The Web-Portal Edition Friday, July 3, 2020

Apple Debuts Web Portal For Apple Card Management, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Apple Card users can now view their entire transaction history, make payments, and more from

Launched today, the new web portal for Apple Card users addresses a concern prospective users voiced when Apple Card first launched: how do I manage my credit card if I lose my iPhone (and/or iPad)?

Goldman Explains Apple Card Algorithmic Rejections, Including Bankruptcies, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

As Goldman managing director Andrew Williams made clear, the companies’ acceptance/rejection algorithm is a “pretty simple decision tree,” not AI, which is to say that it’s built to use basic financial metrics to reach a yes or no decision. The key input is a TransUnion credit report, notably evaluated using the FICO Score 9 (aka FICO9) rating system, though the specifics of that evaluation aren’t completely transparent. It also considers your reported annual income to determine how much cash you will likely have left over after paying your monthly debt obligations.

Williams emphasized that the Apple Card has only been available for less than a year, and that the companies are still working to evolve the algorithm and add additional customers; in other words, an applicant rejected last August might be accepted in the future without personally making any changes. But my impression is that the “simple” decision tree won’t change much unless the companies decide to open their gates wider. The “Path to Apple Card” is there to help more people meet Goldman’s prior “creditworthiness” standard, rather than to ease that standard.


Influential Wristwatch Website Hodinkee Becomes An Authorized Apple Watch Retailer, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

New York City-based watch retailer Hodinkee today announced that it is now an authorized retailer for the Apple Watch. The company has been known as an influential watch review site and recently launched an e-commerce platform, the Hodinkee Shop, where high-end mechanical watches can be purchased.


How To Live A Happy Life, by Michael Plant, University of Oxford

If we want to be happier, I think the first place to start is looking at the available options and then working out which to pursue. The way I see it, there are only three avenues to take. We can change how we think, how we spend our time, or the external facts of our life.

If you look at what people actually do to be happier, it seems nearly everyone tries to change the external facts: we try to become richer, thinner, more successful, to find a better house in a nicer area, and so on. A few of us think about trying to spend less time working, and more time on hobbies or with friends and family. Almost no one thinks about actively retraining the way they think. In fact, I don’t think this last one even crosses most of our minds.

However, looking at the latest research on happiness, I think we basically get this the wrong way around: it seems much easier to become happier by changing how you think or spend your time, and actually quite hard to increase it by becoming rich and successful.


Here Come The 4 Horsemen Of The Techopolypse, by Kara Swisher, New York Times

No surprise that I prefer public grillings with a side of shame, but more important will be how the companies portray themselves and how they differentiate themselves. While it’s convenient to apply the catchall term “Big Tech” to them, they are not a monolith and some in this group are further along in understanding that with great power comes great responsibility — and, more important, accountability.

Hopefully, that is what we are going to finally see at the hearing.

Google-backed Groups Criticize Apple's New Warnings On User Tracking, by Stephen Nellis, Paresh Dave, Reuters

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

Bottom of the Page

If you are reading this in the late evening, just like when I am when I am writing this: good night, and I hope you have a wonderful night's sleep. Sweet dreams. And I hope all your worries disappear into the night.

Good night.



Thanks for reading.