August 29, 2015

Link: Tidal Seems to Play Dirty ☍

Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:

If you opened up Tidal last night, you would have found it streaming Lil Wayne’s Lil Weezyana Fest in New Orleans. That is, up until Drake came on. As Drake took the stage for a brief set, Tidal cut its stream and put up a message. “Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream,” it said. “Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience.”[…]

According to BuzzFeed News, Apple had no say in Drake’s stream being cut. The report says that Apple did not threaten to sue Tidal over the appearance — it supposedly didn’t even know that the event was going on. Instead, Drake’s manager says that it was “100 percent” his decision not to stream the performance. “Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream,” his manager says. Drake’s camp apparently didn’t want his set streamed because they were unable to ensure that it “represented us in the right way.”[…]

Tidal maintains that what it said is right. In a statement, Tidal says that it has the paper trail to prove its side, although it’s seemingly declining to publish it: “We have all the email receipts and written correspondence that took place with said, blocked performance,” Tidal writes in a statement provided to The Verge.

I get that Apple has been the 800 pound gorilla in the world of digital music for over a decade now, and many people seeing Tidal’s message won’t question that Apple had a hand in this, but this seems like a desperate attempt to stay relevant for a struggling service. Drake could be covering for Apple, but then why won’t Tidal show its paper trail?

Link: Google Under Fire for Undermining Apple’s Security (Again) ☍

Jeff John Roberts for Fortune:

Those settings, which are slated to arrive when Apple launches its iOS 9 operating system in September, will require all content that arrives on an iPhone (via apps, ads or otherwise) to use an encryption setting known as “https.” The setting ensures that third parties can’t read or track what users are doing on their phones.

In a blog post this week, Google told AdMob users to get ready for the new Apple setting. But if they’re not prepared, Google said, they can use a few lines of code to override it. While this appears to be just a temporary suggestion for clumsy developers, it struck a raw nerve of the tech community…

I’m all for Google making money off of ads, but to encourage sloppy security (or none at all) for the sake of ads is about as careless as you can get.

August 27, 2015

Link: Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint ☍

Juli Clover:

As predicted in August, Apple is planning to hold a media event on Wednesday, September 9 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Media invites were sent out today, with Yahoo’s Alyssa Bereznak sharing the first look at the artwork and tagline for the invitations: “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

Besides Siri giving some clever responses to the statement, Apple will be live streaming the event to those with a Mac, PC (Windows 10 only), Apple TV, or iOS device.

August 25, 2015

Link: Windows 95 Hysteria ☍

Chris Wild profiles for Mashable the launch of Windows 95 and the features that set it apart from its predecessors. I borrowed the link from Stephen Hackett, and wanted to share my own Windows 95 story:

Like Mr. Hackett, the first Windows-based computer I ever used regularly was my dad’s work laptop IBM ThinkPad 750c running Windows 3.1, and then a Toshiba Satellite something-or-other running Windows 95. I always got to tinker with these, which in hindsight, I’m really surprised my dad trusted me since these were in the days of single-users.

I remember the massive marketing push, mostly because my dad was watching a lot of CNBC on days when he worked at home and they covered the launch quite thoroughly (for context, I seem to remember Microsoft getting as much ridiculous coverage on that network as Apple does today). I was fascinated by Windows 95, how Microsoft completely redesigned their user interface and it also felt much more modern than the Program Manager of Windows 3.1.

Our “family PC” was an IBM running Windows 3.1, bought just before Windows 95 was released.
Although I’m often running an operating system regularly before it ships these days, the choice to upgrade to Windows 95 never really happened for that IBM, partially because my mom got very used to Windows 3.1 and didn’t have a compelling reason to upgrade.

At that point, I had plenty of Mac-using years at school under my belt and eventually began bringing ancient Macs home to play with. Regardless, it’s hard to believe that Windows 95 was introduced twenty years ago and how much in the world of technology has changed, especially how Microsoft was on the upswing at that point, and Apple was blissfully unaware of its impending flirtation with doom. Now I feel old…

August 23, 2015

Link: iSight Camera Replacement Program for iPhone 6 Plus ☍

Apple is covering an issue on the first batches of the biggest iPhone for the next three years:

Apple has determined that, in a small percentage of iPhone 6 Plus devices, the iSight camera has a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry. The affected units fall into a limited serial number range and were sold primarily between September 2014 and January 2015.

If your iPhone 6 Plus is producing blurry photos and falls into the eligible serial number range, Apple will replace your device’s iSight camera, free of charge.

I’m with John Gruber that most people probably have never referred to the rear camera as an “iSight” camera, but nonetheless, this program is good, especially since a number of the affected iPhones will probably have expiring warranties next month.

August 21, 2015

Link: Spotify Really Wants to Know You ☍

“If you don’t agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, then please don’t use the Service.” – Spotify

When you get down to it, contacts, photos, locations, Facebook information have nothing to do with streaming music.

Update: Apparently they’re just really bad at communication, which may be even worse. According to the company, they’re really sorry.

August 12, 2015

Article: Good Enough

As someone whose day job involves working with a bunch of so-called "power users" of Macs and Windows machines, it’s really easy for us to fall into the trap of wanting the highest-level configuration of any particular piece of hardware because we know what we’re doing. I’ve always taken a more modest approach, mostly to be mindful of budgets, but I’m recently noticing this in a very apparent way with Windows 10 and the most recent versions of Mac OS X…

August 6, 2015

Link: Apple Blends Store and Main Site ☍

This is an interesting, but understandable change. Gone is the “Store” tab, and a site-wide shopping bag is now prominently featured. You can now place items in your bag directly from the information pages, rather than learning about the product, then being linked to the accompanying Apple Store page. I suspect this could be the end of WebObjects and further simplifies so many things about Apple’s site. In fact, it almost feels like a web version of the Apple Store iOS app, which really makes sense.