System Preferences Reimagined on macOS — Basic Apple Guy

System Preferences Reimagined on macOS — Basic Apple Guy:

As features have continued being added to macOS, Apple has opted to force new preferences inside existing ones to avoid icon overcrowding. Focus Mode on iOS is crammed into the new ‘Notifications & Focus’ tab on macOS, Night Shift is a tiny button on the bottom right under the Display settings, and the Control Centre is managed behind the ‘Dock & Menu Bar’ icon through a process of having the user individually click-through 15+ different tabs to customize their Menu Bar.

And while some settings are crammed together, others feel needlessly scattered. AppleID, Family Sharing, Internet Accounts, & Users & Groups are four different preference icons, while on iOS they are essentially all managed under a single tab. Showing the Bluetooth icon in the Menu Bar is done through the ‘Bluetooth’ settings, while changing the clock is done in the ‘Dock & Menu Bar’ settings, not the ‘Date & Time’ option.

[Yes. It’s truly a mess. I’m pretty confident that the designers at Apple know this but can’t get this work prioritized. It seems familiar and yet strange at a company of that scope and scale.]

∞ Apple Support: How to watch together on your Apple TV during a FaceTime call

∞ Apple Support: How to watch together on your Apple TV during a FaceTime call:

Another excellent Apple Support video. This one walks through the process of syncing your Apple TV watching experience with other folks on a FaceTime call.

Interesting that the Mac is not mentioned, even though SharePlay via FaceTime was introduced in macOS Monterey 12.1, as described here.

No matter, good to see the SharePlay process in action. Well done.

[Great vids!]

Source: The Loop

Here’s what actually happens to all your online shopping returns – Rest of World

Here’s what actually happens to all your online shopping returns – Rest of World:

For a fee, these companies offer to optimize the money-losing headache of returns. Adam Vitarello, co-founder of Optoro, which manages returns for companies such as Target and American Eagle, says his company’s U.S.-based clients restock 90% of their returns, and most of the rest, which Optoro tracks through its platform’s reuse rate, is diverted to secondary channels like eBay, leaving about 4% headed to the landfill. 

But they rely also on the same overloaded infrastructure that the rest of the e-commerce global supply chain runs through once a sale is made. One of Optoro’s logistics partners is UPS, which hired nearly 100,000 new workers during the holiday season to keep up with high online shopping volumes. Rest of World’s AirTagged returns appeared to travel via the U.S. Postal Service, which has experienced unprecedented delays during the pandemic, due to high volumes, worker shortages, and increased labor costs.  Shein confirmed that the U.S. Postal Service is among its own logistics partners.

[I think we shouldn’t expect to pay much low prices for clothes, and also expect that they’ll last for a long time. The “quick fashion” industry is not helping the planet.]

Source: Pixel Envy

Dolby Atmos’ role in better digital experiences – Scobleizer

Dolby Atmos’ role in better digital experiences – Scobleizer:

What about the future?

The holy grail is to “fool” the listener into thinking she/he is at a concert, where sound is coming from all around you, particularly when you are at something like Coachella. There they have dozens of speakers in front, above, and behind you, and that sound is bouncing off of everything else.

We aren’t there yet.

[Inside out for me. I’m trying to understand how placement can enhance the value as a musician. Can I get more valuable separation to make a part standout without turning it into a parlor trick?]

DAW Power: Plugging into guitarist Mike Haldeman’s unique digital rig – Fretboard Journal

Plugging into guitarist Mike Haldeman’s unique digital rig:

I didn’t want these still, magical, mystifying moments of my interaction with music to become demystified by suddenly understanding complex jazz harmony. It’s like there’s a sound there that I love, and I want to keep its magical essence. I don’t want to understand it. I want it to be something that still remains kind of confusing and elusive and something that I have to search for.

[I want it both ways. All the understanding and all the magic. I may never get to both places, but that’s the dream.]

Essays: Letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee on App Stores – Schneier on Security

Essays: Letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee on App Stores – Schneier on Security:

I would like to address some of the unfounded security concerns raised about these bills. It’s simply not true that this legislation puts user privacy and security at risk. In fact, it’s fairer to say that this legislation puts those companies’ extractive business-models at risk. Their claims about risks to privacy and security are both false and disingenuous, and motivated by their own self-interest and not the public interest. App store monopolies cannot protect users from every risk, and they frequently prevent the distribution of important tools that actually enhance security. Furthermore, the alleged risks of third-party app stores and “side-loading” apps pale in comparison to their benefits. These bills will encourage competition, prevent monopolist extortion, and guarantee users a new right to digital self-determination.

[I think this will break both ways. There will be stores filled with spyware and crap, and none of these folks will be there to help you when that happens. But Apple could have moved in many directions to forestall all of this and instead they were greedy and prideful. So it goes.]

Two short AirPods “Find My” stories

Two short AirPods “Find My” stories:

The first one is about finding an AirPod in the snow. Follow the headline link to read.

But the second one is down in the comments, quoted here:

Their pods + case would always stay hidden away in their car, hidden from view and wirelessly charging for whatever place they were going to.

One day they went missing and that was that …until he was told about the Find My function.

Lo and behold, it registered in the app! And they went on to search for it.

It was at a car wash. When they told the boss about what they were doing on the premises, he went and rooted around for it himself and eventually found an employee wearing them.

Find My is brilliant.

∞ Read this on The Loop

[There is reasonable security in that you get notifications if someone leaves their AirPods near you, whether accidentally or as a spur of the moment attempt to track someone.]

Source: The Loop