As for why Netflix is opting out of this app, I have 2 theories:
Netflix views usage data as highly confidential, proprietary information. They don’t even share this data with their show creators, so there’s no way in hell they would share this data with a partner who, it could be argued, is trying to disintermediate them.
Netflix also doesn’t need help curating and personalizing their content library, they are already the best in the industry. Almost all of the other video apps need all the help they can get.
I suspect this is exactly right. Netflix doesn’t need Apple’s TV app to surface/suggest their content, and they almost certainly don’t want to share usage data with Apple.
The Human Interface Guidelines are an interesting read.
In person, the Touch Bar looks and feels great. I’m unusually excited about this.
Special guest John Moltz returns to the show. Topics include what we expect from tomorrow’s Apple Event for new Mac hardware, and my impressions of the Google Pixel phone after a week using one.
This week’s show introduces chapter marks for subject matter. If you use a podcast player that supports them, such as Overcast, let me know what you think.
Penny Arcade illustrator Mike Krahulik:
If you have not heard already, Microsoft just announced a new device called the Surface Studio. It’s essentially a Surface computer for your desktop. From what I understand, you can go to any Microsoft store today and actually play with one. It’s a big beautiful screen on this slick armature that lets you adjust it from a normal monitor to something more like a drafting table for drawing on. I get questions about Surface devices and drawing all the time and I am sure this one will be no different. In fact I can already see tweets coming in asking what I think. So If you’re curious what I think about the Surface Studio, you are in luck, because I have been drawing on one for the last week.
In short: he loves it.
I’m not sure how useful the horizontal mode will be for people who aren’t illustrators, but for illustrators, it sure does seem like a groundbreaking form factor.
Microsoft’s big news today: a 28-inch all-in-one iMac-like PC that folds down into a drafting-table-like mode for drawing on it like a tablet. Also, a new peripheral, the Surface Dial. Very cool looking stuff. Priced at $3000-4200, and not shipping until mid-December.
It certainly comes at an interesting time. Apple is set to release new Mac hardware tomorrow, but even so, creative professionals are feeling largely ignored by Apple. And now Microsoft is targeting them specifically.
“The early response to AirPods has been incredible. We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers,” an Apple spokesperson said to TechCrunch.
Apple did not say whether hardware or software updates are what is at the heart of the delay so I couldn’t conjecture which. My experiences with the AirPods have been very positive this far but the pre production units that were given out to press are not without their foibles and bugs. I have seen a variety of small software/hardware interaction issues that have caused some frustration — but have taken them in stride because they are not final products.
Same experience here. The pre-production ones I have have had a few glitches, but even so, I love them.
Kara Swisher, writing for Recode:
Executive changes are coming to Google Access, including the departure of CEO Craig Barratt, according to sources. The company is holding a town hall-style meeting sometime soon to announce these potential changes, these sources say.
Update: The company confirmed in a blog post Barratt is leaving, and the company will halt its rollout of Fiber to new cities. The company also plans layoffs in those areas.
Barratt will stay on as an adviser to Alphabet CEO Larry Page, but it’s clear this is a setback for its broadband ambitions. The company also did not name a new CEO to replace Barratt.
Why does Google humiliate departing executives by forcing them write upbeat blog posts telling us how great shit sandwiches taste? It’s clear that Barratt was fired and Google is stating publicly that they’re canceling previously-announced plans for expansion, but the headline on Barratt’s blog post is “Advancing Our Amazing Bet”. Barratt writes:
As for me personally, it’s been quite a journey over the past few years, taking a broad-based set of projects and initiatives and growing a focused business that is on a strong trajectory. And I’ve decided this is the right juncture to step aside from my CEO role. Larry has asked me to continue as an advisor, so I’ll still be around.
I’m sure he’ll be hanging around doing important work for Google with his fellow advisor Tony Fadell. Maybe Barratt will get Andy Rubin’s old desk in the advisor suite.
That process, unrolling over the next two years, is The Transition. When millions of people begin conversing with Google, through the Assistant, the seas of difficulty suddenly part. (With Google Home, conversing is the only way you will get any use out of it — there’s no keyboard.) “You can start doing machine learning on that,” Pereira says. “You can move much faster; you can accelerate the process of getting deeper and broader in understanding. This 2016-to-2017 Transition is going to move us from systems that are explicitly taught to ones that implicitly learn.” Think of it as a mini-Singularity.
Maybe this is exactly right. We shall see. But I am always skeptical of any technology that is promoted for how good it is going to be rather than for how good it is right now.
Charts and graphs, and snap coverage of Apple’s analyst conference call.
Something something doubling down on secrecy.
Noteworthy: there is no hardware Esc key.
Nice collection of iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode photos submitted by iMore readers.
Here’s a report by Aaron Tilley for Forbes, from July of last year:
It’s been more than a year since Apple announced HomeKit, its system for connecting smart home devices through iOS. And as with all things Apple, expectations are high. Maybe too high.
So far, only five companies have launched HomeKit-certified smart home devices. What’s the hold up? Apple has thrown a plethora of challenges at hardware makers, and some developers say one of the biggest is complying with Apple’s strict security requirements on Bluetooth low energy devices.
Apple allows for either WiFi or Bluetooth low energy (LE)-enabled devices to get certified as a HomeKit accessory. Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.
“These security protocols are bleeding edge,” said Diogo Monica, a security lead at Docker and an IEEE security expert.
This story makes more sense today, given all the recent outages and attacks based on exploits of insecure “internet of things” devices.
2016-10-25T07:26:50ZAs an iOS/MacOS exclusive, iMessage is a glue that “keeps people stuck to their iPhones and Macs”, not the glue. Lauren Goode, writing for The Verge a few weeks ago, “iMessage Is the Glue That Keeps Me Stuck to the iPhone”: As someone who vacillates between iOS and Android fairly often, but who considers a lightly cracked iPhone 6S her daily driver, I’m also considering whether the Pixel phone is the next phone to buy. All of the software I use now is available on Android: all of my top email, calendar, music, fitness, photography, task-based, work collaboration, and social networking apps are there. But one app is not, and that’s iMessage. There is a lot of truth here, especially for people who are largely in the Google ecosystem for email, calendaring, photos, etc. A lot of them use iPhones with Google apps, not Android phones. I know several people who think iPhones are better client devices for Google’s ecosystem than Android devices running Google’s own operating system. In particular, I think this is very common in Silicon Valley. I notice it frequently when I see the homescreens on iPhones used by members of the press who cover the wider industry (as opposed to those who focus more on Apple). That’s who I think Google’s Pixel phones are aimed at: not the mass market, per se, but the technical elite who are currently using a lot of Google services on iPhones. Another way to put it: if the Pixels don’t get Google employees who use iPhones to switch, nothing will. See, for example, this year-old BuzzFeed column by Charlie Warzel, “Apple’s Junk Drawer Problem”: There’s a folder on the homescreen of my iPhone affectionately labeled “Apple Crap.” Inside, a colony of flattened, painstakingly designed app icons gather dust. With the exception of the Health and Podcast apps, I’ve become accustomed to relegating Apple’s (undeletable) native apps to the junk drawer. The containment strategy started back in 2012, when Apple Maps suggested I head to a work meeting in the middle of the Hudson River, and I’ve never looked back. An informal office poll also concluded that I’m not alone. We’ll wait hours in line in the cold/heat/rain/snow for a shiny new piece of Apple hardware — but once we get it, the first thing we do is fill it with third-party services, leaving Apple’s proprietary apps tucked away in lonely folders on third or fourth screens. That doesn’t sound like a typical iPhone user, who is likely to use all or most of Apple’s built-in apps. Apple Maps, for example, is far more popular on iOS than Google Maps. But Warzel’s description sounds exactly like the sort of iPhone users who might be tempted by the Pixel. There’s a split between iPhone users who are primarily part of the Apple ecosystem (iCloud, Safari, Apple Mail, …) and those who are part of the Google ecosystem (Google Drive, Google Calendar, Chrome, Gmail, …). iMessage is an exception. With iMessage you get to connect both with iPhone users in the Google ecosystem and iPhone users in the Apple ecosystem. For a lot of us here in the U.S., that’s just about everyone we know. It’s no coincidence that two of Google’s major Android initiatives this year are Allo and Duo, their answers to iMessage and FaceTime. I don’t think it’s going to work. iPhone users on the Google ecosystem might install Duo and Allo, and those who switch to Pixel phones will have them installed by default. But I don’t see why iPhone users on the Apple ecosystem will install either Duo or Allo in large enough numbers to make a difference. Anyone who switches [...]
On Twitter, Robin Malhotra made an observation that I’d never really considered, nor recall anyone else observing, but which seems to me a very big deal: that iMessage is the only major messaging service that supports both end-to-end encryption and multiple devices. Even Google’s brand-new Allo does not support multiple devices (and only uses encryption for “incognito” chats).
Multi-device support is essential to my use of iMessage.
Portrait Mode is definitely not perfect! Straight lines and crisp edges in the foreground are Portrait Mode’s greatest difficulty. But, on the flip side, the effect is applied quickly, and seems to focus on exactly the plane I want it at. Plus, its “stepping” between objects in the foreground and background is really impressive. People have asked me what camera I used to take these photos, which is I’d call a good sign. I like how they look, and this is a camera I can keep in my pocket all day as I walk all over a beautiful country. That’s a win for me.
Some terrific examples — both good and bad. When it works well, it’s the colors as much as the depth effect that make these look like they were shot on film.
The next iPhone will be, I am told, a clear piece of glass (er, Gorilla Glass sandwich with other polycarbonates for being pretty shatter resistant if dropped) with a next-generation OLED screen (I have several sources confirming this). You pop it into a headset which has eye sensors on it, which enables the next iPhone to have a higher apparent frame rate and polygon count than a PC with a Nvidia 1080 card in it. […]
The clear iPhone will put holograms on top of the real world like Microsoft HoloLens does.
Take a look at iFixit’s teardown of an iPhone 7. Just look at the battery alone. The only way I can see that a 2017 iPhone could be transparent would be if Apple invents a time machine that allows them to borrow technology from 2035 or so.
Jeni Asaba, writing for Jamf:
In 2015, IBM let their employees decide — Windows or Mac. “The goal was to deliver a great employee choice program and strive to achieve the best Mac program,” Previn said. An emerging favorite meant the deployment of 30,000 Macs over the course of the year. But that number has grown. With more employees choosing Mac than ever before, the company now has 90,000 deployed (with only five admins supporting them), making it the largest Mac deployment on earth.
But isn’t it expensive, and doesn’t it overload IT? No. IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 - $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan. “And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft,” Previn said. Multiply that number by the 100,000+ Macs IBM expects to have deployed by the end of the year, and we’re talking some serious savings.
IBM as the world’s largest Mac installation is such a great story.
In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone. Considering that the iPhone with the Qualcomm modem is being sold in China, Japan and in the United States only, we can not imagine that modem performance was a deciding factor. When all said and done, the iPhone 7 Plus is a beautifully designed smartphone, with arguably the best-in-class camera and system performance. It’s also the best iPhone ever. We hope that next year’s iPhone delivers best-in-class LTE performance.
In the U.S., you get the Qualcomm modem if you order an iPhone for use on Verizon or Sprint, and the Intel modem for AT&T and T-Mobile. That’s because Intel’s modem doesn’t support CDMA, which Verizon and Sprint still use.
Update: Color me a little skeptical that this disparity is evident in real-world use. Shouldn’t we be hearing more complaints about LTE performance on these iPhones?
Nobuyuki “Nobi” Hayashi, recalling the introduction of the original iPod 15 years ago this week:
Steve Jobs insisted that Apple has no intention of stealing away the sales of the music industry; remember this was way before iTunes Music Store. What Apple did to keep its word is buying same number of 20 CDs sets and gave it along with the iPod prototypes to the journalists.
It has been 15 years since then, and I thought I have lost them. But recently, as I was moving to a new house, I have found that set (shrink wrapped).
Below you will find the list of those 20 CDs which was carefully selected by Steve Jobs and the original iPod team (lead by Stan Ng). Enjoy!
That was a year before I started writing Daring Fireball.
Marques Brownlee pits Google Assistant (on a new Pixel) against Siri (on a new iPhone 7). Siri does quite well.
2016-10-24T18:09:46ZSeth Godin: Over the last five years, Apple has lost the thread and chosen to become a hardware company again. Despite their huge profits and large staff, we’re confronted with (a partial list): Automator, a buggy piece of software with no support, and because it’s free, no competitors. Keynote, a presentation program that hasn’t been improved in years. iOS 10, which replaces useful with pretty. iTunes, which is now years behind useful tools like Roon. No significant steps forward in word processing, spreadsheets, video editing, file sharing, internet tools, conferencing, etc. Apple contributed mightily to a software revolution a decade ago, but they’ve stopped. Think about how many leaps forward Slack, Dropbox, Zapier and others have made in popular software over the last few decades. But it requires a significant commitment to keep it moving forward. It means upending the status quo and creating something new. This doesn’t resonate for me. I think it’s the same basic gut feeling that drove Marco Arment’s widely-read “Apple Has Lost the Functional High Ground” essay two years ago. Marco’s piece was more about bugs and quality, and Seth’s is more about creativity, but underlying it all, I think, is the vague sense that all software is shitty. And it is! Here’s Dave Winer from all the way back in 1995: An old software slogan at Living Videotext: “We Make Shitty Software… With Bugs!” It makes me laugh! We never ran this slogan in an ad. People wouldn’t understand. But it’s the truth. We make shitty software. And so do you! Software is a process, it’s never finished, it’s always evolving. That’s its nature. We know our software sucks. But it’s shipping! Next time we’ll do better, but even then it will be shitty. The only software that’s perfect is one you’re dreaming about. Real software crashes, loses data, is hard to learn and hard to use. But it’s a process. We’ll make it less shitty. Just watch! Software, in general, is much better than it used to be. Unlike 1995, we don’t lose data due to bugs very often. (For me personally, I can’t even remember the last time I lost data.) But our hardware is so much better than our software, the contrast is jarring. An iPhone is a nearly perfect object. Sleek, attractive, simple. The hardware is completely knowable — there are only five buttons, each of them easily understood. iOS, however, is effectively infinite. The deeper our software gets, the less we know and understand it. It’s unsettling. I do think Apple could be doing better with software, but I don’t think the problem has anything to do with the company being institutionally focused on hardware. And I think it’s easy to discount the great new software Apple has created in the last five years: iMessage and FaceTime, to name two that fit squarely in Godin’s list of areas where Apple has made “no significant steps forward”. ★ [...]
Om Malik, writing last week for The New Yorker:
When I asked John Maeda, the former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, why, then, people have turned on the design of the iPhone 7, he pointed out that perhaps these critics “seem to believe that there’s some as yet unimaginable transcendence that can happen in a small, palm-shaped, rectangular device.” Maeda said that he spent time with designers at Sony and felt their frustration designing a television set “because all you can really do is design the rectangle that the TV sits within.… Everything else around that screen really doesn’t matter.” The same problem holds for the iPhone. All that matters is the screen — its size, brightness, and resolution. “Now that we have all those dimensions sated, it’s basically the challenge of designing a TV set all over again,” he added.
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Pearl is offering free two-day shipping for a limited time, so order now at pearlauto.com.
Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode:
The New York Times is buying The Wirecutter, a five-year-old online consumer guide. The Times will pay more than $30 million, including retention bonuses and other payouts, for the startup, according to people familiar with the transaction.
Brian Lam, a former editor at Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, founded The Wirecutter in 2011, and has self-funded the company’s growth. […]
Both sites make their money via affiliate links, which generate revenue when consumers click on them and make purchases via e-commerce sites like Amazon.
Sounds like a good deal for everyone involved. Lam’s success is well-deserved.
My thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. As some of you might know, Squarespace recently launched its own domains product. It’s called Squarespace Domains, and it turns the ugliest aspects of buying domains into a simple, modern experience. It’s also the first registrar to offer transparent pricing, flat rates, and free WHOIS privacy. Even better, if you’re not ready to build your website quite yet, Squarespace will park your domain with a beautiful, ad-free landing page. Register your domain. Use offer code DARING to save 10 percent.
A massive and sustained Internet attack that has caused outages and network congestion today for a large number of Web sites was launched with the help of hacked “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as CCTV video cameras and digital video recorders, new data suggests. […]
According to researchers at security firm Flashpoint, today’s attack was launched at least in part by a Mirai-based botnet. Allison Nixon, director of research at Flashpoint, said the botnet used in today’s ongoing attack is built on the backs of hacked IoT devices — mainly compromised digital video recorders (DVRs) and IP cameras made by a Chinese hi-tech company called XiongMai Technologies. The components that XiongMai makes are sold downstream to vendors who then use it in their own products.
“It’s remarkable that virtually an entire company’s product line has just been turned into a botnet that is now attacking the United States,” Nixon said, noting that Flashpoint hasn’t ruled out the possibility of multiple botnets being involved in the attack on Dyn.
Microsoft’s stock price reached an all-time high today, beating a previous record set in 1999 (!) in the heat of the dot-com bubble. Shares opened this morning at $60.31 — up 5 percent from yesterday’s close — and reached $60.45 in morning trading before settling.
Why is Microsoft setting share-price records in 2016?
Most importantly, investors seem to think its transformation under CEO Satya Nadella — from a company that sells Windows and Office licenses (often on discs and in cardboard boxes) to a company that sells access to software and services in the cloud — is working.
Pretty good start for Satya Nadella.
Stacy Cowley, reporting for the NYT:
The scandal at Wells Fargo over the creation of unauthorized accounts shook its customers’ faith in the bank, but it took an even sharper toll on the company’s workers. A number of them say they faced a stark choice: Create new accounts by any means possible, or risk being fired for falling short of their sales goals.
Angie Payden, who worked for Wells Fargo as a banker from 2011-2014:
I started to have extreme physical stress-related symptoms as well as random panic attacks. At some point during that summer, the stress was so intense that I could no longer handle the pressure. On the banker’s desk, in the bathroom, behind the teller line and in the vault, the store kept bottles of hand sanitizer.
One morning, before meeting with a customer, in which I knew I was going to have to sell unneeded services, I had a severe panic attack. I went to the bathroom and took a drink of some hand sanitizer.
This immediately reduced my anxiety. From that point, I began drinking the hand sanitizer all over the bank.
Can someone explain to me why a website would publish AMP versions of their articles? They do load fast, which is a terrific user experience, but as far as I can see, sites that publish AMP pages are effectively ceding control over their content to Google.
Here’s an example I ran into today. I wanted to read Ron Amadeo’s review of the Google Pixel at Ars Technica. From my (new) Google Pixel, I searched for “ars pixel preview”. The first search result was the AMP version of his review. Same thing on my iPhone.
If I tap the result, I get the AMP version of the Ars article, served from Google’s domain. So far, I get it. But the kicker is that I don’t see any way to get from the AMP page Google is serving to the canonical version of the article on Ars’s website. Even if I share the article, what gets shared is the google.com URL (https://www.google.com/amp/arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/google-pixel-review-bland-pricey-but-still-best-android-phone/). On desktop browsers, these URLs do get redirected to Ars’s website. But on mobile they don’t. Share from one mobile device to another and nobody ever leaves google.com. Why would any website turn their entire mobile audience — a majority share of their total audience, for many sites today — over to Google?
It makes no sense to me.
Update: “Request Desktop Site” in both Mobile Safari and Chrome will switch you to the actual website. Good to know, I still say AMP traps mobile users onto google.com.
Doug DeMuro makes a strong case that the Tesla Model S is a mid-size luxury sedan, not a full-size:
So the Model S is sized like a midsize luxury sedan, and it’s priced like one, too. Why doesn’t anyone call the Model S a midsize luxury sedan?
Simple: because Tesla doesn’t want them to.
Tesla has fought incredibly hard for media sources to consider the Model S a full-size luxury sedan, for one simple reason: Its sales numbers aren’t as impressive if you compare it to more accurate rivals. As I mentioned above, Tesla sold 9,156 units of the Model S during the last quarter. In the same time period, Mercedes-Benz sold 14,672 units of the E-Class. Meanwhile, the 5 Series sold 7,430 units of an aging model nearing replacement. When a redesigned 5 Series last debuted, as it will again in the next few months, it wasn’t uncommon to see sales totals well in excess of 5,000 per month — or 15,000 per quarter. Even the Hyundai Genesis is nipping at the Model S’s heels, earning around 2,500 sales per month through 2016.
Julia Angwin, reporting for ProPublica:
When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”
And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.
The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on the keywords they used in their Gmail. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.
My question is simple. Why is Google doing this? To make even more money? Or because they need to do this to keep making the same amount of money? Either way it’s gross.
2016-10-21T02:41:01ZWhy I don’t think Apple would make a special edition iPhone. And a bonus interpolation on why Apple won’t make a big deal out of the iPhone’s 10th anniversary next year. After my link today to Greg Koenig’s excellent explanation for why the new ceramic Apple Watch Edition does not presage the use of a similar material in next year’s iPhone (in short: Apple needs to produce up to one million iPhones per day, and the ceramic process Apple is using for the watch would take way too long to meet that demand), several readers asked if Apple might go the Apple Watch Edition route: make a special ceramic iPhone Edition that sells at a much higher price. Apple certainly could do this. But I don’t think they would. I’ve often said that the iPhone reminds me of Andy Warhol’s great quote about Coca-Cola and America: What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it. A significantly more expensive limited edition ceramic iPhone would break from this, and in my opinion it would take away from the iPhone’s brand. iPhones aren’t cheap, but they are affordable for many, and everyone who gets one knows they’re getting the best phone in the world. An expensive limited edition iPhone would mean most iPhone buyers would know they’re only getting second best. Apple has done this with the watch — in spades last year, with the $10–20,000 gold models — but watches are different animals. Watches, in general, have never been like Coke. There have always been low-cost watches and luxury watches. Enough With the 10-Year Anniversary Stuff Let me add here a note about something that’s been bothering me for months: the notion that Apple is going to do something “special” next year to commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. I would wager heavily that they won’t. Apple under Tim Cook is a little bit more prone to retrospection than it was under Steve Jobs, who was almost obsessively forward-thinking, but only slightly. They made a 40-years-in-40-seconds video to commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary this year, for example, but it was only 40 seconds long. Blink and you missed it. Apple is not going to make a special edition of any product — let alone the iPhone, their most important product — just to mark an anniversary. Don’t tell me about the 20th Anniversary Macintosh — that was a product from the old Apple that was heading toward bankruptcy, and a perfect example of why they shouldn’t do something special to mark something as arbitrary as an anniversary. A lot of this 10th anniversary of the iPhone speculation is regarding the rumors t[...]
However, during the time period analyzed, we found that right-wing pages were more prone to sharing false or misleading information than left-wing pages. Mainstream pages did not share any completely false information, but did publish a small number of posts that included unverified claims. (More on that below.)
We rated 86 out of a total 666 right-wing Facebook posts as mostly false, for a percentage of 13%. Another 167 posts (25%) were rated as a mixture of true and false. Viewed separately or together (38%), this is an alarmingly high percentage.
Left-wing pages did not earn as many “mostly false” or “mixture of true and false” ratings, but they did share false and misleading content. We identified 22 mostly false posts out of a total of 471 from these pages, which means that just under 5% of left-wing posts were untrue. We rated close to 14% of these posts (68) a mixture of true and false. Taken together, nearly a fifth of all left-wing posts we analyzed were either partially or mostly false.
I once wrote a column arguing Facebook probably hasn’t led to more partisanship. I now think that’s completely wrong.
I now think Facebook is contributing to the decline of western civilization. By helping spread misinformation.
We replaced civil society w/ self-selecting, self-reinforcing loops of affinity feeding our brains w/ social validation of dangerous untruth.
Mike Masnick, writing for Techdirt:
What it is not, however, is copyright infringement. I don’t care how you slice or dice it. It’s not copyright infringement. Samsung may be embarrassed by its exploding devices, and it may not like people making fun of them or turning them into weapons in video games, but that doesn’t matter. There’s no copyright infringement against Samsung’s copyrights in doing that. And it’s flat out ridiculous that Samsung appears to have made a copyright claim over such a video. Hopefully whoever put up the video challenges this and YouTube comes to its senses…
This is only going to bring more attention to the GTA mod.
Teaser video for Nintendo’s upcoming new gaming platform. Seems intriguing — connected to your TV it works like a traditional console, but you can undock it to use it as a portable.
Undocked, it’s more like a tablet than a phone, size-wise, which sounds right to me. In the same way that phones have completely supplanted pocket-sized point-and-shoot cameras, phones completely own the pocket-sized space for gaming. The Switch is the equivalent of a DSLR for gaming.
Greg Koenig on why the ceramic Apple Watch Edition does not presage a ceramic iPhone:
All of this circles us back to that little booklet that shipped with the ceramic Watch Edition. I think it is a safe bet to say that if Apple was about to leverage a whole new process for the efficient manufacturing of precision ceramics for next year’s iPhone, this new Watch model would be a test balloon for at least some of those techniques. Now, it is important to note that Apple has always skillfully knife edged their marketing discussion about manufacturing by being both hyper honest in their descriptions, while being quite vague about the nitty gritty details. So if we can all agree their materials are honest, let me be very plain - there is nothing revolutionary or new about how Apple is making the ceramic Edition watch.
The process they describe is meticulously executed, and because of the nature of the design — wherein ceramics are mimicking the engineering layout of far more easily produced materials - probably the most laboriously produced ceramic watch on the market. In fact, if we scale the numbers used in the booklet up to iPhone size devices and cycle times, Apple would need 2 football field’s worth of kiln space for each ceramic iPhone to sinter for the requisite 36 hours. For the 2 hours of hard ceramic machining to finish the case details, Apple would need to go from 20,000 CNC machines, to 250,000. They would need another 200,000 employees to perform the 2 hours of hand polishing to “bring out the strength and luster.”
As Koenig emphasizes, at peak production Apple is manufacturing one million iPhones per day. If and when Apple switches from aluminum to a new material for iPhone bodies, it’ll have to be a material with which they can achieve the same scale.
So, everyone who’d been criticizing Apple and iPhone design immediately called Google out for aping it?
Not so much.
Well, at least they called Google and Pixel out for the same things they called Apple and iPhone out for?
Again, not so much.
Surely they drew the line at Google’s 2016 flagship missing optical image stabilization — not just in the regular-size, but in the Plus XL model as well — stereo speakers, and water resistance — things that were pointed to last year as indicators Apple was falling behind?
Turns out, not deal-breakers either.
As I wrote last month, when the first non-blurry images of the Pixel leaked.
Patently Apple, quoting from a lawsuit filed by Apple yesterday:
Apple purchased the power products identified below (ASIN B012YEWP2K) from Amazon.com and determined that they were counterfeit. Apple was informed by Amazon.com, and upon that basis is informed and believes, that Mobile Star was the source of those particular counterfeit power products purchased by Apple.
Consumers, relying on Amazon.com’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly “by Amazon.com” as genuine Apple products using Apple’s own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire.
As for the products sold by third parties, and “fulfilled by Amazon”:
Apple makes great efforts to combat the distribution and sale of counterfeit Apple products bearing its trademarks. Despite Apple’s efforts, fake Apple products continue to flood Amazon.com. Each month, Apple identifies and reports many thousands of listings for counterfeit and infringing Apple products to Amazon.com under its notice and takedown procedures. Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on Amazon.com and delivered through Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90% of these products are counterfeit.
I can certainly see why Apple is suing Mobile Star (hopefully right out of business), but why not sue Amazon too? This is shameful. I’ve known for a while never to trust anything merely “fulfilled by Amazon”, but I’m actually surprised that even the “Apple” branded chargers sold directly by Amazon are dangerous counterfeits as well.
Darrell Etherington, testing the Pixel camera side-by-side with the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7:
Outdoors, you can see that while all three are very capable cameras, there are some differences that might sway personal opinion regarding which is “best.” The iPhone 7 Plus delivers more vibrant colors, with brighter defaults for light areas in both HDR and standard modes (it produces both in your gallery by default depending on the scene, so that’s how I shot and presented them here). […]
Indoors, the differences between the three cameras are more pronounced, especially in very low light. Here, the Galaxy S7 appears to have the edge when it comes to color balance, as well as noise and even possibly detail. The iPhone 7 Plus does appear to be more accurate in terms of its color capture, but it’s still tough to pick an outright favorite. The Pixel XL, to its credit, does very well in the portrait under adequate, but not bright, indoor lighting.
Ultimately, numbered ratings from third-party analyst sites aside, this is a race so close that it’s impossible to call, except by personal preference. Each of these smartphone cameras excels in some regard, but the best end result is in the eye of the beholder since none exhibits any serious flaws.
I agree with his assessment based on his examples. The Pixel’s electronic image stabilization for video is very well done, but it’s clearly not as good as optical image stabilization.
Brian X. Chen, writing for the NYT:
The absence of a major competing Android device works out especially well for Google because the Pixel is, relatively speaking, mediocre. It is slower than Apple’s iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7, Samsung’s smaller flagship phone. Photos shot with Pixel’s camera don’t look as good as the iPhone’s. And Google’s built-in artificially intelligent virtual assistant, called Assistant, is still fairly dumb.
Chen’s Pixel review is the least enthusiastic I’ve seen. His comments on the camera — he labels it “mediocre” — are out of line with most reviews. I’m not saying he’s wrong, just that his take is quite different.
Vanessa Hand Orellana:
If you tend to shoot portraits and that’s what matters to you most, the iPhone 7 Plus is an obvious choice. Portrait mode is dSLR-esque, and we only expect it to improve by the time it gets a public release.
But if brighter colors, sharper detail throughout the backgrounds of photos and capable low-light photography is more important, it’s the Pixel. I have to admit, I initially thought Google over-promised on its new flagship — especially after those disappointing Nexus cameras — but I was wrong. It’s a new chapter for Google phones and this one earned its name.
I agree with her assessment based on most of the examples shown. I was especially impressed with the Pixel’s image from the low-light environment in the wine cellar. However, they shot both on tripods. I would’ve liked to see examples from the same environment while handheld — the iPhone 7 Plus’s optical image stabilization should make a big difference while handheld, but no difference at all on a tripod.
Why don’t any of these Pixel-vs.-iPhone camera comparisons mention wide color capture?
Alex Sherman, Chris Palmeri, and Sarah Frier, reporting for Bloomberg:
Walt Disney Co. decided not to pursue a bid for Twitter Inc. partly out of concern that bullying and other uncivil forms of communication on the social media site might soil the company’s wholesome family image, according to people familiar with management’s thinking.
Because I love Twitter as a service, I want to see the company thrive, but there’s no denying that there’s some justice to the fact that their longstanding inability and/or refusal to deal with trolls and harassment is sinking the company.
Salesforce.com Inc. also decided against a Twitter bid, as did Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
No one wants Twitter at this price.
2016-10-13T00:35:31ZIn addition to the engineering hurdles to actually make Siri much better, Apple also has to overcome a “boy who cried wolf” credibility problem. Walt Mossberg: So why does Siri seem so dumb? Why are its talents so limited? Why does it stumble so often? When was the last time Siri delighted you with a satisfying and surprising answer or action? I have an answer for this: when I discovered during the NBA playoffs that Siri can tell you the Vegas betting odds for sporting events. In recent weeks, on multiple Apple devices, Siri has been unable to tell me the names of the major-party candidates for president and vice president of the United States. Or when they were debating. Or when the Emmy awards show was due to be on. Or the date of the World Series. […] Google Now, on the same Apple devices, using the same voice input, answered every one of these questions clearly and correctly. And that isn’t even Google’s latest digital helper, the new Google Assistant. If you try most of these broken examples right now, they’ll work properly, because Apple fixed them after I tweeted screenshots of most of them in exasperation, and asked the company about them. Indeed, Siri now knows the date and time of the next U.S. presidential debate, but where Siri fundamentally falls apart is its inability to maintain context and chain together multiple commands. Here was my interaction trying this just now, transcribed exactly as Siri heard me: Me: When is the next presidential debate?1 Siri: The third 2016 presidential debate will take place from 9:00pm to 10:30pm ET on Wednesday, October 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada. Me: OK add it to my calendar. Siri: OK, tell me the date and time of your event. Me: Add the next presidential debate to my calendar. Siri: I didn’t find any appointments about ‘presidential debate’ in the next three months. Another attempt: Me: When is the next presidential debate? Siri: The third 2016 presidential debate will take place from 9:00pm to 10:30pm ET on Wednesday, October 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada. Me: Remind me about it one hour before it starts. Siri: OK, I’ll remind you to ‘It starts’. When would you like to be reminded? Five years in, this seems like a reasonable (and useful) thing to expect Siri to be able to do.2 Mossberg: For instance, when I asked Siri on my Mac how long it would take me to get to work, it said it didn’t have my work address — even though the “me” contact card contains a work address and the same synced contact card on my iPhone allowed Siri to give me an answer. Similarly, on my iPad, when I asked what my next appointment was, it said “Sorry, Walt, something’s wrong” — repeatedly, with slightly different wording, in multiple places on multiple days. But, using the same Apple [...]
2016-10-11T05:06:58ZOne side or the other is lying here. And Apple is adamant that it’s not them. Jim Dalrymple, on the Dash/App Store affair: Apple’s anti-fraud team has apparently been working with the developer for some time to stop fraudulent positive reviews, and negative reviews on competitors’ accounts. According to Apple, all attempts to work with the developer have failed, resulting in the account being terminated. “Almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews were detected across two accounts and 25 apps for this developer so we removed their apps and accounts from the App Store,” Apple spokesperson, Tom Neumayr, said in a statement provided to The Loop on Monday. “Warning was given in advance of the termination and attempts were made to resolve the issue with the developer but they were unsuccessful. We will terminate developer accounts for ratings and review fraud, including actions designed to hurt other developers. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, on behalf of all of our customers and developers.” It’s really important to note that this has been going on for quite some time — it’s not a quick decision that Apple made on the spur of the moment last week. In fact, a warning was first sent to the developer two years ago, but the behavior did not change. From what I’ve been told by sources at Apple, it’s not about Dash, which is a very popular app (and deservedly so). It’s about the other 20-some apps from the same developer, which he apparently published through one or more different developer accounts. I think one reason why the developer community has rallied behind this developer is that the account for Dash had no other apps associated with it. Now that this story is breaking, the developer community is uncovering some of these apps. Most of them are generic consumer utility apps. I quibble with Dalrymple’s headline: “Apple Responds to Dash Controversy With Proof”. Apple claims they have proof, but they’re not showing it — it’s Apple’s word against the developer’s. Part of this, I think, is that Apple doesn’t want to reveal how their anti-fraud systems work. Part of it too, though, is that they want to protect the privacy of their communications with the developer over the years that they’ve been accusing him of fraud. Quite frankly, Apple doesn’t want to slime him. For example, note that their public statement does not address him by name. Apple typically lets accusations like this slide. It’s a no-win situation for Apple, publicity-wise: let an accusation stand unanswered and Apple looks like the App Store is run like a banana republic, but if they dispute it, they face the optics of a hundred-billion-dollar Goliath punching down against a small indie developer. This case with Dash gained enough attention t[...]
2016-09-23T02:21:39ZThe thing to keep in mind is that the iPhone itself, what it looks like in your hand, is the embodiment of the iPhone brand. The Apple logo is the company’s logo. The iPhone’s logo is the iPhone itself. Farhad Manjoo, in his State of the Art column for The New York Times, published shortly after Apple’s September 7 event, “What’s Really Missing From the New iPhone: Cutting-Edge Design”: The absence of a jack is far from the worst shortcoming in Apple’s latest product launch. Instead, it’s a symptom of a deeper issue with the new iPhones, part of a problem that afflicts much of the company’s product lineup: Apple’s aesthetics have grown stale. The column is accompanied by an illustration of a fellow holding an Apple logo in his hand, yawning out of boredom. In my own take on Apple’s event, I wrote: There is a large contingent of pundits who apparently would be more excited about a new iPhone that looked entirely different but had the exact same components as the iPhone 6S than they are by the actual iPhones 7, which are shaped like the 6S but have amazing new components. I don’t get that mindset at all. It’s like being a car pundit and judging the new Porsche 911 with a “meh” because it looks like the previous 911, and never even considering what it’s like to actually drive the new car. Manjoo’s headline says “design”.1 In his column, he says “aesthetics”. Aesthetics is only one aspect of design. I’m sure Manjoo knows that, and I know Times columnists don’t write their headlines, their editors do. But the headline is still his responsibility. Steve Jobs, in a 2003 Rob Walker profile of the iPod for The New York Times Magazine: “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” I’ve cited this quote frequently over the years, and for good reason. It’s a concise statement that provides deep insight into Apple’s company culture. It is true, it is meaningful, and it exemplifies what separates Apple from most other companies. At most other companies, design is what it looks like and feels like, not how it works. But even if we just want to talk aesthetics, just what the iPhone 7 looks like, I really don’t see how Manjoo could write “Apple’s aesthetics have grown stale” after looking at this: That’s stale? Which product from Apple, ever, looked like that? Which phone from any other company looks like that? I feel bad for a technolo[...]
2016-09-16T06:34:49ZThe iPhone has all the benefits (in short: superior design) that would keep me, and I think most other iPhone users, on the platform even if it didn’t have a performance advantage. But it does have a significant performance advantage, and that advantage is exclusive to Apple. Thom Holwerda on Twitter, quoting a tweet of mine touting the iPhone 7’s astounding Geekbench scores: Funny how just like in the PPC days, benchmarks only start mattering when they favour [insert platform of choice]. https://twitter.com/gruber/status/776295771943600129 I like reading/following Holwerda, because he’s someone who I feel keeps me on my toes. But he’s off-base here. I’m certainly not saying that CPU or GPU performance is a primary reason why anyone should buy an iPhone instead of an Android phone. In fact, I’ll emphasize that if the tables were turned and it were Android phones that were registering Geekbench scores double those of the iPhone, I would still be using an iPhone. In the same way that I’ve been using Macs, non-stop, since I first purchased a computer in 1991. Most of the years from 1991 until the switch to Intel CPUs in 2007, the Mac was behind PCs in performance. I never argued then that performance didn’t matter — only that for me, personally, the other benefits of using a Mac (the UI design of the system, the quality of the third-party apps, the build quality of the hardware, etc.) outweighed the performance penalty Macs suffered. The same would be true today if Apple’s A-series chips were slower than Qualcomm’s CPUs for Android. But that would likely never happen. If Apple’s in-house chips were significantly slower than the commodity chips used by Android device makers, Apple would just use those commodity chips. The mobile situation would be just like the desktop situation, where Apple uses the same CPUs as everyone else. That’s what makes the A-series chips’ performance so interesting. If the commodity chips were fastest, everyone would use them. But if the A-series chips are the fastest (and have the best energy efficiency), only Apple gets to use them. The iPhone has all the benefits (in short: superior design) that would keep me, and I think most other iPhone users, on the platform even if it didn’t have a performance advantage. But it does have a significant performance advantage, and it is exclusive to Apple. This is an extraordinary situation, historically. And year-over-year, it looks like Apple’s lead is growing, not shrinking. It’s not a fluke, but a sustained advantage. [...]