The Legally-Required Edition Saturday, June 12, 2021

In Leak Investigation, Tech Giants Are Caught Between Courts And Customers, by Katie Benner, New York Times

Without knowing it, Apple said, it had handed over the data of congressional staffers, their families and at least two members of Congress, including Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat and now its chairman. It turned out the subpoena was part of a wide-ranging investigation by the Trump administration into leaks of classified information.


The companies regularly comply with the requests because they are legally required to do so. The subpoenas can be vague, so Apple, Google and others are often unclear on the nature or subject of an investigation.

Apple Should Fix This Privacy Issue, Not Try To Keep It Quiet, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Apple does offer users tips on getting their device ready for service, which shifts the responsibility to the user. Problem is, depending on what's wrong with a device or how it is damaged, this is not always possible. For example, on an iPhone with a dead screen, suffering from water intrusion, or stuck in a boot loop, this isn't going to be possible.

Owners should be confident they can send in their hardware for service without having that data snooped on even if they can't securely erase it.

The iPhone 12 Mini Makes Me Sick (Literally), by Tekla S. Perry, IEEE Spectrum

PWM is one of two ways to dim a display; the other is by changing the voltage of every sub-pixel—the analog method. LG uses this approach to adjust brightness for its OLED TVs. For PWM, dimming involves rapidly turning pixels on and off; for 50 percent brightness, the pixels are on only half of the time. At high enough speeds, most people won’t be aware of any flicker or be affected by subliminal flicker, which may be the bigger issue.

Why not simply use the analog voltage control method? Well, for one, it’s much less power efficient than turning the display sub-pixels off for even the smallest amount of time, and better power efficiency means longer time between charges.

Coming This Fall

The Real System Requirements For Apple’s 2021 Operating Systems, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

We’re all eagerly awaiting iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12 Monterey, and watchOS 8, but will they run on the devices you have now? Apple continues to do an excellent job of supporting old devices, but many iPhone and iPad features will require at least an A12 Bionic chip. On the Mac side, some of the new features require an M1 processor.

WWDC 2021: Safari 15 To Bring Huge UI Changes, by Stephen Hackett, Six Colors

Apple seems to be unhappy with the traditional browser design that includes navigation tools at the top, with websites being forced to live in their own view down below, and with Safari 15, it has blurred the line between browser and web content. This goes far beyond the mere splashes of color that Safari users may be used to seeing behind their navigation controls when scrolling a long webpage.

Here's A First Look At How FaceTime Works In A Web Browser, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

For people receiving the public link, they only need to enter their names to join the call — there’s no need to have an Apple ID to use FaceTime on the web when you’re invited by someone else. The interface is almost the same as using FaceTime on an Apple device, but there are no extra options available such as filters and other effects.

On App Stores

Apple Admits Why Its Own Files App Was Ranked First When Users Searched For Competitor Dropbox, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

But honestly, it may not matter whether Apple manually boosted its own apps or not. What matters is the result: for 11 months, Apple’s new Files app owned exact searches for its competitor Dropbox, a company Steve Jobs reportedly swore he would kill off, and it took the CEO of a prominent Apple partner emailing the company before Apple did something about it.


Apple Finally Supports Windows Precision Touchpad Gestures In New Boot Camp Update, by Tom Warren, The Verge

The new 6.1.15 update includes support for Windows Precision Touchpad, including single tap to click, lower-right corner to right-click, down motion to scroll up, and three or four finger gestures.


Apple Asks Developers Whether They Would Attend In-Person WWDC Following Two Years Of Digital Format, by Sami Fathi, MacRumors

As part of its annual survey given to developers at the end of WWDC, Apple is asking community members whether, following two years of the conference behind held in a digital format, they would be open to attending an in-person conference.


Marques Brownlee Just Brilliantly Explained Why Apple's "Innovations" Are Always Late, by Justin Bariso, Inc

While Google is focused on innovation, Apple isn't concerned with being first. Rather, Apple wants to take innovation to the next level--by making its product features better and able to work seamlessly across multiple devices.

Bottom of the Page

Good news: After taking the gout medication, as well as painkillers, I can type with both of my hands today. Horray!

Not so good news: There are a lot of typos.


Thanks for reading.