The Tiny-Shards Edition Friday, April 21, 2017

Apple Forces Recyclers To Shred All iPhones And MacBooks, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

Apple rejects current industry best practices by forcing the recyclers it works with to shred iPhones and MacBooks so they cannot be repaired or reused—instead, they are turned into tiny shards of metal and glass.

"Materials are manually and mechanically disassembled and shredded into commodity-sized fractions of metals, plastics, and glass," John Yeider, Apple's recycling program manager, wrote under a heading called "Takeback Program Report" in a 2013 report to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. "All hard drives are shredded in confetti-sized pieces. The pieces are then sorted into commodities grade materials. After sorting, the materials are sold and used for production stock in new products. No reuse. No parts harvesting. No resale."

Apple Shares New Videos Highlighting Environmental Efforts, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Four new videos were released by Apple this morning, each focusing on a different aspect of the company's environmental efforts. The videos feature different Apple employees who have roles focused on the environment, and they all share a similar artistic style and comedic tone.

Someone At Apple Specializes In Making Fake Human Sweat, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Working for the world’s biggest technology company doesn’t mean your job will always be glamorous.

Apple’s New Danish Data Center Will Supply Heat To Nearby Homes, Fertilizer To Farmers, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple’s commitment to environmental sustainability is well established, but the company is going one step further in its new Danish data center. In addition to powering the center entirely from renewable energy, the company is capturing the waste heat generated and feeding it into a district heating system, to warm local homes.

Apple Music, Apple Flicks

Apple Funds New Program To Turn Young Artists Into Pop Stars, by Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is introducing a program to promote young musicians with a monthlong barrage of videos, playlists and new music, deepening the technology giant’s direct investment in artists through Apple Music.

The first performer to benefit from the Up Next program is 6lack, a 24-year-old Atlanta singer who released his debut album last fall. On Thursday, Apple released a short documentary about 6lack, as well as video of a live recording session taped in Atlanta and an interview on Beats 1, Apple Music’s radio station.

Apple Originals, by Saba Hamedy, Mashable

Apple is undeniably at work on a future in which it produces original movies and TV shows on the level of fellow tech titans Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The evidence can’t be denied: Top Apple brass have been taking meetings with agencies and producers, lurking at film festivals, recruiting key executive talent and lining up major office space in Los Angeles.

It's almost time for Apple's close-up. But that doesn't mean the tech giant is necessarily ready for it.


Leaked Document Details Apple Employee Injuries, Hints At Secretive New Products, by William Turton, Gizmodo

It seems some of the incidents listed within this report may hint at new products Apple may be working on. One report on February 21 that included “medical treatment beyond first aid,” involved a prototype unit at Apple’s De Anza office in Cupertino. “After BT4 user study, user advised study lead, that she experienced discomfort in her eye and said she was able to see the laser flash at several points during the study. Study lead referred her to optometrist and secured prototype unit for analysis.” In another report, an employee working at Apple’s Vallco Parkway office in Cupertino reported eye pain on March 2. “Employee reported eye pain after working with new prototype, thought it may be associated with use. He noticed that the security seal on the magenta (outer) case had been broken and had thought the unit may have been tampered with.” A source inside Apple speculated that this injury may have something to do with an augmented reality product Apple may be testing, something like glasses with an overhead display. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he thinks augmented reality will be a pretty big deal.


Apple Store Raising Money For World Wildlife Fund With Apple Pay Earth Day Promotion, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple and the World Wildlife Fund are partnering for a special Earth Day promotion at the Apple Store. Starting today, Apple will donate $1 to the World Wildlife Fund for every purchase made in stores with Apple Pay.

After Ice Is A New App That Uses AR To Simulate The Effects Of Climate Change Around The World, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app works by simulating your location in various future scenarios of global ice melt and sea level rise. The data comes from NASA projections. For instance, it lets you see the NASA-prjected effect of sea level rise in New York City in the 2080s, which is within the lifetime of children alive today.

Review: Mosaic – Simple Window Management For Mac, by Ian Fuchs, MacTrast

Mosaic by Light Pillar Software is a simple Mac utility that allows you quickly resize and reposition apps on your desktop. Using either keyboard shortcuts, drag and drop, or even the Touch Bar, apps can be positioned consistently and conveniently to allow for a great aesthetic or a functional working space.


Live Photos Can Now Be Embedded On The Web, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Apple's developer site details a new API that makes it possible to embed Live Photos on the web.

Mozilla, Microsoft Rebuilding Their Browsers’ Foundations Without Anyone Noticing, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

One of the common questions I see about the rapid release schedules for the browsers (every six weeks or so for Chrome and Firefox) and even Windows-as-a-Service (Edge has a major update every six months) is, "how can the developers make large scale, high impact changes if they break everything up into small chunks?" Firefox 53, released yesterday, and Edge 15, released as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update, show us how it can be done.


The 100 Most Influential People: Jean Liu, by Tim Cook, Time

She and her team are succeeding with innovative, big-data algorithms that aim both to improve the efficiency of Didi’s service and to ease the congestion on roadways. By analyzing commuter patterns the way oceanographers track the tides, Didi may help traffic jams go the way of the flip phone.

Apple Meets With Chinese Government Over App Store Oversight Because Of Porn Streamers, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

More information has emerged about the Chinese government demand that Apple crack down on streaming apps, with a new report circulating claiming that porn streamers are the government's major concern.

Build A Better Monster, by Maciej Cegłowski, Idle Words

We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we're good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it?

As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

I contend that there are structural reasons to worry about the role of the tech industry in American political life, and that we have only a brief window of time in which to fix this.

Bottom of the Page

I am near-sighted. I am also far-sighted. I probably have a little night blindness. I, perhaps, do not have color blindness, but who knows. I have trouble reading the little wee bits of texts in those scenes in Sherlock when I watch the series on my little iPhone.

So, I am not looking forward to any VR or AR goggles.


Thanks for reading.