Archive for July 2018

The Holding-a-Bomb Edition Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Explosive Race To Totally Reinvent The Smartphone Battery, by Amit Katwala, Wired

If you’re reading this on your smartphone, you’re holding a bomb. Beneath a protective screen, lithium – a metal so volatile that it can ignite on contact with water – is being taken apart and reassembled in the intense chemical reaction that powers much of the modern world.

Lithium is in our phones and tablets, our laptops and smartwatches. It’s in our e-cigarettes and our electric cars. It is light, soft and energy dense, which makes it perfect for portable electronics. But, as consumer technology has grown more powerful, lithium-ion batteries have struggled to keep up. And now, just as the world has been gripped by its addiction to lithium, researchers around the world are scrambling to reinvent the batteries powering our world.

Hands On: Setapp's Continuing Attempt To Change The Way We All Pay For Mac Apps, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The collection is like any bundle, albeit a large one. There are headline apps that make you want to subscribe immediately. There are others that you hadn't heard of but turn out to be really useful.

Then there are others that are good but you know they're not best-in-class. There's a To Do app called 2Do, for instance, which is good but it isn't Things or OmniFocus.

WhatsApp For iOS Gains Group Calling For Voice And Video, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

WhatsApp users can make group calls with up to four people total by starting a one-on-one voice or video call and then tapping the "add participant" button in the top right corner of the app to add another contact to the call.

First Swift Certification Program With Apple's Blessing To Launch In The Fall, by Stephen Silver, AppleInsider

Two years after it brought Swift to students for the first time with Everyone Can Code, Apple has teamed up with IT certification firm Certiport to launch App Development with Swift, a new certification program for the secondary and collegiate market. Apple engineers and educators created the program in collaboration with Certiport.

Apple Sends Letter To Cupertino Council On Eve Of Employer Tax Vote, by Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

On Monday, the council received a letter from Apple vice president Kristina Raspe touting the company’s investments in the city, including sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, and a commitment that Apple would continue to work with Cupertino and other regional partners to improve transportation. The letter came on the eve of a council vote on whether to put on the ballot a measure that would tax large employers based on their number of employees. The money would go toward efforts such as reducing traffic congestion.

The Trade-Offs Edition Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 MacBook Pro Impressions, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

So, all in all, my new MacBook Pro is fast and hopefully more reliable than the ones before it. It still has the trade-offs that have defined this generation of Mac notebooks, but three years in, I think it’s time we all accept that this is how MacBook Pros are now, and for me, getting to use macOS on the road is well worth the cost.

Why Did iCloud Delete All Of My Photos?, by David Murphy, Lifehacker

What makes Apple’s iCloud treatment confusing isn’t anything Apple has done. Rather, it’s the fact that many cloud services—like Google Photos, for example—treat photo synchronization differently. That’s to be expected, but I think a number of people assume that each service does the same thing. They don’t.

My iPhone Changed My Password And Locked Me Out., by Perla Shaheen, CNET

Two days before the lock-out incident, I remembered starting the process of putting my corporate email on my phone, but I was never actually successful. My inbox is still all-personal, all the time.

Regardless, I wanted to look into the possibility, and went down to our friendly IT team to hear more about it. They explained that while signing in, right after you type in your email and password, the first pop up will immediately prompt you to change your phone passcode from four to six digits. The trust certificate comes after -- meaning the passcode change on my iPhone takes precedence over everything else.


What’s The Best Weather App For iPhone?, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

For me, it comes down to two apps: Dark Sky and Carrot Weather. Both are great.

Getting The Most From OneNote, Part I: A Hidden Office Gem, by Mary Branscombe, TechRepublic

Individual notes live in the sections of a notebook; you can have multiple sections in multiple notebooks that you keep private or share with colleagues and sync across devices. You can open a notebook that someone else has shared with you and have it fully synced on your own device, making it easy to collaborate. As you can rename and move all of these, you don't need to get the perfect structure straight away. Instead, the first step of making OneNote useful is to put as much information that you might need later as possible in there, so that you can search for it.


The Healthiest People In The World Don’t Go To The Gym, by Andrew Merle, Medium

You don’t need to lift heavy weights or grind through high intensity interval workouts to live a long and healthy life.

Simple, natural movement can be even more impactful.


Watch Tim Cook Address LGBT Community At LoveLoud Festival, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Tim Cook made an appearance at Utah’s 2018 LoveLoud festival over the weekend, sharing a few thoughts with the crowd before introducing the band Imagine Dragons.

LoveLoud is a music festival celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. During his tenure as Apple CEO, Tim Cook has been a proud and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

A Spectre Is Haunting Unicode, by Paul McCann, Dampfkraft

By interviewing the catalogers involved in the creation of the standard, the investigators established that some characters were inadvertently invented as mistakes in the cataloging process. For example, 妛 was an error introduced while trying to record "山 over 女". "山 over 女" occurs in the name of a particular place and was thus suitable for inclusion in the JIS standard, but because they couldn't print it as one character yet, 山 and 女 were printed separately, cut out, and pasted onto a sheet of paper, and then copied. When reading the copy, the line where the two little pieces of paper met looked like a stroke and was added to the character by mistake.

The Packed-With-Features Edition Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Runner’s Guide To The Apple Watch, by Vanessa Hand Orellana, CNET

Whether you're a seasoned runner training for your race, or just getting started on your jogging journey, the Apple Watch can help get you there.

Though not a designated running watch, the Apple Watch is packed with features to help you log miles and keep you motivated while you run. You just need to know how to find them.

Here are a few tips to make your Apple Watch a better running buddy.

A Month With iOS 12 Beta: These 2 Features Changed Everything, by Jason Snell, Tom's Guide

iOS devices have been as powerful as traditional PCs for a few years now, but the mobile operating systems have limited the ability for users to maximize their full potential. Tools like Shortcuts begin to allow more dedicated users to truly harness that power. It's exciting, and I think it's going to be a big boost for iOS productivity.


Apple Shows Off HomePod In New Apple Music Ad With DJ Khaled, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

To celebrate and promote the release of his new single “No Brainer,” DJ Khaled is appearing in a new advertisement from Apple. In the ad, Apple shows off Apple Music, while the HomePod also makes a few appearances.

How Indie Audio Companies Are Pulling Out All The Stops To Compete Against Amazon, Apple, by Ariel Shapiro, CNBC

The product landscape — and the dominance of the bigger brands — means that independent audio product makers have their work cut out for them in trying to generate sales and forge loyalty with consumers. Recently, CNBC spoke with a few of these smaller brands, to get an idea of how they persuade buyers to ditch audio products made by big technology competitors.

Autodesk Dropping Support For Alias And VRED In macOS Mojave Over OpenGL Deprecation, by Stephen Silver, AppleInsider

Autodesk has published a support document announcing that it is stopping development of its Alias and VRED vertical market packages, and that older versions will not work on Mojave due to Apple's OpenGL deprecation.


Is COBOL Holding You Hostage With Math?, by Marianne Bellotti, Medium

So when considering why so much of our society still runs on COBOL, one needs to realize that the task of rebuilding an application is not the same as the task of building it. The original programmers had the luxury of gradual adoption. Applications tend to pushed out towards the limits of what their technologies can support. The dilemma with migrating COBOL is not that you are migrating from one language to another, but that you are migrating from one paradigm to another.


How Facial Recognition Will Change Your Face, by Colin Horgan, Medium

What does a facial recognition camera “see” when it spots our face amongst all the others? How does it know who’s looking at it — or who it’s looking at? The answer is that it essentially does to each of us what Fabre did to himself. It considers our face, and by extension us, as pure data. Under the gaze of a facial recognition camera, we are not ourselves; we are digital renderings of ourselves.

What does all this mean for our face?

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I hope that all my favorite apps on my iPhone will support Shortcuts quickly.


The problem with the current Mac lineup from Apple, I feel, is not that there is nothing worth getting. No, in most cases, the computers are quite good. And macOS is still excellent.

The problem is that if you buy a Mac today, you have to understand what you are getting into.


Thanks for reading.

The True-Realization Edition Saturday, July 28, 2018

Re-testing The MacBook Pro: Apple’s Firmware Update Led To A Big Improvement, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

We performed many more tests, and they all told exactly the same story—behavior is now normal and as advertised in the vast majority of cases, but some extreme scenarios involving both the CPU and GPU still lead to throttling. Still, we found much more consistent clocks than before the update.

2018 13-inch MacBook Pro Review: Apple's Lofty Promises Are Finally Realized, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

The true realization of Apple's ultra-thin, ultra-powerful professional-grade notebook has finally arrived, elevated to greatness by the maturation of USB-C, the fixing of a flawed keyboard, and the polish of an increasingly versatile macOS platform.


Hands On: Designing Websites With Sparkle, The Spiritual Successor To iWeb, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

You won't use this tool if you're already a die-hard fan of Adobe Dreamweaver. Yet the differences between this and more pro tools are often slight and the speed of trying out ideas in it is compelling.

Microsoft Edge Rolls Out Intelligent Visual Search For iPhone And iPad, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Visual search lets you quickly snap a photo or choose one from your camera roll, then search the internet for information based on whatever you snapped. Microsoft is talking up the feature's usefulness for shopping, helping to track down items of clothing, for example, that you like.


Why I’m Deleting All My Old Tweets, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

It's especially easy for trolls to weaponize old tweets and use them against their enemies because of the nature of the platform itself: Once tweets have been sent, they exist out of context. There’s no way to easily tell, when looking back at someone’s timeline from years ago, what jokes were trending, what the national mood was like, what everyone was faux-outraged by. Twitter is a reaction to stimulus. Once that stimulus is gone, though, the tweets linger, like a too-loud laugh at a joke no one else heard. What was funny? Who knows. We’re all going to die anyway.

But I’ve always assumed one day I might want to go back and check out my old tweets. Or, rather, I’ve assumed one day I might need to. There always seemed some hypothetical scenario where I may really need to know what exactly I had tweeted in, say, June of 2012. That day has never arrived. So who am I keeping my tweets around for?

The Death Of Don Draper, by Ian Leslie, NewStatesman

In 2016, Facebook in effect charged the Trump campaign lower rates than the Clinton campaign, because Trump’s ads made people angrier and thus generated more clicks. Nobody took a decision to charge Trump less. It was the logical outcome of the ad business’s core principle: the more attention you win, the more you get paid. Since negative emotions are more likely to win and hold attention than positive emotions, the system has an incentive to spread fear and loathing. Russia’s entire propaganda campaign relies on an advertising model that rewards paranoia and spite.

Meanwhile, we stoop over our phones when we should be doing almost anything else. A senior analyst at the Bank of England recently published an article making a case that one of the causes of Britain’s poor productivity is the spread of smartphones. A comprehensive US study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, identified a strong association between social media use and depression. It’s not just Facebook: every app on your phone is engineered to hook and hold your attention, at the expense of your work, sleep, family and mental health. Every app with ads, that is.

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So, the latest rumors indicate that the upcoming 2018 iPad Pros are going to feature smart connectors at the bottom of the screen in portrait mode, since FaceID doesn't work with the iPad in landscape mode.

And if this is true, that means we will get one hell of an orgami smart keyboard.


iPad Pros, or iPads Pro?


Thanks for reading.

The Embracing-The-Unique Edition Friday, July 27, 2018

The iPad Vs. Mac Juxtaposition, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

The fact that Apple gave such dramatically different Mac and iPad ad campaigns the green light provides clarity regarding management's approach to the two product categories. Apple has become comfortable in accepting, and even embracing, the awkwardness that exists between the iPad and Mac. Apple isn't trying to hide the differences that exist between the Mac and iPad as creation platforms. Instead, Apple is embracing the unique attributes found with each platform.

Apple's Newest MacBook Pro Is Fast But Flawed, by Brendan Nystedt, Wired

When you spend a ton of cold, hard, cash on something, you should get everything you need. Unfortunately, Mac users can only buy hardware from one source—Apple. Apple's made a lot of noise lately about taking the needs of pros seriously. But I’ve used this finished product for a while and have to wonder about that. Because, if you let creative professionals design the 2018 MacBook Pro, I think it'd look a whole lot different than it does right now. I think it would be more modular, have a higher-res screen, a normal keyboard without a superfluous Touch Bar, and a wider array of useful ports.

But the trackpad, that can stay. That part they got right.

Photos: Apple Celebrates Grand Opening Of Piazza Liberty Store In Milan, Italy, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Against a sparkling backdrop of soaring fountain jets, Apple today welcomed the public for the first time to its global flagship retail store and amphitheater in Milan, Italy’s Piazza Liberty. The store is Apple’s 17th in Italy, but one of the first in a series of significant next-generation retail projects around the world.

Apple Will Repair iPhones, iPads And Macs Damaged By Japanese Floods For Free, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In a support article posted overnight, Apple announced that it will repair any iPhones, Macs, iPads and iPods that were directly damaged by the devastating heavy floods that swept through Japan this month. Apple expressed its sympathies for anyone who was affected by the flooding, which has tragically caused hundreds of deaths.


Apple Store App For iOS Gains Voice Search, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The new version of the app features a redesigned look for the search section, with both search suggestions and support for voice-based searches.

Hands On: BBEdit 12 Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Text Editors For The Mac, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The more of a programmer's kind of brain that you have, the more you will get from this app but the sheer range and power of its tools is compelling.

The 5 Best Stargazing Apps For iPhone And Android, by Josie Rhodes Cook, Yahoo

Mars will be brighter in the sky than usual on Friday, brighter than it has appeared in 15 years. To see the red planet, you’ll want a stargazing app that can help you to view “Mars at opposition,” the term of what occurs when Mars and the Sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth.

Friday, July 27 also marks a full moon and a total lunar eclipse. Stargazing is great year-round, but Friday is maybe the best night of 2018 to go outside and look up.

If you don’t have a high-powered telescope, you can at least know where to look. With augmented reality technology and a smartphone — plus a few bucks for a premium app — you can get the most out of your stargazing experience.

KeyCue 9.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update provides a new Emoji picker for quickly selecting emoji characters and a new folder view for quick activation of items in a folder.


She Believes In Girls Who Code – So Much That She Left Apple To Come Home And Help Them, by Sherrell Dorsey, Charlotte Observer

Inside a classroom at Johnson C. Smith University on a hot July day last summer, 25 middle-school girls gathered to launch what would be their first technology product: a website, built from scratch, that would help visitors learn more about a social issue like homelessness or youth unemployment.

Over the course of a five-day camp, the aspiring technologists had huddled around computer screens learning HTML programming and mobile app development. They had shared lunch with women in tech who told tales of their academic pursuits and how they landed jobs in the field. And they had gotten a glimpse of a day in the life of a technologist as they took tours of big-brand tech companies like Microsoft and Google Fiber.

By the second day, several students approached Khalia Braswell in earnest, asking: When can we sign up for the next camp?


How Software Ate The Point Of Sale, by Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

The act of paying for stuff is undergoing a great transformation. The networks of machines and code that let you move your imaginary money from your bank account to a merchant are changing—the gadget that takes your card, the computer that tracks a restaurant or store’s inventory, the cards themselves (or their dematerialized abstractions inside your phone). But all this newness must remain compatible with systems that were designed 50 years ago, at the dawn of the credit-card age. This combination of old and new systems, janky and hacky and functional, is the standard state of affairs for technology, despite the many myths about how the world changes in vast leaps and revolutions.

If some areas of financial technology, or Fintech, promise a new elegance, the point of sale serves as a reminder of the viscosity of the everyday technologies on which most Americans rely. If you want to divine the future of transportation, you’d probably learn more thinking about the bus than the rocket. If you want to know how money is gonna change in the future, you need to look at the cash register as much as the blockchain.

“General Magic” Captures The Legendary Apple Offshoot That Foresaw The Mobile Revolution, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

The story of General Magic, a mobile computing company that grew out of Apple in 1990, is buried deep in Silicon Valley lore. At least it was, until some smart documentarians–Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish, and Michael Stern—unearthed it in a new documentary called General Magic.

General Magic, the company, is remarkable, and worth remembering because back in the last decade of the 20th century its people were envisioning the major components of the mobile computing experience that we all know today.

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Who is the worse offender, Apple or Microsoft, in having a first-party app that doesn't follow the platform's user-interface guidelines?

I vote Microsoft, as I use the Office suite of products on Windows 10 every work day.

Especially Excel.


Thanks for reading.

The Far-Larger Edition Thursday, July 26, 2018

‘The Mobile Industry’s Never Seen Anything Like This’: An Interview With Steve Jobs At The App Store’s Launch, by Wall Street Journal

Shortly after the App Store opened for business a decade ago, Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs was thrilled to have paid just $21 million to developers in the first 30 days after its launch. In early August 2008, he invited Nick Wingfield, then a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, to the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., for an on-the-record interview.

In the interview, which Mr. Jobs allowed to be recorded, the Apple chief predicted that the mobile business could one day become far larger—forecasts that, in hindsight, were not bold enough.

The Secret Call To Andy Grove That May Have Helped Steve Jobs Change The World, by Chris MacAskill, Cake

Here’s how I’ve remembered Gil’s answer over the years: “Great question, we had big internal debates about that. A lot of people at Apple were afraid of Steve and Jean-Louis had many supporters. Be OS was very respected. In the end it came down to NeXT already supporting Intel and that was important to us.”

I remember thinking, oh my God. Steve, you owe me.

Selling Stuff in Broad Daylight

Apple’s Retail Challenge: An Increasingly Complex Relationship With Public Spaces, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

With more people shopping online than ever before, the success of the town square strategy is critical to Apple’s continued relevance in a changing space where other well established brands have struggled. Yet even for Apple, the road hasn’t been without bumps. The push to move closer to the hearts of communities is increasingly met with skepticism and even hostility from residents. Apple is faced with a significant and growing long-term challenge that it will need to tackle in order to fully realize its retail strategy.

Apple Store Robberies: How Thieves Are Getting Away In Broad Daylight, by Abrar Al-Heeti, CNET

Apple prides itself on its stores' open spaces and designs, and the entrances for many mall locations are pretty expansive. The goal undoubtedly is to lure people in, but all these robberies suggest that might be backfiring.

Apple Needs To Publicize Its Store Device Security Measures To Deter Robberies, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

There’s something quite satisfying about the idea of these thieves thinking they’ve just snagged tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment only to discover that what they actually have is a pile of junk. Or, at best, something they have to break for parts – an expertise they are unlikely to possess. But it would be far better to prevent the thefts in the first place.


Apple Touts iPhone Gaming Performance In New Ad, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Named ‘Unleash’, this ad shows a young man walking down the streets of a Chinese city filled with Mobike and Ofo bikes. He’s playing a game on his phone, receiving text messages and watching a live stream on YouTube Gaming.

The game quickly becomes bigger than his phone. He fights monsters and virtual characters in the real world. The tagline says “Unleash a more powerful you”.

Hands On: Timing 2 Tracks Your Billable Hours And Facebook Use On The Mac, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Whether you use Timing 2 on your Mac to account for you time to clients or just to see where your week goes, Timing is a first-class tool —and even motivational.

Vellum 2.2 Review: Making eBooks (And Print Books) Effortless, by Nathan Alderman, iMore

Vellum and its creators seem to understand my frustration and that of would-be authors like me. Judging by my experience using Vellum, they've found nearly every obstacle in the ebook creation process, and just … made them vanish.


Apple’s Search Ads Expand To Six More Markets In Europe And Asia, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Developers in the newly supported countries will be able to create campaigns using Search Ads Advanced starting on July 25, 2018 at 4 PM PDT, with those campaigns appearing on the App Store starting August 1, 2018 at 4 PM PDT.

I Know What You Did Last Month: A New Artifact Of Execution On macOS 10.13, by Kshitij Kumar and Jai Musunuri, Crowdstrike

Analysts that perform macOS forensics have had few, if any, artifacts of program execution to rely on during investigations — until now. In macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), Apple introduced CoreAnalytics, which is a system diagnostics mechanism that maintains a record of Mach-O programs that have executed on a system over approximately one month. CoreAnalytics can serve a number of valuable analytical purposes for both insider threat investigations and incident response.


Apple Will Drop Qualcomm Modems In Next iPhone, Qualcomm Says, by Chloe Aiello, CNBC

On a call with investors following a solid earnings beat, Qualcomm CFO George Davis said the company fully expects Apple to dump Qualcomm in favor of "competitors' modems" for its next product launch.

"We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitors’ modems, rather than our modems in its next iPhone release," Davis said. "We will continue to provide modems for Apple legacy devices."

The Digital-Key Edition Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Apple Releases Software Fix For MacBook Pro Slowdown, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Apple’s own internal performance testing hadn’t triggered the issue, which turns out to not be app specific—Premiere, you’re out of the penalty box—and tends to affect heavy workloads that take place over an extended period of time.

The good news is, this doesn’t appear to be evidence that Apple’s laptop design is incapable of handling fast chips, but that someone at Apple had a bad day and failed to include a specific digital key that caused a cascade of bad behaviors in some very specific circumstances.

Tested: Apple's Patch Fixes The Thermal Slowdowns In The 2018 I9 MacBook Pro, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

After several back-to-back tests, keeping the processors warm and the fans running, we were able to regularly get impressive scores of up to 916. Using Intel Power Gadget, we clocked the processor speed averaging around 2.3Ghz and 2.6GHz, almost exactly what we were getting with the i9.

Apple’s T2 Chip May Be Causing Issues In iMac Pro And 2018 MacBook Pros, by Kevin Parrish, Yahoo

Many iMac Pro owners have reportedly suffered numerous kernel panics — the MacOS version of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death in Windows — since they hit the market at the end of 2017. You can find a handful of threads on Apple’s community forums, including this one, detailing the trials and tribulations customers are experiencing with their expensive iMac Pros and Apple support. The problems apparently reside in the new MacBook Pro laptops, too.

Of all the error messages uploaded to these threads, there is one detail they seem to share: Bridge OS. This is an embedded operating system used by Apple’s stand-alone T2 security chip, which provides the iMac Pro with a secure boot, encrypted storage, live “Hey Siri” commands, and so on. It’s now included in the new 2018 models of the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Many Bluetooth Implementations And OS Drivers Affected By Crypto Bug, by Catalin Cimpanu, Bleeping Computer

This bug occurs because Bluetooth-capable devices do not sufficiently validate encryption parameters used during "secure" Bluetooth connections. More precisely, pairing devices do not sufficiently validate elliptic curve parameters used to generate public keys during a Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

This results in a weak pairing that may allow a remote attacker to obtain the encryption key used by a device and recover data sent between two devices paired in a "secure" Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth Security Flaw Requires Updating To Recent iOS, macOS Versions, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

They were contained in late-May’s iOS 11.4 and in early-June’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.5. Anyone who’s on a more recent version of either operating system is also protected.

Text Adventure Plus Graphics

Two Histories Of Myst – Picking Up The Pieces, by John Gabriel Adkins, Medium

“Virtual reality” today is cynical Silicon Valley marketing-speak; in 1991, when Myst began development, it was an overpoweringly real and present necessity. Computers were magic in the 1970s, ’80s and ‘90s. They were expensive, foreign, mysterious, Narnia-esque portals to other worlds: their true nature and potential were unknown, unmapped even by their own engineers. People craved virtual reality. The Infocom text adventures — each one a vast computer-world — saw incredible commercial success, even on the Macintosh. So much success, in fact, that their DOS-style command-line interfaces became a threat to the Macintosh brand.

The key to understanding Myst is this juxtaposition. It’s the glorious strangeness of Macintosh outsider art matched with the highest ideals of Zork. Fundamentally, right down to the way it requires the player to draw maps and take notes on physical paper, Myst is a text adventure plus graphics. But this design framework was run through the anti-game aesthetic of Mac development. The Millers didn’t want to make a game; they didn’t even have a demographic in mind, beyond themselves and the many others who didn’t care much for games.³ It was this magic mix that carried Myst into millions of lives, that sparked a gold rush and, ultimately, that made it the game industry’s favorite scapegoat and whipping boy for over two decades.


What APFS Does For You, And What You Can Do With APFS, by Jeff Carlson, TidBITS

APFS offers a few notable advantages that occur automatically and some useful things you can do directly.

A Review Of The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

Remapping keys aside, I have finally found the keyboard to end all keyboards. The Surface Ergonomic keyboard spent an hour on my desk before I re-boxxed the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad to be sold.

I’ve hammered out this review in less than 45 minutes and not once have I felt sore fingertips from bottoming out at the bottom of a keystroke or sore wrists from them rubbing on the desk on awkward pressure points. I also don’t have any sweat on my wrists, as I assume they’ve been whisked dry by the Alcantara base.

Harry Potter Kit Lets Your Kid Build A Wand And Learn Coding, by Maggie Tillman, Pocket Lint

With this coding kit, Harry Potter fans can follow step-by-step instructions in order to build a wand, which includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer so that it can track location, speed, and the position of a hand.


Big Tech Warns Of 'Japan's Millennium Bug' Ahead Of Akihito's Abdication, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

The Japanese calendar counts up from the coronation of a new emperor, using not the name of the emperor, but the name of the era they herald. Akihito’s coronation in January 1989 marked the beginning of the Heisei era, and the end of the Shōwa era that preceded him; and Naruhito’s coronation will itself mark another new era.

But that brings problems. For one, Akihito has been on the throne for almost the entirety of the information age, meaning that many systems have never had to deal with a switchover in era. For another, the official name of Naruhito’s era has yet to be announced, causing concern for diary publishers, calendar printers and international standards bodies.


The Rapidly Growing Business Case For Apple’s ARKit, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

It’s ever so easy to become a little blinkered around AR experiences, thinking of them only as entertainment experiences that may be of use in certain specific situations.

That would be a shame, as I hope these examples show.

Why The iPhone Can’t Compete In India, by Kunal Dua, The Verge

The biggest reason for Apple’s struggle in India is that its handsets are priced for the very top of the market, while the vast majority of Indian users buy cheaper devices. Apple’s flagship 256GB iPhone X is priced in India at Rs. 1,08,930, or roughly $1,600, while the average smartphone retails at roughly one-tenth the price. According to Counterpoint Research, the “premium smartphone market” — phones that cost Rs. 30,000, or roughly $450 — contributes to just 4 percent of the overall smartphone sales in India.

Was It Ethical For Dropbox To Share Customer Data With Scientists?, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

“What’s the secret to a high-performing team? A star player? Veteran experience? In a joint study by Dropbox and the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), we set out to answer questions like these,” Hinds wrote in the Dropbox blog post Friday. But academics like Fiesler and Brudy have different questions. They wonder who had access to this data, and for how long. What kinds of Dropbox accounts were affected—paid or free? Are there other studies in the works like this? Will this research be submitted for a peer review? Those answers matter for the scientists at more than 6,000 universities who use Dropbox.

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I don't understand this Macbook Pro bug.

But it does reinforce the idea (to me, at least) that so many things can go wrong in making a computer nowadays that it's a wonder that thing is even working at all.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Libertarian Edition Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Political Education Of Silicon Valley, by Steven Johnson, Wired

But when you investigate the actual values held by the tech sector, the narrative of tech’s steady leftward march gets much more complicated—and intriguing. A widely discussed 2017 study conducted by Stanford political economists David Broockman and Neil Malhotra, collaborating with technology journalist Greg Ferenstein, surveyed the political values of more than 600 tech company founders and CEOs—the elite of the tech elite. The top-line finding was, unsurprising by now, that Silicon Valley is not libertarian. The founders they surveyed were less likely than even Democrats to embrace the core expression of the libertarian worldview—that government should provide military and police protection and otherwise leave people alone to enrich themselves. They expressed overwhelming support for higher taxes on the wealthy and for universal health care. But in other ways they deviated from progressive orthodoxy. They were far more likely to emphasize the positive impact of entrepreneurial activity than progressives and had dim views of government regulation and labor unions that were closer to that of your average Republican donor than Democratic partisan.

We Compared Moment, The App That Gives Your Phone Camera DSLR-like Controls, To Apple's Native Camera App — Here's How They Stack Up, by Sean Wolfe, BusinessInsider

Moment definitely gives you more control over how your final shot turns out — but that also requires more work on your end. The ability to shoot in RAW could be a deal changer for photographers who also shoot on their iPhone, but want the same image-editing capabilities that come with shooting on RAW on a DSLR.

Hands On: Highland 2 For macOS Wants To Be The Sole Tool For Screenwriters, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

If you write a script in a word processor, you will constantly be distracted from what you're trying to create as you also try to get Word's margins to behave. Highland 2 wants you to leave all this necessary formatting to it while you get on with the writing.

For News Publishers, Smart Speakers Are The Hot New Platform, by Lucia Moses, Digiday

Early on, getting content on voice assistants was mainly the job of the product people. Just like with TV and the internet before it, media companies just took their existing news and information and put it on voice assistants with minimal reformatting. But now that publishers are getting more interested in making sure they have a unique voice and proposition on the devices, they’re adding editorial-side resources, too.

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Somehow, last evening, I've decided that I enjoyed listening to podcasts from BBC much more than podcasts from NPR. I have no idea why.

And, yes, I've refreshed my podcast subscription list.


And I've accidentally deleted a playlist in iTunes. Thank goodness for backups. Although restoring just a playlist from backup into iTunes is not the most intuitive thing to do.


Thanks for reading.

The Cannot-be-Recovered Edition Monday, July 23, 2018

Apple Seemingly Unable To Recover Data From 2018 MacBook Pro With Touch Bar When Logic Board Fails, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Multiple sources claim that data cannot be recovered if the logic board has failed on a 2018 MacBook Pro. If the notebook is still functioning, data can be transferred to another Mac by booting the system in Target Disk Mode, and using Migration Assistant, which is the standard process that relies on Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The data recovery port was likely removed because 2018 MacBook Pro models feature Apple's custom T2 chip, which provides hardware encryption for the SSD storage, like the iMac Pro, our sources said.

Thank Siri -- After All, She's Polite To You, by Bonnie J. Toomey, Sentinel & Enterprise

Tomorrow is looking a bit dystopian these days, but your kids can at least practice being polite as a primer to how they socialize with their own peers and all of the caring adults around them. Next time you think it's cute hearing a toddler boss Alexa around, think twice. Parenting is work.

Out of curiosity, I asked the all-knowing Siri to please explain her view of parenting to me, to which she responded, "Mornin'!" She had given me the time of day, but trying to capture exactly what it means to be a good parent in a few words is not an easy question, even for the smartest brains. I still thanked her and, naturally, she obliged with a cheery response, saying, "Don't mention it!" I will mention here that at least we've had civil discourse, and if my kids and grandkids are tuning in, hopefully they'll see it like I do and pay it forward.

Wanted: Male Architect Willing To Navigate His Own Building In A Skirt, by Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times

A couple of weeks ago, after viewing an architectural schematic that featured a pair of elevated glass catwalks, I posted a tweet that invited male architects to navigate their own designs in a skirt.

The post ignited a flurry of responses from women, including Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor and former television critic, who suggested adding heels to the mix.


I Downloaded A $50 App To Organize My Entire Life — Here's What It's Like To Use, by Dave Smith, BusinessInsider

What's nice about Things 3 is that it has more tools than you might need. For example, I rarely use the scheduling tools right now — but if I ever encounter a time-sensitive project, this feature will absolutely come in handy.

Still, despite the abundance of tools, Cultured Code has managed to simplify the art of organization and make it work for categorizing small thoughts and big projects alike.

This Free Travel App Is The Only App You Need To Navigate A New City Like A Local — Here's How It Works, by Prachi Bhardwaj, Business Insider

The creators of the iOS app, available in the App Store on Wednesday [...], considered the services you would set out to find when you move to — or vacation in — a new city, and then picked the single best app for each service in every city.

The best part about the concept, in my opinion, is that it avoids making you download each app separately. Mitty cloud-streams the apps so that there's more space on your phone's screen, and one less thing you have to unpack when you're home.

What’s The Best Podcast App For iPhone?, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

App selections are ultimately an opinion. It’s all about which one works with the best with how I listen to shows. Instead of picking just one, I am going to give some guidance on which I think works based on what type of listener you are.


Evergreen Diary #10: Syncing, Feed Data, And Swift 4.2, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

Swift is all about type safety, and being able to refer to object.anything seems un-Swift-like, no? I mean, that’s like a dynamic thing, right? Isn’t that more suited for those free-range kids who write in Ruby and Python?


The World’s Most Powerful App Is Squandering Its Lead, by Tim Culpan, Bloomberg

“We don’t have a plan in the next three years to do a payments wallet outside of China, except Hong Kong and now also Malaysia,” Yin told me. My first thought: What a wasted opportunity.

I understand her thinking. WeChat is a decidedly Chinese phenomenon. While it’s ubiquitous and even crucial to daily life there, it’s the No. 1 chat app in only three countries, according to the annual Global Digital report published by WeAreSocial and Hootsuite. WhatsApp is the leader in 128 countries while Facebook Messenger reigns in 72. Even Viber is more widespread.

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I wonder if Apple does tally up all the "thank you" that Siri receives. And I wonder if that counts as another customer satisfaction score input.


Thanks for reading.

The Ask-Support Edition Sunday, July 22, 2018

Apple Hosting Live HomePod Question-and-Answer Event On July 25, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple announced that it will be hosting a HomePod live event in its Support Communities on Wednesday, July 25, providing customers with an opportunity to ask Apple support representatives questions about the Siri-enabled speaker.

5 Handwriting Apps For Note-taking On iOS, by Gizbot

If you enjoy mixing words and sketches, the regular options that are available won’t be able to satisfy you, in order to spice it up a little and make your note a little less boring, you will need to get your hands on a stylus as well as a digital handwriting app to go with it. Though not designed for it, it might be a good idea to mess around with the Apple Notes’ inbuilt handwriting and sketching features. A similar feature is available for OneNote users as well. If you are an Evernote fan, you can make use of Penultimate in order to write something.

Mindsets: Optimism Vs. Complacency Vs. Pessimism, by Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund

The complacent is a different breed. He’s a dreamer masquerading as an optimist.

He sees optimism as a noble trait. It’s an innocent position. But he mistakenly thinks optimism means expecting only good news.

Why Mobile Phones Are NOT A Health Hazard, by David Robert Grimes, The Guardian

Last week the Observer published an article by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie on a disturbing topic – the idea that telecoms giants might collude to suppress evidence that wireless technology causes cancer. The feature was well written, ostensibly well researched, and deeply concerning. Its powerful narrative tapped into rich themes; our deep-seated fears about cancer, corporate greed, and technology’s potentially noxious influence on our health. It spread rapidly across social media – facilitated by the very object on which it cast doubt.

Yet as enthralling as Hertsgaard and Dowie’s narrative might be, it is strewn with rudimentary errors and dubious inferences. As a physicist working in cancer research, I found the authors’ penchant for amplifying claims far beyond that which the evidence allows troubling. And as a scientist deeply invested in public understanding of science, I’ve seen first-hand the damage that scaremongering can do to societal health. While it is tempting to rage into the void, perhaps this episode can serve as a case study in how public understanding of science can be mangled, and what warning signs we might look out for.

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There are many people who are using Kindles to read their books because there are less distractions on the Kindles.

Maybe I should switch to using my old iPod to listen to my audiobooks too.


Can HomePod be another distraction-free device?


Thanks for reading.

The Poorly-Optimized Edition Saturday, July 21, 2018

About That MacBook Pro Core I9 Throttling Story, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Processor benchmarks are significant, of course they are, but represent just one component of overall system performance. Performance is also defined by what you are trying to do, the software you use to get that task done, and how efficiently the hardware, software and operating system all work together.

Software -- even test software -- that is poorly optimized for the hardware or the hardware operating system will impose its own performance tax, which seems to be the root of the Premiere problem.

Amazon's iPhone App Uses Computer Vision To Identify And Replace Screws And Other Parts, by Doug Bierend, Cult of Mac

Until recently, if you needed to replace a screw, nut or bolt, you’d take a trip to the hardware store. With Amazon’s latest update to its iPhone app, there’s no need.

Part Finder is a new feature of Amazon’s camera search that can identify hundreds of types of screws, nuts, bolts, washers and other fasteners. Once ID’d, they can be bought straight from the app.

Wilson Is Like Longreads For Podcasts, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Every week, the team selects a handful of podcast episodes all tied together by the same topic. Those topics can be the Supreme Court, the LGBTQ community, loneliness, dads, the World Cup.

Each issue has a cover art and a short description. And the team also tells you why each specific podcast episode is interesting. In other words, Wilson isn’t just an audio experience. You can listen to episodes in the app or open them in Apple Podcasts.

Dish Is The First TV Provider To Offer Support For Apple’s Business Chat, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Dish today announced it’s becoming the first TV provider to offer customer support over Apple’s Business Chat. Launched earlier this year, Business Chat allows companies to communicate with their customers over iMessage in order to answer questions, provide customer service, or even enable purchases. In Dish’s case, the TV provider says its customers can use Business Chat to reach a live agent with their questions, make account changes, schedule an appointment, and more.

Now You Can Order A Beer At A Baseball Game With A Text — And It’s A Great Example Of Of How Apple Is Going After Facebook, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

At most ballparks, if you’re seated and want a refreshing beverage, you simply shout to the vendor: “Hey beer man!”

But starting today, at Citizens Bank Park, where the Philadelphia Phillies play, you’ll be able to order beer and water with a text message – if you’re seated in the right section and you have an iPhone with up-to-date software.

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We are indeed getting closer to the day where I don't have to talk to anyone anymore.


Thanks for reading.

The Lo-and-Behold Edition Friday, July 20, 2018

Anatomy Of A Butterfly (Keyboard)—Teardown Style, by Sam Lionheart, iFixIt

We started with a fine, powdered paint additive to add a bit of color and enable finer tracking (thanks for the tip, Dan!). Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules. On the 2018 keyboard, with the addition of more particulate and some aggressive typing, the dust eventually penetrates under the sheltered clips, and gets on top of the switch—so the ingress-proofing isn’t foolproof just yet. Time will tell how long the barrier will hold up.

These Are The Winners Of The 11th Annual iPhone Photography Awards, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Salam’s grand prize image was shot with an iPhone 7 and depicts Rohingya children watching a film about health and sanitation awareness near the Tangkhali refugee camp in Ukhia, Bangladesh.

Apple's Lost Decade, HyperCard, And What Might NOT Have Been If Apple Then Was Like Apple Is Today, by David Gewirtz, ZDNet

  1. Thinking about those days gives me a headache. Back then, I was all Apple, all the time. It was not necessarily a good thing.

I had two roles back then. I was the founder of Hyperpress, one of the first major add-on developers for Apple's HyperCard. Today, that'd be like being one of the big iPad app developers or Facebook app developers. HyperCard was essentially the first app-building environment, and Hyperpress was one of the key players.

I was also the head of Apple's Educator HomeCard project, where I had been given the somewhat unusual title of "Godfather". This was a big project with a number of teams, all working together to essentially create a suite of apps for teachers -- tools for managing grading, seating charts, various activities, and so forth.


Apple Promotes iPhone Privacy And Sustainability In New Animated Ads, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is highlighting some of the iPhone’s unique differentiators with a new webpage and several fun animations posted on YouTube. The page is currently live on Apple’s German website, and will likely roll out to other countries soon.

1Password For iOS Updated With Rich Text Support In Notes, Sticker Pack For Messages, Much More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Users are now able to create secure notes with headers, bold, and italic text, as well as lists, tappable links, and more.

Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains Apple HomeKit Support With Software Update, by Gary Ng, iPhoneInCanada

HomeKit support means the Wemo Mini Smart Plug can now be controlled by Siri, integrated into your scenes with other HomeKit devices, plus also accessible from the Home iOS app.

7 Great AR Education Apps For Parents, Teachers And Students, by Lauren Barack, Gearbrain

These 7 AR apps are mostly free, and can be stitched into daily activities, and educational lessons, by K12 teachers and parents alike.


Apple’s Dangerous New Nanny App, by Peter Morici, MarketWatch

If we exercise self-control on their behalf—as helicopter parents too often do—then our children will less likely develop the executive skills to appropriately limit multitasking and balance priorities as adults.

Apple Watch, FitBit Could Feel Cost Of U.S. Tariffs, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

The latest round of U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could hit the Apple Watch, health trackers, streaming music speakers and other accessories assembled in China, government rulings on tariffs show.

The rulings name Apple Inc’s watch, several Fitbit Inc activity trackers and connected speakers from Sonos Inc. While consumer technology’s biggest sellers such as mobile phones and laptops so far have faced little danger of import duties, the rulings show that gadget makers are unlikely to be spared altogether and may have to consider price hikes on products that millions of consumers use every day.

The Membrane-Equipped Edition Thursday, July 19, 2018

Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Membrane' To 'Prevent Debris From Entering The Butterfly Mechanism', by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors from multiple reliable sources, Apple has confirmed that the third-generation keyboard on 2018 MacBook Pro models is equipped with a "membrane" to "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism."

13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro With Touch Bar Has Full Speed On All Thunderbolt 3 Ports, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Apple's shift to a processor with more PCI-e channels is responsible for an increase in total bandwidth to the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. The previous dual-core i5-7360U processor in the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar had 12 PCI-e lanes for communication.

The new model has the i5-8259U processor, with 16 PCI-e lanes. More PCI-e lanes allow for both Thunderbolt 3 controllers of the machine to have full data path width, and as such, full speed.

Isolated Reports Of Apple Pay Transactions Showing The Wrong Stores, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

In both cases, it appears that the iPhone was identifying the transactions by GPS location rather than store-reported data, and that errors in the mapping were resulting in the iPhone listing incorrect details. His credit card statement showed the correct details for both transactions.

Renovations Planned To Put Apple In The Tower Theatre, by Bianca Barragan, Curbed Los Angeles

Plans filed with the city’s department of building and safety show that renovations are planned for a portion of the Tower Theatre on Broadway, and they are explicitly planned for Apple.

Those alterations will involve renovations to the 91-year-old theater’s interior, plans show, as well as voluntary seismic retrofits to the space. The plans filed with the city say the work will “remove/replace existing gallery/mezzanine” at the theater.


How To Make Your Wifi Router As Secure As Possible, by David Murphy, Lifehacker

Though more router manufacturers are making routers easier to set up and configure—even via handy little apps instead of annoying web-based interfaces—most people probably don’t tweak many options after purchasing a new router. They log in, change the name and passwords for their wifi networks, and call it a day.

While that gets you up and running with (hopefully) speedy wireless connectivity, and the odds are decent that your neighbor or some random evil Internet person isn’t trying to hack into your router, there’s still a lot more you can do to boost the security of your router (and home network).


Another Way To Lead By Example, by Shawn Blanc

When you choose to live a healthy life, to have boundaries, and to “work smarter” rather than “harder” then the byproduct is that your co-workers and your team feel trusted.

When you treat yourself with respect, you will also treat those around you the same — as the smart, valuable, and self-motivated adults that they are.


The Last Remaining Siri Cofounder Departs Apple, As Does Its Head Of Search, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to a new report from The Information, the last remaining Siri cofounder has departed Apple. Tom Gruber, who served as the head of Siri’s Advanced Development group, has retired in an effort to “pursue personal interests in photography and ocean conversation,” the report says.


Gruber was the last remaining Siri cofounder to be at Apple. His two other cofounders, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, left the company a few years ago and have both been somewhat critical of the direction in which Apple has taken Siri.

When A Tech Reporter Doesn’t Use Much Tech, by David Streitfeld, New York Times

One of the great victories of the tech industry was insisting that if you didn’t love its products, and by extension the companies themselves, you were not fit to cover it. I never understood how that edict gained traction. We don’t think that crooks make the best crime reporters.

I took my inspiration from writers I admired — Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Don DeLillo, Barry Malzberg. They were all low-tech people. Le Guin didn’t drive. DeLillo doesn’t do email. Dick barely left his apartment. Malzberg lives in New Jersey. Yet they foresaw how technology would reshape society better than any of the geniuses in Silicon Valley.

Project ‘Fuchsia’: Google Is Quietly Working On A Successor To Android, by Mark Bergen and Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Here’s what’s already known about Fuchsia: Alphabet Inc.’s Google started quietly posting code online in 2016, and the company has let outside app developers tinker with bits of the open-source code. Google has also begun to experiment with applications for the system, such as interactive screen displays and voice commands for YouTube.

But members of the Fuchsia team have discussed a grander plan that is being reported here for the first time: Creating a single operating system capable of running all the company’s in-house gadgets, like Pixel phones and smart speakers, as well as third-party devices that now rely on Android and another system called Chrome OS, according to people familiar with the conversations.

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I'm not convinced. A tech reporter that doesn't use much tech sounds, to me, like a movie critic who only reads screenplays.


Seems like the iPhone/iPhone OS/iOS is such a successful product that not only is Google copying it, it tried to copy it twice.

First, the user-interface.

Now, to copy the internals such that it can run all kinds of gadgets (just like iOS is running HomePod and Watch and TV and Air Pods) as well as more traditional computers (just like an iPad with the Smart Keyboard, or Marzipan).


Thanks for reading.

The Little-Lag Edition Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Apple Purges 'Doorbell' Category From HomeKit Accessories Page, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

It's not clear what hurdles have prevented HomeKit support. One possibility is the heavy encryption Apple demands, since while the platform now supports both software and hardware for that task, it could be that August and Ring have had trouble minimizing lag.

Doorbells are typically expected to deliver audio, video, and other data with as little lag as possible. A long gap could at best make for an awkward social situation, and at worst mean that a criminal gets away without his face on camera.

Test Suggests 2018 MacBook Pro Can't Keep Up With Intel Core I9 Chip's Thermal Demands, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Technology-centric YouTuber Dave Lee claims the thermal design of Apple's latest 15-inch MacBook Pro does not provide sufficient cooling for Intel's Core i9 processor, causing the chip to throttle down performance to prevent serious damage.


In a video posted to his YouTube channel on Tuesday, Lee shows the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro running Adobe Premiere Pro at surprisingly low clock speeds. Tests conducted put the average clock on load at around 2.2GHz, well below the advertised 2.9GHz.

How Today’s Apple Has Thrown Out Its Old Rulebook, by Jason Snell, Macworld

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, he didn’t like what he saw, so he set about changing the corporate culture. A decade later, one proof of his success was the fact that the company seemed to follow a rulebook, largely behaving with a consistency that allowed those of us who covered the company to react to wild rumors with phrases like “Apple wouldn’t do that” or “that’s not how Apple does things.”

But in the years following Jobs’s death (and the departure of some other Jobs-era executives), Apple has continued to evolve—and in many cases, it’s torn up the old rulebook. A lot of the changes strike me as being for the better. I feel like after Steve laid down the law in the late 1990s, some policies and decisions were never really reconsidered until the Tim Cook era got into full swing.

Here are just a few ways that today’s Apple has tossed out, or at least amended, the classic Apple rulebook.

Beta Track

Sharecuts Is Creating A Community For Sharing Siri Shortcuts, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

With the upcoming release of iOS 12, Apple is introducing a new app called Shortcuts that will allow users to build custom voice commands for Siri that can be used to kick off a variety of actions in apps. While some apps will directly prompt users to add a Shortcut to Siri, the new Shortcuts app will offer more shortcut suggestions to try, plus the ability to create your own shortcuts and workflows. Now, there’s a new resource for shortcut fans, too – Sharecuts, a directory of shortcuts created and shared by the community.


Mophie Rolls Out iPhone Battery Packs That Charge By A Lightning Cable, by Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge

Its new Powerstation battery packs all charge via Apple’s Lightning connector — meaning the cord you use to charge your phone is the same one that charges the battery, cutting down on wires and making your bag a little more streamlined.


Estimations And Orders Of Magnitude, by Accidentally in Code

Being off by an order of magnitude smaller allows for humanness and human error.


Apple’s iCloud User Data In China Is Now Handled By A State-owned Mobile Operator, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

If you’re an Apple customer living in China who didn’t already opt out of having your iCloud data stored locally, here’s a good reason to do so now. That information, the data belonging to China-based iCloud users which includes emails and text messages, is now being stored by a division of China Telecom, the state-owned telco.

The operator’s Tianyi cloud storage business unit has taken the reins for iCloud China, according to a WeChat post from China Telecom. Apple separately confirmed the change to TechCrunch.

Google Faces $5 Billion EU Fine For Android Antitrust Violations, by Tom Warren, The Verge

The European Commission has accused Google of abusing its Android market dominance by bundling its search engine and Chrome apps into the operating system. Google has also allegedly blocked phone makers from creating devices that run forked versions of Android.

The Definitive Ranking Of Apple’s Best Food Emoji, by Chris Fuhrmeister, Eater

With all of this excitement in the air, a ranking of every iOS food emoji in existence feels appropriate. But turns out, there are a lot of food emoji — more than 100 — and many are quite boring (it’s hard to get jazzed up about Bowl with Spoon). Here, after lengthy, careful consideration, are the top 20.

The Extremely-Powerful Edition Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Living With The New 15-inch MacBook Pro, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The new MacBook Pro continues that trend; the form factor remains the same, and the changes are largely under the hood. But these are in fact extremely powerful machines [...] around the premise that, in 2018, one shouldn’t have to compromise power in order to go portable. Well, maybe a little — but in those cases where you need some intense graphical processing, there’s always an external GPU, which makes the machine capable of VR and other process-intensive tasks.

Review: Blackmagic eGPU – Quiet, Beautiful, And Limited In Scope, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

The thing that strikes me the most is that it’s an all-in-one eGPU that can’t be upgraded. In other words, you’re stuck with a Radeon Pro 580 for the lifetime of the device.


Yet, there remains something very appealing about a pre-configured box that you can connect directly to your MacBook Pro, and instantly have better graphics performance. It’s worth reiterating again that this isn’t just some bulky eye-sore of a rectangle, but it’s almost like a piece of art that happens to charge your MacBook Pro and help you connect to USB peripherals while providing a graphics boost. For LG UltraFine 5K Display users, it’s especially appealing because it’s so easy to just plug and play.

Magical Lines

Turn Your Phone Into A Magic Wand And Kill Time At Disney, by Bridget Carey, CNET

The new Play Disney Parks app takes the least magical part of a theme park -- the dreaded long lines -- and jazzes them up with themed games that can only be played while standing in line for rides. At times, your phone can even become a remote control to activate special effects.

But I'm not talking about some Pokemon Go-style, augmented-reality gimmick. The app can activate physical things seen in the real world. At Space Mountain, watch rockets fly above your head just before you board your ship. At Peter Pan's Flight, players can make Tinkerbell appear inside a lantern.

Talk About It All The Time

World Emoji Day 2018: First Look At Apple's New Emojis, by Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia

One of Emojipedia's most frequent requests from users is that vendors like Apple add emojis for black families. Are families with more diverse skin tones in the future for Apple?

Asked about this, Dye notes that the team “talk about it all the time” but consider it a challenge to come up with an appropriate interface. Calling out the user-interface as one of the main concerns: “I just think that you need a UI that can accommodate the variations”.

Apple Emoji Will Soon Include People With Curly Hair, White Hair And Superpowers, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch

In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing), Apple is previewing some of its upcoming emoji. Later this year, Apple’s emoji set will feature people with a variety of hairstyles and colors, including curly hair, red hair and white hair.

Apple Gives Its Leadership Site A Memoji Overhaul In Celebration Of World Emoji Day, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Every executive listed on the Leadership webpage now features a Memoji face design, including Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and perhaps best of all, Phil Schiller.

The Middle Way

The Simple Way Apple And Google Could Fix Notifications, by Kostadin Kushlev, Fast Company

Rather than having to decide activity by activity when not to be interrupted, people could make Do Not Disturb the default, only seeing notifications when they want to. My recent research–with Nicholas Fitz and Dan Ariely at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight–suggests, however, that never receiving notifications hurts well-being by increasing fear of missing out. The best way is the middle way: We found that setting the phone to deliver batches of notifications three times a day optimized well-being. To set their users up for optimal psychological benefits from both their digital and nondigital activities, Google and Apple could make batching notifications easier.

What Happened When I Completely Quit Taking Photos, by Zat Rana, Quartz

I remember the impulse that ruined it, too. After walking up to the summit, we had taken a seat to absorb the view. There was a small town below us, with a glistening lake, and a range of trees and a barely visible outline of houses. It was then that I saw the floating bird—a strange sight, because when you see them above you, they always look like they are flying, and I guess they are when you look down at them, too, but it’s a different scene and it looks like a different motion—and it was then that I took my phone out to try and capture the moment, but instead of capturing the moment, I felt something leave it. Thinking about this later, I decided, from then on, that I’d rather have my eyes be my souvenirs.


Apple Watch 'Close Your Rings' Featured In Trio Of New Ads, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Each high-tempo video focuses on a different user with varying fitness goals and lifestyles.

Skype 8.0 Launches On Desktop With HD Video, And Soon Encryption & Call Recording, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The new release introduces a variety of features, including HD video and screen-sharing in calls, support for @mentions in chats, a chat media gallery, file and media sharing up to 300 MB, and more.

Review: Upstaa’s Instant Standing Desk Is A Neat Affordable Option For MacBook Users, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

What Upstaa provides is a simple-to-assemble stand that converts any conventional desk into a standing desk within a minute or so.

Instapaper No Longer Part Of Pinterest, Service Going Independent, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

As part of Instapaper’s exit from Pinterest and return to independence, the team that worked on the service at betaworks will be forming an independent company dedicated to Instapaper.


Bug Reporting, by NSHipster

The only way things get better is if we communicate.

So the next time you find something amiss, remember: “file a radar”.


Apple, Google Cashed In On Pizzagate-offshoot Conspiracy App, by Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News

An app promoting a conspiracy theory featuring Hillary Clinton and a child sex ring lingered at the top of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store for months, with both tech giants receiving a cut of the revenue in the process.


Apple removed the QDrops app from its app store on Sunday after inquiries from NBC News.

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So there I was, sitting in the meeting room, with my iPad, getting ready to do a presentation.

I've loaded up the presentation slides. I've opened up the PowerPoint app.

Then I've gotten itchy fingers, and open up the app stores and discovered there are app updates and I tapped on Update All Apps.

Half a minute later, I noticed PowerPoint is being updated... via the office wi-fi... very slowly...

Moral of the story: I should pay more attention to what others are saying and stop playing around with my iPad.


Thanks for reading.

The Entire-Top-Case Edition Monday, July 16, 2018

Apple Says Third-Generation Keyboards Exclusive To 2018 MacBook Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

When asked if Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers will be permitted to replace second-generation keyboards on 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models with the new third-generation keyboards, if necessary, Apple said, no, the third-generation keyboards are exclusive to the 2018 MacBook Pro.

2018 Keyboard Will Not Be Used To Repair 2016, 2017 Macbook Pros, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

When a MacBook Pro’s keyboard is replaced, it’s actually the entire top case, with the keyboard and battery along for the ride. It is not an efficient repair, and one that was going to eventually lead to part compatibility issues between generations.

Finding That Balance

How To Make This The Summer Of Missing Out, by Hayley Phelan, New York Times

JOMO, is not a misspelling of “mojo” but, rather, stands for “joy of missing out.” The antithesis of FOMO (fear of missing out), JOMO is about disconnecting, opting out and being O.K. just where you are.

It’s a lot like that age-old wisdom about being present — only retrofitted for a world in which missing an email could be a fireable offense, and deleting Bumble could mean you don’t go on a date for another three months. Like it or not, we need our technology devices; we just don’t need them as much as we think we do. JOMO is about finding that balance.

Smartphones Killed Handwriting. Let’s Bring It Back., by David Pierce, Wall Street Journal

The pen isn’t going to replace your keyboard or touch screen, but when you’re in a meeting and don’t want to hide behind a big screen, or when you’re marking up a contract, you might want to reach for your pen.

The Store

Personal App Store Stories From The MacStories Team, by MacStories

The story of the App Store doesn't just belong to Apple, nor is it limited to the developers who have made the App Store such a vibrant marketplace. Everyone who has ever downloaded an app on their iPhone, iPad, or even iPod Touch has their own story of the App Store's impact on their life. In that vein, here are the MacStories team's personal stories of what the Store and its products have meant to us.

The App Store At 10: The Next Decade, by MacStories

Just as no one 10 years ago could have predicted where the App Store would have brought us today, so is it impossible to guess what the next decade might bring. There's no stopping us from trying though.

As we close out our App Store anniversary week coverage, here are our hopes and expectations for the next 10 years.

Bottom of the Page

Occasionally, Netflix will forget to sync up my play position of the various shows I am watching across the different devices, and I have to manually sync up by dragging that play pointer across multiple episodes.

Reminds me of rewinding my VHS tapes.


No, I have no idea how to write using a pen anymore.


Thanks for reading.

The Writing-the-History Edition Sunday, July 15, 2018

App Preservation: Saving The App Store’s History, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Very few people would be sad that their favorite fart app from 2008 was never updated for 64-bit and got nuked by iOS 11, but the same isn't true for pioneering titles that were essential in writing the history of the App Store. And while the topic of software preservation has been addressed by other industries, Apple has largely ignored this conversation, treating all apps as equal commodities in spite of the fundamental role that some of them played in the history of the App Store, the art of gameplay design, and, ultimately, our culture.

On the tenth anniversary of the App Store, and looking ahead to the App Store's next 10 years, this feels like a discussion worth having.

Sweet, by Dr. Drang, And Now It’s All This

No one wants to go back to the days before the App Store, but it is worth remembering that clever developers gave us useful things even when they were stuck in the molasses of the sweet solution.

Apple Loses Key Sales Executives As India Strategy Stumbles, by Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has lost a trio of pivotal executives in India in recent weeks as it struggles to boost iPhone sales in the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market, people familiar with the matter say.

Among the executives who’ve departed are its national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of telecom carrier sales, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Apple’s Indian sales team is now undergoing a restructuring, one of the people said.


Apple's New Leather MacBook Sleeve Is Finely Crafted And High Quality -- But At A Cost, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

These simple sleeves don't have a lot of fancy features like other cases, but they are just minimalistic enough to get the job done. They are quite well made, even if the price tag is a bit high. If you can get over the three-figure price tag, these are great sleeves for taking your Mac with you on the go.

Apple Celebrates The World Cup Final With Apple․com Overhaul, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Ahead of the World Cup final tomorrow between France and Croatia, Apple is joining the fun. The company has overhauled both its French and Croatian websites with a short soccer-themed videos.


Apple Telegraphs, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

It feels like we’re actually now past “peak” MacBook. The recent reception of things like the TouchBar and the broader new keyboard have ranged from “meh” to outrage. Many people still believe the MacBook Air was the pinnacle of the line. Apple seems out of ideas for how to improve the MacBook, they can only now make it slightly faster (with the latest Intel chips) or slightly worse (with their cosmetic changes that backfire).

The next real change is the ARM MacBook. It’s not quite whittling down the MacBook into an iPad, but it’s not completely not that either. Imagine a device that was thinner and lighter than even the current tiny MacBook. Imagine one with battery life that was twice as long. Imagine one with an edge-to-edge screen. Imagine one that could run iOS apps…

It’s pretty easy if you try.

The Inconvenient Truth About Cancer And Mobile Phones, by Mark Hertsgaard, The Guardian

Lack of definitive proof that a technology is harmful does not mean the technology is safe, yet the wireless industry has succeeded in selling this logical fallacy to the world. The upshot is that, over the past 30 years, billions of people around the world have been subjected to a public-health experiment: use a mobile phone today, find out later if it causes genetic damage or cancer. Meanwhile, the industry has obstructed a full understanding of the science and news organisations have failed to inform the public about what scientists really think. In other words, this public health experiment has been conducted without the informed consent of its subjects, even as the industry keeps its thumb on the scale.

The External-Displays Edition Saturday, July 14, 2018

Apple’s True Tone Technology Will Work With A Few External Displays, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

They include: Apple’s Thunderbolt Display, which uses the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, LG’s UltraFine 5K, and LG’s UltraFine 4K.

The Great Apple Keyboard Cover-Up, by Sam Lionheart, iFixIt

Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.

This flexible enclosure is quite obviously an ingress-proofing measure to cover up the mechanism from the daily onslaught of microscopic dust. Not—to our eyes—a silencing measure. In fact, Apple has a patent for this exact tech designed to “prevent and/or alleviate contaminant ingress.”

Could You Make It Through Dinner Without Checking Your Phone?, by Claire Ballentine, New York Times

Some restaurants, partly from irritation when patrons take pictures of the food, place limits on cellphones in their dining rooms. Others, including in Chicago and San Antonio, have banned them entirely.

Hearth is taking a softer approach — there are no rules, just the containers on each table. A note on top says, “Open me!” Inside is an invitation to stash your phone during the meal.


Nutritrack Nutrition App Developed By Pensacola Couple Is 'Loved' By Apple, by Jacob Newby, Pensacola News Journal

Both Marcus and Maria are into nutrition and eating healthy, but the driving force behind the app's creation is Marcus' Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that leads to intestinal damage when consuming gluten.

The couple wanted to develop an app that could aid people with dietary restrictions in finding out what kind of food they should or should not be eating based on their condition, and what kind of nutrients their bodies need based on their height, weight, diet and activity levels.

Can An App That Reminds Me I’m Going To Die Really Make Me Happier?, by Kiran Sidhu, iNews

This morning I woke-up and looked at my iPhone, there was a message, it said: “Don’t forget you’re going to die.”

I have a new app, it’s called, WeCroak. It reminds me five times a day I’m going to die – just in case I’ve forgotten by teatime. In Bhutan they say that contemplating death five times daily brings happiness. This app reminds me so beautifully: “Don’t forget you’re going to die” – followed by a quote relating to death. Today’s first quote: “How fine the mesh of death. You can almost see through it.” This reminder of my death has replaced the first greeting of the day from my husband: “Morning, beautiful!” I like veracity in the morning; the app’s more credible than my husband’s declaration.

Add Years To Your Life With These 4 'Work Break' Apps, by Raji Arasu, Entrepreneur

We’ve rounded up four of the best tools for reminding yourself to take a break at work so that you can, well, “live long and prosper.”


When Algorithms Surprise Us, by Janelle Shane

When machine learning algorithms solve problems in unexpected ways, programmers find them, okay yes, annoying sometimes, but often purely delightful.

So delightful, in fact, that in 2018 a group of researchers wrote a fascinating paper that collected dozens of anecdotes that “elicited surprise and wonder from the researchers studying them”. The paper is well worth reading, as are the original references, but here are several of my favorite examples.


Apple’s New Outdoor Amphitheater And Retail Store In Milan, Italy Set To Open On July 26th, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple Piazza Liberty, named after its location in a historic plaza bordered by other premium retailers, boasts a noteworthy compliment of architectural features differentiating it from any previous Apple store. The design begins with an expansive, outdoor amphitheater that steps downward from the plaza toward fountains that create a stunning wall of water. The waterfall, symbolizing Milan’s connection to canals, also serves as the store’s entrance. Visitors will descend through the fountain to the subterranean store floor below, where 230 employees are expected to work.

Apple Partners With Malala Foundation To Fight For Equal Education Opportunities For Girls In Brazil, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple has today begun supporting the Malala Foundation in Latin America to help provide educational opportunities for girls. The collaboration will be between the foundation and Apple’s 10 Developer Academies in Brazil.

The More-Flexible Edition Friday, July 13, 2018

I Actually Like USB-C Dongles, by Alex Cranz, Gizmodo

Do I miss the convenience of having a single machine that packs everything I could ever need inside? Sure. It was convenient! But being up to customize my USB-C dongle load-out every day is a nice feeling, too. It might not be as convenient, but it’s a lot more fun and a lot more flexible.

Adobe To Launch Photoshop For iPad In Strategy Shift, by Mark Gurman and Nico Grant, Bloomberg

Adobe’s chief product officer of Creative Cloud Scott Belsky confirmed the company was working on a new cross-platform iteration of Photoshop and other applications, but declined to specify the timing of their launches.

“My aspiration is to get these on the market as soon as possible,” Belsky said in an interview. “There’s a lot required to take a product as sophisticated and powerful as Photoshop and make that work on a modern device like the iPad. We need to bring our products into this cloud-first collaborative era.”

10 Years Of App Store Controversies, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Apple created and has maintained the safety of its closed platform thanks to its thorough review procedures and guidelines. Every app on the App Store must follow Apple's rules, which for the most part is widely accepted as a good thing. If an app's aims are nefarious, it should be rejected by Apple and, hence, not allowed in public view. However, throughout the App Store's life, there have regularly been controversial app rejections that stirred up the Apple community. Here are a few of those controversies.


Apple-owned Magazine Subscription Service Simplifies Its Fees, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Now Texture has lowered the price for the Premium Plan to $9.99. In essence, this means that all customers should now have access to the widest possible range of publications for just ten bucks a month!

Apple’s Back To School Promotion Once Again Offers Students Free Beats Headphones, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

It might feel like summer just started, but Apple’s Back to School promotion is now live, starting today through September 25th, once again offering students who buy new Macs and iPad Pros some free Beats headphones.

Apple Shows Off Apple Pay Cash In Latest Advertisement, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This video focuses on Apple Pay Cash and how it can be used between roommates to easily handle things such as rent payments.

National Geographic Turns Top 2018 Travel Photos Into iPhone-friendly Wallpapers, by Buster Hein, Cult of Mac

Some of the best photos from National Geographic’s travel photographers of the year are now available as free wallpapers for iPhone, iPad and Mac. The collection includes images from a wide range of photographers. They’ve been divided into categories for nature, cities and people so you’re bound to find a few that catch your fancy.

Farrago Soundboard App For Mac Gains MIDI Support, Accessibility Improvements, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Farrago 1.2 brings MIDI support, multi-tile editing, and accessibility improvements to the Mac soundboard app.


Weaponization Of A JavaScriptCore Vulnerability, by Nick Burnett

Software bugs come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes, these code defects (or ‘asymmetries’) can be used to compromise the runtime integrity of software. This distinction is what helps researchers separate simple reliability issues from security vulnerabilities. At the extreme, certain vulnerabilities can be weaponized by meticulously exacerbating such asymmetries to reach a state of catastrophic software failure: arbitrary code execution.


Apple Announces $300 Million Clean Energy Fund In China, by Chloe Aiello, CNBC

Apple in partnership with several of its suppliers announced on Thursday a $300 million fund for investing in renewable energy projects in China. The China Clean Energy Fund aims to produce at least 1 gigawatt of energy — or enough to power about 1 million homes — through fully renewable means over the next four years.


China may be a receptive market for incubating renewable energy initiatives, but for smaller companies with limited resources, transitioning to clean energy can be challenging. Apple hopes the scale of the China Clean Energy Fund will give fund participants greater purchasing power to pivot toward clean energy.

Bottom of the Page

I don't think I've ever used Photoshop before. In fact, I don't think I've ever pirated Photoshop before.



Thanks for reading.

The Impressive-Bump Edition Thursday, July 12, 2018

Apple’s New MacBook Pros Have The Latest Intel Processors And Quieter Keyboards., by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Apple is updating its top-tier MacBook Pros today with newer processors, more configuration options, True Tone displays, and a “quieter” keyboard design. The updates won’t fully address all of the concerns that have surrounded the MacBook Pro lineup in recent months. At least one complaint can be laid to rest for the time being: the processor options are no longer woefully out of date. Apple says that the 15-inch model will have a 70 percent performance increase, and the 13-inch model should double in speed.


For the Pro models, these updates are more than just spec bumps to the latest processor. But they’re not radical redesigns either. The 15-inch MacBook Pro gets the more impressive bump. It will come with a 6-core, eighth-generation i7 or i9 Intel processor and the ability to spec up the RAM to 32GB of DDR4 memory and the storage to 4TB. The top-line processors can run at 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, and the GPUs are Radeon Pros with 4GB of video memory.

Apple Worked With Blackmagic On A New External GPU, by Sam Byford, The Verge

To go alongside the newly updated MacBook Pros, Apple is selling a product for users who need more graphic processing power. Apple worked with cinema company Blackmagic on an external GPU based around a Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of video memory. Apple says it should give 2.8x faster graphics performance on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and 8x faster on the 13-inch.

Apple’s MacBook Pro Refresh Puts The Focus Back On Creative Pros, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

It’s all part of a difficult balance for Apple. A majority of users will never edit 4K feature films or develop VR games. For most of us, the truly high-end upgrades will have little impact on our day-to-day use. Though the addition of Siri functionality and that newer, quieter keyboard are certainly welcome.

Catering to pros, meanwhile, is the sort of thing that pays off in spades down the road, much like Apple’s longstanding education play. The company was seen as taking its eye off the ball and allowed the competition to usurp some of that ownership. With the iMac and MacBook Pros, coupled with those upcoming macOS updates, the company is making it clear that the category is still a key to Apple’s future.

The New MacBook Pro Keyboards Are Quieter, But Otherwise Unchanged, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The butterfly switches are the same, and they offer the same amount of key travel as their predecessors. The company won’t actually say what it’s done here to lower the clickity-clack (that’s going to be a job for some teardown artists), but it’s certainly an improvement.

The MacBook Pro Gets Its Own Official Apple Leather Sleeve, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Today’s new MacBook Pros mean new MacBook Pro sleeves. They’re essentially the same leather/microfiber combo as the standard MacBooks, albeit altered to fit the larger notebooks’ footprint.

Apple Stops Selling 2015 MacBook Pro, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The discontinuation of the 2015 MacBook Pro puts even more pressure on the new models to satiate Apple’s customer base who were unhappy.

First Accessible Smartphone

How The iPhone And App Store Have Redefined Accessible Software, by Steven Aquino, MacStories

Yet for everything the iPhone has meant to smartphones and to the world, there is a segment of users for which the iPhone has been truly revolutionary: disabled people. For many people with disabilities, myself included, the iPhone was the first accessible smartphone. The device’s multitouch user interface and large (for the time) display represented a total break from the smartphone conventions of the day. An unheralded ramification of this was how accessible these features made the iPhone. For example, the soft keyboard allowed users to compose text messages and emails without struggling with the T9 keyboards that were commonplace at the time. Likewise, the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display was considered large for the day, which made seeing content markedly easier than on the postage stamp-sized displays that dominated cell phones then. It’s a testament to the original iPhone’s greatness that its fundamental components were so solid that they redefined accessible computing, all without being "accessible" in the traditional sense. Its impact is put into greater perspective when you consider the first two versions of iOS (née iPhone OS) didn’t contain discrete accessibility features. The first bunch, VoiceOver, Zoom, and Mono Audio debuted in 2009 with the 3GS.

Developers’ Decade-Long Rollercoaster Ride: The Business Of Selling Apps On The App Store, by John Voorhees, MacStories

It’s hard to overstate the meteoric growth of the App Store as a marketplace. Over the course of a decade, the App Store’s history has been dominated by rapid growth and constant change that’s been highlighted by spectacular successes, failures, and controversies. Nowhere has that change been more pronounced than the economics of the App Store. It’s a story that has had a profound effect on the way software is sold and how users relate to the apps they use.

Beta Track

I Used Apple’s New Controls To Limit A Teenager’s iPhone Time (And It Worked!), by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

These early results should be welcome news to people who are growing increasingly concerned about long-term addiction to smartphones. There have been other ways to limit use, including apps like Moments, which have many of the same features as Screen Time. But none of them have been embedded into a phone like Apple’s new software.

I Tracked My iPhone Usage For A Week And This Is What I Learned, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

All these patterns and more are plain to see when you have the data on hand, which is precisely what Apple’s Screen Time and Google’s upcoming Dashboard aim to do. While I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to my phone (although maybe I’m just in denial), I certainly pick it up more than I thought I would. Perhaps it’s time to put the phone down and ignore the vibrations, real or not.


When Did Apple's Built-in Apps Get So Good?, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

It used to be that the first-party iOS apps were only used by people who didn’t care enough to download something better. Mail, Notes, Contacts, the Calendar — all of these were immediately dumped into a junk folder by experienced users, to be replaced with a proper app. But something happened along the way to 2018. Now, Apple’s apps are every bit as good as third-party apps. (Well, mostly. The Contacts app is still awful.)

Today we’ll take a look at a few of Apple’s surprise hits.

Apple Discontinues Its Own Photo Printing Service, Recommends Third-party Photos Projects Apps Instead, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Later this year, Apple will stop offering the service altogether. A new message in macOS 10.13.6 Photos app says that final orders for Apple’s built-in service must be placed by September 30, 2018.

Sonos Update Adds AirPlay 2 Support, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Perhaps most impressively, all AirPlay 2 speakers can play music in perfect synchronization. If you’ve got a HomePod or two and a compatible Sonos device, you can now select all those devices and play music through them, entirely in sync. Even better, if you’ve got incompatible Sonos devices and place them in the same group as an AirPlay 2-compatible Sonos device via the Sonos app, those speakers will also play synchronously. I was able to get music to play in sync throughout my house this morning, via a paired set of HomePods, a Play:5, and the (incompatible) Play:1 in my bathroom.

Procreate For iPad Gains New Liquify Filter, Warp Transform Mode And Symmetry Drawing Guide, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

A new Metal 2-powered Liquify feature lets artists push, pull, expand, pinch, and twirl their art using either touch-based gestures or Apple Pencil pressure for more control.


Reauthorizing Automation In Mojave, by Daniel Jalkut,

I guess at some point I must have hastily denied permission for Xcode (Apple’s software development app) to control the Finder. This resulted in a seemingly permanent impairment to Xcode’s “Show in Finder” feature. I’m often using this feature to quickly navigate from Xcode’s interface to the Finder’s view on the same files. After denying access once, the feature has the unfortunate behavior of succeeding in activating the Finder (I guess that one is whitelisted), but failing silently when it comes to revealing the file.

OK, that’s fine. I messed up. But how do I undo it? Unfortunately, the list of applications in the Security and Privacy preference pane is only of those that I have clicked “OK” for. There’s no list of the ones that I’ve denied, and no apparent option to drag in or add applications explicitly.

My First Open Source Project: Classic Finder, by Ben Szymanski

I’ve learned many things throughout this journey. One of them is that modern user interfaces are absolutely gigantic compared to the user interfaces of the earlier days.


Why You Should Let A Robot Cook Your Next Meal, by Nick Statt, The Verge

The reality is that modern restaurants in expensive cities are being forced to compromise, either on aspects of customer service like wait staff to achieve high-quality food, or on the quality of the food to achieve the speed and efficiency some customers demand. But another option is automation. Robotics and software advances have made it possible to produce more food at a higher quality and at a price competitive with fast food restaurants.

Technoleviathan, by Brian Hioe, Popula

If you scroll back through the timeline of Facebook’s acquisitions—or if you search for all the startups that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has bought and absorbed—you can see that Silicon Valley tech giants want to do much more than simply stay ahead of the “competition.” They work differently that that; they are their own competition. Google wants to be more than a mere search engine, and Facebook wants to be more than a mere social network. These companies want to become the crucial, indispensable core of their users’ lives. They want anything that can be done online to be done on their platform.

What they want is what some see China as already having: the integration of a multitude of social services into a single authoritative interface. You can do much more than chat with friends on the main messenger app in China, for example; the ubiquitous mobile app WeChat, owned by Tencent, allows you to make in-store purchases, transfer money, buy groceries, rent a car, and even file lawsuits, all through its online payment platform, WeChat Pay.

Can Emotion-regulating Tech Translate Across Cultures?, by Polina Aronson, Aeon

We exist in a feedback loop with our devices. The upbringing of conversational agents invariably turns into the upbringing of users. It’s impossible to predict what AI might do to our feelings. However, if we regard emotional intelligence as a set of specific skills – recognising emotions, discerning between different feelings and labelling them, using emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour – then it’s worth reflecting on what could happen once we offload these skills on to our gadgets.

Bottom of the Page

I wish Apple can come up with a plastic Apple Watch, so that people whose skin is sensitive to metal can also wear one.


I think I am mostly using my iPhone to catch up on my RSS feeds, and to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I'm afraid that, when iOS 12 rolls around, I'll find out that I am not.


Thanks for reading.

The Siri-and-ML Edition Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Apple Combines Machine Learning And Siri Teams Under Giannandrea, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple confirmed this morning that the combined machine learning, artificial intelligence and Siri team will be led by the recent hire, who came to Apple this year after an 8 year stint at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research and Search teams. Before that he founded Metaweb Technologies and Tellme.

The internal structures of the Siri and Core ML teams will remain the same, but they will now answer to Giannandrea. Apple’s internal structure means that the teams will likely remain integrated across the org as they’re wedded to various projects including developer tools, mapping, Core OS and more. ML is everywhere, basically.

Apple Fixed Bug In iOS 11 That Crashed Devices When Users Entered The Word 'Taiwan', by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Wardle explained that although some aspects of the bug remained unclear, his investigations found that a "null" code would prompt the crash when a "removeEmoji" operation led the system to check the device's language/region settings.

The glitch appears to be of Apple's own making, given that iOS contains code that hides the Taiwanese flag emoji on devices set to the China region. Apparently the code worked for iOS devices set to China, but caused crashes on devices set to other regions.

The Winner Of The World Cup Is Apple, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

FIFA has pretty strict rules around what it calls “ambush marketing,” where a brand pays players to wear or use its products before or during World Cup games, even though that company has not paid to be an official World Cup sponsor. It’s why any player you see wearing Beats headphones before a game, for example, has the company’s logo taped over.

But both Beats and AirPods have a distinctive look that is difficult to mask, even with the branding obscured.

Unmitigated Success

A Decade On The App Store: From Day One Through Today, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

The early days of the App Store were a journey into the unknown for Apple, third-party developers, and users alike. The economics of the store were entirely unrealized – nobody knew which app ideas would work or how much they could charge for an app. Apple's processes for approving apps were primitive, their developer documentation was fallow, and they still thought it a good idea to make developers sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to access the SDK (software development kit). For iPhone users, every new app could completely revolutionize their mobile experience, or it could be another icon they never tapped on again.

Despite this uncertainty, developers pushed forward with their ideas, Apple hustled as many apps through approval as it could, and on July 10, 2008, users exploded enthusiastically onto the scene. Within the first year of the App Store, iPhone and iPod Touch owners had already downloaded over 1.5 billion apps. From the beginning it was clear that the App Store would be an unmitigated success.

10 Years Of The App Store: The Design Evolution Of The Earliest Apps, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Few contemporary innovations have changed how we live our lives and interact with the world around us more than iPhone apps. The creators of the first 500 available at launch had the unique opportunity of shaping the design direction and interaction methods of the millions of apps created since.

To celebrate the App Store’s 10th anniversary, let’s study the visual evolution of 10 original App Store apps.


Professional Illustrator App Affinity Designer Now Available On iPad For Just $13.99, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Serif has taken full advantage of the iPad’s multi touch gestures in a way that allows users to pull off all sorts of quick shortcuts without delving deep into the app’s deep menu set. It’s not a mere port of the Mac version, but a feature-complete illustration app that’s built from the ground up with touch in mind.

LiquidText PDF Reader Gives Paper The Upgrade It Needs, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

“Things like organizing your thoughts, gathering knowledge spanning different documents, finding connections, taking notes without losing their context — which are all hard to do on paper — are generally all hard to do in digital as well,” Tashman said. “LiquidText makes this easy. It’s designed around the way you think, not around paper.”

LiquidText PDF Reader works beautifully, precisely because Tashman scrapped the paper concept. His powerful app lets you add in-depth annotations and edits that simply can’t be done using the regular “comment” features found on the likes of Google Docs.

Comparing The Five Major Digital Magazine Subscription Services, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Unless you're militantly against Amazon, the answer is probably Kindle Unlimited. It's just impossible to ignore the extra benefits of the service — after all, why limit yourself to magazines when you could also be reading books on the subway, or listening to them while lifting weights?


Japan Watchdog: Apple May Have Breached Antitrust Rules With iPhone, by Reuters

“Obliging carriers to offer subsidies (for iPhones) could have prevented the carriers from offering lower monthly charges and restricted competition,” the FTC said in a statement.

The FTC, which began looking into Apple’s sales practices in 2016, did not punish Apple as the U.S. company had agreed to revise its contracts with the carriers, it said.

Ex-Apple Worker Charged With Stealing Self-driving Car Trade Secrets, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

U.S. authorities charged a former Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee with stealing trade secrets on Monday, accusing him of downloading a blueprint related to a self-driving car to a personal laptop before trying to flee the country for China, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.


“We’re working with authorities on this matter and will do everything possible to make sure this individual and any other individuals involved are held accountable for their actions,” Apple said in a statement.

Have The Tech Giants Grown Too Powerful? That’s An Easy One, by John Herrman, New York Times

As these companies grew, they did more than just vanquish their competition. Their growth and free-service benevolence succeeded at making the very idea of competitors’ challenging their efforts — the industry’s traditional way to solve the problems they’ve created — seem unnecessary or even counterproductive. They’ve ducked the easy questions for so long that it’s reasonable to suspect that they doubt we will like the answers.

Bottom of the Page

Every little thing -- just another option in the preference pane, just add a dialog box to give one more option, just remove a flag from the Emoji set -- adds complexity that must be countered with QAs and support resources. Do not forget this the next time you want to add just one tiny thing to your project.


Thanks for reading.

The Resets-Counter Edition Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Apple's iOS 11.4.1 Update Makes USB Restricted Mode Active, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

With iOS 11.4.1, Apple has quietly turned on USB Restricted Mode, a feature designed to make it harder for hackers — as well as spy and law enforcement agencies — to gain physical access to iPhones and iPads.

Apple’s iOS Passcode Cracking Defense Can Be Bypassed Using A USB Accessory, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Researchers at cybersecurity firm ElcomSoft have found a loophole that resets the one-hour counter so long as you plug a USB accessory into the iPhone’s Lightning port, regardless of whether the phone has ever connected to that accessory in the past. [...] This seems not so much a severe vulnerability as just a mistake on Apple’s part. Afonin says as much, calling it “probably nothing more than an oversight.”

Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, Highlights AirPlay 2 For iTunes, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

This means that you’ll now be able to officially play audio through multiple AirPlay 2 enabled devices, as well as get a proper list of Stereo-paired HomePods.

Sweet Solution

Before The App Store: The “Sweet Solution” Of Web Apps And Developers’ Relentless Passion, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Developers, understandably, were excited about the potential of what they could do with the first product that lived up to its name as a true smart_phone. Yet between the iPhone's unveiling in January 2007 and its release nearly six months later, there was nary a hint of an iPhone SDK (software development kit). Instead, Apple shared what it infamously called a "sweet solution" for third-party apps on iPhone: web apps.

Every now and then Apple executives recite phrases that the tech community never lets them live down: the iPhone headphone jack removal took "courage," the later-proven-faulty 2013 Mac Pro design evoked Phil Schiller's boast, "can't innovate anymore, my ass," and, of course, there are Steve Jobs' words from WWDC 2007 to a crowd of developers pining for tools to make iPhone apps.

The Revolution Steve Jobs Resisted: Apple's App Store Marks 10 Years Of Third-party Innovation, by Stephen Silver, AppleInsider

As Apple demonstrated in an "oral history" it released a few days before the anniversary, the App Store has not only grown exponentially in its ten years of existence, but it's also been at the forefront of all sorts of innovations in technology, culture and entertainment over the course of the decade.

The App Store has helped facilitate major growth in the content streaming revolution, as well as geolocation, e-commerce and even online dating, while also forever changing what it means to be a software developer.

All that, and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was reportedly resistant to the idea at first.


Apple Makes Searchable WWDC 2018 Session Video Transcripts Available, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple’s transcripts are linked directly with each video, meaning developers can search in the transcript and then immediately jump to that part of the video. You can also see al instances where a keyword is mentioned and share time stamped links.


Apple's Adware Problem, by Tom Brossman

Apple users have an adware problem. Specifically, Apple fails to label adware in their App Store, which means that iOS users are unable to make informed decisions when choosing apps. Even advertising giant Google gets this right, being transparent about the issue and clearly labelling apps in their competing Google Play Store.

Disney Promotes Creative Young Women Filmmakers With Video Series Shot On iPhone X, by Lory Gil, iMore

For the past few years, Disney has been putting its princesses into more empowering roles in both the make-believe and real-life world. Continuing the #DreamBigPrincess social campaign started in 2017, Disney has upped the ante with a new campaign that lets young women make short films starring women that have inspired them.

With the help of Apple and Summerjax, 21 aspiring filmmakers will learn how to shoot, edit, and publish a short film for the DreamBigPrincess campaign.

People Are Using Fitbits And Apple Watches To Monitor Their Heart Rate When Binging On Drugs, by Christina Farr, CNBC

Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist and associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, said heart rhythm and blood pressure are also impacted by cocaine use and aren't currently trackable by most consumer smart devices. Even most heart rate monitors aren't foolproof. Many studies in recent years have found that popular heart rate trackers are less accurate than a standard chest strap.

"Taking drugs is always a risk, whether you're monitoring a tracker or not," Weiss said. "It's possible this is leading people to do more cocaine."

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I sure hope there isn't any bugs in the latest iOS version that will prevent me from backing up my iPhone to my Mac via an USB cable.

Of course, now that almost everything I do on my iPhone is sync-ed up via the different clouds (and servers), I am not sure if I need to continue to back up my iPhone onto my Mac.


Thanks for reading.

The Vetting-Process Edition Monday, July 9, 2018

How The App Store Changed My World (And Probably Yours, Too), by Leif Johnson, Macworld

Sometimes Apple does come off as too draconian, as in the case of the Steam Link app, which never saw release on iOS.

With Apple’s vetting process, though, I know I can download every little app that caters to my idiosyncrasies without worrying too much about whether it’s going to force me to undertake a fresh OS install next week. That certainly wasn’t as true in the days when my little Windows laptop was my entire life, when I risked the destruction of weeks of work solely because I wanted an app that helped me outline better.

Apple’s Shortcuts Will Flip The Switch On Siri’s Potential, by Matthew Cassinelli, TechCrunch

But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them.

With Shortcuts, both play a major role in how Siri will prove to be a truly useful assistant and not just a digital voice to talk to.

My Mac Mini, Kernel_task, And Dusty Hardware: Bring Back My Mini’s Zing, by Erica Sadun

If you want to point at one change Apple made that said to me: “No mini for you, move to the left!” a la that Seinfeld episode, it was the death of the escape key. The escape key philosophically services a self-reliant power user. And I’m just not sure that Apple is in that market anymore.


Four New Apple Ads Portray The iPad As The Easier Way To Handle Notes, Paperwork And Travel, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

These present the iPad as a better way to handle notes, paperwork and travel.

Apple Shows Off iPhone X W/ Face ID In Humorous Game Show Ad, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This one, like many of the ads we’ve seen so far, focuses on Face ID and how it can be used to log-in to third-party applications.

PSA: If You’re Experiencing Excessive Battery On iOS 11.4, It’s Not Just You, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The primary issue seems to be standby battery life, with users reporting that their iPhone will drain an abnormal amount even when not being actively used.

Nimble Commander Is A macOS File Manager With A Minimalist Design, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Nimble Commander is a lightweight, small-footprint file manager with an ascetic look and feel. It doesn’t include any bells and whistles, so users who are focused on doing their everyday tasks don’t have to think about how to use it.


There’s No Such Thing As Motivation, by Aytekin Tank, Medium

But if you’re struggling to do something you care deeply about, go easy on yourself.

Tap into why you started your business, or why you’re flexing your creative muscles in the first place. It’s a much happier way to move through your days.

The Bulk Of Software Engineering In 2018 Is Just Plumbing, by Karl L. Hughes

A small business with 5-10 employees building a software-as-a-service web app needs to have a reliable, secure system, but does it need to be that much more robust than an off-the-shelf service provides? Do you really need AI-powered search, real-time dashboards for every internal team member, microsecond optimizations on your home page, and split testing for every feature you release? Probably not unless you’re just trying to project a facade of success…

Just as a good small business owner should hire a humble plumber who knows the standard tools required for small bathrooms, and will pay him market rate, a good engineering manager should hire humble team players who use industry-standard tools to build reliable software, and pay them market rate.

I Don’t Know How To Create A Website, by Musing Mortoray

The web has been part of my career since the beginning. I’ve created several sites, including apps and games, hell, I’ve even created web development tools, yet I have to admit I no longer know how to create a website. If I sat down right now to create a new site, I’d be even more boggled by the tools and tech than before. I feel like there’s some lesson in programming hiding here.


We Estimate China Only Makes $8.46 From An iPhone – And That's Why Trump's Trade War Is Futile, by Greg Linden, The Conversation

IPhone imports look like a big loss to the U.S., at least to the president, who argues that “China has been taking out $500 billion a year out of our country and rebuilding China.” One estimate suggests that imports of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus contributed $15.7 billion to last year’s trade deficit with China.

But, as our research on the breakdown of an iPhone’s costs show, this number does not reflect the reality of how much value China actually gets from its iPhone exports – or from many of the brand-name electronics goods it ships to the U.S. and elsewhere. Thanks to the globe-spanning supply chains that run through China, trade deficits in the modern economy are not always what they seem.

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Personally, I don't believe there will ever be any significant updates to the Mac mini line. The idea for a low-cost introduction to the Mac ecosystem for existing Windows customers is no longer relevant since that role has been moved over to the iPad line.

Maybe what we can hope for, instead, is a not-so-low-cost but not-so-high-end version of the Mac Pro?


Thanks for reading.

The Sense-of-Security Edition Sunday, July 8, 2018

How To Backup Your Mac: Why I Use 3 Different Solutions, by Henry T. Casey, Laptop Magazine

The thing about backups is that you can never have too many of them — or at least I can never have too many. I've been using not one, not two, but three backup solutions over the past few years: Backblaze, Time Machine and SuperDuper. It's brought me a great sense of security about my data.

Am I crazy? Possibly, but each utility has its own merits. One protects data regardless of where you bring your MacBook, another is perfect for retrieving single files and the third is ideal for restoring your system in as few steps as possible.

AirPods Could Revolutionize What It Means To Be Hard Of Hearing, by Lauren Alix Brown, Quartz

An estimated 15% of the American adult population has hearing loss but less than one-third of those who could benefit from hearing aids, actually use them, in part because of cost. Smartphones, more specifically listening to audio at too high levels, are estimated to put over 1 billion young people at risk for hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. As the US population ages, it’s likely that the Live Listen will become a more affordable and accessible solution to a growing problem.

The Touch Bar On The MacBook Pro Is Well Implemented, But Serves No Useful Purpose, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

We can't help but feel that the Touch Bar is a transition to something else. While we'd prefer that tactile keys don't go away, between the short travel on Apple's Butterfly keyboard and the Touch Bar, we're starting to wonder if Apple wants to build a machine without a physical keyboard, and one with all virtual keys.

Beta Track

All The Ways iOS 12 Will Make Your iPhone More Secure, by David Nield, Wired

The annual iOS refresh is on the way—Apple has previewed it, beta testers have installed it, and the rest of us should get iOS 12 when iPhones arrive in September. While features such as winking 3-D emoji and screen-time limits for your apps might take much of the attention when the software arrives, iOS 12 is a major step forward in one other crucial area: smartphone security.

It's something Apple has always prided itself on, with its tightly locked App Store and full device encryption, but iOS 12 is going to make your iPhone more secure than ever before. Here's how.


Does The Apple TV Do Enough To Warrant Its Premium Price?, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

I have a lot of hope for tvOS and Apple TV long-term. It’s got as much future promise as any of Apple’s products. The TV experience still hasn’t been reinvented, and I hopeful Apple is still pulling at strings. AirPlay, Apple Music, and iCloud Photo Library just aren’t enough.

Google PhotoScan Is A Handy Pocket Photo Scanner, by Josh Centers, TidBITS\

It may seem as though all photos are digital these days, but, amazingly, I still come across the occasional physical photo. School photos, my son’s sports photos, and tourist-trap attraction photos still come into our lives on paper, even if they started out digital. Needless to say, that’s annoying because they’re segregated from the bulk of my photo collection, and they’re difficult to share with family and friends. The obvious solution is to scan them, but like many people, I don’t deal with enough physical photos to invest in a quality scanner.

Here’s an alternative. Google’s free PhotoScan app for the iPhone is a quick and easy way to digitize photos while automatically removing glare. PhotoScan doesn’t prompt you to log in to a Google account, reducing the privacy concerns often associated with Google services. And unlike a dedicated photo scanner, it’s always in your pocket, so you can scan a photo no matter where you are.


I'm Bored, What Do I Do?, by Ibrahim Diallo

To put it in less theoretical words, make something. Create something. Build something. Anything!


The Rise Of 'pseudo-AI': How Tech Firms Quietly Use Humans To Do Bots' Work, by Olivia Solon, The Guardian

It’s hard to build a service powered by artificial intelligence. So hard, in fact, that some startups have worked out it’s cheaper and easier to get humans to behave like robots than it is to get machines to behave like humans.

“Using a human to do the job lets you skip over a load of technical and business development challenges. It doesn’t scale, obviously, but it allows you to build something and skip the hard part early on,” said Gregory Koberger, CEO of ReadMe, who says he has come across a lot of “pseudo-AIs”.

“It’s essentially prototyping the AI with human beings,” he said.

In The Age Of Despair, Find Comfort On The ‘Slow Web’, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

There is a certain art to sitting down—even in front of a screen—and spending a few minutes meditating on a grassy knoll in England, or joining a stranger on a stroll through Tokyo just as cherry blossoms begin to bloom. One of my favorite “slow web” videos captures the train ride from Bergen to Oslo, a seven-and-a-half hour journey along the spine of Norway. There is no music. No narration. Just seven and a half hours of lakes and mountains, farmhouses dotting the hillsides, snow-dusted mountains, and the occasional interruption of the train conductor announcing the next stop.

The Intricately-Manipulated Edition Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Death Of The Public Square, by Franklin Foer, The Atlantic

And now, the tech giants are racing to insert themselves more intimately in people’s lives, this time as personal assistants. The tech companies want us to tie ourselves closely to their machines—those speakers that they want us to keep in our kitchens and our bedrooms: Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, Apple’s Siri. They want their machines to rouse us in the morning and to have their artificial intelligence guide us through our days, relaying news and entertainment, answering our most embarrassing questions, enabling our shopping. These machines don’t present us with choices. They aren’t designed to present us with a healthy menu of options. They anticipate our wants and needs, even our informational and cultural wants and needs.

What’s so pernicious about these machines is that they weaponize us against ourselves. They take our data—everywhere we have traveled on the web, every query we’ve entered into Google, even the posts we begin to write but never publish—and exploit this knowledge to reduce us to marionettes. All this has become painfully evident in the controversies over Facebook. With this intimate portrait of our brains, Facebook maps our anxieties and pleasure points. It uses the cartography of our psyche to array the things we read and the things we watch, to commandeer our attention for as long as possible, to addict us. When our conversation and debate is so intensely and intricately manipulated, can it truly be said to be free?


How To Free Up Space On Your iPhone, by Josie Colt, Wired

Don't let limited storage stop you from taking another Instagram-worthy photo or downloading another album to listen to on the go. It's easy to free up space on your iPhone. Follow our best tips and tricks and you'll lighten the load on your iPhone within an hour.

Review: Tap Is A Futuristic Hand-Worn Keyboard That Lets You Type With Gestures, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Tap is a hand-worn, futuristic replacement for a keyboard, mouse, and game controller that connects to iPhones and iPads, Macs, and PCs, and other devices using Bluetooth.

Tap fits over your fingers and can be used on any surface, meaning you can do away with a traditional desk, but mastering its use takes some intensive practice that may turn some people away.


It's The End Of The API Economy As We Know It, by Bob Reselman, ProgrammableWeb

Companies that rely upon third-party public APIs (for example, those from Facebook, Twitter, and other API providers) to do business have always been at risk. This is nothing new. Over the last decade, ProgrammableWeb has watched and reported as many of the APIs that developers rely on (i.e., Netflix, ESPN, Edmunds, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) have either significantly dialed down their functionality, changed their API terms of service, or shut down altogether. But none of these made mainstream media headlines the way the recent Cambridge Analytica fiasco involving Facebook’s APIs did.

The damage was widespread. Not only has the much-maligned UK-based firm shut down, but many developers are also feeling the pain as Facebook and other API providers adjust their API capabilities accordingly, in many cases without warning.


Why We Suddenly Care That Google Let App Developers Read Our Gmail, by Will Oremus, Slate

The explanation is not that Google has been backsliding on its privacy practices. It’s that the public and the media are starting to set the bar higher in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal—reassessing, along the way, our relationships with some of the world’s biggest internet companies. And that’s a very good thing.

The Milestones-and-Testimonials Edition Friday, July 6, 2018

The App Store Turns 10, by Apple

When Apple introduced the App Store on July 10, 2008 with 500 apps, it ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more. Over the past decade, the App Store has created a safe place for users of all ages to get the very best apps and a vibrant app economy for developers of all sizes, from all over the world, to thrive. Today, customers in 155 countries are visiting the App Store more often, staying longer and downloading and using more apps than ever before.

While there have been many notable moments since apps first came to iPhone and later iPad, the milestones and testimonials below reflect some of the most significant over the past 10 years — defining how the App Store democratized software distribution and transformed how we live every day.

15 Years Ago, I Went Indie And Didn’t Know It. – Building Ulysses, by Max Seelemann, Medium

Ulysses has been with me all that time. No matter where I was, no matter what I was doing, I kept coming back to this project. What started as a hobby in my free time somehow turned into a proper company of 12 people.

When thinking back, what strikes me the most is how I never planned to become who I am now. I’d attribute most of my path to a privileged childhood, coincidence, timing, dedication, perseverance and a portion of luck. In hindsight, one could think that I carefully planned the consecutive steps towards a goal. But I never had that big a vision for what I wanted to become, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do “later in life”. Instead, lazy as I am, life just played out step by step.


Apple's Latest 'Shot On iPhone' Short Films Capture The Essence Of Soccer, by AppleInsider

Apple on Thursday published a trio of "Shot on iPhone" short films that take an intimate look at the beautiful game, which for many transcends boundaries to act as a force of identity, meditation and inspiration.

Compare Before/After Edits In Photos, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The before/after comparison in Photos on the Mac works much the same way as it did in iPhoto. Double-click a photo in Photos and then click the Edit button in the upper-right corner (or press Return) to edit it. Make a change by clicking the Enhance button, tweaking sliders in the Adjust panels, or applying a filter. Then, while you’re still in edit mode, press the M key to see the original image. It sticks around only while the key is down; let go to see the edited image again. You can repeat the action as often as you want and even if you stop editing a photo and return to it later, but remember, it works only in edit mode.

Newton Launches Recap Feature To Remind You Of Email You Missed, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

If you get massive amounts of email, Recap might be a way to deal with staying on top of the important things.

CARROT Weather Adds Powerful New Weather Maps, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Weather maps were previously a nice-to-have feature of CARROT Weather, but now they're so much more valuable. Future radar especially is a feature I'm sure to get good use out of going forward.

Belkin’s New Lightning-enabled Power Bank Comes With Apple Certification, by Brain Heater, TechCrunch

Belkin’s new portable charger sports a Lightning port in between two standard USBs, so it can be charged up with the same cable you use for your iPhone/iPad.

Twitterrific Removes Push Notifications And Live-streaming Features Ahead Of Twitter API Change, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Starting today, users will no longer be able to receive notifications from Twitterrific, the company said in a blog post. Their answer to this problem is to use the first-party Twitter client. Any users who purchased the Push Notifications Advanced Features on iOS will continue to receive notifications until Twitter deactivates the API, which will be around August 16.


Apple Opens iOS 12 Shortcuts App Testing To Developers Over TestFlight, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple is making its new Shortcuts app in iOS 12 available for developer testing ahead of release through TestFlight. Shortcuts is based on Apple’s acquisition of Workflow and be available in the App Store when iOS 12 is released later this fall.

iPhone App Subscription Fees Doubled In A Year, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Apple reported today that revenue from subscriptions is up 95 percent over last year.

There are now over 28,000 iOS applications that offer subscriptions. This includes productivity suites like Microsoft Office 365, streaming services like Netflix, dating apps like Tinder, and cloud-storage services like Dropbox.

Databases 101, by Thomas LaRock

A short time ago a colleague asked me where he could find a “Databases 101” guide for the non-technical professional. As it turns out, the internet is littered with information, and mis-information, regarding data and databases. This makes it difficult for someone entering the field of data and databases to understand the bigger picture. He wanted something to help make sense of data and databases, specifically relational versus NoSQL.

So, that’s what I decided to work on. This is the start of my Databases 101 guide for the non-database professional; something to help anyone understand why the word “database” is an overloaded term. We use the term “database” to describe a great many things. To show how far down the rabbit hole we have gone, all you need are three words: “Microsoft Access Database”.


Apple Music Just Surpassed Spotify’s U.S. Subscriber Count, by Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News

Apple Music has more paying subscribers in the United States than Spotify, according to confidential details shared with Digital Music News this morning.

The source, a US-based, major distributor, shared a report detailing the subscriber tallies of several streaming music services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Sirius XM. That report now ranks Apple Music as first in the United States, at least among primarily on-demand music streaming services (Sirius XM Satellite Radio, which operates in North America exclusively, has more than 33 million subscribers).

Bottom of the Page

It has been 10 years since everyone finally figured out that the way to install an application is just to tap on a button, and the way to remove an application is just to tap on a different button.

No more DMG files and remembering to eject that virtual drive; no more ZIP files and dragging stuff all over the place; no more InstallShield. Please.


I am excited about Shortcuts. I haven't been this excited with a new iOS feature for quite a while. I hope app makers will be upgrading their apps to take advantage of workflows, and not just adding some gimmickry Siri commands.


Thanks for reading.

The Left-Handed Edition Thursday, July 5, 2018

10 Reasons You Should Put The Mouse On The Left If You’re Right-Handed, by hb20007, Medium

There is research to support this. In a study, researchers asked volunteers to place their mouse on the left side for a month. Not only were the subjects able to adjust easily and handle computing tasks using smaller movements, it also improved their posture during work because they didn’t have to stretch as far to reach for the mouse (they used desktop computers with keyboards that are longer on the right side because of the numpad). Out of the 27 volunteers, 16 decided to maintain the left-handed placement of the mouse after the experiment ended.

Just Put On An App-y Face, by Freida Marie Crump, My Journal Courier

That’s why I’d hesitated joining the thundering herd of iPhone users. I simply wanted to remain human just a bit longer before the entire world suffers from a digital lobotomy. And that’s why I was directed toward our local tavern instead of church last Sunday morning. Hidden somewhere deep in the bowels of my IPhone is a device that keeps track of where I go and when. Once it gets enough data then it will start directing me instead of the other way around. Apparently the Coonridge barroom is the only business located with a couple of blocks of our church and after my phone learned that I go to church at the same time every Sunday morning it began dinging to direct me to the tavern down the street. When I told the ladies at the coffee klatch that because of them I had started drinking instead of praying on Sunday mornings they just laughed. I reminded them that God would punish them for their sins and we moved on to less digital topics.

Apple Registers Five New iPads And Macs In Eurasian Database, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

We are expecting significant updates to the iPad and Mac lines later this year, and Apple appears to be getting in the admin work early as five new iPad and five new Mac models have turned up in the Eurasian Economic Commission database as found by Consomac.


Best Apps For Managing Contacts And Deleting Duplicates On Your iPhone Or iPad, by Lory Gil, iMore

Gone are the days of dusty old address books filled with scribbles and scratched-out contacts in a variety of different colors of ink. Instead, we can keep all of our contacts right on our iPhones and iPads, and updating information doesn't require a second page. But, with advances in storing contacts comes the woes of managing them.

If you feel overwhelmed by how many people you know and all of the different ways in which you can get in touch with them, there is a solution - contact manager apps - and we've got a list of the best ones to suit your needs.

Take The Pane Out Of Using The Mac Finder, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Personally, I’m not a power user. But in the short time I used Commander One so that I could write this review, I was impressed at how notably faster I was able to navigate about my computer. Very impressive.


Dark Side Of The Mac: Appearance & Materials, by Kuba Suder, MacKuba

As with the changes in notifications, I’ve set out to collect everything related to dark mode from the WWDC videos this year and organize all the information in a way which makes more sense to me (since in the talks these things are often mentioned in a slightly random order and topics are scattered through multiple sessions). This eventually grew into the longest article on this blog, so instead of deleting some sections, I’ve decided to split it into two parts. This first part will be a bit more theoretical about some underlying features and APIs that make the dark mode work or that are especially relevant now, and the second part will be about the things you need to think about while updating the app (and in the future).

I’ve learned a lot about AppKit while writing this, and I’ve managed to clear up a lot of things which I didn’t fully understand before, so I hope this will help someone else too.


How Apple's New Software Turned My Life Upside Down, by Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo

So I’m stuck. I’m stuck with this beta version of macOS until the fall when the official release will drop. I’m stuck with the bugs, and I’m stuck with the frustration. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it’s the simple fact that I will not make this mistake again. I’ll stop thinking I’m some kind of super user and that I’m capable of using half-finished software for the fun of it. I’ll even be better about backing up my devices in the ways that Apple wants me to, in case I ever do need to restore them. I might even be a better computer user one day. Doubt I’ll ever recover from being a dumbass, though.

Who's Reading Your Gmail? Not Us, Says Google, And We Vet 3rd-party Apps That Do, by Liam Tung, ZDNet

In a blogpost, Google says it allows third-party apps to integrate with Gmail to give users more choice about how to access and use email.

However, the company stresses it is not compensated by developers for granting access to its application programming interface and no longer scans Gmail to serve targeted ads itself. Google ended that practice last year, bringing consumer Gmail in line with G Suite.

Bottom of the Page

If you are wondering if you should install beta software on your machines, then the answer is no. Beta software is not early preview; it's not sneak peek. It's software that contains bugs that may literally delete every single file on your machines.


Thanks for reading.

The Accelerating-to-Deliver Edition Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Thoughts On Apple's Rapidly Evolving AI, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

What I’m saying isn’t a love letter to tech for the sake of it. It's just a simple attempt to articulate how rapidly AI development is accelerating to deliver real solutions to real problems.

Reader Mode In Safari, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

When you click the Reader button in the Safari address bar, the program analyzes the page for article text and relevant images and puts a reformatted version onto a separate layer on top of the original web page.

Apple Health’s New Health Records Feature Now Works With Even More Providers, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The full list now includes 65 supported doctors and health systems. Patients will start to see the results of the new API this fall.

Speaking In Code: Hands-free Programming, by Anna Nowogrodzki, Nature

Debilitating hand pain is always bad news, but Harold Pimentel’s was especially unwelcome. As a computational-biology PhD student, his work involved constant typing — and he was born with only one arm. “My adviser jokingly said, ‘Can’t you do this by voice?’” he recalls. Three years later, as a computational-genomics postdoc at Stanford University in California, he does just that.

Pimentel had cubital tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive strain injury (RSI). The syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve, which travels down the outer edge of the arm, becomes pinched at the elbow, causing numbness, pain and loss of fine motor control in the hands and fingers. RSI can derail the careers of computational biologists and other scientists who code. Now, a small but growing community has developed a workaround: coding by voice command. It takes at least a month of difficult, sometimes frustrating, training to get set up, but coding by voice helps these programmers to keep doing their jobs or continue their studies. And they say that there are unexpected advantages.

Social Media Is 'Deliberately' Addictive, by Hilary Andersson, BBC

"It's as if they're taking behavioural cocaine and just sprinkling it all over your interface And that's the thing that keeps you like coming back and back and back", said former Mozilla and Jawbone employee Aza Raskin.

"Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally like literally a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting" he added.

The Strategically-Genius Edition Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Apple's New macOS Mojave Optimizes The Mac For iOS Users, Not PC Switchers, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

If you're worried that Apple was going to throw away Macs to focus on iOS, you can relax. Macs are following the same strategy of interactive enhancement that in retrospect is both strategically genius and also just competent work and artistic craft. Things are just moving a lot faster now.

Developer Shares Proof An iPad With Face ID Is Coming, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

In his post, Steve Troughton-Smith noted that AvatarKit, Apple's framework for operating its Animoji and Memoji features as well as other functions, has been altered in iOS 12 to support an iPad-size screen. A screenshot supplied with the post shows what appears to be the main interface for producing Animoji, but on the larger iPad-style screen.

Apple's Rumored 18W USB-C iPhone Power Adapter Prototype Shown Off In New Photos, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Recent rumors and CAD renderings have suggested Apple may be planning to include an 18-watt USB-C charger and a Lightning to USB cable in the box with its iOS devices later this year, allowing for faster charging without requiring users to purchase separate charging accessories at additional cost.


Timing App Adds Sync For Time Tracking Across Multiple Macs, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Timing, the popular time tracking app for macOS, just released a new update for Timing 2. This update will be a game changer for people using multiple Macs.

Review: Lightwave Light Switch, The Best UK HomeKit Solution For Smart Lighting, Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Lightwave is the perfect answer for us, it lets us connect our non-standard lighting to a smart light system that anyone can use, either through the Home app or pressing the physical switch. If someone comes over, you don’t need to explain to them what to do. They can use the light switch like a light switch, as it should be.

Facebook Shuts Down 'Moves' Fitness Tracker And Two Other Apps Due To Low Usage, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

"Moves", "tbh", and the Android-only "Hello" all face the chop as part of the company's latest app cull. Facebook says the apps are being shuttered because of low usage.


Anti-Flow, by Michael Lopp, Rands In Repose

Anti-Flow is shower thoughts. They are the random connections your brain makes on a problem, a thought, or an opportunity when you aren’t thinking about that problem, thought or opportunity. The unexpected magical quality of these discoveries might give you the impression that the summoning exercise is equally magical, but I’ve discovered a simple process to create hours of fertile Anti-Flow.

The Hidden Cost Of Touchscreens, by Amber Case, Medium

While analog interfaces aren’t applicable to every situation, they do force designers to make permanent decisions. And because specific choices must be made for physical button placement, it’s harder to design an unusable analog interface. And design decisions must be final. Software interfaces can be quickly changed and deployed without the same process — and the world is filling up with nested, mystery-meat menus and confusing user flows.


Gmail App Developers Have Been Reading Your Emails, by Shannon Liao, The Verge

Third-party app developers can read the emails of millions of Gmail users, a report from The Wall Street Journal highlighted today. Gmail’s access settings allows data companies and app developers to see people’s emails and view private details, including recipient addresses, time stamps, and entire messages. And while those apps do need to receive user consent, the consent form isn’t exactly clear that it would allow humans — and not just computers — to read your emails.

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Of course the iPad is going to get Face ID. It's just a matter of this year or next year.

I will not be surprise if iPad gets Face ID this year. Next year: iMac's turn.


Yes, I know the app is owned by Facebook, and it is not cool these days to be giving private data to apps owned by Facebook, but I am using the Moves app. This app allows me to answer questions such as where the hell did I have lunch last Thursday.

I am now auditioning for replacement apps.


The last time I went looking for an app -- to have the app automatically remind me to get off the train when I reach my destination -- and after I try out a few not-so-satisfying apps, it turned out that iOS already have such a feature built-in.

No wonder there wasn't any good apps to do that.


Thanks for reading.

The Joyride-Cruising Edition Monday, July 2, 2018

Classic Computing joyride—Cruising Through Modern Workloads On A Macintosh IIsi, by Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica

Back in September 2014, Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham took on a Herculean challenge in modern computing. Egged on by his coworkers, he used a PowerBook G4 running OS 9.2.2 as his “daily driver” for a couple of days, placing a turn of the century bit of hardware into the present tense. It's no surprise that almost nothing was achieved that week (except for, of course, the excellent article).

I had that story on my mind when, many years later while browsing a local online classifieds site, I stumbled across a gem: a Macintosh IIsi. Even better, the old computer was for sale along with the elusive but much desired Portrait Display, a must-have for the desktop publishing industry of its time. I bought it the very next day.

It took me several days just to get the machine to boot at all, but I kept thinking back to that article. Could I do any better? With much less? Am I that arrogant? Am I a masochist?

How An Apple Genius Mysteriously Solved My Aggressive iPhone Charging Problem, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

"Back there, we've got one of those lights that a doctor uses to look inside your ears," she said, as I tried to look as if I was marveling.

"And we've got a special tool," she added.

She plugged a Lightning cable into my phone and it showed signs of life. Meanwhile, I pondered this special tool.


What’s The Best Password Manager For macOS And iOS?, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Overall, 1Password is just a fantastic app/service. It feels like the most native app to the Apple ecosystem. It has a fair pricing model and has continued to receive updates to take advantage of whatever new features Apple has offered with new versions of iOS and macOS. Other apps like Dashlane and LastPass are great, but 1Password provides, in my opinion, an overall better experience. Safari’s Password Manager is an excellent feature for something built into iOS and macOS, but 1Password is worth every penny. It integrates with all the major browsers for ease of use.

The AudioKit Synth One Is A Pro-level iPad Synth That’s Completely Free, by Dani Deahl, The Verge

The Synth One, which Fecher describes as “the largest free and open-source iOS music project in history,” is a professional-level polyphonic synth created by a team of over 100 volunteers over the course of several years.


Here's The Difference Between Leading And Managing A Team, by Robert Glazer, Ladders

It takes great leaders and talent to grow a successful company. One of the best descriptions of a leader I’ve heard is that leaders focus on vision and strategy, guiding and removing obstacles for their teams — something like a coach in sports.

Managers typically focus more on the execution piece, working in the business. By contrast, real leadership means providing a compelling vision and clear direction. Successful leaders clarify priorities and expectations, defining employee roles and ensuring that the processes and capacity required for them to execute are in place.


“I Was Devastated”: The Man Who Created The World Wide Web Has Some Regrets Social, by Katrina Brooker, Vanity Fair

“For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told me one morning in downtown Washington, D.C., about a half-mile from the White House. Berners-Lee was speaking about the future of the Internet, as he does often and fervently and with great animation at a remarkable cadence. With an Oxonian wisp of hair framing his chiseled face, Berners-Lee appears the consummate academic—communicating rapidly, in a clipped London accent, occasionally skipping over words and eliding sentences as he stammers to convey a thought. His soliloquy was a mixture of excitement with traces of melancholy. Nearly three decades earlier, Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. On this morning, he had come to Washington as part of his mission to save it.

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I do enjoy using Evernote. I do appreciate that there is a native Evernote client in all the platforms that I do use -- iPhone, iPad, Macintosh, and Windows 10.

However, there is one frustration point for me: that the Mac client and the Windows client are similar in general, but different in many important and subtle ways: how to create stacks, how to rename notebooks, etc. This just means that whatever habit I picked up in using the software on one platform cannot be reused in the same software on another platform.

(There must be a Marzipan connection somewhere, but I am too tried to think of one.)


The Microsoft of yore had created J++ and C# to counter Java. I wonder what that Microsoft of yore will do with Swift and Marzipan.


Oh, and finally, all I want to say is that there are many managers who are masquerading as leaders.


Thanks for reading.

The Hasn't-Mattered Edition Sunday, July 1, 2018

Apple And Samsung’s Truce Is The End Of An Era For Design, by Jesus Diaz, Fast Company

The truth is that the provenance of smartphone design hasn’t mattered for a very long time. The iPhone 4 was the last major leap forward from the original iPhone. Since then, we’ve watched years of cross-copying and iterating from every hardware manufacturer. Where we can expect to see innovative design is in software–and in particular, how tech companies are embedding AI in their products (even if it’s largely been through voice assistants that don’t seem all that smart, for now). Meanwhile, the technology underlying all smartphones will keep iteratively evolving, with faster processors and cameras that are incrementally better than the previous model. Just like computers did before smartphones. Or fridges. Or cars. Or any other invention that changed the world.

Lite Fantastic: Why Slimmed-down Phone Apps Are The Fast Way Forward, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

It isn’t just the sheer quantity of apps that is threatening to drown our poor smartphones either. Most of them have ballooned in size becoming bloated messes, filled with feature after feature that you probably don’t use, and taking up far too much space and clogging up your phone in the process.


But it doesn’t have to be this way. The new push towards lite apps can help – stripped-down versions of your favourite apps that bring the experience back to what made you download it in the first place. Gone are the needless features and with them so too are the countless megabytes of precious storage space they took up. As a consequence they launch way faster and often simply work better.

Apple’s Renovated Palo Alto Store Blends Latest Retail Layout With Classic Design Elements, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Gone are the narrow product tables and metal shelving that were once built into the store’s walls. In their place are new fixtures that will look familiar to anyone who’s visited a modern Apple store recently. Wood shelving and displays known as Avenues now line the sales area. These displays change seasonly and highlight current areas of Apple’s interest. A splash of greenery provides a quieter place to sit for a moment.


Gadgets To Help You Shoot Pro-Quality Movies On Your iPhone, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

As directors like Steven Soderbergh and Sean Baker have shown, you can conjure movie magic with an iPhone.

WhatsApp For iOS Adds New Features For Group Administrators, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature for administrators in groups. Similar to a feature offered by Telegram, this gives administrators the ability to be the only users in a group capable of sending messages.


Apple Launches New European Job Creation Webpage, Touting Company And App Store Statistics, by Kain Monty, Appleosophy

The new page touts the fact that the company is supporting over 1.7 million jobs with the tech giant spending €10 billion last year alone. Apple also states that Europe-based App Store developers have earned over €20 billion in App Store sales worldwide saying that ‘this is only the beginning’.

Is The “Netflix Of Podcasts” Moment Finally Here?, by Scott Porch, Fast Company

If you want see where streaming audio is headed, the current state of streaming video is a good place to start. The business models, content trends, and user features on video platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are increasingly making their way to podcast platforms like CastBox and Stitcher.