Word Processors vs. Writing

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Dr. Mac says most (or at least many) people compose longer written prose in a word processor… and that may be a mistake. He believe that you’ll do better work and finish it faster if you use a text editor instead of a word processor or page layout program for all but final drafts.

News+: Project Catalyst and the Future of the Mac

· · Link

In the latest issue of Macworld, Jason Snell writes about Project Catalyst and how Apple struggles with the Mac’s future.

iOS app developers are Mac users—it’s the only platform available for iOS app development. They know what the Mac feels like. I think many of them will choose to do the right thing—but it’s a shame they won’t have exemplary Apple apps to inspire them.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

'Telling Lies' Game Available for Preorder at $6.99

· · Cool Stuff Found

Annapurna Interactive, makers of games like Donut County, Gorogoa, Gone Home, and more, have a new game coming out called Telling Lies. An investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling, Telling Lies revolves around a cache of secretly recorded video conversations. Starring Logan Marshall-Green, Alexandra Shipp, Kerry Bishé, Angela Sarafyan and directed by Sam Barlow, creator of Her Story and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Telling Lies sits you in front of an anonymous laptop loaded with a stolen NSA database full of footage. The footage covers two years in the intimate lives of four people whose stories are linked by a shocking incident. Explore the database by typing search terms, watch the clips where those words are spoken and piece together your story. Unlike anything you’ve played before, Telling Lies is an intimate and intense experience. A game where you decide the truth. App Store: Telling Lies—US$6.99

WOM Adjustable Tabletop Standing Desk Converter: $115

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the WOM Adjustable Tabletop Standing Desk Converter. This standing desk is designed to sit on your desk (or other table), and lifts with a single-handle height adjustment lever. It also has an integrated removable keyboard tray. It comes in black or white, and you can get it for $115 through our deal.

AI Tech Like Neuralink Could be 'Suicide For the Human Mind'

· · Link

Some scientists are worried about technology like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. Cognitive psychologist Susan Schneider wrote an op-ed (paywall) that it could be “suicide for the human mind.”

The worry with a general merger with AI, in the more radical sense that Musk envisions, is the human brain is diminished or destroyed. Furthermore, the self may depend on the brain and if the self’s survival over time requires that there be some sort of continuity in our lives — a continuity of memory and personality traits — radical changes may break the needed continuity.

I’m no neuroscientist but I subscribe to emergentism, which is the idea that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. An easy explanation is here, but basically it means that consciousness isn’t a property of the physical brain, but rather something that happens when you get enough neurons interconnected. This isn’t something that could be replicated with code.

Pokémon Masters Has 5 Million Pre-Orders Already

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Forthcoming game Pokémon Masters had already been pre-order five million times across iOS and Android, Cult of Mac reported. The game is not set to be released for another two-weeks. Well, people just gotta catch ’em all I guess….

With two weeks to go until Pokémon Masters launches on iOS and Android, it has already racked up 5 million pre-orders. The game is developed by DeNA, the same company behind the majority of Nintendo’s mobile games. Pokémon Masters focuses on real-time Pokémon battles, with teams of Trainers taking part in 3-on-3 battles. The game takes place on an artificial island, where DeNA says, “the rules of battle are different.” You choose three pairs for your squad and then use them to battle your opponents.

Netflix Has an Overblown Reputation for Show Cancellations

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Netflix has earned a reputation for butchery. Fans and showrunners alike have been left reeling as seeming popular shows are cancelled. But is the streaming service’s cancellation rate really worse than traditional TV networks? Bloomberg News investigated.

Competing networks order pilot episodes to determine a show’s potential. And they don’t churn out the same volume of shows as Netflix, so it’s easier to forget their cancellations. The same year HBO released “Game of Thrones,” it introduced a trio of programs that lasted only a couple seasons. Until a few years ago, Netflix had never made a TV series. Netflix bases its decisions on numbers just like most TV networks. But the metrics differ from the usual Nielsen data shared widely in the industry, according to Netflix employees, TV producers and executives who’ve worked with them. And unlike traditional broadcasters the company doesn’t provide much information about what drives decisions.

Kaspersky Antivirus Injected Unique Javascript Into Browsers

· · Link

Back in 2015, Kaspersky antivirus added a feature that made it possible for users to be tracked across websites, even in incognito mode.

The identifier, as reported Thursday by c’t Magazine, was part of a blob of JavaScript Kaspersky products injected into every page a user visited. The JavaScript, presented below this paragraph, was designed to, among other things, present a green icon that corresponded to safe links returned in search results…Kaspersky stopped sending the identifier in June, after Eikenberg privately reported the behavior to the AV company.

Forget Foldable iPhones. How About Foldable MacBooks?

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Dennis Sellers at AppleWorld.Today offers an intriguimg proposition.

We hear rumors about upcoming iPhones with foldable screen. But what about Macs with bendable displays. Imagine a MacBook Pro with a screen that measured 13-inches when you’re, for example, on an airplane. Get to your hotel room, however, and you can unfold it to 17 inches or bigger.

Author Sellers makes a good case.

Instagram from Facebook, Fake Story Views, and Russian Growth Hackers

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Some Instagram from Facebook users have noticed views on their Story from accounts that don’t follow them and seemed to be Russian. Instagram said it’s aware of the issue.

It also said this inauthentic activity is not related to misinformation campaigns but is rather a new growth hacking tactic — which involves accounts paying third parties to try to boost their profile via the medium of fake likes, followers and comments (in this case by generating inauthentic activity by watching the Instagram Stories of people they have no real interest in in the hopes that’ll help them pass off as real and net them more followers).

Does the Apple Card Count as a Mastercard World Elite?

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Redditor u/mdhardeman did some digging into the Apple Card. After running a test transaction they found that the card was listed as a Mastercard World Elite.

The Mastercard World Elite consumer credit cards are significantly more expensive to accept than a plain Mastercard credit card or basic rewards card. In exchange, the theory goes, Mastercard ensures that those cards only make it into the hands of premium consumers who, on average, spend more on many purchases and have a larger amount of disposable income. In exchange, Mastercard demands the higher reimbursement for the card issuers to be able to fund a benefits package that will attract heavy spenders to their World Elite card products.