» ‘Microsoft’s robot editor confuses mixed-race Little Mix singers’

With all that is going on, it’s understandable if you missed the news last week that Microsoft fired most of its human news editors and replaced them with an AI. As dystopian as that sounds, just wait, because now that the AI has screwed up by publishing the wrong image of a mixed-race performer, the remaining human editors have been asked to watch for the Guardian piece on the screw-up and delete it manually because the AI might think it’s of interest to MSN readers.

“We fired your human coworkers and replaced them with a robot. Your job now is to cover up for the robot’s mistakes.”

» ‘Reflecting on the Color of My Skin’

Marques Brownlee:

Not only is racism not acceptable, but we have to actively work against it.

He also makes a very important point about supporting black creators on YouTube: simply subscribing to a YouTube channel and then not watching or engaging with the content, does not help the creator because it flags to the algorithm that there’s a problem.

» ‘CES will be held in-person in Las Vegas next year’

What could go wrong?

» ‘Corporations tweet support for Black Lives Matter. Their FEC filings tell a different story.’

Amazon and Google have each given over $350,000 to politicians rated “F” by the NAACP. Apple, while it has been known to make anti-democratic decisions and provide photo opportunities for racist politicians, does not have a political action committee. And somehow it manages to get by.

» ‘Apple confirms iOS 13.5.1 security update patches vulnerability, breaking unc0ver jailbreak’

The insecure party is over.

It’s hard to judge the relative security of Apple’s operating systems from news reports of vulnerabilities. Certain sites (cough Forbes cough) portray them in a vacuum with headlines such as “Apple just gave iOS users a reason to leave”.

Where would they go? Android? Is it any better? It doesn’t seem like it.

Definitely demand better releases from Apple and Google and Microsoft. But don’t pretend that a particular bug is going to drive people from a platform.

As Wired was reporting it could take weeks to fix this bug, it taking a little over a week is a relief.

» Ding-dong

Amazon released the following statement yesterday on Twitter:

The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop.

Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers, and partners — in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.

This would be the same Amazon that has partnered with hundreds of law enforcement agencies to provide them with video from its Ring doorbells. So, you will not be surprised to learn that the tweet was met with a bit of derision.

» ‘SC sees 20 coronavirus deaths in one day, largest single day increase yet’

Meanwhile in Alabama:

Alabama saw its largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases Monday, according to the state, as daily case counts continue an upward trend and hospitals across the state report increasing hospitalizations.

Two weeks ago Apple reopened stores in certain states: some that had managed to keep coronovirus outbreaks down, some that were improving, and others, like South Carolina and Alabama, that had no business opening back up.

Apple is fortunately being cautious by restricting traffic to storefront and curbside service.

» ‘Apple Buys Older Shows for TV+, Stepping Up Netflix Challenge’

Bloomberg reports that Apple is taking bids for older content. Is any available? I mean after you lock up hot properties like “Jason of Star Command”?

» This seems not great

MacRumors notes Zerodium, which buys vulnerabilities to sell to law enforcement and government organizations so they can crack into phones, says it doesn’t need any more iOS vulnerabilities right now.

Zerodium this week announced that it will not be purchasing any iOS exploits for the next two to three months due to a high number of submissions. In other words, the company has so many security vulnerabilities at its disposal that it does not need any more.

In an explicit tweet, Zerodium CEO Chaouki Bekrar said iOS security is in bad shape, noting that there are at least a few persistent zero-day security vulnerabilities affecting all iPhones and iPads. “Let’s hope iOS 14 will be better,” added Bekrar.

» Could this be the fall lineup?

Jon Prosser predicts four phones: a 5.4-inch iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. And the phone I just bought.

I have no idea if any of this is true but if it happens it would be the lineup set right again. You want a small phone? We have a great one. You want a big one? We got that, too. You want a really, really big one? Sure. Low-cost phone? Check, and it’s great. And you no longer have to pay more to get a smaller screen. It’s unfortunate that because of the company’s penchant for sliding things down, it might not last that long.