» ‘Opening a CURSED Macintosh SE!’

This is a wild set of modifications someone did to a Mac SE.

» ‘Trump calls TikTok a hot brand, demands a chunk of its sale price’

In the ever-tightening spiral as the United States goes down to the toilet bowl into the sewer of kakistocracy, TechCrunch reports on the words of the some-time resident of the White House on the grotesque deal being brokered for the sale of TikTok to Microsoft:

But the United States should be reimbursed, or should be paid a substantial amount of money because without the United States they don’t have anything, at least having to do with the 30%.

This is the guy the supposed lovers of free markets support.

» ‘New iPhone SE is successful in its intended role, says CIRP’

Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac on a report that shows the iPhone 9 sold well this past quarter:

The data showed that some 73% of those buying an iPhone SE were upgrading from a model more than four years old.

The original SE was more than four years old. I know this because that’s what I had before I bought this year’s SE. I wonder how much of this was “people who hold on to their phones for a long time” and how much was “people who just wanted a smaller damn phone with up-to-date components”.

» ‘Intel’s 7nm is Broken, Company Announces Delay Until 2022, 2023’

I’m not going to link to them, but if you look you can find people who think that Apple moving Macs to its own chips is a bad idea. I don’t know why you would do that but you can is all I’m saying which just seems rather incredible.

» Rebound Prime

My podcasting co-hosts and I are pleased to announce the launch of Rebound Prime, bonus content for listeners of The Rebound, our award-curious technology podcast. They said three white men could never talk about technology for 40 minutes a week for over five years but they were wrong.

Now, for just $5 a month you can support the show and get bootleg editions, bonus episodes, monthly live streams and more. It’s so much podcasting goodness you’ll need to walk it off like a rich meal.

So, check it out and take this opportunity to keep Lex and me making dad jokes and Dan making Dan jokes.

Touching

Seven years ago I wrote this over at Macworld:

The use of iOS devices has prompted us to expect screens to be responsive… While other vendors shipped touchscreen computers first, Apple is the company that could ship them right. … [Its] approach, assuming this particular rumor actually materializes, will have to reinvent user interaction on the desktop.

I, of course, had no idea how Apple might do that, but I knew from using Windows-based touchscreen devices that you can’t just slap a touch screen on a mouse-and-pointer-driven interface and call it good. With Windows 8, Microsoft had bolted a touch-based interface over top of the traditional one. Windows 10 improved on that, but its improvements were mostly focused on making the desktop experience better, fixing the things they messed up in Windows 8, not so much improving the touch experience.

The basic problem is that fingers are less precise than pointers. You can compensate for this by making all your touch targets huge, but that really screws up your interface for desktop use; large, clunky interface elements aren’t a solution. You could have the device work in two different modes, but mode switching is just another band aid and is only designed for tablets that dock to keyboards, not laptops.

What’s an operating system designer to do?

When you look at how Apple implemented cursor support in iPadOS, you get an idea: make it smarter. Over at Six Colors, Jason Snell sums up the WWDC session on Design for the iPadOS Pointer.

…the iPadOS designers focused on a pointer with “adaptive precision,” that could switch contexts (and shapes) to become more precise when necessary.

He concludes:

After watching the session, I have to be honest: I fully expect Apple to bring an adapted version of the iPad’s approach to pointers to macOS in a future release.

He’s not specifically suggesting there will be touch-input Macs coming, but making the operating system smarter — giving it the ability to make some assumptions about imprecise inputs and ask you “Is this what you wanted?” — is the kind of change I can now 100 percent say I was thinking of seven years ago when I had no idea what would happen. That was it. Totally.

I don’t know if touch-input is coming to the Mac (beyond the Touch Bar). But all the pieces needed for it are certainly coming together. So why not?

» Microsoft closing almost all retail stores

This is the smart thing to do as opening them in the first place was just another quixotic effort by Steve Ballmer to show that Microsoft could be successful at anything Apple could be successful at. They can’t and that’s fine.

I do enjoy their PR headline: “Microsoft Store announces new approach to retail.” The new approach: not doing retail.

» Apple reportedly re-closing stores

Mark Gurman on Twitter:

Apple says it is re-closing 11 stores across Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona amid Covid-19 spikes.

This doesn’t seem to be reflected on Apple’s Store List page yet as some stores in these states do show they’re closed but in Florida, for example, all of the stores still say they’re open.

Regardless, infection rates are rising again. The U.S. has been an abject failure at handling this virus. And it didn’t need to be this way.

» ‘Microsoft’s robot editor confuses mixed-race Little Mix singers’

With all that is going on, it’s understandable if you missed the news last week that Microsoft fired most of its human news editors and replaced them with an AI. As dystopian as that sounds, just wait, because now that the AI has screwed up by publishing the wrong image of a mixed-race performer, the remaining human editors have been asked to watch for the Guardian piece on the screw-up and delete it manually because the AI might think it’s of interest to MSN readers.

“We fired your human coworkers and replaced them with a robot. Your job now is to cover up for the robot’s mistakes.”

» ‘Reflecting on the Color of My Skin’

Marques Brownlee:

Not only is racism not acceptable, but we have to actively work against it.

He also makes a very important point about supporting black creators on YouTube: simply subscribing to a YouTube channel and then not watching or engaging with the content, does not help the creator because it flags to the algorithm that there’s a problem.