The Accepting-Responsibility Edition Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Apple Tries To Avoid Facebook's Mistakes With 2018 Midterms, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

“Apple has always been a control freak. That applies to news. Here's a new press release in which the company says, essentially, that it's going to pick the winners among journalism organizations based on quality. Note, however, that Fox 'News' is included,” tweeted media expert and journalist Dan Gillmor, co-creator of News Co/Lab at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Gillmor’s larger point—that Apple is appointing itself the arbiter of quality news—is exactly the kind of critique Facebook tries to avoid by insisting it’s neutral. But just because an algorithm is deciding instead of a human doesn’t make a platform neutral. “Too often a lot of the big tech companies have hidden behind the idea that they need to be neutral when it comes to content and what that has really meant is that there's a huge emphasis on garbage and fake news that crowds out the responsible sources,” Chavern says. Neutral is just another way of saying not-liable. With its new midterms section, Apple is accepting responsibility as mediators for the most controversial news of all, the political.

Could You Disable Your Admin Password? A Stressful Opsec Story From An Apple Store – Ramblings, by Spencer Dailey

Apparently Apple Geniuses ask customers who are dropping off their Mac for repair (where the device can’t be repaired in-store) to turn off their admin password under some circumstances (even when better options exist). 😲 Be ready, because I wasn’t.

Millions of people walk through Apple Stores, and I think Geniuses asking people to turn off their Mac admin password is an unnecessary degradation of customers’ security.

Beta Track

iOS 12 Beta: Our Favorite Tidbits And Hidden Features (So Far), by Federico Viticci, MacStories

In this article, I want to focus on something different: showcasing my favorite small features and tidbits that I've come across in iOS 12 since installing the beta on both my iPhone X and iPad Pro a few weeks ago. While these features may change (or be removed altogether) between today and iOS 12's final public release, they should give you an idea of the nice and hidden details you can expect from the latest iOS 12 beta.

iOS 12 Is All About Making Your Phone Work Better, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

It’s clear that all the low-hanging fruits have been addressed. Now, Apple is mostly adding new frameworks for specific categories of apps instead of releasing major platform changes that affect all third-party apps.

And for the rest, it’s all about refinements, bug fixes and optimizations.

macOS Mojave: Back To The Mac, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Personally, I’m more excited about macOS Mojave than any recent macOS beta. The new dark mode alone is a huge change in what we have come to think of as the Mac interface, and the changes to Finder have an awful lot of potential. I’m also really happy to be able to control my HomeKit devices directly from my Mac, either via the Home app or Siri.

We’re about to enter a major era of change for macOS. Mojave is the last hurrah for some technologies—most notably 32-bit apps—but it’s also our first glimpse (in the four new Mac apps based on iOS technologies) of what is to come. Even if you don’t install the public beta now, I expect this to be a compelling update when it arrives in final form this fall.

Apple macOS Mojave Preview: Come For The Dark Mode, Stay For The Taste Of iOS, by Pete Pachal, Mashable

After checking out the beta of macOS 10.14 Mojave, it definitely feels like big changes are coming to the Mac. Some, like Dark Mode, are mostly cosmetic. But others, like the first generation of iOS-based apps made for macOS, are pointing the way for where the Mac is going, and why reports of its coming demise are greatly exaggerated.

At the same time, Apple didn’t bite off more than it could chew with Mojave. There aren’t a ton of new features in the release, but many of the ones that are there change foundational aspects of the macOS experience. No matter how you use your Mac, I can safely some part of your day-to-day is going to change with Mojave, and mostly for the better.

macOS Mojave Preview: Dark Is Cool. The Future Is Hot., by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Month by month, year by year, the changes are harder to see. But, in a few years, we're going to look up and back and notice that we're suddenly on a very new, very fast bridge, without ever having to go through a full rip-and-replace cycle. In the age of modern, mature operating systems, that's not just responsible — it's remarkable.

And it's continuing this year with macOS Mojave (10.14 if you're keeping track). It's got some crowd-pleasing new candy for us all to look at, and some non-trivial productivity boosts for us to enjoy. Under the hood, though, Mojave is serving as a testbed for one the biggest evolutions ever to come to Apple's desktop operating system — support for what were originally mobile apps.


iTunes Remote Updated For iPhone X, New Icon And Design, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new version includes support for the iPhone X’s larger display as well as iOS 12.


Marzipan As A Path To ARM Based Macs, by August Mueller, The Shape of Everything

And maybe, just maybe, and remember these are half baked thoughts, but maybe Apple is wondering if some Pro users might be better served by MacOS Touch 1.0 running on ARM.

Google Duplex Is Calling: We Talk To The Revolutionary (But Limited) Phone AI, by Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

At I/O 2018, Google shocked the world with a demo of "Google Duplex," an AI system for accomplishing real-world tasks over the phone. The short demo felt like the culmination of Google's various voice-recognition and speech-synthesis capabilities: Google's voice bot could call up businesses and make an appointment on your behalf, all while sounding shockingly similar—some would say deceivingly similar—to a human. Its demo even came complete with artificial speech disfluencies like "um" and "uh."

The short, pre-recorded I/O showcase soon set off a firestorm of debate on the Web. People questioned the ethics of an AI that pretended to be human, wiretap laws were called into question, and some even questioned if the demo was faked. Other than promising Duplex would announce itself as a robot in the future, Google had been pretty quiet about the project since the event.

Then all of a sudden, Google said it was ready to talk more about Duplex. Even better, the company would let me talk directly with the infamous AI. So for an afternoon at least, I wasn't Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica Reviews Editor—I was Ron Amadeo, THEP restaurant employee waiting to field "live" phone calls from a bot.

The Supreme Court Just Issued A Ruling Affecting The Credit Card Industry — And Silicon Valley, Too, by Brian Fung, Washington Post

The Supreme Court sided with American Express on Monday in a closely watched case over credit card fees, with major implications not only for the credit card industry but also for some of the country’s biggest platform companies such as Google and Facebook, analysts said.

In a 5-to−4 decision, the court held that American Express is allowed to use contract language to bar retailers and merchants from steering their customers toward paying with competing credit card networks such as Visa and Mastercard.

Bottom of the Page

Any platform owner, any broadcaster, any newspaper, any journalist, any person who claim they are neutral or objective or without-bias -- do not believe them. It's not possible to do any of that.


Once upon a time, screensavers have sounds, which can be used to annoy all your co-workers. Nowadays, you can only annoy your co-workers with your clickety-clack keyboard, and only when you are present.

(I guess you can also cough and clear throats and all sort of bodily functions, but I have my standards.)



Thanks for reading.