The A-Million-Sounds Edition Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Uncovering The Sounds Of A Galaxy Far, Far Away With Mac, by Apple

This is the site of Skywalker Ranch, the vast facility owned and conceived by George Lucas, the creator of the epic Star Wars universe. The cornerstone of the ranch is Skywalker Sound, a world-class sound design, editing, mixing, and audio post-production facility. The 153,000-square-foot, red-bricked building, surrounded by vineyards and the man-made Lake Ewok, stands as a monument to the maxim, often repeated by Lucas, that sound is at least 50 percent of the moviegoing experience.

The sound library system Soundminer, which allows for descriptive keyword searches almost poetic in their specificity, keeps pace with Skywalker Sound’s ever-expanding library of nearly a million sounds.

Vestager Snubs Apple’s Security Claims For iPhone Payments, by Samuel Stolton, Bjarke Smith-Meyer, Pietro Lombardi and Simon Van Dorpe, Politco

"Evidence on our file indicates that Apple's conduct cannot be justified by security concerns,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief, told reporters at a press conference yesterday. “Our investigation to date did not reveal any evidence that would point to such a higher security risk."


On the other side of the debate, there are voices calling for the Commission to be taking a closer look at the security risks that greater interoperability protocols may entail.

How Apple Can Fix Its Most Frustrating Issue With A Button And A Few Sliders, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The Apple Studio Display, with its perplexing and controversial webcam, dredges up a lot of those feelings of frustration. We can debate the wisdom of putting Center Stage on a display most likely destined for the desks of nerds, but let’s leave that aside. How about the audacity of Apple shipping it without any interface to speak of? And how much better might the camera on the Studio Display have been received if it could be tweaked by its users to produce more pleasing images?

Books Excerpts

These Are The Storytelling Lessons I Learned From Steve Jobs, by Tony Fadell, Fast Company

He used a technique I later came to call the virus of doubt. It’s a way to get into people’s heads, remind them about a daily frustration, get them annoyed about it all over again. If you can infect them with the virus of doubt—”Maybe my experience isn’t as good as I thought, maybe it could be better”—then you prime them for your solution. You get them angry about how it works now so they can get excited about a new way of doing things.

Steve was a master of this. Before he told you what a product did, he always took the time to explain why you needed it. And he made it all look so natural, so easy.


And the reason is simple: Steve didn’t just read a script for the presentation. He’d been telling a version of that same story every single day for months and months during development—to us, to his friends, his family. He was constantly working on it, refining it. Every time he’d get a puzzled look or a request for clarification from his unwitting early audience, he’d sand it down, tweak it slightly, until it was perfectly polished.

It was the story of the product. And it drove what we built.

After Steve Jobs, The Flood: Apple Without Its Emblematic And Enigmatic Founder, by Tripp Mickle, Literary Hub

Though Jobs hadn’t attended rehearsals ahead of that day’s event, some of Apple’s leadership arrived at Town Hall that morning wondering: Will he show up?

Staff saved an aisle seat at the front of the lecture room for him, draping a black piece of cloth with the word Reserved in white over the back of a tan-colored chair. Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, who sat in the adjacent seat, knew that the odds were against Jobs filling it. Jobs’s health had worsened in recent days, but he had surprised everyone before and even some of his closest advisers had not given up hope that the empty seat would be filled by the time the event began.

The lights were low when Tim Cook slipped into the front of the room from behind a dark screen with a white Apple logo. His thin lips formed a flat grin as a few people applauded politely. In a Brooks Brothers spin on Jobs’s casual and fashionable Issey Miyake turtleneck, Cook wore a black broadcloth button-down shirt and spun a presentation remote in his hands as he paced in front of the crowd.


How To Find The Hidden Apple Music Sleep Timer On iPhone And iPad, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Even though it’s been a requested feature from users for years, Apple strangely hasn’t built a sleep timer directly into its Apple Music app. However, there is a way to do it natively with iPhone and iPad, you just have to make use of the Clock app.

The Controversial 1Password 8 For Mac Update Is Now Available For Download, by Oliver Haslam, iMore

Fans of the popular password creation and management tool 1Password now have a new version of the company's Mac app to try. 1Password 8 for Mac is now available for download and it brings with it a bunch of improvements — but it isn't going to please everyone.

Camo App Now Lets You Use iPhone As Your Mac Webcam With FaceTime, Safari, And QuickTime, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Camo now has official support to use your iPhone as the webcam in FaceTime, Safari, and QuickTime Mac apps.

New HomeKit Products Help Bring Smart Lighting To Your Older Home, by David Snow, Cult of Mac

Leviton offered five new smart-home products in its Decora line Monday. Three of them help bring HomeKit-enabled smart lighting to older homes, which can be notoriously tricky: the Decora Smart No-Neutral Switch, Dimmer and required Wi-Fi Bridge.

The other two, for more modern abodes, are refreshes of the Decora Smart Motion Sensing Dimmer and Tamper-Resistant Outlet.

This Smart Water Bowl Tracks Your Cat’s Drinking Habits, by Medea Giordano, Wired

I've been testing Sure Petcare's app-supported Felaqua Connect water bowl for nearly a month, and it has kept me better informed without annoying my two cats more than I usually do. It tracks which pet drank from it and how many ounces were consumed. Small dogs can use the Felaqua too, but it's made for cats as they tend to not feel as thirsty as dogs, which could lead to real problems real fast. We feel dehydration, but your kitty friend might not.

Blizzard Introduces New 'Warcraft Arclight Rumble' iOS Game, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The strategy game is set in the "Warcraft" universe and uses characters and locations from throughout the expanded franchise. Players will collect miniature figurines to assemble an army to decimate opponents.


WWDC 2022 Guests Will Be The First To See The New Developer Center At Apple Park, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

While details about the Developer Center are unknown, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller teased the project last year during the Apple vs. Epic Games trial. At the time, Schiller said that Apple was building a new Developer Center located at the Apple Park without further details.

In 2010, Apple launched the “Compatibility Labs” program for developers so that they could pay to spend a day inside the company’s campus with access to hardware and engineering support to test their apps. It’s likely that the Developer Center will be a similar space for developers to get help from Apple engineers and designers at any time, not just during WWDC.

Developers Can Apply For The WWDC In-person Event Starting May 9, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

While the WWDC keynote and sessions are still pre-filmed digital-only events, Apple is inviting developers to attend the special event in person. Attendees would watch the pre-recorded keynote and State of the Union alongside Apple engineers and experts and gain access to an all-new Developer Center.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Freezes Hiring Of New Workers For World’s Largest iPhone Factory In Zhengzhou Amid Citywide Lockdown, by Xinmei Shen, South China Morning Post

The world’s largest iPhone factory, operated by Foxconn Technology Group at its vast manufacturing complex in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, has suspended recruitment of new workers after the local government imposed a seven-day lockdown as part of Covid-19 control measures.

Downtown Portland Apple Store Floats Plan To Remove Metal Fence, Add Window Protection This Summer, by Kristine de Leon and Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian/OregonLive

The retailer installed the tall metal barrier in February 2021 as it was preparing to reopen from a pandemic closure for the first time since the previous spring. The storefront had been fully boarded up since a May 2020 protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd escalated into a destructive riot, during which a group smashed the store’s windows and took products from inside.

More than a year later, the tech giant is floating a plan for a more finessed security barrier.

Apple Store In Maryland Becomes Third To Launch Union Drive, by Aaron Gregg and Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

Organizers at the Towson Mall store near Baltimore say they have been drumming up support for nearly a year in coordination with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, two employees and a union organizer said. They say they have signatures from more than 65 percent of employees who are likely to be eligible, giving them a “supermajority” that would be difficult for the company to overcome.

Bottom of the Page

Would I spend all the money on airfares and hotels and whatnots just to go half-way around the globe so as to walk into Apple Park to watch some videos? No, of course not.

But if Apple Singapore is doing something on that night, I might be tempted to sign up. Here, the country is finally getting rid of many of the pandemic restrictions -- masks are still compulsory in most indoor situations -- and it might be a good time to go out and join a crowd. Besides, I haven't been to a midnight movie screening for a long time. (I've mostly stopped going to cinema even before these strange times.)

Of course, I am only a part-time Swift developer, writing apps and scripts for my own amusement. Maybe I shouldn't go compete for a seat with other developers.



Thanks for reading.