A hot news item today was the revelation that some apps record your screen to learn what you do within the app. This can be used for testing and troubleshooting. Apple has responded, saying:
In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.
As I said in my editorial, the fact that developers know what you do within the app isn’t a big deal. The issues, as Apple noted, are: 1. Users don’t know this happens, and this isn’t disclosed in privacy policies; and 2. Sometimes sensitive data isn’t properly redacted.
We have a deal on Rocket Spanish Language Learning Level 1. This language course includes a combination of interactive audio lessons, voice-recognition, reinforcement activities, and more learning resources, and is designed to let you work in 20-minute blocks. You can get this course for $59.95 through our deal. We’re linking directly to the Spanish language course, but there are also options Japanese, German, English, French, Chinese, and Italian on the deal listing.
Aside from French banks adding support, Apple updated its list to reflect the addition of over 20 more banks.
The U.S. bank list is now so long that Apple has introduced alphabetical sub-sections to make it easier to find your bank on the list. Other new entries added to the most recently updated list include Qpay in Australia; HSBC in France; Surgutneftegasbank in Russia; Banco Mediolanum in Spain; Concord bank and UkrSibbank in Ukraine; and N26 in the UK.
LONDON – David Aguilar was born without a forearm. So the Spaniard decided to build his own one. This would be extraordinary enough, but he did out of Lego. He started aged 9 and, aged 19, is now on his 4th iteration of the prosthetic limb. Reuters spoke to Mr. Aguilar and told his amazing story.
Once his favorite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Aguilar’s first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement capability than the one before.“As a child I was very nervous to be in front of other guys, because I was different, but that didn’t stop me believing in my dreams,” Aguilar, who is from Andorra, a tiny principality between Spain and France, told Reuters.
Technobabylon is a cyberpunk game that I recently came across. I haven’t played it yet but it’s downloading as I type, due to its large, 1.4GB file size. In the city of Newton, 2087, genetic engineering is the norm, the addictive Trance has replaced almost any need for human interaction, and an omnipresent AI named Central powers the city. CEL agents Charlie Regis and Max Lao are investigating a serial Mindjacker who is tapping into the neural wiring of seemingly ordinary citizens, stealing their knowledge and leaving them dead. An agoraphobic net addict named Latha Sesame might be the next target. But when Charlie’s past comes back to haunt him, he and his partner find themselves on opposite sides of the law, with Latha’s fate in the crossfire. App Store: US$4.99
LONDON – Popular parenting website Mumsnet reported itself to the UK’s Information Commissioner. A bug that meant users’ accounts could potentially be switched was found. This meant people could have access to other’s account details and private messages. The company confirmed to the Guardian that it had reported itself, following the incident.
A botched upgrade to the software the forum runs on meant that for three days, if two users tried to log in at the same time, there was the possibility that their accounts would be switched. Each user was able to post as the other, see their account details, and read private messages. The company doesn’t know how many user accounts were affected, but says that over the three days the bug was live, from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning, about 4,000 users logged in. Of that, only 14 users have reported an issue.
Nice piece on photography and fauxtography by The Verge. It talks about certain automated actions in photography but I think it speaks to photo manipulation in general. Long before smartphones and Photoshop were invented, some photographers still manipulated their images in the dark room. These were under the category of fine art photography, and it helped a photographer use the picture to tell the story in their head.
For the longest time, we’ve had a seemingly clear dividing line between shots straight out of the camera (colloquially referred to as SOOC) and examples of fauxtography where the shooter has indulged in applying some after effects like filters, vignettes, recoloration, or masking and inserting objects in the frame. Phones are now stampeding over that line.
The news of Angela Ahrendts’s impending departure from Apple came as a surprise to many outside the company. I can only assume the same was true for people on the inside There can be little doubt that the company’s outgoing Senior Vice President Retail has made a real impact during her five-year tenure. AppleInsider provided an incisive look at how Ms. Ahrdents’s came to be at Apple, and the legacy she will leave.
While Apple does also earn money from services and other business activities, the alterations that she’s made in the stores are central to the rise of the company into being the world’s most profitable firm. These Apple Stores have been lauded as retail successes since their very beginnings, and externally they had appeared to be doing well even before Ahrendts joined. Yet in practice, the years before her arrival were marked with problems.
In the next update of iOS and macOS Apple will remove the Do Not Track option from Safari. This is okay.
Removed support for the expired Do Not Track standard to prevent potential use as a fingerprinting variable.
Before I see a headline from Forbes titled “iOS 12.2 Has a Nasty Surprise” let me say that removing Do Not Track is good. It never did anything anyway because obeying it was completely voluntary. Which of course means that every website ignored it. And now it can be used to fingerprint your browser. Good riddance.
There are some very slow and inefficient ways to board passengers onto an airliner. Most airlines use some variation of them. But there are also some mathematically proven efficient, optimum ways. Why don’t the airlines use those? Money. This video analysis uses great graphics and demonstrates the problem.