The More-Inclusive Edition Monday, September 10, 2018

Technology Improves For People With Disabilities As Firms Respond To Moral, Legal Demands, by Edward C. Baig, USA Today

Over the last few years, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have leveraged artificial intelligence, computer vision and advances in voice recognition to deliver tools to assist blind individuals and people who are deaf, have motor impairments or other disabilities. At the same time, new technologies such as voice-activated speakers and more captioning on websites and in social media have widened access to some internet services.

Development of these specialized features are driven by a confluence of factors – a desire by tech leaders to be more inclusive, but also the need to satisfy legal and market imperatives.

Facial Recognition Tech Is Ready For Its Post-Phone Future, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

Stanley, from the ACLU, says there is a need to separate the convenient consumer applications of facial recognition with the more suspicious uses by companies or governments. "Nobody’s saying you can’t use this technology, ever. But it is such a powerful technology that among the uses, there will inevitably be some very spooky ones," says Stanley. "We want facial recognition tech to be used by you, not on you."

Part of that comes down to regulation. As the tech becomes more widespread and more powerful, legislators haven't kept up with defining the acceptable uses (like, say, sending videos of Animoji) and unacceptable ones (like identifying and arresting protesters). Even if consumers become complacent about facial recognition, regulators shouldn't.

Apple Removes Mac Apps Which Are Stealing User Data, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Apple has removed a series of apps from the Mac App Store after they were found to be accessing users’ private data and sending it to remote servers. The apps in question include Adware Doctor, Open Any Files: RAR Support, Dr. Antivirus, and Dr. Cleaner.

The apps duped users into giving them access to their macOS home directories by promising to perform functions such as scanning for viruses or clearing caches. By accessing the home directory, they were then able to gain access to information about users’ browsing history, and more.

Apple To Embrace iPhone X Design With New Colors, Bigger Screens, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The world’s most valuable company plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter. The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.

However, none of the three iPhones will be wholly new designs like the iPhone X was last year or the iPhone 6 in 2014, with some inside Apple labeling the launch as an "S year," a designation the company has given to new handsets that retain the previous design but add new internal features. The company is planning more significant changes for next year, they added.


Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 3 Supply Starts To Run Low Ahead Of Series 4 Announcement, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Ahead of the expected unveil of the Apple Watch Series 4 this week, availability of the Apple Watch Series 1 is beginning to worsen. On Apple’s website, the 38mm Apple Watch Series 1 in silver and space gray has become unavailable for purchase, as have many models of the Series 3.

How To Transfer Music Between Two iOS Devices, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The only way I can think of to transfer without a desktop system in sight is to use iTunes Match, which is $25 for a one-year subscription. Even then, this won’t work without a Mac or Windows copy of iTunes in the mix, but I’ll tell you why in a moment.


Some Apple Fans Are Building Their Own ‘Hackintoshes’ — Mac Computers They Build Themselves. And They Point To A Weakness With Apple's Computer Lineup, by Antonio Villas-Boas, Business Insider

In a way, the reasons to buy, build, or turn your existing computer into a Hackintosh represent some of the less desirable aspects of buying a Mac from Apple – namely, that they’re expensive, hard to customize, and often not exactly what you need.

These Familiar Sounds Will Soon Disappear From Our World, by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, Fast Company

Chun and Derksen are the German duo behind Conserve the Sound, an online archive of sounds that are “endangered” in our world. For the most part, that means technology sounds, but interpreted broadly to include early handicraft like metal butter churns alongside Sony Walkmen. Founded in 2012, the site is a rich library of photos and MP3s, culled from attics and industrial museums alike, that document the noise of user experience: The clean clicking of Ettore Sottsass’s 1960s Olivetti typewriter, the buzz of a Braun razor, the hollow thunking of Jony Ive’s late 1990s iBook laptop. If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, many of the entries will seem more like antique novelties than familiar memory objects. But when you do come across one from your time (for me, it was an ugly but no less functional early ’00s Polaroid), it’s fascinatingly familiar.

How WhatsApp Destroyed A Village, by Pranav Dixit, Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed

WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging service, is used by more than 200 million people in India, its largest market. It’s become an inextricable part of the country’s culture and social fabric, widely used by younger and older generations alike. It’s one of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s crown jewels, an app he acquired for $19 billion in 2014 that began as a messaging platform but is now evolving into something more, with a new payments feature already being tested in India.

Lately, however, WhatsApp has been getting Indians killed. In June, rumors about child kidnappers shared on the service inspired a mob of hundreds to lynch a 29-year-old man and his friend who were passing through a village in Karbi Anglong, a district in the eastern part of the country. In July, two weeks after the Rainpada incident, hundreds of people hurled stones at an IT worker who was visiting the South Indian village of Murki, killing him. Since May, there have been at least 16 lynchings leading to 29 deaths in India where public officials say mobs were incited by misinformation on WhatsApp.

Bottom of the Page

I was excited to find new shiny playlists in Apple Music that I can add to my library and have the tunes automatically downloaded onto my iPhone and have them available wherever I wanted to listen to some music.

Then I discovered that I don't enjoy the musical taste of everybody.


I'm looking forward to hearing podcasts talking about Apple's upcoming iPhone event.


Thanks for reading.