

Apple Unveils Plan To Repatriate Billions In Overseas Cash, Says It Will Contribute $350 Billion To The Economy, by Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC

It also said it anticipates a $38 billion tax bill for repatriated cash, as a result of the new tax bill. This implies it will bring back virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.


The job creation will focus on direct employment, but also suppliers and its app business, which it had already planned to grow substantially. The new campus will focus on customer support.

The Apple Cash FAQ, by Horace Dediu, Asymco

As individuals we think that having lots of cash makes us rich. For companies it’s the opposite. Cash is a liability. If you come across a company that is cash rich and has nothing else, it’s enterprise value will be zero. Companies are valued on their future cash flows, meaning their ability to generate cash, not how much they managed to keep. In other words, cash is a measure of past success and investors are interested only in future value. That future value comes from the intelligent allocation of resources toward a valuable goal. A company rich in cash but poor in vision is likely to be taken private or broken up and shut down. Cash is an IOU to shareholders with a thank-you note for the support through the years.

Apple Gives Employees $2,500 Bonuses After New Tax Law, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. told employees Wednesday that it’s issuing a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, following the introduction of the new U.S. tax law [...] Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the move demonstrated his “confidence in Apple’s future” and that both full-time and part-time employees across all departments are elgible.

Here’s The Full Email Tim Cook Sent To Apple Employees Announcing Bonuses & New Charity Donation Matching, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Notably, the email makes mention of a new charitable matching program inside Apple that will run through the end of 2018. Starting immediately, Cook says that Apple will match all employee charitable donations up to $10,000 annually, at a rate of two to one. Furthermore, Cook says that Apple will double the amount it matches for each hour of time employees donate.

Apple Bus

Someone Is Attacking Apple Buses Outside Of San Francisco, by Jack Morse, Mashable

On an internal Apple email thread viewed by Mashable, one Apple employee speculated that the culprit may be firing "rubber rounds" at the buses. At least one of the buses only had the outer pane of its double-paned windows broken.

In response, late Tuesday night, Apple emailed employees to alert them that an untold number of shuttles would be rerouted, adding 30 to 45 minutes to riders' commute.

Apple, Google Buses Rerouted On Peninsula After Apparent Shooting Damages Windows, by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, San Francisco Examiner

CHP knows of five incidents Tuesday — four with shuttles ferrying Apple workers and one shuttle with Google employees. [...] “As you know these are unmarked buses, so there’s no indication these are targeted incidents,” said Montiel, though CHP had no record of other types of vehicles being targeted.


iPad Diaries: Transmit Replacements And FTP Clients, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

But this isn't a post-mortem for Transmit on iOS, which, according to Panic, may even relaunch as a new app on the Store someday. Instead, I'd like to take a quick tour of some of the alternatives for Transmit available on iPad today. In case Panic decides to pull Transmit from the App Store, or if the app stops working in a future release of iOS, these FTP clients and file managers should compensate for the features of Panic's app. Most of them don't offer the same sophisticated and polished UI design, but some of them may even turn out to be more flexible and better integrated with iOS than Transmit.

Nomad Wireless Charging Hub Review: It Might Be The Only Charger You'll Ever Need, by Lory Gil, iMore

With Nomad's Wireless Charging Hub, I'm able to toss my iPhone X down on the charging pad, plus, plug in my iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and Nintendo Switch so they all can charge up at the same time.

That's because there are four more ports hidden discreetly underneath the 7.5-watt charging pad.

Revolut Now Lets You Automatically Buy Travel Insurance Based On Your Phone's Location, by Matthew Hughes, The Next Web

If your GPS receiver picks up that you’re in a different country, a policy will automatically kick into action. In practical terms, this means that from the moment you get off the plane, you have medical and dental cover.

Screeny 2.0: Delete Unwanted (Live) Photos, Videos, Panoramas & Screenshots, by Preshit Deorukhkar, Beautiful Pixels

Screeny still offers the ease of deleting unwanted screenshots from the Camera Roll of your iPhone and iPad, but now also offers support for Live Photos, Photos, Panoramas, and Videos.


App Store Trials: No More Free IAPs?, by Michael Tsai

Apple is currently promoting apps with free trials, but these seem to be based on subscriptions (which aren’t allowed for all apps) rather than in-app purchases. It does seem like the DeviceCheck framework would make it possible to implement trials, with the tracking handled by your server instead of Apple’s.

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Location of the new Apple office? I'm guessing Austin, Texas.


Thanks for reading.

The Viable-Companion Edition Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Using An iPad For Photography Workflows, by Marius Masalar, The Sweet Setup

To be practical, an iPad photography workflow has to encompass everything from shooting, importing, culling, editing, and the final export. The ideal scenario is to be able to trust the iPad to replace a laptop as my daily photography companion. It needn’t do so entirely — I’m happy to continue using my desktop-based collection of apps when I’m at home and need their specific capabilities — but I should feel confident taking nothing but an iPad with me when I head out on a shoot or take my next trip.

And I do.

Things aren’t perfect yet, but depending on your tolerance for doing things differently, we’re finally at a place where the iPad is a viable companion for the working photographer.

PSA: This Link Will Crash Messages On iOS And macOS, Cause Resprings & More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In some instances, sending the link would cause both the sender and recipient’s device to respiring or cause the Messages app to instantly freeze and crash. Furthermore, reentering the thread would cause the Messages app to crash again and again, making the only viable solution to regain access to that thread to delete it and start a new one.

Is BMW Going To Make You Pay For Apple CarPlay Every Year?, by Zac Estrada, The Verge

The automaker next year will turn CarPlay into a subscription-based service rather than treating it as a one-time option, Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America, told The Verge at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday.

“This allows the customer to switch devices,” he said. “A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think it’s okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android.”

Innovator To Innovator: Apple CEO Tim Cook Interviewed By High School Senior Rebecca Kahn, by Rebecca Kahn, Aspirations in Computing

It was my senior year, and I wanted to interview not just a real leader in technology, but one whose philosophy and ideas about life were motivating as well. As soon as the assignment was announced, one name immediately came to mind: Apple CEO Tim Cook. He is not just in charge of the world’s largest tech company, but he personally advocates and stands up for things he believes are right. He travels the world and meets with political and innovative leaders. What was the likelihood of him even responding to me?

Amazingly, Tim Cook actually read my email, asking for a few moments of his time to complete my computer project. When the interview actually took place, I was surprised to hear his southern personality and mannerisms when I first heard him say “Hello, Rebecca.” He immediately put me at ease: “Call me Tim -- Mr. Cook is my father’s name.”

It’s Time For Apple To Build A Less Addictive iPhone, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

And there’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.


For one thing, Apple’s business model does not depend on tech addiction. The company makes most of its money by selling premium devices at high profit margins. Yes, it needs to make sure you find your phone useful enough to buy the next one, but after you purchase your phone and sign up for some of its premium services, Apple doesn’t really need you to overdo it. Indeed, because it can’t make infinite battery life, Apple would probably be O.K. if you cooled it with your phone a little.


Apple's 500th Store And First In Korea Opening January 27 Ahead Of 2018 Winter Olympics, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The store is located in the upscale Garosu-gil shopping area in the Gangnam District of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

PhotoLemur V2.2 Spectre Photo Software Review, by Smythe Richbourg, The Gadgeteer

The first version of PhotoLemur was a one-trick, one-shot, stand-alone deal: Here’s your photo, or here’s your photo with our program applied. Take it or leave it. In version 2.2, they have the same singleness of purpose and application (you can’t select a single area and change just it – it’s still all-or-nothing on the photo itself), but the level of change and enhancement can now be modulated. Also, in addition to stand-alone, there are plug-ins for the two largest photo-editing programs: Adobe LightRoom and Apple Photos.

Apple Is The Only Place You Can Buy Colgate's New Artificially Intelligent Toothbrush, by Avery Hartmans, Business Insider

Called the E1, the "smart" electronic toothbrush gives you real-time brushing feedback, maps your mouth, and uses "sonic vibrations" to remove more plaque, and can upload the data it collects to an iPhone app called Colgate Connect.


Apple And WeChat Resolve Disagreement Over App Store Cut On Tips, by Tom Warren, The Verge

It’s not clear if Apple will still take a small cut on tips, but the iPhone maker did alter its App Store rules again in September to allow users to gift money to each other in apps without Apple taking a cut. Gifts need to be true gifts, and not related to access to content or services.


The Popularity Of Microsoft’s Surface Is The Least Realistic Thing On TV, by Adrianne Jeffries, The Outline

I’m a tech writer. My friends are all nerds. They have every device. Some of them even own Surfaces. But nobody just casually… pulls out a Surface. Unless they live in the alternate universe of Hollywood-produced TV and film, in which case, they do. Constantly.

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This is what I wish can happen:

1) Come in to work and review my Todo list, 2) Start doing the tasks in my Todo list according to what the Todo list software tells me to do.

This is what is actually happening many-a-days:

1) Stare at my Email Inbox and trying to comprehend through the list of read emails that are still residing in the inbox, 2) Being called away to do something new and urgent and that should have been completed yesterday.

Waiting for my permanent sabbatical:

1) Wake up and stare at my Todo list, 2) Play video games and watch Netflix, 3) Stare at my Todo list and remind myself that death is near and I need to get to my bucket list and promise tomorrow will be better.

And after my permanent sabbatical: 1) Don't have to care about anything in this world, 2) Remain dead.


Thanks for reading.

The Data-Loss Edition Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What To Do If Your iPad Gets Disabled Through Too Many Passcode Entries, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

First, let us turn it off! I don’t even see why it exists — iOS already has a feature that will wipe the device if the passcode is entered incorrectly enough times. I understand and appreciate Apple’s dedication to security, but some devices need less than others.


Worse, this feature can render a device completely useless and potentially cause a user to lose data, if the device wasn’t set to back up or its backups were failing for some reason. I’ve never seen a non-optional security feature that could brick a consumer-level device even if an authorized user could later authenticate themselves.

Apple Is Getting Very, Very Serious About Enterprise IT, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

IBM calls Apple “pervasive in the enterprise," while Jamf CEO Dean Hager notes that his own internal company research suggests 75% of enterprise users would choose a Mac for their next computer if given the choice.

Apple recognizes its growing stature in enterprise markets. It drips out more information about its achievements in this space each time it releases financial results.


Apple Offers Ways To ‘Serve Your Community’ Along With Other MLK Focused Content, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Apple has shared a few editorials on the iOS App Store in addition to featuring a homepage photo and quote on its website. The top billed story is Serve Your Community, which looks to help users give back by highlighting several apps and services.

Apple-owned FileMaker Debuts Ad Campaign Starring ‘The Office’ Cast, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The ad stars actors Kate Flannery, Leslie David Baker and Paul Lieberstein who all had key roles in The Office. It somewhat follows the format of the failed spin-off of The Office, called The Farm. Flannery, Baker, and Liberstein are all working on a beet farm, using FileMaker software to power it all.


Apple WebKit Team Releases Speedometer 2.0 For Benchmarking Web App Responsiveness, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Speedometer allows developers to simulate user interactions in web apps and has been used “as a proxy for real-world use of popular frameworks for a number of years.” Apple notes, however, that the web developer world has changed a lot since Speedometer 1.0 was released in 2014.

With the release of Speedometer 2.0 today, Apple says there’s now support for modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries.

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What's one of the worst thing that can happen while you are getting ready to go home from work?

You click on the Start button, click on the little "power" button, and, instead of clicking on the "Shut Down" menu item, you accidentally click on the "Restart" button, and you are forced to wait for Windows to shut down and start back up, before finally clicking on "Shut Down".

Happened to me earlier this evening. Again.


Thanks for reading.

The Passing-the-Buck Edition Monday, January 15, 2018

Dear Apple, Parental Controls Aren't The Answer, by Zibby Owens, Huffington Post

I’m glad people are writing letters to Apple about taking responsibility for iPhones and iPads and how they affect kids. I hope that they don’t respond by passing the buck onto parents. We didn’t create this problem. We’re just charged with managing the effects and protecting our kids. It’s like asking a tobacco company to do a better job helping parents tell their kids not to smoke. How about fixing the product itself? Help us parents! We’ll probably buy more if you do. We’re the ones writing the checks. (Remember checks?)

Seeing The Future In A Reblink Of An Eye, by Deema Abu Naser, The Medium

Imagine this: You stand in front of a painting created in the 1600s, and you blink. Suddenly, you hear sounds emitting from the piece, and see objects flying around in the frame. The people in the painting have suddenly gained the power of movement, like in an animation, and start stretching and yawning.

How Google Arts And Culture's Face Match A.I. Actually Works, by Eileen Guo, Inverse

Artificial intelligence is everywhere these days and humans can’t seem to decide whether to be creeped out by how far it might go or laugh at how far it still has to go.

That’s part of what made the viral Google Arts and Culture feature allowing users to compare their faces with a work of art so fun. It played up our natural vanity, for sure, but it also gave us a chance to test out what AI is capable of.

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Things that I find annoying:

1) having to shave;
2) having to go to the toilet;

Things that I hate:

1) havng to go to the dentist.


Thanks for reading.

The Liberate-Yourself Edition Sunday, January 14, 2018

Free Advice: Turn Your Phone's Damn Battery Percentage Off, by Damon Beres, Mashable

What does a number offer you that this icon cannot? Nothing! Unless you're trying to diagnose exactly how much battery life having Snapchat open on your screen for five straight minutes will consume (the answer is one entire percent), there's no meaningful gain to the numerical value over the icon.


Untether your mind from your phone. Disable the battery percentage indicator. Liberate yourself.

The Existential Struggle Of Dealing With The iPhone’s Red Update Icon, by Christina Bonnington, Slate

You had to weigh your decision: Were the features and issues worth the possible frustration? But with the choice not to update would come a persistent shame and nagging on the part of Apple: the red update icon. For many, this quandary verged on an existential crisis.


If you’ve decided not to update your phone, that’s your choice—you shouldn’t have to deal with this annoying badge making itself comfortable on your screen. For those who want—or need—order on their phone, that red icon isn’t merely a mild nuisance; it’s a full-on offense.

The Behind-the-scenes Story Of Why Apple Received A Letter From 2 Huge Investors About Child Safety Features, by Julie Bort, Business Insider

As to why Jana chose Apple, "Apple was a logical place to start," this person said, because Apple is "socially responsible and they are perfectly positioned because they are the gateway for teens to get to these things. If you are trying to stop water from coming out of a hose it's more effective to grab the hose than try and grab every drop of water coming out of the hose."

Interestingly, the motivation behind targeting Apple in this way wasn't Apple at all. It was Facebook.


Apple's New iPad Pro Ads Tout Augmented Reality & Mobile Notetaking, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple on Saturday released a pair of video ads for the iPad Pro, concentrating on some of the possibilities brought with September's iOS 11.

5 ARKit Apps You Can Use In Your Daily Life, by Jen Karner, iMore

When you think of AR, chances are you aren't thinking about an app that's actually useful. Fun, whimsical, silly, sure, but practical? While it may seem strange there are actually some awesome ARKit apps available that you can use going through your normal routine. Measuring a room, sizing new furniture, amping up your run, and more can all get an upgrade in experience with the help of one of these apps.

How To Get Started With Scrivener For Mac, by Nathan Alderman, iMore

When you create a new Scrivener project, choose the category and template that best fit what you're writing -- whether that's a novel, short story, screenplay, research paper, or more. Scrivener's templates come with helpful features customized for each type of project. The Novel template, for example, includes categories to list characters and places, examples of the front matter you'll need for manuscripts, paperbacks, or ebooks, and samples of how your finished work will look.

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No, I don't have the battery percentage on my iPhone's status bar. Anyway, there isn't any choice presented to me on the iPhone X.

And, no, I don't miss it.

(Although, I do have the battery widget enabled on the Today's screen. I tell myself that the widget is more for looking at the battery level of my bluetooth earphone.)


Thanks for reading.

The Luscious-Illustrations Edition Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Making Of Apple’s Emoji: How Designing These Tiny Icons Changed My Life, by Angela Guzman, Medium

It was the summer of 2008, and I was one year away from receiving my MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It was the same summer I landed an internship at Apple on a team I was eager to meet. The same design team responsible for the iPhone; a magical device that launched the year prior at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. One could only imagine the size of my butterflies as I flew to Cupertino and arrived at 1 Infinite Loop. To add to the uncontrollable fluttering, I had no idea what project I would be given, the size of the team, where I would sit, or if I could really bike to work (I’m terrible on bikes).

Soon after my arrival and meeting the team (oh and biking to work!) I was handed my project. I was still trying to make sense of the assignment I’d just received when someone asked if I knew what an emoji was. And well, I didn’t, and at the time, neither did the majority of the English speaking world. I answered ‘no’. This would all change, of course, as the iPhone would soon popularize them globally by offering an emoji keyboard. Moments later I learned what this Japanese word meant and that I was to draw hundreds of them. Just as I was looking down the hallway and internally processing, “This isn’t type or an exercise in layout, these are luscious illustrations,” I was assigned my mentor.

Apple Delays iPhone 6 Plus Battery Replacements Until March-April Due To Limited Supply, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple says iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries are in short supply and won't be available until late March to early April in the United States and other regions, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week and later obtained by MacRumors.

Apple Says iCloud China Data Migration Notice Sent To Some Users In Error, by Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

Apple has informed users that these emails were sent in error, reiterating that only users with their Apple ID country set to China will have their iCloud data migrated to GCBD servers.


Apple Hypes iPhone X Portrait Lighting Photography In ‘A New Light’ Ad, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The clip includes examples of each Portrait Mode lighting effect in action with tons of examples of Portrait Mode shots from the iPhone X.

Review: Beam Authentic Is A Fun OLED Smart Button To Display Images, GIFs And Slideshows, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

I think the reality for most people is that this is going to be used mostly to display fun images – the real-world equivalent of emoticons. So ultimately your perception of value will depend how much fun you think the idea is.


Apple Made A Section Of The App Store To Highlight Apps That Offer Free Trials, by Shannon Liao, The Verge

For those who want to test out an app before making a purchase, Apple is now promoting a new section in the App Store, “Try it for Free,” that highlights apps that offer a free trial period before you have to pay for a subscription. The introduction of the new feature makes sense as Apple is also trying to promote its subscription-based apps as a new business model for app developers.


How An Industry-breaking Bug Stayed Secret For Seven Months, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

When Graz University of Technology researcher Michael Schwarz first reached out to Intel, he thought he was about to ruin the company’s day. His team had found a problem with their chips, a vulnerability that was both profound and immediately exploitable. His team finished the exploit on December 3rd, a Sunday afternoon. Realizing the gravity of what they’d found, they emailed Intel immediately.

It would be nine days until Schwarz heard back. But when he got on the phone with someone from Intel, Schwarz got a surprise: the company already knew about the CPU problems and was desperately figuring out how to fix them. Moreover, the company was doing its best to make sure no one else found out. They thanked Schwarz for his contribution, but told him what he had found was top secret, and gave him a precise day when the secret could be revealed.

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I'm in the mood to comb through my RSS subscriptions to find feeds to unsubscribe from. There are certain news in this world that I don't want to follow anymore.


Thanks for reading.

The Unlocked-With-Any-Password Edition Thursday, January 11, 2018

macOS High Sierra's App Store System Preferences Can Be Unlocked With Any Password, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

A bug report submitted on Open Radar this week reveals a major security vulnerability in the current version of macOS High Sierra that allows the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

Is Apple Even Paying Attention To macOS Security Anymore?, by Justin Pot, HowToGeek

Practically, this isn’t much of a problem: again, the panel in question isn’t locked down by default, and unlocking this panel does not give you access to any other locked panel.

The problem is we don’t know why this is happening, and whether the bug that allows it may exist elsewhere. As with the earlier bug, it’s amazing no one caught this problem in testing, and it really makes you wonder how much you can trust macOS to keep your data locked down.

Sharing Links From iOS Twitter Appends Garbage To The URL, by Benjamin Mayo

There’s been a change to the official Twitter app in the last few months that affects anyone who tries to share a URL from inside the app. Using the standard activity view controller, recognised as the system share sheet, the Twitter app surreptitiously appends some query string parameters to the original URL.


The important thing to note here is that the mechanism is innocuous and uses valid APIs provided by Apple. Twitter is not exploiting private APIs to achieve this. A cursory look at the app review guidelines suggests to me there are no grounds for Apple to scold Twitter (or any other app) for doing it.

Apple’s China iCloud Data Migration Sweeps Up International User Accounts, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

However, after talking to a number of users, we found that Apple has included iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts in the data that will be handled by local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) from February 28.

Jimmy Iovine Shoots Down Rumors He’s Leaving Apple, by Paula Parisi, Variety

“I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run. But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.”


As an example of what “more interesting might be,” Iovine drew from subscription television. “Netflix has a unique catalog, because they don’t buy HBO and they have their own catalog. Then on top of that they have a little thing called $6 billion in original content. HBO has $3 billion, Amazon probably has $4 billion. Well, guess how much original content streaming has: zero! Fundamentally. All the catalogs are exactly the same,” he told the crowd.


5K iMac Vs. iMac Pro: The Pro's Silent Fans Made A Fan Out Of Me, by Stephen Hackett, iMore

It really seems to strike the right balance between performance and usability for those of us who use Macs to record and edit audio on a regular basis.

Apple Carries First-ever In-store, Third-party Wi-Fi Router In Form Of Linksys Velop, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple is now selling Linksys' Velop Mesh Wi-Fi System in stores and online, signaling a break from a policy of only selling its own AirPort routers.

Dallas Architects Create 'Life-Changing' App For People With Vision Loss, by Jewels Clark, Dallas Innovates

The WayAround app, developed by co-founders Darwin Belt and Armand Fisher, uses tags that can attach to anything; files, clothes, food, and more. Those tags have information coded into them that allows the visually-impaired user to hear information about the item the tag is attached to.

“The app allows blind or low-vision [individuals] to get information not just in a recording, but in a structured data format,” Belt said. “You don’t have to listen to all the information, you can choose.”

Outing Death, by Ruth La Ferla, New York Times

I was hauling my wheelie toward the boarding gate for a New York-bound flight when an alert popped up on my iPhone. Its message was terse: “Don’t forget, you’re going to die.”

I was rattled, weirdly clammy, but finally resigned.

I had, after all, signed on for this sobering reminder, parting with 99 cents for WeCroak, a jaunty little app devised to notify users like me, five times a day at seemingly random intervals, that try as we may to ignore it, there will be no dodging The End.

Going Dark For A Day

MyAppleMenu will be taking a break tomorrow, and will return on Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018.


Thanks for reading.

The Enormous-Liabilities Edition Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Looming Digital Meltdown, by Zeynep Tufekci, New York Times

We have built the digital world too rapidly. It was constructed layer upon layer, and many of the early layers were never meant to guard so many valuable things: our personal correspondence, our finances, the very infrastructure of our lives. Design shortcuts and other techniques for optimization — in particular, sacrificing security for speed or memory space — may have made sense when computers played a relatively small role in our lives. But those early layers are now emerging as enormous liabilities. The vulnerabilities announced last week have been around for decades, perhaps lurking unnoticed by anyone or perhaps long exploited.

Silicon Valley Is Having Its “Just Say No” Moment, by Maya Kosoff, Vanity Fair

But neither Palihapitiya, nor other born-again tech critics, need worry about the hand that feeds them. Silicon Valley is changing in real ways. As my colleague Nick Bilton recently noted, social media might one day seem as antiquated (and dangerous) as Cocaine Toothache Drops—an artifact of a bygone era. Other tech products, however, are only becoming more integrated into our lives. If society decides that device addiction is a real problem, Apple isn’t going to respond by renouncing the iPhone—it’s going to find a way to take away the screen. Mark Zuckerberg isn’t going to shut down Facebook—he’s going to ensure it merges so seamlessly with your daily routine that you’re no more aware of liking a photo than smiling at a co-worker.

China Firm To Run Apple iCloud Accounts, by BBC

Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month, the tech giant has confirmed.

It has contacted customers based in China, advising them to examine new terms and conditions.


Apple said it had made the move to comply with the country's cloud computing regulations.

Apple Exec Angela Ahrendts Recalls Telling Tim Cook, 'I'm Not A Techie,' In First Meeting, by Anieze Osakwe, ABC News

When Apple came calling, Ahrendts had several years in the fashion industry under her belt. But technology, not so much. What drew her to the tech giant was the opportunity to step into a new industry, but also Apple’s strong emphasis on company values.

She recalled reading about Steve Jobs’ early approach to opening the first retail stores saying, "When he was hiring teams for the very first retail store 16 years ago, he told them their job was to enrich lives and that has so stuck in retail all these years.

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Singapore-style noodles, as the always-right Wikipedia reminds us, does not exist in Singapore.

It's not that we Singaporeans do not enjoy a plate of fried noodles. It's just that there are many styles of fried noodles in Singapore, and there isn't one Singapore-style in frying up some noodles in a wok. (Or pan.)

My favorite Singapore-style noodle, when growing up here, is the Mee Goreng. A good blend of soy sauce and chilli will give it a hot spicy flavour with just a good hint of sweetness.

But lately, I've rather enjoyed a variation of this traditional dish: Maggi Goreng, which uses the thinner instant noodles instead. Perhaps I didn't open my eyes big enough, but I don't really recall having this in Singapore when I was younger. Now, this dish is readily available everywhere I look.


Thanks for reading.

The Mitigation-for-Spectre Edition Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Apple Releases iOS And macOS Updates With A Mitigation For Spectre, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple just released iOS 11.2.2 with some Safari and WebKit improvements to mitigate the Spectre vulnerability. macOS is also receiving an update. It’s a supplemental update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 and it includes the same fix.

As always, you should update your devices with the latest security patches. In this case, Meltdown and Spectre are serious vulnerabilities. With Meltdown, a malicious application running on an unpatched device can read the unencrypted kernel memory. You don’t want anyone to grab your password and private encryption keys.

Apple: New Parental Control Features Planned For The Future, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

"Apple has always looked out for kids," an Apple spokesperson told iMore, "and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online. We lead the industry by offering intuitive parental controls built right into the operating system."

The Wireless Charging Wars Are Over (For Now), by Russell Holly, iMore

One of the things that helped this process over the last couple of years has been the consolidation of competing technologies into the Wireless Power Consortium. Today, the last major competitor to the WPC announced it was joining and sharing its technology to advance the Qi standard of wireless charging.

Your Smartphone Is Making You Stupid, Antisocial And Unhealthy. So Why Can’t You Put It Down?, by Eric Andrew-Gee The Globe and Mail

Ten years into the smartphone experiment, we may be reaching a tipping point. Buoyed by mounting evidence and a growing chorus of tech-world jeremiahs, smartphone users are beginning to recognize the downside of the convenient little mini-computer we keep pressed against our thigh or cradled in our palm, not to mention buzzing on our bedside table while we sleep.


Socrates was wrong about writing and Erasmus was wrong about books. But after all, the boy who cried wolf was eaten in the end. And in smartphones, our brains may have finally met their match.

"It's Homo sapiens( minds against the most powerful supercomputers and billions of dollars …. It's like bringing a knife to a space laser fight," Mr. Harris said. "We're going to look back and say, 'Why on earth did we do this?'"


Apple Finally Finds A Hit With Strange Headphones, by Molly McHugh, The Ringer

We all had our fun with the strange design and troubled launch only to see AirPods score a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate and dominate the market by September 2017.

Lifesum Health Tracking App Adds New AI Image Recognition Feature For Food Logging, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Lifesum, a popular calorie counter and nutrition tracking app on iOS, is rolling out a new image recognition feature that allows users to snap a picture of their food to log ingredients and nutrition information.

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I've enjoyed many of my meals in fast food restaurants, especially when I am eating alone. It wasn't the food, though I do enjoy some fast food items. What I enjoy about fast food restaurants is the slower pace. I can eat my meal slower -- especially the sides, which is typcially french fries. I used to slow-read newspapers in fast food restaurants while sipping my drinks. (Nowadays, Reeder, Instapaper and Kindle on iPhone have replaced the papers.) I can't do that in food courts, kopitiams, and hawker centers.


Thanks for reading.

The Screen-Time-Limitation Edition Monday, January 8, 2018

Apple Faces Activist Pressure Over Children’s iPhone Use, by Leslie Hook, Financial Times

Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, a pension fund that holds more than $1.5bn of Apple shares, issued a letter to the company over the weekend outlining their concerns.

They say there could be “unintentional negative side effects” of smartphone use by children and teenagers, and call on Apple to research the issue and provide phone settings limiting children’s screen time and content.


Other tech companies have recently started to acknowledge and address their youngest users. Facebook launched a messaging app last year for children as young as six, which includes heavy parental controls.

How So Many Researchers Found A 20-Year-Old Chip Flaw At Once, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

In fact, the bizarre confluence of so many disparate researchers making the same discovery of two-decade-old vulnerabilities raises the question of who else might have found the attacks before them—and who might have secretly used them for spying, potentially for years, before this week's revelations and the flood of software fixes from practically every major tech firm that have rushed to contain the threat.

The synchronicity of those processor attack findings, argues security researcher and Harvard Belfer Center fellow Bruce Schneier, represents not just an isolated mystery but a policy lesson: When intelligence agencies like the NSA discover hackable vulnerabilities and exploit them in secret, they can't assume those bugs won't be rediscovered by other hackers in what the security industry calls a "bug collision."

Colorful Banners Reading ‘Nice To Meet You’ Rise Outside Apple’s First Korean Store Ahead Of Opening, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Ahead of the opening of Apple’s first ever retail location in South Korea, colorful new banners have been installed to cover the store’s glass entryway from prying eyes. When translated from Korean, the banners read “Nice to meet you.”


Putting Apple’s iMac Pro Through The Paces, by Oliver Peters

This shop has a mix of NLEs (Adobe, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic Design), but our primary tool is Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018. This gave me a chance to compare how these machines stacked up against each other in the kind of work we actually do.

Belkin Releases Wemo Hub With Apple HomeKit Support, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Belkin is releasing a new version of its Wemo smart home hub that allows its connected home system to integrate with Apple’s HomeKit. The new hub costs $40 and is going on sale today — it was originally announced early last year with a fall release window that came and went.

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Once upon a time, I've ate practically the same breakfast almost everyday for more than half a year.

Sometimes, I enjoy predictability.


Thanks for reading.

The Inexpensive-Replacement Edition Sunday, January 7, 2018

Run, Don’t Walk, To Replace Your iPhone Battery For $29, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Still, inexpensive battery replacement is the right thing for Apple to do. A good reputation is its best selling point in an era where smartphone features are reaching parity. Battery life is most people’s No. 1 complaint about their phones, and maintenance is a long-overdue part to smartphone ownership. When Apple makes repairing phones as easy buying new ones, it saves us money and it’s better for the environment.

Meltdown And Spectre Fixes Arrive—But Don't Solve Everything, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team and others initially believed that the only way to protect against Meltdown and Spectre would be total hardware replacement. The vulnerabilities impact fundamental aspects of how mainstream processors manage and silo data, and replacing them with chips that correct these flaws still may be the best bet for high-security environments. In general, though, replacing basically every processor ever simply isn't going to happen. CERT now recommends "apply updates" as the solution for Meltdown and Spectre.

As for those patches, well, some are here. Some are en route. And others may be a long time coming.

Behind The Scenes Of A Bug Collision, by Anders Fogh,

In this blog post I’ll speculate as to how we ended up with multiple researchers arriving at the same vulnerabilities in modern CPU’s concurrently. The conclusion is that the bug was ripe because of a years long build up of knowledge about CPU security, carried out by many research groups. I’ll also detail the rough story behind the research that let me to the bug. My story is probably different than that of the other researchers, but while unique I relatively sure that it’s the same for all researchers on most security issues: Security research is a long haul thing. This remainder of this blog post is semi technical.

The Demise Of Transmit And The Future Of Pro Level iOS Apps, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Software is the weak link right now on the iPad and iPhone and Apple should be doing everything it can to encourage the development of professional level apps.

The Plaza-Subsidy Edition Saturday, January 6, 2018

What's Wrong With This Australian Apple Store?, by Kriston Capps, CityLab

The whole reason for consolidating cultural institutions in a purposively designed (if funky and angular) civic square is to ensure their mutual success and their access for all. Apple, which is currently the largest public company in the world, does not need the public subsidy of a beautiful plaza to thrive. And as Melbourne residents have shown over the last 15 years, Federation Square doesn’t need an Apple Store to get by, either.

Track Hyper-Local Weather Conditions With The Netamo Weather Station, by John Voorhees, MacStories

If you enjoy the geeky data side of tracking the weather, there’s no better way satisfy that interest than by collecting measurements yourself with a weather station like the one made by Netatmo.

Panic To Discontinue Development Of Transmit iOS, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Panic has announced that it will remove Transmit iOS from the App Store soon. In a blog post today, Cabel Sasser explains that the revenue generated by the paid-up-front app was insufficient to justify its continued development.

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There are at least two paths to address the productivity-apps-not-suriving-on-iOS problem. One path, as many app developers are experimenting now, is to raise prices while doing a subscription model. I am not sure a FTP-app can move into that business model.

The other path is for Apple to make software development less labour-intensive, so that something like Transmit can be continously developed with less than half a developer. An unintented consequence, though, could be competition will drive the selling price down such that the business doesn't make sense again?


I don't think there are any public square here in Singapore.


Thanks for reading.

The Speculative-Execution Edition Friday, January 5, 2018

About Speculative Execution Vulnerabilities In ARM-based And Intel CPUs, by Apple

Security researchers have recently uncovered security issues known by two names, Meltdown and Spectre. These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time. Since exploiting many of these issues requires a malicious app to be loaded on your Mac or iOS device, we recommend downloading software only from trusted sources such as the App Store. Apple has already released mitigations in iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2 to help defend against Meltdown. Apple Watch is not affected by Meltdown. In the coming days we plan to release mitigations in Safari to help defend against Spectre. We continue to develop and test further mitigations for these issues and will release them in upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

The T2 Chip Makes The iMac Pro The Start Of A Mac Revolution, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I’ve spent the last week with Apple’s new iMac Pro, and in most ways it’s just a faster Mac. It's the first pro Mac desktop in over three years and the fastest Mac yet made, granted, but still entirely familiar. And yet in many ways—some noticeable, some entirely invisible—this new Mac is completely different from all past Mac models.

The iMac Pro may be an outlier today, but in the future we’ll probably look back on it as the start of a new era for the Mac, all because of the Apple-built T2 chip it carries inside. Here’s how the T2 makes this iMac Pro unlike all other Macs.

3 Reasons Apple Joined The Alliance For Open Media, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

Apple can now guarantee that its HEVC video streams are playable on its own devices, but it can’t guarantee that they’re playable on non-Apple devices — not every manufacturer is willing to pay HEVC licensing fees, or deal with the sort of messy licensing issues Microsoft encountered when adding HEVC to Windows 10. If Apple wanted its videos to enjoy the bandwidth-saving benefits of HEVC on non-HEVC devices, AV1 may be the only viable alternative.


AV1 could enable Apple to stream videos to Android devices, which aren’t currently supported by iTunes but do have access to Apple Music. If Apple’s going to launch a video subscription service, it’s likely going to want to reach Android users like it does with its music service. AV1 might be the smartest way to do so.

Apple Sues French Tax Activists Who Occupied Paris Store, by AFP

Apple has filed a lawsuit against the Attac activist group after about 100 of its supporters occupied the tech giant's flagship store in Paris last month, protesting alleged "wide-scale tax evasion" by the firm.

An Apple spokesman told AFP on Thursday that while it respected the group's right to expression, its recent actions had "put the security of our customers and employees at risk."


Remote Control A Mac From An iPhone Via Workflow, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Workflow is the tool we’ll use to trigger remote events on the Mac. You can have as many of these as you want, since each workflow can trigger a different event. I’ll show two examples, one of which is implemented as a share extension (so you can share a URL), the other of which runs from the Workflow widget in Notification Center.


This approach uses Noodlesoft’s [...] Hazel Hazel utility, which can act on files and folders automatically when they appear on your Mac. In this case, Hazel will be processing a file added to the Remote Scripts folder in Dropbox, so you’ll need to add that folder to Hazel’s Folders list and then make a new rule.


Chrome Is Turning Into The New Internet Explorer 6, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Chrome is now the most popular browser across all devices, thanks to Android’s popularity and the rise of Chrome on Windows PCs and Mac computers. As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox. While Google championed web standards that worked across many different browsers back in the early days of Chrome, more recently its own services often ignore standards and force people to use Chrome.

Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying "Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6" is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s.

The Meltdown-and-Spectre Edition Thursday, January 4, 2018

Researchers Discover Two Major Flaws In The World’s Computers, by Cade Metz, New York Times

The two problems, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to steal the entire memory contents of a computer. There is no easy fix for Spectre, which could require redesigning the processors, according to researchers. As for Meltdown, the software patch needed to fix the issue could slow down computers by as much as 30 percent — an ugly situation for people used to fast downloads from their favorite online services.


Microsoft, maker of the Windows operating system, and Apple, maker of the Mac operating system, will need to distribute software code that can patch the first flaw, the researchers said. The worldwide community of coders that oversees the open-source, Linux operating system, which runs about 30 percent of computer servers worldwide, has already posted a patch for that operating system.

These software patches could slow the performance of affected machines. Andres Freund, an independent software developer who has tested the new Linux code, said that the fix could slow performance 20 to 30 percent in some situations. The researchers who discovered the flaws voiced similar concerns.

Apple Has Already Partially Implemented Fix In macOS For 'KPTI' Intel CPU Security Flaw, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Multiple sources within Apple not authorized to speak on behalf of the company have confirmed to AppleInsider that there are routines in 10.3.2 to secure the flaw that could grant applications access to protected kernel memory data. These measures, coupled with existing programming requirements about kernel memory that Apple implemented over a decade appear to have mitigated most, if not all, of the security concerns associated with the flaw publicized on Tuesday.


Our sources, as well as Ionescu, say that there are more changes in the macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 —but both declined comment on what they may be, or what else is required to totally secure users.

What’s Behind The Intel Design Flaw Forcing Numerous Patches?, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

These rings are used to protect the kernel memory from user programs. The page tables aren't just mapping from virtual to physical addresses; they also contain metadata about those addresses, including information about which rings can access an address. The kernel's page table entries are all marked as only being accessible to ring 0; the program's entries are marked as being accessible from any ring. If an attempt is made to access ring 0 memory while in ring 3, the processor blocks the access and generates an exception. The result of this is that user programs, running in ring 3, should not be able to learn anything about the kernel and its ring 0 memory.

At least, that's the theory. The spate of patches and update show that somewhere this has broken down. This is where the big mystery lies.

Solving A Washed-Out Display Problem, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

I don’t expect that anyone would experience this exact problem, but if you feel like your screen is brighter or whiter than it should be, check the Accessibility preference pane to make sure the Display Contrast slider is all the way to the left. Also, it’s worth taking a spin through your keyboard shortcuts and disabling anything you don’t recognize so accidental keyboard presses don’t cause unexpected behavior.

The ‘App’ You Can’t Trash: How SIP Is Broken In High Sierra, by The Eclectic Light Company

Thus SIP prevents the user from uninstalling a third-party app which the user installed, even though the kernel extension might be rendering macOS unstable, or have other significant side-effects.

SEC Mixes Message On Apple Shareholder Proposals, Activists Say, by Ross Kerber, Reuters

Apple Inc was allowed to disregard one activist shareholder proposal on greenhouse gas emissions but told to hold a vote on another concerning human rights issues, in closely watched securities rulings that tested new guidance from U.S regulators.


SEC staff on Nov. 1 gave companies potentially more room to disregard shareholder proposals related to “ordinary business,” so that investors are not micro-managing executives. Apple quickly cited the new guidance.


Are There Any Good Portable MP3 Players For Blind And Visually Impaired People?, by Jack Schofield, The Guardian

The iPod Touch is the only surviving member of the iPod family, and it’s much like an iPhone without the phone. You might dismiss it for being a touchscreen player or, more likely, because it’s expensive at £199/£299 or $199/$299. However, it does have a number of features that may make it usable by blind and visually impaired users. These include the VoiceOver screen reader and Voice Control, which recognises command such as shuffle, pause and next song. See Apple’s help page, Use Accessibility features on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Better still, the latest iPod Touch has Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled digital assistant. Experiment with Siri on an iPad or iPhone to find out if you can operate an iPod Touch successfully.

Early Apple Park Design Concepts Shown In New Norman Foster Foundation Book, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Spaces, photographed by José Manuel Ballester, is a new publication detailing the walls of the Norman Foster Foundation. Fortunately, those walls happen to contain early architectural renders of designs considered for Apple’s new campus in Cupertino. The aerial images reveal a wide variety of shapes and building layouts, including clusters of small structures, a three blade “propeller,” and what almost resembles a spider.

Best Weather Apps For iPhone, by Lory Gil, iMore

There are hundreds of weather apps in the App Store. It's a very popular category. Sure, Apple's built-in weather app is a great option with nice graphics and animations and useful hourly forecasting. But, each person has a different idea of what makes a great weather app. Some want simplicity, while others want all the data. We've got a list of the best weather apps across a variety of styles. Which one is right for you?


Some Useful URL Schemes In Xcode 9, by Cocoa Engineering

Not many people know that Apple introduced some interesting automation capabilities in Xcode 9 via URL schemes. I sometimes use them, and as I didn’t see them publicized anywhere, I decided to document them in this blog post.

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Based on my layperson understanding of the Meltdown and Spectre issues, I don't think Apple would have totally avoided the security problems if they were making their own CPU. It seems to me the flaws discovered are in some fundamental design that Apple would have also designed in similar manner. These current issues alone should not be the motivation for Apple to switch away from Intel.

(Actually, I do believe Apple has already decided on their Mac roadmap for, I don't know, next five to ten years, and this incident will not change the decisions already made.)

(I don't think Apple has any plans, currently or previously, to stop producing Macintosh computers.)


Thanks for reading.

The Local-Access Edition Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Researcher Drops 15-year-old Zero-day That Affects All Mac OSes, by CSO Online

While the vulnerability is now in the wild, the bug is a local privilege escalation (LPE) flaw that can be exploited only if an attacker has local access to the Mac — or previously pwned the computer. However, exploiting it would give an attacker root access.

Some Apple Watch Users Are Reporting Unexpected Reboots Possibly Caused By ICU Equipment, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The common thread appears to be using the Apple Watch in the intensive care unit of some hospitals. This suggests there may be specific ICU-related equipment used in hospitals that could be interfering with Apple Watch Series 3 with or without cellular.

Apple's Warranty Coverage Check Website Now Demands Apple ID For Access, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple is now asking visitors to to enter their Apple ID for verification, where previously they just needed to enter a device's serial number or IMEI, causing problems for second-hand buyers.

Apple’s “Rare” Apologies Aren’t As Rare As They Used To Be, by Will Oremus, Slate

It’s true that Apple’s apologies under Jobs tended to come grudgingly. Still, he did say he was sorry on multiple occasions over the course of his tenure—including, eventually, to customers affected by the iPhone 4’s antenna problems.

And in the six years since Jobs’ death, Apple has struck a more conciliatory stance, apologizing at least a half-dozen times for various snafus. Three of those, including the Batterygate letter, have come in 2017 alone.


Regardless, the next time Apple apologizes, we should probably think twice before calling it “rare.”


Review: Modsy – The (Relatively) Affordable AR-inspired Alternative To Your Own Interior Design Consultant, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The emphasis is on making the process as easy as possible for you, while still coming up with designs and product suggestions which will be a good match for your tastes – and allowing you to adapt them as you wish.


Apple Buys App Development Service Buddybuild, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The iPhone giant has now acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver-based app tools startup that describes itself as “mobile iteration platform” focused on continuous integration and debugging tools — essentially giving an app development team a simple workflow for iterating and pushing their apps out into the world through GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab.


As part of the acquisition, Buddybuild will be rolled into Xcode, Apple’s suite of development tools for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, although Apple and Buddybuild have not given a specific timeline of when that will happen.

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For some reason that is unknown to me, I've learn to write the sentence-containing-the-entire-alphabet as "The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog." I prefer this version, with that redundant 'red', because I enjoy the symmetry.


My day job has mostly turned from one which involves making stuff to one making sure stuff still works. My night hobbies nowadays mostly involve consuming stuff. I guess I need to make a change so that I can be happy again. Therefore, my resolution is about making more stuff -- even if no one else sees these stuff.

The first question that need to be answered by me: what stuff?


Thanks for reading.

The Without-Further-Checks Edition Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apple Clarifies That All iPhone 6 And Later Devices Are Eligible For $29 Battery Replacements, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has clarified its policy on battery replacements. As long as the owner of the iPhone 6 (or later) handset is willing to pay the $29 fee, and the device is not otherwise damaged, Apple will process the repair without requiring further checks of condition.

Augmented Reality On The Rise In Silicon Valley, by Seung Lee, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yet in the increasingly crowded race to build the first popular AR headset, Apple is best positioned for two reasons, said Bajarin: Its enormous developer community gives Apple an edge in producing apps and content for its developing headset, and it has a track record of making sophisticated technology — like wearables — commercially attractive.


“We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said about AR glasses in an October interview with British newspaper The Independent. “But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with.”

What Apple’s New Office Chairs Reveal About Work In 2018, by Cliff Kuang, Fast Company

Barber and Osgerby first began thinking about a chair such as the Pacific while designing interiors for the first Ace Hotel in London, which opened in 2013. “In America, people were already starting to work everywhere with their laptops and coffee,” recalls Ed Barber. “But in Britain, it was alien to be designing this lobby for people to work in even if they weren’t staying the hotel.” Moreover, the offices at companies such as Uber and Airbnb were far more similar to the Ace Hotel than they were to the Seagram Building. So when Vitra came asking for ideas about the future of work, Barber and Osgerby argued that if work spaces were coming to resemble living rooms, then work furniture had to take on an entirely new look. “To get the best people you have to have an environment with less formality,” says Osgerby.


The Appy Wanderer: Smartphone Walking In Our Cities' Green Spaces, by Alan Franks, The Guardian

The business of social walking is setting off into a largely unexplored area of navigation. A community-based group in the wooded hinterlands of south-east London has developed a system in which the conventional map of coloured lines and contour patterns has been replaced by photographs of the way ahead.

An app created for the purpose leads walkers from starting point to finish by means of a chain of photos, each image taking over from where the previous one leaves off. This means that in a stroll of, say, two hours, there will be between 20 and 40 guiding pictures. The group is called Go Jauntly and it is run by Hana Sutch and Steve Johnson, both of whom have careers in interactive design; more importantly, both have young children, whose energy and curiosity they wanted to channel into an exploration of the outdoor world.

7-minute Workout Apps: I Tried 30, Here Are The Best, by Jennifer Jolly, USA Today

The best 7-minute workouts on the planet are the ones you’ll actually do. This is what I know for sure after testing out more than 30 of them over the past few months. That and yes, they really do work. Adding in short blasts of high intensity interval (HIIT) training consisting of various strength, cardio, core, and flexibility exercises whenever I have a spare seven minutes in my day, have helped me get stronger, leaner, faster, and to feel better overall.

My favorites are all free, though you can subscribe for more features to most of them as well. But free works just fine. They’re all available on iOS and Android (except for one). They’re all built around the science-based concept of high-intensity circuit training using body weight, so you don’t need any fancy equipment. I’ve done these in hotel rooms, my office, parks, and even in a quiet corner at the airport waiting to get on a plane.

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Should I just do a battery replacement for my brand new iPhone X before the end of 2018, just for the heck of it?


I was thinking I do not need an Apple Watch when it was announced. I do already trimmed a lot of notifications out of my iPhone, and I didn't think I need a watch to read the remaining few notifications. I also did not need to transmit my heartbeats to anybody.

Then, Apple moved into the health and medical space, and kept on improving these aspects of the Apple Watch. As I am getting older (and nearer to events that can lead to my death), suddenly the Apple Watch starts to look like something I do need.

Today, I am thinking I do not need the HomePod.

Most of the audio programmes that I do listen are spoken words: podcasts, audiobooks, and BBC Radio 4. And these programmes do sound perfectly fine to my old ears when played on my iPhone's speakers at my desk. I do not need a speaker that promises great audio, because I don't listen to programmes that need great audio.

(I do listen to Apple Music and BBC Radio 3 occasionally, though.)

The Siri aspect of HomePod doesn't sound appealing to me too. Of course, I am basing this opinion partly on the performance of Siri on my iPhone, which isn't great. Also, many of the apps that I do use -- Audible, Downcast, BBC iPlayer -- are not supported in Siri-land. How much better can Siri in HomePod be than in iPhone?

I do wonder: what can Apple do to evolve the HomePod in the future?

A better Siri is the obvious route. But I have my doubts. (The few years of evolution of Siri on iPhone didn't do much for me.) Maybe Apple will hit a point where Siri turned useful for me. Or maybe a talking-and-listening personal assistance is never going to be compatible with how I use computers?


Thanks for reading.

The Happy-New-Year Edition Monday, January 1, 2018

Apple Watch Celebrates The New Year With Fireworks On The Clock Face, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

To watch the fireworks play again, tap the Happy New Year notification in the Notification Center.

Pythonista 3.2 Syncs Scripts With iCloud, Supports Open-in-Place Via iOS 11’s Files App, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Pythonista now supports the iPhone X and drag and drop for importing scripts, but, even better, the app can open scripts and edit them in-place (saving changes back to the original location) just by opening them with the built-in Files picker.

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To ring in the new year, I was watching the new season of Black Mirror. And was pleasantly surprised when the credits for the second episode started up.


Thanks for reading.