Posts by Tony Meyer

  • Speaker: Compulsory voting and election turnout,

    Compulsory voting is an appalling idea, and Australia is certainly not a country that has had such success treating its citizens fairly or with the political process that it is an effective role model.

    Forcing someone that has no interest or knowledge in voting to vote (even if none-of-the-above style options are available) will merely encourage politicians and the media towards lowest-common-denominator methods aimed at simply having a name that people recognise on the paper. I have never seen any compelling evidence that voting based on hoardings gives a better result for the country than voting based on understanding of policy.

    If you want people to vote, then continue making it easier to do so (e.g. the improvements to advance voting this time), spend more time educating people about policy, and give them someone actually worth voting for. [Disclaimer: I spent much time this election deciding between not voting and a spoiled ballot, and if I hadn't wanted to set an example for my child, I would probably not have voted.]

    Thankfully, the whole idea has such a natural distaste that it seems unlikely that it would ever get adopted in New Zealand.

    Ahuroa • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Auckland Festival of Photography,

    If you'd like to see a hint of the future, I know the (primary school age) Ahuroa kids would be thrilled to have you all come and see You Through Our Eyes at The Estuary Arts Gallery in Orewa in June.

    While I'm shameless-plugging, feel free to help them get there.

    Ahuroa • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: MSD's Leaky Servers, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Rich: in any OS X open file dialog, type / and you get the "Go to the folder" pane, and from there you can paste.

    Easy as /, ⌘A, ⌘V.

    Ahuroa • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The not-so-Evil Empire,

    I'm pretty sure that Russell is wrong about being wrong about Angry Birds (the update turns a great piece into a not very good one).

    Rovio's FAQ is easily found and it clearly explains the requirement for location data: Crysal (the social gaming network; widely used before Game Centre) needs this information (for fairly obvious reasons). If you don't use Crystal, then your location data is not used. You need to explicitly set up and enable a Crystal account, and iOS explicitly asks you whether you want to provide location data, and iOS lets you manage this (per application) in Settings, and iOS adds an icon to the status bar indicating whenever location data has been used, and iOS shows you which applications have recently accessed location data.

    iOS is extremely zealous about protecting location data - so much so that it's a bit annoying at the moment, because if an app wants access to the photo library, it also requires location access (because most photos have location data attached); iOS 6 is addressing this.

    There is no way that this is improper use. If you don't want to share your location data, then either don't use Crystal, or say 'no' when iOS prompts you. If Rovio are outright lying in their FAQ and are using the location data for something else, then that's another matter entirely, but you are still protected via iOS's privacy features.

    As for tracking who you've called, I believe this is simply untrue. As far as I can tell, Russell is basing this on a single, extremely vague, web page (and if you go to the (Fox News) source of that article, it doesn't mention Angry Birds at all). The second-to-last paragraph in that article is almost certainly about Android only (the "list of permissions" gives it away).

    Apple does not provide any official API to get access to call history. In various versions of iOS, there have been bugs that meant that a database containing call history information has been accessible inside the app sandbox; I think (but it's not simple to tell) that this isn't the case in the latest version. If Rovio is collecting this information, they are doing so in a way that would likely get them kicked out of the App Store, and are doing things that their privacy policy says that they don't. If there is any evidence of this, I would be very interested to see it.

    Apple is far from perfect, but they try pretty hard with privacy (watch Jobs talk about it at D8, and you can see why), and they do a pretty good job. (It's a contrast to Android, since Google wants better advertising, which necessitates weaker privacy - and some people are happy to make this trade).

    Ahuroa • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The not-so-Evil Empire, in reply to Tom Ackroyd,

    No, if you're updating on the device itself, it will explain that a newer version is required. If you're updating the apps in iTunes, then the newer version will be downloaded (iTunes doesn't try and predict/track what versions of all the devices that syncs with it are using), but the new version of the app won't sync to the device (there will be a warning explaining why the app cannot be synced).

    The only way that an existing app can stop working because of failing to update is if it uses an external system (e.g. third-party service or the servers belonging to the developer) - which is common - and there's a change that isn't backwards compatible, requiring the new version of the app to work. (And possibly the new version of the app requires a newer version of the OS than the old one).

    Given that updates are free and do not require a CC, this hardly seems unfair.

    Ahuroa • Since Jul 2012 • 5 posts Report Reply