Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 26, 2013 -
Of Sisters And Clones
: An Interview with Jessica Rath
Every apple for sale at your local supermarket is a clone. Every single Golden Delicious, for example, contains the exact same genetic material; though the original Golden Delicious tree (discovered in 1905, on a hillside in Clay County, West Virginia) is now gone, its DNA has become all but immortal, grafted onto an orchard of clones growing on five continents and producing more than two hundred billion pounds of fruit each year in the United States alone.
via Edible Geography [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 20, 2013 -
At Apple's keynote presentation
at the WWDC yesterday, scorn for Scott Forstall – their recently-fired
VP of iOS software – ran rampant. His preference for skeuomorphic design (calendars that look like leather and so-on) was mocked repeatedly by Craig Federighi
: “Look! Even without all that stitching, everything just stays in place.” But the real shocker was the completely redesigned iOS 7
, created under the supervision of Jonathan Ive, who prior handled all of Apple's hardware design and none of its software. Previously Ive and Forstall were much at odds, reportedly refusing to even meet with each other
—and it should be noted that Ives' famous idol
, the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, famously rejected artificial wooden furnishings with his breakout design, the record player that was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin"
for its transparent lid. Forstall's ousting placed Ive in charge of interface as well as industrial design
, and it was expected that the shift would lead to a change in iOS design philosophy. But the change was perhaps more radical than expected—a complete overhaul that looks simple to the point of cartoonishness
, with abstracted icons and stark layouts. Some critics are already complaining that iOS 7 goes too far in the other direction
; others note the deep rigor of its new rules-based design
. You can hear Ive talk about his design here [warning: obnoxious Apple promo video]
. And Apple threw its support behind Ive with an unexpectedly lovely short video about the design process [warning: possibly also obnoxious]
: "We start to confuse convenience for joy, abundance with choice. There are a thousand no's for every yes."
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign
and helped name the iMac
. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly
, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory
, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure
is interesting, as is this post
on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft
, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft
and JC Penney
and even Apple
, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages
. He's also fond
of discussing product names
. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
posted by Rory Marinich
on May 3, 2013 -
The Verge has a nice article
looking at streaming as a business model (or not, of course...) "Do you think it's good or bad for the value of music if the only people who sell it don't care if they're making money on it?" David Pakman asks. "What you really want is an ecosystem with lots of financially healthy companies selling your product." [more inside]
posted by lucullus
on Mar 12, 2013 -
Michael Dell, with the help of a $2 billion dollar investment from Microsoft, is taking Dell private
. Dell was once a $100 billion company, but has fallen behind HP and Lenovo in marketshare in the post-PC era. This is the largest leveraged buyout since 2007. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana
on Feb 5, 2013 -
Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic
on Jan 31, 2013 -
Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks Prior to his death on Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs made sure that the elevation of Tim Cook—his longtime head of operations and trusted deputy—to Apple chief executive officer would be drama-free. “He goes, ‘I never want you to ask what I would have done,’” recalls Cook. “‘Just do what’s right.’ He was very clear.” ... In his most wide-ranging interview as CEO, Cook explains how Apple works now, talks about the perception that he’s “robotic,” and announces the return of Apple manufacturing to the U.S.
posted by The Deej
on Dec 6, 2012 -
“These companies are willing to shove 1,000 attorneys down your throat if you share music, but won’t even respond to a legal order about actual music theft and piracy.”
] [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges
on Oct 17, 2012 -
Google makes great maps
. But Apple and Google aren't getting along well. So in its new iOS 6, Apple dropped all Google mapping tech in favor of its own Maps app that it promised would "blow your head off"
. Some people
like it. Others
don't. But the numbers
are that 63 countries with a combined population of 4.5 billion people will lose at least one of the traffic, transit, or street views they had before. And even arch-supporter John Gruber acknowledges " the maps experience in iOS 6 is a downgrade"
. Google may produce an official Google Maps app for iOS. Then again, they may not
posted by Egg Shen
on Sep 19, 2012 -
hacking group claims to have released a set
of more than 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) allegedly obtained from breaching an FBI agent's laptop
via a Java vulnerability. The group claims to have over 12 million IDs, as well as personal information such as user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses. There's a tool
to help you check if your device is in the list. [more inside]
posted by unSane
on Sep 4, 2012 -
The alternative to admitting that it simply sucks when an Apple TV is bricked or phone shatters, Geniuses are taught to employ the "Three Fs: Feel, Felt, and Found. This works especially well when the customer is mistaken or has bad information…"
Apple's secret employee training manual for its "Geniuses"
Customer: This Mac is just too expensive.
Genius: I can see how you'd feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it's a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities…The maneuver is brilliant. The Genius has switched places with the customer. He is she and she is he, and maybe that laptop isn't too expensive after all. He Found it wasn't, at least.
as revealed by Gizmodo
posted by grouse
on Aug 29, 2012 -
Steam to sell productivity software [main link
]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC
] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve
] [previously on Mefi
]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan
on Aug 8, 2012 -
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo) “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case
Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case.
And the memo is rife with ammunition.
posted by infini
on Aug 7, 2012 -
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
Apple is abandoning EPEAT
Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.” Electronics recyclers need to take out hazardous components such as batteries before sending computers through their shredders, because batteries can catch fire when punctured. [more inside]
posted by lodurr
on Jul 8, 2012 -