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Amazon continues to profit from the sale of white-supremacist propaganda, report says - The Washington Post
from Daring Fireball

Tracy Jan, reporting earlier this month for The Washington Post:

Shoppers can purchase Amazon.com merchandise displaying symbols of white supremacy, such as a swastika necklace, a baby onesie with a burning cross, and a child’s backpack featuring a neo-Nazi meme, all in contradiction of the retail giant’s policy against selling products that promote hatred, according to a new report from two watchdog groups.

Trump argues that The Washington Post is, under Jeff Bezos’s ownership, a propaganda mouthpiece for Amazon. It simply doesn’t register with Trump that Bezos would even consider allowing the Post to remain utterly editorially independent.

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13 hours ago by josephschmitt
Uber executive Hornsey resigns in email to staff following discrimination probe | Reuters
from Daring Fireball

Salvador Rodriguez, reporting last week for Reuters:

Uber Technologies Inc’s Chief People Officer Liane Hornsey resigned in an email to staff on Tuesday, following an investigation into how she handled allegations of racial discrimination at the ride-hailing firm. […]

They alleged Hornsey had used discriminatory language and made derogatory comments about Uber Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Bernard Coleman, and had denigrated and threatened former Uber executive Bozoma Saint John, who left the company in June.

“This person ultimately was the reason behind (Saint John’s) departure from Uber,” the anonymous employees said in an email, referring to Hornsey.

Saint John joined Uber from Apple Inc in June, 2017 but left only a year later to join Endeavor, the parent company of several talent agencies. She declined to comment, telling Reuters by phone: “I don’t have anything to say about my experience there.”

I thought it was curious when Saint John left Uber after just one year. Uber’s company culture remains disgraceful.

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13 hours ago by josephschmitt
Twitter
Supporting Michael Tsai’s Blog: https://t.co/QxU3KPDrAe

— Daring Fireball (@daringfireball) July 17, 2018
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14 hours ago by mjtsai
The Great Apple MacBook Pro Cover Up | iFixit
from Daring Fireball

Sam Lionhart, writing for iFixit:

Here’s an inflammatory take for you: Apple’s new quieter keyboard is actually a silent scheme to fix their keyboard reliability issues. We’re in the middle of tearing down the newest MacBook Pro, but we’re too excited to hold this particular bit of news back:

Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier.

I think it’s a stretch to call this a “cover-up” or “inflammatory”, but it certainly gives credence to the theory that improved reliability was in fact a major design goal for this keyboard.

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15 hours ago by josephschmitt
Michael Tsai - Blog - Supporting This Site
from Daring Fireball

Michael Tsai:

I’ve been told this is overdue, but I’d like to ask you to help support this site financially. This is optional. I’m not creating a paywall, and I don’t want you to feel guilty if you aren’t able to help. But if you enjoy what I’m doing here, please consider joining via Patreon.

To be clear, I see this site as a labor of love. I’m not interested in making it more commercial or in giving up software development. I would like to keep it going more or less as it’s been: a personal site with a regular posting schedule. However, the writing does consume a substantial amount of my time, and I’m hoping that patronage will help me to justify that.

Tsai has long been one of my favorite bloggers and Mac developers. I conducted a long interview with Tsai back in 2003 — still an interesting read today. His blog is simply great, period — just look at how many great links are on his homepage right now — but where he truly stands apart are the times he assembles links to commentary from dozens of people on complex stories. Here’s a great example from last week on the updated MacBook Pros. I’m happy to support his continuing work.

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15 hours ago by josephschmitt
Do you really need to properly eject a USB drive before yanking it out? | Popular Science
from Daring Fireball

Rob Verger, writing for Popular Science:

Pull a USB flash drive out of your Mac without first clicking to eject it, and you’ll get a stern, shameful warning: “Disk Not Ejected Properly.”

But do you really need to eject a thumb drive the right way?

Probably not. Just wait for it to finish copying your data, give it a few seconds, then yank. To be on the cautious side, be more conservative with external hard drives, especially the old ones that actually spin.

That’s not the official procedure, nor the most conservative approach. And in a worst-case scenario, you risk corrupting a file or — even more unlikely — the entire storage device.

This is terrible advice. It’s akin to saying you probably don’t need to wear a seat belt because it’s unlikely anything bad will happen. Imagine a few dozen people saying they drive without a seat belt every day and nothing’s ever gone wrong, so it must be OK. (The breakdown in this analogy is that with seat belts, you know instantly when you need to be wearing one. With USB drives, you might not discover for months or years that you’ve got a corrupt file that was only partially written to disk when you yanked the drive.)

I see a bunch of “just pull out the drive and not worry about it” Mac users on Twitter celebrating this article, and I don’t get it. On the Mac you have to do something on screen when you eject a drive. Either you properly eject it before unplugging the drive — one click in the Finder sidebar — or you need to dismiss the alert you’ll get about having removed a drive that wasn’t properly ejected. Why not take the course of action that guarantees data integrity?

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15 hours ago by josephschmitt
Apple, Google cashed in on Pizzagate-offshoot conspiracy app
from Daring Fireball

NBC News:

An app promoting a conspiracy theory featuring Hillary Clinton and a child sex ring lingered at the top of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store for months, with both tech giants receiving a cut of the revenue in the process.

The app, called “QDrops,” sends alerts about a conspiracy theory called Qanon, an offshoot of the “pizzagate” fiction that claimed Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington pizza shop that didn’t even have a basement. Like many conspiracy theories, Qanon got its start on 4chan, an anonymous posting site that is a seedbed for extreme thought and a large number of online subcultures.

Apple removed the QDrops app from its app store on Sunday after inquiries from NBC News.

There’s a fine line between “right-wing news” and “dangerous conspiracies”, but App Store reviewers are there to make those calls. This is not a good look for Apple.

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16 hours ago by josephschmitt
Apple celebrates World Emoji Day - Apple
from Daring Fireball

Apple Newsroom:

More than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a free software update. The new emoji designs, created based on approved characters in Unicode 11.0, include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.

Apple is having some fun with their executive bio page too.

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yesterday by josephschmitt
Fox Host Calls Trump’s Presser Performance ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Wrong’ – Talking Points Memo
from Daring Fireball

TPM:

During his Fox Business Network show Monday, host Neil Cavuto called President Donald Trump’s failure to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Russian interference in the 2016 election “disgusting,” saying that the presser “set us back a lot.”

“That made it disgusting. That made his performance disgusting,” Cavuto said of Trump’s refusal to even criticize the Russian President. “Only way I feel. Not a right or left thing to me. It is wrong.”

I’ve been thinking for a few months now that the most powerful person in the world isn’t Trump or Putin but Rupert Murdoch. If Fox News turned against Trump — not against Republicans, not against conservatives, but only against Trump and his family — it would sink Trump’s presidency within months. Politically, Trump couldn’t breathe without the support of Fox News. Rupert Murdoch could make that happen.

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yesterday by josephschmitt
Presidential debate: Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump 'a puppet' for Vladimir Putin - YouTube
from Daring Fireball

Hillary Clinton’s remarks during a 2016 debate on Donald Trump being a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin have proven depressingly spot-on. Everything she said in this clip has come to pass.

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yesterday by josephschmitt
The Andromeda Journey Continues - Thurrott.com
from Daring Fireball

Brian Sams, writing at, uh, “Thurrott”:

As of last year, Microsoft planned to ship Andromeda in late 2018 but as recently as a couple weeks ago, the company put the plans on ice. Mary Jo wrote last week that the bits needed for Andromeda would not make it into RS5 and she is absolutely correct in her assessment but there is more to the story. While some assumed that this means that the project is dead, what Microsoft is actually doing is sending it back to the labs to be significantly reworked.

And this makes sense, seeing as it would use an ARM processor, the best it could use this fall would be the Snapdragon 835, a chip that is from yesterday. We know that Qualcomm is working on new chips designed explicitly for PCs and it could arrive as early as the beginning of next year.

It is impossible to overstate how important Apple’s A-series chip development has been to the success of the iPhone and iPad. It allows them to evolve at Apple’s own pace. Qualcomm seemingly can’t keep up, and everyone else is dependent upon Qualcomm for high-end ARM chips. Apple’s current position in the mobile space is like if Microsoft and Intel had been rolled into one back in the PC heyday.

The problem that Microsoft has run into is that the Surface brand is now a premium product line and that they can’t risk releasing anything that will tarnish its reputation. If Andromeda were to be released and it was a complete flop, this could reflect negatively on the Surface brand and impact products like the Pro line that sell quite well.

I don’t buy this excuse at all. It’s not about the Surface brand (the esteem of which I think Sams overstates). It’s just a product that isn’t ready to go. There’s no shame in that — a foldable tablet that can fit in your pocket could be great but would be really hard to do well today given current display and battery technologies. I think a concept like this needs to be closer to the tablets the characters on Westworld use.

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yesterday by josephschmitt
Build-A-Bear 'Pay Your Age Day' chaos is sign of success - Business Insider
from Daring Fireball

I love it when an honest, accurate, non-sensationalized headline is enough to make you laugh.

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4 days ago by josephschmitt
Bhutan Travel: Kingdom of the Clouds Tour
from Daring Fireball

My thanks to Gray Langur Tours for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Gray Langur’s Kingdom of the Clouds Tour is a once-in-a-lifetime, all-inclusive, 2-week exploration of one of the world’s least accessible, yet astonishingly forward-thinking countries. Bhutan is the the only place where “Gross National Happiness” is more important than Gross National Product, and tourism is regulated with care.

On October 16, 2018, Gray Langur Tours will return to this fascinating Himalayan Kingdom for the third annual Royal Highlander Festival. Last year’s tour was a smashing success, and guests even got to meet Bhutan’s king.

An exotic location — the last surviving great Himalayan kingdom — with truly expert guides. Check out their website and see just how amazing Bhutan is. Gray Langur was founded by Gabriel Cubbage, who until recently was the CEO of AdBlock and whom I’ve known personally for over 10 years. He’s a great guy. I would love to hear from DF readers who take this tour (or who took last year’s tour).

Availability is extremely limited. Daring Fireball readers can use the code DARINGFIREBALL for a 10% discount.

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4 days ago by josephschmitt
Magic Leap Finally Demoed Its Headset And It Is... Disappointing - Digg
from Daring Fireball

I’ve long been suspicious that the reason Magic Leap is so secretive about their actual technology is that it’s nowhere close to what they promised in their concept videos. This seems to confirm it.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict that this puff piece from Wired back in December — “It’s Time to Take Magic Leap Seriously” — is not going to age well.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
This $39 Device Can Defeat iOS USB Restricted Mode | ElcomSoft blog
from Daring Fireball

Oleg Afonin, writing for the ElcomSoft blog:

What we discovered is that iOS will reset the USB Restrictive Mode countdown timer even if one connects the iPhone to an untrusted USB accessory, one that has never been paired to the iPhone before (well, in fact the accessories do not require pairing at all). In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour. Importantly, this only helps if the iPhone has still not entered USB Restricted Mode.

Most (if not all) USB accessories fit the purpose — for example, Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter from Apple.

They think this might be tricky for Apple to fix:

Can Apple change it in future versions of iOS? To us, it seems highly unlikely simply because of the humongous amount of MFi devices that aren’t designed to support such a change. Theoretically, iOS could remember which devices were connected to the iPhone, and only allow those accessories to establish connectivity without requiring an unlock — but that’s about all we can think of.

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6 days ago by josephschmitt
10 years of the App Store: The design evolution of the earliest apps | 9to5Mac
from Daring Fireball

Michael Steeber, writing for 9to5Mac:

Few contemporary innovations have changed how we live our lives and interact with the world around us more than iPhone apps. The creators of the first 500 available at launch had the unique opportunity of shaping the design direction and interaction methods of the millions of apps created since.

To celebrate the App Store’s 10th anniversary, let’s study the visual evolution of 10 original App Store apps.

Another great look back. Steeber selected a great group of apps from 2008 that are still going strong, and perfectly illustrates their design evolutions.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
The App Store turns 10 - Apple
from Daring Fireball

There have been a slew of retrospectives marking the 10-year anniversary of the App Store, but Apple’s own is the most interesting I’ve seen.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
6 days ago by josephschmitt
Former Apple Employee Charged With Theft of Trade Secrets Related to Autonomous Car Project - Mac Rumors
from Daring Fireball

Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors:

In April 2018, Zhang took family leave from Apple following the birth of his child, and during that time, he visited China. Shortly after, he told his supervisor at Apple he was leaving the company and moving to China to work for XMotors, a Chinese startup that also focuses on autonomous vehicle technology. […]

A review of recorded footage at Apple indicated Zhang had visited the campus on the evening of Saturday, April 28, entering both Apple’s autonomous vehicle software and hardware labs, which coincided with data download times, and he left with a box of hardware.

In a second interview with Apple’s security team, Zhang admitted to taking both online data and hardware (a Linux server and circuit boards) from Apple during his paternity leave. He also admitted to AirDropping sensitive content from his own device to his wife’s laptop.

All of Apple’s evidence was relayed to the FBI after the company’s Digital Forensic Investigations team discovered that at least 60 percent of the data Zhang had downloaded and transferred to his wife’s computer was “highly problematic.” The FBI, in the court filing, describes the information as “largely technical in nature, including engineering schematics, technical reference manuals, and technical reports.”

Holy shit. This sounds like industrial espionage of the highest order.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
7 days ago by josephschmitt
Apple combines machine learning and Siri teams under Giannandrea – TechCrunch
from Daring Fireball

Matthew Panzarino, writing at TechCrunch:

Apple is creating a new AI/ML team that brings together its Core ML and Siri teams under one leader in John Giannandrea.

Apple confirmed this morning that the combined Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning team, which houses Siri, will be led by the recent hire, who came to Apple this year after an eight-year stint at Google, where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research and Search teams. Before that he founded Metaweb Technologies and Tellme.

The internal structures of the Siri and Core ML teams will remain the same, but they will now answer to Giannandrea.

This exactly what I expected after they announced the hiring of Giannandrea. It takes Siri and ML off Craig Federighi’s plate, and allows Giannandrea to report directly to Tim Cook.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
7 days ago by josephschmitt
Exclusive: Apple to deploy 1Password to all 123,000 employees, acquisition talks underway – BGR
from Daring Fireball

Jonathan Geller, writing at BGR:

Apple acquires an average of 15 to 20 companies a year, according to CEO Tim Cook. Of that number, we only hear about a couple, as most of these acquisitions or aqcui-hires are not consumer-facing, nor disclosed. However, we have exclusively learned that Apple is planning an interesting partnership and a potential acquisition of AgileBits, maker of the popular password manager 1Password.

According to our source, after many months of planning, Apple plans to deploy 1Password internally to all 123,000 employees. This includes not just employees in Cupertino, but extends all the way to retail, too. Furthermore, the company is said to have carved out a deal that includes family plans, giving up to 5 family members of each employee a free license for 1Password.

Great news and a resounding endorsement of 1Password for AgileBits. But if Apple thinks 1Password is this good, an acquisition seems like an obvious next step.

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ifttt  daringfireball 
7 days ago by josephschmitt

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