The Tricky-Subject Edition Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Apple’s Drops AIDS Charity Branding For Its Red iPhone In China, by Jon Russell, TechCrunch

Despite the potential for sales in China — where iPhones are status symbols, and a unique color can make a limited edition release particularly desirable — the red iPhone is not being promoted using the (PRODUCT)RED branding. [...]

That’s not an oversight on the part of Apple or its website team. HIV and AIDs are a tricky subject in China. Aid agencies and media have often warned of China’s “looming” AIDs crisis. Despite making some impressive progress among students and young people, government policies haven’t stopped the rise of the disease among gay men in China, as The Global Post reported in some detail last year.

Hackers: We Will Remotely Wipe iPhones Unless Apple Pays Ransom, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

A hacker or group of hackers is apparently trying to extort Apple over alleged access to a large cache of iCloud and other Apple email accounts. [...]

Now, the hackers are threatening to reset a number of the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victim's Apple devices on April 7, unless Apple pays the requested amount.

The Old Dream Of The Information Appliance Is Now Real — So What’s Next?, by Walt Mossberg, The Verge

We’ve already begun the next stage. You might call it the quest for the Starship Enterprise computer — the one that you can just talk to when you need information, or to get a task done, to be entertained or to record a moment. It will require perfect conversational ability, sensors of every kind and limitless storage, prodigious, always-learning artificial intelligence, access to almost infinite personal data, and knowledge about nearly everything. These are all huge steps to take, and they will all require massive investment and more than a few failed first attempts.

But every major computer company is pursuing this goal, in one form or another, as are researchers and smaller companies unknown to us yet. So far, we see only the glimmers of this future in things like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the Google Assistant.


Apple Releases iTunes 12.6 With Cross-Device Movie Rental Access, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

iTunes 12.6 introduces a "Rent once, watch anywhere" feature that lets iTunes users watch iTunes movie rentals across all devices with iOS 10.3 or tvOS 10.2.

Magnet For Mac Is The Window Management Tool I've Desperately Needed, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

What sets Magnet apart from other options is the sheer amount of polish. It doesn't get confused by multiple displays (and in fact supports up to six external displays) and you can customise the keyboard shortcuts to suit your needs. It also supports any combination of window areas.

Pixure 2.2 With PanelKit, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Pixure is Louis D'hauwe's excellent pixel art studio app for iOS that lets you create retro-styled illustrations. Pixure was already best suited for the iPad's bigger display, but the latest version 2.2 adds PanelKit – a UI framework created by D'hauwe himself to turn traditional iPad popovers into floating panels.

Interact Scratchpad For Mac Takes The Pain Out Of Adding Contacts, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Adding information to contacts is tedious. Too often I find myself switching back and forth between a webpage and the Contacts app typing information into field after field or copying little bits of text and pasting them into those fields. Scratchpad does the monotonous part for you by automatically recognizing all kinds of contact information.

Kindle iOS App Adds ‘Send To Kindle’ Feature To Save Articles From Safari, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

The Kindle iOS app receives an update today that brings a new “Send to Kindle” feature, allowing users to save content from Safari directly to their Kindle library for reading later.

Bear Receives Version 1.1 Update, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

In what developer Shiny Frog described as its largest update yet, note-taking app Bear today received a version 1.1 update featuring new fonts, importing and exporting features, and more.

Mac OS IM Tool Adium Lagging On Library Security Vulnerability, by Richard Chirgwin, The Register

A developer is warning Adium users to pick a different messaging app because of an exploitable vulnerability in its underlying libpurple version.


Word Up! This Is The Story Behind The New York Times’ Most Famous Tweet (Which Is 10 Years Old Today), by Joseph Lichterman, Nieman Lab

Another weekend, a custodian accidentally unplugged a cord on the server, prompting the Times’ main Twitter account to stop tweeting for a weekend.

“I wasn’t at work, so I was like, ‘Whatever, it’s just a side project,'” Harris recalled. “But I came into work and there were several different emails asking who did support for this product, what the contingency plan was. That’s sort of the time when I realized: Oh, I guess this is a product.”

Bottom of the Page

I have never rented movies from iTunes, and I didn't know until today that movie rental is not rent-once-watch-everywhere until today.


If Apple ever do paid podcasts, I fully expect this to be part of Apple Music. You purchase a podcast episode or a podcast season pass via the iTunes Store and then sync it over to Apple Music via iCloud Music Library -- just like your regular MP3 purchases today.


Thanks for reading.