eXtensions - Sunday 29 August 2021
Sunday Notes: Product Expectations; Apple, Security and the App Store; Copyright the Moon
By Graham K. Rogers
When the products go on sale a week later, the next round of countries is usually announced. Thailand is usually in the third round, which gives a mid-October date for deliveries although this has been up to the end of October in the past. In the meantime other products are expected to be announced with a new iPad mini highly favored in the rumors lineup as well as a selection of Macs, with specifications depending on which rumor you read. One of the oddest of these concerned a new 16" MacBook Pro, purportedly with an M1X processor that would not outperform the upcoming 14" model (as reported by Christian Zibreg, iDownload Blog and others).
With the same processor, if the M1X is the true designation, there will of course be similar specifications, but the MacBook Air does not perform the same as my MacBook Pro, which in turn does not have the same performance as my iPad Pro, all of which run the M1 chip. Also in that article we are told that the "Apple M1X will be upgraded to a 12-core CPU and a 16-core or 32-core GPU" which sounds probable, but whether one will be throttled or there are other differences is unknown. Other related speculation concerns the return of the SD card slot which does little for me as I (and other camera users) have moved on to the XQD card (and more), while we are also expected to see the end of the Touch Bar, which I will miss.
The M1 chip: what comes next - Image courtesy of Apple
While a lot of the more strident comments on the images and Apple's apparent disregard for privacy - which Apple strongly denies - have subsided, there are still one or two significant commentators making noises. This will probably all flare up again when (or if) Apple makes the system go live with the release of iOS 15. It will only affect users in America and then only if they are using iCloud Photos.
In a newsletter last week, Edward Snowden writes scathingly of what Apple has planned with CSAM detection. It is clear that, while Apple may believe that this is as far as it goes, Snowden writes that whatever Apple may promise (or hope) there is no way to trust politicians. What they say now and what they come up with next month may well differ: a week in politics is a long time.
The only partial hope that Snowden holds out, which others have mentioned, is that this is part of a longer term strategy to switch over "to end-to-end encryption for everything its customers store on iCloud". As he notes, however, Apple backed away from this a while back under pressure from the FBI. Snowden explains how this all might work, but is depressingly less hopeful on Apple ever carrying this out. I would recommend subscribing to this newsletter.
As iOS (later iPadOS) developed, so more features (by way of APIs) were available with the numbers of apps, and developers, expanding far beyond what Apple had ever expected. While that 30% was reasonable for the zeitgeist of 2008, the ways in which users, developers, apps and risks have changed suggests that some flexibility is needed. Apple did make some changes to subscription levies a while back, but has been under considerable pressure from politicians worldwide and from litigation.
With court approval pending, Apple has agreed to make several changes to the ways in which the App Store is run and these are outlined by Evan Selleck (iDownloadblog). Some of the changes are far reaching and this is quite a significant move. Selleck writes about the seven key priorities that Apple has come up with after some extensive discussion.
One of the seven in the list covers a point that has irked developers for a while and Apple will allow developers to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app. There will also be an improved process to appeal against rejection of an app. Apple is being realistic here and in part is making an effort to end off the inevitable legislation that has been heading its way for months. Whether or not there will be other app stores on iOS and Android is a matter for the legislators.
This week he will be eligible for a stock payout of around $750 million, which seems to be some sort of scandal in the minds of some commentators. Bloomberg for example (reported by Joe Wituschek, iMore), describes the payment as a "haul", giving it a negative connotation. They seem to let payments to other CEOs pass without such implied criticism. Cook is expected to give most of it away.
When a new iPhone arrives in its packaging, it is sealed in a box and positioned on a raised cardboard area in an effort to isolate the LI-ion battery in case anything goes wrong in transit. Apple ships thousands of phones on one plane like this. An effect from the risk is that it is sometimes difficult to have these batteries shipped. I bought a couple of dozen LR44 batteries recently from Amazon. These are the type used in calculators and some watches. A lot of film cameras use these too and I just used my last one when my Nikon F3 went dead (I think I left it turned on). With the shops closed here, there was little chance of finding one locally, so I went online. With the price on Amazon, compared to the prices I paid for these locally, the two dozen purchase was only slightly more than my usual price for two batteries.
He of course appealed, but UMG have time on their side and they do not need to respond until 28 August. If I take a photograph of the moon, I own the copyright of that photo and in the same way, Philip Bloom owns the copyright of the video he posted to Facebook. Universal Music Group cannot copyright the Moon, but may need to invest in some better algorithms.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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