October 21, 2014

Link: May Contain Editorial Content ☍

Paul McAleer noticed Overcast’s Starter Kits for lack of diversity:

The Starter Kit is broken up into categories. As I was scrolling through these lists, I noticed something: there was a severe lack of gender diversity in almost every category.

I was curious if it was just me or not. So I went into each section and identified any hosts or co-hosts whose names are traditionally female, and verified those that were socially associated with either gender. If a description did not include any names, I chose to count it as not having female hosts or co-hosts. Here’s where things netted out as of August 27, 2014…

I like how Overcast sounds and brought my own subscriptions over when I started using it. I’ll admit, my subscription list skews mostly white-guys-talking-tech, so that leads me to the question: “Is it just that topics I enjoy listening to have fewer female and minority hosts, or is this a sample of podcasting as a whole?”

Link: RapidWeaver Passes the Mac App Store for Now ☍

The new version of Realmac Software’s RapidWeaver was released today with quite a few new features, including new themes, a new user interface, additional add-ons, responsive previews, and support for OS X Mavericks and Yosemite features (versioning, autosave, and full-screen). We’ll have a review coming in the future, but the most notable thing for me is that it no longer is in the Mac App Store, joining BBEdit and Coda, as mentioned in a blog post:

RapidWeaver 6 is our biggest app with a incredibly loyal following, and we’ve been making sure that RapidWeaver 6 is fully ready for the Mac App Store. However, given the size of the launch, and our desire to ensure that customers are able to easily contact us if they need help with their move to version 6, we’re not going to be offering RapidWeaver 6 on the Mac App Store just yet.

While “yet” is the operating word, it does demonstrate the frustrations many developers have faced from a feature and customer service standpoint when Apple is the middleman. There’s also upgrade pricing of $39.99 from any prior version, another thing that cannot be done on the Mac App Store.

October 20, 2014

Link: Apple Releases iOS 8.1, Turns on Apple Pay ☍

Federico Viticci:

iOS 8.1 brings bug fixes, speed improvements, and interface changes, but it also enables Continuity features such as Text Message Forwarding and Instant Hotspot, allowing iOS devices to better integrate with each other and Macs running OS X Yosemite. With iOS 8.1, Apple is opening access to its iCloud Photo Library beta – an iCloud service that stores all your photos from all your devices, in a single library that relays changes to every device. And last, iOS 8.1 marks the debut of Apple Pay, the company’s new payment service that rolls out in the US today.

I installed it on an iPhone 6 and an iPad 2 today and haven’t noticed any issues. Apple Pay looks to be the most notable and exciting feature, provided you have a supported card and the retailer supports NFC payments.

October 18, 2014

Link: Gus and Siri ☍

Stephen Hackett shared an article by Judith Newman, and his blurb is something I can totally agree with:

An amazing story of how Siri has helped an autistic boy connect with the world — both digital and not — in new ways. This will make your weekend.

Link: iPad Full of Apps Weighs More Than Empty One ☍

John Brownlee for Cult of Mac:

But surprisingly, an iPad without anything installed on it does weigh less than an iPad that is full.

Why? Because data stored on flash drives has weight. The difference is almost infinitesimally minute, but it is there.

The extra weight comes from flash storage storing more data in memory. The transistors in flash memory distinguish between a 1 and a 0 by trapping electrons.

The more data a flash drive stores on it, the more electrons are trapped. And these electrons do have weight: For 4GB of data, the difference between full and empty is 10-18 grams. For a 64GB iPad, it would be 12 times that.

These calculations were done back in 2011 by University of California at Berkeley professor of computer science John D. Kubiatowicz for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, but they’d be applicable to any device with a flash drive.

This really won’t be noticeable for anyone using an iPad, iPhone, or flash-based MacBook (most scales can’t even pick it up), but certainly fascinating to think about.

October 17, 2014

Link: The iPad Zombie ☍

Allen Pike (via John Gruber):

The only thing we can do as developers to disavow support for these devices is require a version of iOS that won’t run on them. Unfortunately, Apple will surely continue support for the A5 in iOS 9. If they do so, we won’t have a mechanism to cut off support for these old iPads mini and iPods touch until iOS 10 has reached wide adoption, likely in early 2017.


The original iPad mini is surely the new iPod Classic (or Mid-2012 MacBook Pro in 2014) of Apple’s lineup.

October 14, 2014

Link: Macworld Expo’s Bleak Future ☍

Chris Breen:

Early Tuesday, IDG World Expo released a statement noting that the venerable Apple-oriented trade show, Macworld/iWorld would go on hiatus and not be held in 2015 as planned. The contents of that statement are:

“We are announcing today that Macworld/iWorld is going on hiatus, and will not be taking place as planned in 2015. Our MacIT event, the world’s premiere event for deploying Apple in the enterprise, will continue next year with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s still disappointing, especially since “hiatus” is probably used in the same sense as network television shows—it’s over. I remember going to Macworld Expo in New York in 2002 and it was an awesome experience, but I also think that with the Internet providing more resources, Apple handling events on its own, and maybe even the Mac becoming more mainstream, it may have been time to call it quits.

October 13, 2014

Link: Apple Broke Finland ☍

Matt Clinch for CNBC:

Finland’s prime minister suggested on Monday that Apple could be to blame for the demise of its two biggest industries, which in turn led to an economic downturn and a ratings downgrade for the Nordic country.
“We have two champions which went down,” Alexander Stubb told CNBC Monday. As well as the technology firm Nokia, he explained that the paper industry in Finland had fallen on hard times.

Why not blame Apple? Then again, years of Nokia’s innovation practically stalling and the world becoming more paperless couldn’t have helped the situation.