The Borderline-Arthritic Edition Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I Guess I’m A Casual Gamer Now – But Who Cares?, by Dominik Diamond, The Guardian

I am addicted to video games again. Addicted like I haven’t been in years. Addicted to the point where my left thumb and right forefinger are borderline arthritic from playing them as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and last thing before I close them at night.

This is ridiculous behaviour in a man approaching his mid-50s. I should be waking up and performing pilates. My eyelids should droop while perusing Reader’s Digest at bedtime. I should be getting arthritis in my hands from planting peonies or unwrapping Werther’s Originals. But no. It’s games wot done it, and not even hardcore ones involving gods or war or elden rings. I am obsessed with what I once might have scornfully labelled casual gaming. I’m talking about Apple Arcade, which I am now convinced is the best value games delivery system on the planet in 2023. It has turned my phone into the most fun gaming console I’ve had since my Neo Geo in the 90s.

Rewind's New App Lets You 'Time Travel' Through Music From Decades Past, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

A new app called Rewind wants to make it easier for music fans to explore the top songs of decades past. Hoping to cater to consumer demand for nostalgic music experiences, Rewind allows users to “time travel” through the music charts from 1960 through 2010 to learn about how older songs have influenced today’s hits.


For starters, users can explore the music from a given year by top albums and top music videos, in addition to growing the top Billboard charts. It also delves into relevant trends from a given time period. For instance, browsing the year 1991 offers a selection of “grunge-defining records,” like Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” among others. Other sections present tracks that saw major radio airtime that year, highly anticipated releases and newly formed bands that emerged that year, and so on.

New MacBook Pro Features Smaller Heatsink Due To Supply Chain Issues, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The reason for the use of four smaller memory modules appears to be supply chain issues. The entire SoC is mounted on a substrate, so four smaller modules allow Apple to use a smaller substrate, making a saving on materials and reducing complexity as a result.


Apple Music Replay 2023 Is Here: Track Your Top Songs, Albums, And Artists, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The year-round availability is the biggest way Apple Music Replay differs from Spotify Wrapped. Apple’s implementation allows you to keep track of your top songs throughout the entire year.

‘Rihanna’s Road To Halftime’ Has Come To Apple Music Ahead Of Her Super Bowl Performance, by Hannah Dailey, Billboard

This year marks the first that Apple Music will take over Pepsi’s role as sponsor for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and it’s going all out for the occasion. In addition to securing the one and only Rihanna to perform as headliner, the music streaming service will count down the next two weeks before game day with a multimedia “Rihanna’s Road to Halftime” launch.

Apple Support App Now Available In Over 100 New Countries And Languages, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Starting today, the Apple Support app is now available in 118 new regions and offers support for three new languages.


The 'OK' Computer, by Adi Robertson, The Verge

The Apple Lisa, which celebrated its 40th birthday this month, is remembered as a glorious failure. Launched in 1983 for nearly $10,000 (about $30,000 today), it was available for less than four years, making it a quickly discontinued stepping stone between Apple’s early homebrew computers and its bestselling Macintosh. At the same time, it was a trailblazing attempt at one of the first graphical user interfaces — a machine that set the model for the computers we use today.

But the Lisa was also something more. Built on foundations laid by early computing pioneers, it represented one of the first attempts at a commercial computer built for humans, expressed in the form of changes like the “OK” button. The Lisa was one of the earliest machines designed to be instantly understandable, thanks not only to the intuitions of its inventors but also their careful observation of newcomers to computing. Along the way, it helped create not only the specific conventions of the desktop but a style of design that we now take for granted, even as it sits on the cusp of a fundamental change.

Apple Executives Violated Worker Rights, Labor Officials Say, by Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg

The NLRB general counsel’s office has determined that “various work rules, handbook rules, and confidentiality rules” imposed by the tech giant “tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees” from exercising their rights to collective action, spokesperson Kayla Blado said Monday.


US labor law protects workers’ rights to communicate with one another and engage in collective action about workplace issues. Complaints issued by NLRB prosecutors are reviewed by administrative law judges, whose rulings can be appealed to labor board members in Washington — and, from there, to federal court. The agency lacks the ability to impose punitive damages or hold executives personally liable for violations, but can order companies to change workplace policies.

Apple Cannot Abandon China Now Even If It Wanted To, by Adam Lashinsky, Washington Post

For now, Apple is linked inextricably to a country that clamps down one moment on entire industries, such as internet platforms, and then says it is committed to entrepreneurialism and foreign investment. For Cook, that means his company’s future depends partly on which version of Chinese rulers show up going forward. If the economy-reforming promoters of growth carry the day, Apple thrives. If the militarily aggressive regime that abuses human rights and the rule of law prevails, all bets are off.

I have no inkling whether Cook is a fan of roller coasters. Either way, he and his $2-trillion-plus company are in for a hell of a ride.

Bottom of the Page

Today, every desktop and laptop computer looks like a Lisa/Mac. Every phone looks like an iPhone. Quite an achievement eh, Apple?


Thanks for reading.