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.