Katie's Week In Review: August 21, 2016

It’s a crazy weekend for me so I’m leaving you with a more abbreviated “link list” for the week in review post this week. Nevertheless, here are a few links of note for the week ending August 21, 2016:

  • Apple Announces Environmental Progress in China & Applauds Supplier Commitment to Clean Energy - Apple continuing their commitment to the environment, this time by putting pressure on their suppliers in China to commit to clean energy. Apple suppler Lens Technology has agreed to run its Apple operations on entirely renewable energy.
  • Tim Cook, the interview: Running Apple ‘is sort of a lonely job’ - I enjoyed this interview by Jena McGregor of The Washington Post discussing his first five years as CEO after Steve Jobs. Cook talks about some of the missteps as CEO, how the job can be lonely at times and living up to expectations.
  • Apple, Google, FCC Team up to Stop Spam Robocalls Jeff Gamet of The Mac Observer explains how some of the biggest players in the telecom industry are finally stepping up to address the problem with spam phone calls. I received one earlier today. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t answer my phone (and sometimes miss important calls) if I don’t recognize the number. There’s a new feature in iOS 10 that will allow Apple to query a database to attempt to determine if a call is likely spam, but so far Apple hasn’t gone so far as to build or maintain one itself.
  • New Ways to Control Your Experience on Twitter - Twitter has finally taken some positive steps to allow people to attempt to filter out trolls and limit the notifications they receive from. Twitter says this is just the start of their steps to take back control of the platform and control harassment. We’ll see. Right now it seems that these features are only available in the native Twitter apps, which I don’t use because they also come with tradeoffs. Hopefully Twitter will open these features up to third party developers.
  • Introducing Automatic Pro - Automatic rolled out a new version of their connected car adapter this week. The highlights include a new 3G connection included in the purchase price so it doesn’t have to always be connected to bluetooth. This is great because I find my iPhone’s bluetooth connection can be flakey sometimes causing my Automatic to drop connection. I’ll be picking up one of the new adapters. (Full disclosure, Automatic sponsors Mac Power Users - you can save $20 using this link.)
  • AT&T Introduces new MobileShare Plans - Following a similar move by Verizon, in advance of the new iPhone announcement AT&T has announced new mobile data plans. The plans are more expensive (of course) but in lieu of overage charges you’ll have the option to throttle your speeds down to 128kbps when your exceed your data cap. While painful, it might be a nice alternative if you only have a short time left before your billing cycle resets.
  • New Star Trek postage stamps are being released to celebrate the 50th anniversary. They’re available now for pre-order through the USPS.