The MacValley blog


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Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Mothers' Day 2016

iPhone is the most influential gadget of all Time

check all the other gadgets in Time’s top 50 at this link.

The iPhone has a hidden 'childproof' mode — here’s how to enable it

A surprisingly long process.

Turning Down an OS X Upgrade

If you are being pestered with OS X notifications on your Mac to install the current version of the operating system (OS X 10.11, also known as El Capitan), and you are not ready to make the change, you can “hide” the update.

One Year With The Apple Watch: I'd Buy It Again, But It's Not For Everyone

Has the Apple Watch been a success? That all depends on who you ask.

Like any gadget, the Apple Watch is going to work well for some people, and be a resounding disappointment for others.

The Apple Watch keeps my iPhone addiction under control

Notifications provided by the Apple Watch allow me to have my phone on silent all the time because I know I will always see that tweet or email or text that matters to me the most. While allowing me to be in control, notifications also prevent me from getting sucked into email or Twitter. I can see what is happening, and I have to make a conscious decision to reach for the phone to reply or interact which, in turn, forces me to judge whether something is urgent enough to interrupt what I am actually doing at the time.

To Break a Phone Addiction, Turn Your Screen Gray

Red is the color that stimulates excitement.  It’s why signs in Las Vegas have lots of red.
Red is the color that is most effective at enhancing our attention to detail.

The person in this video checks his iPhone much less often when his screen is set to grey-scale.

72% of smart phone users check their phones at least hourly.

Mossberg: A smart new email app for the iPhone

now comes the simply named Mail by EasilyDo. EasilyDo’s new mail client handles Gmail very well, but isn’t just Gmail-centric.

Unless you don’t use Gmail, are a moderate emailer, and primarily use iCloud, I recommend you settle on an alternative to Apple Mail for iOS. You may have your own favorite, but I think the new EasilyDo contender is worth a try. An iPad version is coming this fall and an Android version later this year.

The 10 best ways to make space on your iPhone

11 Ways To Make Your iPhone Run Faster

Huawei Just Copied the iPhone—Down to the Last Screw

This 15-Year-Old Owns an Apple Museum—What Have You Done Today?

Teen uses lawn-mowing money to fund incredible Apple collection

Alex’s Apple Orchard holds more than 250 pieces, most of which he purchased with money earned from mowing neighbors’ lawns.

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously.

Through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users’ computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.

the only way to prevent this from happening over and over was to cancel my subscription to Apple Music and to make sure my iCloud settings did NOT include storing any music backups.

I recovered my original music files only by using a backup I made weeks earlier. Many people don’t back up as often as they should, though, so this isn’t always an option.

If you’re wondering why Apple hasn’t been sued yet, it’s because the iTunes Terms of Use vaguely warn of this issue, then later indemnify Apple and preclude any litigation from users who’ve been boned.

For about ten years, I’ve been warning people, “hang onto your media. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access.

When giving the above warning, however, even in my most Orwellian paranoia I never could have dreamed that the content holders, like Apple, would also reach into your computer and take away what you already owned. If Taxi Driver is on Netflix, Netflix doesn’t come to your house and steal your Taxi Driver DVD. But that’s where we’re headed. When it comes to music, Apple is already there.

When our data is finally a full-blown utility, however, “just don’t use the product” will cease to be an option. Apple will be in control, bringing their 1984 commercial full circle into a tragic, oppressive irony.

Snopes debunks an iPhone rumor

CLAIM: Apple Music is purporsefully deleting files from personal computers.

WHAT'S TRUE: Some users have had music files deleted after signing up for Apple Music. 

WHAT'S FALSE: Apple is not "stealing" music from people's personal computers; the deletion of files was likely the result of user error or a problem with software.

300 free wallpapers that will breathe new life into your iPhone (or Android phone)

I wrote a quick post about how I make my iPhone look so much better than yours.

Now I've decided to let people in on the not-so-secret secret of how I make the wallpapers I use.

I have a number of different resources but my favorite recent one is a single post on Reddit … They’re all high-quality, they’re all free.

Interesting article about batteries

We tested out these glasses that keep computer screens from destroying your eyes

19 LinkedIn hacks that could help your business make tons of money

5 email newsletters that will teach you more than an MBA

This man says a Google mistake completely destroyed his business

How to find out everything Google knows about you

Taking the Stigma Out of Buying Used Electronics

GameStop’s refurbishment of video game consoles underlines how a used electronic sold by a reputable brand can often be as good as buying new.

Amazon’s in-house program for pre-owned products is called Warehouse Deals. The giant online retailer sells used products in 25 categories.

items get a grade. “Like new” means it was probably untouched and in perfect condition; “very good” describes an item that was well cared for and lightly used; a “good” item might show signs of wear and tear but works perfectly; and “acceptable” would be something that has cosmetic issues like scratches and dents but otherwise works.

Scientists Discover Human Brain Is a Living Word Cloud

IBM has a powerful new research project that anyone can use for free.
New quantum computing project is available to play with online.

Anyone from university researchers to tech savvy teenagers can apply through IBM Research’s website to test the processor.

the most difficult part of building a quantum computer is not figuring out how to make it compute, but rather finding a way to deal with all of the errors that it inevitably makes.

In order to flip the qubits back to their correct states, physicists have been developing an assortment of quantum error correction techniques. Most of them work by repeatedly making measurements on the system to detect errors and then correct the errors before they can proliferate. These approaches typically have a very large overhead, where a large portion of the computing power goes to correcting errors.

Eliot Kapit has proposed a different approach to quantum error correction. His method takes advantage of a recently discovered unexpected benefit of quantum noise: when carefully tuned, quantum noise can actually protect qubits against unwanted noise. Rather than actively measuring the system, the new method passively and autonomously suppresses and corrects errors, using relatively simple devices and relatively little computing power.

unwanted error states are quickly repaired by engineered dissipation, without the need for an external computer to watch the circuit and make decisions.

The new method can correct photon loss errors at rates up to 10 times faster than those achieved by active, measurement-based methods.

Welcome to your Smart Future

One of the biggest mistakes most tech investors make is that they take a look at where a certain technology is at a certain point of time and decide that innovation and entrepreneurial innovation has stopped. It's best to remember that you can't take a snapshot of the smartphone technology in 2016 and think that it has much relevance to what the smartphone technology will be in 2021.

We are two innings into the nine-inning smartphone and apps revolution.

These days, I've been shifting my focus to the burgeoning and still barely existent Wearables Revolution.

We haven't even conceived of many of the incredible applications and innovations that Wearables and Virtual Reality Revolutions will bring to the world as they end up complementing and advancing each other.

The patent for smart contact lenses that Sony just filed this week calls for the ability to record — and watch — videos right from your own eyeballs.

all those complaints about VR-Face redlines and uncomfortable viewing masks for virtual reality are going to be silly and moot in another five years when people put on their smart contact lenses.

These high-tech classes are the coolest thing happening in schools today

America is in the midst of a "Do It Yourself" (DIY) renaissance. Spurred on by networks like HGTVand DIY, as well as websites like Pinterest, people of all stripes are getting in on the action.

One of the hotbeds of this maker movement? Schools.

Classes that used to teach factory skills (i.e., woodworking or shop classes) now teach how to use 3D printers.

Kids learn best when actually doing things.

The key to repairing your bones may come out of a printer

Orthopedic surgeons are relying more and more on 3-D printing to build replacements for their patients’ defective or worn out bones.

the biggest potential benefit is the ability to design implants that are specific to an individual patient’s body.

Estonia is the most technologically advanced nation in the world

Estonia, in the Baltics, has completely transformed its economy by supporting startups

The Baltic nation of only 1.3 million citizens stands out from its Eastern European neighbors in that it has an advanced economy and a high standard of living. And it’s a technology paradise. You may know it as the home of Skype. But there’s a lot more to the tiny country than that.

It’s easy to start businesses there, even if you are a foreigner.

Reader comment:
Estonia is 1.3 million people, and mostly one ethnicity and language. The U.S.A. is > 300 million people, on the same scale as the USSR which failed.
Getting agreement is easier the fewer and more homogeneous the population is.

Texting and Driving? Watch Out for the Textalyzer

The most provocative idea, from lawmakers in New York, is to give police officers a new device that is the digital equivalent of the Breathalyzer — a roadside test called the Textalyzer.

It would work like this: An officer arriving at the scene of a crash could ask for the phones of any drivers involved and use the Textalyzer to tap into the operating system to check for recent activity.

The technology could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email or do anything else that is forbidden under New York’s hands-free driving laws, which prohibit drivers from holding phones to their ear.

Fraudulent hotel booking sites are more common than you might think — here's how you can spot them

The safest way is to book directly through a hotel's website, instead of a third party web site.

A ransom-demanding computer virus is promising to donate the money it extorts to charity

The 272 million 'hacked' Gmail, Hotmail, and other accounts appear to be fake

A hacker is selling 57 million accounts on the dark web — but where they're from is a mystery

While it's not entirely clear where the accounts are from, it is clear that most are genuine.

You Can't Escape Data Surveillance In America
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was intended to protect privacy, but its provisions have not kept pace with the radical changes wrought by the information age.

“People do not realize, for example, that their own credit files are accessible to virtually anyone who understands the workings of credit bureaus and has a few dollars to spend on a report,” said one study in 1969.

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