Apple Doubles the Price for Entry-Level MacBook Pro RAM Upgrade →

June 2, 2020 · 10:29

Taylor Lyles, for The Verge:

The price increase is actually a price correction […] The price to upgrade RAM from 8GB to 16GB is $200 on other Macs, including the iMac and MacBook Air, and this change is meant to keep the fee consistent.

I’m seriously appalled at what Apple is charging its customers for RAM and SSD upgrades. This was OK while there were 3rd party alternatives available, but not now.


Fine-Tune the Calibration of the Pro Display XDR on Mac →

May 30, 2020 · 12:17

Apple Support:

On your Mac, you can fine-tune the current calibration of your Apple Pro Display XDR by adjusting the white point and luminance to more precisely match your own in-house display calibration target.

Meanwhile, Apple still hasn’t fixed automatic contrast adjustment (Ambient Light Compensation), which totally wrecks the calibration of Mac screens, when Displays → Display → Automatically adjust brightness is turned on. I wonder if this also applies to the Pro Display XDR.


Automating iPod Hi-Fi’s Volume Control →

May 29, 2020 · 14:56

Jason Snell, on Six Colours:

Here was the plan: Find a device that could be controlled by my Mac and press the volume-up button on my iPod Hi-Fi every morning when I started up the computer.

I love it when you can get something done by tinkering with various technologies. I don’t love maintaining such designs over longer periods of time though, such as my Homebridge setup.


Apple Working to Replace Messages App on Mac With a Catalyst Version →

May 24, 2020 · 10:38

Filipe Espósito, for 9to5Mac:

[…] we have found evidence that Apple is working to completely replace the Messages app on macOS with a Catalyst version, based on iOS 14 code.

I assume this will mean the end of AppleScript support for Messages. I don’t use it, so I won’t miss it, but a lot of people will be sad to see it gone. I am however hoping that it will still be possible to navigate Messages by using just the keyboard, which I do right now — ⌃⭾ moves me down the list and ⌃⇧⭾ reverses direction. Since the move Catalyst is to get feature parity between platforms, I hope they add keyboard shortcuts for stickers, tapbacks, and other features. Tapbacks are currently possible but require using the trackpad or mouse:

Send a Tapback: Click and hold a message, then choose a Tapback. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can also click a message, then tap a Tapback in the Touch Bar.


My Photography (81) — A Pigeon Visiting The Zoo’s Bengal Tiger, Wrocław, Poland, 2003

May 21, 2020 · 09:02

Wrocław’s zoo is one of the most beautiful ones in Europe, assuming you don’t mind seeing animals in captivity. Going there in late Autumn wasn’t a good idea, but I did want to test my new telephoto lens, so naturally, my best shot was of a pigeon, which was there looking for food.

Shot with Canon 300D + EF 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS: 130mm, f/4, 1/250s, ISO 400.

Wrocław’s zoo also has Bengal tigers→


Zork Source Code from 1977 →

May 19, 2020 · 09:15

MIT Libraries Department of Distinctive Collections:

This repository contains the source code for a 1977 version of Zork, an interactive fiction game created at MIT by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling.


SmartyKit — Apple I-Compatible Computer Construction Kit for Geeks to Understand How Computers Work →

May 19, 2020 · 08:12

The Apple I was the original Apple computer built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, so naturally every Apple fanatic has dreamed of playing around with an Apple I or even having their own. But you won’t need to keep dreaming, because you’ll be able to build your own DIY Apple I replica thanks to a new project called SmartyKit.

This looks like a lot of fun.


’Game Changer’ by Banksy Unveiled at Hospital to Thank Doctors and Nurses →

May 18, 2020 · 10:33

Associated Press:

A new work by the elusive street artist Banksy, honoring health workers, has been unveiled at a British hospital.

The framed picture, titled “Game Changer,” depicts a young boy sitting on the floor playing with a nurse superhero toy. Batman and Spiderman action figure toys lie in a wastepaper basket next to the boy.

More photos of Game Changer on Banksy’s Instagram, along with close-ups of the details.


Public Enemy →

May 18, 2020 · 08:25

Ruth Franklin:

From the jury selection process that took place over three days in June for the trial of Martin Shkreli, an investor and hedge fund founder who is facing eight counts of securities and wire fraud. In 2015, when Shkreli was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company raised the price of its drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent. In 2016, Shkreli was widely criticized for defending the 400 percent increase in the price of EpiPen, an emergency allergy injection sold by Mylan. More than two hundred potential jurors were excused from the trial. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto presided. Benjamin Brafman is a lawyer representing Shkreli […]

The court: All right. I’m going to excuse you. Juror Number 59, come on up.

Juror no. 59: Your Honor, totally he is guilty and in no way can I let him slide out of anything because —

The court: Okay. Is that your attitude toward anyone charged with a crime who has not been proven guilty?

Juror no. 59: It’s my attitude toward his entire demeanor, what he has done to people.

The court: All right. We are going to excuse you, sir.

Juror no. 59: And he disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.

Read the whole thing — it’s amazing.


Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later — He Had One Question →

May 16, 2020 · 17:00

By Keren Blankfeld, for The New York Times:

For a few months, they managed to be each other’s escape, but they knew these visits wouldn’t last. Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite.

It took them 72 years.

I might have teared up a bit.


Lenovo’s ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II →

May 16, 2020 · 16:51

This keyboard design is an extremely cool design, if it had some way to attach an iPad to it. I would prefer mechanical switches but even with the current scissor switches, this would be a perfect lap keyboard for iPad Pros. Though it would need to be programmable, to be truly useful and universal.


My Photography (80) — The Train from Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka, 2020

May 11, 2020 · 10:06

We took the morning train from Kandy to Ella and it wasn’t an easy journey — the train was full packed with people. I regret that we didn’t take the night train, which arrives in Ella in the morning and is supposedly close to empty. This is the train that I wrote about earlier. If we were to do this route again, I would definitely get on the train in Nanuoya and get off in Ella, to shorten the journey and still get to see all the wonderful views.

Shot with Sony A7R II + FE 28 mm f/2: f/5.6, 1/60 s, ISO 100.


John Gruber: ‘Who Is the Low-End MacBook Pro For?’ →

May 7, 2020 · 21:45

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

The high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro is the professional model. Faster and more modern processors, double the ports, up to 32 GB of RAM (and the RAM is faster too). The low-end models are something else altogether. They’re not bad MacBooks by any sense — but I genuinely wonder who they’re for.

I bought a Touch Bar MacBook Pro in 2016 and returned it, because of its poor battery life and because I couldn’t accept the Touch Bar. I promptly ordered the MacBook Pro Escape in January 2017. Turns out I didn’t really need the extra horsepower of the more expensive models and preferred the additional hour of battery life.

But why did I go for it?

  1. It was cheaper and I was glad I could save some money.
  2. I had a mid 2014 MacBook Pro before this one. I upgraded it for the display, which supports the Display P3 colour gamut. This makes it on par with my iPhone and iPad, making it easier to colour-correct photos.
  3. I had a 2013 11” MacBook Air before I upgraded to the 2015 Pro. I upgraded because I needed a bigger screen, but I was completely satisfied with the performance of the Air and its 15W CPUs. The same category which is now in the low-end MacBook Pros.

I would have upgraded my late 2016 MacBook Pro to one of these new low-end models, despite them using 8th gen. Intel chips, if it didn’t have the cursed Touch Bar. It does have a physical Esc key now, so I might still change my mind, but the new MacBook Air is out of the question — the screen is sRGB. If it had a P3 screen, I would strongly consider the Core i5 model.


AR Cut & Paste →

May 4, 2020 · 13:14

Cyril Diagne:

An AR+ML prototype that allows cutting elements from your surroundings and pasting them in an image editing software.

Although only Photoshop is being handled currently, it may handle different outputs in the future.

This is amazing. Cyril’s code is up on Github.


Tuning an Apple Extended Keyboard II →

April 29, 2020 · 11:08

Carlos Fenollosa:

When the keyboard finally arrived, I tried to type on it, and unfortunately I didn’t like its sound at all. After a month reading about clicky keyboards, watching Youtube videos and remembering an IBM Model M I had at college for some time, the AEKII had muffled, plain, boring keystrokes […]

Now there are two options: stick with it, as is, or open the keyboard and see that could be done. Since I had opened and repaired my laptop, my old Gameboy, and almost every object that had fallen into my hands, why not a keyboard? I might learn something as a collateral.

If you’re into AEK II’s, this is a must read.


John Gruber: ‘The Whole Thing With 3D Touch and Haptic Touch Is Confusing’ →

April 29, 2020 · 10:21

John Gruber, on Daring Fireball:

But the whole thing with 3D Touch and Haptic Touch is so confusing, and has been handled so poorly by Apple in terms of how 3D Touch was used in iOS and which devices had it and which did not […] that you can’t possibly expect regular iPhone buyers to understand that the reason the new SE doesn’t support long-pressing notifications […]

The single thing I still miss most in my iPhone is 3D Touch. It’s been a few years now and Haptic Touch — long-pressing something — still feels so amazingly awkward, while slowing down the interaction at the same time. One of my favourite uses of the feature was to position my cursor precisely where I wanted to, when editing text. This is still possible by long-pressing the Spacebar and then moving the cursor to the desired location. The problem with the latter is that I often have to let go and restart this interaction, because I ran out of space on the screen to continue my drag. I really hope 3D Touch comes back one day, but I won’t be holding my breath.


Why I’m Returning the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

April 23, 2020 · 21:44

First of all, as you may have noticed, I love me a good keyboard. Despite the Magic Keyboard not being mechanical and having an excellent trackpad, it’s simply too expensive. It costs 330 EUR or so over here (around 360 USD), which I can’t realistically accept, especially since I have a MacBook Pro right next to me. I can always use it instead, when I do need to write something longer.

Sorry Apple, you have made a truly excellent product, but it’s just simply not worth the money that you’re asking for it. And I’m a guy that loves (mechanical) keyboards, your trackpads, iPads and Macs. Oh well, back to my beloved Think6.5° in e-yellow…


Reuters: Flaw in iPhone and iPads May Have Allowed Hackers to Steal Data for Years →

April 22, 2020 · 21:11

Christopher Bing:

The bug, which also exists on iPads, was discovered by ZecOps, a San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company, while it was investigating a sophisticated cyberattack against a client that took place in late 2019. Zuk Avraham, ZecOps’ chief executive, said he found evidence the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins. 

An Apple spokesman acknowledged that a vulnerability exists in Apple’s software for email on iPhones and iPads, known as the Mail app, and that the company had developed a fix, which will be rolled out in a forthcoming update on millions of devices it has sold globally. 

Apple declined to comment on Avraham’s research, which was published on Wednesday, that suggests the flaw could be triggered from afar and that it had already been exploited by hackers against high-profile users.


Is Apple’s iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Worth 299 USD?

April 22, 2020 · 13:17

No. It’s an amazing piece of hardware and I have been using it for two days now, but there’s nothing in its design that justifies it being so expensive. This is a product that should cost 199 USD at most, for the 12,9” model at that. There are comparable products for competing computers out there that cost even less (129 or 159 USD for Microsoft’s Type Cover; the kickstand is built into the Surface itself).

What’s worse, looking at Apple’s past practices, is that I don’t see the current Magic Keyboard being compatible with the next iPad Pro. It was shocking to see that it supports the 2018 iPad Pro, but if I were a betting man, I’d say that the next generation iPad, whether is comes in late 2020 or in 2021, will not support this accessory. If that indeed happens, it would make the current price point to be even more absurd.

Please stop milking your customers Apple. You’re better than that.


Vulnerability in Safari Allowed Unauthorized Websites to Access iOS and macOS Webcams →

April 3, 2020 · 23:55

Ryan Pickren:

This vulnerability allowed malicious websites to masquerade as trusted websites when viewed on Desktop Safari (like on Mac computers) or Mobile Safari (like on iPhones or iPads).

Hackers could then use their fraudulent identity to invade users’ privacy. This worked because Apple lets users permanently save their security settings on a per-website basis.

If the malicious website wanted camera access, all it had to do was masquerade as a trusted video-conferencing website such as Skype or Zoom […]

[…] Apple considered this exploit to fall into the “Network Attack without User Interaction: Zero-Click Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Data” category and awarded me $75,000.