The Curiosity-and-Focus Edition Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Apple Designer Jony Ive Has Explained How ‘Teetering Towards The Absurd’ Helped Him Make The iPhone, by David Phelan, Independent

"There is a fundamental conflict between two very different ways of thinking. It is the conflict between curiosity and the resolve and focus that is necessary to solve problems. Curiosity, while it fuels and motivates, despite being utterly fundamental to the generation of ideas, in isolation just culminates in lots of long lists, perhaps some ideas, but alone that's sort of where it ends.

"The necessary resolve to find solutions to the problems that stand between a tentative thought and something substantial, that resolve and that focus very often seems in direct conflict with most creative behaviour. Honestly, I can't think of two ways of working, two different ways of being, that are more polar. On one hand to be constantly questioning, loving surprises, consumed with curiosity and yet on the other hand having to be utterly driven and completely focused to solve apparently insurmountable problems, even if those solutions are without precedent or reference. And so, of course, this is where it becomes sort of ironic and teeters towards the utterly absurd."

Apple’s New Holiday Ad Is A Heartwarming, Pixar-inspired Animated Short, by Julia Alexander, The Verge

Apple’s holiday commercials are an annual tradition, designed to evoke the strongest of emotions in those who watch the lengthy ads play out.

This year’s commercial manages to accomplish that feat, but it looks a little different: it’s fully animated. The commercial feels more like a Disney Pixar short, or a Coca-Cola ad than it does a traditional Apple commercial. There isn’t too much product placement from the company save for a MacBook covered in personalized stickers that appears from time to time over the course of two-and-a-half minutes.

iPads For Pilots Take The Pain Out Of Prepwork, by Aloysius Low, CNET

There's flying hours to keep track of, visas that may be expiring, minor defects in the next plane to know, who you're flying with, potential weather problems as well as other administrative tasks that need to be done.

But Singapore Airlines wants to change that for its pilots -- and it's leveraging Apple's iPad to do so to make the "pilot duty process" easier for its frequent flyers. The airline started looking into this back in 2015, before rolling out iPads loaded with two essential custom apps, FlyNow and Roster. These iPads are secured with Apple's TouchID, letting them ditch the previously used two-factor authentication dongles pilots had to carry around. That's on top of the other apps that give pilots detailed weather information and flight charting information.


Google Assistant Just Got Much Better And More Convenient On iOS Thanks To Siri Shortcuts, by Chris Wlech, The Verge

You can already add an Assistant widget to the left of your home screen (or lock screen). And with an update released today, Google Assistant is introducing support for Siri Shortcuts.

So you can record a phrase like the usual “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and from then on, whenever you say that to Siri, the Assistant app will open and immediately start listening for your question or command.

MusicHarbor Lets You Follow Apple Music Artists And Track Album Releases, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

It’s a free app that allows you to import your saved artists from Apple Music, and then gives you a list of upcoming albums.

Olloclip Launches Connect X Lens Clips For iPhone XS, XS Max, And XR, Works With 10 Lenses, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The new Olloclip Connect X clips are custom designed to fit the exact specifications of the 2018 iPhone lineup.


Apple Reportedly In Talks To Give Veterans Access To Medical Records On iPhones, by Steven Musil, CNET

Apple would create software tools to allow the VA's 9 million veterans to transfer their electronic health records to iPhones under the plans being discussed, the [Wall Street Journal] reported.

Apple Reportedly Acquires Privacy-focused Artificial Intelligence Startup ‘Silk Labs’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has made another acquisition in the artificial intelligence business, a new report claims. According to The Information, Apple quietly acquired Silk Labs, an artificial intelligence startup focused on “software lightweight enough to fit onto consumer hardware like cameras.”

Data Advocacy Group Calls On Apple, Google, And Uber To Share Mapping Data With Rivals, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

A data advocacy group is pushing for regulation in the United Kingdom that would require companies like Apple, Google, and Uber to share their respective mapping data. The report explains that “data monopolies” in the U.K. are preventing younger, smaller companies from innovation.

Targeted Advertising Is Ruining The Internet And Breaking The World, by Nathalie Maréchal, Motherboard

Zuboff predicts that if left unchecked, surveillance capitalism will be just as destructive as previous variants of capitalism have been, though in wholly new ways. “We are talking about the unilateral claiming of private human experience as raw material for product development and market exchange," she said. "Industrial capitalism claimed nature for itself, and only now are we faced with the consequences of that undertaking. In this new phase of capitalism’s development, it’s the raw material of human nature that drives a new market dynamic, in which predictions of our behavior are told and then sold. The economic imperatives of this new capitalism produce extreme asymmetries of knowledge and the power that accrues from that knowledge. This is unprecedented territory with profound consequences for 21st century society.”

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Happy thanksgiving, and happy sharing.


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