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  • Goldman Sachs spends $350 for every Apple Card signup

    Not trying to be negative on this, really asking.  Why would anyone want this card?  The rate is pretty high, the integrations are interesting but don't really add that much value IMO, and I can use Apple Pay with my existing card.  What is the draw?
    There is none (being serious). 
    This is only the third credit card I have ever had (the other two are AMEX and Visa).  Here are the reasons I chose to sign up:

    1)  Extremely secure.  There is no fixed card number, and if the physical card is used and a card skimmer or waiter steals your card number and pin, a number can be created instantly.  So there is no interruption in use of the card.

    2)  No Tracking.   You are not identified by the retailer by name or by card number.  They only receive meta-data, they cannot track you (unless you want them to by signing up for some "deal" in which you have control over what information you give them)

    3)  Having instant info on spending is very handy, and provides for instant recognition if charges are incorrect, thus allowing for immediate corrections.

    4)  Reasonable interest rate (mine was a high limit with a 12.99% interest rate).   Not a big deal of me as I pay off my balance every month.

    5)  Complete control over payments.  I simply set mine up to auto pay from my bank at the end of each month.   I don't incur any interest charges and I'm sent notifications well in advance so I can balance my bank statements.

    6)  Very detailed (and very Apple designed) infographics on spending by category and retailer.   Also the info on the retailer is in plain english with business name, address, map, and contact info.  Very handy for looking back at what I purchased and from whom.

    7)  There are no fees, and no late fees, or currency fees.

    8)  Ties to my Apple Cash account, and of course there is the instant cash back features

    9)  So far so good, I've made a couple of transactions and set up auto pay.  I will evaluate how this works for me (about 65% of all retailers in the US now accept Apple Pay/Card) to see if this is something I want to use long term.  But I know from experience that Apple Pay works extremely well and fast at checkout, especially using my Watch, so all of my Apple Pay will be done using this card going forward.

    10)  Longer term I can see using this card (or something like it) to manage all of my payments (retail purchases, mortgage, other credit card balances (not available now), utilizes etc, etc) from a single source while I am mobile.

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  • How to trace an image with your Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro -- and when not to

    As a geologist I do this all the time with maps, cross sections, etc.   To fix the paper in place use blue painters tape across the top or side, which allows you to lift the paper up to check on your work.  A vector graphics program works better than a bit map one, as it will maintain straight lines and shapes that scale. 
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  • Apple 2017 year in review: The 'Pro' desktop market is revisited with the iMac Pro, with m...

    I’ve been limping along with my max spec’d 2009 iMac waiting for the iMac Pro.  I run specialized programs for geologic modeling, mapping and CAD (mostly windows).  After a lot of time specing out my ideal iMac Pro (10 core) with a RAID storage system it came out to just under $10k.  This compared to just under $5k for a max spec’d iMac with the same RAID.  I then looked at ownership and operating costs over a five year period and decided to go with the iMac.  For me this provides the best cost/benefit ratio for my work now, with the expectation that the future modular Mac Pro will be out and established by then.  My work could be greatly enhanced with AR tools, which do not yet exist (except for the amazing iOS Theodolite app).

    Tim has announced that AR will be the next big thing, and that will require a whole new tool kit (hardware & software) to create apps and content.  Apple HAS to own this space if it wants to dominate this opportunity.  Going out past five years AR will transition to VR which will take even more computing and software power.  So regardless of sales now, I see Apple staying in the Pro space going forward.  This means not only Pro hardware, but Pro AR software development programs.  This will also merge into entertaiment and allow Apple’s consumptive devices to dominate.
  • How to create your own Dynamic Desktops in macOS Mojave

    Thanks or the article but this is a simulation of a Dynamic Desktop (as you noted).   The HEIC file format has been around for a while ( High_Efficiency_Image_File_Format ) but only formally adopted by Apple in Mojave (and iOS 12).   This format will become increasingly important for AR as Adobe and Apple have agreed to standardize on this format.  it provides multiple images along with both time and location info for each.

    As a developer you can create "real" Dynamic Desktops, see this excellent blog ( wallpaper ).

    The author has created this Japanese satellite Dynamic Desktop (  https://www.dropbox.com/s/kd2g59qswchsd0v/Earth%20View.heic?dl=0 ).  Simply download the file and add to your Desktop & Screensaver file folder as described above.  It looks fantastic on a 5k iMac.

    I found it interesting that apparently Apple's Dynamic Desktop is limited to 16 images (as noted above 24 would be typical for a single day as it would be one per hour, but ate is apparently not possible today).

  • Cook promises Apple will 'learn' and 'take action' in memo to workers

    sixcolors said:
    iPhones have become too expensive, I simply quit upgrading.

    Apple's other products don't offer any compelling upgrades to the older models I already have. I despise the new MacBook Pro and have zero interest in the trashcan 2013 Mac Pro.
    Couldn't disagree more.   I held off upgrading my iMac and MBP 15" for several years longer than normal because Apple/Intel's solutions didn't fit my needs.  That changed in late 2017/2018 as all of my issues have been resolved (keyboard fixes, 32Gb available on the MBP, standardized Thunderbolt 3, significantly improved MacOS and iOS, Bluetooth 5, and yes I really like the Touch Bar and am already modifying it for my workflow using BetterTouchTool).  The speed and efficiency of my workflow is about double what my previous hardware allowed.

    As for the iPhone, I again hadn't upgraded in a few years and moved from an iPhone 7 to Xs - the difference is dramatic, especially with the display and camera.  I travel internationally and the dual SIM option is great (although new in the US it has been working in Asia since launch).  

    I moved to an iPad Pro 10" in 2017 but jumped to upgrade  in 2018 to the IPP 12" and couldn't be happier.    The USB-C is compatible with hubs like CalDigit's TB-3 Plus (allowing both charging iTunes connection, as well as access to the accessory ports).  I don't use the iPad like a normal computer (its a new tool, and those that want to see the iOS devices become laptop replacements or computer replacements (or vice versa) are missing the point).  Current iOS provides some unique opportunities to improve workflow across devices:  such as using tags/filters and Files app to sort and maintain data - sort of like an improved Evernote, and utilizing the Notes and pencil for on the go markup and signatures.  In short iOS devices allow me to get things done more quickly on the go, but don't provide the heavy duty lifting that a computer or laptop provides.  However the synergy between the two (which for years was lacking due to poor file sharing capabilities) has improved to the point where these devices can work together to accomplish complex tasks in almost any environment,  

    In summary Apple's devices are expensive - but the Apple ecosystem as a whole is extremely efficient and provides the tools I need to do my work (and play) anywhere, anytime.   And that to me is worth the extra cost for the hardware.
  • Apple should mix hardware & services into 'Apple Prime' subscriptions, analyst says

    Apple already invented Prime Membership - we as Apple hardware purchasers are all members.   Apple rewards its members with "free services" (basic iCloud, iWork apps, iTunes ecosystem, etc) many of which may be upgraded to expanded (at increased prices) services (increased iCloud capacity, Apple Music streaming service, etc).
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  • Apple Music, other streaming services helped push US music revenues up to $9.8B in 2018

    I expect to see a big jump in Apple's Music paid subscriptions due to Verizon offering "free" Apple Music to their top tier cell accounts.    For myself I would not have tried the service as I wouldn't have expected to use it much.   But now that I have it free on my phone (but NOT any of my other devices) I'm finding I like it and may end up getting a full subscription.  
  • Latest watchOS 5.1 update pulled after bricking some Apple Watch units [u]

    My S4 bricked.  I’m told to take it in to my  store and they will have to send it out for repair/replacement - a minimum of five days for turn around.  As it is only a month old I’m told it’s covered under Applecare but would count as one of my two covered repairs??? WTF...
  • Review: If you have Philips Hue bulbs, you need Lutron Aurora

    Many of my switches are three-way, so this still doesn't solve that problem.

    FYI, a trick I learned to help pair Hue lights is to attach the light to a socket right next to the bridge to pair FIRST.   Then move the light to its appointed location.   In some cases where I had multiple new lights some would pair, some would not.  In the past I would have to send those bulbs back for replacement.  But I found that if I could get the bulb right next to the bridge (like nearly touching) I could ALWAYS get the bulb to pair.   This trick works with any Philips paired light including light strips.

  • AT&T CEO claims HBO will glean consumer data from Apple TV viewers

    Of course Apple will share some data with partners, including app developers, news+ magazines, music and media companies.  What they won't do is share your personal data.   It will probably be aggregated and anonamized.   Content providers including Apple need to know something about their audiences and what they like and dislike in order to improve the content.  No news here, Stephenson's statements do NOT "run counter assurances made by Apple".