Apple is Now a Proper Guardian of Valuable News and Our Privacy

Fake News - Pinocchio nose with "news"

The Particle Debris article of the week, from the New York Times, discuses fake news and how to stop it.

The subtitle reads: “Google and Facebook should be allies of quality journalism, not its gravest threat.”

Of couse, it’s just a pipedream. When great wealth is at stake, all other values pale in comparison.

Fake News - Pinocchio nose with "news"
Freedom is not free.

There was a time when news bandwidth was limited. Only the best journalists survived in local newspaper and TV news, and people paid for the only games in town to receive valuable news. But now that anyone can stir up a fuss with a free public voice, there’s big money to be made by treating the best and the worst on an equal basis.

NYT author David Chavern writes:

They [Google, Facebook] could start to address the problem by simply recognizing that The Miami Herald is a much better news source than Russian bots or Macedonian teenagers — and highlighting original, quality content accordingly.

But so long as readers and viewers fail to exert skepticism and judgment, the very worst news presentations will continue to earn big money. Apple is trying to address the problem with seasoned journalists and its curated News app—which you should support.

I think it has to do with the inability of many internet users to extrapolate from a current activity to a future threat. Call it internet savvy. That’s why, by the way, so many Facebook users are happy to spill their most personal information for the psychological benefits of Big Tech. Or a US$20 gift certificate. Facebook continues to thrive, immune from the lens of good judgment. See:

As we know from the flood of news this week about the stand Apple took against Facebook, Apple is also working to preserve our privacy.

Somewhere, somehow, young people need to learn about proper places to get their news and savvy, safe ways to conduct business on the internet. And pass on the rest. Genuine freedom is at stake.

Apple is taking the first steps to make us aware of these problems, but education also has to play a big role. Who’s doing that? Here’s one. If you are, I want to hear from you.

More Debris

• Speaking of the lack of internet savvy, we have this. “U.S. teen arrested after telling Siri he planned a school shooting.” At first, I thought perhaps Siri reported him. But no. The 13-year-old posted a screenshot. ::sigh::

How would we feel if Siri had reported him?

• At Medium , Lance Ulanoff looks at the history and evolution of Apple’s AirPods. “AirPods Are Now One of Apple’s Most Important Products.” This is a good read.

• It’s time for mobile, mechanical keyboards as we know them in the MacBook/Air/Pro family to finally come to an end. But nothing as drastic as the virtual keyboards on iPad displays. No, we need something a whole lot smarter and robust. Here’s the story on an Apple patent. “MacBook keyboard failures could end with introduction of glass panel keyboards.

Apple store in China, staircase.
Image credit: Apple

• Finally, Apple retail stores are revered for their architecture. Here’s a great visual tour of the best. “The 15 coolest Apple stores in the world, from New York’s Grand Central Station to London’s Regent Street.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: The David Chavern piece makes a number of very good points about the value of good journalism, and the potential symbiosis between the two surveillance tech giants and modern journalism, however for this to be realised, FB and Google would first require two corporate assets: first to value journalism as a function of their business model; second, to genuinely adopt social responsibility as a corporate value, and view bettering society (local, national, global) as an explicit core objective. Based on past and current behaviour, it appears that corporate profit, in an atmosphere of intense competition for ad revenue, is… Read more »


The Guardian is an excellent and reliable source of news. I highly recommend it.


Apple puts up a good front on privacy issues which is good of course, but as we see they are no better than their code writers and those that should be paid to hack them – the iCloud has been hacked leaking your IP addresses; this Facetime debacle and so on. It can and does happen to a lot of companies that depend on psychedelically complex code – which of course paradoxically makes it more vulnerable to exploits. Was reading that 80% of the Chinese approve or like the social credit system they use now – forcing people to”behave” because… Read more »


Yes I’ve told people over and over, find a news source you trust, and ignore everyone else. For me it’s the BBC and CBC. Everyone else is noise.
Siri actually reporting something like that would be…disturbing. As error prone as all AIs are I’d hate to think someone could end up with a mark on their record because an AI misunderstood a conversation about bridge (“I am GOING to get that trump”), or from a school nurse, (Right, shots at the school today”)
It would be a bit creepy.


I’m going to have to stop visiting Mac Observer if you continue using light gray text on a white background. Hard to read, causes eye strain, and it’s REALLY stupid from a design standpoint.


I do agree. There’s nothing wrong with black text, and it’s much easier to read.

Lee Dronick

It seems to be the in thing among many tech folks. Try reading the text on an iPhone charger transformer.

Dave Hamilton

Good point, @palmac. As soon as I saw your comment I realized, “I agree! Let’s fix this.”

We’ve adjusted the text color(s) here on TMO and I think we’re in a much better place right now.

Thanks so much!