Massive Records Breach Affects AT&T and Carriers Which Use Its Network

Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch: U.S. phone giant AT&T confirmed Friday it will begin notifying millions of consumers about a fresh data breach that allowed cybercriminals to steal the phone records of “nearly all” of its customers, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch. In a stateme … | Continue reading | 3 hours ago

Anthony Fantano on Rick Beato’s ‘Why Music Is Getting Worse’

Speaking of the quality of art, Anthony Fantano published a terrific dissection of Rick Beato’s claim that “music is getting worse”. Beato’s take and others like it are ahistorical, silly, and trite. ⌥ Permalink⌥ Permalink | Continue reading | 4 hours ago

⌥ ‘Slop’ and ‘Content’

Ryan Broderick: You’ve probably seen the phrase AI slop already, the term most people have settled on for the confusing and oftentimes disturbing pictures of Jesus and flight attendants and veterans that are filling up Facebook right now. But the current universe of slop is much … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Google Photos Finally Lets Users Migrate Directly to iCloud Photos

Chris Riley, of the Data Transfer Initiative: Beginning today, Apple and Google are expanding on their direct data transfer offerings to allow users of Google Photos to transfer their collections directly to iCloud Photos. This complements and completes the existing transfers tha … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Amazon Did Not Reach Its Goal of Fully Clean Electricity Seven Years Early

Ivan Penn and Eli Tan, New York Times: Amazon announced on Wednesday that effectively all of the electricity its operations used last year came from sources that did not produce greenhouse gas emissions. But some experts have criticized the method the company uses to make that de … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Samsung Introduces a Galaxy Watch Ultra and See If You Can Guess Its Inspiration

Victoria Song, the Verge: I’m not exaggerating or being a hater, either. It’s in the name! Apple Watch Ultra, Galaxy Watch Ultra. Everything about this watch is reminiscent of Apple’s. Samsung says this is its most durable watch yet, with 10ATM of water resistance, an IP68 rating … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Apple Blog TUAW Returns as A.I. Slop

Christina Warren: So someone bought the old TUAW domain name. TUAW was a site that I worked at in college, that has been dead for a decade and that I stopped working for 15 years ago. But now my name is bylined on 1500+ articles alongside an AI-generated photo. Revive the old bra … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

The Ticketmaster Breach Is a Cautionary Nightmare

Saba Aziz, Global News: Ticketmaster has finally notified its users who may have been impacted by a data breach — one month after Global News first reported that the personal information of Canadian customers was likely stolen. In an email to its customers on Monday, Ticketmaster … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Dynamic Type on the Web

Craig Hockenberry: This site now supports Dynamic Type on iOS and iPadOS. If you go to System Settings on your iPhone or iPad, and change the setting for Display & Brightness > Text Size, you’ll see the change reflected on this website. With the important caveat this only applies … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Apple Withheld Epic Games’ App Store in the E.U.

Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider: In earlier reports, it was confirmed by Apple that Epic was mostly in compliance with EU-specific app review guidelines. The objectionable parts were a download button and related copy, which went against rules that forbid developers from making apps t … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Canadian Government Enacts Digital Services Tax

Peter Zimonjic, CBC News: The federal government has enacted a controversial digital services tax that will bring in billions of dollars while threatening Canada’s trading relationships by taxing the revenue international firms earn in Canada. This has always seemed to me like a … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

OpenAI’s ChatGPT Mac App Stored Conversation History Outside the Sandbox

Pedro José Pereira Vieito on Threads: The OpenAI ChatGPT app on macOS is not sandboxed and stores all the conversations in **plain-text** in a non-protected location: ~/Library/Application\ Support/{uuid}/ So basically any other running app / process … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

The Design of A.I. Identities

Speaking of A.I. and design, I enjoyed Devin Coldewey’s look, for TechCrunch, at the brand and icon design of various services: The thing is, no one knows what AI looks like, or even what it is supposed to look like. It does everything but looks like nothing. Yet it needs to be r … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Report from Google Researchers Finds Impersonation Is the Most Likely Way Generative A.I. Is Misused

Cristina Criddle, Financial Times: Artificial intelligence-generated “deepfakes” that impersonate politicians and celebrities are far more prevalent than efforts to use AI to assist cyber attacks, according to the first research by Google’s DeepMind division into the most common … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Figma Disables A.I. Design Tool After It Copied Apple’s Weather App

Emanuel Maiberg, 404 Media: The design tool Figma has disabled a newly launched AI-powered app design tool after a user showed that it was clearly copying Apple’s weather app. Figma disabled the feature, named Make Design, after CEO and cofounder of Not Boring Software Andy Allen … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

⌥ ‘King Lear Is Just English Words Put in Order’

With apologies to Mitchell and Webb. In a word, my feelings about A.I. — and, in particular, generative A.I. — are complicated. Just search “artificial intelligence” for a reverse chronological back catalogue of where I have landed. It feels like an appropriate position to hold f … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

No, the European Commissioner Did Not Say the Delayed Launch of Apple Intelligence Is Anticompetitive

M.G. Siegler: With all the talk about how the EU believes Apple is anticompetitive, it never occurred to me to read it more literally. By announcing the [sic] [would not be shipping]ns [their ‘Apple Intelligence’ tools]ai in the EU, Apple is choosing to not compete in AI in the r … | Continue reading | 13 days ago

When Google Burned a U.S.-Allied Counterterrorism Operation

Yesterday, in responding to a Google profile of DRAGONBRIDGE, a Chinese state-affiliated disinformation campaign, I wrote that I hoped Google would do the same if it were a U.S.-allied effort it had found instead — forgetting that Google had already done so, and in a far more com … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

The Latest Attempt at a U.S. Privacy Law Is Dead

Dell Cameron, Wired: United States lawmakers who’ve flirted for years with the idea of offering Americans a semblance of control over their own data yanked at the last moment the latest iteration of a “comprehensive” privacy package that’s been subject to continual editing and de … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

Beleaguered Paramount Wipes Historic MTV News and Comedy Central Archives

Alex Young, Consequence: MTV News has pulled its digital archive, making thousands of news stories, profiles, interviews, and other editorial features dating back to the 1996 no longer accessible on the web. Jed Rosenzweig, LateNighter: had been home to clips fr … | Continue reading | 14 days ago

Apple Publishes Paper Explaining Its Approach to Repair and Device Longevity

Apple: Diagnostics is part of Apple’s ongoing effort to extend the lifespan of Apple products. While Apple is committed to providing safe and affordable repair options, designing and building long-lasting products remains the top priority. The best type of repair for customers an … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Google Says It Continues to Monitor an Ineffective Chinese Propaganda Network

Zak Butler of Google: Today we are sharing updated insights about DRAGONBRIDGE, the most prolific IO actor Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) tracks. DRAGONBRIDGE, also known as “Spamouflage Dragon,” is a spammy influence network linked to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) t … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Conspiracy Theory Behind Murthy v. Missouri

Ben Lennett, Justin Hendrix, and Gabby Miller, Tech Policy Press: Today, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden Administration in Murthy v. Missouri. In a 6-3 ruling, the Court reversed a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that had found that the adm … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

⌥ Music Today

Tuesdays used to be my favourite day of the week because it was the day when a bunch of new music would typically be released. That is no longer the case — but only because music releases were moved to Fridays. The music itself is as good as ever. It remains a frustratingly recur … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

European Commission Finds Apple Is in Breach of DMA Rules

The European Commission: Today, the European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that its App Store rules are in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), as they prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

Alberta Government Is Outraged on Behalf of Greenwashing Oil Companies

Joel Dryden, CBC News: Alberta’s government says it is “actively exploring” the use of every legal option, including a constitutional challenge or the use of the Alberta Sovereignty Act, to push back against federal legislation that will soon become law. That legislation is Bill … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

So Far, A.I. Is a Feature, Not a Product

John Gruber: An oft-told story is that back in 2009 — two years after Dropbox debuted, two years before Apple unveiled iCloud — Steve Jobs invited Dropbox cofounders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi to Cupertino to pitch them on selling the company to Apple. Dropbox, Jobs told the … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas Responds

Mark Sullivan, Fast Company: [Perplexity CEO Aravind] Srinivas said the mysterious web crawler that Wired identified was not owned by Perplexity, but by a third-party provider of web crawling and indexing services. Srinivas wants the warm glow of innovation without the cold truth … | Continue reading | 19 days ago

⌥ The Fight for End-to-End Encryption Is Worldwide

Since 2022, the European Parliament has been trying to pass legislation requiring digital service providers to scan for and report CSAM as it passes through their services. Giacomo Zandonini, Apostolis Fotiadis, and Luděk Stavinoha, Balkan Insight, with a good summary in Septembe … | Continue reading | 20 days ago

Apple Says It Will Prevent E.U. Users From Accessing Select New Features, Including Apple Intelligence, Until It Has Achieved DMA Compliance

Javier Espinoza and Michael Acton, Financial Times: Apple has warned that it will not roll out the iPhone’s flagship new artificial intelligence features in Europe when they launch elsewhere this year, blaming “uncertainties” stemming from Brussels’ new competition rules. This ar … | Continue reading | 21 days ago

⌥ On Robots and Text

After Robb Knight found — and Wired confirmed — Perplexity summarizes websites which have followed its opt out instructions, I noticed a number of people making a similar claim: this is nothing but a big misunderstanding of the function of controls like robots.txt. A Hacker News … | Continue reading | 22 days ago

Perplexity Is a Bullshit Machine

Dhruv Mehrotra and Tim Marchman, of Wired, were able to confirm Robb Knight’s finding that Perplexity ignores the very instructions it gives website owners to opt out of scraping. And there is more: The WIRED analysis also demonstrates that despite claims that Perplexity’s tools … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

A.I. Cannot Fix What Automation Already Broke

Takeshi Narabe, the Asahi Shimbun: SoftBank Corp. announced that it has developed voice-altering technology to protect employees from customer harassment. The goal is to reduce the psychological burden on call center operators by changing the voices of complaining customers to ca … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

McDonald’s Is Ending Its Drive-Through A.I. Test

Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business Online: McDonald’s is ending its two-year-old test of drive-thru, automated order taking (AOT) that it has conducted with IBM and plans to remove the technology from the more than 100 restaurants that have been using it. […] McDonald’s has taken … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Nvidia Is the World’s Most Valuable Bubb— Sorry, Company

Kif Leswing, CNBC: Nvidia, long known in the niche gaming community for its graphics chips, is now the most valuable public company in the world. […] Nvidia shares are up more than 170% so far this year, and went a leg higher after the company reported first-quarter earnings in M … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Apple

Patrick McGee, Financial Times, August 2022: In interviews with 15 female Apple employees, both current and former, the Financial Times has found that Mohr’s frustrating experience with the People group has echoes across at least seven Apple departments spanning six US states. Th … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Adobe Codifies Pledge Not to Train A.I. on Customer Data

Ina Fried, Axios: Adobe on Tuesday updated its terms of service to make explicit that it won’t train AI systems using customer data. The move follows an uproar over largely unrelated changes Adobe made in recent days to its terms of service — which contained wording that some cus … | Continue reading | 24 days ago

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Sues Adobe Over Subscription Practices

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission: The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against software maker Adobe and two of its executives, Maninder Sawhney and David Wadhwani, for deceiving consumers by hiding the early termination fee for its most popular subscription plan and mak … | Continue reading | 25 days ago

Perplexity A.I. Is Lying About Its User Agent

Robb Knight blocked various web scrapers via robots.txt and through nginx. Yet Perplexity seemed to be able to access his site: I got a perfect summary of the post including various details that they couldn’t have just guessed. Read the full response here. So what the fuck are th … | Continue reading | 27 days ago

Clearview Class Action Settlement Proposal Would Make Investors Out of Victims

Kashmir Hill, New York Times: [Clearview AI] A facial recognition start-up, accused of invasion of privacy in a class-action lawsuit, has agreed to a settlement, with a twist: Rather than cash payments, it would give a 23 percent stake in the company to Americans whose faces are … | Continue reading | 27 days ago

Microsoft Delays Launch of Recall

Pavan Davuluri, of Microsoft: Today, we are communicating an additional update on the Recall (preview) feature for Copilot+ PCs. Recall will now shift from a preview experience broadly available for Copilot+ PCs on June 18, 2024, to a preview available first in the Windows Inside … | Continue reading | 28 days ago

Sponsor: Magic Lasso Adblock: Incredibly Private and Secure Safari Web Browsing

Online privacy isn’t just something you should be hoping for — it’s something you should expect. You should ensure your browsing history stays private and is not harvested by ad networks. By blocking ad trackers, Magic Lasso Adblock stops you being followed by ads around the web. … | Continue reading | 28 days ago

The Three C’s of Data Participation in the Age of A.I.

Eryk Salvaggio, Tech Policy Press: People are growing ever more frustrated by the intrusiveness of tech. This frustration feeds a cycle of fear that can be quickly dismissed, but doing so strikes me as either foolish or cynical. I am not a lawyer, but lately I have been in a lot … | Continue reading | 28 days ago

ProPublica: Microsoft Refused to Fix Flaw Years Before SolarWinds Hack

Renee Dudley and Doris Burke, reporting for ProPublica which is not, contrary to the opinion of one U.S. Supreme Court jackass justice, “very well-funded by ideological groups” bent on “look[ing] for any little thing they can find, and they try[ing] to make something out of it”, … | Continue reading | 28 days ago

Stefan’s Collection of Classic Computer Brochures

Based on what I can surmise from the upload dates, this collection of computer brochures has been around for years, but I was only recently made aware of it thanks to the latest issue of Web Curios. What a lovely collection of history in both technology and a very particular era … | Continue reading | 29 days ago

Japan Becomes the Next Region to Mandate Alternative App Stores

The Asahi Shimbun, in a non-bylined report: The new law designates companies that are influential in four areas: smartphone operating systems, app stores, web browsers and search engines. The new law will prohibit companies from giving preferential treatment for the operator’s ow … | Continue reading | 29 days ago

BNN Breaking Was an A.I. Sham

“Conspirador Norteño” in January 2023: BNN (the “Breaking News Network”, a news website operated by tech entrepreneur and convicted domestic abuser Gurbaksh Chahal) allegedly offers independent news coverage from an extensive worldwide network of on-the-ground reporters. As is of … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Dark Mode App Icons

Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines: [Beginning in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18] People can customize the appearance of their app icons to be light, dark, or tinted. You can create your own variations to ensure that each one looks exactly the way you way you want. See Apple Design Resourc … | Continue reading | 1 month ago