The Cards-on-the-Table Edition Friday, October 18, 2019

Apple's Good Intentions On Privacy Stop At China's Borders, by Louise Matsakis, Wired

Last October, as Facebook grappled with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a speech in Brussels in which he sought to distance the iPhone maker from its peers. Cook railed against the “data industrial complex,” and chastised companies like Google and Facebook for collecting personal information from users and weaponizing it against them. “This is surveillance,” he said. “This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us.”

The speech was meant to reaffirm Apple’s position in Silicon Valley as the Patron Saint of Privacy, the company willing to protect user data while others profit from it. In many ways, that reputation is well-earned. After all, Apple refused to help the FBI break into an iPhone that belonged to one of the alleged perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack. Its devices are among the most secure in the world, and its has aggressively curbed data-tracking in its own apps. But the company’s recent actions in China demonstrate that Apple’s privacy, security, and human rights virtues appear to have a limit. They don’t always extend beyond Beijing’s borders.

Google And Microsoft Moves That Signal Opportunities For Apple, by Dan Moren, Macworld

In the fall, a technology company’s fancy turns to new products. As we pass the midpoint of October, the holiday buying season has started to solidify, and we’ve gotten our requisite annual announcements from not only Apple, but from Google and Microsoft as well.

Now that these three big tech companies have all laid their cards on the table, we have a chance to look over what each of them discussed and compare and contrast approaches: where are they working on technology in the same vein, and where do their paths diverge. And, of course, there’s an opportunity to look at what Cupertino’s competitors are doing and see if they point out areas that might also be of interest to Apple.


Luna Display Introduces Mac-to-Mac Mode Allowing Nearly Any Mac To Be Used As Secondary Display, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Luna Display today introduced a new Mac-to-Mac mode that allows any Mac released within the last decade to be used as a second display for another Mac. This includes any combination of Macs, ranging from a MacBook Pro and an iMac to a MacBook Air being used as the primary display for a Mac mini.

Arcade Highlights: Card Of Darkness, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

One reason I’ve enjoyed Zach Gage’s games for so long is that they all can be picked up and played for just a minute or two at a time, but you can also easily get lost in them for hours at once. Card of Darkness is no exception – I’ve had some great extended periods of play while hanging out at home on the weekend, but the game has also been a go-to for short bursts on the train, or while waiting in line. Because of its turn-based nature, you can make as much or as little progress per play session as you’d like.

These Spooky Apple Arcade Mystery Games Will Make You Feel Like A Real Detective, by Shelby Brown, CNET

Here are the best mystery games on Apple Arcade so far.

Mobile Developer Within Tells Interactive Halloween Tales Via Wonderscope AR App, by Tommy Palladino, Next Reality

"We crafted this story with the intention of creating a narrative that was not just seasonal and fun, but highly participatory and fully immersive, incorporating the most exciting elements of AR," said Thor Benitez, Within's lead creative and technical artist for the story, in a statement.


Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight To Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes For Free, by Justin Elliott,Paul Kiel, ProPublica

But the success of TurboTax rests on a shaky foundation, one that could collapse overnight if the U.S. government did what most wealthy countries did long ago and made tax filing simple and free for most citizens.

For more than 20 years, Intuit has waged a sophisticated, sometimes covert war to prevent the government from doing just that, according to internal company and IRS documents and interviews with insiders. The company unleashed a battalion of lobbyists and hired top officials from the agency that regulates it. From the beginning, Intuit recognized that its success depended on two parallel missions: stoking innovation in Silicon Valley while stifling it in Washington. Indeed, employees ruefully joke that the company’s motto should actually be “compromise without integrity.”

Bottom of the Page

Finally, about a week after upgrading to Catalina, I've tried syncing my media files onto my iPod Nano. Everything seems to work fine via the new Finder, except that I have no idea how to transfer my Audible files over from the Books app.


Thanks for reading.