Archive for August 2018

The Gather-Round Edition Friday, August 31, 2018

Apple Announces Next iPhone Event For September 12: ‘Gather Round’, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

It’s official: Apple will hold its next big event on September 12 at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino. Apple issued media invites with the tagline ‘Gather round’ as a teaser today. While three new flagship iPhones and a redesigned Apple Watch are expected to be the star of the show, there are a lot of other products in the pipeline that could make an appearance at the big event.

This Is ‘iPhone XS’ — Design, Larger Version, And Gold Colors Confirmed, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Other details are still to be determined, but we can report with certainty that iPhone XS will be the name, the OLED model will come in two sizes including a larger version, and each will be offered in gold for the first time.

Apple Watch Series 4 Revealed — Massive Display, Dense Watch Face, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The biggest change is the all-new edge-to-edge display. Apple has been rumored to be working on ~15% bigger displays for both sizes of Apple Watch — that rumor has been confirmed in the images we’ve discovered. As expected, Apple has achieved this by dramatically reducing the bezel size around the watch display.

In addition to taking the display edge-to-edge, we’re also looking at a brand new watch face capable of showing way more information than the current faces offered. The analog watch face shows a total of eight complications around the time and within the clock hands.

Apple Blocks Its Gay Pride Watch Face In Russia, by Tom Warren, The Verge

iOS developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered that the pride Apple Watch face is “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”

How To Protect Your Cellphone (And Your Data) When You Travel, by Shivani Vora, New York Times

Many travelers consider their cellphones essential when they’re on the road and rely on it for taking pictures and texting to using it to find their way around.

So what do you do if your phone gets lost, stolen or breaks when you’re abroad? How can you prevent it from happening in the first place?


The Siri Photo Feature You're Probably Not Using (And Should Be), by Matt Elliott, CNET

Granted, Siri has room to grow when it comes to helping manage and parse huge photo libraries, but I've only recently discovered how powerful Apple's digital assistant is at locating specific photos. Siri has saved me from tons of furious swiping through the Photos app to dig up an old photo before the person standing next to me loses interest.

Osmo Super Studio Makes Kids’ Hand-drawn Mickey Mouse Art Come To Life, by Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat

Augmented reality kids app maker Osmo has teamed up with Disney for the first time to combine its reflective artificial intelligence system with hand-drawn art. You simply attach the Osmo mirror to an iPad and start the Osmo Super Studio app. The app shows an image of Mickey Mouse that the child can physically draw on a paper notepad in front of the iPad. The app digitizes that drawing and animates the child’s image, putting into motion the static picture in a seamless way.


Apple Requires Privacy Policy Metadata For All App Store Submissions From October 3, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Developers must include a link to their privacy policy in the metadata for their app, according to a new rule issued by Apple last night, one that extends the existing requirement for apps with subscriptions to all new apps and updates to exiting apps pushed to the App Store.


Firefox's New Browser Will Keep Brands From Stalking You, by Klint Finley, Wired

Future versions of Firefox will automatically block tracking codes placed by so-called third parties, advertisers or other firms that are not the website publisher; users won’t need to take any additional action. The feature is already being tested and is expected to be included in Firefox later this year. It will also block trackers that take too long to load. The features aren't designed to block ads, but may prevent some from being displayed, because the ads include tracking scripts that take too long to load.

New York City Is Briefly Labeled ‘Jewtropolis’ On Snapchat And Other Apps, by Mihir Zaveri, New York Times

All use embeddable maps from a third-party company called Mapbox. The company’s chief executive, Eric Gundersen, said in an interview the mishap was the “ugliest kind” of error.

Mapbox creates its maps using more than 130 different sets of data, including data from a map of the world called OpenStreetMap that is free to use and built by volunteers. One of the volunteers made more than 80 anti-Semitic or hate-oriented edits to locations around the world, including New York, Mr. Gundersen said.

The New Science Of Seeing Around Corners, by Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

While vacationing on the coast of Spain in 2012, the computer vision scientist Antonio Torralba noticed stray shadows on the wall of his hotel room that didn’t seem to have been cast by anything. Torralba eventually realized that the discolored patches of wall weren’t shadows at all, but rather a faint, upside-down image of the patio outside his window. The window was acting as a pinhole camera — the simplest kind of camera, in which light rays pass through a small opening and form an inverted image on the other side. The resulting image was barely perceptible on the light-drenched wall. But it struck Torralba that the world is suffused with visual information that our eyes fail to see.

“These images are hidden to us,” he said, “but they are all around us, all the time.”

The experience alerted him and his colleague, Bill Freeman, both professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the ubiquity of “accidental cameras,” as they call them: windows, corners, houseplants and other common objects that create subtle images of their surroundings. These images, as much as 1,000 times dimmer than everything else, are typically invisible to the naked eye. “We figured out ways to pull out those images and make them visible,” Freeman explained.

Bottom of the Page

XS? Really?

If so, chances are the "iPhone X" brand will not be around in 2019.

(The entry-level iPad went from 'iPad Air 2' to plain 'iPad'. That's including a change of name. I doubt Apple will execute a move from 'iPhone XS' back to 'iPhone X'.)


Thanks for reading.

The Thin-and-Transparent Edition Thursday, August 30, 2018

Apple Buys Startup Focused On Lenses For AR Glasses, by Stephen Nellis, Retuers

Apple Inc has acquired a startup focused on making lenses for augmented reality glasses, the company confirmed on Wednesday, a signal Apple has ambitions to make a wearable device that would superimpose digital information on the real world.


Akonia said its display technology allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” The firm has a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials, according to its website.

Put Your Phone In Do Not Disturb Mode Forever, by Paris Martineau, The Outline

I’ve been living like this for about eight months or so and I honestly don’t think I could ever go back. Sure, the downside is I don’t answer texts and emails immediately, but the upside is I don’t answer texts and emails immediately. It’s fantastically relaxing and comes with the added bonus of giving your friends and loved ones the impression you’re doing something interesting or fulfilling with your life, rather than just scrolling through Twitter and not continually responding to the pressure of push notifications.


You Took Lousy iPhone Photos. Here’s How To Make Them Beautiful., by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

Not every shot on your smartphone will be Instagram worthy, but you can often salvage middling snaps with just a few taps. Here are six easy steps.

Due 3.0 Adds Pure Black Theme, Custom Snooze Times, And Haptic Feedback, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Due notifications provide three snooze options. If you turn on the custom snooze setting, tapping the third option displays the same quick-entry grid used to create reminders. It’s a handy way to dial in the exact amount of time you want to snooze a reminder.

Eve Systems Expands Its HomeKit Compatible Line Of Products, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Eve Systems is expanding its connected home product family, Eve, to include: an European version of Eve Light Switch; a LED accent lighting solution, Eve Light Strip; and a triple-socket Eve Power Strip.

Square Introduces New Lightning Credit Card Reader For iPhones Without Headphone Jacks, No Dongle Needed, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Square is launching a new swipe-based card reader that takes Lightning, allowing you to make payments on an iPhone and iPad.


Just How Short Could We Make The Workweek?, by Bryan Lufkin, BBC

So in an effort to improve workers’ work-life balance, companies and governments around the world are experimenting with cutting working hours. It’s a move that attracts huge interest – a recent trial from New Zealand generated international headlines by cutting the workweek from five days to four.

But why stop at four days? Why can’t we all work three, two, or even half a day each week? Is there a sweet spot where it doesn’t pay to work fewer hours?

Bottom of the Page

Personally, I don't think the latest Apple acquisition means that Apple is getting into AR glasses.


Thanks for reading.

The Discontinued-in-April Edition Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Apple Updates AirPort Express Firmware With AirPlay 2 Support, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has released version 7.8 of the firmware for compatible AirPort Express WiFi routers to add AirPlay 2 support. Although there had been hints in iOS betas that the latest iteration of Apple’s peer-to-peer streaming technology was coming to the Express routers, its addition still came as a surprise since the routers were discontinued in April.

AirPort Express Adds AirPlay 2 Support, by Benjamin Mayo

What I hope Apple introduces is a rebranded/redesigned AirPort Express for $49, that ditches all of the wireless networking stuff and just acts as an AirPlay 2 audio repeater. Maybe it will be manufactured by Apple’s new best friend, Logitech. Perhaps Beats will make one. If such a product existed (and maybe it will in a couple weeks), I would be less riled up. At least then, you could point people to something that serves the same role as the Express. The status quo is ridiculous.

13 Easy Ways To Fix Your iPhone Or Mac With Common Household Items, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

Over the past eight years, Apple users have found all sorts of clever hacks to fix your iPhone without going out and buying pricey parts or accessories.

Some hacks can even make your iPhone better than it was out of the box.

So the next time you're having iPhone issues, try a DIY solution first. Not only will it save you a trip, but it could also save you some cash.

Designing An App That Helps Doctors Prescribe The Right Drugs Quickly, by Sarah Dawood, Design Week

The British National Formulary (BNF) reference book, which is published by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), is like a bible to medical professionals. Sent out to doctors regularly across the UK, the book is used to look up drugs, as well as the conditions they are used to treat (indications), to see when drugs should not be prescribed such as when a patient is on other medication (contraindications), and to understand side effects, doses, legal classifications and prices.

While having a physical book to flick through has its merits, the BNF realised that the prescribing time could be cut with the use of an app that does the searching for you.

This App Lets Seniors Book “Grandkids On Demand”, by Adele Peters, Fast Company

When an octogenarian in Florida uses a new “grandkids on demand” app called Papa, the service will send a carefully-vetted college student help with whatever the senior needs–someone to drive to the grocery store and help shop, help with chores, or give them a simple training in how to use Instagram or an iPad. But unlike Uber or Taskrabbit, the app aims to address a larger problem: loneliness.

“We believe [the problem of loneliness] is a big portion of what we’re solving,” says Andrew Parker, Papa’s founder. “I think this is going to be a bigger problem over time, even more so than we realize now.”


Apple Releases Second Supplemental Update For 2018 MacBook Pro Owners Running macOS 10.13.6, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

The initial supplemental update, if you recall, was to fix the alleged throttling issues with the latest generation MacBook Pros, which Apple said was a firmware bug.

Apple Details Changes Coming In Mojave And iOS 12 For System Administrators, by TidBITS

The company outlines changes that system administrators in charge of managed devices might need to know or deal with.

My iPad Photography Workflow, by Shawn Blanc, The Sweet Setup

This article is about my mobile photography workflow — the process I use to get images onto my iPad, how I edit them, and why there are a lot of best practices that I’m intentionally bypassing.

Adobe XD Adds Third-party Plugin Support, New Integrations With Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The biggest addition to Adobe XD is support for plugins. Using Adobe’s APIs, community members and partners will be able to develop new features and automations for the application that users can install. Adobe plans to make the platform available later in 2018.


Tim Cook Nets $58M In Sale Of Vested AAPL Stock Bonus, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Cook's batch of 560,000 RSUs was granted last Friday after the Apple chief satisfied performance goals set forth by the company's board of directors. The granted stock was worth some $123 million at the end of trading on Tuesday.

The Capacity-to-Distract Edition Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The iPhone’s Original UI Designer On Apple’s Greatest Flaws, by Katharine Schwab, Fast Company

Chaudhri left Apple in 2017, after spending almost two decades designing interfaces for the iPod, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV as well as the iPhone, to pursue a still-under-wraps company of his own. I recently sat down with him to talk about his time at Apple, and had the chance to ask him how he views his legacy now that the downsides of smartphones have come into focus. He cited the challenges of working as a designer at a giant corporation, where his personal ethics didn’t always align with decision-making, but also said something else: That he always knew, even when playing with the phone’s earliest prototypes, that one of its greatest flaws would be its capacity to distract and monopolize users’ attention spans–and that Apple purposely didn’t give users enough tools to maintain their control over the device.

Brian Bumbery, Publicist For Metallica, Madonna And Green Day, Joins Apple Music, by Shirley Halperin, Variety

The move comes in the context of a larger transition at Apple Music, as former head Jimmy Iovine recently completed his move to a consulting role this month.


Hands On: Airmail 3.6 For Mac Updated With Fix For Security Issue, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

When you have a lot of emails to work through and perhaps you're also short on time, use Airmail and blast through that inbox with speed and efficiency. Airmail's features for dealing with emails really are that much better and usually that much faster too.

Google Adds iPad Support To Its Video Calling FaceTime Competitor ‘Duo’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Optimization for the iPad comes as part of Google Duo version 39, and is the only change included in that update for iOS users.

Samsung Launches Curved, 34-inch Display With Thunderbolt 3, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio, 3,440-by-1,440 resolution, and covers 125 percent of the sRGB color gamut with 3,000:1 contrast. Mostly notably though it has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which supplies 85 watts of power, enough for 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros.


Solve Less General Problems, Benjamin Supnik

Don't come up with a general solution that works for your data and other data that your program will literally never see. General solutions are more expensive to develop and probably have down-sides you don't need to pay for.

Managing Up Is An Art, by Alison Green, Slate

To be clear, managing up isn’t about manipulating your boss or managing her perceptions. It’s about working with your boss in a way that will produce the best possible results for the organization, while at the same time decreasing your own stress level—which is to say, making you happier at work. For instance, if you have a busy manager who frequently cancels your weekly meeting, you could say, “I know you’re really busy—but can I talk to your assistant and get 10 minutes on your calendar?” You also might anticipate that she’s likely to cancel your meeting tomorrow and, as a safety measure, grab her for two minutes after today’s staff meeting to ask your most pressing question. Or send her an email telling her how you plan to move forward if you don’t hear from her by the end of the week. The point here is to not get so focused on your boss’s less-than-ideal behaviors that you miss the things that are in your control.

Why Curiosity Matters, by Francesca Gino, Harvard Business Review

In most organizations, leaders and employees alike receive the implicit message that asking questions is an unwanted challenge to authority. They are trained to focus on their work without looking closely at the process or their overall goals. But maintaining a sense of wonder is crucial to creativity and innovation. The most effective leaders look for ways to nurture their employees’ curiosity to fuel learning and discovery.


Fatherhood Through The Lens Of Steve Jobs, by Linda Nielsen, New York Times

Forgiving her father is a gift a daughter gives, not just to her father, but to herself. In choosing not to allow her bitterness about his failings as a father to consume her, a daughter is choosing not to deprive herself of whatever pleasure she can still derive from their relationship. She does not deny the past. But she does not dwell in it. Forgiving does not mean forgetting.

Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s memoir may provide a comforting message for parents who fear that their mistakes and missteps inevitably will lead to irreparable damage — and for daughters who are grappling with their father’s failures as a parent. Adult children can choose to focus on the dearness or the darkness of their childhood relationships with their parents. Ms. Brennan-Jobs chose dearness. Will we?

The Naming-Conundrum Edition Monday, August 27, 2018

Apple To Embrace iPhone X Design With New Colors, Bigger Screens, by Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Bloomberg

The world’s most valuable company plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter. The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.


The new iPhone lineup has presented Apple with a naming conundrum, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. The company will be selling three phones that look similar and all have Face ID. But the cheapest model will be larger than the mid-range version, potentially confusing consumers.

Apple Replaced My Butterfly Keyboard, by Joe Wilcox, BetaNews

All that said, I commend Apple Store for giving more than promised with the repair—and for making a program available to fix problems for free. Still, no keyboard replacement should have been necessary. That, reportedly, particles as small as dust can cause Butterfly keyboard failure must be first and foremost regarded as a design failure.

How To Manage Your Digital Read-it-later List—before It's Too Late, by David Nield, Popular Science

Most of us have some kind of system for saving online articles we want to read...eventually. Maybe you favorite tweets, employ a dedicated app like Instapaper, add links to a bookmarks folder, or leave a few gazillion tabs open in your web browser.

There's just one problem with this habit: You add stories to your list faster than you can check them off, increasing your roundup with each passing week. Eventually, read-it-later lists can become as clogged as email inboxes.

It's time to finally finish your pile of saved stories—or at least whittle it down to a manageable size. Here are some strategies to help you work through your self-assigned reading.


Secret iMessage Shortcuts: 14 Gestures To Speed Up Your iPhone Chat!, by Tory Foulk and Rene Ritchie, iMore

Messages is the most popular app on iPhone because it's what keeps you in touch with everyone else who has an iPhone. And iPad, and Mac, and any other kind of phone. Thanks to all the gestures and shortcuts Apple's built into Messages, it also keeps you in that contact quicker than ever. Not all of them are obvious, but all of them are useful — once you figure them out!

Eve Room HomeKit Air Quality Monitor Redesigned With Display, Built-in Battery, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The original Eve Room sensor worked with HomeKit and measured temperature, humidity, and air quality — but it had a larger plastic design and ran on AA batteries. The second generation Eve Room has a much smaller design, includes a built-in rechargeable battery, and now features an e-ink display that shows you data on the device.

Replace Your Alarm Clock With Meditation Using This App, by Emily Price, Lifehacker

The iOS and Android app Beditations kind of turns the idea of how we go to sleep and how we wake up on its head, offering guided meditations not only to put you to sleep at night, but also morning meditations to wake you up in place of a traditional alarm clock.

Best Apps To Educate And Entertain Preschool- And Kindergarten-age Kids, by Joshua Rotter, CNET

Every moment can be a learning opportunity with our picks for the best educational apps for preschool- and kindergarten-age children. So before you hand your child your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to watch a cartoon in the car, over a long flight, or when you must step away for a minute, why not make the most of their time with the best apps for early learning? These kids apps are easy to pick up, provide a wealth of knowledge, and retain children's interest with an engaging interface, arresting sounds, and memorable characters. Best of all, these kids apps are so entertaining that your kids won't even know they're learning.


Apple, Sui Generis, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Wall Street still doesn’t trust Apple’s future. The company is seen as an anomaly, it shuns accepted ways of doing business and defies categorization. Perhaps the categories are wrong.

If Spotify Wants To Dominate Podcasting, It’s Time To Step Up Its Ambitions, by David Lidsky, Fast Company

Podcasting could be a compelling means by which Spotify distinguishes its streaming service and expands beyond music, but its efforts thus far are .5x in a world that’s moving at double or even triple speed.

Bottom of the Page

I think I read somewhere that Apple's marketing folks are involved in the product creation process right from the start -- which makes me think that there isn't any naming conundrum over at the marketing department on the names of the new iPhones.


Thanks for reading.

The Button-Elimination Edition Sunday, August 26, 2018

I Exchanged An Crusty Old iPhone For $75 In Store Credit At Apple — And It Only Took 30 Minutes, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

But you can't just throw old electronics away in the trash. They contain lots of toxic materials that shouldn't end up in landfills. And sometimes, your old phones and laptops retain a little bit of value, and can be cleaned up and used again.

I had an old iPhone 6 that I hadn't used in a year. I brought it into an Apple store without an appointment, and about 30 minutes later, I left with a $75 gift card to Apple.

Why Button-Less Phones Could Be The Future, by Christina Bonnington, Slate

The move to eliminate buttons would have numerous benefits. It would make phones virtually impermeable to damage from water or debris, eliminate hardware failing points, and offer a more personalized user experience. (Paired with wireless charging, a phone could one day be a completely solid, port-and-button-free device.) Like we’ve seen with virtual home buttons and fingerprint sensors, eliminating a button doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating a spot on the device you can feel with your fingertip.

App Shrinks Big Lake Of The Woods Down To Size, by Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune

This year on July 4th, the Polaris Industries powertrain engineer unveiled an iPhone app that he’s been researching on his own for years. He’s traveled thousands of miles on the border lake in search of abandoned gold mines, old prisoner of war camps, hidden waterfalls, beaches, rope swings, pictographs, rock carvings, hiking trails and pathways to adjacent lakes. The searchable app briefly describes each site, provides a photo and pinpoints it with GPS coordinates.

“It’s a labor of love,’’ said Laurin, a Chicago native who has lived in Roseau since 1990. “Best lake in the world … with all kinds of crazy history.’’


Apple Partners With US Carriers To Offer 2 Free Months Of 200GB iCloud Storage, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Customers upgrading their iPhone plans get recommended to visit a special iCloud link [...], which lets customers get 2 free months of the 200 GB iCloud tier, ostensibly to ‘get ready for your new iPhone’.

Yes, You Can Boost Your Mac With Blackmagic’s External GPU. But It’s So, So Not Worth It, by Raymond Wong, Mashable

My main beef with Blackmagic's eGPU isn't just that it's expensive or that the GPU is non-upgradeable, but that there are a whole lot checkboxes you need to tick off to get it to actually work. Even worse, when it's connected and not working, there's absolutely no way to tell (unless you're looking at the Activity Monitor or doing rigorous testing like me). It still lights up, and you still get the menu-bar icon.

PayPal Tragets Apple Pay Cash With Redesigned iOS App Focused On P2P Payments, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

PayPal this week announced that it has redesigned the PayPal app for iOS with a focus on making it easier for users to send and request money. The update comes as PayPal faces newfound competition from Apple Pay Cash.


The Ripper: The Disturbing Visceral Games Project That Never Was, by Alex Riviello, Polygon

The video game industry is built on the graves of failed projects, and it’s an ill-kept secret that big studios often dump millions of dollars into games that never see the light of day. They are abandoned and hidden behind contracts, never to be talked about again.

Dozens of people across multiple EA studios worked on The Ripper(sometimes also simply known as Ripper) for more than three years, from 2008 to 2011, when it was finally canceled. At the end, they were 95 percent finished with the game, but EA determined it was less costly to drop it than to market and release it. EA hasn’t ever officially confirmed Ripper’s existence, but thanks to interviews with multiple people with knowledge of the project — all speaking anonymously to protect their careers — we can now tell its story.

Bottom of the Page

I’m using my old iPhone 6 as a back-up alarm clock to my iPhone X alarm clock.

It is probably not much of a back-up currently, since both of the phones are on the same version of iOS. (My theory: if something goes wrong and the alarm doesn’t go off in the morning, chances are software bug is at fault.) And given that the upcoming iOS is going to perform faster on older phones too, I’ll probably not be keeping the older phone on the older iOS either.

The iPhone hasn’t fail to wake me up in the morning ever. I hope I didn’t jinx it.


A button-less phone can be very good. It can also be very bad. Design is key.


Thanks for reading.

The Skeleton-Key Edition Saturday, August 25, 2018

Security Flaws Inadvertently Left T-Mobile And AT&T Customers' Account PINs Exposed, by Nicole Nguyen, BuzzFeed

Apple’s online store contained the security flaw that inadvertently exposed over 77 million T-Mobile customers’ account PINs. The website for Asurion, a phone insurance company, had a separate vulnerability that exposed the passcodes of Asurion’s AT&T customers.

Apple and Asurion fixed the vulnerabilities after BuzzFeed News shared the security researchers’ findings. Apple declined to provide further comment on the record, stating only that the company is very grateful to the researchers who found the flaw. Asurion spokesperson Nicole Miller said, “Asurion takes customer security and privacy very seriously, and as such we have an ongoing, layered security program in place to prevent security issues. We are investigating the researcher’s concerns, but have immediately implemented measures to address these concerns to ensure customers’ accounts are safe.”

Phone Numbers Were Never Meant As ID. Now We’re All At Risk, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

In recent years, more and more companies and services have come to rely on smartphones to confirm—or "authenticate"—users. In theory, this makes sense; an attacker might get your passwords, but it's much harder for them to get physical access to your phone. In practice, it means that a single, often publicly available, piece of information gets used both as your identity and a means to verify that identity, a skeleton key into your entire online life. Hackers have known this, and profited from it, for years. Companies don't seem interested in catching up.

CloudKit Outage Sees Some Apps Experience (Temporary) User Data Loss, Apple Working On Fix, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

There appears to be some prolonged issues with Apple’s CloudKit service today, which Apple offers to developers as a way to store user data and sync across devices. Several developers have reported to us that they have seen data for their apps temporarily wiped in the last 24 hours as the CloudKit service experiences some form of outage.


Brydge 12.9 Series II Keyboard: This Is The One... At Least For Now, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Brydge has built a second-generation 12.9 Keyboard, and it worked perfectly for me right out of the box. There are a few minor changes here and there, including very slightly reduced key travel, but it’s still an excellent keyboard more reminiscent of the MacBook Air or the Magic Keyboard than Apple’s more recent-generation laptops. I think I like the feel of the Brydge 12.9 Series II even more than the original.

5 Meditation Apps To Help You Find Your Peace, by Hayden Field, Entrepreneur

Looking to get in touch with your inner zen but don’t know where to begin? We’ve laid out five of the best meditation apps to try.


The Open Plan Office Sucks–it’s Also Good For You, by Jesus Diaz, Fast Company

At least that’s what a new study, published in the British medical journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine this month, suggests. The research is part of a $3.3 million, U.S. General Services Administration-funded project called “Wellbuilt for Wellbeing,” studying how workplace design affects health. According to the authors, workers in open plan offices tend to move around more, as opposed to people in cubicles and private offices. The former ended up less stressed, while the latter were more anxious and unhappy at the end of the day.


Apple Worried About Constitutional Changes In Considering North Carolina Campus, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple, though interested in putting a new campus in the state, is concerned about North Carolina politicians "meddling with constitutional amendments for political influence," according to one report.

As Apple Music Starts Composing Its India Song, It Bets Big On Independent Musicians, Indie Bands, by Anuj Bhatia, Indian Express

For a company that is beyond the number game, Apple did something different with its music streaming service, focusing on the independent music scene and encouraging new artists to launch their tracks on Apple Music first. The local strategy it adopted in India is not only keeping music listeners hooked to Apple Music but also shaping the careers of many upcoming singers and musicians.

In India, Apple is stressing on the localised flavour, where people like to listen to music in their own language.

The Four Ways That Ex-internet Idealists Explain Where It All Went Wrong, by Tim Hwang, Technology Review

Both Optimism and Pessimism make the mistake of assuming that the internet has inherent features, but like any technology conceived of and built by humans, it is shaped by human struggles, by the push and pull of a multitude of interests and schools of thought. What’s needed is a coalition around a New Optimism—one that celebrates what’s working, is honest about what isn’t, and articulates a path forward grounded not so much in technological fixes as in a richer understanding of trust, identity, and community.

The Choices-that-Suit Edition Friday, August 24, 2018

We Tested Apple’s New Screen Time Parental Controls. First Came Tears — Then Frustration., by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post

Apple’s approach assumes kids are all different, so it leaves all the decisions to parents. They’re not wrong: No two 9-year-olds are alike. But so are adult users of laptops and phones, and Apple’s designers have been successful at making tech simpler by making choices that suit most of us.


Being involved in kids’ digital lives is work. If tech companies are going to make software to help, they need to make sure they’re not just creating more work.

On ‘Shake To Undo’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Shake to Undo is problematic enough that I think Apple should have figured out something better for the iPhone by now. [...] My best suggestion would be to take away some space from the auto-suggestion row above the keyboard and put in an Undo button on the left, just like the iPad.


Hands On: TextSoap 8 Cleans Up Your Text For Online And Publishers, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Paste some text into this Mac app and it will remove extra spaces, it will take out extra returns, it can remove every tab and so on. If you paste in the HTML source code from a web page, it will extract all the actual text from it.

WeatherScout Is A Great Companion For Photographers Looking To Shoot Outdoors, by AppAdvice

The app provides the golden hour, blue hour, and the current weather for your location.

Hands On: PlugBug Duo Attaches To MacBook Pro Charger, Gives Travelers Two USB Charging Ports, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

PlugBug Duo is a simple device —it piggybacks on your existing MacBook's charger to offer not only a pair of USB ports but an interchangeable set of adapters for 150 different countries around the world.


The Rise And Rise Of JSON, by Sinclair Target, Two Bit HIstory

JSON has taken over the world. Today, when any two applications communicate with each other across the internet, odds are they do so using JSON. It has been adopted by all the big players: Of the ten most popular web APIs, a list consisting mostly of APIs offered by major companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, only one API exposes data in XML rather than JSON. Twitter, to take an illustrative example from that list, supported XML until 2013, when it released a new version of its API that dropped XML in favor of using JSON exclusively. JSON has also been widely adopted by the programming rank and file: According to Stack Overflow, a question and answer site for programmers, more questions are now asked about JSON than about any other data interchange format.


In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across As A Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We?, by Nellie Bowles, New York Times

In passage after passage of “Small Fry,” Mr. Jobs is vicious to his daughter and those around her. Now, in the days before the book is released, Ms. Brennan-Jobs is fearful that it will be received as a tell-all exposé, and not the more nuanced portrait of a family she intended. She worries that the reaction will be about a famous man’s legacy rather than a young woman’s story — that she will be erased again, this time in her own memoir.

On the eve of publication, what Ms. Brennan-Jobs wants readers to know is this: Steve Jobs rejected his daughter for years, but that daughter has absolved him. Triumphantly, she loves him, and she wants the book’s scenes of their roller skating and laughing together to be as viral as the scenes of him telling her she will inherit nothing.

Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s forgiveness is one thing. What’s tricky is that she wants the reader to forgive Mr. Jobs, too. And she knows that could be a problem.

Life As A Bug Bounty Hunter: A Struggle Every Day, Just To Get Paid, by Erin Winick, Technology Review

For many bug hunters, that’s how it goes: big fluctuations in pay, and often living on wages that would be untenable in an expensive Western country.

The Remove-Levers Edition Thursday, August 23, 2018

Apple Pencil Note-Taking: Why You Should Use Apple Notes, Actually., by Kenneth Reitz

Apple Notes is hands-down the most well–designed, thought–through note taking app available for the iPad Pro. It is exceptionally well designed, and if you leave your preconceptions about what a note–taking app should do, I think you'll find yourself agreeing with me, once you give it a real try/chance.


Notice that there's no settings for the pen — no adjustments can be made. A strong design lesson that was instilled upon me at my tenure at Heroku was "Remove levers, even if it's very expensive to do so". In Apple Notes, there are no levers. This is not a testament to laziness — in fact, it is quite the opposite. Extraordinary efforts were put forth to ensure that no configuration is needed in the first place.

Let’s Really Think About This ‘New Low-Cost Laptop To Succeed MacBook Air’ Thing, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But the more I think about it, the more I think that something along the lines of the “just put a retina display in the MacBook Air” scenario seems the most likely. Nomenclaturally it makes no sense. The computer named just-plain “MacBook” should logically be the one that is the baseline best-selling model for the masses. The one named “Air” should be the one that is as thin and lightweight as is feasible. But today we’re three years into the era when the just-plain MacBook is the radically thin and light model, and the Air is the best-selling baseline model that isn’t really any thinner or lighter than the Pro models. Well, so what?

Those Airy MacBooks, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

It would seem to be a good time for Apple to whittle the laptop line back to two: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. And I think it’s fine to have a lower-cost (read: $999) MacBook while also offering a more full-featured model (think: two — yes, two! — ports) at a higher price point.

Sources: Apple Reaches Deal With Simply Mac To Offer Official iPhone Screen Repairs In ~30 Stores Across The US, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The terms of the new agreement appear to be that official machines, like the Touch ID / Face ID calibration units, will be rolled out in 30 stores over the coming months, and Apple will foot the bill for the setup. Simply Mac has agreed to stop any third-party screen services (apart from honoring its existing customer 90-day warranties). The cost of the new repairs will be the same as what the Apple Store charges, according to our information.

Meet The People Helping Tim Cook Run Apple, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

If Cook were to leave his post in the near term, potential successors would include Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, whose profile has risen steadily inside and outside Apple, and marketing boss Phil Schiller.

Other skilled leaders include services head Eddy Cue, software leader Craig Federighi, top chip engineer Johny Srouji, hardware leader Dan Riccio, semi-retired car project chief Bob Mansfield and, of course, Ive. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri, retail head Angela Ahrendts and General Counsel Kate Adams, a relative newcomer, all brought leadership experience from other companies.

Beneath them are dozens of vice presidents, and Bloomberg picked 15 who are crucial to the Apple of today and the company of tomorrow. Apple declined to comment.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Set For September 1, Celebrates Redwood National Park’s 50th Anniversary, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The rules for the challenge are simple: complete any walk, run, or wheelchair exercise that lasts 50 minutes or longer and unlock the achievement.

Apple Accepting Mercy Corps Donations To Help People Affected By Flooding In Kerala, India, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices as well as its homepage allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps to support those who have been affected by massive flooding in Kerala, India.

RoWrite Smart Writing Pad: Old-Fashioned Writing Wrapped In Technology, by Skip Owens, GeekDad

Writing and drawing has changed drastically over the last several years with rise of the digital tablet. But as with most technology you often lose something while gaining new capability. With the RoWrite Smart Writing Pad you get the best of analog writing/drawing while still taking advantage of digital technology.

The Best Alarm Clock Apps For iOS, by Brent Dicks, AppAdvice

While beauty and simplicity can often be overrated, they are important features for an app that is going to be used by the bedside because you're going to be dealing with it after a tiring day or when you're being kicked out of bed sweet bed in the morning.

Facebook To Remove Data-Security App From Apple Store, by Deepa Seetharaman, Wall Street Journal

Apple’s decision widens the schism between the two tech giants over privacy and is a blow to Facebook, which has used data gathered through the app to track rivals and scope out new product categories. The app, called Onavo Protect, has been available free download through Apple’s app store for years, with updates regularly approved by Apple’s app-review board.


Apple Rolls Out App Store Search Ads To New Countries Across North America, Europe & Asia, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company confirmed the availability of Search Ads around the globe in a blog post today.

Need More Self-Control? Try A Simple Ritual, by Francesca Gino, Scientific American

Following a series of steps over and over again, which happens when we use rituals, requires some good self-discipline. So, we reasoned, when we see ourselves engaging in a ritual, we code that behavior as a sign that we are people with self-control. And thanks to that self-control, we choose the apple (or carrot) over the chocolate and thus reduce our caloric intake.


Interim Heritage Protection Order Could Stall Apple’s Controversial Federation Square Store, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Earlier this month, Heritage Victoria announced that it had accepted a nomination for Federation Square to be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The nomination was fast-tracked due to concerns about Apple’s plans to significantly alter the public space. Today’s interim order reinforced the nomination’s legitimacy and is designed to freeze any changes made to the site until the nomination can be reviewed by the community and governing bodies.

The History Of Aperture, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

It was clear to photographers that Lightroom was a focus for Adobe, while Aperture was a side project at best for Apple, and at worst, a distraction.

Thanks to all of these factors, users found it difficult to fully trust Aperture in their professional workflows. As that was the whole point of the program, it was probably doomed to fail.

Bottom of the Page

I don't see Apple doing anything other than USB-C ports on the rumored upcoming lower-end laptops, not if the higher-end laptops have already eliminated all the other ports. Maybe the transition progress to USB-C hasn't been as fast as Apple has expected, but there is no where else Apple can retreat back to.

So, I am predicting the new MacBook Air replacement will look more like the current MacBook than Air.


Another prediction: The current MacBook, with a fresh paint of color, and a lowering of prices to hit that magical $999 figure, and renamed MacBook SE.

I wonder if there's an iPad SE to replace the iPad mini. Surely there must be a reason that Apple is reluctant to abandon that form factor?


Had a frustrating day at work today -- but thankfully, I've just reached episode 100 of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, and had just watched Mr Neil Patrick Harris sing and dance, and I'm happy.


Thanks for reading.

The Imminent-End Edition Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Apple To End Support For Back To My Mac Feature When macOS Mojave Drops, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

In addition to alerting users to Back to My Mac's imminent end, Apple points users to a support document that explains alternatives. Apple suggests using iCloud Drive for file sharing, screen sharing for remote access, and Apple Remote Desktop for multi-device management.

Apple Scraps A Bunch Of Watch Bands Ahead Of September Event, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

Apple has removed a bunch of Apple Watch bands from its online store while many others are sold out ahead of its annual September event.

It seems likely Apple will introduce new band designs and styles alongside Apple Watch Series 4 this fall. Regulatory filings for the new wearable all but confirm a new model is imminent.

Security Researchers Show How Attackers Targeting Airmail For Mac Could Get A Copy Of All Your Emails, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Security researchers at Versprite have identified security flaws in Airmail for Mac that can expose private data, including an entire account’s email database. The attack requires a user to open a maliciously-crafted email and tap a link inside the message. With a combination of technical exploit and phishing attack, it seems like a significant problem.


Window Management With Keyboard Maestro And Screencast, by David Sparks, MacSparky

I think Keyboard Maestro is an ideal tool for window management for several reasons.

First, it is hyper-customizable without being hyper-difficult.

The second reason for using Keyboard Maestro is that it does so much more. I am a big fan of "stacked" automation. This is the idea that you take two relatively simple automation tasks that you often perform in order and stack them together in the same script.

Indiepaper, An Open Alternative To Instapaper And Pocket, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

Indiepaper is “a read later service built for the open web.” It offers apps and bookmarklets that let you save any article you find. Only instead of saving it to a proprietary service, it saves them in a spot of your choosing.

Indiepaper publishes your saved articles to your own micropub server. If you know what that is, great. If you don’t, then the easiest way to get one is to sign up with, a great Twitter alternative that I totally use and recommend.

Popular iOS Journal App Day One Updated W/ Audio Recording, New Editor Interface, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Headlining today’s update is a new editor that is “designed and built from the ground up for a superior writing experience,” according to Day One developers. As part of this redesign, there’s a new editor menu that makes it easy to access formatting option, as well as support for Photo Groups, Check Lists, and more.

Apps We Love: ImageOptim, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

Perhaps the biggest issue with the continuous push for higher and higher resolution photos is the accompanying file size. Even photos shot with the 24MP Fujifilm X-T2 come in at 50MB per photo when shot in RAW and are usually larger than 10MB when shot in JPG. If you want to store photos on a hard drive or your device, or if you want to share your photos on any social network or website, you’re going to need an image compressor.

There are a few image compressing apps available, but the best one I’ve come across is ImageOptim.


Google, Apple And 13 Other Companies That No Longer Require A College Degree, by Courtney Connley, CNBC

Recently, job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of 15 top employers that have said they no longer require applicants to have a college degree. Companies like Google, Apple, IBM and EY are all in this group.


Facebook May Have Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks In Germany, New Research Shows, by Amanda Taub, New York Times

Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz, researchers at the University of Warwick, scrutinized every anti-refugee attack in Germany, 3,335 in all, over a two-year span. In each, they analyzed the local community by any variable that seemed relevant. Wealth. Demographics. Support for far-right politics. Newspaper sales. Number of refugees. History of hate crime. Number of protests.

One thing stuck out. Towns where Facebook use was higher than average, like Altena, reliably experienced more attacks on refugees. That held true in virtually any sort of community — big city or small town; affluent or struggling; liberal haven or far-right stronghold — suggesting that the link applies universally.

Google Tried To Change China. China May End Up Changing Google., by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

It is hard not to see how going back to China would be anything other than a terrific comedown — the most telling act of a company that, day by day, has come to resemble the utterly conventional corporation it once vowed never to become.

‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains Of Things”, by Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Thanks to a perfect storm of factors, Americans are amassing a lot of stuff. Before the advent of the internet, we had to set aside time to go browse the aisles of a physical store, which was only open a certain number of hours a day. Now, we can shop from anywhere, anytime—while we’re at work, or exercising, or even sleeping. We can tell Alexa we need new underwear, and in a few days, it will arrive on our doorstep. And because of the globalization of manufacturing, that underwear is cheaper than ever before—so cheap that we add it to our online shopping carts without a second thought. “There’s no reason not to shop—because clothing is so cheap, you feel like, ‘why not?’ There’s nothing lost in terms of the hit on your bank account,” Elizabeth Cline, the author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, told me.

Bottom of the Page

In an ideal world in the future, all the apps you have on one of your Mac will also be on all your other Mac computers, as well as all your iPhones and iPads. And all your documents are on iCloud that you can access from all your Macs and iPhones and iPads.

So, who need Back to my Mac anyway?


Thanks for reading.

The More-Expensive Edition Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Apple Is Planning A New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini, by Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Bloomberg

The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution "Retina" version that Apple uses on other products, the people said. [...] The new MacBook Air will be geared toward consumers looking for a cheaper Apple computer, but also schools that often buy laptops in bulk.


Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac mini in about four years. [...] For this year’s model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions, the people said.

Netflix Tests A Bypass Of iTunes Billing In 33 Markets, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Changing the billing to a direct format means that Netflix bypasses giving Google and Apple a cut on those subscriptions. Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut on the first year of a subscription, which goes down to 15 percent for subsequent years.

Apple has something of the upper hand especially when it comes to newer apps or those still building up their user bases: it controls the App Store on iOS devices, and with active billing details for a large number of these users, Apple greatly reduces friction for enticing users to sign up and subscribe to a service (the same goes for in-app purchases, too, although that is less relevant to Netflix).

FiftyThree, Maker Of Popular Paper And Paste Apps, Gets Acquired, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Today FiftyThree announced it has been acquired by WeTransfer, a cloud-based file transfer company with headquarters in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but WeTransfer said it had acquired the company’s entire patent portfolio and all assets for its apps. FiftyThree’s executive team will stay on board for now. As for the future of FiftyThree’s suite of apps, including Paper, which has 25 million users, the company says the apps will live on with “increased investment and support.”

WIRED spoke to FiftyThree cofounder and CEO Georg Petschnigg about why he sold FiftyThree, the biggest changes he’s observed in the app economy over the past several years, and why he and his team ignored the words of Steve Jobs and made a stylus anyway.

How Accurate Are Step Counters, Anyway?, by Carolyn de Lorenzo, Bustle

But, at the end of the day, it's important to remember why fitness trackers are useful in the first place. While taking 10,000 steps per day is a great number to shoot for, USA Today notes that the point of setting that goal is to simply sit less and exercise more, in order to improve your health outcomes long term, per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obsessing over the literal amount of steps you take per day doesn't give you that much useful information about your health, except for the fact that you walked this much; the more useful fact is that you walked that much, at all.


How To Curate Your Own Reading List With The Instapaper And Pocket Apps, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

We are all swamped with information, yet we also can't help ourselves looking out more for both work and pleasure. When you need to collate articles or you just want a good read, use Pocket or Instapaper.

Dark Sky Overhaul Brings New Design And Simplified Forecast View, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

The new version combines the current weather and forecast screen into one tab, which I love. These are the most used sections of the app for me, so it makes it even easier to use now.

Hello Weather Is My Favorite Weather App On iPhone And iPad, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

It’s super-simple, bold and friendly, making it easy to see what you want to see with just a glance. And if you want more detail, it’s there.

Parallels Desktop 14 Released With Support For macOS Mojave, Storage Savings, by AppleInsider

Highlighting Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac are enhanced storage optimization tools that, depending on a user's virtual machine configuration, can save as much as 20 gigabytes of disk space.


Vacation Days Piling Up? Here's How To Get The Most Out Of A Short Vacation, by Allison Aubrey, NPR

The good news is that even short vacations can help reduce stress, at least according to small studies.

"Some of the benefit of a short vacation depends on what you actually do when you're away," says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She writes about the emotional benefits of vacation.

So, if you're vacation-deprived this summer, it may not be too late. Consider a short trip. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your getaway, from people who study — or practice — the art of vacation.


Nelson Woman Delighted After Apple Unlocks iPhone Of Late Husband, Giving Access To Precious Family Memories, by Anna Burns-Francis, TVNZ

Apple asked for documents certifying Steve's ownership of the phone, and proof of his death but then also required a will, probate and more legal paperwork that would have cost Haley in excess of $1000.

"They keep putting me from person to person," she said.

After Haley came to Fair Go [television programme], Apple assigned an employee to Haley's case and now the phone has been unlocked – along with the precious photos, videos and memories of Steve.

Bottom of the Page

Mac mini was positioned as a low-cost computer for switchers from Windows' world. That computer has now been replaced by the low-cost iMac and even-lower-cost iPad. I suspect low-cost will not be an attribute of the new Mac mini.


Thanks for reading.

The Punctured-Battery Edition Monday, August 20, 2018

Apple’s Amsterdam Store Evacuated After iPad Battery Explodes, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

As reported by iCulture, Apple employees secured the iPad and punctured battery in a container of sand after it exploded. Fortunately, there was no fire or smoke, or major injuries. However, three employees who experienced trouble breathing were treated by first responders.

How iPhone Photographers Connect The World Using Only ‘Basic’ Gear, by Hillary Grigonis, Digital Trends

A photograph is a connection — to a person, place, or moment in time. But making that connection wasn’t always convenient. Before Aug. 19, 1839, taking a single photograph required at least eight hours just to expose the image. But when the French released the daguerreotype to the public 179 years ago today, photography started a journey from something only chemists understood to something many of us do on a daily basis — maybe to preserve a smile, maybe just to digitize a receipt.

That journey has led to a world more connected by images than the pioneers of photography could have ever imagined. World Photography Day celebrates that connection, inviting photographers around the globe to share their images and stories with the international community. As smartphones have played a huge role in the surge of photographs being created, we worked with Apple to talk to some of the most prolific iPhone photographers around the globe about what inspires them, what gear and apps they use, and how a photograph can spark change.

World Photography Day 2018: Glimpses Of The World Through The iPhone, by Indian Express

The World Photography Day celebrated on August 19 commemorates the artistry of a photographer. The birth of this day dates back to 1839 when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s associate Louis Daguerre developed a daguerreotype process the details of which were introduced the same year. The evolution of camera has come a long way, with smartphones now capable of shooting some of the most impeccable images. Apple’s iPhones are considered one amongst those premium devices to contribute to better photography offering brilliant camera lenses. Having said that, some of the iPhone ‘photographers’ from around the globe as part of celebrating this special day have shared some of their special and beloved creation. Let’s have a look.

Apple Registers Six New Apple Watch Models In Eurasian Database Ahead Of Announcement Next Month, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

However, assuming two sizes per model for the Series 4 just like every previous Apple Watch, it appears Apple will be launching with just three models. The Series 3 has eight models, 3 cellular offerings and the GPS-only model — all in two sizes. Perhaps, the Series 4 will only be offered with cellular-capable models.


Here’s How I Backup My Family Photos And Videos Using The 3-2-1 Method, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

By deploying this system, I have ended up with multiple backups in multiple locations (home, work, and offsite with Backblaze). You don’t have to do everything, but I would advise to not just rely on iCloud Photo Library. You should be doing a 3–2–1 backup strategy. 3–2–1 means that you have three copies in 2 location, and 1 of them is offsite.

Strava And MINDBODY Team Up To Integrate Fitness Class Booking With Athlete Feeds, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The new integration will let users track and analyze indoor fitness activity across more than 5 millions fitness classes.


This Time, Ohio State Freshmen Getting Apple From The Teachers, by Jennifer Smola, The Columbus Dispatch

Nearly a year after Ohio State announced the partnership with the tech giant, pilot programs, training sessions and planning have led to this point.

More than 11,000 first-year students have received their iPads or will get them this week. About 180 faculty members, instructors and advisers have been trained under the initiative and are incorporating the iPads and Apple technology into courses. About 2,000 students are enrolled in iPad-required courses this fall.

Apple Pulls 25,000 Apps From China App Store Following State Media Criticism, by Yoko Kubota, Wall Street Journal

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.”

The removals were reported earlier by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday, which said 25,000 apps were pulled. Apple didn’t confirm that number. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Removing 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4% of that total.

Bottom of the Page

Should I be worried that I am practically surrounded by batteries 24/7?


Thanks for reading.

The Up-to-the-Job Edition Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Year With Apple's 5K iMac: Still The Best Mac For Your Money, by Vadim Yuryev, AppleInsider

After working in video editing full-time on the iMac 5K since it was released, I can tell you it's really up to the job. I've used a top-spec 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro a few times, and it paled in comparison. We shoot and edit everything in 4K and perform a lot of stabilization, and since this processes almost twice as fast on this iMac 5K compared to the MacBook Pro, the time savings really add up throughout the day.

Best Photo Editing Apps For Mac In 2018, by Lory Gil, iMore

The built-in Photos app on Mac offers several useful photo editing tools. You can crop, adjust lighting and color, set the white balance, add filters, remove unwanted blemishes, and a few more things. However, in all honesty? It's not really meant to be a robust editing app, so If you are looking for something to really finish your photos right, we've got a list of the best photo editors for Mac right here. Let's go!

Can Apple Out-Netflix Netflix, by David Simon, VentureBeat

We have screens around us all the time. Apple may be the first to connect those screens to a singular, high-quality TV experience manager we all already carry in our pockets. If Apple does this right no one will be able to touch it, and it will reinvent the future of entertainment … again.

Bottom of the Page

I'm sure the iMac computers are still great. But the iPhone halo effect is real: If a computer has not been updated for at least a year, it is out-dated, we feel.

Maybe Apple should get back to the business of having new colors every year.


Unfortunately, unlike the old iMac G3, there's really not a lot of surface area to exhibit new colors. Especially as Apple moves towards a bezel-less design for all of its computers.


Thanks for reading.

The Writing-Apparatus Edition Saturday, August 18, 2018

Writers Have Always Loved Mobile Devices, by Laura R. Micciche, The Atlantic

Writing never happens in the abstract, but only by means of objects—not to mention identity, sensory experiences, memory, nostalgia, hopes, and more. Mobile writing devices help make writing intimate. They empower writers to feel a connection with the world via their tools. Mobile devices are especially good at this because they are adaptable, span a range of material and digital forms, and are experienced as uniquely deliberate lifestyle choices. Whether inspired by the sleek slope of an antique writing desk, an off-the-shelf laptop, or a distraction-free mobile app, writers long for an experience of writing that connects the body and mind to the writing apparatus. Often, that feeling is just as enticing as writing itself.

RIP Time Travel - A Seldom-used Apple Watch Feature Set To Disappear With watchOS 5, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Developers testing the beta releases of watchOS 5 noticed the toggle disappear from settings —before the feature stopped operating completely.

This isn't the first time Apple has drastically changed aspects of the Apple Watch over the few years it has been around. Apple took its time working out the best way for users to interact with the wrist-worn device.


Make iMovie Output Full-Resolution Video, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The problem is that iMovie doesn’t let you set a project’s resolution manually—for that you seemingly need the $300 Final Cut Pro X—and on the Mac, it fixes the project’s resolution based on the first clip you insert.

This problem has stymied many people, and there are numerous YouTube videos suggesting that you create a new project and drop a high-resolution photo at the beginning of the timeline to set the project to a higher resolution. That trick didn’t work for me. But I figured out a different way of convincing iMovie to allow me to export a 4K file.

Brainstorm Ideas With These Three Mind Mapping Apps On iOS And macOS, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

If you're already a natural doodler, then mind mapping is going to feel second nature. If you're not, if you're under pressure and need to get things done right now —take a moment to do mind mapping anyway. This is the kind of tool that will save you time later and when things are urgent, and it will prevent you missing things too.


Google’s Brin Cops To Plan To Reclaim Lost Decade In China, by Ellen Huet, Bloomberg

The change of heart is also the clearest sign yet that some Googlers view the pullout as a costly miscalculation. That's locked the company out of what is now the largest internet market, where hundreds of millions of people use homegrown services from Baidu Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan Dianping and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to search, communicate, order food and shop online.

Other U.S. technology companies stayed in China and have tried to influence the government from the inside, rather than disengaging. Apple Inc., one of the few U.S. tech giants with a thriving Chinese business, is now worth $1 trillion – a crown Google parent Alphabet Inc. might have captured first if it had an equivalent operation in the world’s most populous country. Mozilla, a progressive organization that’s no fan of censorship, has operated a version of its Firefox browser in China for more than a decade, preferring to adapt its approach rather than leave.

InfoWars Videos, Podcasts, And Social Posts Have Disappeared. Here's Why Its Website Won't Be Next, by Glenn Fleishman, Fortune

Infrastructure companies have largely turned a blind eye to the objectionable content that Jones and other InfoWars hosts spew—ranging from the absurd (accusing Obama administration officials of using chemicals in water to “turn frogs gay”) to the unspeakable (alleging that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was faked). But those who battle for free-speech say that hesitation may be a good thing. It is too easy, they argue, for companies to pull the plug on groups who need the Internet’s freedoms most.

Does InfoWars need those protections? That’s the subject of robust debate. But here’s a look at who handles the so-called “back end” of its website, what those companies’ stated policies say, how they are at odds with some of Jones’s actions over the last year, and why some experts believe they should keep working with the toxic media outlet.

Bottom of the Page

I have just finished reading The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu. Perhaps my expectations was raised too high by all the awards and all the positive reviews, or perhaps hard-science-fiction is not really my cup of tea, but I didn't truly enjoy the entire book. There are parts of it that I liked, such as the chapter on the Trisolarans, but there are parts that I really have to pushed myself through, such as all the chapters on that video game.


Thanks for reading.

The Small-Difference-in-Design Edition Friday, August 17, 2018

How Fertility Apps Exclude Fathers, by Ashley Fetters, The Atlantic

Just about every fertility app available enables users to chart when they’ve had sex and note whether it was “protected” or “unprotected”—but for a lot of apps, that’s the only nod to the fact that it takes two participants to make a baby the old-fashioned way. It remains something of a novelty for apps to offer an option to share ovulation-cycle data with another user. Ovia offers the option of signing your partner up for alert emails when your “fertile window” is approaching (which Wanner and her husband were not aware of), but other popular apps, including Flo, Natural Cycles, PinkBird, Life, Period Calendar, and Kindara, are designed to be used by only the female partner in the conception process. (The last two have “export to doctor” and “share with a practitioner” functions, which export past data in a shareable format, but only Kindara allows the “practitioner” to follow along in real time.) As a result, what may seem like a small difference in design can have a noticeable effect on the emotional lives of heterosexual couples during the process of getting pregnant—and can upend or reinforce traditional ideas about whose responsibility it is to ensure that conception happens.

Three Science Experiments You Can Do With Your Phone, by Rhett Allain, Wired

Everyone already knows that you are carrying around a computer in your pocket. But your smartphone is more than just a computer—it’s also a data collector. I’m going to guess that yours can measure acceleration, magnetic field, sound, location, and maybe more. Many phones also can measure pressure. Oh, and some phones can even make phone calls.

With all of those sensors available, I’m going to go over three fun experiments you can do with your phone. These will probably work on just about any smartphone—and you can probably use a variety of apps to collect the data.

Google Clarifies Location-tracking Policy, by Ryan Nakashima, Associated Press

Google has revised a help page that erroneously described how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying for users that it still tracks their location even if they turn the setting off.


Tips For Making Launchpad A Useful App Launcher For Mac, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Launchpad doesn’t get much love from Mac power users (there are plenty of other efficient ways to launch Mac apps) and Apple really hasn’t touched the feature in years. But it’s a feature I use regularly on my Mac — after making a few adjustments.

Cycle Might Be The World's Most Relaxing Music App, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

Cycle is both a musical instrument and a meditation device. The app, for iPhone and iPad, is something called a “time lag accumulator.” You play notes on its simple keyboard, and these notes are repeated over and over, slowly fading after time. The result is hypnotic, relaxing and creative, all at the same time.


Apple Reassures Customers After Australian Media Reports Hack By Teen, by Byron Kaye, Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple Inc said on Friday no customer data was compromised after Australian media reported a teenager had pleaded guilty to hacking into its main computer network, downloading internal files and accessing customer accounts.

Women's Pockets Are Inferior, by Jan Diehm & Amber Thomas, The Pudding

Here, we programmatically determined whether various everyday items could fit in an otherwise empty pocket in jeans that aren’t being worn. (If an object won’t fit in the pocket of a pair of jeans on the hanger, it certainly won’t fit when you’re wearing them.) Only 40 percent of women’s front pockets can completely fit one of the three leading smartphone brands. Less than half of women’s front pockets can fit a wallet specifically designed to fit in front pockets. And you can’t even cram an average woman’s hand beyond the knuckles into the majority of women’s front pockets.

Bottom of the Page

The front of this Windows 10 computer that I am using today is not as nice as the back of that bondi-blue iMac I was using twenty years ago.


Thanks for reading.

The Trust-Apple Edition Thursday, August 16, 2018

The One Extremely Simple Step That Apple Could Take To Protect Our Location Privacy, by Will Oremus, Slate

[Apple] said it couldn’t comment on what features or settings might come in future versions of iOS. But a representative clarified that the company sees its main goal as protecting users’ location privacy without them having to think about it on a regular basis—an approach it refers to as privacy by design. That’s why its location-privacy settings are geared toward keeping a lid on users’ location data via local storage and fine-grained app permissions, rather than making it easier for them to turn it on and off manually on a routine basis.

It’s clear that Apple is thinking seriously about users’ location privacy. But the AP report about Google’s misleading tracking underscores how vulnerable iOS users remain to tracking and profiling by even reputable third parties, even if they trust Apple itself.

The Apple I Knew…, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

I’m not saying I need a brand new Watch when I walk out of the store the day I go in with the problem. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable that they’ll fix it for free if I tell them I didn’t break it. Yes, people lie. And Apple has no reason to trust me, Mr. Random Consumer. But it feels like the old Apple would have trusted me. Because is it worth it to investigate a claim from a customer who bought your brand new, state-of-the-art product less than a year ago?

Apple's Growth Story, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

Much of Cook's optimism around smartphones is supported by recent Apple financial trends as revenue growth has been driven primarily by iPhone, with Services and wearables serving in more supporting roles.

However, this doesn't mean that Apple is betting on iPhone over the long run. In fact, over the next few quarters, it is reasonable to expect that iPhone will become less of a growth driver for Apple, with the growth spotlight turning to digital content distribution and wearables as Apple's primary growth engines.

Beta Track

Apple’s Group FaceTime Delay Is The Right Move. Here’s Why, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The first step is not releasing buggy software. The next step is being a better judge of what features can be shipped in a given timeframe, so Apple can stop making promises it can’t keep. That’s a much harder, more complex challenge—but it’s something Apple should work to change.


Use Photos To Fit Event Photos Into A Single Timeline, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Most cameras embed time data on every file they take, which is great, but whenever I try to mix photos from multiple sources in one place, I end up discovering all the ways that the clocks don’t match. [...]

Anyway, as a user of Photos for Mac, I end up needing to figure out how to get the times of the various cameras at an event adjusted and in sync. To do this, I use two tools: Smart Albums and the Adjust Date and Time command.

Hands On: Scrivener 3.03 Is The Best Tool For Writing Books, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

So just as you know writing a book is a long task, don't regard the publishing part of the job as being an easy one.

Having Scrivener and Vellum talking to one another is a boon, and can make the road easier.

How To Use 1Password As A Digital Will, by The Sweet Setup

While death is a grave topic that isn’t fun to discuss, it’s also a reality that no one can avoid. In order to prepare for this and ensure that the systems and services we use are accessible to your family in such an event, we believe that 1Password is the perfect place to store this private information alongside your digital keyring.

Tweetbot Loses Timeline Streaming, Activity/stats Tab, And Apple Watch App Over Twitter API Change, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Tapbots has released an updated version of Tweetbot for iPhone and iPad that removes or degrades lots of useful features due to Twitter’s API change set to occur tomorrow. Due to the API changes, Tweetbot’s Apple Watch app which focused largely on showing alert activity has also been removed.


Collaborate, But Only Intermittently, Says New Study: The March Toward Always-on Technology May Hinder Groups' Ability To Solve Complex Problems, by Science Daily

Bernstein and his co-authors see a number of workplace implications for these findings, including the advantages of alternating independent efforts with group work over a period of time to get optimal benefits. In some ways, that's how work has been done in organizations -- with individuals working alone, then coming together in a meeting, then returning to work alone, etc. But those cycles are being broken by the constant advancement of technology. "As we replace those sorts of intermittent cycles with always-on technologies, we might be diminishing our capacity to solve problems well," Bernstein notes.

The Easiest Way To Keep Your Web Apps Accessible, by Jason Rodriguez, LogRocket

Keeping increasingly complex web apps accessible is a necessity. Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to keep any web app accessible to as many users as possible, and lessen the burden of development and maintenance for yourself, too.

Just use text.


How WeChat Became China’s No. 1 Super-app, by Iris Deng, South China Morning Post

Many people outside China either still haven’t heard of WeChat or they think it’s the country’s equivalent of popular messaging service WhatsApp or social media giant Facebook. For many people in China, WeChat is much more – it is not an overstatement to say it’s an indispensable part of their everyday lives.

WeChat, or Weixin as it’s known in China, began life in a southern corner of the country at the Tencent Guangzhou Research and Project centre in October 2010. Since then, it has grown into the most popular mobile app in the country with over 1 billion monthly active users who chat, play games, shop, read news, pay for meals and post their thoughts and pictures. Today, you can even book a doctor’s appointment or arrange a time slot to file for a divorce at the civil affairs authority.

Twitter’s Misguided Quest To Become A Forum For Everything, by John Herrman, New York Times

The internet of old — composed largely of thousands of scattered communities populated by people who shared interests, identities, causes or hatreds — has been mostly paved over by the social-media giants. In this new landscape, basic intelligible concepts of community become alien: The member becomes the user; the peer becomes the follower; and the ban becomes not exile, but death. It is not surprising that the angriest spirits of the old web occasionally manifest in the new one. But what’s striking is how effectively they can haunt it, and how ill-equipped it is to deal with them.

Bottom of the Page

I am not going to spend all that money to get a driving license just to buy an Apple Car. Just saying.


Thanks for reading.

The Digital-Storehouse Edition Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Inside Evernote’s Brain, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

Back then, Evernote was a piece of Windows software, and the company’s founder, Russian-American computer scientist Stepan Pachikov, was the guy who walked me through what it could do. By the time it arrived on the iPhone, he’d already stepped down as CEO. But as the company commemorates its self-defined 10th birthday, it’s also re-embracing Pachikov as its founding visionary.

With 225 million registered users spanning nearly every country on Earth, Evernote has indeed come a long way since Pachikov created the app, mostly to please himself. But his initial concept of a digital storehouse for all the information humans tend to forget—which grew only richer as he realized that other people wanted it, too—has had staying power. It’s propelled the company down the sometimes twisty path it’s followed through its history, and shows every sign of being powerful enough to help take Evernote where O’Neill thinks it should go next.

Inside The iPhone Repair Ecosystem: Where Do Replacement Parts Come From And Can You Trust Them?, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

There's a thriving market for unofficial, aftermarket iPhone parts, and in China, there are entire massive factories that are dedicated to producing these components for repair shops unable to get ahold of parts that have been produced by Apple.

The entire Apple device repair ecosystem is fascinating, complex, and oftentimes confusing to consumers given the disconnect between Apple, Apple Authorized Service Providers, third-party factories, and independent repair shops, so we thought we'd delve into the complicated world of Apple repairs.


Griffin Technology’s Elevator Takes Your Mac Laptop To New Heights, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The Elevator is a classy, ergonomically sound stand for just about any laptop up to 15 inches.

Twitter Is Killing Push Notifications For Third Party Apps -- Here's What You Need To Do, by Mark Wycislik-Wilson, Betanews

Starting tomorrow -- Thursday, August 16 -- Twitter is disabling push notifications for third party clients. If you use the likes of Twitterific, Fenix or Plume, this could mean you miss out on important messages as Twitter clamps down on what third party tools are able to do.

HQ Trivia Downloads Spiral Downward As It Hits Apple TV, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

HQ Trivia’s app store ranking has continued to sink the past three months, but it’s hoping a new version on your television could revitalize growth. HQ today launched an Apple TV app that lets users play the twice-daily live quiz game alongside iOS Android players.


Apple's Revolutionary iMac Is 20 Years Old, And Still Going Strong, by William Gallagher and Stephen Silver, AppleInsider

The iMac is the machine that famously saved Apple back in 1998 —but it didn't stop there. Rarely standing still, it has kept at the forefront of Apple design, yet today's iMac has the same design goals it always has. AppleInsider looks back at the beginning of the line, all the way to today.

Netflix, Amazon Video, And Xfinity Are Accidentally Re-creating Cable TV, by Graeme Mcmillan, The Verge

The digital landscape is already fragmented, and it’s continually fragmenting further, as content creators choose to become content providers. In the process, it’s beginning to resemble cable television. Each new app or content library looks like a different channel to consider, and each one is essentially a premium cable offering that requires a separate subscription to view.

Bottom of the Page

If I remember correctly, the iMac announcement was the first Steve Jobs keynote that I have ever watched.


Thanks for reading.

The Future-Update Edition Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Apple Removes Group FaceTime From iOS 12 And macOS Mojave, Says It'll Launch Later This Year, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In release notes for both macOS Mojave and iOS 12, Apple says the feature has been removed from the initial releases of macOS Mojave and iOS 12 and "will ship in a future software update later this fall."

Siri Shortcuts Can Now Control Your HomeKit Devices, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

Its latest update gives testers the ability to add certain smart home controls to their workflows.

Command Line Intrusion | Mojave Blocks Admins, Too, by Security Boulevard

At WWDC 2018, Apple announced a raft of new user-level security features for the upcoming release of macOS 10.14 Mojave. Among these was a hardening of access to certain folders in the user’s Library, which will now require approval when applications try to traverse them. This change doesn’t affect just 3rd party apps, but native macOS apps like the Terminal, too. So, for example, if an admin user wants to use the command line to move around in, read, write or copy from something in a user’s Safari support folder, that’s going to require approval.

Every Breath You Take... I'll Be Watching You

Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It Or Not, by Ryan Nakashima, Associated Press

Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google's Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Banks And Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe And Tap, by Stacy Cowley, New York Times

The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors’ physical movements as they use websites and apps.

Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.


RapidWeaver 8 Debuts Redesign, New Responsive Themes, Unsplash Support, And Improved Plug-In Management, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The update also adds five new Themes that can be adapted to work with many different types of websites. The new Themes are based on Bootstrap, a popular front-end component library for building responsive websites. The advantage of RapidWeaver though is that you don’t need to know anything about Bootstrap. The app allows users to create sites without diving into code, but it also makes it easy to get to the code when you want it.

The Virtual Musician: A Guide To Using Apps, Tablets And Technology For Performance And Teaching, by Laurie Niles,

Technology in the 21st century has opened all kinds of possibilities for classical musicians. Symphony music, solos, and new music from all over the globe can be bought or found for free on the Internet, and then downloaded in an instant. Stacks of music and books can be condensed into a single iPad that fits easily into a light backpack. Apps can teach students theory, rhythm and pitch.

But how do you get started? What kind of set-up do you need? Which are the best apps?

Best Comic Book Apps For iPhone And iPad, by Eammon Jacobs, Macworld

In general, the better apps offer one of two paths: Straightforward purchase (or rental) of content from major publishers like Marvel, DC, Image Comics, and Dark Horse, or an easy way to read common file formats (PDF, ePUB, CBR, and CBZ). If they want to have even wider appeal, it’s in their interest to offer Viz and Kodansha titles for manga fans, as well as organization of issues in an easy-to-navigate format.

We’ve pulled together a list of the best comic book reader apps for iOS below—a mix of publisher-based options, as well as independent third-party apps that can read whatever you’ve already got in your stash.

Marco? Polo! Let's Explore The App Known As The 'Video Walkie-talkie', by Brie Barbee, Digital Trends

The app allows you to send short video messages to your friends and family, and respond to them much in the same way you would with Snapchat.


Preparing To Teach/demo, by Erica Sadun

Normally I use a separate account to present talks and demos but I’ve recently taken up a more regular instruction gig and in doing so, it’s too inconvenient to move from my main account. My main account is where all my development tools and code are a few clicks and keystrokes away. The demo one is very safe for public presentation but also very distant from my workflow.

To address this, I’ve built a demo-setup utility in Swift. I thought I’d share some of the features and approaches. A lot of these were non-trivial to track down in terms of time and I thought having them in one place could be useful to some of you reading my blog.


‘Please Do Not Switch Me Off!’: An Experiment With A Begging Robot Shows People Hesitate To Pull The Plug, by Hamza Shaban, Washington Post

If a little humanoid robot begged you not to shut it off, would you show compassion?

In an experiment designed to investigate how people treat robots when they act like humans, many participants struggled to power down a pleading robot, either refusing to shut it off or taking more than twice the amount of time to pull the plug.

Reading A Book Takes Time—Deal With It, by Erin Bartnett, Electric Literature

You only have 40 minutes to read a book? Get a bookmark! Don’t worry — the book will still be there when you get back. Reading is supposed to be slow. And it’s okay if it’s daunting. Books take a long time to write, and the good ones deserve more than a morning commute time to fully digest and understand.

Bottom of the Page

Did Apple just changed the algorithm for Apple Music's Favouite Mix? Or did Apple Music only just figured out my listening habit?


Thanks for reading.

The Embracing-Subscription Edition Monday, August 13, 2018

Apple's Secret Charm Offensive: How An Invite-only Meeting At Apple's Luxury Loft In New York Helped Transform How Software Is Sold On The iPhone, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

The message was clear: successful apps now focus on getting regular engagement from their users, not one-time sales. For developers, that meant embracing the subscription model.

If you focus on paid apps, instead of subscriptions, Apple warned, your business will eventually hit a cap.


Apple is quietly building one of the biggest subscription businesses in the world — something that's core to the company as iPhone sales growth slows. Apple wants its services, supported by the App Store, to be a Fortune 50 business by 2020, or about $55 billion per year in revenue.

Invisible Mouse Clicks Let Hackers Burrow Deep Into macOS, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

One way operating system developers try to protect a computers's secrets from probing hackers is with an appeal to the human at the keyboard. By giving the user a choice to “allow” or “deny” a program’s access to sensitive data or features, the operating system can create a checkpoint that halts malware while letting innocent applications through. But former NSA staffer and noted Mac hacker Patrick Wardle has spent the last year exploring a nagging problem: What if a piece of malware can reach out and click on that “allow” button just as easily as a human?

At the DefCon hacker conference Sunday in Las Vegas, Wardle plans to present a devious set of automated attacks he’s pulled off against macOS versions as recent as 2017 release High Sierra, capable of so-called synthetic clicks that allow malware to breeze through the permission prompts meant to block it. The result could be malware that, once it has found a way onto a user's machine, can bypass layers of security to perform tricks like finding the user's location, stealing their contacts or, with his most surprising and critical technique, taking over the deepest core of the operating system, known as the kernel, to fully control the computer.

Understanding Smartwatches, by Matt Burns, TechCrunch

Smartwatches need to be reviewed like ordinary watches. I need to explain more about how the watch feels rather than what it does or how it works. At this point, several years into smartwatches, it’s not notable if the smartwatch with a smartwatch. Of course, it tracks steps and heart rate and displays select notifications from my phone. If those items work then, they’re not important in a review.


Review: Apple And Blackmagic's eGPU With Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity, by Max, AppleInsider

With the 13-inch MacBook Pro, you get added portability when on the go and a quad-core, 8GB Radeon Pro 580 workstation in the home or office, nearing the performance levels of a 15-inch Macbook Pro with i9 CPU.

The Codex Is A Handsome Case For The MacBook Pro, But Is Limited, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The Codex is great if you’re boarding an airplane, thanks to its TSA friendliness. Its also great for protecting your MacBook Pro when you’re carrying it around the house or office. However, the Codex 15 has no room for peripherals (not even a power supply). There’s also no way to attach a shoulder strap.


When Self-Care Turns Into Self-Sabotage, by Melody Wilding, Medium

Ultimately, self-care is any number of habits and actions that leave you feeling restored and nourished. It shouldn’t elicit shame or guilt. It’s a little less about treating yourself and much more about reparenting yourself. This sounds easy in theory, but in reality, the hardest work you’ll ever do is learn to discover (and preserve) who you really are.

If You Want People To See You Differently, You Have To Stop Caring What They Think, by Andrew Fiouzi, MEL

Under a deluge of social media influencers ostensibly living their best lives and doing it all for the Gram, who among us isn’t pretending to be someone they’re not?


Machine Learning Can Identify The Authors Of Anonymous Code, by Louise Matsakis, Wired

Researchers who study stylometry—the statistical analysis of linguistic style—have long known that writing is a unique, individualistic process. The vocabulary you select, your syntax, and your grammatical decisions leave behind a signature. Automated tools can now accurately identify the author of a forum post for example, as long as they have adequate training data to work with. But newer research shows that stylometry can also apply to artificial language samples, like code. Software developers, it turns out, leave behind a fingerprint as well.

Bottom of the Page

In Singapore, the ghosts come up twice a year, once during the hungry ghost festival, and then again during halloween.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Even-Close Edition Sunday, August 12, 2018

Podcasting Technology Lets Non-Engineers Host, Record A Radio Show, by Jeff Calrson, Seattle Times

I’m not an audio engineer. Not even close. And yet, I recently started a podcast (PhotoActive, covering photography and the Apple ecosystem). Because of good software, and podcasting in general, I don’t need to be an audio expert — which I think is pretty remarkable. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I could host and record a radio show.

USB-C Is The Standard That IT Departments Need, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

USB-A has served us well (along with MagSafe and Thunderbolt), but it’s better for users in the long term for the industry to standardize on one cable for everything.

Ralph Nader On What He Thinks Apple Should Do With Its Excess Billions, by Scott Simon, Wynne Davis, NPR

While Nader does concede that Apple has worked to improve working conditions and create programs for recycling, he says the tech giant could be doing much more.


First Impressions After Nearly A Month With Apple’s 2018 13-Inch MacBook Pro, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Coming from a 12-inch MacBook, I decided that the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro would be more than enough power for me. And in many cases, that has turned out to be right.


In my use, there haven’t been many things I’ve thrown at the MacBook Pro that it can’t handle. The only time I notice sluggishness is when I have a slew of Safari tabs and applications open. Thus, if I had upgraded any aspect of my base MacBook Pro, I wish it had been the RAM. Apple charges $200 to double the amount of RAM to 16GB – and if I had to tell people to upgrade one thing, RAM would be it.

iPad Pro 10.5 Back Cover Cases That Work With Apple’s Smart Cover, by Cella Lao Rousseau, iMore

If you're someone who's ever used Apple's Smart Cover with an iPad, you'll know how awesome of an accessory it is – the tricky part is securing the back of your iPad Pro!

Here are a couple of different back cover cases that'll fit your iPad Pro 10.5 and will work with Apple's Smart Cover.


Why Decentralized Social Networking Never Makes It - Ever Heard Of Crossing The Chasm?, by Johannes Ernst, Upon 2020

The problem — and it is the same problem that is never being addressed — is that your decentralized social networking app doesn’t actually solve any of your users problems that haven’t already been solved! And often fails to solve problems that the centralized guys have solved and that their users depend on.


Apple Trickles Out Dolby Atoms-Ready Movies As tvOS 12 Inches To Its Finish, by Brad Gibson, BestAppleTV

In preparation for the final release of tvOS 12, Apple is dribbling out titles on the Apple TV iTunes Movies app with support for Dolby Atmos audio, only viewable and downloadable for beta testers of the operating system with the immersive audio experience.

Spotify Tests Letting Listeners Skip Any Ads Tey Want, As Much As They Want, by George P. Slefo, Ad Age

The company says it's running a test in Australia that will allow listeners to skip audio and video ads any time they want, as often as they want, allowing them to quickly get back to music. Listeners who don't pay for a subscription currently can't skip ads at all.

Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify, says she compares the move to Spotify's "Discover Weekly" feature, which tailors a playlist to users' established listening habits. Unlimited ad skipping means Spotify users will be able to hear or watch just the ads they actually like, informing Spotify about their preferences in the process, she says.

Bottom of the Page

The more I use the spit-screen thing in an iPad, the more I am convinced the traditional one-single-active-window model in traditional operating systems (macOS, Windows) simply doesn’t work in a direct-manipulation touch-screen OS (iOS).

Although I do agree with many who wanted to have a clearer picture of which control is currently having the keyboard focus.


When in Singapore, check out the Cracy Rich Asians.

(On the other hand, yours truly is only crazy.)


Thanks for reading.

The Nondescript-Icon Edition Saturday, August 11, 2018

10 Secret Functions Of Default iPhone Apps You Aren’t Using, by Khamosh Pathak, MakeUseOf

But over the years, iOS has gained a lot of new functionality, including new default apps.

Features in iOS are usually hidden behind a nondescript icon or gesture. Once you know how to access these, you’ll get a lot more value and productivity out of your iPhone.

Obscura 1.2 Update Brings Advanced Photography App To iPad, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

The update also brings a handful of bug fixes including a layout fix for iPhone 5s/SE, flash not triggering, and faster launch times.

Is Apple Going To Ease Off Its HomeKit Chokehold? Sure Looks Like It…, by Kieren McCarthy, The Register

Apple has joined the Thread Group at the highest level – giving it a seat on the board – so it appears to be a serious strategic shift by Silicon Valley's idiot-tax operation rather than just a way to keep tabs on its competitors. We would not be at all surprised to see the Biz finally give HomeKit a proper launch at its annual September product hype-festival.

The Got-Father's-Piece Edition Friday, August 10, 2018

Siri Is Now Trained To Recognize Your Local, Weirdly Named Small Businesses, by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

Getting directions to the nearest Starbucks or Target is a task Apple’s virtual assistant can handle with ease. But what about local businesses with names that Siri has never heard, and might mistake for another phrase or the user misspeaking? To handle these, Apple has created libraries of hyper-local place names so Siri never hears “Godfather’s Pizza” as “got father’s piece.”

Apple Axes 'Wrong Apps' In Gambling Purge, by Chris Baraniuk, BBC

Several developers complained via social media that their apps, which they said had nothing to do with gambling, were taken down.

The affected apps included a Polish magazine, a gif-sharing service and a platform for sending clips of Xbox games to friends.

Hacking A Brand New Mac Remotely, Right Out Of The Box, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

That attack, which researchers will demonstrate Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, targets enterprise Macs that use Apple's Device Enrollment Program and its Mobile Device Management platform. These enterprise tools allow employees of a company to walk through the customized IT setup of a Mac themselves, even if they work in a satellite office or from home. The idea is that a company can ship Macs to its workers directly from Apple's warehouses, and the devices will automatically configure to join their corporate ecosystem after booting up for the first time and connecting to Wi-Fi.


Apple Pushes GiveBack Program With Trade-ins Now Worth Instant Credit Toward New iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple rebranded its reuse and recycling trade-in program earlier this year as “Apple GiveBack.” Now, customers buying new devices on Apple’s website can use a trade-in to instantly offset the cost.

How I Use 1Password, by Shawn Blanc, The Sweet Setup

1Password holds the login information to every single website and service that I use. From my personal bank to my business website hosting to my favorite online photo printer. And that’s just the start. Heck, I even have a login for my thermostat.

Take Control Over Your Wi-Fi Signal With NetSpot, by Anthony Casella, iMore

If you've ever had to provide Wi-Fi coverage, or if you are having issues with dead zones in a current Wi-Fi network, then NetSpot can help you troubleshoot and plan better coverage of just about any sized area.

Here’s a quick look at what all I store in 1Password and why it’s so helpful.

Four Apps To Download Before The Perseid Meteor Shower, by Jenni Fink, Newsweek

On Sunday night and into Monday morning, people around the globe will be able to see up to 70 meteors an hour during the dazzling Perseid meteor shower.

The meteors can be seen with the naked eye. But these apps will help make the moment even better.


Being A Young Startup Founder Was Isolating—here’s How I Coped, by Jesse Kaplan, Quartz

My decision to fly solo so early in my career was often met with surprise and uncertainty. Prospective vendors, partners, and employees were less inclined to take a chance on a lone, inexperienced founder, incredulous that I could build and grow a massive company on my own. And as the demands of running an early-stage business inevitably piled up, I had no one to share responsibilities with, bounce ideas off of, or keep me motivated. In the face of early skeptics and operational burdens, staying focused without a cofounder (or, for a while, even a coworker) was not always easy.

Almost five years later, it’s safe to say that workplace isolation is no longer a concern—my company, Parcel, was acquired by Walmart in the fall of 2017, and I now have a few million coworkers. Still, the techniques I learned for coping with those lonelier early days remain fundamental to my working style.

Checking Emails After Work Is Bad For Your Partner As Well As You, by Ian Sample, The Guardian

People who constantly monitored office messages at home felt it did no harm to their closest relationships, but their spouses and partners told a different story, researchers found.


Angela Ahrendts Discusses Intuitive Leadership, Challenges Of Building Timeless Brands, More In Global Leadership Summit Interview, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

“I was raised ‘love one another as I have loved you,’” Ahrendts noted. “You carry that with you. [Your values] are the foundation of everything you are. You hire that way, you fire that way. I have always been a purpose driven human. I don’t like the word ‘work.’ I want to make an impact, I want to make a difference. How do you unite people around that higher purpose? At Apple, Tim calls it our North Star.”

Expanding on the importance of humility and remembering your roots, Ahrendts added, “The other value I was raised with was ‘whatever you give, you get tenfold in return.’ The higher up you go, the more people forget that. I’ve always said the higher up I go, the more that I need to never forget, the more I need to connect and over-communicate.”

“What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created A Monster, by Susan Fowler, Vanity Fair

There’s a relatively low risk associated with launching gig-economy companies, start-ups that can engage in “a kind of contract arbitrage” because they “aren’t bearing the corporate or societal cost, even as they reap fractional or full-time value from workers,” explains Seattle-based tech journalist Glenn Fleishman. Thanks to this buffer, they’re almost guaranteed to multiply. As the gig economy grows, so too does the danger that engineers, in attempting to build the most efficient systems, will chop and dice jobs into pieces so dehumanized that our legal system will no longer recognize them. And along with this comes an even more sinister possibility: jobs that would and should be recognizable—especially supervisory and management positions—will disappear altogether. If a software engineer can write a set of programs that breaks a job into smaller increments, and can follow it up with an algorithm that fills in as the supervisor, then the position itself can be programmed to redundancy.

The Messy, Democratizing Beauty Of The Internet, by Jeff Javis, The Atlantic

Instead, we should view the evolution of the internet in context. First, it is vital to judge the totality of the value of the platforms and the net. Without them, we would not have #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and the voices of the Parkland students, and Americans would not now finally see how often white people call the police on others who are living their lives while black. Look at your Facebook feed. I challenge you to find the infestation of Nazis in it (unless you already consort with them). You’ll find cats and cheese. You’ll find friends sharing babies or illnesses, reaching out for connection. You’ll find people who have not been spoiled or addicted by technology, who still have agency, ethics, and intelligence.

Bottom of the Page

A lot of us put our macOS Dock on the left or the right because we have screens that are wider than taller. And Apple has always provided this choice to macOS users.

So: why can't I put all the tab bars on the left or right of windows?


Thanks for reading.

The App-Creations Edition Thursday, August 9, 2018

Apple Celebrates ‘Everyone Can Code’ Students With Special ‘Today At Apple’ Session In Chicago, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple and the City of Chicago came together to celebrate the “Everyone Can Code” program at Apple’s Michigan Avenue location this week. As highlighted in tweets by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Tim Cook, a special “Today at Apple” session where students of the program showcased their app creations.

2018 MacBook Pro Owners Complain Of Crackling Speakers, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup has bigger and better speakers than previous machines, but some users haven’t been enjoying improved sound.

Instead, they hear crackling when they play music or watch videos. The issue appears to be affecting both 13- and 15-inch devices, and it’s not yet clear what’s causing it.

Confusing Nature

Apple Says It's Monitoring The Infowars App In The App Store, by John Paczkowski, Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed

“We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously."

Tech Companies Banned Infowars. Now, Its App Is Trending., by Jack Nicas, New York Times

The surge suggests the tech industry’s recent action against Infowars has drawn new interest to the fringe outlet and the conspiracy theories it peddles.


That the Infowars app has also thrived on Apple’s and Google’s app stores just days after the companies removed its content from other parts of their sites highlights the confusing nature of the tech companies’ rules and their enforcement of them.


Our Favorite Markdown Writing App For iOS, by K.Q. Dreger, The Sweet Setup

Aside from being a beautiful and focused writing tool, iA Writer’s unique keyboard shelf design and abundance of formatting shortcuts make writing Markdown easy and intuitive on iOS.

‘Controller For HomeKit’ App Lets You Back Up And Restore Home Configurations, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Even more useful is the ability to have seasonal Home configurations like automations that only run in summer months or winter months.

The Allow-and-Ban Edition Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Gatekeepers Or Censors? How Tech Manages Online Speech, by New York Times

The differing approaches to Mr. Jones exposed how unevenly tech companies enforce their rules on hate speech and offensive content. There are only a few cases in which the companies appear to consistently apply their policies, such as their ban on child pornography and instances in which the law required them to remove content, like Nazi imagery in Germany.

When left to make their own decisions, the tech companies often struggle with their roles as the arbiters of speech and leave false information, upset users and confusing decisions in their wake. Here is a look at what the companies, which control the world’s most popular public forums, allow and ban.

The New Editors Of The Internet, by Dan Gillmor, The Atlantic

Bowing to their better civic natures, and the pleas of James Foley's family, Twitter and YouTube have pulled down videos and photos of his murder. They had every right to do so, and in my view they did the right thing.

So why am I so uncomfortable with this? Because it's not clear what's too vile to host. And, even more, because Twitter and YouTube are among a tiny group of giant companies with greater and greater power—and less and less accountability—over what we read, hear, and watch online.

Who gave them this power? We did. And if we don’t take back what we’ve given away—and what’s being taken away—we’ll deserve what we get: a concentration of media power that will damage, if not eviscerate, our tradition of free expression.

Beta Track

Why You Should Use iOS 12's Do Not Disturb At Bedtime All Day Long, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

iOS 12’s best new feature may be Do Not Disturb at Bedtime. That sounds boring, but ask anyone who has been using the beta and they’ll tell you that it rocks. Apart from being active overnight, the main difference between regular Do Not Disturb and the new “at Bedtime” flavor is that all notifications are hidden from the lock screen until you deliberately swipe up on the screen to reveal them.

Regular Do Not Disturb suppresses audio and vibrating alerts, but the notifications still appear on the lock screen. You’ll see them any time you pick up your iPhone or unlock your iPad. This can make the difference between enjoying your hooky afternoon at the beach in peace or worrying the whole time because you accidentally saw that Slack message from your boss.


Overflow 3 Review: macOS App Launcher Doubles As A Spacious Dock Alternative, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

There’s only so much room available to cram applications, folders, and documents into the macOS Dock. But don’t worry, there’s a way to add a second dock to your screen that’s even more spacious and powerful than the original.

Best Alternatives To Apple's Magic Keyboard In 2018, by Lory Gil, iMore

If you love the look of the Magic Keyboard 2 but don't love the feel, or maybe you were hoping for more than what comes in the box, we've got a list of keyboards that have a very similar design, but offer something a little different.

The Best Monitor For The MacBook Pro, by Jon Martindale, Yahoo

As great as the displays on Apple’s range of MacBook Pros are, notebooks can never quite live up to the grandeur and functionality of working or watching various media on a large-scale desktop display.

Instapaper Relaunches Premium Service As A Paid Subscription And Returns To The EU, by John Voorhees, MacStories

At the heart of Instapaper’s plan is a return to a paid subscription model.

Newton Mail App Shutting Down September 25, Service Offering Partial Refunds, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

The company says that while it would love to keep the application afloat, the premium mail application market is simply not there.


Lawmakers Asked Apple To Reveal How It Tracks Its Users. Here’s What The Company Said., by Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post

The firm said that its phones do not collect any location information from WiFi networks, cellular networks or Bluetooth when those capabilities are switched off. That reflects what Apple has said in its privacy policies.

The company did reveal for the first time how many apps it rejects from its App Store for failing to comply with its policies — nearly 40 percent of submissions don’t make the cut.

Apple’s Response To Congressional Privacy Inquiry Is Mercifully Free Of Horrifying Revelations, by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

Apple has its flaws, but its privacy settings are thankfully not among them. It’s true what it says: it’s not a data-monger like Google or Facebook, and has no need to personally profile its users the way Amazon does. It may sell increasingly iffy hardware at truly eye-popping prices, and it may have lost its design edge (been a while now), but at least it isn’t, in this sense at least, evil by nature.

EU Taking Another Look At Phone Chargers Because They’re Still Not Standardized, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

EU regulators are planning to investigate if there's a need for a legal mandate to force phone manufacturers to use standard chargers. Should they do so, proprietary chargers—including Apple's non-standard Lightning connector on its phones—could wind up being prohibited.

Bottom of the Page

The long-term plan for Apple, surely, is neither the Lightning port nor the USB-C port. It's wireless, just like everything else. This new potential EU mandate is just going to strengthen Apple's resolve to get rid of cables.


Thanks for reading.

The Music-Friends Edition Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Apple Music Launches New Weekly ‘Friends Mix’ In For You, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple Music is rolling out a new discovery mix called the Friends Mix, which updates every Monday. It collates 25 songs that your Apple Music friends have been listening to. The mix is appearing for some users across Apple’s platforms and does not seem to be tied to iOS 12 or any other beta software release.

Where Vim Came From, by Sinclair Target, Two-Bit History

Vim is everywhere. It is used by so many people that something like HEX file support shouldn’t be a surprise. Vim comes pre-installed on Mac OS and has a large constituency in the Linux world. It is familiar even to people that hate it, because enough popular command line tools will throw users into Vim by default that the uninitiated getting trapped in Vim has become a meme. There are major websites, including Facebook, that will scroll down when you press the j key and up when you press the k key—the unlikely high-water mark of Vim’s spread through digital culture.

And yet Vim is also a mystery. Unlike React, for example, which everyone knows is developed and maintained by Facebook, Vim has no obvious sponsor. Despite its ubiquity and importance, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of committee or organization that makes decisions about Vim. You could spend several minutes poking around the Vim website without getting a better idea of who created Vim or why. If you launch Vim without giving it a file argument, then you will see Vim’s startup message, which says that Vim is developed by “Bram Moolenaar et al.” But that doesn’t tell you much. Who is Bram Moolenaar and who are his shadowy confederates?

Beta Track

Apple Books: A Love Letter To Readers, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

When iOS 12 launches this fall, it will introduce a newly redesigned iBooks app simply named Books. Though the reading experience in Books is largely the same as before, the rest of the app is drastically different, offering the biggest app redesign on iOS since last year's App Store.

Modern design is a clear centerpiece of Books, but the app also includes new features, big and small, that make it feel all-new. From tools that borrow from Goodreads, to more robust collections, to night mode, and much more. There's a lot to explore here, so let's dive in.

macOS Mojave To Introduce Updated Migration Utility With Ability To Transfer Accounts, Contacts, More From Third-party Programs, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple is expanding its Windows Migration Assistant in macOS 10.14 Mojave with a handful of new features that will make switching from Windows to macOS a much more seamless experience.

Apple Money

Why Apple Is The Future Of Capitalism, by Mihir A. Desai, New York Times

The accomplishments of Apple’s model are substantial. But the financial strategy that has worked so well for Apple is a risky one for less capable companies with weaker strategic positions. For them, aping Apple can just as easily result in too much debt on their balance sheets, precarious supply chains and deferred opportunities for investments.

The financial archetype defined by Apple — asset-light strategy, leveraged share buybacks and cash flow above all — is a high-wire act. Boards should guard against the temptation to follow Apple’s path blindly. Big investors, especially mutual funds and pension funds that represent so many individuals, should question the management of any company that does. Many of Apple’s imitators are more likely to mortgage the future than create it.

Apple’s Stock Market Scam, by Alex Shephard, New Republic

Viewed over a period of decades, a number of products and achievements played a role in getting Apple to where it is today. But as the company’s profit margins have shrunk, stock buybacks played a crucial role in getting Apple over the trillion-dollar finish line first. This asterisk should be something of a scandal. Apple is the poster child of the current spate of stock buybacks, which are starving investment and exacerbating inequality.


Castro Adds iCloud Drive Sideloading And Chapter Playback Pre-Selection, by John Voorhees, MacStories

For plus subscribers, the update adds a ‘Castro’ folder in iCloud Drive. Add an MP3 or AAC file into the ‘Sideloads’ folder, and it shows up in your Castro inbox (or wherever else you designate in settings) ready for playback.

dotEPUB Is The Best Way To Save And Annotate Websites In iBooks, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

This quick-and-easy service lets you save and convert any webpage into an EPUB document. Then you can open the file in Apple’s Books app and mark it up just like any other ebook.

The NYT Adds A Personalized ‘News Feed’ To Its iOS App, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The publication says it will now allow its iOS app users to customize their reading experience through a new feature called “Your Feed,” which consists only of those channels readers choose to follow. Some of those channels will pull stories from existing New York Times sections and columns, like Modern Love, while others, like Gender & Society, At War, Pop Culture, and more will pull news from across the paper’s sections. And others will include commentary from reporters and editors, and will feature worthy reads from outside The Times.

Logitech’s First Wireless Charger Is The One Apple Should Have Made For The iPhone X, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The whole pad is made out of a sturdy, grippy plastic that holds the phone tight and doesn’t let it slide around, even when the device is vibrating.

ScreenFlow 8.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The new Templates feature lets you set up projects with placeholder clips in the timeline for both recorded and external media. The Styles feature offers customized media configurations, enabling you to copy and paste video parameters (like scale, positioning, filters, and axis rotation) and apply them to individual pieces of media.

iExit Interstate Exit Guide, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Driving on the freeway is all about exits. If I’m driving on freeways for a few hours, I don’t want to search for what restaurants or gas stations or whatever are around me—I want to search for what points of interest are near the various exits along my route. And that’s what iExit provides. I’ve been using it for years, and it’s always been a vital aid when I’m sitting in the passenger seat trying to figure out when we’re going to break for lunch.


Apple Joins Smart Home Mesh Networking Standards Group Thread, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Apple recently joined Thread Group, an organization focused on delivering mesh networking solutions to smart home devices, as a member of the body's board of directors, suggesting a potential interest in adopting the technology as part of the HomeKit protocol.

Apple At Head Of Solar Initiative To Provide Power Generation For 74,000 Homes, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

Apple, Akamai, Etsy, and Swiss Re have announced an agreement to develop two new wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia to provide power for company operations in in the eastern United States.

Bottom of the Page

Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step…


Thanks for reading.

The Level-of-Protection Edition Monday, August 6, 2018

The Swim Test For Smartphones, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

The first digit in the rating refers to the level of protection from solid substances and is measured on scale of 0 (no protection) to 6, with a 6 meaning no dust enters the device for two to eight hours of exposure. The second number refers to water and is measured on a scale of 0 to 9. A rating of 8 designates protection against water immersion under pressure for long periods, and a 9 rating means the object can also hold up against high-pressure water jets.

Apple At $1Trillion: The Missing Theory, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Pundits and competitors constantly predict the death of the iPhone because “it’s the same closed system mistake as the Mac” or “modularity always wins!”. These death warrants were issued by prestigious academics and still carom around the blogosphere’s echo chamber.

Yet, years later, Apple continues to follow its heterodox path and to prosper as a result.


Apple Is Removing Alex Jones And Infowars' Podcasts From iTunes, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

Apple's decision to remove all episodes of Jones' popular show — rather than just specific offending episodes — is one of the largest enforcement actions intended to curb conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date. Though Apple is far from Jones and Infowars' only distribution platform, the decision to pull Jones' content will considerably limit the outlet's audio reach — as of 2018, Apple's Podcasts platform amassed 50 billion all-time downloads and streams.

Newton Email App Makes Digital Correspondence A Breeze, by Jonathan Lamont, Mobile Syrup

The app let me pull all my email accounts into one interface. It colour codes emails so I can see at a glance which accounts they belong to. Additionally, I’m able to isolate one account if I need to focus on that.

The Nucleum 7-in-1 USB Hub Is A Great Peripheral For A 12-inch MacBook, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Plus in the USB-C hub and you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously — including a mouse and a display. You can also charge your MacBook while, for example, running an external hard drive and charging an iPhone.


Here’s Apple’s Plan To Keep From Losing The World’s Fastest-Growing Smartphone Market, by Mark Gurman and Saritha Rai, Bloomberg

Michel Coulomb, a well-regarded veteran Apple executive, parachuted in from Singapore to oversee its India operation at the end of last year. In June, having forced out three top sales executives, Coulomb spent three days with senior employees from throughout India at Apple’s sales and marketing headquarters in Gurugram, a tech hub south of New Delhi. He and other executives laid out a strategy to rekindle iPhone sales that focused on better retail deals with higher sales targets, the establishment of Apple stores in India, an overhaul of the company’s relationships with independent retailers, and improved apps and other services aimed more closely at Indians, including a revamped version of Apple Maps by 2020, according to people familiar with the presentation.

iPhone Chipmaker Races To Recover After Crippling Computer Virus, by Debby Wu and Mark Guarman, Bloomberg

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes chips for the iPhone and other devices, is recovering from a debilitating computer virus but warned of delayed shipments and reduced revenue because of the impact on its factories.

TSMC said that 80 percent of the fabrication tools affected by a virus outbreak Friday evening had been restored and that it expects full recovery on Monday. The Taiwanese company said the incident, which comes as it ramps up chipmaking for Apple Inc.’s next iPhones, would delay shipments, without specifying which customers would be affected. Its shares fell more than 1 percent in Taipei.

‘The Beginning Of A Wave’: A.I. Tiptoes Into The Workplace, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

There is no shortage of predictions about how artificial intelligence is going to reshape where, how and if people work in the future.

But the grand work-changing projects of A.I., like self-driving cars and humanoid robots, are not yet commercial products. A more humble version of the technology, however, is already making its presence felt in a less glamorous place: the back office.

The Art-of-Chatter Edition Sunday, August 5, 2018

Have Smartphones Killed The Art Of Conversation?, by Nosheen Iqbal, The Guardian

Much is made about smartphones leading to dumber conversation - amid claims that the art of chatter has been lost. Arguably, however, conversation has simply been rebooted and reconfigured. Take the myriad ways in which we can and do communicate now. It’s a given that I will spend an embarrassing portion of my day glued to a screen (it’s work!) and much of that will be chatting (again, it’s work!).


Talk isn’t dead. It’s just presented in ways that are to the point, quicker and easier to articulate. What we lose in tone we make up for in emoji.

Trillion, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

To continue beyond the trillion-dollar mark (again, nuts) and keep ahead of the fast-charging Amazon, Apple does still need a “what’s next” part of the story. An “Apple Prime” offering would undoubtedly satiate Wall Street for some time, but with Apple, you grow or don’t grow based on amazingly great hardware products.

How I Use iPad And Kinderlime To Manage After-school Care, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Thanks to Kinderlime and four iPads, we’ve increased security for our after-school care system. If you have an after-school care system at your school, I highly recommend you check it out (or send this article to your school’s IT person). We’ve gotten universal praise for it from our parents.

Bottom of the Page

I really should just stick to getting my news from my carefully-selected RSS feeds. Everytime I venture out of this little echo chamber, I get horrified.


Thanks for reading.

The Screen-Learning Edition Saturday, August 4, 2018

Children Learn Best When Engaged In The Living World Not On Screens, by Nicholas Tampio, Aeon

If the move to digital learning continues, children will spend much, if not most, of their waking hours in front of screens. They will use apps before they go to school, spend their days in front of computers, do their homework online, and then entertain themselves with digital media. Children are losing opportunities to experience the world in all its richness. The gestalt of a farm transcends what pixels and speakers can convey. Screens drain the vitality from many educational experiences that could be better done in the flesh. This drift toward screen learning is only inevitable if people do nothing to stop it. So let’s stop it.

Two Screens, by David Sparks, MacSparky

The whole idea is that this extra monitor is a reference screen and not a working screen. I do all of my writing, screencasting, video editing, lawyering, and MacSparky-ing on the iMac. After all, the iMac is, by far, the better screen in every way measurable.

So what goes on that extra screen?

Apple’s Termination Of App Store Affiliate Payments Is Unnecessary, Mean-Spirited, And Harmful, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In the end, I’m disappointed in Apple. Not surprised, since Apple has never acknowledged that the media plays a vital role in the broader Apple ecosystem, but disappointed that a company that puts so much effort into bringing joy to users can simultaneously behave so callously to some of its greatest supporters.

Larger iPhone X Plus Seemingly Confirmed By Leak In iOS 12 Beta, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Rambo notes that the icons are all early and unfinished, so don’t necessarily take them as a definite indication of what the new devices will look like.


Apple Once More Accepting Red Cross Donations, This Time For California Wild Fires, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Apple this week updated its official homepage and iTunes landing page with American Red Cross banners and links that direct to a contribution page dedicated to California wildfire relief. The site includes quick payment options that allow users to contribute $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200 toward ongoing relief efforts with just a couple taps.

Hands On: Pixelmator Pro 1.1.2 On The Mac Is Superb Even If It Still Isn't Photoshop, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Newly updated image editor is gorgeous and capable of just about everything you need.

The One-Trillion Edition Friday, August 3, 2018

Apple Becomes First U.S. Company To Hit $1 Trillion Market Value, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple was worth about $350 billion when Jobs died, so Cook has led the creation of even more stock-market value than his former boss and mentor. Bloomberg News asked him about the $1 trillion target in a February interview.

"I don’t really think about it," he said, suggesting that if the company keeps making successful products, financial success will follow. "I still view Apple as a pretty small company, the way that we operate. I know it’s not numerically, but the way we function is very much like that."

A Look At Apple's Trillion-Dollar World, by Brad Stone, Bloomberg

Now the business founded by Steve Jobs and his pal Steve Wozniak in a Palo Alto garage in 1976 truly stands alone. Apple Inc.’s market capitalization was a paltry $3 billion when Jobs returned to the wounded company in 1996, after it had acquired his startup, NeXT. Passing the $1 trillion mark a little more than two decades later puts an exclamation point at the end of a remarkable run of success—one that started with Jobs's introduction of the iMac, iPod, iPad, and, especially, the iPhone, and was extended by his successor, Tim Cook, who now presides over the most valuable business in modern history.

Apple CEO Calls $1 Trillion Value A 'Milestone' But Not A Focus, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

In a memo to Apple’s more than 120,000 employees that was seen by Reuters, Cook called the valuation a “significant milestone” that gave the company “much to be proud of.” But he said it should not be the Cupertino, California, company’s focus.

“Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values,” Cook said in the memo.

Apple $1 Trillion Valuation: What Does It Mean?, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

Tech magnates crow too often about “changing the world,” but this is what it really looks like, for good and for ill. It’s what railroads did once, and steel too, and oil, and automobiles as well. There is always brutality in the biggest big business, because nothing grows so large without transforming the world it leaves behind utterly, and forever.


Apple On The Tracks: iOS On The Railways, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

“In the railway industry, businesses around the world are using iPhone and iPad to support operations, training, passenger engagement, and maintenance activities,” said Apple's chief financial officer (CFO), Luca Maestri, during the company's Q318 financial call. I thought I’d find out more.


While paying the fare with an iOS device (particularly an Apple Watch) is a great convenience for consumers, the real value of Apple’s ecosystem sits much deeper inside railway infrastructure.

Apple In Hollywood

Apple Premieres Plans For Store And Event Space In Historic Downtown L.A. Theater, by Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times

Apple’s forthcoming takeover of the theater was long expected, but the company is only now revealing details of the transformation planned for the cinema, which has been mostly closed for decades.


“Most people think of our stores as the big glass boxes,” Siegel said, but that is not entirely true.


Instapaper For Apple Watch Killed Off As Part Of Latest iOS App Update, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On Apple Watch, Instapaper allowed users to access text-to-speech playback of saved articles.

This UHS-II Card Reader Will Satisfy The Apple User’s Need For Speed, by David Pierini, Cult of Mac

The brushed aluminum Type-C Micro/SD reader will be especially valuable to photographers and videographers routinely pausing their workflow to transfer large, high-resolution files. This reader is equipped with UHS-II, which carries a transfer rate of 312 MB/s.


Escaping The Sandbox – Microsoft Office On MacOS, by MDSec

You’ve completed your recon, and found that your target is using MacOS… what next? With the increased popularity of MacOS in the enterprise, we are often finding that having phishing payloads targeting only Microsoft Windows endpoints is not enough during a typical engagement.

With this in mind, I wanted to find an effective method of landing a stager on a MacOS system during a phishing campaign. In this walkthrough, I will show one possible way we can go about gaining a foothold by leveraging Microsoft Office on MacOS, and present a method of escaping the MacOS sandbox that we find ourselves trapped inside of.


Apple’s Ambitious Target For Services Growth May Have Unintended Consequences, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

By continuing to offer an inadequate free tier, Apple is forcing customers onto the paid tiers, thereby generating Services revenue. But it’s money gained at the expense of customer satisfaction with the company. Many people pay the fee, but grumble as they do so, and feel that Apple isn’t behaving as it should.

Bottom of the Page

I am enjoying and bingeing on The Good Place The Podcast, and I am feeling an emotion which I think is known as delighted.


Thanks for reading.

The Typing-on-a-Computer Edition Thursday, August 2, 2018

Icon Found In iOS 12 Shows iPad With Thin Bezels, No Home Button Or Notch, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

A new asset found in iOS 12 developer beta 5 seemingly confirms a new bezel-less iPad for the fall. The asset is part of the battery usage UI and it shows an iPad with no home button and thinner bezels.


One thing notably missing from the glyph is a notch.

You Can Turn Off Autocorrect On Your Phone, It's Fine, by Steve Rousseau, Digg

As of today, I am one month autocorrect free, and I am happy to report that I have never felt better. As it turns out, if you disable autocorrect on iOS, it will still highlight things that are misspelled. It's like… typing on a computer. I know that this sound obvious, but literally within minutes of turning off autocorrect, I realized that anything misspelled could be easily corrected with two taps of my thumb.

Sure, I can't just mash away and expect the computer to tidy up after me, and not having autocorrect to fall back on means that I need to pay slightly more attention as I type. But it hasn't turned me into a squinting, inscrutable luddite who has to hunt and peck to transmit the simplest of messages.

Siri Finally Understands “Gazpacho”, by Paul Kafasis, One Foot Tsunami

As far as I can recall, it’s never worked.

App Discovery

Apple Says It Is Removing Apps & In-app Purchases From Its iTunes Affiliate Program, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company explains that, with the launch of the new App Store interfaces for iOS and macOS, there are new methods of app discovery that mean less of a focus needs to be on the Affiliate Program.

Apple Removing iOS And Mac Apps From Affiliate Program, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

Apple is a for-profit company, and it has no bottom-line reason to keep this program open, but sometimes doing the right thing comes with a cost.

Ahead of its Time

“I Have A Secret. My Father Is Steve Jobs”: Lisa Brennan-Jobs Recalls Memories Of Her Famous Father, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Vanity Fair

I studied my father’s face. What had changed? Why had he admitted it now, after all these years? Of course it was named after me, I thought then. His lie seemed preposterous now. I felt a new power that pulled my chest up.

“That’s the first time he’s said yes,” I told Bono. “Thank you for asking.” As if famous people needed other famous people around to release their secrets.

Adapted from Small Fry: A Memoir, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, to be published September 4, 2018, by Grove Press.

Developing Solutions

Cupertino City Council Balks At New Tax After Apple Objects, by Nour Malas, Wall Street Journal

Cupertino officials had intended the tax to raise as much as $10 million for transportation projects to help ease crippling traffic into the city, though they hadn’t developed a specific project or spending plan. Instead, they decided to take up the proposal in two years, for the 2020 ballot, giving the city time to work directly with Apple—Cupertino’s biggest employer—and other companies on developing transportation solutions, potentially new public-private funding models, and a spending plan.

Apple Working With Chinese Telecom Firms To Reduce Spam: State Media, by Reuters

Apple Inc is working with Chinese telecom firms on finding ways to reduce junk messages which are received through iMessage, state media reported on Thursday.


How To Exploit Apple Mail's Patchy But Powerful Rules To Control Your Email, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

If you're using an Apple email account then everything goes through iCloud before it gets to your devices so maybe you could set up rules there. Have iCloud deal with deletions or forwarding or out-of-office auto replies.

You can. To our mind, though, the flaw is that the rules you can set up in iCloud are so limited that they're close to useless —and we just don't use them and just can't recommend you do.

However, you can work around this a little and if you do, you can also use the excellent Mail rules on your Mac to help you wherever you are.

We Compared 3 Of The Most Popular Note Taking Apps For iPhone — But The Winner Depends On What You Want To Do, by Kaylee Fagan, Business Insider

These three apps each have invaluable qualities that I believe are unique for the function that they do best. For that reason, I think they are each superior when it comes to specific tasks.

Hands On: New Video Editing Abilities Make ScreenFlow 8 A Mac Professional's Must-have Tool, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

ScreenFlow 8 used to be an exceptional tool for recording your Mac's screen and it still is —but the new update has it knocking at the door of apps like Final Cut Pro for video production.


The End Of Employees, by Lauren Weber, Wall Street Journal

The shift is radically altering what it means to be a company and a worker. More flexibility for companies to shrink the size of their employee base, pay and benefits means less job security for workers. Rising from the mailroom to a corner office is harder now that outsourced jobs are no longer part of the workforce from which star performers are promoted.


Password Breach Teaches Reddit That, Yes, Phone-based 2FA Is That Bad, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

The upshot of all of this is that SMS-based 2FA is better than no 2FA at all, but only minimally so. Sites that allow stronger forms of 2FA but offer SMS- or call-based 2FA as a fallback should take notice. An intermediate improvement is to use phone-based apps with no fallback to SMS. The most superior forms of 2FA that are viable now include physical tokens with no use of OTPs or, if that’s considered too difficult for users, OTPs generated solely by apps. Security practitioners have been preaching this gospel for years. Reddit’s post demonstrates that people who should know better aren’t always heeding this advice.

The Sadness Of Deleting Your Old Tweets, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

I held my breath and pushed the button. “Delete All,” it read. Yes, I clicked, do it. “Are You Sure?” it asked. I wasn’t. But I’d made a decision, about which I’d written an entire article already, and I wasn’t about to renege.

The tweets started disappearing in batches. I refreshed my timeline every few minutes to find myself back in time, tweets from 2016 at the top of my feed, as though suddenly it was just after election day again and I was… unhinged. Refresh. Now I went back further, 2015, tweets about my newborn son. Oh god, I seem happy! Refresh. 2014, tweets about… shoes and the weather? Was I really ever so naive?

Bottom of the Page

I have turned off 3D Touch. I haven't turned off Autocorrect.


The notch on the phone is a workaround, a compromise. It shouldn't be a defining feature of iOS devices. If the FaceID iPad doesn't come with a notch, it will be great.


Thanks for reading.

The Growing-Dramatically Edition Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Apple's iPhone X Keeps Selling As Q3 Services Revenue Soars, by Shara Tibken, CNET

Because so many people have iPhones, Apple's services business -- which includes the App Store, Apple Music and iCloud -- has been growing dramatically over the past several quarters. Revenue from services operations jumped 31 percent to $9.5 billion, the second quarter in row with a 31 percent rise.

Diving Into The Details Of Apple's (Boring?) Record Quarter, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Apple keeps talking about new growth in the Mac in various markets and uses that seasonality as an excuse, but it’s been three straight quarters of sales and revenue flops. At what point do we say that Apple has a Mac problem? The optimist would probably answer that last year’s “Mac roundtable” was an indication that Apple realized it had made some poor Mac decisions, and that the new features in macOS Mojave are another sign of the company’s recommitment to the platform.

I hope so. But still, the Mac has currently replaced the iPad as the product line that makes me cringe every three months when sales figures are released. That’s not great.

Apple's Tim Cook Hints At TV Ambitions, by Shara Tibken, CNET

CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday hinted at Apple's ambitions, but, in typical Cook fashion, didn't reveal any specifics.

"We hired two highly respected television executives last year, and they have been here now for several months and have been working on a project that we're not really ready to share ... all the details about it yet," Cook said during an earnings call with analysts. "But I couldn't be [more] excited about what's going on there."

Four Million People Are Using Apple’s OS Betas, by Greg Kumparak, TechCrunch

While that percentage might not sound huge, having four million people happily stress test your software before you officially ship it is a rare strength that few other companies can claim.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Tariffs Can Have 'Unintended Consequences' For Consumers And The Economy, by Chloe Aiello, CNBC

Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated the company's position that tariffs can have "unintended consequences" for consumers and the economy, and are generally not the right approach for modernizing U.S.-China relations, but glossed over what if any impact the new set of tariffs on $200 billion in goods could have on Apple products.

This Is Tim: Apple Q3 2018 Financial Call With Analysts, Transcribed, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Tim Cook: Today we’re proud to report our best June Quarter revenue and earnings ever, thanks to the strong performance of iPhone services and wearables. We generated 53.3 billion dollars in revenue, a new Q3 record. That’s an increase of 17 percent over last year’s results, making it our seventh consecutive quarter of accelerating growth, our fourth consecutive quarter of double digit growth, and our strongest rate of growth in the past 11 quarters. Our team generated record Q3 earnings per share of $2.34, an increase of 40 percent over last year. We are extremely proud of these results, and I’d like to share some highlights with you.


RR Donnelley Reveals Role As Apple’s Photo Printer, Debuts Motif Plug-in, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

When Apple announced plans to discontinue its photo printing service, it guided users to several third-party alternatives. But one option has an advantage over the rest: Top commercial printer RR Donnelley has revealed itself as Apple’s longtime provider of photo printing services and released an app called Motif that lets macOS Photos users continue to purchase its products.

Hands On: iA Writer For Mac And iOS Claims To Be A Calming, Relaxing Text Editor, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The latest iA Writer won't distract you, won't interrupt, and won't do anything to get in the way of the words you type —and that can be good and bad simultaneously, depending on your style and what you need.

Power Station Plus XL Is Great For Powering Two Apple Gadgets While On-the-go, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Mophie’s powerstation plus XL will put a minor dent in your wallet, but it could also put a major dent (in a good way) in your on-the-go charging needs.


Apple Comes Under Media Fire In China, by Wall Street Journal

On Monday, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other top government agencies said they would impose new requirements requiring mobile phone makers to include spam-filtering features.

Google Plans To Launch Censored Search Engine In China, Leaked Documents Reveal, by Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept

Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.