In ExtraBITS this week, Apple is recalling a handful of recent Apple TV models, Marco Arment explains why people block Web ads, Rite Aid decides to support Apple Pay, and Google is undergoing a major restructuring.
Apple Recalls Some Apple TV Units -- Apple has reached out to some recent purchasers of the third-generation Apple TV, telling them that their units were shipped with a faulty part and that the company will replace them free of charge, even throwing in an iTunes gift card for the trouble. Apple hasn’t issued a public statement, meaning that this issue probably affects only a handful of customers. There is no need to worry about this unless Apple contacts you.
Marco Arment Explains Why People Block Ads -- With Apple giving developers the capability to block Web content in iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, ad-blocking has become a hot topic, with many content creators complaining that it robs them of revenue. But blogger and developer Marco Arment, who himself relies on ad revenue, has decided to block ads. His reason: increasingly invasive ad-tracking that robs users of their online privacy. Arment argues that users cannot possibly consent to automatic tracking of everywhere they go on the Web. Arment calls on publishers to reject privacy-invading ads, even if it “won’t be a clean, easy transition.”
Rite Aid Surrenders to Apple Pay -- Drugstore chain Rite Aid, which last year blocked Apple Pay at its cash registers (see “The Real Reason Some Merchants Are Blocking Apple Pay… for Now,” 26 October 2014), has decided to officially accept both Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay. Rite Aid had blocked Apple Pay due to its allegiance to the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) and its CurrentC payment system, but many retailers in the MCX, such as Best Buy, have since welcomed Apple Pay. CurrentC has yet to launch.
Google Is Dead. Long Live Google! -- No, this is not an April Fool: Google, the publicly traded company, will soon be no more. Later this year, it will be reorganized as Alphabet, with what we recognize as Google as a subsidiary. Google co-founder and current CEO Larry Page will be the CEO of Alphabet, while current Senior Vice President of Products Sundar Pichai will become CEO of Google. Google will focus on ads, Android, apps, maps, search, and YouTube, while side efforts like Google Fiber, Google Ventures, the mysterious Google X, and Nest will be managed outside of the Google entity. Google’s goal is to highlight how well the company’s search business is faring, without the financial results being dragged down by the company’s long-play projects.