New York Times Stories June 16, 2014

Following a few quotes from a Jony Ive interview with The New York Times appearing in a longer piece about Tim Cook over the weekend, the publication has now published a longer transcript from the interview. In the interview, Ive was asked about working with Cook, how things have changed post Steve Jobs, and he also gave some insight into his daily work routine.  We meet on average three times a week. Sometimes those meetings are over in his space, sometimes here in the design studio. We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be.”

Ive described his new role leading software design at the company as “some leadership and direction in terms of user interface – a subset of software,” and most interestingly seemed to hint at using new materials for products that the company hasn’t worked with before. Naturally, Ive would have loved to say more but couldn’t: I would love to talk about future stuff – they’re materials we haven’t worked in before. I’ve been working on this stuff for a few years now. Tim is fundamentally involved in pushing into these new areas and into these materials.” expand full story

New York Times Stories June 15, 2014

Ive says ‘I don’t think anything changed’ in new report on Cook’s leadership

The New York Times has published a new report that largely reaffirms what countless observers have said before. In comparison to Jobs, Cook is less connected to the “minutiae” of product development, instead preferring to delegate to his other executives to lead design. This does not mean Cook is not involved at all. Interestingly, the profile says Cook himself pushed the iPad mini project to release.

Mr. Cook “thought the world would love a smaller and less expensive tablet,” said Robert A. Iger, the chief executive of Disney and a member of Apple’s board. It was a product that Mr. Jobs thought did not have a market, he said.

New York Times Stories March 18, 2014

Yukari Kane on Apple leadership styles: Jobs demanding, Cook inclusive, both intense

The NY Times has a brief interview with Yukari Kane, author of Haunted Empire, in which she contrasts the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Interestingly, while many see Cook as laid-back in contrast to the driven nature of the company’s co-founder, Kane says that both share an intensity.

I don’t think of Tim as laid back. In fact, he’s extremely intense. His intensity is just more quiet and dogged than Steve’s.

There is, of course, the obligatory anecdote to illustrate the obsession with detail and demands Jobs would make on his team.

Jobs routinely made a habit of calling people back mid-vacation […] for example, people had to work on Christmas Day because he decided he wanted a different color iPod shuffle at the last minute.

Despite her book’s contention that Apple is lost without Steve, she does acknowledge the strengths that Cook brings to the role.

Cook is also a better internal communicator. He sends out more all-staff emails and holds more town hall meetings. He also understands that people need to take vacations and have down time […]

Cook brings more efficiency and organization to Apple, which is good because the company’s increased size and scale requires a professional, consistent leadership style that is more inclusive than Steve Jobs’s was.

But doesn’t waste any time in returning to her theme.

In terms of profits and revenues, there is no question that Apple continues to be a successful company. But Apple’s own definition of success is much more. Its promise is to be exceptional – to make insanely great products that change the world. The latter is difficult to do without Steve Jobs’s reality distortion field. […]  If Apple stays on the current trajectory, I think the danger is that it could turn into Sony.

New York Times Stories January 28, 2014

Rovio responds to claims Angry Birds was targeted by NSA smartphone surveillance program

Yesterday we reported on new leaked docs from Edward Snowden reported by The New York Times and others that detailed secret NSA and GCHQ programs used to siphon data from popular smartphone apps on both iOS and Android. While Apple and Google have yet to respond to the reports, today one of the main developers singled out in the claims has. Rovio, maker of the popular Angry Birds game that was mentioned several times in the reports, today posted a response on its website.

The developer confirms that it in no way works with NSA, GCHQ or any other government organization to provide data about users, but it does point to third-party advertising networks as a possibility of the leaks:

The alleged surveillance may be conducted through third party advertising networks used by millions of commercial web sites and mobile applications across all industries. If advertising networks are indeed targeted, it would appear that no internet-enabled device that visits ad-enabled web sites or uses ad-enabled applications is immune to such surveillance. Rovio does not allow any third party network to use or hand over personal end-user data from Rovio’s apps.

Referring to the third-party advertising networks, Rovio CEO Mikael Hed said the company would have to “re-evaluate working with these networks if they are being used for spying purposes.”

Angry Birds wasn’t the only app specifically mentioned in the leaked docs, however. The reports claim the NSA program is capable of intercepting information ranging from location, age, and sex of users to address books, buddy lists, phone logs, geographic data and more from various mobile apps and third-party ad networks. Twitter, Google Maps, Facebook and others were also specifically mentioned in yesterday’s reports.

New York Times Stories January 27, 2014

New documents leaked by Edward Snowden and reported by The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica detail how the NSA and its British counterpart can collect users’ personal data through smartphone apps. The reports specifically mention popular apps like Angry Birds, Twitter, Google Maps and Facebook and claim the NSA is capable of intercepting information ranging from location, age, and sex of users to address books, buddy lists, phone logs, geographic data and more:

The N.S.A. and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters were working together on how to collect and store data from dozens of smartphone apps by 2007, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. Since then, the agencies have traded recipes for grabbing location and planning data when a target uses Google Maps, and for vacuuming up address books, buddy lists, phone logs and the geographic data embedded in photos when someone sends a post to the mobile versions of Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and other services.

At least one of the app developers, Rovio, is not surprisingly unaware of any of the activity mentioned in the documents, but it will be up to the app developers, Apple, and Google to address the issue and clarify for users if their personal data is safe. In a recent interview with ABC, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the controversy over surveillance programs and promised he would press congress for more transparency: expand full story

New York Times Stories October 22, 2013

Screen+Shot+2013-10-22+at+8.28.03+AM

With the launch of Mavericks imminent, a handful of major websites have begun supporting the Safari Push Notification feature. These sites include The New York Times, NBA.com and social network Pinterest. HTML 5 web notifications have been supported by all major browsers, including Safari, for a while. However, the HTML 5 native feature requires the page to be open for notifications to be sent, as noted by MacRumors.

Meanwhile, Safari Push Notifications mirror the user experience associated with native app push notifications. With user consent, a supporting website can send notifications to your Mac without the page (or even, Safari) being open. This is because this system uses Apple’s Push Notification Service servers — rather than the local client — to function. Because of this server-side integration, the utility of website notifications increases dramatically.

With major support already implemented by such big sites, it seems like this will be a big deal for end-users. More sites will undoubtedly roll out support in the coming days. For instance, CNN was used to demo the feature at WWDC but is yet to go live publicly. Mavericks is expected to launch by the end of the week. It is very likely Apple will confirm the OS’ launch date at its special media event later today. expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP