The Anti-Competitive-Shield Edition Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Apple Says Recent Changes To Operating System Improve User Privacy, But Some Lawmakers See Them As An Effort To Edge Out Its Rivals, by Reed Albergotti, Washington Post

“I’m increasingly concerned about the use of privacy as a shield for anti-competitive conduct,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline (R.I.), who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. “There is a growing risk that without a strong privacy law in the United States, platforms will exploit their role as de facto private regulators by placing a thumb on the scale in their own favor.”


When Apple customers do allow always-on location tracking, Apple’s new operating system reminds them periodically with a pop-up window informing them of how often their location had been used by the app maker and gives them the option of turning it off. But Apple doesn’t warn customers about its own location tracking. By default, iPhone customers agree to 18 separate location-tracking system services during the setup process, including Apple’s own location-based advertisements.

That gives Apple a big advantage over competitors on the App Store. Apple can add new features that utilize location tracking without ever asking its customers for additional permission. In iOS 13, Apple introduced“offline finding,” a service that helps Apple users find lost devices, even if they’re not connected to the Internet in a type of networked Bluetooth crowdsourcing.

Apple Has Survived Backlash To The Tech World While Amazon, Google, Facebook And Other Tech Giants Struggle — An Expert On Trust Explains Why, by Tyler Sonnemaker, Business Insider

One defining feature that insulates companies like Apple is "the combination of intentionality and consistency," according to Sucher. By clearly articulating its values and living up to them, Apple has earned trust where other companies have struggled.

Gatekeeper Override For Indirect Launching, by Michael Tsai

In both cases, why doesn’t the alert tell you how to resolve the problem (if you do, in fact, trust the software)? In my view, this is poor design and essentially security through obscurity.

This X-Ray Teardown Really Smarts: iPhone 11 Smart Battery Cases, by Kevin Purdy, iFixIt

It turns out there’s a little circuit board inside the case, which has a thin, flexible circuit running out to connect to the photo button. That circuit board connects the camera button to the phone through the Lightning port “chin” at the bottom of the case. Not totally unexpected, but interesting to see how much hardware design goes into adding just one thing to a battery case.


Apple Lists The Cameras And Routers That Will Be Compatible With The Latest HomeKit Features, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has updated its HomeKit accessory list with the latest information on which smart home devices will support the latest HomeKit features introduced alongside iOS 13.2, namely HomeKit Secure Video and HomeKit routers.

Thrilling Video Previews Hot New Games On Apple Arcade, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

To make sure some of the best titles recently added to Apple Arcade don’t get overlooked, Apple created a video preview showing off the action from Redout: Space Assault, The Mosaic, Sociable Soccer, Monomals, and more.

SuperDuper! Backup Utility Now Compatible With macOS Catalina, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

You probably don’t need me to remind you of the importance of backing up your data, but for those who’ve made the jump to macOS Catalina, life has gotten a little bit easier now that Shirt Pocket’s SuperDuper! is officially compatible with Apple’s latest release.

Moment Debuts New 14mm Fisheye Lens For iPhone, Promises Crisper Ultra Wide-Angle Shots, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Moment Fisheye Lens transforms the higher-quality wide-angle camera in the newest iPhones into an ultra wide-angle lens, offering up the same general capabilities but able to take advantage of the better camera technology in the wide-angle lens.


What Do You Do? I'm A podcaster-vlogger-model-DJ, by Nikki Shaner-Bradford, The Outline

The multi-hyphenate, an individual with so many skills they need multiple hyphens to list them, might seem like a revolutionary form of labor agency within a prescriptive job market, especially when it presents as Gannon’s writer-broadcaster-podcast host dream career. But the term inherently privileges certain skills over others, particularly those of knowledge workers who often hold secondary degrees, and idealizes a form of labor that becomes absorbed into personal identity, diminishing work-life balance and generating further barriers to worker solidarity.


Jamf And The Matter Innovation Hub, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Dave Saltmarsh. A constructivist teacher by training, Saltmarsh has over 25 years of experience integrating technology into education and managing school instructional and information technology. As you might guess, he wasn’t focusing on uses of Jamf’s device management software, which is heavily used by educational institutions, but instead on the education itself. And, interestingly, education in developing countries.

Apple Card? Google Checking Account? Why Big Tech Wants To Be Your Banker., by Laurent Belsie, Christian Science Monitor

Sensing an opportunity to diversify and use their digital savvy to modernize a tradition-bound industry, America’s biggest high-tech firms are expanding into finance with everything from digital wallets to credit cards and even checking accounts.

What’s A Digital Bill Of Rights Without Enforcement?, by Klint Finley, Wired

It's one thing to make a list of lofty ideals. It's another to apply those principles to the sprawling, international, and decentralized thing that is the internet.

Bottom of the Page

I've always enjoyed watching sitcoms. Laugh-tracks. The same sets. Guest stars. And problems neatly solved in 21 and a half minute. It's predictable. It's uncomplicated. It's my comfort food.

I do enjoy good non-sitcom comedies too, but I'm glad that people are still making good sitcoms.

(No sitcoms on Apple TV+. No more new sitcoms on Netflix. I don't think there are sitcoms on Disney+. Maybe there may still be sitcoms on Peacock. But I think I need to find new comfort food.)


Thanks for reading.