The Volume-and-Duration Edition Friday, August 13, 2021

Apple's Child Protection Features Spark Concern Within Its Own Ranks -Sources, by Joseph Menn and Julia Love, Reuters

Apple employees have flooded an Apple internal Slack channel with more than 800 messages on the plan announced a week ago, workers who asked not to be identified told Reuters. Many expressed worries that the feature could be exploited by repressive governments looking to find other material for censorship or arrests, according to workers who saw the days-long thread.

Past security changes at Apple have also prompted concern among employees, but the volume and duration of the new debate is surprising, the workers said. Some posters worried that Apple is damaging its leading reputation for protecting privacy.

Why I Support Apple’s Sex Abuse Image Scanning, by Larry Magid, San Jose Mercury News

I think it’s appropriate for privacy and human rights groups to question Apple about this move. It is not without risks, but — like other appropriate remedies, the benefits outweigh the risks as long as Apple is very careful to avoid slip-ups and does not expand the use of this technology beyond its narrow scope.

The Deceptive PR Behind Apple’s “Expanded Protections For Children”, by Piotr Kaźmierczak, Sound & Complete

[D]ue to the intrinsically technical nature of the problem, [...] I believe the public will buy it, and during the next public Apple event Tim Cook will triumphantly announce some privacy-enhancing features, like protecting your personal data against cross-app tracking or offering VPN-like, anonymized connection for Safari or Apple Mail. All this, while there’s a backdoor installed on your phone, and you can do nothing about it.

On Security

This Mac Malware Breaks Through Apple's Defenses — What You Need To Do, by Paul Wagenseil, Tom's Guide

Many of the new strains evade the protections provided by Apple's Gatekeeper verification screener because the malware is "signed" with an Apple developer certificate.

They also dodge Apple's XProtect malware scanner, because many of the AdLoad strains don't match the malware profiles in XProtect's database. Some are also "notarized" to get past Apple's newest layer of defenses.

Apple Services

Apple Releases Ted Lasso Sticker Pack For iMessage And Clips, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Apple TV+ comedy series Ted Lasso now has its own iMessage Sticker Pack to easily share the Lasso spirit with friends. Animated stickers are also now available to download inside of the Clips app.

Billie Eilish And Apple Music Promote Spatial Audio With Short Film, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The video begins with Eilish singing Getting Older a cappella in front of a vanity mirror, transitions into a performance of GOLDWING. As Eilish sings, mirrors multiply her reflection, creating a visual metaphor for Spatial Audio.

Apple Changes Eddy Cue's Job Title To Emphasize Growing Focus On Services, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to a recent change to Apple’s Leadership webpage, Eddy Cue’s title is now: Senior Vice President of Services. “Internet Software,” no more, apparently.


Beats Flex Review: Cheap Connected Wireless Earbuds Made For Apple Users, by Yasmine Crossland, T3

To sum up this Beats Flex review: you won’t find cheaper Beats headphones than this point-blank - they're a steal. The audio quality may not be top-tier and the battery life is quite average but these are packed full of features, they come with four different sizes of silicone ear tips and the neckband means you won't lose them.

Why AirTags Are A Must-have School Supply This Year, by Jacob Krol, CNN

We can’t tell you the number of times we ended up locked out of our dorm or unable to get a meal due to forgetting our keys or ID cards. The AirTag would have delivered a notification to let us know that we left something behind. It’s pretty clutch and can save you a walk back across campus to grab whatever you left behind.

CCleaner Review: A Flexible Mac Utility For Clearing Clutter, by Chris Barylick, Macworld

CCleaner achieves what it sets out to do: help clean up gigabytes of cache files, internet history files, and locate and purge large files on your Mac, all with an impressive level of control.

Plex’s New Feature Matches Your ‘Sonically Similar’ Music To Make Playlists, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Today, the company is upgrading the app with a new feature called Super Sonic, which offers new ways to mix up your playlists — including by matching songs that are “sonically” similar, instead of by metadata alone — like matching based on musical genre, for example.

Satechi Unveils New USB-C Clamp Hub That Adds 5 Ports To The Front Of Your M1 iMac, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Satechi has unveiled its latest Apple accessory today, a handy USB-C Clamp Hub designed for the 2021 M1 iMac. The Clamp Hub adds 5 ports to the front of the new all-in-one Mac for easy access and a more organized setup.

WaterField AirTags, by David Sparks, MacSparky

There is, in my mind, a certain aesthetic to WaterField Design products that I think of as rugged honesty. Everything put together in a way that you can see exactly how they did it, and exactly how they expect it to last. I dig it.


New Apple Research Shows How AirPods Could Be Used To Monitor Respiratory Rate, Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple explains that respiratory rate is a clinical metric that is used to assess overall health and fitness. It can change based on a variety of factors, including exercise and chronic acute illness. Traditionally, patients are required to visit their healthcare provider for respiratory rate tests and analysis, but the research from Apple and Cornell University aims to discover a way to remotely estimate the metric.

Smartphones Won. We Can Ignore Them., by Shira Ovide, New York Times

The latest phones will be lighter, faster, better and maybe more expensive than the old ones. The cool new features will be there when you’re ready. You don’t have to care until then.

Bottom of the Page

It's Friday night over here in Singapore. Time for my appointment TV this week.


Thanks for reading.