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Apple Changes Crimea Map To Meet Russian Demands

ardmhacha writes:

Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps. Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, drawing international condemnation. The region, which has a Russian-speaking majority, is now shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app, when viewed from Russia. But the apps do not show it as part of any country when viewed elsewhere. The State Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house, said in a statement: “Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory.” Russia treats the naval port city of Sevastopol as a separate region. The BBC tested several iPhones in Moscow and it appears the change affects devices set up to use the Russian edition of Apple’s App Store. Apple had been in talks with Russia for several months over what the State Duma described as “inaccuracy” in the way Crimea was labelled.

Further readingApple Has No Backbone.

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New Tracking Prevention in Microsoft’s Edge Will Hit Google the Hardest

Microsoft’s Edge browser is built on the same open source code as Google Chrome. But Ed Bott, writing for ZDNet, noticed something interesting:

On January 15, 2020, Microsoft is scheduled to roll out a completely revamped Edge browser to the general public. That browser, which is available for beta testing now on all supported versions of Windows and MacOS, includes a feature called Tracking Prevention. If that name sounds familiar, you’re not imagining things. Microsoft added a Tracking Protection feature to Internet Explorer 9, back in 2011; it used simple text files called Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) to allow or block third-party requests from specific domains. That’s the same general principle behind Tracking Prevention in the new Edge, but the implementation is more usable and more sophisticated, with multiple Trust Protection Lists taking the place of a single TPL.

I’ve spent the past week looking closely at this feature… [A]lthough it’s aimed at the online advertising and tracking industries in general, my tests suggest that its effects are likely to be felt most directly by one company: Google.

Using the default Balanced setting, Tracking Prevention blocked a total of 2,318 trackers, or an average of 35 on each page. Of that total, 552 were from Google domains. That’s a mind-boggling 23.8% of the total. To put that into perspective, the second entry on the list of blocked trackers was Facebook, which represented 3.8% of the total.

Rather than an anti-Google conspiracy, the article suggests this is instead just a reflection of both Google’s ubiquity and its business model.

“Google Analytics and Google AdSense are embedded on a staggering number of web pages.”

As found on: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/11/24/2055219/new-tracking-prevention-in-microsofts-edge-will-hit-google-the-hardest

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Apple exec says students who use Google’s ‘cheap’ laptops at school are ‘not going to succeed’

Apple’s marketing SVP Phil Schiller slammed Google’s Chromebooks in an interview with CNET published on Wednesday, saying that students who use them are not going to succeed.

The remarks are an escalation of Apple’s rhetoric about the competitive K-12 market in the United States where it is losing to Google and Microsoft.

“Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing,” Schiller said during an interview to promote a new $2,400 MacBook Pro. “If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.”

In a tweet sent after this story published, Schiller said that “every child has the ability to succeed.”

Right now, there are far more Chromebooks being sold to schools than other kinds of computers. In 2018, 60% of all laptops and tablets purchased for U.S. K-12 classrooms were Chromebooks, with Microsoft Windows-powered computers coming in at second at 22%. Apple’s iOS and macOS had 18% of the market, according to stats from Futuresource Consulting.

“At the point where U.S. districts needed to purchase devices for online assessment on mass scale, Chromebooks were clearly significantly cheaper than competitive offerings,” Futuresource analyst Michael Boreham said in an email.

Schiller’s argument against Chromebooks goes like this: According to a study done “many many years ago” internally at Apple, kids learn the best when they’re engaged. To maximize engagement, schools need to buy “cutting-edge learning tools” like Apple’s iPad.

He also returned to an argument that Apple CEO Tim Cook has made previously: Google’s Chromebooks are “test machines.” That’s because Chromebooks are better suited for government-mandated “Common Core” tests, which require or heavily recommend keyboards. Apple’s iPad, which Schiller calls the “ultimate tool for a child to learn on,” doesn’t have a built-in keyboard and requires an additional accessory to add one.

The U.S. education market is expected to hit $43 billion in sales in 2019, according to an estimate from Technavio earlier this year. Students who get comfortable with a given company’s software in school may remain a customer when they grow up and buy their own computers.

The education market is important to Apple, which held a press event at a school in Chicago in early 2018 discussing its education strategy and the “Everyone Can Code” program in which Apple creates computer science curricula it distributes to schools for free. Last year, Apple announced that it would build a new course for Advanced Placement high school students focusing on Apple’s programming language, Swift.

Apple also announced an update to its entry-level iPad at the event and said it would sell it to schools for $300 after an educational discount.

Aside from cost, Google enjoys a competitive advantage over Apple with its Google Classroom software, according to Boreham. Google Classroom lets students log on to any Chromebook to pull up their profile and saved work. Google’s device management software is also better suited for IT administrators, he added.

“Both Microsoft and Apple have added and extended their solutions with upgraded and cheaper hardware, IT deployment tools and a wider range of apps and tools, but to date there are limited signs of a significant OS market share change,” Boreham said.

As found on CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/13/apple-exec-students-who-use-googles-cheap-laptops-wont-succeed.html

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Stupid-ass TLDs 🙄

I like to think I’m not an overly opinionated person. That being said, when I saw the internet number authority’s list of TLDs, I felt full of opinions. Take a scroll through for yourself!
What do you find?

Wonderful-sounding, generic, general-purpose top level domains that you might want, such as:

.CalvinKlein, .BestBuy, and .BlockBuster

Internet Assigned Number Authority, List of Top-Level Domains (capitalization added for ease of recognition)
“Version 2019110300, Last Updated Sun Nov 3 07:07:01 2019 UTC”

Those sound great! Especially that last one. At last, I can run my own livestreaming.blockbuster website! Hopefully you see the problem here. It appears anyone with a budget (even long-failed movie rental companies) can officiate a TLD of their own. I like to think that a good top level domain is one that caters to a niche without being too specific. A category of business, group, or anything that might indicate a site’s purpose without naming a specific entity, to allow others who might fit under that TLD to leverage it as their own.

A few of my favorites (new[ish] TLDs that I actually like):

.Academy, .US, .Sucks

Cited from the same place as the last few… IANA of course! ‘Sucks’ is just plain fun.

I can use Academy for anything I feel teaches people. Country codes as TLDs? Just plain great. Countries will be here long enough to warrant an entry. How about “.Republican”? Of course not! Countries are here to stay (probably), political parties are so numerous and fickle that it’d be like having a .Fidgetspinner. On top of that, having group-specific TLDs opens up the door to impersonation (unless their never publicly traded — that’s fun too) by nefarious parties, scammers.

Now, that’s just my opinion. How’d I get here anyway? Well, I was hoping to find a .cyber TLD! Much to my surprise (this is a LONG list, surely they have internet stuff…) it’s not there. Go figure!

Maybe someday. 🤷‍♀️

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AWS Customers Rack Up Hefty Bills For Moving Data

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Information:

There are a lot of ways companies can rack up high bills for using cloud services, sometimes unexpectedly. One particularly stiff expense is the cost of shifting data from one cloud provider’s servers to another provider, or to a company’s own data center. The Information has learned just how much some companies have had to pay for these “data transfer” costs, as they’re called. The chart above shows how much 10 of the top customers of Amazon Web Services — the dominant cloud provider — paid for data transfer services in 2017 and 2018. The chart, which is based on internal AWS sales figures obtained by The Information, show that data transfer charges for one customer, Apple, approached $50 million in 2017. That represented about 6.5% of Apple’s total AWS bill of $775 million for that year, the sales figures show. Seven of the 10 companies saw increases of at least 50% in their AWS data transfer bills last year compared to the year before.

The reason for the high bills could “stem from growth in the number of users on a company’s web service, longer-than-average usage sessions and the addition of data-intensive features such as video,” the report says.

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Bank of America Says It Saves $2 Billion Per Year By Ignoring Amazon and Microsoft and Building Its Own Cloud Instead

Bank of America has bucked the Wall Street trend by building its own private cloud software rather than outsourcing to companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. From a report:

The investment, including a $350 million charge in 2017, hasn’t been cheap, but it has had a striking payoff, CEO Brian Moynihan said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. He said the decision helped reduce the firm’s servers to 70,000 from 200,000 and its data centers to 23 from 60, and it has resulted in $2 billion in annual infrastructure savings.

As found on Slashdot: https://slashdot.org/story/362412

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Tim Cook Defends Decision To Remove Hong Kong Maps App In Memo

On Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company’s decision to remove a mapping app in Hong Kong, saying that the company received “credible information” from authorities indicating the software was being used “maliciously” to attack police. Bloomberg reports:

Apple pulled HKmap.live from its App Store on Wednesday after flip-flopping between rejecting it and approving it earlier this month. Apple made the decision after consulting with local authorities, because it could endanger law enforcement and city residents. Cook echoed that sentiment in an email to Apple employees. “Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present,” Cook wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. He also said the app violates local laws.

The company has been criticized for the move, and Cook addressed that. “These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate,” the CEO wrote. “National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users.”

Apple’s reversal came after the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper criticized Apple for letting the app into its store.

As found on: https://apple.slashdot.org/story/19/10/10/212202/tim-cook-defends-decision-to-remove-hong-kong-maps-app-in-memo

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Supreme Court Allows Blind People To Sue Retailers If Their Websites Are Not Accessible

The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way Monday for blind people to sue retailers if their websites are not accessible to these people. “In a potentially far-reaching move, the justices turned down an appeal from Domino’s and let stand a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling holding that the Americans With Disabilities Act protects access not just to restaurants and stores, but also to the websites and apps of those businesses,” reports Los Angeles Times. From the report:

Guillermo Robles, who is blind, filed suit in Los Angeles three years ago and complained he had been unable to order a pizza online because the Domino’s website lacked the software that would allow him to communicate. He cited the ADA, which guarantees to persons with a disability “full and equal enjoyment the goods and services … of any place of public accommodations.” Lawyers for Domino’s agreed this provision applied to its pizza stores, but not its website.

Last year, however, the 9th Circuit ruled for Robles and said the law applied to its online services as well as the store. “The ADA mandates that places of public accommodation, like Domino’s, provide auxiliary aids and services to make visual materials available to individuals who are blind,” the appeals court said in January. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business groups who said they represented 500,000 restaurants and 300,000 businesses joined in an appeal urging the high court to review the 9th Circuit’s decision. They said they feared a “tsunami of litigation,” and worried that judges nationwide would see the appeals court’s decision as “imposing a nationwide website-accessibility mandate.” But without comment or dissent on Monday, the high court said it would not hear the case of Domino’s Pizza vs. Robles.

As found on: https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/10/07/2118253/supreme-court-allows-blind-people-to-sue-retailers-if-their-websites-are-not-accessible

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Apple Hides Taiwan Flag in Hong Kong

iPhone users in Hong Kong have noticed a change in the latest version of iOS: the Flag for Taiwan emoji is missing. From a report:

Previously restricted on Chinese iOS devices, all other regions of the world have continued to enjoy access to all flags in the iOS emoji font, until now. The change, first discovered by iOS Developer Hiraku Wang, means that users with an iOS device region set to Hong Kong will see one less flag on the emoji keyboard than if the region is set to anywhere else in the world (other than China mainland, which also hides this flag). Notably, the emoji Flag: Taiwan is still supported by iOS in Hong Kong. As of iOS 13.1.2, released last week, this is now hidden from the emoji keyboard but remains available by other means. Apple’s Hong Kong approach differs from the complete ban on the emoji in China. Any iPhone purchased in China, or purchased elsewhere with the region set to China mainland, replaces the flag of Taiwan with a missing character tofu so it cannot be used or displayed in any app, even via copy and paste.

As found on: https://apple.slashdot.org/story/19/10/07/1928207/apple-hides-taiwan-flag-in-hong-kong

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⛵ South Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce Expo ✨

Just a quick heads up to let folks know we’ll be walking around at the STBCOC Expo here at the Tampa Convention Center! Info below:

Date and Time

Thursday Sep 26, 2019
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Location

Tampa Convention Center
333 S. Franklin Ave.
Click here for directions.

PARKING: Parking is available for a fee in the Convention Center parking garage. Street parking is also available. For additional information click here.

333 S. Franklin Ave. Tampa FL 33602

Fees/Admission

Attendee Ticket Pricing
FREE for Chamber Members with Pre-Registration/Printed Ticket
FREE for Military with I.D. 
General Admission/Day of @ $10.00
Click Here For Tickets

Exhibitor Booth Pricing:
Exhibitor registration has now closed.

Website

http://www.southtampachamber.org/events/details/2019-stcoc-biz-expo-networking-night-31129

Contact Information

Erica Maurino, Events Manager
Send Email

See you there! 😉