The Futures-in-Jeopardy Edition Saturday, April 27, 2019

Apple Cracks Down On Apps That Fight iPhone Addiction, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps.

In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children’s devices or that blocked children’s access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.

Some app makers with thousands of paying customers have shut down. Most others say their futures are in jeopardy.

Workers Love AirPods Because Employers Stole Their Walls, by Amanda Mull, The Atlantic

Now that open offices are the norm, their limitations have become clear. Research indicates that removing partitions is actually much worse for collaborative work and productivity than closed offices ever were. But something as expensive and logistically complicated as an office design is difficult to walk back, so as Jeff Goldblum wisely intones in Jurassic Park, life finds a way. In offices where there are no walls, millions of workers have embraced a workaround to reclaim a little bit of privacy: wireless headphones.

The arrival of these now-ubiquitous devices has ushered in a new era of office etiquette—and created a whole new set of problems.


Driven To Distraction? Here's How To Stay Off Your Phone In The Car, by Justine McDaniel, The Inquirer

People using the iPhone feature or an external app were “less likely to report conducting phone calls and sending emails or text.”

You have two options: turn on your phone’s built-in driving mode or download a safe-driving app.


Intel Says Apple And Qualcomm’s Surprise Settlement Pushed It To Exit Mobile 5G, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Intel has clarified that it bowed out of the mobile 5G marketplace earlier this month, and now we know why: according to CEO Bob Swan, the company had concluded that there just wasn’t money in the business after Apple and Qualcomm settled their ongoing dispute — a settlement which meant Qualcomm would provide modems to Apple once again.

“In light of the announcement of Apple and Qualcomm, we assessed the prospects for us to make money while delivering this technology for smartphones and concluded at the time that we just didn’t see a path,” commented Swan in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Sensing A Threat They Can't Ignore, Wall Street Banks Instead Partner With Tech Giants Like Apple, by Kate Rooney, Hugh Son, CNBC

As tech giants begin to wade into consumer finance, they'll need someone to handle the critical and complicated banking aspect. The banking industry faces the dilemma of embracing the back seat, or losing what could be valuable partnerships with tech giants that have hundreds of millions of customers.

"Banks and financial services companies are acutely aware of the threat from the big tech companies," said Gerard du Toit, banking consultant at Bain. "It's a classic prisoner's dilemma — they don't love it, but if tech companies are going to become an important source of distribution for them, what else are they going to do?"

Girl Born Without Hands Won National Handwriting Competition, by Melissa Locker, Time

Parents and educators have been worrying about the “dying art” of handwriting for years, as smartphones and laptops have lead some classrooms to spend less and less time on teaching the fine art of writing in cursive.

Sara Hinesley, a third-grade student in Frederick, Md., though, finds writing cursive “kind of easy”, using her cursive skills to win a national handwriting competition. It’s an impressive feat made even more impressive due to the fact that the 10-year old was born without hands.

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Just finished reading: Where Reasons End, by Yiyun Li. What a beautiful novel.


Thanks for reading.