AMITIAE - Monday 26 January 2016
Cassandra: Tuesday Review - Countdowns
By Graham K. Rogers
It must go down some time. . . .
Although the analyst Colin Gillis of BCG does not think there is a problem with iPhone sales, Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes, he does have 5 hard questions that he would like Tim Cook to address: on video streaming, Apple apps rankings, Apple Pay advancements, iAd, and the subscription model for replacement iPhones. These are good strategic questions and suggest that someone in Wall Street is thinking further than the next quarter.
A report of a fire at a Foxconn factory in China over the weekend seemed to be an omen, but a report by Joseph Keller on iMore tells us that Foxconn have said that production at the facility would not be impacted, even though several floors were affected.
It was also reported that there is an update to tvOS (9.1.1) with the addition of a podcasts app, Zac Hall writes on 9to5 Mac. This is not a beta. When I arrived home Tuesday evening a check revealed the tvOS update and I was able to install this in a few minutes: sure enough the Podcast app was there.
Also writing on this, with some useful details, is Benjamin Mayo of 9to5 Mac, who includes some of the offending code. He notes that although Apple is expected to deal with the problem in a future update, "there is no immediate rush as the site does not compromise the system at all and poses no practical security risk".
Samsung expect to release many apps for iOS this year Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider. The Korean company is trying to grow its "cross-platform appeal of its devices," like speakers, tablets, and fitness trackers. It already has a camera app. I hope that the Apple unit responsible checks the code carefully as users would not want a Samsung back door (or anything else untoward) to be installed.
It is hypocrisy for politicians to write the laws then complain when a company uses them. Look at personal allowances, like life assurance, mortgage relief, reductions for children and so on. Anyone would be daft not to claim these when filing tax returns and governments do not blame claimants for doing this; it is only when people claim for wives and children they don't have that problems (rightly) begin: that is evasion.
The former editor Alan Rusbridger, currently heading an Oxford college, is expected to return to the management of the group, but Burrell thinks that journalists on the staff may be less responsive to his input. Much pruning has been done, but more is needed as the Guardian Group appears to have been somewhat over-ambitious in recent years.
Also in that examination of how media is changing, I noted that Bill Gates had sold his Corbis photo archive to a Chinese company, but as Mike Masnick on TechDirt points out, one of the images in that collection is the iconic image of the single man standing in front of a tank in Tiannamen Square as well as several other damning photos taken of that whole time in Beijing. They will still be accessible via Getty Images, he writes, and the article provides a link to the current Corbin pages where they are still online, for now.
Also reporting on this, is Christian Zibreg (iDownload) who includes the comment I noted yesterday that Dieter Zetsche of Benz was impressed. Of course Dieter Zetsche is not Jony Ive.
Cushing writes: "for the NSA to expect it would be portrayed as the heroes - despite holding meetings with the producers before the film's release - is a pretty good indication of how isolated it is from the general public." Especially risible were the reported fears from the NSA on concerns about their privacy.
Security services and politicians are sometimes detached from the real world, and examples like Thatcher's relentless pursuing of Peter Wright (a former MI5 agent) who wrote Spycatcher, or more recently Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning (Wikileaks) or Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill. And of course the notorious bullying of Greenwald's partner, David Miranda at Heathrow: detained under anti-terrorism laws.
This week, several sources, including Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept, report that the Appeals Court has "ruled that the United Kingdom's broad counterterrorism laws breach fundamental rights" when considering Miranda's case. He was detained rightly under terrorism laws (I would question that), but the law used was too broad and did not "afford effective protection of journalists Article 10 rights." Bullying.
Early today, Don Sambandaraksa on Telecomasia wrote about the intended purchase of surveillance software that will be able to watch "all public Facebook and Twitter accounts against a target list of up to half a million individuals that can be identified through names, keywords or even facial recognition." The list of those to be watched includes a popular local forum, Phantip.com.
Despite the legal requirement to allow the public to comment on anything like this, Don reports that the document was posted from 19 - 22 January, but not discovered until 25 January: past the date for comments. Although it is a tender, the specifications look as if the supplier has already been decided on.
A Tweet, linking to another take on the story on Prachatai suggested that as certain of the bidding documents were not also in English, the process was illegal now that Thailand is in the AEC.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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