Today Facebook blocked news content from its platform in Australia. This wholesale eviction of content from professional journalists, after years of intentional inaction on stamping out the spread of lies and falsehoods, simply makes explicit Facebook’s long held aim of being the premier purveyor of misinformation in the chase for clicks and ad revenue.
My hope, and I know it is a forlorn one, is that people will dump Facebook in droves, and turn to other sources and providers who don’t bully their users in order to get their own way.
As a software developer I well know that software and information systems can have bugs. But it still astonishes me when software from big companies that is being used thousands of times each day across the world has egregious errors.
For example, look at this screenshot from the Malaysian Airlines iPhone app, where the top of the screen has a prominent and scary message about there being no e-mail address provided, while the bottom of the screen has a notification that an e-mail has just been sent to the address which is supposedly not available. And yes, an e-mail was received.
Until recently I had been using Flickr to upload my iPhone photos to the cloud. Flickr is about to enforce a 1000 photo limit for free accounts, so I thought I’d give iCloud Photos a go. In the settings page on the iPhone it proclaims that iCloud Photos will …
Automatically upload and safely store all your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from any of your devices.
Nice promise, but largely unfulfilled. I’ve been using iCloud photos for about a month, and I’m somewhat gobsmacked at how badly a global tech giant like Apple can mess up a basic function such as uploading photos to the cloud. I’ve experienced numerous problems over the last month. Yesterday was a prime example of the inadequacies of iCoud. I went bushwalking and took about 50 photos. When I arrived home and connected to Wi-Fi, iCloud uploaded the most recent 7 photos and then resolutely refused to upload any earlier, or subsequent photos.
When you do a Google search on iCloud sync issues, you get hundreds of results, but all the suggestions are various permutations of “Have you tried turning it off and on again”. (Yes I have. It turns out that turning it off and on again doesn’t stop iCloud being rubbish.)
In the interests of truthfulness and transparency, Apple ought to update the message in the iCloud Photos Setting to
AutomaticallyIntermittently and unpredictably upload and with a false sense of safetysafely store allsome random subset of your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from anysome of your devices (because the Windows PC iCloud client is rubbish.)
[Update: In a cruel twist, moments after I hit Publish on this blog post, iCloud uploaded the remaining photos from yesterday, some 17 hours later. I guess that just reinforces the point that uploads are intermittent, unpredictable, and ridiculously slow.]
After months of declining the new GMail interface, Google finally foisted it upon me today. Maybe I’ll get it used to it after a while, but in my opinion that font they’re now using is way too weighty and ugly. I feel like I’m being shouted at whenever I open my mail.