The Privacy-Test Edition Monday, May 27, 2019

Inside Apple's Top Secret Test Labs Where iPhone Defences Are Forged, by Andrew Griffin, Independent

In a huge room somewhere near Apple's glistening new campus, highly advanced machines are heating, cooling, pushing, shocking and otherwise abusing chips. Those chips – the silicon that will power the iPhones and other Apple products of the future – are being put through the most gruelling and intense work of their young and secretive lives. Throughout the room are hundreds of circuit boards, into which those chips are wired – those hundreds of boards are placed in hundreds of boxes, where these trying processes take place.

Those chips are here to see whether they can withstand whatever assault anyone might try on them when they make their way out into the world. If they succeed here, then they should succeed anywhere; that's important, because if they fail out in the world then so would Apple. These chips are the great line of defence in a battle that Apple never stops fighting as it tries to keep users' data private.

It is a battle fought on many fronts: against the governments that want to read users' personal data; against the hackers who try and break into devices on their behalf; against the other companies who have attacked Apple's stringent privacy policies. It has meant being taken to task both for failing to give up information the US government says could aid the fighting of terrorism, and for choosing to keep operating in China despite laws that force it to store private data on systems that give the country's government nearly unlimited access.

Can We Revive Empathy In Our Selfish World?, by Jamil Zaki, Nautilus

As cities grow and households shrink, we see more people than ever before, but know fewer of them. Rituals that bring us into regular contact—attending church, participating in team sports, even grocery shopping—have given way to solitary pursuits, often carried out over the Internet. At a corner store, two strangers might make small talk about basketball, school systems, or video games, getting to know all sorts of details about each other. Online, the first thing we encounter about a person is often the thing we’d like least about them, such as an ideology we despise. They are enemies before they have a chance to be people.

If you wanted to design a system to break empathy, you could scarcely do better than the society we’ve created. And in some ways, empathy has broken. Many scientists believe it’s eroding over time. For the past four decades, psychologists have measured empathy. The news is not good. Empathy has dwindled steadily, especially in the 21st century. The average person in 2009 was less empathic than 75 percent of people in 1979.

Dating Apps Are Messing With Us—It's Time To Fix It, by Adam Haworth, Charged

Without giving too much of my personal life away, I think it's important to say that like millions of others globally, I'm a user of these apps, and I will continue to use them. I have felt the full spectrum of emotional effects and sometimes wish I didn’t use them, but they’re a part of modern life.

And not only are some of the negative effects preventable, but I think dating apps have a responsibility to prevent them.


Ulysses Gains Native iPad Editor Split View And Ghost Publishing Support, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

With this version, split view editing comes to iPad, enabling Ulysses users to not just display and edit two texts at a time, scroll both texts simultaneously, and apportion the available screen space between the two editors. With a split view containing two app windows, they can also navigate and show an export preview next to an editor, to see what the finished article is going to look like when they write.”

Adonit PhotoGrip Qi Review: Grip, Tripod, Remote, And Charger, by Karen S Freeman, iMore

The grip itself serves several purposes. Its main purpose is the give you a better grip on your iPhone, but it does much more than that. Amazingly, it's a wireless charger and 3000mAh battery. Pop it on your wireless-compatible iPhone and it'll charge your phone while you're busy taking photos.


Your Syntax Highlighter Is Wrong, by James Fisher

The comment is washed out. While the rest of the text exists in black, boldface, and bright colors, the comments fade into the background. I’m not picking on GitHub here; the same approach is taken by virtually every highlighting scheme. The implication is obvious: the comment is less important than the code. As a consequence, our eyes skip directly over the comment and it goes unread.

How To Talk About Your Salary With Co-Workers, by Alison Green, Slate

These conversations are critical if employees are to have any shot at evening the playing field with employers, getting paid what they’re worth, and shrinking pay disparities by race and gender.


I Spent An Hour With Apple Support. These Are The Crazy Problems People Reported, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

I wondered, though, what other problems people around the world reported to Apple every single day.

So I spent a random hour wafting down the Apple Support Twitter feed, just to hear the ululations of the faithful.

I didn't know what to expect. What I found was deeply sobering.

Bottom of the Page

My body, as I am getting older, has prepared a new game for me. The name of the game: what will go wrong this week?

(Currently, my left ankle is both sore and painful. And I have no idea why.)


My apartment has also prepared a new game for me, with the same name.

(Currently, one of the air-con's sensor doesn't recognize any of our remote controls.)


Thanks for reading.