• Monday Morning News

    For World AIDS Day, Apple dressed up their Apple Retail locations in the colour red, as they've done for previous years. Besides raising funds for AIDS awareness and research through the sale of special PRODUCT(RED) versions of iPods and various cases, I also think the PRODUCT(RED) versions of the accessories they sell are kinda special.

    The other day Ars Technica posted a list of grips they had about OS X Mavericks, and now they've asked their readers about what grinds their gears in Mavericks. Everything from the Dock's appearance to the behaviour of new Finder windows are in the firing line, and my personal gripe is how QuickTime now wants to convert lots of videos even though I prefer to use VLC.

    Michael Bromwich was the attorney who worked with Apple in order to ensure their compliance with antitrust law, after Apple were found guilty of artificially raising e-book pricing in collusion with other retailers. The only thing is, Bromwich is asking for a ludicrous $1,100 an hour for his work, far higher than Apple has ever paid any other lawyer for any other litigation matters.

    Drobo have come out with their Drobo Mini, a Thunderbolt-equipped drive that's much smaller than any of their previous offerings due to the fact that it takes 2.5-inch hard drives instead of the desktop-sized 3.5-inch. That might be an issue for users as high-capacity laptop-sized drives aren't exactly all that common, but perhaps all you need is a few terabytes of redundant storage. If so, the Drobo Mini might be for you.

    This morning's must-read comes from Medium, where an excerpt from a recently-released Jony Ive biography describes the birth of the iPhone. For a big folklore.org fan such as myself, this is a pretty good tale.

    Another good read is this one from the New York Times, which tells the story about one Apple II which was donated by Steve Jobs to the Seva Foundation back in 1980. After 33 years, it's now been donated back to the Jobs family.

    MindNode might just be the best iOS app out there for creating mind maps or any other kind of concept map, as Gabe from MacDrifter explains. MindNode 3 was just released with an all new design, and it now comes with new sharing options which can be embedded into web pages much like you can tweets or Instagram photos.

    When re-evaluating apps that we use day-in, day-out, it can be easy to confuse stagnation for stability, as Daniel Jalkut writes. Michael Lopp's decision to ditch Things for something else is described as a slap in the face to software that has served him perfectly, writes Jalkut, and cautions that we should be more careful when choosing a new app just because it's something new and different.

    A cool tip from OS X Daily this morning tells you how to correct Siri's pronunciation of names. I must confess I wasn't aware this kind of thing was possible, but upon investigation it appears to work as advertised; I'm not saying it's exactly IPA-compliant, but it'll do.

    If you're looking to speak to people over the internet on a regular basis, you should invest in a good desktop microphone. Macworld has a review of the slightly more expensive Blue Microphone Spark Digital, a $200 microphone that works with both OS X and iOS. Blue also make the highly-regarded Yeti USB microphone, but as for the Spark Digital, it's a good mic that has a cumbersome stand.

    Lots of products have been certified for Apple as "Made for iPhone" these days, but this is the first time I've heard of MFI-compliant hearing aids. Not only can you connect the hearing aids to an iOS device via Bluetooth 4.0, you can also stream music to them and adjust levels via the companion iOS app. Not bad.

    An iPhone charger/stand that resembles a two-slice toaster (for charging two iPhones, of course) and a smartphone-controller paper aeroplane round out the finds from Kickstarter over the weekend.

    Header image of the Hong Kong Apple Store by Instagram user plainwaterhk.
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