The Lives-Intertwined Edition Monday, June 18, 2018

The Personalization Battle Is Reaching Its Cartoonish Extreme, by Christina Bonnington, Slate

While the popularity of these silly personalized emoji illustrations may seem perplexing—or downright idiotic—to those who don’t already partake, their rise makes sense if you look at the way our digital and personal lives have intertwined. “We are moving into the future where the division between your life and your digital life is going out the window; they are merging into the same thing,” Bitmoji founder Ba Blackstone said in a 2016 Forbes interview. “And in our new world, your digital representation of yourself becomes increasingly important and your ability to represent yourself and express yourself and interact with people becomes more and more important.” Or as Samsung says in its Galaxy S9 marketing: Words can’t say what your emoji can.

macOS Breaks Your OpSec By Caching Data From Encrypted Hard Drives, by Catalin Cimpanu, BleepingComputer

Apple's macOS surreptitiously creates and caches thumbnails for images and other file types stored on password-protected / encrypted containers (hard drives, partitions), according to Wojciech Reguła and Patrick Wardle, two macOS security experts.

The problem is that these cached thumbnails are stored on non-encrypted hard drives, in a known location and can be easily retrieved by malware or forensics tools, revealing some of the content stored on encrypted containers.

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iOS 12 Will Include A New Life-saving Feature For iPhone Customers In The US, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple is announcing a new life-saving feature in iOS 12 that hasn’t been publicly disclosed before today. Starting this fall when iOS 12 is released, first responders will be able to access location data “securely and automatically” when iPhone customers call 911.

The move is intended to dramatically improve emergency service response time, and Apple says the feature is implemented with privacy in mind.

This Apple iOS 12 Feature Totally Changed The Way I Think About My iPhone, by Lauren Barack, GearBrain

The fact that I was picking up my iPhone nearly once a minute made me so worried, I started thinking differently about my device. I would stop myself from looking at it, and hesitate as my hand reached. By Tuesday I had reduced the number of times I picked up the device to just 67 times before 2 pm— horrible, I still thought, but certainly a significant drop per hour. By the end of the week my average was down to just three times an hour.

I started wondering: what else do I pick up that often during my day? Imagine if I drank water three times an hour, lifted some weights or brushed my teeth? I have a lovable mush of Labrador Retriever and even he doesn't get my attention that often. What was I not doing by unconsciously grabbing this palm-sized device every 20 minutes?


Apple HomePod Now On Sale In France, Germany And Canada, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

HomePod understands French and German languages, alongside the new country rollouts. Apple will be adding support for Canadian French later this year.

Can Apple's HomePod Take On A Surround Sound Theater System?, by Max Yuryev, AppleInsider

As expected, HomePod is not a replacement for a surround sound system, nor is it marketed as such. Users can purchase an entry-level dedicated surround system, or a very good soundbar with Atmos support, for the price of two HomePods.

At this time it's best to keep HomePod limited to Apple Music, where it does great job, and look elsewhere for movie watching needs.


Mobile Apps Are Musts For Most Brands, As Long As Users Like Them, by Janet Morrissey, New York Times

But as more companies bombard shoppers with emails, fliers and in-store ads that push them to download their brand apps, people are getting savvier — and less forgiving if they feel an app’s performance is subpar.

There is little hesitation about dumping a brand app that is slow, crashes, has a poor layout, doesn’t offer exclusive sales or promotions, or pushes too many notifications.

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One day, my Memoji will be able to represent me to go to meetings.


Thanks for reading.