Here is the Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #9 for April of 2021.
Post highlights from my microblog
That was a slow month for me on Micro.blog as I worked on much larger articles.
- I was finally able to update my visual theme after many problems with the Micro.blog rendering engine at the back end. Let me know if you like it!
- Tim Cook gave a candid interview this month where he talks about his future at Apple. Quite interesting.
- Is Apple working on a new visual signature for a future release of iOS? I’m wondering.
- More than a year ago, Jony Ive left the Apple building. It seems the iPhone is getting fatter and fatter. But the iMac is getting way thinner. The iPad Pro is getting a tad thicker.
Post highlights from my Medium page
As a paid membership is required to read my articles here on Medium, suffice is to say that I cross-posted three big pieces that are available on my other blogs. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to read them. See the following sections.
Post highlights from my Numeric Citizen Blog
- As much as I love Micro.blog, it won’t replace my WordPress blog any time soon. Here is why.
- My Digital Garden is now official. See the announcement here.
- I published a complete guide on how to power up macOS Big Sur by using a set of third-party utilities. Don’t miss it.
- My thoughts on Apple’s Spring Loaded event. During its “Spring Loaded” event, Apple showed a relentless desire to innovate and push boundaries. Here are my thoughts. Color me impressed.
- An example where Apple, the App Store gatekeeper, isn’t doing a good job at keeping great quality Apple Arcade games.
- I’m a happy user of NextDNS. I feel that I’m now back in 2005.
Post highlights from my Numeric Citizen I/O
- Google is coming in May with an update to their ranking algorithm that could affect website traffic. See how I got myself ready in this feature article.
- Instapaper or Pocket — What’s the best read later service for me? See why I chose Pocket.
- Do you want to know how many websites I use and why I do use so many of them? You’ll find answers here.
- One of my articles got stolen and republished without my permission. It’s the second time this happens to me. I hate it.
Apple tidbits worth my attention
After their spring cleanup in March, at the long, Apple had their first Apple Event of 2021. My reactions are documented in my Thoughts on Apple’s Spring Loaded event. Here are a few reactions from Apple pundits and the tech press.
1️⃣ Apple’s strategy around their M1 chip is unprecedented. With a single chip, they can power three different form factors, from the desktop, the laptop to the tablet.
“Apple to standardize on a single CPU core across a wide range of products and price points. This is in complete opposition to the way PCs are traditionally positioned. (…) No single x86 CPU is sold this way or positioned as a solution to such a broad range of use cases. (…) Selling the M1 in both $699 and $1,699 machines challenges the idea that a computer’s price ought to principally reflect the CPU inside of it. (…) PC users who don’t like Apple’s ecosystem or who need more CPU performance than Apple sells obviously won’t be convinced. But it’s a unique, distinct argument from anything we’ve ever seen. We’ll see if the company sustains it as it introduces new ARM-powered hardware later on this year.” — ExtremeTech
2️⃣ The new Apple TV Remote doesn’t have a U1 chip, not a gyroscope or accelerometer. The new 12.9” iPad Pro isn’t compatible with the previous generation Magic Keyboard. You can’t buy the new Magic Keyboard with TouchID to use with an M1 Mac mini, yet. Apple still sells Intel-based 21.5” and 27” iMac models. The Apple TV 4K not only keeps the same name but also the same high price. I don’t like the wallpaper Apple chose for the new iPad Pro. But, who cares, right?
3️⃣ AirTags are boring but useful. I ordered a four-pack. I should get them by mi-May. I’ll try not to lose my keys until then.
4️⃣ Apple released their financial results for their second quarter. The numbers are exceptional, considering the current international crisis. 🤯
From Twitter, a few notable reactions:
Some of my photos that came to light
During a quick ride, I took my Nikon D750 with me to take a few pictures. The following two pictures were taken while I was in the car. Not bad. Processed with Adobe Lightroom CC on my iPad Pro.
Must see photography stuff
Albums is a photo-sharing service. From what I can see on the website, this service certainly looks great. Photos are uploaded to the cloud in high quality and securely. People can comment on them, provided you are sharing the albums. From what’s I’m seeing, the service is free. So, the question becomes: how is this service can be viable in the long term? How am I supposed to trust this young company? Where do they get their revenues? Do we need another photo-sharing service? It looks like a duplicate of Apple’s iCloud Photo Library and Google Photos. I’m still waiting for Glass, though. No news since September of 2020. Doesn’t looks good to me. The same goes for Bokeh, a never-finished photo-sharing website still under construction.
I decided to cancel my subscription to Universe, a website building tool that I reviewed a year ago. At that time, I created a visual space from my urbex photographs. The service is quite expansive, and I decided it wasn’t worth it, even if I love their building tool. More details here.
Speaking of Universe, this time from an astronomy perspective, an issue of this newsletter wouldn’t be a great one without some space photography. These are the most stunning astronomy pictures for 2021 so far. 🤯
I’m still sad about Getty Images buying Unsplash. Many are unhappy about this turn of events, like Om Malik. He is furious about this whole story and doesn’t have an ounce of confidence for the future of Unsplash. He closed his account. 😢
When does photography becomes digital art? There is no clear answer to that one.
Climate change issues
One of the many reasons why I love Apple is their environmental actions. They seem to care more than any other company of their size. According to their progress report, they should be carbon neutral by 2030. They are already carbon neutral for their corporate offices around the world by reusing renewable energy forms. According to their latest product report cards, more and more recycled materials are used in product manufacturing. For curiosity, I tried to hit the https://google.com/environment. It returns an HTTP 404 error. 😳🤬
Not all is lost regarding Google. They made the following video about the earth's transformation over the years, thanks to Google Earth. Must see.
Privacy stuff we should care about
It’s a big month for data privacy protection. Here is why. First, consider this:
This month, Apple released iOS 14.5 with a do not track feature that is sending shockwaves in the user tracking industry behind advertising. I salute Apple’s willingness to care about user privacy. Facebook is not happy about it. Tim cook doesn’t understand why the pushback on privacy protection, a human right from his point of view. Please, do yourself a favour: don’t give permission to applications for tracking you. It’s easy. A full description of iOS 14.5 features can be found here.
Parler is back in the App Store. I’m not happy with this. But, if Apple chose to keep them out, how can they keep Facebook in?
Speaking of Facebook, another major data leak, this time, more than 500m users are affected. That’s insane. One of my email addresses has been leaked, but not my phone number. You can this here, with this tool.
Quotes to remember
What’s next? I’m glad you asked!
Well, I’ll keep doing what I like to do the most during this pandemic: write and publish. The end is in sight for this ordeal, though. Maybe I’ll do more photography and less writing this summer. I’ll see how it goes.
1️⃣ I’ve been vaccinated. At long last. That’s a clear sign of light at the end of the long tunnel. In the first 18 hours after receiving my shot felt miserable. It’s nothing compared to getting COVID-19, I guess. The next shot is scheduled for mi-august.
2️⃣ The guys behind Craft added a web editor for the service. Useful for those on Windows who want to use the service. I still love it more than Notion, a service that I rarely use these days.
3️⃣ Here is a strange story: a group of hackers stole confidential documents about Apple’s upcoming products. They asked for a ransom to Quanta, one of the assembly companies for Apple and for Apple itself. They put a few schematics online while threatening to put more each day until they get paid. I thought that Apple would pay the ransom to make sure the hackers stop publishing their findings. They stopped. did Apple Pay? My guess is yes. Rumors say nope. We may never know for sure.
4️⃣ One of the co-founders of Adobe has died recently: Charles Geschke. Adobe reminds me of my times with Apple and Adobe products with Photoshop 3.0 and Postscript printer like the LaserWriter. Time flies.
This concludes the Numeric Citizen Introspection Newsletter #9 for April of 2021. I would love to get your feedback and read your comments. Thanks for being a subscriber. Thanks for reading! 🙏🏻