Google employees are organising to protest the company’s secret, censored search engine for China

BuzzFeed News reported that Google employees are organising to protest the company’s secret, censored search engine for China.

Google employees are demanding greater transparency from their employer and confronting management with their ethical concerns about a project named Dragonfly, a controversial censored search app for the Chinese market.

Instead of looking at this from their perspective and trying to shove their version of ethics on others, perhaps they should pause and think whether people living in China would prefer to have a censored Google search or not having Google search at all.

Facebook removed Onavo VPN from Apple App Store for violating data collection policies

Mac Rumors reported that Facebook removed Onavo VPN from App Store after Apple says it violates data collection policies.

Onavo, a free VPN, promised to “keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web,” but the app’s real purpose was tracking user activity across multiple different apps to learn insights about how Facebook customers use third-party apps.

Whenever a person using Onavo opens up an app or website, traffic is redirected to Facebook’s servers, which log the action in a database to allow Facebook to draw conclusions about app usage from aggregated data.

If you use Onavo, all your traffic, including those unrelated to your Facebook usage, would be monitored and logged by Facebook. Know of anyone who used this app?

Are you using Onavo? Were you convinced to use the app because it promised a protection for your data?

Google Chrome on an idle Android phone sends nearly fifty times more requests per hour than iOS on Safari

Digital Content Next reported that Google Chrome on an idle Android phone sends nearly fifty times more requests per hour than iOS on Safari.

  • A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.</p>
  • For comparison’s sake, a similar experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour as an idle iOS phone running Safari.

You’d think that it is a shocking thing for an idle phone. The real shocker is that people won’t find it shocking coming from Google and Android.

This is just one of the unseen reasons not to use Android that most consumer would not be aware of.

Apple at $1Trillion: The Missing Theory

Jean-Louis Gassée wrote the missing theory of Apple at $1Trillion.

This is where we get into some intriguing comparisons. Microsoft’s P/E is a solid 48 and Alphabet’s hovers around 50…but Apple’s is a meager 17. Caricaturing just a bit: “Apple still trades like a steel mill going out of business.” In more sober words, investor actions say Microsoft’s or Alphabet’s future earnings per share are safer than Apple’s, hence the premium they’re willing to pay. With a P/E of 50, Apple’s Market Cap would approach $3T…

And, as he mentioned in the article, this is after Apple buying back more than $40 billion worth of shares. The buyback meant that Apple had to wait longer to hit the trillion mark.

The broad recognition accorded to last week’s milestone is a deserved mark of respect for Apple, a company that has so often been “misunderestimated” and given up for dead. So dead, in fact, that Michael Dell once recommended shutting down the company and giving the cash back to shareholders. Pundits and competitors constantly predict the death of the iPhone because “it’s the same closed system mistake as the Mac” or “modularity always wins!”. These death warrants were issued by prestigious academics and still carom around the blogosphere’s echo chamber.

Yet, years later, Apple continues to follow its heterodox path and to prosper as a result. There are two reactions to this annoying anomaly. One is to stick to one’s comfortable theories, books and speeches. “Just wait, Apple will meet its preordained fate. Sooner or later!”.

It is hard for Apple to shake off the doom and gloom that critics and pundits cast on it, even when the company is making a healthy profit. Other companies are making a loss or seeing their margins shrink drastically and yet still so loved and valued.

Apple becomes first US company to hit $1 trillion value

Bloomberg reported on Apple becoming first US Company to hit $1 trillion value.

Apple Inc. became the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1 trillion, four decades after it was co-founded by Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage and later revolutionized the worlds of computing, music and mobile communications.

Apple has came out ahead of Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft in the race to the trillion mark.

Apple was worth about $350 billion when Jobs died, so Cook has led the creation of even more stock-market value than his former boss and mentor. Bloomberg News asked him about the $1 trillion target in a February interview.

“I don’t really think about it,” he said, suggesting that if the company keeps making successful products, financial success will follow. “I still view Apple as a pretty small company, the way that we operate. I know it’s not numerically, but the way we function is very much like that.”

Focus on the products and consumers will appreciate it, even if some consumers lack the capacity to.

Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason

Quartz wrote about [everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason(https://qz.com/1342757/everything-bad-about-facebook-is-bad-for-the-same-reason/).

It is true that Facebook rarely holds “ideological positions at odds with the community.” Since Facebook is banal, it typically lacks ideological positions about anything at all. The social-media platform has long tried to position itself as a bastion of neutrality, a platform for other people’s ideas, a passive conduit. When Swisher challenged Zuckerberg on allowing Sandy Hook deniers to spread their message, he said, “Look, as abhorrent as some of this content can be, I do think that it gets down to this principle of giving people a voice.”

But an organization with so much influence does not need to be ideologically opposed to society to cause harm. It only needs to stop thinking about humans, to feel comfortable dismissing religious violence, ethnic discrimination, hate speech, loneliness, age discrimination, and live-streamed death as “operational scaling issues.” To think of suicide as a “use case” for Facebook Live.

Recently I came across an Anti Islam page on Facebook. So, like every sensible person would, I reported the page to Facebook. Facebook customer service thanked me for taking the time to lodge the report but then goes on to say that the page doesn’t go against any of our specific Community Standards. It’s not the first time my reports about racists, discriminating and hateful posts have been ignored. Even reports about sham doctors dishing out false information and bad advice fell to deaf ears.

This sums up how toxic Facebook is.

People aren’t that into the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s earnings show

Hayley Tsukayama wrote for The Washington Post that people aren’t that into the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s earnings show.

The summer is always a bit quiet for smartphone makers as they prepare to launch new phones for the fall. But sales for Samsung were down even for the traditionally low-key quarter, as its flagship phones struggled to outshine the iPhone X and iPhone 8. Samsung’s mobile communications vice president, Lee Kyeong-Tae, acknowledged in an earnings call that sales of its flagship Galaxy S9 and S9+ had been “weaker than expected,” as his unit reported a 22 percent drop in sales revenue to $20.2 billion.

Not surprising.

Samsung’s anti-iPhone X ads show why it keeps losing to Apple

Rado Slavov wrote for PhoneArena about why Samsung keeps losing to Apple.

Instead, Samsung decided to focus on the negative marketing and go after its rival. What’s happening is Samsung is trying to play a finite game here – its objective is to win the battle of this smartphone generation, which comes at the expense of its own brand strength and integrity. Such unprovoked aggressive behavior is never typical of the winning side; it’s most often exhibited by the losing team, which, realizing that the final seconds of the match are ticking away, starts playing in a rough and desperate, pissed off way. After the confident Galaxy S8 launch, surely the missed expectations for this year’s Galaxy S9 have put some pressure on the consumer products team. But again, Samsung is not playing the game it should be playing, and its behavior is atypical for a gigantic tech company that’s supposedly a market leader and innovator.

Meanwhile, Apple is playing the infinite game – it’s not obsessing over a single battle; it’s playing to keep winning the war. Sometimes, it’s a little ahead; other times, it’s a little behind, but on average, it tends to consistently outperform its competitors in the long term, bringing in the big profits and leaving the rest of its competition to feast on the leftovers. It’s always focusing on what makes the iPhone product great, trying to make it better with each generation, and never compromising the integrity of its brand with cheesy, aggressive spots, or by cutting corners. As a result, all of us (even those who dislike Apple products) know what the Apple brand stands for. What does the Samsung brand stand for?

Samsung should be more concerned about other Android brands that are eating up its market share. Huawei has made massive gains and is now the second largest phone maker, and it targets the same market tiers as Samsung. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are making strong showings as well.

Perhaps Samsung is still trying to make it seem like its biggest competitor is Apple, but it can only stick its head in the sand for so long.

The Bullshit Web

Nick Heer wrote about The Bullshit Web.

Great article. Must read if you are a web designer or web developer.

We should be making full use of modern technology to make the web better, not load it with junk.

How big is China’s tech industry?

Tech in Asia shared an infographic showing the scale of China’s tech industry..

This infographic will help you to visualise how staggering the tech industry is in China. A lot of friends often ask me but are unable to wrap their heads around the scale that China operates in. This might help.