The Untrusted-Data Edition Friday, January 29, 2021

Apple's iOS 14 Integrates New Messages Security Sandbox Called BlastDoor, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Written in the relatively safe Swift programming language, BlastDoor is responsible for parsing nearly all data untrusted data in Messages, Groß says. Prior to iOS 14, steps like decompressing binary data, decoding the plist from a binary serialization format, field extraction, and decoding of the "x" key were all performed by imagent. Now, imagent is at the head of the processing flow, but critical operations are forwarded to BlastDoor.

Your App Knows You Got Your Period. Guess Who It Told?, by Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Natasha Singer, New York Times

Deceptive data mining, misleading privacy policies and other troubling practices do not negate the need for women’s health apps. But regulators going after leaky apps, one by one, doesn’t give consumers much confidence or clarity either.

What’s needed, experts suggest, is a new regulatory framework that enables health care providers and researchers to work with consumer apps to better understand women’s health, whether it’s symptoms, medications or different responses to disease.

Apple’s Financial Results: iPad, Apple Silicon, And Secret Sauce, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

But look at the change to that recipe! It’s now the integration of hardware, software, and services. Which, if you’ve been following Apple for the last few years, makes perfect sense. Services is now in the mix, but the larger point remains: Apple is a company that believes it can make the best products by painstakingly integrating features that other companies just buy off the rack.


Apple Releases Lulu Wang’s Heartwarming Short Film ‘Nian’ For Chinese New Year, Shot Entirely On iPhone 12 Pro Max, by Todd Spangler, Variety

Wang, who wrote and directed 2019 feature film “The Farewell,” directed a new short for Apple in celebration of Chinese New Year, “Nian,” which puts a fresh twist on a well-known Chinese folktale. The 11-minute film was directed by Wang and her team from “The Farewell” and shot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Carrot Weather Gets Major Overhaul, Now Free To Download, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Carrot Weather now features a fresh vertical layout, all-new icons built from scratch, a slick “Interface Maker” to customize the app exactly how you want, new “Cards” UI element, and the app has now gone free to download with in-app purchases to unlock all the premium features.


Tim Cook Condemns Facebook Business Model, Says Valuing Engagement Over Privacy Leads To ‘Polarization' And 'Violence’, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Speaking at the EU data protection conference CPDP today, Tim Cook gave the opening keynote with his talk entitled “A path to empowering user choice and boosting user trust in advertising.” Cook covered Apple’s concerns about privacy and security in the technology industry, the hope it sees for change going forward, what it is doing to protect privacy, its deep concerns and consequences with Facebook’s business model, and much more.

Apple Pickup, Express Storefronts, And The Point Of No Return, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Half a decade ago, when customers sought a more immersive offline experience, Apple responded with a floor-to-ceiling redesign of its stores. This time, the most important changes are not to what you see, but to how you feel.

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I've always use the word 'computer' to describe what Apple is selling. Not hardware, like Dell. Not software, like Microsoft (used to). But computers.

I wonder what is the word to describe what Apple is going to be selling nowadays: hardware + software + service = ?


Thanks for reading.