September 25, 2017

Article: Working From An iPhone

Choosing a particular device to be your primary computing device can be very rewarding once you think you’ve made the right choice. I managed to get most of my use to a 12.9″ iPad Pro. In tandem with an a current-generation Mac mini and an iPhone SE, my personal technology lineup was pretty complete. At work, I was doing most of my work off of a work-issued iPad Air 2 or my iPhone in a pinch…

September 9, 2017

Link: How Instagram Made Justin Blanton a Better Photographer ☍

Justin Blanton:

The gist is that Instagram forced me into a much more frequent posting schedule, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that. One of the phrases I’ve always liked is “kill your darlings,” which means, loosely, don’t selfishly hold on too tight to your successes/loves.

Before Instagram, back when I was running my own photoblog, each photo was my darling, and I never wanted to post the next picture because it effectively “killed” the previous one. Silly? Sure, but that’s how I thought about it.

The idea of multiple photos being shared on a regular basis does allow for some fun and learning about how you take photos to share. While comments I receive aren’t typically about photographic composition or other skills, I do feel that the environment is a more positive one than other social networks.

Article: Giving Prepaid a Chance

Typically the words that come to mind when someone talks about prepaid phone service are cheap, lousy service, used for nefarious acts, or something similarly negative. There’s also the socioeconomic stereotypes that get thrown around. With all the price wars going on in the mobile world, I decided to give prepaid a try. I learned a few things in the past six months…

August 23, 2017

Link: One Reason I Stick With Apple Stuff: Respect ☍

David Chartier:

A big reason I often stick with Apple stuff is that the entire tech industry is racing to see who can treat us with the least respect. The latest challenger is Sonos with its new “give us your data or your stuff stops working” privacy threat policy.

I don’t always want to stick with Apple stuff just because it’s Apple. I may like Apple, and most of my career is based in Apple’s ecosystem. But we also have a couple Sonos speakers, I generally like them, and there are all sorts of great companies and products out there not made by Apple. My problem is that this trend of treating us like data batteries from The Matrix deeply disturbs me. It increasingly gives me pause about trusting many new companies and products.

Link: AccuWeather Sends Location Data Even When Location Services Are Disabled ☍

Will Strafach:

The AccuWeather application for iOS requests location access under the premise of providing users localized severe weather alerts, critical updates, and faster launch time. Granting access to location information will also cause the application to send the following bits of information off to “revealmobile.com”:

  • Your precise GPS coordinates, including current speed and altitude.
  • The name and “BSSID” of the Wi-Fi router you are currently connected to, which can be used for geolocation through various online services.
  • Whether your device has bluetooth turned on or off.

During a testing period of 36 hours, specifically while the AccuWeather application was not in the foreground, my test iPhone (located on a desk in an office building) sent the above information to RevealMobile a total of 16 times, occuring roughly once every few hours.

This kind of behavior is about as scummy as you can get in the world of iOS. AccuWeather should be ashamed for violating the trust of users, and anyone who does use their apps should look for alternatives.

Update: John Gruber’s comments on AccuWeather’s response are also spot-on.