The Marry-with-Technology Edition Thursday, February 28, 2019

Huntington Beach Educators Mold Musicians Of Tomorrow, by Apple

“We don’t just focus on the technology,” Knight says. “It’s that performing arts experience that gives them leadership skills, confidence, team work, all of those soft skills that businesses want. You have to perform to get that, and then when you marry that with the technology and you give the kids the ability to have a real recording studio to work with, they’re going to be the next Steven Spielberg, or the next Paul McCartney.”

With A Free Phone App, Nancy Baker Cahill Cracks The Glass Ceiling In Male-dominated Land Art, by Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times

Enormous desert blossoms — in fuchsia, gold and poppy orange — materialize above the windmills. They bloom until they burst, the petals flipping in the air before drifting south toward the Salton Sea.

This is Nancy Baker Cahill’s augmented-reality artwork “Revolutions” — part aerial, mechanical garden and part digitally rendered mirage. The animation is visible only through a free smartphone app that Baker Cahill created, and only when the viewer is standing in the specific location she delineates — in this case, a Palm Springs wind farm.

Singaporean Photographer Darren Soh Wins Apple’s Global Shot On iPhone Challenge, by Jovi Ho, Channel NewsAsia

As an architectural photographer, much of Soh’s work involves capturing the facades of residential buildings, especially Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. Among the photos he submitted to Apple, he is delighted that “the photo that was chosen was of a block of flats”.

“I think the image very much represents what we are. We have one of the more successful, if not the most successful, public housing schemes in the world. Some people may see it as a pigeonhole in the sky but if you step back and look at what the HDB has done for home ownership, it’s actually a very amazing thing,” said the 42-year-old.

Apple Combines 32 iPhone XRs In A Bullet Time Rig, by Jeff Loch, Cinema 5D

Apple just released a new video for the “Shot on iPhone” ad campaign, which is entitled “Shot on iPhone XR — Experiments II: Full Circle.” For the making of this video, the team at Incite – Donghoon Jun and James Thornton – used 32 iPhone XRs mounted on a bullet time rig.

Privacy and Security

Tech We’re Using: Limiting Your Digital Footprints In A Surveillance State, by Paul Mozur, New York Times

In some parts of China, the police will demand to check your phone, usually to delete photos. Having two phones helps with this — to make it even trickier, I have the same case on both phones. But it’s also good to have other ways to protect your data. I use a few apps that disguise themselves as something innocuous but in fact hide and protect data. It’s also always handy to have a USB drive that can plug into your phone and be used to save stuff quickly.

Storing Health Records On Your Phone: Can Apple Live Up To Its Privacy Values?, by Laura Sydell, NPR

In an interview with NPR, Cook says acquiring user data to sell ads is something his company has avoided. "People will look at this and feel that they can trust Apple," he says. "That's a key part of anyone that you're working with on your health."

Cook says Apple's commitment to privacy isn't simply a marketing ploy. "It's not the way we look it in terms of advantages," he says. "The reality is that I know for me, I want to do business with people that have my health data, people that I deeply trust."

Apple's Intensifying Privacy & Encryption Stance Worsening FBI Struggles With Lawbreakers 'Going Dark', by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The "going dark" problem "infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day," Amy Hess told the Wall Street Journal. As companies like Apple, Facebook, and others have instituted end-to-end encryption in messaging, government agencies — particularly the FBI — have complained that terrorists and other criminals have been able to conduct business outside of surveillance.

Podcast Economics

Apple's New Podcast Metadata Rules Ban Episode Numbers, Threaten Removal, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The email from Apple is not at all clear about whether a show like this will have to strip out the numbers forcing a re-index the content. Series like 99% Invisible are among the very best-produced podcasts on iTunes and Apple's email is not at all clear about whether it or others will have to re-do the metadata for hundreds of episodes.

Apple Dominates The Podcast Market. But For How Long?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

On one level, it’s admirable that Apple has not exploited its huge influence in and leverage over the podcast market. It’s allowed the podcast world to thrive in a largely open environment without rent-seeking from major players that would crush innovation. Apple has been an advocate for podcasts without trying to control them.

And yet, with Spotify on the move, I have to wonder if Apple is going to need to take a more active approach in this area. The economics driving Apple Music and Spotify are quite similar; I’m a bit surprised Apple hasn’t invested in premium, subscriber-only audio content (because if it’s subscriber-only it’s not really a podcast) for subscribers of Apple Music. We hear about Apple spending billions on video content for its new streaming service, but not a peep about Apple using its power in podcasting to boost Apple Music or at least keep Spotify’s expansion at bay.


Today At Apple Supports International Women's Day With Sessions Highlighting Creative, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Beginning in March, Apple will offer a unique collection of Today at Apple sessions in select retail stores around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019. The series, titled “Made by Women,” highlights creative achievements by and for women in various creative disciplines.

Apple's Shot On iPhone Campaign Is Turning Hockey Stars' Candid Photos Into Giant Ads, by David Griner, AdWeek

In new ads launching today on arenas across the U.S. and Canada, Apple features photos taken on the iPhone XS by some of today’s top hockey pros and featuring candid moments with their teammates.

MidiWrist Lets You Control Musical Instruments From Your Apple Watch, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

For Apple Watch-owning musicians, the MidiWrist app is pretty wild. It lets you control almost any music hardware or software just by tapping the Apple Watch. The possibilities are almost literally endless — and you can even map the smartwatch’s Digital Crown as a custom controller.


BBEdit 12.6 To Return To The Mac App Store, by Michael Tsai

BBEdit being able to return to the Mac App Store is great news for customers (modulo bugs) and for Bare Bones, but I’m not sure what it means for the store in general. Although there has finally been some progress, this feels like Apple giving up. They can’t or don’t want to really fix the sandbox to work well with pro apps, but they do want them to be in the store, so they’ll just let them ask for blanket permissions. BBEdit gets to be in the store, and Apple gets to say that everything (except Xcode) is sandboxed, even though it’s kind of security theater.


Apple Self-driving Car Layoffs Hit 190 Employees In Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, by Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle

The layoffs were disclosed, along with new details, in a letter this month to the California Employment Development Department. CNBC reported last month that layoffs were occurring in the self-driving car division, known as Project Titan. Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, confirmed that the letter to the state referenced the same layoffs.

Most of the affected employees are engineers, including 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers. The layoffs will take effect April 16, according to the filing.

Bill Gates Explains Why We Should All Be Optimists, by Gideon Lichfield, MIT Technology Review

"Look at how long people are living, the reduction of under-five mortality, the reduction in how poorly women are treated. Globally, inequity is down: poorer countries are getting richer faster than the richer countries are getting richer. The bulk of humanity lives in middle-income countries today. Fifty years ago, there were very few middle-income countries. Then there’s the ability of science to solve problems. In heart disease and cancer we’ve made a lot of progress; in some of the more chronic diseases like depression and diabetes … Even in obesity, we’re gaining some fundamental understandings of the microbiome and the signaling mechanisms involved."

"So, yes, I am optimistic. It does bother me that most people aren’t."

Bottom of the Page

It's time that all the non-Apple podcast player makers team up and create an alternative podcast directory service, as an insurance against Apple doing anything funny to the Apple Podcast directory service.


What happened this morning:

I wanted to do something on my phone. I picked up my phone. I swipe up to get to the home screen. Then I forgot what I wanted to do. I looked at the rows of app icons, trying to remember what I had wanted to do. Half a minute later, I still cannot remember. I gave up and put the phone down.

Half an hour later, I finally remembered what I actually wanted to do.


Thanks for reading.