The Feels-Like-a-Safe Edition Wednesday, November 24, 2021

In Praise Of The Poetry Of The Notes App (May Mine Be Deleted Upon My Death), by Sam Somers, The Guardian

It feels trustworthy. It’s safe. It feels like a safe, in which to store my secrets, my afterthoughts, my memory-doubts. It’s an old friend to confide in; a place where I can be completely vulnerable.

It’s also a place to write haphazard measurements of a new fridge.

For Some Recipe Apps, Your Personal Data Is Gravy, by Tatum Hunter, Washington Post

It’s the latest example of the constant, behind-the-scenes monitoring that powers many of the apps we know and love. App-makers give your data to ad companies, which then combine that information with your activity on totally separate apps to target you with better ads.

Apple Says iOS 15 Feature That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License To Your iPhone Delayed Until Early 2022, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple recently updated its website to indicate that an upcoming iOS 15 and watchOS 8 feature that will let you add your driver’s license or state ID to your iPhone and Apple Watch in participating U.S. states has been delayed until early 2022.

Invasive Spyware

Apple Sues Israeli Spyware Maker, Seeking To Block Its Access To iPhones, by Nicole Perlroth, New York Times

Apple sued the NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance company, in federal court on Tuesday, another setback for the beleaguered firm and the unregulated spyware industry.

The lawsuit is the second of its kind — Facebook sued the NSO Group in 2019 for targeting its WhatsApp users — and represents another consequential move by a private company to curb invasive spyware by governments and the companies that provide their spy tools.

Apple Outlines How It Will Notify Users Who Have Been Targeted By State-Sponsored Spyware Attacks, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

Notifications will be delivered to affected users via email and iMessage notifications to the addresses and phone numbers associated with the users’ Apple IDs, with the notifications providing additional steps users can take to protect their devices. A prominent “Threat Notification” banner will also be displayed at the top of the page when affected users log into their accounts on the Apple ID web portal.

NSO Was About To Sell Hacking Tools To France. Now It’s In Crisis., by Patrick Howell O'Neill, MIT Technology Review

The NSO employees say the company’s intimate and complicated relationship with the Israeli government made the US decision to impose sanctions feel like an unexpected shot across the bow to some Israeli officials. For the experts and activists who have been accusing NSO Group of enabling authoritarian abuse for years, it’s a victory that is long overdue.


Pixelmator Pro 2.3 Adds Smart Subject Selection And Background Removal Features, Plus New Select And Mask Tools, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Pixelmator’s developers say that it’s now possible for users to “magically” remove the background from any image with just a click. The new feature is based on machine learning models that can find a subject in almost any image and automatically strip out the background, and it’s also available in Finder as a built-in Quick Action.

New Houston 'Anti-dating' App Skips The Swipes With Clever Approach, by Natalie Harms, CultureMap

What if there was a platform that encouraged meetups and group dates and limited in-app conversations? An anti-dating app platform that took users off their phones, paused endless swiping, and also gave local businesses — bars, restaurants, etc. — a chance to host events or generate new business?

A New App Helps You Find Free Bathrooms Around Philly -- And See How They're Rated, by Michaela Winberg, BillyPenn

Philadelphia doesn’t have any public bathrooms. But thanks to a 29-year-old data analyst, now there’s an app that could help you find a place to go.


Why $19 Is Apple’s Favorite Price For Accessories, by Dalvin Brown, Wall Street Journal

Nineteen, they say, is just right—neither too high nor too low to turn off the company’s target customers.

Apple Exec: No One Is Safe From Climate Change Until The ‘Most Vulnerable’ Communities Are Protected, by Bianca Flowers, MarketWatch

Jackson, who was among a group of business leaders who attended COP26, says that “innovation and urgency are essential for fighting climate change.” She spoke to MarketWatch about the wide range of sustainability efforts she’s leading at Apple, the disparate impacts of climate change, and her lifelong advocacy work for environmental justice.

Apple Told The SEC It Doesn't Silence Employees Regarding Workplace Harassment Or Discrimination. New Whistleblower Documents Show That Isn't True., by Matt Drange, Business Insider

Citing her own experience receiving NDAs from Apple, Scarlett filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC on October 25. The complaint, which Insider has reviewed, details what Scarlett says are "false statements or misleading statements" by Apple to the agency.

Scarlett included a copy of the settlement agreement Apple offered her in her SEC complaint, describing how the company included a "statement I was allowed to say about my leaving the company being a personal decision, rather than fleeing a hostile work environment after attempting to exercise my rights and help others organize" under federal labor laws.

Apple Taps TSMC To Build Custom iPhone 5G Modem In 2023, by Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li, Nikkei Asia

Apple plans to adopt TSMC's 4-nanometer chip production technology to mass produce its first in-house 5G modem chip, four people familiar with the matter said, adding that the iPhone maker is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem. Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem, two people briefed on the matter said.

Bottom of the Page

This is how I am using the keyboard to run a Shortcut on my Mac.

1) Create the Shortcut in the Shortcuts app. Give it a good name.

2) Select the newly created Shortcut in the Shortcuts app. Then click on "File > Add to Dock" in the menu.

3) A new 'app' will be created in the /Users/[username]/Application folder.

4) Now, you can invoke the shortcut by using Spotlight: Cmd-Space to call up Spotlight, type the first few letters of the shortcut, and hit return to run the shortcut.

5) Optionally, you can remove the shortcut from your Dock.


Thanks for reading.