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Tom Briant

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

How to use Your Windows Keyboard's Print Screen key to take macOS screenshots

Here is an article I wrote from a few year’s back about changing the keyboard shortcut for copying a screenshot to the clipboard. Just like Windows XP or 7 used to do.

You don’t need to use the Terminal. You won’t use any undocumented commands. You just use a feature Apple didn’t publicize.

Go here to read the article

 

Now the last part of the article mentions a utility called Flavours for modifying the Mac’s appearance. Sorry, the advent of System Integrity Protection rendered this moot.

 

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

 

Hate Your Laptop's Keyboard? A Simple Fix

If your laptop’s keyboard doesn’t function correctly or stopped dead, here’s a quick fix. 

Plug in a USB keyboard. Yes, even a cheap $5 Windows keyboard will work with your laptop.

If you want to continue to use a Windows keyboard with a Mac, try the following:

 

Go to the Keyboard Preference Pane. 

You go either to the gear icon in your Dock or up to your Apple Menu in the upper left-hander corner of your desktop.

 

Select System Preferences. 

1 Keyboard preference in Preference Panes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the second row of Preferences, select the Keyboard Preference. Its icon looks like a keyboard

 

2 point to the Modifiier Keys

 

Go to the Modifier Keys......

 

3 Modifier Keys drop down sheet

 

Now click on the Option Key to make its function the Command key

4 Option key becomes Command Key

The old Option, or Windows Alt, key now works as the Command key for this user.

 

5 The Option key now works as the Command key

 

Observe that the Command key, or the Windows key, now works as the Option key.

You have a Mac configured keyboard.

Now this set of changes only works for this user. If you switch to another user, the keyboard goes back to its original configuration.

 

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

 

 

 

Fixing computers problems by just switching USB ports

IfIf If you experience problems with a USB-connected peripheral, try switching the USB port. I’ve observed this with a camera and a printer on different computers. Just switching the port I plugged the cable into fixed the problem. Just like that. 

Why this occurs, I am not sure. The USB hardware must connect and a software “handshake” must take place. If one port doesn’t work, try another. Save yourself a service call.

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Voice

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Etrecheck 4 gives you answers

8 Etrecheck 4 icon

 

 

 

Etrecheck 4 gives you a comprehensive “under the hood” look at your Mac. Wondering why it runs so slow now? Why you keep seeing those spinning beachballs of death? Crashes?. This is the app to try.

 

Etrecheck leads you through the process of testing your Mac. 

 

You start by checking which problem category you want to test for. 

1 Choose a problem

You have a drop down list tp choose from. If you choose, you can describe the problem in detail in the text box below. This will help outside technicians if you send the report to them. 

2 Choose problem computer runs slow

You’ve made your choice and the tests begin. 

 

3 checking hardware

 

First, it tests your hardware.

 

4 checking software

 

Second, it tests your software.

 

5 performance checking

 

Third, it test your system’s performance.

 

6 Starting reporting interface

 

When it finishes testing, the report interface starts up.

 

7 hardware report

 

The report on screen will show you a sidebar of categories. When I checked on my hardware, I found out just old my core i5 processor was! Second generation. My hardware is considered “vintage” 

Etrecheck will offer to send you to outside Web sites for more information. For more data about the old i5, I linked to en.wikichip.org. For information about my 32-bit apps, it linked to the specific Apple page. 

 

Now the app costs $10 (credit card or PayPal), but gives you 5 free examinations before you have to pay. 

It pinpointed my Mac’s problem; I’ve got too many apps running in the background. Time for some pruning.

 

Etrecheck 4

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for July 2, 2018

 

Apple finally acknowledges ‘sticky’ keyboard issues on MacBooks, offering free fix and refunds for past repairs
 
An Apple spokesperson provided the statement below to 9to5Mac.com:
 
“Today we launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models which may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly or don’t appear when pressed or keys that feel “sticky” or aren’t responding in a consistent manner.”
 
This article provides a list of specific models eligible for the program.
 
 
 
 
Today in Apple history:
June 23, 2003  — Power Mac G5 packs world’s first 64-bit CPU
 
 
 
 
Today in Apple history:
June 29, 2007 — The first iPhone goes on sale, giving excited Apple fans lined up outside stores their first chance at owning the game-changing smartphone.
 
 
 
 
Apple never meant for you to spend so much time on your phone, Tim Cook says
 
Cook said that “some” users are spending too much time on their phones and other devices, which was “never” Apple’s intention.
 
Apple faced calls from activist investors earlier this year that urged the company to consider the effects of smartphone usage and screen time on children.
 
The forthcoming iOS 12 will provide new features that increase parental control of how much time kids spend with iPhones.
 
 
 
 
Cheap iPhones are luring away Android loyalists in droves
 
Plenty of new iPhone buyers come from Android. Each quarter, anywhere from 15% to 20% of new Apple customers upgrade from Android to iPhone.
 
 
 
 
How to clean your Apple AirPods
 
Some good hints.
 
 
 
 
The Essential Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Apple AirPods
 
Several good hints.
 
 
 
 
Apple's AirPods have taken the headphone world by storm.
 
For the uninitiated, Apple AirPods are Apple's take on true wireless earbud-style headphones that have absolutely no wires.
 
But this article is about five other wireless earbuds out there, and they each have something a little different to offer.
 
 
 
 
The internet LOLed at AirPods when they launched. Who’s laughing now?
 
If history has taught us anything, it’s that when we make fun of early adopters, they tend to be right.
 
Every mainstream technological advancement and product you use was once viewed as the clunky version of something you’d never use.
 
Psychological studies have shown the power that group dynamics can have on how we perceive the world.
 
Many marketers make use of this sociological phenomenon. For example, Apple made a conscious effort to get AirPods into the hands (and ears) of influencers. That way, when you watched your favorite YouTuber’s new video, AirPods in their ears, it presented a lifestyle you aspired to emulate. In turn, it was common sense for you to want to purchase them, too.
 
 
 
 
How retail boss Angela Ahrendts took a risk joining Apple
 
 
 
 
Apple’s Schoolwork app is now available for teachers to use
 
 
 
 
 
How to remove an Apple ID from your iPhone
Is your iPhone asking for somebody else's password? It's a fairly common problem, particularly if you inherited the phone or used to share it. Here's how to get your iPhone to forget somebody else's Apple ID
 
 
 
 
Which Macs will run Apple's macOS Mojave?

The next version of Apple's desktop operating system arrives this fall. When it does, a number of Mac models won't be able to upgrade. Here's who's left out in the cold.
 
Apple has not published an actual list of Mojave-works Macs, but when it rolled out the developer beta two weeks ago, the company said macOS 10.14 is "for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards.”
 
macOS Mojave will be offered as a free download from the Mac App Store when it launches this fall, most likely in September.
 
 
 
 
Apple Ignores What's Wrong With the Mac
 
Last year, I needed a new Mac, and I bought a 2015 MacBook Pro. Yes, I bought a 3-year-old laptop because it's better than Apple's current models.
 
Apple's hardware changes in the past few years have been awful.
 
(Yes, I know the 2017 Macbook Pro got a PCMag Editors' Choice. We can have more than one opinion on our staff. Mine is that the last time Apple made great PC hardware was in 2015.)
 
 
 
 
Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS
 
June 25, 1985:
30-year-old Bill Gates sent a memo to Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée.
 
His suggestion? That Apple licenses its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies. Apple’s management ignored his advice.
 
 
 
 
How to prepare a Mac for sale or a return to an employer
When you need to give up or sell a Mac, how can you make sure you keep what you need and leave a wiped machine?
 
Not preparing a computer before you return it can sometimes have consequences. A friend returned a work machine and was eventually paid a visit by police. His previous employer had examined the web history of the computer returned, and found a set of searches about news and travel they decided were suspicious but that had been conducted innocently and separately by different members of the household.
 
 
 
 
Video:
6 must-have Mac utilities
 
 
 
 
Get 10 Mac apps valued at $600 — for whatever price you choose
 
 
 
 
How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple's Service Program
 
The following MacBook and MacBook Pro models are eligible for the program:
 
• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
• MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
• MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)
 
All other MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models are not equipped with butterfly mechanism keyboards, and thus are ineligible.
 
 
 
 
Four new computer advertisements from Apple.
Three of them are really good.
 
All Apple needs to do is make their computers as good as their ads.
 
 
 
 
 
Logitech's school-targeted Crayon stylus is so good, Apple should copy it for iPad
 
The $50 Logitech Crayon is specifically made to work only with the 2018 9.7-inch iPad and doesn't use Bluetooth. After updating to iOS 11.4, the rechargeable stylus just automatically works, as long as an Apple Pencil isn't already paired with it. It's a powered stylus and is almost like an Apple Pencil -- with a few changes. Some are for the better.
 
 
 
 
The AudioKit Synth One is a pro-level iPad synth that’s completely free
 
The Synth One is a robust piece of free software, and many of the volunteers involved are professional sound designers and techs who have worked with artists like Neon Trees, Rihanna, M83, and software companies like Valhalla DSP.
 
 
 
 
AudioKit’s free and open-source Synth One looks better than many paid-for iPad instruments
 
This is being billed as “the first ever professional open-source iOS synth”. It was built over two years by 100 volunteers, including sound designers for the likes of M83, Tycho, and Rihanna.
 
This looks like a no-brainer download for iPad musicians: you can do the necessary on the Apple App Store.
 
 
 
 
The AudioKit Synth One is a professional-level open-source synthesizer for your iPad. It has features that match or even rival the ones on iOS synths from Korg, Electro-Harmonix and Moog, which can run upwards of $25. 
 
 
 
 
The 40 best Apple Watch apps (that we’re actually using)
 
AW comment:
My first thought about most of these apps is “meh”.  But there are a few really good apps in this list.
 
 
 
 
How to count steps with your Apple Watch
After these tips, all that's left to do is walk.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/count-steps-with-apple-watch/
 
 
 
One person’s sad and months long ordeal with a MacBook that had a defective keyboard.  He wrote:
 
It was when I took the machine in for the repair — 9 months in to this ordeal — that I was told by a member of the Apple staff at the ‘Genius’ bar that this was a worldwide problem that had been reported for months by many customers.

He said it was a numbers game — until enough people complain about it (and until the cost of a full recall/repair programme outweighs the inconvenience and cost of annoying customers prepared to argue, or forcing them to pay for faults they know are theirs) they deny it.

Well, today I read Apple’s number is up.

They have finally accepted there is a fault with the butterfly keyboard design and all notebooks* are covered for a free repair.
 
Waking up to the news that Apple have finally accepted a fault across the range with the new keyboard is bittersweet.
 
 
 
 
Three ways to save web pages as read-later PDFs on iOS
 
There are three ways to turn a webpage into a PDF in iOS, all of which use the standard Share Sheet:

• Print.
• Create PDF.
• Save PDF to iBooks.
 
None of the three methods above is perfect. Each of them misses a key ingredient.
 
 
 
 
iOS jailbreaking is nearly dead and Apple wants it to stay that way
 
Some advanced users still feel stifled by Apple’s control but not enough to switch sides. For them, jailbreaking their iPhone is the only option but that has become even more difficult year after year.
 
Jailbreaking is not a straightforward process, much less a sanctioned one.
 
Apple is also applying some scare tactics to discourage less knowledgeable users from attempting to jailbreak phones.
 
Apple explicitly states that it “may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.” This is almost similar to its language on voiding warranties for devices repaired by third-party services. That has been shot down by the FTC and it remains to be seen whether the same will hold for software.
 
 
 
 
What to do when your two-step Apple ID account is locked

My unlock efforts worked, and I resumed access to that account. That was in part because I’d done a reasonable amount of preparation in case this ever happened.
 
Summary:
 
1)  Set up and use two-step verification for each account.
 
2)  Set up and use a recovery key for each account.
 
3)  Keep your personal info at the Apple ID site up-to-date, specifically:
     •  Backup E-mail address (i.e., non-apple)
     •  Phone numbers
     •  Use Apple’s Keychain app or use an app called 1Password to store answers to security questions.
 
 
 
 
 
Why I just started caring about macOS
In terms of practical, useful new features, macOS Mojave surprisingly outshined the new iOS during Apple’s on-stage demos at WWDC.
 
 
 
 
The best Virtual Private Network (VPN) for iPhone in 2018
 
 
 
 
5 reasons you shouldn’t ditch the iPhone and switch to Android
 
 
 
 
How to Quickly Identify and Delete iPhone Apps You Don't Use Anymore
 
Did you try an app and decide you didn’t like it?
Do you want to remove it from your iPhone or iPad?
Read the article for detailed instructions.
 
 
 
 
Apple proved this week that it's not trying to force you to buy a new iPhone
 
• Apple's iOS 12 will be available for iPhones launched as far back as 2013.
• This is unprecedented for Apple and smartphone makers.
• It also shows that Apple isn't trying to force you to upgrade your iPhone.
Consumers will still have to upgrade eventually, but five or six years for a phone is a much better bargain than two years, and it's way better than what you can get from any other phone maker.
 
 
 
 
This July marks the tenth birthday of the iOS App Store. 

The App Store originally launched alongside the release of the 3G model – 12 months after the original iPhone. The store gave developers the opportunity to write third party native apps for the iPhone, as long as they paid the 30% commission to Apple. 

Unlike competing android devices, however, you can’t load apps onto an iPhone unless you get them from the official App Store. Installing apps from unofficial sources is known as “side loading”.
 
This might be about to change. A recent court case has the potential to require Apple to open their device to sideloading of apps from outside of the App Store, overturning 10 years of precedent. 
 
Only time will tell, but it’s clear that after 10 years of the App Store, this case could mark a change that makes the future quite different from the past.

Could Apple finally be losing their control over the way apps are installed on their platform? And was it ethical to have such a closed “ecosystem” in the first place?
 
 
 
 
50 Essential iOS Apps — a series on the best iOS apps around
 
The list is currently only 33 items long as of 2018-07-02.
 
The web site promises that they will add the remaining items over the next week or two.
 
 
 
 
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Essential Mac Apps 2018
 
 
 
 
How to fix a frozen Mac

Macs are usually reliable, but occasionally something happens that causes your Mac to freeze. Here's how to unfreeze a frozen Mac
Here are the five steps to take to unfreeze your Mac.
 
 
 
 
Apple's new macOS Mojave optimizes the Mac for iOS users, not PC switchers
 
Apple's macOS Mojave is still a work in progress, but the strategy is clear: Welcome to the Mac for iOS users.
 
If you don't own a Mac, Mojave is designed to make you want one.
 
 
 
 
It's So Great That Apple Cares About macOS Again
 
At WWDC, Apple showed signs that it hasn’t given up on its former show horse—at least not yet—and in fact it might just be preparing macOS for a welcomed resurgence. After more than three weeks living with the beta for macOS 10.14 Mojave (the public beta just went live) I’m breathing a sigh of relief. It feels like Apple cares about the Mac again.
 
iOS might be a great operating system for checking your email, reading tweets, or watching a little YouTube, but it is not great for...actual work.
 
Apple is in the process of making iOS apps work on macOS.
 
Windows is supposed to be for the person in the suit in an office. macOS is supposed to be for the aspiring artiste in the coffee house. Microsoft’s blurred the line by appealing to creator types in its last few Windows updates, but with Mojave we’re getting an OS update from Apple that feels like its fighting back.
 
 
 
 
The legendary Apple research group that shaped our world
 
Some very interesting Apple history and how its innovations in the 1980s later influenced the internet, show biz and virtual reality.
 
 
 
 
macOS Breaks Your Security by Caching Data From Encrypted Hard Drives
 
Apple's macOS surreptitiously creates and caches thumbnails for images and other file types stored on password-protected / encrypted containers (hard drives, partitions), according to Wojciech Reguła and Patrick Wardle, two macOS security experts.

The problem is that these cached thumbnails are stored on non-encrypted hard drives, in a known location and can be easily retrieved by malware or forensics tools, revealing some of the content stored on encrypted containers.
 
On macOS, these thumbnails are created by Finder and QuickLook.
 
According to Wardle, this "leak" has been known about for at least eight years and has been a professional secret known by many forensics experts.
 
 
 
 
Apple Releases Security Updates for macOS, iOS, Safari, More
 
Apple has released security updates this week for seven products —macOS, iOS, watchOS, iTunes for Windows, tvOS, iCloud for Windows, and Safari.

Out of all the vulnerabilities patched this week, two stand out, mainly because they affect the kernels of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS alike.
 
 
 
 
People are discovering that scammers are controlling their Apple accounts using a feature for families to share apps
 
• Scammers in China are hijacking people's Apple IDs and making purchases via an iPhone and Mac feature called "Family Sharing."
• The feature is designed to help families share apps and music, but the scammers are using it lock out the actual owner of the account and buy in-app purchases and iTunes gift cards.
• To protect yourself, you should make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple account.
 
 
 
 
Apple can't protect you from data trackers forever. No one can
 
While privacy experts applaud Apple's new features, they say it's more like putting a Band-Aid on the internet's massive privacy wound. That a company as massive and influential as Apple could struggle to adequately protect its users underscores the lengths to which trackers will go to get at your personal information. After all, Apple's move pits it directly against an industry that includes Facebook and Google -- companies that make it their business to track your information for targeted advertising.
 
Apple may be moving to protect your privacy, but it's severely outnumbered.
 
Privacy tools will never fully kill off data trackers, but it's a start.
 
 
 
 
A hacker said recently that the passcode could be easily bypassed by using an unexpected trick. What sounded like a huge scare, however, turned out to be fake. Apple, however, assured users that there’s no easy way to brute force the iPhone, and the hacker’s work incorrect.
 
 
 
 
Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software
Macs may be attacked less often than other platforms, but they're not invincible.
 
Even if you don’t care about adware or being used as a means to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware, password theft, or stolen iPhone backups.

Accordingly, good antivirus software will protect your Mac on all of these fronts.
 
 
 
 
'Smartphone airbag' saves dropped phones from smashing
 
German students have invented a smartphone case that acts like an airbag for a phone, deploying small legs to absorb the impact of a fall.
 
See the picture.
 
The case, which was invented by Philip Frenzel who is an engineer at Aalen University in Germany, uses a set of eight thin metal curls that normally lie flat inside the case.
 
 
 
 
DuckDuckGo has been a profitable company since 2014 without storing or sharing any personal information on people using our search engine. As we like to say, what you search on DuckDuckGo is private, even from us!
 
Search advertisers buy search ads by bidding on keywords, not people.
 
This keyword-based advertising is our primary business model.
 
Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and Chairman, famously said “Google’s policy on a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line, but not cross it.” But for most people, that line was crossed by Google, Facebook, and others long ago.
 
Alarmingly, Google now deploys hidden trackers on 76% of websites across the web to monitor your behavior and Facebook has hidden trackers on about 25% of websites.
 
 
 
 
Video:
How the Net destroyed democracy | Lawrence Lessig
 
 
 
 
The EU’s war on what makes the internet great
 
In an open letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, a group of internet pioneers that includes Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf and Jimmy Wales spell out the danger: “Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance of its users.”
 
Healthy political systems sometimes pass bad laws. But unhealthy political systems pass many more of them.
 
It is probably too late to stop Article 13. After very little public debate, it is set to be waved through a plenary session of the European Parliament. And so, with lamentably little fuss, the EU will have taken a big step towards ruining what makes the internet so great.
 
 
 
 
Facebook Acknowledges It Shared User Data With 61 Companies
 
In a 747-page document provided to the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, Facebook admitted that it granted special access to users' data to 61 tech companies.
 
All 61 companies are listed in this article.
 
Surprisingly, Cambridge Analytica is NOT on Facebook’s list.
 
 
 
 
The internet of things has opened up a new frontier of domestic abuse
 
Devices for the “Internet of Things” (IoT) are marketed with a narrative of networked devices that will make your home “smarter”.
 
There are, however, two things that are conveniently omitted from this uplifting narrative. The first is that there is no such thing as a secure networked device. The second is that the motivation for many manufacturers of these “smart” gadgets is to collect data about what goes on in your home. This is particularly important for three of the companies who are deep into the home device game – Google, Facebook and Amazon.
 
The big downside (and there is always a downside with digital technology) is that if you can turn on your shower or central heating from your smartphone, then so can a hacker who has penetrated your home network.
 
What has been less obvious until now is that it doesn’t have to be a hacker who can control “your” home devices. It could be a former partner, a jilted lover, a stalker, a former lodger or just someone you know who has a grievance. None of these will have to hack into your system, because they know the password – and in most cases you won’t have changed it after they left.

The people who are particularly at risk are survivors of domestic abuse.
 
 
 
 
Cameras, surveillance and domestic abuse: A sinister match
A note in a dead woman's pocket read: "There are cameras inside and outside the house.”
 
Billions of connected devices are playing a frightening new role in domestic abuse, helping perpetrators harass their victims at any hour of the day, in any corner of the world.
 
GPS tracking is especially problematic for women with abusive ex-partners.
 
Some victims never know they're being GPS-tracked.  The only reason they find that out is because their ex-partner happens to be everywhere they go.
 
Despite the frightening toll of domestic violence -- the countless lives it changes, the lives it ends -- technology can help.
 

Monday, July 2, 2018

One Journey with Apple ends, another journey begins

I do not plan to install macOS 10.14 before it reaches its third update. That should take place in the spring of 2019.

I come to this decision because:

1. My Mac mini won’t run 10.14.
2. I have more important financial needs than a new Mac computer.
3. Some software I depend upon only comes in the 32-bit variety. I don’t know if or when it will receive an update. 10.14 won’t like 32-bit software from what I’ve read.

I plan to devote this column to wringing the most from the system I use now. macOS 10.13 is not dead. Heck, I still have a 2006 white MacBook running OS X 10.6. It still runs.

Will I ever get another Mac? First, I have to pay my car off. Second, I want to see if Apple does start making Macs with Apple designed processors. They have shown a willingness to design and use their own processors and supporting hardware for the iPhone. The latest Mac, the iMac Pro, uses an Apple designed chip to consolidate several functions into one piece of silicon.

I must wait for the events to unfold. Til then, stick with what I own.

I’ll introduce you to software complementing Apple’s Aqua interface. I’ll introduce you to software allowing you to recycle your old college papers you wrote with a forgotten word processor in a now archaic file format and use them with contemporary software.

I’ll introduce you to Linux, specifically Ubuntu Linux and several of its derivatives. Ubuntu Linux works well with macOS. Ubuntu Linux allows you to recycle old PC hardware, even old Mac hardware.

You can “mod” Ubuntu Linux to resemble a wide variety of desktops, including macOS and Windows. You will find a wide variety of desktops you can easily bolt onto an existing installation.

Linux is not the Wild West of ‘80s computing, when every computer used its own processor and operating system and disk file format. I’ll show you the rules for running Linux to get your started. You won’t abandon your Mac, you’ll complement it.

Now let me return to the Mac. My first tip for getting the most from your Mac is: BACK IT UP REGULARLY!

If your Mac sits on a table between sessions and you keep it plugged into a wall socket, get a backup drive!

The rules for backups are simple: For those still running 10.4 or below, use cloning software such as Super-Duper to back it up regularly. Just set it up once a week before you go to bed to run overnight.

If you run 10.5 or above, use Time Machine! Plug in a USB hard drive with more capacity than your internal hard drive. macOS will ask you if you want to set up Time Machine. Let it guide you through the process of setting up regular backups.

Don’t delay! Hard drives are built on the same principles as washing machines. Do you trust your washing machine to always function? Or do you have a back-up plan involving a roll of quarters and a trip to the laundromat? Same logic applies to your hard drives. Have a back-up plan to take care of contingencies.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Blog

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap for Friday 6-8-2018

WWDC:
Apple just updated all its operating systems (OS) and none of its hardware
 
The operating systems introduced at WWDC will be available to all Apple customers in the fall.
 
They are:
    iOS 12
    macOS Mojave
    watchOS 5
    tvOS updates
 
This article has aninteresting lists of updated features in every Apple OS.
 
Apple had no new hardware to show off at all.
 
 
 
 
Is Apple Really Your Friend?
 
Let’s just get the obvious stuff out of the way and acknowledge that multi-billion-dollar companies don’t have fundamental values outside of doing what best benefits their shareholders.
 
Apple has been steadily positioning itself as the anti-Facebook for a while now, and between verbal jabs aimed at the social media giant and privacy-focused product decisions, the patient goodwill campaign seems to be working. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t going to save us, and now’s the time to keep your guard up.
 
Now that Facebook’s endless cycle of scandals has opened up public awareness of what’s at stake in the battle for online privacy, and political will has, at least slightly, tilted towards doing something about it, Apple has seized an opportunity to remind people how great it is.
 
Apple received praise when it announced that macOS Mojave will come with updates to Safari that will make it harder than ever for third-parties to use a technique known as “browser fingerprinting” to track your activities.
 
This wasn’t just Apple taking advantage of a cultural moment and throwing out a new feature for some cheap applause. It’s simply building on the Intelligent Tracking Prevention it introduced into Safari last year that gave users more control over cookies that inform advertisers about their activities. Apple has been thinking about this incoming wave of privacy trouble for quite a while, and Cook has been out there hammering home that “privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty.”
 
Back in 2016, Apple took a stand against the FBI’s effort to break into the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter and its insistence that it needed a backdoor for Apple’s encryption. The Justice Department accused the company of putting people at risk for the purpose of marketing. The reality is, the good publicity came along with Apple’s correct understanding that backdoors make us all less secure. It just so happens that a market opportunity aligned with the public good, something that is all too rare and shouldn’t be necessary for doing the right thing.
 
But the days of coasting on its success are waning for Apple and all hardware makers.
 
There’s a thin difference between saving an industry from itself and becoming an unstoppable gatekeeper for what kind of ads are acceptable and how they’re allowed to be served.
 
Generally, more competition is welcome. If Apple is giving Facebook and Google headaches, we say that’s great. But it’s a thorny issue when we’re talking about a few billion-dollar companies exchanging places on the ladder as they strive to be trillion-dollar companies. It’s just not enough for the least bad megacorp to keep the evil ones in check. Free markets really don’t police themselves, as the telecoms clearly demonstrate with their practice of tolerating each others mini-monopolies.
 
Lawmakers are often really stupid. Legislation can be written by lobbyists with tricky loopholes that end up benefiting giants and harming upstarts. And if that happens, regulations should be adjusted. But unless you have a lot of money to buy up a chunk of shares, or have the pull to fire off that perfect tweet that launches a boycott, you have little control over how a corporation will help you. 
 
 
 
 
Apple opens Health Records API to developers
 
Apps Empowering Consumers to Manage Medications, Diseases, Nutrition and More Coming This Fall
 
Today Apple delivered a Health Records API for developers and researchers to create an ecosystem of apps that use health record data to better manage medications, nutrition plans, diagnosed diseases and more. The Health Records feature allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics to access medical information from various institutions organized into one view on their iPhone. For the first time, consumers will be able to share medical records from multiple hospitals with their favorite trusted apps, helping them improve their overall health.
 
 
 
 
Video:
In 1995, Steve Jobs Explained Exactly How Apple Will Fail
 
Steve Jobs said:
 
When a company makes great products and achieves a near monopoly, new improved products no longer make a company more successful.
 
At such a point, better marketing makes a company more successful, NOT better products.
 
As a result, sales and marketing people get promoted into high level management, NOT people who know how to make great products.
 
Companies forget what it means to make great products.
 
The product genius that brought a company to its monopolistic position is rotted out of the company. 
 
 
 
 
Birth of a standard: The Intel 8086 microprocessor turns 40 today [June 8, 1978]
 
Apple did NOT use Intel microprocessors until the 21st century.  Still, the 8086 was a real milestone.
 
Forty years ago, Intel released the 8086 processor, introducing the x86 architecture that underlies every PC—Windows, Mac, or Linux—produced today.
 
For a practical demonstration of just how powerful the x86 standard is, consider this: Any assembly-language program written as far back as 1978 for the Intel 8086 microprocessor will run, unmodified, on Intel’s latest Core 2 Extreme CPU—just 180,000 times faster.
 
 
 
 
Apple history: Apple chooses Intel over PowerPC
 
The PowerPC G5 processor generated too much heat, and consumed too much energy, to power the kind of ultra-thin, ultra-light products Jobs wanted to make with computers like the MacBook Air.

Intel processors, on the other hand, represented where Jobs wanted to take Apple.

https://www.cultofmac.com/484394/apple-intel-over-powerpc/
 
 
 
Apple History — June 5, 1977
The revolutionary Apple II goes on sale
 
Apple continued producing updated versions until November 1993.
 
 
 
 
Apple history — June 1, 1978: Apple II gets its first disk drive
 
The best floppy drive available at the time, Disk II solved the Apple II’s most glaring weakness — a lack of storage. It also helped establish Apple’s flair for handsome profit margins.
 
 
 
 
WWDC 2018: Everything important Apple announced
 
 
 
 
The Sonos Beam is everything the HomePod should have been.
 
The Sonos Beam launches on July 17,
 
The brief presentation was filled with quips about how Sonos isn’t out to sell out ads—take that, Google—and how it wasn’t forcing you into walled gardens (ahem, Tim Cook). Nor did it appear to be empty talk. In the span of little more than half an hour, Sonos managed to deliver a vision of a smart speaker that I wouldn’t mind plunking down $400 for. Here’s why we [at MacWorld magazine] think it’s so much better.
 
HomePod locks you into Apple Music ... requires giving your soul to Apple Music
 
The Sonos Beam, though, lets you use both Spotify and Apple Music. For that matter, it lets you use them with Siri and [Amazon’s] Alexa at the same time (Google Assistant is in the works).
 
The Sonos Beam is a far more logical speaker for comparison to Homepod. Both are high-end devices that are built to last, and both are designed to be centerpieces. Much like the HomePod, it sounds magnificent regardless of which part of the room you’re standing in (although I believe the HomePod does retain an edge in quality).
 
 
 
 
How Sonos Is Trying to Future-Proof the Smart Speaker
The Sonos Beam is designed for longevity. Including all three major virtual assistants is a nice touch too.
 
Sonos unveiled Beam, a smart sound bar, which will soon be virtual assistant agnostic: It’s shipping with Alexa, gaining Siri control with AirPlay 2 in July, and adding Google Assistant compatibility later this year.
 
 
 
 
Apple introduces macOS Mojave
 
Major Update Adds Dark Mode, New Mac Apps and an All-New Mac App Store
 
 
 
 
macOS 10.14 Mojave Drops Support for Many Older Machines
 
This article has a list of which MacBooks and desktop Macs can run Mac OS10.14 Mojave.
 
Compared to High Sierra, the update drops support for the older plastic MacBooks, and MacBook Pro, Air, mini, and iMac models from 2009, 2010, and 2011.
 
 
 
 
Apple Family Sharing: Remember, in-app purchases can’t be shared
 
Family Sharing remains poorly implemented for most users years after its introduction.
 
Apple does make clear on what’s sharable with Family Sharing, so it’s not misleading. But it’s not the kind of page people visit and memorize.
 
 
 
 
Grab all 16 macOS Mojave dynamic wallpapers right here
 
Dynamic wallpapers are about to change the look of your Mac once Mojave launches to the public, but you don’t have to wait until this fall to get first one [sand dune] right now.
 
 
 
 
 
Video:
5 great new features in macOS Mojave
 
 
 
 
10 reasons to get an Apple Mac instead of a Windows PC
 
 
 
 
Video:
MacOS gets better privacy and security features
 
 
 
 
Apple patches Macs as it starts retirement clock for El Capitan
About one in eight Mac owners still runs OS X 10.11, which may only get one more update before gertting bumped off the support list.
 
Once macOS 10.14 launches this fall ... OS X El Capitan will drop out of support, and up to a quarter of all Macs will be running retired operating systems.
 
 
 
 
Video:
Apple reveals new Apple Watch features
 
 
 
 
Video:
65+ New Features in watchOS 5 for Apple Watch!
 
 
 
 
Video:
50 new watchOS 5 features / changes! [9to5Mac]
 
 
 
 
Video:
Face ID works with TWO People in iOS 12!!
 
The author describes it as the “perfect workaround for adding a second registered user” of your iPhone X.
 
 
 
 
iBooks reading app has been renamed Apple Books in iOS 12
 
Oh, it's also getting a complete redesign.
 
 
 
 
10 Cool New iOS and MacOS Features That Apple Didn't Mention at WWDC
 
 
 
 
Apple previews iOS 12
 
Apple has provided the “beta test” version of iOS 12 to some people.
 
iOS 12 will be available to all iPhone and iPad users this fall.
 
 
 
 
Speed testing iOS 11 versus [not yet released] iOS 12 on an iPhone X
 
So far, we're really impressed with iOS 12. Not only is it quicker in many apps, but we're also seeing an improvement in apps that take advantage of Metal.
 
Note:  Metal is the name of Apple’s tool for creating games for iPad and iPhone.
 
 
 
 
Apple Loop: Latest Leak 'Confirms' New iPhone, iOS 12 Drops Sexy For Security, WWDC Fails MacBooks
 
It’s no secret that iOS 11 has been a complete mess for Apple. It’s not the travesty that whiny anti-Apple bloggers would have you believe, of course, but there’s no question that Apple made some big mistakes in iOS 11.
 
iOS 12 stands for stability.
 
 
 
 
The 10 most beautiful apps you can download for your iPhone and iPad, according to Apple
 
 
 
 
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak still hates this iPhone X feature after months of using it
 
He said:
"The worst thing about it is the combination power and home key button which has about eight different functions in terms of when you push it and how you push it and how long you push it. It's kind of confusing... and that's not the nature of Apple products."
 
 
 
 
Why Mac users don't really matter to Apple
Sorry Mac users, but you're not a high priority for Apple these days.
 
There's something a lot bigger and more fundamental that Mac users need to realize and absorb: The Mac isn't a huge part of Apple's business.
 
Mac users represent about 10 percent of Apple's user base.  The other 90% are iPhone and iPad users.
 
 
 
 
Hey Siri, we have to talk
An open letter to Apple’s digital assistant.
 
When you were unveiled seven years ago, Siri, I was so excited by your promise.  Though clunky at first, we knew you’d get smarter over time, like a toddler learning to speak. 


But you’ve been stuck in infancy, while Amazon and Google take your birthright.

 
 
 
 
Video:
Siri has been around for almost 7 years, but it still kind of sucks. Personal assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are constantly improving.
 
 
 
 
Paul Manafort tried to hide from the feds using encrypted WhatsApp—but forgot about iCloud
 
Special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort of witness tampering. Manafort allegedly tried to hide his communications with potential witnesses using the encrypted messaging apps WhatsApp and Telegram, but prosecutors appear to have accessed the messages via his iCloud account.
 
WhatsApp has a setting that automatically backs up messages to iCloud. If enabled, this would render the app’s famous end-to-end encryption useless in terms of hiding from law enforcement equipped with a search warrant.
 
 
 
 
Don't Be Like Paul Manafort. Backing Up Your WhatsApp Messages Creates A Security Loophole
 
Manafort got into trouble because he didn't understand that enabling cloud backups on his WhatsApp account gave investigators a way to circumvent the app's end-to-end encryption.
 
Here’s how to disable WhatsApp backups to Apple’s iCloud and to Google Drive.
 
 
 
 
How to enable Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac
 
 
 
 
Messages in iCloud finally arrives in iOS 11.4 to fix your iMessage-syncing woes
 
’s been a long time coming, but Apple is finally launching its Messages in iCloud feature today with the release of iOS 11.4.
 
Messages on iCloud is kind of complicated, but here’s what it does.
 
 
 
 
Apple sees steep increase in US national security-related data requests
 
Apple's transparency report on government data requests shows another sharp increase in US national security-related requests.
 
 
 
 
Russia to Apple: Kill Telegram crypto-chat – or the App Store gets it
 
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has written to Apple with a request to remove messaging app Telegram from its App Store. Or else.
 
Russia has tried to ban Telegram for several months, citing its use by terrorist groups as justification and securing court orders to access its encryption keys. Telegram has declined to comply, saying it doesn’t have the keys and never did!
 
 
 
 
If you're wondering why Telegram hasn't updated its iOS app in two months, there's a clear reason for that, according to founder and CEO Pavel Durov. He says Apple blocked Telegram from issuing updates after Russia ordered the app's removal from the App Store last month.

The Kremlin issued the decree after the messaging app would not provide decryption keys to let Russian authorities snoop on what users were talking about -- seven percent of Telegram's 200 million users are in Russia, around 14 million people. Telegram decided user privacy was more important than kowtowing to Russia.
 
 
 
 
Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They Were Saying
 
A homeowner named Danielle, who asked for her last name to remain anonymous, told KIRO 7 that she and her husband were in their house, discussing home improvement projects and hardwood floors when they received an urgent call from one of her husband’s employees in Seattle.

“The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now, you’re being hacked,’” Danielle said.
 
One of the most alarming factors in the ordeal was that the Alexa device made a recording and chose to send it to a contact on its own, without alerting the homeowners to what it was doing or asking for permission. Danielle said the engineer did not explain why it happened, or if it was happening to other Alexa users.
 
Danielle is now seeking a full refund from Amazon on her Alexa devices.
 
As The Free Thought Project has previously reported, while Amazon devices can be activated by a number of wake words, including, “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer” and “Echo,” and users cannot turn off the required microphone, they can track what Alexa has recorded and delete it.

 
 
 
 
Woman claims hacker used baby monitor to spy on her in her bedroom — here’s how to protect yourself
 
Is your baby monitor safe?
 
Jamie Summitt said:
“All of a sudden I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the camera was moving...and it was panning over to our bed,” she wrote. “The exact spot that I breastfeed my son every day. Once the person watching realized I was not in bed, he panned back over to Noah asleep in his bassinet.”
 
“I feel so violated,” she added.
 
 
 
 
GDPR Ain’t Helping Anyone In The Innovation Economy
 
May 25th 2018 is the day the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect.
 
It’s the most significant new framework for data regulation in recent history. Not only does every company that does business with an EU citizen have to comply with GDPR, but most major Internet companies (like Google, Facebook, etc) have already announced they intend to export the “spirit” of GDPR to all of their customers, regardless of their physical location. Given that most governments still don’t know how to think about data as a social or legal asset, GDPR is likely the most important new social contract between consumers, business, and government in the Internet’s history. And to avoid burying the lead, I think it stinks for nearly all Internet companies, save the biggest ones.
 
First and foremost, the legislation is a response to what many call “surveillance capitalism,” a business model driven in large part (but not entirely) by the rise of digital marketing.
 
The largest companies can leverage GDPR to increase their power and further protect their businesses from smaller competitors. The innovation ecosystem loses, and the tech oligarchy is strengthened.
 
It’s clear that GDPR, while well intentioned, has already delivered a massive and unexpected externality: Instead of limiting the reach of the most powerful players operating in the world of data, it has in fact achieved the opposite effect.
 
 
 
 
More About Wikipedia’s Corruption
 
I do not exclude truths that happen to be included in the standard account; but neither do I (as Wikipedia does] exclude facts which contradict the standard account.
 
Wikipedia, in the individuals whom it hires to nix or else to accept each editorial change that is being made to a given article, in effect, writes Wikipedia articles — and that it does so consistently filtering out facts — no matter how conclusively proven to be true — that contradict the ‘news’media’s (and CIA’s) boilerplate ‘history’ of the given matter.
 
 
 
 
Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities
 
Attacks can happen by making a car lie about its own position and speed.
 
The hardware and software in modern cars can be modified, either physically through the car’s diagnostic ports or over wireless connections, to instruct a car to transmit false information.
 
This is just the beginning of our research into new types of security problems in the smart transportation systems of the future, which we hope will both discover weaknesses and identify ways to protect the roads and the drivers on them.
 
 
 
 
Homeland Security’s Massive New Database Will Include Face Recognition, DNA, and People’s “Non-Obvious Relationships”
 
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data on citizens and foreigners in the United States. The agency’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometrics—from face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people. It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments. And yet, we still know very little about it.
 
Police abuse of facial recognition technology is not a theoretical issue: it’s happening today.
 
DHS acknowledges that these records will include “non-obvious relationships.” However, if the relationships are “non-obvious,” one has to question whether they truly exist. Instead, DHS could be seeing connections among people that are based on nothing more than “liking” the same news article, using the same foreign words, or following the same organization on social media. This is highly problematic because records like these frequently inform officer decisions to stop, search, and arrest people.
 
DHS’s external partners are also employing face recognition systems with high rates of inaccuracy.
 
I’ll leave you with a robot that wants to destroy all humans. Laugh it up now, but there’s a reason Tesla founder Elon Musk said artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. All those robot apocalypse movies are quickly catching up to humanity and look like our foreseeable future.
 

 

 

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