The Unauthorized-Repair Edition Saturday, October 14, 2017

Apple Promises Fix For GarageBand Failing To Open After iOS 11 Update, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple is working to fix a glitch preventing some people from launching GarageBand —the company's simplified music creation tool —after updating to iOS 11, according to an online support document.

Latest iOS Update Shows Apple Can Use Software To Break Phones Repaired By Independent Shops, by

Jason Koebler, Motherboard

So let's consider what actually happened here. iPhones that had been repaired and were in perfect working order suddenly stopped working after Apple updated its software. Apple was then able to fix the problem remotely. Apple then put out a warning blaming the parts that were used to do the repair. Poof—phone doesn't work. Poof—phone works again.

In this case, not all phones that used third party parts were affected, and there's no reason to think that, in this case, Apple broke these particular phones on purpose. But there is currently nothing stopping the company from using software to control unauthorized repair: For instance, you cannot replace the home button on an iPhone 7 without Apple's proprietary "Horizon Machine" that re-syncs a new home button with the repaired phone.

Apple Diversity Head Denise Young Smith Apologizes For Controversial Choice Of Words At Summit, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“Diversity of thought” has long been a lever used by critics of the concept of D&I work to push back against meaningful diversity efforts. Already this week, some critics of the concept of inclusive diversity work (racists, men who believe they are inherently superior, etc) were pointing at Smith’s comments with an air of smugness — likely not her intended effect.

The thrust of Smith’s email is that she realizes the mistake in using this example, and just how damaging it could be to the perception of Apple’s D&I work.

Facebook Nation

What Facebook Did To American Democracy, by Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

Add everything up. The chaos of a billion-person platform that competitively dominated media distribution. The known electoral efficacy of Facebook. The wild fake news and misinformation rampaging across the internet generally and Facebook specifically. The Russian info operations. All of these things were known.

And yet no one could quite put it all together: The dominant social network had altered the information and persuasion environment of the election beyond recognition while taking a very big chunk of the estimated $1.4 billion worth of digital advertising purchased during the election. There were hundreds of millions of dollars of dark ads doing their work. Fake news all over the place. Macedonian teens campaigning for Trump. Ragingly partisan media infospheres serving up only the news you wanted to hear. Who could believe anything? What room was there for policy positions when all this stuff was eating up News Feed space? Who the hell knew what was going on?


Apps For Those Who Love Space, by Appolicious

Space is a topic that has captured the attention and imagination of millions around the world. Given its vastness and mysterious nature, it is common to gaze up at the night sky and wonder how we as humans fit into the cosmic story. Although the realm of space exploration and viewing have typically required expensive and sophisticated hardware such as telescopes, the introduction of mobile apps have made it accessible to nearly anybody with an iPhone. Given these developments, this article discusses the best apps for astronomy enthusiasts that are inexpensive and can be used right from the mobile device.