A new “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” trailer has appeared! And, as was fated, we are here to deconstruct it within an inch of its life. Dark Side IKEA end tables! John Boyega quotes us the odds! Bespoke evil ships! And is that a glimmer in your eye, or just some lens flare? Plus we give some love to BB8, everyone’s favorite robotic soccer ball.
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Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
1. Watch This
I love me some Apple stuff as much as the next Apple nerd. But I’m really not sure about the watch. Reviews are trickling out and it seems mixed. Is this the next iPhone or the next Newton?
- “There’s an inherent tiny amount of lag that isn’t there with a regular watch.” John Gruber of Daring Fireball’s review.
- “It just has to answer one question: would you actually use the Apple Watch instead of your phone?” Nilay Patel at The Verge.
2. My Company Sucks
Technically I am my boss. But how would I tell myself if I’m not doing a great job if I asked myself for an evaluation of my abilities? Chris Coyier gives a great response to a reader’s question in “I Don’t Like Our Company’s Process. How do I Tell My Boss?”
3. Messenger In a Website
If Facebook.com is too much Facebook for you, you might be interested in the news that Facebook Launched Messenger for Web Browsers.
I’m curious how much Zuckerberg paid for Messenger.com.
4. Optimize Now
More and more of the internet is being viewed on mobile. There’s a good chance you’re reading this on your iPhone, Android tablet or Blackberry… thing?
Speeding Up WordPress with Image Optimization contains a bunch of tips for minimizing, optimizing and smush’izing your WordPress blog.
5. Spacebars and Semicolons
Apple released an update for Yosemite, 10.10.3, with a brand new Photos app that Apple hopes will crop iPhoto from your memory. I’ve been testing it on the beta version of OS X for a month and I think it’s an improvement — particularly with iCloud Photo support.
There’s also an iOS update for your iPhone or iPad — iOS 8.3 — that has emoji updates, wireless CarPlay and space bar UI fixes. My thumbs are too fat and frequently mash the space bar when I meant to hit a letter C. Your mileage may vary.
One final iPhone tip from David Sparks: If you have any contacts with extensions in their phone number, David’s got a magical way to make your iPhone behave using a simple semicolon.
6. Laugh It Up Fuzzball
Star Wars is finally making it’s way to iTunes. To digital. At $24.99CDN each, it’s not cheap to pick up the entire set. Are you going to dress up as Luke to line up in front of your computer to buy it?
7. Laugh If You’re Furious
Mallory Ortberg ends this edition of the newsletter with Reasons Why She’s Furious With Everyone Today.
And now I’m going to go eat my apple.
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If you’ve started using the new Photos app for Yosemite and you have a slighter older Mac1, you may notice your fans spinning up and your computer getting hot even though it seems like you’re not actually doing anything.
As best as I can figure out, the culprit seems to be the syncing service running in the background to keep your Photos.app in sync with what you have in iCloud Photo Library.
I believe “cloudd” is responsible for all iCloud syncing, including the possible thousands of photos being flung from Mac to iPhone to iCloud. “com.apple.photos.VideoConversionService” is likely doing exactly what it describes — any videos that aren’t in a compatible format for iCloud are being converted in the background while you’re trying to get other work done.
The blessing with Apple’s iCloud syncing system is that it’s all behind the scenes and there’s nothing to configure beyond checking a box and signing in with your iCloud account. The curse is that Apple’s iCloud syncing system is all behind the scenes and there’s no way to know if it’s going to be done soon or way to pause it and restart later like you can with a service like Dropbox.
I’m sure syncing is especially rough right now as millions of people are all throwing their photo libraries at iCloud at the same time. The scale of it is impressive, scary and interesting.
With iCloud Photo Library there’s one less thing to worry about backing up if you switch to a new Mac — now you can just sign in and your photos are all there ready to keep using. As long as Apple keeps building data farms to keep up.
It may also happen on new Macs, I just don’t have any around to test my theory with.↩
The 5th season of Game of Thrones is right around the corner. Here is an animated map that explains what happened in the last season and and where every character is right now.
Obviously this is heavy on the spoilers if you haven’t watched/read Game of Thrones.
Two-step verification is an important thing to enable on services like Gmail, Dropbox and more and more websites.
Agilebits recently added the ability to use their app 1Password, which many Mac users already use, to generate and store 2FA related passwords. TJ Luoma at MacStories wrote a detailed tutorial on switching to 1Password:
If you have been using Google Authenticator or Authy for two-step verification (“2FA” for short), you may have wondered whether you should switch to 1Password, now that it offers the same functionality. You may have wondered how much of a hassle it would be to change from one app to another, and if it would be worth it. If that describes you, well, then you’re in luck, because I just completed the switch and I’m here to report my results.
I’ll be switching to 1Password going forward with 2FA passwords.