Linked List Entries

The Linked List is a frequently updated list of notable links and commentary. You can subscribe to the Linked List with its dedicated RSS feed or you can follow along on the main feed, which includes both Linked List entries and feature articles from the site.

Ecobee Introduces Peak Relief ➝

From Ecobee’s explanation of the feature:

If you’re on a Time of Use rate, the price of electricity is higher during peak hours of the day. Thankfully, Peak Relief is a new feature on your ecobee thermostat providing you with an easy way to save money and use less energy by automatically heating or cooling your home when electricity is less expensive.

With Peak Relief, you can save money without ever compromising your comfort.

Ecobee owners in select markets can enable the feature in the mobile app.

My electric company doesn’t charge different rates during peak usage time, but if they did, I’d certainly be excited about this feature.

Spectrum Internet Is Getting Kicked Out of New York ➝

Ashley Carman, reporting for The Verge:

New York is officially kicking internet and cable provider Spectrum, aka Charter, out of the state after the company failed to deliver on its fast internet promises. The state required Spectrum to roll out high-speed internet across underserved rural areas when it merged with Time Warner Cable in 2016.

I live in upstate New York, in an area serviced by Spectrum. I have no idea what’s going to happen with this. Although my guess is that the state will work out some deal allowing them to continue operation after they pay the $3 million penalty.

I hope this will also encourage other companies to accelerate the rollout of fiber networks, though. Empire Access has been slowly deploying fiber in my area, but they don’t have any future plans to bring it to my neighborhood. I would really like that to change soon.

Google Assistant Tops Loup Ventures’ Tests, Siri Shows Greatest Improvement ➝

Gene Munster and Will Thompson:

We asked Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana 800 questions each. This time, Google Assistant was able to answer 86% of them correctly vs. Siri at 79%, Alexa at 61%, and Cortana at 52%.

Their results show that Siri has improved at a rate greater than any other assistant since the last time they tested. That feels right to me. I haven’t documented my results and it’s entirely anecdotal, but Siri feels a lot better to me today than it did last year.

It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to accuracy, Google Assistant is on top followed by Siri, Cortana, and Alexa. That runs counter to what most people talking about these services tend to claim. That could mean that these results are flawed or that everyone believes that Amazon is ahead when they actually aren’t.

I suspect they are accurate, though. Keep in mind, Google was tinkering with voice recognition services back in 2007 when they launched GOOG-411. Amazon didn’t start working on Alexa until sometime around 2010.

Details on the Next iPad Pro ➝

Chance Miller, writing for 9 to 5 Mac on Macotakara’s recent iPad Pro report:

The report goes on to explain that Apple is likely to ditch the headphone jack with this year’s iPad Pro models, a move the company first made with the iPhone 7. While Apple includes a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter to ease the blow for iPhone users, it will not do the same for iPad Pro users, according to today’s report.

Today’s report corroborates that this year’s iPad Pro models will feature Face ID, but it notes that there is no support for landscape Face ID as earlier reports had indicated. This presents an interesting problem for the iPad Pro, which is used commonly in landscape mode with accessories such as the Smart Keyboard. Macotakara notes, however, that Apple is moving the Smart Connector on this year’s models to “the lower rear side – close to the Lightning connector.”

I can’t remember the last time I used the headphone jack on my iPad, but it was most likely before I purchased AirPods. I’m probably going to be buying one of these iPad Pros and I’m fine with the headphone jack disappearing. Just don’t let Nilay know about this rumor because we’ll never hear the end of it.

The Face ID rumor is odd to me, though. I never use my iPad in portrait mode. With the only exception being the times when I launch Noisli, a simple white noise app that doesn’t support landscape orientation for some reason. Maybe the Face ID camera will be located in the same place as the current iPad Pro’s FaceTime camera, but will work in either orientation for the purposes of Face ID. Otherwise, I have no idea what Apple is thinking.

Nintendo Sues Console ROM Sites for ‘Mass’ Copyright Infringement ➝

Ernesto Van der Sar, reporting for TorrentFreak:

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular console ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co. The sites are among the most notorious online hubs for pirated games, according to Nintendo, and face millions of dollars in potential damages.

I understand Nintendo’s need to protect their intellectual property, but I wish that companies would just turn a blind eye to sites like this.

Mario Kart Hot Wheels Are Coming Next Year ➝

I hope my nephew is still obsessed with Mario when these come out because he’s definitely getting these for his birthday.

Adobe to Launch Photoshop for iPad ➝

Mark Gurman and Nico Grant, reporting for Bloomberg:

Adobe Systems Inc., the maker of popular digital design programs for creatives, is planning to launch the full version of its Photoshop app for Apple Inc.’s iPad as part of a new strategy to make its products compatible across multiple devices and boost subscription sales.

The software developer is planning to unveil the new app at its annual MAX creative conference in October, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The app is slated to hit the market in 2019, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans. Engineering delays could still alter that timeline.

It’s increasingly clear that iOS is poised to become a serious competitor to traditional operating systems. There are geeks like myself that have used it as our primary platform for a few years already, but it will soon be common amongst average users as more professional applications like Photoshop become available.

Apple Discontinues Its Own Photo Printing Service ➝

My wife and I used Apple’s printing service to make photo books from our wedding. The process couldn’t have been easier and the print quality was absolutely superb. I had been hoping for the past few years that Apple would add their printing services to iOS as well, but it appears that will never come to pass.