The Bad-Rules Edition Saturday, May 30, 2020

Let’s Go Through Trump’s Terrible Internet Censorship Order, Line By Line, by Adi Robertson, The Verge

It’s still a tangle of vaguely coherent bad rules, legally baffling demands, and pure posturing. But it’s easier to see the shape of Trump’s goal: a censorship bill that potentially covers almost any part of the web.

Big Tech Fought Loudly Against Trump Over Immigration. Now He’s Attacking Them And They’re Quiet., by Peter Kafka Vox

One argument I didn’t hear but am happy to serve up myself: Tech executives, like other business leaders, have figured out that the best way to get stuff done in the Trump administration — or to not have things done to you — is to not publicly fight with Trump and then get his ear in private. Apple’s Tim Cook, for instance, seems to walk that line quite effectively.

But all of this seems to be varying ways of saying the same thing: After three-plus years, tech executives don’t take the president of the United States very seriously anymore. And they’re willing to endure Trump’s tantrums as long as they don’t think they’re going to turn into something more serious.

Small and Independent

Rediscovering The Small Web, by Parimal Satyal

My aim is not to convince you that everything was better in the past; it wasn't. You had trojans, malware, endless pop-ups, terrible security practices, browser incompatibility, slow Java applets. No, technically, the modern web is more secure and more usable.

This essay is my attempt to show you what the small and independent web can look like, why it’s different from the the sites that dominate web traffic today, why it's worth exploring and how easy it is for anyone to be a part of it.


Beats Confirms Four New Colors Of Powerbeats Pro Will Launch On June 9th, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Beats today announced four new colors of its Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds. The new hues are much brighter and more vibrant than the original lineup and include yellow, pink, red, and blue. They’ll be available from Apple’s website, stores, and other retailers on June 9th for the standard $249.95 price point.

Apple Watch Sleep-tracking App AutoSleep Adds Charging Reminders, Smart Alarm Feature, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Today’s update to AutoSleep brings a new feature that will send you a notification when it’s time to put your Apple Watch on the charger before bed. On average, the Apple Watch takes around an hour to charge, and you can set your charge reminder to arrive at a specific time that fits your schedule.


Fun With Charts: The Laptop Gets Ever Smaller, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

People with knowledge of the Mac’s history will appreciate the ebb and flow of the stats on these charts, as Apple tried to balance increasing the power of a laptop while not making it too big and heavy. Sometimes there were steps back (in terms of weight and thickness) that were steps forward in terms of speed.

But the long-term trend, as always, is downward.

Apple Accused Of Competition Abuse Over Tracking Apps, by Javier Espinoza, Financial Times

"We strenuously deny the allegations of uncompetitive behaviour that Tile is waging against us,” Apple said in a statement. “Consistent with the critical path we’ve been on for over a decade, last year we introduced further privacy protections that safeguard user location data. Tile doesn’t like those decisions so instead of arguing the issue on its merits, they’ve instead decided to launch meritless attacks."

Big Tech Goes On Pandemic M&A Spree Despite Political Backlash, by Miles Kruppa and James Fontanella-khan, Financial Times

Big technology companies are hunting for deals at their fastest pace in years, racking up acquisitions and strategic investments despite increased regulatory scrutiny during the coronavirus-led market turmoil.

Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have announced 19 deals this year, according to Refinitiv data from May 26, representing the fastest pace of acquisitions to this date since 2015.

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