Apple teams up with Goldman Sachs on Credit Card Paired with iPhone’

My big question is what the interest rates are going to be. Credit cards have turned into a dirty business where people who carry a balance pay exorbitant interest rates, even if they’ve never missed a payment. And the higher the interest rates, the harder it is to pay off the balance. Is that where Apple wants Services revenue growth to come from? Charging people usurious interest rates on their credit card debt?

John Gruber.

I’ve been saying that for years now, but I also remain persuaded that the other way Apple’ld be diversifying its operations is by becoming it’s own mobile operator/carrier.

Mobility, constant access to our data, is a huge part of the user experience Apple so much relies on to sell us its devices. And it’s a part where Apple has not much control: Apple is running the date centers, it’s running the apps we use to connect to them and the Mac, iPhone and lPad those apps are running on. Leaving only the network itself in the hands of third parties.

There is no reason for Apple not to try to get a slice of this huge cake, imo.

Get the Most Out of Audible Without Spending a Fortune

Maybe It’s the child in me that loves being told stories, or it helps with my bad eyesight? Whatever the reason, I’ve always liked audiobooks, and I listen to them more and more.

Also, not being a native speaker I find it useful to listen to the audiobook while reading the ebook: it helps me to get an idea of how words sound, and even more important to get a better understanding of how sentences and paragraphs are constructed to convey rhythm.

For the last fifteen years or so I have mostly been purchasing my audiobooks from Audible. At first glance though, Audible looks very expensive with prices varying between a few bucks to $70 or more for a single audiobook. But that’s only at first glance.

Here is a recap of all you can do to get the most out of Audible without spending too much–and some titles suggestion to help you get started, if you need it.

This Special Edition of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is exactly the same as the standard edition I also own. Both beautifully narrated by Claire Danes but the Special Edition comes with a few cool bonuses: if you don’t already own the previous edition, get this one instead.

Continue reading “Get the Most Out of Audible Without Spending a Fortune”

Jeff Bezos answer to threats and blackmail

Jeff Bezos’ answer to the threats he received: No thank you, Mr. Pecker.

To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I’ve known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he’s one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know. I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.  

Beside the fucked-up situation that Bezos reveals, I had to read this sentence two or three times just to wrap my head around this “whatever budget”, knowing Bezos’s personal wealth is estimated at $131B

It made me realise that Bezos and I may live on the same planet and breathe the same polluted air, but we don’t live in the same world where one must be a multi-billionaire to stand a chance against such threats and the crooks behind them. Something Bezos seems to be well aware:

If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)

Apple’s hit wireless earbuds are showing their age

If you use and enjoy AirPods as much as I do, replacing worn out AirPods with a fresh pair is the natural next step. Even at $159, AirPods feel like a great value for what they offer if you appreciate portable wireless earbuds. (Zac Hall, via MacStories)

I don’t own AirPods and don’t think I ever will, at least not as long as I have a choice.

Sure, they’re cool, and who doesn’t hate those darn always-tangled cords? But: Continue reading “Apple’s hit wireless earbuds are showing their age”

Developing a Mindset for Successful Learning

My niece having started college this year, I was somewhat surprised to see how poorly students were prepared for this in school, with close to nothing on essential questions such as:

  • How to read books and highlight meaningful passage, 
  • Effective note taking during a lecture. 
  • How to study those notes, aka how to get a personal understanding of the notions studied more than memorising them. 
  • How to avoid overconfidence, or the lack of. 
  • How to organise one’s learning time, using short-and long-term goals. 
  • How to focus (avoid distractions).
  • How to test one’s comprehension.
  • And, at least as important as all the others: how to deal with failure. Learning to take it for what it is–a direct and sometime painful feedback on the way one has learned–but nothing more.

It was no better when I was a student myself, some 25-30 years ago. But one’d have thought things were better nowadays, with the ever growing importance of qualification, and all the studies being made on, well, studying and being a student.


Recently, I stumbled on Dr. Stephen Chew’s “How to Study” series of videos to help students “develop a proper mindset to become an effective learner” which is the academic way of saying “to help students getting good at it, without working themselves to death and even, why not, enjoying it.

The fourth video, “Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into Practice”, as its title suggests, is the most practical of the series. 

Some of them are covering basic stuff, while other, Dr. Stephen Chew being a professor of psychology, are dealing with more psychological matter, and not all questions are covered. But they’re all worth watching as they’ll give any student sound foundations, even if one is to follow only some of the advice given—plus, they’re short videos: there’s no excuse to skip any 😉

How to Study Video Series, Stephen Chew, Ph.D.

GoodNotes 5 is Out

Many cool improvements in the latest release of GoodNotes. Among which, one of the things that most frustrated me with their previous version: the lack of vertical scrolling. It was so not-practical having to write on the bottom of the screen with the Pencil–another reason why I went for Notability instead of GoodNotes.

We’re happy to finally introduce “vertical scrolling”. In GoodNotes 5, you can set a default scrolling direction for your documents. Both, horizontal and vertical page scrolling, are supported.

Also, worth noting:

  • The ability to search across all notebooks.
  • The new QuickNote feature looks interesting.
  • Some improvements in the UI and access to tools.

But what might convince me to give GoodNotes another go is this:

“Editable PDF” can now be selected in the export options. This will export a non-flattened PDF version that can still be edited in other apps. Also, structures like the document outline, bookmarks, and hyperlinks will be preserved after exporting.

For most users it won’t be that important. For me, it means that I could use a “true” dedicated note-taking app, like GoodNotes, in order to annotate and comments my PDF, and keep those notes editable in any other traditional PDF apps. I will have to see how it fares compared to, say my dear PDF Expert but it’s certainly worth a try.

Let’s just hope that the devs of GoodNotes also made some improvements in the way their app behaves in regards of some Accessibility features. Like the “Smart Inverted Colours” of iOS, that I now require if I’m to see anything when using an app that doesn’t have it’s own integrated dark mode.

My Must Have Dark Mode Friendly Apps

My eyesight being what it is, I’m now almost to the point where I can not read a bright screen anymore: it’s really painful on the eyes. Everything is much easier when the screen is dark. So, no surprise, I welcomed Mojave’s Dark Mode as a blessing–a perfectible one, though.

Here is the list of the apps and utilities that help me to take full advantage of this. There are many more, but those are the one I use the most.

Continue reading “My Must Have Dark Mode Friendly Apps”

Inside Creative Writing, with Robert Olen Butler

Art does not come from the mind, art comes from the place where you dream. And in a sense then, I’m welcoming you into my dream. (…) I want you to see the whole process as it happens, in real time. (Robert Olen Butler)

A series in seventeen instalments of approx. 2 hrs each, made by Robert Olen Butler, and that should date back to around 2001.

I have only started watching the very first video. So, I can’t tell much except that I like the way he uses some old postcard, a little bit of googling, a map, and music, to trick himself into having something worth writing: ideas are everywhere.

But even watching none these vids, just by looking at their sheer length (~34hrs), there is something to learn for any budding writer, and that is: writing takes time.

Something that might not be that easy to understand, and to accept, in our intensely hostile to delayed-gratification culture.


I also like how he doesn’t bother with fancy tools, taking notes and diving in with his word processor of choice–even if I’d rather use Ulysses, but that’s just me being nerdy and… bothering with fancy tools 😉