The Mata-Pata-Pata Edition Sunday, April 29, 2018

Apple Music Is Giving A Free Month To Some Who Tried The Three-month Trial But Didn't Subscribe, by Phone Arena

Apple Music, which has 40 million paid members and hopes to overtake industry leader Spotify sooner than later, is trying a new strategy. It is handing out a free month of service to some of those who previously tried Apple Music's three-month free trial, and did not subscribe. Apple is notifying consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong about the extra free month through emails and notifications.

Apple Officially Discontinues AirPort Router Line, by Michael Tsai

An Apple committed to routers seems like a good fit for Tim Cook’s security and privacy vision. Apple is the company that keeps its old devices updated with the latest software. Apple is the company that you can trust with your privacy. But with AirPort dead, I’m now using a Google Wi-Fi. (I wonder why Google chose to enter this market around the time Apple disbanded the AirPort team.) Google Wi-Fi is easy to use and works well, but I don’t really like that it’s tied to my Google account and controlled from the cloud. Eero, from what I’ve read, also requires an account and relies on the cloud. And, unlike Apple, neither offers a Mac app for configuration.

iPhone’s Weirdest Glitch Yet: Ask Siri To Define “Mother” Twice, Learn A Bad Word, by Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica

The randy robo-response was apparently first reported on Reddit's Apple community, where a user by the name "thatwasabaddecision" suggested that people ask Siri to "define the word mother," wait for the assistant to ask for an additional definition, and say "yes." What the Reddit user didn't point out, which readers learned by doing the test themselves, was that the second definition Siri offers is succinct and inaccurate.

Bad Photos

I’m Sorry To Report Instagram Is Bad Now, by Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed

Instagram has long resisted adding features that would lead to a cluttered experience. There’s no “re-gram” or “share” and there’s no way for regular accounts to post outside links (aside from “link in bio!”). This has kept Instagram a walled garden, mainly of photos. Adding Stories was a massive shift in the experience.

With Stories, Instagram is no longer an oasis away from the internet; it’s a full blast of it right into your face. There is certainly something fun and fresh about Stories, and they’re often used in clever ways. But they come at a price: some piece of blissful happiness is forever gone.

Selfies Are Lies, by Isha Aran, Splinter

You may think that selfies are a powerful tool of self-affirmation rooted in the radical acceptance of, uh, our frivolous vanities. But unfortunately they are not photographs of us. They are digital manifestations of what we want to see, contoured and highlighted by the beauty standards we subconsciously subscribe to. And not in a metaphorical way.

Hack Me

It’s Impossible To Prove Your Laptop Hasn’t Been Hacked. I Spent Two Years Finding Out., by Micah Lee, The Intercept

But the most likely reason I didn’t catch any attackers is that no one tried to tamper with my laptop. Hacking a target’s laptop by physically tampering with it while they’re traveling probably happens only rarely because it’s so expensive – it may require travel, physical surveillance, breaking and entering, and the risk of getting caught or breaking the laptop is high. Compare this to cheap forms of hacking like email phishing: You can target thousands of people at once from the comfort of your office, and the risk of getting caught is much lower.

Still, I believe actively checking devices for tampering is worthwhile. You’ll never catch an attacker in the act if you never look for evidence of their attacks. And just looking for evidence, even if you don’t find any, increases costs for attackers: If they want to be sure you won’t notice, they’re going to have to get more creative. I believe it’s useful to explain the technology and the methodology I came up with to detect tampering and share what I learned from the experience. Doing so gives a taste of just how many ways there are to tamper with a laptop.

Bottom of the Page

If you've told my 10-year-old or 20-year-old self that, when I grow up, I will be greatly entertained by audio programming of people talking to each other, people talking alone, people talking in a group doing drafts, I would not have believe you.

But then, here we are.

My thanks to that two person who invented podcasting. And to the rest of the gang for keeping podcasting alive.


I was listening to an interview of Frank Oz, who related his stories about people thanking him for the Muppets. These wonderful creations by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and all the other performers were the only friends for many young people when they were growing up.

I wasn't lonely when I was growing up. But, now that I am old, I do get sad somedays, and certain podcast friends do cheer me up when the days are gray.

Thank you.


Thanks for reading.