'Google can do whatever it wants with the data once it gets it'

Plus: 'We forgot to give browser choice to 28 million PCs – sorry!'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Quotw This was the week that wasn't so great for Apple, what with former CEO's Steve Jobs' words coming back to haunt Cupertino again, a bad time in the UK courts and an iOS hack attack.

Rumours of an iPad mini have been circulating among the more reliable grapes on the vine, with The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal all touting the supposed existence of the shrunken fondleslab.

However, a teeny tablet definitely did not appeal to the late great Steve Jobs, who frequently peed on those chips.

He said:

Apple has done extensive user testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick, or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons, we think, the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

And for good measure, he also said:

We think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA – dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small, and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product.

Sounds like lots of fun ahead.

Clearly, Tim Cook thinks differently or, alternatively, all that blather was a smokescreen to mask general digs at Apple competitors, though Jobs didn't usually need a smokescreen for that...

Meanwhile, the fruity firm's shiny new Macs with that much-talked-about retina display were not meeting fanbois' exacting standards of being able to actually read their screens.

A wee glitch in the machines seems to be scrambling windows all over the screen, prompting the disgruntled users to take to the forums (presumably from their Jesus-mobes).

One said:

The repainting gets so bad, so many phantom copies of old windows laying around on my screen, that I can't really navigate to anything to fix the problem.

And that's not the only ghost in Apple's machines - the firm also acquired a hacker who claims to have found a way to get all those tasty in-app extras for free.

The gleeful hacker opined:

Why you must to pay for content, already included in purchased app? I think, you must not.

Things were not much better over in Redmond, where the European Commission was once more peering into Microsoft's affairs, this time concerned that the firm had stopped people from choosing their own browser again.

A new investigation was opened by the competition commissioner since Microsoft had previously promised to give its users a choice screen for their web-surfing partner, known as the browser choice screen (BCS).

But the firm tidied the whole thing up by letting everyone know it hadn't noticed that it had stopped living up to its responsibilities.

Rather incredibly, the firm said:

While we believed when we filed our most recent compliance report in December 2011 that we were distributing the BCS software to all relevant PCs as required, we learned recently that we’ve missed serving the BCS software to the roughly 28 million PCs running Windows 7 SP1.

Microsoft added that it hadn't even realised it was breaking its commitments till the EC brought it up - doh! (It's unclear whether the commission will accept this excuse or make Microsoft go to its room to think about what it has done).

Mozilla was painted as something less than the privacy crusader it claims to be when it came out this week that Firefox 14 users are protected from some kinds of snoopers, but not from advertising ones.

The firm had said that HTTPS Google search shielded users, but never said that if a surfer clicked on an ad, the encryption would be lifted.

In its defence, and responding to questions from Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land in a comments forum on The Verge, Mozilla's Firefox Desktop Product director Asa Dotzler said:

Danny, you misunderstand what SSL search is trying to accomplish. We’ve made the connection between the user and Google secure from snooping. That’s what SSL does and that’s why we’ve implemented it. Google can do whatever it wants with the data once it gets it, but the bad guys sniffing your wi-fi connection cannot get at your information.

And finally, Google was having a wee problem as well. The Chocolate Factory's shiny new fondleslab the Nexus 7 was held up in the UK when delivery from its Play store was briefly botched. Somehow, all the fandroids' addresses were given the first line 'Gordon House', which is where Google Ireland is headquartered.

Needless to say, fandroids were unimpressed.

One said:

My face will spontaneously combust if it doesn't arrive today, or start glowing right in the middle in the shape of a half-eaten apple.

While a more pragmatic fellow said:

I'm heading off to the Gordon House Surgery in Ealing, reckon they will have an entire skip full of Nexus 7s by the end of today. ®

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