The Voice-First Edition Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hello, Computer: Inside Apple’s Voice Control, by Steven Aquino, MacStories

One announcement that unquestionably garnered some of the biggest buzz during the conference was Voice Control. Available on macOS Catalina and iOS 13, Voice Control is a method of interacting with one’s Mac or iOS device using only your voice. A collaborative effort between Apple’s Accessibility Engineering and Siri groups, Voice Control aims to revolutionize the way users with certain physical motor conditions access their devices. At a high level, it’s very much a realization of the kind of ambient, voice-first computing dreamed up by sci-fi television stalwarts like The Jetsons and Star Trek decades ago. You talk, it responds.

And Apple could not be more excited about it.

This Has Been The Worst Year For iPhone Security Yet, by David Gilbert, Vice

Apple's approach of a walled garden for applications with iPhones only being able to run company-approved software, and overall security measures such as the Secure Enclave for storing cryptographic material have made the iPhone a generally hard-to-hack device. Full exploit chains to break into iPhones stretch into millions and millions of dollars each. At the annual Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Apple finally announced a formal bug bounty for its Mac computers, and the company is now going to provide select researchers with so-called dev-fused phones that are easier for experts to discover vulnerabilities on so they can be fixed.

But this year, Apple has made mistake after mistake, and its perception as the go-to secure device is starting to crack.

iCloud Folder Sharing Disappears From iOS 13, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

One of the handiest features in iOS 13 appears to have been pushed back to at least iOS 13.2. iCloud Folder Sharing, which would have let many people ditch Dropbox entirely, has disappeared from the current iOS 13 betas. And that’s not all. Also gone is the ability to pin a file to save it offline.


Apple Scraps Richard Gere Drama 'Bastards', by Lesley Goldberg, Hollywood Reporter

Gordon and Leight collaborated on two scripts and, sources say, were met with notes from Apple about the show's tone of vigilante justice. Sources say Gordon did not want to focus on the larger metaphor of friendship between the two vets and wanted to focus on the darker elements of the series, with Fox 21 executives backing the veteran producer. Leight departed shortly afterward and Apple, which multiple sources note is looking for aspirational programming, wanted to ensure the series was focused on the heart and emotion of the central friendship.

In A Swipe At Chrome, Firefox Now Blocks Ad Trackers By Default, by Laurie Clarke, Wired

Firefox is continuing its fight against Facebook and Google's online ad tracking empire. The browser, owned by Mozilla, will now block third-party tracking cookies by default. This Enhanced Tracking Protection will be automatically turned on for all global users as part of the standard setting. The improved privacy features have been trialled on new users since June 2019, and currently cover 20 per cent of users. From today, this will increase to 100 per cent of people using the Firefox.

Gmail For iOS Adds New Image Blocking To Prevent Tracking, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

With today’s update, users can choose to be asked each time whether or not to display external images in an email. This includes email trackers that can be hidden in the body of emails. The new setting is meant to counteract the tracking services that embed small invisible images into emails to let a sender know when an email has been opened.

iOS App 'UVLens' Apparently Hacked, Sends Out Very Inappropriate Notifications, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

For now, customers who have installed UVLens will likely want to delete the app because it's not clear what's going on and if there has been a breach of some sort.


Apple Temporarily Relaxes Some App Notarization Requirements To Ease Transition For Developers, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In a developer update, the company said developers can now notarize software that do not use the hardened runtime features, contain components that are not signed with a Developer ID, lack a secure time stamp, or include the get-task-allow entitlement. They are also allowing developers to notarize apps that were built with an older SDK version than macOS 10.15.


Google's Paid Search Ads Are A 'Shakedown,' Basecamp CEO Says, by Megan Graham, CNBC

Do a Google search for Basecamp, a web-based project management tool company, and you might see one or more ads for competitors show up in results above the actual company.

Basecamp CEO and co-founder Jason Fried sounded off against the practice Tuesday, calling it a "shakedown" and saying it's like ransom to have to pay up just to be seen in results.

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Will computers ever do what I mean, not what I say?



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