April 4, 2017

Link: The Mac Pro Lives ☍

John Gruber:

Let’s not beat around the bush. I have great news to share:

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

Go read the rest of his post—it’s a very interesting account, full of great details. Some of the moments struck me as very un-Apple-like, but necessary and honest.

Article: DirecTV Now Later

It's been a few months since I signed up for DirecTV Now , and the service has been mostly positive after a very rough first month, especially for the lower volume of television that I'm watching these days. There were some early items that have been worked out, some continuing complaints, and increasing competition from other products. Just over four months later, I thought it was time to revisit the service…

March 30, 2017

Link: The New APFS File System ☍

David Sparks:

Following my usual “fire, ready, aim” philosophy about these things, I already updated all of my iOS devices and while the update took a while (converting a file system is never a fast process), everything went just fine and devices are all working just like before. Indeed, I’m writing this post on my updated iPad Pro.

I’m still amazed Apple was able to convert a whole file system while maintaining the data on iOS devices and on top of that, it didn’t take much time. The whole process felt smooth, reliable, and transparent, which makes it feel like an even bigger accomplishment.

Link: iPad Optics ☍

Horace Dediu:

Note that the iPad decline is paired with a steady increase in the Mac. The iPad exhibits a four year decrease in overall volumes. This has, as they say, bad optics.

But what is seen isn’t all that might be,

If we look further we see that the iPad is still a much loved and much used product. Data from the Pew Internet Survey shows that tablet ownership among US adults increased from 45% in April 2015 to 48% in April 2016 and 51% in November 2016. The rise has been steady. Although this counts tablets, the iPad had 85% share of the U.S. market for tablets priced above $200 so it’s a fair assumption that the iPad audience is growing. Similar data exists for the UK.

For a device that supposedly sounds doomed and serves no point with smartphones and traditional computers, I hear a lot of buzz about iPads and see them everywhere. The fact that people were anxiously awaiting the fifth-generation iPad also gives me hope for sales growth.

February 20, 2017

Link: Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber ☍

Susan Fowler:

I was then told that I had to make a choice: (i) I could either go and find another team and then never have to interact with this man again, or (ii) I could stay on the team, but I would have to understand that he would most likely give me a poor performance review when review time came around, and there was nothing they could do about that. I remarked that this didn’t seem like much of a choice, and that I wanted to stay on the team because I had significant expertise in the exact project that the team was struggling to complete (it was genuinely in the company’s best interest to have me on that team), but they told me the same thing again and again. One HR rep even explicitly told me that it wouldn’t be retaliation if I received a negative review later because I had been “given an option”. I tried to escalate the situation but got nowhere with either HR or with my own management chain (who continued to insist that they had given him a stern-talking to and didn’t want to ruin his career over his “first offense”).

The whole story is remarkable, especially if you haven’t experienced this firsthand. It’s also is a perfect case-study of how companies should not be run. And the comments…sheesh.