Fall foliage prediction map

As has become a bit of a tradition, here’s your annual fall foliage prediction map.

Slide the slider until your area comes into bloom, then plan your leaf-peeping tour.

Apple doesn’t do low budget

Shira Ovide, Bloomberg:

Like Apple’s 2017 iPhone editions, there will be three current year models but with even clearer product and pricing segmentation: good, better and best.

Here’s the thing, though: Apple has never done well selling the “good” phones in its lineup. That has hardly mattered because the more entry-level models effectively serve another duty: They push people to the more expensive versions that Apple increasingly relies on for its sales growth.

This article does a great job explaining Apple’s motivation in steering people to the top of the line models. As shareholders would rightfully expect, it’s all to maximize revenue.

Check out the first chart in the article, which shows Apple’s average revenue from each iPhone sold, on a yearly basis. Back in 2014, that number was $603. In only 3 years, that number skyrocketed to $758. Apple is good at this.

Think about the marketing you’ve seen over the last few years. Almost all of it is dedicated to pushing the top of the line iPhone X. When was the last time you saw a commercial for any other model, let alone the diminutive, in both price and form, iPhone SE.

Fire up Apple’s web site. There’s a gorgeous image of the iPhone X. Of course it makes sense that Apple would focus on the latest and greatest, but there’s also the flip side lesson, few people come to Apple for a budget phone:

This fits with a pattern of Apple’s relatively low-end iPhones not setting the world on fire. Remember the iPhone SE released in 2016? Apple said at the time that some people wanted a relatively smaller smartphone when most phones were getting supersized. It could have been the iPhone for the masses, but the $399 iPhone SE 2 has been relegated to a niche in Apple’s product lineup. The 2013 iPhone 5c was considered a budget alternative at $100 less than the $650 flagship model of the time. It is the Voldemort of iPhones. No one speaks of it.

“The Voldemort of iPhones”. Heh. I like it.

The most popular song of each year, from 1940-2017

[VIDEO] This is a terrific edit (embedded in the main Loop post), taking you from 1940 through today in a single stream. The list was made up of songs that spent the most time at number one on the Billboard charts.

That means, you won’t see Michael Jackson, Nirvana or Queen, even though each has songs that make any list of top 100 songs of all time. That quibble aside, this was a fun listen.

If you liked this, you might also check out the UK version.

Tim Cook’s Apple

Rene Ritchie, iMore:

Tim Cook wasn’t and isn’t a product person, not like Jobs. He didn’t dream up the next world-changing device. What he did was make those dreams a reality. Famously, he didn’t invent the iPad. He figured out how to make it for $500.

It would have been easy for Cook and his cool, steady Southern charm, to have continued as CEO much as he had as COO — running things by the numbers. But, even early on, Cook showed signs of something more.

Apple has never simply been a technology company. Jobs was clear on that: Apple stood at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. Slowly, inexorably, Cook has added a third pillar to that foundation: Civil responsibillity,

Tim Cook has been in charge long enough now that he’s put his own stamp on the new, many orders of magnitude larger, version of Apple.

[UPDATE: OK, this is the new article. It shared a URL with an older article, so there was indeed some confusion. All should be good now.]

The iPhone’s original UI designer on Apple’s greatest flaws

Another one of those interesting, readable articles with an unfortunate headline.

If you can get past the “Apple’s greatest flaws” sensationalism, this is actually pretty interesting.

Katharine Schwab, FastCompany:

It’s been a decade since the British designer Imran Chaudhri first imagined a user interface that would introduce millions of people to the smartphone. Chaudhri joined Apple in 1995, soon rising to become the design director of the company’s human interfaces group–where he was one member of the six-person team that designed the iPhone.

Credentials established.

Very early on, when we first started building prototypes of the phone, a couple of us were lucky enough to take them home… By using the phone and living with the phone, I had friends all over the world who were hitting me up all the time and the phone was pinging and the light was going on, so I realized for us to coexist with this phone, we needed to have something to act as a gatekeeper. Very early on, I designed what ultimately became Do Not Disturb.

And:

Inside, getting people to understand that [distraction] was going to be an issue was difficult. Steve [Jobs] understood it…internally though, I think there was always a struggle as to how much control do we want people to have over their devices. When I and a few other people were advocating for more control, that level of control was actually pushed back by marketing. We would hear things like, ‘you can’t do that because then the device will become uncool.’

And:

You might install about 10 applications on an afternoon and say, ‘yeah, you can use my camera, you can use my location, you can send me notifications.’ Later on down the road, you find out Facebook’s been selling your data. Later on down the road, you realize that you’ve developed a sleep disorder because these things are blinking every night and you actually don’t really care about them until the morning.

These are just snippets, just a taste of what I found to be a truly fascinating interview.

Everything new with Siri in iOS 12

Nice little rollup and video from AppleInsider. My favorite new Siri things:

  • Being able to turn my flashlight on and off
  • Asking Siri to find my devices

That second one is more than simply a handoff to the Find iPhone app. It will give you instant feedback if your device is nearby, and will offer to play a sound on the device. This is a very efficient way to locate a misplaced device, all with a single command and a button tap.

Dongles have been Apple’s top-selling products for the last two years at Best Buy

9to5Mac:

A report today from Ceros details the trend that Apple’s top-selling products overall (not just accessories) at the major retailer are indeed dongles. Specifically, over the past two years the 3.5mm to Lightning adapter and 3.3-foot USB-C to Lightning cable have been Best Buy’s most popular Apple branded items.

While AirPods just took over as the most popular individual product as of Q2 2018, dongles still prevailed as the top revenue generator overall, with Apple’s headphones category coming in second place.

Used to be, every cell phone brand made its own unique charger. That made for very little reusability and a nightmare if you forgot your charger. Outcry ensued, and we’ve now moved to two main form factors, both of which plug into the same USB brick. Much better.

This dongle thing feels like the pendulum swinging the other way. Now we have USB-C as a standard on our Macs, but dongles and USB-C confusion means we’ve got similar problems if we forget our dongle.

Will Apple ever move the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C? That certainly would simplify things for travelers, one dongle to rule them all.

UPDATE: I’m guessing this is unit sales, not revenue.

In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs comes across as a jerk. His daughter forgives him. should we?

First things first, I do hate this headline. Perhaps that’s my reverence at work.

That said, here are a few chunks from this article about Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ upcoming book that are the focus of this point:

Mr. Jobs fathered her at 23, then denied paternity despite a DNA match, and gave little in financial or emotional support even as he became a god of the early computing era.

And:

In passage after passage of “Small Fry,” Mr. Jobs is vicious to his daughter and those around her. Now, in the days before the book is released, Ms. Brennan-Jobs is fearful that it will be received as a tell-all exposé, and not the more nuanced portrait of a family she intended.

And:

On the eve of publication, what Ms. Brennan-Jobs wants readers to know is this: Steve Jobs rejected his daughter for years, but that daughter has absolved him. Triumphantly, she loves him, and she wants the book’s scenes of their roller skating and laughing together to be as viral as the scenes of him telling her she will inherit nothing.

I do think the article is worth reading and that the headline is accurate, if not emotionally manipulative. I’m torn about reading the book. I know what I’ll find, and I’m not sure how much truth about Steve Jobs I want to absorb. But truth is truth and I’d be hypocritical if I ignored the sour for the sweet.

Ironically, this will be one of the first books I order in the newly rendered Apple Books.

On ‘Shake to Undo’

Gruber is on a roll. In this Daring Fireball post, he digs into the iOS “Shake to Undo” gesture, an inelegant solution to a reasonably common and complex problem.

My favorite bit:

Here’s an anecdote I heard years ago about how Shake to Undo came to be. Scott Forstall charged the iOS team with devising an interface for Undo — everyone knew the iPhone should have it,1 but no one had a good idea how to do it. One engineer joked that they could just make you shake the iPhone to invoke it. Forstall said he loved the idea, and what was proposed as a joke has been with us as the Undo interface ever since.

My biggest issues with Shake to Undo are that it breaks flow (you have to stop whatever you were doing and shake your device like a maniac) and requires a physical action that is difficult for many people. I’d love to see this addressed as part of the architecture, as Undo is for the Mac.

Vector icon speed runs, an incredible resource

Marc Edwards continues to add to his library of vector speed runs. He mostly works in Illustrator, but the techniques translate into most object drawing applications. Bookmark and pass along.

Here’s a link to an Imgur album with the complete set of images. Be sure to tap the load more images button at the bottom of the page to see them all.

Fully operational Apple 1 computer up for auction

To me, this is one of the great artifacts of the computer age. Every little bit of this computer was assembled by hand, a genuine product of Woz and Jobs’ imagination and determination.

Terrific images, take a look.

Apple hired scores of ex-Tesla employees this year, and not just for its car project

When I first encountered this article, I thought it was simply a one-sided view of typical employee migration from one tech company to another. But a few nuggets:

In 2018 so far, LinkedIn data shows Apple has hired at least 46 people who worked at Tesla directly before joining the consumer electronics juggernaut. Eight of these were engineering interns. This year Apple has also hired former Tesla Autopilot, QA, Powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers, and several global supply chain managers. Some employees joined directly from Tesla, while others had been dismissed or laid off before joining Apple.

So this means Apple is hiring, still growing, and Tesla attracts worthy talent.

Field joined Tesla in 2013 from Apple, where he was a VP of hardware engineering at Apple. At Tesla, he was responsible for development of new vehicles there, including the Model 3 electric sedan, which is the company’s first electric vehicle designed for the mass market. Earlier this month, John Gruber reported that Field had returned to Apple to work on Project Titan.

Add to the equation, a major hire attracts people who looked up to that person, appreciated working with them, followed them from Tesla to Apple.

Regarding competition with Apple for talent, a Tesla spokesperson said, “We wish them well. Tesla is the hard path. We have 100 times less money than Apple, so of course they can afford to pay more. We are in extremely difficult battles against entrenched auto companies that make 100 times more cars than we did last year, so of course this is very hard work.”

I found this a very interesting read.

Siri and the flashlight

This started with Twitter user Paul Alvarado asking @AppleSupport why Siri could not do something basic and useful like turn on the flashlight.

@AppleSupport Why can’t I ask Siri to turn my iPhone flashlight on or off? Seriously, it’s inexplicably inane limitations like this that make me deeply despise Siri. cc @tim_cook @pschiller @cue

As you can see, Paul cc’ed Tim, Phil, and Eddy.

When I read this, I recognized the usefulness of the request. Asking Siri to turn on the flashlight would be an incredibly useful feature, especially when you are on your hands and knees trying to look under the couch for the only battery in the house that of course rolled under there.

So here’s the kicker, Phil Schiller’s response to the tweet:

https://twitter.com/pschiller/status/1032095824170250240

Yup. In iOS 12, Siri can turn on the flashlight. If you’ve got the beta, try it for yourself. And props to Paul Alvarado for asking the question and for his appreciative response to Phil.

Stephen Hackett publishes extensive screenshot library of every Mac OS since the Mac OS X Public Beta

Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels:

These images came from the OS, running on actual hardware; I didn’t use virtual machines at any point. I ran up to 10.2 on an original Power Mac G4, while a Mirror Drive Doors G4 took care of 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5. I used a 2010 Mac mini for Snow Leopard and Lion, then a couple different 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros to round out the rest.

This is simply remarkable work. Here’s a link to the screenshot library home page.

One vivid memory this brings to mind: I was working at Metrowerks, makers of CodeWarrior, and I had the chance to play with the first beta of Mac OS X. It was jarringly different. Finder windows used this multi-column browser approach, very different from the disclosure triangle, single-column of the original Finder. The colors were different, the window controls were skeuomorphic, had depth to them.

To be honest, I thought the beta was ugly. But over time, I got used to the change, and grew to love the power, functionality, and especially, the accessible Unix underpinnings of the new Mac OS.

Remarkable stepping through all these screenshots, watching macOS subtly evolve over time.

Let’s really think about this ‘new low-cost laptop to succeed MacBook Air’ thing

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

For most of the modern era at Apple, the company’s Mac portable lineup has been simple, dating back to Steve Jobs’s 4-square product matrix in 1998. iBooks and PowerBooks. Then, in the Intel era, plastic MacBooks and aluminum MacBook Pros. Lower-priced for consumers, higher-priced for pros.

The original MacBook Air threw a monkey wrench in this simple lineup, though. When it debuted in 2008, the MacBook Air was a premium portable, starting at $1799 with an 80 GB hard drive, and going up to $3098 for a version with a faster CPU and 64 GB of SSD storage. It was a different type of premium portable than a MacBook Pro, focused on a remarkably svelte (for the time) form factor. When Steve Jobs revealed that first MacBook Air by pulling it from a manila envelope on stage at Macworld Expo, there were gasps.

And:

This is one of those columns where I started with one idea, but in the course of writing it, drastically changed my mind. I find none of these scenarios satisfying, but I started out with the idea that the one thing Apple wouldn’t do is simply update the MacBook Air, as we know it or very similar, and just give it a retina display. I’ve been saying this for a few years now, that I saw the future as just MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and that the MacBook Air remained in the lineup only until the 12-inch MacBook could drop in price.

But the more I think about it, the more I think that something along the lines of the “just put a retina display in the MacBook Air” scenario seems the most likely.

These callouts are just snippets from an unusually long Daring Fireball column. When the MacBook Air came into being, it represented a huge change, filled a hole in the market. But the MacBook and MacBook Pro have taken advantage of the technology and material science gains MacBook Air brought to the market.

What will a new MacBook Air look like? Good question. Gruber’s take does a nice job exploring the tree of possibilities.

The high-stakes race to create the world’s first artificial heart

Texas Monthly:

To explore the inner workings of the heart is to discover a form and a function that can inspire thoughts of the divine in the most determined atheist. It is a marvel of strength, efficiency, and tenacity. About the size of a human fist—your fist, custom-designed to your unique size—it nestles perfectly at an angle deep inside the chest, protected by the rib cage and a cushion of lungs. Weighing about eight to eleven ounces, about the same as a running shoe, it has four hollow chambers, two atria and two ventricles that look, in pictures, like ancient temples carved out of caves. Those hollows hold perfectly regulated amounts of blood. The heart also has its own system of valves, muscles, and electrical currents that make sure nothing goes wrong. In fact, it’s easy to believe in the heart as a perpetual-motion machine: it beats 60 to 100 times per minute, about 115,000 times a day, more than 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime.

This is a book excerpt. It’s visceral and fascinating. It has me hooked.

Google, Apple drop college degree requirements?

CNBC:

Recently, job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of 15 top employers that have said they no longer require applicants to have a college degree. Companies like Google, Apple, IBM and EY are all in this group.

This just does not ring true to me. I know a number of people who work at Apple and Google without college degrees. And many more with degrees unrelated to the field in which they work.

I’d like to see the quote from Apple or Google citing a specific policy change. Ping me if you know more about this.

Office 365 update coming, will require macOS Sierra or later

Microsoft Office blog:

As of the Office 365 for Mac September 2018 update, macOS 10.12 or later is required to update to the new version of the Office client apps for Mac and receive new feature updates.

macOS 10.12 is more commonly known as macOS Sierra. If you don’t want to update to Sierra, you’ll still be able to get support. You just won’t be able to update to the new shiny coming in September.

As part of the upcoming September 2018 update, Office 365 for Mac users on macOS 10.12 or later will receive an update from the Office 2016 for Mac client to Office 2019 for Mac in order to maintain access to new feature releases and updates.

If you use Office, keep this in mind. I’ve always found Microsoft’s penchant for embedding calendar years in a release name an odd branding choice. In a few weeks, you’ll jump from Office 2016 to Office 2019.

No matter, good to know what’s coming.

Phil Schiller, stuntman

[VIDEO] This (video embedded in main Loop post) was filmed at the New York Macworld Expo, back in 1999. I find this simply amazing. Phil Schiller, taking one for the team. That is courage!

Reddit: Apple reserving China air-freight for upcoming weeks

This is not really news, any more than the fact of Apple holding a September event is news. Both are connected, obviously, and both come like clockwork. But I did find this interesting:

My mom is an import / export broker and told me they were notified that Apple has reserved almost all air freight going from China -> USA for the upcoming weeks. And the note was “Product Launch” so either they’re placing iPhones in the states, or there is something else happening.

And, from the comments:

The funny thing is, those iPhones seriously add up in terms of value per cubic meter.

Imagine a regular living room, maybe 6 x 6 meters, with 2.75 m ceilings. That’s 99 cubic meters of space. An iPhone X box is 16x5x8.8 cm which translates to 704 cubic cm, or 0.000704 cubic meter.

So your average living room can hold over 140,000 iPhone X boxes. That’s a cool $140M of retail value right there.

Imagine the value of a cargo plane filled with iPhones.

The 23 best movies of the 2000s

This is an excellent list. Nitpick away, but I’m betting there’s something new and delightful for you here.

My three favorites from the list:

  • Spirited Away: If you’ve never experienced a Studio Ghibli film, this is a great starting point. On my personal list of all-time great films. From the writeup:

Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki seems unable to make anything but masterpieces; still, this epic tale of a young girl separated from her parents and thrust into a magical world, stands as his greatest — not only for its transporting visuals but for its bracing sense of adventure, terror, resilience and heroism.

  • Michael Clayton: Talking truth to power, personal growth, with just a sprinkling of a “caper” film, this is George Clooney at his best. From the writeup:

If movies can be evaluated as sums of their parts — script, performance, design, editing and sound — then this legal thriller is sheer perfection.

  • Children of Men: This was made in 2006, but it might well be talking about today. From the writeup:

Alfonso Cuarón’s adaptation of the P.D. James novel evinced the perfect balance of technical prowess, propulsive storytelling, complex character development and timeliness when it was released in 2006. But its depiction of a dystopian near-future – what we ruefully now call the present — has proved to be not just visionary but prophetic. Its predictive value aside, it stands as a flawless movie — a masterwork of cinematic values at their purest, with each frame delivering emotion and information in equally compelling measure.

I love this list, not just for the movies it surfaces, but for the descriptions. Well done.

Apple removes 14 Apple Watch bands from website, many others ‘sold out’ ahead of September event

Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors:

We’re just under one month from Apple’s annual September iPhone event, which should also see the debut of the Apple Watch Series 4. Alongside each new edition of the Apple Watch, Apple typically updates its array of band accessories with new colors and styles. Echoing shortages from previous years, it appears that numerous Apple Watch bands have either been removed or are currently unavailable to purchase on Apple.com ahead of next month’s event.

Very curious what Apple has up its sleeve for the next Apple Watch. Thinner? Smaller bezel? New sensors? Improved heart-rate monitoring?

You can no longer sign up for Netflix via its iOS app

Gadgets360:

Netflix is not letting people sign up for its service via its app for iPhone and iPad. The Netflix iOS app also isn’t allowing people to log in with accounts where the subscription has lapsed and no credit or debit cards are linked to the Netflix account, Gadgets 360 has discovered. This means there is currently no way for users of iOS devices to pay for Netflix via the payment method saved on their Apple ID, unless they signed up to do so in the past.

Tricky situation. Netflix is choosing to keep the 30% Apple would normally take as a fee, and sacrifice the ability for users to sign up for accounts in iOS.

I just signed up for a new Netflix account in iOS Safari, so that still works. Presumably, Apple does not get 30% of that fee.

I’m guessing Apple will not kick Netflix off the iOS App Store. Existing subscriptions continue to be a cash cow for Apple and the availability of Netflix is politically important for iOS and Apple TV.

Will this set a precedent for other, Apple burdened subscription services? Interesting.

UPDATE: From this AppleInsider post:

Since Aug. 2, testing of the idea has been taking place in 33 countries, Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch. Some of the bigger test markets include Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and South Korea.

The company in fact said that it’s been testing since June, but began in just 10 countries. All new or resubscribing Android users have been unable to use Google Play for billing since May.

Apparently, you can still sign up for a new account in the US, but seems like this move is in the works. [H/T Mike Wuerthele]

The number of days between purchasing my 2018 MacBook Pro and the spacebar starting to get stuck?

Feh.

Hate to hear this. Had high hopes that the MacBook keyboard issues were behind us. I will add that my son’s machine (a 2017 model purchased earlier this year) has the same issue.

Check out the article URL, a nice little side comment in those last 13 characters.

One final note: Check out this video showing a warranty-voiding fix to the spacebar problem. Fascinating, but definitely not something you want to try at home.

Guessing the date of the Apple’s September iPhone event

Rene Ritchie, iMore:

Since iPhone 5, Apple has announced every new iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.

Rene lays out the dates of Apple’s September events since 2013 and makes his best guess:

It’s likely we’ll see this year’s event on or around Wednesday, September 12.

And this from John Gruber:

I have no inside information on this, but September 12 is definitely my guess, for all the same reasons Ritchie mentions. Since moving iPhone intro events to September in 2012 with the iPhone 5, they’ve had three events on Tuesdays and three on Wednesdays. For whatever reason, I don’t think they like Thursdays.

I do love this game, for some reason. Part of it, for me, is that this kind of guessing hurts no one and does stoke the embers for the event without revealing something that would diminish the event.

September 12th sounds good to me.

Outfoxing iMovie to set a default movie resolution

Josh Centers, TidBITS:

We’ve been trying to incorporate screencasts into more of our articles here at TidBITS—there are times when a short video conveys some point better than any number of screenshots. As far as tools go, ScreenFlow is the gold standard, but QuickTime Player can record screen actions and iMovie is a decent video editor. And both come with all Macs for free, so that’s where we’re starting.

But I recently stumbled across an infuriating problem: no matter what I did with my original screen recordings, I couldn’t use File > Share > File in iMovie to save a video file at a resolution higher than 720p.

Solid detective work by Josh Centers, as he works out a kludge to get a better iMovie resolution. But even better, his bit of hackery stuck and he now has reset the default iMovie resolution to something much more usable.

Even if you don’t use iMovie, you never know when the need will arise. Take a read through this, just to get a sense of the technique.

And:

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, since iMovie is an impressive tool to be bundled with the Mac for free, but hacks like this shouldn’t be necessary.

Yup.

iPad explodes in Apple Store Amsterdam, store cleared

Here’s a translation of the body of the article, from the Dutch, courtesy of Google Translate:

An iPad has exploded in the Amsterdam Apple store. Three employees were affected by their airways. The store has been evacuated.

Cause is probably a leaking battery. The fire brigade told the local broadcaster AT5.

Employees of the store have immediately placed the iPad in a container with sand. The employees who suffered from the airways were checked by the ambulance staff. The Apple Store, which is located at Leidseplein, has been aired by the fire department.

As far as I can tell, this story is the source of all the other coverage I’ve encountered. As always, if possible, I like to go to the source and read these sorts of things for myself.

As to the word explodes in the title and story, that’s the translation direct from Google. Was there an actual explosion? Was this more of a sizzle and pop than a boom or bang? Hard to say. Grain of salt.

Apple’s best media moves

Dan Moren, writing for Macworld, digs into the Apple TV’s TV app, the Movies Anywhere service, and Apple’s Apple Books rewrite.

The whole piece is worth reading, but a few nuggets:

The big question mark hanging over it all is what exactly will happen when Apple’s own video streaming service launches. Will it take over the [TV] app, pushing the rest of your content aside? Or will it be content to share a place on equal footing with the other partners? For customers’ sake, I certainly hope for the latter.

I use my Apple TV all the time, but never use the TV app, mostly because of the lack of Netflix integration. If Apple can get Netflix buy-in, and avoid overwhelming the TV app when they fold in their own Apple-branded content, the TV app will become my first stop when I switch to my Apple TV.

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled a major overhaul to its ebook platform, including a graphical update to the reading apps, a better store experience, and reading features that take aim at Amazon’s own Goodreads service.

That’s good because Amazon does continue to dominate the market and has little in the way of competition, and Apple is one of the few companies big enough to seriously challenge it. The real question is if Apple can do anything compelling enough to draw market share from Amazon.

I’ve long been an Amazon Kindle reader. I buy all my books from the Kindle store, do most of my reading on my iPad. But this new version of Apple Books has my attention. A central issue for me is the ability to share books with my family, something Amazon only recent started offering. Apple’s deal is much simpler, is already in place for me, and the Apple deal has none of Amazon’s limits.

Ingenious BMW theft attempt

Marc Rooding, Medium:

During that night, my girlfriend and I were fast asleep, when at 03:45 the doorbell rang. We looked at each other dazed. I got out of bed and attempted to journey downstairs in my boxers when the doorbell rang again. Before opening the door I went into the living room to gaze out of the window. A police car with 2 policemen was standing in front of our house. I opened the door and was welcomed with the question whether I owned a BMW with a specific license plate. They said that a car burglary had taken place.

Read the story. Short version, the thieves tried a new approach that might signal a new wave of auto theft techniques. If nothing else, this will give you something to be aware of, if your car is ever broken into, but nothing appears to be taken.