The Uneamined-Acceptance Edition Monday, January 23, 2017

Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

A long thread on Apple's Support Communities website has been generated by AirPods users who are regularly experiencing Bluetooth connection dropouts during phone calls, despite the fact that the wireless earphones almost never lose their connection when used to listen to music or anything else.

Algorithmic Life, by Massimo Mazzotti, Los Angeles Review of Books

Our life is increasingly shaped by algorithmic processes, from the fluctuations of financial markets to facial recognition technology. Manichean arguments for or against digital algorithms are hardly relevant. Rather, we need to understand how algorithms embedded in widespread technologies are reshaping our societies. And we should imagine ways to open them up to public scrutiny — thus grounding shared practices of accountability, trust, and transparency.

This is essential for the simple reason that algorithms are not neutral. They are emblematic artifacts that shape our social interactions and social worlds. They open doors on possible futures. We need to understand their concrete effects — for example, the kinds of social stratification they reinforce. We need to imagine how they might work if they were designed and deployed differently, based on different priorities and agendas — and different visions of what our life should be like.

Algorithms are powerful world-makers. Whose world will they make?

Lazy Thinking: Modularity Always Works, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Most important, strongly-worded theories are less interesting than exploring their cracks, where they don’t seem to work. This is how physics keeps moving forward and this is also how our understanding of business should advance. In the case of Project Ara, the unexamined consensual acceptance of Disruption Theory led many to believe that Modularity Always Wins meant smartphones would (and should) follow the same path as PCs.


Head To Head: Apple's Time Machine Versus Three Local Backup Utilities For macOS, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

We've recommended that you use Time Machine plus one of the three backup apps we've already spoken about. Let us equally recommend that you use an online backup service or some other method of off-site data warehousing, like keeping a hard drive in a safety deposit box.


Foxconn Considers $7bn US Display Facility With Apple, by Debby Wu, Nikkei Asian Review

Key iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry is mulling a joint investment with Apple topping $7 billion for a highly automated display facility in the U.S., Chairman Terry Gou said Sunday.

"Apple is willing to invest in the facility together because they need the [panels] as well," Gou told reporters after the company's annual year-end party in the Nankang district of Taipei. The U.S. production site eventually would create 30,000 to 50,000 jobs, the Taiwanese tycoon said.