The Easier-On-My-Eyes Edition Monday, October 8, 2018

The Accessibility Of The iPhone XS Max, by Steven Aquino, TechCrunch

Forget OLED, forget pixel density — having a 6.5-inch display is super nice and easier on my eyes. More screen means more content, which means less eye strain and fatigue. Given these factors, it was no contest as to what I prefer. Although I have multiple disabilities, my visual impairment is arguably the most important and the one I should prioritize above all others. I did that, and I’m happier for it.

That New Apple Watch EKG Feature? There Are More Downs Than Ups, by Aaron E. Carroll, New York Times

This is one of the major problems with such a device. The people most in need of it, those who might benefit from tests and distance monitoring, are the least likely to get it. If we truly believed this was a medical test beneficial to the general population, insurance should pay for it. No one is suggesting that should happen.

In fact, many experts don’t think it makes sense to have universal cardiac monitoring of the general public. The United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued a “D” recommendation for screening asymptomatic adults at low risk. The group doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to recommend screening of adults at intermediate or high risk. It doesn’t even think there’s enough evidence to recommend screening adults 65 or older, who are at higher risk, for atrial fibrillation.

‘New’ Mac App Store Fails To Make A Good First Impression, by Nate Swanner, Dice

This all highlights the true issue with the Mac App Store: its library. Apple may be correct that it’s the biggest collection available via a single portal, but we’re not convinced it’s the best. When it comes to publishing apps to the Mac App Store, there’s just no true draw, and if Apple can’t even convince tech pros it has the best apps available for them to get work done, how can it say the Mac App Store is the best place to publish apps they’ve created?


Customers, Not Users, by K.Q. Dreger, Audacious Fox

By referring to your customers as customers, you’re respecting the fact that someone is paying you for your work. We don’t need to sell customer data—their hard-earned dollars keep us running. Also, a sentence like “15 minutes of downtime” hits harder when you know it’s a customer on the other end.

It’s Time To Become A Time Realist, by Jolie Kerr, New York Times

There are time realists and time optimists, according to Ms. Morgenstern. Time realists look at a task and break down the math of it. They’re conscious of how long things take, and they factor that in to their plans for the day.

Time optimists, by comparison, are just that: hopeful about things they would like to do. It leads to them to overstuff their days and become frustrated when their list of to-dos doesn’t get completed.

Be a time realist. Here’s how.


Apple Tells Congress It Found No Signs Of Hacking Attack, by Joseph Menn, Reuters

Apple Vice President for Information Security George Stathakopoulos wrote in a letter to the Senate and House commerce committees that the company had repeatedly investigated and found no evidence for the main points in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on Thursday, including that chips inside servers sold to Apple by Super Micro Computer Inc allowed for backdoor transmissions to China.

“Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found,” he wrote in the letter provided to Reuters.

50 Years In Tech. Part 6: Different Apple Distribution Game, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

In my first Cupertino visit, I chanced upon a demo by French hardware developers Mssrs. Chaillat and Chaligné. They had designed an Apple ][ extension card that bypassed the mediocre native NTSC and, instead, provided a clean RGB display using the French mandated Peritel connector that was available for a number of display devices, included the ubiquitous Trinitron monitor. I jumped on the opportunity and immediately gave their Le Chat Mauve (!) company a first order for 100 boards. This sort of impulse buy wasn’t exactly standard company policy, but the product looked very good, so did the numbers, and Apple management was otherwise preoccupied… a perfect illustration of the freedom and benign neglect that I found so compelling during my years at Apple — in France. We later repeated the experience with other products such as a Philips color monitor that was designed to fit the Apple ][ case.

This was a happy time when our distribution game worked well. By 1985, Apple France was the company’s largest business outside of the US.

Looking Down Under For A Back Door, by Sharon Bradford Franklin, Slate

Once enacted into law in Australia, these powerful new tools could help provide the United States with a back door to an encryption back door. The U.S. government cannot ask the Australian government to collect and hand over data that the United States is legally prohibited from collecting on its own, but some data may be shareable under the secret terms of the Five Eyes alliance. Beyond that, if Australia gains the tools to force providers to undermine the security of their products, the United States and other governments could exploit those same tools.

Tech Workers Now Want To Know: What Are We Building This For?, by Cade Metz, Kate Conger, New York Times

Across the technology industry, rank-and-file employees are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they built. At Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as at tech start-ups, engineers and technologists are increasingly asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or for military projects in the United States or elsewhere.

That’s a change from the past, when Silicon Valley workers typically developed products with little questioning about the social costs. It is also a sign of how some tech companies, which grew by serving consumers and businesses, are expanding more into government work. And the shift coincides with concerns in Silicon Valley about the Trump administration’s policies and the larger role of technology in government.

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I wish Apple is still making Safari for Windows. No, not because Apple's respect of my privacy, although that will be good. No, my wish came from my hope that I don't have to remember two different web browser user interface... :-)

Now... where is that reload button...


Just finished watching the entire run of How I Met Your Mother, and I have to agree with a lot of the negative comments out there regarding the ending. It definitely seemed rushed and rough. But, more importantly, despite the structure and all the fore-shadows, the ending didn't seem earned.


Thanks for reading.