The Focuses-on-Resilience Edition Saturday, February 29, 2020

Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Long-Term Coronavirus Impact In New Interview, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Cook was asked whether Apple is working to move more of its supply chain outside of China, and Cook said, as he often does, that Apple devices have components from around the world. In China specifically, Cook said Apple focuses on the resilience of the supply chain, not the disaster itself.

Apple Deleted Files That I Owned Without Telling Me. It Was Inevitable, But I'm Still Pissed., by Thom Dunn, Boing Boing

What's particularly frustrating, however, is that I had manually converted the entire Rented World album into non-Apple music files, and re-uploaded those into iTunes Match — specifically to avoid this kind of situation. While I'm not that surprised that Apple still embedded something in the audio files that would allow them to keep tracking the song across different formats, I am appalled that they could and would remove those files from my iTunes Match library as well.

Again, I have backups, so it's not the end of the world. But the fact that I'm paying Apple for a service that specifically lets me upload and access my personal library to their servers — and that they can still reserve the right to delete things from that library if they so choose — is deeply concerning.

Facial Search

Clearview’s Facial Recognition App Has Been Used By The Justice Department, ICE, Macy’s, Walmart, And The NBA, by Ryan Mac, Caroline Haskins, and Logan McDonald, BuzzFeed News

Even with that criteria, the numbers are staggering and illustrate how Clearview AI, a small startup founded three years ago, has been able to get its software to employees at some of the world’s most powerful organizations. According to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News, people associated with 2,228 law enforcement agencies, companies, and institutions have created accounts and collectively performed nearly 500,000 searches — all of them tracked and logged by the company.

While some of these entities have formal contracts with Clearview, many do not. A majority of Clearview’s clients are using the tool via free trials, most of which last 30 days. In some cases, when BuzzFeed News reached out to organizations from the documents, officials at a number of those places initially had no idea their employees were using the software or denied ever trying the facial recognition tool. Some of those people later admitted that Clearview accounts did exist within their organizations after follow-up questions from BuzzFeed News led them to query their workers.

Here’s The File Clearview AI Has Been Keeping On Me, And Probably On You Too, by Anna Merlan, Motherboard

What is clear is that this information is available to far more people than Clearview likes to acknowledge, and that they have future, as-yet-unannounced plans for their photos of your face. Reporters at Gizmodo were recently able to download a version of Clearview’s app, which they found, they report, “on an Amazon server that is publicly accessible.”

“Other bits of code appear to hint at features under development,” the Gizmodo reporters wrote, “such as references to a voice search option; an in-app feature that would allow police to take photos of people to run through Clearview’s database; and a “private search mode,” no further descriptions of which are available through surface-level access.”

Apple Says Clearview AI’s Facial Recognition App Is Violating Its Rules, by Logan McDonald, Ryan Mac and Caroline Haskins, BuzzFeed News

In distributing its app for Apple devices, Clearview, which BuzzFeed News reported earlier this week has been used by more than 2,200 public and private entities including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI, Macy’s, Walmart, and the NBA, has been sidestepping the Apple App Store, encouraging those who want to use the software to download the program through a program reserved for developers. After being asked by BuzzFeed News, Apple disabled the developer account associated with Clearview and provided them with notification to respond within 14 days.


Apple Japan Shares Anime-Themed 'Behind The Mac' Video, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple on its YouTube channel in Japan has shared a new animated "Behind the Mac" video that features various anime characters using Macs set to music from Japanese artist Yoshiho Nakamura.

How To Use Your iPhone Calendar With Your Bullet Journal, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

Bullet journaling is a big deal. It’s a way to put your notes, lists, to-dos and calendars into any old notebook, and be able to find all of those things instantly. It’s truly the paper equivalent of an iPhone’s notes, reminders and calendar apps, only it’s all on paper. That means you can doodle and go totally free-form, instead of being constrained by an app-maker’s design.

The only thing a paper Bullet Journal can’t do is send you an alert or a notification. Today, we’ll see how to fix that, combining the paper journal with your iPhone’s calendar app.


Is Mac Catalyst Worthwhile? We Spoke With Devs To Find Out, by Alex Blake, Digital Trends

The early efforts didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but now that the project has been underway for almost nine months, it’s time to take stock of where Catalyst is really at.

Is Apple’s vision for the future of the Mac working for developers?


Why Write Your Own Mac Malware When You Can Rip Off A Competitor’s? A How-to, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Patrick Wardle, who is now a security researcher at the macOS and iOS enterprise management firm Jamf, showed how reusing old Mac malware can be a smarter and less resource-intensive approach for deploying ransomware, remote access spy tools, and other types of malicious code. Where the approach really pays dividends, he said, is with the repurposing of advanced code written by government-sponsored hackers.

“There are incredibly well-funded, well-resourced, very motivated hacker groups in three-letter agencies that are creating amazing malware that’s fully featured and also fully tested,” Wardle said during a talk titled "Repurposed Malware: A Dark Side of Recycling."

Bottom of the Page

I did not expect there is a Siri joke in an Apple TV+ show. Possibly not an original joke at all, and possibly quite lame, but, nevertheless, I laughed.

And that is the highlight of my day.


Thanks for reading.