Friday Morning News

Industry insiders say that this year’s successors to the iPhone X will be compatible with Apple Pencil. Both the second-generation iPhone X and larger-sized iPhone X Plus will work with the current Apple Pencil, according to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, which would be the first time in over a decade that the iPhone will support a stylus from its own company. It was Steve Jobs who famously said that no-one wants to use a stylus when the iPhone was originally introduced, but I am still unconvinced using the Apple Pencil on even the largest iPhone to be anything but awkward.

A teenager from Melbourne is now facing charges after being caught breaking into Apple’s computer systems, downloading 90GB of secure files and accessing customer accounts. Apple detected his intrusion and notified the FBI, who then passed the information to the AFP who then executed a search warrant on his family home, discovering hacking files and instructions in a folder labelled “hacky hack hack”. The Age reports the teen has pleaded guilty, with sentencing delayed until next month.

The eighth developer beta of iOS 12 has been seeded to developers following the release and withdrawal of the seventh developer beta after major performance issues were discovered with that particular release. The sixth public beta was released a short while after. The seventh beta of macOS Mojave was also released earlier this week, in case you missed it.

A little song and dance is being made by a few Apple blogs following US carrier Verizon giving away six-month Apple Music subscriptions to eligible customers, but here in Australia, Telstra has offered the same for almost two years now. Although admittedly, Verizon does join the dozen or so mobile carriers worldwide that offer carrier billing for Apple Music. If you’re an Apple Music customer, you also get Apple Music streaming that doesn’t count against your data allowance on Telstra and Boost.

With rumours claiming we’ll see ARM-powered Macs sooner rather than later, ARM is adding fuel to that fire by claiming its CPUs will out-perform Intel by 2020. Engadget says it’s worth taking ARM’s bragging with a grain of salt, seeing as ARM fails to compare its chips to Intel’s latest 8th generation Core processors, but even so, desktop-class performance at mobile chip power consumption is impressive.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating Apple over accusations of anti-competitive behaviour. Yahoo Japan launched its Game Plus platform to allow users to play games without having to download an app in July 2017, with 52 companies participating at launch. Yahoo cut back its Game Plus budget and marketing last year due to “pressure behind the scenes from Apple”, which is what the Fair Trade Commission is interested in.

Speaking of behind the scenes, the Arizona Republic was given a behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s Mesa data centre in Arizona, formerly the location of GT Advanced. As far as I’m aware, this is a rare look at some of Apple’s data halls which power iMessage, Siri, and iCloud, including the operations centre, massive pumps that power the water cooling, and of course, lengthy rows of servers.

Macworld says Apple delaying Group FaceTime is the right move. Early betas proved that Group FaceTime needed a little extra work, despite it working OK at its unveiling at WWDC, but putting it into perspective, the delay means that Apple realises there’s some kind of quality standard they need to meet for new features. It’s always a bummer when a feature we expected isn’t going to be there on launch, but it’s probably better this way.

The Twitter app-ocalypse is upon us, and if you’re wondering what that means, MacStories has a summary of the changes Twitter is making to APIs. For the popular third-party client Tweetbot, that means the removal of timeline streaming, notifications for retweets, quotes, likes, and follows, and multiple-minute delays for mentions and direct messages. Twitterrific has similar changes, with the outlook for third-party Twitter clients looking quite grim.

Over at Medium, a hilarious article tells us what would happen if Steve Jobs reviews the Apple TV 4K. The Siri Remote wasn’t exclusive to the Apple TV 4K, but it does represent some of the biggest problems with what should be a simple, easy-to-use home entertainment device — even if it is allowing for plenty of cord-cutting and cable-subscription cancelling.

The news returns Monday 27th.

Notable Replies

  1. snarl says:

    I hope the week’s absence of news means you are having a week off. You deserve it. Though I will miss your succinct view of the Apple world.

  2. Ridiculous. The kid had the information and knowledge of how to break into Apple’s computer systems, and instead of responsibly disclosing that information to Apple, he chose to do the wrong thing.

    You really believe all the biggest corporations in the world should consist of criminals?

    Besides, he got caught doing it — he obviously can’t have been that good.

  3. kionon says:

    Yes. In this case, this teenager did something most teenagers, and most of us (certainly not me) could never do. Had he not continued to go back, he maybe wouldn’t have been caught. That’s his consequences applicability issue. Not his skill. I am absolutely talking about a teenager who did a dumb teenager thing as teenagers are going to do, because that’s how their incomplete judgement facilities work. As explained.

    Jobs was the same way. Jobs worked for HP because he flat out broke all the rules and just went to the CEO and asked for parts. He and Woz were still well under 25 when the did their phreeking and other hacks/pranks, and you can sure as hell believe that this was illegal and the phone companies weren’t happy at their behavior.

    So, yes, this is quite straightened out, unless that was sarcasm, in which case, I’ll have far more acidic response. Adults somehow gain judgement and responsibility and then forget what it was like to be an adolescent. Makes no sense to me, which is precisely why I became a teacher. Too many adults treat teenagers as either small children with no independent thought or ability OR like slightly smaller adults to be held to adult standards. The truth is somewhere in between, and I wish more adults, especially middle-aged adults would spend a lot more time reconnecting with who they were at 15 and how they saw the world.

    EDIT: Just read The Guardian piece


    Dr Suelette Dreyfus, a privacy expert from from the University of Melbourne’s school of computing and information systems, urged against a punitive sentence.

    “I have researched a number of teen hacker cases internationally,” Dreyfus said.

    “Almost all these teens grew out of the technology boundary-pushing of their youth, and then went on to live useful lives and contributing to society. Putting them in prison is often a waste of that potential.

    “Young people often make mistakes when they are exploring and rule-breaking especially online – including boasting about their exploits. It’s not right, but for tech teens, it can be a part of growing up … there’s usually a really worried teen and family at the end of this sort of court case.”

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