eXtensions - Friday 12 August 2022
Friday Review: Apple Product Speculations; Nasty Printer Surprises; Difficulties Reporting CSAM Images; PayPal Blocked Soon for Some Thai Users
By Graham K. Rogers
iPad Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
When it moved from its original (and cumbersome) multi-pin connector for the iPad to Lightning there were sound engineering reasons for this, including the ability to make the connection any way round. Anyone who has used USB A will be aware of the frustration when trying to put a cable into the port the wrong way round: and they always are, aren't they?
I prefer the USB-C connector and wish that Apple had already moved to embrace this on the iPhone rather than be forced by legislation, although there are some who believe Apple will dump all ports and charge using induction. My iPhone already works like that although it also has the Lightning port as does the case for the AirPods. That is also rumored to be changing to USB-C next year. All my other devices, apart from the almost-vintage Mac mini have USB-C ports, so most of the accessories have suitable cables and connectors.
What, therefore, could push Apple into changing a connector it introduced in 2015 (AppleWiki) for the first iPadPro and patented in 2017? I am doubtful about this rumored change in the pins, although the addition of MagSafe capabilities does make sense. However, enlarging on the rumor, Ed Hardy (Cult of Mac) adds that there could be two additional "mystery ports" although this seems to be a different interpretation of the same material as MacRumors saw.
iPhone 13 Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
It does not look as if the flags for keyboard displays will be returning to macOS despite a number of people asking for this. An online search shows several ways in which this can be done, but it may need installing 3rd party apps: never a good solution as far as I am concerned, particularly when Apple has the ability to reverse this. Several sources reported on the iOS beta change, the first one I saw was from Evan Selleck (iDownloadBlog).
That link that Cory Doctorow posted shows several ways in which printer manufacturers (not just Epson) limit the ways in which consumers can use the devices, including selling printers with half-empty ink-cartridges, having printers reject partially full cartridges as empty and several more, including the Epson trick that uses little internal sponges that soak up excess ink. When they become saturated, that ink might run out of the bottom of your printer and stain your furniture; so Epson bricks the printer after the user has run a certain number of pages. Even if a user replaces the sponges, that could be in violation of DRM which in the USA is a Federal offense, although Doctorow wonders if this is a violation of consumer protection laws. The article has a link for each of the ways in which the printer makes have limited the free use to consumers: all in our best interests of course.
Canadian Center for Child Protection report
I found it interesting in the way the report highlights the different ways in which online social sites go about reports from users. The document is "Reviewing Child Sexual Abuse Material Reporting Functions on Popular Platforms" and the sites examined are:
The last two obviously will display content that is not suitable for all tastes, but the emphasis was on reporting CSAM. I was slightly surprised that LINE which is widely used here was not included. The 15 sites each had reporting processes that differed, with some (like Twitter), being criticized for requiring user log in or email information. That would deter some users from making reports. Each service had some drawbacks to effective reporting, but Bing had the most positive and easy approach. The report made several recommendations with each category having an enlarged explanation:
The last two are particularly valuable as the report finds considerable reluctance to report from both victims and from users of the platforms. Victims are already being damaged, while users would wish to retain anonymity. "From a reporting standpoint, many of these measures amount to simple adjustments to website navigation and menu options."
As I feared, with the NDID as the sole source of verification, non-Thai users will be unable to use PayPal while living here. That is really not helpful. I have asked PP agents and the stock reply seems to be only for those with NDID and I am told, "we will not be able to continue extending our services at this time to customers in Thailand who do not have a Thai national ID". I have asked about offering alternatives and was told that PayPal is sympathetic about the changes and are saddened as many customers are affected by the update. However, they must comply with all applicable Thai laws.
The PayPal account for those who are unable to register with NDID can be used as normal until Oct 31, 2022. Then, it will no longer be possible to use the PayPal wallet to shop online, and make or receive payments until further notice. The information added that any updates will be shared on the PayPal website when [or if] additional services and features are available in the country.
While the authorities in Thailand are clamping down on supposed currency exchange (read, laundering) I note that Apple Pay is now available in Malaysia, according to Stephen Warwick (iMore). Information reveals that "AmBank, Maybank, and Standard Chartered Bank are supported, with American Express support coming later this year." In addition, "supporting retailers and merchants include KFC, Maxis, Machines, McDonald's, Mydin, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, U Mobile, Uniqlo, Village Grocer, and Watsons." And more. Malaysia waited 8 years for this. Congratulations (through gritted teeth).
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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