Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting

From Julio Vincent Gambuto:

Until then, get ready, my friends. What is about to be unleashed on American society will be the greatest campaign ever created to get you to feel normal again. It will come from brands, it will come from government, it will even come from each other, and it will come from the left and from the right. We will do anything, spend anything, believe anything, just so we can take away how horribly uncomfortable all of this feels. And on top of that, just to turn the screw that much more, will be the one effort that’s even greater: the all-out blitz to make you believe you never saw what you saw.

I’ve already started seeing some content like this on the web and on TV. I, like everyone else, want to get back to “normal”, whatever that is. However, I do hope we try to be a slightly better version of ourselves as well and not try to paper over it with frenzied consumer spending.

HomePod now runs on tvOS, here’s what that could mean

Looks like there’s a move to unify HomePod and Apple TV under one OS to allow for older chip compatibility as well as (possibly) unifying for future hardware. I have guarded optimism that Apple is working on cleaning up their home strategy to compete with Amazon and Google in this space, but it could be nothing.

Google and Apple launching coronavirus contact-tracing system for iOS and Android

From The Verge:

Apple and Google will introduce a pair of iOS and Android APIs in mid-May and make sure these health authorities’ apps can implement them. During this phase, users will still have to download an app to participate in contact-tracing, which could limit adoption. But in the months after the API is complete, the companies will work on building tracing functionality into the underlying operating system, as an option immediately available to everyone with an iOS or Android phone.

This is super interesting. Contact tracing and testing are the 2 best bets to getting us back to a sense of normal. Glad to see the big guys are getting along and building tools that can make contact tracing easier. I love that it’s so privacy focused as well. The article goes on to point out some of the flaws in a system like this that could produce a lot of false positives or not provide the level of the risk involved:

The method still has potential weaknesses. In crowded areas, it could flag people in adjacent rooms who aren’t actually sharing space with the user, making people worry unnecessarily. It may also not capture the nuance of how long someone was exposed — working next to an infected person all day, for example, will expose you to a much greater viral load than walking by them on the street. And it depends on people having apps in the short term and up-to-date smartphones in the long term, which could mean it’s less effective in areas with lower connectivity.

Still, I’m heartened by the fact that the tech industry seems to be showing their promise during this pandemic.

Apple’s Ad-Targeting Crackdown Shakes Up Ad Market

From Tom Dotan, The Information:

“Apple users are more valuable [to advertisers] based on demographics, being higher income, et cetera,” said Jason Kint, CEO of industry trade group Digital Content Next. He argues that Safari users have been “wrongly devalued” in the short term and says marketers just need to find better ways to reach them online. As an example, Kint points to ads that relate to the articles someone is reading—contextual advertising—as a format that doesn’t run afoul of privacy issues. He says the format is growing and credits Apple’s clampdown for one reason.

Amen. Targeted advertising, for me, has never really provided any amazing value over your more standard ad placement. As much as I love seeing ads on every page I visit for the thing I already bought on Amazon, I’d prefer to see ads the publishers stand by on some level.

iPad Main Menu — iPadOS 14 Concept

From Alexander Käßner:

This concept brings the main menu we know and love from Mac to iPad. It keeps the numerous advantages of a written menu, redesigned with touch devices in mind.

I love these concept pages. This one in particular is super thoughtful and answers for a lot of the issues that I run into (keyboard inconsistencies, lack of discoverable features) when using an iPad. Definitely worth watching the video at the end.

OAN

“How did I end up in the middle of this asshole sandwich?”

I see OAN posted from some of my particularly looney conservative relatives but Oliver’s breakdown is fantastic. It’s shocking that there is a network that’s more … supportive of our president than even FOX News. The fact that these clowns get access and time at White House briefings is absolutely disgraceful.