The Sore-Thumb Edition Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Mac Pro Lives: Apple Promises New Gear, by Chuq Von Rospach

I think we can all be annoyed that Apple seemingly lost track of the mac market and that these products weren’t in the pipeline all along, but in reality, mistakes happen, and these mistakes are notable mostly because Apple makes so few major mistakes — so this sticks out like a sore thumb. What really matters to me is that Apple recognized it, figured out how to fix it, owned up to it, told us about that, and is now moving forward in a direction I think solves the problem. Maybe not soon enough for some, but hardware takes time…. And that’s better than never.


I am impressed Apple was willing to do this, and I’m impressed with the decisions they made. Now, all they need to do is follow through with the products I know they’re capable of. It’s never easy to say ‘I Screwed up’, so much appreciation for the fact that they did.

Rethinking Apple, by And Now It's All This

That the trash can Mac Pro design was a mistake was widely accepted in the Mac community from pretty early on. I suspect it sold well in the early days because there was a lot of pent-up demand for a new Pro, but Apple must have known long ago that it was a kind of a dud. There’s no shame in that; innovations are sometimes misdirected. It’s Apple’s slow response that’s disturbing.

And it’s slow in two ways. First, accepting the mistake and moving to fix it has taken about two years (I’m giving them a pass on the Pro’s first year). Second, it’ll be at least a year until the new design is ready for sale. This is a very long lead time for a mature product, especially when you’ve just admitted that your current version sucks.

Apple Warns iCloud Users Some Disabled Services Were Accidentally Re-enabled In iOS 10.3, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today sent out emails to a small number of iCloud users, warning them that a bug in iOS 10.3 may have caused some iCloud services that had been disabled to be mistakenly re-enabled.

The email asks iCloud users to revisit their iCloud settings to make sure to turn off any service that might have been turned on through the iOS 10.3 update.

The Great Laptop Stagnation, by M.G. Sielger, 500ish Words

The issue, as I see it, is the same reason why I thought the MacBook might be the last laptop I ever buy. We’re simply at the end of laptop innovation.

Believe me, I know this is a very dangerous thing to say in any field of technology. I run the risk of Phil Schiller getting up on stage and doing a “can’t innovate anymore, my ass” while unveiling a new, sleek device.

But I just don’t see it. The way forward is the iPad (and tablets in general) eating the laptop. This is still blasphemy to some folks, which is funny. This will happen eventually. Everything dies.


Apple iPad (2017) Review: The Best Feature Is The Price, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

But really, don't let the stuff you hear out there in Apple Land bother you. Investors and tech writers are wondering what Apple is Going To Do now that we know that nobody upgrades their iPads to new models every couple years. In the real world, people just use their iPads until they don't work and then they get new iPads. And what Apple is Going To Do is what it just did: just make a good iPad and sell it at a reasonable price.

Get one if you need one, but don't stress that you're missing out if you don't. Because it's an iPad.

Apple Music For Android Gets First Major Update With iOS 10-style Redesign, Lyrics, by Abner Li, 9to5Mac

Apple Music for Android has received a huge revamp today to match the release of iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad last September. That redesign is now making its way to the streaming service’s Android app. The interface is nearly identical with features like iOS 10-specific features including lyrics and an improved Library available on Android for the first time.

OmniGroup Releases OmniOutliner 5, $10 Essentials Edition And Pro Upgrade, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

OmniGroup on Wednesday released OmniOutliner 5, which it is calling the biggest update to the outlining app ever. Available in both a $10 Essentials edition (replacing Standard) and an improved Pro version, the changes to the former are said to focus on simplicity for the newcomer, while the latter brings extra features for the power user.

Ulysses 2.8 Update Brings Touch ID Text Library Support, New Filter Options, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Beyond the new access protection, the update enhances Ulysses' document management features, like groups and filters. Filters can now be used to narrow down the library content based on negative criteria. In other words, users can search for texts that don't contain a specific word, phrase or keyword.

The Best Apple Watch App For Tracking Sleep, by Joe Caiati, The Sweet Setup

AutoSleep’s combination of convenience, accuracy, and analytics set itself apart from competitors. With minimal effort, you can get meaningful data on your sleeping habits after an initial well done on-boarding.

Microsoft Launches Sprinkles, A Silly Camera App Powered By Machine Learning, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The gist with Sprinkles, clearly aimed at a teen audience, is to offer a variety of traditional photo decorating tools like stickers, emoji and captions, but leverages Microsoft’s machine learning and A.I. capabilities to do things like detect faces, determine the photo subject’s age and emotion, figure out your celebrity look-a-like, suggest captions, and more.


Knowing When To Quit Is As Important As Having Grit, by Susan David, Quartz

While the passion part of grit is important, it’s only healthy when you are managing the passion, rather than letting it manage you. Passion that becomes an obsession to the point of obscuring other important life activities is not going to help you thrive. You can persevere—working like a dog at a project or task, and possibly even deriving a sense of accomplishment from it—but if all that effort and determination is not in service of your life’s goals, then it’s just not serving you.


Why I’m Giving Up On The iPad Pro, by Anthony Caruana, Lifehacker

Where the iPad lets me down is when working offline. The iPad I’m using has cellular comms which means it works really well for everything as long as I have access to WiFi or 3G/4G/LTE.

But it’s a real pain in the butt when I’m working offline.


I understand this isn’t an issue with iOS or the iPad but getting developers to change their apps isn’t easy.

Pizza Wednesday

How A Jokey Quest To Find McDonald's Pizza Became A Very Real Obsession, by Cara Giaimo, Atlas Obscura

Brian Thompson’s new podcast starts straightforwardly enough. “Welcome to Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?,” he intones at the beginning of the first episode, “a podcast where I ask the question, ‘Whatever happened to the pizza at McDonald’s?’” After introducing himself, he cuts (or slices) directly to the chase: “Let’s call McDonald’s and see whatever happened to their pizza.”


Thirty-four unlikely episodes later, Thompson has chased his titular question through complicated corporate dial-up menus, across gulfs of conflicting information, and finally all the way to Pomeroy, Ohio, one of only two locations in the United States that still has a pizza oven fired up. (The other is in West Virginia.) He has spoken to McDonald’s representatives in various states and on three continents, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “The actual investigation is now kind of a real thing, and is branching out in all kinds of interesting ways,” he says.

Bottom of the Page

Now that Apple done back-to-back discontinuation of both the design of the first-generation Mac Pro (cheese grater) and the second-generation Mac Pro (trash can), should anybody buy into Apple's design of the third-generation Mac Pro? Or, if one still buy into the macOS ecosystem, perhaps one should consider that even for professional Macintosh machines, one need to replace the entire the machine every few years, instead of upgrading the internals every few years?


It certainly seems to me that every time when I am very hungry while commuting back home after work, someone will inevitably bring KFC fried chicken onto the bus that I'm in...


Thanks for reading.