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Category: Tech News

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.

Tonya Engst 3 comments

Take Control Books Are 50% Off This Week

The Take Control series is having a 50%-off sale this week. Take Control’s former editor in chief, Tonya Engst, writes about what makes the series special and which three ebooks are her current favorites.

Adam Engst 12 comments

Google Sunsets goo.gl URL Shortener

Google has announced that no new users will be able to use the goo.gl URL shortening service after 13 April 2018, and existing users will lose access on 30 March 2019. Shortened links will redirect indefinitely.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 11 comments

Apple Strikes Back at Google with Education Initiatives

Apple is a bit of an underdog in the education market, where Google increasingly dominates with inexpensive, easily managed Chromebook laptops. On Tuesday, Apple staged an education-specific press event at a Chicago magnet school to trot out a host of education initiatives meant to make Apple more competitive in the classroom.

Adam Engst 3 comments

Apple Schedules Education Event for 27 March 2018

Apple has announced an education-focused event to be held at the end of March, at a Chicago high school. You might not want to buy an iPad or MacBook Air between now and then.

Josh Centers 2 comments

Why Blocking Broadcom’s Acquisition of Qualcomm Might Be a Good Thing

President Trump has nixed Singapore-based Broadcom’s purchase of American chipmaker Qualcomm on national security and protectionist grounds, although Broadcom had promised to relocate to the United States. Analyst Ben Thompson explains why he thinks this was the right move. In short, Broadcom had made it clear that it planned to focus on Qualcomm’s past patents instead of producing new technology with the company’s resources. This would have reduced competition with Chinese companies in future mobile developments — 6G and beyond — and thus potentially left the United States at a technological disadvantage.

Josh Centers No comments

WWDC 2018 Returns to San Jose on June 4th through 8th

Apple has announced WWDC 2018 dates and that the location will remain in San Jose. If you’re interested in attending, get your name in the lottery by March 22nd.

Adam Engst 5 comments

Apple Acquires the Digital Magazine Service Texture

It looks like Apple will be getting into digital magazine subscriptions with the acquisition of Texture, which provides its subscribers with access to several hundred magazines for a flat monthly fee. Apple was silent on its plans for the service.

Josh Centers 2 comments

Why Google Fiber Failed to Fix Broadband

In 2010, Google shook the tech world by announcing that it would get into the ISP business with Google Fiber, deploying gigabit fiber-optic Internet connections in what would become nine metro areas around the United States. Now Google has put the ambitious project on an indefinite “pause” and is even pulling out of Boston. You can likely guess the reasons why Google Fiber has struggled: local politics and the difficulty of installing real-world infrastructure. Despite its challenges, Google Fiber has had a positive effect on the Internet market in the United States by generating discussion about broadband competition. Plus, in markets with Google Fiber, broadband prices have dropped and service speeds have improved radically.

Josh Centers 1 comment

Alexa Is Laughing at Us

Users of devices with Amazon’s voice assistant are reporting that Alexa is laughing at them randomly, sometimes as an inappropriate response to a query or even with no prompting whatsoever. Amazon says that the issue is caused by Alexa mistakenly hearing the phrase “Alexa, laugh,” and that it’s changing the phrase to “Alexa, can you laugh?” and also changing the response from simple laughter to “Sure, I can laugh.”

Josh Centers No comments

Apple to Open Medical Clinics for Employees

Apple will soon begin opening medical clinics for its employees and their families. With the service, called AC Wellness, Apple is moving in the same direction as a new joint project of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan, which also hopes to use technology to improve patient care and reduce costs. These moves are an indictment of the state of the U.S. healthcare system — the tech companies are saying, “We can do it better and cheaper” — but the question is if the lessons they learn can be applied more broadly.

Josh Centers 5 comments

Tim Cook: “I’ve only had good years”

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Fast Company’s Robert Safian. Cook is feeling pretty good about his tenure at Apple, saying up front that he has “only had good years.” Despite the excellent performance of Apple stock, Cook expresses misgivings about the stock market and discusses Apple’s patience in developing products (“Because we don’t believe in using our customers as a laboratory.”), how he reads customer feedback (“I tend to weight the ones that are most thoughtful.”), and how Apple wants to help its customers do the right thing (such as with Do Not Disturb While Driving).

Adam Engst 3 comments

Federal Judge Rules Embedded Tweets May Infringe Copyright

If you thought the U.S. legal concept of copyright had caught up with the Internet, you’d be wrong. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest has ruled that you could infringe copyright by embedding someone else’s tweet on a Web page. The case in question involves a photo of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that the photographer, Justin Goldman, posted to a Snapchat Story. Others then tweeted the photograph, and those tweets were embedded by various publications, which Goldman is suing. The problem is that in-line linking is one of the core capabilities of the Internet, and if the logic surrounding this ruling were extended more broadly, it would have a chilling effect on common Internet behavior. (Too bad no one listened to Ted Nelson in the pre-Web days, since his Xanadu hypertext system understood the importance of maintaining — and paying for, with micropayments — ownership of embedded content.)

Josh Centers 4 comments

Facebook Shows Why SMS Isn’t Ideal for Two-Factor Authentication

Facebook is sending its two-factor authentication users text messages they don’t want. This situation provides yet another reason why you should use a dedicated app for generating two-factor authentication codes instead of SMS.