The MacValley blog
Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.
The MacValley blog
Editor: Tom Briant
Sunday, November 22, 2015
5 clever iPhone tricks only power users know about
Here's how to make your iPhone battery last longer
Another neat video.
There's a hidden map in your iPhone of everywhere you've been
Apple says that this location data is "kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing."
First look: Apple Pencil paired with iPad Pro is no ordinary stylus
Another review of the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro together
Interesting video discussion about the iPad pro, which starts about 3 minutes + 30 seconds into the video.
Gawk at the Techno Guts of Apple's Pencil Stylus
iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 4: a closer look at the future of tablets
The reviewer says the iPad pro is a tablet computer first, but the Surface Pro is a laptop first.
A homeless man has turned his life around after teaching himself to make music - by practicing his skills in the Apple store.
Sam Kirkpatrick, 25, was brought up in care and became homeless after leaving the system at the age of 18.
Apple now makes 94% of the profits in the smartphone industry, according to recent research by Canacord.
Samsung is now the only other major handset company earning significant profits from smartphones.
Everything Apple does can be explained by this one simple question
"How does this benefit the iPhone?”
iPhone sales aren't slowing down because Apple is removing any reason to hop off the train.
each new Apple product you buy improves the experience on all the other Apple products you already own — particularly the iPhone. Other companies products (e.g., Surface Pro) don’t.
Make the most of Apple Music with these 10 tips and tricks
The time for “short selling" Apple stock is not here ... yet
Apple is telling us, without telling us, that its phone business is saturated.
Apple sees the need to find growth from new sources.
In venturing into a service-growth-oriented model, Apple is moving into uncertain waters, and investors must recognize that.
If Apple's mobile saturation is almost reached and they are transitioning their growth model, I consider that to be a big red flag for investors who have come to love Apple for their phones. They have been the best at phones. I love my MacBook Pro; it is the most powerful laptop on the market for what I do, but I think investors are often blind to risks in Apple.
There are risks here, but I am not ready to call Apple a short just yet.
Facebook Now Using Google App Indexing To Drive Visitors From Search Into Its App
Indexing - known so well to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals - has benefits to both Google and Facebook. Google has more content that might satisfy what people are searching for. Facebook gets traffic from Google for free.
Over time, Facebook has opened up more of the content is has to Google.
Facebook is not providing any new information through app indexing that Google doesn't already get.
15 Instagram tips and tricks everyone should know
6 wild uses for drones that aren't just photography
Such as protecting rhinos from poachers in Kenya
Chicago Becomes the First Big City to Enact Drone Regulations, Nails Them
notable is that the new rules are sensible and intelligent-which hasn't always been the case when the drone-regulation game has been played in other locales.
19 impossibly detailed views of Earth from space at night
Nothing to do with Apple or computing, but the pictures are FABULOUS.
Publishers: Here’s your counter-move to Apple’s ad blocking
In its most basic form, most ad-blocking technology is based on domain names. That’s why a blocker examining network requests will ban Google’s Ad Network but not The New York Times, for example.
All that publishers need to do is host both content serving and ad serving on their own servers.
Encrypting both content and advertisements will help.
This is a chance for publishers to resume their position at the top of the online advertising value chain.
New email scam targets your Apple ID
This phishing scam is a particularly good one. Some of the red flags you usually spot in phishing emails, like misspelled words, are in short supply.
It’s targeting people with Apple IDs, including 800 million iTunes users. This scam fools you by using Apple’s logo, mailing address and high-quality images of its products, like Apple Watch.
To protect yourself against this type of phishing scam, there are three simple steps to take.
First: Don’t open links inside emails, especially if you’re not 100% sure who sent it.
Second: Contact apple directly - either by phone or by logging into Apple’s web site. Ask if Apple has sent you a link requesting updated contact information. Or, log into your Apple account; click on the Manage My Apple ID tab, to make sure your information is up to date.
AW comment: I would hesitate to trust any phone number in any “Apple” E-mail. There’s no reason that criminals couldn’t include a fake number that connects to them instead of Apple. Go to Apple’s web site instead and get a phone number there.
Third, make sure your computer is as secure as it can be.
Foiling Electronic Snoops in Email
Trackers inserted into email can detect when a person opens a message and where they are when they do so. And it's not easy to thwart them
Edward Snowden Explains How To Reclaim Your Privacy
Government calls for encryption 'back door' after Paris attack, but is it worth it?
In October, the White House backed off on the idea of creating such a gateway, finding it would be difficult to do so without opening up a hole for cybercriminals.
But last week's attack in Paris, which killed at least 129 people, is reviving the issue as lawmakers call for another discussion - despite the fact that how exactly the terrorists communicated is not yet known.
Weakening security for everybody doesn't automatically mean you can catch the bad guys, says Bruce Schneier, a cryptography and security expert who has authored 13 books.
Apple's CEO On Encryption: "You Can't Have A Back Door That's Only For The Good Guys”
The government asserts that encryption – when it is so strong that the police can not eavesdrop on communications in their efforts to catch and prosecute criminals – is a bad thing.
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have amplified the government’s contention that strong encryption is putting our country (and our allies) at risk. This creates fear, uncertainty, and doubt for the American people – given that most of us do not understand the intricacies of encryption.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s point is that if Apple and the other tech vendors weaken encryption to where the government and police can eavesdrop on communications and access sensitive data, then hackers and cyber criminals will be able to do the same thing.
Imagine if all of the big companies came together and made a global announcement that they’ve decided to cooperate on weakening encryption. That would be an invitation to cyber evildoers everywhere – that says “come and get us”.
Encryption is a security tool we rely on everyday to stop criminals from draining our bank accounts, to shield our cars and airplanes from being taken over by malicious hacks, and to otherwise preserve our security and safety. We deeply appreciate law enforcement’s and the national security community’s work to protect us, but weakening encryption or creating backdoors to encrypted devices and data for use by the good guys would actually create vulnerabilities to be exploited by the bad guys, which would almost certainly cause serious physical and financial harm across our society and our economy. Weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense.
Another security manual recommends using Apple iMessage: this time, ISIS
However, despite being distributed among ISIS supporters, it appears that even the terrorist group's most dangerous members are not actually following it.
Like encryption, backdoors can be also used by both good and bad people
Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance
Intelligence agencies rolled right into the horror and fury in the immediate wake of the latest co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital on Friday, to launch their latest co-ordinated assault on strong encryption - and on the tech companies creating secure comms services - seeking to scapegoat end-to-end encryption as the enabling layer for extremists to perpetrate mass murder.
There's no doubt they were waiting for just such an 'opportune moment' to redouble their attacks on encryption after recent attempts to lobby for encryption-perforating legislation foundered.
Bottom line: banning encryption or enforcing tech companies to backdoor communications services has zero chance of being effective at stopping terrorists finding ways to communicate securely. They can and will route around such attempts to infiltrate their comms, as others have detailed at length.
Here's a recap: terrorists can use encryption tools that are freely distributed from countries where your anti-encryption laws have no jurisdiction. Terrorists can (and do) build their own securely encrypted communication tools.
technology is not a two-lane highway that can be regulated with a couple of neat roadblocks - whatever many politicians appear to think. All such roadblocks will do is catch the law-abiding citizens who rely on digital highways to conduct more and more aspects of their daily lives. And make those law-abiding citizens less safe in multiple ways.
Another hard political truth is that effective counter terrorism policy requires spending money on physical, on-the-ground resources - putting more agents on the ground, within local communities, where they can gain trust and gather intelligence. (Not to mention having a foreign policy that seeks to promote global stability, rather than generating the kind of regional instability that feeds extremism by waging illegal wars, for instance, or selling arms to regimes known to support the spread of extremist religious ideologies.)
If you want to speculate on fearful possibilities, think about terrorists being able to target individuals at will via legally-required-to-be insecure digital services.
Blaming Encryption for Terrorist Attacks Is a Mistake
We don't know the specifics of how the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday were carried out. That hasn't stopped the law enforcement community from shamelessly blaming encryption for helping terrorists, or from seizing the attack as an opportunity to defend surveillance.
The 2008 Mumbai attacks are a good example of what it looks like when a terrorist organization carries out a plot. "I cannot remember a single instance in my career when we ever stopped a plot based purely on signals intelligence," retired CIA counterterrorism chief Charles Faddis told the New York Times at the time.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
The Apple iPad Pro reviews are in, and they're pretty much all over the place. The general consensus seems to be that it's a fantastic iPad, but a terrible laptop replacement.
iPad Pro: Day 2 and already making my work better, easier, and faster
Now that I've had two days using the iPad Pro for work, my impression is highly favorable. I've used iPads for years for my work so I had no doubt the Pro would handle my needs. What I wasn't prepared for is how well it would do that.
Review: Apple's iPad Pro with A9X CPU and 12.9-inch Retina display
Anyone who has been satisfied with an earlier iPad as a PC replacement probably does not need an iPad Pro. Simply put, the horsepower will likely go unused by that type of user, and the larger form factor makes the device far less portable and convenient.
Of course, high-end power users and "true" professionals also won't be able to rely on the iPad Pro as their primary computing device yet.
I tried Apple's new gigantic iPad Pro and was pleasantly surprised — but it's not for everyone
We unboxed Apple's largest iPad ever
One of the most influential Apple bloggers just sounded Intel's death sentence
The entire x86 computer architecture is living on borrowed time. It's a dead platform walking. The future belongs to ARM [microprocessors], and Apple's A-series SoC's are leading the way.
Apple SVP Phil Schiller just unveiled the new iPad Pro, and it is enormous.
Apple's latest iPhones are the most powerful smartphones you can buy
A long review of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.
People are loving Apple's $100 Pencil
The 2 main reasons people aren't buying the Apple Watch
The Apple Watch isn't a flop. It's just too new.
Price was the No. 1 reason.
How Apple is giving design a bad name
For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.
although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.
products, especially those built on iOS, Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, no longer follow the well-known, well-established principles of design that Apple developed decades ago.
Apple is destroying design. Worse, it is revitalizing the old belief that design is only about making things look pretty. No, not so! Design is a way of thinking, of determining people’s true, underlying needs, and then delivering products and services that help them.
The problem is not restricted to Apple. Google maps become more attractive and more confusing with each iteration. Same with the Android operating system.
Reader comment on http://www.osnews.com/story/28954/How_Apple_is_giving_design_a_bad_name
I'm appalled at just how unfocused, chaotic, messy, inconsistent, and hard to use iOS has become.
Apple updates iWork for Mac and iOS with Office compatibility fixes and more
Apple hit with second class action lawsuit over Wi-Fi Assist data overages
plaintiffs seeking a jury trial for damages in excess of $5 million.
for not disclosing the potential for cellular data overages resulting from iOS 9's new Wi-Fi Assist feature, a move plaintiffs argue costs unwitting customers exorbitant carrier fees.
After a barrage of complaints Apple published a support document on its website detailing how Wi-Fi Assist works and, perhaps more importantly, how to disable it. Plaintiffs, however, contend the company did not act swiftly enough.
This guy likes Blackberry’s newest competitor to the iPhone. He writes:
My first evening was an exercise in a bit of frustration, but it's not the device -- it's Android, with a few notable exceptions. However, that frustration was tempered by a number of things BlackBerry has done to keep the BB10 experience available on the Priv.
Not the best camera, but not bad either.
I like the keyboard a lot. No, it’s not an “on screen” keyboard. It’s an actual “slide out” keyboard.
The screen is very readable in full sunlight.
The 16 most essential social media apps in the world
Plan Your Digital Legacy, and Update Often
many people are neglecting to include digital effects in their estate plans. Estate planningexperts say that may be a big mistake. Valuable assets may go unnoticed, or money and time might be spent tracking them down.
Many statements are delivered via email, and important financial records may be stored in the cloud or on computers.
And some assets like digital currencies, video game characters and Internet domain names exist only in cyberspace. “So they can be overlooked, since they aren’t as tangible,” said Tim Hewson, president of USLegalWills.com, adding that such assets “can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.”
Experts recommend making a thorough inventory of all online accounts and their passwords but not to include them in your will. Wills should not be changed frequently while online account information often is.
Email passwords are especially important to note, Ms. Sillin said. Email usually holds a digital paper trail of account transactions, such as online bank statements and digital payments.
Some assets can’t be passed on to heirs. Apple does not allow heirs to inherit an iTunes library.
The Dream Life of Driverless Cars
Cars are already learning to drive themselves, by way of scanner-assisted braking, pedestrian-detection sensors, parallel-parking support, lane-departure warnings and other complex driver-assistance systems, and full autonomy is on the horizon. Google’s self-driving cars have logged more than a million miles on public roads; Elon Musk of Tesla says he’ll probably have a driverless passenger car by 2018; and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers says autonomous vehicles ‘‘will account for up to 75 percent of cars on the road by the year 2040.
Currently, this technology has its own flaws and vulnerabilities.
cities may have to be redesigned, or may simply mutate over time, to accommodate a car’s peculiar way of experiencing the built environment.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Above are several synopses of the iPad Pro.
I’m going to wait until next week to see it for myself. I want to make sure they’re in stock at the Westfield Mall on Topanga Canyon Blvd.
If you got one, well, send me your comments!
Editor, MacValley Blog
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Here’s the kicker: the exploit is remote, so it can be launched on your phone without you even knowing about it. Simply visiting a web site or receiving a certain kind of text message could initiate the jailbreak process on your phone and then install unwanted (and hidden) monitoring apps.
One must-have app for traders and investors is TheStreet.com's app (available for iOS and for Android).
For the economist in you, try the FRED app (available for iOS and for Android).
Lots of other app recommendations.
Although the paper takes Apple as its main subject of study, its observations are broad encompassing and possibly apply to many other tech giants such as Google or Amazon.
It notes how Apple is increasingly investing into financial structures for fiscal optimization rather than into tangible research and product manufacture, as a way to inflate its value for shareholders while being detrimental to the societies in which the company operates.
Security researchers have discovered a new type of trojanized adware targeting devices running Google's mobile operating system.
As soon as you install one of these malicious apps, the malware automatically roots your device, embeds itself as a system application, and becomes "nearly impossible" to remove.
Because these pieces of adware root the device and install themselves as system applications, they become nearly impossible to remove, usually forcing victims to replace their device in order to regain normalcy
Sunday, November 1, 2015
This tip uses your OS X QuickTime Player, which can record your iPhone or iPad if plugged in via a physical cable. You just use a USB-C to USB cable and follow the article’s simple instructions.
Editor, MacValley Blog
Now that Halloween is over, it's on to the Great National Competitive Shopping Season. What to get the Mac owner in your life.
If you want to give someone a Mac for the holidays, I have some suggestions on stocking stuffers to include with it.
First, I would include a cheap USB keyboard and mouse. You’re thinking, “this thing comes with a premium wireless keyboard and pointing device, why this extra keyboard and mouse?”
It’s because at some point, the batteries on the wireless keyboard/mouse will give out and your loved one will have forgotten to buy extra batteries or to recharge the device.
You also run into times when they need a wired USB keyboard. Trust me on this, after 15 years of using Macs, you’ll need a wired keyboard at some point.
Second, your loved one will need a USB hard drive as shown in the illustration.
Third, if the Mac doesn’t come with its own CD/DVD drive, you should consider an external USB CD/DVD drive. I’ve even seen some that will do Blu-Ray disks.
Fourth, they’ll need some 8 or 16 gigabyte USB flash drives. The USB flash drive has replaced the old floppy drive for copying files and apps onto external media.
Fifth, headphones. I say this because chances are that their tastes in music clash with your tastes in music.
Sixth, iTunes gift cards. When in doubt about what to get an Apple user, get them iTunes gift cards. They can redeem them for a wide range of downloads through Apple.
Seventh and final, EXTENSION CORDS AND POWER STRIPS! Murphy’s Law #321 states that the cord will be always be too short to reach the outlet on your holiday morning. So get extension cords.
Also get extension cords for the headphones, because the headphone’s own cord is just long enough to reach the back of the Mac and not long enough for a comfortable fit.
Editor, MacValley Blog
Yea for the old men (my demographic)
Editor, MacValley Blog
Apple says IBM is saving $270 for every Mac it uses instead of a Windows PC
The App 100: The world's greatest apps
Passwords often present a conundrum — the better they are, the harder they are to remember.
a pair of researchers say they have solved this problem — using poetry.
they found that, with regards to both security and ease of remembering, using a rhyming poem of random words was the best.
DMCA Ruling Ensures You Can't Be Sued For Hacking Your Car, Your Games Or Your iPhone
There was a big win for the digital rights community today, with a ruling that ensured it was legal for anyone to tinker with their motor, their iPhone or whatever technology they’d purchased. But the freedoms will only last for three years, when the fight between anti-tinkering corporations and activists will resume, absent any major legislative changes.
Prior to today’s decision by the Librarian of Congress, car manufacturers, the most vocal being General Motors, had attempted to block an exemption, the proposed Class 21 in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that would allow anyone to play with the code that ran on vehicles they’d bought. It would do so by granting a degree of immunity from possible prosecutions using Section 1201 of the DMCA, which prohibited unlocking “access controls” in software.
“This ‘access control’ rule is supposed to protect against unlawful copying,” said EFF staff attorney Kit Walsh. “But as we’ve seen in the recent Volkswagen scandal – where VW was caught manipulating smog tests – it can be used instead to hide wrongdoing hidden in computer code. We are pleased that analysts will now be able to examine the software in the cars we drive without facing legal threats from car manufacturers.”
This 11-year-old is selling cryptographically secure passwords for $2 each
Girl makes Diceware passwords, rolled with real dice, written by hand, sent by mail.
If she kept busy at it full-time, Modi would be raking in about $12 per hour—fully one-third more than New York state’s $8.75 minimum wage, which is set to go up to $9.00 on December 31, 2015. As of now, she said she’s sold "around 30" in total, including in-person sales.
Coding Academies Are Nonsense
Note: Coding Academies teach a “crash course” on how to write applications (apps) to get you a job fast.
This author is critical of them.
In 20+ years of professional coding, I’ve never seen someone go from novice to full-fledged programmer in a matter of weeks, yet that seems to be what coding academies are promising, alongside instant employment, a salary big enough to afford a Tesla and the ability to change lives.
The best advice for people wanting to learn code? Try before you buy, and by that, I mean figure it out for free. Otherwise, you might find yourself sideways on the career ladder and tens of thousands of dollars poorer. For a dying profession, that’s just not worth it
I see coding shrinking as a widespread profession. Not because software is going away, but because the way we build software will fundamentally change. Technology for software creation without code is already edging toward mainstream use.
Coding skills will continue to be in high demand until technology for software creation without code disrupts the entire party, crowding out programming as a viable profession.
Europe's New Net Neutrality Law Draws Jeers
the rules have three major loopholes, Net neutrality supporters said: Providers can prioritize specialized services if they treat the open Internet equally; the rules allow "zero rating," which lets ISPs exempt apps from users' monthly bandwidth caps; and ISPs can implement traffic management measures and group some services into categories of traffic that can be sped up or slowed down when the ISPs want.
On the whole, European consumers do benefit from the new rules, but perhaps not as much as they could have, said Jeremy Malcolm