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Sunday, June 28, 2015

New El Capitan beta reveals 4K 21.5-inch iMac, Multi-Touch Bluetooth Remote (for Apple TV?) | 9to5Mac

New El Capitan beta reveals 4K 21.5-inch iMac, Multi-Touch Bluetooth Remote (for Apple TV?) | 9to5Mac: ""


Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up

10 signs Apple listens to its customers

The best ways to free up space on your 16GB iPhone

Apple Maps is getting a really useful feature that Google Maps doesn't have

Apple is adding a feature that can tell you exactly which exit you should take when departing the subway or train station.

It's a small feature, but one that's bound to be really useful in a big city like New York (or LA), where getting out at the right exit could save a lot of time and confusion.

This is just one of several improvements coming to Apple Maps when iOS 9 launches in the fall.

Apple interns make almost $7,000 a month, but they can't whisper a word to their friends about their jobs

At other companies like Google and Facebook, it's not uncommon for employees to get poached or to leave after a few years to start their own companies. But, Apple employees are extremely loyal and usually stay at the company for anywhere between 25 and 35 years.

Apple compensates very well, even for lower level employees.

Apple Inc. iTunes U Set To Become Students’ Worst Nightmare After New Updates

Apple is upgrading the educational iTunes U app to include time-stamps on reports and assignments, it means now teachers can track exactly when students submit their homework

This is not entirely good news for the students who often like to dawdle and submit their assignments at the last second

Steve Wozniak welcomes his robot overlords, says the future no longer scares him

He said:  “They’re going to be smarter than us and if they’re smarter than us then they’ll realize the need us,” he’s quoted as saying by TechRepublic. He continued, “It’s actually going to turn out really good for humans.”

Apple’s early-adopting, outspoken co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks humans will be fine if robots take over the world because we’ll just become their pets.

After previously stating that a robotic future powered by artificial intelligence (AI) would be “scary and very bad for people” and that robots would “get rid of the slow humans”, Wozniak has staged a U-turn and says he now thinks robots taking over would be good for the human race.

Reminder:  Here’s an article from last week from someone who disagrees with Woz.

Apple Removing Games With Confederate Flag From App Store

Apple said that apps are being removed "that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines." Other apps that depict the flag in educational or historical contexts are not being removed.

Why is Apple so embarrassed by games?

Some have argued that the removal was “an understandable, if clunky, reaction to a symbol that has specific connotations”, others that it’s “an ultra-rare case of political correctness actually genuinely gone mad”.

what stands out is how games, uniquely, were CENSORED.

Historians take issue with Apple's Civil War games ban

Civil War historians were flummoxed by Apple's removal of Civil War games from its App Store that included images of the Confederate flag. The controversial symbol is key to depicting history, they said.

Joan Waugh, a history professor at UCLA, noted that the Confederate flag is an essential symbol in Civil War history.

“I cannot support the ill-considered action by Apple or any other company to remove the flag from a Civil War game,” she said.

The Times wondered how Apple defines “offensive or mean-spirited” in a game that takes place in an environment that is intrinsically offensive and mean spirited, and whether Apple might take the same action against World War II games that carry Nazi imagery.

After Nixing Every Title With a Confederate Flag, Apple Will Restore Some Games

How nice it would be if things were this simple, if the Confederate flag truly sustained racism instead of standing for it.

The danger of proposing a largely causal connection between the Confederate flag and racism is that it obscures the very real systemic roots of social ills.  We shouldn’t trade in fantasies about the way those symbols work and what empowers them.  Racism is much larger than its symbols.

Apple Will Restore Battle of Gettysburg App

The Depressing Gap Between Apple and the U.S. Federal Government is Widening

One Story:
The government keeps using old, obsolete and insecure computers by failing to upgrade to modern computers.
The stance Apple has taken on privacy and security and its tendency to quickly leave insufficient technology in the past stands in dramatic contrast to the U.S. Navy which finds itself, incredibly, still dependent on Windows XP (an old and very insecure OS).

Another Story:
The government is trying to compromise the security of modern computers used by honest Americans in order to spy on them.
The desire of certain parties to be able to access any particular computer at will has now achieved new heights. For example, "U.S. And British Spies Targeted Antivirus Companies."

Police issue ‘Apple Pay’ fraud warning to vehicle buyers

Fraudsters are trying to trick people into using – FAKE – Apple Pay, not the genuine Apple Pay service to pay for cars that never get delivered.

Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service.

Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.

Officers say buyers should protect themselves and meet sellers ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money, and also be cautious of web links in an email.

WeWork, which rents space to startups, is reportedly worth $10 billion — step inside and find out why

AW comment:  WeWork looks like a cool place to work, but Business Insider doesn’t.

A certified pilot turned Instagram star took these stunning aerial photos around the world

Here's how to send super-secure messages like Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden first contacted journalist Laura Poitras to inform her of his trove of documents using PGP.

So let's take a look at what PGP is and how easy it is to use.

But a word of warning:
There are ways that your E-mail can be compromised (i.e., accessed by the wrong person) after you write it but before you encrypt it.
Especially if you send your E-mails through an “imap” server, such and Google’s G-mail.

Those Chinese hackers got into FBI files too

Hackers who infiltrated the Office of Personnel Management and stole the security-clearance information of more than 18 million federal employees reportedly breached FBI agents’ personnel files in the process.

“This is the most successful cyber attack in the history of the United States” Michael Adams said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Master Mac Multitouch in 5 minutes | Computerworld

Master Mac Multitouch in 5 minutes | Computerworld: ""



Pay attention here! Mr. Evans has something to teach you that you need to know.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Week Web Wrap Up

Apple currently has a flash sale going for its favorite iPhone games — get them while you still can

Apple is currently running a sale on its favorite action, adventure, and fantasy iPhone games, and everything is at least 50% off.

Apple's Latest Selling Point: How Little it Knows About YOU

Apple wants its devices to know everything about you. But more than ever, it wants you to know that Apple doesn’t know what those devices know.

Apple wants to store the personal data its devices silently gather locally, rather than upload it to the cloud. And that privacy-focused marketing continues a push from Cupertino to differentiate itself from Google, Microsoft, and other competitors.

Apple invented a new type of viral advertising that can track users in social media

Apple has been granted a patent for a new viral advertising management system that can track ads or media content as it is shared via different methods.

This does not mean that Apple is going to launch a viral advertising product

New York school district converts 75% of its curriculum to Apple's iPad

All students in grades 3 through 9 in the affluent Mineola, N.Y., school district have been equipped with Apple's iPad

What Apple Did When My Macbook Caught Fire

Apple replaced his Macbook the next day.

Here's why Apple named its new Mac software 'El Capitan'

in 2013, Apple made a change. OS X 10.9, instead of representing yet another cat-like animal, was dubbed Mavericks. At its unveiling, Craig Federighi told the audience the operating systems to come would be named after well-known California locations. Of course, Mavericks is a favorite surfing spot in Northern California. 

Federighi joked, "We don’t want to be the first development team to be delayed by the lack of big cats."

Apple didn’t provide a formal reason for why it chose El Capitan, but the rock formation is considered an important California landmark.

I asked everyone I know with an Apple Watch whether they were happy with it — here's what they said

Apple Watch Is Not Yet A Home Run With Users, Survey Shows

How My Apple Watch Brought Me a Serenity I Haven’t Had In Years

My watch has helped me unplug from technology more frequently and more meaningfully.

I am not the only Apple Watch user to discover that the device unchains you from your phone.

Every other Apple device gives you fun, exciting complications. The Apple Watch simply gives you freedom.

The 12 best new features coming to the iPhone

The 6 best new features coming to Apple computers

Apple invented a way to overcome one of the iPhone's biggest design hurdles

If you look at the back of your iPhone, you'll notice there are two strips of plastic that run across the back of the device. This holds true whether you're using an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, or iPhone 6. 

That's because that's where the phone's antenna resides — if Apple didn't coat that space with plastic, radio waves wouldn't be able to get through your iPhone's metal exterior to receive and send signals.

The next version of Apple's widely used iOS and OS X operating systems will make it significantly easier for developers to create ad-blocking extensions for the company's Safari web browser.

The 17 highest-paying jobs at Apple

Apple App Security Fails Leave Macs And iPhones Vulnerable To 'Devastating' Attacks

a group of academics have ripped apart the security protections in Mac OS X and iOS to show it's not only possible to create malware and get it onto the App Store, but it's also feasible to launch "devastating" attacks using rogue software to steal the most sensitive personal data around, from iCloud passwords and Evernote notes to dodgy selfies and more.

The attacks, known as unauthorized cross-app resource access or XARA, expose design flaws that allow a bad app to access critical pieces of data in other apps.

What the researchers have highlighted, yet again, is that exploiting Apple software is much easier than supposed.

"These issues completely undermine basic and fundamental design goals of OS X, and in some cases iOS," said Patrick Wardle, an Apple security expert.

My Smartphone Gave Me a Painful Neurological Condition

"occipital neuralgia."

Dr. Cardiel explained how the occipital nerves emerge from the spinal column at the back of your neck and branch out along your entire scalp. Occipital neuralgia is a condition that occurs when the base of the nerves become compressed or damaged.

"What causes it?" I asked.

"What about smartphone usage?" I asked. "I'm constantly craning my neck to look down at my phone. Maybe that has something to do with it."

"You know what," Dr. Cardiel said, nodding. "I've been a practicing neurologist for 10 years, and I've seen cases of this condition skyrocket since smartphones became popular. I should write a paper."

Podcasting Blossoms, but in Slow Motion

the overall audience for podcasts is growing very slowly. In February, Edison Research reported that 17 percent of Americans had listened to one podcast in the previous month. That is up just slightly from Edison’s 2012 survey, when 14 percent of Americans had done so.

don’t call podcasting a bubble or a bust. Instead, it is that rarest thing in the technology industry: a slow, steady and unrelentingly persistent digital tortoise that could eventually — but who really knows? — slay the analog behemoths in its path.

there is a lot about this business that still needs to be worked out. This will most likely happen eventually. Podcasting is destined to be huge, both as a medium and a business. “It’s the future of radio,” Mr. Turck of Panoply said. Just don’t expect that future to come tomorrow.

DuckDuckGo traffic up after Apple integration and privacy issues

Weinberg said that recent NSA surveillance leaks combined with Apple adding DuckDuckGo as an optional search engine in devices running both iOS and OS X had driven the stellar growth in use.

DuckDuckGo has grown 600% since Apple made it a search option (and NSA revelations)

With iOS 8, Apple added the option for users to choose DuckDuckGo as their default search engine within the operating system.

DuckDuckGo heavily touts the fact that it doesn’t track the information of users and is a privacy-focused company.

EFF’s 2015 Data Privacy Report Lauds Apple, Dropbox, Slams Verizon

Digital rights organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published its fifth annual Who has your back? report into online service providers’ transparency and privacy practices when it comes to government requests for accessing user data.

The EFF has awarded nine companies a full complement of stars: Adobe, Apple, CREDO, Dropbox, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia,, and Yahoo.

The two companies singled out with “especially poor results” are U.S. telcos AT&T and Verizon.

Joe Martin is a manager at the data analysis group Adobe Digital Index that is affiliated with the software maker ADBE of the same name. His job is to watch comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a film several weeks before its release, and then to predict whether the film will meet or beat its budget in domestic receipts, based solely on social media activity.

Until recently, Martin had a near-perfect record predicting the box-office on a select group of films.

Martin is one of several film watchers in and around Hollywood who think they are close to getting social media "buzz" down to a science. By monitoring the volume of traffic at various online gathering spots, and analyzing what's being said, they think they can get a pretty good idea of whether a film will flourish or flop.

For the most part, they get it right. And the studios are listening.

"Studios can course-correct as they go along rather than brace for impact," he said. "Traditionally, marketing decisions are made in a vacuum. Now, they can actually know if those decisions are resonating with the audience."

I was astounded to discover that there appears to be a fairly wide body of so-called intellectual thought centered in the premise that we, as humans, can design an artificial intelligence that is by definition unable to harm other life (that would be us, by the way) under any circumstances.

From exactly what sort of hubris does one proceed with such a belief?  It assumes that there are no malevolent humans that could or would intentionally tamper with it.

A former Apple exec who now works at Google weighs in on how much customer data companies should give away

Google and Apple have very different ways of looking at how big companies should use people's data.

In response to Tim Cook's statements, Tony Fadell replied:
"If you’re not sharing anything I think that’s wrong.  If you’re sharing everything, that’s wrong too. You have to strike a really good balance and you have to understand what the benefit is for the customer and you have to be transparent about it. And if they don’t want to opt in then you have to realize you’ve struck the wrong balance."

WikiLeaks says it's leaking over 500,000 Saudi documents

If genuine, the documents would offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the notoriously opaque kingdom.

WikiLeaks has begun publishing around half a million 'Saudi Cables' documents.

According to the group's statement, the 'Saudi cables' provide an insight into the kingdom's interior and foreign policies explaining "how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions."

The leaked documents also illustrate a "highly centralized bureaucratic structure" where even the simplest issues are addressed by the most senior officials, it said.

WikiLeaks Unloads Second Batch Of Sony Files Into Its Database

How the super-rich fight cyber criminals

AW comment:  Not much better than the rest of us, as they count on the employees of investment firms.

How I tracked down and anonymously chatted with an insanely private hacker

I was able to communicate with the hacker using an array of online tools so that both he and I were happy with the level of privacy and felt we could speak freely.

spyware discovery in government computers

A Virginia cybersecurity firm said it discovered spyware in the Office of Personnel Management's computer networks in April, raising questions about the government's assertion that it detected the massive intrusion on its own.

CyTech officials now are detailing their role in the breach, potentially the largest theft of personnel records in history, putting the federal agency on the defensive. Congress is expected to sort through the conflicting accounts of the intrusion.

How an obsessive recluse blew the lid off the secret technology authorities use to spy on people's cell phones

last year the world has learned a lot about a jarring surveillance technology. It's called "Stingray," and it's a device used by both federal and state law enforcement agencies to gain access to citizens' cell phone data.

Stingray works by mimicking cellphone towers.

the authorities never wanted people to know that Stingray existed. In fact, according to the latest episode of the WNYC radio show Note To Self, it took an obsessed man in prison to comb through thousands of documents to piece together what was going on.

Daniel Rigmaiden is the man who first discovered Stingray while he was in prison facing charges of tax fraud.

All of this information about Stingray is thanks to one man who was obsessive enough to spend years combing through documents to fully understand what led to his arrest.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Macbeth syndrome: Killing the Mac won't stop the voices | Macworld

Macbeth syndrome: Killing the Mac won't stop the voices | Macworld: ""



I’ve already denounced this Wall Street Journal op-ed, but now a professional comes along to do the job right. Take it away, Macalope!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

Monday, June 15, 2015

Apple OS X El Capitan Developer Preview Preview |

Apple OS X El Capitan Developer Preview Preview | ""



This and other reviews make me look forward to the public beta this summer!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


No, WSJ, Apple shouldn't kill off the Mac | Macworld

No, WSJ, Apple shouldn't kill off the Mac | Macworld: ""



When the WSJ admits that the Iraq War wasn’t such a great success, then they can start criticizing Apple. Otherwise, STFU!


Sorry for the rudeness, but the WSJ has definitely gone downhill since the ‘80s.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up

90% of Macs will be able to run OS X El Capitan (video)

Apple said that iOS 9 will run on all the devices able to run 2014's iOS 8, meaning that a larger chunk of the iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches now in use should be able to upgrade this fall than in years past.

El Cap will run on the same Macs as now run 2014's Yosemite, 2013's Mavericks, 2012's Mountain Lion and 2011's Lion, according to reports of the newest OS X's system requirements, which have been confirmed by Computerworld with developers, who asked for anonymity.

OS X 10.11 will run on iMacs from the mid-2007 model on; on 13-in. MacBooks from late 2008 (aluminum case) and early 2009 (plastic case) forward; MacBook Pro notebooks from mid-2009 and later (13-in.) and late-2007 and after (15-in., discontinued 17-in.) and on; MacBook Air laptops from late 2008 and later; Mac Mini desktops from mid-2009 and after; and the much beefier Mac Pro desktops from early 2008 and forward.

Mac owners can determine the age of their machine by selecting "About This Mac" from the Apple menu.

A tiny update to the cursor in Apple's latest Mac OS solves an annoying problem every computer user can relate to

19 iPhone-only apps that will make your Android friends jealous

The 11 best iPhone apps and games, according to Apple

Apple finally introduces split-screen multitasking on the iPad - here's what it looks like

There’s good news and bad news for the millions of iPad owners around the world.

The good news is that the iPad is getting a bunch of great new features that finally allow you to multitask e.g., use two different apps at the same time).

But the bad news is that the new features may not work on your iPad unless it's one of the newest models.

Former Apple employee reveals his best tips for getting the most out of your Genius Bar visit

Good tips.

Here's how your iPhone home screen has changed through the years

Your iPhone will now tell you who a mystery caller might be so that you can stop ignoring unknown numbers

while Mr. Cook raised awareness for digital privacy, his speech glossed over two main issues. For one, he neglected to mention that Apple also collects a great deal of data about how we use technology. While it has more protections for that data than many rivals, the company plainly states in its privacy policy that it does use private data in many ways, including to build and market its own products, and to build its own advertising network.

Mr. Cook also failed to fairly explore the substantial benefits that free, ad-supported services have brought to consumers worldwide.

Nuala O’Connor, the president and chief executive of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a tech-focused think tank said "The first and main thing is, does the customer know what’s happening to them?” She argued that if companies were transparent and honest about how they use people’s data, customers could freely weigh the benefits and costs of online services.

es, there are downsides to the ad-supported tech industry, and, yes, privacy advocates and tech insiders like Mr. Cook should continue to push the entire industry to more stringently protect our data. But it would be insane to argue that we haven’t seen benefits in return for this data.

it is also worth noting that Google and Facebook do not actually sell people’s data to advertisers, as Mr. Cook suggested they did in his EPIC speech.

Americans don't mind being spied upon, just not by the NSA

Americans have a strange idea about privacy. It's not OK for the government to collect phone records to defend the nation against terrorism. But it's fine for Google, North Korea, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield to amass all kinds of personal records about ordinary Americans that go far beyond records of "call details."

Google knows more about you than does the NSA.

So do health insurance companies.

It is remarkable how much private and intimate information Americans broadcast about themselves when they are talking on cell phones in public places. The same people who object to the NSA collecting "call details" think nothing of talking about their latest raise or marital spat in loud voices in the presence of other people.

NSA extends internet spying to search for hackers: report

The report, based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, said the agency can hunt for Internet traffic that contains malware or flows to suspicious internet addresses. While the Justice Department allowed the NSA to monitor only addresses that it could tie to foreign governments, the agency sought to target hackers even if it could not establish any links to foreign powers. This program has never been publicly disclosed.

A very good defense of why PEOPLE should use encryption

Here's the real problem with attacking encryption: The crooks vastly outnumber the terrorists -- in fact, they do so by thousands to one.  Encryption at-rest and during transport is the only means by which you as an ordinary individual can keep your data out of the hands of the bad guys.

My email or other communications are none of your damn business, in short.  Yet the fact remains that the bad guys do like to pfish and organizeddata attacks take place from China and Russia, along with their offshoots, every single day.

Law enforcement may be unhappy that they're unable to listen in whenever they want (with or without so-called "appropriate safeguards") but the threat from bad guys aimed at me is not terrorism, it is common criminals and organized groups in nations that our government gives most-favored nation status to who attempt to steal and exploit data on all of us.

The only defense that I and others, including most-particularly corporations that hold and correlate data these crooks would love to get their hands on, is strong, effectively-unbreakable encryption. It would be nice if this was not true but it is true and no amount of wishcasting will change that.

You're probably not using this technology on a routine basis but you damn well should be and so should everyone else.  Further, we should all be outraged and drive firms out of business that don't take appropriate measures to protect your data -- and that's a huge percentage of them in the present day as evidenced by the breaches that make the daily news.

I do not want Google to have all my data and what Android has become is a tracking device that Google uses; there is no such thing as "free" and Android's price is your privacy.

People are seriously talking about whether Apple's new ad blocking technology for iPhone will destroy the web

People are freaking out about Apple's new ad blocking technology. The company plans to let iPhone users who update to iOS 9 (the new iPhone operating system) block all ads seen through the phone's Safari web browser.

One Wall Street analyst wrote yesterday, "In a worst case scenario, this is Apple against the entire mobile publisher and advertiser ecosystem."

The only person not freaking out is Brian Pitz, an analyst at Jefferies. He wrote this note to investors in Criteo, suggesting that everyone calm the heck down:
This will not be all-out ad blocking on Apple devices.  Apple users will have many options.

Apple steps up security with native two-factor and 6-digit passcodes in iOS 9

Apple now suggests you set a six-digit passcode instead of a four-digit one; and two-factor authentication becomes a built-in part of iOS (and OS X) rather than an afterthought.

If the same cracking routine could work with a new version of iOS, then the upper bound of cracking would be from 6 seconds to...nearly seven months.

A change on Apple's web site causes speculation that Apple is planning to stop selling iPods.

iOS flaw tricks you into giving up your iCloud password

Successful hack attacks often happen not because of tricky coding, but plain old "social engineering" -- ie, conning people. A Github researcher called "jansoucek" has discovered an iOS exploit that works on that principal to steal people's iCloud passwords.

More sophisticated folks might be suspicious, since there are differences between a real iCloud log-in and the fake one.  Still, if you weren't thinking for a second or didn't realize those things, a baddie could nab your password and seize control without you realizing a thing.

5 Best Open Source Graphics Programs

The celebrity nude-photo investigation reveals a broader problem with catching hackers.

The FBI investigation of the stolen photos centers on a single IP address,, registered to Herrera through his AT&T subscription. The address was used to access 572 unique iCloud accounts 3,263 times between May 31, 2013, and Aug. 31, 2014. During that same period, a computer connected to Herrera’s IP address attempted 4,980 password resets related to 1,987 different iCloud accounts.

These numbers raise two related questions: How could Herrera—or whoever was connecting from his IP address—have failed to mask that address? And how could Apple have failed to notice an IP address logging into hundreds of accounts and attempting thousands of password resets?

Both the criminal and Apple could have done a much better job at their respective goals.

New net neutrality rules will take effect Friday June 12, 2015

Nothing will stop the new net neutrality rules from taking effect. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has just tossed out the telecom industry's request to block key net neutrality regulations.

Police set up safe havens for online transactions

Concerned about robberies, scams and killings tied to purchases arranged through Craigslist and other online marketplaces, police and sheriff’s departments nationwide are carving out areas of their stations for people to complete transactions.

The areas, sometimes dubbed “safe zones” or “safe havens,” deter criminals by virtue of their location on law-enforcement property that is under constant video surveillance, supporters say. Skeptics, however, are concerned that departments are opening themselves to liability if a transaction goes awry.

A 30-year-old Commodore Amiga computer controls the air conditioning and heat for 19 public schools in Michigan, and it's been running day and night since 1985

Why can’t they just replace it? They would have to install an entirely new system, which would run the school district between $1.5 and $2 million. But it might be replaced in November, when a $175 million bond proposal comes up to voters.

We may be witnessing 'the worst breach of personally identifying information ever'

A government workers' union announced Thursday that the personnel data of every single federal employee was stolen when hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in December.

The AP also reports that hackers may have accessed security clearance information for intelligence and military personnel, specifically, SF86 forms which detail sensitive background information.

Federal employees and contractors who want government-security clearance have to disclose virtually every aspect of their lives via an SF 86 questionnaire, which is then stored on OPM's largely unencrypted database.

Monday, June 8, 2015

If your Mac or iThing runs Yosemite or iOS 8, it can run El Capitan and iOS 9 | Ars Technica

If your Mac or iThing runs Yosemite or iOS 8, it can run El Capitan and iOS 9 | Ars Technica: ""



A lot of important news from WWDC 2015 today, but I’m sure a lot of us want to know: Will My Old Hardware run 10.11 or iOS 9? Read the article. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Web Wrap-Up

I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch for two and a half weeks, and I have to tell you, this is not a watch; it’s an iPhone extender.

When Apple reinvents a category of products, our initial analysis is stuck in the old paradigm. I remember in 2007, when Apple came out with the iPhone, that commentators were arguing that no one would want to watch movies on its tiny screen.

Most people won’t appreciate the on-your-wrist factor until they wear the Apple Watch for a while. In the past I’d miss phone appointments all the time: I’d have a call scheduled, I’d be engrossed in research while listening to music, and I wouldn’t hear the reminder about the appointment in Outlook or on my iPhone. Apple’s vibration reminder gets me to look at my watch every time.

Apple Watch Is Not User-Friendly

Configuring the Apple Watch was not at all intuitive for me.

With a traditional watch on one wrist and an iPhone always with me, I struggled to find a compelling use for my Apple Watch. The slow app performance, the draining of my iPhone’s precious battery during the necessary tethering between the two devices, and having to charge the watch every night, made it a gadget whose novelty quickly wore off.

I traded in my big iPad for an iPad Mini and I can't believe what I was missing

I was an early iPad adopter.  But recently I've noticed that I started using it less. The real reason I wasn't using it much anymore was simple — it's just too big

So I got a refurbished 32GB iPad Mini 2 for $299 from Apple.  I love this thing. It feels natural in my hands in both landscape and portrait orientations, and never really feels cumbersome. Typing is more natural, gaming feels more intuitive, and reading even feels closer to the experience of a book. 

And you still get a much larger screen than your phone to watch videos and play games.

While my old big iPad increasingly spent its time gathering dust in my room — or never leaving my backpack — my iPad Mini is a constant companion.

11 secret features hidden in your Mac

Steve Wozniak sells his home inspired by the technology company's legendary design for $3.9 Million.

Lots of interesting photographs.

Tim Cook gives the Government a Strong Warning

When Apple announced it would implement strong encryption on its iOS mobile operating system, for example, one senior US police officer said the iPhone would "become the phone of choice for the pedophile."

Speaking at an event hosted by Washington nonprofit EPIC honouring him for "corporate leadership" on Monday, Cook rejected this analysis emphatically. "Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security," the CEO said. "We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the Constitution demands it, morality demands it."

The US government is pleading with tech companies to move away from strong encryption. President Obama hasn't called for an outright ban, but he wants to be able to track communications when possible.

Some governments have also requested that they be given "back doors" that can give them access to online services, but Cook disagreed with that idea: "If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there's a key hidden somewhere, they won't stop until they find it ... Removing encryption tools from our products altogether, as some in Washington would like us to do, would only hurt law-abiding citizens who rely on us to protect their data. The bad guys will still encrypt; it's easy to do and readily available."

Cook also took the opportunity at the EPIC awards dinner to attack companies like Google and Facebook. "Our privacy is being attacked on multiple fronts," he said. "I'm speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information. They're gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetise it. We think that's wrong. And it's not the kind of company that Apple wants to be."

Tim Cook's attacks on Google and Facebook reveal a giant problem for Apple's future

Google and Facebook respond to Tim Cooks privacy statements.

Ben Thompson, an independent writer/analyst, thinks Cook is being disingenuous at best, and at worst setting up Apple for trouble in the long run.

Thompson wrote "This may sound like semantics but the difference is significant: Google and Facebook do know a lot about individuals, but advertisers don’t know anything — that’s why Google and Facebook can charge a premium!"

First, people have demonstrated they don't mind trading off a little data for a fantastic, free service like Facebook or Google.

Second, and more important, there's a much bigger problem for Apple if it really wants to avoid collecting data on its users. The future of computing will rely on careful collection of data from users.

Apple writer John Gruber John Gruber admitted that privacy alone isn’t a selling point:
"Apple needs to provide best-of-breed services and privacy, not second-best-but-more-private services. Many people will and do choose convenience and reliability over privacy. Apple’s superior position on privacy needs to be the icing on the cake, not their primary selling point."

For now, Apple is doing well. But in the long run, this could be a problem. As Thompson says, "to collect less data is to, in the long run, deliver a worse product — and that would be antithetical to Apple’s mission."

The First Lawsuit Involving the Apple Watch has been Filed

Apple has been sued by a Missouri patent troll for infringing their acquired patent relating to a smartwatch.

Mac attack! Nasty bug lets hackers into Apple computers

Macs purchased one year ago or before, apparently, leave a door open.

When a Mac goes into sleep mode and wakes back up, it allows direct access to the BIOS. It's a weird quirk that lets someone tamper with the code there. That's what was discovered recently by Pedro Vila├ža, a curious independent computer security researcher in Portugal.

This isn't an easy hack. An attacker first needs administrative access to a machine. But what this means is that if a Mac gets hacked with a low-level computer virus, it can bury so deep you'll never find it.

Tod Beardsley, a security research manager at cybersecurity firm Rapid7, stressed that most Mac users aren't likely to get hacked because of this bug. He said the flaw is "certainly surprising . but the bar of difficulty is pretty high."

New security flaw found on Apple Macbooks shipped before mid-2014, making them vulnerable to hacks when they enter into sleep mode.

This new security flaw essentially pertains to MacBooks shipped before mid-2014, when they are allowed to go in 'Sleep Mode', as its BIOS protection (FLOCKDN) is deactivated. Once BIOS protection is deactivated, firmware becomes vulnerable to attackers as it allows them to alter the EFI (extensible firmware interface).

MacBooks shipped before mid-2014 which allow the computer to go in sleep mode are vulnerable, however, newer Macs remain immune to this flaw.

I just discovered Spotify after years of managing my music with iTunes and I'm never going back

For over a decade, iTunes was my music hub. No longer.

I finally tried Spotify Premium for the first time last month at the behest of my colleague Ben Gilbert, who also ditched his music collection in favor of Spotify. And unless Apple's upcoming streaming service is truly novel and remarkable, I can't see myself returning to iTunes.

That old Apple mantra, "it just works," has not applied to iTunes for quite some time.

Here are some other reasons why I find Spotify so valuable:

• Unlike iTunes, which encourages you to collect the music you like and listen to it again and again, Spotify urges you to explore and discover new things.
• You can listen to almost any song at any time with Spotify. With iTunes, you can preview these songs, but you'd have to buy them outright if you want them on all your devices.
• Spotify has a better system for getting music on and off your devices.

There are plenty of other reasons why I love Spotify now, but it all boils down to one simple fact: It feels like Spotify truly loves and cares about music.

Education’s importance is incontrovertible – teaching is my day job, so I certainly hope it is of some value. But whether it constitutes a strategy for economic growth is another matter.

In fact, the push for better education is an experiment that has already been carried out globally. And the long-term payoff has been surprisingly disappointing.

Clearly, something other than education is needed to generate prosperity.

the fastest growing nations must be doing something in addition to providing education.

Most of the skills that a labor force possesses were acquired on the job. What a society knows how to do is known mainly in its firms, not in its schools. At most modern firms, fewer than 15% of the positions are open for entry-level workers, meaning that employers demand something that the education system cannot – and is not expected – to provide.

When presented with these facts, education enthusiasts often argue that education is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for growth. But in that case, investment in education is unlikely to deliver much if the other conditions are missing.

They couldn't make it on their own.

Walt Mossberg, one of America's two most famous tech columnists, shot himself in the foot. He left the "Wall Street Journal."

And then you've got David Pogue, Mossberg's nemesis, who left the "Times" for Yahoo and was promptly buried in the tsunami of bogus information on that site. He went from being one of the two experts to a nobody.

So what have we learned...

Just because you're a star don't think you're bigger than the enterprise.

Bottom line... ReCode had the best tech news in the business. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher built a team of experts. But nobody cared, nobody went to the site, they thought their minions would follow them but it turned out they were aligned more with the "Wall Street Journal," their former home, than the writers themselves.

A lot of little things go into making a successful site. Why did AOL triumph? IT WAS EASY!

You've got to make it easy. You've got to make it forwardable. You've got to make it accessible. You've got to either break news or explain it or both.

Good reader comments here.

Microsoft is taking over my iPhone

Microsoft altered its mission last year to make people more productive no matter what device they use. Part of that process is making sure it has great apps on your home screen, even if those apps were originally made by third parties. And so far, it's picking nothing but winners.

Ray Kurzweil thinks we'll all be cyborgs by 2030

Social media apps are tracking your location in shocking detail

If you’re like most, you probably don’t want to broadcast your whereabouts at all times. But a lot of social media apps are tracking your location and making it easy for others to do the same.

Thanks to a new Google Chrome extension called Marauder's Map we now know that you can get some pretty creepy location data from the messaging app.

This hacked toy can open many garage doors in seconds

Even your children's old toys can be ideal for hacking into your home.
Samy Kamkar, a security researcher, has found a way to hack a common Mattel toy to turn it into a universal garage door opener.

The inner workings are complex but efficient, due to the fact that it only needs to work its way through a few thousand possible passcode combinations.  It was able to open a garage door in under a minute, brute forcing its way through the four different frequencies Kamkar found in susceptible garage doors.

U.S. officials suspect that hackers in China stole the personal records of as many as 4 million people in one of the most far-reaching breaches of government computers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing the breach, detected in April at the Office of Personnel Management.

Described as one of the largest thefts of government data ever seen

Whoever was behind the latest theft of personal data from US government computers, they appear to be following a new trend set by cybercriminals: targeting increasingly valuable medical records and personnel files.

This data, experts say, is worth a lot more to cybercriminals than, say, credit-card information.

Medical information can be worth 10 times as much as a credit card number.



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