Archive for December 30, 2021

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Mac Observer, Acquired

Dave Hamilton (tweet):

In December 1998, Bryan Chaffin and I co-founded The Mac Observer. And now, 23 years later… the site was acquired.

This next step in the site’s evolution is a good one. Dr. Serhat Kurt has long been a fan of The Mac Observer in addition to having some web publishing experience of his own. Dr. Kurt is the Publisher of macReports, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Educational Technology, President of SECK Inc., and a university professor from Chicago. But don’t let all the fancy credentials fool you; during this process I’ve gotten to know Serhat as a really great guy. His interest in acquiring The Mac Observer matches our own goals for the site: to grow The Mac Observer and help this site we love continue to thrive well into the future.

The Confusing World of HDMI

Simon Baker:

In this article we want to look at what the “HDMI 2.1” term really means, and address a worrying early sign in the market of things to come. We’ve delved in to what is required for this certification and what that means to you as a consumer if you ever want to buy something labelled with HDMI 2.1. Don’t make any assumptions about what that will give you, sadly it doesn’t seem to be nearly as simple as that.


This rang alarm bells for us, as it appeared that they were advertising a device which had only the capabilities of HDMI 2.0 under the new HDMI 2.1 name. It even specifically says it only used TMDS from v2.0 and not FRL. We’ve already touched on what we think an average consumer will expect when they see HDMI 2.1 listed, and so we queried this with, the HDMI Licensing Administrator to see whether this was dodgy or “fake”.

We covered above what we believe the common consumer expectation is in terms of capabilities and features when they see HDMI 2.1 advertised. If you delve in to the detail of HDMI 2.1 you will probably be surprised to hear that actually none of these things are required!

Via Nick Heer:

The people who write the HDMI spec should get together with those behind USB-C so they can create a single port that nobody understands.


Update (2022-01-05): See also: TidBITS.

Spreadsheet Games

Alexander King:

Everyone knows game designers love working with spreadsheets, but there aren’t enough games that run in spreadsheets.

But my students are helping set things right. Check out some of their amazing games, all playable in Excel or Google Sheets[…]


I challenged the students to make games that embraced the unique affordances (& limitations) of the software. Not games that happen to be spreadsheets, but that truly couldn’t run anywhere else.

Signing Out of iCloud or Apple ID

Ankur Thakur (via Dave Mark):

This tutorial shows you the steps to sign out of iCloud and your Apple ID (both are the same) on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.


Here’s what happens when you sign out of iCloud or Apple ID. Please note that the consequences are limited to that device only. You can continue to use the iCloud services on your other devices.


Here’s a list of services you can no longer use.


After you sign out of Apple ID or iCloud, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime are also signed out automatically. But you can still activate iMessage and FaceTime using your phone number. You cannot use your Apple ID email.