April 27, 2017 · 09:34

I received my Micro.blog invite last night, so naturally I quickly registered my username. Testing its functionality and trying to configure it now.

My Mac, Hackintosh, and iOS Setup →

April 24, 2017 · 21:11

Jeffrey Abbott, on The Sweet Setup:

Every week we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

My Mac and iOS setup is up today, with detailed specs of my Hackintosh! Yay!

Size Comparison: Sony a9 vs a7R II, Canon 5D Mark IV, and 1DX Mark II →

April 24, 2017 · 15:21

DL Cade on PetaPixel:

One of the biggest selling points of Sony’s mirrorless full-frame cameras is how much smaller and lighter they are than comparable DSLRs, but does the new Sony a9 live up to that promise? Let’s see.

I currently use its older brother and the small size of the Alpha series was one of its biggest selling points. Great cameras, especially when you’re looking to travel light.

You’ll find more great comparison shots on PetaPixel.

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World →

April 20, 2017 · 13:57

Sam Biddle:

The ShadowBrokers, an entity previously confirmed by The Intercept to have leaked authentic malware used by the NSA to attack computers around the world, today released another cache of what appears to be extremely potent (and previously unknown) software capable of breaking into systems running Windows. The software could give nearly anyone with sufficient technical knowledge the ability to wreak havoc on millions of Microsoft users.

Keep your system up-to-date!

Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Chrome Browser →

April 20, 2017 · 13:54

Jack Marshall:

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said.

I wish this meant that they would block their own ads, which I find incredibly offensive. Especially aesthetically.

Three New iPhones in 2017, According to Bloomberg →

April 19, 2017 · 09:06

Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:

Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said. Those anxiously awaiting the redesigned iPhone, however, may have to wait because supply constraints could mean the device isn’t readily available until one or two months after the typical fall introduction.

A fourth year, using the same design would be as surprising to me as Intel’s quick jump from their ‘tick-tock’ to a three-tier strategy and then almost immediately ending that for a four-tier one.

Mark’s words also suggest that the new ‘iPhone Edition’ will be available in only one size, which would be a poor show, especially since Samsung is already offering the S8 in two different sizes.

For the premium model, Apple is testing a screen that covers almost the entire front of the device, according to people familiar with the matter. That results in a display slightly larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus but an overall size closer to the iPhone 7, the people said. Apple is also aiming to reduce the overall size of the handset by integrating the home button into the screen itself via software in a similar manner to Samsung’s S8, the people said.

This sounds like it will be similar to the Galaxy S8 then. At the same time, the S8+ is still smaller than a 7+, but with a larger screen. It’s smaller width also makes it easier to hold and use.

I just hope Apple decides to forgo the curved display in the style of the new Galaxy S8 — something akin to the current curve of the iPhone 7 would be a better design, hopefully not distorting the edges of the screen like the Galaxy does.

Rethinking Apple →

April 5, 2017 · 10:36

Dr Drang:

Apple is making money hand over fist. By market share, it’s the biggest company in the world. Why is it continually putting itself in positions where it’s either apologizing, like today, or should be apologizing, as with the once long-overdue MacBook Pro update and the currently long-overdue iMac, Mac Mini, and iPad Pro updates.

While I appreciate Apple voicing their commitment to the Mac, I cannot fathom why this is even necessary. They are one of the biggest companies in the world and surely they can create teams that will constantly only work on Mac hardware. While I understand that simple updates to components seem perhaps too easy to do, with Apple’s aspirations being much higher, regular updates should be present in all line-ups. For example, the Mac Mini perhaps doesn’t fullfill Apple’s dreams of what a small Mac could or should be, but while they figure this out, it would be nice to have current generation hardware inside, regularly updated to the latest and greatest technologies, including Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. I know of a lot of people holding off, just because the Mini is 900+ days old.

The 2016 Panic Report →

April 5, 2017 · 10:28

Cabel Sasser:

iOS continues to haunt us. If you remember, 2016 was the year we killed Status Board, our very nice data visualization app. Now, a lot of it was our fault. But it was another blow to our heavy investment in pro-level iOS apps a couple years ago, a decision we’re still feeling the ramifications of today as we revert back to a deep focus on macOS. Trying to do macOS quality work on iOS cost us a lot of time for sadly not much payoff. We love iOS, we love our iPhones, and we love our iPads. But we remain convinced that it’s not — yet? — possible to make a living selling pro software on those platforms. Which is a real bummer!

This is what worries me most about the state of iOS. While Apple’s motives to bring the price of software down seemed like a good idea at the time — developers would make up their profits by the sheer volume of the platform — it appears that app sales are slowing, especially in the more demanding part of the market. Most people already have everything that they need and are not spending as much money on new software as in the early days. While I continue to be able to do about 90% of my work on an iPad, most don’t even try. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for iOS, hoping that it will start evolving at a faster pace, making it easier to work productively on it. Also, I’m still waiting for a full Adobe Lightroom experience on iPad, with the ability to transfer catalogs between platforms, not using Adobe’s cloud.

Apple Pushes the Reset Button on the Mac Pro →

April 5, 2017 · 10:20

Matthew Panzarino:

As representatives of the largest company on the planet, it’s not shocking that they need to consider how everything they say could be interpreted both by users and by the market. But it does highlight the difficulty of the balancing act they’re trying to pull off. Having a dialog with pro users (and other users) is healthy in the long run, and seeing Apple make an attempt at this is gratifying. On the other hand, I definitely get the impression that scaling from an audience of five to millions with that dialog is very much an experiment.

As we file out of the building, I can hear the whine of machines beginning to carve away on the next generation of Macs, now promised explicitly for the first time ever.

Great piece on the new Mac Pro, some tidbits about the ‘iMac Pro’, and lots more interesting conversation from Apple. The whole briefing was a huge surprise — this is definitely not something Apple would have done years past — but it’s a welcome one. As is the apology Apple issued to its pro users — it might not be enough to keep everything happy, waiting another year for the next Mac Pro, but it had to have calmed many people down, showing them a future without needing to change software platforms.

I Envy John Gruber’s Writing Style →

April 5, 2017 · 10:12

The bomb dropped yesterday — midday for me — that Apple was still working on the Mac Pro. Five people were invited for a unique briefing by four — Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, John Ternus and Bill Evans. This was amazing news which I was not expecting. Quite frankly, I had assumed that the Mac Pro was dead, having gone so long without any updates. I was genuinely happy for most of the day because that meant that my favourite software platform — macOS — has a future. But as I write these words, I can’t help but go back to reading and re-reading John Gruber’s words:

We’re inside a nondescript single-story office building on Apple’s extended old campus, across De Anza Boulevard from One Infinite Loop. This is Apple’s “product realization lab” for Mac hardware, better known, internally, as “the machine lab”. This is where they make and refine prototypes for new Mac hardware. We don’t get to see anything cool. There is no moment where they lift a black cloth and show us prototypes of future hardware. The setting feels chosen simply to set the tone that innovative Mac hardware design — across the entire Mac lineup — is not a thing of the past.

There are only nine people at the table. Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus (vice president, hardware engineering — in charge of Mac hardware) are there to speak for Apple. Bill Evans from Apple PR is there to set the ground rules and run the clock. (We had 90 minutes.) The other five are writers who were invited for what was billed as “a small roundtable discussion about the Mac”: Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, John Paczkowski, and yours truly.

The discussion is on the record.

I have been following John’s writing for many years now and these are the posts which always fascinate me most. Gruber has a knack for setting the mood for the reader, despite writing about a ‘normal’ meeting between technology executives and journalists — it reads as well as good thriller fiction.

While I did not appreaciate the other invitees articles as much, Matthew Panzarino’s piece was great too, although writting in his own style:

As representatives of the largest company on the planet, it’s not shocking that they need to consider how everything they say could be interpreted both by users and by the market. But it does highlight the difficulty of the balancing act they’re trying to pull off. Having a dialog with pro users (and other users) is healthy in the long run, and seeing Apple make an attempt at this is gratifying. On the other hand, I definitely get the impression that scaling from an audience of five to millions with that dialog is very much an experiment.

As we file out of the building, I can hear the whine of machines beginning to carve away on the next generation of Macs, now promised explicitly for the first time ever.

It’s John’s personal style and the way he describes the most mundane things that make me envious. I still remember his piece from 2012 about Mountain Lion:

“We’re starting to do some things differently,” Phil Schiller said to me.

We were sitting in a comfortable hotel suite in Manhattan just over a week ago. I’d been summoned a few days earlier by Apple PR with the offer of a private “product briefing”. I had no idea heading into the meeting what it was about. I had no idea how it would be conducted. This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple (…)

Handshakes, a few pleasantries, good hot coffee, and then, well, then I got an Apple press event for one. Keynote slides that would have looked perfect had they been projected on stage at Moscone West or the Yerba Buena Center, but instead were shown on a big iMac on a coffee table in front of us (…)

Schiller has no notes. He is every bit as articulate, precise, and rehearsed as he is for major on-stage events. He knows the slide deck stone cold. It strikes me that I have spoken in front of a thousand people but I’ve never been as well-prepared for a presentation as Schiller is for this one-on-one meeting. (Note to self: I should be that rehearsed.)

This is an awful lot of effort and attention in order to brief what I’m guessing is a list of a dozen or two writers and journalists. It’s Phil Schiller, spending an entire week on the East Coast, repeating this presentation over and over to a series of audiences of one. There was no less effort put into the preparation of this presentation than there would have been if it had been the WWDC keynote address.

What do I think so far, Schiller asks.

These two articles are probably my two favourites pieces from his full archive. They could have just as easily not mentioned any products or Apple news itself — just reading about the atmosphere, settings, and people is fascinating enough for me.

Keep writing John. And Phil, please keep inviting John into stranger and stranger surroundings and situations.

Seasons Of Norway — A Time-Lapse Adventure In 8K

April 4, 2017 · 09:47

Morten Rustad:

With its imposing mountains, endless plateaus and echoing valleys, Norway is a country where nature takes the lead. Using time-lapse, this film attempts to capture the ebb and flow of the seasons and is a result of one year of planning, a second year of shooting and four months of editing.

20,000 kilometers have been travelled, 200,000 photos taken and 20 terabytes worth of hard drives filled. Months have been spent hiking through the mountains, sleeping in tents and travelling through the entire country hunting for the best locations.

Simply fantastic.

Watch the video →

iOS 10.3.1 — IPSW Direct Download Links

April 4, 2017 · 09:25

Apple released iOS 10.3.1 yesterday. Please make sure to upgrade as soon as possible, as this release fixes a nasty bug where an attacker could potentially inject code into your Wi-Fi chip if he or she is in range of your device.

Continue reading →


Marco Arment’s Bluetooth Headphones Mega-Review →

April 3, 2017 · 06:42

Marco Arment:

I’ve maintained the wired version of this review for a few years, but times have changed: with iPhones no longer having headphone jacks, Bluetooth has gone from a bonus to a requirement.

The number one choice surprised me and I’m more enthusiastic of the AirPods personally, especially for travel. They were perfect on my recent 24 hour plane trip, although I have to point out that I do not find ANC a must have option.

Apple’s WWDC Code of Conduct →

March 29, 2017 · 06:28

Apple displays its new Code of Conduct on their WWDC registration page:

Apple is committed to diversity and to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. All attendees have the right to a safe and welcoming environment regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, or any other attributes. In addition to treating others respectfully, please do not bring items with disrespectful, malicious, or sexually-oriented writing, images, or audio to the conference.

Apple reserves the right to refuse admittance to, or remove any person from WWDC (including from any WWDC events) at any time in its sole discretion with no refund, including but not limited to attendees behaving in an inappropriate, disorderly, disrespectful, or dangerous manner or failing to comply with these terms and conditions. All attendees must follow safety signage, instructions, and rules. If you have an experience that violates this code of conduct, visit Attendee Services and ask for a manager.

Refreshingly short, precise, clear, and no-nonsense. I’m just sad that these things have to even exist. They shouldn’t need to. We’re fundamentally all the same.

10.5″ iPad Pro Entering Limited Production, But Launch Remains Unclear →

March 28, 2017 · 11:36

Joe Rossignol:

At this point, however, it remains unclear whether the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be announced later this spring, at WWDC 2017 in June, or in the fall or later, as rumors are lacking consensus.

If the 10.5″ iPad is going to showcase a new iPad design language, perhaps akin to the new iPhones, then I would assume it will debut in Autumn, along with or after the iPhones.

UK Government Renews Calls for WhatsApp Backdoor After London Attack →

March 27, 2017 · 12:13

James Vincent:

Following last week’s terrorist attack in London, the UK government has renewed a familiar campaign against digital encryption. Echoing criticisms made in 2015 by then prime minister David Cameron after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, UK home secretary Amber Rudd this weekend described the government’s inability to read messages on end-to-end encrypted messaging apps as “completely unacceptable.”

And so it begins… again. (Sigh.)

Dear B&O, I’m Still Waiting for a Pair of Wireless H6s →

March 27, 2017 · 11:46

Vlad Savov, writing for The Verge:

Speaking with B&O Tonmeister Geoff Martin (who’s responsible for tuning everything right up to the company’s $80-something-thousand BeoLab 90 speakers) this week, I asked directly if the company could produce a wireless H6. And he answered, just as directly: “yes.” The actual reason for why B&O Play doesn’t offer a wireless headphone tuned like the H6 is that its sound signature is too light on bass to be used in the noisy environments of an underground commute or a long flight. That’s why the wireless models that B&O Play does offer — the H7, H8, and H9 — have an extra slice of low-end rumble, with the intention being that they’ll sound their best when circumstances around the listener are less than ideal.

Dear B&O,

I have a pair of H6s, which I absolutely love1. I will continue waiting for a wireless version, despite your hesitation. Also, I don’t much care for the touch-controls on the current wireless line-up. Please make this happen.

Sincerely,

Many people

  1. Which I will upgrade to the 2nd Edition sooner or later.

Diving in the Seychelles [video]

March 23, 2017 · 21:42

I finally found the time to finish the edit of all of my GoPro diving footage. This video shows the most interesting scenes from two dives, around St Pierre and Ave Marie dive sites, which are close to Praslin and La Digue. Hope you like it!

Watch video →


Apple Has Acquired Workflow, a Powerful Automation Tool for iPad and iPhone →

March 23, 2017 · 08:54

Matthew Panzarino:

This is not a ‘pure acquihire’ in that Workflow — not just the talent — is being purchased in this deal. This makes sense and I’m glad to see it because Workflow itself was a prime meat example of how to find a need in the iOS ecosystem, tackle it in an interesting way and execute it with cleverness and attention to honoring the platform. Simply put it’s super smart, really well designed and works very well.

Wow! This is something I did not expect.

I use Workflow every single day and I just hope it won’t go away and will continue to be updated. I actually just used it to create this post.

Etihad Publishes Approved Onboard Item Rules for Flights to US

March 22, 2017 · 18:32

In an email, sent to their clients, Etihad informs:

Following a directive from US authorities, we have been advised that guests travelling to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport are not permitted to carry electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone on board.

Mobile phones and medical devices are permitted but larger items including laptops, tablets, cameras and e-readers will need to be placed into baggage that is checked in. This must be done at the start of your journey. The ban does not affect flights leaving from the US towards Abu Dhabi and beyond.

These new rules come into effect for flights to the US via Abu Dhabi, starting 25 March.

Any guests travelling to the UK via Abu Dhabi are not affected by the directive from the UK authorities.

More Details on the Aeroplane Laptop Travel Ban →

March 21, 2017 · 21:38

BBC UK:

The United States and United Kingdom have announced that laptops, e-readers and almost any other electronic device that is not a phone will be banned from cabin luggage on some flights.

The US rule only applies to 10 airports, but one of those is the world’s busiest international airport – Dubai International.

For more details, including a full list of countries and airports, see the original piece on BBC’s site.

US Forbids Any Device Larger Than Cellphone on Flights From 13 Countries →

March 20, 2017 · 22:00

Sam Thielman:

US authorities have required airlines from 13 nations to forbid passengers from carrying any electronic or electrical device larger than a cellphone.

The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential” from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.

The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such devices must be checked.

Devices with lithium-ion batteries aren’t allowed in checked baggage as far as I know. So this is basically a ban on close to everything apart from cellphones. I know I won’t be visiting the US anytime soon, even though the ban will most probably not include my home country — I can’t bring myself to condone this sort of behaviour.