Most people love to revisit certain stories at Christmastime. In fact, my friend Dennis E. Powell revisits a beloved Christmas story of his in this week’s the View from Mudsock Heights column, which struck me as I had been thinking a great deal about revisited stories this week thanks to what had occupied my time ahead of Christmas. We need to hear stories told and told again; they give meaning and shape how we understand life.
One week before Christmas 2021, I went out my front door to find an unexpected UPS envelope from my church’s bank tucked under my door mat. Unbeknownst to me as I picked it up, that envelope was about to make the leadup to the busiest week in the church year a lot more “interesting.” US Bank had closed our only account and with it, cut us off from funds and the ability to receive donations.
As our AI technology continues to advance, there are both exciting possibilities and potential dangers to consider. On the one hand, AI has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our daily lives, from making routine tasks easier and more efficient, to improving our healthcare and education systems. However, there are also concerns about the potential negative impacts of AI, such as job loss and the ethical implications of machines making important decisions. Depending how you feel about AI, this paragraph may speak to those points more than you might first imagine.
As a friend battled viruses on his brand-new Windows computer this week, I thought again about just how spoiled Apple users are by better security and better privacy than Android and Windows folks live with. Long adept at bringing such advantages to the masses that will never try (much less secure) Linux, Apple has one vulnerability is tech prowess cannot overcome: China.
At the height of the rage around the first consumer marketed Hummer, later rechristened the H1, I remember getting the chance to climb into one at the nation’s leading dealer of that incredibly robust SUV. The vehicle was capable of tackling terrain no car I’ve ever owned could, but also was incredibly basic on certain creature comforts. This is a professional tool. That analogy aptly fits the Das Keyboard MacTigr, the curiously spelled, newly released keyboard from Metadot.
Yesterday was an odd twist between the last few years’ big iPad launch events with the familiar, high gloss Apple keynote live streams and the occasional minor update to Apple’s product line that only solicits a press release. A 10 minute mini-keynote showed off the new low and high-end iPads, and like the format twist, these iPads are neither small nor large changes from the existing line. But the changes do help make the whole lineup make more sense if you’re in the market for a tablet.
By now most of us know the unpleasant drill. The credit card company calls or texts you and says there appears to be an unauthorized purchase. Somehow, that happened (near as I can tell, merely coincidentally) on three different accounts for me within a week in July. One has turned into a continuing pain months later: Apple Card. Some of this is a fault of the card, but the greater fault lies in a weak bit of design in Apple’s platforms I otherwise love.
After seven months of horrifying war, the last few weeks have been inspiring as the Ukrainian Army, with the help of western weapons and local courage that no weapons could provide, have reclaimed swaths of occupied land. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is not one to give in, though, and his speech today makes that point, if anyone was in doubt.
Everyone loves to show off some photos of their latest trip or family party. So, here I’ll share some to start off this week’s column. Never mind if you would rather not see my family’s party or my vacation — these aren’t those anyway. I’ve been under-the-weather and keeping my distance from folks. Here’s another secret though: they aren’t anybody’s.