The Tracking-You Edition Monday, April 25, 2016

Was Your Dog Walked? Your Phone Can Show You, by Nick Wingfield, New York Times

Some parents find peace of mind in the location-tracking features in smartphones that let them keep tabs on their children. There are also the dog owners who can rest easy knowing that hired dog walkers are doing their job, and that the dogs are doing their business.

And then, there is the comfort of tracking your pizza delivery.

Inside One Of The World’s Most Secretive iPhone Factories, by Shai Oster, Bloomberg

A few minutes past 9 a.m. at Pegatron Corp.’s vast factory on Shanghai’s outskirts, thousands of workers dressed in pink jackets are getting ready to make iPhones.

The men and women stare into face scanners and swipe badges at security turnstiles to clock in. The strict ID checks are there to make sure they don’t work excessive overtime. The process takes less than two seconds.

This is the realm in which the world’s most profitable smartphones are made, part of Apple Inc.’s closely guarded supply chain. After years of accusations that employees in China were forced to work long, grueling hours, Pegatron and Apple adopted new procedures to keep iPhone assemblers from amassing excessive overtime. They’re eager to show how the system works, and for the first time are granting a western journalist access into the inner sanctum.


Review: The 2016 Retina MacBook Is A Faster Version Of The Same Machine, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

It’s not a laptop for everyone. It’s not going to make every MacBook Air and Pro user happy. It probably won’t make most people who disliked the 2015 MacBook happy. But for OS X users who value portability over all else, it’s a decent generational bump that gets you more speed for the same price.

Hoping To Call The Shots From Your Death Bed? There's A App For That, by Erin Ellis, Vancouver Sun

Darren Kopetsky, director of client relations at Vancouver Coastal Health, says a video of a patient’s wishes could be a valuable guide for relatives who must speak on behalf of their loved one. And it would also assist hospital staff to ensure that the family is following the patient’s instructions.

“It really brings it to life more so than a document,” Kopetsky says. “And because substitute decision makers are obligated to make decisions as the adult (patient) would have, it’s very helpful for the health care team to essentially hold the decision-maker accountable.”

Microsoft Releases Word Flow Keyboard For iPhone With One-handed Mode, Custom Backgrounds, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

With a gesture, the Word Flow keyboard can morph into a circular layout in a corner, allowing access to all keys with just one finger.


Implementers, Solvers, And Finders, by Randall Koutnik

More importantly, I want programmers everywhere to realize that it’s possible to have autonomy while still writing code for a living. Some may find fulfillment in leadership (I know I do, the siren song has abated but is not gone) but plenty of hackers out there just want to make great things. There’s hope for us yet!

The Web Isn’t Uniform, by Karolina Szczur, Medium

The technological choices are important for teams, but have even more impact for the audience. The Web can and will be built with and on anything we can put our hands on. Let’s not forget who we’re creating it for.


Apple Shouldn’t Cross That Road Till They Come To It, by John Kirk, Techpinion

Apple’s services will always be “meh” because Apple’s business model is tailored to create hardware on a periodic timetable and services require one to focus on, and build up expertise in, an entirely different set of iterative processes. However, I think the proposed solution — breaking the iPhone and Services into seperate divisions — is a cure that would be worse than the disease. Breaking Apple into two divisions would not create one excellent hardware division and one excellent Services division — it would, instead, create one conflicted and dysfunctional company.

Bottom of the Page

I seldom re-read books, or re-watch movies. I definitely do not re-listen to podcasts. Life is, after all, short enough.

The exception, of course, is music. There were quite a few cassettes and CDs that were worn down in my lifetime. And when I migrated to iPods, there were quite a few songs that had very high play-counts.

That changed when Apple Music arrived. Something switched inside my brain, and I now explore new (to me) music rather than repeat playlists. Nowadays, I regularly download new music onto my iPhone while removing older music off the device.

Except for one album: David Bowie's Blackstar. I can't bear removing it off my iPhone, because this is now my go-to album whenever I feel sad. I am not sure what I am looking for when listening to this album, honestly; maybe it's just comforting to me.


I've been listening to the Blackstar album on repeat this whole day.


Thanks for reading.