Last Active
  • Return of the Mac: How Apple Silicon will herald a new era at WWDC 2021

    tht said:
    My 2013 iMac 27 is still humming along. It's the family computer. It's unsupported now, and it's probably one problem away from total replacement.

    To replace it, I would like to have a ~30" display, 8 TB of storage, and capability to add more storage years down the road. When you keep every single picture and video taken, it adds up! A small headless desktop where I can add 2 3.5" HDD would be great on top of the builtin storage. Yes, I probably need to invest in a little computer as a file server one of these days.

    The Apple Silicon iMac better come quick!

    My main problem with laptops is that they can get hot. I hate the feeling of typing on hot keys, and my work issued MBP15 gets hot while attached to an external monitor. I want this problem to go away, so if Apple puts the SoC in the back of the laptop display, it would be so worth it for me. As the M1 models show. Well, really, as the iPad Pro shows, Apple can put a lot of computing power in a very small and thin package, 6 mm thick only. Do it, Apple. As a plus, it would let them play around with the keyboard, add more battery, etc.

    A laptop with a low profile hot swappable mechanical keyboard would be interesting. They'll have prestige things like a folding display laptop, but just your simple and functional laptop that has a keyboard that is always cool to the touch and noiseless has its attractions too.
    You can get very cheap external storage via USB 3.0 or USB-C now. There's another article on AI showing a WD 10TB drive on sale at Amazon for < US$155 - a smidge over US$15 per TB! It is separately powered, so you can keep it turned on all the time or power it up only when you need it. It's slower than an internal drive would be, but not by much - and if you want to watch a video then it's plenty fast enough. The only time drive speed matters to me is when I'm copying files, and even then it's only for multi-gigabyte files like videos or those rare occasions when I need to do a full backup of my internal drive. I've been very happy relying on external drives for at least five years now - they have the added benefit of being easy to store in a different location than my main machine, just in case.

    It depends on your use case and your habits, but my recommendation is to use external drives rather than trying to mount them inside the case of the computer you use. With rare exceptions, you simply don't have the time to work with everything stored on your internal drive every day - you can't watch more than about 7.5TB of video (at 4k resolution) in a day, and that's assuming you do nothing else in a 24-hour period! So move the bulk of it to external storage and save the internal drive for what you're working on right now. Think of it like clothing - you can only wear one outfit at a time, so you maintain external storage for everything you like to wear and choose from that as needed. They key is that if you want something, it needs to be readily available; I've found that external drives are just as convenient as a dedicated server and minimal extra hassle over internal drives.
  • Review: reMarkable 2 is better than iPad for notes, but nothing else

    dewme said:
    This is a product category that I've searched (in vain) for a solution to for a very long time. When I go to a meeting I always like to jot down notes, draw diagrams, etc., in an unobtrusive way. I know that plenty of people have no problem bringing a notebook computer or a tablet to a meeting, but I've noticed that at least some of those who do so appear to be disconnected from the conversation and interaction - probably because they are "multitasking" during the meeting.

    Okay, I get it. But since I'm there I want to focus as much of my attention on the meeting and have found that simply writing notes/diagrams in a steno pad or quadrille notebook works okay and is my go-to solution. I'll also take pictures of the whiteboard and have found Microsoft's Lens app pretty good for that purpose. However, once the meeting is over I usually find myself plugged into something else, like another meeting, so if I don't capture my notes and thoughts with the triggers/bullets from the steno pad, and after going to a couple more meetings or working on a hot issue, the ability and my desire to go back and capture my meeting notes and thoughts to an easier to retrieve format goes away. These types of scenarios are probably one primary use case for the product reviewed in this article.

    I've tried a few other capture methods, including the ancient Cross Pen company's CrossPad device (it sucked), smart whiteboards, smart pens, iPad+stylus, iPad+Apple Pencil, etc., and nothing ever "sticks" with me because it never seems natural (not tactile), it involves transcription or extra steps, it's clumsy, it can't handle my 2nd grader handwriting legibility that naturally occurs when I write on glass (with finger, stylus, or Apple Pencil) - and the expected hideous OCR performance that results from it, or it's simply more effort than just keeping a pile of filled out steno pads around forever and hoping my brain can rehydrate the thoughts/questions in my head when I scribbled on the pad.

    I don't currently have a pressing need for this type of product, but I still feel that it is an unfilled need and something worth trying to solve. Whether this product is able to deliver something that finally hits the mark is yet to be determined. I think Apple's iPad handwriting recognition (Scribble) is pretty amazing, but writing on an iPad still doesn't feel natural enough for me to want to use it for more than a demo or signing a credit card receipt on an iPhone at the Apple Store.
    I found the LiveScribe products did a good job, back when I was taking paper notes. Nowadays I make audio recordings and cough or tap my fingers when the discussion reaches something particularly relevant - if I'm able to participate, I'll use a key phrase such as "So to summarise what we've just discussed..." You can get the recordings transcribed pretty cheaply with AWS and the results are usually excellent, you have timestamps that you can match against any pictures you took and since I use Mac and iPhone just about everything ends up in iCloud for access from anywhere. I still take pen and paper so that I can quickly sketch something if I need to share or develop an idea, but I can easily take photos of anything drawn (by any participant) at the end, and the timestamps give me an easy way to associate things with an event.
  • Zuckerberg knocks rumored 'Apple Glass' tech, says HUDs are like 'putting an Apple Watch o...

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent VR headset,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
  • Former Facebook employees detail impact of Apple's upcoming anti-tracking privacy feature

    It's hard to have sympathy for any of the participants in the surveillance industry, but this article makes me wonder if I'm being a little too harsh on advertisers. Ever since the inception of advertising there's been a huge element of uncertainty, and the only measurement possible was the net change in sales revenue which then has to be adjusted to reflect seasonal, societal and other variations that are themselves hard to measure.

    I've got no issue with anyone using a process of measurement to make decisions based on real world information, and seeking more accurate measurement isn't intrinsically a bad thing. If I'm trying to measure the influence a piece of advertising has, then sure I'd like to know if someone saw it but didn't act on it straight away. That's something that can be inferred from traditional methods, but actual measurement is better.

    I question, though, both how accurate this IDFA process is (we can assume very, given the efforts to block it) and how valuable that information ends up being. As the article says, it's only the most sophisticated advertisers who care about it - which I take to mean that the vast majority of advertisers don't see anything particularly valuable in it. So this problem is being caused, as usual, by a small proportion of the population who are nowadays able to leverage technology to a shocking degree to affect everyone on the planet with an online presence. And most of them don't care about the customer experience, as evidenced by the number of proposals one receives for prices on a product one has already purchased. Creepy and lame, as Gruber said.

    I wonder if those people are feeling very insecure about the intrinsic value of the products and services they're bringing into the world. It's one thing to push hard for the best possible performance from a successful business that satisfies customer needs; it's another to squeeze blood from a stone trying to make an unviable proposition profitable.
  • Judge orders Apple can't block Epic's Unreal Engine, Fortnite to remain banned

    shaneg said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Interestingly negative take on the decision. 

    I agree that Apple shouldn’t have cut developer support for the Unreal Engine however, even if it was warranted. Harming your own customers is a dick move worthy of Epic. Apple shouldn’t be doing it. Hopefully the judge’s words have opened their eyes to this. 
    Apple is the one that was banning Epics developer accounts.   Epic didn't want that at all, its why Epic went to count to try and have Apple not ban their developer accounts, and Epics Unreal Engine.   The judge sided with Epic on that one, because it was a dick move on Apples part to try and go out of their way to punish and hurt Epic.   Try and remember Apple already banned Epics Fortnite app, so ask yourself this, why does Apple have to go too far?   Plus don't give us that cap that it was warranted, especially when its Apples rules and policies, that Apple has bent in the past for others and themselves in the past.
    Apple has stated that the Epic SARL developer account shared the same credentials as the Epic developer account; Apple therefore treated both accounts as belonging to the same developer. When a developer violates the terms and conditions of the store, they are given a chance to rectify before being removed from the store. Epic (not Epic SARL) violated the terms and the app was banned, but Apple have publicly stated that if the violation is removed the app is welcome back in the store. Apple then looked more closely at all apps from the developer account and saw a number of additional violations, and chose to increase the penalty to block the developer account completely unless (or until) those violations were corrected.

    If the app in question was a piece of malware masquerading as a useful app, and the developer had multiple apps under multiple accounts, would you not want Apple to apply the same process?

    Please also recognise that no individual or organisation on this planet is capable of being 100% consistent with what they say they will do and what they actually do. A parent will apply the rules of the household on a child inconsistently, a business will serve customers inconsistently, even the judicial system will apply penalties inconsistently. There is plenty of evidence that Apple applies the rules consistently in the majority of cases, even while it occasionally treats some developers (and customers) differently. We hear about the "special" cases only because they are unusual; if everything was a special case then it wouldn't be worthy of attention.

    I think it's extremely interesting that the judge felt that after due consideration it was more in the public interest to allow continued development of the Unreal Engine for iOS while the case progresses. As mentioned in an earlier comment, this has implications for Apple's right to exclude certain behaviours from its store. It's quite a thorny argument; should an SDK developed by a third party always be exempted from the store rules if that same third party violates them? I expect Apple will be devoting a lot of attention to this situation and refining the policies applicable to third party SDKs.
  • If you can't convert a file into a PDF, maybe you shouldn't be writing laws about technolo...

    trinko said:
    Aside from Congressional lack of information the basic problem is that Section 230 is being misused.

    The intent was that if FB Twitter et al content neutral platforms, like the phone company, and didn't censor anything other than criminal acts, child porn etc, they couldn't be held liable for the content.

    That makes sense.

    The problem is that FB Twitter etc have become publishers who censor information that disagrees with their ideological agenda.  Given that's the case they should no more be immune to lawsuits about their content than the NYT is.  If the NYT were to publish a letter that said that I was a Nazi I could sue them and collect a fortune. But with the current policy FB can publish a comment calling me a Nazi and face no potential liability.

    I'm more concerned with FB Twitter et al censoring information and using bogus fact checkers than I am about radicals, either Antifa or the Capital rioters, using them.  Hence I want FB and Twitter to face real legal liabilities for their viewpoint based censorship.

    If silencing voices they don't like, but which aren't calling for criminal activity like the Capitol riot, starts to cost the Tech Titans hundreds of millions of dollars we can only hope that they will return to being content neutral platforms that only censor calls for criminal activity.
    The bolded in no way makes a venue a publisher. For instance, AppleInsider is liable for content that we publish under the masthead.

    What you folks say here in the forums, as long as we have a good faith moderation effort, we are not responsible for. If we chose to moderate the forums by an idealogical agenda, that STILL doesn't make us a publisher of what THE USER says in the forums.

    If you want to convince the supreme court that companies don't have first amendment rights and overturn three decades of precedent, hey, go ahead, because that's what it's going to take to force an ideologically neutral standpoint. But until they don't have those rights, they may moderate as they see fit.

    And, the proposals for 230 reform that both parties have put forth? It will mandate MORE moderation, not LESS. Anything even remotely questionable or in the slightest bit untrue will need to be purged. 
    Generally I'm on your side, Mike, but if you aren't liable for content that's not under your masthead, then why do you need section 230 to absolve you of responsibility for user contributions? It makes no sense. If you aren't guilty then you don't need extra legal protection.
    The rule is that a company _is_ liable for anything published under their masthead, but Section 230 grants an exception: if you make a good faith effort to moderate what users post, your company _will be_ exempt from prosecution for that content. What company staff post, the company is liable for.

    If you have a blank wall that you "donate" to local graffiti artists, and one of those artists puts up something that is extremely offensive and/or illegal (in contravention to the rules you laid out up front), where does the blame lie? It's with the tagger, not the owner of the wall. The owner of the wall may have enabled the tagger to apply their artistic expression, but they did that for every tagger who followed the rules too. The owner of the wall then has a personal choice about whether or not they allow the material in question to remain viewable - if they do, they face consequences from the majority; if they don't, they face consequences from the minority. But if the material is illegal, it must be removed. At this point, what liability is there for the owner of the wall? Section 230 says, none - the owner acted in good faith and is thus immune from legal repercussions. But if the owner of the wall fails to remove the illegal content, the owner becomes jointly liable for the illegal act.

    Societal repercussions are beyond the remit of the law, to the extent that those repercussions are themselves legal. So overall, Section 230 is legislation that provides a common-sense balance between fostering discussion (and commerce!) online and engagement in illegal acts.

    There are legal scholars who say there are flaws with Section 230; I am not qualified to offer an opinion there. But without Section 230 the WWW as we know it would not exist.

    Right now it seems like Congress is trying to legislate protection for their own speech and regulation for everyone else's. I'm not a US citizen, so to some extent I am not affected by this, but it will set a global precedent that I think should be avoided. Again, societal repercussions are beyond the remit of the law. A citizen should be free to call out what they view as unconscionable acts, and the accused should have a right to reply. The bigger problem is that "the masses" are easily swayed, and as humans we tend to believe what we hear or see first - curtailing the freedom of speech in an attempt to mitigate the effects of foolhardy, malevolent or otherwise harmful ideas has been shown to result in worse outcomes than maintaining the status quo. The road to Hell, after all, is paved with good intentions.

    It is better overall to educate and train people to overcome their natural tendencies and use their critical thinking skills, allowing truly beneficial ideas to become widespread and thus improve society for all. This will make the job of politicians harder, and they are naturally trying to avoid that outcome (as any of us would). In the end, the only advantage the citizens of a country have over its government is numerical superiority. This situation demands that politicians be made aware of their impending step into disaster by rushing through legislation, and the only way to do that is by having many people repeatedly and continuously tell them that they are being dunderheads for considering this nonsense. The joy of the modern world is that we now have many avenues by which we can make our opinions known; I am sure a quick Google search will reveal many ways to amplify the impact of an individual by automating some of the more popular online tools.
    muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Now-deleted scam app demanded positive review before it even worked

    dysamoria said:
    dormlock said:
    Stuff like this slips the review process cause the developer used a remote configuration to turn off the features they don't want the reviewers to see. Once it passes review and is released they updated the config to turn them on. Maybe apple should consider a post release review process with a randomized time for check
    Is this proven? It’s an interesting notion, as I was coming here to ask how Apple’s review process could possibly miss this, and what you said here is certainly a good answer if accurate.
    It's exactly what Epic did to offer their "pay Epic directly" functionality.
  • Craig Federighi blasts Mac security to prop up iOS App Store

    Yea because they want to lock macOS down too like iOS.  LAME.  

    Apple needs to open up iOS to be more like macOS.  Why should people have to jailbreak in order to run what they want?  
    Because the vast majority of people have no idea of how to deal with the constantly-rising level of malware, and on devices where biometric, health, financial and other sensitive personal information is stored you want the best possible security given the constraints in play.

    iOS is clearly popular JUST THE WAY IT IS. People have voted with their wallets, after all. And after 13+ years on the market, it's not credible to argue that iOS causes significant harms that are only being overlooked because customers are uninformed.

    If it helps, remember that people are still buying vehicles from Volkswagen.
  • Report details security compromises Apple has made to placate China

    I'm reminded of Joel Spolsky's witticism: they're not being asked to walk a fine line, it's a line of negative width.
  • Sonos criticizes Google, Amazon, and Apple at Senate antitrust hearing

    So, to paraphrase: "I only gave a cursory look at this Matter thing, but do you really want BIG TECH DECIDING HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO WORK????"

    To which the answer is: well, yeah. They're big enough to properly resource the project, they can afford to pay more for the best people, and they're more likely to create a solid, reliable product. In the case of Apple, anyway.

    Does this guy think standards are made up by a bunch of clever people who all sit down without egos, agendas, or different ways of looking at the world, and rationally debate the merits of various aspects of each proposal, ultimately adopting at least one idea or process from each submission so that nobody feels left out?