rgl7194 + daring_fireball   1133

Dialog Season 1, Episode 2: A Conversation with John Gruber – MacStories
Today, we published the second episode of Dialog Season 1 (called 'Writers and Writing') featuring the first part of a conversation with Daring Fireball's John Gruber.
You can find the episode here or listen through the Dialog web player below.
I'd like to provide some context around this interview as John Gruber was one of the first names I thought of when my colleague John pitched the original idea for Dialog months ago.
When I started MacStories 10 years ago, Daring Fireball was one of my main sources of inspiration: I was incredibly fascinated by the idea that a single person – more than a blogger, a writer – could share his opinions about Apple and technology on a website that was so clearly attached to his name. Gruber's columns and original in-depth software reviews were the blueprints upon which I modeled my writing for MacStories: at the time, I felt that, even though English was not my primary language, I could at least try to do the same, but for iPhone apps and the modern age of the App Store and iOS developers.
podcast  interview  daring_fireball  apple  writing 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Bloomberg Shits the Bed Again on Cybersecurity
First things first: earlier this week WhatsApp announced that they had closed a remote code execution vulnerability, affecting all platforms, that attackers could exploit simply by calling a user’s WhatsApp account — whether the call was answered or not. (A buffer overflow, no surprise.) They revealed to The Financial Times that this vulnerability had been exploited, targeting an unknown but presumably small number of users, by software from NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells expensive, exclusive, world-class hacking tools to governments (or at least NSO claims only to sell their software to legitimate governments). The FT story is locked behind their paywall (which makes me wonder why WhatsApp went to them with the story), but TechCrunch has a good summary.
Long story short, this was a bad bug that was apparently exploited in the wild. A reasonable point to be taken from this story is that end-to-end encryption is not a panacea. If an attacker manages to install malware on your device, whether via remote exploit or physical access to the device, it’s game over, because they’re now inside one of the ends.
It’s like if you have a secure communication line between two rooms, but an attacker gains entry into one of the rooms. The problem is not with the communication line.
security  encryption  messaging  whatsapp  privacy  daring_fireball 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: iOS Apps Grossly Abusing Background App Refresh for Tracking Purposes
Geoffrey Fowler, writing for The Washington Post...
This is all going on via Background App Refresh. You can see which apps have this permission on your iOS device in Settings: General: Background App Refresh (it’s the 8th item in General in iOS 12).
This feature exists for good reasons — it’s how email, messaging, and podcast apps can update in the background. You probably want new podcasts episodes to download in the background overnight. You want current weather information when you wake up in the morning. But anything that can be abused, will be abused, and it looks like a lot of apps are abusing the shit out of Background App Refresh.
I don’t know what Apple can do to make this more transparent — to somehow let you, the user, see what exactly these apps are doing in the background — but I sure hope it’s on their radar. At this point, a lot of these apps — because of the third-party “analytics” libraries they embed — are acting as spyware, pure and simple.
security  privacy  ios  apps  tracking  data  daring_fireball  iphone 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Sniping From Goldman Sachs Rivals on Apple Card
Hugh Son, writing for CNBC...
No shit they’re going to make less money than cards that charge fees and higher interest rates. But they’re going to make money — I’ll eat my hat if Goldman and Apple don’t turn a profit on this card. CNBC’s headline — “A Goldman Sachs rival pulled out of the Apple Card deal on fears it will be a money loser” — makes it sound like they’re going to lose money, which is ludicrous. They’ll make money on each transaction and they’ll make money charging interest on any cardholder who carries a balance. Arguing that they won’t make enough money is just usurious greed.
I don’t use the word lightly, but it’s evil to argue against the software Apple is releasing to help cardholders avoid debt and pay down what debt they owe quickly.
Also, this whole CNBC article seems like a way to sell consumers on getting an Apple Card.
apple_card  credit_cards  banking  money  daring_fireball 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Independent on Apple and Privacy
Andrew Griffin, in a lengthy piece for The Independent...
Griffin’s piece is an interesting read, and he was granted rare access to Apple’s testing facilities, but I think it’s a little all over the place, bouncing back and forth between security issues (testing Apple designed chips in extreme temperatures) and privacy issues. I think the above is the main point though — Google and Facebook are both pushing back against Apple, arguing that Apple’s stance on privacy is only possible because they charge a lot of money for their products.
I think the point that needs to be made is that free and low-cost products can be subsidized by privacy-respecting advertising — but privacy-respecting advertising is not as profitable as privacy-invasive advertising, as exemplified on Facebook and Google’s humongous platforms.
apple  privacy  facebook  google  advertising  daring_fireball  money 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'Nancy Pelosi and Fakebook’s Dirty Tricks'
Kara Swisher, writing at The New York Times:
This is ridiculous. The only thing the incident shows is how expert Facebook has become at blurring the lines between simple mistakes and deliberate deception, thereby abrogating its responsibility as the key distributor of news on the planet.
Would a broadcast network air this? Never. Would a newspaper publish it? Not without serious repercussions. Would a marketing campaign like this ever pass muster? False advertising. […]
By conflating censorship with the responsible maintenance of its platforms, and by providing “rules” that are really just capricious decisions by a small coterie of the rich and powerful, Facebook and others have created a free-for-all with no consistent philosophy.
disinformation  facebook  fake  gov2.0  nytimes  pelosi  politics  video  youtube  daring_fireball 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: YouTube Is the Only Social Platform Taking Down Doctored Pelosi Videos
Kate Riga, reporting for TPM:
YouTube has taken down videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doctored to make her seem drunk from its platform, saying that the posts “violated our policies.”
“YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed. They also did not surface prominently. In fact, search results and watch next panels about Nancy Pelosi include videos from authoritative sources, usually at the top,” a spokesperson told TPM.
Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, are letting the videos live on their sites.
“We remove things from Facebook that violate our Community Standards, and we don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,” a company spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Politico.
Shame on Twitter and Facebook. These videos are not parody or satire — they’re being passed off as real, and garnering millions of views. It’s dangerous propaganda.
disinformation  facebook  fake  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  video  youtube  daring_fireball 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: ‘Behind Twitter’s Plan to Get People to Stop Yelling at Each Other’
Interesting feature by Nicole Nguyen for BuzzFeed with an inside look at “twttr” — a new version of Twitter currently being tested. Lots of screenshots, and I particularly enjoyed (and would have liked to see more of) senior product designer Lisa Ding’s sketchbook.
I do think most of these designs significantly help indicate reply threading. What’s a reply to the original tweet, what’s a reply to another reply, that sort of thing. Twitter is really just awful for that right now, and always has been. And the fundamental reason why is kind of obvious: Twitter started as a product that did not even have the concept of replies. Users invented them, by starting a tweet with “@username” for whomever they were replying to. Twitter eventually embraced replies as a full-fledged feature, but the way it’s worked out over 13 years (poorly) is a perfect example of a fundamental design precept: the origins of a product forever shape its future.
But again, these “twttr” designs do seem to make replies clearer. That’s good. What I don’t see is anything, anything at all, that addresses the ostensible goal of this whole effort: reducing abuse, hostility, and general bad behavior. Trolls and bullies are Twitter’s core problem, not the clarity of reply threads.
twitter  UI/UX  daring_fireball 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Don’t Hold Your Breath
Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it cannot confirm the shipping date for its foldable device Galaxy Fold yet and apologized to its pre-order customers in the United States for the delay. The world’s top smartphone maker delayed global sales of the splashy $1,980 foldable phone after reviewers discovered problems with its display, dealing a setback to Samsung and its efforts to showcase its innovation.
“If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be canceled automatically,” the South Korean tech giant’s U.S. subsidiary told Galaxy Fold pre-order customers in an email late on Monday, which was confirmed by a Samsung spokeswoman.
Today is May 7. How can anyone take them seriously that they do not know if they’re going to ship by May 31? This thing is never going to ship and everyone knows it.
android  daring_fireball  foldable  OLED  smartphone  technology 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Facebook Lawyer Says Users ‘Have No Expectation of Privacy’
Mikael Thalen, writing for The Daily Dot:
A lawyer for Facebook argued in court Wednesday that the social media site’s users “have no expectation of privacy.”
According to Law360, Facebook attorney Orin Snyder made the comment while defending the company against a class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” Snyder said.
Get them in court and all of sudden they’re honest.
facebook  privacy  daring_fireball  legal 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Facebook’s Creepy Data Sharing With Phone Carriers
Sam Biddle, reporting for The Intercept:
Offered to select Facebook partners, the data includes not just technical information about Facebook members’ devices and use of Wi-Fi and cellular networks, but also their past locations, interests, and even their social groups. This data is sourced not just from the company’s main iOS and Android apps, but from Instagram and Messenger as well. The data has been used by Facebook partners to assess their standing against competitors, including customers lost to and won from them, but also for more controversial uses like racially targeted ads.
Some experts are particularly alarmed that Facebook has marketed the use of the information — and appears to have helped directly facilitate its use, along with other Facebook data — for the purpose of screening customers on the basis of likely creditworthiness. Such use could potentially run afoul of federal law, which tightly governs credit assessments.
Mark Zuckerberg, last month: “I believe the future is private.”
facebook  privacy  security  daring_fireball  telco  data  sharing 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'Facebook Is Trying to Make the Word “Private” Meaningless'
Good piece by Casey Johnston for The Outline on the hollowness of Facebook’s newfound push for “privacy”:
He emphasized several times that Facebook will not be able to see the content of this material, saying it was private “even from us” several times about several features, and emphasizing the words “safety” and “secure.”
But what his presentation elided was the fact that Facebook does not need to see the content of what people are saying in order to advertise to them. The metadata — who, or what (as in a business), you’re talking to, and even where you are or what time the conversation is taking place as it comes together with other pieces of information — provides more than enough information to make a very educated guess about what you’re interested in, to the point that knowing specifically what you are saying adds almost nothing.
facebook  advertising  privacy  security  daring_fireball  metadata 
22 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: WWDC by Sundell
John Sundell:
However, not everyone is able to actually attend WWDC in person. Not only do you have to win the “lottery” in order to qualify for purchasing a ticket, you also need to have the monetary means to be able to fly to, stay at, and attend the conference. So for a huge amount of people, WWDC can feel a bit out of reach.
I wanted to do something about that. This website is for everyone who wants to closely follow WWDC, but from anywhere in the world. Starting right now, this site will be updated daily with articles, videos, podcasts, and interviews, covering all things WWDC — from recommendations on what session videos to watch, to in-depth looks at new APIs, to interviews with people from all over the Apple developer community.
A lot of great content here already. And the site is very fast — no JavaScript, no tracking, no nonsense.
apple  conference  WWDC  web  daring_fireball 
26 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: YouTube Gamed Into Recommending Russian Propaganda on Mueller Report
Guillaume Chaslot:
One week after the release of the Mueller report, which analysis of it did YouTube recommend from the most channels among the 1000+ channels that I monitor daily?
Russia Today’s!
This video funded by the Russian government was recommended more than half a million times from more than 236 different channels. […]
Technology can enable two worlds:
One where accountability keeps cheaters in check
One where social media is manipulated by armies of fake accounts
I’m on Facebook’s case more frequently, but YouTube might be just as complicit in distributing massive-scale propaganda pushed by fake accounts they could surely detect but don’t in the name of the almighty god both companies worship: engagement. They both use devilishly clever algorithms to target this propaganda, not to flag it.
algorithm  disinformation  mueller  propaganda  report  russia  youtube  daring_fireball 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: More on iFixit Pulling Its Galaxy Fold Teardown
...My bet is that their “partner” is in hot water with Samsung over their having handed the Fold unit over to iFixit. iFixit knows pulling the teardown makes them look bad, like they’re caving in to a demand from Samsung, but they’re doing it anyway to protect or perhaps even as a favor to this “ally in making devices more repairable”, a description I suspect might mean “someone who has in the past and might again in the future get us early access to hardware through unofficial channels”.
I.e., iFixit is doing a favor for their source, not a favor for Samsung, even though they know some will see it as a favor for Samsung.
Alternatively, the really bad look for iFixit is that their “partner” is a marketing firm that is also a partner for Samsung, and getting pre-retail-availability to iFixit was originally part of the marketing rollout for the Fold and iFixit is really just going along with this so that they keep getting pre-retail-availability access to Samsung devices.
It’s a bit inside baseball but the whole thing is just weird, because, as I said at the top, reviews just don’t get pulled unless the review itself — not the product — is flawed.
foldable  OLED  technology  smartphone  daring_fireball  teardown  android 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: iFixit Removes Galaxy Fold Teardown
After two days of intense public interest, iFixit has removed our teardown of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. That analysis supported our suspicions that the device provided insufficient protection from debris damaging the screen.
We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner. Samsung has requested, through that partner, that iFixit remove its teardown. We are under no obligation to remove our analysis, legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold at retail.
I was — and remain — genuinely curious who supplied them with a unit. It couldn’t have been a review unit — those have to be returned and review terms always forbid taking devices apart. Maybe from a carrier?
foldable  OLED  technology  smartphone  daring_fireball  teardown  android 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Drumbeat of Impeachment
...Zealots, fools, and well-meaning idealists who don’t understand how the U.S. political system really works cry “impeachment” against every president. There were cries for it against Obama (despite the fact that his administration was the most scandal-free of any in modern history), against both Bushes, and Reagan. And of course Bill Clinton was impeached, over charges that, whatever you think of their merit, were indisputably less significant than what the Mueller report revealed about Trump.
In short, “impeachment” is oft used lightly on the political fringes. In the wake of the Mueller report, it’s starting to be used by sober-minded people who fully understand the gravity of its place in our Constitution — a measure of last resort. Alexander Hamilton described impeachment power as an “awful discretion”. Trump himself is now tweeting about impeachment, betraying, unsurprisingly, that he has absolutely no idea how the process actually works. The fact that he’s tweeting about it — and stonewalling Congressional oversight to profoundly unprecedented degrees — shows that he’s worried, but this only serves to move impeachment further into the political mainstream.
Ignore the noise and listen closely — the drumbeat is growing.
politics  gov2.0  trump  impeachment  daring_fireball  Dems  congress 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Know When to Fold ’Em
Timothy W. Martin, reporting for The Wall Street Journal, “Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Smartphone Release Delayed”:
Samsung Electronics Co. is delaying the rollout of its Galaxy Fold smartphone until at least next month after some tech reviewers said their test devices had malfunctioned.
The Galaxy Fold, the industry’s first mainstream foldable-screen device, was slated to start selling in the U.S. on Friday, with a price tag of nearly $2,000. But Samsung, citing the problems reported by reviewers, said Monday it plans to announce a new release date for the phone in the coming weeks. […]
The launch delay came hours after the South Korean technology giant abruptly scrapped prerelease media events planned for Hong Kong on Tuesday and Shanghai on Wednesday. The company at the time didn’t specify why the two media briefings had been aborted.
“We are conducting a thorough inspection into the issues reported by some of the reviewers of early Galaxy Fold samples,” a Samsung spokeswoman said. “We will share the findings as soon as we have them.”
This is a sign of deep dysfunction within Samsung. Let’s think this whole thing through.
foldable  OLED  technology  smartphone  daring_fireball  android 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: '15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook'
Hard to summarize this massive Wired cover story by Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein other than that Facebook is a terrible company run by terrible people, particularly Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. We all have a lot of reading on our hands with today’s release of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel report, but this one is worth queuing up and setting time aside for. A few highlights:
In addition to general mendacity and capriciousness, Facebook decisions are often inept...
Zuckerberg was jealous of Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom...
And vindictiveness...
Who believes this was a coincidence? Anyone?
facebook  business  daring_fireball 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.'
Mike Spies, reporting for The New Yorker:
The N.R.A. and Ackerman have become so intertwined that it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Top officials and staff move freely between the two organizations; Oliver North, the former Iran-Contra operative, who now serves as the N.R.A.’s president, is paid roughly a million dollars a year through Ackerman, according to two N.R.A. sources. But this relationship, which in many ways has built the contemporary N.R.A., seems also to be largely responsible for the N.R.A.’s dire financial state. According to interviews and to documents that I obtained — federal tax forms, charity records, contracts, corporate filings, and internal communications — a small group of N.R.A. executives, contractors, and venders has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements. Memos created by a senior N.R.A. employee describe a workplace distinguished by secrecy, self-dealing, and greed, whose leaders have encouraged disastrous business ventures and questionable partnerships, and have marginalized those who object. “Management has subordinated its judgment to the vendors,” the documents allege. “Trust in the top has eroded.”
Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people.
gov2.0  politics  guns  NRA  corruption  daring_fireball 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Pete for America's Design Toolkit
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2020 has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks. I’m not yet picking a favorite in the race, but he’s certainly a compelling candidate, and an openly gay major party candidate is a first worth celebrating.
What I seek to direct your attention to today, however, is unrelated to politics or policy. It’s this branding site put together by his campaign. This is strong identity work. Just check out these per-state graphics, each of them hand-lettered with full credit given to the artists. This work is distinctive, attractive, and strikes me as pitch-perfect for Buttigieg’s personality and tone. It fits, which is a very hard thing to get right.
gov2.0  politics  election  2020s  design  fonts  state  daring_fireball 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: A Technical and Cultural Assessment of the Mueller Report PDF
Duff Johnson, writing for the PDF Association:
This article offers two things:
a brief, high-level technical assessment of the document, and
a question of culture: why everyone assumes it would be delivered as a PDF file — and would have been shocked otherwise.
This has nothing to do with the content of the Mueller Report, but rather the actual PDF file released by the Justice Department. Wonderfully nerdy.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  PDF  daring_fireball  technology 
7 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Facebook Says It 'Unintentionally Uploaded' 1.5 Million People's Email Contacts Without Their Consent
Rob Price, reporting for Business Insider:
Facebook harvested the email contacts of 1.5 million users without their knowledge or consent when they opened their accounts.
Since May 2016, the social-networking company has collected the contact lists of 1.5 million users new to the social network, Business Insider can reveal. The Silicon Valley company said the contact data was “unintentionally uploaded to Facebook,” and it is now deleting them.
Again I will say what few in the media seem willing to: Facebook is a criminal enterprise.
And, as per my previous item, is anyone willing to bet that the actual number is a lot higher than 1.5 million?
facebook  email  contacts  security  privacy  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'Foxconn Says Empty Buildings in Wisconsin Are Not Empty'
Nilay Patel, on Foxconn’s response to The Verge’s investigation into their Wisconsin scam:
Today, Foxconn responded to that piece by… announcing another innovation center in Wisconsin, this one in Madison, the state’s capital. The building, which currently houses a bank, actually sits directly across the street from the Capitol building, and it will continue to house the bank because Foxconn did not announce when it would be moving in.
Here are some other things Foxconn did not announce: how much it had paid for the building, how many floors of the building it would occupy, how many people would work there, or what those people would be doing.
It did announce that it would be rebranding the building “Foxconn Place Madison,” however.
It’s like Foxconn is a stage magician, and Wisconsin paid $4.5 billion to see an elephant disappear from the stage. But two years later, there still is no elephant, it seems ever more clear that they never had any intention of even showing an elephant, let alone making it disappear, and now that people are calling them on it, they’re like, “We are definitely going to make an elephant disappear from this stage, but hey — how about a card trick?”
gov2.0  politics  state  business  technology  scam  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Verge Digs Into Foxconn's Wisconsin Con Job
In-depth investigation by Josh Dzieza for The Verge:
The secrecy and vagueness are frustrating to critics. How do you prove that Foxconn won’t build an enormous LCD factory during an industry glut or create a research campus larger than MIT in rural Wisconsin other than by pointing out that experts — and even, occasionally, Foxconn executives — say it makes no sense?
State House Minority Leader Gordon Hintz recently appointed himself to the board of WEDC, and Foxconn’s continued promises of 13,000 jobs make him palpably furious. Speaking in slow, measured tones in his Madison office as he packed for a trip, he said the state needs to “right-size” the project to something realistic, likely a few hundred research jobs, and that Foxconn needs to be honest about its plans. “For something that had a 25-year payback, building a factory because the president wants you to for reasons that have nothing to do with market viability is insane.”
Hintz believes Foxconn is trying to slow-walk the project until 2020, continuing to use it to win Trump’s goodwill in the trade war and waiting to see who’s elected.
Foxconn scammed Republican officials, pure and simple — local, state, and federal. The LCD factory that President Trump declared “the eighth wonder of the world” still doesn’t exist and likely never will. It’s a scam Foxconn has played around the globe.
gov2.0  politics  state  business  technology  scam  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: How to Tip
Alan Sytsma, writing for Grub Steet:
For 14 months, this CNBC story on tipping has been lying dormant, just waiting for the Internet Outrage Machine to find it. This week, it was found, and yet another tipping debate — if that’s what you want to call it — exploded. The whole thing was exactly as dumb as you’d expect. Tipping is very easy, but for anyone who still doesn’t get it, Grub Street has assembled this helpful FAQ.
Do I have to tip?
It’s so complicated.
It’s not. When you eat and drink at a restaurant or bar or café or whatever, where servers accept tips, you will leave a tip, and that tip will be 20 percent of the total bill, including tax and whatever you’ve spent on alcohol.
This is how I’ve tipped my whole life: 20 percent on the final bill, tax included. That’s it. For outstanding service, or if you receive complimentary dishes or drinks, you tip on top of that. Don’t give me any Mr. Pink shit — this is how the system works, and if you tip less than 20 percent on your final bill you’re stiffing your server.
If I have it with me, I tip in cash.
This whole thing is U.S.-centric, of course, but let me add that while I understand how strange U.S. tipping culture must seem to someone from another country, it’s not complicated, and in my experience, typical service in U.S. restaurants is far better than in other countries. Fundamentally I think the basic idea works, insofar as it incentivizes superior service.
restaurants  money  tips  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Guilherme Rambo: 'MacOS 10.15 to Include Standalone Media Apps, Splitting iTunes'
Guilherme Rambo, writing at 9to5Mac:
The new Music, Podcasts, and TV apps will be made using Marzipan, Apple’s new technology designed to facilitate the porting of iPad apps to the Mac without too many code changes. It’s not clear whether the redesigned Apple Books app will also be made using the technology, but given that the redesign came to iOS first and its usage for the other apps, it’s likely that this new Books app will also be using UIKit.
Nothing surprising here, but it leaves the $64,000 question unanswered: will these apps be more like dumbed-down iPad apps on the Mac, or more like smartened-up Mac apps on the iPad? Dumbed-down iPad apps on the Mac is, if anything, a generous description of the News, Stocks, Home, and Voice Recorder apps we got with 10.14.
With the standalone versions of Apple’s media apps coming to the Mac, it’s natural to ask: what about iTunes in macOS 10.15? According to sources, the next major version of macOS will still include the iTunes app. Since Apple doesn’t have a new solution for manually syncing devices such as old iPods and iPhones with the Mac, it’s natural to keep iTunes around a little longer.
Makes sense. Let the new apps serve as front-ends to Apple’s media services, and let iTunes stay as a media player for audio and video files on your Mac.
macOS  10.15  rumor  itunes  music  podcast  tv  apps  books  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Shocker: Barr's Summary of Mueller Report Might Be Fishy
Ellen Nakashima, Carol D. Leonnig, and Rosalind S. Helderman, reporting for The Washington Post:
“There was immediate displeasure from the team when they saw how the attorney general had characterized their work instead,” according to one U.S. official briefed on the matter.
Summaries were prepared for different sections of the report, with a view that they could made public, the official said.
The report was prepared “so that the front matter from each section could have been released immediately — or very quickly,” the official said. “It was done in a way that minimum redactions, if any, would have been necessary, and the work would have spoken for itself.”
Mueller’s team assumed the information was going to be made available to the public, the official said, “and so they prepared their summaries to be shared in their own words — and not in the attorney general’s summary of their work, as turned out to be the case.”
Imagine the right’s reaction if there had been a two-year independent counsel investigation of Barack Obama, led by Robert Mueller, regarding election malfeasance and obstruction of justice, and when completed, attorney general Eric Holder released nothing but his own 4-page summary that basically said “nothing to look at here”.
I’m sure that would have flown.
I don’t know if it’s going to happen in days, weeks, or months, but the Mueller report will be released. This Barr summary is such a ham-fisted gambit — it really doesn’t make any sense at all if the report actually looks good for Trump.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: NYT: ‘Russia Ordered a Killing That Made No Sense. Then the Assassin Started Talking.’
Riveting reporting from Michael Schwirtz for The New York Times:
Assassinations happen frequently enough in Ukraine that they are often just blips in the local news cycle. In 2006, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin signed a law legalizing targeted killings abroad, and Ukrainian officials say teams of Russian hit men operate freely inside the country.
“For the intelligence services, as bad as this sounds, murdering people is just part of the work flow,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, a retired officer in Ukraine’s military intelligence service. “They go to work, it’s their job. You have a work flow, you write articles. They have a workflow, they murder people.”
“It doesn’t really worry them,” he said. “They celebrate it, mark it, without much sentiment.”
russia  murder  ukraine  gov2.0  daring_fireball  politics 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Old Facebooks Posts by Mark Zuckerberg Have Disappeared
Rob Price, reporting for Business Insider:
Old Facebook posts by Mark Zuckerberg have disappeared — obscuring details about core moments in Facebook’s history.
On multiple occassions, years-old public posts made by the 34-year-old billionaire chief executive that were previously public and reported on by news outlets at the time have since vanished, Business Insider has found. That includes all of the posts he made during 2007 and 2008.
Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the posts were “mistakenly deleted” due to “technical errors.”
“A few years ago some of Mark’s posts were mistakenly deleted due to technical errors. The work required to restore them would have been extensive and not guaranteed to be successful so we didn’t do it,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Sure, that sounds believable.
facebook  history  daring_fireball  SMH 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Taegan Goddard's Electoral Vote Map
Worth a bookmark as the 2020 US election gears up — a fully interactive electoral map, based on consensus polling data from good sources. And here’s a smart post on Goddard’s blog on the winner-takes-all approach most states take when awarding their votes.
gov2.0  politics  election  2020s  maps  visualization  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Announces New AirPods Via Press Release
Apple Newsroom...
Curious why it’s the H1 and not a new W-series chip. UPDATE: Apple Watch is still using W-series chips (W3 in Series 4 watches, W2 in Series 3). The H1 is a new chip series specifically for headphones. Makes sense.
The new AirPods are $160 with a Lightning case, and $200 with a case that charges via either Qi-compatible charging pads or Lightning. That inductive charging case is available by itself for $80 and works with first-generation AirPods.
They require MacOS 10.14.4 and iOS 12.2, both of which are still in beta. Presumably this means the release versions will come out Monday.
Sure would be neat if there were a single charging pad you could buy to charge your iPhone, AirPods, and even Apple Watch all at once.
airpods  press_release  daring_fireball 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Why Everyone Is Watching TV With Closed Captioning on These Days
Jason Kottke:
As Sebastian Greger notes in his summary of the resulting thread, closed captioning is a great example of how accessibility features can benefit everyone, especially those who may have disabilities or limitations that aren’t typically acknowledged as such.
Such a great point about accessibility. It really is for everyone.
On the closed captions front — I use Apple TV’s “what’d they just say?” feature several times every episode watching Game of Thrones. I don’t know what they do with their audio but damned if the characters don’t all sound like a bunch of mumble-mouths a lot of the time. And last night I finally watched Netflix’s The Highwaymen (it was exactly as good as I expected going in, which is to say about a B-) and I had to leave closed captions on for entire scenes. I didn’t have the volume set particularly low, I just couldn’t understand what they were saying. If it weren’t for closed captions — and the ease with which Apple TV lets one toggle them — I’d have abandoned the movie and gone to bed.)
daring_fireball  tv  accessibility  audio  subtitles 
8 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 9to5Mac: 'Apple Revamping Find My Friends and Find My iPhone in Unified App'
Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9to5Mac:
Apple also wants users to be able to track any item — not just their Apple devices — using this new unified app. The company is working on a new hardware product, known only as “B389” by the people involved in its development.
This new product will be a tag that can be attached to any item — similar to other products like Tile. The tag will be paired to a user’s iCloud account by proximity to an iPhone, like AirPods. Users will be able to receive notifications when their device gets too far away from the tag, preventing them from forgetting the item the tag is attached to. Certain locations can be added to a list of ignored locations, so that the item can be left at those locations without the user being notified. The location of a tag can also be shared with friends or family.
Combining Find My Friends with Find My iPhone (really, Find My Devices) and adding support for Tile-like trackers sounds like a great idea.
Rambo is absolutely on fire lately with these leaks from Apple. Would love to know the backstory on how he’s scoring them.
find_my_device  mac  ios  apps  tracking  bluetooth  daring_fireball 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Mueller Report
We’ve all been bombarded by news alerts on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel report today. I’ve spent most of my day reading it. I strongly suggest all of you do the same.
Yes, it’s effectively a book, and not a short one, but it is incredibly well written and structured. That’s not a surprise to me — we knew Mueller hired a team of excellent attorneys, and good lawyers are good writers. But the information density is very high — no summary or simple list of highlights can do it justice. It is 400+ pages not because it is padded with extraneous details or legal jargon, but because it contains 400+ pages of evidence and narrative. It reads almost like a novel.
And like any good novel, it begins with a bracing opening line:
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  election  FBI  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  report  russia  special_counsel  trump  daring_fireball 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Galaxy Fold Doesn't Fold So Good
Dieter Bohn’s review unit broke after just two days:
It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
Seems like a widespread problem. Steve Kovach’s unit broke after one day, and so did Mark Gurman’s. Gurman says it comes with a screen protector that he peeled off but apparently wasn’t supposed to. Looks like the sort of thing you’re supposed to peel off.
Marques Brownlee peeled his off too and the screen broke. Now I’m starting to wonder if anyone’s review unit has not broken.
The Galaxy Fold didn’t look like a real product when Samsung announced it, and it looks less like a real product now that it’s in reviewers’ hands. This thing is supposed to ship in a week, starting at $1,980. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that’s not going to happen.
android  foldable  OLED  smartphone  technology  daring_fireball 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Mastercard Sees Other Banks Ditching Card Numbers Like Apple
Jennifer Surane, reporting for Bloomberg*...
As someone who had his card number stolen a few months ago, I appreciate this. Those static card numbers are archaic. It sounds like Apple is pushing the whole industry forward here. But occasionally I still buy things that require me to read my card number over the phone. How will that work with Apple Card? [UPDATE: I was a bit dim on this question. The Apple Card in your Wallet app will have a number, expiration date, and CVV — unique per device. It’s best to think of the card in Wallet as the “real” or canonical card, and the physical card as an alternative representation of the card.]
On the design front, I saw some mockery of Apple’s emphasis on the design of the physical card — laser-etched titanium, etc. I wouldn’t laugh at that — if you’re going to carry something around with you, it should be beautiful. Of course Apple Card is cool-looking. It would be disturbing if it weren’t.
apple_card  daring_fireball  privacy  security  credit_cards 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Event Horizon Telescope Captures First-Ever Black Hole Image
Sarah Kaplan and Joel Achenbach, reporting for The Washington Post:
“You’re basically looking at a supermassive black hole that’s almost the size of our solar system,” or 38 billion kilometers in diameter, said Sera Markoff, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam.
The image shows the boundary between light and dark around a black hole, called the event horizon — the point of no return, where the gravity of the black hole becomes so extreme that nothing that enters can ever escape. At the center of the black hole, time and space become so curved upon themselves that the laws of physics break down completely.
astronomy  space  photography  black_hole  science  daring_fireball 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Very Brief Thoughts and Observations on Today’s ‘Show Time’ Apple Event
APPLE CARD: Sounds good, but “low interest rate” is just words. I’d like to see the actual numbers. Kind of interesting that you get 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and only 1% when you use the actual card. UPDATE: Footnote 4 on the Apple Card web page says: “Variable APRs range from 13.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of March 2019.” What a crock of shit this “low interest rates” line is. Those interest rates are usury, right in line with the rest of the credit card industry. 24% interest ought to be criminal, and 13% is not “low”.
apple_card  credit_cards  daring_fireball 
12 weeks ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Peter Berg on Apple Card
Good thread on Twitter from Peter Berg, who knows the credit card world. In short, it’s a good credit card, but the rewards aren’t great. And the most innovative aspect — paying cash back with Apple Cash — is arguably a bigger benefit to Apple than to customers.
apple_card  credit_cards  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: On Spotify’s Complaints About the App Store
The “we can’t even tell them that or point them in the right direction” is a sticking point for me — as I wrote when Netflix removed in-app subscriptions a few months ago. And this is something that was allowed in the early days of the App Store — the Kindle app used to kick you over to Safari to buy books, for example.
What Apple should do is allow apps that opt out of IAP to explain that users need to subscribe or make purchases using a web browser, and allow them to link to their website from within the app (even if they’d be required to open that link in Safari, as opposed to an in-app web view).
Everything else in Spotify’s list of complaints seems like noise to me, and distracts from the central issues — which happen to be the issues where Spotify should be on the strongest legal footing.
Apple published a detailed response to Spotify’s complaints today. It’s a cogent read and their points are all well-made — but Apple conspicuously avoids addressing the fact that apps like Spotify aren’t even allowed to tell users how to subscribe using a web browser. Apple executives should take a hard look at why they chose not to defend that policy.
apple  spotify  music  legal  europe  apps  store  competition  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'The World Pulls the Andon Cord on the 737 Max'
Jon Ostrower, writing at The Air Current (Ostrower has been reporting on — and cultivating sources in — the aviation industry for decades):
Every airplane development is a series of compromises, but to deliver the 737 Max with its promised fuel efficiency, Boeing had to fit 12 gallons into a 10 gallon jug. Its bigger engines made for creative solutions as it found a way to mount the larger CFM International turbines under the notoriously low-slung jetliner. It lengthened the nose landing gear by eight inches, cleaned up the aerodynamics of the tail cone, added new winglets, fly-by-wire spoilers and big displays for the next generation of pilots. It pushed technology, as it had done time and time again with ever-increasing costs, to deliver a product that made its jets more-efficient and less-costly to fly.
In the case of the 737 Max, with its nose pointed high in the air, the larger engines — generating their own lift — nudged it even higher. The risk Boeing found through analysis and later flight testing was that under certain high-speed conditions both in wind-up turns and wings-level flight, that upward nudge created a greater risk of stalling. Its solution was MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System control law that would allow for both generations of 737 to behave the same way. MCAS would automatically trim the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down, activated with Angle of Attack data. It’s now at the center of the Lion Air investigation and stalking the periphery of the Ethiopian crash.
A riveting read.
airplane  flying  daring_fireball  technology 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Facebook Is Allowing Anyone to Look You Up Using Your Two-Factor Authentication Phone Number
Michael Grothaus, writing for Fast Company:
On the surface, Facebook prompting people to enable 2FA was a good thing — if you have 2FA enabled it’s much harder for someone who isn’t you to log in to your account. But this being Facebook, they’re not just going to do something that is only good for the user, are they?
Last year it came to light that Facebook was using the phone numbers people submitted to the company solely so they could protect their accounts with 2FA for targeted advertising. And now, as security researcher and New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci pointed out, Facebook is allowing anyone to look up a user by their phone number, the same phone number that was supposed to be for security purposes only.
This is surely the least surprising thing you’ll read all day, but in addition to being an abuse of users’ privacy, it’s pernicious in terms of security practices. The lesson some people are going to take from this is that enabling two-factor authentication is for suckers.
UPDATE: A friend messaged me: “My takeaway from the Mat Honan debacle was that 2FA that involves SMS or a phone number is absolutely for suckers and/or chumps. (The 2FA implementation in 1Password, using the same TOTP protocol as Google Authenticator or Authy, is glorious.)”
That’s a good point, and I agree. I spent an afternoon last year decoupling my phone as second factor from every account I could. But it’s depressing how many services — like my bank — only support SMS as a second factor.
facebook  privacy  security  telephone  2FA  search  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Facebook Won’t Let You Opt Out of Its Phone Number ‘Look Up’ Setting
Zack Whittaker, writing for TechCrunch:
Others criticized Facebook’s move to expose phone numbers to “look ups,” calling it “unconscionable.”
Alex Stamos, former chief security officer and now adjunct professor at Stanford University, also called out the practice in a tweet. “Facebook can’t credibly require two-factor for high-risk accounts without segmenting that from search and ads,” he said.
Since Stamos left Facebook in August, Facebook has not hired a replacement chief security officer.
I’m sure they’ll get right on that.
facebook  privacy  security  telephone  2FA  daring_fireball  search 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Trump Vows 'A-Plus Treatment' for Alabama
One more item on the state of Trump’s kakistocracy. Reis Thebault, writing for The Washington Post:
“FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes,” Trump wrote Monday, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts. […]
Trump’s enthusiastic assurance that Alabama would get top-flight help contrasts sharply with his barbed rhetoric following horrific wildfires in California and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, when he repeatedly threatened to cut off federal aid and picked fights with local politicians, in one instance calling the mayor of San Juan “totally incompetent.”
The difference between Alabama and Puerto Rico and California, the president’s critics say, is obvious.
“The president really treats differently those people who have supported him in the past and those people who haven’t,” Brian Ott, a rhetoric professor at Texas Tech University, told The Washington Post. “Not all lives are equal in the eyes of the president. … The lives of red states matter, and the lives of blue states don’t.”
It’s one outrage after another with this administration, I know. A non-stop barrage on our collective sense of normalcy and decency. But it’s worth taking a moment here to ponder just how morally bankrupt Trump is to see emergency disaster relief as a reward to be doled out based on his perceived political support among those affected.
gov2.0  politics  trump  state  disaster  SMH  daring_fireball  emergency 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: The Making of the Fox News White House
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer went deep on the relationship between Fox News and Trump’s White House, and makes a compelling case that the line between the two organizations is almost comically blurred:
Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.” […]
The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead. All day long, Trump retweets claims made on the network; his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has largely stopped holding press conferences, but she has made some thirty appearances on such shows as “Fox & Friends” and “Hannity.” Trump, Hemmer says, has “almost become a programmer.”
I still think Trump needs Fox News more than Fox News needs Trump, but ultimately Fox News is at the mercy of its audience. And its audience is crazy.
trump  gov2.0  politics  fake_news  tv  daring_fireball  conservative  propaganda  slanders 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Teen Who Defied Anti-Vax Mom Says She Got False Information From One Source: Facebook
Michael Brice-Saddler, reporting for The Washington Post:
An 18-year-old from Ohio who famously inoculated himself against his mother’s wishes in December says he attributes his mother’s anti-vaccine ideology to a single source: Facebook.
Nice work, Zuckerberg.
health  facebook  teenager  vaccine  disinformation  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Trump Called Apple’s CEO ‘Tim Apple’
Taylor Hatmaker, writing at TechCrunch:
In the video from Cook’s appearance with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, Trump invents Tim Apple at 1:03 before launching into a tirade on unspecified murders in Mexico.
“You’ve really put a great investment in our country. We really appreciate it very much, Tim Apple,” Trump said.
Mr. Apple looks happy as a clam to be there, as well.
trump  gov2.0  politics  SMH  tim_cook  apple  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Steven Troughton-Smith's 'Marzipanify'
Steven Troughton-Smith:
At WWDC 2018 Apple gave us a ‘sneak peek’ at perhaps one of the most impactful developments on macOS since the transition to Mac OS X: UIKit apps running on the desktop. Today, I’m going to detail a special tool I built, called Marzipanify, to get started with UIKit on the Mac early, and start the initial bringup of your iOS app on macOS. […]
Marzipanify is a tool I created to statically convert an iOS app built for the iOS Simulator to macOS. It means you can continue working on and building your existing iOS app from its existing project, using the existing iOS SDK, and just run the tool against the Simulator build to create a functioning Mac app. As a bonus, Marzipanify will yell at you when you’re linking against a framework or library that doesn’t currently exist in the iOSMac runtime. It trivializes the process so you can focus on adapting your app rather than managing a build environment.
What a crazy project. It’s not meant for production obviously — much is surely going to change in whatever Apple winds up announcing at WWDC. But it’s an incredibly interesting examination of how Marzipan works today on MacOS 10.14. And it works — James Thompson used it to get the iOS version of PCalc running on the Mac.
daring_fireball  ios  mac  apps  marzipan  apple 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 5 Percent, 18 Percent, What’s the Difference?
Kieren McCarthy, writing for The Register:
In just the latest in a seemingly endless stream of half-truths, Facebook has admitted it misled the public when it claimed that only 5 per cent of the users of its banned tracking app were teenagers.
The real figure, the Silicon Valley wunderkind has since confirmed to US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), was nearly four times higher: 18 per cent.
Every single time Facebook puts a number on something, the truth turns out to be worse.
daring_fireball  facebook  privacy  security  tracking  apps  teenager 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Turnaround Time on Facebook's Spying: 12 Hours
Katherine Bindley, writing for The Wall Street Journal:
If we take advantage of all these privacy controls, it shouldn’t still feel as if Facebook is spying on us, right? We shouldn’t see so many ads that seem so closely tied to our activity on our phones, on the internet or in real life.
The reality? I took those steps months ago, from turning off location services to opting out of ads on Facebook and its sibling Instagram tied to off-site behavior. I told my iPhone to “limit ad tracking.” Yet I continue to see eerily relevant ads.
I tested my suspicion by downloading the What to Expect pregnancy app. I didn’t so much as share an email address, yet in less than 12 hours, I got a maternity-wear ad in my Instagram feed. I’m not pregnant, nor otherwise in a target market for maternity-wear. When I tried to retrace the pathway, discussing the issue with the app’s publisher, its data partners, the advertiser and Facebook itself — dozens of emails and phone calls — not one would draw a connection between the two events. Often, they suggested I ask one of the other parties.
Bindley’s piece ran under the headline “Why Facebook Still Seems to Spy on You”. I get that the Journal wants to be cautious, but there’s no “seems to” about it. They spy on us.
facebook  security  privacy  tracking  spying  daring_fireball  iphone  data 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Michael Tsai on Upgrading From an iPhone SE to an XR
Interesting perspective from Michael Tsai:
Overall, I like Face ID a little better than Touch ID. Face ID works on the first try most of the time, but even without Require Attention it fails to recognize me more often than Touch ID does. And, perhaps due to an iOS change, even when it seems like it did recognize me, I need to type my passcode multiple times per day. When the phone is in my pocket, Face ID feels slower than even the iPhone SE’s Touch ID. Even with first-generation Touch ID, I could put my finger on the sensor and have the phone unlock while I was raising it to my face. With Face ID, even with Raise to Wake, I still have to wait until the phone is in front of me and then swipe up. Face ID also fails in some circumstances where Touch ID worked, such as lying sideways on a pillow in bed or wearing ski googles. However, Face ID also has advantages. It works with gloves on, with wet fingers, and with dry/cracked skin. It’s more convenient when the phone is in a dock or car mount where it would be hard to get my hand under it to put my thumb on the sensor.
That’s a great one-paragraph summary of the pros and cons of Face ID vs Touch ID. For me it’s a clear win for Face ID even though I run into the same cons as Tsai.
iphone  faceID  touchID  comparo  daring_fireball  iphoneXS 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Life as a Facebook Moderator
The bottom line: If this is what it takes to moderate Facebook, it’s an indictment of the basic concept of Facebook itself. In theory it sounds like a noble idea to let everyone in the world post whatever they want and have it be connected and amplified to like-minded individuals.
In practice, it’s a disaster.
The problem isn’t the “everyone can post whatever they want” — that’s the nature of the internet, and I truly believe it has democratized communication in a good way. The disastrous part is the “be connected and amplified to like-minded individuals”. That’s the difference between Facebook (and to some degree, YouTube and Twitter) and things like plain old web forums. Facebook is full of shit about most of what they actually do, but one part of their self description that is true is that they really do connect people. The problem is that some people shouldn’t be connected, and some messages should not be amplified.
There is something fundamentally wrong with a platform that — while operating exactly as designed — requires thousands of employees to crush their own souls.
facebook  daring_fireball  jobs 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: My 2018 Apple Report Card
On the hardware front, the iPhone XS and XS Max are great flagships, and months later I continue to be amazed by the quality and capabilities of their camera systems, both for stills and especially for video. There are some Android phones that are arguably as good as the iPhone for still photography but Apple is years ahead on video.
The iPhone XR is way more XS-comparable than I expected. The compromises Apple chose — LCD instead of OLED, a single rear-facing camera, aluminum instead of stainless steel — aren’t noticeable by most people. And the XR gets better battery life — noticeably better. After spending a few weeks using a XR full-time, I honestly question whether its LCD isn’t better than the XS’s OLED for my needs.
iOS 12 is one of my favorite iOS updates for iPhone in years. Apple promised back at WWDC that they were focusing on performance and they delivered. It’s faster and more reliable, and the new grouped notifications are a joy to use. iOS 12 on iPhone is Apple at its software best.
apple  daring_fireball  grade  mac  iphone  ipad  watch  appletv  services  homekit  reliability  software  quality  developer  environment  apple_store 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Pinterest Is Blocking Disinformation
Julia Carrie Wong, writing for The Guardian:
Schiff’s search results were indeed alarming: autofill suggestions for phrases such as “vaccination re-education discussion forum”, a group called “Parents Against Vaccination”, and the page for the National Vaccine Information Center, an official-sounding organization that promotes anti-vaccine propaganda. And while search results on Facebook are personalized to each user, a recent Guardian report found similarly biased results for a brand new account.
If the congressman had tried to search “vaccines” on the rival social media site Pinterest, however, he would have had little more to screenshot than a blank white screen. Recognizing that search results for a number terms related to vaccines were broken, Pinterest responded by “breaking” its own search tool.
Via Jason Snell, who says:
Pinterest’s solution isn’t perfect, but at least they’re trying. Which is more than we’ve seen from Facebook and Google.
Renee Diresta, back in August: “Free Speech Is Not the Same as Free Reach” — to me that gets to the core of what Pinterest is doing here.
pinterest  disinformation  propaganda  daring_fireball  search 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Barry Ritholtz on What Happened With Amazon’s HQ2 in New York
This piece by Barry Ritholtz is the best I’ve seen, by far, on what happened — and why — with Amazon’s aborted HQ2 project in Queens...
Must-read piece.
amazon  business  nyc  daring_fireball  politics 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Huawei's Mate X Foldable Phone
Way more compelling design than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Because it folds outward rather than inward, you don’t need an extra display. It sounds like a better design and it looks like a better design. But at €2,299 (that’s $2,600) it’s clearly not priced to sell in serious quantities, and the crease doesn’t seem to exactly disappear. And what about cases? Most people use a case with their phone already, and surely people will be even more apprehensive about using a phone where both the front and back are part of the main display. Plus, the Mate X (gee, wonder why they called it the “X”?) display is plastic, not glass, so it’s probably more prone to scratching than most of today’s phones.
Even ignoring the price, it seems clear to me we’re still not close to a good practical design for a foldable phone. (Or should we be thinking of them as foldable tablets?)
smartphone  foldable  OLED  technology  android  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Samsung Galaxy Fold
Tom Warren, writing for The Verge...
I remember when I got a hard time for suggesting it would be a good thing for an iPhone model to start at $1,500. A starting price of $1,980 is eye catching, for sure, but as I’ve been arguing for years, we accept the fact that pro laptops costs $2,000 or more, so why not $2,000 phones, when for so many people, the phone is by far their most-used and most important computing device? (Not to mention their primary camera.)
But I look at the Galaxy Fold and I still see a prototype. It looks terrible when folded — a thick device with a tiny display with huge forehead and chin. Clearly the two modes are not equals — the primary mode is open, and folded is an afterthought. And even in tablet mode, there’s a weird off-center notch in the corner. It just seems clunky.
smartphone  foldable  OLED  technology  android  daring_fireball 
march 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Announces Winners of Shot on iPhone Challenge
These are all great photos. Love this comment from judge Austin Mann:
I love how accessible this image is: You don’t have to travel to Iceland to capture something beautiful, it’s right under your nose.
Hard to pick just one favorite, but I think mine is Darren Soh’s shot of a building in Singapore reflected in a puddle. Also, kudos to Apple for giving credit by name to every winner, along with their Instagram account handles.
apple  iphone  photography  contest  award  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Goldman Sachs: 'Is Curing Patients a Sustainable Business Model?'
Tae Kim, reporting for CNBC:
Goldman Sachs analysts attempted to address a touchy subject for biotech companies, especially those involved in the pioneering “gene therapy” treatment: cures could be bad for business in the long run.
“Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” analysts ask in an April 10 report entitled “The Genome Revolution.”
“The potential to deliver ‘one shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically-engineered cell therapy and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies,” analyst Salveen Richter wrote in the note to clients Tuesday. “While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”
Hard to think of a better example of what is turning capitalism into a dirty word. (Also, this is why we need government-funded research, to make the goal crystal clear: finding a cure, not finding profit.)
health  business_model  economics  capitalism  daring_fireball  research 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: WorldWideWeb
Jeremy Keith:
Nine people came together at CERN for five days and made something amazing. I still can’t quite believe it.
Coming into this, I thought it was hugely ambitious to try to not only recreate the experience of using the first ever web browser (called WorldWideWeb, later Nexus), but to also try to document the historical context of the time. Now that it’s all done, I’m somewhat astounded that we managed to achieve both.
Want to see the final result? Here you go.
Very fun, and impressive in-browser recreation of the NeXT interface. Daring Fireball is mostly readable — the biggest hindrance is the lack of support for HTML entities.
www  daring_fireball  browser  history 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Jeff Bezos’s War With National Enquirer Involves a Huge Spy Scandal
John Schindler, writing for Observer:
A hint where this scandal is headed appeared last night when a Post reporter revealed on MSNBC that Gavin de Becker, the security guru to the stars whom Bezos hired to look into AMI, “told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked, he thinks it’s possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages.” […]
Another suspect is Saudi Arabia, which incurred the wrath of The Washington Post by murdering and dismembering their columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last October. Bezos referenced that awful crime in his blog post, including the line, “Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government,” explaining that AMI is seeking Saudi funding. Bezos added, “Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”
Here’s a detail I would like to see everyone reporting on this story identify: what type of text messages was Bezos exchanging with Lauren Sanchez? “Text message” technically implies SMS, but in common usage most people call iMessage messages “texts”, and the act of sending them “texting”. Or were they using some other platform? People call all sorts of messages “texts”.
This matters because SMS is not encrypted. iMessage is not just encrypted but end-to-end encrypted. If, as Bezos’s investigator apparently believes, Bezos’s phone was not compromised, that means either Sanchez’s phone was compromised, or the messages were intercepted in transit. But if they were iMessages, they couldn’t be intercepted in transit.
amazon  daring_fireball  messaging  encryption  sex  privacy 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Jeff Bezos Exposes Extortion Attempt From National Enquirer
Jeff Bezos:
Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten. […]
Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)
Reminiscent of when David Letterman exposed an extortion attempt regarding extramarital affairs in 2009.
amazon  daring_fireball  sex  privacy 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: AirPods: From Mockery to Status Symbol
Elena Cresci, writing for The Guardian:
Of all the widely ridiculed tech products, Apple’s AirPods have experienced an extraordinary turnaround. Back in 2016, they were roundly mocked by the tech industry. Tiny wireless earbuds? It seemed like a recipe for disaster — streets would be littered with these lost headphones, which would clutter up city pavements like discarded gloves and babies’ socks.
“If only there were an invention that could keep those AirPods tethered together, like a string,” wrote Ashley Esqueda from the tech website CNET on Twitter. “The beauty of the headphone cable is just like the beauty of a tampon string: it is there to help you keep track of a very important item,” wrote Julia Carrie Wong in the Guardian.
I never understood the notion that AirPods look weird. They look exactly like wired earbuds, without the wires. I do get the initial skepticism that they’d fall out and get lost frequently, but somehow Apple designed them not to, and it’s worked.
Turns out they’re one of the best products Apple has ever made. Almost everyone I know who has them loves them.
airpods  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Amazon to Acquire Eero
Amazon Press Center:
Amazon and eero today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire eero. eero’s home mesh WiFi systems set up in minutes and blanket every room of a customer’s home in high-performing, reliable WiFi. eero is already delighting Amazon customers with its products and services, as indicated by eero’s 4.6-star product rating on Amazon.com.
The natural and obvious plan would be to integrate Eero base stations with Echo speaker units — one set of small things to plug in around your home, rather than two. Which of course, while convenient, would be a no-go for anyone who wants to use Eero for Wi-Fi without having listening devices in their house. (I hope Amazon supports existing no-microphone Eero hardware for years to come, and see no reason why they wouldn’t.)
I liked it when Eero was an independent company, but I always suspected an acquisition was inevitable. I was kind of hoping it would be Apple, if anyone, if only for privacy reasons.
(Disclosure: Eero is a long-time sponsor of Daring Fireball, particularly The Talk Show.)
mesh  networking  router  wi-fi  amazon  M&A  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Cameras and Microphones — MacSparky
I enjoyed John Gruber’s response to the Wall Street Journal piece on the risks posed by webcams. In the article, Joanna Stern for the WSJ found a white hat hacker to try and break into her webcam on a Mac an Windows PC. On the Mac, getting access to the webcam required her to download an app outside of the App Store, turn off some of its security features, and then click OK on a dialog asking for camera access. That doesn’t sound like getting hacked to me as much as just being dumb.
Most interesting to me was John’s concern about microphones.
“I’ve never understood … the complete lack of similar paranoia over microphones, which cannot be blocked by a piece of tape and which have no in-use indicator lights.”
I agree with this 100%. If there is going to be a privacy breach through your Mac that does not include you doing something silly (like clicking OK to camera access), it is going to be through the microphone. I'd love to get some indication from Apple that they are addressing this vector as well as they’ve addressed the video camera.
camera  daring_fireball  mac  privacy  security  social_engineering  windows  audio 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Reply All: 'Negative Mount Pleasant'
Absolutely riveting podcast episode on the very local story behind Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory scam, as reported by Sruthi Pinnamaneni. A story of farcically bad government turns heartbreaking by the end.
daring_fireball  reply_all  podcast  gov2.0  politics  business  manufacturing  china 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: On Covering Webcams
I’m a big fan of Joanna Stern — she was in fact just on my podcast and it was one of my favorite episodes in a while. At the end of the episode, she mentioned that she was working on a piece about webcam security for her Personal Tech column at The Wall Street Journal. That column dropped yesterday, and I found it half enlightening, half maddening.
How secure are these tiny eyes into our private lives? The bad news is, it was possible for Mr. Heid to get into my Windows 10 laptop’s webcam and, from there, my entire home network. He also eventually cracked my MacBook Air. The good news is that both operating systems were initially able to thwart the hacker. It took me performing some intentionally careless things for him to “succeed.”
Key words there: intentionally careless.
security  privacy  windows  mac  camera  social_engineering  daring_fireball  audio 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Purported Exploit Exposes Keychain Passwords on MacOS
Thomas Brewster, Forbes:
Just last week it emerged that a 14-year-old uncovered a bug that allowed snooping on iPhone and Mac users thanks to a problem in FaceTime. Now German 18-year-old Linus Henze has uncovered a vulnerability affecting the latest Apple macOS that leaves stored passwords open to malicious apps. That could include logins for your bank website, Amazon, Netflix, Slack and many more apps. And even though this is a Mac-only bug, if you’re using the iCloud keychain, passwords synced across iPhones and Macs may also be in danger.
To make matters worse, it’s likely that no fix is in the works. Henze isn’t disclosing his findings to Apple, telling Forbes the lack of payment for such research was behind his decision to keep the hack’s details secret from the Cupertino giant.
Henze hasn’t released code (thankfully), only a video purporting to show his exploit in action. I’d be skeptical except that Patrick Wardle has tested the exploit and vouches for it, telling Sergiu Gatlan at the website Bleeping Computer:
Yes, I was able to test it on a fully patched system and it worked lovely… It’s a really nice bug inspiringly so… If I’m a hacker or piece of malware this would be the first thing I do once I gain access to the system… Dump various keychains to extract passwords private keys signing certificates and sensitive tokens. It’s unfortunate that there is yet another bug in the keychain access… One would hope something like a keychain which is supposed to be secure would, in fact, be secure but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
This looks like a really bad vulnerability — especially so since Henze isn’t sharing details with Apple.
Why in the world Apple only offers security bounties for iOS is beyond my comprehension. Of course iOS has the most users, but the potential for truly critical bugs exists on all of Apple’s platforms.
bug  0day  macOS  10.14  security  privacy  passwords  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Is Compensating the 14-Year-Old Who Discovered Major FaceTime Security Bug
Tom Warren, reporting for The Verge:
Apple released iOS 12.1.4 today to fix a major security flaw in FaceTime that allowed people to eavesdrop on iPhone users. The bug was originally reported to Apple by Michele Thompson after her 14-year-old son, Grant, discovered that you could add yourself to a Group FaceTime call and force recipients to answer immediately. Apple was initially slow to respond, but the company has now credited the discovery to Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School.
Apple also tells The Verge that it’s compensating the Thompson family for discovering the vulnerability, and providing an additional gift to fund Grant Thompson’s tuition. Apple hasn’t revealed exactly how much it’s paying the Thompson family.
facetime  audio  bug  ios12  legal  privacy  security  video  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Hundreds of Bounty Hunters Had Access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint Customer Location Data for Years
Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard:
Around 250 bounty hunters and related businesses had access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customer location data, with one bail bond firm using the phone location service more than 18,000 times, and others using it thousands or tens of thousands of times, according to internal documents obtained by Motherboard from a company called CerCareOne, a now-defunct location data seller that operated until 2017. The documents list not only the companies that had access to the data, but specific phone numbers that were pinged by those companies.
In some cases, the data sold is more sensitive than that offered by the service used by Motherboard last month, which estimated a location based on the cell phone towers that a phone connected to. CerCareOne sold cell phone tower data, but also sold highly sensitive and accurate GPS data to bounty hunters; an unprecedented move that means users could locate someone so accurately so as to see where they are inside a building. This company operated in near-total secrecy for over 5 years by making its customers agree to “keep the existence of CerCareOne.com confidential,” according to a terms of use document obtained by Motherboard.
This story from January — also broken by Cox — just got a whole lot worse.
telco  wireless  security  privacy  data  sharing  location_services  cellphones  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: 'It's Here. It's Now.'
John Schwartz and Nadja Popovich, reporting for The New York Times:
NASA scientists announced Wednesday that the Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in nearly 140 years of record-keeping and a continuation of an unmistakable warming trend.
“The five warmest years have, in fact, been the last five years,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. “We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future. It’s here. It’s now.”
Over all, 18 of the 19 warmest years have occurred since 2001.
Number of times this was mentioned in last night’s State of the Union: zero.
climate_change  politics  gov2.0  trump  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Abu Zafar: ‘Why iMessage Is Better Than the Best Messaging Apps on Android’
Abu Zafar:
Messaging on Android is a mess.
iPhone users have it easy. iMessage comes preinstalled, and it achieves more than even the best messaging apps on Android. iMessage is end-to-end encrypted, it supports SMS, and it’s packed with features that range from gimmicky (Animoji) to can’t-live-without-it useful (Memoji). The experience of one iPhone user messaging another is seamless, secure, and convenient.
The same can’t be said for Android users.
In the video above, I tested a number of popular messaging apps on Android to try and replicate the iMessage experience. I found many that came close, but not a single one achieves the perfect trifecta of seamless, secure, and convenient.
iMessage is one of the most successful and most important products in Apple’s history. It’s widely taken for granted though.
SEE ALSO: Dieter Bohn: “The Moral Case for iMessage on Android”.
messaging  ios  daring_fireball  android  comparo 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Apologizes for Group FaceTime Bug, Software Update With Fix Delayed Until Next Week
We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.
We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.
Good on Apple for thanking the Thompson family, and for acknowledging that something is wrong with their process for escalating critical bugs reported by regular customers.
In the meantime, regular 1:1 FaceTime works and is safe to use. But Group FaceTime is unavailable until the software update rolls out next week.
audio  bug  facetime  ios12  legal  privacy  security  video  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Revokes Google's Enterprise Certificates for iOS Apps
What’s good for the goose is good for the Google.
As soon as I saw this yesterday, I thought it was pretty much the exact same thing Facebook had been doing. Only fair they’d face the same result.
UPDATE: BuzzFeed has statements:
In a statement, Google told BuzzFeed News, “We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon.” Apple told BuzzFeed News, “We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly.”
Apple has issued no such statement regarding Facebook.
google  security  privacy  data  ios  daring_fireball  location_services  apps  developer 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Google Had a Similar Data Collection VPN App Distributed to iPhones as an Enterprise Beta
After we asked Google whether its app violated Apple policy, Google announced it will remove Screenwise Meter from Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program and disable it on iOS devices.
The company said in a statement to TechCrunch:
“The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize. We have disabled this app on iOS devices. This app is completely voluntary and always has been. We’ve been upfront with users about the way we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time.”
Makes you wonder how many companies are abusing the enterprise beta stuff to effectively side-load apps onto iPhones that would never pass muster in the App Store.
google  security  privacy  data  ios  daring_fireball  location_services  apps  developer 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: How Tax Brackets Actually Work
Marginal tax rates are fair and aren’t complicated, but are vastly misunderstood.
gov2.0  politics  taxes  daring_fireball 
february 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Revoked Facebook's Enterprise Developer Certificates
Kurt Wagner, reporting for Recode:
Apple’s response, via a PR rep this morning: “We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.”
Translation: Apple won’t let Facebook distribute the app anymore — a fact that Apple likely communicated to Facebook on Tuesday evening. Apple’s statement also mentions that Facebook’s “certificates” — plural — have been revoked. That implies Facebook cannot distribute other apps to employees through this developer program right now, not just the research app.
Alex Heath:
This is incredible: None of Facebook’s internal iOS apps/betas (used by thousands of employees) are working right now because Apple just revoked the company’s certificate. They won’t open.
For employees to use Facebook products on iOS they have to go download from the App Store.
Someone is (rightly) pissed.
facebook  vpn  security  privacy  data  teenager  ios  daring_fireball  location_services  apps  developer 
february 2019 by rgl7194
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