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Monday, April 17, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for 4/16/2017


iPad Pro Review Addendum: 1-year later, still sketching’
I’ve been making use of a 12.9-inch original iPad Pro since March of 2016. Since then there’s been no single smart device (other than a smartphone) that I’ve used so consistently.
The main thing I use the iPad Pro for is illustrating pictures using Adobe Illustrator Draw. While other drawing apps have caught my attention for short periods of time, no one app has felt so solid and worked so well.
The reason I continue to use the iPad Pro instead of switching to the Tab S3 is simple: the iPad Pro is bigger.
The Apple Pencil is too small for my hand when I’m drawing for extended periods of time. But I was able to fashion myself a custom-fitted grip. Once I increased the diameter of the Apple Pencil, my issues with cramps disappeared.
Battery Life is one of the primary reasons why I continue to use the iPad Pro so consistently.
AW comment:  Very good “wrap-up” at the end of this article.
Apple hires secret team for treating diabetes
Steve Wozniak is no stranger to predictions. In 1982, he said portable laptops would emerge. And he has strong opinions on how we'll live in 58 years.

"Apple will be around a long time, like IBM (which was founded in 1911)," Wozniak said in an interview on Friday. "Look at Apple's cash ($246.1 billion, as of the end of its last fiscal quarter). It can invest in anything. It would be ridiculous to not expect them to be around (in 2075). The same goes for Google and Facebook."

Woz shared some other predictions on what type of planet we can expect in 2075.  Click the link below to read about them.
How I Made My Own iPhone - in China
AW comment:
Very interesting to watch this guy go all over town to buy the parts at various places.
WOW.  See China's grey market work remarkably well. And see the expertise of the Chinese people!!
And the time lapse parts of the video that show him assembling the smart phone are awesome.
Questions for and Answers from the guy who built his own iPhone
This Guy Built A Working iPhone Out Of $300 In Spare Parts
Overall, Scotty Allen said it took him about two months to gather the components and put together the phone and that the parts for it cost roughly $300, though he spent over $1,000 on parts and tools he didn't end up needing. He said he ended up with five extra phone backs, two screens, several batteries, bare logic boards, chips, and soldering stations from when he tried to make his own logic board. The base price for an iPhone 6S is $550.
Watch how a man built an iPhone for $300
An engineer says he bought everything at public phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei, China. And he's made a video to prove his case.
He discovered that building an iPhone is little different from building your own desktop computer. It's just that everything is much smaller.
How to make an iPhone 6s from spare parts
How one man built his own iPhone out of spare parts
Building an entire phone out of replacement parts? That’s a hard task, especially when you’re working in Shenzen and barely speak the local language.
If the video teaches you anything, it’s probably that assembling the phone is the easy part: it’s trying to find the right shops for each part that’s hard.
The future is already here — just not very evenly distributed.
— William Gibson
Eight reasons to consider the Apple iPhone 7 Plus over the Galaxy S8 Plus for business
Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2017
Because of its modest review scores, expensive products and lack of ports, Apple fell all the way down to fifth place after receiving top honors every year since the Best and Worst Brands debuted in 2010.
Reader Comment:
Very impressive, but the downfall of these laptops is the operating system, Microsoft Windows.
In 2009 I threw the complete Windows IT systems out and changed my complete office to Apple.
Result, not one minute of downtime, no more blue screens, OS updates possible without the need to reinstall all the programmes. This increased productivity! Since the change I have never looked back.
I am not married to Apple but they produce thetop quality products I need for my business.
If the top laptops in the said test were equipped with the Mac OS and were as reliable as the MacBooks I have in my office then I might be inclined to consider using one of these but only as a test.
7 tricks to free up space on your iPhone
1. Stop storing texts forever
2. Don't double-save photos
3. Stop the Photo Stream
4. Clear your browser cache
5. Delete downloaded music
6. Delete downloaded podcasts
7. Delete your reading list
How to clear storage space on your iPhone without deleting any apps
How to create a folder on your iPhone or iPad
7 easy ways to make your iPhone videos look pro
Apple might replace your damaged iPad 4 with an iPad Air 2
If you happen to own an iPad 4 and it’s damaged, taking it to an Apple Store for servicing might land you an iPad Air 2 as a replacement.
Now, it’s important to note that taking in a damaged, five-year old iPad is not guaranteed to net you a shiny newer model. Apple Insider has clarified that this is not a hard-line policy from Apple, rather store managers can decide if an in-stock iPad 4, iPad Air, or iPad Air 2 is used as a replacement for servicing.
Apple has a new iPhone menu that makes it way easier to manage your iCloud account
Apple took various important settings — like account security, passwords, credit cards, and photo — and put them in a single, easy-to-access menu atop the Settings app.

All of these options were available before, but they were scattered around the iPhone's settings.
4 easy ways to keep your iCloud password safe
Where Are My iCloud, iTunes & App Store Options After iOS 10.3 Update?
Apple Shuffled a Few Things After iOS 10.3 – Moves iCloud and iTunes & App Store to a New Location
How to power the MacBook Pro with an eGPU using Nvidia’s new Pascal drivers
Nvidia has released its long-awaited Pascal beta drivers for the Mac. These drivers make it possible to use graphics cards from the company’s popular 10-series lineup, which include the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, among other hardware.

This release has major implications for legacy Mac Pro, Hackintosh, and eGPU users. It means that we can now use the latest Nvidia hardware to drive our machines graphically. It means taking a relatively underpowered computer like the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro, and running games at high settings with respectable frame rates.
The new macOS Pascal drivers can be downloaded directly from Nvidia.
You can start the download by clicking a link in the article.
How the iPhone and Apple Watch can save your life
Apple has emergency features built right into the Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone, and they can easily contact 911 or help you get out of trouble. We have a few tips that might help keep you alive, and they're particularly important as we head into the summer and start to spend more time outdoors hiking, heading to the beach and into the mountains. 

Here's how to prepare your iOS devices for emergency.
If you own an Apple Watch, there's an SOS feature you need to know about.
SOS feature saves Apple Watch wearer after car flips over THREE times following a T-bone collision
A good story.
Why Hidden 'Darknets' Are More Resilient to Attacks Than the Internet
Darknets — the often seamy counterparts of the internet that are accessible only through special programs that help to ensure privacy and anonymity — may be far more resilient to attack than the internet, a new study finds.

Darknets are computer networks of hidden services. The most popular darknet, and the one that most people think of, is the Tor network.
Basically, the internet is a centralized network that makes it easy to run and search for online services, whereas Tor is a very decentralized network.
"The internet is designed to maximize speed and performance, whereas the darknet is designed to maximize anonymity," said study lead author Manlio De Domenico.
The decentralized nature of the Tor network makes it far more resilient than the internet to targeted attacks and random failures, the researchers said.
"More research will be required to understand how to better attack this type of networked system," De Domenico said.
Why I Deleted My Social Media
Recently, I decided to delete all my social media accounts… I know, I’m crazy right?! Had you told me 6 months ago that I would be social media free, I would have laughed.

Gone: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat

But I’m staying active on Messenger (school) and LinkedIn (writing)

Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc have tried to make our lives simpler by creating algorithms which predict what we want to see. Yes, this is nice and convenient, but it's also creating a bubble where we remain safe and unchallenged.
When Your Mail Moves Itself
A reader asked:
When I check Gmail on the web, my messages all arrive in the inbox, but then move themselves to All Mail within a few minutes. What causes this?
The author answered:
A mail filter or an account setting in your Gmail preferences may be causing incoming messages to move into the All Mail area.
How to protect your eyes if you stare at screens all day
Teachers are making millions selling their lessons plans online
Despite worries from some educators, online marketplaces are booming, driven by rising standards and the willingness of teachers to pay out of their own pockets for classroom-tested materials.
Some school districts have language in their teaching contracts that bar teachers from selling their lesson plans.
Am I Shadowbanned on Twitter?
Earlier this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey contacted me to discuss my ongoing public observations that Twitter appears to be “shadowbanning” me because of my writings about Trump. Jack introduced me via Direct Message to Del Harvey, Twitter’s Head of Trust & Safety, for the official answer.

The official answer is that no one, including me, is shadowbanned on Twitter. It has never happened.
Anecdotally, the evidence is overwhelming that I am being shadowbanned. But anecdotal evidence isn’t real evidence because it can look identical to confirmation bias.
The Six Main Arcs in Storytelling, as Identified by a computer with artificial intelligence (AI)
1. Rags to Riches (rise)
2. Riches to Rags (fall)
3. Man in a Hole (fall then rise)
4. Icarus (rise then fall)
5. Cinderella (rise then fall then rise)
6. Oedipus (fall then rise then fall)
AW comment:
Compare this to Joseph Campbell’s story arc for the Hero’s Journey from his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.
A Wikipedia page shows a revised version of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
Note that Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey inspired a young George Lucas to write his first Star Wars script.
There's a dark secret at the heart of artificial intelligence: no one really understands how it works
An artificially intelligent computer learned to drive a car by watching a human driver do it.
Information from the vehicle’s sensors goes straight into a huge network of artificial neurons that process the data and then deliver the commands required to operate the steering wheel, the brakes, and other systems. The result seems to match the responses you’d expect from a human driver. But what if one day it did something unexpected—crashed into a tree, or sat at a green light? As things stand now, it might be difficult to find out why. The system is so complicated that even the engineers who designed it may struggle to isolate the reason for any single action. And you can’t ask it: there is no obvious way to design such a system so that it could always explain why it did what it did.
There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach.
From the outset, there were two schools of thought regarding how understandable, or explainable, AI ought to be. Many thought it made the most sense to build machines that reasoned according to rules and logic, making their inner workings transparent to anyone who cared to examine some code. Others felt that intelligence would more easily emerge if machines took inspiration from biology, and learned by observing and experiencing. This meant turning computer programming on its head. Instead of a programmer writing the commands to solve a problem, the program generates its own algorithm based on example data and a desired output. The machine-learning techniques that would later evolve into today’s most powerful AI systems followed the latter path: the machine essentially programs itself.
It was not until the start of this decade, after several clever tweaks and refinements, that very large—or “deep”—neural networks demonstrated dramatic improvements in automated perception.
Amazon Is Making It Easier for Companies to Track You
Jeff Bezon describes how Amazon’s cloud-services clients can use the company’s pre-packaged deep-learning frameworks—including the systems that power the Amazon Echo; Amazon Polly, the company’s text-to-speech program; and Amazon Rekognition, its facial recognition software.

Clients have access to these technologies through a simple API, Bezos says, meaning developers for a range of companies can tap into Amazon’s suite of A.I. programs without having any machine learning expertise themselves.
This is a big deal for a few reasons. Mainly, because it means Amazon is enabling countless organizations to track its users more precisely than ever.
Google may be quietly tracking everywhere you go — here's how to turn it off
Location History is exactly what it sounds like: It's a comprehensive history of locations you've visited, as tracked by your smartphone's GPS. Think about that for a second. Every dinner round a friend's house, every boring commute, every late-night takeaway run — any time you went anywhere with your smartphone, it's on there, going back years.
It's actually really useful — if you're comfortable with the privacy trade-off.
You can deactivate it entirely.
For Internet Privacy, VPNs Are an Imperfect Shield
When Congress voted to overturn online privacy rules last week, Steve Wilmot, a Los Angeles songwriter, reacted like many worried consumers: He looked into signing up for a technology service known as a virtual private network (VPN).
But while VPNs are worth considering, they are an incomplete and flawed solution. For one thing, they often slow down internet speeds significantly. Some apps and services may also stop working properly when you are connected to a virtual network.

Still, VPNs are among several tools for better protecting your digital privacy.
VPNs help cloak your browsing information from your internet provider.
VPNs are especially handy [and highly recommended] when you are connecting to a public Wi-Fi network with which you aren’t familiar.
More and more people are using VPN services to protect their privacy online — here's how they work
Internet privacy was once again thrust into the limelight recently when President Donald Trump signed a bill that would allow internet service providers to sell your browsing history to third parties like advertisers.
A VPN essentially hides your internet activity from your internet service provider, which means it has nothing to sell to third parties.
Most VPNs also hide identifying details about your computer from ISPs.
VPN services aren't perfect.
They can slow down your internet speed.
For an extra layer of protection, choose a VPN whose servers are based outside the US. That protects against the possibility of legal entities in the US trying to access your browsing history through court orders.

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