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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Wednesday 7-5-2017

August 21, 2017 — a total solar eclipse will traverse the U.S. from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
The path of totality will be within one day’s drive of most people living in the 48 states region
If you can possibly get some vacation time on that date, definitely go see it.
Every person who sees a total eclipse of the sun tells stories about it for the rest of his / her life.
Click the links below for more information.
Apple's Stunning New HQ Is as Polarizing as Its Visionary (Steve Jobs)
The debate is raging as to whether it's a masterpiece or a monstrosity.
How to adjust security settings for Apple’s “AirDrop” feature on your iPhone and make sure that not just anybody can access info on your iPhone.
Steve Jobs did not invent the iPhone
Steve Jobs made crucial decisions. His business maneuverings—especially absorbing info from the carriers and then winning near-total freedom to build his iPhone any way he liked, and winning favorable contract terms—and his aesthetic tastes in the space were unparalleled. He deserves a lot of credit. Just nowhere near all of it.
What Jobs did at Apple with the iPhone was take a smattering of percolating technologies, and drove his team to integrate them in a way never executed so elegantly before. The key word is “team”; the iPhone, in fact, grew out of a series of clandestine meetings, under even Jobs’ radar.
There’s a small city worth of people who contributed to the iPhone, who made it tick, who unfurled its innovations, who designed the most popular software interface of all time, who made it sing on a tiny handheld device.
We now know, for instance, that Edison most certainly did not invent the lightbulb—he simply perfected it as a consumer product.
Brian Merchant is the author of “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone”.

Steve Jobs is Not the Right Role Model for You
Founders should be wary of aiming to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Being practical will save budding entrepreneurs not only time and money, but also disappointment and from feeling like a total failure. Learn from your missteps. And find mentors and idols in the everyday people (hint: people like Vitaly) whose success may be less famous, but who are no less extraordinary.
Here’s the main thing people need to understand about startups. In the early days, startups are closer to a science experiment than a business.
A surprising number of Windows users plan to switch to Mac
It may be time for Mac users to give Apple’s Safari browser another chance
1. You can stop auto-playing videos from ever starting.
2. You can make it harder for companies to track your activity across the web. But Safari doesn't completely block this kind of tracking.
AW Comment:
The author of this article likes Google Chrome better than Safari, even though it’s a safe bet that Google tracks everything you do with Chrome.
The iPad could soon be ready to replace the MacBook
Some users will still need the power of a more robust, flexible and capable OS, and this is where costly iMacs (like the just announced iMac Pro) or even MacBook Pros come in.
But for most people who just need a browser, email, YouTube, Netflix and the likes, an iPad might be a much better way to spend their money, and make it their primary machine.
iOS 11 will completely transform the iPad
I’ve been playing with a beta version of iOS 11 on a 10.5-inch iPad Pro for the past few weeks. While the final version of iOS 11 is not coming until later this fall, Apple just launched the public beta. Here’s a preview of what you can expect.
iOS 11 on an iPad Pro still won’t replace your laptop
Apple introduced some major changes to the iPad with its iOS 11 beta earlier this week. While you can use the iPad just as you’ve always been able to, there are some additional multitasking changes that really make the iPad Pro more of a laptop contender. Apple has created a dock that acts more like something you’d find on macOS, and refined its side-by-side apps interface so it’s even more similar to Windows 8. These changes make the iPad a lot more useful, but also a lot more confusing than it has ever been before.
We’ve been dragging-and-dropping the hell out of iOS 11
Here's a sentence I never expected to write: Drag and drop changes everything.
Drag and drop makes iOS feel like more than a collection of apps.
The author provides a long list of his favorite improvements in iOS 11.
How To Uninstall The iOS 11 Beta In Six Easy Steps
Use iTunes to make a backup of your iPhone, iPod   and / or   your iPad data BEFORE you install iOS 11 Beta.
Without that backup, the uninstall won’t help you.
The iPad has an identity crisis
Unlike the iPhone, the iPad hasn't launched whole new classes of services. And the more Apple does to make iPads competitive with laptops, the more it gets compared to them and comes up short.
The main reason for the demise of the tablet was the proliferation of larger-screened smartphones.
In some ways, the iPad's struggles were foretold at its introduction, with Steve Jobs categorizing it as a device that fit between the smartphone and laptop. But it has no hope of making progress against the former and faces a host of competitive challenges against the latter. It is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
8 tips for being productive on the iPad with iOS 10
One obvious thing to do is go ahead and install the iOS 11 public beta. It seems relatively stable on the iPad Pro. But my recommendation is still to wait a bit, especially if you depend on your iPad for day-to-day work.
So here are some of my favorite tips for iOS 10.
Learn how to use the “Text Replacement” feature.
Try Affinity for image editing.
Install Annotable — a great screenshot markup tool
Set up Widgets
Check out Duet to make your iPad a monitor
Former Chief of and Trashes the New iPad Pro
AW Comment:
Interesting discussion.
The iPad’s biggest flaw: It’s too perfect
Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are facing an unusual and costly problem: their products are proving too good to replace.
“Tablet sales have slowed since their peak in 2013 as fewer Australians have seen the need to replace their existing devices,” Foad Fadaghi said.
“However, this is changing, with support for older models ending and functionality of newer tablets improving.”
12.9-Inch iPad Pro Review
Premium laptop-class performance; Long battery life; Amazingly bright, speedy display; Improved Pencil input; Stellar, booming sound; iOS 11 has a lot of promise.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro boasts the best screen and performance we've ever seen in a tablet, but we'd suggest waiting for the final version of iOS 11 to arrive before you splurge.
Despite not changing the hardware of its $99 Pencil, Apple made it work a whole lot better with the new iPad Pros. Thanks to the iPad Pro's ProMotion display, writing feels more realistic than ever, as the company cut latency down from 40 milliseconds to 20 ms.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 Review
• Big, beautiful screen (but not TOO big)
• Bassy, rich sound
• Day-long battery life
• Laptop-competitive performance
• Great camera for when you need it
• With accessories, starts getting expensive, fast
• Even with split-screen, iOS doesn't feel optimized for tablets
• Audio recording when shooting video doesn't sound great
Review: Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Second Generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro
Significant camera improvements
Front and rear cameras
Battery life remains exceptional
The 12.9” model is still a behemoth by iPad standards
3D Touch support remains absent on both models.
Apple has actually brought both models to the same level; the only real distinction between the two new iPad Pro models is the size.
While users who simply want a basic iPad to supplement their smartphone or laptop for surfing, reading and productivity tasks will be well served by the standard fifth-generation iPad, the iPad Pro models will definitely appeal to serious iPad users who are willing to spend the money for top performance. Both models earn our high recommendation.
Why Apple’s iPad Pro Doesn’t Feature 3D Touch
While 3D Touch on an iPad might sound super-cool and beneficial, physically implementing it on such a large display would be impossible.

If Apple ever wanted to bring a 3D Touch-like functionality to the iPad, they’d have to develop an entirely new technology.
10.5-inch iPad Pro review: Apple's 2-in-1 is starting to grow up
Since it came out, I've been using the 10.5-inch iPad Pro for just about everything, from consumption tasks like reading books and watching movies to productivity tasks like writing articles and editing videos. Click the link below for more.
The iPad Pro: Now a true photographer’s tool
The iPad Pro has finally reached a tipping point for photographers. The improved hardware in the just-released iPad Pro models, plus software improvements in iOS 10 and the upcoming iOS 11, make the iPad Pro (mostly) fullfill the potential of the iPad as a true photographer’s companion.
ProMotion display technology on the Apple iPad Pro explained: buttery smooth!
Review: 10.5-inch iPad Pro - ZERO compromises
Best 10.5-inch iPad Pro Accessories
Some techies in the ‘iPad as laptop’ debate are forgetting how atypical we are
Steve Jobs was right that some people will always need (or want) trucks. I’m one of them. I wouldn’t dream of attempting to use an iPad to replace my Mac. I prefer a large screen for things like photo editing and video editing, I like to carry a lot of data around with me (mostly photos) and I value the expansion options you get with a Mac.

But I also recognize that I’m far from typical of the mass market. While I wouldn’t personally make the switch, I have recommended to multiple friends that they do so, based on listening to what they want from a computer and what they want to do with it.
100 New Features in iOS (Beta version)
AW Comment:
“Beta” actually means “Beta Test” software.
Apple provides “Beta” software only to users who agree to be testing subjects who agree to find and report any defects they notice.
Apple plans to fix the bugs that the “Beta Testers” find before the release iOS 11 to the rest of us.
But this video is still worth watching because you can learn what’s coming in your future.
Linea sketching app for Apple Pencil updated for 10.5-inch iPad Pro
The Iconfactory has updated its excellent sketching app for Apple Pencil to work specifically on the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Apple starts selling refurbished Apple Pencil, get one for $85 — for a limited time only
A refurbished Apple Pencil isn't brand new, but Apple says it undergoes a thorough cleaning process and inspection to ensure it meets Apple's quality standards.
A refurbished Apple Pencil comes with Apple's standard one-year limited hardware warranty covering manufacturing defects.
This Is Why the iPhone Upended the Tech Industry
In 2007 the cellphone industry was sundered. In hindsight, there is only before and after the iPhone.
The original iPhone, which went on sale 10 years ago on June 29, laid the foundation for the modern smartphone, forever changing the way we access the world's information. It introduced two very important concepts that would remain at the core of mobile computers for years to come: the touch screen and the App Store.
Today's smartphones are computational Swiss army knives, capable of everything from turn-by-turn driving directions to housing all our work-related documents.
Apple Is Quietly Scrubbing the App Store
Thousands of apps rely on templates. In most cases, the template-based apps are designed by developers who don't have formal coding knowledge or simply want to get a program to the App Store quickly to capitalize on a trend.
Revised guidelines will ostensibly help Apple manage spam apps that are designed with templates to quickly get programs into the App Store that serve ads or perform unnecessary functions for developer financial gain.
While app clones and other unsavory software are being scrubbed from the App Store, Apple is performing the cleanup in such a way as to not dissuade the use of third-party app production tools. By targeting only those apps that fall afoul of rule 4.2.6, the company can keep the App Store clone free while at the same time fostering a welcoming environment for amateur developers.
The filmmaker behind ‘App: The Human Story’ talks about the struggles developers face
Jake Schumacher, Jedidiah Hurt, and Adam Lisagor spent three and a half years producing a documentary about apps — or more specifically, the people who make them.
The film was screened last month as part of a peripheral event at Apple’s WWDC, and is slated to be released late summer.
Very interesting interview.
How to fix the spinner after login in macOS
An interesting story of how the author fixed a difficult problem.
macOS: Installing Flash Updates (The Safe Way)
The author wrote instructions for updating Adobe Flash Player via Apple’s System Preferences application instead of going to the web site.
Apple Beta program lets anyone install early versions of Mac OS, iOS
5 Hidden macOS Features Make Your Life Easier
macOS: How to See Which Mac Apps are 32-Bit
My take on the 2017 MacBook: I'm returning it after two weeks
• I've been using Apple's new MacBook for almost two weeks.
• It's not powerful enough to justify the $1,299 price tag.
• I'll be returning the new MacBook soon.
Why I'm not buying the most powerful MacBook Pro anymore
In 2012, I bought the most powerful model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro because I knew its Core i7 processor would keep up for several more years than a MacBook Pro with a less powerful Core i5 processor.

The concept is called "future-proofing." Basically, I buy a device that's way more powerful than necessary for my current needs in anticipation for the future when operating systems and apps will require more horsepower.
Today, I think “future proofing” is NOT a good strategy.
By spending big in the past to extend the life of my old MacBook Pro, I've essentially locked myself in to its old technology until I upgrade.
If I do end up buying a new model, I'll probably go for one with lesser hardware specs and a lower price tag so that it doesn't last so long. That way, I can upgrade more quickly and keep up with new features and technology.

Future proofing can help you save money, but it can also keep you living in the past
Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)review
The Good The updated 15-inch MacBook Pro gets faster processing and graphics options. It's still the biggest and most-powerful laptop Apple makes. The giant touchpad is easy to use and battery life is excellent.

The Bad Having only USB-C ports can be a hassle. The super-flat keyboard is an acquired taste.

The Bottom Line Even if you're not sold on the idea of the Touch Bar, this slightly updated MacBook Pro is still the king of high-end laptops, especially for the creative class.
Apple's new MacBook Pro looks the same, but inside it's much improved
Users of the 13-inch MacBook Pro have an option of buying the laptop with or without the Touch Bar.  I think it's worth the money.

Smaller, lighter, faster than the previous generation.

Expensive, needs dongles for connecting almost anything.

Bottom Line:
Apple users may balk at the dongle situation, but that won't stop anyone from buying this machine to get the fastest Mac laptop.
Apple celebrates America’s national parks this July
From July 1 through 15, Apple is donating $1 to the National Park Foundation for every purchase made with Apple Pay at any Apple Store, on or through the Apple Store app in the US. Apple Pay is accepted at select locations in some of the most popular national parks, from Yellowstone and Yosemite to the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods National Monument.
• You can unlock your Mac using an Apple Watch.
• That means you won't need to type in a password.
• This article shows you how.
AI Detects Abnormal Heart Rhythm Using the Apple Watch’s Heart Rate Sensor
A recent study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society conference by Dr. Greg Marcus, the director of Clinical Research for Cardiology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), endeavored to find if an Apple Watch was sensitive and accurate enough to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart condition.
“The app was able to detect or discriminate a-fib from normal rhythm with 97% accuracy,” Marcus says.
However, the AFib detecting smart watch app isn’t ready for primetime yet
Type instead of talk to Siri with iOS 11
Now you can ask Siri questions in silence.
To enable the feature, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Siri and toggle on Type to Siri. Now, when you long-press the Home button, Siri will pop up with her familiar "What can I help you with?" question but with a search bar and keyboard .
The Best Siri Commands
Interesting list.
Lots of people dislike voice assistants. Blame Siri
Hard numbers say so, though these digital helpers continue to gain users.
How to Completely Turn Off Siri on Your iPhone
The instructions for disabling Siri altogether are slightly different in iOS 10 and iOS 11, so both ways are covered in this article.
The 25 most influential YouTubers. (And Why You Need To Know Them)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Killing Retailers and Giving Life to Mindless Shopping
When you see an ad pop up on your computer or smartphone, it’s the work of the AI robots and machine learning bots mining your every digital click.
AI’s here and now, and it’s the future of retailing. Without it, retailers are going to die off like dinosaurs.
How Battling Brands Online Has Gained Urgency, and Impact
Until last week, Travis Kalanick, a founder of Uber and its chief executive, ruled his company absolutely.
But we live in an era dominated by the unyielding influence of social feeds. Every new Uber revelation ignited a massive campaign against the company on Twitter and Facebook. A swirl of negative branding took on a life of its own — and ultimately could not be ignored.
The story is bigger than Uber. Online campaigns against brands have become one of the most powerful forces in business, giving customers a huge megaphone with which to shape corporate ethics and practices, and imperiling some of the most towering figures of media and industry.
The mechanics of social media suggest it will be the cultural and political left, more than the right, that might win the upper hand with this tactic.
The BuzzFeed wizard who changed media as we know it
An old story, but well worth reading.
It’s about a woman who did some really important stuff at
We’re one step closer to getting cheaper, faster Internet from space
A former Googler and friend of Elon Musk became the first to receive permission to actually build a next-generation satellite Internet service that targets U.S. customers.
At the heart of Greg Wyler's new network are a fleet of 720 satellites, all orbiting the earth at an altitude of roughly 745 miles. The first satellites would launch next year, and service could start as early as 2019. Federal regulators voted to give Wyler and his company, OneWeb, approval to use the airwaves that will beam the Internet down to earth.
Why “How many jobs will be killed by AI?” is the wrong question
Over the past few years we've developed artificially intelligent machines that can do many things that used to require human minds.
So shouldn't we be preparing ourselves for massive AI-induced technological unemployment? A widely cited 2015 analysis by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne of Oxford University found that 47% of current jobs in the US were susceptible to computerization. And some jobs look especially ripe for automation. As self-driving technology advances it seems likely that many of America's approximately 3.5 million truck drivers could find themselves out of a job.
While 3.5 million jobs sound like a lot to lose, there are almost that many layoffs every two months in the United States, and another six million or so people voluntarily leaving their jobs. The American economy is both huge and dynamic; large numbers of jobs are lost all the time, and even more are created.
There are two large labor force challenges at present, and they're both due in part to tech progress. The first is that while the engine of job creation is still running it has shifted into a lower gear. This engine used to do a great job of generating lots of solid middle-class jobs that paid more over time. Now it's creating lower middle-class jobs with more stagnant incomes.

There are many reasons for this change, but our MIT colleague David Autor and his collaborators have identified the central one: that the US middle class was built on routine work (both physical, like staffing an assembly line in a factory, and cognitive, like handling payroll for the factory) and this work has been rapidly automated in recent decades.
The single best way to create more job opportunities for people is to support the creation of lots of new companies that need to hire in order to grow.
Why technology helps us do more while understanding less about what we're doing
Technology has made us able to do more while understanding less about what we are doing, and has increased our dependence on others.
We outsource more skills to technological tools, like a movie-making app on a smartphone, that relieve us of the challenge of learning large amounts of technical knowledge.
A major downside of increased dependence on technologies is the increased consequences if those technologies break or disappear.
Individually, we depend more on our technologies than ever before – but we can do more than ever before. Collectively, technology has made us smarter, more capable and more productive. What technology has not done is make us wiser.
The Tech That New York Times Security Experts Use to Be Digitally Secure
The Times’s security experts suggest keeping all software up to date and using two-factor authentication and password managers to protect your privacy.
In the past month, malicious actors have twice used cyberweapons stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) against countries around the world in a series of escalating cyber attacks that have targeted hospitals, banks, transportation systems, and even nuclear sites.
A growing concern is whether US intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands, and there have been numerous calls for the NSA to help halt the attacks and to stop hoarding knowledge of the computer vulnerabilities upon which these weapons rely.
Unfortunately, as long as software manufacturers continue to develop poorly engineered products full of flaws in their computer code, opportunities will abound to create openings for digital weapons and spy tools, and the NSA is not likely to stop hoarding software vulnerabilities any time soon. And as long as people and companies fail to properly patch their systems and adopt cybersecurity best practices, more sophisticated and damaging attacks of this kind will be likely.

No comments:

Post a Comment



Blog Archive