The Hidden-Coins Edition Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Day Experience With Apple’s AirPods, by Nir Dremer, Medium

While cooking I walked around the house forgetting the phone in the Kitchen and the music continued flawlessly. Given their tiny size the supported distance was a delightful surprise.

People Keep Finding Coins In Their MacBooks And Nobody Knows Why, by Bryan Menegus, Gizmodo

Earlier this week, an Imgur user named Greatease uploaded some photos that explain the key difference between an Apple SuperDrive and a run-of-the-mill optical drive. Namely that his or her SuperDrive had a US penny wedged underneath the plastic cover.

As an isolated incident, finding money crammed into a rapidly-spinning computer part is of course strange. Did it fall in? Is it serving some crucial operational purpose? Thing is, Greatease is far from the only person to discover loose change in their optical drive.

Regulating The App Store

Russia Requires Apple And Google To Remove LinkedIn From Local App Stores, by Cecilia Kang, New York Times

Smartphone users in Russia can no longer download the LinkedIn app on iPhone or Android devices, following a similar move in China to block The New York Times app on iPhones.

The demand by Russian authorities to remove LinkedIn in Apple and Google app stores comes weeks after a court blocked the professional networking service for flouting local laws that require internet firms to store data on Russian citizens within the nation’s borders.

Apple Is Not The Only Tech Company Kowtowing To China’s Censors, by Melissa Chan, The Guardian

Apple’s problem today, is another foreign company’s conundrum tomorrow. Its dependance on China serves as a case study for how the story will repeatedly, dismally play out. All this stops only when the financial incentives to do business in China, and with China, disappear.

Christmas Bonuses

Tim Cook And Other Apple Execs Miss Out On Bonus Pay After Disappointing 2016, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple raked in $215.6 billion in sales in 2016, but it wasn't enough to keep the company from reporting its first year-over-year sales decline since 2001. According to the company's definitive proxy statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company's sales declined from $233.7 billion in 2015, and its operating income likewise fell from $71.2 billion in 2015 to $60.0 billion in 2016. The decline in these two metrics was enough to significantly cut incentive-based pay for Tim Cook and a number of other high-level Apple executives.


Apple Highlights Wallpapers Created With Its Products To Celebrate The Chinese New Year, by John Voorhees, MacStories

In anticipation of the Chinese New Year, which begins January 28th, Apple commissioned wallpapers for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone from five artists. Apple describes the wallpapers, which are available on its websites in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, as ‘new interpretations of traditional Chinese New Year Nianhua folk art.’

Portrait Mode For Everybody: Here Are 4 Apps That Mimic The iPhone 7 Plus' Exclusive Feature, by Paul K., PhoneArena

The app stores are full of apps that promise the perfect blur, bokeh, “aperture effects”, or however else they word it, but only a few of them are at least close to being good. We spent hours looking for the right ones and fished out 4 apps that are actually usable and do what is required of them. Yup, we couldn't even get to 5.

Time Review: Powered By AI And You, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

The point of Time, however, is not to help you manage your life; instead, it wants to help you start and finish tasks as quickly as possible. To do this, Time starts a running clock once you tap to begin a task. As the time ticks down, “liquid” leaves the container in the background, changing color from green, to yellow, to red as you get closer to the time limit. Don’t finish the task in time and you’ll see the timer go up and stay red, signaling that you’re working in the overtime period.


How Content Creators Are Exploited By Monoliths Apple, Google, Facebook, by Peter Bart, Deadline Hollywood

Swift’s rebellion may pay dividends long term by pointing up this broader question: Why is it that, while vastly more creative content is being consumed worldwide, less revenue is flowing to the people who create it?

Canada's Competition Watchdog Closes Two-year Apple Probe, by Alastair Sharp, Reuters

Toronto Canada's Competition Bureau on Friday said it had not found sufficient evidence that Apple Inc had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, closing a two-year investigation into the iPhone maker.

Sleep Tech Is Flooding The Market. Here's How It Works, by Megan Thielking, Stat

They’re showcasing snooze-inducing headphones and smart pillowcases, beds with built-in foot warmers, and belts that track every toss and turn. There are smart alarm clocks designed to make it as pleasant as possible to drag yourself out of bed on a Monday morning. There’s even an app that can record your snoring — and everything you say in your sleep.

All of this is supposed to make you sleep better.

But it’s not clear what you’re supposed to do with all the data these products generate.