The Support-Equality Edition Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tim Cook Says ‘Hate Is A Cancer’ & Promises $2M Donation In Company Email Following Charlottesville Tragedy, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following the company’s decision to block Apple Pay on websites promoting white supremacy and hate groups, Apple CEO Tim Cook this evening sent a mass email to all Apple employees to discuss the tragedy in Charlottesville that occurred over the weekend.

In the email, obtained by 9to5Mac, Cook expressed his dissonance with President Trump, while he also said that Apple will be making donations in support of equality.

Apple Pay Is Cutting Off White Supremacists, by Ryan Mac, Blake Montgomery, BuzzFeed

On Wednesday, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sold sweaters with Nazi logos, t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “White Pride” and a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators. Following Saturday’s Charlottesville demonstrations, where one woman was killed by a car driven by a white nationalist, the iPhone maker blocked three white nationalist sites from using Apple Pay.


Apple’s move to distance itself from these sites comes as a number of technology companies have faced intense scrutiny for enabling the websites or social media accounts of white nationalist and white supremacist organizations.

Hacker Decrypts Apple's Secure Enclave Processor (SEP) Firmware, by iClarified

Decryption of the SEP Firmware will make it easier for hackers and security researchers to comb through the SEP for vulnerabilities.


Unobstruct Clears A Path To A Better Web Reading Experience, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Troy Gaul, a developer at The Iconfactory, created Unobstruct, a Safari content blocker for iOS that eliminates floating bars, buttons, and other UI elements. The simple app [...] removes any HTML that is set to sit on top of a site’s content and not scroll.

App Makes Alaska Coastal Data Available Offline, by Alaska Journal

ShoreZone provides public access online to a coastal map that includes several elements: high-resolution photos, videos, and data on the biology and geomorphology of the coast. CoastView takes that information and pairs it with some narration of the coastline and points of interest, and makes it all available without an internet connection.


What One Company Learned From Forcing Employees To Use Their Vacation Time, by Neil Pasricha, Harvard Business Review

“Right now we spend about the first 25 years of our lives learning, then there are another 40 years that are really reserved for working. And then tacked on at the end of it are about 15 years for retirement. And I thought it might be helpful to basically cut off five of those retirement years and intersperse them in between those working years.” As he says, that one year is the source of his creativity, inspiration, and ideas for the next seven years.

I recently collaborated with Shashank Nigam, the CEO of SimpliFlying, a global aviation strategy firm of about 10 people, to ask a simple question: “What if we force people to take a scheduled week off every seven weeks?”


Social Media Has Hijacked Our Minds. Click Here To Fight It, by Nicholas Thompson, Wired

Sometimes our smart phones are our friends, sometimes they seem like our lovers, and sometimes they’re our dope dealers. And no one, in the past 12 months at least, has done more than Tristan Harris to explain the complexity of this relationship. Harris is a former product manager at Google who has gone viral repeatedly by critiquing the way that the big platforms—Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram—suck us into their products and take time that, in retrospect, we may wish we did not give. He’s also launched a nonprofit called Time Well Spent, which is devoted to stopping “tech companies from hijacking our minds.” Today, the TED talk he gave last April was released online. In it, he proposes a renaissance in online design that can free us from being controlled and manipulated by apps, websites, advertisers, and notifications. Harris expanded on those ideas in a conversation with WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson. The conversation has been edited for clarity and concision.

EU Demand For Apple To Pay €13bn Taxes Unjustified, Says Ireland, by Reuters

The Irish government has said it will collect the money pending an appeal of the ruling by Apple, but Mr Donohoe said it was not Dublin's job and the request was not justified.

"We are not the global tax collector for everybody else," FAZ quoted him as saying.

The Docx Games: Three Days At The Microsoft Office World Championship, by Sam Dean, The Verge

It was as if the Olympics opening ceremony was replaced by a networking event: teens were decked out in national T-shirts, while others handed out business cards specially made for the event. At one table off by the bar, two chaperones nudged their folding chairs closer together and taught each other how to say hello (“Yassas,” “Ciao”) in their respective mother tongues. In the distance, through the palms, the tiki torches of Trader Sam's, the hotel's poolside lounge, were flickering into the black sky.

This marked the first night of the 16th Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, in which teens and young 20-somethings compete for the title of World Champion in their chosen professional application. It's an event put on annually by Certiport, a Utah-based subsidiary of standardized testing giant Pearson VUE. It's also a marketing stunt, pure and simple, devised to promote Certiport’s line of Microsoft Office certifications. This allows the certified to confirm the line on their resume that claims “proficiency in MS Office” is backed up by some solid knowledge of deep formatting and presentation design.

Bottom of the Page

We probably can get a good sense of the tone of a book -- any book -- that is about Steve Jobs by counting the number of occurances of the word "fired" versus the number of occurances of the word "walk."


Thanks for reading.