The Amazing-Team Edition Saturday, November 9, 2019

Apple Is Fixing Encrypted Email On macOS Because It’s Not As Encrypted As We Thought, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Apple stakes a lot of its reputation on how it protects the privacy of its users, as it wants to be the only tech company you trust. But if you send encrypted emails from Apple Mail, there’s currently a way to read some of the text of those emails as if they were unencrypted — and allegedly, Apple’s known about this vulnerability for months without offering a fix.

Before we go any further, you should know this likely only affects a small number of people. You need to be using macOS, Apple Mail, be sending encrypted emails from Apple Mail, not be using FileVault to encrypt your entire system already, and know exactly where in Apple’s system files to be looking for this information. If you were a hacker, you’d need access to those system files, too.

Apple Wants To Clear Up A Few Things About Women In Tech, by Jennifer Berry, Flare

As Senior Director of Partnership Management and Worldwide Developers Relations at Apple, Shaan Pruden leads global developer relations for all of Apple—a long way from a childhood spent in small town British Columbia. Pruden, who completed her BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1983 at the University of Victoria after growing up on Vancouver Island, has seen the technology industry evolve over the years, from her college days when women actually made up a large portion of the computer science and engineering classes to today when women are underrepresented in STEM.

And she says some stereotypes about coding persist, particularly the perception that it’s done in isolation.

“I don’t find that to be true at all,” Pruden says. “Coding is a team sport, especially when you get beyond yourself working on this project, you’re going to have to start bringing other people in once it starts to take off because you just can’t do everything yourself.”

She adds that understanding that coding is actually a team sport will likely be more appealing to women, who are naturally collaborative, than the old “dude alone in a dark basement” trope. “When you have a successful product, it’s because there is an amazing team of people that work on it and are very collaborative. I think women have a lot to contribute in team environments and can make it much more collaborative, and invite diverse opinions, and get really decisions and make really great products as a result.”


Apple Arcade’s Latest Surprise Is Guildlings, A Cute Fantasy Game From The Creator Of Threes, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

We’re nearly two months out from the launch of Apple Arcade, and things haven’t slowed down much: excellent new games from well-known creators still regularly hit the subscription service. The latest is Guildlings, a quirky fantasy adventure game developed by some of the minds behind Threes and The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom, which launches today. The RPG takes place in a world that blends high fantasy with modern day YA tropes; the creators describe it as “a world of wizards and Wi-Fi.”


Engineers Aren’t Trained To Be Ethical—and That Needs To Change, by Kush Saxena, Quartz

Engineers need to understand that their work may be used in ways that they never intended and consider the broader impact it can have on the world.

How can tech leaders not only create strong ethical frameworks, but also ensure their employees act with “decency” and abide by the ideals and values they’ve set out? And how can leaders in business, government, and education better equip the tech workforce to consider the broader ethical implications of what they build?


Sugarcoating The Apple Agency Layoffs, by Ken Segall

The tension between the agency and Apple became public during the Samsung trial in emails between Phil Schiller and Tim Cook. Phil expressed frustration with the agency and the two discussed firing it.

The agency survived, but the relationship was changed forever. It now reported to people who had a history of grievances, and it no longer enjoyed the trust and support granted by Apple’s founder.

With Steve, the agency had a soulmate. With the “new Apple,” the agency had only a client. Huge difference.

Forgot-you-not: Valentines Day ‘Ghost Texts’ Arrive Months Late, by Maria C. Baca, Washington Post

Third-party text platform Syniverse said regular maintenance by its IT staff caused 168,149 previously undelivered text messages to be sent to subscribers from multiple mobile operators.

“We apologize to anyone who was impacted by this occurrence,” William Hurley, Syniverse’s chief marketing and product officer, said in a statement. “While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers’ teams to answer any questions they have.”

Apple Store Employee Accused Of Sending Himself Photos From Customer's Phone, by Marcus Gilmer, Mashable

In a statement emailed to Mashable, an Apple spokesperson said, “We are grateful to the customer for bringing this deeply concerning situation to our attention. Apple immediately launched an internal investigation and determined that the employee acted far outside the strict privacy guidelines to which we hold all Apple employees. He is no longer associated with our company.”