The Winners and Losers of the Senate Health Bill

Sam Baker writing for Axios:

The losers, broadly, are older consumers and the poor. Although the bill phases in its Medicaid cuts more slowly than its House counterpart, once they took effect, the Senate’s cuts would be deeper. And in the individual insurance market, older consumers would see their financial assistance shrink.

Once again it’s the sick, old, and poor who lose out. No surprise here.

The Gerrymandering Problem

Axios Reports:

Republican gains in statehouses during Obama’s first midterm produced a priceless advantage when House districts were redrawn after the 2010 census, and AP has quantified that in a fascinating way:

“Republicans [last year] won as many as 22 additional U.S. House seats over what would have been expected based on the average vote share in congressional districts across the country. That helped provide the GOP with a comfortable majority over Democrats instead of a narrow one.”

This is why there needs to be a better way. Letting the party in power draw district lines is moronic. And that sentiment goes both ways, it doesn’t matter if it’s liberals or conservatives in power.

Snapchat’s Creepy New Feature

Dani Deahl reporting for The Verge:

When I first opened Snap Map, I saw the Bitmoji for one of my friends in a residential area. I presumed this was her home, and was able to zoom in close enough to estimate where she lived on that particular block. Then I called her. “This is a weird question,” I said, “but do you live at the intersection of X and Y? More particularly, one of these addresses?” I rattled off three house numbers on the street closest to where her Bitmoji appeared on Snap Map. One of them was correct. I’ve never been to her house.

Turned out, she didn’t know she had Snap Map enabled, and didn’t know it was showing her location every time she opened the app.

Companies should be more upfront about what features like this are actually doing. At best, it’s an oversight, and at worst its intentional misdirection.

Either way, considering that the primary audience of this app is teenagers, this should never have shipped this way.

Ron Howard to Take Over As Director for Han Solo Movie

Charlie Hall writing for Polygon:

Howard is swooping in on short notice and with less than a month left in the schedule.

He has the hopes of an entire fandom weighing on his shoulders. May the Force be with him.

Chris Lattner Leaves Tesla

Chris Lattner on Twitter:

Turns out that Tesla isn’t a good fit for me after all. I’m interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader!

That was fast. He’s only been there five months.

Internal Apple Presentation on Leaks Gets Leaked

Dani Deahl writing for The Verge:

The Outline recently obtained an hour-long audio recording from an internal briefing at Apple titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple.”


Apple Showing Off It’s Editorial Chops

Jason Snell writing for Six Colors:

No, this isn’t independent journalism—it’s curation and marketing. But it’s a sign that Apple sees the value in telling the stories of the apps it’s seen fit to highlight.

When I read the sample content that Apple posted in the App Store as a part of the developer release of iOS 11, I was impressed with the level of detail. These aren’t a few sentences of dashed-off app hype; the Monument Valley piece in the App Store is a full-on feature story, well written and complete with quotes from the developers themselves.

I agree with Jason here, the sample content is compelling. Assuming Apple can keep it up when the change goes live, this could be very good for independent developers.

Apple Adds Annual Plan for Apple Music

Romain Dillet writing for TechCrunch:

If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, chances are that you’re paying $9.99 every month, $14.99 for a family plan, or $4.99 per month if you’re a student. But Apple quietly added another option as Tehnot spotted. You can now pay $99 for a 12-month subscription.

This setting is quite buried as Apple doesn’t want you to know that you can pay less than what you’re actually paying.

Looks like it’s only for individual plans, so I can’t take advantage of this with my family plan. Nevertheless, good to see Apple expanding options.

Spicer Reminds Deputy Attorney General That He Works for Trump

Alayna Treene writing for Axios:

There has been a lot of discussion over the independence (or lack thereof) of Mueller’s investigation. Rosenstein recently assured the Senate Intelligence committee that he would only fire Mueller if there was “good cause”, regardless of Trump’s orders. But Spicer is insinuating that the president can still determine the special counsel’s fate.

Essentially, if you like your job, do as Trump says.

Apple’s Most Bonkers Supercomputer Ever

David Pierce writing for Wired:

Today, Apple showed that it does still care about PCs. It launched the new iMac Pro, a ridiculously powerful, 5K, space gray all-in-one that Apple seems to have made almost as a statement. That statement: if you need a supercomputer, Apple’s still the place to go. The iMac Pro can have processors up to 22 teraflops, memory up to 128 gigs, and as much as 4 terabytes of storage. There’s a new thermal cooling system with two fans that seems like it has its work cut out for it. It even has a new keyboard and trackpad to match.

I have no need for this thing whatsoever, but damn is it sexy and I want it so bad. If you want to see how utterly dope this thing looks, see Apple’s official announcement page.