The Car-Talk Edition Friday, December 23, 2016

Cars And Trucks And Mac SUVs, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

So maybe it’s a mistake to think that Macs are trucks. Maybe today’s Macs are more like SUVs: they’re more expensive and better appointed cars. It’s a category that’s just as popular as the car, and way more popular than the pickup truck.

If Apple decides the largest market for Macs is the SUV market—people who want to buy a computer, but don’t really need to be Professional Grade—Where does that leave the harder-core pro users?

Problems, Big And Small

Does Your iPhone 7 Plus Have This Camera Issue?, by Raymond Wong, Mashable

A number of people are reporting their iPhone 7 Plus cameras are "breaking", with the rear camera(s) lenses only showing a black screen, or flashes of green or purple.

New MacBook Pros Fail To Earn Consumer Reports Recommendation, by Jerry Beilinson, Consumer Reports

Battery life is an important attribute for a laptop, and it it represents a significant portion of our overall score. After factoring together our complete test results, Consumer Reports finds that all three MacBook Pro laptops fail to meet our standards for recommended models.

This is a real departure from past MacBooks. Most Apple laptops have scored well in our battery test, typically lasting much longer than the manufacturer has claimed.

Uber Explains Why It Looks Like Its App Is Still Tracking Your Location, Long After Drop-off, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Many users had realized that Uber’s app appeared to have recently checked their location, according to their iPhone Settings.

But Uber says this is behavior that’s being triggered by the iOS Maps extension that Apple opened up in September. It’s not due to a bug in the Uber app nor is it a consequence of the recent location services update, the company told us.

Super Mario Run’s Not-So-Super Gender Politics, by Chris Suellentrop, New York Times

Unfortunately, despite Nintendo’s history and reputation, Super Mario Run is not a family-friendly game — or at least not one my wife and I will be letting our 6-year-old daughter play. The game is rife with stale, retrograde gender stereotypes — elements that were perhaps expected in 1985, when the first Super Mario Bros. was released in the United States, but that today are just embarrassing.

Inbox 101

Why Time Management Is Ruining Our Lives, by Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian

You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas. Which paths will you pursue, and which will you abandon? Which relationships will you prioritise, during your shockingly limited lifespan, and who will you resign yourself to disappointing? What matters?

For Merlin Mann, consciously confronting these questions was a matter of realising that people would always be making more claims on his time – worthy claims, too, for the most part – than it would be possible for him to meet. And that even the best, most efficient system for managing the emails they sent him was never going to provide a solution to that. “Eventually, I realised something,” he told me. “Email is not a technical problem. It’s a people problem. And you can’t fix people.”


Investigating ChronoSync 4.7 For Cloud Backup, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

Cloud-hosted backup services offer an attractive price for automated backups, strong support for retaining older versions, and excellent redundancy. But that all comes at the cost of ceding some level of control, and that’s what you get back with ChronoSync.

The key advantages to using ChronoSync and separately contracted storage are that files end up stored in a directly retrievable format, and you control all the encryption options.

Apple Unveils A New Look For The iCloud Photos App, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

The interface is still missing some features found on the Mac and iOS versions including Memories and Faces.

Pokémon Go Arrives On The Apple Watch, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The new smartwatch app lets you more easily play Pokémon without having to always pull out your phone. Instead, you can tap to find nearby Pokémon, collect items from PokéStops, and even log your gameplay as a “workout.”

New Apple Watch Series 2 ‘Go Swim’ Promo Highlights Water-resistant Design, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Continuing its recent deluge of Apple Watch advertisements, Apple today has shared a new clip highlighting the device. The video, entitled “Go Swim,” highlights the water-resistant design of the Series 2 model.


Apple And Nokia Battle Over Cellphone Patents, by Vindu Goel, New York Times

Central to the latest dispute between Apple and Nokia is what is a fair and reasonable fee to use Nokia technology that is now part of every smartphone. Patent lawyers say there has been a tradition of charging a modest royalty for patents on standard technologies. Previously, Nokia fought bitter legal battles with other smartphone makers, including Samsung and LG, over how they used its patents.

As Nokia seeks to require Apple to pay to license more of its patents, some of its recent claims may be hard to justify. In one of its lawsuits filed on Wednesday, it says Apple is violating a patent Nokia received two months ago for an electronic device case that includes a hole for a camera lens in the back and room for a battery beneath the display, features that have been common to smartphones for many years.