daringfireball   13500

« earlier    

Ever humble Mariano Rivera says unanimous Hall vote was 'beyond my imagination' - NY Daily News
from Daring Fireball

Kristie Ackert, writing for The New York Daily News:

Mariano Rivera thought he might have “a good shot of being a Hall of Famer” after his 19-year career with 13-All-Star appearances, five World Series rings, MLB’s all-time saves record, an obscene postseason ERA and the title as the “greatest closer ever to play the game.” He never imagined, though, that he would make history on Tuesday night.

The Panamanian right-hander became the first player in baseball history to be elected into the Hall of Fame unanimously.

“After my career, I was thinking I had a good shot to be a Hall-of-Famer, but this was just beyond my imagination,” Rivera said Tuesday night on a conference call with reporters. ”Just to be considered a Hall-of-Famer is quite an honor, but being unanimous — it’s amazing.”

The whole thing where no one had ever been elected unanimously — not even Babe Ruth! — was a bad tradition. Glad to see it go, and even gladder that Mariano Rivera was the player. What a privilege it was to watch him pitch.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
2 hours ago by josephschmitt
The CNIL’s restricted committee imposes a financial penalty of 50 Million euros against GOOGLE LLC | CNIL
from Daring Fireball

CNIL:

On 21 January 2019, the CNIL’s restricted committee imposed a financial penalty of 50 Million euros against the company GOOGLE LLC, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads personalization.

Is this sort of penalty effective, or does Google just shrug it off? Last quarter Google reported $33 billion in revenue and over $8 billion in profit. €50 million is not nothing, but is it enough to give Google pause?

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
7 hours ago by josephschmitt
What Happened to CurrentC?: When Platform Innovation Fails
from Daring Fireball

In light of Target (and a slew of other major retailers and restaurant chains) joining Apple Pay today, it’s worth a look back at CurrentC. This piece from last April by Nicholas L. Johnson is a good overview:

We’re waiting for CurrentC.

That was the response from a host of major retailers when Apple launched its much-awaited payments app, Apple Pay, in October 2014. While Apple consumers were excited, many retailers didn’t see much benefit. Apple Pay was built on top of existing credit and debit card infrastructure. It was just a shiny new interface on the same old payment mechanisms.

CurrentC was going to be different. For retailers, it was a way out. Many merchants don’t like the 2% to 3% that the major card networks charge when consumers pay with credit. That was all going to change.

I think Johnson’s conclusion that CurrentC solved a problem for retailers, not for consumers, is exactly right.

The last big holdout on Apple Pay in the US is Walmart, who spearheaded CurrentC.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
8 hours ago by josephschmitt
Mac Power Users #466: John Gruber Returns - Relay FM
from Daring Fireball

Stephen Hackett has joined David Sparks on the long-running Mac Power Users podcast, and it was my pleasure to be their first guest. Lots of talk about the ins and outs of writing Daring Fireball and doing my own podcast, and some speculation about the future of Apple’s major platforms.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
9 hours ago by josephschmitt
Apple Pay coming to Target, Taco Bell and more top US retail locations - Apple
from Daring Fireball

Apple Newsroom:

Target, Taco Bell, Hy-Vee supermarkets in the Midwest, Speedway convenience stores and Jack in the Box are the latest merchants to support Apple Pay, the most popular mobile contactless payment system in the world that lets customers easily and securely pay in stores using their iPhone and Apple Watch. With the addition of these national retailers, 74 of the top 100 merchants in the US and 65 percent of all retail locations across the country will support Apple Pay.

Target is a big one for me. It always felt inevitable to me that Target would support Apple Pay, but I’ll bet it was a lot of work behind the scenes to get the deal in place.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
9 hours ago by josephschmitt
iPhone XS Smart Battery Case Review | iMore
from Daring Fireball

I got mine this morning. First impressions:

It’s thick and heavy, but for a practical reason. It packs a big battery. I’m writing this at 10p and my iPhone is still at 100 percent. The case is on the cusp of depletion, but I had only gotten it up to 75 percent before unplugging it. It’s a much more clever design than the previous one. Texture- and button-wise, it feels exactly like Apple’s regular silicone cases.

One note: mine arrived with 0 percent charge. From what I’ve seen, so is everyone else’s. Apple products usually arrive with some usable amount of battery charge, but I think something is different about standalone batteries, as opposed to batteries built into devices. Apple.com’s ordering page even states that standalone lithium-based batteries can only ship by ground, not air. At 0 percent, it wouldn’t charge when placed on a Qi charger. I had to charge it via Lightning for a bit first, then it worked on the Qi charger as expected.

If you want a battery case, I feel certain Apple’s is the one to get. But if you only need a portable charger occasionally, I think an external battery pack is still the way to go — if only because it’ll charge any device.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
4 days ago by josephschmitt
www.washingtonpost.com
from Daring Fireball

Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin, reporting for The Washington Post:

U.S. regulators have met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine against Facebook for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of its users’ personal data, according to three people familiar with the deliberations but not authorized to speak on the record.

The fine under consideration at the Federal Trade Commission, a privacy and security watchdog that began probing Facebook last year, would mark the first major punishment levied against Facebook in the United States since reports emerged in March that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, accessed personal information on about 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine the agency imposed on Google in 2012. That fine set a record for the greatest penalty for violating an agreement with the FTC to improve its privacy practices.

It could be 10 times the $22 million fine levied against Google and it wouldn’t make Facebook bat an eyelash or regret anything. The company needs to be broken up.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
4 days ago by josephschmitt
Google to pay $40 million for Fossil's secret smartwatch tech - new products incoming
from Daring Fireball

Paul Lamkin, writing for Wareable:

The Fossil Group and Google have exclusively revealed to Wareable that Google will pay Fossil $40 million to buy intellectual property related to a smartwatch technology currently under development.

The deal, which will see some of Fossil’s R&D team joining Google, will result in the launch of a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market”. That’s according to Greg McKelvey, EVP and chief strategy and digital officer of the Fossil Group, who also stated to us that he sees the deal as transaction, rather than an acquisition.

Apple Watch isn’t mentioned once in the article, but this deal is all about Apple Watch’s success. Pixel Watch, anyone?

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Facebook's internal documents about how it made money off children to be releasedReveal
from Daring Fireball

Nathan Halverson, reporting for Reveal:

“In nearly all cases the parents knew their child was playing Angry Birds, but didn’t think the child would be allowed to buy anything without their password or authorization first,” according to an internal Facebook memo. The memo noted that on other platforms, such as Apple’s iPhone, people were required to reauthorize additional purchases, such as by re-entering a password.

A Facebook employee noted that children were likely to be confused by the in-game purchases because it “doesn’t necessarily look like real money to a minor.” Yet the company continued to deny refunds to children, profiting from their confusion.

In one of the unsealed documents, two Facebook employees deny a refund request from a child whom they refer to as a “whale” — a term coined by the casino industry to describe profligate spenders. The child had entered a credit card number to play a game, and in about two weeks racked up thousands of dollars in charges, according to an excerpt of messages between two employees at the social media giant.

The transcript Reveal obtained is jaw-dropping. A 15-year-old ran up $6,500 in in-game charges and Facebook refused the request for a refund.

Facebook is a criminal enterprise.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
time.com
from Daring Fireball

Tim Cook, in an op-ed for Time:

Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:

First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge — to know what data is being collected and why. Third, the right to access. Companies should make it easy for you to access, correct and delete your personal data. And fourth, the right to data security, without which trust is impossible.

Steve Jobs in 2010: “Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for — in plain English, and repeatedly.”

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Sprint to Stop Selling Location Data to Third Parties After Motherboard Investigation - Motherboard
from Daring Fireball

Joseph Cox, writing for Motherboard:

Last week, Motherboard revealed that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint had been selling their customers’ real-time location data that ultimately ended up in the hands of bounty hunters and people unauthorized to handle it. Motherboard found this by purchasing the capability to geolocate a phone for $300 on the black market. In response, AT&T and T-Mobile said they were stopping all sales of location data to third parties.

Nearly a week later Sprint has committed to doing the same, in a statement to Motherboard.

“As a result of recent events, we have decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators,” a Sprint spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.

It’s an outrage that this happened in the first place, and should be investigated by authorities. But the fact that the carriers quickly moved to stop the practice shows the power of investigative journalism. Kudos to Motherboard.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Signal v Noise exits Medium – Signal v. Noise
from Daring Fireball

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.

Hear hear. New design for SvN looks great, too.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Trump Must Be a Russian Agent; the Alternative Is Too Awful | WIRED
from Daring Fireball

Garrett Graff, writing for Wired:

In short, we’ve reached a point in the Mueller probe where there are only two scenarios left: Either the president is compromised by the Russian government and has been working covertly to cooperate with Vladimir Putin after Russia helped win him the 2016 election — or Trump will go down in history as the world’s most famous “useful idiot,” as communists used to call those who could be co-opted to the cause without realizing it.

At least the former scenario — that the president of the United States is actively working to advance the interests of our country’s foremost, long-standing, traditional foreign adversary — would make him seem smarter and wilier. The latter scenario is simply a tragic farce for everyone involved.

My guess is it’s a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B — that Russia has something on Trump and he’s a useful idiot. Graff makes a good point, though — we’re still far from knowing the whole story, but we already know enough that it’s not possible for Trump to come out of this clean.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Facebook Algorithms and Personal Data | Pew Research Center
from Daring Fireball

Paul Hitlin and Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center:

Facebook makes it relatively easy for users to find out how the site’s algorithm has categorized their interests via a “Your ad preferences” page.1 Overall, however, 74% of Facebook users say they did not know that this list of their traits and interests existed until they were directed to their page as part of this study.

When directed to the “ad preferences” page, the large majority of Facebook users (88%) found that the site had generated some material for them. A majority of users (59%) say these categories reflect their real-life interests, while 27% say they are not very or not at all accurate in describing them. And once shown how the platform classifies their interests, roughly half of Facebook users (51%) say they are not comfortable that the company created such a list.

Facebook issued this statement to The Verge regarding Pew’s research:

We want people to understand how our ad settings and controls work. That means better ads for people. While we and the rest of the online ad industry need to do more to educate people on how interest-based advertising works and how we protect people’s information, we welcome conversations about transparency and control.

Allow me to translate from outright lies to the obvious truth:

We do not want people to understand how our ad settings and controls work. If more people understood what we track about them and how to control it, more people would block it, and we’d make less money.

Skim the comments on The Verge story and most of them are along the lines of the first one: “You’d have to be pretty dense…” — i.e. that the majority of Facebook users who don’t understand what Facebook is doing to track them are stupid. This reminds me of arguments about user interfaces. When regular people are confused by or don’t understand something, there’s a segment of the tech savvy world that sees the problem as the people being too stupid. The real problem is that the products are too hard to understand. The problem with users not understanding what Facebook tracks about them is not that the people are stupid, it’s that Facebook purposefully obfuscates what they do to keep regular people in the dark.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Facebook’s own employees appear to be leaving 5-star Amazon reviews for the Portal camera - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Kevin Roose, on Twitter:

Speaking of coordinated inauthentic behavior, what are the odds that all these 5-star Facebook Portal reviewers on Amazon just happen to have the same names as Facebook employees?

Facebook confirmed the three reviews were written by employees, but claimed it wasn’t a coordinated campaign. Chaim Gartenberg, at The Verge:

Facebook is a huge company with thousands of employees, and even with internal communications, it’s easy to see how a few employees just weren’t aware of a request to not post reviews. But it’s incredible how blatantly deceptive the practice can be: Chappell’s review, which claims rather disingenuously that he has “historically not been a big Facebook or other social media user,” but also “took a chance and got 4 Portals and 1 Portal plus for the family,” isn’t a great look for the company. There’s a reason why Amazon bans the policy in the first place.

Three reviews does not make for a coordinated campaign. But it shows what type of people choose to work for Facebook when one of the reviews starts with “I have historically not been a big Facebook or other social media user.”

Anyone who buys one of these Portal cameras is out of their minds.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Teams can track stats in-game with new NHL app
from Daring Fireball

Greg Wyshynski, reporting for ESPN:

“There are two stat types across the board that every coaching staff said that, without question, helped them make in-game moment decisions: Time on ice and faceoffs,” Foster said. “With time on ice, you want to manage your top players to make sure they have gas in the tank at the end of the game, or if they’re coming back from an injury.”

For both ice time and faceoffs, the app offers something that the coaches uniformly requested from the NHL: easy-to-read displays. Faceoff success or failure is depicted as a series of green circles with check marks or red circles with X’s, and faceoff percentages can be broken down by where they were held and against whom.

This app with live stats replaces paper printouts, which team staffers would scamper to get into coaches’ hands as quickly as possible.

Interesting contrast, too, to Major League Baseball, which has had iPads in the dugout since 2016, but which expressly forbids those iPads from being online. Whatever stats are on those iPads at the start of the game are the only stats available during the game. This NHL system is all completely live.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
302 Found
from Daring Fireball

Steven Sinofsky:

CES 2019 is a kind of year that sort of screams “we’re ready for the products that really work.” In that spirit, CES 2019 is a year where products are close, but seem a product manager iteration away from being a product that can reach a tipping point of customer satisfaction and utility. Products work in a “thread the needle” sort of way, but a lot of details and real life quickly cause things to become frustrating.

This feeling for me is part of the cycle of CES. I like to think of it as the universal remote problem — everything starts to work but to really work you long for that one simplified control point. The challenge is making that while all the other pieces are still moving. That’s the nature of Consumer Electronics (tech in general) which is that there are many parts moving at different velocities and in slightly different vectors — it means sometimes we go through phases where we seem really close.

I’ve still never attended CES, but if I ever do, my goal would be to do what Sinofksy does in these annual reports — to try to see the forest for the trees, to gauge the gestalt of the tech world at this moment. Figure out what is nonsense (e.g. 3D TV mania a few years ago) and what is a legit trend (voice driven interfaces today).

Sinofsky does this really, really well. It’s a long read but CES is a big show.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
How Facebook’s P.R. Firm Brought Political Trickery to Tech - The New York Times
from Daring Fireball

Jack Nicas, reporting for The New York Times back in November:

When Tim Miller, a longtime Republican political operative, moved to the Bay Area last year to set up a public relations shop, he brought with him tradecraft more typical of Washington than Silicon Valley. […]

Definers quickly found plenty of business, from start-ups like Lyft, Lime and Juul to giants like Facebook and Qualcomm, the influential chip company that was in a nasty legal fight with Apple over royalties, according to five people with direct knowledge of Mr. Miller’s work who declined to be named because of confidentiality agreements.

While working for Qualcomm, Definers pushed the idea that Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, was a viable presidential candidate in 2020, according to a former Definers employee and digital records. Presumably, it was an attempt to chill the cordial relations that Mr. Cook had cultivated with the Trump administration.

I am to understand that Qualcomm’s underhanded PR tactics came up at the all-hands meeting this month, and that Tim Cook did not mince words regarding Qualcomm’s ethics.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right? | WIRED
from Daring Fireball

Kate O’Neill, writing for Wired:

But let’s play out this idea.

Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart — say, 10 years.

Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data. But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise. People don’t reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it’s not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture. A quick glance through my Facebook friends’ profile pictures shows a friend’s dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.

In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.

I think it’s very fair to say we should all assume the worst with Facebook all the time now. That’s I posted my 10-year challenge to Twitter instead of Instagram.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
Say hello, new logo | The Official Slack Blog
from Daring Fireball

I don’t like this at all. It’s so generic. Slack’s old identity had at least three good things going for it: they owned the letter “S” (much like how Netflix owns “N” — something Netflix has doubled-down on as their identity has evolved), they owned the “#” hash mark, and most uniquely, they owned plaid. When you saw plaid with those primary colors on a white background, you thought Slack. And plaid isn’t part of any sort of design trend right now. Slack simply owned plaid, to such a degree that Slack company socks — which simply used colors and plaid, no “Slack”, no “S” were necessary to make it instantly obvious these were Slack socks — became coveted swag.

I guessed before this blog post even revealed it that their new identity was done by Pentagram. What Slack needed was a refinement of their existing design. Identify what was good, fix what was bad. What Pentagram seems to do these days, though, is throw babies out with the bath water. They only build new identies, they don’t tweak existing ones. There is nothing that says Slack to me about this new identity — no hash mark, no “S”, no plaid. And what they’ve replaced it with is generic. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but there’s nothing quirky or charming or distinctive about it either. Just another sorta-Futura-ish geometric sans serif and a mark that doesn’t look like anything and makes for an utterly forgettable app icon.

Was there anything about Slack’s previous identity worth building upon? I say yes, quite a bit actually. Pentagram said no. Slack lost something very valuable today.

 ★ 
ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt

« earlier    

related tags

2019  apple  applescript  business  communication  critique  favoritetweet  history  ifttt  iphone  results  review  safari  stevejobs  strategy 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: