The Stop-Gap Edition Thursday, September 1, 2022

An Apple Watch For Your 5-Year-Old? More Parents Say Yes., by Kalley Huang and Brian X. Chen, New York Times

Across the United States, parents are increasingly buying Apple Watches and strapping them onto the wrists of children as young as 5. The goal: to use the devices as a stopgap cellphone for the kids. With the watch’s cellular abilities, parents can use it to reach and track their children, while the miniature screens mitigate issues like internet addiction.

Children and teenagers appear to have become a disproportionately large market for smart watches as a whole.

Source: iPhone 14 Pro Display Cutout To Show Camera + Microphone Privacy Indicators, Redesigned Camera App Also Coming, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The rumor today is that the pill and hole-shaped cutouts in the iPhone 14 Pro display will be bridged by software. Apple will essentially black out the area between the two cutouts. This will give the illusion that it’s “one wide pill-shaped cutout,” according to Bloomberg.

While it initially seemed like this would essentially be dead space, that’s not actually the case. According to a source familiar with Apple’s plans, the company will use this space to make its privacy indicators for the camera and microphone more visible.


Apple Releases iOS 12.5.6 Update For Older iPhones And iPads With Vulnerability Fixes, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The iOS 12.5.6 update fixes a major vulnerability that was actively exploited, so it’s worth updating right away if you have an older device.

'I Know It Means A Lot To Mum' - How Famileo App Is Helping This Yorkshire Family To Keep Connected, by Laura Reid, Yorkshire Post

Younger family members can add photos and messages on the app, which are compiled into a personalised newspaper that is printed and posted to their relative – usually a grandparent.

As campaign groups in the UK warn mobile apps leave elderly people struggling and excluded, Famileo offers a solution which crosses digital divides.

Signify Announces New Bulbs And App Feature For Hue Line, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Heading into the fall season, Philips' Hue brand is getting a swath of new updates including fresh bulbs, new fixtures, and in-app enhancements.

Eve Debuts New Thread-Enabled Light Switch, Outdoor Cam, And MotionBlinds Options, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

HomeKit accessory maker Eve Systems today added several products to its smart home lineup. The Eve Light Switch with Thread support, which debuted in Europe last April, is set to expand to North America in October.


Analysis Of Email Traffic Suggests Remote Work May Stifle Innovation, by Michaela Jarvis, MIT News

“Our research shows that co-location is a crucial factor to foster weak ties,” says Paolo Santi, researcher at MIT’s Senseable City Lab and at the Italian National Research Council. “Our data showed that weak ties evaporated at MIT starting on March 23, 2020, with a 38 percent drop,” he says. Over the next 18 months, the drop translated into an estimated cumulative loss of more than 5,100 new weak ties.

The idea that “weak ties” are conducive to innovation dates back to research published in 1973 by sociologist Mark Granovetter, who wrote that “an initially unpopular innovation spread by those with few weak ties is more likely to be confined to a few cliques. … Individuals with many weak ties are, by my arguments, best placed to diffuse such a difficult innovation.” Granovetter’s research was “just the beginning of a vast literature in sociology, which has subsequently confirmed and substantiated his ideas,” Ratti says.


Spotify, Apple And Other Streamers Set Royalty Rates With Music Publishers Through 2027, by J. Clara Chan, Hollywood Reporter

Music publishers and the top streaming services have reached an agreement on royalty rates for song owners, effectively avoiding another lengthy and messy legal battle between the parties until at least 2027.

Apple Already Decimated Meta’s Adtech Empire. Now, It’s Honing In On Facebook's Advertisers, Too., by Shoshana Wodinsky, MarketWatch

Marketwatch found two recent job postings from Apple that suggest the company is looking to build out its burgeoning adtech team with folks who specialize in working with small businesses. Specifically, the company says it’s looking for two product managers who are “inspired to make a difference in how digital advertising will work in a privacy-centric world,” who want to “design and build consumer advertising experiences.” The ideal candidate, Apple said, won’t only have savvy around advertising, mobile tech, and advertising on mobile tech, but will also have experience with “performance marketing, local ads or enabling small businesses.”

Tech Companies Slowly Shift Production Away From China, by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Tripp Mickle, New York Times

The shift is a response to growing concerns about the geopolitical tensions and pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions that have involved China in the last few years. China has long been the world’s factory floor for high-tech electronics, unrivaled in its ability to secure legions of high-skilled workers and the production capacity to handle demand for the next hot device.

But American companies are seeing more risk there — a perspective forged during the Trump-era trade war, with its tit-for-tat tariffs, and cemented by China’s saber-rattling after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last month. They fear that basing a supply chain largely in China may thrust them into the middle of its escalating conflict with the United States over Taiwan.

Bottom of the Page

My regular comics-reading are works like Peanuts, Foxtrot, Calvin and Hobbs, and Baby Blues. (And, if you notice that, two of them no longer have new stuff.) I am definitely not a comics-reading person.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying The Sandman quite a bit. I am only halfway through the episodes, and I do not get all the DC comics references. But I do like what I've been watching so far.

This may well be the third DC comics show that I am enjoying, after Superman (in the 70s) and Batman (in the 90s) movies.


Thanks for reading.