March 30, 2019

Link: Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook Kyboad Problm ☍

Joanna Stern for The Wall Street Journal:

Why is the breaking of my MacBook Air keyboard so insanely maddening? Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane…

  • April 2015: Apple Inc. releases the all-new MacBook with a “butterfly” keyboard. In order to achieve extreme thinness, the keys are much flatter than older generations but the butterfly mechanism underneath, for which the keyboard is named, aims to replicate the bounce of a more traditional keyboard.
  • October 2016: The MacBook Pro arrives with a second-generation butterfly keyboard. A few months later, some begin to report that letters or characters don’t appear, that keys get stuck or that letters unexpectedly repeat.

Outside of the Internet echo chamber, I even seen/heard more failures related to this issue than should be acceptable. I’ve steered people away from these machines, but they don’t have many other choices—Apple needs to redesign them as soon as possible otherwise users may start looking at other brands.

March 19, 2019

Link: The Verge Gets an Original iPhone Prototype ☍

Tom Warren for The Verge:

To achieve that level of secrecy, Apple created special prototype development boards that contained nearly all of the iPhone’s parts, spread out across a large circuit board. The Verge has obtained exclusive access to the original iPhone M68 prototype board from 2006 / 2007, thanks to Red M Sixty, a source that asked to remain anonymous. It’s the first time this board has been pictured publicly, and it provides a rare historical look at an important part of computing history, showing how Apple developed the original iPhone.

At first glance, the red iPhone M68 prototype board looks like a motherboard you’d find inside a PC from more than 10 years ago. It’s roughly the same size, but the components are a little different. Apple developed this particular board, an engineering validation test (EVT) sample, for engineers working primarily on the software and radio portions of the original iPhone. These developers wouldn’t know the final form of the iPhone, and sometimes these boards were even supplied without the screen you’ll see attached in our exclusive photos. Apple only uses red printed circuit boards for its prototype iPhone hardware, favoring blue, green, and other colors for production units.

Although ancient history at this point, this is a fascinating look at an important part of the iPhone’s development.

March 15, 2019

Link: Apple Addresses Spotify’s Claims ☍

Apple has issued a statement addressing each point of Wednesday’s Spotify’s complaints:

What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.

March 12, 2019

Link: More DirecTV Now Price Hikes ☍

Sarah Perez for TechCrunch:

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in December the company would soon adjust the content mix on its DirecTV Now streaming service and raise the monthly subscription to around the “$50 to $60” point — meaning, at least $10 per month more than it is today. This week, AT&T is preparing to follow through on those plans by increasing the prices for its existing tiers by $10 per month. It’s also launching two new packages to replace its existing multi-tiered lineup, both of which bundle HBO into their channel lineups. […]

CEO Randall Stephenson told investors the company was planning to thin out the content available on DirecTV Now in order to keep only those channels that are “really relevant to customers.”

The pricing adjustments come at a time when AT&T’s streaming subscriber base is in decline. In its Q4 earnings, the company lost 267,000 DirecTV Now subscribers, ending the year with fewer customers (1.6 million) than it had in Q2 (1.8 million). With DirecTV Now’s promotional offers ending, some customers may have fled to rival services like Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV, which now have a combined 3 million subscribers, according to Bloomberg.

They’re losing subscribers, so another price hike and channel reduction seems like a good idea? It’s a bold strategy—let’s see if it pays off for them.

Link: Matt Birchler’s Technical North Star ☍

Matt Birchler:

I’m using the Galaxy S10e more and more, and my current challenge is finding a way to talk about this device in a way that does not preach to the choir. This should not be hard, but it turns out to be a little more complicated than that.

The whole podcast episode is short, but really resonated with me. While most of my technology interests align with Apple and have for some time, I still get enjoyment from seeing what other exciting and new things someone else is doing.