The Quantum-Context Edition Thursday, January 26, 2017

What’s Up With Firefox, The Browser That Time Forgot?, by Walt Mossberg, Recode

Building Firefox into a real contender will take a lot more work, and Mayo concedes that parts of the plan won’t be visible to users until later this year. Still, Mozilla claims that it “aims to pass Chrome on key performance measures that matter by end of year.”

To do that, the company is betting on something called Project Quantum, a new under-the-hood browsing engine that will replace big chunks of Mozilla’s ancient Gecko engine. [...]

Another cornerstone for the new Firefox is a project called the Context Graph that aims to use an enhanced browser history to replace navigational search. The idea is to use differential privacy — the same kind of privacy-respecting machine learning that Apple uses — to suggest places on the web to go for particular needs, rather than getting navigational answers from search.

Apple’s Icons Have That Shape For A Very Good Reason, by Mark Stanton, Hackernoon

A ‘secret’ of Apple’s physical products is that they avoid tangency (where a radius meets a line at a single point) and craft their surfaces with what’s called curvature continuity. Once you know how to spot it on products, you’re likely to start seeing it (or more likely the lack of it) all around you.

Apple Resellers And Service Providers Speak Out Following Simply Mac Closures, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Since August 2015, Apple has lowered its profit margins for resellers, requiring them to pay more upfront for products. Apple then rebates the difference as part of the monthly Business Development Funds checks it sends to resellers, but this method requires resellers to wait longer to be fully paid.

In other words, while the margins did not change overall, resellers are now forced to pay more upfront for Apple products to sell, which restricts cash flow that could otherwise be used for day-to-day operations, employee wages, and other expenses. For smaller resellers, the change can be particularly burdensome.


3 Things Fitness Buffs Should Know About Apple Watch Series 2, by James A. Martin, CIO

Since the Apple Watch Nike+ became available in late October, I’ve been wearing the watch to record daily workouts. After nearly three months, I’m still infatuated with Apple’s latest smartwatch (part of its Series 2 line-up), with its built-in GPS and mostly excellent swim workout tracking.

But there are three potential disappointments fitness buffs should be aware of — especially if you long to leave your iPhone behind when working out.


Fun With String Interpolation, by Ole Begemann

One of the first things you learn as a Swift programmer is string interpolation, or how to mix variables and expressions into string literals to build new strings.

What you may not know is that you can customize what string interpolation does when you initialize your own custom types with an interpolated string. This is what this article is about.

Apple Will Soon Let Developers Reply To App Reviews On The App Store, by Benjamin Mayo

Whilst Apple should offer the ability for developers to respond to reviews, it shouldn’t become a mandatory thing. I believe Apple should let developers choose whether they want to enable replies for their app; this preference would then be shown to customers when they go to leave a review so they can know whether to expect a reply or not. If developers choose to opt out, the App Store is no worse off than how it has been for the last decade.


Apple Set To Join Amazon, Google, Facebook In AI Research Group, by Alex Webb, Bloomberg

Apple’s admission into the group could be announced as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation. Representatives at Apple and the Partnership on AI declined to comment. [...] Joining the Partnership on AI is the latest sign that Apple is opening up more. The group says it aims to “conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license."

Why Apple Is Advancing Plans To Make Products In India, by Rex Crum, San Jose Mercury News

It’s no secret that Apple wants to have a bigger presence in India. Especially when it comes to the iPhone. By many accounts, Apple only has about 2 percent of the smartphone market in India, mainly due to the fact that the iPhone costs way more than the average Indian can afford.

But, with Apple’s sales in both the U.S. and China declining, it sees India as a potential gold mine. If the company can crack the market.

Apple Continues Antitrust Fight With Qualcomm With Two New Lawsuits, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Apple is continuing its legal assault on Qualcomm with two new lawsuits filed today in Beijing.

Bottom of the Page

I am using Firefox on my Windows machine, and I do welcome Mozilla turning its attention back to the browser software. I am not thrilled, though, that this seems like another restart-from-scratch effort on the rendering engine.


Thanks for reading.