Apple Announces 2022 Podcast, App Winners

Apple Newsroom has been busy. Today, the company announced the first-ever Apple Podcasts Award winner:

Apple today announced the Apple Podcasts Award honoring a Show of the Year and its team for outstanding quality, innovation, and impact. Inspired by the signature app icon, the Apple Podcasts Award represents Apple’s decades-long commitment to supporting creators as they share their voices with the world and helping listeners to discover the best podcasts.

The recipient of the Apple Podcasts Award is Slate’s critically acclaimed narrative history series, Slow Burn, for its latest season, Roe v. Wade, hosted by Slate executive editor Susan Matthews. Published throughout June 2022, the four-episode season explores the events leading up to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, offering listeners an in-depth perspective on this universal and timely human rights issue.

I haven’t heard this particular season of Slow Burn, but have loved previous seasons that I have heard.

Yesterday, Apple announced the 16 winners of the 2022 App Store Awards:

“This year’s App Store Award winners reimagined our experiences with apps that delivered fresh, thoughtful, and genuine perspectives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “From self-taught solo creators to international teams spanning the globe, these entrepreneurs are making a meaningful impact, and represent the ways in which apps and games influence our communities and lives.”

Orion Space Capsule Reaches Farthest Point From Earth During Artemis I Mission →

Leah Cheshier, writing yesterday for NASA:

NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft reached the farthest distance from Earth it will travel during the Artemis I mission — 268,563 miles from our home planet — just after 3 p.m. CST. The spacecraft also captured imagery of Earth and the Moon together throughout the day, including of the Moon appearing to eclipse Earth.

Reaching the halfway point of the mission on Flight Day 13 of a 25.5 day mission, the spacecraft remains in healthy condition as it continues its journey in distant retrograde orbit, an approximately six-day leg of its larger mission thousands of miles beyond the Moon.

That distance breaks the previous record for distance from Earth achieved by a crew-rated vehicle set by Apollo 13.1 As impressive as that is, the imagery is even better:

Artemis I Flight Day 13: Orion, Earth, and Moon


  1. Or Apollo 10’s spent lunar module, depending on who you ask. 

Kbase Article of the Week: Mac OS: How to Move the Control Strip →

Apple Support, on the Control Strip:

To move the Control Strip:

  1. Press and hold down the Option key.
  2. Drag the tab at the end of the Control Strip. If you drag it more than halfway
    across the display, the Control Strip moves to the other edge. If you have more than one display, you can drag the Control Strip to the left or right edge of the other display as well. The Control Strip always stays on the left or right edge of your display.

Changing the display’s resolution from a smaller setting to a larger one and restarting the computer moves the Control Strip higher up on the display.

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The 512 Pixels Holiday Gift Guide for People Like Me

It’s that time of year, so I’m happy to present my annual gift guide. If you have someone like me in your life, consider these suggestions:

Alexa, Where Did My $10 Billion Go? →

Ron Amadeo, writing for Ars Technica:

Amazon is going through the biggest layoffs in the company’s history right now, with a plan to eliminate some 10,000 jobs. One of the areas hit hardest is the Amazon Alexa voice assistant unit, which is apparently falling out of favor at the e-commerce giant. That’s according to a report from Business Insider, which details “the swift downfall of the voice assistant and Amazon’s larger hardware division.”

Alexa has been around for 10 years and has been a trailblazing voice assistant that was copied quite a bit by Google and Apple. Alexa never managed to create an ongoing revenue stream, though, so Alexa doesn’t really make any money. The Alexa division is part of the “Worldwide Digital” group along with Amazon Prime video, and Business Insider says that division lost $3 billion in just the first quarter of 2022, with “the vast majority” of the losses blamed on Alexa. That is apparently double the losses of any other division, and the report says the hardware team is on pace to lose $10 billion this year. It sounds like Amazon is tired of burning through all that cash.

Wooooof.

John Gruber:

What is (was?) Alexa about, strategically? I’ve often heard that the vague idea was that people would buy Alexa devices for obvious stuff (playing music, setting timers) but that eventually they’d starting using Alexa to buy stuff from Amazon — and thus wind up buying more stuff from Amazon than they would if they didn’t have an Alexa device in their house. That never made sense to me. Buying stuff via voice commands seems inherently uncertain — like buying a lottery ticket where you need some luck to actually get the product you think you told Alexa to buy. Even if it works, how is it any better than just shopping at Amazon on your phone, iPad, or computer? It seems worse to me, and no more convenient. How do you comparison shop via voice?

Kbase Article of the Week: Using iCal with Microsoft Entourage →

Apple Support:

iCal and the calendar feature of Microsoft Entourage can be used together–as long as you have iCal 1.5 or later and Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later installed.

If you have earlier versions of iCal or Mac OS X, when you try to add an iCal invitation to an Entourage calendar, an alert box with an error message could appear; an Entourage invitation received with the Mac OS X Mail application could appear as plain text instead of as an attachment; or, when you try to import or add an .ics file from Entourage into iCal by double-clicking the file’s icon, an alert box might appear.

If you weren’t around in the Entourage days, you really missed something. I ran it for years in college (as my school handed out Exchange accounts to students), and it was the hub for so much of my digital life.

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Kickstarter Progress Report: November 19

I just packed and labeled the final orders for the Kickstarter! The last set of packages will be taken to the post office Monday morning. It feels great to have reached this point the weekend before Thanksgiving.

(To be fair, there are still 23 of you who have not filled out a shipping survey! If you log in to Kickstarter, you will find a direct message from me with your survey URL!)

I have loved seeing the notes from those of you who have already received yours in the mail. Keep sending them my way!

Alexa in Spaaaaace →

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, writing at The Verge:

Earlier this summer, on the day Artemis I was originally scheduled to launch, I spent an hour testing out the capabilities of this new deep space voice assistant down on the ground at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

While this was a demo model (they wouldn’t let me in the spacecraft — I asked), as far as I could tell, it was an exact replica of the one on Orion, even down to the lack of an internet connection.

Back to the Moon →

Yours truly, speaking with Texas Standard earlier today about the Artemis I launch:

After the end of the space shuttle program, we really were kind of stuck in terms of getting a crew to space from American soil. And SpaceX and others are working to supply missions to the International Space Station, but there hasn’t been anything really since Apollo to get us further out into space. And so the SLS rocket, this Artemis 1 mission, is the first big step to put boots back on the moon for the first time in 50 years.

SLS Finally Flies

At 1:47 Eastern time this morning, NASA’s $20+ billion rocket finally left its launch pad:

Launch starts about 3:16:54 into the video.

The SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule have their roots all the way back into the early 2000s, as NASA prepared for a post-shuttle world.1 It’s taken longer — and cost more — than expected, but now NASA has a vehicle capable of returning crew to the moon.

There are a lot of complex issues around this rocket, including the fact that SpaceX is well on its way to building its own vehicle in this class. There is an argument to be made that NASA should focus on science and exploration, and let companies like SpaceX and ULA manage all the launch vehicle hardware, but for today, I’m just glad to see this thing make it off the ground for the first time.

If you want to keep up with how the mission goes, be sure to check out NASA’s Artemis blog. It has its own RSS feed and everything.


  1. In fact, much of the SLS itself is made of recycled and upgraded shuttle hardware. The idea was that by re-using flight-proven hardware designs, the rocket could be built more quickly and for less money. 

Kbase Article of the Week: Centris 610 and 650: Floating-Point Unit Upgrades →

Apple Support:

You can upgrade the Macintosh Centris 610 or 650 with an FPU, but Apple doesn’t provide or support such an upgrade. You must rely on third-party companies who can remove the 68LC040 from its socket and replace it with a 68RC040. Since Apple doesn’t intend to offer an upgrade, we can’t guarantee that the processor will remain a socketed component.

There aren’t very many compatibility problems with non-FPU systems. While the addition of an FPU allows certain types of applications to execute faster, these applications tend to be more technical in nature. Business applications — such as spreadsheets, databases and word processors — don’t require an FPU to run.

Most applications check to see if there’s an FPU present. If one doesn’t exist, they emulate the floating point instructions in software. There are a few applications that expect or require an FPU. These applications will present problems and we anticipate most software developers will revise these products.

The Centris line is a weird, sad story in Mac history.

Emergency SOS via Satellite Available in US and Canada →

Apple Newsroom:

Every model in the iPhone 14 lineup — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — can connect directly to a satellite through a combination of custom-designed components and deeply integrated software. Emergency SOS via satellite builds on existing features vital to iPhone users, including Emergency SOS, Medical ID, emergency contacts, and Find My location sharing, offering the ability to connect to a satellite for a more 360-degree approach to sharing critical information with emergency services, family, and friends. This game-changing service allows Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) — or emergency services call centers — to connect to even more users in emergency situations, and requires no additional software or protocols to enable communications. Users will be connected directly to emergency services that are equipped to receive text messages, or to relay centers with Apple-trained emergency specialists who are ready to contact PSAPs that cannot receive text messages on the user’s behalf.

“Providing Emergency SOS via satellite is an important breakthrough that will save lives. The critical work being done by Apple to create innovative new solutions to support 911 providers and first responders is a huge step forward in protecting Californians and the broader public during an emergency situation,” said Mark Ghilarducci, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ director.

iJustine has a video up, showing a demo of the feature:

I really hope I never need to use this, but I’m glad it’s built into my iPhone 14 Pro.

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Facades →

Apple Retail expert Michael Steeber has a new app out today:

Five years ago, I opened the Notes app on my Mac and began creating a hub for all of my Apple Retail information. The document started small, but it eventually ballooned and overshadowed the app. It wielded a tiny scroll bar and depleted system resources just to open and search. I needed a better way to find store information at a glance.

Starting today, there is a better way.

This is Facades, my new app for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. With Facades, you can browse, discover, and bookmark a catalog of every current and former Apple Store.

Stores are grouped into convenient categories, so you can browse by location, design style, or store feature. I’ve included lists of moved, renamed, and closed stores. Store trends and statistics are illustrated with colorful charts. There’s even a list of unassigned store rollout numbers.

Facades is really well done, and is a free download.

Reminders Feature Request: Better List Support on macOS

I’ve been using Reminders since WWDC and have been happy with the progress the app has made since the summer.

However, one UI inconsistency is really getting to me. I’ll quote myself from the Feedback I filed (#FB11779798) with Apple today:

On the iPhone and iPad, the task inspection pane can move the tasks to a different list. On macOS, the pane lacks this option, and the only way to move a task to a different list is via drag and drop. The iPhone and iPad UI should be present on the Mac for the best usability between devices.

You can see the discrepancy in these two screenshots:

In general, I think bringing iOS-first user interfaces to the Mac is clumsy at best,1 but I’d make the trade for a more useful — and usable — Reminders app on macOS.


  1. Cough, System Settings, cough, cough. 

2023 Apple History Calendar: November 11 Progress Report →

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn here in Memphis. Leaves are falling, as is the temperature. In the PodCabin, I’ve been hard at work packing and shipping calendars. Yesterday, I hosted a live stream doing just that:

As of this writing, I have about 300 packages left to pack and send out! All in all, this year’s fulfillment has gone much smoother than last time. I learned a lot about the process last time around that is really paying off this year.

I am still missing surveys from about two dozen of you! If you haven’t filled out a survey on BackerKit, please check your private messages on Kickstarter — there, you will find a link to your survey to confirm your address.

If you didn’t back this project, but want a calendar, stickers or other goodies, I have pre-orders open for another couple of weeks.

Verified Twitter Account Announces Free Insulin →

…but as you can probably imagine, that verified badge cost someone a mere $8. Jordan Liles has more:

On Nov. 10, 2022, a Twitter account with a “verified” checkmark badge and a display name of “Eli Lilly and Company” tweeted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The account’s handle was @EliLiIlyandCo. However, this was nothing more than a parody account, as its bio clearly said.

The message was engaged with tens of thousands of times. At last check, it was nearing 20,000 combined reweets, quote tweets, and likes.

Don’t get me wrong, companies like Eli Lilly charge a criminal amount for insulin and other medications, but this is exactly the sort of thing that was bound to happen under Twitter’s new pay-to-be-verified scheme.

Maybe a lawsuit or two will help that sink in over at Twitter HQ. At least the new system has been paused for now.

“Get Me Out of Here” →

Adi Robertson has more experience reviewing AR and VR products than just about anyone else, and wow does she have some words for Meta’s new $1,499 Quest Pro:

The problem is, the Quest Pro isn’t very good. It’s a device seemingly launched without plan or purpose, highlighting VR’s persistent drawbacks without making good use of its strengths — and topped off with some irredeemably bad software. We might be seeing a roadmap for where Meta is going, but right now, it’s not a particularly fun place to be. And if Meta lingers there much longer, its metaverse is in trouble.

Artemis I Rocket Rode Out Hurricane Nicole, Saw Winds Above Specified Safety Levels →

As Hurricane Nicole spun over Florida, NASA’s bajillion dollar SLS rocket sat atop Launch Complex-39B. Eric Berger:

Prior to Nicole’s arrival, NASA said its SLS rocket was designed to withstand wind gusts of 74.4 knots. Moreover, the agency stated on Tuesday in a blog post, “Current forecasts predict the greatest risks at the pad are high winds that are not expected to exceed the SLS design.”

From the publicly available data, however, it appears that the rocket was exposed to wind gusts near, at, or above 74.4 knots for several hours on Thursday morning. A peak gust of 87 knots was reported on the National Weather Service site, with multiple gusts above NASA’s design levels. It is possible that the 74.4-knot design limit has some margin built into it.

The time the space agency would have needed to begin rolling the rocket back to safety within the Vehicle Assembly Building, Nicole’s estimated winds were far below the safety margin. Time will tell if the choice to keep the rocket outside was a bad one, as Berger writes:

According to Phil Metzger, an engineer who worked on the space shuttle program for NASA, the most likely concern will be the structural integrity of the rocket after being exposed to prolonged periods of high winds. A rocket is designed to go upward, so although its structure can endure intense pressure and winds in a vertical direction, it is not designed to withstand similar winds in the horizontal direction.

In a series of tweets, Metzger predicted that it will be a busy couple of weeks for structural engineers to assess the risks of damage from the storm and potentially seek waivers to fly the vehicle after its exposure to these loads. This will be a difficult task. There is no ability to X-ray the structures inside the rocket, so this process will involve running, and re-running, structural calculations. At some point the program’s leadership will have to decide whether the risk—which includes the potential for the rocket to break apart during launch—is too high to fly without further inspections or remedial work.

Jim Free, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development, issued a statement on the issue, citing slower wind speeds than otherwise reported:

While wind sensors at the launch pad detected peak wind gusts up to 82 mph (71 knots) at the 60-foot level, this is within the rocket’s capability. We anticipate clearing the vehicle for those conditions shortly.

Our team is conducting initial visual check-outs of the rocket, spacecraft, and ground system equipment with the cameras at the launch pad. Camera inspections show very minor damage such as loose caulk and tears in weather coverings. The team will conduct additional onsite walk down inspections of the vehicle soon.

We took the decision to keep Orion and SLS at the launch pad very seriously, reviewing the data in front of us and making the best decision possible with high uncertainty in predicting the weather four days out. With the unexpected change to the forecast, returning to the Vehicle Assembly Building was deemed to be too risky in high winds, and the team decided the launch pad was the safest place for the rocket to weather the storm.

On Albums, Shared Photos Libraries and Keywords →

I have begun the messy process of merging much of my Photos library with my wife’s. At the end of this project, I can see a beautiful world in which we have access to tens of thousands of photos, with complete metadata and no duplicates.

It’s going to take me a while to get there, but I’ve already hit one snag: there are no albums in iCloud Shared Photo libraries. Jason Snell has more:

I have no idea if Apple considers this an item for its to-do list or if it has decided that albums are old school and everyone should just search to find and collect stuff now. Fortunately, there are workarounds to this problem that allow you to collaborate with others in curating and collecting photos—but with limitations.

Every item in the Photos library can be assigned a keyword, and keywords are synced across iCloud Shared Photos. So if you want to collaborate with other members of your iCloud Shared Photo library—or even if you just want them to be able to view the curation and selection—you can do this by selecting all the photos you want to collect and assigning them a keyword.

With keywords, members of the library have another tool for searching across thousands of entries, and on the Mac at least, smart albums can be built based on keywords.

This is not what I want out of this feature, but it’s better than nothing. I’m sure once I get everything as organized as possible, Apple will add albums back to this new product.

The Sad Saga of the 500 MHz Power Mac G4

In August 1999, Apple announced the first Power Mac G4:1

The Power Mac G4 is powered by the revolutionary new PowerPC G4 chip architected by Apple, Motorola and IBM, and is the first personal computer in history to deliver supercomputer-level performance of over one billion floating-point operations per second. The Power Mac G4s run professional applications like Adobe’s Photoshop up to twice as fast as 600MHz Pentium III-based PCs.

The G4 chip incorporates a new execution unit named the Velocity Engine — the heart of a supercomputer miniaturized onto a sliver of silicon. In a set of Intel’s own tests published on their web site, the 500MHz G4 chip was 2.94 times as fast as the 600MHz Pentium III processor.

“The Power Mac G4 is not only the fastest Mac ever, it’s the fastest personal computer ever,” said Apple’s interim CEO Steve Jobs. “The revolutionary G4 processor with its remarkable Velocity Engine is the first ‘supercomputer on a chip,’ delivering over one gigaflop of sustained performance.”

The new lineup was clad in a more mature version of the Blue and White G3’s case, but on the inside, things were a bit confusing.

Power Mac G4

At the low end was the Power Mac G4 (PCI Graphics) clocked at 400 MHz. It was joined by the Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics), with 450 and 500 MHz configurations.

In the November 1999 edition of Macworld, Andrew Gore explained the differences between the models:

In the initial Power Mac G4 lineup, are two different configurations, one an intermediate step between the faster G4s and the blue-and-white Power Mac G3, and the other a high-end configuration featuring impressive new technologies.

In order to get one model in the G4 lineup down under $2,000-and to get it out to customers as soon as possible Apple placed a 400MHz G4 processor onto a slightly modified version of the blue-and-white G3’s logic board and put the board in the new Power .Mac G4 case. In almost all other respects, the low-end Power Mac G4 is exactly the same as the G3 Power Macs. One notable exception: none of the Power Mac G4 models feature an ADB port.

The article was joined by this helpful table of specs:

G4 specs, as of fall 1999

Toward the end of the piece, Gore wrote:

If you’re itching to rush out and buy one of the high-end Power Mac G4s, hold your horses. While Apple says the low-end 400 MHz system is shipping now, at press time the company was predicting shipment of the 450 MHz G4 model sometime in September and the 5OO MHz unit in October.

He urged the reader to hold out for an AGP model, which was faster and more forward-looking than the PCI machines, which were basically the old G3 with a faster processor:

Unless you absolutely can’t afford the pricier models or can’t wait another minute, we suggest you bide your time and wait for the high-end G4 configurations to appear. Although the G4 processor does account for a lot of the performance improvements in the new models, the niceties of the new logic-board design will also have major impacts on speed. And if you opt for the low-end model, you won’t be able to play with cool new capabilities like using an AirPort card, internal FireWire devices, two separate USB ports, or the new Apple Cinema Display.

This press release, dated October 13, 1999, explains what was going on with Apple’s supply of PowerPC G4s:

Apple today announced that it has reconfigured the processor speeds in its Power Mac G4 line to match PowerPC G4 chip availability from Motorola. The new Power Mac G4 configurations will now include processors running at 350 MHz, 400 MHz and 450 MHz, and will be priced at $1,599, $2,499 and $3,499, respectively. The move is in response to Motorola’s delays in reaching volume production of its 500 MHz G4 processor chip, which is now scheduled for availability early next year.

These new configurations will enable us to meet the tremendous demand for our new Power Mac G4 line, said Steve Jobs, Apple s interim CEO. Fortunately, the machines remain very, very fast easily outperforming Pentium III-based PCs.

Apple also announced today that IBM will begin manufacturing G4 processor chips in the first half of calendar 2000 for use in Apple products.

It’s not very often in Apple’s history that one comes across a product update that results in a slower product, but clearly it wasn’t the plan. Notably, Apple didn’t lower the price of the towers to reflect their new, slower speeds. The move took on the name “speed dump,” as Mac users weren’t happy with the changes.

In December Apple updated the lineup, getting rid of the PCI model, replacing it with a 350 MHz Power Mac that included all the upgrades present in the AGP models.

Thankfully the 350 MHz Power Mac G4 didn’t lead a long life, as in February 2000, Apple updated the lineup once again:

Apple today announced it has increased the performance of its industry-leading Power Mac G4 line with faster processors running at 400-, 450-, and 500 MHz. Pricing remains unchanged, starting at US$1,599.
The Power Mac G4, which features the PowerPC G4 processor with its remarkable Velocity Engine, runs professional applications like Adobe Photoshop over 50 percent faster than 800 MHz Pentium III-based PCs.

A full six months after its original introduction, Apple was finally shipping a 500 MHz Power Mac G4. In the grand scheme of things, this was a mere hiccup in what was otherwise a golden era for Mac hardware advancements, and a lesson in controlling your own technology stack that Apple wouldn’t forget.


  1. If you want to read more about the entire Power Mac G4 family, check out this article over on MacStories. 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue →

In the upheaval surrounding Twitter’s changes to its verification system, many were left wondering how accounts posing as politicians, journalists, musicians, athletes and others could be noted as official. As it turns out, the checkmark was the way to go after all.

Jay Peters at The Verge has more:

Twitter is rolling out another type of checkmark to help distinguish accounts that users actually need to know are real. Although you can pay for a blue checkmark with the new version of Twitter Blue, select accounts for governments, companies, or public figures will get a gray “Official” checkmark, according to a thread from Twitter’s Esther Crawford, who is heading up the new Twitter Blue initiative.

“A lot of folks have asked about how you’ll be able to distinguish between @TwitterBlue subscribers with blue checkmarks and accounts that are verified as official, which is why we’re introducing the ‘Official’ label to select accounts when we launch,” Crawford says.

“Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.”

Being previously verified doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get the new “Official” label, and you can’t buy the new label, meaning Twitter will be the one making the call on who gets to have it.

It really feels like someone is making this stuff up as he goes along.

Update: A couple hours after this rolled out, it stopped, with Elon tweeting “I just killed it.” ROFFFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

Apple Frames 3.0 →

Federico has updated his amazing Apple Frames shortcut:

Apple Frames 3.0 is a major update that involved a complete re-architecture of the shortcut to improve its performance and reliability on all Apple platforms. For Apple Frames 3.0, I entirely rebuilt its underlying file structure to move away from base64 and embrace Files/Finder to store assets. As a result, Apple Frames 3.0 is faster, easier to debug, and – hopefully – easier to maintain going forward.

But Apple Frames 3.0 goes beyond a new technical foundation. This update to the shortcut introduces full compatibility with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max with Dynamic Island, Apple Watch Ultra, and the M2 MacBook Air. And that’s not all: Apple Frames 3.0 also brings full support for resolution scaling on all iPad models that offer the ‘More Space’ display mode in iPadOS 16. And in the process, I also added support for ‘Default’ and ‘More Space’ options on the Apple Silicon-based MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, and iMac. All of this, as always, in a native shortcut designed for high performance that uses Apple’s official device images and requires no manual configuration whatsoever.

This is a very useful Shortcut, and I’m so glad Federico keeps iterating on it.

Twitter is Literally Breaking →

It’s just been a few days since Musk let go roughy half of Twitter’s staff, and the cracks are already beginning to show, as Elizabeth Lopatto has discovered:

I can’t change my screen name on Twitter. I can change my bio. But not my screen name. So although I was helpfully trying to describe myself as “Elizabeth Lopatto (parody)” that simply wasn’t possible.

[…]

I have no idea what’s causing this problem but I’m not the only one experiencing it. My coworker Alex Cranz can’t change hers either. Neither can Jay Peters, Tom Warren, or Sean Hollister. However, our coworker Mitchell Clark can! Cranz, Peters, Warren, Hollister and I are all verified. Clark isn’t.

Hmmmmm.

Update: It’s a little unclear if this was a technical problem or a policy change. Honestly, it’s hard to tell the difference all of a sudden.

Apple Highlights NightWare →

I have not come across this app before, but it was really neat to read about it on Apple Newsroom this morning:

NightWare is a digital therapeutic system that works in conjunction with Apple Watch and iPhone to disrupt nightmares related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Available by prescription only, it’s also the first and only digital therapeutic developed specifically to treat nightmares that is cleared by the FDA. NightWare uses information from the Apple Watch heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope to detect a nightmare and then disrupt it through haptic feedback, generating gentle pulses on the wrist that gradually increase until the user is roused from the nightmare, but not from sleep.

This sort of thing is consumer technology at its best.

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SLS Back on the Pad

NASA is about to try to launch its Artemis 1 mission again. Here’s Stephen Clark at Spaceflight Now:

NASA scrubbed the first launch attempt for the Artemis 1 moon mission Aug. 29, when data indicated one of the rocket’s four hydrogen-fueled main engines was not being properly thermally conditioned during the countdown. Engineers later determined that the thermal measurements were from a bad sensor, and not indicative of a more serious problem.

A second launch attempt Sept. 3 was scrubbed by a hydrogen leak in the connection between the core stage of the rocket and its mobile launch platform. NASA replaced seals in the connection fully fueled the rocket in a tanking test Sept. 21 without any significant leaks, paving the way for launch opportunities in late September and early October.

But the threat from Hurricane Ian forced NASA officials to move the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for safety, delaying the next Artemis 1 launch attempt to Nov. 14. Unlike the mission’s previous countdowns, the next three Artemis 1 launch opportunities will be at night. Trajectory limitations and the position of the moon relative to Earth determine when the mission can launch.

The launch window on November 14 starts at 12:07 a.m. EST and will extend 69 minutes,1 with backup windows on November 16 and 19.

If the SLS continues to give NASA trouble and the rocket doesn’t get off the ground in these upcoming windows, things could get a lot more complicated, as Eric Berger reports at Ars:

On Thursday, NASA officials held a teleconference with space reporters and discussed the planned rollout of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft early on Friday morning. The space agency remains on track for an Artemis I launch attempt on November 14, shortly after midnight, said Jim Free, who leads exploration systems development for NASA. This will be the third attempt to launch the SLS rocket on its debut flight. Free said the launch team is confident, but acknowledged there are “unknown unknowns” that may crop up during the countdown.

December deadline? … One of the big questions about the rocket concerns the lifetime of its massive solid rocket boosters, which have now been stacked for nearly two years. NASA’s Cliff Lanham, who oversees ground systems, said NASA’s initial analysis found that the rocket boosters provided by Northrop Grumman had a lifetime of one year. However, a subsequent analysis of their health cleared one through December 9, 2022, the other through December 14. NASA could probably extend their life further with additional analysis, Free adds. But this will be a source of concern if the Artemis I mission has to be delayed again.

Given how rocky this rocket’s development has been over the last decade, I’ll feel a lot better about things once it’s on its way to the moon.


  1. Nice. 

Yours Truly, Through the Eyes of Stable Diffusion

Earlier today, Matt Haughey published a blog post about using a custom instance of Stable Diffusion and using to create self portraits, based on work by Andy Baio and this video on YouTube.

After following the steps in Matt’s blog post, I had everything up and running, and fed the machine about 25 photos of myself. I played around with a bunch of different prompts and got some pretty wild results:

Sidestepping the very complicated subjects related to AI-art, this was a pretty fun way to spend an hour of my day. That last one is true nightmare fuel, though.

Kbase Article of the Week: Power Macintosh: Differences Between DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM and DVD-RW →

Apple Support:

DVD-ROM, as its name implies, is a “read-only memory” format. Your computer can read a disc’s contents, but it cannot save data to one.

DVD-RAM (DVD random-access memory) and DVD-RW (DVD rewritable) are both rewritable mediums. Both DVD-RW and DVD-RAM are rewritable DVD standards that have been published by the DVD Forum, a group of more than 200 industry-leading corporations.

This article then links to a second article titled “SuperDrive: About Rewriteable DVD Discs,” which goes into a lot more detail. It ends with this note:

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.

More on Pantonageddon →

Dan Vincent, writing at his excellent Userlandia:

If you’ve been reading some parts of the internet lately, you might’ve seen a brouhaha over the quote-unquote “fact” that Pantone has “copyrighted colors.” They’re forcing Adobe to pay them oodles of money for color swatches, and Adobe said “no you.” Now users have to pay $15 a month just to use COLORS? Madame is outraged!

Well, it’s more complicated than that. The reality is that the world of color is complex, even for those of us that see and feel it every day. Many working designers don’t know all the fiendish intricacies surrounding the tools of their trade. Your real questions are “how does this affect me” and “what can I do about it?” Or maybe you’re used to picking colors from all those swatch books in Photoshop and wondered why it’s such a big deal that they went away.

In the name of expedience I’m formatting this in a question-and-answer format. Sit back, grab some popcorn, and be prepared for more than you wanted to know about the Pantone Matching System.

Meet the New Mail.app, Same as the Old Mail

As a long-time Mail.app user, I was excited to see Apple giving new features to the app in this year’s crop of OS releases.

Some of these additions are great; I particularly like the ability to schedule a message to be sent at a later time, as well as the ability to “unsend” a message. Sure, that second one is really just a 30 second timer set in the Outbox before a message heads off to the recipient, but it’s a really nice tool for those of us who are prone to typos.

The follow-up feature has been hit or miss for me. The idea is great, as having Mail remind me about a message that didn’t get a response is genuinely useful, but whatever logic Mail is using to pick which emails deserve this treatment is impossible to parse.

The new feature that is currently bothering me is Mail’s new ability to remind me if I forget an attachment or recipient. Gmail and others have had this for years, and it’s honestly great.

It’s just too bad that Mail doesn’t seem to understand that some people put their email addresses in their email signatures. As you can see in this screenshot, Mail has started warning me every time I send a message that the email address in my footer has been left off the recipient list:

Mail in macOS Ventura

This is a shockingly dumb catch on Mail’s part because the application should know what I have set up using its own Signatures feature. It’s literally right there in the app’s own settings:

Mail's Signature Pane

This has been filed with Apple as Feedback FB11741630.

More like PAYTONE, Amirite? →

Jess Weatherbed at The Verge:

Last week, Adobe removed support for free Pantone colors across its Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator Creative Cloud applications. PSD files that contained Pantone spot colors now display unwanted black in their place, forcing creatives who need access to the industry-standard color books to pay for a plugin subscription (via Kotaku).

“As we had shared in June, Pantone decided to change its business model. Some of the Pantone Color Books that are pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were phased-out from future software updates in August 2022,” said Ashley Still, senior vice president of digital media marketing, strategy, and global partnerships at Adobe in a statement to The Verge. “To access the complete set of Pantone Color Books, Pantone now requires customers to purchase a premium license through Pantone Connect and install a plug-in using Adobe Exchange.”

Yes, I did link to this days after the news broke just because I thought of the headline.

Twitter Blue Drops Ad-Free Articles →

Ben Lovejoy:

One of the Twitter Blue perks was ad-free access to more than 300 US publishers through a deal known as Ad-Free Articles.

Twitter would pay publishers an amount roughly equivalent to the ad revenue for a view, and in return subscribers would be able to read pieces on Twitter Blue Publisher sites without ads.

Twitter has cancelled this feature overnight, with just one day’s notice. Publishers were sent an email announcing the change.

Between this and its Pay-to-be-Verified plans, New Twitter is already a lot less friendly with publishers and journalists. What a shock.

‘A Misinformation Nightmare’ →

Amanda Silberling, writing at TechCrunch, on Twitter’s supposed plans to charge users $20/month to be verified:

Musk and his buddies view this plan as a way to get people to actually give Twitter money. But by monetizing a symbol that currently has value, they will ultimately remove all of that existing value.

Blue checks exist on social platforms as a means of combating misinformation. Currently, if someone makes a fake account pretending to be a world leader, journalist or celebrity, it’s easy to tell it’s a fake if the account doesn’t have a blue check. But under this newly proposed system, there’s not much incentive to pay the $20 per month to stay verified, especially since the once-coveted symbol would be available to anyone willing to pay. It’s quite possible that bad actors trying to pose as journalists to spread fake news would be more incentivized to pay the $20 than actual journalists.

Of course, Musk doesn’t seem to care about misinformation — just this weekend, he shared a link to an article that included baseless claims about the recent horrific attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

For better or for worse, Twitter has become the hub for a lot of news, and while it’s not a perfect system, verification is a signal to users that the source they are reading are legitimate. Upsetting that balance is only going to bring more even more misinformation — or worse — to Twitter.

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The Clown Car Company →

Nilay Patel, in a fantastic piece about the challenges that You Know Who faces with his purchase of Twitter:

Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies.

[…]

The essential truth of every social network is that the product is content moderation, and everyone hates the people who decide how content moderation works. Content moderation is what Twitter makes — it is the thing that defines the user experience. It’s what YouTube makes, it’s what Instagram makes, it’s what TikTok makes. They all try to incentivize good stuff, disincentivize bad stuff, and delete the really bad stuff. Do you know why YouTube videos are all eight to 10 minutes long? Because that’s how long a video has to be to qualify for a second ad slot in the middle. That’s content moderation, baby — YouTube wants a certain kind of video, and it created incentives to get it. That’s the business you’re in now. The longer you fight it or pretend that you can sell something else, the more Twitter will drag you into the deepest possible muck of defending indefensible speech. And if you turn on a dime and accept that growth requires aggressive content moderation and pushing back against government speech regulations around the country and world, well, we’ll see how your fans react to that.

Anyhow, welcome to hell. This was your idea.

I really don’t see how any of this ends well.

On Downloading Ventura

Like many pervious versions of macOS, you can create a USB install disk with in just a few steps. I like having these on hand for troubleshooting or quicker installations.

Ventura Installer

As before, creating a USB Installer requires downloading a full copy of macOS Ventura from Apple. This can be done via the Mac App Store if you are already running Ventura. If not, your Mac may only download the delta update. As of the initial version of macOS Ventura, the full installer is about 12 GB.

Alternatively, Apple hosts the full installer package on its website. Mr. Macintosh maintains a page with links to various versions of macOS. This guarantees you’ll have the full OS on hand.

These direct links point to a .pkg file, not the “Install macOS Ventura” application you may have expected. In Finder, a quick double-click will unpack it and put the installer application in your Applications folder.

Diamonds in the Sky →

Jessica Merzdorf, NASA:

Lucy is the first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids, an ancient population of asteroid “fossils” that orbit around the Sun at the same distance as Jupiter. To reach these distant asteroids, the Lucy spacecraft’s trajectory includes three Earth gravity assists to boost it on its journey to these enigmatic asteroids.

On October 13, 2022, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and the Moon from a distance of 890,000 miles (1.4 million km). The image was taken as part of an instrument calibration sequence as the spacecraft approached Earth for its first of three Earth gravity assists. These Earth flybys provide Lucy with the speed required to reach the Trojan asteroids — small bodies that orbit the Sun at the same distance as Jupiter. On its 12 year journey, Lucy will fly by a record breaking number of asteroids and survey their diversity, looking for clues to better understand the formation of the solar system.

Earth and Moon

Kbase Article of the Week: What’s New in the Updates for macOS Ventura →

Apple Support:

macOS Ventura makes the things you do most on Mac even better, with big updates to the apps you use everyday, including Mail, Messages, and Safari. You can use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac with Continuity Camera. There’s also an entirely new way to automatically organize your windows with Stage Manager. And when you upgrade, you get the latest security and privacy protections for your Mac.

macOS Ventura Launched

A very happy macOS Ventura Day to all who celebrate. If you have a Mac from 2016 or older, you are unfortunately not invited to the party.

While I did not write a review, a couple of my buddies have:

On the next episode of Mac Power Users, David and I will be getting into the weeds on this release of macOS.

Lastly, I have updated my macOS Screenshot Library with images of Ventura — including its new mostly-bad System Settings application. You can explore those images over on this page, and if you want 6K versions of Ventura’s wallpaper, I’ve got you covered there as well:

The Tale of Two iPads

Reviews of the M2 iPad Pro and the 10th-generation iPad are out.

Here’s Federico Viticci:

These are relatively easy iPads to review with a fairly straightforward narrative around them. The new iPad Pro is an iterative update that shows us Apple has seemingly hit a plateau in terms of innovation with this particular design – save for one feature that truly surprised me. The new base model iPad is a massive update compared to its predecessor, adding an all-new, iPad Pro-inspired design and a brand new accessory – the Magic Keyboard Folio – that has turned out to be one of my favorite accessories Apple has launched in recent years. I’ve had a ton of fun playing around and working with the new iPad over the weekend; if you’re in the market for an 11″ tablet, you shouldn’t sleep on this one.

It’s a real shame that the Magic Keyboard Folio is only available for this iPad. It’s also a shame that the best colors we’ve ever seen on an iPad are on the base model:

Over on Six Colors, Jason Snell wrote about this iPad’s Apple Pencil support in his review:

Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of the Apple Pencil, I don’t think I can really recommend this iPad. The 10th-generation iPad only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which was supplanted four years ago by the Apple Pencil 2. Since it charges via Lightning, and this iPad doesn’t have a Lightning port, Apple has ginned up an awkward $9 adapter that lets you charge the Pencil via a USB-C cable. It’s small and will be easy to lose, and if your Pencil runs out of battery when it’s not around, you’re mostly out of luck. (Though if you’ve got an iPhone, you can plug it into that, and it’ll suck some power and charge itself back up.)

This is a ridiculous situation, but Apple has painted itself into a corner thanks to its design decisions with the two Pencil models and its choice not to bite the bullet and add Pencil 2 compatibility on this iPad. If you don’t need pressure sensitivity in your stylus, consider using the $70 Logitech Crayon, which is compatible with most modern iPad models and charges via USB-C.

At the Verge, Dan Seifert opens his review with a discussion of price:

At its core, this iPad is an excellent tablet with fast performance, reliable battery life, and a vast library of optimized apps to make use of its large touchscreen.

But along with those upgrades comes a higher price: the 10th-gen iPad starts at $449, $120 more than the previous model, and can be kitted out to over $1,000 with storage, cellular, and accessory upgrades. This is for the entry-level iPad with no qualifier after its name, the one that you buy for casual use, kids, schoolwork, travel, and content consumption — it’s not really a device to replace your laptop with.

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Bono, on ‘Songs of Innocence’ Being Given to All iTunes Customers →

The Guardian has an excerpt from Bono’s memoir, and the excerpt includes a bit on the time Apple and U2 added the band’s newest album to everyone’s iTunes music libraries:

If just getting our music to people who like our music was the idea, that was a good idea. But if the idea was getting our music to people who might not have had a remote interest in our music, maybe there might be some pushback. But what was the worst that could happen? It would be like junk mail. Wouldn’t it? Like taking our bottle of milk and leaving it on the doorstep of every house in the neighbourhood.

Not. Quite. True.

On 9 September 2014, we didn’t just put our bottle of milk at the door but in every fridge in every house in town. In some cases we poured it on to the good people’s cornflakes. And some people like to pour their own milk. And others are lactose intolerant.

I take full responsibility. Not Guy O, not Edge, not Adam, not Larry, not Tim Cook, not Eddy Cue. I’d thought if we could just put our music within reach of people, they might choose to reach out toward it. Not quite. As one social media wisecracker put it, “Woke up this morning to find Bono in my kitchen, drinking my coffee, wearing my dressing gown, reading my paper.” Or, less kind, “The free U2 album is overpriced.” Mea culpa.

[…]

For all the custard pies it brought Apple – who swiftly provided a way to delete the album – Tim Cook never blinked. “You talked us into an experiment,” he said. “We ran with it. It may not have worked, but we have to experiment, because the music business in its present form is not working for everyone.”

Evans Hankey Leaving Apple →

Evans Hankey has been in charge of Apple’s hardware design for three years, but she is now leaving the company according to a new report from Mark Gurman:

The departure was announced inside the Cupertino, California-based technology giant this week, with Hankey telling colleagues that she will remain at Apple for the next six months. The company hasn’t named a replacement. Hankey oversees dozens of industrial designers.

Her pending exit marks the first time that Apple will be without a de facto design chief since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs retook control of the company in the late 1990s and appointed Ive to the job. Richard Howarth, a key designer on both Ive and Hankey’s teams, briefly held the role of head of industrial design, reporting to Ive, between 2015 and 2017.

“Apple’s design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to imagine products that are undeniably Apple,” a spokesman said in a statement. “The senior design team has strong leaders with decades of experience. Evans plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we’d like to thank her for her leadership and contributions.”

With the timelines and collaboration at Apple, it’s always a bit tricky to place responsibility for a decision on any one person, but for whatever input Hankey had in the design of the Apple silicon Mac line up, I’m thankful for.

Musk Reportedly Wants to Layoff 75% of Twitter Staff →

Taylor Hatmaker at TechCrunch, writing about a pretty tough story:

Musk has previously gestured at plans for layoffs if he were to buy Twitter, but those cuts could go even deeper than previously imagined.

According to a new report from the Washington Post, Musk plans to purge 75% of Twitter’s workforce, or around 5,600 employees. If Musk’s vision for a much leaner platform comes to fruition, Twitter would be forced to operate with a sliver of its current staff.

Between broader economic factors and ongoing criticisms that Twitter has failed to deliver on its promise (at least as far as investors are concerned), Twitter was always going to trim its workforce. But cutting the staff down by three quarters isn’t what most people had in mind. The Post noted that Twitter already planned to cut around a quarter of its workforce — but leaving a quarter of the workforce is a different situation altogether.

I know people who have already resigned from Twitter over the whole Musk situation, but I didn’t think this sort of thing was going to be in the cards.

New iPads →

Alex Guyot at MacStories:

This morning Apple announced their all-new iPad and iPad Pro lineups via press release and a short announcement video. The new iPad (non-Pro) features new colors and an updated square-edge design that brings it in line with the rest of Apple’s modern iPads and iPhones. The iPad Pro has been upgraded to Apple’s M2 chip, and supports a new “hover” mode on the Apple Pencil. Apple also unveiled a new Magic Keyboard Folio accessory, which includes a detachable keyboard with a trackpad and function keys.

There’s a lot to like about each of these new products, but the details reveal some very strange decisions on Apple’s part.

Kbase Article of the Week: Mac OS X: Script Editor Has Two Choices for Saving Compiled Script →

Speaking of weird bugs and scripts, here’s Apple Support on a weird bug that was present in an early version of Mac OS X 10.2:

When using Script Editor to save a new file, there are two choices for compiled script.

When you choose Save As or save a script for the first time, you see two choices for the format:

  • compiled script
  • Compiled Script

The choices produce identical scripts. It does not matter which format you choose; they only differ in the capitalization. This is to expected [sic] to be corrected in a future version of Script Editor.

Here is John Gruber, writing about the issue on Daring Fireball:

Sounds good. Too bad it’s completely wrong.

It ends up that the two formats are very different indeed. The lowercase “compiled script” writes the compiled script in the resource fork of the file (which is the traditional format, used since AppleScript’s inception); the uppercase “Compiled Script” writes the compiled script in the file’s data fork (a new format, introduced with Mac OS X).

Both choices write the same script data, but the resulting files are very different indeed. Most apps that read compiled script files only understand the traditional resource fork format. (Notably, this includes BBEdit and Mailsmith; I first saw this bug referenced on the Mailsmith-Talk mailing list over a month ago.)

If you save a script using the “Compiled Script” data fork format, then try to execute it in an app which doesn’t understand the format, you get an error message complaining about an “unexpected end-of-file”.

The bug in Script Editor is excusable; the Knowledge Base article, however, is not. It’s just plain wrong, and it’s been up for over three weeks.

Now it’s been up for over 20 years, but I guess it’s not as critical of an issue as it once was.

The Terrible Tale of iTunes 2

A tweet from Mr. Macintosh over the weekend reminded me of one of the worst bugs Apple shipped in an application update.

iTunes 2 warning

Version 2 of iTunes was going to be a big deal, including support for the just-announced iPod and the addition of an equalizer with cross-fading.

Things did not go well. Here’s a bit from Adam Engst, dated November 12, 2001:

After releasing the new version late Friday night, Apple hastily pulled the Mac OS X installer Saturday morning due to a problem where, in some situations involving multiple volumes named in specific ways, the installer could delete a large number of files. Needless to say, this is a bad thing, and there have been reports of Apple quietly offering to buy file recovery software or even pay for DriveSavers recovery of affected hard disks. A revised installer, with the designation iTunes 2.0.1, was released before the end of the weekend.

Apple put up a support page just about the issue:

Apple has identified an installer issue with iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X that affects a limited number of systems running Mac OS X with multiple volumes (drives or partitions) mounted. For those systems, running the iTunes 2.0 installer can result in loss of user data.

While this error is highly unlikely to affect most users, Apple strongly advises that anyone who has downloaded the 2.0 version of iTunes for Mac OS X, as well as anyone who has a beta version of iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X, immediately remove the iTunes.pkg installer file from their system.

The reason this issue happened is pretty interesting. Here’s Engst again:

The specifics of how this happened have been discussed at length in TidBITS Talk and similar forums, but roughly speaking, the installer Apple used to install iTunes in Mac OS X apparently relied on a shell script that assumed the previous version of iTunes would be in the Applications folder. Since everyone’s disks have different names, the script figured out the name of the disk, appended the path to the iTunes application, and then deleted all the files in the iTunes folder. Unfortunately, the script didn’t take into account the fact that people might put spaces in their disk names, particularly that they could put spaces at the beginning of the disk name. Since the space separates arguments in Unix commands, a command that would delete a single file is suddenly broken in the middle, transforming it into a command that can delete an entire disk. The problem can be avoided in Unix merely by enclosing the command in quotes, but that didn’t happen initially.

I wasn’t using OS X very much in the fall of 2001, but even six years later when I became a Mac Genius, I heard horror stories about this. Just check out this blog post from the time for a look at some of the carnage.

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On Starting Simple

You can’t go too long in this corner of the Internet without running into a report or rumor about Apple’s AR headset plans. As an example, here is The Verge’s Adi Robertson, writing about a feature that is supposedly coming with the new hardware:

Apple’s rumored virtual and augmented reality headset will reportedly use iris scanning tech for logins and payments, according to The Information. The report, which cites two people involved in developing the headset, says the scanning is supposed to make it easier for multiple people to use the headset with their own accounts.

The eye-scanning system echoes iOS tools like Apple’s fingerprint or Face ID logins, and it would take advantage of the device’s many cameras. It would also help differentiate Apple’s offering from its main competitor: the Meta Quest Pro, which the company formerly known as Facebook announced earlier this week. The Quest Pro features inward-facing cameras that can track eye and face motion, but it doesn’t (at least at this point) use them for authentication. According to The Information, Apple will also use downward-facing cameras to capture users’ legs, a part of the body Meta is still figuring out.

In reading this report, I was struck by something: the level of complication required for new products to meet has changed drastically over the years.

When the iPod was introduced 21 years ago, it was a music player that synced with iTunes. It shipped with a couple of games, but “1,000 songs in your pocket” pretty much summed it up.

Over the years, the iPod gained a bunch of features, like a color screen, a stopwatch, the ability to sync photos and ultimately even play video. By the end, users could also sync their contacts and calendars to the device, create playlists on the go and much, much more.

That was a different era; just contrast the original iPod with the original Apple Watch, which was pitched as something just shy of a full iPhone replacement. Over the years, it gained new capability, such as LTE support and its own App Store, to make it more independent from the phone.

I suspect Apple’s headset will be much closer to the original Apple Watch than it will the original iPod. We expect our devices to all sorts of things now that were mere dreams back in 2001.

With this explosion in features, a challenge arises. At first, it wasn’t clear how Apple thought about the Watch. Over the years, the company has focused more and more on fitness and notifications and has spoken less about the fashion and computing angles that once dominated Apple Watch presentations.

Will the headset’s launch be as cloudy as the Watch’s? I honestly don’t know, but I hope Apple remembers those early Watch years, because the “why would I need this” factor with the headset is going to be a way bigger deal then it was in 2014 when the Apple Watch was introduced. If Apple can boil the headset story down to a few simple, clear points, the product will be better understood by the market, and that’s only a good thing.

Guided Frame →

Steven Aquino, writing at Forbes, about a feature that shipped with the new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro:

A marquee feature of the Pixel 7 series is what Google calls Guided Frame. The feature, an interplay of hardware and software, works with Android’s TalkBack screen reader to help guide a Blind or low vision person to get into the best positioning for a good selfie. Guided Frame also smartly leverages haptic feedback to assist in confirmation that you did the right thing. For many disabled people, the double dose of sensory input — clinically known as bimodal support, referring to two forms of sensory experience — is not only technologically adroit. Haptics is one way to make use of a device’s panoply of sensors, but the practical application these little buzzes have for people who can’t rely on pure visual feedback is not superfluous. It’s actually extremely useful.

Once the “sweet spot” is found, the system automatically hits the shutter button.

Accessibility should allow anyone to access all of the features of these devices, and this is a good example of something that should have been for a long time now.

Artemis I Gets New Launch Windows →

NASA:

NASA is targeting the next launch attempt of the Artemis I mission for Monday, Nov. 14 with liftoff of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft planned during a 69-minute launch window that opens at 12:07 a.m. EST. Artemis I is an uncrewed flight test to launch SLS and send Orion around the Moon and back to Earth to thoroughly test its system before flights with astronauts.

Inspections and analyses over the previous week have confirmed minimal work is required to prepare the rocket and spacecraft to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the roll-back due to Hurricane Ian. Teams will perform standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries on the rocket, several secondary payloads, and the flight termination system. The agency plans to roll the rocket back to the launch pad as early as Friday, Nov. 4.

Backup launch windows include:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 1:04 AM Eastern
  • Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1:45 AM Eastern

Kbase Article of the Week: iMac G5 (iSight): Built-in iSight Camera Produces Blue or Green Pictures →

Apple Support:

When you take pictures with the built-in iSight camera in your iMac G5 (iSight), the resulting images may look blue or green in Photo Booth or iChat instead of full color.

This can happen when your display’s Colors setting is set to “Thousands” in the Displays pane of System Preferences. To fix your photos, just modify the settings to display millions of colors instead of thousands.

Goodbye, ‘Notebooks’ →

Benjamin Mayo has noticed something new going on with Apple’s website:

Apple appears to be rolling out a wide-reaching branding change about how it refers to its Mac portable lineup. Up until recently, Apple officially referred to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as “Mac notebooks” or just “notebooks,” leaning on the relatively outdated industry terminology of notebook computers.

But now, everything user-facing appears to be slowly converting to using a
“laptop” nomenclature. Updates to the Apple Online Store product pages, articles in the Apple Support knowledge base, and even the Mac operating system is beginning to reflect this branding update.

At the risk of sounding old and cranky, I always liked “notebook.”

Sponsor: Unite 4 for macOS →

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Unite 4 includes dozens of new features, including support for native notifications, new customization options, and much more. Unite apps also serve as a great alternative for resource hogging Electron apps or half-baked Catalyst apps.

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  • A Gmail web client that behaves like a native mail client.
  • A status bar app for Apple Music or Overcast
  • An isolated workspace for apps that may track you like Facebook
  • A Google Meet app that works efficiently without using Chrome
  • A fully featured Instagram app that has a resizable window
  • A Robinhood, Figma, or Roam Research app for your desktop.

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‘It Felt Like a Funeral’ →

William Shatner, in his new book, writing about his trip with Blue Origin:

I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.

It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

Weatherscan Shutting Down →

Benj Edwards, writing at Ars:

In the early 2000s, Americans who wanted to catch the local weather forecast at any time might turn on their TV and switch over to Weatherscan, a 24-hour computer-controlled weather forecast channel with a relaxing smooth jazz soundtrack. After 23 years, The Weather Channel announced that Weatherscan will be shutting down permanently on or before December 9. But a group of die-hard fans will not let it go quietly into the night.