The Wipe-Out Edition Friday, May 13, 2016

An iTunes Bug, Not Apple Music, May Be To Blame For Disappearing Music Libraries, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Based on several Apple Support threads, it appears that the most recent version of iTunes 12.3.3 contains a database error that affects a small number of users, and can potentially wipe out their music collection after the update. The error has been mentioned a few times, primarily on the Windows side, in the weeks since the 12.3.3 update, but appears to be rare enough that it hasn't previously received major press. Apple did put out a support document shortly after the 12.3.3 update that walks you through some fixes if you find that your local copies of music are missing.

A Billion Here, A Billion There

Apple Invests $1 Billion In Chinese Ride-hailing Service Didi Chuxing, by Julia Love, Reuters

Apple Inc said on Thursday it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, a move that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said would help the company better understand the critical Chinese market.

The tech giant's rare investment gives it a stake in two burgeoning waves of technology - the sharing economy and car technology - as the iPhone business that propelled it to record profitability shows signs of maturing.

Apple Takes Billion Dollar Detour To Fix Troubles In China, by Alex Frangos and Dan Gallagher, Wall Street Journal

Other major ​Didi ​investors, including Chinese Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, have backed Didi partly to ensure their affiliated ​electronic-payment services, Alipay and Tenpay are embedded on the Didi app. Apple conceivably could now get Apple Pay onto Didi’s app, but that would make it a third alternative. [...]

​The bigger motivation may be that Apple thinks it gains credibility with Beijing after regulators recently blocked it from selling books and movies on its iTunes store. ​Apple will join state-owned or state-friendly entities who are Didi investors, such as China’s sovereign-wealth fund, China Investment Corp., and Ping An Insurance.

That Tactile Feeling

Restoring An Apple Extended Keyboard II, by Stephen Radford

I couldn't be happier with the AEK II even if I do have little to compare it to. It's absolutely wonderful to type on and the cream alps switches are give a really nice tactile feedback without being clicky (I still want a clicky Model M). The ratcheted caps lock key that stays down when it's on is so quaint and almost makes me want to turn it on and off instead of using shift.

It's by no means perfect though. It's very loud so probably not ideal if you work in a busy office. I also can't tell if my model has a broken enter switch on the number pad or if that's a quirk of using an ISO layout keyboard via the iMate. Oh, and one of the pegs that originally held this weird overlay thing over the function keys has snapped off.


2016 MacBook Review: A Laptop With A Point Of View, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

A good tool is designed with purpose, a point of view, and an intended user. The MacBook may be a good tool for you, if you use a computer in a way that fits Apple’s vision. This is a light, thin device that provides a decent (but not more) amount of computing power in a traditional computer interface.

A Guide To Apple Pro Apps For Professional Audio And Video Production, by Erik Eckel, TechRepublic

Audio and video production professionals can leverage several Apple pro-level applications to aid in creating, editing, producing, and polishing first-rate audio and video programming. From video editing to audio recording, Apple's suite of pro apps offers powerful tools for producing compelling productions.

Hands On: Gboard 1.0.0 (iPhone), by William Gallagher, MacNN

It speeds up typing on the iPhone, and the gliding, swiping feature is appealing. Plus if you do a lot of Google searches yet not enough that you pop off to Safari, this helps.

RemoteCam Lets You Wirelessly Trigger Your iPhone Camera With Flick Of The Wrist, by Gannon Burgett, Yahoo!

One of the first Apple Watch features to be shown off on stage at WWDC was the ability to remotely trigger your iPhone’s camera with a simple tap of your wrist. As convenient as the feature is, what the stock Camera app uses to achieve this is fairly basic in nature, with limited control.

If you want to beef up the remote triggering capabilities of your Apple Watch, a new app called RemoteCam might be what you need instead.

Noodler: An App That Generates Noodle Soup, by Kara Elder, Washington Post

After opening the app, the user “consults the oracle.” With a tap on the bottom of the screen, a new combination of broth, noodles and toppings populates, accompanied by a cute illustrated bowl of the prophesied recipe. If the user clicks on the illustration, buttons pop up offering options to cook the recipe, add to favorites or go back. Selecting “cook” brings up even more choices: broth recipes, descriptions of the chosen noodle, and how to make or where to buy various toppings.


Flirting With Humanity, by Moira Weigel, New Republic

The search for an artificial intelligence smart enough to love.

Get Ready For The World To Be Covered In Electronic Ink, by David Pierce, Wired

Everywhere you see paper, imagine a world where it’s replaced by a tiny screen that draws almost no power, looks like paper, and is fully interactive. That world is coming, it’s coming in black and white, and it’s coming faster than you think.

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Interesting day, indeed. Just make sure there isn't too much excitment over in your iTunes library.


Thanks for reading.