Look, I’m glad my university is aware of and responding to the digital divide, but I’d appreciate a more critical treatment of what we’re doing. This sounds almost like ad copy for Apple, and it’s falling into a lot of tired edtech tropes about how technology must necessarily improve learning. link to “Leveling the technological playing field with Apple | UKNow”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Let the Platforms Burn: The Opposite of Good Fires is Wildfires | Cory Doctorow's craphound.com'
Lots to appreciate here. link to ‘Let the Platforms Burn: The Opposite of Good Fires is Wildfires | Cory Doctorow’s craphound.com’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'The environmentally conscious Fairphone 4 is finally coming to the US - The Verge'
This is very exciting! I’m far too locked into Apple’s ecosystem to seriously consider this right now (even this post is being composed thanks to Siri Shortcuts), but I hope this does well, because I’d love to own a Fairphone one day. link to ‘The environmentally conscious Fairphone 4 is finally coming to the US - The Verge’
Reading an actual Apple terms of service document can only be so interesting, but at least creating a graphic novel version helps. The sheer audacity of the project is most of why I liked this comic, but it’s also quite fun to see Sikoryak’s homages to different comics, always with a Jobsian twist. It’s weird, and I don’t see myself rereading it, but I think it’s great.
As I’ve blogged about a couple of times recently, I’m currently reading R. Sikoryak’s Terms and Conditions, a graphic novel adaptation of the 2015 iTunes Terms and Conditions document, which no one ever reads. I was struck (if not surprised) by something stated explicitly in the document, which appears on p. 59 of Sikoryak’s volume: The software products made available through the Mac App Store and App Store (collectively, the “App Store Products”) are licensed, not sold, to you.
My sister-in-law recently gifted me a copy of R. Sikoryak’s weird but wonderful comic Terms and Conditions, which “adapts” the 2015 iTunes terms and conditions into a comic format. I was as delighted by the gift, which I’m sure only contributed to her bewilderment (she knew I wanted the book, but I can’t blame anyone for not understanding why I wanted it). One of the gags of the comic is, obviously, the idea that a comic adaptation would get you to actually read through the whole document instead of just pretending that you have.
I am very near the end of Wil Wheaton’s updated/annotated memoir Still Just a Geek, which I bought over the summer on a short family trip. I have lots of thoughts—most of them positive—about the memoir and may write a bit more about it once I finally finish. For now, though, since I wrote last week complaining about companies like Apple and ClassDojo restricting hardware and software to support their bottom line at the expense of users, I was struck by a short passage Wheaton included making a case for general purpose computing:
A week ago today, my MacBook Pro suddenly stopped being able to communicate with its SSD. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I spent most of my Tuesday afternoon wiping everything from the drive and reinstalling macOS so that I could get back to work. While I haven’t kept a physical backup for a couple of years (I accidentally fried mine when moving back into my campus office in Fall 2020), I have all of my most important documents scattered between three cloud services, so this wasn’t too painful of a process.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. - The New York Times'
This is why the EFF and others have concerns about overreach of even clearly well intentioned content moderation. CSAM is clearly despicable, but automated content moderation can make mistakes, and consequences for those mistakes aren’t small. link to ‘A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Zuckerberg: Apple, Meta are in “deep, philosophical competition” | Ars Technica'
Look, I’m a critic of Apple’s closed system, but it’s laughable for Meta to set itself up as an oprn alternative. link to ‘Zuckerberg: Apple, Meta are in “deep, philosophical competition” | Ars Technica’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Facebook Says Apple is Too Powerful. They're Right. | Electronic Frontier Foundation'
Doctorow is spot on here. Apple may be the most benevolent of the big tech companies, but it still has far too much power over its users. link to ‘Facebook Says Apple is Too Powerful. They’re Right. | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
🔗 linkblog: just finished 'Apple’s concessions in China reportedly include a secret $275 billion deal and one odd change in Maps - The Verge'
Apple is better than many tech companies, but that doesn’t make it good. link to ‘Apple’s concessions in China reportedly include a secret $275 billion deal and one odd change in Maps - The Verge’
Good progress but need more. link to ‘Apple Has Listened And Will Retract Some Harmful Phone-Scanning’
🔗 linkblog: just read '‘Sideloading is a cyber criminal’s best friend,’ according to Apple’s software chief - The Verge'
By this logic, macOS is malware’s best friend by allowing users to install software outside the App Store. It’s a dumb argument. link to ‘‘Sideloading is a cyber criminal’s best friend,’ according to Apple’s software chief - The Verge’
This is maybe the best example I’ve seen of app stores being a problematic model. Is there an Android app that could be sideloaded? Definitely isn’t for Apple, and that’s shameful. link to ‘Apple and Google Remove ‘Navalny’ Voting App in Russia - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: just read 'Opinion | The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell - The New York Times'
This blurb stood out to me: “Apple says, relentlessly, that privacy is the central feature of its iPhones. But as the photo scanning demonstrates, that’s true only until Apple changes its mind about its policies.” Seems to me we shouldn’t be dependent on tech companies’ decisions to ensure privacy. link to Opinion | The Illusion of Privacy Is Getting Harder to Sell - The New York Times