The New-Facebook Edition Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Group Chats Are Making The Internet Fun Again, by Max Read, New York Magazine

In some ways, group chat feels like a return to the halcyon era of AOL Instant Messenger, once the most widespread method of messing around with your friends on the internet. But in my life, group chats — on Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, Slack, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, or any number of other apps or platforms — aren’t simply additional modes of socialization, drawing on the IM conversation or the chat room. They’re an outright replacement for the defining mode of social organization of the past decade: the platform-centric, feed-based social network. For me, at least, group chats aren’t the new AIM. They’re the new Facebook.


The key advantage of the group chat is that “social graph” of your friend network exists in your head, and not only on a server in Iceland, which means you can easily abandon one platform for another without any trouble — or, as most of us do, occupy many platforms at once. The result, as Facebook knows all too well, is an internet much closer to the one we might want. “The only thing I still enjoy doing online/with technology is texting,” Sam, the friend who wanted to share something mildly amusing, told me. “All of the rest of it is torture/agony/hell. But I fucking love iMessage.”

Apple Takes Another Step Toward Becoming A Health Giant And A Tech Giant, by Danny Paez, Inverse

Apple wants to let users track their health with the help of the iPhone in their pockets and the Apple Watch on their wrist. The company cannonballed into the consumer health market with the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 4’s ECG and fall detection features. Now, it’s working on taking this strategy to the next level by developing sensors for mattresses and pillows.

Security Matters

It’s Almost Impossible To Tell If Your iPhone Has Been Hacked, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Vice

“Of all the mainstream operating systems kernels, you compare the Windows kernel to the Linux kernel to the OSX kernel and iOS kernel, iOS and OSX kernel is routinely the one with more disastrous bugs,” the security researcher said.

The result is that—for the vast majority of people—the iPhone is still a very secure device. But all software, be it a secure messaging app like WhatsApp, or an operating system like iOS, have vulnerabilities. And when those vulnerabilities are exploited on an iPhone, there's often no way of knowing.

New Secret-spilling Flaw Affects Almost Every Intel Chip Since 2011, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

“ZombieLoad,” as it’s called, is a side-channel attack targeting Intel chips, allowing hackers to effectively exploit design flaws rather than injecting malicious code. Intel said ZombieLoad is made up of four bugs, which the researchers reported to the chip maker just a month ago.

Almost every computer with an Intel chips dating back to 2011 are affected by the vulnerabilities. AMD and ARM chips are not said to be vulnerable like earlier side-channel attacks.


Apple Pay Now Accepted For iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, And iCloud Purchases In Some Countries, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

There are a handful of benefits to Apple Pay billing for Apple ID account-tied purchases, including the ability to conveniently add multiple credit or debit cards, the improved security of Apple Pay, and the ability to better manage Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions from the Wallet app.

Apple Music Updates 'For You' With New Layout Featuring More Frequent Song Recommendations, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

As part of the iOS 12.3 release yesterday, Apple Music updated with a brand-new "For You" section. This refreshed tab now updates multiple times per day with new music suggestions based on genres you love, artists you might enjoy, and moods that match certain themes.

Apple Lowers Maximum iPhone Trade-In Values, Best Deals Now Limited To Trade-Ins With Purchase, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The $349 maximum seems to apply only to direct trade-ins that don't involve a purchase. If you use the trade-in process while purchasing a new iPhone, which puts the cost of that trade-in towards the new device, you can get higher prices.

Apple’s New TV App Is Still Terrible For Actually Watching TV On iPhones, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

If your device is set in rotation lock — as most iPhones tend to be in my experience — there is no way to watch video in landscape. The only way is to disable rotation lock, which requires swiping down into the control center (since there’s no way to access it directly on the playback screen), and then rotate the device. There is also no way to lock it in landscape mode once rotated, so better make sure to hold that phone steady.

What makes this all the more galling is that Apple didn’t use to do this! Back in iOS 10, videos in the TV app — even the new TV app rolled out with iOS 10.2 in December 2016 — would default to landscape mode, because of course they would.

GoodNotes Vs. Notability: A Comparison Review Of The Best Handwriting Notes Apps For iPad, by Drew Coffman, The Sweet Setup

Each of the apps has their own sets of strengths and weaknesses, making the choice of which to use more of a personal preference than a solid answer. We get the question of “which is better” all the time, but the feature-set and user interfaces are different enough to warrant a nuanced conversation.

Here is our breakdown of what differentiates the two applications, and the major features which define not only the two apps, but the category of note-taking apps as a whole.


Apple Keeps iPhone 6S Going With "Made In India" Campaign, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

The iPhone 6S, now in its fourth year of existence, is the subject of a new marketing campaign in India where its local manufacturing is prominently advertised. With India in the midst of a contentious general election and concerns about nationalism prominent in many people’s minds, the usually benign phrase of “made in India” is taking on a stronger meaning and tone.

Disney Takes Full Control Of Hulu As Comcast Steps Aside, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

Today, Disney takes the reins at Hulu. Disney and Comcast announced a deal that states Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately. In turn, Disney and Comcast have entered a "put/call" agreement—that means that, as early as January 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy NBCUniversal's 33-percent interest in Hulu. On the flip side, Disney can require NBCUniversal to sell its interest in Hulu by January 2024 for fair market value.


As part of the agreement, Comcast has agreed to extend Hulu's licensing of NBCUniversal content until late 2024. That means, despite Disney's immediate takeover, Hulu will retain NBCUniversal content for the next few years. This goes for on-demand content as well as Hulu Live.

Bottom of the Page

What makes me happy? A cup of coffee in my hand, an e-book in my other hand or an audiobook in my ears, and an absolute lack of urgency to rush to somewhere else.

Maybe this should be my living will? When I no longer can read or listen and understand, you can pull my plug.

(That cup of coffee? I probably don't really need.)


Thanks for reading.