The Encourage-and-Uplift Edition Tuesday, May 12, 2020

What It's Like To Be An Apple WWDC Student Scholar And Why You Should Apply This Year, by Amelia Heathman, London Evening Standard

“Our student program at WWDC isn’t something we check off the list because it’s something good to do. We do this because we honestly believe in our students and we want to support, encourage and uplift them,” explains Esther Hare, who manages the WWDC scholarship programme as part of her role as head of developer marketing at Apple.

Hare says it’s great to get to know the kids who win a spot on the programme, from reading through the submissions to meeting them at the event. “It’s really meaningful to realise that the next generation is really focused on solving issues with technology. We see so many apps for accessibility; mental health is huge for the student community; [and] peer-to-peer education, kids teaching each other how to code. It’s really a motivating, humbling time that’s super uplifting.”

Security Matters

Major Thunderbolt Security Flaw Found In Macs And PCs: Should You Be Worried?, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Most Mac users should not be terribly concerned about this particular security vulnerability. If your macOS install isn't way out of date and you're practicing good physical security (don't leave your Mac turned on and unattended, don't plug in devices if you don't know where they've been) you don't have a lot to fear from this avenue of attack. Remote attacks that use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or attempt to infect your computer with software downloaded over the Internet, are vastly more common than attacks like these that require physical access to your computer.

Apple In The Cloud

Some Of The World's Best Cloud Talent Is Assembling In An Unlikely Place: Apple, by Tom Krazit, Protocol

Over the past few months, Apple has gone on a cloud computing hiring spree, snapping up several well-known software engineers working across a range of modern technologies, especially containers and Kubernetes. The quantity and quality of the new hires has caused a stir in the tight-knit cloud community, and could indicate that Apple is finally getting serious about building tech infrastructure on par with companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

It Looks Like Apple Is Developing New iCloud Products And Services, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

It now seems logical to anticipate the company will seek out other ways in which it can extend the collaborative and sharing features you find in iCloud Drive based on the work it just completed.

More APIs, rapid evolution of new iCloud features and services, and the introduction of more machine intelligence within Apple’s platforms seems the most likely short-term results of the company’s current push.


Apple Adds Some 2013 And 2014 MacBook Air And MacBook Pro Models To Vintage Products List, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A little later than expected, Apple has added the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro to its vintage and obsolete products list.

Book Track Adds Reading Status, Statistics, Quote Entries, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

If you’re looking for a modern app to manage your book library and reading, Book Track is an excellent choice that’s bound to keep getting better.


Let’s Check In On The State Of iPhone And Android CPU Performance, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

What makes our actual situation unprecedented in personal computing history isn’t that one company has maintained a decade-long CPU performance edge over the rest of the industry, but that that one company is keeping those chips exclusively for its own devices.

Former Apple Engineer: Here’s Why I Trust Apple’s COVID-19 Notification Proposal, by David Shayer, TidBITS

Apple claims to respect user privacy, and my experience indicates that’s true. I’m much more willing to trust a system developed by Apple than one created by any other company or government. It’s not that another company or government would be trying to abuse user privacy; it’s just that outside of Apple, too many organizations either lack the understanding of what it means to bake privacy in from the start or have competing interests that undermine efforts to do the right thing.

Countries Rolling Out Coronavirus Tracking Apps Show Why They Can't Work, by Salvatore Babones, Foreign Policy

Neither transmission route fits the logic of tracking apps. When a person tests positive for the coronavirus, tracking apps notify other people who have been near the infected person in recent weeks. Singapore’s tracking app is supposed to notify all people who have been within 2 meters of an infected person for at least 30 minutes, while Australia’s app claims to notify people who have been within 1.5 meters for at least 15 minutes. Since Bluetooth can’t actually be used reliably to measure distances, these figures suggest an illusory precision.

The inconsistency between what the apps measure and how the virus spreads puts governments in a bind. Set the time window too narrow, and the app will classify millions of people as possibly infected, requiring the government to track down everyone who has ever passed a coronavirus carrier on the street. Set the time window too wide, and the app will flag too few exposures to the virus. There is no “Goldilocks” zone in the middle of these two extremes.

Bottom of the Page

In these times, when things are the same for the, I don't know (who can keep track of time nowadays), many many days before, and for the many many days to come, I can still find joy in some repeatitive tasks, in some mudane tasks, and some simple tasks. Little rituals add up to some joy at the end of the day.


Thanks for reading. And, happy birthday.