WTF Weekly 5

Notably absent from this edition of WTF Weekly is any mention of the released but redacted Mueller report. That’s because I wrote this prior to Thursday and then got busy and didn’t click the publishing type buttons.

I’m also not really sure what form and format I want WTF Weekly to take, so sorry, but you’re all guinea pigs in a grand (minuscule) experiment. So be it.

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iTunes must die, says everyone. Jason Snell ponders what that might look like. No doubt the coming of Marzipan portends changes both good and bad for Mac owners, but one thing’s for sure: it will be interesting.

Chances are high not many people love iTunes, but the question remains whether or not its replacement apps will be as satisfying as we like to imagine. This question extends to future Mac software in general (this week’s ATP has a great discussion on the dumbing down of software in general).

Publishers are griping about News+, but does it mean anything? My biggest concern for News+ is that Apple really isn’t sure how to make others’ lives easier, when others = media publishers. I know Apple thinks they know what’s good for them, but I don’t know how well they truly understand what’s good for newspapers and magazines.

The hard part about articles like this though is that there will always be complaints about any collaborative project, and the people complaining are usually the ones looking for someone to listen.

iOS 13 will bring dark mode and more. Guilherme Rambo says iOS 13 will have dark mode, better multitasking on iPad, standard undo, Safari and Mail improvements, and more. It sounds great, as far as it goes, but I hope we finally seem some home screen changes and some improvements to the iPhone experience too.

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This is the kind of stupidity that happens when you have a president who promises things he can’t do and doesn’t even understand: Foxconn makes asses out of Walker and Wisconsin. This whole Foxconn thing is bizarre (and ultimately destructive to Wisconsin), but it’s what happens when you have a president who wants to make headlines and then move on before anyone notices it’s all a room of funhouse mirrors.

Both Trump and Walker must be two of the worst businessmen on the planet.

It’s really unusual when China makes the right call socially on technology, but Forbes thinks that’s the case with China and cryptocurrency. I hate to agree with China on this one, because usually they restrict things to suppress humanity, but in this case I have to say it – cryptocurrency is a waste of natural resources and is a religion for the extremely gullible.

Wired Magazine reports on 15 months of fresh hell inside Facebook, and it should scare you. I have a lot of theories about Facebook and the Internet and the unwashed masses. I don’t think people who aren’t tech savvy enough to distinguish fact from fiction on the Internet were ready for the Internet in general and Facebook specifically. It bulldozed over people and they never even noticed.

One of the reasons Facebook has been the worst things to happen to humanity in recent history is because humanity wasn’t and isn’t ready for information they aren’t smart enough to judge the trustworthiness of. And Facebook is nothing if not full of information that is untrustworthy, and people who can’t tell the difference.

As bad as we all know Facebook is, though, this report is still damning and alarming. Facebook is arrogant and incapable of doing the right thing, and I don’t believe that will ever change.

And yet another damning look at Facebook I’m telling you, these guys are as morally bankrupt as any corporation can be.

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Amazon workers are listening to what you tell Alexa. This is kind of a weird one. Bloomberg makes it sound like a lot of audio is being processed, while Amazon would probably characterize it as very little.

The first time I saw an Echo in action was at a relative’s house and the first thought that came to mind was the type of scenario laid out in this article. I think the idea that you’re talking to a digital assistant precludes the notion of human involvement in the minds of Echo owners.

I don’t like the price of HomePods but if I were to plop an always-on mic connected to a remote service down in our home, it would absolutely be an Apple device. They care about privacy to the extent that they sacrifice Siri accuracy and comprehension because of it. You can argue that’s bad, but there’s no doubt that it’s also a good thing in terms of individual privacy and security. Right now none of the digital assistants are useful enough to make any amount of human listening remotely acceptable.

Google is a creepy company sometimes, and Sensorvault is a really creepy name. Honestly, Sensorvault is an NSA-worthy name. And apparently, it’s an NSA-worthy tracker too.

The Hotel Hacker – a fascinating look at the mess that hotel keycards really are. Andy Greenberg hits another security reporting home run with this interesting dive into hotel keycards and the people who exploit them.

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Red Bull is already whining about Honda. I knew there was no way these guys could go for even a partial season without pointing the fingers at their engine supplier. Honda is in for a really fun ride.

Seven years, $35 million for Ozzie Albies. I’ve always thought the salaries in baseball for the top players are nuts, but given the projections on Ozzie Albies, 7 years for $35 million is the bargain of the century for Atlanta. It’s honestly kind of hard to believe he agreed to those terms.

Sebastian Vettel blames the media for the fact that Ferrari don’t have a clue what they’re doing. Ferrari shot themselves in the foot Sunday by moving Leclerc aside for Vettel and then keeping him out on old tires for a long time in order to hold off Vettel’s competition. Now Vettel is blaming the media for accurately assessing the situation, which is that Ferrari are creating a nightmarish team dynamic.

This is all nothing new – Raikkonen was routinely sacrificed on pit strategy the previous few seasons for Vettel’s benefit. Only near the end of last season when Vettel had well and truly stuffed his chances of a world championship that Ferrari let the guys race, and a victory for Kimi in Austin was the result.

I like Vettel as a human, but he’s been given his way for years at Ferrari and still hasn’t managed to capitalize, even when Ferrari were clearly faster than Mercedes.

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Winter is coming, and so are Bubblesort TV Game of Thrones episodes! If you’re one of the billions who pretends to like GoT for something other than the softcore porn, you’ll love Bubblesort TV’s GoT podcast episodes. Clay, Vic, and Phillip are all about the death and destruction.

The Mandalorian preview looks pretty good! I’m not one of the Star Wars haters. I think this looks good. I also think the Episode 9 teaser looks good. I’m not afraid of Disney and I’m not afraid of Star Wars either.

Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes is completely unrecognizable. I wouldn’t have believed this was Russell Crowe if the article didn’t say so.