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Why Content Should Be Published in HTML and Not PDF

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Neil Williams (via Alistair Duggin):

The default should be to create all content in HTML. If you can’t avoid publishing a PDF, ideally it should be in addition to an HTML version and the PDF must meet accessibility standards and archiving standards. We hope this post will help publishers explain the problems with PDFs to their colleagues and support moving towards an HTML-first culture.

[…]

PDFs may seem to be the fastest option because they can be easily created from popular applications that people are already using to author and share documents.

Converting content into HTML takes a bit of time. However, as explained earlier, creating a fully usable and accessible PDF from a source document requires specialist knowledge and can actually take longer than creating the content in HTML.

Unfortunately, there is no standard way to download an HTML document and save it in a self-contained format. Also, the tools for reading, searching, and marking up PDF documents are better.

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peelman
16 hours ago
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not to mention that HTML can turn into a shitshow of formatting relatively quickly, and trying to make something that is self-contained, yet can be used across multiple browsers is akin to training a unicorn to tap dance.
Seymour, Indiana
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Samsung Ad Pokes Fun at Apple Genius Bar and Touts Faster Galaxy S9 LTE Speeds

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Samsung's back to a familiar advertising tactic in its latest Galaxy S9 video - making fun of Apple. The new "Ingenius: Speed" ad shared this afternoon by Samsung pokes fun at the Genius Bar while touting Samsung's faster download speeds.

In the video, a customer at the "Ingenius" bar that resembles an Apple Store asks about the iPhone X's download speeds compared to the Galaxy S9's speeds, leaving the Apple retail employee unable to respond.


Customer: So the iPhone X doesn't have the fastest download speeds.

Genius: It is faster than the iPhone 8.

Customer: But the download speeds aren't faster than the Galaxy S9. I thought it was the "smartphone of the future."

Genius: Um...

Samsung's new video, and its Galaxy S9 website, are touting its LTE performance scores on Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence Data from February to April 2018. Ookla, for those unfamiliar, uses real-world user-submitted speed test results and aggregates LTE speeds from a variety of devices.

In Ookla's spring speed tests, the Galaxy S9, which is equipped with Qualcomm's X20 LTE chip, was 37 percent faster than the iPhone X and 43 percent faster than the iPhone 8, on average.

The iPhone X is equipped with either Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 or Intel's XMM7480 LTE chip, depending on model, which does indeed have lower theoretical maximum download speeds than the X20. While the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are faster than the current iPhones when it comes to download speeds, rumors suggest Apple is making improvements with its 2018 iPhone lineup.

Apple is planning to introduce improved antenna technology for faster connection speeds, along with dual-SIM dual standby functionality. Apple's new iPhones may use Intel's XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's X20 chips, both of which are faster than the LTE chips in the current iPhone X.

Tag: Samsung

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peelman
1 day ago
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when i saw this ad i immediately saw the appeal some people would see. Samsung is playing on the people who’s frustrations make them potential ship jumpers, and i’m sure it will work.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
1 day ago
This is a great example of poking your finger into an already exposed hole and widening it. The “Genius Bar” isn’t what it used to be and they aren’t hiring the best and brightest because that pool of talent always moves on. I say this as someone that did documentation and trained those folks up once upon a time. I’ve had terrible frustrations when I’ve had to fall back to going in to an Apple Store on the few occasions I needed to get immediate support. It’s so diluted, so watered down, and Apple shot themselves in the foot and squandered one of the precious resources their retail stores provided. Support at Apple Stores might as well be Geek Squad. Blame the customer. Find a dent. Etc...
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YouTuber Claims 15-Inch MacBook Pro With Upgraded Core i9 Chip is Severely Throttled Due to Thermal Issues

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Apple's new 15-inch MacBook Pro can be upgraded to include a 6-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i9 processor that has demonstrated impressive performance, but one YouTuber is warning customers away from purchasing it with claims that the MacBook Pro chassis can't provide sufficient cooling for it to run at full speed.

Dave Lee this afternoon shared a new video on the Core i9 MacBook Pro he purchased, and according to his testing, the new machine is unable to maintain even its base clock speed after just a short time doing processor intensive work like video editing.


"This CPU is an unlocked, overclockable chip but all of that CPU potential is wasted inside this chassis -- or more so the thermal solution that's inside here," says Lee.

He goes on to share some Premiere Pro render times that suggest the new 2018 MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip underperforms compared to a 2017 model with a Core i7 chip. It took 39 minutes for the 2018 MacBook Pro to render a video that the older model was able to render in 35 minutes. Premiere Pro is not well-optimized for macOS, but the difference between the two MacBook Pro models is notable.

Lee ran the same test again with the 2018 MacBook Pro in the freezer, and in cooler temperatures, the i9 chip was able to offer outstanding performance, cutting that render time down to 27 minutes and beating out the 2017 MacBook Pro.

As Lee points out, thermal throttling is in no way unusual and it's seen in all manner of laptops and mobile devices from a range of manufacturers, but he says that "this degree" of thermal throttling is "unacceptable."
This kind of thermal throttling really affects the end user. It doesn't matter what you're using it for, like if you're a Final Cut user, or an Adobe Premiere user, or if you're using it for software development or calculations like fluid dynamics -- it doesn't matter what you're doing with your device. If you have any kind of extended computational work that uses the CPU -- that's probably why you're looking at these devices in the first place -- it's going to throttle. And that's unacceptable to me.
It's not clear if there's something wrong with the MacBook Pro with Core i9 chip that Lee received, because this kind of throttling is likely something Apple would have tested for and not something that other users have reported at this point.

Because this is just one data point, it's not enough information to reach a conclusion about the i9 chip available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but additional testing will certainly follow to shed more light on Lee's video.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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peelman
1 day ago
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oh FFS. i knew this 6-core shit was too good to be true.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
1 day ago
I chuckled when I read all the breathless press releases by folks like The Loop practically felating Apple. Sad that I expect it now.
peelman
1 day ago
Look at how thin, light, and pretty our paperweight is! I can't imagine being a high-end pro customer, spending $3000 or upwards of $6000 on a "Pro" laptop, not being able to use it to its full potential, and in 3 years, when sand/grit shreds those paper-thin membranes in the keyboard, having to schlep it to the Apple Store to pay even more money to have the top cover replaced. I'm curious what, if anything they will do with the Mini this year; Something the size of an Apple TV with a Denverton Atom Proc, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a single USB-C port with an HDMI adapter? FML. That's exactly what they're going to do.
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In open offices, workers chat 70% less, are less productive, and email more

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Enlarge / Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays. (credit: Getty | Ian Nicholson)

Tearing down walls and cubicles in offices may actually build up more barriers to productivity and collaboration, according to a new study.

Employees at two Fortune 500 multinational companies saw face-to-face interaction time drop by about 70 percent, the use of email increase between 22 percent and 56 percent, and productivity slip after their traditional office spaces were converted to open floor plans—that is, ones without walls or cubicles that ostensibly create barriers to interaction. The findings, published recently in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, suggest that removing physical dividers may, in fact, make it harder for employers to foster collaboration and collective intelligence among their employees.

Many companies have waged a so-called “war on walls” to try to create such vibrant workspaces, the authors Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban of Harvard wrote. But, “what they often get—as captured by a steady stream of news articles professing the death of the open office—is an open expanse of proximal employees choosing to isolate themselves as best they can (e.g. by wearing large headphones) while appearing to be as busy as possible (since everyone can see them).”

Before the study it was clear from employee surveys and media reports that workers are not fans of the open architecture trend. Employees complain of noise, distractions, lowered productivity, a loss of privacy, and a feeling of being “watched.” On top of that, studies have suggested that open offices can be bad for workers’ health.

Still, Bernstein and Turban write that, up until now, there has been a dearth of data on how employee behaviors change in these boundless, despised work spaces. To come up with that data, they enlisted employees in two big companies as their employers embarked on remodeling office areas from traditional closed offices and cubicles to open, boundary-less space.

In the first anonymous company—code-named OpenCo1—the researchers tracked the activity of 52 employees for 15 days prior to the redesign and then, three months later, another 15 days after the redesign. The three-month gap allowed the employees—who worked in sales, human resources, technology, product development, and leadership—to settle into their new work environment.

The employees wore a badge with a set of sensors that monitored their interactions and movements: an infrared sensor captured who they were facing; a microphone picked up office chatter; an accelerometer recorded movement; and a Bluetooth sensor tracked their location in the office. A face-to-face interaction was recorded when employees' infrared sensors faced each other, microphones picked up alternating speech, and location monitors indicated employees were close to each other. The interaction ended when any of these conditions ceased for five seconds. The researchers also monitored electronic communications between employees.

In the end, the researchers captured 96,778 face-to-face interactions, 84,026 emails, and 25,691 instant messages.

Out of bounds

After the open redesign, the employees spent 72-percent less time having face-to-face interactions with each other. The raw numbers shook out to an average of 5.8 hours of face-to-face time per day per person before the redesign, but only 1.7 hours of face-to-face time per person per day afterward. Meanwhile, electronic communication increased; workers sent 56 percent more emails to their colleagues and 67 percent more instant messages.

Executives for the company also shared in qualitative terms that productivity among employees—measured by internal, confidential metrics—had also fallen. They did not disclose the magnitude of the productivity decline.

The researchers then, essentially, repeated this observational-type study in the second anonymous company, OpenCo2. But this time, they enrolled more employees and monitored them for longer time periods. That is, they tracked 100 employees for eight weeks before a similar office overhaul and two months afterward for another eight weeks. The researchers also collected information on pairs of people known to interact with each other—dyads—as well as employee attributes, including gender, role, and desk location.

The researchers found very similar effects to those seen in OpenCo1. Face-to-face interaction time declined between 67 percent and 71 percent in OpenCo2, depending on how the researchers parsed the data on dyads and desk distance. And emailing jumped between 22 and 50 percent. (The researchers didn’t look at instant messaging data for this company.) Unsurprisingly, workers with desks close together or who worked on the same team had more interactions—but the effects were smaller than expected. Gender was not a factor in interaction levels.

Together, the researchers conclude that the wall busting backfired. They speculate that the reasons may include the need for workers to have constraints on their interactions and have boundaries that help them make sense of their environment. Privacy concerns may also be a key reason. They write:

Consistent with the fundamental human desire for privacy and prior evidence that privacy may increase productivity, when office architecture makes everyone more observable or ‘transparent’, it can dampen [face-to-face] interaction, as employees find other strategies to preserve their privacy; for example, by choosing a different channel through which to communicate.

But perhaps more notably, they point out that researchers and employers have yet to come up with a breakthrough leading to that coveted, buzzy work environment that amplifies creativity and collective intelligence. It’s just clear that breaking down actual walls isn’t the way to get there.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 2018. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0239  (About DOIs).

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peelman
3 days ago
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a study to be ignored by managers everywhere, convinced as they are that putting employees out in the open where they can be directly observed by their superiors and peers will somehow coerce even a stubborn employee into being productive.

in my experience, the exact opposite is true. you don’t drag the turkeys up, you drag the eagles down.

even an office shared by 4 people (given enough square footage) who are working on a common purpose/goal/team is tolerable. but a fully open space is terrible.
Seymour, Indiana
fxer
6 days ago
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Bend, Oregon
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Apple Discontinues Its Own Photo Printing Service

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Benjamin Mayo (via Steve Troughton-Smith, MacRumors):

Apple is discontinuing its Photo Print Products service, which has been integrated into iPhoto since its launch in 2002. The service expanded from simple prints, to albums, photo books, and calendars. It stayed around on the Mac when iPhoto was replaced with the Photos app a couple of years ago, but the service never made the leap to iOS.

[…]

Apple’s recommendation is that customers download a third-party app that includes a Photos Projects extension. This API was introduced in High Sierra, and allows photo services to integrate photo printing UI inside the Apple Photos app. Payment processing and printing is all handled by the third-party.

This is sad news. Even though I use Lightroom, I would import my photos into Photos in order to make prints and books. Though not as easy to use as iPhoto, in my opinion, it still provided a much better interface than the Web-based services, and I found Apple’s print products to be consistently high quality and more reliable. With Shutterfly, we had to get one book redone three times because the printer kept messing up. This, combined with the poor Mac App Store reviews for the third-party projects extensions, does not make me optimistic.

Update (2018-07-12): Cory Birdsong:

This is a major bummer. Look at what the Wirecutter had to say about it less than a year ago[…]

If you have a Mac, don’t bother with Shutterfly. Apple’s own Photo Books service makes a better photo book with brighter images and more handsome layouts. If you’ve ever used the Photos app before, you’ll find the software familiar and easy to use—Apple also offers a detailed tutorial if you need help. Plus, unlike any of the other services, the colors will print on the page how they looked on your screen, including the cover. A master printer and Wirecutter’s photo and design editors all fawned over the Apple photo book for its spot-on colors, gorgeous layouts, and small design elements, such as page numbers, panoramic spreads, and a dust jacket that matches the cover.

Our Apple book was delivered in immaculate condition in an elegant, plastic-wrapped white cardboard box that was neatly shipped inside another sturdy cardboard box. We also appreciate that Apple doesn’t make you play the coupon game to get a good price. A full-price Apple photo book will cost the same as, or less than, a Shutterfly book with a good coupon. We can’t recommend it as the best service for most people because you can only use the software on Apple computers. But for anyone who does use a Mac, it’s the best and cheapest photo book service available.

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peelman
4 days ago
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damnit. this is incredibly disappointing.
Seymour, Indiana
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Apple worked with Blackmagic on a new external GPU

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To go alongside the newly updated MacBook Pros, Apple is selling a product for users who need more graphic processing power. Apple worked with cinema company Blackmagic on an external GPU based around a Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of video memory. Apple says it should give 2.8x faster graphics performance on the 15-inch MacBook Pro and 8x faster on the 13-inch.

The Blackmagic eGPU also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, and one HDMI 2 port, making it a pretty capable docking station as well. It’s the first eGPU to support Thunderbolt 3 displays like the 5K LG monitor Apple recommends for use with the MacBook Pro.

This is an all-in-one eGPU, unlike other chassis-style designs that require you to supply your own card. That makes it...

Continue reading…

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peelman
5 days ago
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that is not even a “handi capable” docking station. jesus. who writes this shit.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
7 days ago
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LOL that picture! Neither of those folks even knows what they're looking at.
Space City, USA
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