The MacValley blog


Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.


Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

Editor: Tom Briant


Click here to email Tom

Click here for Tom's profile



To search the blog posts please use the box below

Friday, December 2, 2016

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for November 30, 2016

Apple iOS 10.1.1 Has Two Nasty Surprises
iOS 10.1.1 was fast fix to a serious problem with Apple Health.
But fast fixes often create new problems.
Three weeks after the launch of iOS 10.1.1, users are reporting the upgrade has two nasty surprises which are hitting iPhones.
Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ review:
The Apple Watch Nike+ Edition isn't all that different from the Apple Watch Series 2.
The difference is the integration with the Nike+ Run Club app.
If you go with the Series 2 and start running later, you can still download and use the Nike+ Run Club app. But, you can't get that Siri-to-Nike connection, or those watch faces. If that matters, go for this model. You'll survive without it, though.
Apple Watch 2 review
The Series 2 is simply what the Series 1 should have been. It has been improved in nearly every way and is finally an all-in-one legitimate fitness tracker with the addition of GPS and water resistance (it should be noted, though, that the new Apple Watch cannot measure elevation, so climbers beware).
Read this if you are planning to buy Apple Watch 2 
Apple Watch has been more than a fashion accessory, it has actually improved productivity and my social life.
If you want to take a plunge into the world of Smartwatches, Apple Watch 2 is the right device. Go for it.
Free 'Track it!' app tracks seizures on Apple Watch
Nationwide Children's Hospital and are introducing a new wearable app to help track seizures called Track It! – available for the Apple Watch in the Apple Store today.
"The benefits of Track It! are not only that patients and parents are able to better track and help their own children but also that they are helping others by participating in a shared database used by researchers studying epilepsy across the globe," said Anup Patel, MD.
Apple Watch for Dogs Created
Slide Show and Video:
14 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do
AW comment:  The hardest part will be remembering all these tricks.
MacBook Pro Diary: Temporary dongle hell as I migrate from my old machine
The process of migrating his stuff from his old MacBook pro to his new one didn’t go as planned.
He was, however, able to work around the difficulties, if in an inefficient manner.
Ask the Buffalo: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar or Surface Book?
Is MacBook Pro perfect? No, but it's worth $3,000 to me
despite Windows' considerable progress, I still find MacOS better at staying up and running, especially with countless wake-sleep cycles as I open and close the laptop lid. Also, I have yet to find a Windows machine that can match Apple's trackpads, especially three-finger drag, an option I adore.
Any laptop without a touch screen is living in the past, according to Brian Hall, corporate vice president of marketing for Microsoft Surface and other devices. Perhaps, but after nearly four years using the Chromebook Pixel, I still find its touch screen nice but not necessary.
Given that touch screens penalize cost, complexity and power consumption, I'm willing to side with Apple designer Jony Ive for this round.

I'm reserving judgment on the Touch Bar until I see how well it works with my escape-key muscle memory and with third-party software like Google Chrome and Adobe Systems Lightroom. But my instinct tells me it's not a mere gimmick, and I'm confident controls above the keyboard will be more conveniently accessible than a touch screen.
New MacBook Pro users should give Boot Camp the boot for now
Boot Camp is Apple’s way for a Macbook to run Microsoft Windows.
The Touch Bar MacBook Pro teardown: Nearly impossible to repair

The folks at iFixit have torn down the 13.3-inch, Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro, and found out that the device is extremely hard to repair on your own. 
Apple's massive pyramid of dirt has disappeared
Apple's new $5 billion campus is almost completed.
But the City of Cupertino, California, announced last month that the project's completion date had been pushed back to the second quarter of 2017.
Apple is testing more than 10 different prototypes of the iPhone 8
The newest Apple TV highlights a worrying trend across all of Apple's products
I've owned the fourth-generation Apple TV for over a year now. It's good, but in my opinion, it's not better than the older versions of the Apple TV.
Other new Apple products are only modest improvements over previous versions.
For example, the iPhone 7 is a modest update from the iPhone 6s, which is a modest update from the iPhone 6.
… it feels like newness is given priority over usefulness.
The company's latest products are good, not great.
Apple will foot the bill, issue refunds for repairs to iMac display hinge
Such repairs often cost more than $100.

How Apple Helped Democratize Typography In The ‘90s
When you talk to Thomas Rickner, you get the sense that one company played an outsized role in democratizing type during those years: Apple.
Let's back up a second. When Apple first released the Macintosh in 1984, one of the many ways in which it was revolutionary was in allowing users to choose between fonts.
When Rickner was hired by Apple in 1989, though, he was hired for a secret project: TrueType, an attempt by Apple to radically amp up MacOS's font rendering abilities.
Apple debuted TrueType in 1991, and to make sure it became a ubiquitous standard, it even licensed it to Microsoft, which introduced TrueType fonts with Windows 3.1.
"It's hard to overstate how revolutionary this was," says Rickner.
Apple says Wi-Fi isn’t interesting anymore
Apple pulled its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule products from its stores. The removal of the latter product underlines quite how much Apple wants to get you hooked on iCloud for all of your back up needs, as long as you have the fare.
AirPort has always been an iconic product for Apple. That’s not because Apple invented Wi-Fi, but because it helped build one of the best standards the company ever managed to evangelize. 
Here are a few easy ways to clear up space on your iPhone
Airline makes iPhones mandatory for plane mechanics and staff
Finland’s largest airline, Finnair, is fully embracing iOS as a platform for a whole suite of new enterprise apps, thanks to a new partnership with IBM.
“Our collaboration with Apple and IBM is an important building block in our digital transformation,” Katri Harra-Salonen, Finnair’s Chief Digital Officer, said in a press release.
Later is a simpler replacement for Apple’s reminders
How to deal with iPhone calendar spam
Prevent push notifications
Make a secret spam calendar and then delete it
Stop syncing
Apple has a Calendar and Photos spam problem and it better fix it soon
Apple Needs To Quickly Address Another iPhone Problem
I’m talking about the slowly rising levels of calendar spam. Apple’s calendar app allows invites to be sent by unauthenticated users and pushed directly to a handset.
The danger for Apple is that the success of this route to potential customers will become a popular route for spammers.
If Apple acts quickly, calendar spam would be nothing more than a short-term annoyance.
Circulating five-second video causes Apple iPhones to freeze
iPhone owners are cautioned to be careful about tapping unsolicited links as a new five-second MP4 video, currently being shared online, is causing devices to freeze not long after it's played.
Notably the crash takes about 10 seconds, during which people can do other things on their iPhone as the device gradually slows down. Once an iPhone freezes the only option is to reboot it, though it should work as normal once it recovers.
iPhones secretly send call history to Apple, security firm says
Apple emerged as a guardian of user privacy this year after fighting FBI demands to help crack into San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone. The company has gone to great lengths to secure customer data in recent years, by implementing better encryption for all phones and refusing to undermine that encryption.

But private information still escapes from Apple products under some circumstances. The latest involves the company’s online syncing service iCloud.
“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.
Chris Soghoian, chief technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said it’s further proof that “iCloud really is the Achilles heel of the privacy of the iPhone platform. The two biggest privacy problems associated with iCloud don’t have check boxes [for users to opt out], nor do they require that you opt in either.”
“The takeaway really is don’t ever use iCloud. I won’t use it myself until I can be in control of the encryption keys,” Jonathan Zdziarski said.
How a Grad Student Found Spyware that Could Control Anyone’s iPhone from Anywhere in the World
Last summer, Bill Marczak stumbled across a program that could spy on your iPhone’s contact list and messages—and even record your calls. Illuminating shadowy firms that sell spyware to corrupt governments across the globe, Marczak’s story reveals the new arena of cyber-warfare.
It is exceedingly rare to find a never-before-seen vulnerability that allows a hacker to infiltrate the operating system of a computer or mobile phone. Amazingly, the program Marczak had found would be shown to target not one, not two, but three such vulnerabilities.
“This can spy on audio, e-mail, text messages . . . everything. Someone spent a lot of time creating this,” Blaich said.
Last August, came the startling confirmation from Apple itself: a genuine remote jailbreak “in the wild,” the one discovered and identified by Marczak and the Lookout researchers. To everyone’s surprise it had been out there operating secretly for years.
The story of how Apple created and issued a patch in only 10 days is uplifting, but the fact is Apple and other computer-makers are fighting a losing battle. As long as there are hackers, they will continue to find ways to hack any device that interfaces with them.
“What these cyber-arms dealers have done is democratize digital surveillance,” says the A.C.L.U.’s Chris Soghoian. “The surveillance tools once only used by big governments are now available to anyone with a couple hundred grand to spend.” In fact, they may be coming to your iPhone sometime soon.
Why you should quit all social media right now
Social media “diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter,” Newport said.

“If you’re serious about making an impact in the world,” he added, “power down your smartphone, close your browser tabs, roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
I disagree with the complete abstention from social media. 

I had the opportunity to participate in some Facebook groups in which I had interest in the subjects being discussed.

From that period of heavy use - maybe a year or so - I learned how and why people interact as they do on social media. 

Then I pushed back from social media. And now I dabble and lurk there. Because: the discussions, attitudes and disinformation - not just political but even in business and career fields - was warping and distorting my ability to cope with objective reality. 

Some people talk about being addicted to Facebook. I submit that they are still part of the hive mind of Facebook and aren't yet objective about how immersive it is. 

In short, on social media, people cleave into groups that stereotype everyone else and who reinforce their own bullshit. I see the behavior on a FB freelancing group I'm on.

Every older person on this board holding back and turning their nose in the air here should broaden their horizons and go native for a while. I now understand exactly why Facebook and its ilk are so pernicious toward real critical thought. I did not understand it at all until I went native. 

Knowledge is important. 

I just don't want to be at the margins of society as the clueless old loser idiot who doesn't understand what everyone is talking about. Because I have broadened my knowledge, I know enough to know when bullshit is masquerading for reasoning in echo chambers.  You run that risk of being marginalized with the abstention policy.

Why Social Media Is an Evolving, Living Being
We Need to Stop Taking Facebook's Word For It - Part 1
Mark Zuckerberg has finally started publicly confronting Facebook’s fake news problem.
It’s still not clear exactly what role Facebook played in the election and if the company has done enough to prevent the spread of fake news. But we do know this: The only way to know for sure is for Facebook to release its internal metrics and stop ****ing with us.
We Need to Stop Taking Facebook's Word For It - Part 2
A story about Facebook’s Aquila drone, based entirely on Facebook information.
Many reporters never witnessed the “successful” test.
Several web sites failed to report the “structural failure”, apparently so significant that the National Transportation Safety Board has deemed it an “accident” and has launched an investigation.
Neither Wired, CNN, nor The Verge were present for the test flight and relied solely on the information provided by Facebook three weeks later. Here’s another fact: Facebook frequently peddles shit to the press that is later proved to be, at best, outright misleading, and at worst, untrue. Facebook deemed this flight a success. Is it successful if you can’t land a drone that took more than $20 million to develop without causing “significant” damage?
Fake News and How We Caused It
All you have to do to make money on the web is to get people to visit your site. And it turns out the easiest way to do that is to bait them with half-truths and outright lies about a topic they care about: a hotly contested Presidential election.  

Fake news is the inevitable consequence of our own folly. We built a system that uses clicks, impressions, and engagement as the only accessible means for putting a value to content. The web, heralded as the idea exchange of the future, has been corrupted into a crude tool for exposing people to advertising by any means necessary.
To save the web, to allow it to realize its potential as an idea exchange, we need a new and better revenue model, one that values the quality of content over its ability to place ads in front of its audience. What that better model is remains to be seen.
 I think the longer term solution may lie in shifting the value proposition from the content itself to its creation: Pay the creator for their skill, effort, and time, then release the resulting content to the world for free. It sounds like a crazy idea, but this is how free open source software is built, and the technologies that power the web, fake news and all, are all free and open source.
Most Students Cannot Distinguish Fake and Real News
5 Times Corporate Media Got Caught Publishing Fake News Causing The Death And Suffering Of Millions
Is Social Media Disconnecting Us From the Big Picture?
Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that Donald Trump could be elected president, but I was.
even online, I wasn’t seeing many signs of support for him.  Social media completely failed me.
In hindsight, that failure makes sense. I’ve spent nearly 10 years coaching Facebook — and Instagram and Twitter — on what kinds of news and photos I don’t want to see, and they all behaved accordingly. Each time I liked an article, or clicked on a link, or hid another, the algorithms that curate my streams took notice and showed me only what they thought I wanted to see.
But considering that more than 40 percent of our country’s population consumes news on Facebook, finding alternative perspectives shouldn’t have been that hard.
User-generated content [for example on Snapchat, Tumblr and Vine], by and large, is not lucrative at a scale that satisfies investors, and as a result, most social-media companies are changing direction toward other revenue streams.
Hackers program bank ATMs to spew out millions of dollars in cash
Cybercriminals who once earned millions by breaking into individual online bank accounts are now targeting the banks’ own computers, with often dramatic results.

In Taiwan and Thailand earlier this year, the criminals programmed bank ATMs to spew cash. Gang members stood in front of the machines at the appointed hour and collected millions of dollars.
UK surveillance law marks a 'worse than scary' shift
The newly passed "Snooper's Charter" means British police and intelligence agencies will soon be able to see every website that everyone in the UK visits.
The UK has taken a deep plunge into surveillance with a far-reaching new law.

The problem, say critics, is that it goes too deep and too far.
Your browsing history has nowhere to hide.
The hacker who hacked San Francisco mass transit got hacked himself
In a stroke of irony, it turns out the person who hacked Muni ended up getting hacked himself.
Here’s how easy it is to buy anything — legal or illegal — on the 'dark web’
You may be familiar with the saga of illegal drug market the Silk Road, but that is just one small part of what is commonly called the "dark web."  Accessible only with a special browser, it has become known for the illegal goods and services available there.

No comments:

Post a Comment



Blog Archive