We’ll be back, tomorrow, Saturday, mid-day
Completely nutso afternoon and evening …expecting one new piece of digital hardware to be delivered of several on the way – and three arrived. And, of course, there was a software problem with the most important piece. Which I just resolved; but, now, I’m brain-dead and need a bunch of sleep.
See y’all mid-morning or a touch later.
Among other upgrades throughout our networked life at Lot 4. I decided to return to a proper desktop in our home office. Much to my dismay, I learned Apple no longer offers a 21″ iMac. So, here’s a snap of the 24″ beastie sitting on my desk. Actually works out OK for projects needing graphics here and there, notes to myself on projects, etc..
I’ve used larger BITD; and I didn’t trade-in my laptop. It’s moved to the living room along with other new [and not so new] goodies. Wiped out my next couple of SSA checks, though.
New goodies from Apple
I’m getting the green one on the left.
iPhone is today’s Brownie camera
Another solid, thoroughly enjoyable article by Om Malik
…what both the Brownie and the iPhone accomplished went beyond technology. Separated by almost 100 years, they were decidedly utilitarian. The Brownie put photography in the hands of amateurs, and so has the iPhone.
They each contributed to the rise of the informal photograph in their respective eras. With the Brownie, people were taking the camera out to the beach, on cruise ships, and to other vacation destinations. Of course, the smartphone is even more portable. We are all carrying one now, and we have the ability to make pictures immediately wherever we are and share them almost simultaneously…
I own two lovely digital cameras. Slightly different eras, different form factors. I used them constantly to illustrate work on-and-offline for more than a few decades. I can’t recall the last time I took either of them with me for a walk of discovery, urban or otherwise. I take photos with my iPhone, just about every day. To what end, what purpose? Just read Om’s article.
Apple is going to make it tougher for advertisers to track you. Facebook is pissed!
Sometime next month, iPhone users will start seeing a new question when they use many of the apps on their devices: Do they want the app to follow them around the internet, tracking their behavior?
It’s a simple query, with potentially significant consequences. Apple is trying to single-handedly change the way internet advertising works.
That will affect everyone, from Apple’s giant tech rivals — most notably, Facebook, which announced today that it’s fighting back against Apple’s move — to any developer or publisher that uses ad technology to monitor what their app users are doing on the internet.
And it affects you, the person reading this story. At stake is your online privacy — and the advertising system that underwrites an endless supply of free content.
Apple announced its plan in June at its annual developer’s conference. But it hasn’t generated much attention outside of ad tech circles yet.
That will likely change in mid-September when the company is expected to roll out its new operating system, iOS 14.
Looking forward to that introduction of iOS 14 for a few reasons. Their new privacy system being #1. From my perspective, it’s going to be fun.
Apple Still Won’t Help the FBI Break Into iPhones. Good.
That’s the title of an Opinion Piece published in Bloomberg News.
There are two important lessons in this week’s announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally succeeded in cracking two mobile phones belonging to Mohammed Alshamrani, the aviation student who killed three people last December at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.
The first lesson is that cracking an encrypted device takes time and effort even when the federal government brings all its resources to bear. The second is that Apple still refuses to build tools to make hacking its mobile devices easier.
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m happy about both.
RTFA. Stephen Carter makes a decent – albeit flawed – case for the first lesson. I’ll stick with his support for the second on principle.
The flaw? He thinks the cost of resources required to hack into anyone’s phone is prohibitive and, therefore, self-limiting. We have government agencies that gleefully waste billion$ on anachronistic military devices, pet projects for totally anal politicians, self-congratulatory research on regulations premised upon moving this nation in just about any direction but forward. Don’t count on wasting money as a problem.
Apple, Google team up on ‘contact tracing’ software to combat spread of COVID-19
Click to see where this can lead – with consent
Starting in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities to track the spread of COVID-19. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Apple and Google will work over time to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform. Both companies will incorporate the functionality in Android and iOS as a whole, which allows more individuals to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Apple says that the deeper integration will arrive “in the coming months.”
Easier to understand when you RTFA. If folks consent to be identified, they can be. If not, you will still be notified if you’ve been in contact, nearby or whatever with someone who has tested positive in the past 14 days. You go and get yourself tested for your own good.
Who wins, who loses
❝ Camera sales are continuing to fall off a cliff. And will continue to do so as the capabilities of camera phones keep increasing. [Today] Apple…announced a three-camera iPhone 11 —just like Google, Huawei, Samsung and every other phone maker. In 2020, Apple’s iPhone is likely to have cameras with the ability to see how far things are thanks to a new “time of flight” sensor. This will essentially give the phone super sight, and thus, the phones will be great for augmented reality and make computer vision even more powerful…
❝ Apple isn’t the only one who is imagining such cameras on their devices. Phone makers are spending billions of dollars on their camera capabilities because — as Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun said in an internal document — “camera functions have become a decisive factor for smartphone purchases among many consumers.” The company set up a separate division and gave it a lot of resources to compete in the market. Why not? It is up against giants, who keep throwing up bigger and better devices…
❝ A lot of traditionalists dismiss my arguments, but in reality, if a generation or two is growing up on a steady diet of cameras-on-phones and consuming visual data on digital screens, they will have little use for special cameras… I also argue that Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei are outspending the traditional camera makers exponentially. That is why we will continue to see massive gains in computational photography and camera-phone technologies versus traditional cameras.
Aside from being one of the smartest writers on the technology block…and a helluva photographer in his own right…Om Malik comprehends time and learning, experience and practice, as motive factors in the course of culture. RTFA.
Facebook wants to manage your wifi network for you
❝ Back in 2017, Facebook rolled out the “Find Wi-Fi” feature globally, a feature that lists the nearby Wi-Fi networks that Page owners shared with Facebook. Two years later, Facebook is working to expand this feature from being a list of nearby Wi-Fi networks to a service that manages the Wi-Fi connections on the device.
❝ Facebook needs more geolocation data to hyper-target advertising and information — but mostly advertising — and know even more personal information about you. Of course, it can also learn what services you use and when you use them with this connection manager. They have learned well from their big brother, Google. Sigh!
Which is why I have such a negative attitude towards Facebook and Google. They are exclusively profit-driven creatures. Loyal only to the ethos, motivations of 19th Century capitalism. Given the profit structure of high tech, it’s unneeded. Apple [and others] have proven that.
Google and Amazon follow Apple’s lead on voice assistant review
❝ Apple on Thursday suspended its Siri grading program, which seeks to make the virtual assistant more accurate by having workers review snippets of recorded audio, after a contractor raised privacy concerns about the quality control process.
Now, Apple’s competitors in the space, namely Google and Amazon, are making similar moves to address criticism about their own audio review policies…
❝ Shortly after Apple’s announcement, Google in a statement to Ars Technica on Friday said it, too, halted a global initiative to review Google Assistant audio. Like Siri grading, Google’s process runs audio clips by human operators to enhance system accuracy.
Unlike Apple’s Siri situation, however, a contractor at one of Google’s international review centers leaked 1,000 recordings to VRT NWS, a news organization in Belgium. In a subsequent report in July, the publication claimed it was able to identify people from the audio clips…
❝ Amazon is also taking steps to temper negative press about its privacy practices and on Friday rolled out a new Alexa option that allows users to opt out of human reviews of audio recordings, Bloomberg reports. Enabling the feature in the Alexa app excludes recorded audio snippets from analysis.
Many of the articles posted on this topic never mentioned anonymizing and using random quotes. I have no doubt the folks who produced those articles were aware of the practice. I imagine they decided that might diminish their sensational revelation.
Using anonymous clips used to be “good enough” – in my experience. Nowadays, with rising privacy standards acknowledged by most, Apple, Amazon and Google are changing practices with changing times.
Something else that will become “opt in” or “opt out”.