The Give-Me-A-Hug Edition Wednesday, March 11, 2020

'It's Amazing' - Mum Fighting MND Gets Voice App To Speak With Her Kids, by Lynne Kelleher,

Stephen Hawking famously used a computer-generated voice to communicate, but two Irish scientists - inventor Trevor Vaugh and electronics engineer Chiara Cavarra - came up with a way to capture Roisin's own voice in a special app with remarkable 21st-century features.

Much of the speech on the unique iPad app uses recordings of her own voice so she can 'speak' to her three young children, Rosie, Rachel and Sadie.


The most important part of the app is the ground-breaking way it links Roisin to her three daughters through the use of special app-connected bracelets on their arms. Affectionate phrases pop up whenever the children approach their mother. One such phrase is "Give me a hug", which pops up on the screen as a button she can press.

Is The iPad Pro Ready For Real Photo Editing? I Ditched My MacBook To Find Out, by Hillary K. Grigonis, Digital Trends

While traveling, I didn’t miss my laptop. The iPad kept up with my basic culling and editing tasks with only minor annoyances. Most of the hiccups were from the apps, not the hardware.

But at home, I picked up right where I left off on my laptop. Not because of performance, but because of the bigger screen, a full keyboard, and access to a full version of Photoshop and Lightroom Classic.

Why It’s Hard To Know What Problems Screen Time Causes, by Jane C. Hu, Slate

These conclusions and recommendations come from dozens of studies probing correlations between screen time and behavior. But as any scientist will be quick to tell you, correlation is not causation, and it’s not clear that screen time actually causes, say, depression or anxiety. That’s because studies that show causal links are difficult to come by; they’re difficult to design and difficult to execute, leaving us with fewer causal conclusions and more associative studies to rely on for decision-making and policy.


Apple Releases New 'Snap' Ad For AirPods Pro Featuring Noise Cancellation And Transparency Mode, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The ad centers around an AirPods Pro wearing woman who uses transparency mode to do errands around the city whilst switching to noise cancellation mode to be transported into the music.

Things Debuts Modernized Apple Watch App, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Things was relatively feature-rich on the Apple Watch before, but due to its reliance on older watchOS technologies, it wasn’t able to provide as reliable an experience as Watch users deserve. I’m thankful that’s changed today with the debut of version 3.12. Things for Apple Watch is no longer a second-class citizen to its iPhone, iPad, and Mac counterparts; rather, thanks to Things Cloud integration it’s become just as rock-solid as those other versions.

Automate Window Positioning With macOS And Apps, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Magnet and Moom provide a capability I have envied in Microsoft Windows and Google’s ChromeOS: “window snapping.” When you drag windows to the edges of the screen, window snapping causes them to snap into particular positions and shapes.


These Tech Companies Are Squashing Meeting Culture, by Molly Fosco, Built In

When San Francisco meeting notes startup Hugo decided to instate a maximum of four hours of meetings per week, they noticed something interesting.

By forgoing meetings, and sharing company information through notes, Slack and video instead, the team found it was better informed about company projects and goals than they were when they had more meetings. This exchange also prompted employees to start speaking up more often.


Santa Clara County Bans 'Mass Gatherings', by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Given the current state of affairs, I don’t think this announcement would’ve mattered to Apple, because I can’t see the company even attempting to pull off a big public events in an era where we’d probably be better off cancelling everything.