The Basic-Checks Edition Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Apple, Samsung And Sony Face Child Labour Claims, by Jane Wakefield, BBC

Human rights organisation Amnesty has accused Apple, Samsung and Sony, among others, of failing to do basic checks to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined by children.

Money Money Money

As More Pay By Smartphone, Banks Scramble To Keep Up, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

Americans in their 20s and early 30s, analysts say, offer a glimpse of tomorrow’s banking market. “Their relationship with the financial system is very different — it’s an electronic one, on their smartphones,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “That can and will be very disruptive to the banking system.”

Money is pouring into so-called fintech start-ups. And major technology companies — Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Samsung — are all entering consumer banking, typically starting with digital payment apps.

App Store Prices Increasing In Canada, Mexico And More Thanks To Exchange Rates, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Apple will soon be increasing the prices of paid apps and in-app purchases in a handful of countries due to exchange rate changes. App Stores affected by the change will be those in Canada, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa. Those using in-app subscriptions in Russia and South Africa will need to resubscribe.

Companion To Your Phone

CarPlay Offers Limited, Glitchy iPhone/Auto Integration, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

Buy the car you need based on other considerations, and if CarPlay happens to be included, it’s a nice bonus. Honestly, that’s a little depressing — I was secretly hoping that CarPlay would be so good that it would be something to seek out in a new car, or even a reason to want to buy a new car in general. Instead, I’ll just keep mounting my iPhone on my dash for now and we’ll see how many more miles I can get on the Mazda 5.

Apple's CarPlay Wins Autoblog 2016 Technology Of The Year Award, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

"Apple's CarPlay represents the impact technology is having on our connected lives and brings an experience that is easy to use and enhances the lives of consumers who use this product," stated Stephen Rouse, Autoblog Director of Product and Technology.

More Cloudy

Should You Pay For Additional iCloud Storage?, by Jim Lynch, CIO

So for me, it's well worth paying Apple a few bucks each month for additional iCloud storage. I don't think the price is all that bad, though no doubt there may be cheaper options out there. But for me iCloud's cheap cost and excellent integration with all of my Macs and iOS devices really makes it a no-brainer.

How To Back Up An iPhone To iCloud, by Susan Walker,


VLC For Apple TV Review: Goodbye Format Woes, by Jon L. Jacobi, TechHive

None of those annoyances matter much when all of a sudden your Apple TV box can play virtually any file from any of your devices without any cash outlay on your part. That’s a nice upgrade right there. In fact, Apple ought to thank the VLC folks for so drastically expanding the capabilities of its box. Since it probably won't: Thanks VLC folks!

Hands On: Pigment 1.0 (iOS), by Amber Neely, MacNN

Coloring in Pigment can be done one of two ways. You can freestyle, which allows you to color outside of the lines if you should so choose, or you can quickly tap an area first and Pigment will allow you to only color inside that specific area, which is perfect for control freaks like us.

Everything Old Is New Again, Including "You Don't Know Jack", by Bob LeVitus, Houston Chronicle

The Jackbox Party Pack features the same YDKJ comedy trivia game loved in the 90s, but now modernized and updated. In addition to letting players use any mobile phone, tablet, or laptop as their game controller, it also includes hundreds of new questions as well as four new multiplayer games, two of which were even more fun than YDKJ.


Stop Telling Kids That Programming Is A ‘Foreign Language’, by Forrest Brazeal

When we teach kids that coding == foreign languages, we make computer science even harder by “othering” it.

Being A Deaf Developer, by Hollie Kay, Cruft

Accessibility is considered a niche discipline. It shouldn’t be. Disabled people are considered by developers to be a tiny minority. We aren’t. Equal access is a right.


Apple, A Critic Of Rivals’ Ad Efforts, Is Pulling Back From Its Own Ad Business, by Daisuke Wakabayashi, Wall Street Journal

“I am not surprised that Apple made this decision because it would have been hard to grow iAd into a significant business unless Apple dramatically lowered its standards on user privacy, ad targeting and data transparency [for advertisers],” said Eswar Priyadarshan, a co-founder of Quattro Wireless, which was acquired by Apple in 2010 to start the iAd business. He left Apple in 2014 to become CEO of Tasteful, a healthy food app.

Who, What, Why: How Common Are Upside-down Rainbows?, by BBC

The first thing to clarify is that upside-down rainbows are not, in fact, rainbows.

How To Declutter Your Life By Not Giving A Fuck, by Henry Oliver, Idealog

But she not only stopped giving a fuck about her job, she stopped giving a fuck about all sorts of things: basketball, being a morning person, Taylor Swift, reading the New Yorker, going to the gym, the threat of a nuclear Iran, and, most importantly, what other people thought of her.

She stopped hanging out with people she didn’t actually like. She stopped going to her friends’ toddlers’ birthday parties. She stopped watching season two of True Detective after the first episode. She didn’t give a fuck. And by stopping giving a fuck about these things, she realised she had more time, energy and money (her working definition of a ‘fuck’) to dedicate to the things and people in life that she did care about.

Bottom of the Page

The sad thing about Apple's iAd isn't that it is not working, but that Apple doesn't seem to be even trying.


Thanks for reading.