The Recognized-Institution Edition Friday, March 6, 2020

Apple Is Rejecting Coronavirus Apps That Aren't From Health Organizations, App Makers Say, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

Four independent developers told CNBC that Apple rejected their apps, which would allow people to see stats about which countries have confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Some of these apps used public data from reliable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) to create dashboards or live maps. Some developers asked not to be named to avoid further complications with Apple's review process.

One developer said an Apple employee explained over the phone that anything related to the coronavirus must be released by an official health organization or government. Another developer got a written response that "apps with information about current medical information need to be submitted by a recognized institution," according to a screenshot seen by CNBC.

New County Guidance Asks Tech Giants To Avoid Travel, Postpone Big Events, by Jay Peters, The Verge

Companies based in Santa Clara County, California — which includes Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and San Jose — should avoid travel and postpone or cancel mass gatherings, the county recommended on Thursday. The recommendations come after six new cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified, bringing the total number of people confirmed to have the disease to 20.

The Coronavirus Is Forcing Techies To Work From Home. Some May Never Go Back, by Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed News

As the coronavirus spreads in the United States and tech companies ask their workforces to do their jobs from home, some in the industry are looking at the outbreak as a test case for the long-gestating but never-arriving moment when working remotely will broadly replace working in person.

How Newsrooms Can Tone Down Their Coronavirus Coverage While Still Reporting Responsibly, by Al Tompkins, Poynter

The public is starting to freak out. Don’t add to it with screaming clickbait headlines and scary generic images.


Prolific Anime Director Profiled In New 'Behind The Mac' Video, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Apple has continued its 'Behind the Mac' campaign in Japan by sticking with its current focus on animation, publishing a new video featuring Japanese animator, film-maker, and director of anime film 'Your Name' Makoto Shinkai.

The Iconfactory Tot Review: An Elegant, Essential ‘Scratchpad’ Notetaking App, by Leif Johnson, Macworld

Tot is worth its price. it has eliminated my frustrations with dozens of “trash” documents with text snippets in apps like iA Writer, and it does this so elegantly that I kind of wish Apple would have come up with the idea itself. When I’m done with the information on the page, I simply delete it and clear room for future pasting.

Apps We’re Trying: Tot, by Mike Schmitz, The Sweet Setup

The beauty of the app is in its simplicity. Just open the app and start typing. The app supports two text-entry modes (plain text and Markdown), but that’s it — no images, no PDFs, etc. — just text. Even the formatting options are purposefully simple (just bold and italic).


A Modern “Hello, World” Program Requires More Than Just Code, by Charles R. Martin, The Overflow

The point of K&R’s original “Hello, World” was not to see “Hello, world” on the terminal. It was instead to make sure that you have all the tools, and the basic understanding of the C language and UNIX programming environment needed in order to write a C program, and having the tools and understanding to build programs is an important first step—maybe the most important first step—in starting every project.

Often, it’s also more complicated than it first seems. A realistic project now requires not just an editor and a compiler, but an understanding of how programs are packaged, how the build environment should be structured, how you plan to maintain version control, how to actually build the program, and what the desired product of the programming project needs to deliver. So while a basic “Hello, World” program might still be only five lines of code, building the initial, ready-to-develop “Hello, World” can be much more complicated.


Through Apps, Not Warrants, ‘Locate X’ Allows Federal Law Enforcement To Track Phones, by Charles Levinson, Protocol

U.S. law enforcement agencies signed millions of dollars worth of contracts with a Virginia company after it rolled out a powerful tool that uses data from popular mobile apps to track the movement of people's cell phones, according to federal contracting records and six people familiar with the software.

The product, called Locate X and sold by Babel Street, allows investigators to draw a digital fence around an address or area, pinpoint mobile devices that were within that area, and see where else those devices have traveled, going back months, the sources told Protocol.

Bottom of the Page

There need to be something on the iPadOS where you can do a Hello World with just two steps (type one line, then press one button), but can also create a full-blown app worthy of the App Store.

Hypercard or BASIC for the modern world?


Thanks for reading.