WTF Weekly

my thoughts on the week that was

02 Jul 2019

WTF Weekly for July 2, 2019

Hit me up on Twitter to yell at me about typos or just to comment on anything I’ve included here.

I’m happy to be writing this installment on my iPad. I had the iPadOS version of the iOS 13 public beta installed, and it broke iCloud folders for iA Writer (but only inside iA Writer, for some odd reason). Today the iOS developer beta 3 came out, which is a newer version than the first public beta (and which will almost certainly become the next public beta). I installed the iPadOS update from the developer site, and iA Writer is back in business.

It’s a little flaky – files and folders appear and disappear from iA Writer’s iCloud list, but I can work around it and make it function.

Shortcuts in iOS 13 are a complete nightmare for me, but iA Writer is back in business.


The real reason Jony Ive left Apple

If you’re remotely interested in Apple, you already know that Jony Ive is leaving Apple to open his own design firm. Everyone in the universe has an opinion on why, what it means, whether or not Apple is doomed, etc, etc, but John Arlidge’s take on it isn’t bad.

John does fall into the “but Apple hasn’t had a hit in years” trap, which is a sure sign that the writer hasn’t counted how many years typically go between Apple blockbuster hits. And no, the Apple Watch isn’t the sales wonder the iPad has been, but few products are.

Publishers reportedly underwhelmed with Apple News+ so far, Apple promising improvements

I have zero knowledge of the financial math behind Apple News+, but I can’t say the assertion that publishers aren’t ecstatic about its impact so far surprises me at all. I wonder how many people who signed up for the trial stuck with it when it came time to pay up – I certainly didn’t.

It’s not that Apple News+ is a bad product. It’s nice, and I think if you subscribe to even 2 or 3 monthly magazines, this is worth switching to from a cost perspective. But news and magazines fall very low on the priority list when it comes to budget allocation for me, and I suspect for many.

Considering how many publishers the monthly fee has to be split between, it seems hard to believe that Apple News+ works in favor of those publishers.

Apple bolsters its chip team by hiring architect who worked at ARM, Intel, AMD

One man departs, another guy rolls into town. Really, in and of itself, this doesn’t mean anything other than that Apple still takes their CPU design team seriously, but of course as the article subtitle states, this will probably stoke expectations of sooner-rather-than-later Mac ARM processors.


Japanese Government Passes Law to Support Foreign Residents Studying Japanese

I don’t know what the practical outcome of this law will be, but even the fact that Japan recognizes that foreigners well educated in Japanese is something that would benefit them is kind of impressive.

‘Help’: Photos show hundreds of migrants squashed into cells, appealing for assistance

There’s really no solid argument that the US isn’t running concentration camps, at this point. This seems like major human rights violations are taking place on a daily basis at our borders.

I still remember paranoid white people saying Obama was coming for them and that all “gun loving Christians” (whatever that is) would wind up in internment camps.

Looks like it’s their party persecuting other humans instead. Non-white humans. It makes me sick.

Toy Story 2 casting couch ‘blooper’ deleted by Disney after Me Too movement

Pretty bad look for Pixar that they ever included this scene at all. As noted here, Toy Story 2 director John Lasseter wasn’t exactly at the top of the sensitivity and appropriate behavior ladder either.


Chinese border guards put secret surveillance app on tourists’ phones

Anyone who goes into China with their real phone instead of a burner dummy phone logged out of all important accounts is insane.

To be honest, I’d recommend it for anyone entering or re-entering the US also.

Airports in Japan to introduce facial recognition for foreign visitors

Speaking of creepy government behavior at the borders…

I really am not a fan of facial recognition used in this manner at all. I assume this will go into some giant database, which is both creepy and inevitably susceptible to hacking.

OpenID Foundation says ‘Sign in with Apple’ has critical gaps, urges changes

I’m not qualified to comment on OpenID Foundation’s issues with Sign in with Apple, but any input that results in better security is fine with me.

I don’t know how optimistic I am that Apple will join the OpenID Foundation as requested, but you never know. It might help Apple’s case with their requirement that developers include Login with Apple whenever they accept another third party login service such as Google or Facebook.


Spoiled Shores: Japan’s Tsushima on the Front Line of Marine Plastics

Continuing my recent theme of really depressing stories about nature, here’s one from Tsushima about the problem of plastics in our oceans.

It’s really hard to feel positive about what we’re doing to our planet these days.

Gene editing could help eliminate HIV

It’s incredible how long we’ve been combatting HIV. It’s not really in the consciousness of most people now, which probably says as much about us as a species as it does about the (admittedly vastly improved) state of HIV treatment.

And finally,

NASA’s restored Apollo Mission Control is a slice of ’60s life, frozen in amber

Ars Technica has some happier science related news, and it only cost $5 million to bring! Still, few things are cooler than the restoration of the Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2.