What I’ve Read This Week (April 26 2021 to May 2 2021)

Riccardo Mori and John Gruber write about the latest Apple Event, dubbed ‘Spring Loaded’. The event itself as the name suggests was absolutely loaded with product announcements of all kinds. The most interesting announcement to me by far is the new iMac with the M1 chip in it. That computer in all of its beautiful colours looks absolutely stunning. If I was not already heavily invested in the Windows desktop PC ecosystem I would seriously be considering a iMac as my desktop computer. I already know the M1 can deliver the requisite performance for my day-to-day non-gaming workloads so its nice to see that Apple is also confident that the M1 can scale up to a desktop class machine.

Speaking of scaling up, another product with the M1 that got announced was the new iPad Pro iteration. I agree with Riccardo in that the hardware in the iPad Pro has never been lacking, it has always been the software and specifically iOS/iPadOS that is lagging behind the excellent hardware. The AirTags also finally got announced and the most surprising thing about them to me is the user replaceable battery. Yeah, that’s a user replaceable battery in a Apple product released in 2021. I’ve ordered one of these AirTags so I can put it on my backpack. It’s not like I’m in the habit of constantly losing my backpack, the product is at a low enough price point where I just go “sure, why not?”.

Tariq Panja and Rory Smith write an excellent breakdown of just what happened with all the Super League shenanigans that happened over the past week. Football related news is usually not on my radar but this story was big enough and just interesting enough that I was absolutely enthralled by the story here. If you like me are not into football news and are wonder just WTF went down, this is the perfect read for you. Fantastic writing from both writers on this piece.

Andy Greenberg writes a story of corporate espionage, David vs Goliath, and uh ice cream? Yeah, this one is a fascinating read into the world of reverse engineering fancy ice cream machines just so McDonalds franchise owners can better understand the machine that regularly fails. Just read it, I promise it’s worth it.

Mint writes about Guilded, a Discord competitor that appears to be better than Discord in every way. I am not sure I have the energy or desire to sign up for yet another social networking service at the moment but Guilded looks like an excellent option to start a online community with. The biggest hurdle for Guilded will of course be the fact that everyone who is going to be the target demographic for them will also already have a Discord account and inertia will probably make them unlikely to switch over.

Pellaeon Lin writes a detailed security and privacy analysis of TikTok vs Douyin. The results are unsurprising to me. Most of what TikTok does appears to be the (unfortunately) standard app telemetry sent to parties like Facebook or AppsFlyer etc. There doesn’t seem to be any indication of outright malicious data collection. There was no conclusive evidence of political censorship of user posts as it was very difficult to create a proper methodology to even test for something like that.

TikTok and Douyin do not appear to exhibit overtly malicious behavior similar to those exhibited by malware. We did not observe either app collecting contact lists, recording and sending photos, audio, videos or geolocation coordinates without user permission.

Pellaeon Lin, TikTok vs Douyin A Security and Privacy Analysis

That is all from me this week, see y’all next week!