The MacValley blog


Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.


Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

Editor: Tom Briant


Click here to email Tom

Click here for Tom's profile



To search the blog posts please use the box below

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for November 15 2017

Apple Watch retakes the lead in the wearable band market in Q3 2017
Apple retook the lead in the wearable band market in Q3 2017, with shipments of 3.9 million. It posted its strongest quarter so far in 2017, thanks to the release of the Apple Watch Series 3.
Xiaomi and Fitbit are apples main competitors in the wearable market.
Samsung, Apple and Huawei, the top three smartphone vendors by volume in Q3 2017, have positioned smartwatches to complement their premium smartphones.
Several iPhone X Owners Experiencing 'Crackling' or 'Buzzing' Sounds From Earpiece Speaker

Over two dozen users have said they are affected in a MacRumors discussion topicabout the matter, while similar reports have surfaced on Twitter and Reddit since the iPhone X launched just over a week ago. 

On affected devices, the crackling sounds occur with any kind of audio playback, including phone calls, music, videos with sound, alarms, and ringtones. The issue doesn't appear to be limited to any specific iPhone X configuration or iOS version.
A Researcher Says He Fooled Face ID on Apple's iPhone X With This DIY Hack
A researcher in Vietnam has demonstrated how he apparently fooled Apple‘s face recognition ID software on its new iPhone X using a mask made with a 3D printer, silicone, and paper tape.
This 10-year-old was able to unlock his mom’s iPhone using Face ID
A new video has popped up showing a 10-year-old unlocking his mother’s iPhone, suggesting that any family members who bear enough resemblance might be able to bypass the system.
After the mother reregistered her face under different lighting, her son was no longer able to unlock her phone. She reregistered a third time in dimmer lighting to replicate her initial registration, and then, her son was able to unlock the phone again.
We put the iPhone X's Face ID to the ultimate test with identical twins — and the results surprised us
iPhone's Face ID can be hacked, but here's why nobody needs to panic
The release of the iPhone X earlier this month included a new facial recognition security feature called Face ID.
Recently, a Vietnamese company called Bkav has circumvented this technology with a mask made from 3-D parts.
Paul Norris, senior systems engineer at Tripwire, stated that hacks like the one Bkav carried out take a great deal of time and effort.
he said. "What they didn't disclose was how many attempts and what level of effort it took to get the mask to work flawlessly." Norris also pointed out that certain security details built into Apple's Face ID can mitigate risk. Five failed attempts to authenticate users via facial means will force the user to enter a passcode, which is required for Face ID to function.
In addition, there are still more security features.
The Apple Watch Can Accurately Detect Hypertension and Sleep Apnea
A new study from the health startup Cardiogram and UCSF suggests that off-the-shelf wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit could be used to accurately detect common conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea. It’s only the latest example in a string of recent studies in which researchers have tapped into the biosensors of wearables to turn them into devices that can detect and monitor serious health conditions.
About 90 percent of the time, the algorithm was able to accurately detect those with sleep apnea; 82 percent of the time it accurately detected hypertension.
That level of accuracy, the researchers concluded, was high enough to serve as an initial screening, with a traditional doctor’s diagnosis getting the final say.
YouTube Promises to Fix iPhone and iPad Battery Issues After Apple Users Report It Is Draining All Their Battery Charge
The YouTube App appears to be secretly draining people's iPhone and iPad batteries at stunning speed.
A number of users of Apple's devices report that the YoutTube app is sapping their battery – even when their users aren't watching videos or even have the app open at all.
Since iOS 11 was launched, a number of people have complained that their updated phones and iPads are running out of battery more quickly. And while it's unlikely that the YouTube problem explains all of those issues, it may help alleviate some of them.
To ensure that YouTube is fully shut and therefore unable to drain your battery, it can be force quit from the multitasking menu.
Apple’s Official “Human Interface Guidelines” for iPhone X
iPhone X ‘notch’ remover now downloadable from App Store

iPhone X owners who are not completely impressed with the so-called camera “notch” on the otherwise all-screen front of their devices now have a workaround through an app.
Appropriately called the Notch Remover, this app disguises the iPhone X notch with a black bar. Doing so makes the top area of the iPhone X appear more traditional.
The app doesn't remove the notch per se, it just makes the notch invisible by placing a black bar across the top.
CNBC reports that the app still has a few bugs to be ironed out.

I've been using the iPhone X for 18 hours, and I'm already sold
The author wrote:
• I've been testing the iPhone for a little less than a day.
• Overall, I enjoy the design and the new, larger screen. And I don't miss the home button.
• Despite some of the concerns over Face ID, it works flawlessly.
AW comment:
Face ID works as well as the author claims, and I’m very impressed.
Click the link after this one to see the video demonstration with identical twins.
iPhone X Review
What I learned after downloading every iPhone App of the Day for a month
it’s actually really expensive to buy apps every day.
A lot of the apps of the day genuinely aren’t made for me.
A lot of people have a vague desire to get more out of their phone, but get overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps available.
Why I Returned My iPhone X
Getting my hands on an iPhone X was hard. Returning it was easy.
I spent a week with Apple’s newest phone, and I’m confident about two things.
First, it’s the best smartphone I’ve used this year.
Second, I’m not ready to spend $1,000 on a phone (or, really, $1,200, since I would really, really recommend getting the $200 AppleCare if you get the iPhone X— repairs are expensive enough to justify it).
 I loved the phone but not enough to spend this much money on it.  I’m OK with playing catch-up down the line.
Apple Pay Cash guide: What it is, how it works, and what it costs
iOS 11.2 adds Apple Pay Cash, which lets you send money to other iOS users right in an iMessage.
It’s an incredibly easy way to send person-to-person money, but it does have a few caveats you’ll need to be aware of.
If you use a debit card, Apple Pay Cash is free. But if you use a credit card, there’s a 3% credit card transaction fee every time you use your card to add to your Apple Pay Cash balance.
Apple iOS 11.1.1 Release: Should You Upgrade?
iOS 11.1.1 is here. Quickly released to correct a bizarre autocorrect bug which caused the letter “i” autocorrect to an “A” with a symbol.
As with all iOS 11 releases, iOS 11.1.1 is compatible with iPhone 5S or later, iPad mini 2 or later and the 6th generation iPod touch or later.
How Apple sold me on buying a Windows laptop
No one thing pushed me to replace my aging 2012 MacBook Air with an HP (HPQ) Spectre x360. But a slew of small issues made abandoning macOS an easier call than I could have predicted three years ago.
That Windows laptop has a touch-screen.  MacBooks don’t.
The Windows laptop has both old and new USB ports.  MacBooks have only the newest ports.
The Windows laptop has a privacy mode for its screen which turns the screen opaque when seen from the side.
The Windows laptop is less expensive.
Apple Expands 'Everyone Can Code' Initiative to Students Around the World
Apple today announced that its "Everyone Can Code" initiative is being expanded to more than 20 colleges and universities outside of the United States.
Apple introduced its App Development with Swift curriculum in early 2017, with the materials available as a free download from the iBooks Store.
Why you should not rely on iCloud Photo Library as your only media backup
Macworld reader Eric wondered if he could rely on iCloud to be his "main backup of images." The short answer is no, but it's not about distrust in Apple's technical abilities. Rather, about the frailty of all material things, and the risk of putting all one's digital eggs in one basket, no matter how firmly the basket-storing company is holding that basket.

You're relying entirely on Apple for this backup, and you can't reach out to iCloud and backup that backup. It's a single copy, which means a single point of failure.
All good backup advice recommends you have effectively three copies of a given thing you want to retain forever: a live copy on media you can access; a local copy that's offline or physically and mechanically separate; and an off-site copy that you could retrieve.
How criminals clear your stolen iPhone for resale
Criminals have dedicated themselves to compromising iCloud accounts to wipe clean stolen devices using a set of interesting tools.
In May 2016, a team from Trend Micro (which sells computer security software) stumbled upon an operation in which threat actors were offering tools and services to break open iCloud accounts and unlock stolen iPhones.
Firefox 57 'Quantum' for macOS released, iOS version user interface refresh coming
Mozilla claims that FireFox is twice as fast and uses 30 percent less memory than Google's Chrome. 
According to a blog post documenting the new release, 4.9 million lines of code were added, with 6.9 million lines changed by more than 700 authors. There are over 5,000 compatible web extensions available for the browser.
Versions of Firefox 56 for macOS, Windows, and Linux are available now. The new user interface —but not the improvements to the browsing engine —will appear on iOS and Android in time.
Firefox aims to win back Chrome users with its souped up Quantum browser
Did you know that the charging case Apple ships with its AirPods makes for a surprisingly useful iPhone stand? Well, it does.
It's not perfect. The setup is precarious. Nevertheless, it works well enough.
Samsung makes my favorite wireless charger for the iPhone X

Specifically, I like the Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible Stand W/ AFC Wall Charger.
6 reasons why the iPhone X is better than Google's Pixel 2
1.  Looks better.
2.  Feels better in your hand.
3.  Better screen.
4.  Wireless charging (Google Pixel doesn’t).
5.  Better camera.
6.  Apple Eco-system — meaning:
     better apps,
     more locations (Apple stores) for convenient repairs,
     works well with other Apple products,
     (better than Pixel 2 works with other Google products)
iPhone X Review: So Refined, It Converted This Android User
I'm not exactly an Apple fan. I've been vocal about my preference for Android's endless customization over iOS's controlling, restricting ways.
But even having said that, after testing the iPhone X for a week and half, I've decided to make it my daily driver. This means the X is currently home to my main sim card, and is the phone I bring out and about every single day.
I'm using the iPhone X as my daily driver because of that notch above the screen, and a bunch of little refinements that are not big deals on their own but the combination makes for a compelling package.
I do wish Apple would implement a one-hand mode that isn't trash [something I could have easily via Android customization].
Should you buy AppleCare+ for your iPhone X? It depends
If you don’t buy AppleCare+ and never need it, you save $199; if you buy AppleCare+ and never use it, you might waste $199. All other scenarios will likely pay off if you anticipate accidentally damaging your iPhone X within the first two years of owning it.
This article has a detailed list of repair prices, both with and without AppleCare+ coverage.
Don’t drop it! Shocking repair prices for the iPhone X
The most expensive smartphone on the market is also the most costly to repair.
The cost to fix a cracked screen at an Apple store is $279. That’s significantly more than replacing a cracked screen on previous iPhone versions. If there is other damage, the repair price jumps to $549 – more than half the retail price of that phone. By comparison, the cost to repair a cracked screen on iPhone 8 is $169 and other damage is $349, according to Apple’s repair pricing page
AW comment:  Unless you buy AppleCare for it.
iPhone X Review: One week with the world’s best smartphone
Its “notch” will make it the most recognizable smart phone in the world.
Fantastic cameras.
Better battery life.
Apple usually isn’t first with the newest smart phone features.  But moving first isn’t Apple’s goal in most cases. It’s to offer a product that combines technologies the company thinks are ready for prime-time.
15+ iPhone X Tips and Tricks
Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) review: battery life to get through a working day
With its build quality, excellent keyboard and improved longevity, this is one of the nicest computers you can buy – but it will cost you.
Pros: beautiful, great screen, Touch Bar, Touch ID, massive trackpad, thin and relatively light, USB-C, OK battery life

Cons: no USB-A ports, no ethernet, no native display ports, no upgrading after purchase, very expensive
Apple's Mac Sales Up 25% Year-Over-Year in Q4 2017
Apple's iPhone X vs. Google's Pixel 2 XL

Includes a video.
Both devices feature OLED displays, but the iPhone X's display is leagues better than that of the Pixel 2 XL.
So which of these devices is better? It's impossible to say. Both the iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 XL are entirely different platforms, and each one is the best in its respective category.
Why I loved working with Steve Jobs even though he fired me 5 times and treated me terribly
Before the spaceship: A look back at the previous campuses that Apple called home
Some interesting Apple history.
Tim Cook’s record-crushing tenure as Apple CEO is the most under-appreciated story in business
Jobs did bring Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy to turn it into the most valuable company in the world. But Cook's job in some ways is harder. Jobs was starting almost from zero. Cook has to maintain Apple's growth from an absolutely massive revenue and profit base, while answering critics who long for another world-changing product like the iPhone turned out to be.
Steve Jobs famously said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
— Carl Sagan
20 TED Talks on Programming Everyone Must Watch
Why the advertising industry believes that Facebook is invincible
Advertisers essentially have no alternative Facebook.
That dynamic is in stark contrast to Google's YouTube, where some advertisers have stayed away ever since some ads ended up next to hate videos.
Marketers have also gotten accustomed to a certain level of dicey ad practices. "Even with the wrong math — it is really small compared to fraud rates on other platforms," said the ad holding company executive. "In digital advertising, you just learn to live with a certain amount of ambiguity."
Twitter admits overstating user numbers for years
Twitter revealed that it has overstated its monthly active user numbers for years by mistakenly including a segment of users from third-party applications.
Twitter revised its previously reported numbers down by 1 to 2 million users for each of the last three quarters. The error is said to date back to the fourth quarter of 2014.
YouTube to crack down on inappropriate videos targeting kids
Automatic filters that are supposed to strip out any YouTube content that’s not child-friendly, so that it can be streamed on what’s supposed to be the kid-safe YouTube Kids site, are far from foolproof.
Who is evading YouTube Kids’ filters to target children with these bizarre videos? And why are they doing it? To what end does someone want to feature Mickey Mouse lying in the street in a pool of blood as Minnie Mouse looks on?

Apparently, the NYT reports, there’s money being made.
Google Youtube says that  the first step in keeping this stuff off YouTube Kids are the algorithmic filters. Then, YouTube says it has a team of humans reviewing flagged videos. If a video flagged in the main app contains children’s characters, it will be sent to the policy review team. YouTube says it has thousands of people, including volunteers, working to review flagged content around the clock, around the world. If the review concludes that a video violates the new policy, it will be age-restricted, automatically blocking it from showing up in the Kids app.
Thirty countries use 'armies of opinion shapers' to manipulate democracy – report
Governments in Venezuela, the Philippines, Turkey and elsewhere use social media to influence elections, drive agendas and counter critics, says report
“Governments are now using social media to suppress dissent and advance an anti-democratic agenda,” said Sanja Kelly, director of the Freedom on the Net project.
In each of the 30 countries, the report found “strong indications that individuals are paid to distort the digital information landscape in the government’s favour, without acknowledging sponsorship”.
By bolstering the false perception that most citizens stand with them, authorities are able to justify crackdowns on the political opposition and advance anti-democratic changes to laws and institutions without a proper debate.
Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.
“I don’t feel like it’s working at all. The fake information is still going viral and spreading rapidly,” said one journalist who does fact-checks for Facebook.
How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media
Skepticism of online “news” serves as a decent filter much of the time, but our innate biases allow it to be bypassed, researchers have found — especially when presented with the right kind of algorithmically selected “meme.”
The common wisdom that these rumors gain circulation because most people conduct their digital lives in echo chambers or “information cocoons” is exaggerated, Dr. Brendan Nyhan said. Most people are more omnivorous than presumed; they are not confined in warm bubbles containing only agreeable outrage.
Most lies and false rumors go nowhere, but the rare ones with appealing urban-myth “mutations” find psychological traction, then go viral.
The other dynamic that works in favor of proliferating misinformation is not embedded in the software but in the biological hardware: the cognitive biases of the human brain.
Endless Feeds of Social Media Content Need to Die
Those endless feeds of content are a perpetual source of inspiration, information and amusement. And yet, feeds need to die because they distort our views and disconnect us from other human beings around us.
Facebook is now the worst internet forum you can find. Twitter is filled with horrible, abusive people. Instagram has become a tiny Facebook now that it has discouraged all the weird, funny accounts from posting with its broken algorithm. LinkedIn’s feed is pure spam.
Finally, I realized that constantly checking all my feeds caused be to miss out on the real world. By putting my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ for days, I discovered new places, started conversations and noticed tiny little things that made me smile.
Forget about your phone for a minute, look around and talk with people next to you.
Google’s physical authentication keys are effective but limited
Provided you only use Google's apps and services.
You'll only be able to use Google's own apps (like Gmail, Backup and Sync, and the Chrome browser) until the company adds support for third-party apps like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. The third-parties will also have to update their apps to work with the keys.
The site found the security of the new physical key-based system to be solid, even for regular folks. If you lose the keys, however, getting access to your account will take longer than it does without them, up to a few days, said the NYT. Ultimately, if you need the higher-level security represented by physical keys, this seems like it could be a great way to get it. If you rely on third-party apps and systems, you might want to wait.
Use Security Key for 2-Step Verification When Using Your Google Account
With Google's Security Key, you add the security of 2-Step Verification but don't need to re-type codes from your phone.
A Security Key is small enough to fit on your keychain or in your wallet.
Google Security Key works only with Google’s Chrome web browser.
Google Security Key works only with Google apps, not with other companies’ e-mail, calendar or contact apps.
Google Can’t Be Trusted With Your Private Data
Multiple journalists — ironically, not conservatives — reported that they’d gotten locked out of projects they were working on using Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage service. Mark DiStefano of Buzzfeed UKreported the news, and later reported on Google’s “apology” for it, via Twitter. Google explained, “This morning, we made a code that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have access to their docs.”

Google needs to stop treating its users like lab rats for its machine learning. Already, their attempt to crack down on YouTube videos have cost perfectly well-meaning and sometimes entirely apolitical channels thousands of dollars in ad revenues over absurd misapplications of the rules by content flagging bots. To play fast and loose with their producers’ revenue streams like this, despite those people bringing people back to YouTube, showed an extreme level of disrespect for those users.
But Google Drive isn’t just any platform. It’s one where people post their PRIVATE documents. Which brings us to the second, and even worse issue with this story: Why on earth is Google sending bots to scan users’ private content for violations of its Kafkaesque, hyper-PC Terms of Service? Unlike YouTube, where Google can at least give the thin justification that it’s policing bad content seen by the public, there’s no guarantee that anything in Google Docs will be seen by the outside world. So what on earth is Google doing policing it?
AW Comment:
Why do people EVER store their personal information anywhere other than their own computer hard disks?
(assuming they have the option of avoiding it)
So you’ve decided to boycott Google? Congratulations! That’s a great idea! But now, where do you go for alternatives? Are there any other search engines? Join The Corbett Report’s open source investigation into search alternatives as we explore the good the bad and the ugly of online filter bubbles.
This video is about several alternatives.
When you decide it’s time to leave Google for another service, you can download a complete archive of all the files and data you used with Google products.
Google has instructions on how to do this.  Click the links below.
CIA’s Secret Spy Tool Steals Biometric Data From Other Intelligence Agencies
WikiLeaks has published a document of a CIA project called ‘ExpressLane’ that allows the agency to secretly extract biometric data from the NSA, the DHS, and the FBI as well as non-U.S. agencies.
“ExpressLane v3.1.1 provides an ability to disable the biometric software if liaison doesn’t provide the Agency with continued access.”

ExpressLane is installed and run under the guise of upgrading the biometric software by OTS agents who physically visit the target site.
“OTS/i2c plans to revisit these sites with the cover of upgrading the biometric software to perform a collection against the biometric takes,” a CIA document outlining the program read.

The data exfiltration is then disguised behind a Windows installation splash screen so anyone overseeing the OTS officer installing the “update” doesn’t become suspicious. Meanwhile, the program is siphoning out the agency’s database of biometric data.
The files originate from 2009 and were intended to remain secret until 2034.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Wednesday, 10-25-2017

Check this web page for a daily list of free iOS apps.
Each app is free for only a limited time.
A Bloomberg report made claims that Apple had reduced its requirements from suppliers on the accuracy level of Face ID. Apple has issued a statement stating that the report is “completely false” and that it expects Face ID to be the new gold standard of facial authentication.
Face ID uses a 3D camera array built out of a variety of technologies Apple has acquired since 2013 or so and miniaturized for use in the iPhone X.
Apple is calling into contention an earlier report from Bloomberg that claimed the company had lowered the accuracy of the face recognition in order to increase iPhone X production yields, calling the report “completely false” in a statement to The Verge. 

The full statement from Apple elaborates that 1,000,000:1 accuracy it had originally announced is still valid. Depending on how you want to read the statement, it is possible that Bloomberg’s original report — which said that Apple had lowered quality specifications to allow components to be produced faster — is also correct, and that Apple is using careful wording here when referring to the “accuracy” of the sensor, which could remain the same, even if overall part quality control was reduced.
Apple calls report of reduced iPhone X Face ID specs “completely false”
The Bloomberg report does not specify how Apple may have reduced the specifications for Face ID or whether the alleged reduction would have any tangible effect for consumers. Apple said that Face ID’s accuracy was 1,000,000:1 when it unveiled the iPhone X in September, well above the one-in-50,000 chance that a user could unlock someone else’s iPhone using the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Best Buy has dropped the price of aluminum versions of the Apple Watch Series 2 down by another $40, resulting in 38mm models priced at just $230 and 42mm models at $260.
AW comment:
Clearance sale now that Series 3 is in stores.
The best deals on Apple products and accessories
Meet The Woman Who Wants To Change The Way You Buy Your iPhone:  Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts
She is now Apple’s highest-ranking woman, in charge of about 50% of the company’s workforce.
Like other high-ranking Apple executives, Ahrendts often shows up at retail stores unannounced.
Three years ago, Apple spent more than $73 million, mostly in stock, to convince Ahrendts to leave London, where she was CEO of the luxury fashion company Burberry, and move to Silicon Valley to head Apple’s online and physical retail presence.

Retail is central to Apple’s strategy: Apple Stores have greater sales per square foot than any other retailer in the world, including jewelry stores and car dealerships. In 2017, each square foot of Apple Store real estate translated to $5,546 in annual sales.
 Cook’s Half-Baked Defense of the Mac Mini: This Kit Is Not a Leftover
It has been three years since Apple released a major update to the Mac Mini family. However, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, says that it does not mean that the minimalist systems are dead.
The Mac Mini, along with the Mac Pro, have not had any major overhaul in years, leading to speculations that Apple had likely given up on those lines in favor of its more profitable and better-selling MacBook laptop and iMac desktops lineup.
16 Years Today, Apple Unveiled the Original iPod
An interesting bit of history.
Three years after it launched, Apple Pay is finally starting to gain traction with retailers
There are signs that Apple Pay, which allows users to store their credit cards in their iPhones and to buy things in stores by tapping their devices on compatible payment card readers, is finally starting to catch on. When people do make mobile payments, they're almost always using Apple Pay, according to Apple. Meanwhile one of the big problems that's slowed adoption — the large number of retailers that don't accept mobile payments — is starting to be solved.
This 'crazy, irrational decision' Apple made 20 years ago turned out to be the key to its outrageous success over Samsung
Starting a chain of Apple Stores.  That decision created more value for Apple (and their stockholders) than any other.
The Apple Store experience is vastly superior to the retail experience for other smart-phones found at various phone retailers (ATT, Verizon, Sprint, etc.)
What’s In Your Bag, Dieter Bohn?
My travel bag holds:
iPad Pro
iPhone 6S
Google Pixel
Extra battery — Anker Powercore 13000
Digital Camera — Sony RX100 IV
Portable Game Console — Nintendo Switch
AW Comment:
That’s a lot more electronic stuff than I ever carry around.
How to get better Apple Watch battery life
Here are 21 tips for making your Apple Watch last longer between charges.
Users continue to experience sluggishness, battery life problems in iOS 11 after multiple updates
Users across nearly all generations of iPhones, including the iPhone 7 family from 2016 are reporting issues stemming from the update. The iPhone 8 is seemingly not impacted by issues in iOS 11.
iOS 11 appears to be to blame, and will likely be rectified in future updates to iOS.
Apple iOS 11.1 Release on 2017-10-25, It's A Big One
Apple has launched a new iOS 11.1 update which tackles by far the biggest problem facing iOS 11 upgraders today: battery life.
However, this update is currently available only to “Beta Testers”, and not yet to most iPhone and iPad users.
So when can we expect an iOS 11.1 official release?

All signs point to late October/early November to align with the release of the controversial iPhone X.
Popular YouTuber iDeviceHelp was first to spot dramatic battery improvements in iOS 11.1. His video shows an iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus each gain up to three hours of additional screen-on time compared to when they were running iOS 11.0.3. This goes a long way to correcting the circa 60% drop many iPhones suffered after upgrading to iOS 11.
The One App Runners With An Apple Watch Should Download:  iSmoothRun
It’s still not as complete an experience as you’ll get with a dedicated running watch, but iSmoothRun is as close as you’ll get while also having all the smartwatch features offered by the Apple Watch.
iOS 11:  New iPhone Calculator App Adds Animations That Make Simple Addition Go Wrong
General Electric (GE) goes with Apple
Macs, iOS cheaper in long run – that means trouble for MS-Windows
GE quietly let slip that it is standardising on iPhones and iPadsand will let any GE employee who wants a Mac have one, instead of a Windows PC.
GE follows the lead of IBM, which has supplied 100,000 staff with Macs, and has been touting the lower cost of Macs in the enterprise as a result. IBM claimed last year that 40 per cent of Windows users called the IT help desk, compared to 5 per cent of Mac users - a shocking figure. A deployment of 90,000 required only five admins.
Apple’s iOS 11 operating system doesn’t do a great deal for the iPhone, but it transforms the iPad into a viable computer.
Here’s a discussion about the above article:
Walmart plans to deploy 100,000 Macs to save on employee PC costs
IBM noted that PC users drive twice the number of support calls compared to Mac users, and that PC support tickets require desk side support by IT personnel five times as often. The company's own analysis showed that each Mac deployed saves the company $270 in support costs compared to a Windows PC.
Delta Airlines allegedly switching flight crew hardware from Microsoft Surface to Apple iPad in early 2018
Airline Delta is allegedly in the process of switching its staff from Windows-based devices to iOS, with flight attendants set to replace Nokia handsets with the iPhone 7 Plus in early 2018, while pilots will apparently see their Microsoft Surface tablets exchanged for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Delta Air Lines Says Goodbye to Microsoft Surface, Hello to Apple iPhone and iPad
Delta Air Lines will provide nearly 30,000 flight crew members with Apple iPads and iPhones, reversing course from a high-profile deal announced four years ago that armed flight crews with Microsoft hardware.
For the pilots, an iPad Pro will replace Surface tablets that were used as an “electronic flight bag,” which replaced paper maps, charts, and other documents that pilots typically carry.
Best ad blocker for iPhone and iPad
iOS 11 enhances the ad blocking experience even further, providing the ability to block trackers that watch what we do online and target ads at us based on that information.

The catch? It’s not enabled by default. You’ll need to download one of the hundreds of ad blockers now available on the App Store.
This article discusses the author’s five favorite ad blocker apps.
iPad Pro and Pencil Review — Hands Down the Best Tablet Computer Around
The iPad Pro will shine is in the creative artist space. Not only do the upgrades provide a much smoother experience for designers, there’s a lot there for creatives of other mediums such as musicians.
Pencil is a brilliant device, and definitely worth the investment alongside the iPad Pro units.
Here’s what a professional photographer did after he went shopping for a “professional” level Mac and was disappointed by Apple offerings:
He custom built his own Windows computer.
He decided to leave Apple and for the first time in his life and built a PC.  Not just any PC, “his” PC.
Apple iMac (2017) review
The 2017 iMac is a fine update to Apple’s desktop computing platform, but suffers from a few nagging design quirks, as well as its own place amid rapidly-evolving desktop design trends. Still, for Mac fans in need of an upgrade, the 21.5-inch model presents surprisingly impressive value.
Despite a few bugbears and an arguably dated design, the average Mac fan (or would-be fan) will find plenty to love about yet another iconic Apple computer.
The best cell-phone carrier deals for saving money on the iPhone X
We've rounded together the top carrier offers for the iPhone X below and what you need to know about each deal.
Everything you need to know about buying the iPhone X through Apple's iPhone upgrade program
Apple's iPhone upgrade program is a 24-month installment loan with 0% interest. It includes AppleCare and breaks down the cost of both the phone and the insurance plan into 24 equal payments. Sales tax is due up front, no matter how you buy it.

After at least six months and 12 payments, you can trade in your phone and upgrade to a newer model. But you don't have to. Once you make all 24 payments, the phone is yours to keep.
This article explains, in detail, how Apple's iPhone upgrade program works.
How to fix problems with iOS 11 on your iPhone or iPad
For some, iOS 11 has proven to be problematic —but not for everyone, and not on every device. Here are a few things to try to (hopefully) clean up some issues before Apple issues a fix in software.
A new Reddit client has launched today for iPhone and iPad that has been built specifically with iOS in mind. Apollo is a full featured Reddit client with 3D Touch support, customizable gestures, a fast Jump Bar, and much more.
Apollo is a free universal iOS app for iPhone and iPad with no ads. There is also a Pro version for $2.99 which unlocks submitting posts, automatic dark mode, customizing gestures, customizing the app icon, and more.
Faceoff: Siri vs. Cortana vs. Google Assistant vs. Alexa
Bottom line:
None of the AI assistants are perfect; this is young technology, and it has a long way to go. There were some questions that none of the virtual assistants on my list could answer.
Judging purely on out-of-the-box functionality, I would choose either Siri or Google Assistant, and I would make the final choice based on hardware preferences. None of the assistants are good enough to go out of your way to adopt. Choose between Siri and Google Assistant based on convenience and what hardware you already have.
Google Pixelbook first impressions: Sleek, powerful, but that OS…
The hardware sure left me impressed. But the OS gives the impression that there’s quite a bit of work that could go into it for a better experience. In its current form, I’m definitely not trading in my Windows laptop or Macbook Air for a Pixelbook.
Chrome OS still doesn’t come across as a complete product.
While the Pixelbook supports gestures on the trackpad, the response is nowhere close to what a Macbook offers.
How to use and train Apple's Siri for Messages, Calendar, and iTunes Music on your iPhone
There are a lot of people trying out Apple's voice recognition technology every day —and getting upset that it's not exactly like a Star Trek computer. Siri does need training to be as good as it can, and to assist in that endeavor, there are a series of phrases and query construction tips to get started with.
If you're planning on using Siri a lot, speak to it normally, in your regular cadence. Your patience will be rewarded by more accurate interpretation the more you use it.
Lots more on how to get Siri working in this article.
How to Get Siri to Pronounce Your Friends' Names Right
Siri really sucks at pronouncing uncommon names. Thankfully, there’s a solution if you’re tired of hearing Siri mispronounce the same names over and over.
Play the video to learn how to fix it.
Steve Wozniak Says He Won't Buy the iPhone X on Day One: 'I'd Rather Wait and Watch That One’
The iPhone X is going to be the first iPhone I didn’t—on day one—upgrade to,” he said. “But my wife will, so I’ll be close enough to see it.”
iOS apps can turn on your camera any time without warning
A top iOS security researcher has uncovered yet another privacy loophole in Apple's mobile firmware.

Felix Krause, founder of Fastlane.Tools, said the way Apple's software handles camera access and recording is leaving many fans vulnerable to being spied on by apps on their gadgets without any notification or warning.

Krause explained today that because Apple only requires the user to enable camera access one time and then gives free rein without requiring a camera light or notification, a malicious application could go far beyond its intended level of access.
With Camera Permission, iPhone Apps Can Take Pictures And Videos Without You Noticing
This is not a bug, but keep it in mind when a random app asks you for permission to access your camera.
The author of this article says Apple stock is still a great investment.
He wrote:
Apple is no longer a device-driven company. Instead, it’s the ecosphere that’ll fuel another trillion dollars in growth as it pivots into a new business model most investors don’t yet understand, let alone recognize.
Creep signs plea deal for celebrity nudes hack
A third creep has pleaded guilty to phishing passwords for people’s Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts and then ransacking them for nude photos in the 2014 Celebgate photo thefts.
OOPS!!!!   1 + 2 + 3 does NOT necessarily equal 6, according the this app.
To make sure that the iPhone's numbers are right, the best thing is to wait until the animation has faded and press the button again, while at the same time making sure the number has appeared in the read-out at the top. (There are also other calculator apps, like PCalc, available in the App Store.)
Third person linked to 2014 iCloud hack that exposed explicit images of dozens of celebrities
Emilio Herrera signed a plea agreement and will plead guilty to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Herrera will face 5 years in federal prison at most.
It’s believed that he participated in a phishing scam to obtain iCloud and Gmail usernames and passwords for the celebrities. Over the course of April 27, 2013 through August 2014, Herrera sent emails to celebrities and other women posing as their Internet service provider. The emails would ask for username and passwords for accounts, which Herrera than used to access the photos in question.
When hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were leaked online in 2014, there was initial speculation that iCloud had been hacked, but following an investigation, Apple determined the celebrity accounts had been compromised by weak passwords. A Find My iPhone vulnerability that allowed multiple password entry attempts may have also been at fault.
Herrera sent email messages resembling legitimate correspondence from internet service providers in a bid to dupe victims into furnishing account usernames and passwords. During the operation, conducted from April 2013 through August 2014, more than 550 people fell for the gambit, allowing the hacker access to their iCloud and Gmail accounts.
In 2014, a cache of nude photos and video belonging to prominent entertainment industry figures circulated through the dark web before wide circulation via file sharing protocols like BitTorrent.
Though Herrera engaged in the phishing scheme, investigators have found no evidence that he shared or uploaded the compromising data, nor has he been linked to the 2014 leak.
All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers
The security protocol used to protect the vast majority of wifi connections has been broken, potentially exposing wireless internet traffic to malicious eavesdroppers and attacks, according to the researcher who discovered the weakness.

Mathy Vanhoef, a security expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, discovered the weakness in the wireless security protocol WPA2, and published details of the flaw.
Mac OSX Trojan malware spread via compromised software downloads
Downloads of a popular Mac OSX media player and an accompanying download manager were infected with trojan malware after the developer's servers were hacked.

Elmedia Player by software developer Eltima boasts over one million users, some of whom have may have also unwittingly installed Proton, a Remote Access Trojan which specifically targets Macs for the purposes of spying and theft. Attackers also managed to compromise a second Eltima product - Folx - with the same malware.
Microchipping Humans: First They Traded Freedom For Security, Now It’s Privacy For Convenience
One technological wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing slipped unobtrusively into Europe as an apparent answer to accessibility in the workplace: RFID chips — grain-of-rice-sized, injectable, memory-packed, protean implants — designed to identify the bearer for use of equipment, purchases, logins, and other operations generally requiring more than the wave of one’s implant.
RFIDs cannot track a human being like a GPS-enabled device — functioning more like an office key card than homing device, microchip implants will only retain the data necessary for its specific duties — but that hasn’t quelled a murmur suspicious that advancements mean tracking is coming soon.
Several politicians across the U.S. have introduced legislation to ban forever mandatory RFID chip implantation.
How Social Media Endangers Knowledge
The idea behind Wikipedia—like all encyclopedias before it—has been to collect the entirety of human knowledge.
That trend toward rationality and enlightenment was endangered long before the advent of the Internet. As Neil Postman noted in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death, the rise of television introduced not just a new medium but a new discourse: a gradual shift from a typographic culture to a photographic one, which in turn meant a shift from rationality to emotions, exposition to entertainment.
Television reduced many aspects of modern life to entertainment, sensationalism, and commerce.
At first, the Internet seemed to push against this trend.
Social networks, though, have since colonized the web for television’s values. Social networks, though, have since colonized the web for television’s values. From Facebook to Instagram, the medium refocuses our attention on videos and images, rewarding emotional appeals—‘like’ buttons—over rational ones.
Now the challenge is to save Wikipedia and its promise of a free and open collection of all human knowledge amid the conquest of new and old television—how to collect and preserve knowledge when nobody cares to know. Television has even infected Wikipedia itself—today many of the most popular entries tend to revolve around television series or their cast.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should've been a red flag
"What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don't?" the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology.
Jobs, who was the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012, revealed in a 2011 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad. "We limit how much technology our kids use at home," Jobs told reporter Nick Bilton.
In the years since Gates implemented his household policy, the billionaire philanthropist has taken a keen interest in personalized education, an approach that uses electronic devices to help tailor lesson plans for each student.

Technology in these cases is being used as specifically as possible — and in ways Gates recognizes as useful for a student's development, not as entertainment.
Editing Your History on Amazon
The shopping site keeps a record of the products you browse in the hope you’ll return to close the deal, but you can turn off the tracking.
Log into your Amazon account.
Click the “Browsing History” link.
Next, click “Manage History” link.
Find “Turn Browsing History on / off” and click the button.



Blog Archive