The Sound-Map Edition Friday, March 2, 2018

Microsoft iPhone App Creates A Sound Map For Blind People, by Matthew Field, Telegraph

Using a smartphone connected to a headset like Apple AirPods, it helps blind people gain a better awareness of their location, while it can also be used in conjunction with other apps, like a GPS map, working in the background.

By telling users road and place names and giving directions out loud, the app provides blind people with points of reference to make it easier to navigate the world, while being distinct from route guidance apps. The app is made to be used to be in addition to navigation methods like guide dogs.

Why Are There Few Women In Tech? Watch A Recruiting Session, by Jessi Hempel, Wired

The researchers documented an unwelcoming environment for these women, including sexist jokes and imagery, geeky references, a competitive environment, and an absence of women engineers—all of which intimidated or alienated female recruits. “We hear from companies there’s a pipeline problem, that there just aren’t enough people applying for jobs. This is one area where they are able to influence that,” says Wynn. They just don’t.

The chilling effect, according to Wynn, starts with the people companies send to staff recruiting sessions. As students entered, women were often setting up refreshments or raffles and doling out the swag in the back; the presenters were often men, and they rarely introduced the recruiters. If the company sent a female engineer, according to the paper, she often had no speaking role; alternatively, her role was to speak about the company’s culture, while her male peer tackled the tech challenges. Of the sessions Wynn’s research team observed, only 22 percent featured female engineers talking about technical work. When those women did speak, according to the sessions observed, male presenters tended to interrupt them.

CHP Using Decoy Buses In Effort To Track Down Suspects In Peninsula Attacks, Chris Nguyen, ABC 7

The California Highway Patrol is using a decoy bus in an effort to track down whoever has been shooting at buses along the I-280 corridor.

Officers are driving bait buses hoping to draw fire from the suspect or suspects.


Apple Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 With Recruiting Event, Special Today At Apple Sessions, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress, a call for gender parity. In conjunction with the theme, Apple will hold a corporate recruiting event at Apple Marché Saint-Germain in Paris on the evening of the 8th.

Add An App Folder To Your iPhone's Apps Dock, by Jacob Kleinman, Lifehacker

The Apps Dock is the most accessible bit of real estate on your iPhone. You can reach it from any page of the home screen, and it’s never more than a single Home button press away (or a swipe up if you have an iPhone X). If you’re like me, however, you’ve been criminally underusing the Dock by stocking it with single icons instead of a folder.

Rogue Amoeba Discontinuing Nicecast For Mac, Suggests Alternatives For Live Podcast Broadcasting, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Rogue Amoeba, the makers of useful sound utilities for the Mac, will no longer be making one of their apps as Nicecast has officially been discontinued. Nicecast allows Mac users to broadcast audio from their machine over the Internet — originally intended for Internet radio — and is still used by podcasters today to create live streams.


Apple Announces SwiftNIO, An Open Source Framework For Network Applications, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Apple has announced its latest foray into open source software, this time with SwiftNIO, a new framework for writing network applications using the Swift programming language. Both the framework and its open source nature were announced by Apple software engineer Norman Maurer at the try! Swift Conference.


Consent In The Digital Age: Can Apps Solve A Very Human Problem?, by Maya Salam, New York Times

The concept of affirmative consent — the act of giving verbal permission clearly and often during intimate encounters — was pioneered at Antioch College, where an affirmative sexual consent policy was instituted in 1990. It was widely mocked then, but similar policies have since spread to campuses nationwide, and the concept is now acknowledged well beyond university grounds.

Now, apps aiming to help partners mitigate confusion in the bedroom have emerged, the newest of which approaches consent like a legal contract. LegalFling, which was introduced to users in beta on Monday, lets users give explicit sexual consent via an agreement, or a “live contract,” a dynamic document that users can continuously interact with and update.

How Tech Companies Became A Political Force, by Jacob Silverman, The New Republic

When tech leaders prophesy a utopia of connectedness and freely flowing information, they do so as much out of self-interest as belief. Rather than a decentralized, democratic public square, the internet has given us a surveillance state monopolized by a few big players. That may puzzle technological determinists, who saw in networked communications the promise of a digital agora. But strip away the trappings of Google’s legendary origins or Atari’s madcap office culture, and you have familiar stories of employers versus employees, the maximization of profit, and the pursuit of power. In that way, at least, these tech companies are like so many of the rest.

Bottom of the Page

I dream of a single inbox on my computers that will show me all my incoming stuff every time I visit it, altering the content based on what I am doing, and what is really important.

For example, when I wake up, this single inbox will show me articles from my RSS feeds. When I reach office, I will want to read my work emails and work to-dos. And later in the evening, maybe a mixture of non-work emails, and Netflix recommendations.

When the inbox discover some important emails, for example, it should interrupt this normal flow and alert me. Say, a work email that tells me that a colleage is sick and I should make my way to an early meeting to cover his or her place. Or a RSS item that tells me that Apple has bought NeXT and maybe I should update this little link blog of mine.

And any messages from my family should always interrupt anything I am doing.

In other words, a butler that tells me what I need to know.

Too much to ask?


If the TV app is for movies and TV shows, is there a place for a new app for messages and notifications?


While we are on the subject of inboxes -- we are never going to replace this email thing, are we?


Thanks for reading.