After much umming and arring over the subject I decided to renew the extra domain I have. The primary reason? holding out for the next Samsung Galaxy phone running Android that will also have Samsung’s new SoC that is rumoured to being using a standard ARM design coupled with an AMD GPU and their own modem. Where does the domain fit into this? for G-Suite – if I go all in, I might as well go all in and make use of the complete suite of Google services. With that all being said – it’ll be interesting to see what the Pixel Phone 5 XL turns out as well (it appears that Amazon is selling the Pixel Phone 4a directly around the world so maybe that is what Google’s long term plan – sell in the big markets directly and let Amazon cater for the rest).

There are rumours regarding the Pixel 5 using the Qualcomm 765G SoC with rumours that there won’t be a Pixel 5 XL. I’m guessing that there will be one, I think people assume that the Pixel 5 XL must be just a larger version of the Pixel 5 but it could be just the flagship version of it so then Google reduces it down to three models: Pixel 4a for entry level, Pixel 5 for mid level and Pixel 5 XL the flagship with the most grunty specifications, biggest screen, big battery etc. which would still enable Google to provide a decent range while also ensuring that resources aren’t spread too thin over too many product lines.

Chilling out at home before I head off to sleep and while doing so it is fun reading through the technology news, in particular, the whole to and fro that is happening between China and the United States (and it’s allies). I’m not going to pick sides since I’m not well versed regarding the ins and outs of all but it appears that each side is dragging out the dirty laundry of the other side. Thomas Friedman made a great point regarding what the Trump administration had done – yes, there were legitimate issues regarding China but the lack of multilateralism in terms of the US working with its partners has resulted in a disjointed and incoherent strategy between the different countries which make up the ‘western alliance’ with little in the way of a strategy of divestment and moving supply chains out of China towards countries that have a more productive working relationship.

Side note: I don’t think it is controversial to state that China has its interests so as a consequence their economic and foreign policy reflect those interests. It isn’t being conspiratorial to point out the blatantly obvious, as I and others have in the past (present and the future) that China and the West will have divergent views but that being said it is important for the West to admit that China is where it is today because of decisions that Western governments made for the sake of maximising profits in the believe that ‘rational self interest’ would never result in what the West today is accusing China of doing. When you treat China as the factory of the world then it shouldn’t be surprising that the factory decides that it wants to move beyond merely being a factory, a destination for outsourcing, in favour of making their own goods that they themselves have conjured up so that they can make higher profits and higher paid employment.

The government, after pressure from other parties in parliament, have announced that the election has been postponed a month so that the COVID-19 clusters can be addressed so that voters can feel safer turning out to vote. I find it funny how those parties that put pressure are convincing themselves that it gives them room to maneuverer – the sad situation is that rather than National taking advantage of the extra month to clarify their message they’re doubling down and triple down on their watered down Kiwi-ised version of Trumpism and it is working out as successfully as you imagine – like a lead balloon.

It appears that there is another software company going to take a run at the ‘wall gardened’ model that Android and iOS have used since the beginning:

I’ve been a critic of the whole store based model for quite some time – the percentage is too high when you consider the amount it costs in terms of bandwidth and storage used. As I noted in a reddit post I made on this very subject:

The ridiculous part is that Apple is quite happy with allowing Citrix Workspace which allows remote access to applications but they won’t allow cloud gaming? I mean, they’re essentially the same thing except instead of productivity applications being used it is games. Regarding future revenue, ultimately it is Apple who have decided to constrict themselves – they could have built out a great portfolio of middleware aimed at creatives, engineers, scientists by using their war chest to buy names like Maple, Mathlab, Affinity Photo/Designer/Publisher, Hype, OmniGroup, Dassault Systèmes (bring Solidworks to macOS) etc. and developing a cloud based services such as custom domain hosting with full MDM management in the cloud to gear towards small to medium businesses. There are opportunities they could have made for themselves which would have voided this paranoia around clipping the ticket as people went through the AppStore but they decided not too – now they’re getting attention by anti-competition regulators because of that.

What is the alternative? They’ve already got notarisation which they use for macOS – make notarisation compulsory for third party side loaded applications so then it is easier to load them and the ability to remove them if it turns out that the application is doing something dodgy. Allow people to drag and drop applications into iTunes to install it on an iPhone. If you want people to use your services then you should be trying to make it as desirable as possible by reducing barriers, reducing costs and creating a business model at Apple that doesn’t depend on screwing over third parties all for the sake of ‘doubling service revenue’ (which Tim Cook promised in 2017 (and delivered – but I ask, at what cost?).

Apple seem to have an aversion beyond doing the least amount humanly possible – there is an opportunity to carve out a niche in the PC industry for scientists, engineers, creative types which Microsoft has neglected via their mishandling of Windows 10 – an opportunity to provide cloud services and software along with selling hardware and professional support for said hardware at the high end market who are happy to pay through the nose for 3 hour replacement part on site repairs. There is an opportunity to take iCloud beyond what it is today to custom domain hosting for the education market, small to medium businesses, cloud based MDM management etc. Again, such an investment would yield significant revenue without the political fall out associated with having a walled garden model that involves squeezing as much revenue out of third parties like a train conductor demanding payment for a new ticket every time the train goes past another train station.

Well, it looks like this week I am able to sneak in an extra payment (to reduce my debt) due to the way in which my my pay and the amount due all overlap in a strange way – so there is an extra payment that I can slip in which will hopefully mean I’ll get closer to my goal. The whole COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works but thank god I have a job – even after the downsizing I was damn lucky given that it was all up the air, speculation over who was going to say or go.

Auckland has gone to level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is on level 3 – the rumour mill is in overdrive on the internet over whether the country will go up a level, whether Auckland will move to level 4 etc. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on Friday when they have the press conference but something tells me that given the number of clusters they have found I’d say that most likely scenario is that the rest of NZ stays at level 2, Auckland remains level 3 and there are new regions added to the level 3 list. Lets hope that people use their grey matter – it isn’t the end of the world to sit at home, surf the net and sleep in with he added bonus that there is government support to get one through (unlike the situation in the United States).

Ever since upgrading to 10.15.6 I’ve been having bugginess regarding Continuity or more specifically when answering my iPhone on my iMac and MacBook Pro. The call will ring and then when I click on ‘answer’ nothing comes through on my computer. In the end I signed out on all of my Macs, iPhone and Apple TV from iCloud then did a DFU restoration on my iPhone, then a clean install on my MacBook Pro then tested to see whether the issue came up – called a number and it all connected properly without any error. When I get up tomorrow I’ll clean install macOS 10.15.6 on my iMac and finish setting up my Apple TV.

Today my brother in law came over to install two Arlo security cameras – the good side is that with the security camera that it is all wireless but also it is compatible with HomeKit so it was possible to get it all setup and managed from the HomeKit once one got the initial setup out of the way. Oh, and another perk – I can also manage it from my Mac as well thanks to the Home application being made available on macOS thanks to Catalyst. I’ve also put a 16GB thumb drive in the back of it so that it can locally store videos – and the cool part is that at work I can check on my home.

Apple has pushed out the public beta of macOS 11.0 which includes a variety of new features (features not found in previous builds) as well as correcting known bugs from previous builds (link). My impression so far is that it is in a better position than it was last time and I think that has primarily due to the fact that the focus has been under the hood changes along with many of these projects having gone on for years behind the scenes before they made the big announcement in much the same way that Steve Jobs talked about MacOS X leading a secret double life.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing has been happening since Apple developed their own silicon – they’ve been compiling macOS on both Intel and Apple Silicon just in case that day happened and Apple needed to make the switch. I also wonder how many of the drivers that are used in iOS are transferrable over to macOS – are they going to be pushed out of kernel space into the user space? It’ll be interesting to see how it all alines once the first batch of Apple Silicon based Macs are released.

I went to the doctor on Thursday and he advised me to stay at home for the rest of the week until I was fully recovered. It is gradually clearing up – I think it is good to avoid too much stress and getting a good night sleep. I think that is what I’m going to focus on when I get back to work next week – get a good night sleep by getting into bed earlier so then even if I don’t go to sleep straight away I will be relaxed and ready to go to sleep because my mind will be relaxed rather than buzzing with activity and thus difficult to get to sleep.

Well, I turned up to work today and puked a lung out – my boss through it would be best, given the circumstances, to head back home and take sick leave. I don’t know how I got sick but I do know when occurred which was on Sunday and by the time Monday rolled around I felt horrible. After that I thought it would be best to go back home and rest until I was feeling a lot better. I’m going to ring up my boss tomorrow and say I need at least another day or two because I’ve done the stupid thing in the past when I’ve gone back to work believing I was all ok only to then get sick again but even worse – as if it were like a double up.

Apple updated their iMac line up, it is all standardised on SSD’s so no more spinning hard disks but as expected there was no redesign – I would say that Apple is going to leave the redesign for the Apple Silicon based Mac’s that they’ll be shipping as to mark a clear demarkation between the old Macs and the new Macs in much the same way that the iBook became the MacBook, the PowerBook became the MacBook Pro (although the iMac kept the same name funny enough).

Weekend is almost over and looking forward to getting back to work but the mean time MarsEdit’s developer(s) have put out an update which addresses a bug I experienced when sending a blog post to WordPress.com and the category chosen not being synchronised – it comes up on the WordPress.com server as uncategorised. Well, it is all now working which is great. 

Regarding my glasses – it isn’t you’ve upgraded your glasses when you realise just how bad your eye sight has gotten in 10 years. The last pair of glasses I bought when I was living down in Christchurch over 10 years ago so it has been quite some time.

I thought I had avoided getting a cold this year but alas on Sunday it started then on Monday it was the worst, today (Tuesday) I have feeling a bit better – having some Fisherman’s Friends and some Lemsip so hopefully I’ll be all recovered by the time I get back to work tomorrow.

Well, I’ve finally got MarsEdit set up – I give web applications ago but I keep coming back to native applications because they integrate best with macOS. It is the one thing I like about having iCloud at the centre of my life – it avoids the use of web applications in favour of native applications which come with the benefit of integration between various parts of the operating system as well as other hardware. Big Sur will be replacing the macOS version of Messages with a Catalyst version which will close the gaps but hopefully with the use of Catalyst it will open up a situation where all the native applications are eventually using Catalyst resulting in macOS and iOS/iPadOS functionality remaining in sync with each other.

My holiday is starting in seven weeks but in the mean time I’m going to take things one day at a time – I’m looking forward to getting closer to that time off and hopefully during that time off Apple will release all the upgrade goodies. Yeah, I know, I could participate in the public beta but I’m at that point in my life that I don’t want to deal with a buggy experience on my daily driver so I’ll wait until it is stabilised.