The Lost-My-iPhone Edition Sunday, July 16, 2017

When I Lost My Phone, I Lost My Younger Brother All Over Again, by Emillio Mesa, Quartz

I eventually erased my mother’s frantic voicemail, but it still beats inside me, like a second heart.

“Your brother is dead! Please come home,” she screamed.

A sudden heart attack claimed my brother’s life at 30. He died in his sleep, found by his eldest son.

When I lost my iPhone, eight months after his death, I mourned him for the second time. All the childhood pictures and final texts my brother, Wesley, had sent me were on there. I had not backed any of it up in my iCloud account. I feared the phone slipped out of the back pocket of my new black skinny jeans after I crossed a crowded bar.

Apple’s Privacy Pledge Complicates Its AI Push, by Tom Simonite, Wired

Being able to promise your data stays private helps the company keep up its PR war on data gobblers and won't hurt some uses of AI. But as machine learning becomes more important to all consumer tech companies, Apple devices may think different, but less deeply.

How Can We Stop Algorithms Telling Lies?, by Cathy O'Neil, The Guardian

One of the biggest obstacles to this is that Google, Facebook, or for that matter Amazon, don’t allow testing of multiple personas – or online profiles – by outside researchers. Since those companies offer tailored and personalised service, the only way to see what that service looks like would be to take on the profile of multiple people, but that is not allowed. Think about that in the context of the VW testing: it would be like saying research teams could not have control of a car to test its emissions. We need to demand more access and ongoing monitoring, especially once we catch them in illegal acts. For that matter, entire industries, such as algorithms for insurance and hiring, should be subject to these monitors, not just individual culprits.

It’s time to gird ourselves for a fight. It will eventually be a technological arms race, but it starts, now, as a political fight. We need to demand evidence that algorithms with the potential to harm us be shown to be acting fairly, legally, and consistently. When we find problems, we need to enforce our laws with sufficiently hefty fines that companies don’t find it profitable to cheat in the first place. This is the time to start demanding that the machines work for us, and not the other way around.


Review: Koogeek P1 Smart Plug An Affordable Way To Get Started With Apple's HomeKit, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The recently released Koogeek P1 Smart Plug does what it says on the packaging —it plugs into any outlet, and converts it into a HomeKit controllable one. Fully HomeKit compatible, the hardware and app allows for schedule setting, use in Scenes, Siri control, and control from outside the house, when used in conjunction with a HomeKit Hub.

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Is something wrong with the AppleScript support that iTunes (the app on my Mac) provides? Because I am having a difficult time getting consistent results from my Applescripts that I am learning to write.


I have been assessing what I really use my iPhone for, besides using it as a phone (i.e. phone calls and text messaging). This is to allow me, hopefully, to understand whether I should upgrade from my 6 to the upcoming plus or pro models.

Here's what I've come up with: listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music; reading RSS feeds; reading news and blog posts; reading books; taking notes; and 'managing' to-do lists.

And here's what I've understand so far: unless the plus or pro models offer me a bigger screen without increasing weight or decreasing pocket-ability, I am staying with the non-plus non-pro line. That's because, besides a larger screen, I really cannot think of how the plus or pro models can increase the usefulness of the above-mentioned activities.


Thanks for reading.