The Beyond-Physics Edition Saturday, October 23, 2021

A Look Inside Apple's Silicon Playbook, by Steven Levy, Wired

“When you're a merchant vendor, a company that delivers off-the-shelf components or silicon to many customers, you have to figure what is the least common denominator—what is it that everyone needs across many years?” [Johny Srouji] says. “We work as one team—the silicon, the hardware, the software, the industrial design, and other teams—to enable a certain vision. When you translate that to silicon, that gives us a very unique opportunity and freedom because now you're designing something that is not only truly unique, but optimized for a certain product.” In the case of the MacBook Pro, he says, he sat with leaders like Ternus and Craig Federighi several years ago and envisioned what users would be able to get their hands on in 2021. It would all spring from the silicon. “We sit together, and say, ‘Okay, is it gated by physics? Or is it something we can go beyond?’ And then, if it's not gated by physics and it's a matter of time, we go figure out how to build it.”

A Comprehensive Guide To 250+ Of Apple Music’s New Mood And Activity Playlists, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Zane Lowe, Apple Music’s co-head of Artist Relations and radio host, explained that the company’s team of music experts had created hundreds of playlists for moods and activities. Ask Siri to play a playlist for your dinner party, to help you relax, or for hiking and Lowe said Siri will start a playlist that fits the moment.


You won’t find a directory of the new mood and activity playlists in the Music app, and there’s no filter that can be applied to see the entire collection, so we’ve complied a massive link list of all the playlists we have been able to find so far, organized into categories.

Apple Safari Browser Might Become The New Internet Explorer, by Scott Gilbertson, The Register

If Apple were less opaque and faster in its development process it could participate more in the debate over new APIs. If the company truly has concerns about the privacy implications of APIs, then it should voice them. Push back against Google, and provide a real alternative to Chrome. It wouldn't be easy, but it might be the only hope we have.

iPod Spirit

The iPod Was No Sure Thing, But Steve Jobs Insisted: 'We're Building This', by Roger Cheng, CNET

At the end of March 2001, he presented them to Steve Jobs. Apple veteran Stan Ng had worked with Fadell to prepare a stack of papers for the presentation — this was before the days of slideshows — and prepared him for both Jobs and his reputation for an explosive temper. "Those stories were ingrained in my brain, burned into my brain, so I'm going in nervous," Fadell said.

Jobs immediately took the stack of papers, riffled through the pages and quickly tossed them aside. "Here's what I want to do," Fadell recalled Jobs saying, hijacking the conversation and forcing them to dive right in.

Why Are Gen Z Collecting 20-year-old iPods?, by James FitzGerald, Dazed

As Yuuiko sees it: “with an iPod, your music is in your hand. Not in some abstract cloud, kept and controlled by a robot you pay.” Many in the community want to keep their audio-playing functions separate from their phones, saying they prefer to relax and disconnect from the world while listening to their tunes.

The iPod Is Still Here, It's Just Evolved, by Scott Stein, CNET

Twenty years after the first iPod debuted, it's hard to even find whether iPods exist anymore on Apple's website. They do, technically: one iPod Touch remains. But really, iPods are kind of everywhere now. In 2021, Apple has atomized the iPod and spread its spirit around into everything else.

On App Stores

Apple Updates Its App Store Guidelines To Permit Developers To Contact Customers About Other Payment Methods, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple today introduced a new set of App Store Guidelines that include three key changes. One of the changes is the result of a previously announced settlement agreement with a class of U.S. app developers. It clarifies that developers are allowed to communicate with their customers about other payment methods available outside their app. Related to this, another new guideline explains that apps may request customer information like name and email, but the request must be optional for the user and shouldn’t prevent them from using the app.

The third guideline is unrelated to legal action, and simply details how developers can use a new App Store feature, called in-app events, which rolls out next week.

Will Apple Be The Last US Tech Giant Left In China?, by James Clayton, BBC

Apple's presence in the country now feels almost like a hangover from another era. Big Tech simply doesn't have much of a presence in China any more.

The question now is how much regulation, how much compliance - and how much censorship - is too much?


Apple Celebrates Opening Of Apple Bagdat Caddesi, Istanbul, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple has marked the opening of its newest store in Istanbul with photographs of its first customers — and the 130 staff who between them speak 14 languages.

Apple Card 6% Daily Cash Listings For Apple Purchases Were In Error, But Apple Is Honoring Them, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Apple has confirmed that this was indeed an error, but the company is going to honor the offer for users who did manage to make a purchase and see the 6% listing.

Data Doctors: Smartphone Astrophotography Tips, by Ken Colburn, WTOP

While serious astrophotography requires a pile of expensive DSLR camera equipment, you can actually get decent images from your smartphone with a little work.

A couple of keys to capturing the night sky are focusing and keeping the phone still, as the shutter will need to be open for an extended period of time.

Remember Cursive? Yeah, Neither Do We. But There’s An App For That., by Jamey Tucker, Hawaii News Now

Writey looks like one of the workbooks from elementary school with each section showing the capital and lowercase letters of the entire alphabet. While it also has practice sheets for the Roman Alphabet and Print Writing, the Cursive Writing section is most helpful.

Satechi Launches USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter With Hidden SSD Slot, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Coming with a compact design, the USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter features an integrated SSD slot to work as external storage alongside the extra I/O.

Bored With Your iPhone Wallpaper? We Found The 5 Best Sites With Free Options, by Shelby Brown, CNET

If you're bored of your iPhone's stock images, here are five places to find some new backgrounds -- and how to change them in the first place.

Bottom of the Page

About three-quarter into the film Tenet, I stopped trying to understand what is going on. I knew I can always catch up on the plot details on Wikipedia later on.


I had the best alone-time with iPods. Podcasts. Audiobooks. Games. (Or rather, game. I've only played the Brick game on iPods.) And, yes, movies. On a teeny-tiny iPod nano screen.

(Don't tell Mr Christopher Nolan I've watched his film Tenet not in a movie theatre, not on my big-screen television, but on my little iPad. Well, at least it was not an iPhone.... or an iPod nano.)


Thanks for reading.