Birchtree

Talking tech since 2010
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Safari's redesign is either brave or reckless…or maybe both (Birch Bark #76)

I'm once again posting this week's Birch Bark here since I mixed up the format a bit and couldn't help myself. I won't do this every week, so if you like this post, subscribe to the free newsletter version today!


Why Are Apple Media Apps so Terrible? -  Greg Morris

Apple no longer makes iPhones, Macs, iPad, apps and everything else for you. It makes them for everyone.

Apple, of course, never made devices for me specifically, but they did make products more specifically targeted at people like me. When your market share grows to the billions range, then your products simply can’t be that anymore.

This makes the company’s latest controversial moves with Safari 15 all the more interesting. On the one hand, they’re reckless to make such big changes all at once, but on the other hand they’re showing that they still have the ability to make opinionated software at this scale.


Revealed: leak uncovers global abuse of cyber-surveillance weapon - The Guardian

Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

This is a doozy of a story that’s developing by the day, and due to that I won’t try to make any super-declarative statements, but I will say this is a good example of why:

  1. Security on our phones, especially around privacy, are so important.
  2. Anyone who tells you that app store rules make spyware like this impossible is drinking the marketing Kool Aid.

The Quickies

Videos

I’ve never directed the Super Bowl Halftime show (although I did do this exact job for college basketball games right after graduation), but this video takes you inside the control room and shows you what it’s like.

Rene Ritchie gives an excellent overview as to why YouTubers do the annoying things people complain about. YouTuber face…spicy titles…garish thumbnails…it’s all because despite people’s complaints, the simple fact is when giving the choice, those same people click on the things they say they don’t like.

I think on some level, everyone with a camera likes to think of themselves as a street photographer, and Pierre Lambert’s videos show off the art better than anyone else I’ve seen on YouTube.

Remember that $349 speaker Apple made that they discontinued just a few years after it launched? Nope, not the HomePod, we have to go back even further…

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