The Radical-Devaluation Edition Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Reasons To Abandon Spotify That Have Nothing To Do With Joe Rogan, by Alex Ross, New Yorker

There may be no going back. One of the original sins of the Internet era was the radical devaluation of musical labor that took place with the rise of Napster. A couple of generations have come of age with the expectation that music is not something you should have to pay for. The morality play of that era involved the misdeeds of record labels, who had a long history of exploiting musicians, and who responded to file sharing by suing college students. Goliath was slain; music was liberated. The major labels soon had their revenge, though. Napster was shut down, and more corporate-friendly regimes took its place. Apple’s iTunes, which came first, was more than fair in its payments to artists: if you owned your masters, you could get seventy cents on the dollar. But it ripped music out of context, reducing physical recordings to bundles of data. Spotify completed the cycle of devaluation, reducing payouts to almost nothing and obliterating artistic identity through the operation of its notorious algorithm.

Enough Of The Apps: Why We Can’t Rely On Technology To ‘Fix’ Male Violence Against Women, by Lauren Geall, Stylist

Over the last year we’ve seen countless attempts – both by the government and the private sector – to ‘innovate’ our way out of this crisis. From the government-backed app which allows friends and family to track the user on their walk home and plans for increased CCTV to a dedicated phoneline and smartwatch software that uses artificial intelligence to ‘recognise distress’, technology has repeatedly been positioned as the solution to male violence.

Besides doing nothing to address the core issue at the heart of this problem – the violent behaviour of men – using technology to keep women safe isn’t always the win-win approach it’s cracked out to be.

Inside iFixit's Fight For The Right To Repair , by Kyle Wiens, Make:

Ever since the iPod, we’ve been operating without a baseline of support from product manufacturers. No parts, no information, and tinkerer-hostile designs. That is starting to change. As companies grudgingly start sharing and participating in the repair economy, it’s going to be up to all of us to guide them.

Coming Soon: Take the Money

Apple’s Tap To Pay Will Allow Merchants To Accept Contactless Payments On iPhones, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The company will provide the capability for partners like Stripe and Shopify, with more payment platforms coming later in the year. Customers will be able to tap a contactless payment method (like an iPhone, Apple Watch, or compatible credit card) to a merchant’s iPhone to make a payment over Apple Pay, using the NFC technology built into all recent iPhones. Like all Apple Pay transactions, the Tap to Pay transactions will be encrypted and processed by the iPhone’s Secure Element, and Apple won’t know what is being purchased or who is buying it.

Stripe Launches Closed Beta Program For Tap To Pay On iPhone, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Shortly after Apple's announcement, Stripe announced its closed beta, which users can sign up for here. Stripe says it'll contact interested beta testers with more details.

Coming Soon: Bug Fixes

iOS 15.4: Here's Why You're Asked To Help Improve Siri After Updating, by Jason Cipriani, ZDNet

Apple found a bug in iOS 15 that enabled the setting for some users who had previously opted out. In other words, recordings were being kept for some users who had opted out of the setting instead of being deleted. Apple has since deleted the erroneous recordings.

macOS 12.3 Beta 2 Addresses Bluetooth-related Battery Drain On MacBooks, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Since the release of macOS Monterey 12.2 last month, multiple users have been complaining about an overnight battery drain on MacBooks that was related to Bluetooth. Now with macOS 12.3 beta 2, Apple seems to have fixed this bug.

Coming Soon? Reality

More References To realityOS Found As Apple Headset Product Gets Closer To Launch, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

We are now seeing more references to ‘realityOS’, the operating system that the headset will run, leak out in Apple open source code, as the hardware gets closer …. to being a reality.


Vivaldi 5.1 Adds Ability To Scroll Through Browser Tabs Horizontally In The Tabs Bar, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Vivaldi for Mac received an update today that brings yet more new features to the highly customizable web browser, including a handy way of managing multiple tabs using horizontal scroll.

This App Has Changed The Way I Watch TV — And It's Free, by Henry T. Casey, Tom's Guide

Not only does JustWatch serve recommendations and ideas based around recently released content, but it's the TV tracking app I've always wanted.


Apple Hosting Six Weeks Of Live Virtual ‘App Store Sessions’ For Developers, Registration Now Open, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple has launched a new resource for developers with six weeks of live virtual sessions. Topics include help using in-app events, custom offer codes, product page optimization, customer acquisition, and more.


Apple Ups Benefits For Retail Workers In Tightening Labor Market, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. plans to significantly increase its benefits for U.S. retail store workers as it grapples with a tightening labor market and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to people with knowledge of the matter. [...] An Apple spokesman confirmed the changes, saying they were in development for several months.

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iPads run iPadOS. Apple Watches run watchOS. Mac computers run macOS. So, the Apple VR and/or AR headset that will run realityOS will be called... Apple Reality?

I call dibs on naming my new app: Distortion Field.


Thanks for reading.