The Human-Interaction Edition Tuesday, October 2, 2018

‘They’re Attentive’: Inside Apple’s Pitch To Wary Publishers, by Lucia Moses, Digiday

But publishers, burned by Facebook, are now looking with no small amount of optimism to Apple, which has quietly wooed publishers over the past year with a small team of its own Apple News editorial staff, huddling with publisher editorial teams in publisher offices. The Apple News team is headed by Lauren Kern, who left a prominent editor job at New York magazine for Apple last year and whose new title, editor in chief, is straight from the news industry. Kern’s staffers invite publications to pitch stories to be featured in Apple News. The implicit message: We’re just like you, we get it.

“They’re attentive, and you have the sense they’re human beings that are trying to nurture a relationship of some kind,” said a publishing exec who has regular contact with Apple News editorial staff. CNN Digital has daily contact with the Apple News edit team, and it enables CNN to reach an audience for political news and non-political news alike, even though the monetization lags, said S. Mitra Kalita, svp of news, opinion and programming at CNN Digital. “This is very much a human interaction,” she said.

Apple Adds Student ID Cards Into Apple Wallet To Access Buildings, Buy Food And More, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Today, Apple started to integrate university student ID cards — used to access buildings, pay for food or books, and any other transactional campus services — into Wallet, its contactless payment system on the Apple Watch and the iPhone. The first schools to come online are Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma.


“iPhone and Apple Watch have brought us into a new era of mobility, helping to transform everyday experiences,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, said in a statement. “When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet. By adding transit, loyalty cards and contactless ticketing we have expanded the capabilities of Wallet beyond payments, and we’re now thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences.”

Meet Your iPhone’s Grandparent, by Duncan Geere, How We Get To Next

If you spend any time around technology, and probably even if you don’t, then you’ll probably also have heard some variation on the saying “There’s more computing power in your pocket than was used to send humans to the moon.” It’s true, of course. The chip in the recently announced iPhone XS runs about five million times faster than the Apollo Guidance Computer. But the axiom has been true for rather longer than most people realize.

The other day, I stumbled across a wonderful Twitter thread that talked about the “Great Calculator Race” of the 1970s and detailed some of the wonderful, wacky designs manufacturers unleashed upon the world. The first computing device that would actually fit in your pocket (a man’s pocket, that is) was the Cal Tech, a 1967 prototype created by Texas Instruments, although like many of the earliest pocket calculators it still required an AC power lead to work rather than batteries. It was black, boxy, and incredibly sleek compared to expensive, desk-mounted calculators like the chunky Casio Model 14-A.

Welcome Refinements

iPhone XS And XS Max Review: Big Screens, Big Performance, Big Lenses, Big Prices, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

The iPhone XS is the smallest year-over-year update the iPhone has seen to date. In most ways that matter, it is the iPhone X. But consumers who held off on the first generation of a new design have been rewarded with small but welcome refinements in performance, the camera, Face ID, durability, wireless data performance, battery life, and charging speeds.

Apple Highlights Best 'Shot On iPhone XS' Photos, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The photos were collected from Instagram and Twitter users who included the hashtag "#ShotoniPhone" alongside their photos, with images showcasing Portrait Mode, Smart HDR, more advanced bokeh, Depth Control, and other features introduced with the iPhone XS and XS Max.

Apple's Greg Joswiak Argues Most People Will Keep iOS 12's Screen Time On, Change Behavior, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

"For me, I couldn't imagine leaving my home in the morning without my iPhone. I think like most people," Joswiak commented. "I still found it fascinating to be able to open up the Screen Time app and see where I was spending my time... That information was useful for me to regulate myself to the behavior that I want. I didn't need limits, I just needed that information."


Apple And The Big Draw Collaborate To Bring Special Art Sessions To Stores In Seven Cities Across The World, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Beginning today, eight flagship Apple stores in seven select cities across the world will host notable Today at Apple sessions throughout the entire month of October. The sessions are being hosted in collaboration with The Big Draw Festival, a global celebration of drawing.

Apple Teams With Jimmy Kimmel To Showcase Emerging Artists, by Buster Hein, Cult of Mac

The two sides revealed today that the second iteration of Apple Music’s “Up Next” program will let bands and other musical acts perform on Kimmel’s stage.

A Good Place: An Entire Free Library On Your Phone, by Kate Dries, The Outline

SimplyeE is a modern incarnation of my experience at a physical library, a comfortable place I used to wander in to kill time after school before swim team practice started. Sometimes it means diving deep into the world of YA lit, as I am right now. Sometimes it’s feeling the satisfaction of reading something I’ve known I was supposed to for awhile but couldn’t drag myself to.


The Coders Programming Themselves Out Of A Job, by Brian Merchant, The Atlantic

The gains from automation have generally been enjoyed not by those who operate the machines, but those who own them. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the share of income going to wages in OECD nations has been decreasing since the 1970s, while the share being funneled into capital—into things like cash reserves and machinery—has been increasing. It can seem that some of the only workers who have realized any scrap of that rusty old promise of automation are the ones who’ve carved out the code to claim it for themselves.

Programmers, of course, have been writing code that automates their work for decades. Programming generally involves utilizing tools that add automation at different levels, from code formatting to merging to different codebases—most just don’t take it to the extreme of fully or nearly fully automating their job. I chatted, via direct message on Reddit and email, with around a dozen programmers who said they had. These self-automators had tackled inventory management, report writing, graphics rendering, database administration, and data entry of every kind. One automated his wife’s entire workload, too. Most asked to remain anonymous, to protect their jobs and reputations.


These Tech Companies Will Need More Women On Their Boards, by Scott Thurm, Wired

Several major tech companies—including Apple, Google parent Alphabet, and Facebook—will likely have to add women to their boards of directors by mid-2021 under a pioneering new California law aimed at bringing more women into corporate boardrooms.


California is the first US state to require that women be represented on corporate boards. Several European countries have similar laws or guidelines, following the lead of Norway, which a decade ago required all companies to have at least 40 percent women on their boards. The Economist reported earlier this year that the laws have led to big increases in women directors in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and the Netherlands.

Cops Can Legally Force You To Unlock Your Phone With Your Face, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

The question of whether cops can force someone to unlock their phone in the US for a search hinges on Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination—that no one "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against" themselves. Privacy advocates argue that this extends to the act of unlocking a phone or generally decrypting data on a device. But while that line of thinking has succeeded as a defense against having to produce a passcode, it works less reliably in the context of Touch ID or other biometrics. Something you know, like a passcode, is easier to view as testimonial—legally speaking, a statement made by a witness—than something you have, like a physical attribute.

Bottom of the Page

Why is it that Shortcuts can open some apps on my iPhone, but cannot open others? Didn't the Springboard team gotten the automation memo?


Thanks for reading.