MyAppleMenu - Thu, Sep 3, 2015

Thu, Sep 3, 2015The Headphone-Port-Sensor Edition

The Headphone Port: The Mac’s Achilles Heel, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

So please Apple, I’m begging you: give us a way to switch between internal speakers and headphones in OS X. Pretty please? It’s a simple option that could be added to the Sound preference pane; it can’t be that difficult. Slip it into the next beta for OS X 10.11 El Capitan, put it in a point release, or at least expose the API to developers so they can fix it.

Alternatively, let’s say for argument’s sake that there is no way OS X could override the headphone port sensor switch. In that case, Apple, I beg you again: get rid of that stupid switch in future Macs. Make it a software function. On my last non-Mac computer, a home-built Windows PC, I could swap between headphones and speakers in the sound card settings. Come on, Apple, Microsoft Windows and a guy who built a cheap computer on a kitchen table has you beat here! That should be sufficiently embarrassing.

The Gadgets Already Solved It: Simple Solutions To High-Tech Problems, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The point is, I’ve always enjoyed technology. You name it: it’s a joy to solve a problem with software or scripting or a web service or a cleverly applied bit of hardware. But in the past few months I’ve been reminded that sometimes it’s a good idea to realize that just because you can use clever new technology to solve a problem, it may not be the best solution available.

Apple Adds More Publishers For Its News App, Which Will Launch Soon, by Peter Kafka, Re/code

“The business model is good,” said Conde Nast president Bob Sauerberg, whose company will offer up six titles when News launches: Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Epicurious, Teen Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler. Sauerberg says he has signed up four advertisers — Burberry, Ford, Campbell Soup and Reynolds — for the launch, via a sponsorship model — that is, they’ll pay Conde a flat fee, regardless of how many people view their stuff on the app.


Excel 2016 For Mac Review: Spreadsheet App Can Do The Job—as Long As You Don’t Rely On Macros, by Rob Griffiths, Macworld

If you’re an Excel user who doesn’t rely on macros, and doesn’t need to customize your menus and commands, Excel 2016 has a lot going for it. The new interface is pleasant, the cross-platform features are a welcome addition, the performance is very good, and the Mac-specific features make Excel feel as native as any other Mac app.

Review: Parallels Desktop 11 Brings Windows 10, OS X El Capitan To Life, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

I’ve been very happy with Parallels Desktop 11 since installing it on my iMac, and still find it to be the best virtual machine environment for me. It’s fast, it’s not a resource hog (at least on my iMac), and it’s actually quite inexpensive considering what it does.

Hands On: Griffin Powermate Bluetooth, by William Gallagher, MacNN

Okay, if you do any audio or video editing, this is clearly for you. Tell your boss, your accountant or just yourself that you're going to do lots and lots of video editing.

Pokémon Shuffle Is The First Nintendo Game For Smartphones, by Xavier Harding, Popular Science


Inside Apple's Odd, Yet Effective, Social Media Strategy, by Matt Kapko, CIO

While Apple generally distances itself from social media on a corporate level, the company's CEO Tim Cook and many of its flagship services, including the App Store, Apple Music and Beats1, take a more active and meaningful approach to the medium. The pervasive strength of Apple's brand means it can break rules other marketers must follow on Twitter, Facebook and other networks without consequence.

Malware Targets Jailbroken iPhones, Steals Some 225,000 Apple Accounts, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

Here’s another reason not to jailbreak your iPhone.

U.S. Judge Approves $415 Mln Settlement In Tech Worker Lawsuit, by Dan Levine, Reuters

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted final approval to a $415 million settlement that ends a high profile lawsuit in which workers accused Apple, Google and two other Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to hold down salaries.

Safe From What?, by Colin Percival

And if you're writing headlines, please stop using vague terms like "safe" or "secure". The role of a headline isn't, no matter what tabloids might suggest, to convince people to read an article; the role of a headline is to help readers decide if they want to read the article, and imprecision serves no purpose there.

Your Smartphone Can Tell If You’re Bored, by Rachel Metz, Technology Review

Add “boredom detector” to the seemingly endless list of things your smartphone can do. A group of researchers say they’ve developed an algorithm that can suss this out by looking at your mobile activity, considering factors like the time since you last had a call or text, the time of day, and how intensely you’re using the phone.

Parting Words

we get it, you smoke weed

— fiona (@fioroco) September 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.