The Prison-of-Convenience Edition Friday, January 17, 2020

Every Place Is The Same Now, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

Until the 20th century, one had to leave the house for almost anything: to work, to eat or shop, to entertain yourself, to see other people. For decades, a family might have a single radio, then a few radios and a single television set. The possibilities available outside the home were far greater than those within its walls. But now, it’s not merely possible to do almost anything from home—it’s also the easiest option. Our forebears’ problem has been inverted: Now home is a prison of convenience that we need special help to escape.

Why Is The Apple TV Constantly Advertising At Us?, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The Apple TV app on the Apple TV is currently the bane of my existence. In theory, it should be a tidy way to manage everything you watch, bringing together content from Apple, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and other streaming services (but still not Netflix, for some reason), plus live news and even sports. It sort of does that, but over time, Apple has started using the app to push the company’s own paid content, especially its Apple TV+ service. Open the Apple TV app and it inundates you with ads for Apple TV+ and its shows. Frankly, this bugs the heck out of me, especially since many of the ads are inappropriate for my kid to see, but before I succumb to the need to rant, here’s a tweak to make the Apple TV app a little more tolerable.

Apple To Release 'The Banker' In Theaters This March, by Matt Donnelly, Variety

“We wanted to take the time to understand the situation at hand — and after reviewing the information available to us, including documentation of the filmmakers’ research, we’ve decided to make this important and enlightening film available to viewers.”


Apple Reminding Customers To Redeem Their Free Year Of Apple TV+ As Offer Deadline Approaches, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has started sending out push notification reminders to users who are eligible to redeem a free year of Apple TV+, but have not yet done so.

The notification reads: “Expiring Soon: Your Free of Apple TV+”. Apple is also sending out email alerts in the same vein.

Review: Zens Liberty Wireless Charger Is A Solid AirPower Alternative With Room For Two Qi Devices And Apple Watch, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Zens' promise of "freedom of placement" on the mat turned out to be entirely accurate, allowing me to throw down my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ in nearly any orientation without having to worry about landing on the Qi "sweet spot," which is something I constantly fussed with on the Belkin charger.

Get Organized With This Powerful Scheduling App, by Jessica Lanman, Komando

This is a great way to lay out your day because it helps maximize your time. You’ll feel more driven to finish a task in an hour if you know not doing it will eat into the hour-long break you gave yourself afterward.


Goldman Sachs Stresses That It Decides Who Gets An Apple Card — After Apple's Snub That It Was 'Created By Apple, Not A Bank', by Theron Mohamed. Business Insider

"Are you going to be hamstrung trying to collect those delinquencies because of the way it's been branded as an Apple Card, and it's not a bank?" he asked finance boss Stephen Scherr on Goldman's earnings call.

"Whoever lays claim to the creation of the card, there's only one institution that's making underwriting decisions, and that's Goldman Sachs," Scherr replied.

'Break Up Big Tech's Monopoly': Smaller Rivals Join Growing Chorus Ahead Of Congress Hearing, by Nandita Bose, Reuters

Early the following year, Tile’s executives read news reports of Apple launching a hardware product along with a service that resembled what Tile sold. By June, Apple had stopped selling Tile’s products in stores and has since hired away one of its engineers.

“After thoughtful consideration and months of bringing our concerns to Apple through regular ... channels, Tile has made the decision to continue raising concerns over Apple’s anti-competitive practices,” Tile general counsel Kirsten Daru told Reuters in an interview.