Ajit Pai Is an Idiot

Fire Him. Now.
Ajit Pai Is an Idiot

Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, recently put out a statement asking all cell phone manufacturers (including Apple by name) to “flip the switch” on the FM radios built into iPhones to help during natural disasters.

Good idea, except there is no switch. And no FM radio.

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16 Years
Never 'Never Forget'

I took this picture from the Brooklyn Promenade on September 11, 2003. The Promenade is about 3 blocks from my old Brooklyn apartment where I lived from 2003-2011.

It was the two year anniversary of the attacks of 2001. I was living in New York at the time, but I happened to be visiting my family in Northern Virginia that day. My mom called me from work to tell me there was a plane accident in New York, and I turned on the TV just in time to watch the second plane hit.

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FaceID Might Be a Thing

In the latest public beta of iOS, the TouchID interface changed from a solid white panel that slid up from the bottom to a full screen blurred overlay.

It struck me that this is the same overlay that FaceTime uses when choosing someone to call.

I’m beginning to think all the rumors about a facial recognition system may be legit. If the “authorize my phone to do this thing” screen looks like FaceTime but works with TouchID, it’s not too much of a stretch to think that “FaceID” could be an option on this screen.

And on top of that, if/when Apple gets the fingerprint sensor working behind a display, putting my thumb on that image in the center of the screen would allow for edge-to-edge screens with no bezels.

What is dead may never die
Flash Is Sunsetting

Adobe announced today that 2020 is the end of the line for Flash.

Finally™

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It's the software, stupid.
Between the Bezels

Boy Genius reviewed the new Samsung Galaxy S8, and it’s terrible. Not the phone, the review.

Let’s start with the title:

Samsung Galaxy S8 review: Meet the envy of every iPhone user

Ugh.

By all accounts, Samsung has hit it out of the park with the S8 design. It looks like a great device, and is obvioulsly leading the way for the next couple years of phone design.

But, Zach Epstein’s review is garbage.

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Who needs privacy, anyway?
It's Not About The Porn

Today, Republicans (and only Republicans) voted to strip the American people of their privacy online.

That’s the only way to look at it.

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A case for an external TouchBar
The UnTouch Bar

I’ve been playing with Touché from Red Sweater Software, and I can really see a case for the TouchBar on an external Keyboard doohickey.

A lot of people say the TouchBar isn’t that useful, but as a desktop user, I installed Touché and it has dramatically changed a couple of things for me.

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We don't need no stinking tags
Emoji Tags in Workflow

I love the Workflow app. It’s simply the most powerful automation tool on iOS. Workflow, along with Working Copy and 1Writer, are what keeps my blog going. But there is a small problem. When you have a ton of workflows, finding them can be a chore. That’s where Emoji Tags come in.

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Isn't this one obvious?
Step It Up, Siri

Siri is great at a lot of things, but Apple really needs to get the obvious things into her (it?). I hear it’s great at telling me when the next Braves game is, but I don’t even watch hockey.

One thing nearly every American should know is where they should go to vote.

I asked a simple question - Where can I vote tomorrow?

Siri gave me a bunch of irrelevant web searches. So, I opened the Google app and asked the exact same question using Google voice search.

Google already knows my home address (as does Siri), so I got my polling place, the hours, and the fact that early voting is available in my state.

I also got links to directions, “how to vote”, and “how to register to vote”. Further down the page, there were web search results to things like what all the silly California propositions mean and then some news stories about the election.

Meanwhile, Siri is giving me links about where I could vote if I happened to be in Washington DC.

SMH.

When a dongle, isn't.
DongleGate

A lot has been said over Apple’s recent move away from “legacy” ports. Laptops are USB-C, the headphone jack is gone from the iPhone, and everyone’s talking about dongles.

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Donate. It's easy.
Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew just swept Haiti, the Caribbean, & the East Coast of America and the Red Cross is doing what it does.

Apple has been working with the Red Cross to accept donations for years, and this is no different. As always, it’s easy and 100% of your donation goes straight to the Red Cross. No App Store cuts or credit card fees are kept by Apple.

Give if you can.

This Is Why HomeKit Is Secure

IoT BotNets are a thing.

Bruce Schneier, on Motherboard:

Much has been written about how the IoT is wildly insecure. In fact, the software used to attack Krebs was simple and amateurish. What this attack demonstrates is that the economics of the IoT mean that it will remain insecure unless government steps in to fix the problem. This is a market failure that can’t get fixed on its own.

I disagree with this sentiment. A lot of people have written about how Apple’s HomeKit is never going to work because it requires proprietary chips and a licencing fee.

This is EXACTLY the reason Apple set these limits. They’re not making HomeKit secure because they don’t want randos turning your Hue lights on and off.

They make it secure so hackers don’t have a 7-billion-node botnet.

When you control the stack...
iOS and tvOS Playing Nice

Just noticed a nifty thing watching Netflix’s Luke Cage tonight on my AppleTV. If you enter a search box, you get a push notification on your phone (and iPad). Force-press the notification, and pop into a keyboard to type your search without even unlocking your phone.

Neat.