The Keep-Working Edition Friday, October 11, 2019

Apple Explains Why Its New iPhone Is Green – And How It Could Improve In The Future, by Andrew Griffin, The Independent

“I think what’s cool is we’re making steady progress,” Jackson tells The Independent. “So much so that it just gets to be part of the story without being the lead. It’s not ‘look what we did’ – it’s, ‘we told you we’re going to keep working on this, and every new product has some story’.”

This time around, in the new iPhone, the story Jackson says she is is most proud of is the materials inside the Taptic Engine, the little vibrating component that lets the phone give you a tiny nudge. To do so, it relies on magnets made of rare earth materials – and now those materials will be recycled, helping boost the environmental credentials of the new phone.

That same story is a reminder that there is plenty of work left to do, however. “It’s about a quarter of all the rare earths you find in a typical iPhone, so it’s not all done.”

Apple Rolls Out New Siri Audio Clip Grading Opt-in And Request History Deletion Feature In Beta, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple is rolling out a new opt-in notice for Siri audio sample review with the beta of iOS 13.2. This new opt-in feature was promised back in August after reports that audio from Siri requests were being reviewed by contractors and that the audio could contain sensitive or personal information.


Apple is also launching a new Delete Siri and Dictation History feature. Users can go to Settings>Siri and Search>Siri History to delete all data Apple has on their Siri requests. If Siri data is deleted within 24 hours of making a request, the audio and transcripts will not be made available to grading.

How My iPhone Landed Me With A £476 Fine And Made Me A Criminal, by Jemima Kelly, Financial Times

I always thought that criminals were meant to be the ones that exploited “innovation”. But it felt like innovation had exploited me, and turned me into a criminal.

I still use Apple Pay to tap in on buses and trains — I’m not going to seek revenge against the digital revolution just because it stung me. But I have now invested in a portable charger. I must stop forgetting to charge it.

Changing Minds

Tim Cook Defends Decision To Remove Hong Kong Maps App In Memo, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present,” Cook wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. He also said the app violates local laws.

The company has been criticized for the move, and Cook addressed that. “These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate,” the CEO wrote. “National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.”

Tim Cook’s Company-Wide Email On Doesn’t Add Up, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I can’t recall an Apple memo or statement that crumbles so quickly under scrutiny. For a company that usually measures umpteen times before cutting anything, it’s both sad and startling.

Few Convinced By Apple's Case For Hong Kong App Removal, by Dave Lee, BBC

“We Hongkongers will definitely look closely at whether Apple chooses to uphold its commitment to free expression and other basic human rights, or become an accomplice for Chinese censorship and oppression.”

Security Matters

Attackers Exploit An iTunes Zeroday To Install Ransomware, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Attackers exploited a zeroday vulnerability in Apple's iTunes and iCloud programs to infect Windows computers with ransomware without triggering antivirus protections, researchers from Morphisec reported on Thursday. Apple patched the vulnerability earlier this week.


USB-C Has Finally Come Into Its Own, by Brian Barrett, Wired

Maybe the good news, though, is this: USB-C didn't need the iPhone to come into its own. It still has its wrinkles to iron out, as manufacturers coalesce around the same standards within the standard. Even so, it’s largely fulfilled the promise it showed in 2015. And now that it’s finally the default port of the present, it should only get easier to wrangle from here.

Bottom of the Page

Well, I'm not sure what I'm getting into, but my backups are done, and I'm about to upgrade all my devices on a single weekend. Good bye, and see you (hopefully) soon.

Signing off…


Thanks for reading.