The Unlocked-Devices Edition Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Apple's Desensitisation Of The Human Race To Fundamental Security Practices, by Troy Hunt

Look around you in an Apple Store and consider how many of the folks in there have the first clue about how to properly secure their devices. Like all of us, they learn based on the experiences they're exposed to and the message they're getting when they go into an Apple store is that it's ok to give an unknown third party their unlocked device. And yes, the person you're giving it to is an unknown party because you're not giving it to Apple (that's a company), you're giving it to a poorly paid and inexperienced stranger.

Twitter Tests New Ad-blocking Reader Mode On Mobile, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

In the new test from Twitter, rolled out for a small number of users – including one Guardian reporter – the company has enabled Reader mode by default on every single link clicked.

While the new feature can be a boon for those navigating badly designed web-pages, it also manages to mangle the presentation of almost as many sites. While the feature works well for traditional news articles, anything that isn’t a chunk of text-heavy content in the middle of a page falls apart.

This ‘Black-ish’ Writers’ Assistant’s App Is Finally Getting Hollywood To Stop Wasting Paper, Matt Pressberg, The Wrap

Hollywood likes to pledge millions of dollars to organizations that want to save the planet, but it has a dirty secret of its own. It wastes literally truckloads of paper on script revisions.

So Steven Vitolo, who’s worked on shows including ABC’s “Black-ish” and TVLand’s “Hot in Cleveland,” developed Scriptation, an iPad script annotation app that launched in May and on Monday unveiled an “actor highlighting” feature allowing actors to instantly select all the dialogue pertaining to them.

Musical Stars

Apple Releases iTunes 12.5.3, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

iTunes 12.5.3's changelog lists the same stability and performance improvements as iTunes 12.5.2, including a fix for an issue where albums may play in an unexpected order. A second fix resolves a problem that prevented lyrics from appearing while listening to Beats 1.

Apple To Restore Star Ratings To iOS 10 Music App, by Kirk McElhearn

It’s great that Apple is brining back star ratings; it’s a shame that the process is now so convoluted.

How Music Might Improve Your Workouts, by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times

Listening to music during a short, intense bout of exercise might change how you feel about hard workouts and encourage you to continue with the program in the future, according to a new study of intense interval training and how to make it more palatable.

Zane Lowe Explains Why 2016 Was The Best Year Ever For Music, by Matt Miller, Esquire

It's not a podcast, it's not a radio show, it's not an XM satellite show, it's not even a streaming service—it's a platform adapted for the malleable modern music industry. And it's an evolving media platform that only someone with Lowe's energy could successfully make happen.

Lowe talks fast. It's not too fast that you can't understand what the hell he's saying—it's more breathless than anything, like his mouth is hardly keeping up with his mind. He's never stumbling over himself—rather, he's getting on to the next thing before he loses your attention. And he talks like this because he's excited, because his show doesn't slow down, because in our exclusively digital world, music never stops, and we need someone to filter it for the moment. He talks like this because he's having fun, he knows a hell of a lot about music and he wants to share it with you, because he knows how to make you understand the sounds your hearing. He puts music into context, but he also narrows his focus down to specific details of specific songs, explaining how and why a producer treats drums. It's as much for the music elite as it is for the casual listener—that's no easy accomplishment in an art form that values inclusivity as much as it values exclusivity.


How To Simplify Your Life With Your Smartphone, by David Nield, TechRadar

The facts may show there are still 24 hours in every day, but for many of us those days are feeling more compressed and hectic than ever, which is why anything that frees up even a little bit of time can feel so valuable.

Enter your trusty smartphone - the pocket companion that manages your life and connects you to the web. It can also be used for some time-saving, life-simplifying hacks, if you know the right tools to use...

New Blurb App Is A Simple Way To Build Photo Books On iPad And iPhone, by Stan Horaczek, Popular Photography

Blurb has announced a new mobile app for iOS that allows users to create photo books directly from a iPhone or iPad’s camera roll. [...] The price is certainly right on the 5-inch books, and Blurb has a solid reputation for offering good products.

Fantastic PinOut! Puts An Infinite Spin On Pinball, by Chris Kohler, Wired

PINBALL VIDEOGAMES HAVE often escaped the dreary physical bounds of the arcade amusements they are based on, adding impossible geometry to the playfields, blending in elements of other game genres, et cetera. PinOut!, released on iOS and Android last week, takes that concept one step further. Infinity steps further, actually.

Although it may look like your typical pinball game, with a heavy infusion of heated noble gases and a dance-club soundtrack, PinOut! reveals its twist the second you give the ball a good smack with the flipper—it sails up and out of the board you’re playing on, onto another board with another set of flippers. And so on, and so forth. The goal isn’t to keep the ball in play as long as you can and rack up a high score; it’s to move up, up, up as far as you can before time runs out.


Apple Starts Letting Chinese Users Pay For Apps Using Alipay, by Victoria Ho, Mashable

Until now, most people in China would have added their China UnionPay credit cards to their iTunes account, but with Alipay having the virtual monopoly over China's digital payments, it's clear that Apple is hoping to make it even easier for people to spend some cash on the App Store.

Publishers Are Rethinking Those ‘Around The Web’ Ads, by Sapna Maheshwari and John Herrman, New York Times

Usually grouped together under a label like “Promoted Stories” or “Around the Web,” these links are often advertisements dressed up to look like stories people might want to read. They have long provided much-needed revenue for publishers and given a wide range of advertisers a relatively affordable way to reach large and often premium audiences.

But now, some publishers are wondering about the effect these so-called content ads may be having on their brands and readers. This month, these ads stopped appearing on Slate. And The New Yorker, which restricted placement of such ads to its humor articles, recently removed them from its website altogether.