Noting it's been three years this week since the Mac mini received an update, MacRumors has some news from a reader. The question of Mac mini upgrades was sent to CEO Tim Cook and he responded that there is a "plan for the Mac mini to be an important part of our product line going forward."
From that, it sounds like there will at least be some kind of update, but probably not anytime soon. Apple already pre-announced a new iMac Pro computer and redesigned Mac Pro. This is in addition to smaller updates to its more popular Mac products. It would seem a good guess nothing will be happening for the Mac mini until next year.
Apple opens new generation Chicago store
Apple is opening a major new retail store in Chicago next week and Apple provided a preview. The store is described as a new generation of flagship stores.
Intended as a gathering place for the local community, the store will host year-round Today at Apple programming, building on Chicago's city-wide initiative to enliven the Riverwalk. To celebrate the opening, Apple Michigan Avenue will host "The Chicago Series," a month-long set of events that will provide attendees with the tools to pursue their passions, from photography and music to coding and app design.
The design of the store is intended to blend with the surroundings.
Every design feature serves to minimize the boundary between the city and the Chicago River. Even the building's 111-by-98 foot carbon-fiber roof was designed to be as thin as possible, and the entire structure is supported by four interior pillars that allow the 32-foot glass facades to remain unobscured.
The North Michigan Avenue store opens Monday with a number of planned events.
New closeup of Apple test vehicle
What is claimed to be an updated driverless kit from Apple hit Twitter.
A new video of what would appear to be one of Apple's "Project Titan" self-driving cars was posted to Twitter last night, and it looks much different than it did the last time we saw it. The car appears to be outfitted with standard third-party sensors and hardware, including (count 'em) six Velodyne-made LIDAR sensors, several radar units, and a number of cameras -- all encased in Apple-esque white plastic.
It seems most likely the hardware isn't as interesting as the software under development. It seems some kind of software solution or sensor/software kit for vehicle manufactures is Apple's current focus.
Adobe Lightroom expands to suite of apps
Adobe announced its popular photo application will be turned into a suite of applications for desktop and mobile. Lightroom CC Classic will the upgraded desktop app. Lightroom CC is encompass three platforms of desktop, mobile, and cloud.
Lightroom CC is designed and built around 3 guiding principles:
- Powerful Yet Simple--Lightroom CC will offer the powerful image editing that you want, while being simple and intuitive to use. Our goal is that it will have everything you need and nothing you don't.
- Seamless experience across all your devices--Lightroom CC will work the same across desktop, mobile, and web. This allows you to move across your devices without needing to relearn or figure things out. Your photos and edits are all where you'd expect them to be.
- Cloud Based--Everything you do in Lightroom CC is synced to the cloud. This means that you can access and work with your photos from any device (including multiple computers), and can easily share photos with others. All of your photos and all of the work that you do with them will be automatically backed up all the time.
Shady world of online mattress reviews
Fast Company has a deep dive with a recent lawsuit filed by online mattress seller Casper and review sites.
Email were disclosed in the lawsuit, including this from Casper CEO Philip Krim:
"As you know, we are much bigger than our newly formed competitors. I am confident we can offer you a much bigger commercial relationship because of that. How would you ideally want to structure the affiliate relationship? And also, what can we do to help to grow your business?"
Essentially as Casper grew, they tighten up the affiliate programs. As a result, online reviewers not only stopped recommending Casper mattresses but actively encourages readers/viewers to look elsewhere, presumably to mattress brands offering big spiffs.
In one email I saw, an unscrupulous mattress reviewer said companies regularly approached him offering to "buy" top placement on his site; so long as the reviewer liked the mattress, he'd happily negotiate a price. "Honestly, the FTC has to step in at some point and make review sites divulge what they are paid for each bed or brand," Nest Bedding's Joe Alexander, told me. "This industry is a freight train out of control."
Bare Bones Software released a major update to its popular text editor BBEdit. Version 12 brings support for macOS High Sierra, tons of new features/improvements, and fixes. One that jumped out at me is new support for column-delimited text and ways to manipulate this info. This sounds like a task required a switch over to Excel.
I've been using BBEdit off and on for probably close to 20 years. I've been using the free Textwranger for recent years because it better fit my simpler needs. Textwranger has been discontinued and those features are available as free within BBEdit. The full suite of tools cost $50 with upgrade options available.
Visual history of the iPhone's guts
Bloomberg and iFlixit collaborated on a cool site documenting the significant components of all the major new iPhones. The site promises to include minor versions such as the iPhone S and future devices such as the soon-to-be-released iPhone X. Each entry offers an overview of changes, noteworthy component changes and estimated component costs. Also offered is the not very relevant build cost adding up estimated component costs.
The story of the device's evolution is readily available to anyone willing to crack an old phone open and look at what's inside. To understand this, we partnered with iFixit, the website known for publishing detailed "teardowns" of each phone, and IHS Markit, which produces estimates of the cost of electronics components. Then, with an EBay account and a little help from Sunny Lin, the founder of Simple Mac, an iPhone repair shop in New York, we got our hands on each iPhone model and opened them up. Here are the results.
US Department of Justice touts "responsible encryption"
"Warrant-proof encryption defeats the constitutional balance by elevating privacy above public safety," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a speech at the US Naval Academy today. "Encrypted communications that cannot be intercepted and locked devices that cannot be opened are law-free zones that permit criminals and terrorists to operate without detection by police and without accountability by judges and juries."
Essentially it appears the idea floated is to have companies hold keys to customer's encryption. Follow the massive Equifax data breach, not to mention other government breaches, I don't see any reason citizens should have confidence in such a mandated solution.
Report: Apple strikes deal for Spielberg's Amazing Stories reboot
The Steven Spielberg's popular 80's sci-fi/fantasy show is coming back and Apple reportedly snagged the rights to the program.
The Wall Street Journal via The Verge:
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company has struck a deal to revive the Steven Spielberg anthology series Amazing Stories. The filmmaker's Amblin Entertainment production company will be producing 10 episodes of the new series with NBCUniversal's television production unit, with a budget of $5 million earmarked per episode. No details about Spielberg's specific involvement as a director are mentioned, but according to the report, he will likely serve as an executive producer on the new series. Hannibal's Bryan Fuller will serve as showrunner.
It will be interesting to see whether the program will be a part of Apple Music, stand-alone, or some other service.
Two-thirds of Americans own an Apple gadget
Via MacRumors, 64-percent of Americans in a CNBC survey indicate they own at least one Apple device. That's kind of crazy, but seems indicative not only the popularity of the iPhone, but also the variety of Apple's consumer electrics.
One interesting tidbit on demographics:
Apple device ownership rates dip below 50 percent in the 2017 survey for Americans with incomes under $30,000, retirees, and women over the age of 50. CNBC reported that the "wealthiest Americans" own 4.7 Apple products per household, while the "poorest" have one. Other statistics include 3.7 devices per household in the West of the United States, while households in the South owned 2.2 devices on average.