Week One 📧

I promise not every post around these parts is going to be all about Apple, all the time. There have just been so many great thoughts and sites shared this week due to the 40th anniversary of the Mac. And, of course, all the issues Apple is currently facing and all the changes they're (begrudgingly) making in the face of regulatory pressure and legal rulings (or non-rulings) around the world. And then there's the Vision Pro, Apple's biggest new product in years, which is shipping next week. All of that is to say: the Apple posts will continue until morale improves.

On the meta front (as in information about Spyglass, not the metaverse company which is now an AI company like every other company – I kid, I kid...), it was a great first week. Thank you to all who subscribed. And thank you to all those I ported over who didn't unsubscribe. This will be the first newsletter more akin to those older newsletters I sent.

Speaking of, several – and I do mean several – of you messaged confused by the email strategy. That is, the notion of only emailing out a few posts (two, so far) and publishing the rest to the site in relative silence. This is, of course, my bad. But also intentional. Part of the issue is that the strategy makes more sense once I have a paid tier active and in that case, paying members will get the columns emailed to their inboxes. Right now, since no one is paying, everyone is getting those columns (again, the two thus far, which, again, have been meta posts, so I wouldn't charge for those anyway), for free.

At the same time, a number of you messaged understanding the above, but still wanting to be emailed every post – all of the link blog entries. Wanting! Because you're gluttons for email punishment, apparently ;) I hear you. I will create a new email list (which will be opt-in) for those who wish to consume such content that way. For everyone else, you can check the site (a tall ask, I realize) or follow one of the social feeds I set up on Xitter or Threads. I've shared a few of the posts from my own social channels, but I'm mildly allergic to self-promotion. But I also know I sort of have to do that when I'm launching something new. Apologies in advance. There's also RSS, if that's not complete gibberish to you.

Regardless, part of the point of this very newsletter, which I'm calling "From Afar" and will go out weekly, to everyone, for free, is to catch you up on those posts you may have missed. So let's do that, shall we?

🌏
Sent from London, England

The Mac at 40...

Some of the best pieces related to the 40th anniversary of the Mac I saw this week:

That original Mac isn’t just iconic. It might even be the single personal computer you’d choose to illustrate the concept of “personal computer.” And because makers of Windows PCs never knocked off its design, it remains uniquely recognizable—certainly more so than a MacBook or iPhone, both of which proved so influential that you could lose track of them in the sea of look-alikes they inspired.
  • Jason Snell spoke with Apple's Greg Joswiak to mark the occasion for The Verge – also check out his fun "eras tour" post on his own Six Colors site
  • Steven Levy spoke with a number of other Apple executives including Craig Federighi and John Ternus for Wired – Levy, of course, also wrote the original and epic launch post for the Mac those 40 years ago for Rolling Stone (which I linked to below)
  • The Steve Jobs Archive emailed out an article to commemorate the moment (though oddly it doesn't appear to be on their actual site – hence the MailChimp permalink)
  • And, of course, be sure to watch the replay of the special "Insanely Great" panel held this week at the Computer History Museum
The Mac at 40
Insanely Great - CHMWatch the program on YouTube here! In January 1984, Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple Macintosh, an “insanely great” computer “for the rest of us” that changed the world—and Apple itself. Exemplifying a (counter) culture of changemakers, the Mac brought the graphical user interface to the masses
“If we don’t do this, nobody can stop IBM.”
Steven Levy’s epic 1984 Rolling Stone feature on the building of Apple’s Macintosh computer…

Briefly...

And He's Buying an Amazing Auction Item – This person randomly found the image that was used as the cover of Led Zeppelin's most famous album at an auction. Wild.

LK-99 Has 99 Properties But Being a 'Superconductor' Ain't One – For a couple of weeks last summer, a bunch of people – both on social media and seemingly working in actual science – thought the world had just changed. That a so-called "superconductor" which could work at room temperature had been discovered. Turns out, it had not been. This is how they got to the bottom of it.

Why It Took Meta 7 Years to Turn on End-to-End Encryption – A good read on the initiative which was all the rage before AI and before Crypto and before the Metaverse. It's great to see that Meta (then Facebook) followed through on this project...


Missives...

In From the Cold
Well hello there. If you’re reading this, you likely (hopefully) signed up to received updates about the project I’ve been calling “Spyglass” several weeks ago. Or you’re one of the many subscribers that I moved over from 5ish, my previous newsletter that I published for a few years on Substack,
An Ode to the Volume Swipe
I said my second post would be another “meta” post, but I lied. The truth is that it’s late at night here in London and after a few hour delay launching this site earlier today (thanks for the help, Ghost), and during a “midnight feed” of a baby, I found
3 Great Products
Today, we’re introducing three great products. The first is a superb new link blog. The second is a fantastic new column. And the third is a fun new newsletter. So, three things: 1. A superb new link blog 2. A fantastic new column 3. A fun new newsletter A link
Apple’s Deliciously Dripping with Disdain Press Release
Earlier today, I laid out why I thought Apple might end up taunting the EU with any changes they implement to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) laws set to take effect in March. And after a roughly 30 minute honeymoon period when folks thought Apple may actually be

Quoteable...

"This is our Muon shot."

-- A committee of scientists as written in a draft report on the future of particle physics. From the NYT report:

A muon collider is one of three options being considered as the successor to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which is currently the largest collider in the world and is expected to dominate particle physics for the next decade. China and CERN have each explored building a new collider 60 miles or so in circumference, which would reach collision energies of 100 trillion electron volts compared with the Large Hadron Collider’s 14 trillion, opening up vistas of energy and time.

Some thoughts on...

🤖 AI Bots talking to AI Bots...

👺 Netflix/WWE...

📱 An "AiPhone"...

🍎 How Apple might handle the new EU rules...

🍏 And how they did...

📺 HBO licensing content once again to Netflix...

👾 The forthcoming next Nintendo console...


Quickly...

  • Over 100 years ago, AI wasn't the technology people were worried was going to change the world and ruin everything – that would be tractors... 🚜
  • Yes, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss failed to stick the Game of Thrones (King's) landing. Still, they did an excellent job with the first 75% of the beloved series with a rabid fanbase, so I'm sad we're not going to get to see their vision for 'The First Jedi'... 🤺
  • Netflix is turning Patricia Highsmith's "Ripley" books into a series. It's hard to imagine how it can beat 1999's truly excellent The Talented Mr. Ripley, but the trailer certainly seems to have a different, darker tone in monochrome... 🔪
  • You know what doesn't look darker than the original, but instead like pure, wacky fun? Amazon's remake of Road House with Jake Gyllenhaal. The original with Patrick Swayze is utterly ridiculous – believe it or not, I've watched it a number of times in recent years (don't ask).
  • Guy Ritchie's The Gentleman was good, throwaway fun. The Netflix series – boy they turned that around quickly! – looks like it could be even better. 🔫
  • Can a toilet be a metaphor for what ails San Francisco? Certainly if it costs $1.7M (I used to live around the corner from this project shitshow) 🚽

One More Thing...

You may have noticed some elements of the site changing in real time this week – your eyes do not deceive you. Work continues post-launch and we're doing it live. I added a #tag area for easy sorting of posts on topics you might be interested in. (Sidenote: each of these tags has their own RSS feed, if you wanted to say, just subscribe to posts about Apple, for example.)

More prominently, you may have noticed some logo work that continues unabated by a silly thing like a launch date. Thank you to the excellent Josh Williams for all his work here. I think we've finally nailed it down (albeit with many alternate options). I suspect he may even write a guest post on the thoughts and process at some point...