The Reports-To-Tim Edition Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Apple Hires Google’s A.I. Chief, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

Apple said on Tuesday that Mr. Giannandrea will run Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” and become one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook.


“Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear,” Mr. Cook said in an email to staff members obtained by The New York Times. “John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal.”

Apple Hires Google's Chief Of Search And AI To Head Up Machine Learning Efforts, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

But what’s less contentious is that there is a broad perception of Apple falling behind. That’s significant because such a perception can lead to, say, customers not even bothering with said features.

So having a single person to head up machine learning efforts and reporting to Tim Cook is a powerful message that the company is taking action on that perception.

Gender Pay Gap

Apple UK Gender Pay Gap Report 2017, by Deirdre O’Brien, Vice President, People, Apple Inc

Apple believes strongly that equal work deserves equal pay. Every year, we examine the compensation employees receive and make adjustments where necessary to ensure we maintain pay equity. And we have achieved this in every country — women at our company earn the same as men when you factor in similar roles, markets and performance. As part of our commitment to eliminating pay disparities from the first day at Apple, later this year we’ll also stop asking candidates about their salary history.

This year, a new law in the UK requires us to publish the average total pay received by men relative to that received by women. The difference, known as the gender pay gap, is created by an imbalance in representation — specifically, a higher proportion of men in senior roles. For Apple, the mean pay gap in the UK is 5 per cent lower for women and the median pay gap is 2 per cent in favour of women.

Apple Reveals How Much The People Behind Your iPhone Are Paid, by Andrew Griffin, Independent

For Apple, median difference in pay between men and women at the company is 2 per cent in favour of women, Apple reported. But there is still a gap in the mean average, with men paid 5 per cent more than women on that measure.


But the company still had some important differences in how men and women are rewarded. As well as having a 5 per cent gap in mean hourly pay, there was a large gap in the bonuses that men and women receive, with a 22 per cent mean average difference between the bonuses paid to women and men.

Apple said that the gender pay gap between men and women in its company was driven by the difference in their representation in the workforce. It employs much less women than men, especially at its higher levels – only 29 per cent of its highest paid staff are female.

Angry About Your Company’s Gender Pay Gap? Here’s What To Do Next, by Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian

Remember, this isn’t about equal pay for equal work – a large gender pay gap doesn’t necessarily mean your bosses are breaking the law and a small gap doesn’t mean there isn’t pay discrimination. The government’s pay gap website shows what the average difference in earnings is across each organisation. Particularly telling is the section where companies reveal what percentage of the best- and worst-paid members of staff are women – this should give a clear insight into how committed the organisation is towards promoting women.

“Bonuses and performance-related pay are red flags – in firms where it is predominantly men in the senior management roles, big bonuses traditionally go to men,” says Scarlet Harris, women’s policy officer at the TUC. “Men are deciding who gets the bonus and they decide what achievement and good performance looks like in a company; an old boy network can guide those decisions, as well as prejudices about who is the right person to award the bonus to. This could also be influenced by presenteeism; if a woman has caring issues they might be brilliant at their job but leaving to pick up children.”


The Fifth Age Of Macintosh: What Happens If Apple Dumps Intel?, by Andy Ihnatko, Fast Company

The next major step could be a revolutionary spin on the Mac that goes way beyond merely keeping pace with modern computing and makes the Mac into an influential platform once more. We can even dare to hope that by building its own CPUs, consolidating the Mac’s hardware design further, and incorporating iPad manufacturing methods, Apple can finally produce a great Mac that sells for way under $900.

Or, it could be equally significant as The Last Version Of MacOS That Apple Ever Ships.

Why The Next Mac Processor Transition Won’t Be Like The Last Two, by Jason Snell, Macworld

What if these two stories are intimately connected? Right now Apple has two separate (but related) operating systems with large bases of users; the less work Apple has to do to differentiate them (while maintaining the quality of the products) the better. The act of modifying iOS apps to run on macOS also serves the purpose of teaching iOS developers how to build apps that run on multiple device styles—not just phones and tablets but laptops and desktops.

It’s true that today’s iOS can’t do everything that macOS can do, but after several more years of development, will that be true? What if the Apple laptops and desktops of the future run Apple-designed ARM processors, are capable of running iOS apps, and have all the features (and support for older Mac-only apps) that most Mac users require?

For Apple, Quitting Intel Won't Come Easy, by Brian Barrett, Wired

Segmenting its lineup seems like the likeliest path; Gurman describes a "multi-step transition." But that would also create potential headaches of its own, both for developers and consumers. Apple is reportedly working on a platform that allows developers to write the same app for both MacOS and iOS, but that sort of hybrid invites complications, especially if some devices switch to ARM and others remain on Intel.


And in the meantime, Mac developers have little incentive to put significant work into their applications between now and 2020. And potential Mac buyers have every reason to sit on the sidelines until then. Which means that significant change will likely be preceded by a crippling stasis.


New Apple Pay Ads Promote The Faster Way To Splash Your Cash, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Titled “Groceries,” “Coffee,” Kicks,” and “Grooming,” the ads are part of Apple’s continued drive to get users to adopt is mobile payments service.

Tearing Down The New iPad Offers Little Comfort To Concerned Educators, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

As expected, the iPad's glass display is highly vulnerable to damage from drops and other beatings it might receive in a classroom—or in everyday personal use, for that matter. [...] Apart from screen damage, the most likely point of failure seems to be the Lightning port, and unfortunately, iFixit says it looks like that would be a real nightmare to replace should something happen.

AgileBits Introduces 1Password Business For Larger Teams, by Tory Foulk, iMore

With 1Password Business, you can make sure you keep up with GDPR, HIPAA, SOC2, and other compliance regulations by better controlling who has access to what using very meticulous permissions, custom groups, device restrictions, and travel restrictions. And, when you need to share a password with a certain group of employees for a specific situation, you can do that as well.

iPad App Lets You Play A Violin With Apple Pencil, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

The Apple Pencil, now compatible with pretty much all new iPads, is not just good for drawing and writing. Because if its bevvy of sensors — tilt, pressure, acceleration, and orientation — the Apple Pencil is also a pretty good musical instrument. Pen2Bow is a new iPad app which turns the Pencil into a violin bow, letting you use all of these natural gestures to play a virtual violin.


Why We Need Emoji Representing People With Disabilities, by Alessandra Potenza, The Verge

"There are different ways of looking at disability that aren’t based in tragedy. People who create media that’s not necessarily super inclusive; it’s not that they aren’t well meaning, it’s just that they don’t have a very holistic and wide-ranging view of what disability means. Those problems can be in part rectified with hiring more actual disabled people both behind and in front of the camera, as creators and as performers. I would say, changing the voices in the room can make disability inclusion more of a priority from the beginning. Emojis in their own small way are an illustration of that and there’s certainly room to move forward after this. But I think it’s a great effort to start."

Bottom of the Page

Today, I digged out a piece of old code that I've written months ago to see if I can 're-purpose' this for a new thing that I am doing -- and I kept wondering and wondering: how did that piece of code even work in the first place?

Half an hour later: I realize that piece of old code is written for a different requirement, and isn't suppose to be doing what I thought it was supposed to be doing.

Ah, the joy of getting old and senile.


Thanks for reading.