The Long-Way-to-Helping Edition Monday, November 19, 2018

Tim Cook Defends Using Google As Primary Search Engine On Apple Devices, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

"I think their search engine is the best," Cook said in the interview. He followed up by diving into privacy features Apple has implemented in its Safari browser.

"Look at what we've done with the controls we've built in," Cook stated. "We have private web browsing. We have an intelligent tracker prevention. What we've tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It's not a perfect thing. I'd be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping."

Tim Cook: Tech Hasn’t Done Enough To Push Gender Diversity, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

“I think the Valley has been open and accepting to many different people from different walks of life,” Cook said, regarding encouraging more gender diversity in tech. “But I agree 100 percent from a gender point of view that the Valley has missed it and tech in general has missed it. I know we spend a lot of energy on this and are constantly asking ourselves, ‘How can we improve more?’ and listening to what our folks tell us. I’ve got to believe other people are doing this too. I’m actually encouraged at this point that there will be a more marked improvement over time.”

Apple's Tim Cook Says Regulation Of Silicon Valley Is 'Inevitable', by Claire Reilly, CNET

"Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation," he said from the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California. "I'm a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn't worked here. And I think it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation."

It's the big question facing Silicon Valley as tech giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google wrestle with their role in shaping modern society. From building the devices and services we use (and overuse) every day, to determining how we access news and even how we engage with democracy -- these companies are no longer just upstarts operating out of a garage.

Virus Checker

5 macOS Vulnerabilities That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked, by Milena Dimitrova, Sensors Tech Forum

macOS is generally believed to be bulletproof against malware attacks. Unfortunately, statistics reveal a different picture where Apple’s operating system is often found vulnerable. For instance, in 2017 security researchers detected an increase of 28.83 percent of total reported security flaws in comparison with 2016.

And even though the total number of vulnerabilities is lower in 2018 than in the two previous years, the number of active malware campaigns against Macs is growing. Macs are frequently endangered by potentially unwanted programs such as


Windows 10 October 2018 Update Temporarily Blocked On PCs With Incompatible iCloud, by Mayank Parmar, Windows Latest

In an updated support document, Microsoft says that Apple has identified incompatibility issues with iCloud for Windows (version In Windows 10 October 2018 Update, the iCloud users may experience unexpected issues while syncing Shared Albums.

To ensure that experience is as smooth as possible, the company has blocked the Windows 10 October 2018 Update on devices that have the incompatible version of iCloud installed.

Tumblr Is Missing From Apple’s App Store, by Andrew Liptak, The Verge

Tumblr’s iOS app is missing from Apple’s App Store. Tumblr says that it is “working to resolve an issue with the iOS app,” but it’s not clear if the app is missing from the store because it was removed by Apple, or by Tumblr itself.

Apple Is Deleting All WhatsApp Stickers Apps From App Store: Report, by Indian Express

Following the roll out, several apps that let users create their own stickers as well as apps for sticker packs in regional language or more related apps popped up on App Store as well as App Store. Now, it looks like Apple is deleting such apps. An official statement from the company is awaited.


Pivot Or Fail?, by Fred Wilson, A VC

I understand the argument that starting a new company by pivoting with cash in the bank and a team that is already built is attractive and giving those back and starting over from scratch is harder. But the harder path is often the best path. And the easy path is often the harder one.

If you were able to do a startup from scratch once, I would imagine you can do it again. And doing it again allows you to keep a lot more of the new company and custom build it from scratch, putting together the ideal team and the ideal investor group.

Why Scaring People Into Saving For Retirement Doesn’t Work, by Jeff Kreisler, Quartz

Another behavioral principle that explains why we collectively fail to save for retirement is known as the “pain of paying.” When we hand over money, it stimulates the same region of our brain as physical pain. This is good. It makes us stop and think about whether we’re making the best financial decision. But instead of embracing this pain and using it to spend more consciously, we numb it. From credit cards to Amazon Go to EZ-Pass to whatever that terrible thing is where you walk through a bazar and look at your phone and get a fancy hat, FinTech has evolved with the goal of reducing the pain of paying. This has been done with the goal of making spending easier, which isn’t always a good thing. We should try to avoid—as much as possible—the latest financial technology just because it’s “cool” or “easy,” or at least force ourselves to think about our spending on these platforms. At the same time, we can seek out those products and services—like Acorns, Stash, Betterment —that use a reduction in the pain of paying to making savings easier. That’s a good use of our biases.

These ideas are just the beginning of what is possible when we accept that humans are inherently bad at saving and planning for the future.


50 Years In Tech. Part 10: Hard Landing In Cupertino. Steve Jobs Gets Fired., by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Back to 1985, I found myself in a dangerous, paradoxical position. I, too, lacked experience. I had never run an engineering organization, my knowledge of computer technology was largely acquired on the job and on weekends torturing hardware and software. And yet, I was given the reins to Apple’s engineering organization. I benefited from the fact that no one on the exec team had computer engineering experience, many coming instead from the consumer goods industry, companies such as Pepsi, J. Walter Thompson, and Playtex.

Worse, I inherited two large organizations that hated one another.

What If Your House Is Too Ugly To Be Smart?, by Kaithlyn Tiffany, Vox

I am interested in a future in which small homes in overcrowded cities are more livable and people who might not be physically equipped to haul their furniture around all the time do not have to. Yet something I think about every time a large new smart home device or otherwise high-tech piece of furniture hits the trade publications and gadget blogs is would this look bad in any house that doesn’t look like it could also be a Muji store? Would this look really bad in, for example, my house?

Nobody cares and nobody should, but my house is hideous. It’s what they call a good deal in a great location: It’s a creaking, disintegrating three-bedroom apartment with two roommates, two cats, a boiler that breaks like clockwork each November, windows that are itching to fall out of their frames, and hardwood floors coated in a hearty, nearly sentient layer of grime that I don’t know if I’m technically or emotionally equipped to deal with.

From Sexuality To Size: Women Find Their Voice Through Podcasts, by Lin Taylor, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Unlike in traditional media, the rules in podcasting are still being written, Wang said, and most people can get their voices heard regardless of their gender or background.

"At its core, it is much more democratic. If you have an idea, a voice, a phone or microphone and access to the internet, it's so simple," Wang said.