By Shahed Nooshmand

‘Mr Blue Sky is living here today.’

Apple Podcasts launches new ‘Spotlight’ feature

This could be the start of a bigger move towards a new podcasts service from Apple which has been rumoured to launch for a while now. Or not — time will tell.

I have a complaint (like I always do): Why ‘Spotlight’? Couldn’t they just call it ‘Creator of the month’ or something? ‘Spotlight’ is already confusing enough with search and News. Do we really have to add podcasting to the mix? What does spotlight even have to do with podcasting? Podcasts are primarily audio programs — there is no spotlight. It’s not like Chelsea Devantez fell down from the sky to a Latin song at midnight.

The neutral form is X-wing.

You stay here.

Intel’s new CEO says they should be better than Apple, the lifestyle company

It’s ironic because Intel used to be the Mac’s lifestyle.

Dodged a bullet.

“Only second-hand.”

The contest was invented by Richard Measuring.

Five days later: “There are dozens of us! Dozens!”

Take a hike, salesman.

Does the dog sing in all keys?

A few text utilities

Dr Drang’s post is an excellent complement to Snell’s. Great read.

It’s too late now, I’m already tired.

BBEdit: A text utility, not just a text editor

Snell does a great job of demonstrating one of BBEdit’s outstanding features that sets it apart from almost every other text editor. If all BBEdit did was search and replace the way it does now it would still be worth fifty bucks. So much the better that it also comes with a built-in text editor.

“Take this young warrior back to her family.”

There are never too many problems in the world already.

Euler was also a scientist.

He could’ve been named August Satsuma.

The Fool, not a mad king.

Amphetamine Awakens

Short story is Apple after years of approving and applauding Amphetamine, a free utility that prevents your Mac and mine from sleeping, thought all of a sudden that it was promoting “inappropriate use of controlled substances”. Whatever. They quickly (enough) realised they were crazy and stopped the madness.

I get where Apple’s coming from, but this kind of shit really scares me.

Any terrible new thing this year already?

It’ll make sense shortly.

Maybe pronounce it the correct way?

I’m more of a shown guy.

Not sheriff.

Great movie, Soul.

Not being able to copy large files into a FAT32 drive sucks.

“Mary who?”

StaffPad December 2020 update

Speaking of StaffPad, what an update! More symbols, keyboard shortcuts on the iPad, support for more languages and some other niceties. The thing I notice the most is how much snappier and more stable it feels to use, and it never even felt slow before.

Since the beginning, I believe, StaffPad has been able to run on Apple silicon Macs. I thought maybe they forgot to opt out, but from the looks of it they’re quite invested in it — a portion of the new key commands video is actually recorded on a Mac running StaffPad. Only previewing scores is supported at the time, however, as it’s noted under Compatibility:

You can read, open and preview scores on all new Apple Silicon Macs. Due to the lack of touch/Pencil support, writing notation is not possible.

Also, apparently the music for Pixar’s Onward was written with StaffPad. That’s awesome.

Now do the gazillion named entities.

“You bet I am.”

I thought I already did.

“You mean like some point of overlapping subspace commonality.”

Music fonts and open standards

Daniel Spreadbury, developer of the standard music font layout, returns to the Scoring Notes podcast to talk about music fonts and open standards (duh).

They mention StaffPad, Apple Design Award winner and the leftmost icon on my iPad’s dock, which uses Bravura — a free font that actually looks better than most if not all other music notation fonts.

Daniel also talks about how awesome the new MacBook Pro with M1 is, and announces that Dorico will soon be updated to support the M1 chip. Dorico, they say, runs very smoothly on Rosetta, but Daniel is describing huge performance gains still in the pre-release version with true Apple silicon support.

“Never said I was.”

Wasn’t ‘s’ invented in 1750?

I have a joke about the AirPods Max smart case but it’s too dumb.

How did Beethoven hear music?

This might be my favourite Beato video ever.

“One day it’s gonna disappear.”

Wait, did the monkey actually fix it?

Never judge a book by its cover until people learn to design better book covers.

“At least it goes flat.”

“But you don’t.”

Apple is retiring Music Memos in favour of Voice Memos

Makes sense.

Music Memos was a kind of in-between app: it mostly resembled Voice Memos, but with some musicality borrowed from GarageBand. Both Voice Memos and GarageBand are, I believe, pre-installed on new iPhones and doohickeys; Voice Memos is a separate download from the App Store. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Voice Memos is already the go-to app by far for recording musical ideas, and people who find Voice Memos limited are likely to feel the same about Music Memos and use GarageBand or some other music creation app anyway.

Also, the names were just too similar.

Hadn’t used the official Twitter app in a long time. “Failed to load Fleets”.

There should be a joke about Ampère’s right hand here.

Apple introduces AirPods Max

Adaptive EQ, active noise cancellation, spatial audio. $549. It’s worth that for the ‘L’ and the ‘R’ alone.

Oh, the lovely realisation that the “unplayed” episode of that infrequent podcast you like and have been listening to older episodes of is actually a new one that just came out.

People are basically asking to be reported.

If there were a red MacBook Air, the “(PRODUCT)RED” would be on the bottom, not the top.

She was no good to him dead.

Listening to Tchaikovsky after Verdi is a mistake.

Wait, we can undo the ending?

Those closest to me know I adore Farsi, and gender neutrality is a key reason why.

BBEdit Stories, you cowards.

He tends to play men with scarred faces. Except Scarface.

Aquaman must have been blind out of continuity when he fell in love with her.

They should seriously craft a monochrome Siri icon for the menu bar; this thing is an abomination.

How come Finder always opens new windows with the most ridiculous sizes possible?

Chips that fry themselves? Never seen any.

Has it ever occured to you that one day you think one of two things is too sharp and the next day you think the other one was too soft?

MKBHD’s Blind Smartphone Camera test is nigh

Looking forward to another mediocre phone camera’s winning due to people’s preference for brighter photos.

Linus Sebastian unboxes the M1 MacBook Air

The original title of the video, if memory serves, was “I don’t know how to use the M1 MacBook Air”. It has since been changed to “I’m impressed so far”.

As a sidenote, it’s funny (and irritating) how the guy uses his right hand for moving the cursor and his left hand for clicking on account of all the shitty trackpads on Windows laptops. It’s like he doesn’t know how to use a Mac.

Meh. She’s not that important to the show anyway.

“What is it, a gift? What is he asking for in return?”

Ars Technica: interviewing Apple about its Mac silicon revolution

Great interview. It makes you realise how forward-thinking Apple is and how the various technological leaps it’s introduced in the last decade have lead to the shocking success we’re witnessing just now.

Mac OS 9 wallpapers in 5K resolution

Stephen Hackett:

To go with my 5K renders of default Mac OS X macOS wallpapers, I’ve reworked Mac OS 9’s wallpapers. […]

I pulled the originals out of an OS 9 installer then used Pixelmator Pro’s ML Super Resolution tool, running on a new M1 MacBook Air … which gave my 2019 Mac Pro a run for its money rendering these.

I’d like to remind you that the M1-compatible version of Pixelmator Pro just came out yesterday.

When ordering a new MacBook Air from Apple’s website, you have the option to buy Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro pre-installed, like with the Pro Macs. I don’t think you could do that with an Air before.

Pixelmator Pro 2.0 now available

Yesterday I watched MKBHD’s review of the new MacBook Pro with M1. He said the only app that he used and didn’t run on M1 at all was Pixelmator Pro. With this update, that statement is no longer true.

The Pixelmator team had unveiled the update last week, promising support for the M1 chip as well as a fresh design for Big Sur, among other features. Now it’s available for purchase and is a free upgrade for existing users, myself included.

The App Store Small Business Program

For a long time and specially in the recent months with all the Fortnite and HEY stuff, developers and other voices in tech have begged Apple to reduce the commission it takes away from 30 percent down to 15.

Today, Apple announced that starting next year, “small businesses” can apply for a program where they only have to pay 15 percent:

While the comprehensive details will be released in early December, the essentials of the program’s participation criteria are easy and streamlined:

And this is only for apps and in-app features — applications that deal with “services” and “digital goods” count as big businesses.

This game of who pays Apple what under what circumstances, also called Monopoly, does not please all the players, however. David Heinemeier Hansson, founder and CTO at Basecamp (the HEY guy), has complained in a Twitter thread that Apple is still being too greedy and the niceness is only an act. Epic Games and even Sptify have probably expressed their continuing dissatisfaction with Apple’s App Store taxes somewhere on the web as well.

I wonder if there’s a psychological thing for a developer to wish they’d make less than a million dollars and pay 15 percent rather than going above a million but keeping less percentage points.


This is so cool. 1912 icons at the time of writing this, and counting. Many popular apps already have multiple variants, and many others are on the list. In particular, Adobe’s app icons which for whatever silly reason, despite being annoying to everybody on the internet, all look the same now (as do Google’s, ugh) have several variants in different colours with or without outlines and whatnot.

Most of the icons aren’t great, but you might not notice the nitpicky things and actually use some of these, which is fine. Some icons are genuinely good. Definitely worth checking out.

“I assure you — we are quite safe from your friends here.”

I was just about to say it’s been a while since my MacBook Air thought it didn’t have a keyboard, but then it did.

How you doin’?

If I relied on him for clothes I’d be bare.

Which is the way?

macOS Big Sur is here

Better late than never. Hopefully they’ve refined it very well. Still, I’m going to hold back on this for a little longer.

Some company Photoshopped a frame from MKBHD’s video to advertise itself

The ad read:

Start saving some money today. No matter how little, just save it.

That’s exactly what they did.

It was lovely ’n’ all, but it’s just not the same without Justin Long.

“Your thumb …”

How do you wipe if everything your hands touch turns into gold?

“Michael, Adam, whatever his name is.”

I wouldn’t make an omelette in front of a chicken.

No more yelling “name that tune”.

Imagine if this thing wasn’t possible in linear time and concurrency wasn’t a thing.

I worry it’ll be so one-sided that they’ll question it.

“One more thing.” event next week

There’s probably never been an Apple event worthier of that name.

It’s America’s turn to attack the very core of Trump.

Tikachu: Online Software Seller of other people’s free apps without their permission of course

Brent Simmons tweeted that apparently some pieces of shit are selling NetNewsWire, a free and open source app, for $0.99 down from $1.98.

The price tag makes me laugh. Whoever the asshole in charge of pricing this was thought to themself, “we’re selling people an app that is completely free for all, we’re not that ambitious, so we’ll price it at $0.99, but let’s make people think this is an exact 50% discount, so we’ll label the original price as $1.98 even though no other piece of software has ever sold for that price.”


They’re also selling Microsoft Todo for $1.99 down from $3.98 — like Microsoft’s lawyers are gonna sit this out. They’ve even shamelessly stolen the brand name and logo from TikTok.

Friends and family know I like sentencing people to death, and the people behind this sick operation should totally be executed.

Hard and shiny is how John likes it.

I usually listen to these three together only once a week.

Apple renews Ted Lasso for a third season

And season 2 hasn’t even come out yet. The show is that good, and then some.

MagSafe Charger only charges at full 15W speeds with Apple’s 20W power adapter

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

YouTuber Aaron Zollo of Zollotech tested several first and third-party power adapter options with the iPhone 12 Pro and a MagSafe charger using a meter to measure actual power output. Paired with the 20W power adapter that Apple offers, the MagSafe Charger successfully hit 15W, but no other chargers that he tested provided the same speeds.

The older 18W power adapter from Apple that was replaced by the 20W version was able to charge the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ using the MagSafe Charger at up to 13W, but the 96W Power Adapter and third-party power adapters that provide more than 20W were not able to exceed 10W when used with the MagSafe Charger.

But why?

She thought they were on a break.

How do you quantify a country’s toughness?

Disappointment can often be disappointing.

Netflix and Apple both want “No Time to Die”

If Netflix gets it, good for the people. If Apple gets it, good for Apple.

Trump’s Twitter password was “maga2020”

Tom Maxwell, Input:

Last week, Dutch security researcher Victor Gevers managed to log into the Twitter account of one of its most famous users, none other than Donald J. Trump. After alerting American officials, the Secret Service reached out to Gevers for more information and two-factor authentication was quietly enabled on the account. That Trump’s account didn’t have two-factor enabled is bad enough, but it also took Gevers only five tries to guess the password which was “maga2020” of course.

How hasn’t Happy Hogan been elected president yet?

You know he’s been practising French.