Archive for August 2, 2021

Monday, August 2, 2021

Older Kindles Will Lose Cellular Access

Ian Carlos Campbell (via Hacker News):

Amazon’s Kindle e-readers with built-in 3G will begin to lose the ability to connect to the internet on their own in the US in December, according to an email sent to customers on Wednesday. The change is due to mobile carriers transitioning from older 2G and 3G networking technology to newer 4G and 5G networks. For older Kindles without Wi-Fi, this change could mean not connecting to the internet at all.

MuseScore Requests Downloader Takedown

Jim Salter (via Hacker News):

The MuseScore app itself is licensed GPLv3, which gives developers the right to fork its source and modify it. One such developer, Wenzheng Tang (“Xmader” on GitHub) went considerably further than modifying the app—he also created separate apps designed to bypass MuseScore Pro subscription fees.


It’s important to note that the application itself and the sheet music to which it provides access are not the same thing, and they are not provided under the same license. The application itself is GPLv3, but the musical works it enables access to via have a wide variety of licenses, including public domain, Creative Commons, and fully commercial.

In the case of commercial all-rights-reserved scores, Muse Group is not generally the rightsholder for the copyrighted work—Muse Group is an intermediary that has secured the rights to distribute that work via the MuseScore app.


Bypassing those controls leaves Muse Group on the hook either for costs it has no way to monetize (e.g., by ads for free users) or for violating its own distribution agreements with rightsholders (by failing to properly track downloads).


[While] musescore-downloader facilitates unlicensed downloads of DMCA-protected works, it does not itself contain those works, which means GitHub itself can ignore DMCA takedown requests.


Suspicious Package Power User Features

Armin Briegel:

In my defense, you really cannot tell normal packages from distribution packages in the default configuration of Suspicious Package, but if I had bothered to read the manual and/or explore the Preferences window, I would have found this option[…]

This will show the Distribution xml file at the top of the list of the ‘All Scripts’ pane for distribution packages. When you see no Distribution file there, the package is a component package.

The second checkmark in that preference window is also very useful. With “Component package and bundle info” enabled you can see which component contains the selected file in the info pane[…]


App Tracking Transparency’s Honor System

Lockdown Privacy (tweet):

Despite activating Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature (launched in 2021 with iOS 14.5), along with our review explicitly asking Yelp to “Do Not Track”, the app still attempted to reach out to multiple known third-party trackers. From our experiments, we found that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency neither stops tracking, nor provides any real transparency, and instead gives users a false sense of privacy.