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ExtraBITS for 17 November 2014

This week in ExtraBITS, Managing Editor Josh Centers discussed net neutrality on The Tech Night Owl podcast, Kirk McElhearn investigated iOS storage space, Apple eased fears about the iOS Masque Attack vulnerability, Apple Pay made a mark at Whole Foods, and Amazon buried the hatchet with Hachette.

Josh Centers Talks Net Neutrality on The Tech Night Owl — Managing Editor Josh Centers joined The Tech Night Owl podcast to discuss the brewing battle over net neutrality, TidBITS email delivery issues, Apple’s iMessage lock-in, and more.

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Apple’s iOS Apps Consume Significant Device Space — Apple still insists on offering 16 GB iOS devices, but as Kirk McElhearn discovered, that doesn’t give you much room to work with. To start, a 16 GB device with iOS 8 installed offers only 12.73 GB of free space out of the box. But if you then install Apple’s optional apps (as prompted by iOS), you end up with only a little over 8 GB for space for your own apps and media. As McElhearn points out, Apple’s apps are huge – iMovie chews up 613 MB and GarageBand requires 594 MB.

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Apple: “Don’t Worry About Masque Attack” — Much has been said about the Masque Attack iOS vulnerability recently discovered by research firm FireEye. But in a statement to iMore, Apple said not to worry. As long as you install only apps from the App Store or from trusted parties (like your employer), you should be fine. Our security editor, Rich Mogull, concurred with this assessment. Apple stated that it is not aware of any customers affected by the exploit.

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Apple Pay Accounts for Nearly 1 Percent of Whole Foods Transactions — Mike Dudas of Button (who previously worked at PayPal and on Google Wallet) estimates that Apple Pay now accounts for almost 1 percent of transactions at grocery chain Whole Foods, a mere 17 days after launch. With about 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in that time and an average basket size of $40, Whole Foods ran about $6 million through Apple Pay. Those numbers may sound large, but Apple likely isn’t making much from them yet — at the company’s reported 0.15 percent cut, it adds up to only $9,000.

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Amazon and Hachette Bury the Hatchet — Online retailer Amazon and book publisher Hachette have been embroiled in a bitter contract dispute this year, which has made Hachette titles difficult to buy from Amazon. The companies have finally reached an agreement said to please both sides. Hachette will get to set its own book prices at Amazon, but will financially incentivized to keep those prices low.

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