ExtraBITS for 24 August 2015
In this packed ExtraBITS collection, Intuit is looking to ditch Quicken, The Verge ponders the fallout of the Ashley Madison breach, Adam and Tonya Engst explain the new Take Control Web site on MacVoices, Adobe InDesign takes some flak for failing to install fonts, Apple acknowledges an executive’s history of misogyny, Comcast plans to provide cheap broadband to senior citizens, and the iTunes Music Festival returns with a new name.
Intuit to Sell off Quicken — As financial software firm Intuit continues to lose money, it has announced that it will be selling off Quicken, QuickBase, and Demandforce. However, the company will be holding on to QuickBooks, which picked up 110,000 subscribers during the last fiscal quarter. As for the fate of Quicken, we can only hope it’s picked up by a developer friendlier to Mac users.
The Sordid Messiness of the Ashley Madison Hack — At The Verge, Casey Newton explores just how messy things could get with the release of stolen information from AshleyMadison.com, a Web site for connecting people who want to have affairs. Other high profile breaches have mostly revolved around credit card numbers or other relatively innocuous (if financially troubling) pieces of data. But since the Ashley Madison data reveals — or could be interpreted to reveal — far more personal information, it opens up a family-sized can of worms. The takeaway, which may be too late
for up to 36 million people, is that you want to be very, very careful about what sort of confidential information you share online, since even sites with the best of intentions can fall prey to determined attackers.
Adam and Tonya Explain the New Take Control Site on MacVoices — In this episode of MacVoices, Adam and Tonya Engst talked with Chuck Joiner about the challenges of redesigning the Take Control Web site, all the under-the-hood functionality that isn’t (and shouldn’t be) readily apparent to users, and the complicated business logic that drives it all. They also discussed the complex realities of ecommerce and explain how Take Control protects its customers’ confidential information. In short, it’s not as easy as it looks!
Adobe InDesign CC 2015 Stops Installing Most Fonts — David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion of InDesignSecrets have noted on their site that the current Creative Cloud version of Adobe InDesign no longer installs a wide array of fonts by default. Thanks to the Adobe TypeKit subscription that’s included with Creative Cloud, plenty of fonts are available, but by installing only three basic fonts (without even full bold and italic for Minion Pro), Adobe is making it hard for students who can’t necessarily install fonts at will, trainers who need to create documents that are usable on
clean installations, people behind TypeKit-blocking firewalls or who are offline, and any designer who needs to configure a new installation by downloading fonts one at a time. Cloud services have many advantages, but it’s important for companies to recognize the downsides as well.
Apple Finally Acknowledges Dr. Dre’s Abuse of Women — Since the release of the film “Straight Outta Compton,” rapper Dr. Dre has been under fire for decades-old allegations of misogyny and violence against women. Dre, who has served as an executive at Apple since it acquired Beats Electronics last year, has issued a public apology to The New York Times. “Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day
I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again,” Dre said. Apple lent Dre support in a statement, saying, “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”
Comcast Testing Its Internet Essentials Program with Seniors — Comcast has announced that it’s testing an expansion of its low-cost Internet Essentials program for senior citizens in San Francisco and Palm Beach County, Florida. Internet Essentials offers download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and a Wi-Fi router for $9.95 per month for low-income households. So far, the Internet Essentials program has required that a household have a child eligible for the National School Lunch Program, but Comcast has not yet released the
eligibility requirements for seniors.
iTunes Music Festival Returns as Apple Music Festival — The iTunes Music Festival will now be known as the Apple Music Festival, which should surprise no one. This year’s event will be held from 19 September 2015 through 28 September 2015. Confirmed performers include One Direction, Disclosure, Pharrell Williams, and Florence + the Machine. If you live in the UK, you can enter to win free tickets; otherwise, you’ll be able to view the performances in iTunes, or on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV.