Removing menu items in OS X Mountain Lion

cmd+shift+drag

I’m not sure when this behavior changed, but I recently managed to magic a screen sharing menu item into my menu bar and couldn’t find the right preference window from which to remove it. Googling the problem results in years-old posts advising users to hold command while dragging the item from the menu bar, but that doesn’t work for me on my Mountain Lion machines. You have to hold down command and shift to drag it out.

Note that this only works for system menu bar items, but holding command and dragging will let you rearrange all items.

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Roger Ebert on the Aurora shooting

“Should this young man . . . have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder.”

from “We’ve Seen This Movie Before

Here's the thing…

A few weeks ago, Apple released a new app called “Podcasts” for iOS with a “Top Stories” feature that lets your browse through popular podcasts. I came across a podcast called “Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin.”

Alec Baldwin has a podcast? I loaded up a few episodes and gave it a shot since somewhere in the back of my head, I had the idea that Alec Baldwin was a pretty smart guy and if nothing else, he’s got a good voice.

Turns out I love his interview style. He asks great questions, lets his guest tell their stories, and he has a laser-like focus. If you listen to an episode, you’ll notice it right away. He almost sounds as if he’s interrupting his guests, but not quite. He either has an uncanny ability to sense when the interview is going to drag, or he has a really good editor (I think it’s the former).

In the July 2 episode, Alec interviews Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist (he studies hormone glands in children). Lustig recounts a story of how a treatment for obesity in patients with a specific type of brain damage lead him to conclude that, for nutritional as well as behavioral reasons, the massive amount of sugar in the American diet is a huge factor in diabetes, obesity and cancer. Now there is some controversy about that opinion (I’d recommend checking out the comments section for links to differing opinions), but the interview itself is fascinating, engaging, and intellectually stimulating.

An aside: Lustig’s argument makes sense on the surface. The availability and low-cost of high fructose corn syrup combined with a low-fat craze and some nice profits for the food industry have pushed large amounts of sugar into almost everything we eat and sugar has addictive properties. I’m no nutritionist, so I can’t vouch for the validity of the argument and it does seem a bit over-the-top to demonize and cut out sugar entirely, so do your research before deciding on this one. Alec also maintains a sugar-free diet because he was diagnosed as “pre-diabetic.” You can take that as an endorsement for Lustig’s findings or as a bed for confirmation bias. Maybe both.

In any case, give the show a listen. If you’re not that into nutrition, try the interview with David Letterman.

★ Putting iPad Sales in Context

Apple just keeps posting amazing sales numbers and analysts just keep stretching to put that in a negative context.

From Daring Fireball – ★ Putting iPad Sales in Context:

But this 11.9 million unit quarter is anything but a sign of such tapering. And, according to Tim Cook (again, from yesterday’s conference call):

“But I’d also point out that the new iPad was supply constrained last quarter for the full three weeks or so that it was shipping and is actually still constrained.”

Which means Apple sold new iPads as fast as they could make them. If you believe this 11.9 million unit sale number deserves to be called “disappointing”, you should be disappointed only by Apple’s inability to manufacture them faster. Other than that, there simply is no bad news for Apple in these results.(Via Daring Fireball)

Poor comparison

This makes no sense.

The latest iPad delivers new enhancements at an even faster pace than last year’s iPad 2. While it took Apple four years to bring its Retina Display to iPhone 4, iPad is getting similar treatment in just three.

After the Verge’s “18.7% hotter” headline yesterday, it seems necessary that we all learn that a sensible-sounding English sentence does not always make for a sensible comparison.

It doesn’t make sense to me to compare how many years it took for a technology to become available on the iPad versus the iPhone. Could you say that innovation is happening faster on the iPad because it had 3G out of the gate whereas it took a year to become available on the iPhone?