The Every-Form-Of-Communication Edition Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Forget Apple Vs. The FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched On Encryption For A Billion People, by Cade Metz, Wired

For most of the past six weeks, the biggest story out of Silicon Valley was Apple’s battle with the FBI over a federal order to unlock the iPhone of a mass shooter. The company’s refusal touched off a searing debate over privacy and security in the digital age. But this morning, at a small office in Mountain View, California, three guys made the scope of that enormous debate look kinda small.

Mountain View is home to WhatsApp, an online messaging service now owned by tech giant Facebook, that has grown into one of the world’s most important applications. More than a billion people trade messages, make phone calls, send photos, and swap videos using the service. This means that only Facebook itself runs a larger self-contained communications network. And today, the enigmatic founders of WhatsApp, Brian Acton and Jan Koum, together with a high-minded coder and cryptographer who goes by the pseudonym Moxie Marlinspike, revealed that the company has added end-to-end encryption to every form of communication on its service.

8 Of The Best WhatsApp Hacks You Should Know About, by Emily Shackleton, Metro

Hey Siri, Secure Thyself

Apple Fixes Siri Passcode Bypass Flaw And Night Shift + Low Power Mode Trick, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

If there’s a positive spin to put on such a vulnerability, it’s that fixes can be implemented server side without the need for an iOS update. Apple today has fixed the passcode bypass method by forcing Siri to request your Lock screen passcode whenever a user tries to search Twitter via Siri while at a secured Lock screen

Top 40

Apple Music Featuring Commemorative Anniversary Playlist, Songs From Apple Ads Over The Last 40 Years, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Continuing the celebrations of its 40th birthday, Apple has posted a special Apple Music playlist featuring songs from Apple ads over the last four decades. The playlist contains 38 songs in total, with music from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Gorillaz and more.

You Want Me To Pay For What?

TextExpander 6 (Or: “How NOT To Launch Your SaaS”), by TJ Luoma, Rhymes With Diploma

There’s the rub for Smile and TextExpander: I don’t see anything that I really need in TextExpander version 6. I’m not using it with a “team” and my family members probably have no interest in sharing a group of text snippets with me. Yes, I realize that Smile made their own syncing service, but I have used iCloud, Dropbox, and BitTorrent Sync, and they work fine for TextExpander. Creating their own syncing service was solving a problem that I didn’t have.

When Should Software Be A Subscription Service?, by Kirk McElhearn

The real issue here is not so much that of whether a subscription is good or bad, but of its cost, and its value to users. [...] The move to a subscription model just doesn’t make sense for this type of app, and the increased cost simply isn’t justified.

The New TextExpander, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

Now I’m being asked to pay more, and continuously, to subscribe to a utility that does less than another utility I already own.


Apple News Is Using Twitter To Bring In New Readers, by Micah Singleton, The Verge

Apple's team of US-based editors will curate the feed, which will consist of top stories and some of the most popular pieces on Apple News.

Filters 3 Is Universal, With A Powerful Photo Extension, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With over 800 filters, overlays, and effects that you can apply to your photos, Filters is a little overwhelming at first. But with well done favorites, undo features, and filter categories, Filters makes it easy to navigate its vast array of effects to find just the look you want.

A Browser For People Who Think Chrome Is For Dummies, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

Vivaldi 1.0 is stuffed with options to get the browser working just as you like, even as it tries to preserve a tidy interface. Vivaldi programmers will respond fast to new feature requests, said Jon von Tetzchner, Vivaldi's chief executive and a co-founder of Opera Software, one of the earliest browser makers.


Apple's Swift Programming Language: The Smart Person's Guide, by Cory Bohon, TechRepublic

Apple's Swift has far-reaching effects on all platforms, not just iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. We dive into why Swift matters, how to use it, and how it differs from Objective-C.

My Biggest Regret As A Programmer, by The Codist


France Says Apple Owes 48.5 Million Euros For Unfair iPhone Contracts With Carriers, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The DGCCRF has specifically asked Apple to remove 10 contract clauses, according to France's BFM. These for instance force carriers to buy a minimum number of iPhones over three years, pay into an Apple-run advertising fund, and allow Apple to use their patents. The company can also void a contract without warning, and prevent carriers from setting their own plans and payments for iPhones.

Bernie Sanders Allows Apple Is Not ‘Destroying The Fabric Of America’, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

“No, Apple is not destroying the fabric of America,” Sanders said in an interview with the New York tabloid. “But I do wish they’d be manufacturing some of their devices here in the United States rather than in China. And I do wish that they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

In The Future, We Will Photograph Everything And Look At Nothing, by Om Malik, New Yorker

The amateur in me is thrilled by the prospect of living in the Cloud, editing on the go. The purist in me wonders if, in the future, desktop photo editing will be like the film-photography revival of today—a luxury to feed our nostalgia, a wistful effort to exercise human control over a task machines have taken over from us. I wonder what Sontag would make of that.

Bottom of the Page

I took stock. The only two software services that I subscribe are: 1) Evernote, 2) Todoist. (The company I work for paid for Office 365.)


If you are doing a demo, and you found out that everybody in the room watching you are either using MacBooks or iPads, you might want to consider not spend so much time talking about the integration of your product with Windows Explorer.


Thanks for reading.