Mike's List 248

The war between Apple and Facebook. Plus: body batteries, pigs playing video games, drug dispensing face masks and more!

8 reasons why Apple will beat Facebook

Friction between Facebook and Apple is growing, and many are predicting an all-out war between the two tech giants. Facebook doesn’t stand a chance.

What's the war all about? Well, of course, it's complicated. But I would summarize it like this: "Facebook wants to trick and track users for money, and Apple doesn't want to let Facebook do that to Apple users."

Specifically, Facebook wants its iPhone app to track users without telling users they're being tracked. Apple wants to give iPhone users the option to block tracking. 

The larger picture is that Apple is increasingly uncomfortable as an accomplice to Facebook's exploitative business model generally. 

One of Facebook's arguments is that giving users more control over privacy benefits Apple monetarily because that policy makes Apple more popular with users, whereas taking away tracking knowledge and control from users benefits Facebook monetarily, because the reality of Facebook tracking makes Facebook less popular. Therefore, argues Facebook, Apple is just taking money from Facebook and they can do that because they're abusing their monopoly position. 

The Wall Street Journal this morning reported that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking criticisms by Apple CEO Tim Cook personally. Zuckerberg reportedly told his staff that "We need to inflict pain" on Apple because of Cook's comments. 

The war is surely coming. Here’s what Cook has said about Facebook and the 8 reasons why Apple will win.

Read the rest

Mike’s List of Brilliantly Bad Ideas

1. Using the human body as a battery

Researchers at the University of Colorado have invented a ring that harvests human body heat to power electrical devices. The technology could also be designed for wear as a bracelet or any other skin-contact accessory. The scientist imagine a world in which wearable devices don't have batteries, but capture electricity from your body. This is the kind of technology that gives "the machines" the bright idea of using humans as batteries — next thing you know, we're all living in The Matrix. (Give me the blue pill; I don't want to remember nothing.) 

2. Teaching pigs to play video games

Cancer remains uncured. But the good news is that scientists have taught pigs to play video games. Purdue University researchers built a pig-friendly joystick to control an on-screen cursor and were rewarded with food when they played the game. The scientists noted that the pigs understood the relationship between the joystick and the cursor and also played even without the food reward. What’s the game called, “Swinecraft”?

3. Face masks that dispense drugs

A new face mask called Hoito not only filters the air. It also feeds you drugs. The idea is to enable people to take medicine at specific times without removing the mask. "Medicinal liquid" is sprayed from a cartridge onto the final filter layer, so that the drugs are mixed with the incoming air and the wearer breathes them in. I'm sure this idea has powerful, even life-saving medical applications. But I want one that sprays chloroform every time I read political news. 

Mike’s List of Shameless Self Promotion

  1. Watch my session at the Future of Work Summit at 12:05 Pacific, 3:05pm Eastern on Thursday, February 18, where I’ll talk about the totally surprising future of remote work

  2. Cybersecurity Insurance Pros and Cons: Is it the Best Policy?

  3. Remote work 2.0 — when WFH really means 'work from anywhere'

  4. Why the future of robots is far better than science fiction imagined

  5. Check out my wife’s Spartan Diet newsletter if you’re interested in getting super healthy