∴ The end of the butterfly

Jon Porter–The Verge:

Apple is planning to ditch the controversial butterfly keyboard used in its MacBooks since 2015, according to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. 9to5Mac notes that Apple will reportedly move to a new scissor-switch design, which will use glass fiber to reinforce its keys. According to Kuo’s report, the first laptop to get the new keyboard will be a new MacBook Air model due out this year, followed by a new MacBook Pro in 2020. “We predict that the butterfly keyboard may finally disappear in the long term,” Kuo says.

It’s about time.

I’d held off buying a replacement for my seven-year-old MacBook Pro until the ill-regarded 2016-2017 keyboard design was tweaked for 2018. The new machine was, overall, excellent, but the tweaks didn’t solve my and others’ primary issue with the keyboard: it’s not so much a reliability problem for me as it is one of incessant annoyance.

The keyboard’s reduced key travel imparted by the butterfly switch mechanism makes it “clicky,” and the reduced key size and pitch make it hard to maintain accuracy. The lack of an inverted-T arrangement among the arrow keys makes it difficult to locate them without looking, and an easily mis-triggered soft escape key rounds out my complaints. In short, this keyboard is as lacking in design grace as the rest of the machine excels. As Steve Jobs famously stated, “design is how it works.”

I’m looking forward to reading how the newer keyboard design works later this year. If it improves functionality and reliability I’ll be in for a replacement MacBook Pro some time in 2020.

#Apple #keyboard #MacBookPro

Kaepernick, Nike, and Betsy Ross’s flag

Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox:

The sneaker was supposed to go on sale this week for $140, and Nike had already shipped it to retailers when it made the decision. Kaepernick took issue with the sneaker’s design, which featured 13 white stars in a circle, referencing a Revolutionary War-era version of the American flag (commonly known as the Betsy Ross flag). This early version of the flag, he argued, is pulled from the era of slavery and doesn’t warrant celebration.

Kaepernick’s sincere, years-long public rejection of overt and systemic American racism is rightly applauded, but this is an example of taking a good idea too far. That an unrelated symbol of early America emerged from the long era of white oppression of blacks is no reason to reject it. We’re not talking statues of Civil War heroes or Lee’s battle flag, here. The Ross flag is in no way connected to white supremacy.

The first symbol of American independence and unity, the Ross flag was also the first to recognizably survive into the modern era. It should be part of any celebration of the nation’s founding.

Kaepernick’s rejection of the flag from a product he endorses is his business. Nike’s rejection at his urging is not only ridiculous, but it’s also bad business, to boot. The shoes were already in retailers’ hands.

#Kaepernick #racism


A very good paragraph by Jonah Goldberg, The Goldberg File:

When I listen to de Blasio talk about wrong hands, Gillibrand prattle about other peoples’ children, or Harris proclaim she will do things she has no power to do, I hear a yearning for back-tracking to the Wrong Turn [in the Enlightenment]. And I hear the same thing in so much of what Donald Trump says as well. But I hear it even more loudly in the applause that accompanies it. 

#politics #classicalLiberalism

Carlson: Why do we need inflation

Ben Carlson–A Wealth of Common Sense:

I get the idea behind being against inflation. Why would people want to see prices rise over time? Wouldn’t people benefit from lower or stable prices? 

In theory, this seems rational but theory rarely works in the real world. In the real world, the economy operates based on expectations. And, right or wrong, inflation and deflation bring about a very different set of expectations about the future, which can subsequently impact the present.

Carlson’s lucid answer to an elemental question in personal finance and investing; better a little of the bad than a lot of the worse. Think of the Fed’s 2% core inflation target as a buffer between affordability and disaster.

#investing #personalFinance #inflation

On the fate of Malaysia 370

William Langewiesche–The Atlantic:

The important answers probably don’t lie in the ocean but on land, in Malaysia. That should be the focus moving forward. Unless they are as incompetent as the air force and air traffic control, the Malaysian police know more than they have dared to say.

A great, long-read investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 five years ago. There’s apparently more known by the local government than they’re letting on.

#malaysia #mh370

Serwer: The illiberal right throws a tantrum

Adam Serwer–The Atlantic:

Undetectable in the dispute on the right is any acknowledgment of the criticisms of liberal democracy by those who have been fighting for their fundamental rights in battles that are measured in decades and even centuries; that the social contract implicitly excluded them from the very rights white Christian men have been able to assert from the beginning. Perhaps to do so would be to acknowledge the fundamental immaturity underlying the American Orbánists’ critique: that what they describe as a crisis of liberal democracy is really just them not getting exactly what they want when they want it.

Smart analysis of the religious Right’s shit-fit over the evaporation of white men’s long-running prerogatives.

America’s social order is changing, both by inclusion and attrition. No wonder the far Right rails against immigration, justice and equality for marginalized people, and even learned scientific knowledge. They attempt nothing short of the triumph of ignorance; that’s the only means available for preserving something whose time has passed.


Legacies of shame

Joshua Zeitz–Politico:

In Germany, you won’t see neo-Nazis converging on a monument to Reinhard Heydrich or Adolf Hitler, because no such statues exist. The country long ago came to grips with the full weight of its history. But you’ll find Nazis and Klansmen in Virginia, circling a statue of Robert E. Lee, a traitor who raised arms against his own country in the defense of white supremacy.  

How do we explain to the descendants of his victims—fallen Union soldiers and widows, and so many million slaves—that Robert E. Lee doesn’t deserve the same eternal infamy as Eichmann or Heydrich?

America has yet to honestly face the heinous practice and legacy of its white supremacy.

#whiteSupremacy #confederacy #treason #lee

Trump, as explained by a Brit

Love this:

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. 

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart. 

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

Read the entire quote here.


∴ Drinks, dinner

A quote I thought too good to let pass:

Cocktails with dinner is uncouth. Before dinner, or after dinner. Draining the last of a pre-meal drink, sure. But a purposeful cocktail with dinner is for the unwashed.

The quoted shall go nameless to protect the wise.

#cocktails #dining

Chicago O’Hare’s long-term renovation projects

I completed a visit with family living west of Chicago today. This trip always involves air travel into and out of O’Hare airport, which is like nails on a chalkboard for some. I’ve been lucky with all of my travels through there, however.

Beginning this year, O’Hare will renovate all of its existing terminals and build more over a nine-year span. The place will be all-but-unrecognizable by 2028.

Cranky Flyer has an interesting overview including the current status of the airport’s runway relocation project. By the time that project is complete, O’Hare will sport six parallel runways, the most of any US airport.

#oHare #airline #airTravel #united #american #delta