The Creative-Field Edition Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tim Cook Calls AirPods A ‘Cultural Phenomenon’ At Shareholders Meeting, Says Apple Will ‘Do More In The Pro Area’, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Cook also hinted at Apple’s product pipeline by promising Apple will “do more in the pro area.” Cook called out the creative field as especially important to Apple while pushing back against the notion that Apple is too consumer focused now. “Don’t think that something we’ve done or something we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.”

Top Shelf, by Michael Rockwell, Initial Charge

Every previous iteration of my home screen has featured apps without Top Shelf extensions in the top row. But this is a waste of a slot and limits my ability to access the content I’m interested in as quickly as possible. Because of this, I have no interest in placing an application in my top row unless it includes a Top Shelf extension. Developers should take note, if a user thinks so highly of your application that they’re willing to place it in their top row, at least put in the effort to make good use of the Top Shelf area.

Facebook Artificial Intelligence Spots Suicidal Users, by Leo Kelion, BBC

The social network has developed algorithms that spot warning signs in users' posts and the comments their friends leave in response.

After confirmation by Facebook's human review team, the company contacts those thought to be at risk of self-harm to suggest ways they can seek help.


Apple Trashes Office Printers In Latest iPad Pro Ad, by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET

In the latest of its new iPad Pro campaign, Apple claims that its computer-not-computer is perfect for doing clandestine business.

Is Apple iCloud Down? It's Now Easier To Find Out Why A Service Hasn't Worked, by Bryan M. Wolfe, AppAdvice

The newly revised iCloud System Status site ditches the timeline format. Instead, the site now lists every iCloud service and whether there’s been a recent issue. When there has, you’ll see a hyperlink indicating when the issue was resolved.

AOL Will Cut Off Third-party App Access To AIM, by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

On Tuesday, AOL (yes, it’s still around) suddenly announced to users of AOL Instant Messenger (including yours truly) that it would be disabling access to its network through at least one third-party messaging app (Adium) as of March 28.


After 3 Years, Why Gmail’s End-to-End Encryption Is Still Vapor, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

Nearly three years have passed since Google announced it would offer an end-to-end encryption add-on for Gmail, a potentially massive shift in the privacy options of a piece of software used by more than a billion people. It still hasn’t materialized. And while Google insists its encryption plugin isn’t vaporware, the company’s latest move has left critics with the distinct impression that Gmail’s encrypted future looks cloudy at best—if not altogether evaporated.

Last Friday, Google quietly announced that E2EMail, an extension for Chrome that would seamlessly encrypt and decrypt Gmail messages, was no longer a Google effort. Instead, the company has invited the outside developer community to adopt the project’s open-source code. Google was careful to emphasize in a blog post describing the change that it hasn’t given up work on its email encryption tool. But cryptographers and members of the privacy community see the move as confirmation that Google has officially backburnered a critical privacy and security initiative.

A Software Engineer Was Detained For Several Hours By U.S. Customs — And Given A Test To Prove He’s An Engineer, by Caroline Fairchild, Recode

To Omin — who now hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours — the questions seemed opaque and could have multiple answers. While he is a skilled software engineer with more than seven years of experience, Omin later tells me that the questions looked to him like someone with no technical background Googled something like, “Questions to ask a software engineer.”