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, May 29, 2016
7 incredibly tiny details you never noticed in your iPhone
27 things you didn't know your iPhone could do
How to replace Apple’s apps with better apps from other companies.
The author of this article recommends replacing several of Apple’s apps, except keep iMessage.
Tim Cook believes that in the future, customers will look back and wonder how they ever survived without the Apple Watch, revealing that future models will add health-focused features that will monitor most everything your body is doing.
IPhone 6s vs. Galaxy S7 Drop Test
A Traveler’s Guide to Taking a Smartphone Abroad
There are two ways to take your cellphone abroad and get data — the frugal way and the pay-full-price way. The inexpensive method involves some tinkering and planning ahead, while the full-price way is easy but requires paying even more money to your carrier.
This is about to be the best reason to switch from iPhone to Android
Probably the hottest point of contention in the Tech Insider newsroom is whether Android or iOS is the better ecosystem.
I tend to come down on team Droid. The affordability and openness of Google's ecosystem offers huge advantages over Apple's closed iOS. But I understand the case for iPhones: They're reliable, always up to date, and (mostly) just work.
But Google is on the verge of striking a major blow in the ease-of-use wars: Project Abacus, Google's plan to do away with smartphone passwords almost entirely.
Meet the Designers Hoping to Treat ADHD and Alzheimer's with Computer Games
Could a doctor treating ADHD or Alzheimer’s one day prescribe a video game? Eddie Martucci and Matthew Omernick think so.
Martucci said “We’re entering our phase-three clinical trial for our primary product, pediatric ADHD. It’s the first-of-its-kind drug-style study in which patients are taking home a video game instead of a pill."
5 signs your kid could be a tech entrepreneur
How non-Facebook users can stop Facebook from tracking them around the web
Here's a scary story of what happened when one women contacted Twitter to report that she was being harassed.
A DMCA complaint form requires you to submit your name, address, email, the link to the photo/video and to certify that you are the owner and did not grant permission.
What Twitter didn't tell her was that the DMCA complaint process involves sending the full copy of the complaint to the person being complained about.
This gives the person a warning and a chance to counter the claims.
Q. How can I see who is connected to my home Wi-Fi network?
A. Depending on your interest in technical fiddling, you can see what other devices are connected to your network in several ways.
This body hacker is turning people into cyborgs
A growing community of amateur "body hackers" are using chips the size of a rice grain, injected into their hands and wrists, to unlock their computers, buzz in at work and open the doors to their homes. The one thing they have in common — aside from a desire to be among the first generation of cyborgs — is a small Seattle start-up called Dangerous Things.
Dangerous Things designs, sells and, in rare cases, installs its own line of implantable radio-frequency ID (RFID) chips.
It sounds strange, and perhaps even a little dangerous, but RFID technology already surrounds us.
the convenience and functionality of RFID chips that body hackers espouse could also be exploited for dangerous purposes. Already, implantable medical devices are at risk.
Adherents to the body-hacking way of life, however, don't seem too worried about a bad actor using an RFID reader to swipe information off their implanted chips.
US nuclear forces are controlled by this shockingly obsolete tech
The GAO found that the Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS) — a computer system that "coordinates the operational functions of the United States' nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts" — still runs on 8-inch floppy disks.
If you're worried about 53-year-old technology standing partly between commanders and the end of the world or, depending on whom you ask, the defense of the country, you'll be happy to know that the military is, too. It plans to update these computers by 2017 and replace them with modern systems by 2020.
A hacker explains why US nukes controlled by ancient computers is actually a good thing
A new government report on Wednesday revealed that America's nukes are still being controlled by antique computerswith 8 inch floppy disks, but a former white-hat hacker says that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"The biggest security issue here isn't that the computer is 40 years old, but rather the quality of the lock on the door where the computer is housed," Cris Thomas said.
There is a caveat: While an outdated machine would make it hard for hackers, it also makes it hard to fix things if something goes wrong, since the coding languages it uses are aging as well. Fewer programmers are around who even know COBOL or FORTRAN, he explained.
Senate proposal to require encryption workarounds may be dead
Opposition may doom effort to require tech vendors to assist law enforcement with unlocking devices.
A proposal in the U.S. Senate to require smartphone OS developers and other tech vendors to break their own encryption at the request of law enforcement may be dead on arrival.
We toured the NSA museum, a building dedicated to America’s secrets and spies — take a look
An update on Apple’s computer language, which it named “Swift”
Apple launched the new programming language a mere two years ago. And its name was a premonition — it caught on like wildfire.
As of this week, some 59% of people building iOS apps are using Swift, compared to 39% who are still building apps with the former programming language, ObjectiveC.
What's crazy is that these folks are flocking to Swift even though it still suffers from a major flaw. It's not stable.
Still, Swift is so popular that Google is flummoxed.