The Pretty-Dumb Edition Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Using Smart Speakers While Temporarily Blind, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Reasoning that these are screenless computers of a sort, I wondered to what extent they might fill in for the screened gadgetry I could no longer use. Could they be my HAL 9000 minus the psychosis, my Samantha from the film Her, my J.A.R.V.I.S. from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe?

Spoiler alert: smart speakers are still pretty dumb.

I have organized this story into categories—podcasts, news, voice calls, music, books, and Web search—each denoting a computer use that I tried to replicate on my smart speakers, with varying degrees of success.

More OS Updates

macOS Monterey 12.6.5 And Big Sur 11.7.6, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has released macOS Monterey 12.6.5 and macOS Big Sur 11.7.6 to patch a security vulnerability that could allow arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges.

iOS 15.7.5 And iPadOS 15.7.5 Address Serious Security Vulnerabilities, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Both are actively being exploited in the wild, so I recommend updating older devices that can’t run iOS 16 right away.

On Security

The iPhone Protects Against 'Juice Jacking' At Charging Stations But It's Not Foolproof, by Jason Cross, Macworld

The Denver FBI office recently tweeted a warning not to use public USB phone charging stations, and it seems like a good excuse to remind everyone about this sound advice: Never plug your iPhone, iPad, or Mac into any USB device or cable you do not control.


Apple does its best to reduce this threat, but these protections are never perfect. On an iPhone or iPad, you might see a “Trust this Computer” prompt when plugging into a public USB charging port. If you see this, do not select “Trust” and instead immediately disconnect your iPhone. You may instead see an “accessory not supported” warning. Again, your best bet is to remove your device if you see either of these prompts.

Apple In India

Apple BKC Opens April 18 And Apple Saket Opens April 20, by Apple

The barricade for Apple Saket was revealed this morning and features a unique design that takes inspiration from Delhi’s many gates, each signifying a new chapter to the city’s storied past. The colorful artwork celebrates Apple’s second store in India — located right in the nation’s capital.

Tim Cook To Open First Apple Stores In India In Pivot Beyond China, by Sankalp Phartiyal and Saritha Rai, loomberg

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has scheduled a trip to open the iPhone maker’s first stores in India next week, underscoring the company’s ambitions for the country as a growth market and manufacturing base.

Do Flagship Apple Stores Exist?, by Michael Steeber, Tabletops

By now you’ve heard that Apple will soon open its first store in India at Mumbai’s Jio World Drive, a shopping mall in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). You’ve probably also heard that this won’t be just any old store. No, it’ll be a special store. The kind of store any city would be proud to have. It’ll be a flagship store that carries flagship status. That’s exciting! But there’s one problem. Do flagship Apple Stores actually exist?


Find Your Inner Ted Lasso With These New Apple Fitness+ 'Workouts To Believe In', by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

A new collection of workouts has arrived on Apple Fitness+. Instead of a traditional theme, the new workouts are all inspired by the Apple TV+ hit Ted Lasso.

You Can Read The New Steve Jobs Book For Free Online, by Jess Weatherbed, The Verge

The Steve Jobs Archive has published Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs in his own words — a new free ebook containing a curated collection of photographs, emails, speeches, and interviews from the Apple co-founder, some of which have never previously been seen by the public.

Make Something Wonderful is available to read now on the Archive’s website via a custom page designed by Jony Ive’s creative agency LoveFrom and is even set in LoveFrom’s custom typeface. The website allows readers to navigate through the book’s table of contents using a scroll bar labeled with subsections. An ebook version is also available on Apple Books, from participating libraries via the Libby app, or through a direct download from the Steve Jobs Archive.

CarPlay Learns How To Order Pizza While You Drive, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In today’s edition of “things you didn’t know you needed,” Domino’s has announced that you can now order ahead using CarPlay. Using the updated Domino’s app via CarPlay, you can use a simple “Tap to Order” feature to place an order without using your phone at all.


In Defense Of Annoying Stickers That Come On PCs, And Why I Might Get One For My Mac, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

I'm not against pristine, sticker-less computers. But for the sticker-loving weirdos like me, the holographic Apple Silicon stickers are a fun throwback and a way to add just a touch of old-school PC to our speedy, efficient Macs.

GM, CarPlay, And iPhones, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If GM is only going to support its own automotive software system, they ought to be willing and able to do the entire thing themselves, with confidence that they’ll provide a best-in-class experience for owners. Otherwise this seems like a data grab by Google — collecting location, search, and music/podcast listening data from every driver of every vehicle GM eventually sells with this system — and a SaaS revenue grab by GM.

Katie Cotton, Who Led Apple’s Media Strategy For 18 Years, Dies, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Katie Cotton, a longtime Apple Inc. communications chief who served as a steward for the company’s iconic brand during the Steve Jobs era and beyond, has died.


Cotton was named Apple’s vice president of communications in 1996 and stayed in that role until her retirement in 2014, crafting the company’s media strategy and helping orchestrate its groundbreaking launch events. She worked behind the scenes as a champion of Apple’s brand and famously protected Jobs through his health decline.

Bottom of the Page

Apple should do a Learn VoiceOver While You Can Still See class in its stores. I will sign up for that class, because I just know my old eyes are going to give up one day.

Also, it will help a lot of us better appreciate all the accessibility stuff Apple has built into all its platforms.


Thanks for reading.