Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program Gets More and More Convenient | Six Colors

Dan Moren on Six Colors:

Yesterday, Apple rolled out the ability to go through the pre-approval process for your loan in the Apple Store app, making it simpler for customers to choose the model they want and get all the upgrade program paperwork squared away ahead of time. That way we can blearily wake up in the middle of the night on Friday and stab at our phone to order a new one like everybody else.

The process of upgrading your iPhone has been a painful one. Even Apple didn’t get it right at first, and from Dan’s article, it’s not perfect yet.

There are still some limitations: for example, you can’t currently get pre-approved for a brand new loan. If you want to start the iPhone Upgrade Program this year with an iPhone X, you can do it, but you’re going to have to select the upgrade program as a payment option when you go to check out

I’m with T-Mobile and while they’ve been doing the yearly upgrade program for a couple years, I’ve had countless problems with it. They’ve accidentally created phone lines, added me to unwanted plans, and the worst was when I had to send back the new phone I’d been given because it was the wrong one for the plan I was on.

While a change in phone is not in my plans this year, I might end up switching to the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program next year. It would seem to be the best of the not-so-great options.


The Best Music Streaming Service | The Sweet Setup

Tyler Hayes on The Sweet Setup:

Apple Music is currently the best option available for an on-demand streaming music service. This service has continued to build a rich feature set, attract a healthy amount of users, and continually has an extensive catalog of music that has a history of including exclusives not available anywhere else.

I’ve been using Apple Music since 2015 and I’ve been very happy. I think the Apple-curated playlists are really great and constantly help me find great new music.

I have only two major gripes with the service:

  1. iTunes is clunky.
    I agree with Tyler. iTunes needs a redesign that makes using Apple Music on the Mac easier. I’d love a stand-alone app, but I don’t see that happening. I do see the benefits of having all media in one place, but the UI needs to be clearer.

  2. No Easy Way to Filter out Explicit Music
    I don’t like music with swear words. Apple Music doesn’t make this easy. Even if I do the Apple recommended way, suggested playlists and algorithm-created playlists still have explicit music. I just want a flag I can select that tells Apple Music to always play me the clean version, and don’t play at all if there isn’t one.

All things considered, after using both Spotify and Apple Music, I agree with the pick.

Passenger Shot as Cars Approach Frogtown Stoplight, St. Paul Police Say | Pioneer Press

Mara H. Gottfried for the Pioneer Press:

A 19-year-old female passenger in a vehicle was seriously injured in a Sunday afternoon shooting in St. Paul, police said.

The shooting occurred in Frogtown, the neighborhood where two people were killed in separate shootings early Saturday and Sunday. Police said the homicides appear unrelated, as does the shooting that injured the woman on Sunday about 2:30 p.m.

I was about 300 feet away from this shooting. First time I witness a gun shot quite as close. Scary stuff.


LaVar Ball Fires Back at Patrick Beverley After Los Angeles Lakers’ Season Opener | NBA.com

From NBA.com

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball had a quiet statistical start to his NBA career last night, finishing with three points (on 1-for-6 shooting), nine rebounds, four assists, a steal, a block and two turnovers in a 108-92 home loss to the LA Clippers. A good portion of Ball’s struggles could be attributed to the job Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley, a noted defensive stalwart, did in guarding him.

The sports media went crazy saying that Lonzo wasn’t worth the hype after his first game in the league. One game. If that’s not ridiculous, I don’t know what is. What’s funny is the very next night Lonzo had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a win against the Suns.

But let’s be real here. This isn’t about Lonzo Ball. This is about LaVar Ball. LaVar is a moron who cowardly talks trash on behalf of his son. Many players are now gunning for Lonzo because of the idiotic comments of his father. Why would a father do this to his son? Why would he write checks that Lonzo shouldn’t be expected to cash?

Yes, LaVar Ball undoubtedly created a lot of hype around his son and they got what they wanted—being picked by the Lakers—but now it’s time to shut up and let the kid play. He’s a great player and is only going to get better. Let the numbers speak for themselves, and if anyone’s going to talk trash, let it be Lonzo.

Rebuilding Slack.com | Several People Are Coding

Mina Markham on Several People Are Coding:

In August, we released a major redesign of slack.com, and we want to give you a peek behind-the-scenes. Rebuilding our marketing website was a massive project that took careful coordination across a variety of teams, departments, and agencies.

We implemented a redesign while overhauling all the under-the-hood code. Our aim was to address a few goals at the same time: deliver a consistent rebranded experience while tackling critical improvements to site architecture, code modularity, and overall performance and accessibility.

This is one of those amazing posts that reminds me how much I still need to learn. You can tell that alongside Mina, there are many smart people working on Slack.com.

There’s lots of awesome stuff to glean from this post, but my favorite being that as I’ve said before, CSS Grid is ready for primetime.

The Era of Newshammer by Dave Rupert

Uncle Dave redesigned his website and it’s looking great. I always find it fun to see how people approach building their personal sites. Often, we build these the way we wish we could build everything else. That “Git It Gurl” theme is 🔥.

Great job Dave.


Despite 26 From Wiggins, Wolves Fall To Spurs In Opener | Minnesota Timberwolves Blog

Kyle Ratke on the Minnesota Timberwolves Blog:

The Wolves kept it close and it looked like they were turning a corner in the fourth quarter, but they fell to the Spurs in Wednesday’s season opener in San Antonio.

This was a tough first game. Not only did the Wolves start their season being away from home—they were in an arena where most teams lose. The Spurs are an excellent team even without Kawhi and Tony Parker on the floor. LaMarcus Aldridge apparently showed up to play scoring 25 points.

Wiggins, Towns, Teague and Crawford definitely did their part. I’d like to see more points from Jimmy Butler, and I’m sure that’ll happen. But it’s the first game of the season. There’s a lot of games left, and plenty of time for the Wolves to iron out some of these kinks.

Microsoft Updates Edge with CSS Grid Support

This is excellent news. CSS Grid is now in Edge 16. Still no support in IE 11, and I don’t see that changing. This puts us in an excellent spot, and opens up the possibilities for a lot more sites. If you’ve been on the fence, get down from there and start gettin’ your toes wet with this stuff.

CSS Grid is ready for production, no matter what you’re working on. Remember, even if you need to support older browsers, you can do the following:

.your-class {
  display: flex;
  // other fallback CSS
  @supports (display: grid) {
    display: grid;
    // other Grid stuff

Happy Grid-ing!

Gordon Hayward Injury Casts Pall Over Opening Night Thriller | NBA.com

Steve Aschburner on NBA.com:

Five Cavaliers players scattered like roaches bugging out over a light bulb. Several Boston players stood still, crouched low or leaned in, incredulous at what they were seeing. In that instant, the guys over on the Cleveland bench – with the nearest and clearest view of Gordon Hayward’s hideously twisted left leg and ankle – recoiled, turning away in unison as if choreographed.

It looked like the sort of Fred Sanford routine NBA players break out on All-Star Saturday, wincing and staggering in playful reaction to some dazzling dunk. Only this wasn’t theatrics, this was horrific. And their reactions were emotional, and real.

Five minutes into Gordon Hayward’s debut for the Celtics, and he suffered an injury that could possibly be season-ending. Injuries happen in sports, but it’s not everyday you see something like this. I’ve never suffered an injury on this scale, but I’m sure the first thing you think about is whether you’ll be able to ever play again. Thankfully the injury seems to have been a clean break, and he’ll recover just fine.

My heart goes out to Gordon Hayward, and I hope for a speedy recovery.