eXtensions - Wednesday 16 May 2018
eXtensions - The Wednesday File (57): Open Season on Apple, Censorship, Company Activists, and More
By Graham K. Rogers
It was not really clear until I had paid the fee that this was only a limited access and live races were not included: that was another subscription (TV Pro); and that was not available here. I was (am) stuck with some data and a few bells and whistles. I am unlikely to use this and now have even more antipathy to what is happening to Grand Prix racing.
I have been watching this since the engines were in the front and have been to a few of the European races, including Jackie Stewart's last win.
I have written to the service providers and had a proforma reply. In the meantime, a local reader sent me a link to Ars Technica (Jonathan M. Gitlin). They did subscribe and it was fraught with problems. As I put in one of the messages to the service, maybe they should see how Dorna does it for the three MotoGP races each meeting. I have been subscribed to that for 3 or 4 years and that has been generally trouble free.
I have the latest MacBook Pro. I actually have two of these, but use the 13" version most. The 15" one is waiting to go back to its owner and I have used it less. I have had these since they arrived here which is about 18 months now and have not experienced any problems with the keyboards, over and above my usual lousy typing: it doesn't matter which keyboard I use, all produce errors under my control.
That is not to diminish in any way the problems some appear to be having with the new butterfly-type of keys (previously Apple used "scissor" type keys). Mikey Campbell (AppleInsider) writes that a class action lawsuit has been filed because of the problems. There are reports of these keys and keyboards failing, of particles becoming stuck under the keys reducing travel and in some cases stopping the use of a key (or keys) entirely (Connie Loizos, TechCrunch).
Of course, if there is any decision against Apple, remedies will only apply in the USA. Years ago, many Thai users whose phones indicated they had been affected by moisture were denied service and that meant they had to pay for replacements. In Texas, where humidity also turned the indicators red, the phones were fixed for free.
Experts are casting some doubt on this in part because more than one sensor detected heat and smoke, so location cannot be fixed. It is also thought to be unlikely that a pilot would have such a personal device in the cabin and (if they did) any hint of overheating or fire would be quickly death with, as has happened on other flights where this has happened.
I also think that suggesting either/or is a weak approach to a case of this nature. If there were sure proof that one or other device were responsible, that would make a difference. The obvious severity of the fire is unlikely to have been caused by a hand-held device, considering the amount of fire-resistant (and retardant) materials in a plane's cockpit area. Stephen Silver (appleInsider) also has doubts about this.
The board of Xerox had been hoping for a deal with Fuji, with whom Xerox have been working for years. Under pressure from Icahn (Bloomberg) who has amassed quite a shareholding, the merger has been called off, the CEO has left and several board members will step down, allowing Icahn and Darwin Deason (who together hold about 13% of the company) top put their own men in place. And thus we may soon say goodbye to Xerox as it is pulled apart and the juicy bits sold off.
This appears to be a disgraceful attempt to subvert an important venue for the display of modern forms of Art. BACC has become a place where locals and visitors expect to see a good range of exhibits, including upcoming local artists and work by students of Art. The exhibits are sometimes challenging, yet show how fertile these young minds can be. To fall prey to the bureaucrats who see this as a commercial opportunity will disturb local and international artists and show how misguided attempts to make a profit can pollute the artistic environment too.
After a lot of public comment on this, Governor Asawin appears to have backed down. The Center will carry on as it is for now, but with no BMA funding. However, when the time comes for the current BACC council to be renewed, the governor can appoint whom he wants. Bangkok would be well-served if BACC were to become a completely independent entity, supported by commercial sponsorship, public subscription and by donations. There is already income from a number of private shops within BACC.
I am not exactly unbiased here as I have been dropped twice from the Post as a freelance contributor - both times in emails that dripped with hand-wringing and crocodile tears. This sort of loyalty deficit was also seen when a journalist (Erika Fry) was sued by an academic (it didn't matter that the story was true - here embarrassing someone can be enough). Not only was she not helped at all by the management of the Post, the only way to avoid a potential prison term was to escape the country.
I was sad more than anything by this, as well as a touch disturbed. I deleted all the images. I also blocked the staff member. I don't need vinegary comments from someone whose own work input could be improved. On Friday afternoon, I was with a group of Year 2 Mechanical Engineers who were also presenting (they do quite well actually). At the start I asked them if I could take photos, pointing out what had happened. They sort of fell about laughing and said, Sure, sure. So I did, and I put a comment with the images on my Facebook page: "With full permission and knowledge. . ." Thai students love to have their pics online. I will have to consider if, in the future, there will be any more. Perhaps everyone loses.
Among the casualties of a trade ban - one of the current US President's erratic decisions - was to stop export of certain technology to China. They responded by banning some agricultural imports from US farmers (always predictable), so those who voted the president in, with the promise of making the country great again (or is that, grate?) were hard hit. No matter, president to the rescue.
After phone calls from China, a ban on exporting the electronic products to HTZ was being lifted, partly in the interests, he said, of creating Chinese jobs (when he had promised jobs in America). Predictably, imports of US farm produce were to be restarted. The shock from the security services and others could be heard worldwide. In related news, a trump building development in Indonesia has become the latest project in China's Belt and Road infrastructure project (Agence France-Presse,South China Morning Post). What a coincidence.
I also discussed the 20 year anniversary of the iMac last week. This week we are reminded by Luke Doermehl (Cult of Mac) that System 7 was released this week in 1991. This was the first version of macOS I used for real (apart from a 10-minute play in 1985) on a Mac I bought used from a colleague returning to the USA. That started me on a long road. . . .
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. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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