HomePod mini, Arcade, and Waiting for M-Processor Macs, with Bob LeVitus - ACM 542

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus have both spent time with the HomePod mini, and they offer their thoughts on what it sounds like, where it’s useful, and who should consider it. They also talk about the value of Apple’s Arcade, especially now that it’s part of Apple One. They also talk about the power of Apple’s new M1 Macs, and discuss if people should buy Intel Macs at all any more.

Dr. Mac's HomePod mini Experience

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Dr. Mac takes a pair of HomePod minis for a test-drive and doesn’t know many (possibly any) speakers this size that sound this good.

Google Still Doesn’t Have iOS 14 Privacy Labels

· Andrew Orr · Link

Google privacy labels

I’ve been hesitant to keep sharing these stories. At the time this news first appeared I was skeptical, saying that we just got over the holidays so give Google a break. But as the days turn into weeks, this is when it does start to look damning and now it’s time to give Google some heat.

On January 5, Google told TechCrunch that the data would be added to its iOS apps “this week or the next week,” but both this week and the next week have come and gone with no update. It has now been well over a month since Google last updated its apps.

EU Fines Valve And Five Other PC Games Publishers

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Valve logo

The European Union Commission issued fines totalling €7.8 million ($9.4 million) to Valve and five other games publishers on Wednesday, Techrunch reported. It followed a lengthy investigation that found that firm’s had broken the bloc’s rules.

The geo-blocking practices investigated since before 2017 concerned around 100 PC video games of different genres, including sports, simulation and action games. In addition to Valve — which has been fined just over €1.6 million — the five sanctioned games publishers are: Bandai Namco (fined €340,000), Capcom (€396,000), Focus Home (€2.8 million), Koch Media (€977,000) and ZeniMax (€1.6 million). The Commission said the fines were reduced by between 10% and 15% owing to cooperation from the companies, with the exception of Valve, which it said chose not to cooperate (a “prohibition Decision” rather than a fine reduction was applied in its case).

Linux Now “Completely Usable” on Apple Silcion M1 Macs

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple M1 SoC

A version of Linux now works on Apple Silicon M1 chip, AppleInsider reported. Security researchers at Corellium ported the operating system, and plan to release it under an open-source license.

The Linux version is a full Ubuntu desktop operating system booted from a USB, according to Corellium Chief Technology Officer Chris Wade. Although details are scarce, he said that Linux is now “completely usable” on Apple Silicon machines. Network compatibility is possible through a USB-C dongle, and the current update to the platform will support USB, I2C, and DART. The Ubuntu operating system is one initially meant for the ARM-based Raspberry Pi, Wade added.

Apple Joint Venture Program Ends on February 22

· Andrew Orr · Product News

AppleCare Help Desk Support

Apple’s Joint Venture support program for businesses is ending on February 22, but an AppleCare program will be able to replace it.

The Story of the 30-Year-Old PDF Format

· Andrew Orr · Link

Adobe Acrobat app on smartphone

The Portable Document Format (PDF) has been around for thirty years. But how did it become so ubiquitous? Rob Walker shares the interesting story.

The PDF keeps spreading not because Adobe or any company forces others to use it, but because of “millions of people all over the world,” Parmenter says, “just doing their thing.”

LG Display Stops LCD Production for iPhone

· Charlotte Henry · News

LG Display has stopped producing LCD panels for iPhones as the work was particularly profitable for the company..

Beats Flex Now Available in Two New Colors

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

The Beats Flex headphones are now available in two new colors, 9to5 Mac spotted. Flame Blue and Smoke Gray have been added to the lineup. The headphones cost $49 and promise 12 hours of listening time and a 10-minute Fast Fuel charging option,

Beats Flex Now Available in Two New Colors

MindNode Update Adds Editable Outlines

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

MindNode updated its mind mapping app recently with a feature many users have wanted. Along with editing maps, outlines can also be edited. Nodes can be added, removed, indented/outdented, and reorganized directly. Other features include: Improved color pickers in the Inspector; Improved support for files from other apps that use Markdown; Fixed an issue where the Inspector would close when the icon of the open section was clicked. The update is currently available for the Mac app, but updates to MindNode for iOS/iPadOS are sure to follow.

MindNode Update Adds Editable Outlines

How to View Your Apple Watch Apps as a List

· Charlotte Henry · Quick Tip

Man wearing Apple Watch

The default Grid View on Apple Watch is a bit of a mess, but you can adjust the settings to view Apple Watch apps as a list instead.

Should Apple Build Netflix For Podcasts?

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Podcasts+ concept

Rumors abound that Apple is to launch a Podcasts+ subscription service to compete with Spotify. In his latest Vulture column, Hot Pod’s Hot Pod‘s Nick Quah looked at whether he should and highlighted some difficulties that the company may come across.

You have to start with the reality that nobody’s really figured out a Netflix-esque paid subscription service for podcasting just yet, which is another way of saying that audiences haven’t sufficiently expressed interest in that kind of relationship with podcasts … or that audiences haven’t been sufficiently conditioned to want to pay for a service that would serve them podcast-like experiences. For all intents and purposes, Luminary went nowhere, notable only for its achievements in raising investment money and driving headlines. Meanwhile, other examples that can be evoked — whether it’s Stitcher Premium or Quake Media — seem largely limited in their respective achievements. We simply haven’t seen meaningful efforts at a true podcast equivalent to Netflix or even something more genre-specific like Crunchyroll, Shudder, or the Criterion Channel.

This App-Integrated Case Prevents Your AirPods from Being Lost: $35.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Air Fob AirPods Charging Case

We have a deal on Air Fob, an app-integrated case for your AirPods Charging Case that will protect that case and help you not lose it. The case is made from silicon rubber, and it features an integrated Mu tag in the top of the case that will help prevent your AirPods from being lost. It’s $35.99 through our deal.

Malwarebytes Reveals it Was Hacked by Nation State Behind ‘SolarWinds’

· Andrew Orr · Link

Alert symbol of an exclamation point inside triangle

Malwarebytes co-founder and current CEO Marcin Kleczynski reveals the company was hacked. He believes it was the same nation state actor behind the SolarWinds attack. The state is believed to be Russia.

After an extensive investigation, we determined the attacker only gained access to a limited subset of internal company emails. We found no evidence of unauthorized access or compromise in any of our internal on-premises and production environments.

Crazy stuff, and we’ll probably hear of the fallout for a long time.