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Apple and a Deep Dive into LIDAR

Timothy B. Lee has a good deep dive into how Apple has managed to get LIDAR into the newest version of the company’s phones and high-end iPads, and more broadly what the advances in the technology mean for integrating LIDAR into cars.

Lee notes that while it may take another 2-4 years, we can expect to see such sensors more prominently featured in motor vehicles so as to improve on existing driving assistance systems. Left unstated, however, is how more advanced LIDAR sensors will enable next-generation content experiences of the type that Apple (and other technology companies) have been promising are in the wings for the past few years.

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2020.9.17

I’m preparing to run a very small Japanese whiskey tasting, and it only now occurs to me that I have to cut off a bunch of whiskeys from the entirety of my Japanese collection (most of my tastings max out at 6-7 different bottles, carefully organized so as to experience and compare across varietals). It’s hard because I want to showcase lovely examples of the nation’s whiskey while, at the same time, exposing my guests to a range of distilleries and the sheer variety of styles that are available. I can almost certainly predict this means some of my Nikka bottles will need to be excluded, as well as at least one of Suntory’s, though it should mean that I ultimately showcase 5-6 different distilleries and the different characteristics of each.

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2020.9.06

For the past many months it’s been hard to write here; the very idea of sitting to write was just too hard given the world as it is today. To try and publish here, and get past some of the difficulty writing here, I’m going to experiment with fewer roundups and more independent posts.

Let’s see how this goes.

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2020.6.25

After 3+ months of using a janky Apple keyboard—keys sticking, not registering presses, adding double characters, etc—I’m finally able to get it to a service centre next week. I cannot wait to have a reliable writing device to work on once more!

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2020.4.17

For the last few weeks I’ve been jarred awake by an overly loud alarm; it didn’t seem to always be so loud, but maybe I’d forgotten?

Nope. Not the case at all. When I updated to iOS 13.4 it set my ringer and alarm volumes to 100%. Now that I’ve reduced the volume I’m hopeful that my wake ups will be a lot more peaceful than they’ve been for the last few weeks.

To change the volume of the built-in Apple alarm: Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics. Under Ringers And Alerts, drag the slider left or right to set the volume. As you drag, an alert will play, so you can hear how the volume changes. Turn on Change with Buttons to use the volume buttons on your device to change the alarm volume.

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2020.4.14

I’ve been lusting over a new coffee grinder given the current state of self-isolation and, thus, increasing my coffee consumption at home by about 300%. Part of the reasoning has been that I—seemingly—couldn’t pull apart my current grinder to give it a deep cleaning, which was throwing off some of the taste.

It turns out, however, that I just didn’t have the right angle to grab, twist, and pull the top of the grinder.

20 minutes later and I’ve got a very clean coffee grinder and the first brew already tastes better and more true to the beans. And my lust for a newer grinder has receded (somewhat) for now.

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2020.4.8

I really appreciate and respect the journalists who are trying to explain to their audiences why location tracking isn’t a panacea to Covid–19. But holy hell is it ever tiring to schedule multiple interviews a day to walk each of them—and their audiences—through the efficacy and human rights issues linked with such surveillance.

Mobile device tracking only starts being a real possibility when absolutely massive testing is possible, especially when up to 50% of asymptotic persons can spread the disease without knowing they are infected. And even then there are strong indications—such as from Korea—that a multifaceted approach is required that needs to be pre-planned and -coordinated before an outbreak.

Diverting telecommunications engineers, now, from better securing networks or bringing networking capacity online towards developing surveillance systems of limited effectiveness is about the worst idea that could be promoted right now. Unless, as a society, we really want to develop superior surveillance systems that will certainly be repurposed by law enforcement and security agencies, that is.