Simple Does Not Equal Mushy

Simple Does Not Equal Mushy

Do you remember the three-dimensional, shelf-like Dock that lived at the bottom of every Mac screen from Mac OS X Leopard in 2007 all the way through OS X Mavericks in 2013? The year after Mavericks’s release, OS X Yosemite sponged out the realism and revived a tweaked and blurred version of the two-dimensional dock that had originally occupied OS X.

I’ve never been into the fake textures thing. I disagree with just about everything in this piece, but it’s always interesting to read how the other side sees the world.

The Master Plan, Part 2

Elon Musk lays out his vision. Again.

Elon Musk, on the Tesla Blog:

I should add a note here to explain why Tesla is deploying partial autonomy now, rather than waiting until some point in the future. The most important reason is that, when used correctly, it is already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability.

In addition to safety, he touches on battery, solar, trucks, ride sharing, and more.

Real life Tony Stark.

Breathing new life into an old machine
iMac SSD Upgrade

I have this 2012 iMac. It’s been on every day and night since I bought it. That’s around 1400 days of pretty much non-stop service save a restart here and there along the way. I use it as a Plex server, a home for my Drobo, my iTunes and Photo library home, and my Backblaze online backup hub.

Building a Fusion Drive isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s worth it.

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They Both Failed

When water resistant, isn't.
They Both Failed

Samsung says all S7 phones, including the Active, are designed to survive in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. Consumer Reports says that after a half-hour in water, the Active’s screen flashed green and other colors and didn’t respond to touch. Tiny bubbles appeared on the camera lenses. Consumer Reports tested a second Active phone to verify results, and it also failed.

Two phones, two failures. Not good.

Put Dvorak in a Home

Get off of my lawn!

In a rambling Dvorak-esque anti-logic diatribe on pcmag.com, resident crazy-pants get-off-my-lawn commentator John C. Dvorak thinks that Apple Should Spin Off the Macintosh

A recent “little change” got me thinking that Apple might spin it off its computer division into something I’m calling the Macintosh Computer Company: the renaming of OS X back to [sic] MacOS. Because what’s the point…unless something is up?”

Something is up, John. It’s called consistency. iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS. Get it? They renamed it to better fit in with their existing marketing, not make it ripe for selling off.

But Apple has failed to make any major upgrades to its MacBook lineup in over a year, prompting complaints from pundits and the public.

but later says:

It’s become a boring replacement market as people keep their systems longer and longer.

It seems like a good move to spread out updates, if people are spreading out purchases. Or is that just me? I’m not good at da bizness stuff.

He rambles on to say that moving Macs out of Apple will help, because…

…the Intel platforms are completely removed from Apple. All that stays is the ARM-based iPad.

Or maybe, just maybe, there’s an ARM-based Mac on the horizon.

And finally, he says Apple spinning off the Mac would be akin to IBM selling off Lenovo and making the Lexmark printer division. Well, Lenovo ain’t doing that hot and Lexmark has been out of business since 2012.

But I guess that’s expected from PCMag and Dvorak. His bio at the bottom of the page touts his “Cranky Geeks” podcast, which I used to really like. But it ended in 2010…

My thoughts and rants on WWDC 2016

I wrote a lot more than I usually do this week in the lead-up to WWDC. Here are all the posts all on one page.

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Today's Ramblings: Siri
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 6

Apple was the first compnay to put voice control in a phone with the iPhone 3GS. Siri took over for Voice Control with the iPhone 4S, and was a vast improvement.

Then everything slowed down. Siri requires Apple to integrate the data into the system. There are a few partners - Wolfram Alpha, Bing, Yahoo for weather, and some sports data. Beyond that, it’s still down to just telling you what’s already on your phone.

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The not-iPhones
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 5

New software for the last few WWDCs have focused heavily on the iPhone. This makes sense, because the iPhone is such a huge part of Apple’s business. But, there are a few other devices that need some love.

The iPad

iPads got a little love last year with split screen multitasking, but I think it needs to go further. Don’t get me wrong. Multitasking on the iPad Pro has fundamentally changed the way I use my iPad in so many ways. But, can we talk about this:

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Today's Ramblings: Home
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 4

Whatever happened to HomeKit?

When HomeKit was announced in 2014, it showed a lot of promise. Having one way to interface with all the fiddly bits of home automation seemed like a godsend to people like me. I have Z-Wave light switches, wifi motion sensors, IP-controlled home theater equipment, security cameras, and more all jammed into my one-bedroom apartment. My fiancée is very tolerant.

But here we are, almost two years later, and I have exactly ZERO HomeKit devices. The HomeKit program is too limited to be practical. Apple’s position on security means all devices have to have a secure chip in them to talk to each other, meaning all of my existing stuff is useless. It’s time to change this.

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Today's Ramblings: Keyboards
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 3

Ever since third-party keyboards arrived with iOS8, things have pretty much been a mess. Here are some quick thoughts and wants, from my perspective.

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Today's Ramblings: Messages
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 2

Messages (the concept) are very important. Messages (the app) needs to live up to that. I use a lot of messaging services for different things. Slack is the go-to app for work, I use Facebook Messenger for some things, the stock Messages app for iMessage and SMS conversations, and even What’s App once in a while.

Messages (the app) seems kind of stuck. Video and audio snippets have been added to compete with SnapChat and HeyTell, but that’s really it. There are two main things I’d like to see improved in Messages.

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Today's Ramblings: Photos
WWDC Week of Wants, Vol 1

I use Apple’s Photos and iCloud for my main photo library, but I have Dropbox’s auto-upload turned on as a poor-man’s backup, and I’m a big fan of Google Photos

Google Photos has search down pat. I can type in Jimmy dog and get all the images and videos of me and my dog. I can type in train and see all the pictures of trains I’ve taken. The “train” search will even show me pictures of people on a train, or standing next to train tracks. It’s pretty incredible.

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