A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.

“But it’s open!” Yeah, so is your data.

Google data collection research

Most Android phones, by contrast, gravely lag behind in receiving security updates, have no specialized encryption hardware, and often handle privacy controls in a way that is detrimental to user interests. Few governments or companies complain about Android phones. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it came to light that Facebook had been downloading and keeping all the text messages of its users on the Android platform—their content as well as their metadata.

On Apple phones, however, Facebook couldn’t harvest people’s text messages because the permissions wouldn’t allow it.


My finger has been hovering over Adobe’s goddamned Creative Cloud monthly subscription for InDesign for three days now.

The browser window is just sitting there. I keep looking at it.

$20 a month. Forever.

I suppose I could try and manage it as a month-to-month thing but I kind of don’t want to have to.


Damn it.

Then again Norton hits me for $80/year or whatever and I don’t blink. And my annual terabyte of Dropbox. And my Spotify. And my Netflix. And my Prime. And my boardgamearena.com membership. And my boardgamegeek.com donation. And my ACLU membership. And and and and.

There’s just something deeply wrong in my head with renting software. I have no idea what it is and I have no rational argument.

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.


Cook also announced $1 million donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League and that it will match employee donations to those organizations and others two-for-one through September 30th, and offer a way for customers to donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center via iTunes in the coming days.

BuzzFeed separately reports that Apple has also disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sell Nazi paraphernalia.


Tim Cook Responds to Events in Charlottesville in a Message to Employees

I gave Readdle’s Spark iOS email client a spin yesterday. Today I deleted it.

It could simply be that I have been an Apple Mail loyalist for so long that I just can’t manage to re-train myself. That, and I found Spark’s intelligent email classification less than intelligent — I was spending too much time teaching the app which emails were what. Plus, all of the gestures that I’m used to were triggering different actions, so it was taking me twice as long to accomplish common tasks.

That, and, well, I have generally been pretty happy with Apple’s core apps (Mail, Safari), and their integration with the OS is key for me. The only core app that I’ve replaced is iCal. I use Fantastical, but honestly that’s more due to monetary investment; it’s a little cooler than iCal, but not so much so that I’d recommend everyone put down money for it.

Anyway, none of this isn’t to say that Spark isn’t interesting. And given it’s free on all platforms, it’s worth trying if you’re not totally satisfied with Mail.