The A-Little-Too-Much Edition Thursday, October 21, 2021

Apple Is Fully Prepared For AirPods Launch Demand For The First Time, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

At the "Unleashed" event, Apple said it would be taking preorders immediately, and that the AirPods 3 would be arriving "next week." It wasn't more precise than that, but at time of writing, all preorders are consistently showing that they will arrive on October 26.

Device Software Updates Now Appear In Software Update Too, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

In what seems to be an effort to reduce the confusion level—that MobileDeviceUpdater dialog has to have caused innumerable support calls from people worried about malware—Apple is now offering the update via Software Update. No longer do you have to wait until you plug in an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to get the Device Support Update (as we now know it’s called).

Apple’s Product Design Has Improved Since Jony Ive Left, by Alex Webb, Bloomberg

There was a sense that, without the moderating influence of the late Steve Jobs, perhaps Ive started to prioritize aesthetics a little too much. Since he stepped down as chief designer at the end of 2019, Apple seems to have reemphasized function. From the iPhone to Apple TV to the Macbook, gone are the days of “The user be damned, we think this looks cool.”


How To Talk To The World Through Free Translation Apps, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

Need to have a conversation in a language you don’t know, make sense of a printed sign or quickly translate a message? With Google and Apple revving their machine-learning engines in their Google Translate and Apple’s Translate apps, there’s a whole new world of communication possibilities right in your pocket.

Twelve South HoverBar Duo Review: Ultra-flexible iPad Stand, by Karen S Freeman, iMore

If flexibility is what you need, this is the stand for you. With both a desk base and a shelf clamp, plus an endless number of angles you can use, this stand holds your iPad or other devices any which way.

New Twelve South PowerPic Mod Lets You Customize Your Wireless Charge, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

This 10W wireless charger can hold a picture behind a pane of acrylic, allowing you to customize it to your liking.

Build Your Own Town With Townscaper For iPhone, iPad, And M1 Macs, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

With no goal and no gameplay, Townscaper lets you build quaint island towns with curvy streets. It’s possible to build small hamlets, soaring cathedrals, canal networks, or sky cities on stilts block by block.


Apple Announces 100+ Tech Talks For Developers, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple announced today that it will be conducting over 100 live sessions and 1,500 hours of one-on-one office hours over the next eight weeks for developers.


The Technopolar Moment, by Ian Bremmer, Foreign Affairs

States have been the primary actors in global affairs for nearly 400 years. That is starting to change, as a handful of large technology companies rival them for geopolitical influence. The aftermath of the January 6 riot serves as the latest proof that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are no longer merely large companies; they have taken control of aspects of society, the economy, and national security that were long the exclusive preserve of the state. The same goes for Chinese technology companies, such as Alibaba, ByteDance, and Tencent. Nonstate actors are increasingly shaping geopolitics, with technology companies in the lead. And although Europe wants to play, its companies do not have the size or geopolitical influence to compete with their American and Chinese counterparts.


It is time to start thinking of the biggest technology companies as similar to states. These companies exercise a form of sovereignty over a rapidly expanding realm that extends beyond the reach of regulators: digital space. They bring resources to geopolitical competition but face constraints on their power to act. They maintain foreign relations and answer to constituencies, including shareholders, employees, users, and advertisers.

Apple Will Force Unvaccinated Office Workers To Get Tested Daily, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will begin to force unvaccinated corporate employees to test for Covid-19 each time they want to enter an office, a move that tightens its virus protocols while still stopping short of a vaccine mandate. [...] Apple retail store employees, meanwhile, will have slightly different rules. Unvaccinated staff will be asked to test twice per week instead of each day they come to work. Vaccinated workers will also need to take a rapid test each week.

Bottom of the Page

The great thing about audiobooks -- at least for me -- is the ease of finding time to listen: on the train, on the bus, on walks. There are many great long novels that I'll probably be unable to finish if not for audiobooks. Here are some of my recommendations of long books that I've enjoyed through the many years of audiobooks listening.

The Stand, by Stephen King
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
11.22.63, by Stephen King
Blackout / All Clear, by Connie Willis.

For the past 18 months, I've had mostly extremely short commutes between my breakfast table to my computer desk. I'm not complaining, but I've noticed I've been reading shorter books as a result. The longest books that I've read recently is probably Barack Obama's memoir. I'm not complaining. But I do think I need to schedule more long walks around the neighborhood for myself.


Thanks for reading.