Tag Archive for ‘Wired’

RSS Readers Are Due for a Comeback ➝

Brian Barrett, writing for Wired:

The modern web contains no shortage of horrors, from ubiquitous ad trackers to all-consuming platforms to YouTube comments, generally. Unfortunately, there’s no panacea for what ails this internet we’ve built. But anyone weary of black-box algorithms controlling what you see online at least has a respite, one that’s been there all along but has often gone ignored. Tired of Twitter? Facebook fatigued? It’s time to head back to RSS.

We should all spend a little less time reading knee-jerk reactions on social media and spend more time reading thoughtfully composed articles in our RSS readers.

Pokémon Go Isn’t the Solution to Nintendo’s Problems ➝

Chris Kohler, writing for Wired:

You can attribute the fluctuations to irrational exuberance on the part of investors, as Nintendo doesn’t publish Pokemon Go. It co-owns the rights to the franchise, and holds stakes in Go publishers Niantic and The Pokemon Company, so it is surely making some money from Go. But nobody knows how much. More to the point, Nintendo didn’t create the game, and so its existence doesn’t suggest that Nintendo’s management finally “gets it.”

I think this piece paints a gloomier picture of Nintendo’s future than I’d prefer. But I agree that we shouldn’t be treating Pokémon Go as the beginning of Nintendo truly understanding the mobile marketplace. The reality is that Nintendo had little —likely zero — to do with Pokémon Go’s development. My assumption is that this the game’s success will teach them that it’s okay to release some of their franchise games on iOS and Android, but I don’t expect the flood gates to open just yet. Things will probably get a lot worse before they get better.

On Differential Privacy ➝

Andy Greenberg, writing for Wired:

Differential privacy, translated from Apple-speak, is the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it. With differential privacy, Apple can collect and store its users’ data in a format that lets it glean useful notions about what people do, say, like and want. But it can’t extract anything about a single, specific one of those people that might represent a privacy violation. And neither, in theory, could hackers or intelligence agencies.

I know, basically nothing about differential privacy, but it sure seems like the solution to Apple’s privacy versus big-data-based machine learning problem.

WordPress.com Gets a New Face and Joins the JavaScript Age ➝

Klint Finley, writing for Wired:

WordPress.com unveiled a new admin interface today for managing blogs, posting content, and reading other people’s sites. If you’re a regular user, you’ll notice a new look and feel. If you’re a code geek, you’ll notice something more remarkable below the surface: JavaScript instead of PHP.

Automattic isn’t leaving self-hosted, WordPress.org users in the cold, though. The new interface is also available for users that have Automattic’s Jetpack plugin installed.

They’re also releasing a WordPress admin app for OS X with plans for Windows and Linux versions in the future.

I’m not a Jetpack user, so I haven’t had the opportunity to try out the new interface. I also haven’t touched my MacBook Air in days, so naturally I haven’t tried the OS X app, either. But I don’t expect I’ll be doing so anytime soon. I’m already pefectly fine with WordPress’ current interface — it’s grown on me over the nine or ten years that I’ve used it. And I just don’t do that much writing on OS X these days. The vast majority of my writing is done in WordPress’ Press This bookmarklet or in Vesper on iPhone or iPad. The workflows I’ve fine-tuned are comfortable and there’s no need to introduce new software that could slow me down or break things.

At least for now, I’ll be sticking with WordPress’ current, PHP interface and the applications that I already use for writing.

iPod Touch, The Best Secure Communicator ➝

Joseph Cox, writing for Wired:

If you want to communicate really securely, you may assume you need some government level spy training, a high tech encrypted phone, or at least a custom operating system. Nope. Not at all. It turns out the most secure communications device available to anyone, anywhere, right now is the humble iPod Touch.

I had never thought of the hyper-security-conscious when it comes to who the iPod Touch appeals to, but it makes perfect sense. It has all the conveniences of a smartphone without the inherently insecure cellular radio that’s constantly broadcasting your location to the nearest cell towers. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever become a secret agent.

Google’s Ad System Has Become Too Big to Control ➝

Kevin Montgomery, writing for Wired:

Currently, Google allows advertisers to target their ads based on gender. That means it’s possible for an advertiser promoting high-paying job listings to directly target men. However, Google’s algorithm may have also determined that men are more relevant for the position and made the decision on its own. And then there’s the possibility that user behavior taught Google to serve ads in this manner. It’s impossible to know if one party here is to blame or if it’s a combination of account targeting from all sources at play.

The Secret History of Apple Watch ➝

Great behind the scenes profile of the Apple Watch development process by David Pierce. It’s a long read, but it’s chock full of interesting tidbits — like the first working prototypes for Apple Watch being iPhones that they would strap to their wrists and run a simulator on for software testing:

The team built a simulator that displayed a life-size image of an Apple Watch on the screen. Software was moving much more quickly than hardware, and the team needed a way to test how it worked on your wrist. There was even an onscreen digital crown—a facsimile of a watch’s classic knob—that you could swipe to spin, but it hardly replicated the feeling of twisting a real crown. Swiping, after all, is what the knob was supposed to replace. So they made a custom dongle, an actual watch crown that plugged into the bottom of the phone through the cord jack.

I also found the bit about Apple’s work on the Taptic engine interesting. Translating sound effects into physical sensations that capture what a text message or a tweet would feel like is the kind of attention to detail I’ve come to expect from apple.

Wired Reveals the People Involved in Sale of the Lost iPhone ➝

Law.com has revealed that Gizmodo editor Jason Chen has hired a criminal lawyer. I’m glad to hear that he’s finally taking this seriously. Chen’s lawyer says that he does not know if Chen is the target of the investigation or if they are trying to find information about his sources. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is saying that to protect his client.

What’s more interesting is that the finder of the iPhone prototype has been revealed. Wired has discovered the identity of the finder after following some social networking clues.

From the report on Wired:

Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, California, says although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him “that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press,” according to his attorney Jeffrey

Hogan says that he regrets not doing more to return the iPhone to Apple. Wired also reports that a friend of Hogan called AppleCare about the device and this is all that was done as an attempt to return the device. The iPhone was never returned to the bar and no other type of attempts were made.

In their report Wired also reveals that they were contacted to purchase the device, but not by Hogan. So there was a middleman, which leads me to believe that Hogan knew what he was doing was not only incredibly shady but also potentially illegal.