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, June 19, 2016
Meet Apple's 12 best app winners
Full list of iOS 10-compatible devices
First, ignore the videos in this article. They have nothing to do with iOS 10.
Some iPhones, iPods and iPads can be upgraded to iOS 10 and some can’t.
Scroll past the first video to start seeing the list of iOS 10 compatible devices.
And scroll down further to see the list of iOS 9 compatible devices.
Finally for historians, scroll still further down for a list of iOS 8 compatible devices.
“Apple pushed back on the narrative that Apple is handicapped in A.I.," said Dawson. "But not directly. They dropped in the right terms here and there, but really, what they did is show, not tell."
Dawson was referring to the talk circulating among pundits that Apple is behind rivals -- including Facebook, Google and Microsoft -- in the battle to bring more intelligence to technology.
As expected, Apple recast OS X as macOS.
MacOS Sierra will ship this fall.
Apple Gives Young Coders a Playground on the iPad
As Apple CEO Tim Cook put it, "we believe coding should be a required language in all schools. We hope that this gift to kids and schools around the world will help make coding part of a school day.”
Also at WWDC, Apple showed off watchOS 3, iOS 10, and MacOS Sierra.
Apple's new iPhone software will automatically show you where you parked your car
Everything you can do with Apple's new Messages app in iOS 10
Watch Apple's Two-Hour 2016 WWDC Keynote in 7 Minutes
This is the biggest issue with the Apple Watch's new 911 feature
The feature only works if you're in WiFi range, or near your phone.
It makes little sense to spend $350+ for an Apple Watch that relies heavily on your $600+ iPhone.
If I'm going to spend so much money on a watch, I want it to work independently from my phone, especially for these kinds of vital services like dialing 911.
This iPhone feature lets emergency crews see your medical details
It’s called Medical ID and its part of the Health app included by default on newer iPhones.
This article has instructions on how to activate this feature on your iPhone.
The iPhone SE taught me that the best phone is the one you’re used to
My favorite phone today is the iPhone SE and the reason is that I gave it that full month to make its strengths apparent — and for me to grow habituated to them.
The author wrote about other people he knows who like different smart phones because they became habituated to them.
The Apple Watch finally looks useful
I’ve been a skeptic on the Apple Watch, but I’m thinking about changing my tune.
The new operating system it previewed for the Apple Watch might actually make it feel like an entirely new device.
Apple executives unveiled watchOS 3, the third version of the operating system to launch on the first-generation Apple Watch.
Improved speed and new features may make the Apple Watch useful at last.
My time’s up with Apple watch
Apps were working incorrectly.
Apple has successfully convinced me that I want a smartwatch — just not the one it sells.
10 awesome and weird iPhone accessories you probably need
Apple Wants to Move Past Hardware But Isn’t Ready to Commit
Apple increasingly realizes that it can’t limit itself to selling gadgets. Even the all-conquering iPhone is expected to see decreasing sales. Yet the company has fallen behind Amazon, Google, and Facebook in creating digital services people want.
Apple is opening Siri, its maligned voice-activated assistant, to apps written by other companies.
Apple had to do this. Voice, text, and maps are the most basic interactions on mobile devices. Barring developers from them placed Apple at risk of falling behind Android.
Opening the door to Siri just a bit lets Apple compete with voice-driven digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.
iOS 10 can hide Apple’s built-in apps, but won’t delete them
Is this a big deal? Not really. Apple says that all of its built-in apps take up less than 150MB combined. That may be important when your phone is at capacity, but it shouldn't make a huge difference most of the time.
Apple wants to kill a bill that could make it easier for you to fix your iPhone
Jessa Jones is part of a group of independent device repair technicians who are dedicated to fixing and extracting data from damaged phones, tablets and computers. These fixers can rescue phone photos and prolong the life of the device. Yet their practice exists in a legal gray zone.
A New York bill called the Fair Repair Act would require that hardware manufacturers make repair instructions and parts available to the public. If passed by state lawmakers, the bill could open up independent access to repairs across the nation; its legality in one state would free upinformation and distribution flow to the rest of the country.
If the bill becomes law, it could be a big positive for the environment, cutting down on manufacturing costs and e-waste generated from disposed phones. That's a major reason that New York state Sen. Phil Boyle decided to sponsor the bill.
"Apple in particular has been really vocal about how environmentally friendly they are, but behind the scenes, they're subverting every possible technique that people could have to make their products last longer” said Kyle Wiens, a repair advocate and founder of iFixit.com.
What if Apple had followed Steve Jobs’ model?
I tend to look unfavorably at stock buybacks, and this Apple ride for the last five years has underscored why.
Apple’s current cash balance shows $230 billion in net cash vs $70 billion in debt.
If Apple had never spent a dime on dividends or stock buybacks, hoarding, as I believe Jobs would have, the company would currently have $350 billion in net cash on the balance sheet. By the end of 2017, in theory, Apple could have had more than half a trillion dollars in net cash on the balance sheet with no debt. Apple’s entire market cap right now is $530 billion.
Because the company spent all that money on dividends, buybacks and whatnot, the company instead has $170 billion in cash.
To be clear, though, I don’t want Apple to just blindly plow those hundreds of billions of dollars in to research and development at the firm either.
Maybe Jobs was right when he pointed out in a 1998 Fortune interview that:
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
My best guess is that Apple sees $130-$140 price in the next couple years based mostly on that cash-flow scenario, regardless of stock buybacks or dividend increases. Any new innovation would probably make that price target go even higher.
I’ve owned Apple for a baker’s dozen years now. I’ll give the stock another year or two year here.
After losing “iPhone” and “iPad,” Apple’s losing its grip on the iPhone 6 design in China
A Chinese court has ordered Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6 and 6 plus in Beijing, in yet another patent dispute between a Chinese company and high-profile US brand. Shenzhen-based company Baili claims Apple copied the look of its “100C” smartphone.
If Apple loses this lawsuit, Beijing’s intellectual property regulator can either pull iPhones off the city’s shelves, or mediate between the companies to reach a compensation settlement.
Apple having problems with Chinese regulators
A Chinese regulator has ordered Apple Inc. to stop selling two versions of its iPhone 6 in Beijing after finding they look too much like a competitor.
The order by the Beijing tribunal said the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus looked too much like the 100C model made by Shenzhen Beili, a small Chinese brand.
Apple said a Beijing court stayed the administrative order on appeal and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still were on sale.
This is the key difference between Google Maps and Apple Maps
Google Maps heavily labeled transit, while Apple Maps prioritized landmarks, ultimately presenting two different worldview.
Google's design emphasizes utility, while Apple emphasizes a tourist-friendly experience.
"Both maps have strengths and weaknesses, and it's hard to say which is better," O'Beirne said.
Apple’s ‘Differential Privacy’ Is About Collecting your Data—But Not YOUR Data
Differential privacy, translated from Apple-speak, is the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it. With differential privacy, Apple can collect and store its users’ data in a format that lets it glean useful notions about what people do, say, like and want. But it can’t extract anything about a single, specific one of those people that might represent a privacy violation. And neither, in theory, could hackers or intelligence agencies.
What Apple’s differential privacy means for your data and the future of machine learning
Apple is stepping up its artificial intelligence efforts in a bid to keep pace with rivals who have been driving full-throttle down a machine learning-powered AI superhighway, thanks to their liberal attitude to mining user data.
Not so Apple, which pitches itself as the lone defender of user privacy in a sea of data-hungry companies.
Differential privacy isn’t an Apple invention; academics have studied the concept for years. But with the rollout of iOS 10, Apple will begin using differential privacy to collect and analyze user data from its keyboard, Spotlight, and Notes.
Differential privacy works by algorithmically scrambling individual user data so that it cannot be traced back to the individual and then analyzing the data in bulk for large-scale trend patterns. The goal is to protect the user’s identity and the specifics of their data while still extracting some general information to propel machine learning.
Apple has begun to open up about exactly where differential privacy is being used, and how it’s changing the shape of data collection in iOS 10.
Apple has begun to open up about exactly where differential privacy is being used, and how it’s changing the shape of data collection in iOS 10. Apple’s never been as aggressive about data collection as Google, Facebook, or even Amazon, but the new generation of data-driven AI services makes at least some level of collection a necessity.
Unlike the clear black-and-white of encryption, differential privacy works in shades of grey, balancing the reliability of the aggregate information against its potential to identify specific users. That’s sometimes referred to as a privacy budget, a kind of set balance for engineers to work against. But if you don't work at Apple, it’s difficult to tell how strict that privacy budget really is. Apple insists it’s high enough to prevent any reidentification, but we’re mostly left to take their word for it.
Apple is trying to fight Google's artificial intelligence with one hand tied behind its back
Apple exec Craig Federighi quickly mentioned how Apple is going to try and catch up to Google's smart Photo app: "on-device intelligence.”
Apple has proclaimed itself as your privacy champion, meaning (unlike Google and Microsoft) it doesn't want to do facial recognition in the cloud on photos it is storing for you. That's why Apple is putting machine learning smarts onto the iPhones themselves.
But at least one analyst is skeptical that this tech will really allow Apple to keep up with its competitors, much less leapfrog them.
Forrester market research analyst Frank Gillett says there's a big problem with Apple's tactic. It simply won't be as good as what the cloud can offer, especially for app developers and corporate app developers.
10 things LinkedIn won’t tell you
This dad quit his job and paid off $50,000 of debt, thanks to a side job that earns up to $23,000 a month
He makes videos for people and business customers.
He turned to Fiverr, a site that lets people pay others for tasks outside their expertise, and created a page for his voice-over services.
Within one month, he made $400 doing voice-over gigs for $5 each.
"After my first month, I started to level up, and the way that you advertise your services on Fiverr is by putting a video on your page," the father of two explains. "I then had people who saw my video and said, 'I don't want a voice-over. I want you to make a video for me,' and I created a whole new gig just for videos.”
What started as a solution to climb out of debt evolved into a lucrative career.
What does he advise people who want to follow a similar career path?
"Do what you already know what to do," he says. "The reality is, you don't have to do something so unique that no one else is doing. There are always going to be a thousand other people doing exactly what you're doing - you just have to differentiate yourself by the way you serve people, by the quality of your service, and your level of communication."
What Happens If GPS Fails?
Despite massive reliance on the system’s clocks, there’s still no longterm backup.
While the means to create a backup has existed since the year 2000, a winding bureaucratic path has kept it from being implemented. And that leaves many of the everyday tools society depends on vulnerable until one is.
We got a look inside a vast Icelandic bitcoin mine
Bitcoin is surging right now. The digital currency is hitting highs not seen since February 2014, jumping by well over 30% in a month.
It's great news for bitcoin miners, the people responsible for creating new bitcoins.
You can mine at home, and many people do. But companies dedicated to mining have also sprung up, some worth tens of millions of dollars.
Assuming you're getting a good deal on electricity — and ignoring all other costs — Marco Streng says one bitcoin costs about $200 to mine. One bitcoin is currently worth $690.
Genesis doesn't just mine bitcoin. It has also started mining Ethereum — another type of digital currency.
The price of Ethereum is now $16.70, while Streng says electricity costs to mine it are $3.85.
A $79 million cryptocurrency heist just happened, and it’s threatening the future of blockchains
The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a radical experiment in crowdsourced investing, and it raised over $150 million in ETHER, a cryptocurrency that’s starting to rival bitcoin.
But chunks of ETHER started getting transferred away from the DAO’s address.
As the hack was discovered, the price of ether plunged by 27%, from $21.50 each to $15.59 at its lowest.
Cryptocurrency heists happen fairly regularly.
But the DAO hack is significant for its size, and the fact that it has shaken the markets’ confidence in the security of the fundamental tools used to build on the ethereum protocol, which Wall Street sees as the blockchain’s “killer app” for its potential to automate routine contracts.
All the ether in circulation today is valued at $1.3 billion.
Note claiming to be from cryptocurrency hacker says stolen $53 million is legally his
One day after $53 million abruptly disappeared from an experimental cryptocurrency project, a note claiming to be from the attacker has surfaced on PasteBin, claiming that the money drained from the system is now legally his.
"I have carefully examined the code of The DAO and decided to participate after finding the feature where splitting is rewarded with additional ether," the note reads. "I... have rightfully claimed 3,641,694 ether, and would like to thank the DAO for this reward."
The DAO is structured like a legal contract, and while the attack certainly wasn’t an intended use of that contract, it proceeded according to the contract’s pre-established rules. Cornell cryptographer Emin Gün Sirer wrote that draining the funds may not even qualify as a hack.
There Is No Such Thing as Private Data
If you need credit or a place to live, companies may try to persuade you to give up even the most intimate information in your social media accounts.
Credit Card RFID/NFC Theft Protection Tested