Week Links – October 9th 2017


New Open Publishing Platform “Janeway” | Profhacker – Nerds meet academic publishing . I wholeheartedly support any and all open access endeavours. The academic publishing world is not only dominated by large corporate entities that prefer closed access to maximise gains from academic labour. If you know nothing of how the industry works, you won’t have to go far to find out how fraught the whole process is. Projects like this are vital for giving the push into open access the user experience required to make it successful. Then there is the name, what’s not to like.

iOS 11: The Pixel Envy Review | Pixel Envy – The reviews are still rolling in. If you were waiting for something more concise than the epics I linked to last week, this is a much more succinct account.

‘Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities’ – That such a relationship exists between higher education and governmental surveillance agencies shouldn’t come as a surprise. The details, however, will surely be interesting.

I never signed up for this! Privacy implications of email tracking – I intend for security and privacy concerns to be writ large in the DNA of this site. This is a blog post detailing a research paper on the growing prevalence of email tracking. Where you may think a feature like read receipts is relatively harmless, but they belong on this particular slippery slope. I would encourage all users to disable remote content in their email clients.

Why Apple could be slapped with a massive $15 billion Irish tax bill | Ars Technica – Apologists spend a lot of time rationalising this away. Apple trades on so-called ethical principles, but as important as environmental concerns are, Apple’s collective conscience is sure found wanting where labour and taxation are concerned. Countries like Ireland already go out of there way to prostrate themselves with minimal company tax rates. Apple has Ireland so far over the barrel with this they are fighting against collecting the payment. As for Apple, settling this account will probably ruin them

Silicon Valley’s $300M donation to STEM education is not what it seems – Salon.com – Another case of collective image management meets a convenient marriage of determinism and opportunism. It’s good to see that analysis of the tech industry isn’t all glorified cheer leading and consumer salivating.

“Eton for all”: will robot teachers mean everyone gets an elite education? – Because actual intelligence seems to be giving up?

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia | Technology | The Guardian – Appropriately, this piece on hyperactive attention and addictive technology is a long read.

Uber app can silently record iPhone screens, researcher finds | ZDNet – There is cause for real concern here. I’m genuinely surprised at how deafening the silence is from all the enthusiast blogs. What bothers me is that Apple trades on its privacy stance — and I’m buying on that basis no less. As Michael Tsai put it, this is shocking hypocrisy.

Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think. What will that mean for public radio? | Nieman Journalism Lab – Beyond the technical details, most of the conversation on this topic has either focused on disruption to the automatic industry, safety and legal matters, or design and planning. I haven’t seen much on the question of what will happen to the space inside the car. Cue attempts to monetise and capitalise on that space, it certain won’t be long before it is cast as an opportunity for productivity.


Chalk One Up for Augmented Reality | ProfHacker – The author calls the demo of this app grating, I would agree. But seriously, is the pun in the title not enough? Nonetheless, I can see how useful this could be for education purposes.

iMazing introduces free conversion of Apple’s new .HEIC image format – My sense is, this will most likely be very useful while we deal with bedding in a new image format. While I’m at it, iMazing has another free product that is incredibly useful, theiMazing Mini iOS backup client.

Markdown Service Tools 2.16 | Brett Terpstra –  This is just one of many clever utilities and automatons that Brett has made and distributed freely. Along with his SearchLink tools, this saves me a serious amount of time when writing for the web.

Win a copy of 60 Mac Tips: Volume 2 – Having said how useful those Terpstra Tools are, it would be remiss of me not to mention the new volume of 60 Mac Tips that Brett has release with David ‘MacSparky’ Sparks. There is still time to join the draw for a free copy.


Samplebot iPhone Demo – YouTube – This is an example of two things. First, the incredible ingenuity of the iPhone for making music — among other things. And two, how quality video production doesn’t always equal success on YouTube. Trust me, this is a way better produced video than so much of what is being offered in the iOS music production world. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon had a lot to do with making A Tasty Pixel’s first app Loopy HD famous, and he is already putting Samplebot through its paces with some amusing remixes