I started a social data search platform named Datastreamer (http://www.datastreamer.io/) which is basically a petabyte-scale content indexing engine.
We provide API feeds to search engines and social media analytics companies needing bulk data but don't want to have to build a crawler.
For the last 5 years we've had major problems with customers coming to us asking for data which we felt was unethical (at best).
We actually had Saudi Arabia approach us... It was clear that they were intending to something pretty evil with the data.
Their RFP questions were a bit frightening:
- can you track people by religion?
- can you give us their email address?
- can you provide their address?
- can your provide their ethnicity?
- can you provide their social connections?
We're actually losing business to other companies that are performing highly unethical and probably illegal techniques.
We just can't compete with data at that type of fidelity.
If you're a researcher and you want to access bulk data for combating this type of non-sense WE WILL PROVIDE DATA AT COST. We can provide up to 1PB of data but for now we have to charge for the shipping and handling of that data. We're reaching out to some other companies like Google and also the Internet Archive to see if we can provide more cost effective solutions.
I'm working on more tools to give the power back to the users.
Polar (https://getpolarized.io/) is a web browser which allows people to control their own data. The idea is that I can keep a local repository of data and eventually build our own cloud platform based on open systems like IPFS and encrypt the data using group encryption.
There are tons of other shady companies out there doing nefarious things with your data.
We're going to need platforms that support group encryption and better security for apps.
I don't know if there's any way for people/companies like you to defend against unscrupulous companies.
I can only say thank you.
Definitely. Though I also feel we need to give a shock to public awareness of just how evil people can be with this data. My perception is that people are trending towards "vaguely uncomfortable" with the news of foreign interference with targeted ads, election hacking, and so on, but we've a ways to go yet before most will give up supremely-engineered convenience in exchange for security.
As long as the modern world is democratic and the voting populace is subjecting itself to targeted manipulation by data-armed bad actors, we have a problem of not just national security, but international security.
Thanks for being one of the good guys.
I do think there's potential in something along these lines, but I agree with child post that it would need to be done carefully so as not to cause collateral damage. The other question in my mind is how to market it such that people get their friends using it and thus spread the word rather than panicking and reporting it.
It takes years of dedication to be a professional electrician or plumber, but anybody off the street can build an application that aggregates personal information and isn't subject to any sort of regulation or oversight or system of professional ethics.
That doesn't just safeguard the public. It also safeguards the employed individuals when they say, "No, that is not allowed under the ethics of my profession."
This isn't about "let's make the government save us," it's about creating a legal framework to protect the interests of the public and give ethical considerations in data management and software design some legal backing.
I think things would change pretty quick if engineers responded to such requests with "I can't do that, because my professional association would remove me from their membership, which would revoke my license to write software in this country at all".
That's how (AIUI) law, medicine, (real) engineering, etc., work today.
Keep in mind that most law/medicine/engineering work has some local component anchoring it to local laws. (i.e. currently, someone typically needs to be 'boots on the ground' in the jurisdiction to provide the service) Software doesn't have that.
(edit: obviously, this is a U.S.-specific view of the situation. Other countries may not have the same issues)
1) Maintains a membership list
2) Maintains a list of software which is signed off on by members
3) Browser/OS/etc utilities which refuse and/or warn when trying to run software not in the registry
4) Member expulsion if registered software is found to be nefarious
This is basically the system Apple/Microsoft/Debian/etc/etc already use for official software distribution. We just need the organization to move out of their walled gardens.
The big leak here is users which have to use resources they don't control. I can imagine an IaaS company which won't run software unless its in the registry, and then companies can boast that your data is 'safe' (or at least not nefarious) because they run in this kind of environment.
“I can’t recommend this additional procedure for you despite it making me $8500 in a day.”
Regulation doesn’t seem to influence for profit medicine much.
The whole conversation is logged or perhaps converted speech2text as they discuss, and both patient and doctor sign each statement they make. Then both doctor and patient have a copy of their interaction.
Any poor advice is now provable to a third party (say court).
I'd add that it would be nice to be able to operate outside of certain fields and certain types of operations without that level of certification.
For instance, freelance web devs, small business software employees, etc who aren't dealing in things like personal or trivial data could continue operation. For example: you don't need to be a doctor to be certified in first aid, or even administer first aid—but you likely wouldn't attempt an invasive, life-threatening surgery.
I'd also like to see—if that kind of regulation were to pass—the inclusion of some kind of grandfather clause that would include the ability to test without formal education.
The reason being there are very many highly capable developers/engineers in the field who don't possess the exact formal background—and in many cases came from other formal backgrounds.
I'd definitely hear arguments for not requiring education at any time, but to keep it on par with the other professions you listed I'll leave it as is.
This might not be the thread for a larger discussion on this—because it seems like it would be a larger discussion. An interesting one, though...
Implementation seems like it would be a challenge, but then again I don't know the stories behind who more modern professions like electricians were regulated. I imagine that field grew much more slowly.
How do you modify the above idea if you think it has merit?
"I'd also like to see—if that kind of regulation were to pass—the inclusion of some kind of grandfather clause that would include the ability to test without formal education."
Why not have some sort of certification process you can do while working that holds the individual accounts to the values of being unethical and will have consequences for not adhering to, at all levels like on the scale of GDPR violations.
Also there should be steeper penalities against companies acting in bad faith, similar to GDPR for human rights. Thoughts?
Oh with regard to this one, I don't think my wording was clear. I meant with regard to testing or challenging to be certified without having a formal CS/related background. As: a doctor would have to have an MD to practice as a doctor amongst other certifications— I was contending that an explicit CS degree may not be an optimal equal designation for practicing software engineering/research, as it were. As a background— there are many talented and influential researchers who would be cut out of practicing if the line were drawn at a reputed CS degree. Aligning "software practice" (for lack of better wording) hard with a CS degree might be poor bounds for the field.
But I definitely think I agree, at least on a high level with what you're proposing. I hadn't considered it. Good things have come out of research using the large amounts of data available, so it should continue. But there definitely should be some sort of bounds and method for accountability. Also would include a special permissions and appeal process. There's I'm sure a lot of cost/benefit judgement as there is in many scientific experiments (there's seemingly a great deal of that in biological testing).
And you also might restrict certain entities from performing the research and instead be compensated for their collected data by a reputable research group. Said group can produce the hard/applied research, patents, and license them to groups to use them.
Maybe this would also undo some of the effects of outsourcing/offshoring US coding practices due to the need for ethical compliance (at the very least in mission critical systems e.g. vehicle software, hospital software, etc)
Awesome idea. The same governments who are sending RFPs to burtonator's company will then have the ability to decide who is even allowed to work in the industry.
Do you want to go back to the 1970s? Because this is how you get back to the 1970s, when only a rarefied priesthood had access to computing power.
Don't expect to accomplish that without encountering strong opposition.
No they can't. The closest is they can steal(copy/paste) portions of other people's applications, change some text, and attempt to take credit for them.
Also, we do have agency(private) that you suggested. Developer certification programs exist for nearly every language and platform. They aren't very popular. Red Hat will certify you as a java developer for JBoss, Oracle will certify you as a java developer as well. If you can't write code, but still want to feel geeky and have a career as a waiter, you can go get certified as an "ethical hacker" too.
There is no shortage of agency - employers and consumers simply do not care, and by that, I mean they do not want to pay(higher prices) for it.
PS: You can go be an amateur electrician or plumber today, without breaking any laws. However, if you'd like to touch private/public power or water/waste infrastructure, then you need endorsement. It's not illegal for you to hire me(a total amateur at those 2 trades) to both wire and plumb the new house you are building. The awkward moment will be when the water and power company refuse to connect your house, because the work I did was not the work of a licensed electrician or plumber. I understand the spirit of your analogy, but it doesn't translate as well with IT. For that analogy to work, then private/public internet infrastructure would have to refuse to inter-operate with your software if you didn't meet their licensing/certification standard.
Second, I've been fighting for regulations for over three years and I'm getting somewhere, but I'm also starting to think that we need technical solutions to many of these problems. One of the things I see as a problem is that people always want more, but privacy and security often require less.
For example, old charsets only supported Latin characters. With the introduction of Cyrillic characters many assumptions started breaking.
Each time I try to think through how to make the web / internet simpler I realize that it either requires pushing the complexity onto people unprepared to deal with it—an English speaking daughter may want to copy and paste her Russian mother's Cyrillic name, say—or it fails to handle the use cases we need it to handle.
I know this seems kinda abstract, but do you ever think about that interplay? Are there any insights or anecdotes you find useful?
And you always will. Principles and money are often at odds. This is not an easily fixable problem as the well-intended solutions often cause more problems. Enforcement of existing statutes and accepting legal-yet-unethical practices is unfortunately the most rational approach.
> We just can't compete with data at that type of fidelity.
Only in a situation where interminable growth is required in a race to the top. Otherwise, there's room for everyone and that's why there are thousands of software products that "compete" just fine. The key is just making sure there are platforms that allow everyone to build everything.
The key is that they choke you out... They have more engineers, more R&D and a better product because they have more revenue.
OpenBSD is yet another example of a small(ish) team of people making some truly great software. On the Windows side, Fookes Software comes to mind, again small operation, great software.
Now as a manager who has to hire I find it pretty straightforward finding passionate people to work with me simply because the work is compelling.
It’s a matter of getting your story out as the ethical data mining company, or something :) you’ll find like minded clients and employees do exist and that being ethical can be a competitive advantage too.
That said, I have no issue with anyone who voluntarily trades their personal information for access to a service. That's their choice to make. But it also seems reasonable that there be full disclosure as to the scope and scale of the deal they're making so they can make an informed choice. This isn't even remotely the case today.
I appreciate all your work and contributions to the community in general. Please keep your chin up and keep moving forward.
The first line of defense against this is, and always will be, not publishing so much information about yourself. They can not mine what you do not provide.
We can argue all day about the ethics of the conduct of companies and states looking at these data, but it's a non-issue if the data simply don't exist.
And it will only get worse, as more data will be shared by other people. Soon the streets may be full of people using cameras all day long, just because it allows them to make cooler diaries or blogs, and then the data companies will get universal surveillance.
The only way to keep privacy will be to have your face covered in public (but hey, that will be made illegal, because terrorism or something), or avoid public places completely.
But, I'm baffled by this PR as if they are the privacy messiah. Didn't they just sellout their Chinese users icloud data to the Chinese government?
Yeah. "It's the law, and Apple has to obey the law" is an argument, but here is a company that is willing to compromise their user's privacy in order to be able to sell phones in China. So, if US govt finds a way to say "it's the law" to reveal user data, I'm sure they'll bend over. This grand stand in media is just sickening and theatric.
1) His team + Apple Directors that I firmly believe, both in words AND in their action, are strong proponents of privacy of the user
2) The Apple Board + Sharedholders that would revolt if the privacy principles from (1) prevented access to a market of ~1.4 billion people, and potentially gave a competitor like Huawei a further leg up.
In this scenario, I don't see it as "grand-standing," but more of a necessary public act that US should move more in the policy direction of the EU, in spite of steep lobbying from most of the Valley / FANG group that would benefit from less-strict privacy regulations.
That's what Tim Cook is doing here: hoping the US doesn't go in the direction of an authoritarian government, and lobbying as much as he can to prevent that. Imagine if the US adopted a similar law or set of policies that required "backdoors," or data pooling (a la social credit system) - what are his choices?
1) Not operate in the US? Not realistic
2) Ignore them and pay hefty fines up the whazoo? Maybe for a short period of time until Shareholders revolt or the Feds push to start pulling some folks in court.
> Imagine if the US adopted a similar law or set of policies that required "backdoors,"
That's what they're trying to bring in in Australia now.
I feel that it's a test-case for the other 5 eyes countries to learn from.
I'm hoping that the way they're going about it in such a ham-fisted and causeless way ensures their power-grab falls flat on its face.
There is a difference between a company's _incentives_ to do something that is permitted by law - for which I would agree that said company is worthy of criticism to a reasonable extent - and that which a company is _compelled to do so by law._
My point was that Tim Cook's speech was largely to prevent scenarios that would lead to law-makers wanting to create laws like the latter. And Apple _should_ get credit that they have a bunch of incentives to collect user data at will, like many other tech companies, but explicitly avoid that as company policy.
Google and Facebook don't. It really matters when you are being asked to blindly trust a company.
In filings to a court during the FBI legal fight, Apple addressed this topic head on. The reason it was brought up in the first place was because national security establishment water holders were putting out the idea that Apple makes exceptions for China, and the Department of Justice parroted it .
From Apple's filing :
>Finally, the government attempts to disclaim the obvious international implications of its demand, asserting that any pressure to hand over the same software to foreign agents “flows from [Apple’s] decision to do business in foreign countries . . . .” Opp. 26. Contrary to the government’s misleading statistics (Opp. 26), which had to do with lawful process and did not compel the creation of software that undermines the security of its users, Apple has never built a back door of any kind into iOS, or otherwise made data stored on the iPhone or in iCloud more technically accessible to any country’s government. See Dkt. 16-28 [Apple Inc., Privacy, Gov’t Info. Requests]; Federighi Decl. ¶¶ 6–7. The government is wrong in asserting that Apple made “special accommodations” for China (Opp. 26), as Apple uses the same security protocols everywhere in the world and follows the same standards for responding to law enforcement requests. See Federighi Decl. ¶ 5.
and a declaration from Craig Federighi personally :
>Apple uses the same security protocols everywhere in the world.
>Apple has never made user data, whether stored on the iPhone or in iCloud, more technologically accessible to any country's government. We believe any such access is too dangerous to allow. Apple has also not provided any government with its proprietary iOS source code. While governmental agencies in various countries, including the United States, perform regulatory reviews of new iPhone releases, all that Apple provides in those circumstances is an unmodified iPhone device.
>It is my understanding that Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a "backdoor" in any of our products and services.
>I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.
That was a few years ago, but Tim Cook basically reaffirmed that a few weeks ago in this interview with Vice . The new law means Apple's Chinese iCloud data needs to be stored in local data centers, but Apple continues to maintain sole control of the keys. Whether you believe them or not, or whether you think that's a meaningful distinction is up to you. But end-to-end encrypted services like iMessage or iPhones itself, remain so and are still unblocked in China.
You might be wondering why Apple seemingly gets an exception when services like WhatsApp are blocked. The answer should be obvious: Apple being an old-world company that still makes products in meat space, (indirectly) employs a lot of people in China. That gives them leverage that other companies don't have.
So they have to comply with certain Chinese laws such as taking down the NYT app, VPN apps, being unable to operate iTunes Books or Movies in China, etc. But that's a small price if it means their core products remain uncompromised.
At that time they were also storing iCloud data on their own servers, correct? To save myself and others from having to watch the Vice video, what did Tim Cook say that reaffirms no blanket Chinese government data access (honest, not sarcasm, I did not watch it)? Why are public statements about privacy always about the US or EU but never China? Surely the lack of consistency/transparency is clear here and causes mistrust.
Be open and honest to your users you claim to care about and there's no problem. Just simple statements like "We have privacy concerns with [insert country here]" or "We aren't allowed to talk about privacy concerns with [insert country here]" or "We do not give blanket data to [insert country here]" or "Although we follow the rules, we disagree with [insert country here]", etc would go a long way. Or continue to be secretive and hidden and anti-user.
>Why are public statements about privacy always about the US or EU but never China?
As much as Apple/Cook may believe privacy is a human right, and have seemingly extracted some important concessions regarding their products, they aren't going to shoot themselves in the head so everyone can feel good about Apple publicly standing up to the CPC. That's a job for governments (the recent efforts by the Trump administration to reset the relationship with China is a good example).
What does it say that you had to link to segment of a YouTube video of an HBO show for Apple's policies left open to interpretation? To me the lack of clarity is 100% indefensible and not worth twisting your personal ethics to do so.
> so everyone can feel good about Apple publicly standing up [...]. That's a job for governments
Only in some cases where it benefits them. In other cases, they absolutely stand up. It is blatantly obvious that their principles are based on borders and are inconsistent here.
It's your prerogative if you want to continue to insist they're being hypocrites. I don't need Tim Cook to be a saint, I'm happy with the practical wins they've managed to maintain.
I was having lunch with several lawyers at my company a few weeks ago. One of them was talking strongly about quality devices and Apple’s strong privacy stance. He literally said that we as a society should be grateful for having Apple.
Of course, it's very nice that Apple made the decision to pick this edge, but they did it because they could not compete with Google on web services. So now they're publicly speaking to try and take the sting out of Google's edge. And that's healthy competition, the direct result will be that the consumer benefits, and I can agree we can be grateful to have these powerhouses fighting for our satisfaction.
That's my favorite thing about it: I trust their motives. If Cook were saying this but we knew that the board was getting pissed off about it, I would worry that it was just a matter of time. But Apple is making billions by protecting its users' privacy, investors are raking in cash, and I'd bet the board is thrilled with this. That makes it much, much less likely that they're going to announce one morning that they're abandoning privacy and going all Facebook.
One other thing that I'm trusting to keep them from "going all Facebook" is that privacy is the only thing making them something other than "me, too". The day they jump in with the rest is the day I clean out a house full of Apple gear, and I'm pretty sure they know that (or likely more accurate, the day I quit buying more Apple gear).
Apple's virtual assistants, mapping, and other services are arguably inferior to other offerings. I trust they won't bail on their one distinguishing feature.
Of course. This is how all companies work. I just really like that this competitive edge exists in the first place. If this competitive edge exists and works, it might actually be stronger as Apple can continue maintaining this stance in the future.
Although I'm not a big Apple user myself (I think/hope I can defend myself enough on other platforms that have a lower cost of entry), it's nice that you can point to iPhones if people are asking for on which they can take reasonable ownership of their privacy without needing to be very tech savvy.
I personally believe that Apple complied to Chinese government's demands is because their bread and butter is in that country (the entire manufacturing of hardware devices).
Edit: Would you go and visit North Korea on a vacation with your family?
So? Failing to adhere to ad-tech needs would mean exiting the ad-tech market. Did I miss the other company CEOs' blistering attacks on the "Chinese anti-privacy cooperation complex"? Can we at least admit, since violation of privacy by chosen market is a choice, that Tim Cook is a hypocrite?
Additionally, Apple's participation in the market (or lack thereof) would have no impact on Chinese data privacy laws, but participation has positive global effects through economies of scale and R&D revenue.
A real hypocrite would actually have to enable oppressive behavior... selling data mining technology, surveillance cameras, etc.
They have a say in whether they are complicit. That they choose to operate in that anti-privacy market while demeaning others choosing to operate in their anti-privacy market is hypocritical. Could be considered worse if you factor in the consequences of that data.
> A real hypocrite would actually have to enable oppressive behavior
We disagree on whether providing technology for oppressive behavior is "enabling" it.
However, a hypocrite's stated beliefs directly contradicts their autonomous actions, often with intent to deceive. China's state coercion voids any claims of hypocrisy.
Furthermore, from a privacy perspective I'd argue it is more ethical for Apple to participate than withdraw. Apple does try to provide as much privacy as possible within Chinese law, following the letter of the law and no more. Withdrawing forces people to use their competitors, which happily go beyond the law to appease state authorities.
Apple can't legally protect Chinese users from their government the way it can in this country--for now at, least. But Apple can protect Chinese users from other malicious actors.
From Apple's point of view, it was either refuse to follow the law and leave all Chinese users to the general security and privacy shitshow that is what every other phonemaker has to offer, or, play by the rules and give them something that's better in every use case except for the one where their government wants to hurt them.
Your argument is that locking your door can't stop a SWAT team from breaking into your house, therefore people selling locks don't care about keeping your house locked. It's a weirdly simplistic and uninformed argument coming from someone who claims to be tech-literate.
So Apple is the one big technology player whose interests are most closely aligned with the consumer in terms of supporting data privacy.
That's assuming that "the user" (whatever that means) is valuing their privacy more than the free services they receive. I don't think such a statement can generally be applied to the public at large. It's great to have options (ways to pay for services/phones/etc) that don't mean you have to give up your privacy and then let users decide what's best for them, but I wouldn't make generalizations that most users would definitely prefer one other over the other.
I don't get this. FAANG have every interest in protecting user data as their moat is products users want to keep using, which would not be the case if they started sharing user data widely.
Cambridge Analytica didn't steal all of their data. It was obtained legally and with consent from Facebook.
EDIT: To see the equivalent from the "other side", timagine adtech companies starting a PR war against Apple's closed garden system, arbitrary app store decisions, labor conditions (I'm sure we can find some dirt somewhere in their vast business) to get laws enacted to regulate them on what they can do and not do.
That sounds nice though.
Don't believe for a second that privacy isn't personal to him.
You do understand that Google’s Pixel 3 was built by the same Foxconn that built Apple devices right?
I admit they are better than Google on the privacy issue, but should we be grateful for having an alternative that abuses us in different ways?
PS: I own zero Apple devices (partly because of the reasons you have, not for the way you are misrepresenting those reasons).
Slowing down old phones without notice or permission wasn't the best response to aging batteries. Even Apple didn't deny it was wrong. They apologized, once they were caught.
And the MagSafe connector was not a common failure point.
> Slowing down old phones without notice or permission wasn't the best response to aging batteries.
Sure, it wasn't handled well, but you said that they did it to force upgrades... That is patently incorrect in my opinion. Apple are far superior at keeping old devices updated than most actors in the Android world (as a comparison point).
> And the MagSafe connector was not a common failure point.
And your original post complained that "and sells more dongles by eliminating features and changing ports". What does replacing a proprietary magsafe connector with USB C have to do with Apple selling more dongles? There are now plenty of compatible third party options available in more than one category.
Regards app store policies: see sibling reply.
MagSafe was at once an example of a port changed (MagSafe 1 to 2) and a feature removed (replaced with USB) that didn't fit your explanation "removing a common failure point". Even Apple didn't try to claim that slowing down old phones was a well-designed compromise; instead, they apologized. And there are many examples of Apple removing apps for reasons other than "app quality/safety", for one such example, see my response to sibling reply.
These are not "other different issues", these are counterexamples. They may not be the issues you thought of when you read my first post but they were some of the issues I was thinking of.
Unexpected shutdowns vs. longer app launch times and other reductions in performance. a compromise.
And if it was such a good, but misunderstood feature, why wasn't it touted as such in the first place, but denied initially, and then only acknowledged apologetically with the removal of such?
But it's hard to trust that statement anyway. I'd be more likely to trust them if they'd reported that on their own, instead of hiding it for a year then issuing a PR statement when users proved it was happening.
And if that statement wasn't contradicted by their behavior in shutting down phones after the screen was replaced.
"First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."
They forgot to mention the "unless the user tries to repair it" exception.
I don't know what criteria they actually use, but this is at best incredibly inconsistent. There's heaps of competing mail apps, calendars, camera apps, photo apps, weather apps, notes apps, reminders app, messaging apps on iOS, including a Google one in most of those categories.
Calling that "a bit too soon to forget" seems...problematic on several levels.
I think your clocks are just broken.
Another reason: the multiplicity of ports and bunches of things that all use USB-A.
With the new Macook, however, I believe it was much lighter to the point that it would have pulled the laptop down with it upon someone tripping on the cord. It wasn't doing anything to benefit the user at that point. Because of this, they probably opted for a slimmer charging port (USB-C), and it went well with the growing use of USB-C in the industry.
I do wish they included more USB-C ports, however.
I do not know exactly the reason they opted for USB-C in the new MacBook Pro, however. I believe it would still be heavy enough for MagSafe to be effective. However at this point, USB-C is saturating the market and consolidation in their products may be a more important issue for Apple at this point.
You should add "making more money" to the factors that went into this "well designed" approach. For example I don't see how not adding a MicroSD slot is nothing other than a method of forcing people into buying phones with larger internal storage (and making more money for Apple).
Your point about money would be better made if you just complained about the cost of larger internal storage, except then it would be obvious - Apple is profit motivated.
I can see your argument re profit in the past, but it is becoming less valid as the minimum flash memory size is increasing. I have just bought an ZTE with 32GB because that is all I need (32GB is the minimum you can get in a new iPhone.)
All these arguments that Apple is trying to "nickel and dime" their users is just tiring. Sure, they charge a lot, and they love profits, but that doesn't mean they are shitting on their users (like say cellular network providers do!) Edit: ironically it is probably because they charge so much for the device and it is so profitable that they don't need to chase every cent they could e.g. they don't provide payday loans to buy their phones!
What? This is not true at all. Source: I released an iOS app that used a non-apple third party to serve ads.
Your functionality though, will be severely compromised. So the choices are:
1. Apple - hurts your wallet and your choice of apps (only the walled garden and nothing else).
2. Google - you're the product. not the phone.
3. Something else like the open source solution. You'll spend a lot of time here and will be restricted to the limited choice of apps on the the f-droid store.
So take your pic. I'm mostly in #2, with a billion or so others. I'm fully aware that me and my data are the product here, and whenever I start feeling that I made a deal with the devil, I simply tell myself that they can't know what's happening in my head. I then quickly shift focus and start thinking about something else. :P
To roughly quote another HN user who I don't recall, "Not everybody wants to sysadmin their phone".
Don't assume moral disposition when a CEO is talking his book.
Maybe Tim is really a good person, who knows?
But if Tim were the CEO of Facebook he'd be singing a different tune.
Don't underestimate the ability of CEO's to align their personal views with that of he company.
Apple is sensing blood in the water on Google and Facebook, and this is a smart, basic PR move to go on the offensive against those companies.
Now - I do think it's likely that Cook does actually believe what he is saying - so I'm not fully calling him a hypocrite or anything. But he is a business guy, and were he to be the head of a company for whom this angle would not apply, I suggest strongly he'd have a different story to tell.
When businessmen speak, it's mostly 'just business'. I don't mean that cynically, just pragmatically.
The two can overlap, surely, and in 'good capitalism' they mostly do.
But let's not talk about Cooks 'heart' being in the 'right place'. His 'current product strategy' is in 'the right place' :)
Which is utterly cringeworthy.
iPhone user thinks iPhone is best thing since sliced bread. News at 11.
I feel like people get these rose-tinted glasses when they look back on past Apple products, like they were all 100% perfect or something. Truth is - they all had little issues, but they were still often miles ahead of their competition.
It's not something Apple did twice a week like clockwork while Jobs was alive, then just suddenly stopped when he died.
This is exactly the kind of rose-colored glasses nneonneo was talking about.
- Created the personal computer industry (Apple Inc)
- Revolutionized the personal computer industry (Macintosh)
- Revolutionized film animation (Pixar)
- Shifted the electronic device industry to minimalist industrial design (iPod)
- Changed the entire music industry's distribution model (iTunes)
- Completely shifted the paradigm of a cellular phone and arguably began the adoption of the mobile internet (iPhone)
There are several other things people may consider visionary (candy colored iMac, getting rid of floppy drives, OSX, Newton, stuff at NeXT, tech advertising with the 1984 & Think Different campaigns, etc). I'm not even including things like the iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, health metrics, etc which Jobs may have been working on before his death. Clearly Jobs had lots of help along the way and is not singularly responsible for each of these things - but he's the one who oversaw and, in many cases, drove the vision.
I'm no Apple fanboy and Jobs had a very dark side to his particular brand of genius, but I find it incredibly disingenuous to dismiss the impact that Jobs had on Apple and the industry in general. Tim Cook is a very solid Tech CEO, maybe even a great operational leader, but he is not a visionary leader and my concern is that Apple lost a fundamental element with the passing of Jobs.
Come on. "We changed the color. Visionary!"
> - Revolutionized film animation (Pixar)
Pixar was doing lots of work before Jobs was on the scene (after seven years, when Lucasfilm decided it was successful / profitable enough on its own to spin it off) - he was an investor.
One place Apple has disrupted/built an industry is with the smart watch. I was skeptical, but got a Series 2 on sale to try it out and recently got a Series 4. When I got the Series 2 I wasn't sure what I would use it for, but it's something I would miss not having now.
Another possibility is that they don't have to take advantage of their users' data because their business is largely a hardware business, with the software a loss-leader.
It might seem like a distinction without a difference but one has to consider intent when scoring individuals and companies' moral high ground.
It's an utterly laughable statement. Not surprised it upset a few worshipers of the Tech Overlords. Apple, the billionaires it produced and the people it employs should be grateful to the rest of society.
It doesn't need to be Apple specifically, but I'm glad we have competition. If either of Apple or Google were the only real option, we'd be much worse off than we are now.
It's a shame it's come down to a duopoly, but at least they both have something to compete on.
So someone like Equifax would be on the hook for $1.4T in civil penalties for losing the data on 143 million customers. That would have effectively put them out of business.
If you set up such a system, then it is very easy for engineering in an organization to explain why they need to invest in the security safeguards they need, and it is very hard for product managers to argue for collecting even more detailed information. All because you have created an existential threat to the company if they screw up.
If you think the business community dislikes taxes, just wait until a law is proposed that gives people a private right of action against companies that leak their data. I don't think the term "white hot" would suffice.
Note that with Equifax you never signed any sort of permission or ToS for the data collected, so they'd be hit with a fine regardless.
Many companies collect data on people without a contract. So this would still have teeth even with waived rights.
don't pursue damages?
It's not so much that I think that Apple is more virtuous than Google, that'd be naive. It's more that their business model seems to align better with actually respecting their user's privacy instead of siphoning as much data as they can even if that means using ridiculous defaults, nagging and dark UI patterns.
It wasn't too bad, though the swipey interface made it a little to easily to accidentally call people when drunk.
Personally, I don't have a need to root or install alternative ROMs until well after the warranty expires on my devices, so I don't mind the current situation as much as some.
At some point, hardware progress will be so minimal and devices so easy to manufacture that small companies can offer their own high-end phones and can build for them some years without really being much behind the competition.
When that happens, custom ROMs can really lift off and I don't think we're so far away. One or two more generations of smaller chips and better batteries. We're already at the point where the only innovation is adding more cameras.
Do you acknowledge this comes at a huge cost? Apple has a fraction of the marketshare as Android in countries like India. Apple's iPhone prices out billions of people. Android-based phones don't. If Android-based phones adopted Apple's business model, billions of people would not have smartphones.
But I suppose there isn’t a market for that. A majority of users would pick the phone that is only 289 instead of 319 Even if that means selling their data. And the few users that do care are willing to pay the premium for an iPhone. Considering that manufacturing a phone is expensive unless they can mass produce it in quantities such as Samsung and apple, there won’t be a company to make such a phone soon because it would be just as expensive as an iPhone with a lot less features.
And of course the Most important feature of any smartphone are apps and any new platform wouldn’t have any apps. Developer won’t develop for them unless there are enough users and there won’t be enough users unless there are apps. You could probably use googles play services and emulate android but as far as I know there isn’t a way to get around google’s push notifications without compromising the users privacy (which would defeat the purpose). Besides that would be expensive to make and gooogle might not license it at all because there is little in it for them.
Look how many people willingly give their phone number to grocery stores in return for a slight discount.
If you're paying with a credit card, giving them your phone number in addition to your CC# doesn't make any difference at all. It doesn't even have to be your phone number, pretty much any 10 digit number will do.
If you spread all the revenue of Facebook & Google over every android device it still wouldn’t come close to the difference in price.
Apple could make much cheaper devices, but they’d just end up cannibalising the sales of their high end phones.
But what’s the downside?
The Internet lets you communicate with friends and family, access a massive trove of knowledge quickly (freeing up education), discuss current events, and all manner of other things.
Even personally as a well to do American, have saved many, many thousands of dollars by acquiring learning resources online.
Not having/using/carrying a smartphone is a conscious decision one can make with positive and negative aspects. Bruce Schneier points that out in his book Data and Goliath.
There is nothing "FOMO" about Internet access, it is extremely important. The world changed a lot from where we were 30 years ago.
The advantages of having a computer you can bring with you (be that a laptop, tablet, or phone) are enormous.
This is why I consider implying that billions of people having smartphones is a bad thing to be an extremely privileged position to take.
TL;DR if you mean computers and internet access instead of smartphones, use the correct terminology.
Now that is the voice of privilege! Clean drinking water is essential. A smartphone is merely a luxury and one that is not without consequences - just as cigarettes are a luxury.
Yes, it won't literally kill you not to have Internet, but that's a disingenuous argument. I did not say "essential to remain alive", I said "essential".
You are simply not at a level playing field if you do not have Internet access in 2018.
Family emergency while you're not at home? Resources to learn about the world, educate yourself? Increased job opportunities? Housing listings? Mobile financial services?
Internet access is most commonly going to be through smartphones in the developing world. Internet access is essential.
Saying it's a luxury in the same way cigarettes are is ludicrous.
I'd like some competition that's actually with Apple (that is others who respect privacy, not Google, Microsoft et al) as I am increasingly disappointed in Apple hardware.
Chinas use of data is definitely not the way to go.
However, I would also caution against the push for almost complete privacy as that IMO leaves out a number of potential advantages from systems having enormous amounts of data about us.
The primary advantage of technology is that it is able to automate and remove a number of things we would otherwise have to do manually, semi-manually etc.
To the extent that we do more and more in the digital space, our digital identity becomes much more important and that creates a new problem that can't be solved through privacy IMO but have to be solved by allowing digital identities to learn how to trust each other (which means exchange data/information).
I don't think there are many ways around that unless you want to get off the grid completely (which is certainly one way to do things).
This is where I think the decentralized part becomes really valuable. How can we own our own data but exchange it with others and build trust over time just like we would in the real world.
Cause in order to take advantage of the technology you will need to feed it with the primary thing that keeps it alive, data.
Siri/iOS/macOS/etc are proof that “smart” services can be done on-device and/or without identifying information and still be useful.
Google does it all server side because it’s the cash cow their entire business is built on, not because it’s the only way to do it.
AFAIK, ebay don't use GA although most of the web do. GA is I'm sure largely to help with their advertising business. That is useful because it gives website owners (who choose to use it) analytics.
Do you have evidence that they use their trove of personal data about you to improve spam filtering? No other email provider on the planet has the same amount of data, and they manage to filter out spam.
> AFAIK, ebay don't use GA although most of the web do.
eBay was an example, but my point was more about, if you used Google Pay on a shopping site.
> That is useful because it gives website owners (who choose to use it) analytics.
That isn't beneficial to the person whose data they hold, it's detrimental, and fucking creepy.
> I would also caution against the push for almost complete privacy as that IMO leaves out a number of potential advantages from systems having enormous amounts of data about us.
So I created an example. Forget my example if you wish, I still have the same question. What benefit is there specifically, from companies "having enormous amounts of data about us"?
"This is where I think the decentralized part becomes really valuable. How can we own our own data but exchange it with others and build trust over time just like we would in the real world."
So not sure why you are asking about about something that is only part of what I wrote when I elaborate further down.
Well that's pretty simple. Don't use services that are paid for with your privacy.
> So not sure why you are asking about about something that is only part of what I wrote when I elaborate further down.
You claimed it's beneficial, I'm asking how.
Before they were public Google did a lot of stuff that was seemingly just "because we can". Give geeks a metric-shit-ton of money and that'sb what you get.
This line sounds like the "businesses aren't allowed to do things that don't maximise profits" myth.
You can call it hypocrisy but it doesn't affect the validity of Tim Cook's argument .
Each person's idea of where something sits on the spectrum of right and wrong differs.
If someone is being hypocritical, it can lead people to question the motive behind the words.
I think perhaps you should. It would improve the quality of the discussion.
(and like you, a lot of my work-related searches are technical in nature)
It's that you never know whether it's missing 10%.
I recently built a new laptop and set it as the default, after several failed attempts in the past. I now rarely find myself struggling with tech related searches as I had done previously. Consequently, it has stuck this time. YMMV obvs.
By my experience DDG usually provide way more appropriate answers when you are looking for a reference or a documentation entry. Google still is better for recently pushed contents like news and is still marginally better for finding result inside Q&A sites. After 1-2 years of DDG by default I tend to know in advance which query is best for which search engine and so I half conscientiously add the !g while typing when needed.
Some of the other bang commands do look useful, though.
Given that the source on this is one guy at Goldman Sachs, I’d treat that number with some suspicion.
I think the issue is that besides the money they don't really have a competitive advantage so it'd be difficult to catch up given how long Google has been doing this for.
First of all Search is well outside their domain expertise; they aren't really well known for doing either search/MI or even web services well.
Secondly, it takes a long time just to get all the infrastructure set up. There is an unbelievable amount of build/test/deploy infrastructure that Google has been able to set up over the many years of doing search. I certainly think Apple has engineers smart enough to make it happen but in the end building the stuff takes a large amount of time.
And this is all assuming they use AWS/GCP/Azure instead of deploying their own data centers.
It's very much the same difficulty that Google has trying to make hardware to compete with Apple. They have so much experience and expertise in that area already. There's no way Google could make a phone faster than the iPhone: Apple makes their own chips! So instead Google has to compete in the areas where they have a competitive advantage, for example by using AI to make very good cameras.
Apple could do it, but they are a trillion dollar company that hasn't even gotten Maps completely right yet - let them work on one thing at a time...
A search engine is a big enough process—and difficult enough—that you can't just throw money at it and expect it to work in the end. They could try, certainly. And maybe they'd succeed, and maybe they'd fail. And maybe they'd succeed but end up with a successful business unit whose goals are opposed to the rest of the company's.
Apple is never going to give up their premium position.
all told 300+400+300 = 1000 which is STILL lower than the cost of the iPhone x max
To some extent, I sort of blame Apple here. When you boot up an emulator, it's an iPhone X that you see. If it defaulted to the SE, I bet we'd see more apps that render correctly on its screen. But it doesn't, so we don't.
The faster CPU also eliminates a lot of problems. I am sure I am guilty of writing code that is only viable because I'm running it on a 32 core Xeon machine. So are app developers. The faster the CPU you have, the less likely you the user are to suffer because of their sub-optimal algorithm choice.
As devices age, they stop being supported by security updates.
Compared to OnePlus who stopped updated their OnePlus2 past Marshmallow after telling subscribers they would get the Nougat update. This effectively dead ends this model for users. Got rid of my 2 when I found out:
A 5S will still run the latest iOS, and with a new battery wont be under “performance management” mode, so it should be quite fast to use.
Are you suggesting some official refurbishment route or just find them on Craigslist or Ebay?
I don't know what it's like in the US, but here (SE Asia) there is a massive market for second-hand smart phones/tablets, usually from places that also do repairs of such devices. Go to any shopping mall in Thailand and (usually on the top floor) there will be dozens of places with devices of varying age.
I don't think Apple's official refurbished stuff will be in the price range you're looking (they only have 7's from what I can see) but I'm sure you can find them somewhere.
It was night and day in terms of performance. In particular, Siri works much better.
Developers assume the performance of the latest, so they don’t realize how slow things act on older devices.
I just checked and there are a couple hundred listed on my local Craigslist for $100-$150.
The cheapo androids are more like the Yugo of mobile devices, and the nicer Androids basically cost the same or a little more. iPhone 7 is $1 on many promo deals.
If you go to companies with compliance requirements, iPhone owns the market, and is by far the cheapest solution. One of my "side hustles" in a very large org was managing about 40k iOS devices and 400 android devices... it basically cost about $9/year to manage, including staff. Staffing was basically 40-60% of two IT guys and half of 3 interns. If we broke the cost down further, the Androids would have been significantly more expensive, as additional 3rd party software was required as well as many more man-hours.
The iPhone is magic in that way, with sufficient scale, you deliver almost magical capability to your whole company, including network connectivity, for less than the run cost of a PC. And it costs something like 80% less to manage than a PC. If you look at companies in industries like field service, iPhones are almost a profit center.
If you have a long-duration, pre-negotiated contract with carriers, where you are essentially financing the $500 phone cost every 18-30 months via the service plan, the marginal cost is the metric that matters.
Says about 44%, which is pretty close to "like 50%"
I focus on the US (and UK and Japan), it's a two horse race. You can segment it all sorts of ways. iOS is somewhere between 40-60% in a given segment, and usually around 43-48% overall. Overall share has been declining as the market growth slows and prepaid plans make total device cost more relevant.
Nothing I said means anything ex US, as the solutions, costs and requirements vary.
But it's way less than that worldwide, in India, for example, it's only 1%l
I suppose the best path would be to create a new phone that could either boot Android or your privacy-respecting OS, this way you could still get the mainstream sales with Android and you'd target the niche users who value their privacy with your custom system. Still seems very difficult to achieve, if you want your phone to be cheap you need to target a high sale volume to dilute the cost of your R&D.
I think the big problem is that smartphones never really had an healthy open source ecosystem going because it was all about closed hardware and locked bootloaders. Without a decent open source stack available it's hard to bootstrap a new system. And even if you did manage to do it you'd still need to convince people to port their apps to it (because not having Whatsapp or Instagram is going to be a deal breaker for many).
You can get away with smaller teams if you take the full package that Qualcomm gives (they do most or all of driver work for you). You saw what Essential Products was able to create with around 120 people, but they were heavily using work from other companies to launch it.
I genuinely hope they succeed but that's clearly not the "Honda or Kia" of smartphones the parent was talking about, at least not in this iteration.
Used iOS devices are the Kia version.
Wondering if they could accomplish the same thing many car brands do i.e. Honda <> Acura
While the next iOS release may require an iPhone 6 or 6S, I expect it will be quite a while before it changes base requirements again after that.
People behave as if this is impossible, but the options are all right there in the settings. There are a few places you lose some features but not super significant ones, and mostly those are because the tracking is intrinsically involved in the functions of the app.
I've even had 'Saved Places' not render without search history being enabled.
My next phone will sadly be an IPhone. Not because I love apple(I don't), but just because I'm quitting google.
The difference is that on Android, it is possible to set a default maps app that is entirely local, which means that Android wins on privacy for location tracking. (This is before even considering that AGPS location data collection is mandatory on iOS and merely opt in on Android.)
Besides, most people upload their photos without removing exif data which makes your photo archive the best tracker - every place you went that you cared about at all. Most people also keep pictures forever. You an count the people who opt out of cloud storage for photos on one hand...
The only way you can say iOS wins on privacy is if you listen to marketing instead of what the OS actually does.
1. Aside from losing on location privacy, as I showed above,
2. iOS also loses on message privacy because you can't use a secure messaging system like Signal by default,
3. on tracker and advertising privacy because you can't install a system-wide adblocker like Blokada,
4. on user privacy because you can't install an app without an Apple ID,
5. on developer privacy because you can't develop apps for your own device without an Apple ID (and even worse, without a credit card to give up a verified name and address if you don't want to re-sign your apps every week),
6. and on account privacy because Apple does not allow you to delete your account unlike nearly every other service (even Facebook, which comes a close second to Apple as a bad actor) on the Internet.
Sure, you need an Apple ID, but how hard is it to generate a throwaway account for that purpose? Nobody ever said you had to use one that was tied to your actual identity. Heck you can even use different IDs for the App Store vs. iCloud, but anyone who is extremely privacy sensitive would already not be using iCloud. I don’t know where you read that Apple IDs can’t be deleted - on https://privacy.apple.com/ if you sign in there’s a nice big Delete your Account button.
I never said otherwise. Again, you can't install a system-wide adblocker.
> It might not be the system default app, but I’m not sure how that’s a fundamental loss of privacy
Because if it's harder to use on every use, you won't use it.
> Sure, you need an Apple ID, but how hard is it to generate a throwaway account for that purpose?
In that respect, it's exactly like a Google account. I never claimed otherwise. The fact that it's tied to things you do like apps you download and where you search allows deanonymization, just like in the Google case.
> Nobody ever said you had to use one that was tied to your actual identity.
Except if you want to build apps for your own device that you don't want to reinstall weekly. On Android, nobody has to know anything about you, even if you want to develop for your own device, which should not result in loss of privacy on a platform that respects privacy.
> I don’t know where you read that Apple IDs can’t be deleted - on https://privacy.apple.com/ if you sign in there’s a nice big Delete your Account button.
Thanks for this link. Somebody created an Apple ID with my email address, and after I took over their account, I could not figure out how to delete it from the Apple ID Account page, and a search doesn't return that privacy page. It's way harder to find than Facebook's delete account page.
Guess how hard it was? If you start from scratch (i.e. without an existing Google cookie thing your new account to your old one), you have to put in a valid, non-disposable mobile phone number and get a verification.
On the other hand, I just made an Apple ID with a disposable email address with absolutely no real-word verification required.
> Because if it's harder to use on every use, you won't use it.
I don’t see how a non-default app is really so much harder to use in iOS. I use Google Inbox and Facebook Messenger as my daily drivers (not claiming I’m a privacy focused person, hah), not Apple Mail or iMessage, and I’ve never suffered for it. iOS has surprisingly few places where a “default” actually matters.
> Except if you want to build apps for your own device that you don't want to reinstall weekly. On Android, nobody has to know anything about you, even if you want to develop for your own device, which should not result in loss of privacy on a platform that respects privacy.
This is a fair criticism. Apple developer policies have always been quite annoying - being a developer for the platform myself (own phone apps only, nothing released), it’s definitely not as smooth as Android. Plus with Android I get to do fun kernel hacking stuff which is strictly off-limits with iOS.
It would be stupid of them.