December 8, 2014 Last Updated 7:58 am

Contentious torture report may finally be released, U.S. media reaction likely to be partisan

Morning Brief: Ubicuo Studio updates new book app, Sobre São Paulo_Entrevistas, to add in iPhone support; Spotify adds iPad support with app update

The Senate Intelligence Committee may, finally, release a 6,000-page report on the C.I.A.’s use of torture. It will be heavily redacted.

“Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s chairman, told the LA Times.

AbuGhraibAbuse-175That the report may be released now only happens because the voters gave the Republicans a majority in the Senate. Democrats, fearful that Republicans will keep the report under wraps once in control, say they want the truth to come out. Though, eight years after the election of a Democratic president, it feels a little like payback rather than any real search for justice.

Republicans, knowing the report will make the Bush administration look bad, are already striking back. They know justifying torture is not a winning strategy, so they are now using denial.

“We’re not here to defend torture. We’re here to defend history,” Gen. Michael V. Hayden, former CIA director, told the NYT. The report, they will say, is a lie.

Look for newspapers to be divided on the report, too. Many of them supported both the war in Iraq, and just recently, those who supported it.


The New York Times Saturday published an investigative story on how an Oklahoma state attorney general, and other Republican attorneys general, are working with energy companies to hold back environmental regulations.

The story might have made waves if released during the week, so the Saturday release feels like the editors might have been conflicted about the story: is this really an example of widespread corruption, or simply more of business-as-usual?

The article by Eric Lipton shows how the AGs are working together, and together with big business, to make sure environmental regulations are rolled back.

“They share a common philosophy about the reach of the federal government, but the companies also have billions of dollars at stake,” Lipton wrote. “And the collaboration is likely to grow: For the first time in modern American history, Republicans in January will control a majority — 27 — of attorneys general’s offices.”


One advantage of creating an app rather than an eBook is that apps are easier to make cross-platform than eBooks. An interactive eBook created using iBooks Author, for instance, can not be easily ported over to the Kindle.

SP-iPhone5-W-lgThe same is true for creating an interactive eBook for the iPhone. Apple, three years after launching iBooks Author, still does not offer iPhone support for its own publishing platform.

Sobre São Paulo_Entrevistas, a photo essay of the city of São Paulo, was released initially as a book app for the iPad, but the app has just been updated to add iPhone support. (See original TNM post on the app here.)

Created by the Spanish design firm Ubicuo Studio, the app features the photography of Claudia Jaguaribe, and so it far easier to convert for iPhone reading than that of a text heavy eBook. I fact, there is virtually no difference between the tablet and smartphone versions.

There is a downside, however. The app now says it is 1.8 GB once installed on the device – double its original size.

Another app that was updated this weekend went in the other direction: from iPhone to iPad.

The streaming music service Spotify has finally added in iPad support to its iOS app, Spotify Music. The original app was released in late 2013, so one wonders what took them so long.

But Spotify’s apps are rather unique in that the company actually has two sets of apps, the second is for those few iPhone or iPad owners that still are using iOS 6. That can’t be very many, but rather than dumping their old app, Spotify simply launched a new one for iOS 7 (and now iOS 8) and transferred the old one to a new name. For those who are not thrilled with the direction Apple is going starting with iOS 7, I suppose the legacy app is much appreciated.

“I love this app!” wrote one user in iTunes. “I have an outdated iPod so this app is amazing especially since my phone broke which was iOS8 so I’m really happy there is an app for almost anything.”

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