After update, only 4 percent of iOS users in U.S. let apps track them


After update, only 4 percent of iOS users in U.S. let apps track themSorry, Facebook.

Apple released iOS 14.5 to the public at the end of April, which included the ability to stop apps from tracking your activity for ad targeting purposes. New data shows just how popular the feature is.

When a user opens, downloads, or updates an app for the first time after they download the new iOS, they have to opt in to letting that app track them. 

According to Verizon Media-owned Flurry Analytics, almost everyone is saying “no, thanks.” Just around 4 percent of U.S. users have said “yes.”

Flurry is an analytics tool that the company says is installed in 1 million apps. Since iOS 14.5’s public launch, it has been tracking the opt-in rate every day using data from 2.5 million devices.  Read more…

More about Advertising, Ios, Privacy, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

How shady companies got millions of names for fake anti-net neutrality comments


How shady companies got millions of names for fake anti-net neutrality commentsEntered an online contest lately? Congrats! You could have unwittingly supported the repeal of net neutrality.

In 2017, the Trump-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) solicited public comments over whether it should repeal the Obama-era rule that established net neutrality (which it did in 2018)Net neutrality is the concept that internet providers have to treat all website traffic equally, and can’t create “fast lanes” or “slow lanes” for different companies and customers. 

New information in a report from the New York Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has revealed how people on both sides of the issue manipulated the digital comment submission process. Read more…

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Watch SpaceX’s Starship SN15 land and not blow up


Watch SpaceX's Starship SN15 land and not blow upFifteenth time’s the charm, it would seem. 

Late Wednesday afternoon SpaceX’s Starship SN15 successfully completed its high-altitude flight test, and, crucially, landed afterward in one piece in Boca Chica, Texas. 

Live feed of Starship SN15 flight test →

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 5, 2021

“Starship landing nominal!” exclaimed SpaceX founder Elon Musk. 

Starship landing nominal!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2021

Wednesday’s test stands in stark contrast to the fate of earlier Starship prototypes, many of which ran into various forms of trouble. Prototypes SN8 and SN9, for example, had the tiny problem of explodingSo did SN10. Read more…

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Apple AirTags pulled from sale by Australian store due to child safety concerns


Apple AirTags pulled from sale by Australian store due to child safety concernsAustralian office supply store chain Officeworks has pulled Apple’s newly launched AirTags from sale amid safety concerns surrounding its button battery.

As first reported by Gizmodo Australia, shoppers hoping to purchase AirTags from Officeworks this week quickly discovered the long-anticipated tracking devices were unavailable both in-store and online. Australians can still purchase AirTags from the official Apple store, as well as local retailers such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi. However, anyone wanting to grab one of these shiny location-pinging pucks while stocking up on stationery will have to make other plans. Read more…

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Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their 27-year marriage


Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their 27-year marriageBill and Melinda Gates announced on Twitter in identical statements Monday that they are ending their 27-year marriage. 

They said they would continue their involvement in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but that “we no longer believe we can grow as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021

— Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) May 3, 2021

Bill Gates has taken on the role of tech world elder statesman in recent years, while Melinda has been viewed as a philanthropic and entrepreneurial forceRead more…

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Facebook’s ‘help keep us free’ plea highlights the true cost of social media. Again.


Facebook's 'help keep us free' plea highlights the true cost of social media. Again.It’s not a terribly revolutionary or surprising thing to say at this point, but the user is the product for social media companies. That makes increased online privacy a scary thing for Facebook.

It’s why the company, which also owns Instagram, has been pushing back against Apple’s new privacy controls in iOS 14. That pushback adopted some new messaging in updates to the iOS Facebook and Instagram apps, warning that user tracking is what “helps keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge.”

Ashkan Soltani, a technology reporter, consultant, and former Obama White House advisor, first spotted the app messages in a tweet posted Friday (h/t The Verge). Read more…

More about Facebook, Instagram, Ios, Ios 14, and Tech

25 skin tone handshake emoji options are coming in 2022


25 skin tone handshake emoji options are coming in 2022After years of texting highlighter-yellow handshakes to our friends, multi-skin toned handshake emoji are coming to our phones in 2022. 

The Unicode Consortium, which — among other things — sets the standard for how text (emojis included) appears in modern software, has strived to create more inclusive emoji in recent releases. The most current example is interracial couples as part of the new iOS 14.5 emoji. While emoji appear as tiny icons, they require a massive amount of effort from conception to completion — and the handshakes involved even more work.

Google’s blog post about how the multi-skin toned handshake emoji was years in the making is indicative of that journey. Jennifer Daniel, Google’s creative director for emoji, explained why it’s been such an arduous process.  Read more…

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Basecamp tire fire grows as employees tweet they’re leaving the company


Basecamp tire fire grows as employees tweet they're leaving the companyAs they have many times before, tech workers are once again taking a stand against controversial company policies and wishy-washy managerial strategies. This time, employees of decades-old software company Basecamp are quitting in protest of what one employee called a “tantrum” by management.

After a week of controversy that exposed racially insensitive actions that had carried on for years, and what staffers perceived as management’s discomfort with addressing them, multiple employees announced on Twitter that they were leaving Basecamp for good.

As a result of the recent changes at Basecamp, today is my last day at the company. I joined over 15 years ago as a junior programmer and I’ve been involved with nearly every product launch there since 2006.

— Sam Stephenson (@sstephenson) April 30, 2021 Read more…

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