The Three-More-Months Edition Sunday, February 10, 2019

Apple Sending Push Notifications To Former Apple Music Subscribers Offering New Free Trial, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Over the last week, it appears that Apple has been sending iOS users mass push notifications with Apple Music free trial offers. The notifications seem to target who were at one point an Apple Music user, but canceled their membership or never used the service beyond their initial free trial.

iTunes U And iBooks Author Are Suffering From Software Rot, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

iTunes U could have been at the center of Apple’s K–12 strategy. It could have been where everything ended up and where everything started. Instead, it’s gone years without meaningful updates to either the application side or the server-side component. While Apple is still working on other classroom apps, it’s not even close to being a 1:1 replacement for iTunes U. Even the Classroom app has gone over a year without a meaningful update.

New Voices At The Bedside: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, And Apple, by Casey Ross, STAT

At first it was a novelty: Hospitals began using voice assistants to allow patients to order lunch, check medication regimens, and get on-demand medical advice at home.

But these devices, manufactured by Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others, are now making deeper inroads into patient care. Hospitals are exploring new uses in intensive care units and surgical recovery rooms, and contemplating a future in which Alexa, or another voice avatar, becomes a virtual member of the medical team — monitoring doctor-patient interactions, suggesting treatment approaches, or even alerting caregivers to voice changes that could be an early warning of a health emergency.


New App Helps Autistic Travelers Navigate Las Vegas Airport, by Ricardo Torres-Cortez, Las Vegas Sun

Signing up for the free MagnusCards app, travelers with cognitive special needs — such as those with autism — can be guided through the facilities by “Magnus,” a boy with a magician-style hat.

How Safe Are Teen Apps?, by Chris Stokel-Walker, The Guardian

Since 14-year-old Molly Russell killed herself in 2017, the apps and services our teenagers and children use – and their safety – have become a key concern for parents. Last week, the digital minister, Margot James, stated that “the tragic death of Molly Russell is the latest consequence of a social media world that behaves as if it is above the law”. James went on to announce plans to introduce a legally binding code and duty of care towards young users for social media companies.

Britain’s children are not just using the likes of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat on a daily basis. There is a wealth of apps targeted at teens and children that have their own ecosystems and controversies.


My Single Best Productivity Hack!, by Dave Brock, Making A Difference

As disciplined as I am, all these apps, web sites, and windows keep trying to pull me from what I need to do right now.

But then I had an “Aha” moment. What if I completely closed everything except the single app or window that I’m working on. For example, right now, I only have the word press window open in my browser. There’s nothing else. No flashing messages from LinkedIn or Gmail. No word document in another window, just a single window and a single task, complete this post.

Designing Magical Interfaces (Without Going To The Dark Side), by Steve Turbek,

“If there is one rule of UX design, it is that the user should not need a manual to perform an application’s primary functions — just as for most physical tools, which are designed so it’s obvious how to hold and use them. But the new generation of user interfaces that rely on gesture, voice, and chat have one obvious similarity to the command-line interface: they lack affordances — cues such as buttons, links, or menus that help users know what they can do next.

The loss of affordances in applications risks our returning to the bad, old days of personal computing, when the user was responsible for somehow divining how to use an application.


How A Vermont Social Network Became A Model For Online Communities, by Andrew Liptak, The Verge

Front Porch Forum had come to Moretown just months before, but the site had spread throughout much of the state, town by town, since it was founded in 2000 in Burlington. The site looks like a relic from another era; its website is clean and minimal, without the pictures, reaction buttons or comment fields that most social platforms have implemented today. Users register using their real name and address, and gain access to the forum for their town or neighborhood. This network of 185 forums covers each town in Vermont, as well as a handful in neighboring New York and New Hampshire. While most towns possess their own forum, the more populated areas of the state, such as the cities of Burlington and Montpelier, are split up into more manageable districts. During normal times, people might use it to alert their neighbors about everything from runaway Roombas to notices about garage sales or public meetings. But in a pinch, it proved essential when it came to coordinating disaster relief.

Apple Store Opponents Crowdfund To 'Buy' Federation Square Building Set For Demolition, by Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian

“It’s never been about the architecture, it’s about preserving that public space for the public,” he said. “There’s no design that is going to satisfy us.”

The Yarra Building has been slated for use as a commercial structure since Federation Square opened in 2002 and was not part of the original design competition, though it was built using the same concepts and materials.

Arianna Huffington On The Next Big Thing In Tech: Disconnecting From It, by Donovan Russo, CNBC

Internet entrepreneur Arianna Huffington sees a bright future for a new kind of technology — the kind that helps individuals disconnect from the damage done by the internet's first generation. And it can't come soon enough, she says, as the next generation of technology may pose an ever greater threat to our lives and jobs.”

Bottom of the Page

If one were to start the 3-month trial with Apple Music now, can one have another 3-month trial with the new Apple streaming television service later?

(My guess is Yes.)


Thanks for reading.