Humane AI Pin Reviews Are Here →

David Pierce has reviewed the Humane AI Pin, and it seems pretty, pretty, pretty bad. We already knew — from Humane’s recent video — that the device could be quite slow to respond. That was after the initial video, which was full of examples of the Pin giving downright incorrect information in response to requests.

Product videos (even bad ones) are one thing; reviews are another. Here’s Pierce, writing for The Verge:

I came into this review with two big questions about the AI Pin. The first is the big-picture one: is this thing… anything? In just shy of two weeks of testing, I’ve come to realize that there are, in fact, a lot of things for which my phone actually sucks. Often, all I want to do is check the time or write something down or text my wife, and I end up sucked in by TikTok or my email or whatever unwanted notification is sitting there on my screen. Plus, have you ever thought about how often your hands are occupied with groceries / clothes / leashes / children / steering wheels, and how annoying / unsafe it is to try to balance your phone at the same time? I’ve learned I do lots of things on my phone that I might like to do somewhere else. So, yeah, this is something. Maybe something big. AI models aren’t good enough to handle everything yet, but I’ve seen enough glimmers of what’s coming that I’m optimistic about the future.

That raises the second question: should you buy this thing? That one’s easy. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. The AI Pin is an interesting idea that is so thoroughly unfinished and so totally broken in so many unacceptable ways that I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d recommend spending the $699 for the device and the $24 monthly subscription.

Don’t miss the part where he describes it as a hand warmer, which others noticed as well.

Apple Announces Support for Used Parts in iPhone Repairs

Apple Newsroom:

Today Apple announced an upcoming enhancement to existing repair processes that will enable customers and independent repair providers to utilize used Apple parts in repairs. Beginning with select iPhone models this fall, the new process is designed to maintain an iPhone user’s privacy, security, and safety, while offering consumers more options, increasing product longevity, and minimizing the environmental impact of a repair. Used genuine Apple parts will now benefit from the full functionality and security afforded by the original factory calibration, just like new genuine Apple parts.

The process of confirming whether or not a repair part is genuine and gathering information about the part — often referred to as “pairing” — is critical to preserving the privacy, security, and safety of iPhone. Apple teams have been hard at work over the last two years to enable the reuse of parts such as biometric sensors used for Face ID or Touch ID, and beginning this fall, calibration for genuine Apple parts, new or used, will happen on device after the part is installed. In addition, future iPhone releases will have support for used biometric sensors. And in order to simplify the repair process, customers and service providers will no longer need to provide a device’s serial number when ordering parts from the Self Service Repair Store for repairs not involving replacement of the logic board.

Locking repair shops out of utilizing used parts has been at the heart of many right to repair conversations in recent months. In fact, Apple’s news comes just a couple of weeks after the governor of Oregon signed a right to repair bill into law, designed to take aim at the practice of part pairing. Kevin Purdy at Ars covered the news:

The law, like those passed in New York, California, and Minnesota, will require many manufacturers to provide the same parts, tools, and documentation to individuals and repair shops that they provide to their own repair teams.

But Oregon’s bill goes further, preventing companies from implementing schemes that require parts to be verified through encrypted software checks before they will function. Known as parts pairing or serialization, Oregon’s bill, SB 1596, is the first in the nation to target that practice. Oregon State Senator Janeen Sollman (D) and Representative Courtney Neron (D) sponsored and pushed the bill in the state senate and legislature.

“By eliminating manufacturer restrictions, the Right to Repair will make it easier for Oregonians to keep their personal electronics running,” said Charlie Fisher, director of Oregon’s chapter of the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), in a statement. “That will conserve precious natural resources and prevent waste. It’s a refreshing alternative to a ‘throwaway’ system that treats everything as disposable.”

Apple lobbied against the Oregon law, but in its press release, John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering says:

For the last two years, teams across Apple have been innovating on product design and manufacturing to support repairs with used Apple parts that won’t compromise users’ safety, security, or privacy. With this latest expansion to our repair program, we’re excited to be adding even more choice and convenience for our customers, while helping to extend the life of our products and their parts.

According to The Washington Post, this new system will start with screens, batteries, and cameras for the iPhone 15 line and will expand in the future.

In addition to the changes around parts pairing, Apple’s press release includes two other announcements, as John Voorhees writes at MacStories:

The iPhone’s Activation Lock and Lost Mode are being extended to used parts as a deterrent to thieves pulling apart iPhones for their parts. If a lost or stolen part is detected, Apple says its calibration capabilities will be restricted. Also, Apple says it will expand the Parts and Service History section of its Settings app to include information about whether parts used in an iPhone are new or used.

I suspect those two items will be the next chapters in this on-going story.

Kbase Article of the Week: iMac (Mid 2007): Memory Specifications →

Apple Support:

The iMac (Mid 2007) computer has two Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory (SDRAM) slots in the bottom of the computer. It comes with at least 1 GB Double Data Rate (DDR2) SDRAM installed in a single slot. The maximum amount of random-access memory (RAM) you can install in the machine is 4 GB: 2 GB Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module (SO-DIMM) in each slot.

I loved the Mid 2007 iMac when I first came out. Its aluminum and glass design made the older white plastic iMacs look like toys.

2006 iMacs

2007 iMacs

Sponsor: Magic Lasso Adblock: YouTube Ad Blocker for Safari →

Do you want to block all YouTube ads in Safari on your iPhone, iPad and Mac?

Then download Magic Lasso Adblock – the ad blocker designed for you.

It’s easy to set up, doubles the speed at which Safari loads and now blocks all YouTube ads.

Magic Lasso is an efficient, high performance and native Safari ad blocker. With over 4,000 five star reviews; it’s simply the best ad blocker for your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Magic Lasso for YouTube

It blocks all intrusive ads, trackers, and annoyances – letting you experience a faster, cleaner, and more secure web browsing experience.

The app also blocks over 10 types of YouTube ads, including all:

  • video ads
  • pop-up banner ads.
  • search ads
  • plus many more

Unlike some other ad blockers, Magic Lasso Adblock respects your privacy, doesn’t accept payment from advertisers, and is 100% supported by its community of users.

Join over 300,000 users and download Magic Lasso Adblock from the App Store, Mac App Store or via the Magic Lasso website.

Seven Years of APFS →

Howard Oakley:

Seven years ago, on 27 March 2017, Apple introduced one of the most fundamental changes in its operating systems since Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah was released 16 years earlier. On that day, those who updated iOS to version 10.3 had their iPhone’s storage silently converted to the first release of Apple File System, APFS. Six months later, with the release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra on 25 September, Mac users followed suit.

At the time, these were huge gambles. The potential for disaster was significant, and at the last minute, Apple decided that those Macs with Fusion Drives had to stay with its old Mac OS Extended File System (HFS+) for another year before they too could start up from APFS. In some markets, notably South Korea, even Apple’s own software failed to cope with changes in the way that file names were handled by the new file system.

Although APFS has certainly had its moments over the last seven years, Apple’s gambles have paid off, and proved key to the success of Apple silicon Macs. Had there been no APFS, many of the fundamental technologies like Secure Boot and the Signed System Volume (SSV) would have been far tougher if not impossible to implement. Macs and Apple’s devices had been in dire need of a modern file system for years; while there was a time when it looked as if that could have been ZFS, in 2014 Apple decided to write its own file system from scratch, with Dominic Giampaolo and Mike Mackovitch as lead engineers.

My Spatial Persona Impressions (Updated)

I just spent some time playing with spatial Personas with Jason Snell, and I have to say, having Personas free from their floating boxes makes the whole thing much more personal.

When you join a call, the other person is directly in front of you. You can see their Personas and hands, floating in your room. If you’re in an Environment, they appear there as well. It really felt like Jason was in the PodCabin with me.

Sometimes things gets a bit weird, as they can come crashing through your Home View:

Apps and Jason on the moon

The real magic comes when sharing content or an app experience with SharePlay.

Jason sent over a link to a Freeform document, and when I opened it, his Persona suddenly appeared next to me, with our document out in front of us. Combined with the Vision Pro’s excellent spatial audio, I had the distinct feeling that we were working together on our document in a way that sharing a document on a Mac or iPad just doesn’t deliver.

Here I am, stuffed in a Kallax inside Jason’s office while we were working:

Kallax Boy

After our ideation session, we played a round of Battleship in the excellent Game Room on Apple Arcade. After I sunk all of his ships, we watched a few minutes of For All Mankind in a couple of immersive environments.

Personas are still a bit weird, but I think freeing them from their boxes makes them feel totally different and much better. If you have a Vision Pro, it’s worth checking this out, especially with SharePlay in the mix.

When you’re done, give each other a high-five!

Spatial High Five

2024-04-03 Update: I was on a group call with Jason Snell, Myke Hurley, James Thomson, and John Voorhees and it was a true blast:

Myke’s head and hands hovering near my cardboard cutout of Casey Liss:


Jason, John, and Myke being cool dudes:

Jason, John, Myke

I tried petting Jason’s cat:

Spatial Cat

It’s great for the Hokey Pokey:

Hokey Pokey

Being able to show the guys some recent additions to my Apple collection was pretty cool:

Software on tape

They used to ship software on cassette!

Spatial Personas Launching on Vision Pro Today

Today, Apple is launching spatial Personas to users of the Vision Pro. In short, this allows a caller’s Persona to break free of a singular box during a FaceTime call and puts them directly into the space of the person on the other end of the call.

This should give a much better sense of presence when on a call with another Vision Pro user, and allows people who are not in the same place to share content more easily and naturally, especially when using SharePlay.

Spatial Personas are rolling out to all users whose devices are running visionOS 1.1 or later, and requires a reboot for the feature to show up as an option while on a FaceTime call. You do not have to be running a visionOS beta to use spatial Personas, but as of this writing, it was not available to me on a test call. However, these images from Apple show what we can expect:

Spatial Personas

Spatial Personas

NASA’s Solar Eclipse Explorer →

A week from today, a large portion of the United States will be witness to a solar eclipse. Here in Memphis, we’ll see 97.7% coverage at 1:56 PM CDT. I’ll be traveling with my family to Arkansas, to experience 100% coverage. NASA has published a website that will tell you what to expect at your location.

I just hope the forecasts for clouds turn out to be wrong.

Solar Eclipse

We also traveled for the 2017 eclipse, and it was incredible. Jason Snell and I spoke about our experiences on episode 54 of Liftoff.

I have two pieces of advice:

  1. Don’t try to photograph it unless you’re an expert. Soak it in, and then download some sick wallpapers from NASA the next day.
  2. Buy and use eclipse-ready glasses, and make sure your kids do, too.