The Slow-and-Arbitrary Edition Monday, October 24, 2022

Apple’s App Review Fix Fails To Placate Developers, by Shubham Agarwal, Wired

More than a dozen app developers who spoke with WIRED say the app review process has not improved despite Apple’s 2020 introduction of the appeal mechanism, which can lead to a phone call with an app store reviewer. The company added the process in what seemed a moment of contrition, after a dispute with software company Basecamp over the rejection of an email app and a lawsuit from Fortnite developer Epic Games alleging Apple’s 30 percent cut of in-app payments is unfair.

But developers commonly describe the process of convincing Apple’s reviewers to green-light their submissions as “nightmarish." They see the new appeal process as more of an attempt to deflect criticism than to substantially improve app reviewing, which remains slow and arbitrary. Former Apple employees told WIRED that app reviewers often have only minutes to review each app and work under a system that permits wide variation in standards.

TSMC: The Taiwanese Chipmaker Caught Up In The Tech Cold War, by Kathrin Hille, Financial Times

Taiwan sees this dominance as a crucial security guarantee — sometimes referred to as its “silicon shield”. The government believes that the concentration of global semiconductor production in the country ensures the US would come to the rescue if China were to attack.


As competition between the US and China heats up and the risk of a military conflict over Taiwan increases, Washington is seeking to both cut Beijing off from supplies of key advanced semiconductors and reduce its own dependency on Taiwan for chip supplies.

Both of those objectives potentially undermine TSMC, whose success is built on serving customers in all markets and on doing so from a cost-efficient cluster of plants almost entirely in Taiwan.

EU Gives Final Approval To Law That Will Force iPhone To Switch To USB-C, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Outlined in an official press release, the European Council today gave the European Parliament’s common charger directive approval, finalizing the legislative procedure that will make a USB-C port mandatory across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The directive has now been officially adopted and is set to be published in the official journal of the European Union. It will come into force 20 days after publication, and the rules will apply exactly 24 months after that date.


Why Do I Use Alfred On My Mac, by Jakub Jirak, Medium

At first glance, it looks virtually the same as Spotlight, but with the added benefit of many times faster search speeds. While with the native feature, we have to wait a moment after typing our query, with Alfred, everything is instantaneous. This benefit was what initially convinced me. But there are several such benefits, and they are worth it.


The Next Mega Media Merger Will Be..., by Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

But the streaming business, at least right now, isn’t as lucrative as pay-TV. Too many streaming services are spending billions of dollars to compete for a finite amount of attention. That’s why most experts believe Lions Gate, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery and AMC Networks will merge or disappear in the next few years. Netflix, Disney, Apple and Amazon could be buyers, or they could look into the second type of deal.

A gaming company will buy a TV company or a TV company will buy a gaming company. Every big tech and media company is trying to sell bundled services. Apple sells one. Amazon sells one. Disney is trying to sell one. Microsoft kind of sells one. Music and video streaming serve as major components of these bundles. But, other than Microsoft, no one has really cracked the gaming component.

Bottom of the Page

The larger album art on the new iOS lock screen does look great. And, sometimes, the bleeding of the album art colors onto the background looks great too. Except when it doesn't. For example, when I am listening to BBC's Global News podcast, the almost-all-red lock-screen background looks extremely horrible.


Thanks for reading.