Johnathan.org

September 6, 2018

Snap Stock Price Sinks to an All-time Low

CNBC:

Snap’s shares have struggled to hold their value since its IPO early last year. At Thursday’s lowest point, Snap was off more than 40 percent from its debut price of $17 and more than 65 percent off its all-time intraday high of $29.44.

They’re down below $10 as of this morning. All I can do is chuckle. 

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The Colin Kaepernick-Nike Boycott

Alex Abad-Santos writing for Vox:

Americans destroying apparel they’ve already paid for to scold a multibillion-dollar company over an ad campaign that promotes rebellion but also is implicitly selling conformity: It sounds like deep-level satire. But that is the world we live in, and it crystallizes some specifics of how the internet outrage machine operates — and how Nike has already won.

I wish I could say I was surprised by the “level” of “outrage” or whatever but I can’t. Just as well, I’m sure Nike will do fine.

The punch line on this joke comes in two parts:

and

The irony here, of course, is that the Kaepernick ad is itself branding — and in reacting to it, its critics are ensuring that Nike is getting exactly what it paid for.

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September 5, 2018

PowerPort Mini: The Charging Device Apple Should Have Made

When I travel, I try to bring as few plugs, cords, and other dinguses as possible. My typical mobile device loadout consists of an iPhone, Watch, and iPad. Occasionally I’ll bring my MacBook Pro but that travels with its own power cord, so I’ll exempt it from this discussion. My iPad is generally only used on planes and in airports so it’ll stay in a bag most of the trip. My iPhone and Watch are the only two devices I’d use on the regular and as such need to always keep charged. 

Anyone that’s stayed in a hotel knows the power outlet situation is varied. best case scenario there are plugs a plenty, even on the end table(s). Worst case scenario, there’s one, maybe two near-ish, though nothing within reach while in said bed. This means using as few outlets as possible is a must. 

Enter the Anker PowerPort Mini. A 2-port USB 2.4A wall plug with Power IQ support that’s about the size of a golf ball. The prongs fold in to make itself a bit more portable, which is nice when comparing it to the size of Apple’s single port 5W brick.

Powerport size comparison 1

While it’s not the smallest charging brick in the world, the fact that it provides two ports will more than make up for it. The alternative in this comparison is to have two Apple bricks that would take up two outlets. In the image above the coin in a Canadian quarter. The height is about 75% greater, but it definitely doesn’t feel big in my hand. If anything, holding the Apple brick afterward makes the Apple brick feel very small and almost inadequate. 

When it comes to weight, the Anker PowerPort Mini clocks in at 38 grams, a 41% increase in weight over the Apple brick (25 grams), but like its size, the increase doesn’t mean much. The packaging the PowerPort Mini travels in when you order reminds me of a bar of soap in size and weight (and that’s a two-pack).

Getting technical for a moment regarding the specs, the PowerPort Mini puts out a total of 12 watts at 2.4A. This means plugging one device into it gets a 12 watts 2.4A charge, and two devices gets 6 watts each. Not earth-shattering, but if you’re in need of charging several mobile-type devices overnight like I am, 6 watts will be perfect. 

You can pick up A PowerPort Mini 2-pack on Amazon for about $16 right now. I suggest you do. Anker’s quality is great for the price and while I’m sure there are cheaper options, spending the extra couple dollars gets you a sane purchase and a quality item. 

September 4, 2018

Galaxy S10 Will “Defeat” Shiny New iPhones

At least that’s what Ewan Spence, Forbes’ poster child for anti-Apple reporting would have you believe:

With modern production and design schedules, the geekerati already know what Apple is preparing for the iPhone XS launch. We also know what Samsung is cooking up for the Galaxy S10’s launch in early 2019. It’s clear that the Galaxy S10 has the specifications to beat the iPhone.

Nevermind the fact that neither the Galaxy S10 nor iPhone-next have been formally announced so those “specifications” are guesses at best.

Forbes’ technology reporting is lacking. I used to think Forbes knew what it was doing, but this piece is pure garbage and can be summed up in a couple bullets:

  • The entire world longs for the ability to insert $350 micro SD cards into their phones.
  • Samsung is more “reliable”
  • The camera will be better (until it won’t)

Also, the post slug gives a lot away… a lot that was never discussed. It’s almost as if he started writing one thing and decided against it, in favor of more generic Apple bashing.

Saved you a click.

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cmmx_system

MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X Review

If the name MacPaw sounds familiar to you, it should. They’re the folks behind a host of great Mac applications like The Unarchiver (I use it daily), the killer duplicate file finder Gemini 2, and CleanMyMac 3, the app that seems to do it all when thinking about eliminating crap that collects on your Mac.

The latest in their software lineup just dropped–a new version of CleanMyMac, and it’s pretty dang good. I wanted to take a few minutes to go over it and share some of my thoughts.

Editorial Note: I was invited to beta test the latest version of CleanMyMac, so my review is based on that version of their software alone.

When I first received the email that a new version of CleanMyMac was on its way, I couldn’t help but wonder if the world needed something like this. After spending some time with it, I think I have an answer.

CleanMyMac X comes with an array of options for purging the cruft that’s collecting on your computer. I can hear people saying now that with disks as large as they are, there’s no need for any of this! You might be right, though not everyone has massive disks and you’d be surprised how much can collect in the back corners of your operating system after several years of botched removals of apps, all those Docker containers that collect dust, etc.

The first stop for most folks is Smart Scan. This is the easy mode. If you’d rather just click a thing and be done with it, Smart Scan fits the bill perfectly. It’ll work through the Cleanup, Protection, and Speed tasks automatically and behave as if you said yes to everything each task offers. For those that like a bit more control, I recommend staying away from this option and working your way down the list, instead. Hit the Run button and you’ll be done in a few moments.

Cleanup

Those that are curious will inevitably want to stop at each entry on the list, especially System Junk. This is the same task as the first 1/3 of Smart Scan. You can opt to go with the defaults or hit Review Details to get a clearer, more detailed picture of what’s on the chopping block and exempt items as needed. On my list I have a few options unchecked because of personal preferences, but you’re free to be as selective (or not) as you want. In my case, I don’t want to drop the only disk image it found that I haven’t touched in a long time. It’s a copy of a photo CD from a waterproof camera we brought with us on vacation to the Caribbean last year. I’d be better off moving that disk image off my machine altogether to save that space.

Depending on what’s most important to you, the amount fo space that’s recovered will vary greatly. Even if you only remove one thing, it’s good to know where some of your storage is being used.

CleanMyMac X offers up the ability to optimize your Photos library, as well. I couldn’t really test out this feature because I keep my photo library under control using a technique that involves putting it within a small .sparsebundle image. Photos.app manages the library based on how much disk space it has access to. Keeping the image small keeps my photo library small.

If you’re nerdy like I am in managing your photo library, this’ll wipe out all the cached full copies of photos and limit your library to small versions that are good for previewing. You’re always free to re-download full copies from iCloud later.

Note: Keep in mind that if your Mac is set to keep all the originals, don’t play around with this or you could end up losing photos.

If you have large email or iTunes archives, those options might be of use, though they weren’t entirely applicable to me, either (I use Spotify). The Trash Bin option is pretty straight forward but with a twist. Each drive on a mac has its own Trash. If the OS ever loses track of what’s in any of them, they can sit there collecting byte dust and take up space.

Protection

While they’re not as prone as Windows-based machines are, Macs can get viruses, too. If you find yourself in need of some viral remediation, you’ll find a process for that in CleanMyMac X.

Best case scenario, you see something like this:

The Privacy task is pretty self-explanatory. It clears your cookies and browser caches, autofills, etc. These are things you can do from within the browser so there’s nothing especially groundbreaking, here. It’ll also purge your chat logs, too.

Speed

These tasks are all things you can do elsewhere, though it might not be clear exactly how one would go about it so it’s nice there’re all in one place. I found myself needing to re-index spotlight a couple times because searching for an app brought up a document that referenced the app before the app itself. Re-indexing seemed to clear that up but as with just about everything computers, YMMV.

Applications

The Uninstaller is a nice feature to have. Sometimes, just dragging an app to the trash doesn’t clean up stuff in crazy alternative locations. CleanMyMac X touts a full purge of anything related to that app and even lets you see only the apps you’ve never used or are old and may soon be unsupported altogether.

From the Updater pane, you can work through applications and update them on the fly. This triggers the update process within the app. It’s not immediately clear how it knows or how it triggers–I’ll update this review when and if I learn. It’s pretty straight forward in how it works, though I couldn’t get it to update a couple apps. I suspect that’s an issue on my end rather than with the app itself given its hands-off approach to facilitating these updates.

Files

Last, CleanMyMac X allows you peruse your drives for the fattiest of files and permanently delete ones you’re not going to miss. Ironically enough, the top entry on my list was my iMovie Library. You can filter the list down by kind, size, and how long it’s been since you touched them. All helpful options.

So the question that’s on your mind: do you need this app? On the surface and as my initial response, I say yes, though consider what you’d actually want out of it before diving in. Some of its features might not serve your needs, specifically. They definitely don’t apply to me but they still serve their place in the ecosystem nonetheless. If you need an app that’s great for dumping cruft, uninstalling apps for real, and having a good spot for sweeping through app updates, I’d say absolutely buy it. If that’s not on your wish list, you’ll find other tools available for less that can just as well meet your needs.

Let’s talk pricing. CleanMyMac X access is available in three forms: yearly and lifetime and something cool I will share in a moment. I’m in firmly in the “buy it once” camp if I can help it so I’m going to personally recommend snagging the lifetime access for $89.95. If that seems a bit steep, MacPaw offers it up on a yearly basis for $39.95, as well. It’s available in the Mac Paw store starting September 5th. If that’s not your style, CleanMyMac X is a part of the Setapp application bundle that gives you access to literally a hundred awesome Mac apps for $10/month. If lifetime access isn’t in the budget this month and $10 is much easier to handle, consider that option, instead. Plus, for that same $10, you’ll land a load of other great apps.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography