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Daring Fireball: Apple Releases New A12-Based iPad Air and iPad Mini
from Daring Fireball

The best way to think of today’s new iPads is not as an updated iPad Air and updated iPad Mini. The new iPad Air isn’t based on the old iPad Air — it’s an update to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (It even works with the same cover and keyboard peripherals.) And the new Mini is really just a smaller version of the new iPad Air — they could have just called them both “iPad Air” and had one be mini-sized and one regular-sized, similar to how the two sizes of iPad Pro have the same product name. As far as I can see, there is no difference between the new iPad Air and iPad Mini other than size.

When it debuted in 2012, the iPad Mini was both the small iPad and the low-cost iPad. Today, the low-cost iPad is the $329 9.7-inch just-plain no-adjective iPad. The new iPad Mini is a full-fledged peer to the new iPad Air technically. It’s all about the size. (And there are no old iPad Minis hanging around in the product lineup at lower prices.)

Looking at tweets and reader emails today, it seems like the most confusing thing about these iPads is why they use the original Apple Pencil instead of the new Apple Pencil 2. It’s obviously not ideal, but I suspect the explanation is multi-factor:

The Pencil 2 requires an iPad with flat sides for the magnetic charging and pairing.

The flat sides of the newest iPad Pros go hand-in-hand, design-wise, with the edge-to-edge (or “edge-to-edge” if you prefer) round-corned displays, and Face ID instead of Touch ID. Those things all add to the price of iPad Pros.

In theory Apple could have given these new iPads flat sides just to support the new Pencil, sticking with the square-cornered display, larger chin and forehead, and Touch ID — but that’s not how Apple rolls. Such design elements are integrated with the whole.

If Apple had wanted the new Pencil 2 to work on all new iPads, they would’ve had to put a Lightning plug on the new Pencil in addition to supporting conductive charging and pairing. But that’s really not how Apple rolls — that would have ruined one of the things that makes the new Pencil so much nicer than the old Pencil. Better to have a messy product lineup where some new iPads only support the new Pencil and others only support the old Pencil than to have a messy new Pencil.
ifttt  daringfireball 
17 hours ago by josephschmitt
Don’t write code.Blow clients’ minds with GravityView. - GravityView
from Daring Fireball

Use WordPress? GravityView is the solution your WordPress clients need.

Your clients have custom workflows and the need to manage form submissions. GravityView makes this easy.

“If you are trying to create a custom feature on your site, there is no better plugin than GravityView. The versatility of the plugin and the patient support by the team made it possible for me to realize my project.”
- CoffeeAutonomy Brewers’ Club

Your clients will buy you a drink after you show them GravityView’s impressive functionality.

“We have become innovators in our field since utilizing GravityView…this was the best investment we made when starting our business.”
- Collin Hackett, Hackett Funeral Homes

Even better? GravityView comes bundled with the best WordPress form plugin, Gravity Forms — just for DF readers.

Try GravityView risk-free, and start impressing your clients today

PS: Check out GravityView’s music video — it’s by Jonathan Mann, the guy who did the ATP theme song. It’s amazing.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
19 hours ago by josephschmitt
Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing, FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system | The Seattle Times
from Daring Fireball

Dominic Gates, reporting for The Seattle Times:

As Boeing hustled in 2015 to catch up to Airbus and certify its new 737 MAX, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managers pushed the agency’s safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself, and to speedily approve the resulting analysis.

But the original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA for a new flight control system on the MAX — a report used to certify the plane as safe to fly — had several crucial flaws.

Absolutely scathing. The Seattle Times contacted both the FAA and Boeing with details of its reporting four days before the crash in Ethiopia.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
Accidental Tech Podcast: 317: We’re Customers Too
from Daring Fireball

Terrific interview, including a hilarious anecdote about Schiller’s on-stage stunt at Macworld Expo in New York in 1999.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
yesterday by josephschmitt
The Talk Show ✪: Ep. 246, With Special Guest Matthew Panzarino
from Daring Fireball

Matthew “Hondo” Panzarino returns to the show. Topics include WWDC 2019, the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, Apple and privacy, the Boeing 737 Max, and Disney’s upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy Edge theme park lands.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
2 days ago by josephschmitt
Two-thirds of all Android antivirus apps are frauds | ZDNet
from Daring Fireball

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for ZDNet’s Zero Day:

An organization specialized in testing antivirus products concluded in a report published this week that roughly two-thirds of all Android antivirus apps are a sham and don’t work as advertised.

The report, published by Austrian antivirus testing outfit AV-Comparatives, was the result of a grueling testing process that took place in January this year and during which the organization’s staff looked at 250 Android antivirus apps available on the official Google Play Store.

How many do-nothing “antivirus” apps are in the iOS (and Mac) App Store though? Seriously — search for “antivirus” in the iOS App Store and look at the results. All sorts of “cleaners” and “security” apps that are placebos at best, and who knows what (especially if they offer VPNs) at worst. Some of them actually claim to be “antivirus” — especially on the Mac App Store. How would that actually work given App Store sandboxing rules?

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ifttt  daringfireball 
3 days ago by josephschmitt
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
from Daring Fireball

Sarah Frier, in a cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek*:

Unfortunately, the reporting system they described, which relies on low-wage human moderators and software, remains slow and under-resourced. Facebook could afford to pay its moderators more money, or hire more of them, or place much more stringent rules on what users can post — but any of those things would hurt the company’s profits and revenue. Instead, it’s adopted a reactive posture, attempting to make rules after problems have appeared. The rules are helping, but critics say Facebook needs to be much more proactive.

“The whole concept that you’re going to find things and fix them after they’ve gone into the system is flawed — it’s mathematically impossible,” says Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s early investors and, now, its loudest critic. McNamee, who recently published a book titled Zucked, argues that because the company’s ability to offer personalized advertising is dependent on collecting and processing huge quantities of user data, it has a strong disincentive to limit questionable content. “The way they’re looking at this, it’s just to avoid fixing problems inherent with the business model,” he says.

I absolutely love the magazine cover. I despise the custom text selection color they’ve chosen for the article on the website, which is — I swear — only 10 percent lighter than the pure black background.

* Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” in October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
4 days ago by josephschmitt
WWDC19 - Apple Developer
from Daring Fireball

One fun annual tradition is examining the poster art for WWDC and trying to surmise if it hints at anything that’s going to be announced. I’ll make one guess based on this year’s art: system-wide dark mode in iOS 13.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Apple to host annual Worldwide Developers Conference June 3-7 in San Jose  - Apple
from Daring Fireball

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose from June 3 through June 7 at the McEnery Convention Center. Now in its 30th year, Apple’s biggest event will bring together the world’s most innovative and creative developers. […]

Developers can apply for tickets today through March 20 at 5 p.m. PDT through the WWDC website. Tickets are issued through a random selection process, and developers will be notified of their application status by March 21 at 5 p.m. PDT. Developers and Apple enthusiasts everywhere can live-stream the conference on the WWDC app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV as well as through the Apple Developer website.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
The world pulls the Andon Cord on the 737 Max - The Air Current
from Daring Fireball

Jon Ostrower, writing at The Air Current (Ostrower has been reporting on — and cultivating sources in — the aviation industry for decades):

Every airplane development is a series of compromises, but to deliver the 737 Max with its promised fuel efficiency, Boeing had to fit 12 gallons into a 10 gallon jug. Its bigger engines made for creative solutions as it found a way to mount the larger CFM International turbines under the notoriously low-slung jetliner. It lengthened the nose landing gear by eight inches, cleaned up the aerodynamics of the tail cone, added new winglets, fly-by-wire spoilers and big displays for the next generation of pilots. It pushed technology, as it had done time and time again with ever-increasing costs, to deliver a product that made its jets more-efficient and less-costly to fly.

In the case of the 737 Max, with its nose pointed high in the air, the larger engines — generating their own lift — nudged it even higher. The risk Boeing found through analysis and later flight testing was that under certain high-speed conditions both in wind-up turns and wings-level flight, that upward nudge created a greater risk of stalling. Its solution was MCAS, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System control law that would allow for both generations of 737 to behave the same way. MCAS would automatically trim the horizontal stabilizer to bring the nose down, activated with Angle of Attack data. It’s now at the center of the Lion Air investigation and stalking the periphery of the Ethiopian crash.

A riveting read.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Several Boeing 737 Max 8 pilots in U.S. complained about suspected safety flaw | Airlines | Dallas News
from Daring Fireball

Cary Aspinwall, Ariana Giorgi, and Dom DiFurio, reporting for The Dallas Morning News:

Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” several months before Sunday’s Ethiopian Air crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found.

The News found five complaints about the Boeing model in a federal database where pilots can voluntarily report about aviation incidents without fear of repercussions. […]

The disclosures found by The News reference problems with an autopilot system, and they all occurred during the ascent after takeoff. Many mentioned the plane suddenly nosing down. While records show these flights occurred in October and November, the airlines the pilots were flying for is redacted from the database.

This, more than anything else I’ve read, makes me think it is the right decision to ground these planes pending an investigation. Here the key part of one of the pilot’s reports:

This description is not currently in the 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor the Boeing FCOM, though it will be added to them soon. This communication highlights that an entire system is not described in our Flight Manual. This system is now the subject of an AD.

I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models. The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error prone — even if the pilots aren’t sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place, and failure modes.

I am left to wonder: what else don’t I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient. All airlines that operate the MAX must insist that Boeing incorporate ALL systems in their manuals.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Boeing 737 Max Flights Banned by U.S. After Other Countries Ground Planes - The New York Times
from Daring Fireball

Ian Austen and Selam Gebrekidan, reporting for The New York Times:

President Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States was grounding Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, reversing an earlier decision by American regulators to keep the jets flying after a second deadly crash in Ethiopia.

The order came hours after Canada’s transport minister said that newly available satellite-tracking data suggested similarities between the crash in Ethiopia and another accident last October. In a statement released after Mr. Trump’s announcement, the F.A.A. also cited “newly refined satellite data” as supporting the decision to ground the jets. […]

The accidents have put Boeing on the defensive. The 737 Max is Boeing’s best-selling jet ever and expected to be a major driver of profit with around 5,000 of the planes on order. Its shares have fallen about 13 percent this week.

I’m not sure how to bet on how this is going to turn out. My gut feeling has been that these two crashes were flukes, and that the similarities between them were just a very unfortunate coincidence. Trump rage-tweeting about the complexity of newer aircraft seemingly put the FAA into a position where they had to ground them, though. And I can definitely see the argument that an overabundance of caution is called for.

I also wonder what this means for non-“Max” Boeing 737s — how many air travelers will be spooked just because they sport the 737 name?

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ifttt  daringfireball 
5 days ago by josephschmitt
Encyclopedia Netflixia: Translating Warner Media's Robert Greenblatt - Six Colors
from Daring Fireball

Jason Snell:

In the aftermath I’ve seen lots of folks stepping up to defend Encyclopedia Britannica(!) and Netflix. Maybe Greenblatt’s statement isn’t the most artfully worded. If you want to point and laugh, Nelson style, you can. Netflix is wildly successful… it’s not just a brand, it’s a powerful cultural force, the kind that can fill thrift stores after the launch of a show about de-cluttering, when it’s not winning multiple Academy Awards.

But I think I understand what Greenblatt is getting at.

Interesting counterpoint to my short take the other day. I think what Greenblatt was trying to say is that Netflix doesn’t have a premium brand, not that they don’t have a brand, period. I think that’s still very debatable, but not ridiculous.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
7 days ago by josephschmitt
AT&T’s new HBO chief criticizes Netflix, says it ‘doesn’t have a brand’ - The Verge
from Daring Fireball

Shannon Liao, writing for The Verge:

AT&T’s new head of HBO, Bob Greenblatt, was just hired on Monday, and by Tuesday, he was already criticizing Netflix. He told NBC News’ Dylan Byers, “Netflix doesn’t have a brand. It’s just a place you go to get anything — it’s like Encyclopedia Britannica.”

I don’t expect the head of HBO to say good things about Netflix, but this is so stupidly backward. Netflix’s brand is amazing. They’re a verb, for chrissakes. I love HBO, but no one has ever said “HBO and chill.”

(I’ll also add that Encyclopedia Britannica had a great brand.)

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ifttt  daringfireball 
11 days ago by josephschmitt
Twitter
from Daring Fireball

See also: “Eddy Internet”.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
11 days ago by josephschmitt
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
from Daring Fireball

Tim Culpan, writing for Bloomberg:

Two of my major beefs with Apple relate to the issues of bonded and underage labor. In the first instance, employees working for the iPhone maker’s suppliers are required to pay upfront fees just to secure a job. This money is usually paid to recruitment agencies. The second is self-explanatory.

Both problems have almost been stamped out.

I’m not aware of any other company that issues supply chain labor reports like Apple does, either.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
12 days ago by josephschmitt
Trump called Apple’s CEO ‘Tim Apple’ by mistake – TechCrunch
from Daring Fireball

Taylor Hatmaker, writing at TechCrunch:

In the video from Cook’s appearance with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, Trump invents Tim Apple at 1:03 before launching into a tirade on unspecified murders in Mexico.

“You’ve really put a great investment in our country. We really appreciate it very much, Tim Apple,” Trump said.

Mr. Apple looks happy as a clam to be there, as well.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
12 days ago by josephschmitt
www.washingtonpost.com
from Daring Fireball

Michael Brice-Saddler, reporting for The Washington Post:

An 18-year-old from Ohio who famously inoculated himself against his mother’s wishes in December says he attributes his mother’s anti-vaccine ideology to a single source: Facebook.

Nice work, Zuckerberg.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
13 days ago by josephschmitt
Apple's Hollywood venture marred by 'intrusive' Tim Cook
from Daring Fireball

Alexandra Steigrad and Nicolas Vega, writing for The New York Post:

Shortly after Apple announced its Hollywood ambitions in 2017, Tinseltown’s wheeler-dealers were lining up to work with the iPhone maker. But as the company’s streaming project gets ready for launch, agents and producers can’t stop griping about how “difficult” Apple is to deal with — citing a “lack of transparency,” “lack of clarity” and “intrusive” executives, including CEO Cook.

One of the biggest complaints involves the many “notes” from Apple executives seeking family-friendly shows, sources said.

“Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved,” said a producer who has worked with Apple. One of the CEO’s most repeated notes is “don’t be so mean!” the source said.

Sounds bad, but I wouldn’t read too much into this. It’s The New York Post, for one thing, and all the quotes are so anonymous they don’t even say which shows they’re talking about. We’d see catty pieces like this about Apple’s original content efforts no matter how things were going.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
13 days ago by josephschmitt
www.washingtonpost.com
from Daring Fireball

One more item on the state of Trump’s kakistocracy. Reis Thebault, writing for The Washington Post:

“FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes,” Trump wrote Monday, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts. […]

Trump’s enthusiastic assurance that Alabama would get top-flight help contrasts sharply with his barbed rhetoric following horrific wildfires in California and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, when he repeatedly threatened to cut off federal aid and picked fights with local politicians, in one instance calling the mayor of San Juan “totally incompetent.”

The difference between Alabama and Puerto Rico and California, the president’s critics say, is obvious.

“The president really treats differently those people who have supported him in the past and those people who haven’t,” Brian Ott, a rhetoric professor at Texas Tech University, told The Washington Post. “Not all lives are equal in the eyes of the president. … The lives of red states matter, and the lives of blue states don’t.”

It’s one outrage after another with this administration, I know. A non-stop barrage on our collective sense of normalcy and decency. But it’s worth taking a moment here to ponder just how morally bankrupt Trump is to see emergency disaster relief as a reward to be doled out based on his perceived political support among those affected.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
13 days ago by josephschmitt

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