ExtraBITS for 16 September 2013
The TidBITS staff joined Chuck Joiner on his MacJury podcast to render judgment on the new iPhones. What new iPhones? If you missed Apple’s announcement, you can now watch the video on the company’s Web site. Will the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s make security more available to the disabled? Accessibility expert Steven Aquino thinks so. While Apple was announcing new products, it quietly shuttered the Cards app and service for sending custom greeting cards from an iPhone or iPad. Finally, find out how Facebook can make you depressed (or not), 1Password’s developers respond to the NSA revelations, and a wistful John Sculley laments the firing of Steve Jobs.
The MacJury’s Verdict on the New iPhones — A punchy TidBITS crew sat on the MacJury to discuss the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. Watch Adam, Tonya, Joe, Michael, and Josh join host Chuck Joiner to talk about the colors of the iPhone 5c, the new A7, and the camera in the iPhone 5s. Lots of fun and laughs were had, so be sure to check it out.
1Password Developer Responds to NSA Concerns — In response to the wave of recent NSA revelations, 1Password developer AgileBits has posted reassurances on its blog that the popular password-storage software has not been compromised. AgileBits cites the verifiability of its data format, its lack of data collection, and the fact that the development team is spread out over the world, making it impossible for the United States government to silence it. AgileBits itself is a Canadian company.
Will Touch ID Make the iPhone 5s More Accessible? — Much has been said about the security implications of Touch ID, the new fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s. But TidBITS contributor and accessibility expert Steven Aquino has a different take on it, as a tool for the disabled. Steven argues that Touch ID will be a boon for iPhone users with visual or motor disabilities that make passcodes difficult to enter.
How Facebook Makes You Unhappy. Or Not. — In the New Yorker, psychologist and author Maria Konnikova examines studies showing that Facebook — and Internet use in general — makes people unhappy, along with those showing just the opposite, that Facebook use makes people happier, increasing social trust and engagement. How could this be? She teases out the fact that the research showing negative effects may have focused on passive use (scrolling through newsfeeds), whereas those evincing positive effects looked at active use (posting, “liking,” and so
on). In short, engage with life online, don’t let it just wash over you.
Apple Kills Its Cards App — Apple has killed its Cards app for iPhone and iPad, introduced in 2011 to enable you to create and mail custom greeting cards for a fee. Cards has been removed from the App Store, and if you have it installed, the app will notify you that its associated service is no longer available. If you still want to mail cards, check out Bill Atkinson’s free PhotoCard app, which lets you email cards for free, or send them via postal mail for as
little as $1.50.
Watch Apple’s iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Special Event — Apple has released the 85-minute video of its September 2013 Special Event, featuring the debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Be sure to check out the end, which features a performance by Elvis Costello.
John Sculley Reflects on the Firing of Steve Jobs — Former Apple CEO John Sculley gave a talk at the 2013 Forbes Global CEO Conference, where he was asked about his split with Steve Jobs, which led to Jobs leaving the company in the mid-1980s. Sculley aimed the blame squarely at Apple’s board at the time and pointed out that Jobs then lacked the business acumen for which he later became famous. Sculley said he regrets not reaching out to Jobs to bring him back to Apple later. “I didn’t do that, it was a
terrible mistake on my part. I can’t figure out why I didn’t have the wisdom to do that. But I didn’t. And as life has it, shortly after that, I was fired,” Sculley said.