One of the most important stories of the weekend was the news that Apple's credit card is being investigated for discriminating against women. This story has almost as many layers as the seemingly discriminatory algorithm Apple and Goldman Sachs use to determine credit limits.
But before I comment on any of this, I want to point out Jamie Heinemeier Hansson's blog post about the whole ordeal. She is the person who was denied full measure of what her credit limit should have been because of Apple and Goldman Sachs & # 39; black box algorithm. You should read it in its entirety, although I am about to quote a little below, because it is important, level and accurate. She puts the effort into this whole thing:
It means something to the woman who struggles to start a business in a world that still seems to think that women may not be as successful or creditworthy as men. It means something that the wife is trying to get out of a violent relationship. It means something for minorities that are damaged by institutional bias. It means something to so many. And that means something to me.
This is the second time in as many months as Apple has found itself on the wrong side of a social justice issue. As it was (at least initially) with the app denials in Hong Kong, the company has remained stubbornly silent about this matter so far.
What we do have, however, are a couple of tweets from Goldman Sachs, which runs the bank side of the Apple card. There is also no excuse, as you know both from the defensive nature of the statement and because they did not rush tweeted screenshots to the iPhone Notes app. Here's the last one, last night:
Of course, you wouldn't expect Goldman Sachs to apologize, because it could be used against it in the upcoming lawsuit. You also can't expect Goldman Sachs to apologize because it's Goldman Effing Sachs one of the architects for the housing crisis a decade ago who had to pay a $ 5 billion settlement and admit a number of facts about how mislead investors.
You know, the company Apple teamed up with to launch the Apple card.
Apple is trying to have all the benefits of a consumer and privacy-friendly credit card without any problems that come with it. Take a look at Apple's Apple Card campaign page: right now it is headed by the tagline "Created by Apple, not a bank." I'm sure it was, just like Apple's products are "Designed in California", but overall in China ̵
I know that the rhetoric line I am pursuing here is a little exaggerated and somewhat unfair. What did I expect? Did I expect Apple to try to create its own snow-as-run-snow bank to back up the credit card? Even the mighty Apple has limits, and consumer financial services are definitely out of bail. And if it were to work with a large bank, there is really no one who is cleaner than another. Goldman Sachs at least agreed to protect the privacy and less-printed Apple demanded.
And yet: the friction between Apple's (justified!) Image as a privacy protection company and Goldman Sachs' less-than-stellar reputation comes up again and again. In light of the debate in question, I looked at Apple's own support page which explains the guidelines behind credit approvals and restrictions.
It all mirrors the first line: "Goldman Sachs uses your credit score, credit report, and revenue you report on your application when you evaluate your Apple Card application." In each sentence thereafter, Apple disclaims all responsibility for the decisions Goldman Sachs makes in its name.
And that's the heart of it: it's not the Apple card, it's the Goldman Sachs card with an Apple interface and an Apple layer of privacy protection.
With almost all other products, Apple famously wants to control the entire supply chain, from silicon to software. It is known as the Cook Doctrine, and Tim Cook made it strictly in an investor call a decade ago before he was CEO, when asked about how Apple would work without Steve Jobs running the daily (emphasis mine):  We think we're on the face of the earth to make good products, and that doesn't change. We constantly focus on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and only participate in markets where we can make a significant contribution . We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so we can really focus on the few that are really important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allows us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we are not content with anything less than skill in every group in the company, and we have the honesty to admit when we are wrong and the courage to change. And I think no matter who is in whose job these values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.
With the Apple card, Apple does not own the "primary technologies" that run a credit card. It has no control over which black box algorithms Goldman Sachs uses, and has little to do with the actual operation of the credit and payment systems after that. It's Goldman Sachs.
Apple has no control, yet Apple shares responsibility. Not just because it's called Apple's name on the card, but because Apple initially chose to create this thing.
Apple didn't need to make a credit card. That it did speaks to the company's desire to diversify revenues as part of the ubiquitous shift to services. And as Nilay Patel has asked over and over : "Will Apple agree with the iPhone user experience to sell its own services?"
I have long said that this service push is a threat to Apple's reputation. Apart from people trying to score their MinMax, no one loves their credit card company. Apple is a credit card company now. Nobody loves their cable company. Apple sells TV shows and acts as a middleman to other TV channels.
This is the part where I urge Apple to take a stronger hand in opening the black box with Goldman Sachs & # 39; credit card algorithms and taking responsibility for the results. But I don't think it's realistic to expect Apple to do that.
As it insists on the Apple Card promo, Apple is not a bank. It just chose to associate its brand with one.
+ Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review: XPS 13 to get
I grabbed this laptop the first chance I got and patted it on, and it's actually cunning . But I would place it at about the same level as Apple's latest generation butterfly keyboards, that is, better than you expected, but still clever. I don't think there is a reason to avoid this computer, which otherwise seems top notch.
The third change is a brand new low profile keyboard that extends to the left and right of the lower half of the computer. The keys are larger and more comfortable to type than the standard XPS 13, and they utilize the XPS's compact keyboard cover more efficiently. Dell says this keyboard is 24 percent thinner than a standard keyboard. There is also a fingerprint scanner built into the power button just above the backspace key.
But this keyboard, much like the low-profile butterfly keyboards on MacBooks, will be polarizing.
+ Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) review: you get what you pay for
Chaim Gartenberg points out the only truly compelling feature on Amazon's Fire HD tablet – and asks the essential question of the whole idea of " cheap android tablet. "
Compared to an iPad, the experience is not even close. Apple's tablet-level tablet is dramatically faster, has a far better selection of apps and doesn't feel like a toy. The one big advantage Amazon has is still the best in class parenting and multi-user support. […] For what you pay, and the almost total lack of meaningful competition at the price point, it's easy to call Fire HD 10 the best $ 150 tablet around. But in a world where Apple's entry-level iPad is better and cheaper than ever before, the question begins to come: at what price point will Apple's tablet cost before it's no longer worth dealing with Fire HD 10's limitations?
+  Vergecast: Microsoft's big hardware effort this fall was a mixed bag
We always have to leave as many of the reviews as they are not a million words long – and that's even worse for the videos. I have many thoughts on ways to tell an engaging story about a product that is accurate and not too detailed in detail, but I will not be bored with them.
But yes: having the opportunity to spend an hour with Tom Warren and Dan Seifert to talk about everything we talked about behind the scenes was a blast. I might want to do more of these, haven't decided. If you like this format, please let me know.
Sometimes technology is stranger than fiction
+ WeWork reportedly wants to hire T-Mobile's brash CEO John Legere as its new boss
I had to keep from posting photos of Leger in the days of 2012 with the very expensive Global Crossing. I think Doctors is best understood as a ruthless telecommissioner who has been remarkably effective and remarkably taken on a great promotional and marketing strategy for T-Mobile, and for whatever reason, I think old pictures of him before his T-Mobile transformation are educational. But then I see people posting 7-year-old pictures of me to make a point, and I realize it's a bit of a cheap shot.
However, Nilay Patel tweeted some good analyzes:
1. SoftBank invests in Sprint, installs Marcelo Claure as CEO
2. Marcelo's rescue plan for Sprint is sold to T-Mobile and John Legere
3. SoftBank invests in WeWork, installs Marcelo as CEO
4. Marcelo's rescue plan is … John Legere
+ Amazon opens its own grocery store in 2020 : Alexa, email Jeff Bezos gif of Ryan Reynolds and said "Buy why?"  + Google plans to slowly give Chrome a new shame on Chrome
I'm SO SURE that Google's preview image will only be a small letter "e" on a blue square. A small blue "e" is quite common and not at all associated with a competing browser, right?
Even big tech is big stupid when it comes to handling big data
+ Google may be collecting secrets from millions of personal health records with alleged & # 39; Project Nightingale & # 39;
Mary Beth Griggs has usefully explained all the details we know so far here (at least as if I were writing this newsletter). It is just silly for Google to be within a million miles of health data without much transparency about what it is doing and announcements in advance.
Part of me wonders if this would have been a nonstory if Google had just announced this in advance. Google's blog post last night was a sad attempt to restore that announcement. Even if you give Google the benefit of the doubt about intentions and computer policy (and I give it a hard time), it's still, as I just said, dumb mute.
Plus – as Mary Beth points out – Google is already facing a lawsuit over inadequate access to medical data. Can't help wondering if the FTC is going to take a much more skeptical view of the proposed Fitbit acquisition, and I wouldn't blame them if they did.
+ SMS provider said that 168,000 Valentines texts were delayed – now it says the number is higher
I know this is not much of a silver lining, but I'm glad this incident stuck through the veil for carrier interconnections. Getting your texts and phone calls complicated between carriers and companies like Syniverse is a big part of it. You may know that I have been tracking RCS – the successor to SMS – for some time. Part of the story is the complicated way RCS servers (Google's software for this is called Jibe) work together. It's all very complicated to explain and kind of snoozer, but I think the RCS system is more elegant than what's happening with SMS right now, from a route perspective. a shame we don't know for sure for years, given the pace of adoption.
Syniverse, the company in question, originally stated that 168,149 messages were delayed. Now it is stated that the number was based on "preliminary data" and that further review shows that the total message "is higher than first reported."
More from The Verge
+ Queer Eye & # 39; s Bobby Berk about designing for Japanese homes, TikTok, and the new iPhones
Great, fun interview from Dami Lee. Super glad she asked the question about my favorite memories from Queer Eye, super don't think Berk's answer.
Lee: Okay, one last question. What do you think of the memes online like "Antoni: I've made a salad. Karamo: believe in yourself. Bobby: I built a house."
Berk: I've seen them. Our jobs are just as important. Some are more labor intensive than others, but yes, all equally important.
+ Apple is reportedly planning a 2022 release for the first AR headset, followed by AR glasses in 2023
I will admit that I am confused that Apple thinks it's a good idea to release a standard VR headset with cameras on the outside like an AR headset in 2022. It seems one thing most consumers don't want.
And I obviously have to reveal that my wife works for Oculus, making the Quest headset explicitly mentioned here as an analogue of what Apple allegedly works with.
+ Uber CEO calls the Saudi killing of journalist a & # 39; mistake & # 39; , and then quickly track and I can't say it better than Andrew Hawkins and Sean O. & # 39; Kane have here: Tech's transport companies continue to bend their knee to Saudi Arabia