The Pride-Band Edition Sunday, June 10, 2018

Apple Promotes Pride Edition Watch Band With Custom Store Displays, Employee Celebration, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple has chosen 13 select retail stores around the world to feature custom Apple Watch display tables dedicated to showcasing the Pride band. Under each table’s glass are a dozen assorted Apple Watch models, each outfitted with the new band. Striped Apple logos printed on the table flank each side of the display.

The Lesson From Big Tech’s Latest PR Events? They Know We’re On To Them…, by John Naughton, The Guardian

Yep. There’s now a neurotic undertone to these public celebrations of tech superiority. To understand what lies beneath it, all we need to remember is Kenneth Tynan’s shrewd definition of neurosis as “a secret you don’t know you’re keeping”. So what is this secret that’s bothering the new masters of our universe? Answer: they’re worried that we’re coming for them, just like we once came for JD Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan. And it couldn’t happen to nicer folks.

It Is Mind-Bogglingly Easy To Rope Apple’s Siri Into Phishing Scams, by Robert Hackett, Fortune

There are two ways to pull off this social engineering trick, Mack told me. The first involves an attacker sending someone a spoofed email from a fake or impersonated account, like “Acme Financial.” This note must include a phone number; say, in the signature of the email. If the target responds—even with an automatic, out-of-office reply—then that contact should appear as “Maybe: Acme Financial” whenever the fraudster texts or calls next.

The subterfuge is even simpler via text messaging. If an unknown entity identifies itself as Some Proper Noun in an iMessage, then the iPhone’s suggested contacts feature should show the entity as “Maybe: [Whoever].” Attackers can use this disguise to their advantage when phishing for sensitive information. The next step involves either calling a target to supposedly “confirm account details” or sending along a phishing link. If a victim takes the bait, the swindler is in.

No, iPhone Ringtones Aren’t Bad. They’re Musically Sophisticated., by Alyssa Barna, Washington Post

Two of the most instantly recognizable iOS ringtones are “Marimba” and “Xylophone,” sounds that have become comfortable and familiar. But as music theory demonstrates, subtle details in the composition of these tunes all but demand that we cut them off by picking up the phone. That’s partly because they are fundamentally disruptive, intrusively insisting on our attention. Ultimately, the effect may be key to Apple’s cultural impact. With the possible exception of Nokia and its now-historical ringtone, no other company has managed to make the sounds of its devices quite so central to its brand identity.

How To Talk About God In Silicon Valley, by Oliver Staley, Quartz

For tech moguls, immortality is the newest growth sector. Whether owned by Google or funded by billionaires like Larry Ellison and Peter Thiel, numerous startups are attempting to stop aging and to prolong life, indefinitely if possible. “Death has never made any sense to me,” Ellison told his biographer. The Oracle co-founder has poured more than $430 million into anti-aging research.

The search for eternal life is just the most obvious manifestation of Silicon Valley’s utopian impulses. From freeing information to connecting communities, the tech world is convinced not just of the righteousness of its work, but that its work can improve, or even perfect, the world.

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There's this little summit thing happening right at my doorstep, figuratively. Literally, on the other hand, the Sentosa island and the Orchard Road hotels are at least an hour bus ride from my doorstep. I will not want to go anywhere near these places this week, and, thankfully, I have no need to.


Thanks for reading.