Apple Music Tidbit

I’ve been paying for an Apple Music subscription since it became a thing. I usually do this sort of thing with Apple services. I think it is really cool, so I buy it and may or may not ever actually use it.

Apple Music was one of those things that after I broke up with my girlfriend I lost interest in. Music lost all meaning for me so I stopped listening.

Recently, I’ve been re-examining my personal workflow and had an idea to bring up the Apple Music app and look for some kind of playlist that would suit the type of work I am doing. Music playing in the background tends to distract me. Meditation style music however, is different.

I’ve been listening to a playlist called Focus and it is perfect for what I am doing. It is a nice mix of background music that doesn’t get in the way of what I am trying to do.

If you are like me this may be the perfect way to bring a little music back into your life.

Europe’s Extortion of Apple 2016 to 2020

I’ve written on this subject in the past so I won’t go on about it.

The original context of this post is here.

The European Union decided back in 2016 that Apple wasn’t paying Ireland enough in taxes even though Ireland clearly said they were. Apple initially lost the ruling and has been paying the taxes into an escrow account.

Today, it was announced that they won their appeal.

I’m so happy that someone else recognized that the EU’s ecomomy shouldn’t rest of the shoulders of everyone else, including the companies of the United States. The very companies that invented most of your creature comforts. Yes. I went there.

It would be so cool if everyone else turned around and sued the EU for being total toolbags.

Apple Announcements

Apple will be announcing new things today. I’ve tried to avoid other folks expectations and guesses because I want Apple to tell me what they are doing and not some scrub on a fan boy website.

Phil Schiller (Apple) has said that when leaks occur it really hurts the design team and steals their thunder in a rather unjust manner. 

If I worked on something for over a year then I’d want to be the one who announces it. Not some hack who is trying to get click bait.

Looking at you Apple Insider. No. I’m not posting a link so you can get even more click bait.

Apple reached a 1 trillion dollar market valuation yesterday which makes them the first company to do so. Ever. Below is Tim Cook’s letter to his employees via MacRumors.

Team,

Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success. Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.

It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the late hours and extra trips, all the times you refuse to settle for anything less than excellence in our work together.

Let’s take this moment to thank our customers, our suppliers and business partners, the Apple developer community, our coworkers and all those who came before us at this remarkable company.

Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. In today’s world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.

Tim

EU is a Big Fat Bully Who Wants Your Lunch Money

I equate the European Union (EU) to the bully at school that beats kids up and takes their lunch money.

Follow the Google link below for the latest bullying tactic.

They have fined Apple, Google, and Microsoft just to name a few. The reasoning is pretty weak and they just seem to be using their bullying tactics to extort money from the wealthy American companies. I’m pretty sure they care more about the revenue stream than protecting the rights of the downtrodden.

The EU declares war on American companies pretty much the same way that the small country did in the movie “The Mouse That Roared.” The whole premise of the movie was that if this small country could declare war on the United States and lose — the United States would pay them reparations which would boost their economy. My guess is that the officials in the EU have seen that movie and have taken it to the next level.

Engadget has a pretty good article giving you the background on the latest round with Google. The whole idea that Google is a bad guy for trying to get you to use its content is counterintuitive. Of course Google wants you to use its services. In case you missed it, that is how they make money. Taking that money from Google is how the EU makes money.

Getting out of the EU is probably the best thing Great Britain ever did. No-one wants to be associated with a bully when you want to make friends.

I think it would be awesome if the United States sued the EU for extortion.

They are a criminal organization that deserves NO less.

Update: 07.23.2018 – This little snippet from Engadget is extremely telling…

Google reportedly offered to make changes to its Android policies in August 2017, not long after it received an EU antitrust penalty for its product search practices. Although Google didn’t dive into specifics, it had offered to “loosen restrictions” in Android contracts and had considered distributing its apps in “two different ways.”

The EU wasn’t having it, according to the sources. Officials reportedly said only that a settlement was “no longer an option,” and that Google’s offer was “too little too late.” It couldn’t even mention the possibility of paying a fine as part of an agreement — regulators had effectively locked in their course of action.

Apple. You brilliant bastard.

Let’s see you get around that one GrayKey.

Yes. I have written about this before. It just keeps getting better. Apple initially reduced the time that the data port could be active without a passcode to about a week. In iOS 12, the port was locked down after an hour. In the latest Beta (version 4), well…it is off unless you unlock it with a passcode which is what GrayKey can produce if only it had access to the data port…which it now — does not.

<insert hysterical laughter here>

The biggest (and if I’m honest) only complaint about the Apple News App has always been the inability to remove politics from the news. I hate politics and I do NOT want to see ANY politics in the news feed. I see various promises that claim that they only populate your news feed with the items you say you are interested in but sadly, that is just not true.

 

This is the biggest software conference that matters. Well, it matters to all of us Apple people anyway.

In light of the whole GrayBox thing, I am going to predict that either Apple will allow you to turn off your lightning data port for everything except charging or they will turn it off by default.

So far, that’s all I got.

I look forward to spending next week in Swift/XCode land.

Misunderstanding Apple Pay

Gruber at Daring Fireball has some good points about a poorly written/researched Wall Street Journal article about Apple Pay.

My take away is that Apple has been doing a poor job of marketing Apple Pay. I still have friends and co-workers who — when I mention Apple Pay — have a “deer in the headlights” look on their face.

There should have been enough commercials running everywhere by now that everyone knows what Apple Pay is and what it is used for. But, alas — there is not.

Update: 04.04.2018 – Apple released some new Apple Pay ads.

New MacBook Pro

I am expecting a new laptop to arrive soon. The last time I bought a new Apple laptop was all the back in 2009.

I think the touch bar is what did it for me. The laptop I am using right now was given to me in exchange for a Mac mini. It is a good and solid laptop but I felt it was time for a new one.

I’ll post more about it when I actually have it.

Update: MacBook Pro arrived yesterday. I ran into a hiccup as a result of me using High Sierra to make my Time Machine backups. The new computer was using Sierra and thus, would not recognize the Time Machine backup for Migration Assistant. I upgraded the laptop to High Sierra and proceeded from there. The restore ran overnight and the only issue I have now is that I have two accounts under my name on this computer. Not bad overall. My old laptop is going to a good home. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The Apple Developer website was down for a couple of hours so I had to wait for a while before I could install High Sierra.

MacOS Sierra – Initial Impressions

I look forward to every June when Apple releases the next version of their various operating systems for developers to go through and test. It is a treat for geeks like me. I usually grab a new hard drive and make a backup copy of my current system. I install the new OS and my expectations are that something will break.

This year I'm happy to report that, for the most part, that did not happen. It is extremely unusual for a new OS to NOT break things. A whole lot of things. For me, my work access almost always fails. It usually has something to do with VPN, Java, etc.

That is not to say that bugs don't exist. I've spotted a few. I think Siri is buggy. Logging on to the forums will show you that beta testing causes it's fair share of grief across various configurations, however, my iMac 27″ 2011 is doing just fine. I am using an external cradle to run MacOS Sierra on an external 4TB hard drive. The cradle is connected using Thunderbolt 1.

I have encountered a weird window issue where pressing the minimize button doesn't really minimize. The window acts like it's getting ready to get smaller but it snaps right back in place and then cannot be closed until you quit the application. I'm not sure what is causing this particular issue. I've changed the preference from “scale” to “genie effect” for minimizing windows and so far, I haven't had a problem. It could be just the scale effect itself. Not sure.

So far, I think this beta version is more solid than those I've tested in the past.

Good job, Apple!

One Line Wisdom #2

 

Why would you want to watch a movie based on someone’s interpretation of Steve Jobs and his life when you can just watch Steve Jobs himself on YouTube?

 

The Problems With Lion

Yes. I have upgraded to Mac OS X Lion.I’m a geek. Don’t be silly.

Here is a small list of things that broke when I upgraded.

My timer for recording podcasts. (got a new one)

My seriously old version of Photoshop. (I have a newer version that I’ve been waiting to install)

My recording software as a whole. (I have a backup that I just NOW got to work)

Is it enough to make me regret the upgrade?

Not in your life.

I expected things to break so no surprise there. The operating system is working great for everything else. I love “Mission Control” and think they finally got “Spaces” right.

iPad App Review: Blogsy

This review is written in Blogsy. How appropriate?

Blogsy is from Fomola and available in the App store for $2.99 As you may surmise from the name, it is software for writing your blog posts on the iPad.

So far, I’ve found the interface to be a bit cumbersome compared to the WordPress app. The major problem I had with the WordPress app was links and using pictures inside of your posts.

Blogsy makes this process a bit easier although I’m still not very happy with the way you create links in your posts. I think this process could be done much easier.

Overall, it’s not a bad app for the price and worth a look if you have an iPad.

The “N” Key Story

I have (and love) my MacBook Pro laptop and use it for everything from podcasting to video production to…

…writing.

Right after I got the laptop on the very same day, in fact, the “N” key popped off. One of the plastic pieces that are used to keep it in place broke leaving me with an “N” key that is hanging on to the rest of the keyboard for dear life. After a few keystrokes, it would come loose and I’d have to push it back in place again.

Well, during the week the key popped off and this time, it refused to semi-click back into place. In essence, it is now no longer even semi-secured to the keyboard.

During this whole thing, my father offered to call Apple and see if they could send me a replacement “N” key to simply snap back into place. Apple’s response was…

…”ahh, no.” We’ll replace your entire keyboard but the “N” key by itself is simply out of the question. This exchange between Apple and my father went on for about a week. My father lost the battle. Apple will not send out an “N” key by itself. If anything happens to your keyboard at all, Apple will replace the whole thing.

I just didn’t want to be without my laptop for any length of time. The compromise will be waiting while a local technician makes the repairs and changes out the keyboard with me watching him/her.

I haven’t made the reservations or called the technicians yet. In the meantime, I bought a HP USB 2.0 keyboard at Wal-Mart to hold me over. Of all of the keys on your keyboard, the “N” key is one of the most pressed.

At least, when you don’t have it you think it’s the most pressed!

I’ll let everyone know how the repair goes. It should happen sometime this week.