Courage, Apple?

John Gruber on Apple’s lack of courage regarding vaccination of their employees:

So where’s Apple on this? Why isn’t Apple requiring proof of vaccination for employees, including for retail employees and customers? Why reserve courageous decisions only for removing headphone jacks?

Boom.

Photo by Marisol Benitez on Unsplash

Remembering that day

I was at the office. A normal day. It was a perfect sunny and more than usual mild September day. Blue sky. Then the news struck. At first, I didn’t understand what was actually happening. The internet went slow, to the point of becoming unusable. My colleagues started to leave their desks. We all turned to the TV set in the employees cafeteria. It was such a unique accident, we all thought. Then, the second plane, which marked a turning point in our history of modern barbarism. We are still trying to recover from it. I think of this day so often, each time with deception and bitterness because we didn’t learned the right lessons.

Side note: I find the American society fascinating. They seems to treat those who died on 9-11 differently then those who die each year from guns. The latter are more than three times those who died on 9-11. Each year. The US spent close to 6 000 billions dollars on war since 2001. It didn’t fix anything. How much do they spend on guns to try to fix this problem? Fascinating indeed.

Photo by Magnus Olsson on Unsplash

About the Store, the Store Tab.

There is so much to think or write about a simple “Store” tab. Something so “obvious” can lead to weird design decisions, even for Apple. I love this (rare) blog post from Ken Segall.

Sarcasm ON: “I’m feeling inspired by Apple’s new way of thinking. It’s liberating. Who needs “Apple” when you have “Store”? Generic is just so much easier, don’t you think?” - Ken Segall

To be honest, I don’t remember when there was a dedicated Store section on the Apple.com website. Apple brought it back, leaving “Buy” buttons scattered around every single product pages. It is now so much easier to buy something from Apple these days.

Sarcasm OFF

Four days week day? We can only dream it seems

Again, Matt Birchler: > technology and improved general productivity always had the promise of letting us work less, and yet today we work more than ever and have less than before Source: A Four Day Work Week? Yes, Please!

I sure wish we had this four days work week. I cannot see the day it will become reality. The problem in IT where I work, there is a worsening trend of a lack of qualified people for many IT fields. This trend puts pressure on those who are qualified to do more working hours.

Do you remember when you switched to Apple’s ecosystem?

Matt Birchler writing about Apple ecosystem stickiness:

“As I buy more and more Apple products, all of those Apple products get better. My iPhone is more valuable because of the HomePod Mini I AirPlay my podcast to while I’m working. My iPad gets more valuable because it has seamless file sync with my Mac. Reminders is better because it works with Siri in a way no other app is allowed. The list goes on. But this is of course also a bit of a trap. I can’t really get an Android phone, even if I think I would enjoy it more than my iPhone, because then my HomePods become worse, my Mac gets worse, my iPad gets worse, and my Apple services get worse. Because each additional Apple product makes all my other Apple products better, likewise removing something from that mix brings down everything else.”

You cannot use an Apple Watch with an Android smartphone. In Apple’s garden, every product has an extension that takes the form of a service or another physical product from Apple. Did we forget that once upon a time we made a switch from platforms like Windows or OS/2? When a new offering is really making a difference, we tend to switch. Back in the days, a Windows PC was an island, leaving it for the Mac meant that you had to re-buy new software, a few accessories. All things equal, the switch wasn’t necessarily funny. Today’s digital world is quite different, for sure, but pose a similar kind of challenge when switching.

Photo by Miguel Tomás on Unsplash

When a 2013 MacBook Air is > than a two-years old Chromebook

I’ll be getting a old 2013 MacBook Air for one of my son to replace an aging Chromebook that I bought about two years ago. Think about it. This eight years old MacBook Air is faster, much better design, much better screen quality, more memory and will be able to run macOS Big Sur and all other apps like iWorks et al. I find this incredible that we can read and hear people saying Apple gear is expansive and that is under Apple’s obsolescence progamming. I call this bullshit.

User Interface design dark age era

We are in the dark age (not dark mode!) of user interface design for sure. We get excited for new animated UI elements (example here), but overall, delight has been lost in translation a long time ago. As Mike Rockwell is a link post say: >“I can’t really identify anything that I’ll be nostalgic for in ten or twenty years.”

I wouldn’t go back to pre-iOS 7 days but there has to be some delightful in-between degree of crafted user interface that had some real joyful elements in them. Apple is not the only one at fault here. It looks like it is a design trend spanning many mediums (print, TV, web, etc.). >Has the industry decided that our devices have reached a level of maturity that warrants making everything minimal, sterile, and utilitarian to help “do work” and “get stuff done”?

Excellent question, Tyler Hall.

What comes before the right to repair? (#apple #righttorepair)

The next step for Apple is to design for repairability which goes beyond recycling. AirPods are the worst example of this. When the battery life on these is reached, there is no practical way to replace them without throwing it to the trash and buying a new one. So for me, the right to repair goes way beyond having a choice of where I’m going to take a device for repair. It is about buying a device that was designed for and built to use recycled materials, but also it is about buying a device that can be repaired for basic things like battery replacement.

Going to space… to watch a burning planet.

So Richard Branson went to space. Next, Jeff Bezos. And then, what? Is there any scientific purposes in these flights to space? Nope, not directly at least. Is this a publicity stunt? Yes and no. I’m not at ease seeing billionnaires spending their pretty money on something that don’t bring value to a community except for themselve. Oh, they want to start a new commercial flight in space business apparently, for billionaires:

Branson’s flight — which came just nine days before Amazon bilionaire Jeff Bezos is slated to rocket into suborbital space aboard his own company’s spacecraft — is a landmark moment for the commercial space industry. The up-and-coming sector has for years been seeking to make suborbital space tourism (a relatively simple straight-up-and-down flight, as opposed to orbiting the Earth for longer periods) a viable business with the aim of allowing thousands of people to experience the adrenaline rush and sweeping views of our home planet that such flights can offer.

Is there a better way to spend our resources to see the burning planet from space? Gosh.

What if nobody really knows what is going on? (#google #privacy #surveillance)

What if nobody at Google knows exactly what their data hungry engine is all about? I mean, what if nobody has a global picture, so nobody can say “oh my god, it’s terrible, we must stop it!”. This makes me think of the nazis in second world war: very few had a global picture of what was really going on. It was devised this way so it was easier to “manage” and keep the machine humming.

Since I began extensively testing iPadOS 15, my idea of upgrading my 2018 11” iPad Pro to a 2021 12.9” version is suddenly less tempting… what does this even tell about the very nature of iPadOS 15 for the iPad Platform?

On design trends — sadness

While reading a recent article from Basic Apple Guy about News+, there is this illustration that shows how far Apple News icon has come since its beginnings. I have included the illustration here. It shows how bad design has become in the last five to ten years. That is really depressing to see. As much as things like AR and LiDAR technology help bring real world and virtual world closer together, UI design seems to go the opposite direction. Why is that? When will that trend stop and maybe revert a bit? Why can’t we get visually joyful icons anymore? Is it a matter of design costs being too high?

On Antitrust legislation and Apple iPhone experience

I always thought that politicians and their aides don’t really have clues about technology in general. If you want to fuck up something in tech, ask the politicians. This is exactly what could happen if these antitrust legislation proposal become laws.

Imagine that: you take out your brand new iPhone out of its box, turn it on only to be welcomed with an empty screen, no builtin apps, just a simple “Hello”. In the name of what: competition. Developers like the one behind Basecamp and HEY would be so happy, because in this hypothetic world they would feel in better position to compete against Apple. What a bunch of retards.

I just wish this type of legislation would be in effect in the US, so that here in Canada, we would continue to get the standard iPhone experience.

It was a reminder that technology can play unexpected roles in our lives. Source: Seeing Death From a Distance, Through FaceTime Calls - Numeric Citizen Blog

The Pandemic Effects on my Digital Good Purchases

I never bought so many applications and utilities or subscribed to so many services since the beginning of the pandemic. For the latter, I had to use Apple’s Number just to keep track of all of them😳🤪. Because I’m working from home since March 2020, my work-related expanses are close to zero. I don’t go buy a coffee or snacks in the middle of the workday as I used to. I don’t buy transportation titles anymore. I no longer commute. Furthermore, I no longer travel. My home office setup upgrade is complete. This mean that I have more to spend on something else. I’m more inclined to buy digital goods. Some are impulse buys. That’s why I invested in many macOS applications and utilities which gave me the idea of writing this article “Tips & Tricks & Utilities for Boosting Your Productivity with Apple’s macOS Big Sur”.

I don’t know if a return to normal will push me to cancel any of my applications or utilities subscriptions. I don’t think so as I think they are needed and useful to my blogger workflow. I return to this commuting world as I’ll keep working from home forever. I’m not alone and this makes me wonder how profound changes caused by this pandemic could be on so many economic levels.

Well, if that was the case, this would add fuel to any anti-trust initiative. No?

iMessage Kept Off Android for iOS Lock-in initialcharge.net/2021/04/i…

I should read this every day. Thanks to @gr36.

My micro.blog instant joy

Friday thinking… I find is so refreshing to be able to have decent conversations on the open web. There is no drama here, everything seems so… simple. It brings back some confidence about human’s capabilities to engage in respectful conversations…. That’s be because there are lots of nice guys here on Micro.blog… it is lacking elsewhere (no finger pointing here, I won’t name a platform… but, well, ya know, right?).

Returning to normal programming.

About these Read Later apps or services

Thought of the day: read later lists are useless for me. I tend to forget about the items I save in them. It was true with Instalaper, Pocket, Safari and now Reeder. I don’t read more because I save things in them. The trick for me is to read it now or else. Simple. The longer I wait to pick an article out of these lists, the less likely I will read it. So, I end up with a mass of unread and expired content. Are you more successful than me?

Guilty of Digital Consumerism (#apps #services #workflow)

Greg Morris on digital consumerism:

The level of consumerism and marketing tricks being used to sell apps and services is growing over time. They all promise to fix that gap in your work life, just like adverts promise to fix the one in your love life, or improve your happiness, or whatever it is. It’s all lies.

I cannot talk for others, but for me, when I’m jumping on another service or a new app, it’s because it offers a seizable improvement. Going from Notion to Craft is my latest example of such move. I’ll elaborate on this at length in a feature post in the very near future.

I recently wrote “Are we digital nomads?” My answer is yes. It seems we cannot stay in one place for a very long time, looking for the new, the latest and greatest, all the time. We’re bored. This is what it is. Form takes over function. Or is it? Again, my blogger workflow is full of moving parts and I consider it is an ongoing experiment.

About those WebP images (#google #usertracking #nonstandard)

WebP image format goal, according to Google:

WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster. WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.

I’ve seen more and more WebP images in recent months when I try to download an image from Safari. It’s frustrating. It’s not a standard. Making the web load faster so tracking scripts can run more easily, that the reason behind all those “initiatives” from Google. WebP is a terrible idea. AMP pages was a terrible idea. And FLOC is a terrible idea. Google is full of terrible ideas. Even for searching, Google is bad. Boy, I hate Google.

I’ve been using WebP Converter recently.

@Gaby I get a morning email digest from Mailbrew with my Twitter timeline and funnel YouTube and Reddit into RSS. The social apps are filled with recommendations and features designed to keep you “engaged”. But there’s always an actual bottom to my unread emails and RSS feeds.

Throughout the day, the only types of apps I “just check” are email, RSS, and my Micro.blog client. Micro.blog gets a pass because it seems to be filled with genuinely good people that post things that make me happy — at least that’s what I see in my timeline. :)

This setup gives me more time to read my read later items, to write, and work on other projects that actually accomplish something.

Here is a great way to put Mailbrew to work and help us create free time in our busy schedules.

Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets

More shit like this and I guess Twitter will be my next one to quit.

The beginning of the end for me and Twitter?

Owning media > streaming services

On paper, yes, but how do you cope in a “streaming-only” world?

Are we digital nomads? (#blogging #internet)

In the last few months, on Twitter and on Micro.blog, I’ve been witnessing something that takes the shape of a small phenomenon: people are moving from one place to another in the digital space. Many are writing about their experience of moving from one hosting site to another. Some are leaving WordPress to return to Ghost. Others are proudly putting together their hosting solutions. The same happens in the newsletters hosting space: people are leaving Mailchimp to go to Substack or Revue. People are looking to get better return on their investment both in time and money. Others are simply trying to optimize their blogging workflow. There is a myriad of reasons why people decide to leave a place for another one.

I find these numeric movements quite fascinating. Are you one of those guys?