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Tom Briant

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tim Cook is gay.

Yes, Tim Cook is gay. No, you don’t get a free iPhone to celebrate the occasion.


If Iranian authorities freaked out over Mark Zuckerberg being Jewish and then banned Facebook, how will they react to this? Is their desire for the iPhone 6 Plus greater than their homophobia?


We’ve come from Alan Turing, a gay man who helped create the theoretical basis for the digital computer as he broke Nazi codes in World War II, only to pay the ultimate price later for his sexuality; to Tim Cook, managing the world-wide supply and manufacturing chains of Apple and rising to become head of it, now the world’s most valuable corporation, having the courage to publicly announce that he’s gay and he’s proud of it.


Progress has been made and progress is yet to be made. But the only time people are perfect…are when they are perfectly dead.


Now a personal statement. I’m a plump, dull, single straight guy with bad teeth, unruly hair, and a taste for both classical music and The Black Keys. My sister is a successful gay novelist, who kicked my ass out of self-pity to help get me a job during the recession of 1992-1993. Thank you, Sis. I wouldn’t have made it to here, typing away at my Mac in my own place, if it were not for you. God Bless You. I’m so proud of you. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Roundup of the Best from the Web

The iPhone Is A Miracle

In 2012, it looked as if Apple's miracle was over. The market for expensive, high-end phones appeared to be saturated. Samsung was on the rise, building phones that would soon match or, depending on your taste, exceed the iPhone. Android was rapidly improving, and the difference between it and Apple's operating system seemed to be coming down to taste. 

But then a funny thing happened. The iPhone business just kept on chugging. It miraculously defied expectations and is stronger than ever, with no sign of letting up.

Apple has doubled down on its heavily criticized strategy of charging a premium for the iPhone.

Even with high prices, Apple is selling more phones than ever. 

This is what makes the iPhone a miracle. 

No one believes it can really happen. The business model for Apple is literally unbelievable.

The Difference 30 Years Makes: iMac with Retina 5K display vs. the Original Apple Macintosh

The screen of the original Macintosh, introduced in 1984, fits into the small lower-left corner of the newest iMac Retina screen.

So much for a universal Apple SIM. AT&T and T-Mobile both lock down iPad SIM cards in their stores. The difference is a T-Mobile iPad purchased at an Apple store will remain open.

AT&T spokesman confirmed Friday that it will lock down the SIM cards found in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. A new iPad purchased at a T-Mobile store will also include a SIM pre-set to the carrier, according to a person familiar with the carrier's plans. In both cases, if a customer wants to switch, the person needs to physically change out the SIM (subscriber identity module) card. 

An iPad purchased at an Apple store or other third-party retailer such as Best Buy for use on T-Mobile's network, however, will remain open, and users can switch to another carrier on the fly, the person said. An AT&T iPad purchased at an Apple store will not.

AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards on New iPads

The idea behind the Apple SIM in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 was to let you easily switch wireless carriers with just a tap in the settings. The technology was pretty much universally heralded as an awesome idea. But, of course, not everyone is a fan.

T-Mobile and Sprint, which also support Apple's multi-carrier SIM, do not lock it to their networks. Verizon doesn't support the multi-carrier SIM at all.,2817,2470978,00.asp

AT&T Is Locking Down Apple's Universal SIM, But It's Not That Dire

Once activation completes, this Apple SIM can only be used with "AT&T," reads a message that early adopters are getting.

Is that a big deal, though? Not necessarily. AT&T tells us that it's only locking the Apple SIM card, not the iPad hardware.

If you ever want to switch, you can also just buy a new SIM card from Apple itself. Other carriers sell them for $10, and the Apple variety probably won't cost much more.

Apple Strengthens Pull of Its Orbit With Each Device

We are now beginning to see the fruits of Tim Cook’s vision of a tightly integrated Apple.  Over the last few months, Apple has introduced a series of devices that work best as part of an integrated lineup.

In the past, Apple’s two operating systems were distinct islands.

I'm Never Going To Upgrade My First-Generation iPad — Here's Why

I don't think I'm ever going to upgrade. And that's OK with me.

Even though it's 4 years old, my original iPad still works great.

13 Apps For Transforming Your Phone Into The Ultimate Toolkit

15 Must-Have Apps For Your New iPad

If You're Going To Buy A New iPhone Or iPad, Get Ready To Pay At Least $100 Extra

This article has an iPad price list.

IPad Air 2 and Mini 3 Review: Fantastic, but Largely Unnecessary, Tablets

4 Reasons Why I'm Not Impressed By Apple Pay

Problem No. 1: Getting Set Up – You need iOS 8.1
Problem No. 2: Finding A Store
Problem No. 3: Dealing With The Cashier
Problem No. 4: It's No Better Than Swiping

Apple Pay: Seamless in Stores, but Quirky Online

When you are ready to pay, you don’t have to turn on the phone or unlock it. If you are near a terminal and have an app open, like Facebook, the phone turns automatically to the Pay interface. And in most cases, once you press the fingerprint reader, the transaction is over.

Paying for items through apps turned out to be far more problematic.

So Apple Pay seems to be halfway there.

Testing Apple Pay: Our quest to buy beer, gas, burgers and more with a smartphone

Bank of America Apologizes for Double Charging on Apple Pay

How To Stop Apple From Tracking You In Mac OS X Yosemite

The latest version of Apple's operating software for its Mac computers, OS X Yosemite is configured by default to send local-search terms and your location information back to Apple and its third-party search partners.

Apple acknowledged that it does glean some information from Spotlight. But it denies that it uses any personally identifiable information itself and says it only passes along very general data to partners like Microsoft.

This article explains how to turn off Spotlight snooping.

Everyone Loves This Story Of How An Autistic Kid Became Best Friends With Siri

Of all the worries the parent of an autistic child has, the uppermost is: Will he find love? Or even companionship? Somewhere along the line, I am learning that what gives my guy happiness is not necessarily the same as what gives me happiness. Right now, at his age, a time when humans can be a little overwhelming even for the average teenager, Siri makes Gus happy.

'Backoff' malware that hit Dairy Queen is spreading

Two weeks ago, Dairy Queen announced that 395 of its 4,500 independently-owned U.S. stores had been targeted, some for as long as seven weeks. During the ice cream shop breach, customer payment card, names, card numbers and expiration dates were acquired. 

Jimmy John's, P.F. Chang's, Goodwill and Kmart were also hit by the malware during the third quarter. 

"POS malware offers a high rate of return for criminals, which helps explain the spike," Damballa said. 

Due to the length of time these attacks tend to occur for before being discovered, a single point of sale terminal can yield tens of thousands of payment card records.

A recent survey from security company Trustwave found that it took an average of 114 days in 2013 between the date of an initial intrusion and the time it was contained. Home Depot earlier this year admitted that its network had been infiltrated for five months before being discovered.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Roundup

On Thursday, Apple (AAPL) held its second product release event in six weeks. This time the news was mostly incremental. Here, in considerably less time than it will take you to watch the event, is what you need to know:

The new Mac OS is now available.
The new iMac has a really nice screen.
The iPad Air 2 is really skinny.
There's also a new iPad mini. It's called the iPad mini 3.
The new tablets come in gold. They also come in silver and space gray, so you can match with your iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
The new tablets can read fingerprints.
Apple Pay goes live on Monday.

Apple's big iPad event -- the highlights

OS X Yosemite review: a solid upgrade for everyone (especially iPhone users)

to make the most out of Yosemite, you need an iDevice to go with it. But even for Mac users who don't also own an iPhone (guilty!), this is still a solid upgrade.

The best new features in OS X Yosemite

iOS 8 is here! Read our complete guide to Apple's new mobile OS

Apple's new iPads are here, but one of them is not a good buy

But an iPad Mini 2.  The iPad Mini 3 is not worth the $100 premium.

Replacement cycle dilemma dogs the iPad

Buyers see little reason to replace aging tablets, putting pressure on Apple to rejuvenate the line

Here's your first look at Apple's new 5K iMac with Retina display

Apple finally updates Mac Mini desktops for better performance

SIM card in new iPads gives rise to phone-carrier speculation

Apple AAPL, +1.46%  revealed in its promotional material that it will ship the devices with a built-in cellular SIM card that will allow users to buy wireless service a la carte, on the spot.

A number of technology bloggers caught wind of the development and began speculating about a future in which phones, too, would have built-in SIM cards, freeing people from the need to chain themselves to specific carriers.

How the new Apple SIM could upend the wireless industry

Here is every watch face shown during the Apple Watch announcement

This Is The Thing That's Most Impressive About The Phone
The battery life.

Don’t Overpay, Get Third Party RAM Upgrades for the Retina iMac

The Apple Store upgrade prices for RAM are thankfully now much more reasonable than they used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best value.

You can still upgrade the RAM in the Retina iMac, save hundreds over Apple's price

How An IT Guy Stranded In Paris Turned Himself Into The Most Powerful Source Of Apple News

Apple Pay launches Oct. 20 in a play to kill credit cards

Why Retailers Will Love the Apple Pay Era

Researchers have long found that shoppers spend more the further they get from handling actual currency.

Behavioral economists have a term for this dynamic: decoupling. The card or app or casino chip mentally separates the consumer from his bank account.

Apple patches OS X to protect against POODLE

Apple Is Likely To Miss The Next Big Thing

great innovations typically come from companies that don’t have to deal with the type of high expectations Apple has to all the time.

Now is the time to buy Google and other wearables stocks

the Wearables Revolution is going to be the next huge phase of the App Revolution and it's going to be even bigger than the smartphone market when the calendar clicks over into the 2020s.

If the smartphone market is well over a billion units per year, and if people are going to have multiple wearables for every smartphone they have, we're looking at a multi-billion unit industry. Let's give the average wearable a $99 price tag, and we're talking about a market for wearables that will climb into hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the next decade.

The 12 Best News And Reading Apps In The World

This 23-Year-Old Makes $500,000 A Year On Twitter Tweeting Out Facts

Last year, he made $500,000 for tweeting sponsored links, according to Fast Company. The links, when clicked by his followers, earn him between one and three cents a click. Multiply that by a few sponsored links a day, a couple of hundred thousand eager followers, and 365 days in the year, and you're rolling in dough.

The BBC Is Going To Maintain A List Of 'Right To Be Forgotten' Links From Google

Tide Starts to Turn Against Gamergate's Women-Hating Campaign

Backlash against the #Gamergate movement escalated several notches this week, thanks to high-profile accounts in The Washington Post and The New York Times, along with a public statement from the Entertainment Software Association.

people in the #Gamergate scene feel they are now looked upon as losers, and that doesn't feel good, so they're lashing out.

Why Teens Are Sexting — And What Parents And Police Can Do About It

Within an hour, the deputies realized just how common the sharing of nude pictures was at the school.  The boys kept telling us “It’s nothing unusual. It happens all the time.”

The FBI Director Hates Encryption Even Though The FBI Tells People To Use It

FBI Director James Comey said:
"Encryption isn't just a technical feature; it's a marketing pitch. But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels. Sophisticated criminals will come to count on these means of evading detection. It's the equivalent of a closet that can't be opened. A safe that can't be cracked. And my question is, at what cost?"

He says that "encryption isn't new" in his speech, but neither are his problems with it. His allusion to criminal activity lumps in people who are just interested in protecting their privacy among criminals.

the FBI has endorsed the use of encryption in the past. In an email alert of "safety tips to protect your mobile device" in Oct. 2012, it wrote, "depending on the type of phone, the operating system may have encryption available. This can be used to protect the user's personal data in the case of loss or theft."

It looks like Apple has taken that message to heart, and the FBI director doesn't like it.

Once the FBI has a backdoor into your smartphone, everyone does

A disgruntled employee at a security firm could simply share the knowledge around a back door.

The problem with giving the government a backdoor into smartphones and other electronics is that it also opens them up to the bad guys, according to experts.

Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters

An outstanding TED talk.

Rich people, like the CEO of Google and the CEO of Facebook, publicly say that only bad people who have something to hide need any privacy.
Yet they go to great and costly lengths to secure their own privacy.

Many people have told Glenn Greenwald that they are not worried about NSA privacy invasions because they think they have nothing to hide.
Glenn always responds to that claim by saying "In that case, please give me all your passwords to all your E-mail, social media and banking accounts so I can look them over and publish anything I find.  You claim you have nothing to hide, so why not let me make it all public?"  NOBODY ever gave him the info he asked for.

People often claim in words that they don't need their privacy, but their actions often negate that claim.

Mass surveillance creates a prison in the mind that is a much more subtle, much more effective means of fostering compliance with social norms or social orthodoxy, much more effective than brute force could ever be.

A society in which people can be monitored at all times is a society that breeds conformity and obedience and submission, which is why every tyrant, from the most overt to the most subtle, craves that system.

When we allow a society to exist in which we're subject to constant monitoring, we allow the essence of human freedom to be severely crippled.

When you say somebody who's doing bad things, you probably mean bad things like plotting a terrorist attack or engaging in violent criminality, a much narrower conception than what people who wield power mean.  For them, doing bad things typically means doing something that poses meaningful challenges to exercise of their own power.

The privacy bargain:
If you're willing to render yourself sufficiently harmless, sufficiently unthreatening to those who wield political power, then and only then, can you be free of the dangers of surveillance.
It's only those who are dissidents, activists, journalists, who challenge power, who have something to worry about.

The measure of how free a society is, is not how it treats is good, obedient, compliant citizens, but how it treats its dissidents and those who resist orthodoxy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Initial Thoughts on Yosemite, the High-End Retina iMac and the low-end Mac Mini

Yes, I can finally say it now. I have used the Yosemite Betas and I like them. I made them my main operating system on my 2012 Mac Mini and 2014 MacBook Air. I only experienced problems with the last Beta, #6, when it caused video artifacts on a second monitor. When I install the final version of Yosemite, I'll check it out with the second monitor to see what happens and report back to you. 

I can see the influence of iOS 7 & 8 on the desktop of Yosemite. The icons changed from the photorealistic ones to representational vector drawings. This makes the icons resolution-independent, but I am sure some people will want the old ones back.

I look forward to seeing the SK iMac at the Apple Store. I feel confident that many people will see it, fall in love with it, and won't leave the store without it. I'm sure we'll see YouTube videos of people literally dragged out of an Apple Store crying because they can't have the high-end iMac.

I also see that Apple intends to compete in terms of price. The new low-end Mac Mini strikes me as a clear blow against Windows computers. The salesperson can say, "Well, would you rather have a Mac with the same hardware specs at the same price as the Windows 8.1 model? After all, the Mac has the latest and greatest operating system on it right now, while you'll have to wait until sometime next year for Windows 10 to come out. The Windows computer may not plug right into the flat-screen TV you have unless you buy another adaptor. Ours plugs right into the extra input jack on the TV with just a cable."

The iPad and iPad Mini will also give Apple competitive advantages in tablets at both ends. Apple's hold on the high-end will continue with the thinner than ever iPad Air 2. Apple covers its options with three models of the iPad Mini. The low-end iPad Mini 2 will go head to head with Android tablets at the $299 price point.

Apple won't cover the real low-end tablet market, because the consumers of that are parents with minor kids. Who break stuff you give to them.

I looked at the Dell Web site to see what they offered against the new iMac. Uh, touch screen, anyone? As I have written before, when you look at the movie Minority Report with its futuristic touchscreens, Tom Cruise or Colin Farrell or whoever else uses these devices stands up to use them. They don't lean across the desk to touch the screen. That's not how human beings work.

You go to IKEA or Staples or other stores that sell office furniture, and their show room displays assume the user sits down at the desk to look and not touch the monitor. So until standing desks become a lot more popular, I see a limited future for touch beyond specific niches. These niches include ringing up customers in restaurants.

As for reviews today. I can recommend you look at Arstechnica's range of reports, from a hands-on look at the SK iMac to how to make your own Yosemite installer. You can either install the latest version of DiskMakerX or copy and paste a Terminal command. In either case, it's simple to make one for yourself and save yourself the trouble of downloading 5 Gb again and again.

Also look at today's They go into who should and who should not move to Yosemite.

I'll release information as to the apps I have covered at this blog. These apps include "Chubby Bunny" Classic-On-Intel OS 9 emulator, the Tangerine music streaming software and how it works with iTunes 12, Synergy and how to share your mouse and keyboard between various operating systems.

As for the Flavours appearance customization app, it doesn't work in Yosemite. John Siracusa covers what you can do to change Yosemite's appearance.

Why You Don't Want to Change to Yosemite from Snow Leopard

If you use Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or before AND depend on apps such as Microsoft Office 2004, Appleworks 6.2.9, Quicken 2006 and older versions of Adobe apps; then you DON'T want to change from Snow Leopard or before to Yosemite.

You don't want to switch operating systems because the Intel versions of Snow Leopard, Leopard, and Tiger all included the Rosetta software wizardry allowing old apps written for the PowerPC (G3,G4,GS) processors to run on an Intel processor. The increased speed of the Intel processors made up in many cases for the performance hit caused by Rosetta.

To see if you have an older app, just click on it and press Command + I to open up an Information
window. At the top, you'll see what type of app it is. If it says "PowerPC," you have to run it on Snow Leopard or below. Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite only work with Universal or Intel apps.

If it says "Universal," it uses the app format Apple designed so that apps would work in both PowerPC and Intel environments. Microsoft Office 2008 uses that format.

If it says "Intel" then it only works with Intel processors.

Check the Web site for crowd-sourced information on apps and which versions of OS X they work with.

Finally, if you want to use apps specifically written for Yosemite and need to retain Appleworks for archival purposes, then DUAL-BOOT. Of all the systems I've used-Windows, Mac, Linux-Mac has the easiest way to shift between the flavors of OS X that you need. So just install OS X 10.10 Yosemite on an external hard drive and continue to use both.

My Thoughts on Windows and OS X and how it will play out.

My admittedly limited perspective on the duopoly between Windows and OS X comes down to this. Each has found its strength and will capitalize on it. They won't let the other go unchallenged in its areas of strength; but they won't waste a whole lot of capital trying to wipe out the other.

Apple has the lead when it comes to mobile computing devices. In terms of mobile phones, tablets, and now presumably watches, Apple makes the most money. They don't necessarily sell as many units as Android does; but a lot of Android stuff just isn't that profitable. Apple can't pay its Chinese vendors with reams of sales volume statistics. It needs cash, cold hard dollars.

When it comes to enterprise business, such as outfitting large corporations with software from top to bottom, Microsoft has the lead. Their new management wants to emphasize software-as-a-service. Hence you have "Office 365" subscriptions, not a box with a disk and a label with the serial number on it.

Windows also has the lead in games. Games is a niche business, but people will plunk down ridiculous sums just for the latest graphics card. And the graphics card will work with Windows and the latest shoot-em-up gorefest. Unless you have an MacPro or built your own Hackintosh, you lack the option of swapping out components. Thunderbolt, alas, is some time away from offering the convenience ofthe PC's internal expansion bus slots. The latest games on Macs and iPads lag behind their counterparts on Windows by months, if not years.

Looking at the Dell site, I noticed their Alienware subsidiary brought out the Alienware Alpha, a customized gamer PCthat they want to make as easy to use as a console game. Apple TV's ability to put your iPad or iPhone's game on a big screen via AirPlay is the closest thing I've seen to specific gaming hardware from Apple.

And I'm off to download OS X Yosemite, the For Real version and see how it works with my second monitor.

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Blog 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Who wants a 5K Retina iMac (me, me,me!)

Expectations are  high that Apple will announce a Retina iMac at Thursday’s presentation. 4K? Perhaps 5K in resolution? 

Would this model replace the current 27” model? Would Apple keep both models in stock, at least for a while, until the costs of production of the 5K model came down? 

Ben Lovejoy of 9 to 5 Mac has some interesting speculation on just who would want a 5K iMac instead of a Mac Pro and a 3rd party 4K or 5K monitor(s). One point he makes is that at full resolution, the text gets very tiny. Go to the old 2560 x 1440 resolution with super-sharp pixels and you’ve got something. 

I’m very curious as to what Apple will release on Thursday. I’ll have comments Thursday evening.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




Monday, October 13, 2014

Apple's Oct. 16 event: Here's what we expect - CNET

Apple's Oct. 16 event: Here's what we expect - CNET: ""



What CNET expects to see Thursday at Apple’s presentation.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Organize your desktop like a Mac expert with Spaces - CNET

Organize your desktop like a Mac expert with Spaces - CNET: ""



Regular series on CNET every Monday


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

Sunday, October 12, 2014

3 Lessons Apple's Jony Ive Learned from Steve Jobs | Vanity Fair

3 Lessons Apple's Jony Ive Learned from Steve Jobs | Vanity Fair: ""



Jony Ive recalls working for Steve Jobs and it wasn’t always a bed of roses.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Apple expected to hold iPad & Retina iMac event on Oct. 16

Apple expected to hold iPad & Retina iMac event on Oct. 16: ""



The good stuff is on the way.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekend Roundup

Here's Why Office Layout Was So Important To Steve Jobs

he wanted "serendipitous personal encounters" to occur.

physical proximity is beneficial. The most productive teams were those that brought together people with a wide array of specialties.

Banks to take on fraud liability in Apple Pay deal, USAA announces Nov. 7 availability

USAA Assistant Vice President Vikram Parekh said the same policies employed in credit card swipe payments will be carried over to Apple Pay. Chase and PNC also confirmed full liability protection will be extended to their customers.

According to Navy Federal VP of credit cards Randy Hopper, the bank was "very excited" to see what Apple had developed, because it is "convenient, secure, and private." Apple's use of tokenization "addresses all points of weakness across the payment system." 

USAA assistant vice president Vikram Parekh, meanwhile, said that the bank is confident enough in Apple Pay to assume all liability for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions, both in retail stores and for online purchases.

Why Apple Pay won't work

New research shows there’s plenty of reason why Apple’s effort to dominate payments may not be as magical as some believe.

the UBS report outlines four problems with Apple Pay that will limit its dominance in the future, including:

* Onerous fees charged by Apple.
* Inferior technology.
* Little incentive for merchants to adopt Apple Pay-compatible devices.

Banks will eventually try to create their own competing services.

Phishers Find Apple Most Tasty Target

Apple now has the dubious distinction of most-phished brand, according to the latest report from the Anti-Phishing Work Group.

Phishers can get into all kinds of mischief with an Apple ID.

There's a new iOS 8 bug found, and it affects iCloud Drive and iWork files

Several iOS 8 users are complaining about losing their saved iWork documents stored in the cloud after resetting their iOS devices ... despite the clear warning that "no data or media will be deleted."

Apple Is Delaying Mass Production of a 12.9-Inch iPad

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the much-rumored 12.9-inch iPad is being delayed by Apple because of high demand for the new iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple’s iPhone Encryption Is a Godsend, Even if Cops Hate It

At issue is the improved iPhone encryption built into iOS 8. For the first time, all the important data on your phone—photos, messages, contacts, reminders, call history—are encrypted by default. Nobody but you can access the iPhone’s contents, unless your passcode is compromised, something you can make nearly impossible by changing your settings to replace your four-digit PIN with an alphanumeric password.

Rather than welcome this sea change, which makes consumers more secure, top law enforcement officials, including US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI director James Comey, are leading a charge to maintain the insecure status quo.

companies like Apple and Google, who were painted as NSA collaborators in the earliest Snowden leaks, are newly motivated to demonstrate their independence and to compete with each other on privacy.

On That Apple/Google Kerfluffle (Encryption)

What happened when we asked geeky kids "Who's better: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, or Google?"

Remembering Steve Jobs, the Man Who Did Almost Everything Right

GT Advanced Technologies - a Supplier of Sapphire for Apple iPhones and iWatches - Filed for Bankruptcy Court Protection Under Chapter 11

The emerging wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) market is likely to be a secular driver of sapphire demand. The technology is far from a write-off, instead it appears to be in the making. Apple itself has increased investment to manufacture the material and it has also acquired exclusive licenses to some GTAT technologies.

The Curse of Apple's Sapphire Factory

4 scams that target boomers

Marc Andreessen on Finance: ‘We Can Reinvent the Entire Thing’

You would not today, starting from scratch, invent any of these financial businesses in the same way. 

For five years, many of the world’s best mathematicians and computer scientists have been studying bitcoin and trying to figure out what’s wrong with it. They haven’t found anything yet. Every critique people have of bitcoin, so far, can either be answered with ‘the designer anticipated it and has a solution built into the system’ or ‘there’s a service that can be built on top to address the problem.’ That’s the magic of why everyone out here is so excited about it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kicking Windows when it's down-uncharitable Sunday morning edition

As backstory, I own an HP printer/scanner/FAX/copy machine that sits atop my old 2-drawer file cabinet. I registered this device with HP. They took that as license to regularly send me (Weekly, Daily, Hourly) e-mails about their latest and greatest HP PCs. 


Such as this one. 

Screen Shot 2014 10 05 at 9 19 29 AM


I am not sure whether HP believes that Windows 8 is such a turkey that the promise of “preinstalled Windows 7” will pull in customers or whether they need to empty a warehouse of old merchandise. 

I wonder why HP doesn’t make a deal with Stardock to “pre-install” a couple of inexpensive Windows 8 utilities that fix Windows 8 most irritating problems. If you got stuck with a Windows 8 machine that lacks them, I recommend you go to Stardock and purchase for under $20 the utilities that will make your life easier to bear with Windows 8 or 8.1 I installed them myself at my own expense and they do the job.

Anyway, HP is having a sale  on HP PCs with Windows 7 already installed. Take advantage of it before 10/25/14, the last Saturday in October. 

 Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekend Roundup for October 4, 2014

11 Products You Used To Love That Apple Has Quietly Killed

Here's What It Actually Takes To Bend The iPhone 6 And 6 Plus

A Convincing Theory Explains Why The iPhone 6 Plus May Have A Bending Issue

BendGate Truthers Claim To Have Found The REAL Story Behind The 'Flexible' iPhone 6

The Man Behind The Original 'BendGate' Video Responds To Claims Of Manipulation

Hilsenteger says the results have been "identical" on every phone he tested:

"I've Bent 3 iPhones Now, And They All Bend In Exactly The Same Place"

"I've bent a total of three iPhone 6 Pluses now," he said to Bloomberg, "each one bending in the identical location right below the volume buttons."

Good video.

Apple Caught Using Windows XP In Its iPhone Testing Facility

Here's How Apple Is Making Its New HQ 'The Greenest Building On The Planet'

Apple Just Protected Your Mac From A Terrifying Vulnerability

Apple has patched OS X against a security vulnerability called "Shellshock."

Apple Was Going To Partner With PayPal On Apple Pay Until It Found Out PayPal Was Working With Samsung

How Every Square Foot Of An Apple Store Is Designed To Make You Spend More Money

The App 100: The World's Greatest Apps

THE BEACONS FAQ: It's Time To Set The Story Straight About Beacons And Apple's iBeacon System

Here's What Happened When An Employee Told Steve Jobs Something Couldn't Be Done

How The iPhone 6 Compares To Its Biggest Android Rival, Samsung's Galaxy S5

I've Had The iPhone 6 Plus For A Week, And Everyone Who Thinks It's Too Big Is Crazy

The iPhone, for me, isn't a phone. It's a portable computer. I use it for email, music, checking Twitter, reading the news, keeping an eye on Business Insider, and just about everything else. The big screen makes all of that better.

Head to Head: How PayPal and Apple Pay Compare

Apple Now Lets You Check If An iPhone Is Stolen Before You Buy It

Want to check if that iPhone you’re considering nabbing off of Craigslist is stolen before you hand over your cold, hard cash?

Apple has just released a tool that exists solely to verify whether or not a used iPhone has been locked down remotely by its rightful owner..

Hackers Have Found A Flaw In Macs And Are Using It To Control 17,000 Apple Computers ... Via

It doesn't seem like the infected computers are currently being used for any attack, so the criminals behind iWorm are probably only growing the network for now. 

Dr. Web has published the number of computers that it believes have been affected by iWorm. As of last Friday, 17,658 infected Mac computers have been discovered, with 4,610 of them in the US.

Apple’s Encryption Will Slow, Not Stop, Cops And Spies

If history is any guide, the government will find a way to penetrate it.

Police can still obtain evidence through traditional court warrants while revelations about government spying show the National Security Agency can break or bypass encryption for terrorism investigations, said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional-law professor at The George Washington University Law School.

Only Congress Can Crack Apple's Spy-Proof iPhones

phone makers—first Apple (AAPL), then Android—are releasing handsets with encryption that makes it impossible for the handset maker to retrieve data from the phone, warrant or no. The government is not happy.

There’s not much that law enforcement can do to stop it, absent some help from Congress.

"I suspect that the Department of Justice will lobby Congress quite heavily to force phone makers to create a backdoor" says Darren Hayes

The lawmakers may not be as accommodating as they once were. Revelations about National Security Agency spying have made sanctioned surveillance into a political hot potato.

If government officials are unhappy about this latest turn of events, they have only themselves to blame.

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Apple is first, second and fourth place.

How To Go Completely Invisible On Facebook

The majority of people in these countries do not have Internet access

More than 60% of the world's population still isn't plugged in to the Internet, and the rate of adoption is slowing.

Three-quarters of the world's offline population lives in 20 countries.

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Was your brokerage account hacked? Here's how to know

Also some tips on how to protect your brokerage account from hackers



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