Tag Archives: Apple

Now is your last chance to read Isaac Azimov’s Foundation Trilogy

… before it gets made into a TV show.

There have been, I think, two earlier failed starts for a project that turns what might be the number one interstellar long-history science fiction book written. This project looks like it is going to happen. The producer is Apple, so you will probably have to buy their latest computing device to get permission to watch it. (And therein could lie the plot for a very Azimov-like science fiction story…)

Anyway, you need to read the books before you watch the show, so get started. There is no information available as to when this series will be released. And, despite my snark above, it is not know where it will be shown, but it will be streamed. And, it will be in 10 parts.

The three books in the Foundation Trilogy are:

Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation

There is a complex publication history, and there are other stories and books, but that is the central bunch of words.

Alternatively, the Foundation Trilogy plus: The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation), The Stars, Like Dust; The Naked Sun; I, Robot

These may also be among the most commonly available used books in science fiction, so check your local used book store, if you can still find one. (Hint: On line, the cost of one of these volumes, because of their continued popularity, used, is above $4.00 with shipping, with the shipping price dropping as the volume price increases, to make the actual cost per volume between $8.00 and $12.00. So, don’t bother with used on line.)

Does Apple intentionally slow down your phone to make you want to buy a new one? YES it turns out!

ADDED: Sort of. Let me explain.

Apple does slow down the clock speed on the main processors of your phone as the battery wears down. I assume there is a good technical reason to do this, and it kind of makes sense. So, yes, they slow down your phone but not to sell you a new one, but rather, to help your phone be a better phone.

But, the slowdown can be reversed by replacing the battery. And, Apple has never made even the slightest move to inform people that this is a thing. So, it is like the time Homer Simpson was told by Marge to not eat a pie she had just made. Homer found himself walking across the kitchen with his mouth making an up and down scarfing motion in an arbitrary direction that happened to lead directly to the pie. “If that pie doesn’t get out of the way, I’m going to accidentally eat it” he proclaimed. Sure enough, the pie remained still and Homer ate it.

Similarly, people will buy a new phone because performance is way down, when all they had to do was to replace the battery. Apple is Homer pretending to innocently happen to eat a pie. The phone is homer walking along. You are the pie. Not a pretty picture.

So, really, the slowdown is a) engineered into the phone, b) causes people to buy a new phone, not a new battery, and c) the fix that would be so much cheaper is kept out of the available information from Apple.

So, yes, Apple intentionally slows down your phone to make you want to buy a new one, it turns out. Effectively.

How do I know this? From this excellent and well documented source.

And now, back to my original post in which I argue that something suspicious is going on but I don’t quite know what it is:


It is a widespread belief that Apple, as well as other computer manufacturers, do things that make your device, be it a desktop computer, a notebook, a smart phone, or anything, slow down as they lead up to and release, and begin to sell, a new version of their product.

I want to point to a study done that concludes that they don’t do this. The study is by FutureMark which is basically a benchmarking software producer. They to not explain in their methodology where they get their data from, but I will guess that it is from the phones of people who install their benchmarking app.

If so, then right there we have a problem with the study. Without describing the sampling design, the study is useless right out of the gate. But if it includes the sorts of users that will install a benchmarking app on their phone, the that’s a bias (and uncontrolled mysterious one at that).

The study has other problems. Continue reading Does Apple intentionally slow down your phone to make you want to buy a new one? YES it turns out!

How to turn Apple Spotlight on and off

I hardly ever use spotlight. It is a search tool that is “well designed” meaning it looks pretty. Pretty search tools aren’t worth much. I need to be able to go from simple dumb search to complex detailed search, drill down, change parameters. If all I needed was a list of files or directories with a string in them, I’d probably already know where the damn thing is. I want to find a file that didn’t show up that way, that I don’t remember the name of, but that I know I made last weekend and it had the word “meteor” in it but it could have been spelled wrong and I cant remember if it was a spreadsheet or a text file but it was probably on a certain external hard drive. Chances are Spotlight is not going to handle that.

But, spotlight is great at doing something else. Using system resources. Did you ever have your computer slow down and act like the processor was brain dead and it had no memory over the period of an hour or two while you were using very few apps and doing nothing complicated? Chances are that was Spotlight indexing everything on your computer. Which you will never use. Because who uses Spotlight?

Well, OK, sometimes you want Spotlight, so maybe having that index is a good thing. But when you are trying to get some work done and Spotlight is interfering and shows no sign of letting up, then the sane thing to do is to kill it. You can unkill it later.

I found this here. To kill Spotlight in Mavericks or large cat versions of OSX, you go to the command line (terminal) and type in this (or copy and paste it!), for Mavericks and Mountain Lion:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

To make it come back to life again, you command your computer thusly:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist

For Snow Leopard use this method.

IF Spotlight has been annoying you, one strategy is to turn it off while you don’t need it, then later, when you are planning to go do something else for a few hours, turn it back on so it does its job while you are not around.

There should be a way to give Spotlight lower level access to the CPU so it stays more in the background. And, at the same time, to give the apps you want to be always responsive a higher priority. I’ve not explored that for this operating system. There are reasons to think, though, that this would not work well for certain important tasks. Any suggestions?

Adding a third party keyboard in iOS 8

One of the great things about Apple is that they maintain tight control over the hardware/system/software triad that bad design can’t creep into your digital life and ruin your day. One of the bad things about Apple is that they maintain tight control over the hardware/system/software triad so you can’t always have what you want. If you’ve been wanting one of those great keyboard replacements that, maybe, your spouse has been using all along on her android, you can have it now on your iPad or iPhone after you upgrade to iOS 8

Go buy Swiftkey or Swype or whatever from the App store. Then go to settings, general, keyboard. There, you can select a new keyboard. You may have an option to “allow full access” … do that.

There you go.