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  • US Senators demand answers from Supermicro over spy chip allegations

    So, the senators are asking to open an investigation about the credibility of a news report about tech companies that supposedly found spy chips in hardware and reported it to the FBI? Why don't the senators just start by asking the FBI what was supposedly reported to them?
  • Call reporting function in iOS 12 may help Apple avoid iPhone ban in India

    Steve Jobs once said that the killer app of the modern smartphone is the Phone app.  That being said, there are two fundamental issues that still prevent it from making that happen:

    1. iOS's method of blocking calls in the Phone app and via CallKit needs to be completely revamped. For starters, the native app has a rudimentary Blocked Callers list that is completely unorganized, not easily to manipulate, and worse, cannot be imported or exported. Sure, you can add every random number you get into a single "spam" contact, but even that in itself can get so unwieldy. So, when iOS 10 introduced CallKit, there was some hope, only to discover it's the equivalent of a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound with a chest rib protruding out of the skin. CallKit can block up to two million numbers per Phone app extension, so if you want to block an entire area code, you'd have to have apps like WideProtect has to add up to 15 extensions in order to block 30,000,000 phone numbers. A single incoming call or text would then have to parse through the entire list of databases before it comes through.

      What would really be a better solution? Implement a whitelist feature: only allow certain calls to come through based on your contacts or a specific list of possible callers. Is this a violation of FCC regulations? I don't think so, since Android users can do it with apps available on the Google Play Store. Who says that if you are given a ten-digit telephone number, it has to be reachable by anyone? Smartphones have made everyone more connected, but maybe we're too connected, which is why these privacy measures have been set up. But, if you think about how social media accounts are available, you can create a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account and set it to private, to which an outsider would have to request to follow you. Why can't that be the same with a cellular number? They could even include a list of unblockable numbers like "911" or "999."

      Flash back to February 2015 when rap singer Iggy Azalea placed an order at Papa John's. The delivery driver gave Iggy's personal cell phone number to his friend was a fan, who then started spamming her with messages. Iggy blasted Papa John's on Twitter over the lack of privacy and Papa John had to take action, with even T-Mobile getting in on the conversation when mentioned during the debacle unraveling on social media. All this would not have happened if either the phone, or its software, or the wireless carrier had implemented some sort of whitelist feature, as the spammer was not in a big database of known telemarketers, spammers, or fraudsters.

      Unwanted calls can be a thing of the past, if you could just let it. In fact, the entire telemarketing industry could finally be put in check with an implementation like this, since spammers and fraudsters don’t care about the FCC’s Do Not Call list, which is barely enforceable to begin with, and barely makes telemarketing companies accountable as well.

    2. A single, unwanted, incoming call completely still destroys the user experience. Over eleven years since the introduction of the iPhone, and this scenario is still, unbelievably, the same: You're in the middle of an app, or worse, recording an important event with your camera, and you get an incoming call. The Phone app not only takes focus, but it completely locks down your phone, and you can't get out until you choose either "Answer" or "Decline," among other minor options like send a message to the caller or remind you to call back. If you hit "Decline," it automatically sends the user to voicemail, and the caller immediately knows they've been ignored or unwanted. All this results in two very unhappy people: the caller and the person called.

      Two things need to change here: a. stop locking down the entire device for that incoming call. Allow the user to at least toggle back to the original app and finish up whatever they were in the middle of doing, to give the user additional time to decide if they still want that call, and b. Allow the "Decline" button to dismiss the screen and let the user get back to the original app they were in, but more importantly, let the incoming call still ring through to its normal timeout and eventually go into voicemail. This will possibly let the caller believe their call was just missed and not purposely ignored or unwanted.

    Others have argued that iOS' Do Not Disturb feature could be used to prevent unwanted incoming calls, but they easily forget that it also blocks all notifications from apps as well. Do Not Disturb could also therefore use its own set of tweaks and revamps, where the whitelist could be implemented, and/or could be more robust to include a timer (i.e. block for an hour), geofencing (i.e. when entering a movie theater or exiting their place of work), and/or weekends (who actually lives their lives identically across all seven days of the week?).

    All these changes are not difficult to implement, and I've been asking Apple for years to make this happen. Maybe CallKit and Do Not Disturb were their first implementations to my request, but they're still both very basic and very naive. With everything else in iOS getting more robust and more smart, they need to really take a fresh look at this area and address it for real this time around.
  • How to disable nagging in-app rating requests on your iPhone or iPad

    The app Letgo continues to be released with frequent updates, yet still continues to violate the App Store guidelines in this regard.
  • Google Pixel Buds have limited iOS functionality, Google Clips records notable moments on ...

    Really? Translate REQUIRES a Pixel? Most high-performance Android phones have Google Assistant baked in, should've been the only requirement.
  • McDonald's parodies Jony Ive Apple design videos in promo for 'the STRAW'

    If they really copied Ive and Apple the straw would not be included, ship 3 moths late and cost $100.
    It would be included, but missing one or more of the holes for the first generation, yet sold in four different colors.