Laurene Powell Jobs invested some of her immense fortune in The Atlantic magazine in 2017. If you’ve been wandering what she’s been up to since, Politico (via Philip Elmer-DeWitt) reported a major expansion of The Atlantic’s political coverage, including 10 new job openings. From Politico:
The Atlantic is posting 10 new jobs today, including three White House reporters and two Pentagon reporters. There are also new openings to cover the State Department, intelligence, immigration and politics. The Washington hiring spree is part of a broader expansion announced in February under new majority owner Laurene Powell Jobs and Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley.
A European rover called ExoMars will travel to the red planet in 2020. Astronaut Tim Peake wants everyone to enter a name on a website designed for the purpose. Be warned though: There will be no Spacey McSpaceFace. Also, you have to be a European citizen to vote, as I found out when I tried to submit my name suggestion (Destiny).
Tim says thinking about the rover’s mission might be the source for a great name. “I often get asked, ‘is there life out there beyond Earth?’. It’s a very fundamental question, and it’s one that this rover is going to try to answer,” he told BBC News.
Dr David Parker, the director of human spaceflight and robotics at the European Space Agency, agreed: “The Americans called their Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. We’ve tended in the past to name our missions after famous scientists.
I saw this while scrolling through my news this morning and I had to comment. A new kids chair designed by Kingston School of Art Masahiko Ito is meant to improve concentration and posture. But it’s a saddle-shaped chair that legitimately looks like a torture device called the cavaletto squarciapalle, a.k.a. the wooden horse. It’s also used in BDSM but we won’t go there.
“I noticed that we naturally want to fidget and to move around in our chairs, for instance when we concentrate on our teacher, we tend to sit in a more alert position towards the front of our chair in a kind of riding position, while when we reflect, we tend to recline,” he said.
Dan Moren writes that it’s about time that Apple let us set default apps on iOS. From the very beginning, the default apps have been Apple’s own. Although you can install third-party apps, you can’t set them as the default. This means that if you want to use Chrome, tapping on a link will still open it in Safari.
Developers who compete directly with Apple’s built-in apps (like Mail, Safari, and Calendar) have always had an uphill battle ahead of them. How do you take on an app that’s installed on every single iPhone for free? Especially when your app will always be a second-class citizen. Allowing users to choose their own default apps won’t fix all of those problems, but it will go a ways toward making these apps viable for even more people.
We talked about password security during Thursday’s TDO, including the need for people to unique passwords at every website and a password manager (I love 1Password) to keep track of them. Another thing we mentioned was how baffling it is when a website forces us to use bad passwords. Timing is everything, because a University of Plymouth study found that top websites are a big part of the problem when it comes to password security practices. Here’s a quote from the study taken from TechCrunch‘s excellent writeup on the subject.
It is somewhat disappointing to find that the overall story in 2018 remains largely similar to that of 2007. In the intervening years, much has been written about the failings of passwords and the ways in which we use them, yet little is done to encourage or oblige us to follow the right path.
This article at Digital Trends has details from Star Trek: Discovery season 2 debut. CBS released two photos at Comic-Con San Diego. Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) joins the cast.
A collective of 30 drones demonstrated collective intelligence. The drones weren’t programmed to have a certain flight path. They self-organized into a hive mind and flew in sync, without smashing into each other.
As the newly-formed flock migrates, its members’ luminous underbellies all change to the same color: green. They’ve decided to head east. The drones at the front approach a barrier, and their tummies turn teal as they veer south. Soon, the trailing members’ lights change in suit.
In contrast, each of these 30 drones is tracking its own position, its own velocity, and simultaneously sharing that information with other members of the flock. There is no leader among them; they decide together where to go—a decision they make on the literal, honest-to-goodness fly.
Glass is a technology that is over 3,000 years old. It’s something that we use daily in our phones, computers, and home. Corning is a company that has made glass products for years, and says that it’s the defining material of our time. Welcome to The Glass Age.
“Yes, this is the glass age,” declares one video produced by Corning. “But it’s only just begun. Its potential is barely tapped.”
And what’s next in this glass age? Touch screens, everywhere: your walls, your car, the mirror in the dressing room at the mall. Windows that can be programmed to let in exactly the amount of light that you want. And more fiber optic cables, which are actually made up of extremely thin strands of glass.
Turns out the membrane in Apple’s redesigned Touch Bar MacBook Pro keyboard really is supposed to help keep debris away from the butterfly key mechanism. Apple’s public statement is the redesign is just to make the keys quieter, but an internal Apple service document MacRumors got ahold of says otherwise. From the document:
The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.
Of course, Apple doesn’t want to publicly admit there’s a problem with the keyboards on previous MacBook models because of the growing number of lawsuits claiming they’re defective. Odds are there are a lot of attorneys really happy this document leaked.
It’s called The Diderot Effect, and it explains modern consumerism, why you buy things you don’t need. It all started when we were told as kids that we just had to have the awesome decoder ring found in that special cereal box. Today, unless we’ve seen the latest superhero movie or have the latest iPhone, we are somehow less of a person. Our goods define our identity. This linked article provides some perspective on manipulated consumerism.
Online retail hackers account for 90% of all login attempts. According to a report by cybersecurity firm Shape Security, hackers use special software with stolen data to login multiple times, called credential stuffing.
These attacks are successful as often as 3% of the time, and the costs quickly add up for businesses, Shape says. This type of fraud costs the e-commerce sector about $6 billion a year, while the consumer banking industry loses out on about $1.7 billion annually. The hotel and airline businesses are also major targets—the theft of loyalty points is a thing—costing a combined $700 million every year.
A recent study in the Psychological Science journal asked 6,641 residents in the U.K. to describe in writing their first memory, and the age they were in that memory. Around 40% of people found out that that memory is probably false.
It might seem dismissive to assume that these memories are false, but memory researchers have good reason to conclude that people aren’t truly remembering being a baby. Research on infantile amnesia, the official term for the phenomenon in which we forget things that happened to us as babies and young children, has shown that it’s close to impossible to retain declarative memories at that young age.
A group of Silicon valley socialists want to take power from billionaires and give it to workers and local communities. At a protest on July 9, about 40 people chanted things like “Caging children is a crime. Salesforce, f*ck your bottom line!”
That Monday, they were protesting a Salesforce contract to supply services to human resources operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sister division within the Department of Homeland Security to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)–the unit infamous for detaining children of asylum seekers.
Writing for Vice, Alex Norcia argues that cops shouldn’t be allowed to be funny online. Alex uses the example of an incident where a lost pug was found by local police, and they posted a “pugshot” onto social media.
Yes, everyone appreciates a solid laugh. And sarcasm, irony, and good cheer are generally great things. This is especially true of life online, which can be especially toxic. But the fuzz should not have this luxury. The fuzz should not be funny on social media, because the fuzz are not (and, again, should not be) funny people. Particularly in the face of Black Lives Matter and when the public’s distrust in the institution is so deservedly high. It is a serious job, and these are serious times.
I may be wrong but isn’t the word “fuzz” supposed to be derogatory? I’ll take humor over insults any day.
Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) says he’s ready to take action and restore net neutrality protection. The rules were overturned and ultimately expired on June 11th, opening the door for ISPs to control internet traffic passing through their networks as they see fit. Coffman says the bill he’s introducing will create an “internet constitution.” Reuters reports,
The bill would ensure “no throttling, no blocking, no paid prioritization and oversight of interconnection” rules between internet providers and backbone transit providers, his office said in a statement.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been hell bent on removing any restriction and regulations protecting net neutrality. With one GOP member breaking ranks and supporting net neutrality maybe, just maybe, we’ll see more follow suit.
Page 2 of Particle Debris takes us to an exploration of the 8th generation Core CPUs used in the new MacBook Pros. Plus, the re-emergence of Spectre—and the continuing work on how to defend. Also, honoring Python’s Guido van Rossum.
Not many people like to make and take phone calls nowadays. But David Pierce writes that sending text messages removes the humanity from communication. Is voice chat the future instead?
In the swing from calls to texts, we lost the warmth and humanity that made the phone work in the first place. I’m not pining for the days of the loudly spinning rotary phone, though. Better ways to actually talk to people already exist. A few companies are building tools that improve upon what didn’t work about phone calls, making them less disruptive and more productive.
At the same time, a new type of chat is sitting right under our noses. It’s called voice messaging, and it deserves a place alongside text and video as core parts of how we chat in the digital age.
Tim Cook wants to see a cashless society, but Gene Marks writes that it’s an inherently discriminatory system. Not accepting cash excludes service to people (usually poor people) who may be unable to get a credit or debit card. But a new bill would make it illegal for restaurants to refuse paper money.
However, one city in the US is resisting that trend: Washington DC. In the nation’s capital cash is still king, and a new bill introduced this week wants to keep it that way. The Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act of 2018 would make it illegal for restaurants and retailers not to accept cash or charge a different price to customers depending on the type of payment they use.
Apple sure is spending a lot of money on research and development, but doesn’t seem to have much to show for it. Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Apple 3.0 got ahold of an investor not from Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi that states,
Perhaps most importantly, despite R&D spending more than quintupling over the last 6.5 years, Apple’s pace of new product/services introductions does not appear to have accelerated. We note that Apple cumulatively spent $11.5B between 1998 and 2011, a period in which it introduced the iPod, iPad, and iPhone – last year alone, Apple spent a similar amount. We believe that Apple’s R&D productivity has declined (which is not uncommon as companies scale, but may also be attributable to the loss of Steve Jobs). That said, it is also possible that the recent surge in R&D spending could translate into accelerated product and services announcements in the near to medium term.
So maybe Apple is going to surprise us with some huge product announcements, or maybe it’s R&D has just become a giant money pit.
In certain situations, the U.S. government plants spy phones on people. In one case, the DEA sold encrypted BlackBerry phones to a suspected cocaine smuggler.
“If the government is distributing, effectively, bugging devices, without sufficient court oversight and authorization, I think that could really have a chilling effect on free expression, if people feel like they have to assume the risk that any phone they’re handed could have been bugged in a way that would violate their rights,” says Human Rights Watch researcher Sarah St. Vincent.