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Archive for August 2018

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.

Stuff

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, Violinist.com

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.

Develop

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.

Notes

‘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.

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

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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.

Stuff

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.

Develop

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?

Notes

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.

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

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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.

Stuff

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.

Develop

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.

Notes

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.

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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.

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When in Singapore, check out the Cracy Rich Asians.

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

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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.

Stuff

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.

Develop

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.

Notes

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.

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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?

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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.

Stuff

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.

Stuff

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.

Notes

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.

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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.

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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.

Stuff

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.

Notes

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.

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

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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.

Stuff

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.

Notes

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.

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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.

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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.

Stuff

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.

iTrain

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.

Stuff

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.

Develop

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.

Notes

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.

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

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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.

Stuff

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.

Develop

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.

Notes

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?

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

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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.

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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.

Stuff

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.

Notes

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.