The Water-Fountain Edition Wednesday, June 10, 2020

News Addiction Got You Doomscrolling? Go On A News Diet, by Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle

My lovely wife deleted Twitter and Facebook from her iPhone last week. After spending too long scrolling though social posts and news items late at night, it was affecting her mood and her sleep. She is something of a news junkie, but for her peace of mind, it was time for the nuclear option.


Fortunately, there are strategies and tactics you can use to control how much news you consume. They include some discipline on your part, as well as some tools on your devices and apps you can install. Think of it as drinking from a water fountain rather than a firehose.

U.S. Student's App Offers Roadmap To Singapore Contact Tracing Tech, by Paresh Dave, Reuters

It all started when Rohan Suri created an app at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, to tell his mom to leave home for the bus stop when he was seven minutes away. As the Ebola epidemic ravaged western Africa at the time, Suri and schoolmate Claire Scoggins connected the dots between tracking apps and contact tracers who ask patients whom they may have spread viruses to.

“I got really interested in basically automating a lot of these contact tracing efforts,” Suri said, noting a staff shortage in remote parts of Africa during the Ebola epidemic.

Coming Soon?

iOS 13.6 Beta Adds Toggle For Turning Off Automatic iOS Update Downloads, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

This new toggle will be a welcome change for those who do not want iOS updates to download automatically without permission, as this can eat up valuable storage space.

Health App Gains New 'Symptoms' Section In iOS 13.6 Beta, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Health app users are able to add symptom data through the Health app by tapping on the “Add Data” option, providing a way to track and log various illness-related symptoms over time.

Apple To Launch Mac Trade-in Program At U.S. Retail Stores, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. plans to launch a trade-in program for Mac computers next week at its retail stores in the U.S and Canada, adding the devices to an effort already in effect for other products.

The Cupertino, California—based technology giant informed retail employees that the new program will begin on June 15 in the U.S. and June 18 in Canada, according to people familiar with the matter.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Taking Place On June 21 For International Day Of Yoga, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On Sunday, June 21, Apple encourages Apple Watch users to do a 20-minute yoga workout to complete the challenge. You can complete the workout using the Workouts app on Apple Watch or any other app that adds workouts to Health.

Pastel Review: A Modern Color Utility For iPad And iPhone, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

The app offers a dedicated home for storing collections of color palettes and individual colors you want to save for reference. It also takes advantage of technologies like drag and drop and context menus to perfectly complement other creative tools on your device.


Apple Tells Staff That First Phase Of HQ Return Begins June 15, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Phase 1 will be “very limited” and workers will only be allowed in the office on certain days depending on their job, the Cupertino, California-based company wrote in a recent memo to staff. More details will be shared later this month, it added.

Apple also reiterated in the memo that it is limiting how many people are allowed in buildings and other work area simultaneously, implementing social distancing, taking temperatures and requiring employees at the office to pass a daily health check. It also “strongly encouraged” staff to take on-site or at-home Covid-19 tests provided by the company before returning.

Once We Can Work From Anywhere, Does The World Need Silicon Valley?, by Jared Lindzon, Fast Company

“We’re learning a lot of lessons about how to be better at it, so if these lessons stick and become part of our managerial DNA, I think we’ll crack the code on this,” she says. “If we revert back to form—which is where those who are in the room get 80% of the oxygen—we’re going to be in the same place where people [working remotely] feel stranded on an island where nobody is thinking about them and their progress. So that’s the big question: can we do it?”

If so, perhaps the latest crisis will finally accomplish what insiders have been predicting since the 1990s; namely the end of Silicon Valley as a destination on a map, and the beginning of Silicon Valley as an ethos with no fixed address.

Bottom of the Page

Dear Microsoft Excel (on macOS),

You do know that you have two buttons, both on the bottom-right of a spreadsheet, both labeled "+"? One button increases the font size, and the other button is to insert a new sheet into the current spreadsheet.

Guess which button I have already accidentally pressed quite a few times already, just because I have tired old eyes?

(Oh, and your undo doesn't work correctly.)


Thanks for reading.