The Very-Touch-Centric Edition Thursday, May 7, 2020

How Apple Reinvented The Cursor For iPad, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“There was a process to figure out exactly how various elements would work together,” Federighi says. “We knew we wanted a very touch-centric cursor that was not conveying an unnecessary level of precision. We knew we had a focus experience similar to Apple TV that we could take advantage of in a delightful way. We knew that when dealing with text we wanted to provide a greater sense of feedback.”

“Part of what I love so much about what’s happened with iPadOS is the way that we’ve drawn from so many sources. The experience draws from our work on tvOS, from years of work on the Mac, and from the origins of iPhone X and early iPad, creating something new that feels really natural for iPad.”

Apple Stores In Australia Show Confidence In Measured Approach To Reopening, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

At Apple Broadway, an upper-level mall location on the outskirts of Sydney, customers waited in a line winding past adjacent storefronts due to the 2-meter gap between each body. Retail staff handed out masks at the door and checked each customer with a contactless thermometer. Appointments for AirPods service were booked through next Tuesday as the store temporarily operates with a reduced number of team members. iPhone appointments were backed up until Thursday.

Apple Will Let Users Automatically Share Medical IDs On Emergency Calls, by Rachel Kraus, Mashable

Apple's upcoming iOS 13.5 update will include the ability for users to automatically share their "Medical ID" when they make an emergency call. If users enable the feature, their info would be automatically shared with 9-11 dispatchers, who would then share it with emergency responders if a service called "Enhanced Emergency Data" data is available in their area.


Apple iPhone SE Review: A Superb Smartphone For A Humble Price, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

The new iPhone SE’s lack of compromise is what makes it remarkable. Apple took all the best parts from its expensive iPhones — including a fast computing processor and an excellent camera — and squeezed them into the shell of an older iPhone with a home button and smaller screen. At the same time, it managed to include useful features that were previously exclusive to fancy new phones, like water resistance, wireless charging and so-called portrait photos.

That means state-of-the-art smartphone technology has finally come down to a modest price. It’s about time.

Nervous, Adobe? It Took 16 Years, But Open-source Vector Graphics Editor Inkscape Now Works Properly On macOS, by Tim Anderson, The Register

Open-source, cross-platform vector drawing package Inkscape has reached its version 1.0 milestone after many years of development.

Wink Shocks Smart Home Users With One Week Notice Of New Subscription Fee, by Brittany A. Roston, Slashgear

Smart home company Wink has made a surprising and heavily criticized announcement: it will soon charge a monthly subscription fee. Users aren’t required to pay this fee, of course, but their hardware will stop working without the subscription, rendering their current systems completely useless.


This gives Wink users only a single week to prepare for the new charge, which is coming during a time when many people have found themselves without work or with reduced hours.


Apple Awards $10 Million To Rapidly Scale COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit Production, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

Apple has awarded $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, a company focused on producing sample collection kits for testing COVID-19 to hospitals in the U.S. The money comes from the fund that Apple established to support the development and growth of U.S.-based manufacturing, but is particularly notable because to date, the fund has been used to support companies tied more directly to its own supply chain.

Zoom Can’t Give You The Comfort Of A Hug, But Other Technologies Can, by Honah Liles, Slate

We don’t yet have the intelligent robots imagined by science fiction, but current research suggests mechanical interaction can still provide benefits. A study of human-robot interaction suggests robot-initiated touch can be calming during a scary movie. Researchers had a group of 67 participants watch movies with an orange and white humanoid robot about the size of a Pomeranian. In the first part of the study, half of the participants “bonded” with the robot by interacting with it, and half did not. In part two, all participants watched scary movies with the robot; the robot reached out and touched some participants during the movie. Even for those who did not “bond” with the robot, their heart rates decreased when touched, a sign of a feeling calmed.

Can We Escape From Information Overload?, by Tom Lamont, 1843 Magazine

One day in December 2016 a 37-year-old British artist named Sam Winston equipped himself with a step-ladder, a pair of scissors, several rolls of black-out cloth and a huge supply of duct tape, and set about a project he had been considering for some time. Slight and bearded, with large grey-blue eyes, Winston had moved to London from Devon in the late 1990s. He supported himself through his 20s and 30s by teaching, doing illustrations for magazines and selling larger, freer-form artworks, many of them pencildrawn, to collectors and museums. He had just collaborated on a children’s book with author Oliver Jeffers, and done his part to propel “Child of Books” up the bestseller lists. Grateful as he was for commercial success, Winston found he disliked corporate publishing. All the emails! He saw himself as a lead-smudged idealist, an artist-hermit at heart. He’d been troubled by nervous energy and stress since he was young, was an intermittent insomniac, had difficulty filtering noise and distractions in public spaces, and was someone who – like so many of us – increasingly relied on his phone and computer. So Winston decided to hole up for a few days. No screens. No sun. No visual stimulation of any kind. He was going to spend some time alone in the dark.

It took him hours, climbing up and down the ladder in his studio, to cover every last aperture and pinprick of inbound light. The studio, in a converted factory in east London, has large tenement windows and a sloped roof inlaid with skylights that were especially tricky to seal. By Winston’s conservative estimate he used 200 metres of duct tape before he was fully satisfied that here, at last, was darkness. He would sit in it, drawing with pencil and paper, doing yoga, snacking a bit, waiting to see if the dark had any sort of palliative effect.

Bottom of the Page

If I lose interet access out of my home, how many of my devices and apps in my home can still work? Even if I wire up all my machines in my home and pretent that's the entire internet?

For any of the devcies or apps that fail this test, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate whether I want to continue using them? Because, one fine day, that device or app may, just may, blackmail me?


Thanks for reading.