The Rethink-Tracking Edition Friday, January 24, 2020

Apple And Google’s Tough New Location Privacy Controls Are Working, by Jared Newman, Fast Company

New information shows that the biggest source for all this location data–namely, the smartphones that we carry around everywhere–is drying up as Apple and Google offer stronger, clearer privacy controls on their platforms.


None of this means that location tracking is going away, but with more people opting out of sharing their precise location with apps, advertisers now have to make do with less accurate information. That in turn could make them rethink overly invasive tracking in the first place.

Software Ate The World. Now It's Design's Turn, by Aaron Rasmussen, Fast Company

But a world eaten by software is also one of overwhelming choice. The internet connects more than five billion people, who have collectively created 130 trillion web pages. We have instant access to those web pages along with all of their untold millions of apps, videos, photos, articles, and goofy memes.

It follows that a world of overwhelming choice is also one of overwhelming competition for attention. To have any chance of competing, products and services need to be easily understood, compelling, and even beautiful. With the internet now providing the most potent means of distribution, design has become the most potent means of differentiation.

Jobs, Cook, Ive—Blevins? The Rise Of Apple's Cost Cutter, by Tripp Mickle, Wall Street Journal

To understand Apple Inc.’s evolving place in the tech world, consider that one of its most important executives today is a guy whose job is badgering suppliers to get costs down.

Tony Blevins, vice president of procurement, will stop at little to get a favorable deal. He has paraded manufacturers past competitors in Apple’s lobby and spurned a UPS contract by sending it back to UPS executives through FedEx. He persuaded subcontractors not to pay a chip maker that Apple was in litigation with, depriving the chip company of $8 billion, according to court documents and people who recall the case.


For years, Mr. Blevins wore a tourist trinket from Hawaii, a cheap puka-shell necklace he had negotiated to a $2 price from $5. It was a reminder to his staff that nothing should fetch full price, said Helen Wang, who worked on his procurement team for years.

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Oh, nothing should fetch full price, eh, Apple?


Thanks for reading.