Archive for June 2018

PSA: ‘Fortnite’ Isn’t Out on Android but Fake Apps Are Scamming People Through YouTube Videos With Malicious Links

This scam begins with users searching Google or YouTube for information about Fortnite on Android which brings up various results that claim to have the easiest way to install the game on Android or links to download the game. Unsuspecting users then proceed to watch a YouTube scam video that links to a fake app that mimicks the real iOS version with load screens and music. Users then get redirected to Google Play after some verification and then proceed to be linked to various other apps. There’s no official Fortnite on Google Play yet so the users end up wasting their own resources adding to the download count of apps from scammers.

Source: PSA: ‘Fortnite’ Isn’t Out on Android but Fake Apps Are Scamming People Through YouTube Videos With Malicious Links – TouchArcade

We Have Reached Peak Screen. Now Revolution Is in the Air.

If Apple could only improve Siri, its own voice assistant, the Watch and AirPods could combine to make something new: a mobile computer that is not tied to a huge screen, that lets you get stuff done on the go without the danger of being sucked in. Imagine if, instead of tapping endlessly on apps, you could just tell your AirPods, “Make me dinner reservations at 7” or “Check with my wife’s calendar to see when we can have a date night this week.”

Source: We Have Reached Peak Screen. Now Revolution Is in the Air. – The New York Times

Too Much Team Harmony Can Kill Creativity

William Wrigley Jr., the American chewing gum tycoon, once noted that business is built by men who disagree, and that “When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary.” Indeed, not just in business but also in politics, sports, and the arts, there is no shortage of real-world examples of successful partnerships that were fueled as much by the alignment of ideas as by creative tension or discord.

Source: Too Much Team Harmony Can Kill Creativity

How Walled Gardens Like Facebook Are Cannibalizing Media Publishers

Then all of a sudden, Facebook started to change its algorithm to put an emphasis on friends and family as opposed to news and publisher content. Almost overnight, publishers with massive followings were out of business. Others were left wondering how to rebound from the loss in traffic. So, the question we should be asking ourselves is how can we fix social media to help support publishers?

The answer? Developing and implementing social platforms that empower an open web.

By using open products that integrate with an unlimited number of monetization and content platforms, publishers can begin to scale back how much they rely on the walled gardens for audience. Media publishers and the news and ideas they help to promote are so important to the future of our societies.

Source: How Walled Gardens Like Facebook Are Cannibalizing Media Publishers

The Machine Fired Me

Once the order for employee termination is put in, the system takes over. All the necessary orders are sent automatically and each order completion triggers another order. For example, when the order for disabling my key card is sent, there is no way of it to be re-enabled. Once it is disabled, an email is sent to security about recently dismissed employees. Scanning the key card is a red flag. The order to disable my Windows account is also sent. There is also one for my JIRA account. And on and on. There is no way to stop the multi-day long process. I had to be rehired as a new employee.

Source: The Machine Fired Me

On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware

The inevitable march of technology means Mojave won’t install on all of our older hardware. There’s no shock there, but the situation is rather distressing when it comes to spending money to purchase new equipment. Here is the situation, as reported by the wonderful MacRumor’s Buyers Guide:

Buyer's Guide showing 'Don't Buy' on nearly all Macs

At the time of the writing, with the exception of the $5,000 iMac Pro, no Macintosh has been updated at all in the past year. Here are the last updates to the entire line of Macs:

  • iMac Pro: 182 days ago
  • iMac: 374 days ago
  • MacBook: 374 days ago
  • MacBook Air: 374 days ago
  • MacBook Pro: 374 days ago
  • Mac Pro: 436 days ago
  • Mac Mini: 1337 days ago

Source: Rogue Amoeba – Under the Microscope » Blog Archive » On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware

How the 12.9-inch iPad Pro took me by surprise and replaced my laptop.

Great review of the iPad Pro and it’s strengths: Battery, Screen, Smart Connector, Multitasking, as well as its weaknesses

When typing a lot…

Unfortunately, the Smart Keyboard is not a panacea that fixes all iPad Pro issues and makes it a trailblazing creation machine. When typing for extended periods, like writing this post over many sessions, I run into two issues with text input using the Smart Keyboard:

  • Repetitively placing a cursor or selecting text is a chore. It’s tedious to constantly move your hand from the keyboard up to the middle of the screen as opposed to a closer adjacent mouse as you have become accustomed to with a computer.
  • Staring down at a screen begins to hurt my neck after a long time. I get the same thing when using a laptop for too long and always prefer connecting my computer to a raised display so I only have to look straight ahead, not down.

While I can’t exactly fix the first issue (though I have tinkered with using the Pencil to more accurately tame the cursor/text selection), I can come up with a quick solution to the second issue: use an adjustable iPad stand and a wireless keyboard.

Hold on a second, I know what you’re thinking. This is ridiculous for a portable machine. I agree, and I use this setup sparingly. Really only when I know I will be using the keyboard for a long writing session

Source: Made on an iPad Pro — PaulStamatiou.com

Phone calls are dumb and lack of enforcement made it that way.

This happened 3.4 billion times last month, where someone had to make the decision to pick up or to let it go, and give in to the change.

Source: Why Doesn’t Anyone Answer the Phone Anymore? – The Atlantic

Why and how the Cryptobubble will burst

The likeliest scenario is that the two elephants in the room (US, EU) issue some sort of regulatory framework for ICOs and cryptoassets in general. I expect them to distinguish between pure network token or cryptocurrencies (which will likely include Bitcoin, Ethereum and some others) and security token. Almost all of the existing ICO space will firmly fall under the security token regulations. (Edit: SEC chairman Clayton: “I have yet to see an ICO that doesn’t have a sufficient number of hallmarks of a security.”, Wall Street Journal Nov 9 2017)

As a result, all major exchanges that have any kind of human owners, developers or known actors will be mandated to de-list all of these security token with immediate effect and they will follow this order. As for decentralized exchanges, given the trade in these token will be illegal and the projects that sold them might well have to refund investors, I am not so sure these are the way out that solves everything. I actually hope they aren’t because regulatory certainty is a positive, not a negative.

When this happens, all ICOs will lose 90%+ of their value (just like during the .com bubble…) regardless of the strength of their projects. I keep bringing this up, but Amazon fell to 5.5 USD / share in 2001. It now trades at 1000 USD+. So also the good projects will fall 80–90%…

At the same time the utility token related to the ICO boom will probably crash in tandem (after potentially spiking as most people first sell their security token for utility token and then for bitcoin and then for fiat), but possibly not as deep and they will recover in time. Most of these are valuable technologies that nobody wants to harm in the long term. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin will also be impacted, but I would expect an almost V-shaped recovery there as the listing of futures on the major exchanges, the formation of ETFs and more regulatory certainty will undoubtedly introduce institutional money to the space and more than 90% of that will flow into Bitcoin. Make no mistake though, Bitcoin will also suffer.

Source: Why and how the Cryptobubble will burst – DK – Medium