Friday Morning News


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Industry insiders say that this year’s successors to the iPhone X will be compatible with Apple Pencil. Both the second-generation iPhone X and larger-sized iPhone X Plus will work with the current Apple Pencil, according to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, which would be the first time in over a decade that the iPhone will support a stylus from its own company. It was Steve Jobs who famously said that no-one wants to use a stylus when the iPhone was originally introduced, but I am still unconvinced using the Apple Pencil on even the largest iPhone to be anything but awkward.

A teenager from Melbourne is now facing charges after being caught breaking into Apple’s computer systems, downloading 90GB of secure files and accessing customer accounts. Apple detected his intrusion and notified the FBI, who then passed the information to the AFP who then executed a search warrant on his family home, discovering hacking files and instructions in a folder labelled “hacky hack hack”. The Age reports the teen has pleaded guilty, with sentencing delayed until next month.

The eighth developer beta of iOS 12 has been seeded to developers following the release and withdrawal of the seventh developer beta after major performance issues were discovered with that particular release. The sixth public beta was released a short while after. The seventh beta of macOS Mojave was also released earlier this week, in case you missed it.

A little song and dance is being made by a few Apple blogs following US carrier Verizon giving away six-month Apple Music subscriptions to eligible customers, but here in Australia, Telstra has offered the same for almost two years now. Although admittedly, Verizon does join the dozen or so mobile carriers worldwide that offer carrier billing for Apple Music. If you’re an Apple Music customer, you also get Apple Music streaming that doesn’t count against your data allowance on Telstra and Boost.

With rumours claiming we’ll see ARM-powered Macs sooner rather than later, ARM is adding fuel to that fire by claiming its CPUs will out-perform Intel by 2020. Engadget says it’s worth taking ARM’s bragging with a grain of salt, seeing as ARM fails to compare its chips to Intel’s latest 8th generation Core processors, but even so, desktop-class performance at mobile chip power consumption is impressive.

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating Apple over accusations of anti-competitive behaviour. Yahoo Japan launched its Game Plus platform to allow users to play games without having to download an app in July 2017, with 52 companies participating at launch. Yahoo cut back its Game Plus budget and marketing last year due to “pressure behind the scenes from Apple”, which is what the Fair Trade Commission is interested in.

Speaking of behind the scenes, the Arizona Republic was given a behind-the-scenes look at Apple’s Mesa data centre in Arizona, formerly the location of GT Advanced. As far as I’m aware, this is a rare look at some of Apple’s data halls which power iMessage, Siri, and iCloud, including the operations centre, massive pumps that power the water cooling, and of course, lengthy rows of servers.

Macworld says Apple delaying Group FaceTime is the right move. Early betas proved that Group FaceTime needed a little extra work, despite it working OK at its unveiling at WWDC, but putting it into perspective, the delay means that Apple realises there’s some kind of quality standard they need to meet for new features. It’s always a bummer when a feature we expected isn’t going to be there on launch, but it’s probably better this way.

The Twitter app-ocalypse is upon us, and if you’re wondering what that means, MacStories has a summary of the changes Twitter is making to APIs. For the popular third-party client Tweetbot, that means the removal of timeline streaming, notifications for retweets, quotes, likes, and follows, and multiple-minute delays for mentions and direct messages. Twitterrific has similar changes, with the outlook for third-party Twitter clients looking quite grim.

Over at Medium, a hilarious article tells us what would happen if Steve Jobs reviews the Apple TV 4K. The Siri Remote wasn’t exclusive to the Apple TV 4K, but it does represent some of the biggest problems with what should be a simple, easy-to-use home entertainment device — even if it is allowing for plenty of cord-cutting and cable-subscription cancelling.

The news returns Monday 27th.


Hope they release a smaller version of the Pencil. The current model is a bit cumbersome, in comparison to a Surface Pen which I also use daily. Using the Pencil on a smaller than iPad display will be a bit of a crap experience I think, based on the very unscientific tests I have just done with my Pencil and iPhone X :smile:


Me too.

I find the Apple Pencil cumbersome. It is too big and too heavy, but it does work well. The easily lost end cap seems poorly thought out.


I hope the week’s absence of news means you are having a week off. You deserve it. Though I will miss your succinct view of the Apple world.


Apple should hire that kid. Stop punishing talented kids who find vulnerabilities. Offer them a good job and a white hat.

Apple has an even better reason to do this than most: Jobs and Woz and the history of phreeking. They did this too. Punishing new teens for doing what the founders did is blatant hypocrisy.


Yep! It’s TI week, and there will be plenty of news (maybe even too much) waiting for me when I get back.

Not actually attending this year, but I’ll be watching online from home.


Ridiculous. The kid had the information and knowledge of how to break into Apple’s computer systems, and instead of responsibly disclosing that information to Apple, he chose to do the wrong thing.

You really believe all the biggest corporations in the world should consist of criminals?

Besides, he got caught doing it — he obviously can’t have been that good.


I’m a JHS teacher. I studied adolescent psychology and I have eleven years experience teaching teenagers. Teenagers lack a fundamental judgement function. Indeed, the reason university students still make many poor choices is because this part of the brain does not fully develop until age 25, give or take for individual variances.

Teenagers are quite capable of looking at sequences of events and predicting outcomes, including general consequences. To many adults, this appears to fit their adult understanding of responsibility. It does not. What adolescent psychology shows is that what is lacking is self-referential judgement. You can given them hypotheticals and they are just as good at making decisions (starting around the age of 14) as adults, but when it comes to believing and acting as though predicted consequences actually apply to themselves, they cannot do it. They just can’t.

This is WHY we charge minors differently, why we have family and youth courts, why we expunge juvenile records, why there is a legal difference between assent and consent, and etc.

I really believe the best way to put this kid on the right path is to encourage his obvious interest and skill in a positive direction. Not remove the very tools he has used to show that interest and skill by punishing him in what would be the typical (and stupidly “adult responding to adults” ) way, like cutting his internet access or not allowing him to use computers until 18 or 21 or whatever. My career, my life, is devoted to stepping in during exactly these kinds of situations (and I feel 12-15 is generally the strongest adolescent pivot point where we can lose them or save them), and I don’t think this is ridiculous at all.


Oh, so not everyone who breaks the law should be offered a job at Apple, just kids?

Glad we got that straightened out.


Yes. In this case, this teenager did something most teenagers, and most of us (certainly not me) could never do. Had he not continued to go back, he maybe wouldn’t have been caught. That’s his consequences applicability issue. Not his skill. I am absolutely talking about a teenager who did a dumb teenager thing as teenagers are going to do, because that’s how their incomplete judgement facilities work. As explained.

Jobs was the same way. Jobs worked for HP because he flat out broke all the rules and just went to the CEO and asked for parts. He and Woz were still well under 25 when the did their phreeking and other hacks/pranks, and you can sure as hell believe that this was illegal and the phone companies weren’t happy at their behavior.

So, yes, this is quite straightened out, unless that was sarcasm, in which case, I’ll have far more acidic response. Adults somehow gain judgement and responsibility and then forget what it was like to be an adolescent. Makes no sense to me, which is precisely why I became a teacher. Too many adults treat teenagers as either small children with no independent thought or ability OR like slightly smaller adults to be held to adult standards. The truth is somewhere in between, and I wish more adults, especially middle-aged adults would spend a lot more time reconnecting with who they were at 15 and how they saw the world.

EDIT: Just read The Guardian piece


Dr Suelette Dreyfus, a privacy expert from from the University of Melbourne’s school of computing and information systems, urged against a punitive sentence.

“I have researched a number of teen hacker cases internationally,” Dreyfus said.

“Almost all these teens grew out of the technology boundary-pushing of their youth, and then went on to live useful lives and contributing to society. Putting them in prison is often a waste of that potential.

“Young people often make mistakes when they are exploring and rule-breaking especially online – including boasting about their exploits. It’s not right, but for tech teens, it can be a part of growing up … there’s usually a really worried teen and family at the end of this sort of court case.”


I must admit I did get a few laughs out of this, the Siri Remote is terrible to use (unreliable touch pad, randomly picking up presses when I haven’t pressed etc.). I would much rather have had an improved version of the previous version Apple TV remote.


I’d go along with that, if he had not also downloaded 90GB of user information. That was beyond whats acceptable.


It’s been standard in hacking for decades to “take a trophy.” No article says he released it. All of it is beyond acceptable.

The raid by the police, the threats from Crown prosecutors, the court procedures are all most likely pretty scary. He did plead guilty. The question is: how can we benefit as a society from this action? Control his skillset and talent and channel it in a positive direction.

Throwing the book at him is much more likely to result in hurting his chances of being a contributing member of society. If someone cannot manage the compassion to care about him as an individual, then I can be coldly calculated: we are all worse off if he isn’t productive, or worse, becomes recidivist and actually engages in more criminal behavior due to reduced or eliminated opportunities and post-judicial trauma.


I understand what you’re saying, I just happen to disagree. This kid went back multiple times to download more stuff. It wasnt just a trophy.


Fair enough. Disagreeing is certainly allowed, even if I don’t always encourage it. :smirk:


Frank Abagnale, anyone? 6 years counterfeiting and creating false identities… then employed by the FBI to help stop others doing exactly what he had been able to do.

kionon is bang on regarding the lack of adolescents’ ability to properly think through their actions. Males even moreso than females - hence some calls for different driving ages between genders.

Does giving the kid a job set a good precedent? Hey, I’m gonna hack Apple too so they’ll give me a job! Probably not. But if he actually did something by himself that others have not achieved - ie hack what one hopes is one of the most secure computer networks in the world - he’s clearly got talents that Apple could use.


I love teenagers. They’re my vocation as well as my job. And I’ve seen a lot of stupid teen behavior that becomes a pivot point for the rest of their adolescence and into their adulthood based on how the adults in authority over them chose to deal with it. Too lenient, and they learn the lesson that boundaries don’t matter (they can ignore them), too harsh and they learn the lesson that boundaries don’t matter (because they are cruel and arbitrary, adults/authority cannot be trusted). It’s a very narrow tight rope to walk, and I have made my share of mistakes.

Also what is and is not considered “lenient” to the teenage mind is, again, not the same as what adults might consider. It’s actually quite possible to give this kid a job at Apple… while simultaneously destroying his extracurricular social life via extreme grounding. If done right, it will seem like a horribly unfair punishment, even if he does get to help Apple, while he is a teen. Looking back though, he’ll realise just how much of a second chance he got.

I do similar things in my classroom. Sometimes I don’t expect it to click with my kids for years afterwards. It might make me the witch for a short time period, but it’ll also mean that I’m keeping my kids away from adults who would put punishment and retribution over life coaching.

BTW, I had a very terrible childhood and adolescence, and most of the teachers and administrators in my life were not good role models, caregivers, or life coaches. With the exception of my parents and three teachers over my entire schooling, my authority figures largely hurt me. It was for this reason I became an educator, to stop the cycle, and be an advocate for my students. Too many wrong people are in my profession, and we are all hurt by it.