One of the true gems on The Apple Archive is this video about Easy Pay, a roaming payment solution Apple used in its retail stores back in my day.
Rumor around Apple Retail was that this video was not officially-sanctioned, and that the people involved had been let go after it surfaced. Sean Hollister at The Verge has gotten to the bottom of this once and for all:
I can guess what you’re thinking, but no, these employees were not fired — in fact, a LinkedIn profile suggests lead singer Brian Maslow spent five more years at the company and got promoted first to train his fellow Apple retail employees, later trained Whole Foods employees, and is now a manager of talent development at NBCUniversal.
That’s good news, but the video is still very, very bad.
My thanks to Koombea for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week. If you are working on a tech project and have big expectations for it, you should talk to the Koombea Team.
This week on the show:
After working out what the award should be for the two Chairman spots, the boys ponder the future of the iPad Pro’s accessories and the holes on the back of the rack-mounted Mac Pro. Then, Myke provides a tour of CES.
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Sam Gold has put together the ultimate Apple press imagery archive. I’m blown away by the work that must have gone into this.
This time on Liftoff:
2020 is here, as are updates on the James Webb telescope and SLS. NASA has inducted some new astronauts and the star Betelgeuse is getting weird.
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If you need a Mac Pro (or 100) to stuff them into some server racks, orders are now open, starting at $500 more than the standard tower. I would love to know why air holes on the back of the two configurations look different:
Sadly, the Radeon Pro W5700X GPU option is still not available, and now Apple is promising an option for two Radeon Pro W5700Xs. This GPU should slot between the default Radeon Pro 580x and $2,400 Radeon Pro Vega II. Likewise, no additional GPUs are on sale yet, nor is the Afterburner. I was hoping that these modules would be on sale now, but customers who want more power are still waiting.
This week on Ungeniused, a surprisingly unsettling topic:
What’s the deal with “Best By” and “Sell By” dates? Will taking old medicine hurt you? All of that and more, as Stephen and Myke explore the rather non-specific world of expiration dates.
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Hard G is a new Mac app that brings Giphy search to your Mac’s menu bar or desktop. It makes it easy to drag and drop GIFs to other Mac apps like Messages:
For years, I’ve used a custom Alfred workflow — which you can download as a .zip here — to search Giphy quickly, but Hard G makes it a lot faster.
I do wish that Hard G had the ability to right-click a GIF and be able to copy its URL for pasting into apps where drag and drop is a bit weird. Likewise, being able to copy a GIF to the clipboard would be huge. Hopefully we see these features in a future update.
Hard G can be found on the Mac App Store for $9.99. That’s an introductory price; it will go up to $14.99 on the 21st of this month.
Filipe Espósito, at 9to5Mac:
The latest macOS Catalina 10.15.3 beta build contains references to a new “Pro Mode,” which can be turned on and off by users. Some strings mention that “Apps may run faster, but battery life may decrease and fan noise may increase” and “Fan speed limit overridden” when the Pro Mode is activated.
As these strings are directly related to the macOS power management system, we think that it will be possible to temporarily improve the machine’s performance by ignoring some restrictions to save energy. The internal fans will run at a higher speed with Pro Mode, probably to avoid thermal throttling issues. Similar to Do Not Disturb, Pro Mode is supposed to be automatically disabled by the next day.
This seems cool, but it makes me wish for better thermals across the MacBook line.