April 22, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Netflix, Final Cut Pro, Click to Cancel

Netflix seems to be in a bit of trouble if its recent earnings are any indication. Dave and I discuss what we think could be the cause of the company’s drop in subscribers. We also talk about the frustration among professional Final Cut Pro users, and a new piece of legislation in Pennsylvania that would force companies to allow users to cancel a subscription online, instead of forcing them to make a phone call.

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April 15, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Crime, Twitter, and Google apps

There were a few technology related crime stories that Dave and I found interesting this week, including a driverless car that was stopped by the police. We also found out how the MLB and Apple are handling baseball games on Apple TV and Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter.

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April 8, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: WWDC, Elon, and Beer Day

It’s National Beer Day, a good reason to pop one open with friends! This week Dave and I talk about WWDC and what you should expect from the show, and what you shouldn’t. Elon Musk now owns 9 percent of Twitter, and Apple is airing its first MLB games on Friday night.

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April 1, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Copy/Paste Magic, CODA wins

Dave brings a little bit of magic to the show as he tells of a way to copy and paste photos from one device to another that seems like magic. We also talk about CODA’s historic win at the Oscars, and Apple is a couple of weeks away from airing its first MLB games.

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March 25, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: CODA, Apple branding, and Wi-Fi

The Oscars are this weekend and CODA is up for Best Picture. Dave, and everyone else I’ve talked to, loves this movie—there seems to be a real chance it will win. We talk about how Apple is branding its products, especially the new Mac Studio and display. We also discuss whether Apple should bring back the AirPort line of networking products and if they can innovate that market again.

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March 18, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Mac Studio, Universal Control, and Netflix

Dave is back from vacation, so we take some time to look at Mac Studio and give our thoughts on Apple’s new machine. There is at least one pro industry that lags behind in software updates that may affect people’s buying decision of Mac Studio. We also talk about Dave’s obsession with Universal Control and how you can use it. Netflix is going to cut down on account sharing with people not in the same household—Dave and I give our thoughts on that situation.

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March 11, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: With special guest Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie joins me this week to talk about the event Apple held this week. We dive into all of the product announcements and the importance of each one for the company and the consumer.

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March 4, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Retirement and the Apple Event

My first week of retirement is almost over, so Dave and I talk about what it’s been like to not be worried about The Loop for the first time. We also talk about Apple’s upcoming event and the possible product announcements. iPads, iPhone, and Macs are all on the list as possibilities.

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February 28, 2022

Jim Dalrymple: I am retiring

This is the most difficult, but at the same time, the most exciting story I have ever written. After almost 30 years of reporting on Apple, I am retiring.

I guess the biggest question is what happens to The Loop. Daily posts will stop, but the site will remain online, and we’ll use it to host The Dalrymple Report podcast, which Dave and I have decided to keep going. I may be officially retired, but I still have things to say and opinions to give.

Over the past couple of years, I have taken time to address issues in my personal life. In that time, I realized that there is so much more to life than work—I’ll be honest, that revelation came as a massive shock to me, but I couldn’t be happier.

From the early days at MacCentral in 1994, then to MacWorld in 1999, and starting The Loop in 2009, I have always tried to be honest in my reporting. I look back at my career with satisfaction and pride, knowing that I did the best I could.

If you currently pay $3.00 a month for The Loop, you can continue that to help support the podcast—we would certainly appreciate it. If not, you can cancel your account through PayPal or you can email me and I’ll help you out.

I made many friends throughout my journey and people who have helped me over the years. Peter Cohen, John Gruber, and Jason Snell, to name just a few, are great people that I leaned on for advice and support. I spent years being a guest on Shawn King’s weekly podcast and Shawn helped on The Loop too. So many great people.

The one person that made the most significant difference for me is Dave Mark. You all know Dave from his posts on The Loop and my partner on the podcast, but he is so much more than that. Dave isn’t just a co-worker; he’s not just a friend; he is like a brother to me. His work on The Loop and podcast has been excellent, but his continued support has meant the world to me. Cheers, Dave!

I have to thank my family for all of their support over the years—it is because of them I was so successful. Helping to start an online business in 1994 wasn’t exactly the thing to do at the time, but with the support of my ex-wife and kids, it happened and thrived. Thank you!

So, what’s next?

My fiancé, Erika, has accepted a job that has us moving from the Bay Area to Austin, Texas and I couldn’t be happier. We purchased a house on five acres of land outside of Austin and are moving this week.

I am looking forward to taking more time to play guitar again. I haven’t played much in the past couple of years, but I’m going to fix that very soon. I’ll serenade all the wildlife on my land with some Ozzy songs.

I will also be cooking a lot more, a hobby I picked up this past year that I find very satisfying. Homemade pasta and sauces are my specialties right now, but I’ll be expanding my menu in the next year.

I have to thank Erika for her unwavering love and support throughout all of these changes—she has been amazing. I can’t imagine what I would do without her strength and wisdom. We are getting married in May and I’m looking forward to our life together.

You can follow Dave and I on Twitter—we’ll still be active there.

@jdalrymple

@davemark

So, there it is. Thanks to everyone for reading; I appreciate you all.

Jim

February 25, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Apple ID, TV, and food from Chicago

This week, Dave and I talk about how to permanently delete your Apple ID—but be aware, there is no coming back from this. Dave ordered deep dish pizza from Chicago and talks about his experience ordering and eating it. We also talk about some of the new TV shows we have been watching.

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February 24, 2022

Old school Apple story, posted on Folklore.org by Andy Hertzfeld:

In 1980, a company called Franklin Computer produced a clone of the Apple II called the Franklin Ace, designed to run the same software. They copied almost every detail of the Apple II, including all of its ROM based software and all the documentation, and sold it at a lower price than Apple. We even found a place in the manual where they forgot to change “Apple” to “Ace”. Apple was infuriated, and sued Franklin. They eventually won, and forced Franklin to withdraw the Ace from the market.

Even though Apple won the case, it was pretty scary for a while, and it wasn’t clear until the end that the judge would rule in Apple’s favor.

This is where our story starts. Follow the link to see what Apple did to prevent someone from copying the Macintosh ROM. Damn clever.

Making a portable Mac Mini

This is a fantastic do-it-yourself project, inspiration for the maker in you.

The whole thing is fascinating (if you have that DIY gene) but one bit that sticks out: 2:39 in, where Scott has the epiphany to use an iPad mini instead of a small HDMI display. The length of the iPad mini is exactly the same as the width of the Mac mini. Coincidence? Intentional on Apple’s part?

Ankur Thakur, iDownloadBlog:

This tutorial shows you how to delete your Apple ID or iCloud account. But first, it’s essential to know about the consequences of such action, what will stop working, and what you must do before deleting your Apple ID to prevent your devices from becoming unusable!

Why delete your Apple ID?

  • You have a second Apple ID and wish to stop using the first one.
  • You migrated to non-Apple platforms like Android or Windows PC and no longer use or plan to use Apple devices.
  • You have privacy concerns with Apple.

This is serious business. The consequences are severe. Measure twice, cut once, caveat emptor, etc.

But if you have a good reason, read through Ankur’s tutorial, proceed with caution.

Apple:

Epic in scope and intimate in tone, the story begins with a forbidden love and crescendos into a saga that journeys between Korea, Japan and America to tell an unforgettable story of war and peace, love and loss, triumph and reckoning.

An 8-episode series, premiering on March 25th with 3 episodes, then 1 new episode a week.

Watch the trailer, embedded below. Based on The New York Times bestselling book. Looks fantastic.

Josh Centers:

That gave me an idea: what if I put my recommendations on a website and sent people to that? That idea was the genesis of my new Apple Buying Advice site, which isn’t affiliated with TidBITS in any way.

And:

We offer expert recommendations to ensure you buy the right product at the right time. Whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or AirPods, we can help you make the right choice. These are the very same recommendations we would give to friends and family.

And:

The site is monetized through affiliate links, largely to Amazon, and I get a small commission when you make a purchase through them. But the affiliate commissions don’t influence my recommendations.

Check out the site (early days still), consider subscribing to the newsletter (email field and subscribe button on main page.)

February 23, 2022

Reuters:

Dutch police ended a hostage taking in an Apple flagship store in Amsterdam after a man armed with two guns held at least one person hostage for hours, police said on Wednesday.

This situation played out late last night.

This tweet shows the hostage and the hostage taker:

The caption, translated from Dutch:

A photo in the hands of Het Parool shows the hostage taker, dressed in a camouflage suit, together with the hostage. They sit opposite each other, the hostage appearing handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

Another tweet shows the hostage taker wearing what looked like a bomb vest.

Here’s how it ended:

“We managed to end the situation by hitting the hostage taker with a car when he ran outside,” police said on Twitter, adding that the man was being treated for serious injuries.

And:

The situation ended when the hostage, reportedly a 44-year old British man, fled from the building when a police robot delivered water at the door of the store at the request of the hostage taker.

The hostage taker ran after the man and was quickly hit by the car.

The video of this ending is the first part of this I saw last night, before all the details emerged. Still putting all the pieces together.

Wordle has a flipped a switch for me. I’m enjoying short, free, non-invasive puzzlers.

Neumorphic Knot is a fun, easy-to-play challenge. Solve a level, move on to the next one.

The only nit I have is the game mechanic itself. Once you figure it out (click on a puzzle piece, then click on an adjacent piece to swap them — The shaded piece is fixed in place, unswappable) it’s smooth sailing.

Have other similar games you love? Send ’em at me, please and thank you.

Reuters:

A single activist helped turn the tide against NSO Group, one of the world’s most sophisticated spyware companies now facing a cascade of legal action and scrutiny in Washington over damaging new allegations that its software was used to hack government officials and dissidents around the world.

It all started with a software glitch on her iPhone.

And:

A mysterious fake image file within her phone, mistakenly left behind by the spyware, tipped off security researchers.

Interesting read. Were it not for that mysterious fake image, we still might not know about this.

Bowdoin College:

Bowdoin College’s groundbreaking Digital Excellence Commitment (DExC) will provide every current student and all future students with a suite of the latest Apple technology and access to a full range of course-specific software designed to advance learning, inspire innovative teaching, and create digital equity across the student body in the use of tools essential for success in the twenty-first century.

That’s an M1 MacBook Pro.

The effort started a few years ago:

In summer 2020, the College issued each student an iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular (activated and funded by the College for those students who had internet connectivity needs), an Apple Pencil, and an Apple Magic Keyboard.

From the FAQ:

students will have the option to pay $1 to keep their equipment when they graduate.

Nice.

February 22, 2022

Nice origin story. Amazingly, Daring Fireball has been a going concern for 20 years now.

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

Safari remains the second most-used desktop web browser in the world as of January 2022, but two of its competitors are close to taking over second place this time around.

While Safari is used by 9.84% of desktop users, Microsoft Edge is right behind with 9.54% market share. Firefox, which had only 8.1% share in January 2021, has gained new users during the past few months and now has 9.18% of the desktop market share. Unsurprisingly, Google Chrome is still in first place with 65.38% of the share.

And:

While StatCounter or even Apple doesn’t provide details on the reason why Safari is losing users, we can easily make a few assumptions about it. Safari is the default web browser for Apple devices such as the iPhone and the Mac, which certainly contributes to it being the second most used web browser worldwide.

Last year, Apple introduced a completely redesigned version of Safari that unified the address bar with the tab bar. However, the update left some users unhappy, which made Apple revert Safari back to its old design and make the new interface optional for users. This, of course, wasn’t enough to stop many users from switching to other web browsers.

Not sure how big a deal this is. If you look at the StatCounter chart embedded in the 9to5Mac post, the lines are pretty flat. Chrome absolutely dominates, and the rest of the players, including Safari, sit way down in the mix. If I did not read the article and just looked at the chart, I’d say any movement is negligible, in the noise.

Personally, I trust Safari more than other web browsers, both with privacy and with behaving properly in the macOS ecosystem (just search for “chrome Mac battery drain” for one example). Safari is not perfect, obviously, but it works really well for me.

Rene Ritchie had the chance to interview Sumbul Desai, MD, Vice President of Health at Apple.

The entire interview is interesting, especially the way Rene lays out detailed Health tracking scenarios, pulls together background info/footage as lead-ins that allow Dr. Desai to lay out Apple’s Health efforts.

Fabian Braunlein, Positive Security (via AppleInsider):

Recently, reports about AirTags being used to track other people and their belongings were becoming much more frequent.

In one exemplary stalking case, a fashion and fitness model discovered an AirTag in her coat pocket after having received a tracking warning notification from her iPhone. Other times, AirTags were placed in expensive cars or motorbikes to track them from parking spots to their owner’s home, where they were then stolen.

Lots of press on this issue, and this response from Apple, titled An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking, wherein Apple lays out their work with safety groups and law enforcement agencies to “update AirTag safety warnings and help guard against further unwanted tracking.”

Back to Fabian’s headline linked blog post:

I might be slightly more familiar with AirTags than the average hacker (having designed and implemented a communication protocol on top of Find My for arbitrary data transmission), but even so I was quite surprised, that when reading Apple’s statement I was able to immediately devise quite obvious bypass ideas for every current and upcoming protection measure mentioned in that relatively long list.

The following section will discuss each anti-stalking feature and how it can be bypassed in theory. Thereafter I will describe how I implemented those ideas to build a stealth AirTag and successfully tracked an iPhone user (with their consent of course) for over 5 days without triggering a tracking notification.

There’s a market for stalking devices. Apple did not invent the concept. But consider:

Apple needs to incorporate non-genuine AirTags into their threat model, thus implementing security and anti-stalking features into the Find My protocol and ecosystem instead of in the AirTag itself, which can run modified firmware or not be an AirTag at all (Apple devices currently have no way to distinguish genuine AirTags from clones via Bluetooth).

Hoping the AirTag team digs into this post.

Apple:

Apple Original Films today announced that audience favorite “CODA” will be re-released in theaters for a limited theatrical run following its history-making Academy Award nominations, including a nomination for Best Picture. The film will be presented in major cities across the U.S. and London, free of charge and with open captions.

The free showings are this weekend only, starting Friday. Follow this link to find the theater nearest you.

And if you are in Los Angeles:

Audiences at a special showing in Los Angeles will have the opportunity to be part of a live Q&A with the cast and writer/director Siân Heder, which will have translators in ASL.

Since the showings are free, presumably Apple has to pay the theaters for the privilege.

Interesting that Apple chose this weekend for the showings. It’s a month until Oscar voting closes (March 22nd). But CODA is also nominated for 12 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards, and SAG voting closes at the end of this weekend. Two birds. One stone.

February 18, 2022

The Dalrymple Report: Mac tricks, Collectables, and Privacy

This week, Dave and I talk about a twitter thread that has a lot of Mac tips and tricks—things that are really useful that you may not have known about. We also talk about Google’s new stance on privacy and what they said about Apple. Finally, we look at the market of collectables and a new auction selling Apple memorabilia.

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February 17, 2022

Absolutely love this Twitter thread from 9to5Mac:

So many great Mac tips and tricks. Just start scrolling. And if you have a Mac tip that’s not represented already, reply to the tweet to add it.

If you find it hard to search for content on Netflix, follow the headline link and start scrolling through the list of genre/subgenre codes (like 3269, which is the code for Independent thrillers).

Once you find a genre that interests you, click on the link (or go to https://netflix.com/browse/genre/XXX, where XXX is the genre code — In the example above, you’d go to https://netflix.com/browse/genre/3269).

Cool.

Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider:

Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac all have a free password manager made by Apple called iCloud Keychain. Here’s how to use it, set up two-factor authentication, and never have to remember a password again.

Nice little exploration of Apple’s updated password management process. If you use Keychain Access, you definitely need to read this.

Anthony Chavez, VP, Product Management, Android Security & Privacy at Google:

Currently over 90% of the apps on Google Play are free, providing access to valuable content and services to billions of users. Digital advertising plays a key role in making this possible. But in order to ensure a healthy app ecosystem — benefiting users, developers and businesses — the industry must continue to evolve how digital advertising works to improve user privacy.

Can’t help but be reminded of the quote, “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

The quote is often attributed to Steve Jobs, but I believe the original lies here.

Today, we’re announcing a multi-year initiative to build the Privacy Sandbox on Android, with the goal of introducing new, more private advertising solutions. Specifically, these solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID. We’re also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs.

From the section titled, “Blunt approaches are proving ineffective”:

We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that — without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path — such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.

Seems pretty clear that Chavez is referring to Apple here. Blunt? Yes. Ineffective? Hardly. Just ask Facebook.

Google’s “ineffective” claim comes from this study, with the title “Effectiveness of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency”. Feel free to read it, but you might first click through to the company page, where they hawk a pair of privacy products of their own: Firewall and Secure Tunnel VPN. Free and open source, but with some in-app purchases:

  • One Month of Lockdown VPN — $8.99
  • One Year of Lockdown VPN — $59.99
  • One Month of Lockdown VPN Pro — $11.99
  • One Year of Lockdown VPN Pro — $99.99

Not judging the products (I haven’t used them), but feels a little disingenuous for Google to base their “ineffective” claim on a study so closely tied to an app designed to capitalize on that claimed ineffectiveness.

While we design, build and test these new solutions, we plan to support existing ads platform features for at least two years, and we intend to provide substantial notice ahead of any future changes.

So no privacy for at least two years. Got it.

February 16, 2022

Sultans of Swing

Sultans of Swing (original video here, Apple Music here) is a darling of Classic Rock, a rite of passage for guitar players, a song that demands to be covered.

The cover embedded below is one of my favorites. The sound is clean, the performance laid back and down-tempo, but the guitar work is right on the money. There’s a lot to enjoy here, especially the fade out at the end, not by turning a knob, but by lowering voices, softening the touch.

Love the guitars themselves. Check out that red Strat. Are those marks on the first few frets the sign of well worn finger placement? And don’t miss that reel-to-reel in the background.

Shout out to Kevin Hoctor for the share.