apple

Apple Magic Keyboard

The Apple Magic Keyboard has been out for a while now. Today, I finally got one of them. I’m typing this post on it. I have to say that this iPad experience is much different than my first generation iPad Pro.

The typing is great. The keyboard doesn’t feel cheap and so far, I am loving it.

The downside of this keyboard is the price. It is expensive at $350.00. Is it worth it? I plan on typing up a couple of stories on it so we’ll see.

So far, daddy likes.

Why I turned off Private Relay

Apple’s new feature that hides your IP address is an awesome concept. Using any map function and seeing the various places that your phone is reporting your location as…is cool.

What is NOT cool is the fact that private relay prevents websites from loading.

Not cool.

For me, a great example is Slashdot.

If I try to bring it up in my phone and can’t, it is almost always because private relay is turned on. I turn it off and the website loads as normal.

Mac OS 9 To-Go

This is from 9TO5 Mac and is extremely cool. I appreciate the effort that went into creating these. I would not have been able to afford them, but back then I couldn’t afford most Apple products.

I started off imagining what iOS would look like in classic Mac OS style. I kicked things off stylizing iOS with the platinum design and ultimately decided to meld it with classic Mac OS user interface elements. The project became a mobile version of Mac OS 9 otherwise known by its codename, Sonata. I chose to call the software “Mac OS 9 To-Go” and wanted to see what it would look like on a 90s PDA/smartphone. It led to the first product, the Newton Phone.

The rest of the article is here.

Touch ID under Duress

A feature that I would like to see on Apple’s Touch ID devices is what I call a “duress” mode.

Let’s say someone is mugging you and demanding that you unlock your device. What if you assigned a specific finger to something called duress mode that does things behind the scenes while appearing to unlock the device.

You could even have a flash “store front” of apps that load up if you use this particular finger. None of them really do anything and your data is still protected. It may even add an extra layer of security that is required to unlock it by Apple. Once your device is put in duress mode, only authorized people could unlock it. By unlock it, I mean get it back to a state where your normal fingerprint would unlock the device. Apple couldn’t directly unlock it.

By using this finger, you have also alerted family, friends, and anyone else you designate that you are in some sort of duress. These messages could include your GPS location etc.

I think in the future, this type of functionality will be necessary. It might even save lives.

Picture from here.

Random Apple Things

I ordered AirTags on Friday and literally sat on the refresh key until the Apple store came back online so I could get my order in. It is ridiculous. I own that.

There was a pretty good article that John Gruber linked to about how Apple’s M1 chip strategy is more about unity than trying to sell several variations of the same chip. The $699 computer has the same processor as the $1699 machine. I think that shows how strange it is that Intel thinks they need to have several versions of a CPU.

If they turn around and put the M1 into an iPhone, then we’re talking serious M1 strategy.

Apple Versus Facebook and Privacy

I don’t see how Facebook comes out of this smelling anything other than a big hairy turd that no one even wants to look at. They’ve already been caught in the small business lie which this article confirms. Realistically, it wasn’t a stretch to hear Facebook talk about how Apple’s privacy changes would affect small businesses on their site and not want to throw up. The mere thought of that made me almost rethink my whole existence. Since when does Facebook give a fuck about anyone or anything that doesn’t make them money? Perhaps, I slipped into a parallel dimension where Facebook cares about things other than itself.

Facebook has been attacking Apple with campaigns that say the iOS 14 privacy changes will hurt small businesses, as many of them use Facebook’s platforms to advertise their products and services. However, a former Facebook employee argues that these changes may not affect small businesses as these businesses are usually located in specific cities or states, which makes it easier to determine the ad’s target audience without using IDFA trackers.

Using Facebook makes them money. That is why I rarely use it for anything. If you truly don’t like what a company does then by all means, do not support it.

Sometimes I think that the people that use Facebook and have the nerve to bitch about it are the reason why we can’t have nice things and we’re not living on Mars.

Re-formatting a Flash Drive

I recently bought a 2TB flash drive. You read that correctly. 2TB.

I have been playing around with it and basically, I hosed this thing up. Every time I would insert the drive into my Mac, it would display 3 drives. It was driving me insane.

Today, I decided tom play around some more and discovered that those extra drives were actually called volumes. I discovered an easy way to get rid of them. Well, sort of.

There are actually volume controls on the main window highlighted below.

CleanShot 2021 03 06 at 13 34 01 2x

All you have to do is figure out which volume you need to get rid of and hit the minus button.

…and hope that it works the first time. I’ll tell you that it probably won’t. I have had to hit that button a couple of times but eventually, the volume got deleted.

Once I got everything down to one volume, the next thing I wanted to do was to re-format the drive as ExFat which is the Microsoft version. The advantage on a drive like this is that you can use the drive on almost any computer. I love APFS but not everyone else does.

I found a great video about how to take care of the problem of APFS being your only obvious choice. If you expand what you can see, you just have to go a level up to have the option of reformatting in ExFat.

MacMost article is here.

General Thoughts

I have a quick drive by style post about something that I think is important to the world in general.

Diabetes and blood glucose readings.

I read an article yesterday about Apple getting close to having the technology to read blood glucose levels without puncturing the skin.

That is a game changer.

Can you imagine what would happen to the industry in general if they introduce a watch that can do that?

My friends equipment to allow him to constantly monitor his levels costs hundreds of dollars per every 10 days. It is ridiculous.

If Apple puts those types of criminals out of business, I would be a very happy individual.

Thoughts on M1 MBP So Far

It has been a full day with the new laptop and I have to say that I’ve been doing almost everything with it.

I had to install a crap ton of things and I have been doing all of that (including an operating system update to put this machine on the beta version of Big Sur) with the laptop only being charged up when I first got it.

I haven’t plugged it in at all and I still have a 55% charge even though I’ve been writing on it all day long.

My journal is one of the longest I’ve ever written, I wrote over 500 words for the latest short story, and tons of other things including this blog post.

The battery is amazing. I can’t see what I can get out of this thing.

M1 MacBook Pro 13″

I am happy to report that I just got my new MacBook Pro. I’ve been waiting for about a month as Apple had a backlog.

So far, I love this thing. My previous MacBook was a 15″ and I actually wanted the smaller version. It has all of the same things and the keyboard is tons better.

I’m not going to review it. Tons of people out there already have and would go into way more details than I would.

Night Shot

This is a picture I took this morning around 5:00 am. The sun isn’t anywhere close to being up yet but the camera makes it look as though it has. The cloud details are stunning.

IMG 4173

5k Apple Walk Challenge

For the record, I am serious considering doing the 5k Apple walk/run/wheelchair challenge today.

I’ll update this post if I actually do it.

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.

Congratulations Apple!

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.

Data Port Lock Down in 3..2..1

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>

News App Fail

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.

 

Apple WWDC Predictions

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.