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.

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.

July 28, 2017

Link: Then There Was One ☍

Stephen Hackett:

The iPod world has ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, as apple.com/ipod now redirects to apple.com/ipod-touch. Both of the smaller music players were there just a few days ago.

Apple hasn’t published a press release on its website, but issued a statement to the press:

Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano.

Ever since Apple started a big push for people to use Apple Music, I suspected the older iPods weren’t long for this world. At this point, I’m surprised the iPod touch is still around, although with the iPad mini also in question, it could be the surviving low-end iOS device. Still, it’s just a bit sad to see the last of the original iPods discontinued.

July 10, 2017

Link: Why I Had to Switch to iPhone SE ☍

Om Malik:

Over past few months, I have been experiencing increasing pain in my left wrist and thumb. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. I thought it was a broken bone or something like that. I mean it was painful and it forced me to visit my doctor[.] According to my doctor is because of overusing my left thumb on the phone. She pointed out it is only a matter of time before this turns into a full-blown case of carpal tunnel syndrome and I will need surgery to fix it. So I have a brace on my left hand and a smaller phone will allow me to do a lot less than the big phone and hopefully I will heal sooner.