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Tom Briant

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap for Sunday, 4-23-2017

An iTunes-Free Way to Back Up Your iPod
How to back up your iPod (or iPhone) to your Mac without using iTunes.
Apple has hired Steven Keating, an MIT doctoral student who gained notoriety for making a 3D printout of his own brain tumor.
Keating has publicly shared his commitment to helping patients gain access to their own health data, a mission that seems in line with Apple's approach to the sector (despite its notoriously closed approach). As I previously reported, the iPhone maker recently acquired a personal health data startup called Gliimpse, which is designed to help people aggregate their medical information.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Talks Innovation, Microsoft, and Being Introverted
Includes a brief video.
Why Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak doesn't trust money
Why Woz is a fan of the Apple Watch
Apple iPad review - World's greatest tablet just got more affordable
Includes a video.
After being one of the original Facebook Instant Article pioneers back in 2015, the Guardian has pulled its content from both Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles format.
The Guardian is pushing its paying membership system and as a result it needs to be able to push readers back to their own site. By controlling how, and where their readers access the content, The Guardian is then able to better monetize on the work they produce.
British Publication "The Guardian" pulls out of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News
They had gone all-in on Instant Articles, running every single Guardian article via the format for the last year. It was one of first U.K. media owners to adopt the Facebook format, alongside BBC News in the spring of 2015. The Guardian was also among the first publishers to join the Apple News app when it launched in the U.K. in October 2015. It ran all its articles in the app.

A Guardian News and Media spokesperson confirmed the removal, and issued the following statement to Digiday: “We have run extensive trials on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News to assess how they fit with our editorial and commercial objectives. Having evaluated these trials, we have decided to stop publishing in those formats on both platforms. Our primary objective is to bring audiences to the trusted environment of the Guardian to support building deeper relationships with our readers, and growing membership and contributions to fund our world-class journalism.”
The move is a clear sign of displeasure in how these platform-publishing initiatives have treated the business needs of the Guardian. Many publishers have complained the money they make off visits to IA pages, for example, do not measure up to what they get on their own sites.
How to use your iPhone or iPad as a wireless hotspot
The personal hotspot feature on your iOS device can bail you out when a broadband connection isn't available. Here's how to set it up.
Includes a video.
The 5 Best Apps for Recording an Electric Instrument with Your iPhone or Android
We tested several apps that let you record instruments and apply effects by using a setup that included an Epiphone Les Paul, an inexpensive adapter, and a few different smart devices. Suffice it to say, we found five apps, two for iOS (Apple), two for Android, and one for both.
Save YouTube Videos Directly to Your iPhone's Camera Roll

Setting Up iCloud Family Sharing Isn't Easy, but It's Worth It
Once you’re done, every person in your household should have their own Apple ID, but they’ll be able to download purchases under a “master” account from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store.
Siri not working? Try these troubleshooting fixes
If Siri isn't working for you, the first thing to check is whether your device is able to run Siri.

Siri is available on the iPhone 4s and later, on the iPad 3 and later (including all iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini models, and the iPad 2017) and on the 5th- and 6th-gen iPod touch models. Plus every Apple Watch model and the 4th-gen Apple TV, and any Mac able to run macOS Sierra.
If it's not working at all, Siri might be switched off.
How to take control of iOS autocorrect
Most autocorrect errors are funny.
Here’s the good news: You actually have a lot of power over the autocorrect feature on your iOS device.
After all, your iPhone and iPad are trying to learn from you. There are several tactics you can use to prevent misunderstandings.
Apple Now Offers iWork, iMovie And GarageBand Free For All iOS And Mac Devices
According to MacRumors, Apple has decided to no longer charge for iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers and Keynote on iOS and macOS. Prior to this change, Apple was offering these apps free for customers that purchased a new iOS device or Mac computer. Apple also bundles some of these apps on certain Mac computers and iOS devices so you may already have it installed. If you do not have one of these apps on your device, then you can download it from iTunes (iOS) or the Mac App Store (OS X / macOS).
The MacRumors web site has direct links for downloading the apps.
Pick up a refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to save some real money
• 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 2.0GHz dual-core Core i5, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550: Normally $1,799, refurbished price $1,529
• 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 2.9GHz dual-core Core i5, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550: Normally $1,999, refurbished price $1,699
• 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 2.9GHz dual-core Core i5, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550: Normally $2,199, refurbished price $1,869
Apple’s controversial MacBook Pro Touch Bar is slowly becoming more useful five months later
To the disagreement of many, I still contend that Apple’s Touch Bar is a compelling concept that holds a significant amount of untapped potential.
App support for the Touch Bar has improved significantly over roughly the last five months.
iPhones Go the Way of the Selectric
In principle, the iPhone is becoming something similar [to the IBM Selectric typewriter]: a tried-and-true model that simply matches customer needs.
Apple is acknowledging that smartphones have transitioned from elite niche products into mature technologies, owned by everyone and upgraded infrequently. And that means that boring reliability — not innovation — will define the iPhone's future.
True, the cheaper phones won't look as good. But they do everything that late smartphone adopters want, and that's good enough.
"Good enough" doesn't sound great for Apple and other phone makers, which prosper off the relentless upgrade cycle. But many well-known products have followed the same path, from ground-breaking innovation to reliable, profitable, "good enough" staples.
If Apple wants to maintain its reputation as an innovator, it should acknowledge the iPhone as the mature product it has become, and redirect its vaunted creative energy to something new.
Apple Watch users flood first responders with false calls
Apple iWatch users are being blamed for a spike in false 911 calls that have plagued the system, wasting valuable time for first responders in the tri-state area.
Rescue workers in the county were pestered by nine of the false alarms over a one-week period, two weeks ago, due to user-error.
Accidental “wrist dialing” — in which the gadget automatically calls 911 without users knowing — is a headache for operators, who urged people to dismantle the setting that automatically triggers the false alarms, emergency responders said.
Most people simply aren’t aware they have enabled the setting.  It’s a consumer awareness problem. People just don’t know they’re doing it.
Accidental wrist dialers should stay on the phone and admit the screw-up instead of hanging up on 911 operators, who are required to track down disconnected callers.
How to secure your Apple and iCloud accounts
Several good hints.
Beware Apple iCloud Users Phishing scam Hitting [Sonora CA] Area
Dozens of citizens have called the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office to report an Apple iCloud users phishing scam.

The scam works this way, according to sheriff’s officials, when an Apple iCloud user answers the phone they get a pre-recorded message alerting them that their account has been hacked.
Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Andrea Benson notes, “This is the latest in a long line of phishing scam aimed at tricking unsuspecting victims into believing that they have been hacked, personal data has been stolen or personal data is at risk.”
This spoof Apple site illustrates the sophistication of today’s phishing attacks
Most phishing attacks – links that send you to a fake website in the hope that you’ll login with your real credentials – are usually easy to detect. Emails are often generic, rather than using your registered name. Grammar is poor or the wording is weird. The email will threaten closure of your account if you don’t take urgent action, and so on.

If you did miss all these clues and click on the link, the URL would show that it’s not really the site that it claims to be. But one demonstration site created by a Chinese security researcher shows how it’s possible to visit a fake website that seemingly shows the correct URL in a browser window.
The trick employed by the site is to use Unicode characters that look the same as the appropriate ASCII characters for the site impersonated.
It is possible to register domains such as “”, which is equivalent to “а”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “а” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0061). This is known as a homograph attack.
This Apple Phishing Site Is As Sneaky As They Come
Both Google and Mozilla recently introduced protections against a particularly nasty form of web-based phishing. It's called a homograph attack, and it can be nearly impossible to detect.
Homograph means using a foreign language letter instead of an English letter in a name.  For example the English letter “A” looks much like the Cyrillic letter “A”.
It's obvious how dangerous this scam can be, but you shouldn't panic. Chances are good that your browser is protecting you. Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari won't show the address as
For technical details on this, click the link below.
Can Self-Driving Cars Ever Really Be Safe?
autonomous vehicles are basically computers on wheels, and computers crash all the time. Besides that, computers get hacked every day. So you gotta ask, “Can self-driving cars ever really be safe?”
No. Self-driving cars can never totally be safe. They will be safer than human drivers! So much safer that it’s worth a few minutes to understand why.
90 percent of all traffic accidents can be blamed on human error.
Nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2015. And finally, of the roughly 35,000 annual traffic fatalities, approximately 10 percent of them (3,477 lives in 2015) are caused by distracted driving.

Remove human error from driving, and you will not only save a significant number of lives, you will also dramatically reduce the number of serious injuries associated with traffic accidents – there were over 4.4 million in the United States during 2015.
“Anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.” Is this going to be an issue? Yes, but it’s also going to be an arms race. I’m betting on the good guys, but to be fair, hacking across every digital touchpoint is a never-ending battle. We will do our best to combat the bad guys.
As for computer crashes, yes, it is possible for the computer that runs your self-driving car to crash, but it will happen so infrequently that, by the numbers, you will be significantly safer in an autonomous vehicle than if you were driving yourself.
The 5 Jobs Robots Will Take First
The 5 Jobs Robots Will Take Last
How upgrading humans will become the next billion-dollar industry
“The greatest industry of the 21st century will probably be to upgrade human beings,” historian Yuval Harari, author of the fascinating new book “Homo Deus,” told MarketWatch.
Our bodies and brains, after all, still run on the same hardware and software that evolved some 200,000 years ago.
These advances will likely “lead to greater income inequality than ever before,” Harari said. “For the first time in history it will be possible to translate economic inequality into biological inequality.”

Such a divide could give rise to a new version of “old racist ideologies that some races are naturally superior to others,” Harari said. “Except this time the biological differences will be real, something that is engineered and manufactured.”
This is what the next generation of tech-augmented work for humans will look like
Wearable human controlled robots.
Reader comment to a different article on artificial intelligence and robots:
The "you don't need to worry about AI for many years" will at some point change to "it's too late to stop us."
But go on, immerse yourself in the convenience of self-driving cars, consumer robot applications and whatnot. I'm sure it will all work out fine.
Another reader replied to the above comment:
Regarding your first sentence, you beat me to it, exactly what I was going to say.  The goal is to put the people back to sleep before they can stop this insidious take over of our humanity. 
Artificial intelligence is just that---artificial. Why do people prefer the artificial to the real? If we trash our intelligence for a fake intelligence, we trash everything.
You Don’t Have Free Will – but You Might Get It Someday
I don’t believe in the superstition of “free will” because the laws of physics don’t stop at your skull. Whatever is happening in your brain is the result of cause and effect, and perhaps some randomness. But “free will” isn’t a real thing, except in our imaginations.

But it might be a real thing soon.
With our current fully-organic brains, we do whatever the physics and chemistry of our brains tells us to do. You might want to lose weight, but your brain is telling you to eat that ice cream at midnight anyway, so you do. Your urges are simply stronger than your rational mind.
But what if a microchip in your brain could reverse that situation? Suppose you programmed the microchip to allow your rational mind to overcome your irrational urges.
Interesting reader comments.
Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria
“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”
When the library at Alexandria burned it was said to be an “international catastrophe.”
When the most significant humanities project of our time was dismantled in court, the scholars, archivists, and librarians who’d had a hand in its undoing breathed a sigh of relief, for they believed, at the time, that they had narrowly averted disaster.
Google’s secret effort to scan every book in the world, codenamed “Project Ocean,” began in earnest in 2002.
In August 2010, Google put out a blog post announcing that there were 129,864,880 books in the world. The company said they were going to scan them all.
Authors and publishers filed suit against Google, alleging, as the authors put it simply in their initial complaint, “massive copyright infringement.”
It only took a couple of years for the authors and publishers who sued Google to realize that there was enough middle ground to make everyone happy.
At the heart of the settlement was a collective licensing regime for out-of-print books.
The objections came in many flavors, but they all started with the sense that the settlement was handing to Google, and Google alone, an awesome power. “Did we want the greatest library that would ever exist to be in the hands of one giant corporation, which could really charge almost anything it wanted for access to it?”
The irony is that so many people opposed the settlement in ways that suggested they fundamentally believed in what Google was trying to do.
There's $29.4 billion in cryptocurrencies — here's which ones people are using the most
Interesting chart.

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