The Actual-Apps Edition Saturday, January 19, 2019

Apple Publishes Videos Showcasing iPad Pro Workflows, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

What I love about these videos, each of which are just over a minute long, is that they demonstrate the actual apps and workflows you can use to accomplish these tasks on the iPad Pro.

Privacy Campaigner Schrems Slaps Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Others With GDPR Data Access Complaints, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

“Many services set up automated systems to respond to access requests, but they often don’t even remotely provide the data that every user has a right to,” said Schrems in a statement. “In most cases, users only got the raw data, but, for example, no information about who this data was shared with. This leads to structural violations of users’ rights, as these systems are built to withhold the relevant information.”


Apple Releases Final Cut Pro 10.4.5 Update With Performance And Stability Enhancements, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

There are no exciting new changes in this update, but given how critical an app Final Cut Pro X is, stability and performance enhancements are music to my ears. Anything Apple can do to make the app more stable, I’m all for it.

Review: Apple's Beddit 3.5 Sleep Monitor Loses Features, But Gains Accuracy, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Even with the features that have been eliminated, the accuracy of the Beddit 3.5 is so much better than the prior model that I prefer it. It's not perfect because it can't always detect when I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep, but it's almost always spot on when I'm reading, and it gives me a far better idea of the amount of sleep that I get in a night compared to the Beddit 3.


Features that were removed seemed to be based more on estimation rather than actual data, and the fact of the matter is that you're not going to get accurate sleep cycle data like light sleep or deep sleep from any over-the-counter sleep tracking device, so it's easy to understand why Apple nixed it.

The Best macOS Apps That Actually Make Good Use Of The Touch Bar, by David Nield, Gizmodo

It’s fair to say that the Touch Bar—that little display strip above the keyboard on newer MacBook Pro laptops—hasn’t been the most successful of Apple’s recent attempts at innovation. It mostly sits unloved and unneeded, sacrificing keys that were useful for not much benefit. There are apps that try to make the most of the Touch Bar though, and we’ve found them.


Giving Algorithms A Sense Of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical, by Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review

“We make decisions as human beings in quite uncertain ways a lot of the time,” he says. “Our behavior as moral beings is full of uncertainty. But when we try to take that ethical behavior and apply it in AI, it tends to get concretized and made more precise.” Instead, Eckersley proposes, why not explicitly design our algorithms to be uncertain about the right thing to do?


Could You Fall In Love With A Robot?, by Alex Williams, New York Times

Self-identification is not the same as identity, and some classes of description now may be closer to metaphor. But the idea that flesh-and-blood humans may actually forge fulfilling emotional, or even sexual, relationships with digital devices is no longer confined to dystopian science fiction movies like “Ex Machina” and “Her,” stories in which lonely techies fall too hard for software-driven femme fatales.

In real life, pioneers of human-android romance now have a name, “digisexuals,” which some academics and futurists have suggested constitutes an emergent sexual identity.

Whether the notion is absurd, inevitable or offensive, it raises more than a few questions. For starters, in a world where sex toys that respond and give feedback and artificial-intelligence-powered sex robots are inching toward the mainstream, are digisexuals a fringe group, destined to remain buried in the sexual underground? Or, in a culture permeated with online pornography, sexting and Tinder swiping, isn’t everyone a closet digisexual?

Why Do We Hurt Robots?, by Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times

Why do people lash out at robots, particularly those that are built to resemble humans? It’s a global phenomenon. In a mall in Osaka, Japan, three boys beat a humanoid robot with all their strength. In Moscow, a man attacked a teaching robot named Alantim with a baseball bat, kicking it to the ground, while the robot pleaded for help.

Why do we act this way? Are we secretly terrified that robots will take our jobs? Upend our societies? Control our every move with their ever-expanding capabilities and air of quiet malice?