The MacValley blog


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Tom Briant

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap for Wednesday, 5-23-2018

Many service-industry jobs where employees have to be on their feet all day don’t allow workers to check their phones while they’re on the clock.

Quartz spoke with airline attendants, bartenders, waiters, baristas, shop owners, and (very politely) TSA employees who all said the same thing: The Apple Watch keeps them in touch when they can’t be on their phones at work.

Checking notifications on the sly connects you to the outside world, and also can keep you informed in case there’s an emergency at home.

23 tips and tricks to get the most out of your Apple Watch

1. You can use your Apple Watch to find your iPhone if it gets lost.
4. You can silence your Apple Watch by covering it with your hand.

And lots of other tricks.

7 Features That Finally Make the New Apple Watch Worth It

AirPods are what the Apple Watch should’ve been

Like many Apple products from the Steve Jobs era, AirPods “just work.”

AirPods are one of the most seamless products Apple has released in years.

1Password 7 for Mac warns if you’ve been owned

1Password 7 for Mac notifes users of breaches, warn of bad habits, and highlights vulnerable passwords. 1Password mini has a new look, and there’s a new sidebar with a dark theme.

It’s the first really significant update in over two years.

1Password 7 for Mac can be downloaded now. It’s a subscription service starting at $2.99 a month. There’s a 30-day free trial, though.

1Password for Mac gets its first paid upgrade in five years
New design, added features

1Password 7 will cost $49.99 for a limited time before going back to its usual $64.99 price tag.

24 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need to know

Today in Apple history: Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ campaign came to an end

Remember the two guys saying “I’m a Mac … and I’m a PC” ?

On May 21, 2010, Apple quietly ended its long-running, award-winning “Get a Mac” marketing campaign.

The original “Get a Mac” ads arrived in 2006.

A total of 66 ads were made.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicted doom for Apple’s biggest product

A very interesting bit of history.

In 2005, Bill Gates predicted that mobile phones would do most of what Apple’s iPods did and that the iPod would eventually fail.

But he failed to predict that Apple would introduce the very mobile phone (called iPhone) that would make his prediction come true.

Shortly after Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer laughed at the iPhone.

Microsoft missed the biggest change in computing ever — the smart phone — despite Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates prediction.

Apple drops 24 percent off cost of a cable you really need

A USB-C Lightning cable has several uses, including faster charges for recent iPhone and iPad models.

Apple quietly cuts price of its USB-C to Lightning cable down to $19

Belkin today introduced a certified Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable, and announced that pre-orders will begin on its website.

Lightning to 3.5mm audio cables have been available for several years, but Belkin's edition is certified by Apple under its MFi Program, which was recently expanded to include specifications for this type of cable.

US iPhone sales last quarter jumped by 16% as the rest of the market fell by 11%

A new report from Counterpoint Research reveals that Apple during the first quarter of 2018 saw iPhone sales in the United States jump by 16%. In stark contrast, overall smartphone sales in the U.S. fell by 11%. The takeaway here is significant: even in a market where smartphone sales are slumping, Apple still manages to see an uptick in year-over-year iPhone sales.

Two videos:
This app hacked the iPhone’s dual camera system, and you’ve never seen anything like it

The app is called Apollo, and it’s available right now from the iOS App Store for $1.99. Trust us, it’ll be the best $1.99 you spend all week.

iPhone X - Honest 6-Month Review

iPhone X's Face ID reviewed, six months later

Face ID replaced Touch ID in Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone.

Six months down the line, Face ID continues to prove the security switch was worth doing.

How to Get Better Recommendations From Apple Music, Spotify, and More

If you’re struggling to find new music and your app of choice isn’t helping, don’t give up. There are a bunch of simple ways to improve those recommendations.

Attention Music Lovers: Here's Why You Should Consider Investing in an Apple HomePod ASAP

There is a strong case to be made for it being the ultimate music lover's speaker. Not only is the sound quality out of this world, the HomePod also comes armed with the most incredible range of music personalization available. After spending a couple of weeks using the combination of Apple Music and Apple's smart speaker, I can officially say that it dramatically upped the quality of my music game.

One of the most important things to note about Apple Music's curated playlists is that there are no machines involved — each and every playlist is handcrafted by human editors who love the music just as much as you do.

Siri can hear you — no matter what.

Inexpensive Logitech Crayon iPad stylus debuts just for students

Logitech’s $49 active stylus for iPad unveiled back in March just debuted. However, at this point the Crayon can only be purchased through Apple’s Education channel.

Logitech Crayon for iPad now available to schools, half price of Apple Pencil

The Logitech Crayon, a lower-cost stylus using Apple Pencil technology, is now available for purchase by schools for $49.95.

Logitech says that it’s designed specifically for use with the 6th-generation iPad. It relies on short-range RF, rather than Bluetooth, so it is incompatible with all other iPad Pros currently on the market.

Best iPad apps for Apple Pencil

15 really good apps.

The best note-taking apps for the iPad Pro and Pencil (2018)

The Apple iPad 9.7" Is Everything We've Been Waiting For

The latest generation of iPad — better known as the iPad 9.7" — comes with every single thing that you could possibly want in a tablet.

I believe the Apple iPad 9.7" is the model that's finally worth the cost of an upgrade.

Remember to check this web site every day for new bargains on apps for iPhone and iPad.

Why Are My Parents' iPhones All Synchronized Up?

Apple thinks that both of her parents’ iPhones belong to one person instead of one belonging to the husband and one to the wife.


When setting up this iPhone for the first time (or again), one of parents decided it would be more convenient to just use the same Apple ID as the other device.

Fortunately, this article tells you how to solve this problem.

2 Easy Ways to Find Your iPhone When It's on Silent

The second way is a clever trick that I wouldn’t have though of.

The Most Popular iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

9 Things You Need to Do Before Selling Your iPhone

Follow These 7 Steps to Erase All Your Data Before Selling Your MacBook

After all, you DON’T want the person you sell ONLY your old computer, NOT all your personal information on it too.

Change My View: MacBook Pro keyboard issues are embarrassing but overblown

In most cases, the issue appears to occur when a small piece of debris gets trapped in the mechanism. Apple recommends cleaning your keyboard with compressed air to resolve the problem, and in most cases that does the trick.

Sure, it shouldn’t have happened. I’m not disputing that. But I do think that calls for Apple to recall the models affected, and lawsuits demanding – among other things – full refunds, are excessive.

I’ve experienced the issue myself, with the space bar. It was irritating, and left me unimpressed by the company’s quality control processes.

But, a few seconds with a can of compressed air resolved it. That’s not great, of course. A machine costing thousands of dollars shouldn’t require owners to go out and buy a can of compressed air, then use it, perhaps on a semi-regular basis. But I do think it’s a bit of a first-world problem. I don’t think it justifies recalling the models, and I don’t think it justifies refunding the purchase cost.

How to Join the Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple's Crappy MacBook Keyboards

If you bought a MacBook with butterfly-switch keys, you probably qualify to join the lawsuit. That includes any 12-inch MacBook model from 2015 or later. It also covers the MacBook Pro from 2016 onwards (with or without the Touch Bar). And you don’t have to have a messed-up MacBook to participate. Girard Gibbs LLP (the firm behind the new suit) doesn’t specify that you need to have experienced any keyboard issues in order to join the class-action lawsuit.

Start thinking about what you might do with the sweet $20 you’ll make if the lawsuit prevails—as tends to be the case with litigation like this.

How to keep using Time Machine without AirPort or Time Capsule

You can use an ordinary hard disk instead.  This article has detailed instructions.

Apple launches new privacy portal, users can download a copy of everything Apple knows about them

How to Delete or Deactivate Your Apple ID Account and Data

While any customer anywhere can delete an Apple ID account, Apple says the ability to deactivate an Apple ID account is limited to accounts with locations set in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. Apple intends to roll out the deactivation option around the world "in the coming months."

TeenSafe phone monitoring app leaks teens’ iCloud logins in plaintext

A security researcher has discovered at least two servers hosted by a “secure” monitoring app for iOS and Android, TeenSafe, that were up on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for months without the need for a passcode to get at their data.

The mobile app, TeenSafe, bills itself as being a “secure” monitoring app built by parents, for parents. It lets parents view their kids’ text messages, monitor who they’re calling and when, to track their phones’ current and historical locations, to check their browsing histories, and to see what apps they’ve installed.

The leaky servers were discovered by Robert Wiggins, a UK-based security researcher who searches for public and exposed data.

How to uninstall MacKeeper from your Mac
Some people regret installing MacKeeper but can't figure out how to remove it. We're here for you.

How to delete the 'mshelper' malware from macOS

As it isn't a virus, it is likely mshelper is distributed through an installation of another piece of software rather than spreading organically.

The 2 Questions Steve Jobs Used to Get Brutally Honest Feedback

Steve Jobs knew all about how uncomfortable people can be bearing bad news, so he came up with a clever way to extract honest appraisals from his teams.

Question 1:  Ask one person “Tell me what’s NOT working."

Question 2:  Ask a different person “Tell me what is working.”

Jobs would alternate between the two questions until he felt like he had a handle on what was going on.

Steve Jobs Used These 3 Deceptively Simple Questions to Turn Apple into an Innovation Powerhouse

1. "What's not working?”
2. "Why doesn't it work?”
3. "Is this the best you can do?"

20 Years Ago, Steve Jobs Said 1 Thing Separates Living an Exceptional Life From an Average One

Every day, do a few things differently from the people around you. 

After a week, you'll be uncommon. After a month, you'll be special.

After a year, you will be exceptional.

And you'll have done so on your terms.

Steve Wozniak:
Bitcoin And Blockchain Will Achieve Full Potential In a Decade

Wozniak explained his positive outlook on blockchain by the fact that there are many useful applications for the technology in a number of areas.

Steve Wozniak tells us: 'We've lost our privacy and it's been abused’

Woz said:

“What bothers me more than anything in the world is when technology goes bad.” 

“We lost our security a long time ago. We've lost our privacy and it's been abused.”

“Data sharing makes us subjects of others, of control. I don't like that. I think people should be independent and free.”

Woz also answered a question about whether monopolists like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon should be split up.

7 Gmail tips every emailer should know

Facebook Announces Partnership with Think Tank Connected to NATO, Military Industrial Complex

Facebook announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank which officially claims to provide a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. The social media giant said the partnership is aimed at preventing Facebook from “being abused during elections.”

Essentially, the Atlantic Council is a think tank which can offer companies or nation states access to military officials, politicians, journalists, diplomats, etc. to help them develop a plan to implement their strategy or vision.

The Privacy Scandal That Should Be Bigger Than Cambridge Analytica
Wireless carriers are sharing your real-time location with shady third parties—and a bug lets anyone use that data to track you.

The story involves the real-time location-tracking data that the four largest U.S. wireless carriers collect on everyone with a mobile device. Basically, they know roughly where you are at all times, even if you don’t have your GPS turned on, based on the regular interactions between your phone and nearby cell towers. The carriers aren’t supposed to share that information without your consent.

But the New York Times reported earlier this month that a company called Securus Technologies was offering a service that allowed users to track people’s whereabouts in real time, using data obtained from the wireless companies through a pair of intermediaries.

It gets worse. A Carnegie Mellon researcher poking around on LocationSmart’s website found that he could use a free trial service to instantly pinpoint the location of, well, just about anyone with a mobile phone and wireless service from one of those major carriers. He did this without any permission or credentials, let alone a warrant.

Google and Android are still failing us on messaging and encryption
Refusing to offer default end-to-end encrypted messaging — nevermind across platforms — in 2018 is technological malpractice.

iMessage is right even as it's wrong
I'd been loathe to accept Apple's iMessage on principle.

To the Apple user, it's seamless. There's absolutely no thought involved. To borrow the phrase, it just works.

But a modern messaging service must work across multiple platforms. It's the right way to do it, and it's the right thing to do. Apple's gonna Apple, however, and so iMessage continues to be available on hardware that funnels money directly to Apple, and nowhere else.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Tuesday, 5-15-2018

How to Remove GPGTools/GPGMail Encryption Plugin From Apple Mail

Security researchers are warning users of PGP/GPG email encryption plugins not to use the software, after critical vulnerabilities were discovered that could potentially be used reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails.

The official advice from security researchers is to disable and/or uninstall the affected software until the vulnerabilities are disclosed and fixes can be issued. In the meantime, users are advised to seek alternative end-to-end encrypted channels such as Signal to send and receive sensitive content.

Step-by-step instructions.


Signal update means disappearing messages no longer remain on MacOS

The encrypted messaging app Signal is wonderful — assuming it works as intended.

That last bit was thrown into question yesterday when Motherboard reported that a quirk of MacOS meant that, if you happened to be using the Signal MacOS desktop app, messages could remain on your computer even after they had been removed from the app.

Thankfully, that has now been fixed.


I asked Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant if they're spying on me — here's what they said

AW comment: Siri’s answer was the best — by far.


Alexa and Siri can hear this hidden command — But you can’t

Over the past two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.,539343


Researchers at UC Berkeley have shown they can embed within songs stealthy commands for popular voice assistants that can prompt platforms like Siri,  Alexa or Google Assistant to carry out actions without humans getting wise.

The specific research emerging from Berkeley can hide commands to make calls or visit specific websites without human listeners being able to discern them. The alterations add some digital noise but nothing that sounds like English.


How to recover a Mail folder from Time Machine in macOS

Step-by-step instructions.


'Growth has been significant': Publishers are falling in love with Apple News

• Apple News is quickly becoming a significant source of traffic for web publishers.
• Now that Apple is giving publishers more ad sales control, the hope is that revenue from the app surges.
• Ironically, Apple's closed off nature and anti-data stance are proving attractive to many in the media and ad industry wary of Facebook's recent problems.


Use the News app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch


The designer of the iconic 1980s Macintosh icons created the ultimate hipster cafe for Pinterest's San Francisco headquarters: Take a look inside

Susan Kare, the woman behind the Apple Macintosh's smiling computer icon, has lent her decades-long visual expertise and creative savvy to a new cafe located inside Pinterest's San Francisco headquarters.

Kare, a UI and graphic designer, has worked for Pinterest since 2015. She also sits on the design team of the newly-opened cafe called "The Point. "


8 reasons you should buy Apple's most basic iPad instead of an iPad Pro


How to use Apple Pencil with iWork apps
Learn how to use Apple Pencil to create drawings, as well as mark up and annotate documents, presentations, and spreadsheets created in iWork apps for iOS.


A 'technologically illiterate' New Yorker illustrator explains why he finally started drawing on an iPad

Mark Ulriksen is an artist who has been called "maybe the most prolific painter and illustrator in San Francisco."

He usually works in acryclic and gouache paint, but last October, he started creating art on an iPad Pro.

Ulriksen is just one of a new batch of professional artists who have embraced tablets like Apple's iPad and its Pencil stylus to make illustrations easier, faster, and more ready for the computers and screens most art is consumed on these days.

There was also a professional reason: the world is going digital.


WeatherKit for iPhone and iPad is a beautiful forecasting app for everyone

You can't go wrong opting for Dark Sky, Weather Underground, or AccuWeather. They all have great features.

WeatherKit, or Aerium as it used to be called, is meant to be a general purpose weather app for everyone. It doesn't have quite as many features as some other apps do, but it is designed to present the information that you need, clearly, accurately, and with a beautiful layout.


How a parent can take some control of kids’ iPhone, iPad and iPod use

Here’s some advice on how to configure iOS features to restrict what your kids can be exposed to when they’re on the internet.


Which iPad to Actually Buy (and the Ones to Avoid)

Best overall is the 9.7 inch iPad for $329.

The ultimate iPad is the 10.5 inch iPad Pro for $649.

This article also tells you which three models of iPad to avoid.


iPads Help to Save Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Costs & Labor Hours, According to Construction Company

According to Todd Wynne, iPads solved a problem in the construction industry:  Making sure that all construction employees had easy access to up-to-date drawings.  They also vastly reduced paperwork.  Documents that could be accessed with iPads did not need to be printed on paper.


How to Stop Your Apple Watch From Launching the 'Now Playing' App When Audio Plays on Your iPhone

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


How I use my iPad: Save Images – a free Safari image downloader [Video]


One way to use an iPad as a display for a headless Mac
It involves screen sharing and a third-party VNC app.


10 iPhone features I can't live without


Apple Watch: How to use Theater Mode

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


Apple Watch: How to enable Water Lock mode

The Apple Watch Series 2 and later have a nifty little feature called Water Lock mode. These Apple Watches are able to be submerged under water and still be okay.

With Water Lock mode, it will disable all hardware buttons and the Apple Watch’s display to prevent accidental taps and clicks.

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


HomePod Diary: A second one just replaced the Sonos Play 5 in our bedroom

I said before that while HomePod doesn’t compare with true HiFi systems, it is decent quality sound, and the convenience is unbeatable.


Now is the worst time to buy any MacBook laptop from Apple

The current MacBook Pro models have unreliable keyboards that could cost you a lot of money to repair.

The older MacBook Pro model you can buy, which has a better keyboard, is too old to justify its $2,000 price tag.

MacBooks are extremely light and portable, but they have the unreliable keyboard, and they're expensive for their performance.

This article has a section on what you should do if you need a new MacBook laptop right now.


Apple hit with lawsuit over the “completely reinvented” Macbook keyboard it rolled out back in 2015

According to a complaint lodged in the Northern District Court of California, “thousands” of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops produced in 2015 and 2016 experienced failure owing to dust or debris that rendered the machines useless.

More than 17,000 people signed a petition demanding that Apple recall all MacBooks with butterfly switch keyboards.


HSBC Becomes Latest Bank to Embrace Face ID Login

HSBC has become the latest financial services organization to let iPhone X users login to their corporate accounts using Face ID.

In announcing the support, the bank emphasized Face ID’s security, repeating Apple’s talking points that the system establishes a 3D map of a user’s face using a 30,000-point grid, and that it’s accurate to one in a million users.


What’s the best photo management solution? Google Photos or iCloud Photos?

Apple’s iCloud is better, but Apple will charge you a monthly fee if you store more than 5 Gb of data on iCloud.  It doesn’t take that many photos to add up to 5Gb.

Google Photos is free to use.  But don’t forget Google Photos privacy problem. Some people are concerned about uploading their entire photo library to a company who makes money on advertising.

I’ve always been a huge fan of cloud-managed photo systems.

While I have all my photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library (the 2TB plan), I also still use Google Photos as well.


The iMac’s lasting legacy
The iMac's influence reaches far beyond the desktop, or even the PC.

The iMac signaled how important the all-in-one philosophy was to the future of Apple. Fast forward 20 years and not only is the all-in-one iMac now the stalwart of Apple’s desktop line, but the rest of the company’s products have followed suit.

Perhaps the most significant and lasting effect of the original iMac was that it cemented Apple’s place as a trendsetter.


imac pro + hasselblad h6d photo review: antarctica

A spectacular article by photographer Austin Mann.

Austin Mann, who is known for the in-depth camera reviews he conducts on each new iPhone iteration, this week shared his thoughts on the iMac Pro after using the machine to edit photos and videos shot with a Hasselblad camera after visiting South America and Antarctica.

Mann's review focuses heavily on the experience of editing with the iMac Pro rather than on raw speed and performance alone, making it an interesting look at how the iMac Pro performs on a day to day basis in a photography workflow.


Steve Jobs changed the face of Apple and retail forever on May 15, 2001


This brainstorming strategy helped Steve Jobs generate his most creative ideas

Want to have creative ideas?  Take a walk!!


Black dot bug hits iPhone: How to fix if this emoji breaks your iMessages
The string of text and emojis can cause your iMessages to freeze, but it is fixable.


'Black spot of death': Destructive message spreads to iMessage on iPhone, after WhatsApp bug

A small message is spreading around iPhones and forcing them to break.

The text – known as the "black spot of death" because it arrives in the form of a dark, circular emoji – has hit iMessage and will cause problems for any phones that receive it.

The message is known by the black dot, and makes it look like that is to blame. But in fact the black dot is only hiding the true attack: contained within it are a series of HTML characters that can't be handled by the phone, and so cause it to break down.

It appears to have started on WhatsApp for Android, where it initially spread quickly. But it has now been found to hit iMessage on the iPhone, too.

There is a way to get around the problems that it causes for iPhones, but it is not especially easy.


The ‘Black spot of death' bug is similar to the  Telagu Indian character bug that Apple patched earlier this year, and is yet another in  a long series of bugs that have plagued iOS 11 since its release back in September of last year.


Apple has removed a bunch of apps in the App Store that send location data to third parties without obtaining user consent

The crackdown is happening just weeks before Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. However, it's not certain whether GDPR is Apple's motivation or whether it's just the company enforcing its own rules.


Apple reportedly removing apps that share location data with third parties
Developers must remove violations before they can resubmit their apps for review.


16 online classes that teach the skills you need for the modern workforce — each for just $10


I make my kids do chores for screen time

I came up with a system that's proven to be very successful with my two kids, ages 6 and 8. Instead of blindly handing over the iPad whenever they ask for it, I make them earn their screen time by completing chores.

Each child is given a list of age-appropriate chores.

At first, my kids were not thrilled with having to pay for screen time, but they quickly learned that if they really wanted something, they were going to have to work for it. This applies to all aspects of life, and I'm glad they're learning this important lesson at a young age.


Bill Gates And Steve Jobs Limited Their Kids’ Tech Use, Which Should Be A Giant Hint To The Rest of Us

Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs, fully knew the power of the devices they created — and made sure their kids didn’t get too much exposure too soon.


John McAfee said Anti-Virus software no longer works.

He said that 99% of hacking today is “social engineering”.


A federal appeals court sided with the Fourth Amendment by ruling that U.S. border officials must have individualized suspicion of wrongdoing before attempting to search the cell phones and electronic devices of travelers. The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings which recognize that the rules which govern invasive searches of digital devices and data must be updated.

The ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are currently engaged in a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of 11 people who had their phones and laptops stolen and searched by federal agents when coming home to the United States. The lawsuit is attempting to force the courts to require a warrant based on probable cause before searching travelers and violating their Fourth Amendment rights.


From Spotify to Instagram, the entire internet is now a dating site

Platforms for networking, blogging and more do double duty as stealth matchmakers


When 'Grandma-Proof' Android Spyware Is Good Enough For International Espionage

Many mobile surveillance tools flogged to governments for hundreds of thousands of dollars are much the same as so-called "spouseware"—home surveillance programs aimed at helping people spy on loved ones that can be purchased for less than $100.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Using Windows Themepacks in macOS, Clearing the cruft from an slowing Mac, and setting up an alternate iTunes or Photos Library

It’s amazing what articles I post get the most appreciation. This Windows themepack topic generated more interest than I anticipated!

I happened upon the fact that Microsoft cloaks the .jpeg files within a Themepack in a renamed plain old .zip file purely by circumstance. “Hmn,” I wondered one day, “What if Microsoft just recycled an older format such as .zip to compress Themepack files? Let’s see…”

I call this the Jeff Healey method, after the late great musician Jeff Healey, who tests out his foot pedals with wonderful results before launching into a live version of John Lennon’s Yer Blues. That’s all I claim, wonderful results by pushing the boundaries a bit.

I tested this Themepack hack one more time to see if it works with the current Microsoft .themepack format. Yes, it still works. 

If you use a themepack you like and which requests a donation, donate! My hack pales in comparison to the skills of these photographers. 

Cleaning Up an Untidy Mac


And now that you’ve added more stuff to your Mac, it’s time to clean it up. I can recommend the methods Thorin Klosowski wrote up in a Lifehacker post in 2017. I’ve tried these tips out and they have produced a noticeable improvement in the Mac’s performance. 

Mr. Klosowski suggests using largely free apps for this cleanup. In place of Daisy Disk, I can recommend the Omnigroup’s OmniDiskSweeper. This gives you a text display of folder sizes, ranked from largest to smallest.

I prefer a text display of my fattest folders to Daisy Disk’s graphic display, but that’s just me. I bought Daisy Disk when it went on sale. It’s worth the price if you prefer a graphical display of your fattest folders. 

SSD’s and Alternatives


Mr. Klosowski’s most expensive fix for slow performance involves buying an SSD to replace your conventional hard drive. The most recent price for a 500 GB Samsung SSD is $130 to $140. This compares with the Frys Electronics price of $64.99 for a 1 TB 7200 rpm 2.5” hard drive

What are your options when faced with a 2:1 tradeoff between speed and capacity? I can offer three ideas.

First, consider a hybrid drive using a small SSD in conjunction with a larger conventional hard drive. This will give you increased performance at a lower cost. You can buy one from for $60.99 for a 1 TB model.

This uses similar technology to Apple’s Fusion Drive, but puts the controlling software into silicon right on the drive itself. Apple puts the Fusion Drive’s software into macOS.

I installed a similar unit in my 2011 Mac Mini with great results. I can’t imagine going back to a conventional hard drive to run macOS 10.13.4. The spinning beachball would drive me nuts. 

Second, you can split the load between a small SSD (<256 GB) for macOS and a larger conventional hard drive for your /User/<yourname> folder. You use this technique as outlined by M. Christopher Stevens of MacSales. If you use your Mac in one place and don’t mind plugging in an external USB hard drive; even a USB 2.0 connection would give you greatly expanded capacity. I used this technique with my old plastic 2006 MacBook so I could play all my iTunes music and movies through it. 

This technique has two caveats. First, don’t unplug your external hard drive while logged in. Second, only unplug or eject the hard drive when you turn off your Mac or log out of your Mac. 

Third, if your iTunes or Photos media collection has expanded beyond the size of your hard drive, here is a technique if you don’t want to permanently commit to an external /User/<your name here> folder.

You can choose an alternative iTunes or Photos folderwhen you start iTunes or Photos IF you remember to hold down the Option/Alt key while double-clicking on the app. macOS will offer you the choice of another iTunes or Photos folder. 

First, plug in your HFS+ formatted hard drive. (Remember, you need to reformat a new USB hard drive from Windows NTFS into macOS HFS+ format first)

Set up a folder on it. Name it as either iTunes #2 or Photos #2. Whatever strikes your fancy and that you will remember!

Now go back to that dialog box asking for you to either create or choose a new iTunes or Photos library.

Create a new iTunes or Photos library. Put it into the folder you created.

Now it’s up to you to populate this new library with media. Take your time adding media to it, instead of just transferring your old library over at once. That’s my advice.

Even if your older Mac only came with USB 2.0 connections, that’s fast enough for music and movies and photos. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Monday 5-7-2018

iMac 20th anniversary: 8 ways the iMac changed computing

The original iMac was the computer that saved Apple.


20 years of iMac: A story of relentless design iteration

Interesting iMac history.


20 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the original Bondi Blue iMac to the world and forever changed the course of Apple history.


Apple's influential, iconic iMac turns 20

There are few individual computer models that have left a lasting mark on the industry, but you can definitely put the iMac on that list. Apple introduced its signature all-in-one desktop at a special event on May 6th, 1998, and it's safe to say the system has had a lasting impact.

And it's no secret that the iMac was instrumental to Apple's comeback. Its commercial success revitalized Apple after years of business blunders.


Neat cartoon for iMac’s 20th anniversary.

Because the URL is for an index page, I don’t know how long the cartoon will stay there.


Apple Music vs Spotify: Which should you choose?

Apple Music and Spotify are the dominant players in the streaming music business.

Both services are $9.99 per month.

Spotify claims it has over 35 million songs in its library. Apple claims it has 45 million songs.

I have my pros and cons for both of them. They both are close to perfect, but just place priorities on different things.


Using The Old Original Mac OS Is Pure Zen

Technology does not age well. But good design? That ages like a fine Bordeaux.

Of course I appreciate the old OS as a computing artifact, but I didn’t expect to earnestly enjoy using it.

Android and iOS both feel horrible in two colors, like your app icons are trapped in an episode of I Love Lucy. But black and white can feel great, if the OS is explicitly designed for it. Using an old Mac is pure zen.


The different fate of Apple’s Lisa and Macintosh (and why design matters)

Another interesting article of Macintosh history.


These are the seven best RAW camera apps for Android and iOS

A RAW photo offers better image quality than a JPEG, but capturing RAW images was once a feature reserved for only DSLRs and other high-end cameras. But thanks to increasingly capable smartphone cameras and clever developers, it’s now possible to shoot RAW photos on your smartphone. In fact, both iOS and Android support RAW photo capture out of the box.

We’ve rounded up the best RAW-compatible mobile apps for both Android and iOS, each of which takes a unique approach to shooting, editing, and managing RAW photos on your phone.


How to manage Face ID access for specific apps

Step-by-step instructions.


Inside 'iPhone City,' the massive Chinese factory town where half of the world's iPhones are produced


Find Your iPhone at Home Without Logging into iCloud

There are more ways to finding your missing iPhone than using Apple's own "Find My iPhone" tool in iCloud.

If you have an Apple Watch, it's really easy to find your iPhone with it as long as they are still connected using Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi.


It’s been six months since the iPhone X release, and one thing holds true: It’s still expensive. However, as much as I hated myself for buying a $1,000 phone, and as much as I hated myself for loving it, spending half a year with the iPhone X has revealed some new truths. One, Jony Ive is right when he says Face ID is more important than it seems. Two, Apple’s grasp on excellent quality control is slipping. Three, once you’ve fallen in love with the iPhone X, there’s no turning back.

Even with the blemishes, my iPhone X experience amounts to a collage of positive experiences.


Apple will fix bug affecting iPhone 7 and 7 Plus microphones

Some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later are experiencing an issue with their microphones. Some users have reported that after updating, their phones' microphones stopped working, affecting voice memos, calls, FaceTime and speakerphone.


Yet another reason I’ll never switch from the iPhone to Android

iOS 11 is far and away the most problematic version of iOS that Apple has released in years.

But however bad things get with Apple’s mobile software platform, you’ll never come across anything like the crazy malware that was just discovered on Android.

Kaspersky Lab wrote about the discovery of a fascinating and terrifying new piece of Android malware that has been uncovered. It’s called “ZooPark” and it’s essentially an amalgamation of every scary malware you can think of.

“ZooPark is a cyberespionage operation that has been focusing on Middle Eastern targets since at least June 2015,” Kaspersky Labs’ Alexey Firsh wrote on the company’s blog.

A sophisticated piece of malware like this is impossible to achieve on the iPhone — unless you jailbreak your iPhone.

The level of access needed to pull off something like ZooPark will never exist in iOS, and it’s yet another big reason why I stick with the iPhone.


Apple 2018 iPad review: The Pencil is sharp

The 2018 iPad’s support for the Apple Pencil is not quite as good as the iPad Pro support, but it’s still pretty good.  Especially considering the new iPad is only about half the price of the Pro.


Yes, the Apple Pencil rocks on the new iPad

Yes, there is a teeny-weeny difference in terms of how the pencil reacts to the screen. For example, the iPad Pro picks up the tiniest bit of movement and captures better detail as compared to the iPad, but the difference is not really noticeable.


Apple iPad (2018) Full Review: Good Performance, Great Price, Almost A Pro


Review:  Apple iPad (2018)


Apple iPad (2018) review: The Pen(cil) is mightier than the rest

This article was written by a person in India.  iPad prices are listed in Rupees.

Apple is targeting the education sector with the 6th-gen iPad (or iPad 2018). So much so that the launch event was held in a school.

What’s different in the new iPad is the support for Apple Pencil.  Prior to this iPad, only the iPad Pro supported the Apple Pencil.


5 tips and tricks for Apple's newest iPad


Best note-taking apps for iPad Pro


Apple now performing rear camera repairs for iPhone X Face ID issues

Essentially, the document explains that employees should first run a diagnostics test to see if the customer’s Face ID issues could be resolved with a rear camera repair. If that doesn’t turn out to be the case, the employee should simply perform a whole unit replacement, giving the customer a new phone.


‘Seek medical attention,’ her Apple Watch said. Good thing she did.

Stacey Recktenwald, a registered nurse, monitored her daughter's heart rate for about an hour and confirmed the results from the watch. She took her daughter to an urgent care clinic, where doctors and nurses seemed sceptical.  

“They didn't believe us at first,” Deanna Recktenwald said. “But then they took my pulse and told us we should go to the emergency room.”

A biopsy later would lead to the diagnosis of alport syndrome, a genetic condition characterised by kidney disease.

Apple Watch's abilities as a health monitoring system have piqued the interest of physicians worldwide, said Dr Peter Chang, chief medical informatics officer at Tampa General.


Hillsborough teen: Apple Watch saved my life


William Monzidelis, 32, was working at his family’s bowling alley in the Bronx when he became dizzy and had unexplained bleeding.  His Apple Watch alerted him to seek medical attention.

Doctors in the emergency room soon discovered that Monzidelis had an ulcer that had ruptured. Due to this, he needed a blood transfusion before he could even undergo surgery.


Apple Watch: How to pair with new iPhone


Owner/operator of smart phone business says he’s seeing a lot more fake iPhones

The owner and operator of Device Doctors warns that fake iPhones have hit the streets on P.E.I.

Cory Rusk said he’s got bins full of knock-offs at his Charlottetown store that are rendered useless, leaving customers without a phone and out significant money.


'Don't trust the iCloud’ says Paris Hilton

Heiress Paris Hilton isn't storing her nude pictures on the iCloud any more after the hacker who stole nude photos and more than $170,000 from her was jailed for almost five years.


A Los Angeles woman with a long criminal history of identity theft was sentenced Monday to nearly five years in federal prison for hacking hotel heiress Paris Hilton’s bank and iCloud accounts, stealing $130,000 and personal photos.


How Secure Are Face ID and Touch ID?

While it’s almost certain that no random stranger will be able to get into your phone, if you’re the victim of a targeted attack, things might be different.

Both Touch ID and Face ID are completely vulnerable if someone can force you to log in, either by holding your finger against the sensor (even when you’re asleep) or making you look at your phone. And those two types of attacks are much easier to pull off than forcing someone to give over their passcode.


Stay secured with VPN App is a VPN (virtual private network) service and application, designed to help keep you safe when you use the internet.

By using an encrypted VPN, hackers and malicious attackers are prevented from stealing or snooping on your data when connected to public wifi networks (like at coffee shops, hotels, or airport).


Apple took 8 days to give me the data it had collected on me. It was eye opening.


Computers in North Korea run on look-alike Mac software called 'Red Star 3.0' — see what it looks like to log in and use it


Chinese Factories Employ "Brain Scanners" To Stop Workers' Mistakes Before They Happen

... deploy new brain scanners that monitor abnormalities in emotions and thought patterns.

Forget the Facebook leak: China is mining data directly from workers’ brains on an industrial scale

Brain surveillance can take privacy abuse to a whole new level.

Government-backed surveillance projects are deploying brain-reading technology to detect changes in emotional states in employees on the production line, the military and at the helm of high-speed trains



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