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Tom Briant

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Editor: Tom Briant


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to improve your MacBook - CNET

How to improve your MacBook - CNET: ""


Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekend Roundup

A Few Tips You Should Know Before You Get Started With The Bigger Screen On The iPhone 6

The Most Important Things To Consider If You're Trying To Decide Between The iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus

I Just Held The iPhone 6 Plus In One Hand, And the iPhone 6 In The Other — It Took 2 Seconds To Realize Which Phone I Need

How iOS 8 Completely Changed The Way You Use Your iPhone

AW comment:  The above headline is an exaggeration, but the features shown in the video are still neat.

5 must-have apps for investors

I've been using the Apple iPhone 6 for a couple of days now and frankly, I'd give it a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

I thought I'd want the bigger Plus screen for sure, but now that I have this iPhone 6 itself, I think it's plenty big already.

Every app I've tried runs with absolutely no lag, although some bugs have come up in certain apps that haven't been optimized for the latest versions of iOS. As a rule of thumb, if your app worked well on iOS 7, it will probably still work just as well on iOS 8. But if the app was buggy in iOS 7, it'll be even buggier in iOS 8.

The best apps for investors are:
KCast Gold Live
Stock Guru Pro
Wolfram Alpha

Apple Pulled The iOS Update That's Screwing Up People's Phones

Apple pulled the update about an hour after releasing it.

How To Fix Your iPhone If It Got Ruined By The iOS 8 Update

Apple's PR nightmare turns into social media's 'joke of the day'

It's time to chill out over 'bendgate' and buy Apple Stock
Analyst calls 'bendgate' irrational and reiterates buy call

a number of Apple fans on Reddit have started to pick apart the YouTube video ...... discrepancies in the timing of the video, with the clock on the iPhone 6 Plus reading 2:26 p.m. at the time of the bending, but reading an earlier 1:58 p.m. at a later point in the video after the bending was already supposed to have taken place.

Apple's Phil Schiller says 'go to the Genius Bar' if your iPhone 6 is bent

Apple's ubiquity is a blessing and a curse: an issue with a new iPhone will go under far more scrutiny than it would with any competing product, but at the same time anyone that does happen to have the issue should find it relatively easier to get support.

How Samsung Spent Billions Of Dollars To Destroy Apple With Attack Ads

Nude-Photo Hackers Are Sad Apple Ruined Their Fun

“The game is over,” wrote one forlorn Anon-IB member. “We lost despite a major lead.”

Angry users on the site blamed the high-profile celebrity nude leak for ruining iCloud hacking techniques they’d used for months or even years to silently download backups from iPhone owners.

Anon-IB’s hackers seem more upset, however, about the email alerts Apple now sends to its users when their account is accessed or a backup downloaded.

POLICE: 'Apple Will Become The Phone Of Choice For The Pedophile'

Apple's new stance on privacy and encryption has gone down poorly with law enforcement, but it's not yet clear whether criminals are actually able to take advantage of Apple's products the way they fear.

Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government?  Not exactly.

With its new iOS 8, Apple has radically improved the way that data on its devices is encrypted. Once users set a passcode, Apple will no longer be able to unlock your device—even if ordered to do so by a court.

Orin Kerr referred to Apple’s new policy as a “dangerous game,” one that “doesn’t stop hackers, trespassers, or rogue agents” but “only stops lawful investigations with lawful warrants.” While Kerr has moderated his views since his initial post, his overarching concern remains the same: By placing customer interests before that of law enforcement, Apple is working against the public interest.

Kerr is wrong about this. Apple is not designing systems to prevent law enforcement from executing legitimate warrants. It’s building systems that prevent everyone who might want your data—including hackers, malicious insiders, and even hostile foreign governments—from accessing your phone. This is absolutely in the public interest. Moreover, in the process of doing so, Apple is setting a precedent that users, and not companies, should hold the keys to their own devices.

Designing backdoors is easy. The challenge is in designing backdoors that only the right people can get through. In order to maintain its access to your phone, Apple would need a backdoor that allowed them to execute legitimate law enforcement requests, while locking hackers and well-resourced foreign intelligence services out. The problem is so challenging that even the National Security Agency has famously gotten it wrong.

Some interesting info from Apple about iTunes:

iTunes 11 for Mac: Symbols used in iTunes

iTunes 11 for Mac: Set up syncing for iPod, iPhone, or iPad

iTunes 11 for Mac: Download podcasts and educational media

How The iPhone 6's Camera Compares To The Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, And Moto X

15 Ways Video Games Make You Smarter And Healthier

New 'Bash' Software Bug May Be A Bigger Threat Than Heartbleed

Bash is the software used to control the command prompt on many Linux computers. Hackers can exploit a bug in Bash to take complete control of a targeted system, security experts said.

Apple Says Majority Of OS X Users Are Safe From Bash Exploits

Apple notes here, in OS X you should be safe so long as you haven’t configured advanced access (which means probably most of our readers are okay). Apple will also issue an OS X update shortly to close the potential hole, so also just make sure you don’t go enabling any advanced UNIX options before that happens.

Security Experts Are Racing To Destroy A Virus Called 'Shellshock' That's Targeting Apple Computers

Even though Apple has publicly said that this so-called "Shellshock" bug, deemed bigger and more damaging than "Heartbleed," won't affect the majority of its users, experts are still incredibly worried. The virus' potential reach goes well beyond consumers and could hurt entire web infrastructures.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's roundup of iPhone 6 news

Everyone Is In Love With The iPhone 6

The real reason you'll wait in line for an iPhone

Waiting in line for an Apple product -- time wasted is camaraderie gained.

by standing in a crowd, shoppers see themselves as making the right buying decision - a concept known as "social proof".

It isn't just consumers who are taking pleasure standing in line: Retailers also recognize the value of keeping shoppers waiting, say experts. That's because waiting crowds create attention - and that attention can translate into sales even after the initial frenzy has died down.

Insane Lines For The iPhone 6 From Around The World

iPhone 6 review: Apple's cure for Android envy

The One-Paragraph iPhone 6 Review

There’s no easy way to use the iPhone 6 Plus with just one hand.

When Apple announced the 6 Plus, I noted that it had included a feature that allows you to pull the top buttons halfway down the screen by double-tapping the home button. I did not anticipate that I would quickly come to rely on this feature for almost everything I need to do on the phone.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that I’ll eventually grow dexterous enough with the 6 Plus that its virtues begin to overshadow its limitations. But at this point, I’m also not ruling out the possibility that I’ll be back in line at that same AT&T store within two weeks to exchange it for something more manageable.

iOS 8, thoroughly reviewed
A big, developer-centric update completes the overhaul started in iOS 7.

11 pages of info.

Living in the UK and travelling around Europe and the Americas (and occasionally to Asia and Australasia) it's fascinating to see how payment technologies differ in different parts of the world. Apple's announcement of Apple Pay has thrown those differences into stark relief, as it shows just how far behind the rest of the world the US lags.

In the UK we've been using the Chip and PIN technologies that are just starting to roll out in the US for more than a decade now (it was a novelty to actually use my PIN in a Dallas Walmart back in May). Chip and PIN is widely credited for significantly reducing credit card fraud in the UK, by using the card to encrypt transactions from store to payment provider.

As admirable a technology Apple Pay is, its reliance on biometric identification risks affecting user acceptance of NFC-based payments — and not just for the user, but by society at large.

Payment technologies need to be simple, just like the ultimate payment system: cash.

Apple Won't Decrypt Your iPhone, Even if the Government Requests It

Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8," says Apple.

Still, anyone who wants to be certain his or her data is safe from prying eyes of the government(s), should disable iCloud data storage altogether.

How To Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With The Police

By locking personal data down so companies themselves can't access it, they sidestep the issue of whether or not to comply, and avoid being accused of obstructing justice.

Since iOS adoption rates tend to be high, it won't be long before Apple has very little access to devices running iOS. Whatever you're texting about, Apple won't be the one to rat you out.

Apple Versus Cops
With the release of its latest phone software this week, Apple took an important step forward in protecting the privacy of its customers by giving them more control over their data.

Apple’s new policy change comes months after the Supreme Courtunanimously ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before they can search phones, except in rare circumstances.

Thieves have already figured out ways to unlock iPhones; police with warrants can do the same.

Apple could face heat from police on refusing data access, expert says

Apple’s tight privacy strategy on devices running its iOS 8 operating system will make life more difficult for law enforcement, warns one retired police official.

Apple may have quietly signaled that it's received a secret Patriot Act order

Apple's last two transparency reports, which include the last half of 2013 and first half of 2014, dropped the canary — or at least changed the language in it — suggesting the company may have been ordered to hand over records under the Patriot Act. Now the report only reads this: "To date, Apple has not received any orders for bulk data."

Gigaom has noticed that the latest Apple transparency report, covering Jan 1-Jun 30 2014, has eliminated the line that says that the company has received no secret Patriot Act "section 215" requests, which come with gag orders prohibiting companies from discussing them.

Apple is one of several companies whose transparency reports contain these warrant canaries.

15 Awesome Things We Learned From Steve Jobs' 1985 Playboy Interview

What Tim Cook Doesn't Think Enough People Know About Steve Jobs

He was a great teacher," Cook told Rose. "This is something that’s never written about him."

11 Tiny Design Features That Show Apple's Insane Attention To Detail

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Wrap-up from Across the Web

Here's How To Set Up The Security Feature Apple Recommends You Use To Protect Your Password

Why the Apple iPhone lost China

In August of 2012, China was shocked by news that a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy an Apple iPhone.

A subsequent police investigation uncovered a gang of organ harvesters.

Sensational stories such as those, as well as the long lines of customers that invariably form whenever Apple rolls out its latest product, suggest that China - the world's largest market for smartphones - is mad for the iPhone.

And yet, the kidneys-for-iPhones scandal also illustrates a key reason why Apple's Golden Age in China may be coming to an end: In a country where workers earn an average monthly salary of a little more than $600, China's domestically made budget phones, which can cost less than one-third of the iPhone's price, are increasingly eating Apple's lunch.

Is the Apple Watch an etiquette nightmare?

Even though smartwatches are now worn by only a small minority of consumers, they’re already an irritant to many. “These smartwatches can be as annoying as our smartphones and more visible since you wear them,” says Pamela Eyring

Why Apple exemplifies everything that’s wrong with Silicon Valley

fans are in love with gadgets that don’t matter much

You can see the impact of silicon valley tech everywhere – except in productivity, economic growth and standard of living.

But the money has been good, because internet companies are cheap to start and generate good returns even if they’re only sold to Facebook or Google, which want their engineers.

The most wealth-creating, new technology of the past decade was hydraulic fracking.

So excuse me if I don’t get excited.

What Apple's New Products Say About the Future
Along with new software and hardware, the company revealed their vision for an entirely new way of interacting with devices.

The watch is a big deal. Not because of the watch but because of the user interface: Get ready for an entirely new way of interacting with your devices.

The watch will become a wand or remote for the world.

Apple reestablished its dominance as an innovative user-interface company.

How the Apple Watch could change the world -- again

Right now, it's the default controller for the Internet of Things

One Infinite Loop is doing what it does best: Making it seem like it invented a bunch of market categories, when really what it did was refine existing technology into an ostensibly more workable, user-friendly design.

the Apple Watch may just go down in history as version 1 of one of those rare world-changing technologies.

Are the New iPhones Too Big for Women's Hands?

Apple Watch isn’t what women want

Apple has entered the realm of fashion with the Apple Watch, a device that works with an iPhone and is really an accessory, not a must-have.

For many women, the watch is too geeky-looking.

Here’s the Apple Watch Next to All the Other Smartwatches

Wolverton: Apple Watch underwhelms

But in some ways the design of Apple Watch is very conventional and even pedestrian.

Apple Watch suffers from several shortcomings, big and small.

Its first big problem is that it isn't a stand-alone device; you can't do much with the Apple Watch unless it's connected to a smartphone. And not just any smartphone; it has to be connected to an iPhone.

A real watch guy's take on the Apple Watch

Apple got more details right on their watch than the vast majority of Swiss and Asian brands do with similarly priced watches, and those details add up to a really impressive piece of design.

This articles lists what the "real watch guy" liked and disliked about the Apple Watch.

Everything You Need To Know About The Apple Watch

Law professor thinks Apple turned self into a regulated financial institution

Did Apple Inc. AAPL-0.53% just inadvertently take on a new financial regulatory burden with the rollout of Apple Pay?

Depending on how a lawyer interprets the law, Apple may have just walked into the very different world of being a regulated entity.

An Apple iBank is only a matter of time

Don’t think an iBank or Apple Bank or Google Bank is possible? It’s not only likely, it’s inevitable and closer than you think ? a fact underscored by the payment technology embedded in the most recent wave of consumer electronics.

Why Apple Pay Can Succeed Where Google Wallet Failed

Apple Pay could put an end to data breaches

First, Apple does not store the actual credit card data on the iOS device, or on iCloud. The payment information is encrypted and stored in a “Secure Element.” 

In the event that your iPhone is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to disable Apple Pay payments through the Find My iPhone site.

Android loyalists and Apple bashers are quick to point out that Apple is actually late to the NFC party. That is true. The major difference is that Apple has the support and momentum to make it mainstream.

How hackers could still get around Apple Pay security

Apple’s got to catch up to Android’s latest operating system.

The most important differentiator for Android over iOS right now are the widgets.  With widgets on the home screen of my Android-based Samsung 11″ Galaxy tablet , less tapping, less scrolling and more relevant information in front of my eyes every time I glance at the home screen is a tremendous advantage.

I’ve owned Apple stock since it was at a split-adjusted $1 per share, but if I didn’t own any, I’d look to start building it sooner rather than later. And stick with Google GOOG too.

Apple's Tim Cook Slams Amazon In Interview With Charlie Rose

Apple CEO Tim Cook told Charlie Rose in a long interview on Friday that he considers Facebook a partner, Google a competitor, and Amazon, well, neither.

Why Apple's website crash is troubling

Apple has yet to completely master the highest demand situations in cloud computing -- an area that is critical to the company's strategy.

cloud computing success requires stability and availability, even under the most pressing demands.

The iPod Classic quietly passed away this week. It was 12 years old.

If you didn’t notice its death, don’t feel too bad. Apple didn’t make an announcement. It simply pulled the product from its website, while the world gawked at the Apple Watch and the fact that U2 is still around.

How Steve Jobs Convinced Tim Cook To Work For Apple

When Cars Are as Hackable as Cell Phones

All the autonomous vehicle makers have downplayed security concerns.

Obviously, everyone building autonomous vehicles has a major incentive to get the security issues right. But so do credit card companies and Target and Apple-and they have all experienced major problems with security over the last few years.

Your Car IS Spying On You

The owner's manual says:
“Daimler AG can access these data and submit them … for safety research or vehicle diagnosis purposes … on the instruction of prosecuting authorities… (and) as otherwise permitted by law.”

The author notes that this has already happened -- his Onstar-equipped vehicle told Onstar of his "spirited" driving and OnStar called him in the car to inquire if he needed EMS.
He had not wrecked it; it just didn't like the loads (presumably lateral and acceleration loads) it had detected.

Are computer games really that harmful?

The third group is the minority that will actually be influenced by games, and those individuals can commit acts of violence, possibly triggered by a game. However - and this is important to understand - those people would also be influenced by a book or a movie, or any other trigger, such as a real-life conflict situation. The mere fact that a simple visual trigger such as a computer game results in a violent response shows that we're talking about troubled individuals requiring emotional help.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You know Apple has screwed up when Denny's is making fun of it | The Verge

Denny’s has a little fun with Apple’s overtaxed servers 9/9/2014. :)


You know Apple has screwed up when Denny's is making fun of it | The Verge: ""


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Editor's thoughts on the Apple Watch

My thoughts on the Apple Watch:

It's a start in the right direction. The use of the digital crown instead of the multiplicity of buttons that most digital watches have shows Apple is paying attention to design and not just following the crowd. The editor’s cheap Big Lots! Chinese knockoff is a bit of a pain to reset when daylight savings ends.

I hope that it will measure more health factors in the future. I had hoped it would measure blood glucose, so that diabetic friends of mine wouldn't have to stick themselves all the time to measure their blood glucose. The market is there, Apple. Seize it!






Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



AARP RealPad brings you Real Possibilities

Does the iPad have competition for the senior lap when it comes to tablets? We’ll have to see. What about the vulnerabilities of Android vs iOS?


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog






AARP RealPad brings you Real Possibilities: ""


Andrew Kay, Pioneer in Computing, Dies at 95 -

Mr. Kay was one of San Diego’s early contributors to the personal computer revolution. His computer was one of the first that I used to learn about computing in a junior college spreadsheet class. God Bless You, Mr. Kay. I’m sure you and Steve Jobs will have much to talk about in Heaven.


True, his company failed; but Mr. Kay did not fail. He led the way toward the future of personal computing. San Diego is proud of you.


Tom Briant, Long-time San Diego Resident

Editor, MacValley Blog




Andrew Kay, Pioneer in Computing, Dies at 95 - ""


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scanning with your new MacBook Air and a very old Epson flatbed scanner

Some of us can spend what we like on computer equipment. We get the latest and shiniest, with all the cords, all the manuals, all the drivers on CDs.

Then again, the rest of us have to scrounge from time to time. Maybe it’s the furniture. A child’s desk becomes the perfect printer table. 

The printer or scanner that goes on that table may not come from a freshly opened box. It may come from a garage sale or just someone cleaning out their closets. The stuff you get from those sources may still work, but it lacks the driver CDs and printed manuals.

Case in point is my old Epson Perfection 1200U Scanner. I got this thing in 2000, which USB was in its infancy and flat-bed scanners for the home were a hot item. Nowadays, USB is just the way we connect things and stand-alone flat-bed scanners are a speciality item. Most of the time I use my OfficeJet 8600’s scanner. 


So for those of you who just acquired a vintage scanner I have some tips and tricks for you.

First, the manuals. Search on-line for the manual for your scanner. In Safari or Chrome, just type in “manual for Perfection 1200U” and you’ll get a bunch of web sites. If you read this at work and only have Internet Explorer, go to or and enter the request for the manual for your particular scanner.

Second, the drivers.  With a Mac, you usually don’t need to download drivers from the manufacturer’s Web site. Epson, for example, doesn’t offer scanner drivers for the Perfection 1200U for Windows 7 or beyond. No software specifically for OS X 10.9

With OS X, it worked just fine. Apple provided the necessary backend software for it to work automatically.

So download and read the manual. Follow its instructions for cleaning the glass platen.

Now go back and read them again. I know you and you just skipped over that section on cleaning the platen.  Read it AGAIN.


Setting up the Scanner

Now I’ll take you through setting up this particular scanner, the Epson Perfection 1200U. 


The 1200U in all its glory


1. Get a USB 2.0 cable. The square end will fit into the back of the scanner. The rectangular end will fit into your Mac’s USB ports. in the case of a MacBook Air, you’ll find them on either side. 

Now note the size of the plugs. You will see a lot of mini USB cables for sale that cellphones and other devices use to connect to PCs and Macs. Check to make sure you have the right size of cable on both ends.


USB 2 0 A  B cable


2. Unlock the scanner.


The Lock on the side of the 1200U

The lock for the scanner mechanism is on the left-hand side of the Perfection 1200U. It’s a simple circular piece of plastic with a groove in the center that a quarter or nickels fits into. 

The icons stamped into the plastic make it clear which position locks the scanner and which position unlocks the scanner. In the case of the Perfection 1200U, you want to UNLOCK THE SCANNER BEFORE POWERING UP. You could damage the scanner otherwise. Again, read the manual!

3. Having acquired the proper USB cable and unlocked the scanner, the next steps.

4. Plug the USB cable between the Mac and the scanner.

5. Plug the scanner’s power cord into an AC socket.  Don’t turn it on right away, though. 

6. Turn on the Mac computer, if it wasn’t turned on previously.

7. When the Mac finishes, go to your System Preferences. This is roughly equivalent to the Window’s XP/Vista/7 Control Panel. You will find the System Preferences either in your Dock as the box with gears in it. OR

System Prefernces in the Dock

Go to the Apple Menu at the very left-hand end of your Mac’s Menu Bar.


Click on the Apple icon and the Apple Menu drops down. System Preferences … is one of the selections.


Apple Menu with System Preferences



8. In System Preferences, you will see a windows  populated with System Preferences for various aspects of your Mac.

This show all my system preferences. The first 4 rows will show the default preference panes that come with OS X. The bottom row shows the preference panes you installed. 

I’ve highlighted in red the Printers & Scanners preference pane. So click on it.

System Preferences Window


9.  This is what my Printer & Scanner preference pane in my MacBook Air shows before I turned on the Perfection 1200U.


Printers and Scanners Preference Pane before turning on old Perfection 1200u


This shows my own Office Jet 8600 and a client’s Epson Workforce 645. I’ve installed the necessary software for these two multifunction printers.


Now press the scanner’s power switch. A new scanner appears!




Printer and Scanner Preference Pane and setting up scanner

OS X installs the software and you’re ready to go. 

You can tweak the settings. Under Scan Button, you can change which OS X app to open when you press the Scan Button. The default is the Image Capture program, but you can change it by clicking on the double-headed arrows to the right of “Open Image Capture”.


Printer and Scanner Preference Pane setting up the Scanner s Scan button


I changed my setting to open the Preview app instead of Image Capture. 


So let’s press the Scan Button!


10. I’ve pressed the Scan Button and Preview for 10.9 came up. What do I see?


Preview File Dialog Box that opens when you start Preview just click done right now


Instead of a box to start scanning, I get a Dialog Box that lets me pick a preexisting file from either iCloud or on My Mac. I don’t want either option right now, so I clicked on the Done box that I’ve highlighted in Red.


11. Now I’m back at the desktop. Preview is the program displayed on the Menu Bar. So how do I start scanning?


Click on the File menu and go down to Import from Scanner

Preview File and import from scanner

Click on the right facing arrow next to Import from Scanner.  I’ve got two options. Epson Perfection 1200 is what I’ll go with. 

12. You picked the Epson Perfection 1200 and you got this mess below. No, your scanner is not worthless. This is just an Overview Scan, a hasty glance over the material you put on the platen (this week’s Rite-Aid ad).  The software will do a quick job, but you can restore color to it in the next. So relax, everything works just fine.

Preview It s an overview scan and it looks dreadful we ll fix it


13. Note the three red arrows on the screenshot. The first one is for the kind of image you want. You get three choices: text (useful for OCR), black and white grayscale, and then color.

You can change the resolution of the scan, too. This affects how big the image file is. Lower the resolution, you lower the size of the file. 

Finally, the image format. Above, the software picked TIFF, a very high resolution format. TIFF pictures are used for printing pictures in slick magazines and books. For just keeping a scan of your check to LADWP (as I do), 150 dpi is fine. As long as I can read it, that’s good enough. JPEG pictures are fine.



Preview overview scan restored to looking better


14. Now how to just scan the part of the overview scan that  you want? For instance, how about that Tide bottle for $11.94?

A very important check box determines that. 


Look at the two red arrows. The top one points at the box marked “Use Custom Size.” 

The bottom one points at the available size selections. Click on the double-headed arrows at the far right-hand side. 

Right now, it’s set at “US Letter”. The other selection is the A4 paper size. Neither one lets you focus on just the part of the picture you want. 

Preview Scan at set size or custom size


Now look at this screenshot:


Preview scan set to custom size


I’ve checked the custom size box. The size boxes now read “8.5” and “11” inches. You can use your pointing device cursor to focus on that bottle of Tide at the bottom.


15. Now I’ve brought down the focus down to the Tide bottle. Preview uses a border of what is known as “marching ants” to signify the border of the final scan. 


Preview the marching ants around a selection


So let me take the final scan.


16. The final scan.


Preview the bottle of Tide in its glory


Final Notes

Which way does the material to be scanned go in the scanner?

You want to look for the orientation marks around the glass platen. 

Scanner Orientation marks next to platen



What about Optical Character Recognition? Preview can’t do Optical Character Recognition. I have used the Vuescan app with this scanner to produce searchable PDFs. 

Apple, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Rite-Aid and Tide and all the other products in the Rite-Aid ad are copyrighted, trademarked, and guarded by lawyers. All rights reserved.  

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly roundup

If This Is The Best Apple's Competitors Can Do, Then The iWatch Is Poised To Be A Massive Hit

The latest crop of "smart watches" doesn't look good.

They're too ugly. They do too much. They're unfocused, noisy, and complicated.

Just like smartphones were before the iPhone.

Everything You Need to Know About Apple’s HealthKit and How It Might Work with the iWatch

Why Apple's HealthKit and HomeKit privacy rules are a huge advantage

A Drone Flew Above Apple's New Spaceship Headquarters To Capture Some Amazing Views
Neat picture

Apple Just Recruited 'One Of The Most Influential Designers Of This Generation'

If Someone Handed Steve Jobs A Pen, This Is How He Would've Sold It

Check Out The Ways Got Much More Elegant Over Time

A very interesting evolution of Apple's web site

The danger of putting your personal information on the cloud

You may have heard about the nude celebrity photos that were released after Apple's cloud service was hacked.

It gets worse.

Google, Amazon and Apple will NEVER accept responsibility for the security of data you place on their "cloud" services.

Apple fixes iCloud security flaw that may have allowed nude-photo leaks

A vulnerability in Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature was exposed on the code-sharing site GitHub a day before a collection of nude photos depicting celebrities was leaked.

It isn't known whether this is the same security flaw that was exploited by the hackers who stole the nude photos, which were leaked.

Apple fixes iCloud security flaw that may have allowed nude-photo leaks

A vulnerability in Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature was exposed on the code-sharing site GitHub a day before a collection of nude photos depicting celebrities was leaked.

It isn't known whether this is the same security flaw that was exploited by the hackers who stole the nude photos, which were leaked.

We Still Don't Have Assurance From Apple That iCloud Is Safe

Apple said the hack that caused nude photos of celebrities to leak was not the result of a widespread attack on its iCloud system. Instead, the hackers targeted the accounts of individual celebrities.

several journalists and tech pundits pointed out that Apple appeared to be placing the blame on the user, not the fact that Apple IDs seem to be easy to crack if you have the right tools.

After nude celebrity hacking, Apple’s Tim Cook says company will improve security

Five reasons why celebrities and civilians should never trust Apple with nude photos, or any data at all.

Inside The iCloud-Hacking Ring That Leaked Those Naked Celebrity Photos

10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Your iPhone

Very good video.

12 Visions of Apple Products That Were Fantastically Wrong

With only days to go before Apple unveils a handful of brand-new products, the rumor mill is churning at full speed. Now seems like a good time to recall the various dream concepts, predictions, and leaks we've seen over the years—all of which were more artful than accurate.

When Steve Jobs Refused To Give Early Apple Employees Stock, Steve Wozniak Offered Them $10 Million Of His

Google Offers A Very Important Security Feature:  Two-Step Verification

Some apps don't work with 2-factor authentication, such as Mail on your iPhone or iPad.

Google's driverless car is nowhere near road-ready

Construction zones, heavy rains, police officers stopping traffic, potholes are all obstacles that Google's driverless cars remain unable to navigate.

Google's entire business model relies on tracking everything you do with your computer -- and especially with your Android phone.

Google, in short, as with Apple for IOS, sells you to various vendors.


This author says that iCloud (and other cloud services) are like the "Hotel California" (or like a roach motel):
You can check in, but you can never really leave.

Do you remember those files you deleted from the cloud?  They're NOT really deleted.

Americans Mad as Hell Over Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

"If you can create public protest of a certain volume and scale, you can make it so prominent that even the bureaucrats at the FCC can't argue with it," the Free Press's Karr told the E-Commerce Times.

"Our aim has always been to show overwhelming public support for Net neutrality," he said, "to the extent that no elected official or federal bureaucrat in Washington can rule against you without shaming the democratic process."

Bypassing hardware firewalls in 20 seconds

An interesting post by a MarketWatch reader:

It's just a matter of time before everyone is hacked. Unless your service locks your account after X number of consecutive bad logins you are at risk of some sort of brute force attack.

It's a cyber war out there and most people are clueless. I recently installed my own personal linux cloud server with a floating IP address and it's crazy how often it gets attacked.

I got hundreds of IP addresses on a permanent ban list.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Apple News for MacValley and the San Fernando Valley

Today in celebrity news and a possible Apple connection that it doesn’t want, Appleinsider reports that Apple has investigated the leaks from iCloud accounts and found "The company's statement dispels rumors that a wider exploit of its iCloud services, including the Find My iPhone function, played a part in the leaks. Apple recommends that its users employ a strong password, and also enable two-step verification to maximize security."

So if you plan to put spicy photos of yourself or your loved ones on iCloud, check to make you used a strong password. Don’t use the dog’s name as the password if the dog was featured in People. The bad guys zeroed in on famous people with sloppy cybersecurity. 

Now as for the big event on 9-9-2014, rumor and gossip have it that Apple will introduce the next generation of iPhones, the iPhone 6. They could also introduce the wearable “iWatch”. To top it all off, they could introduce the next iteration of iOS, iOS 8. 

 So what will this unicorn of a gadget, the “iWatch”, cost you?  Another article from Appleinsider pegs a possible price point of $400! Yikes! The article goes to say that this is a guess as to the price. We’ll have to wait until September 9th, when the productivity of Apple enthusiasts at work will dip. 

So what about OS X Yosemite? Apple has sent developers the 7th revision of the OS. 

The Public Beta of OS X Yosemite has gone through its first update since the initial release.  The overall resemblance to iOS 7 is striking. The Apple-provided icons in many instances have dumped skeuomorphism, the resemblance of virtual objects to their real-world counterparts. They haven’t returned to their OS 9 simplicity, but photorealism is out for Apple icons. 

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




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