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Category: Opinion

Josh Centers No comments

The Legacy of OLPC’s $100 Laptop

When MIT's Nicholas Negroponte announced a $100 laptop in 2005 with the intent of giving a laptop to every child in the world, it promised to revolutionize education. Over a decade later, he's moved on and the One Laptop Per Child project is typically regarded as a failure. The Verge looks at what happened.

Adam Engst 2 comments

Architects of the Modern Internet Express Regret

Has the Internet become the victim of unintended consequences? In interviews with New York Magazine, people who played key roles in the development of the modern Internet express regret for what they did and concern for where we're going.

Adam Engst 13 comments

Andy Ihnatko: “What Happens If Apple Dumps Intel?”

Over at Fast Company, Andy Ihnatko ponders what might happen if Apple were to develop its own CPUs for Macs, replacing the Intel chips that have powered Macs starting in 2006.

Dave DeLong 40 comments

If iPads Were Meant for Kids

Apple positions the iPad as being a perfect device for kids. Developer Dave DeLong disagrees and lays out 12 reasons why the iPad — or any iOS device — isn’t really designed for use by young children.

Adam Engst 4 comments

Bad Apple #3: Reminders Doesn’t Listen to Siri

Siri takes a lot of flack, but some of the problems Apple’s digital assistant suffers from aren’t its fault. In this installment of Bad Apple, Adam Engst looks at how Reminders fails to name reminders properly even when Siri gets the text right.

Charles Maurer 35 comments

Better than the Printed Page: Reading on an iPad

The iPad is a great tool for reading electronic books, but its default settings and apps are unlikely to be ideal for your eyes. Charles Maurer draws from research into vision and perception to suggest how to tweak your iPad’s display to be more legible.

Josh Centers 6 comments

The Apple TV 4K’s HDR Nightmare

Plug an Apple TV 4K into a compatible TV and experience ultra-high definition HDR video, right? Unfortunately, as “Take Control of Apple TV” author Josh Centers has found, it’s far from that simple.

Josh Centers No comments

How PDF Became One of the World’s Most Important File Formats

The Adobe-created PDF file format isn’t particularly sexy these days, but Ernie Smith of Tedium suggests that it has become one of the world’s most important file formats thanks to its role in providing digital versions of paper documents. Smith documents how most people didn’t understand the point of PDF until the U.S. Internal Revenue Service adopted it in the early 1990s in an effort to cut down on mailing about 110 million tax forms every year. By 2001, the IRS had gone all-in on PDF for tax forms, saving millions of dollars in printing and distribution costs.

Rich Mogull 8 comments

Smart Home Lessons from a Home Automation Veteran

Rich Mogull shares the lessons he’s learned over a decade of home automation and how the new “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” book compresses many of them into a neat package.

Adam Engst 47 comments

Bad Apple #2: Alphabetize Settings in iOS

Navigating the Settings app in iOS has become ever more difficult over the years — did you know there are over 1200 options in it? — but in this installment of Bad Apple, we have a radical suggestion that could make most trips to the top level of the Settings less frustrating: alphabetization!

Josh Centers No comments

Apple in 2017: The Six Colors Report Card

For the third year in a row, Jason Snell of Six Colors has issued his report card on Apple’s performance, once again polling 50 “writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.” This year, the group includes TidBITS staffers and contributors Adam Engst, Tonya Engst, Josh Centers, Michael Cohen, Jeff Carlson, Glenn Fleishman, Joe Kissell, Kirk McElhearn, and Rich Mogull. Overall, the group expressed more positive opinions about how Apple did in 2017 than in 2016, but there were dips in software quality, hardware quality, and handling of social issues.

Jeff Porten No comments

CES 2018: Tech Trends from the Consumer Technology Association

Jeff Porten kicks off another CES show with the Consumer Technology Association’s trends and predictions for 2018.

Adam Engst 4 comments

FCC Votes to Abolish Net Neutrality

It should come as no surprise that Ajit Pai’s FCC has voted to eliminate Obama-era net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing Internet traffic, among much else. At Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin outlines what happened, how we got here, and what comes next. Given the overwhelming and bipartisan support for net neutrality from most Americans, the FCC’s move will likely draw challenges both in the courts and in Congress.

Rich Mogull 4 comments

iOS 11 Encrypted Backup Change Reduces Security, Boosts Data Safety

In iOS 11, Apple has changed things so encrypted iTunes backups can now be restored with either the separate backup password or the device passcode. This move reduces security, but it also reduces the likelihood that users will forget the password and lose access to their backups.

Josh Centers 1 comment

Inventor of the Web Concerned for Its Future

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web as an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries,” but he’s less optimistic about its future than he used to be. “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the Web will lead us to wonderful things,” he said. In particular, Berners-Lee criticizes Web advertising for its role in creating clickbait and spreading propaganda. “The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy.”