Archive for April 2018

Hacker Morality

For him, the platform’s failure to protect itself from manipulation has established an uneven playing field just asking to be exploited.

Source: Real People Are Turning Their Accounts Into Bots On Instagram — And Cashing In

A requiem for the original AirPort: A testament to everything Apple was and isn’t anymore

It would have been easy to target pro users with AirPort, both from a pragmatic and a sales point. But by designing its AirPort to work with a candy-colored laptop rather than its more mature PowerBooks, Steve was telling the world that Wi-Fi was the future, and it shouldn’t be limited to professional users.

Even in 1999, AirPort didn’t deliver the “baby internet.” It had a top speed of 11 megabits per second and more importantly, it embraced privacy with full end-to-end encryption. That was unheard of in a consumer laptop. The clamshell iBook didn’t necessarily look the part, but AirPort made it one of the most cutting-edge products in Apple’s matrix, and it would take several months for the rest of the Macs to catch up.

Source: A requiem for the original AirPort: A testament to everything Apple was and isn’t anymore | Macworld

The internet is a hostile information architecture designed for corporations, not people

Unless you make money by trafficking in user data, internet architecture is hostile from top to bottom. That the business model of companies like Facebook is based on targeted advertising is only part of the story. Here are some other examples of how the internet is designed by and for companies, not the public.

Consider first that the internet in the U.S. isn’t actually, in any legal sense, a public space. The hardware is all owned by telecom companies, and they have successfully lobbied 20 state legislatures to ban efforts by cities to build out public broadband.

Copyright law gives sites like YouTube very strong legal incentives to unilaterally and automatically, without user consent, take down material that someone says is infringing, and very few incentives to restore it, even if it is legitimate.

Source: The internet is designed for corporations, not people

GDPR – A Practical Guide For Developers

GDPR – A Practical Guide For Developers – Bozho’s tech blog
— Read on techblog.bozho.net/gdpr-practical-guide-developers/

Pretty good simple direct summary

How merchants use Facebook to flood Amazon with fake reviews

A Post examination found the majority of reviews on some popular products appeared to violate the e-commerce giant’s policies.

www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/how-merchants-secretly-use-facebook-to-flood-amazon-with-fake-reviews/2018/04/23/5dad1e30-4392-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

This won’t be solved as long as human to human interaction is considered “too expensive”, there is always a cost to cheap.

Which iPhone Has the Best Battery Life?

The phone that came out on top, however, was the iPhone X, which stayed alive for 9 and a half hours. The 6S Plus (surprisingly) came in second place with 8 hours and 47 minutes, the 8 Plus in third with 7 hours and 46 minutes, and the 7 Plus with 7 hours and 22 minutes.

It’s hard to make any definitive assumptions based on these results, though. While the 6S Plus coming in second was definitely unusual considering it is the oldest phone in our lineup, this entire experiment calls into question which activities and hardware actually drain a battery the quickest.

The iPhone 7 Plus touts a 2,9000mAh battery — the largest battery ever placed in an iPhone — yet it showcased the worst battery life of any device in our lineup. This also brings up questions regarding screen size, since the X was the smallest phone of the lot.

Source: iPhone Battery Test | Which iPhone Has the Best Battery Life? | Digital Trends

Google Chat Trouble with Tribbles

An obvious thought: if Google even looks as though it is positioning this as a way to “kill iMessage”, Apple will never support it, and if Apple doesn’t support it then operators are going to wonder why they’re letting Google screw up their golden goose, and they won’t support it after all. Google can preload it on Android phones, but that’s not “killing iMessage”; it’s “providing an alternative to iMessage”, which WhatsApp and latterly Facebook Messenger have done for years without “killing” iMessage.

Google, seems to be rewriting the Star Trek episode of The Trouble With Tribbles, but with chat apps taking the part of the tribbles.

Source: The Overspill: when there’s more that I want to say | Charles Arthur’s site for links, observations and writing

Not making decisions 

I think that the biggest problem that Reddit had and continues to have, and that all of the platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and Discord now continue to have is that they’re not making decisions, is that there is absolutely no active thought going into their problems — problems that are going to exist in coming months or years — and what they can do to combat them. I know firsthand that between 2011 and 2015 or 2016, there was just really no thought going into it until I took over product, Ellen [Pao] took over the CEO role, and Jessica [Moreno] took over the head of community role, and we started trying to think about what was going on and what was going to be happening in the future.

We can talk about those decisions if you want, but I think the more interesting aspect is just why people aren’t thinking about this stuff, and how can we get people to think about this stuff. That’s really half of the premise of why Imzy was started. I think there’s just a complete breakdown in the kind of thought process behind how your technology is going to affect the users that use it and the world at large, and the incentive structure that is behind Silicon Valley start-ups and how they’re formed.

What’s that incentive structure?
The incentive structure is simply growth at all costs. There was never, in any board meeting that I have ever attended, a conversation about the users, about things that were going on that were bad, about potential dangers, about decisions that might affect potential dangers. There was never a conversation about that stuff.

Source: Dan McComas, Reddit Product SVP and Imzy Founder Interview

Personalized Hey Siri – Apple

 Ideally, this transformation can be trained to recognize a user’s instances of “Hey Siri” in varying environments (e.g., kitchen, car, cafe, etc.) and modes of vocalization (e.g., groggy morning voice, normal voice, raised voice, etc.). Our output is then a low-dimensional representation of speaker information, hence a speaker vector.

On each “Hey Siri”-enabled device, we store a user profile consisting of a collection of speaker vectors. As previously discussed, the profile contains five vectors after the explicit enrollment process. In the Model Comparison stage of Figure 1, we extract a corresponding speaker vector for every incoming test utterance and compute its cosine score (i.e., a length-normalized dot product) against each of the speaker vectors currently in the profile. If the average of these scores is greater than a pre-determined threshold (?), then the device wakes up and processes the subsequent command. Lastly, as part of the implicit enrollment process, we add the latest accepted speaker vector to the user profile until it contains 40.

In addition to the speaker vectors, we also store on the phone the “Hey Siri” portion of their corresponding utterance waveforms. When improved transforms are deployed via an over-the-air update, each user profile can then be rebuilt using the stored audio.

Source: Personalized Hey Siri – Apple

My 9.7 iPad (2018) review: Drawn, written, edited, and produced with an iPad

At $329, the iPad offers a low-end tablet experience unlike any other on the market. Add an extra $99 for Apple Pencil, and Apple has created the best device for all-purpose education, period.

But it’s easy to make that claim, and a whole other thing to explain why I believe it so whole-heartedly. As a result, I decided to try and prove it: Starting with a blank page in Procreate, I created an entire iPad review video by just using my 2018 iPad, Apple Pencil, and third-party apps. My Mac came into play only once — when I uploaded my video to YouTube.

Here it is.

 

Source: My 9.7 iPad (2018) review: Drawn, written, edited, and produced with an iPad | iMore