A New, Unforeseen Threat to Apple Appears

Apple retail stores are preparing for long lines ahead of today's "hello again" product announcements

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of October 23rd
The Future of the MacBook and MacBook Pro

Very often, the value of an article is in the details of the discussion: the observations, nuances and references. This article by Jason Snell at Macworld sounds overly critical, but invokes a good dialog about Apple’s thinking. “Three MacBook mistakes: Will Apple correct course?

2016 MacBook Pro, 13 and 15.
MacBook Pro, 13 and 15. Image credit: Apple

After all, two of the criticisms refer to the MacBook, a Mac that was designed in the Mac’s dark years, 2015-17. I agree that it would be good to have an extra USB-C port on new MacBooks, but I disagree about the original butterfly keyboard—which I love. So what do you think?

It could well be that as part of the re-thinking of the Mac lineup, one that is more practical and functional, with less focus on design that interferes with instead of enhances functionality, Apple will make some welcome changes to the future MacBook and MacBook Pro models. We shall see.

More Debris

• Microsoft has given up on the Kinect technology. A very good story at co.design details the rise and fall of this Microsoft technology. “Exclusive: Microsoft Has Stopped Manufacturing The Kinect.

Manufacturing of the Kinect has shut down. Originally created for the Xbox 360, Microsoft’s watershed depth camera and voice recognition microphone sold ~35 million units since its debut in 2010, but Microsoft will no longer produce it when retailers sell off their existing stock. The company will continue to support Kinect for customers on Xbox, but ongoing developer tools remain unclear.

This is a great story about the forces that act on evolving technology. It also seems to fit in with a new kind of thinking and focus by Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella.

Brydge 12.9 aluminum keyboard for iPad Pro
12.9-inch iPad Pro with Brydge keyboard.

• If you have access to a server to do your (non-GUI) code development work, an iPad Pro and keyboard can be a pretty nifty terminal for access. “The iPad Pro as main computer for programming.” This should whet your appetite:

In the summer of 2017, I wanted to know what it would be like to use an iPad Pro as my main computer. I found out that it can actually work, thanks to an iOS app called Blink, an SSH replacement called Mosh, iOS 11 and running stuff on a server.

• Finally, we know that Apple is developing original TV content. But one of the things I have written and podcasted about is that Apple as a corporation will be harshly judged by the character of that content. I thought it would be unwise for Apple to jump in with the same levels of sex and violence as everyone else. Really great, high caliber content doesn’t need it. And so I was pleased to see this missive by Peter Kafka at recode. “Apple’s new TV shows will be nipple-free.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weekends.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD



It’s the greater and not the lesser arc of time, which has seen an overall expansion in human rights, women’s rights, child protection laws, education and access to health care over the past century that gives me hope and optimism about the future, episodic societal fevers of the mind and soul notwithstanding.


There might be something of the game “King of the hill” and Americans’ love of the underdog in this. Could it be that there is a point where someone or something, a business, makes too much money? Or has too much control of a marketplace? – perceived or not. After reading this column, I went back and read E.A. Robinson’s “Richard Cory” (1897). Cory’s death doesn’t elicit any upset or remorse from the narrator, just a simple telling of fact. More than sadness, the poem seems a warning about envying the wealthy. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Americans have… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: The issue regarding popular perception about Apple and how that is shaped through the interplay with social media is complex and not without relevance to Western partisan politics, particularly in the US. As troubling as some of the Verge’s poll findings might be for Apple, they should not be surprising, neither should they be seen as inherently bad prognostic indicators for Apple. Both Neil Cybart’s article on ‘Apple facing a double standard’ and John Gruber’s piece on ‘Face ID FUD’ provide excellent dissections of the many issues at work that help to both shape popular perception and fuel social… Read more »


Sadly, even if irrational group-think is transient by nature, it can last long enough to cause great damage. Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s comes immediately to mind.


The Democrats have a habit of taking over institutions like schools and newspapers. They turn them into compromised spam servers for liberal messaging. People continue to trust them because they still bear the same name as they did in the past. This was being expanded to businesses under the guise of “millennials trust companies that are activist.”. And activist stockholders were pushing for it. But this coincided with a sort of “great awakening” to fake news, and distrust of elitists. So now it was stopped mid-track. Similar to NFL, the compromising of the server was stopped half way. Apple surely… Read more »


Most of the tech elite billionaires are liberals. Look at how there is almost no diversity of political opinion among tech billionaires. All of these billionaires are fervent Hillary supporters: Bill Gates Tim Cook Jack Dorsey Sergei Brin Larry Page Elon Musk Mark Zuckerberg Peter Thiel demonstrates this. He’s a tech billionaire who didn’t support Hillary, and he became notable as the only one who didn’t. Hillary Clinton is synonymous with these billionaires. Instead of being politically neutral, these companies has made themselves a conceptual part of Hillary / DNC. That means they stupidly put themselves into a position where… Read more »


Sadly true. It’s why for a long time companies tried to keep politics out of their public image.


And by the way geoduck you are a prolific commentor on here and I always appreciate reading your stuff up


I posted a reply to you but accidentally put it in the main thread


Lately, the tone of reporting at The Verge has turned decidedly anti-Apple. Their recent Apple product reviews show a strong anti-Apple double standard and the tone of their Apple coverage in general is sneaky and dismissive. Simultaneously, The Verge ran a large number of exclusive ‘First Look’ articles about Google’s fall product offerings. These articles featured extensive behind-the-scenes interviews with Google staff and pre-launch access to the new products. It’s no surprise that these articles read more like long form advertisements than journalism. More troubling, The Verge’s recent coverage of Google’s post-launch problems reads quite a bit like FOX News… Read more »


As we are irrelevant to the market especially if you are over 50 and 60 – the kids are smarter and less prone to the BS that Apple and Microsoft flaunt, the news is ubiquitous – ALL tech has it’s share of problems – Apple releases bug fixes every day for security it seems, the Cloud services have all been hacked right? Yahoo, Gmail iCloud the Credit bureau – and Apple has destroyed a great computing OS because of their myopic iPhone fetish probably because kids don’t buy computers anymore I dunno. (can anybody find “delete messages from the server”… Read more »

Lee Dronick

the kids are smarter and less prone to the BS

Not true.


No, they aren’t. If anything, they are more susceptible. In my experience (and I have reasons to believe my experience is broad in this area, which I can’t elaborate on here) most young people will accept anything, they question nothing, and they have no desire to make the effort to questions anything. It is just the way they have been raised. This notion of the über- conscious 21st century youth genius is pure myth – seriously: forget the fact that 17 year-old kids don’t know how to tie off a balloon, and consider that their technological literacy is at about… Read more »

Lee Dronick

Social media had so much potential to be truly egalitarian, but the opposite has happened,

That reminds me of the opening sequence to movie Idiocracy where nature rewarded the most prolific breeders and not the brightest among us.


What still amazes me is that people actually trust Facebook!!

Lee Dronick

I use Facebook, but I sure don’t trust them. I get my news from outside of Facebook.


There’s been a number of stories in the news about the perceived threat from big tech companies. Usually they’ve been in the form of inaccurate reporting and a failure to filter from Amazon, FaceBook, Twitter, Google and Apple. Apple? Apple makes computers. They aren’t a social platform or a place that published articles. It’s all just felt more than a bit weird. I’ve seen a lot of this Apple bashing online. One comment that I literally found funny was the guy that proclaimed that the iPhoneX was a complete flop. The display was crap, the notch was beyond annoying, and… Read more »


It’s weird, the level of anti-Apple vitriol seems to coincide with the coarsening of public discourse and the rise of Trump.

I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t something scary happening to society as a result of excessive use of social networks on mobile devices.


Sadly yes, society has become quite scary. And I do put it up to Social Media giving a platform to the crazies. There was a story on CBC yesterday. Apparently people who were shot a month ago in Las Vegas are now getting online abuse, even death threats from idiots who are convinced that it was faked. In their mind Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and all the rest of these shootings never happened. They believe that anyone who posts their experiences are “crisis actors” and are part of the conspiracy. While we always have had “that crazy guy on… Read more »