The Utterly-Unoriginal Edition Monday, November 29, 2021

My Music App Knows Me Way Too Well. Am I Stuck In A Groove?, by Meghan O'Gieblyn, Wired

I once read somewhere that if you want to slowly drive someone mad, resolve, for a week or so, to occasionally mutter, “I knew you were going to say that” after they make some casual remark. The logic, as far as I can tell, is that by convincing a person that their thoughts are entirely predictable, you steadily erode their sense of agency until they can no longer conceive of themselves as an autonomous being. I have no idea whether this actually works—I've never been sadistic enough to try it. But if its premise is correct, we all must be slowly losing our minds. How many times a day are we reminded that our actions can be precisely anticipated? Predictive text successfully guesses how we're going to respond to emails. Amazon suggests the very book that we've been meaning to read. It's rare these days to finish typing a Google query before autocomplete finishes our thought, a reminder that our medical anxieties, our creative projects, and our relationship dilemmas are utterly unoriginal.

Switching From The iPhone 12 Mini To The iPhone 13 Pro Max Opened My Eyes, by Michael Simon, Macworld

There have been numerous reports to suggest that the iPhone 13 mini will be the last of its kind. Poor sales have seemingly deemed the tiniest iPhone for the chopping block as iPhone buyers gravitate toward handsets with larger screens. While I certainly appreciate the iPhone Max’s 6.7-inch display, I also miss the one-handed use of the iPhone 12 mini.


14in MacBook Pro Review: Putting Power Back In Apple’s Laptop, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

The combination of workstation-level processing power and long battery life are unrivalled.

Five Warning Signs Your iPhone Is About To Die, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Usually, an iPhone gives you some advanced warnings before it dies. Problem is, most of the time people ignore these warnings until the iphone actually stops working.

Here are five warning signs that your iPhone is is about to die.

The Best Mac Apps For Writers And Authors, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The Mac comes with apps for writing notes, letters, and even books, but take the time to look further and there are superb writing apps for every aspect of writing.


The Technological Parentheses Of Our Lives, by Samuel Arbesman's Cabinet of Wonders

Too often, we’re blind to the sheer amount of technology that’s all around us, if it doesn’t have that whiz-bang new feel to it, whether pencils, toasters, books, or even windows. All of this is technology. But so too are we blind to the fact that each technology that we’re steeped in might be far from permanent. They have expiration dates. Whether invented before or after we were born, it’s time we start thinking a bit more about the inherently ephemeral nature of our technology, and the present that will soon be nothing more than a foreign country.

Bottom of the Page

Once upon a time, Apple wanted to build a computer. But everyone was saying Apple was building it wrong. Computer hardware and operating systems are two different lines of businesses. Apple will need to license out Mac OS to other hardware maker so that the operating system can survive. Apple will also need to license Windows NT or Solaris so that the hardware was relevant. (See the famous Wired issue.)

Turns out, what saved Apple was not Power Computing nor Microsoft or Sun. It was that Apple stopped allowing itself to be distracted and started building good computers.

Today, once again, we see people knocking on Apple's door. It is for very different reasons, but the demands seem similar: A phone and the app stores are different businesses, and Apple need to separate them. Third-party app stores! Sideloading! Just focus on making the hardware, Apple, and let other people take care of the software on your phone.

The iPhone, with its closed and tightly-controlled software ecosystem, was already taking shape back in the days when Apple had less than one percent of the smartphone marketshare, and the fundamentals have not been deviated. This is exactly the phone Apple wanted to build. Not a general-purpose computer. Not a Mac. But an iPhone.

There must be some frustrated old souls in Cupertino.


Thanks for reading.