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Monday, July 24, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Sunday 7-22-2017

You Should Update Your Apple Devices Immediately to Fix a Major Security Flaw
Apple has released a new software update for iOS and MacOS. For users of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, downloading the patch is critical to avoiding a potential hacking.
The update fixes a key vulnerability referred to as Broadpwn.
Buried deep in Apple’s official iOS 10.3.3 security notes is something startling: iPhones have been vulnerable to hackers taking complete control of them simply via WiFi. The hack, dubbed ‘Broadpwn’
Some older iPhones aren’t protected from Broadpwn (at least not yet) because iOS 10.3.3 doesn’t work with them.
The billion-dollar palaces of Apple, Facebook and Google
There is the Foster project, Apple Park in Cupertino, 2.8m sq ft in size and reportedly costing $5bn, at its centre a mile in circumference, visible from space, a metal and glass circle that is now nearly complete. There are the planned Google headquarters in Mountain View and London by the high-ego, high-reputation pairing of Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick. Facebook has hired the New York office of OMA, the practice founded by Rem Koolhaas, to add to the Frank Gehry-designed complex in Menlo Park that was completed in 2015.
Apple Park looks like the sort of splendid monument that empires build for themselves.
If Apple Park seems aloof and extraterrestrial – despite the fact that quite a lot of its landscape is open to the public – then Facebook and Google want you to know how much, like street jugglers or mime artists, they want to engage you. But there are also similarities between all these projects, such as the all-embracing nature of their ambitions. Each campus is a self-contained universe where everything – the species of vegetation, the graphics, the food in the cafe, the programming of events, the architecture, is determined by the management.
How the iPhone Was Born: Inside Stories of Missteps and Triumphs
‘Baby Driver’ Stirs Nostalgia for iPods
macOS 10.12.6 update rolling out on the Mac App Store
Apple has released the final version of the latest macOS 10.12.6 software update. Mac users running macOS Sierra can find the update through the Mac App Store.

macOS 10.12.6 will likely be the last version of macOS Sierra before Apple ships macOS High Sierra later this fall. macOS 10.13 is currently available in both developer and public beta versions for testing.
Apple releases iOS 10.3.3 update for iPhone and iPad
Apple has released the iOS 10.3.3 software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements for all devices running iOS 10.
Bug fixes abound in macOS Sierra 10.12.6, iOS 10.3.3, and watchOS 3.2.3 updates
Apple released a slew of software updates for nearly all of its systems; you can now download macOS Sierra 10.12.6, iOS 10.3.3, watchOS 3.2.3, and tvOS 10.2.2 to any of your compatible devices.
Apple's App Store Turns 9 With Big Changes on the Horizon
Apple's big cash cow — OK, one of them — is celebrating its ninth birthday. 

The world got its first look at Apple's App Store on July 10, 2008. Since then, it's generated an estimated $100 billion in revenues, of which about $70 billion has been paid out to developers and $30 billion has gone to Apple.
Apple bans VPN-based adblockers from App Store
It's the end of the line for VPN-based adblockers that target ads in third-party apps (although, according to Apple, these apps were always on shaky ground).
The developer behind the popular adblock apps Adblock and Weblock is now finding that Apple is rejecting app updates because they violate the App Store Developer Guidelines.
Apple has been quick to point out though that contrary to earlier reports, is not a change in policy, but instead just a case of Apple enforcing existing policies.
Sarahah Is the Summer’s Smash-Hit App, But it May Not Last
Sarahah pitches itself as a social network that lets users receive anonymous messages. “Sarahah” is the Arabic word for candor or openness.
Despite its optimistic premise, users already report that the app has become a breeding ground for cyberbullying and hate speech.

If history is any lesson, that suggests Sarahah’s meteoric rise may prove unsustainable. Anonymous messaging platforms like Yik Yak, Whisper, and Secret have consistently struggled to control malicious behavior, leading to declining use and, for Yik Yak and Secret, ignominious closure.
Wacom's New Bamboo Sketch is the Perfect Stylus for iPhones and Non-Pro iPads
It isn't a better option than the Apple Pencil for iPad Pro users, but for the iPhone and other iPad models, it's worth checking out.
For iPad Pro owners, the Apple Pencil is the best stylus on the market and it's not really worth considering any alternatives, including the Bamboo Sketch. There's no comparison, especially with iOS 11 improvements that allow the Apple Pencil to be used system-wide. 

If you have the money to spend on a high-end stylus and have an iPad Pro, buy the Apple Pencil. If you don't have an iPad Pro and need a stylus that offers enough precision for note taking and fine sketching, the Bamboo Sketch is a great option.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-Inch Review: The Ecosystem That you Always Needed
With the smart keyboard and an Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro delivers on an ecosystem like no other. For starters, the Pencil delivers on precision touches and helps in making quick notes and even keynote presentations. For professional graphic designers, the Pencil will deliver on even the minutest of detailing jobs.
7 signs your design style is out of date
1. You think serifs are a thing of the past
2. Your flat design is falling flat
3. Your templates are looking like… templates
Just to name a few.
How to: turn your iPhone into a document scanner, and when you shouldn’t
Closing unused apps on your iPhone won't improve its battery life.
iPhones are very expensive but 'a safe bet,' says Woz
I always thought Apple products were supposed to be exciting, revolutionary even. The mere thought that the iPhone represents merely a safe bet borders on the depressing.

People used to buy iPhones so that they could show them off, not think of them as Linus does a blanket. 
This best-selling productivity app could change the way you take notes
Notability was voted the best note-taking app for Apple's iPad.
It’s like Google Docs, but on steroids. You can create your own sketches, use your own handwriting, and also import PDFs, photos, and website screengrabs. Once you've imported them, you can write and draw directly on them.
Notability for iPad and iPhone costs $9.99
How to Import Videos from an iPhone to a Mac
A simple five-step procedure.
iPad Pro 10.5 Review
When you take that stunning display, good battery life, the accurate Pencil and the huge number of apps available on the App Store, the iPad Pro 10.5-inch is an exciting proposition. But it’s one that won’t feel completely ready until iOS 11 hits.
The 5 Best Apps for Sketching on an iPad Pro
Even with its stunning display and intuitive Pencil stylus, you won't be able to get much out of it without finding the right drawing apps.
These five apps are the best to get you started
Photoshop Sketch
Inspire Pro
The Easiest Ways To Get Around On Your iPad
AW comment:
This article should have been called “5 Useful Hints for Your iPad”.
They’re good hints.
Using an iPad Pro as Part of a Photography Workflow
This review from Tony and Chelsea Northrup should give you a good idea of the viability of such a workflow and help you decide if now is the right time to add a dedicated tablet.
Google's Brilliant iPhone App Sucks On Android
Google’s simple yet impressive iOS app, Motion Stills, is finally available for Android users, but it’s a very different beast from the original version.
Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro (2017) review
The 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro is still expensive, but it's undoubtedly better value for money than last year's model.
Some Apple Watch Models Requiring Repair Can Be Replaced With Apple Watch Series 1 Models
So if you’re eligible and your Apple Watch needs a repair, go to your nearest store and check out if you’re up for a replacement.
Jay Blahnik on what separates Apple Watch from other fitness trackers
It's been a rough year for wrist-worn wearable activity trackers. What was once a vibrant and competitive field is now a graveyard of failed devices like the Pebble, the Basis Band, the Nike FuelBand, and many more.
Getting people to change their behavior is hard. A third of wearables users stopped using their device after six months.
Jay Blahnik, Apple's director of fitness and health, spoke about the company's design philosophy. He said the Apple Watch takes a distinct approach from other wearables.
iBooks Author vs Fake News: the fight we deserve
What news is NOT considered “fake” by anyone? News that has clear, corroborating photo, audio, or video evidence.
When the mainstream media says you did something these days, maybe you did it, or maybe you didn’t.

But when multi-media says you did something, guess what? There’s no dispute.

So when Apple CEO Tim Cook says we need to fight back against fake news, he appears to forget that Apple itself has created what ought to be one of the finest weapons against it.
The author has written many times before about the power and uniqueness that Apple’s free digital publishing software brings to anyone with a story to tell.
iBooks Author represents the evolution of storytelling for which society is longing.  And yet, Apple doesn’t promote it.
More people using software like iBooks Author means one step closer to unity, between political sides, on things that are actually true.  One step closer to retiring the term “fake news” and re-defining what it means to report information to a ever-skeptical public.  One step closer to a new definition of “book” to be carefully and thoughtfully-written text, surrounded and defined by corroborating multi-media of all types.
How to: turn your iPhone or iPad into the ultimate book reading tool
Straight out of the box, Apple's iPad is a decent reading tool — but it could be far better.
But there are some non-Apple apps that can make it a much better reading tool.
3 tricks Steve Jobs used that will help you give better presentations
How did the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs manage to get people to treat his keynote speeches like rock concerts?
Three key factors: powerful storytelling, an emotional connection and obsessive preparation.
Ditch the PowerPoint, and tell a story.
     Although presentation slides are
     is still critical, don’t treat them
     like tele-prompters that you
     read directly from.
Connect with your audience emotionally.
Rehearse twice as much as you think you need to.
How Steve Jobs Misled a Room Full of Tech Media and Changed the World
During his very first iPhone presentation at MacWorld in 2007,
Apple didn’t have a fully functional iPhone, and couldn’t get
one in time for MacWorld.
This article tells the story of how his team of experts
improvised a few partially working iPhones just barely
well enough for him to do the presentation.
Media Praise for Initial Coin Offerings Is Dangerous
It's bad enough that some investors view initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a digital get-rich-quick strategy.

But it's irresponsible for the Wall Street Journal to encourage this idea.
On July 7, WSJ ran a story on its website with the headline, "Forget an IPO, Coin Offerings Are New Road to Startup Riches.”
Bitcoin was developed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as an alternative to fiat currencies and a rigged financial system.

So Bitcoin's value derives from how well it ultimately fulfills that role.
But ICOs are very much tied to the companies that create them. If the startup fails, so will the cryptocurrency.
ICOs Are the Wild West of Startup Investing
Ethereum co-founder warns ICOs are ‘a ticking time-bomb’
Initial coin offerings (ICO) are the hot new way to raise money fast — so hot, in fact, that the co-founder of the ethereum network thinks the system needs to cool off before it implodes.
Opinion: Stay away from bitcoin and ethereum — they are complete garbage

Bitcoin is pure speculation.
I have a pretty good idea how many potatoes I can buy with my dollars next week. Bitcoins? Good luck with that.
Bitcoin and three other investments that look like classic bubbles but actually aren’t
Bottom line, Jeff Kleintop says that there doesn’t seem to be any classic bubbles forming among the ones most commonly referred to as potential candidates. “But remember that bubbles are sometimes only seen in hindsight,” he said, “which is why we always counsel diversification.”
Why bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could plunge 75% -- and still be in a bull market
According to buy-side analyst Chris Burniske, bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.14%  and the rest of crypto market could plunge 75% from these levels and still be in a bull market.
AW Comment:  A very odd way to interpret the graph of Bitcoin price vs. time.
When Bitcoin Exchanges Get Hacked, Don't Blame Bitcoin
When a Bitcoin exchange is hacked, many in the mainstream financial media assume the hack resulted from a flaw in the cryptocurrency itself. So that's the story that gets out. And the Bitcoin price falls.

Yet the Bitcoin protocol has never been hacked.

The hackers aren't attacking Bitcoin itself, but exploiting weaknesses in the security of the Bitcoin exchanges. Unfortunately, this happens with alarming frequency…

According to a report commissioned last year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, one-third of all Bitcoin exchanges were hacked between 2010 and 2015.
The frequency of Bitcoin exchange attacks is concerning, but should not be misinterpreted as a reason to dismiss Bitcoin.

That would be like giving up on the U.S. dollar because a bank was robbed. If criminals successfully rob a bank, the problem is with the bank's security, not with the money stored in the building.
"Bitcoin itself, and most of the other cryptocurrencies, have never been hacked or even really had any downtime”  said Chris Wilmer, founder of the blockchain-focused academic journal Ledger.
Credit and debit cards are not much better. In recent years, these older forms of "digital money" have become relatively easy prey for hackers.

Credit card breaches at retailers are almost routine now. There was Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) in 2013 and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) in 2014. There was Neiman Marcus and Wendy's Co. (Nasdaq: WEN) in 2016. And this year Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG), Arby's Restaurant Group, and Kmart Corp. were hit.
How to Protect Your Bitcoin from Hackers:
Bitcoin owners have several ways to store their digital currency that don't involve Bitcoin exchanges.
AW Comment:
   BitCoin has become so popular that
   it’s beginning to have trouble serving
   the needs of all its users.
   The “BitCoin Community” is arguing on
   how to change BitCoin to be able
   to serve billions more users.
   That community uses the phrase
   “Scale Up”, which comes from the
   dot-com world of companies rapidly
   growing from small to large.
END Comment.
Bitcoin's internal debate over how best to scale the cryptocurrency is coming up on a deadline in two weeks that will either resolve the issue or tear the community in half…
Nearly everyone in the Bitcoin community agrees some sort of scaling solution is needed. But they vehemently disagree on which path is the right one. And the growing uncertainty over how that debate gets resolved has put increasing pressure on the Bitcoin price.
It's possible the two warring sides will each try to implement their favored solution. That would create two incompatible versions of Bitcoin, something called a "hard fork."

Two competing versions of Bitcoin would cause havoc on the Bitcoin markets and almost surely cause a steep drop in the price of both versions.
The good news is that, if a compromise called “SegWit2x" resolves the Bitcoin civil war, the Bitcoin price will soar.
Move over Bitcoin, the blockchain is only just getting started
Bitcoin isn’t just reinventing money, it's the underlying platform being used to build a huge and versatile trust network
The blockchain is a decentralised electronic ledger with duplicate copies on thousands of computers around the world. It cannot be altered retrospectively, allowing asset ownership and transfer to be recorded without external verification.

Investors have now realised the blockchain is bigger than Bitcoin.
Tech can help us do many things — losing weight is NOT one of them
Quantifying everything [with a fitness tracker] proved one undeniable fact: Once your body adjusts your metabolic rate to your daily routine, you are in for an impossibly difficult struggle with your own DNA. We are hard-wired to store energy under a wide variety of conditions. One doctor told me, “It’s like fighting gravity.” I’m there now. And I can tell you from firsthand experience, fitness trackers have no place in this battle.
10,000 steps per day is good for you. It offers some health benefits to all but the most physically fit. But the devil is in the details. There is a huge difference between casually walking 10,000 steps and purposefully walking 10,000 steps. If you want to get measurable health, lifestyle, and fitness benefits out of walking, you need to purposefully walk, not saunter.

Purposeful walking means walking about as fast as you can.
Author’s Note: This article is about consumer-grade fitness trackers. Purpose-built sports trackers and specialized training tools are clearly useful and yield extraordinary results.
A programmer figured out how to automate his job and work 2 hours a week -- but he's not sure it's ethical
An anonymous programmer said he was starting to feel guilty about how he quietly turned his whole job into less than two hours of work a week by writing a bunch of scripts.
One programmer best summarized the Hacker News's point of view:
"The only thing he is doing wrong is under-utilizing his own talents and potential productivity, for which the optimal solution is for him to find a better job."
A famous techie created an $88 device that will let you 'hack' your car so that it can do new things
Called Panda, the device sells for $88 and can plug into a vehicle's OBDII port to access data typically only available to vehicle manufacturers. George Hotz also released a software tool called Cabana that will allow car enthusiasts to reverse engineer their cars using the data compiled by Panda.

Why would you want to do that?

The idea is to let people "hack" their cars the same way they can tinker with and customize a computer.
A male engineer explains why so many men in Silicon Valley behave so badly toward women
The big money Silicon Valley often throws at young engineers who are right out of college stimulates this "frat house" mentality.

"It's like, here you go, you're 21 years old, here's a $100,000 signing bonus," said the engineer. "Then they think they are hot sh-t. They think, 'Now people are going to respect me. Now women, who may have ignored me, they are going to respect me."

And with that, a sense of entitlement can be born.
A Gamer Channel’s Mission: Send the Trolls Packing
Every week without fail, some viewers of Misscliks, a channel on the video game streaming platform Twitch, pipe up with sexist or misogynistic comments.
What sets Misscliks apart is its response to such behavior. Whenever a sexist remark pops up, the Misscliks community quickly jumps in to explain that the channel’s mission is to be a diverse space where underrepresented gamers can feel safe from harassment and bullying. Commenters who persist are given timeouts, or sometimes banned outright.

“Misscliks is an example of a space grown from the ground up to model a different and less toxic environment,” said Naomi Clark..
Misscliks was founded in 2013 by four women in the video game and e-sports industries.
There's a reason you should be terrified of iris scanners and iPhone facial recognition – but it's not the reason you think

Experts have said that iris scanning is a far more secure form of biometric authentication than, say, voice recognition, fingerprints.
But a German hacking collective called the Chaos Computer Club fooled Samsung’s iris scanner.
The simplest way to grasp the risks associated with biometrics is by understanding that passwords are secrets and body parts are not.
Technology and hackers are engaged in a global game of cat and mouse.
iCloud security flaw put iPhone, Mac passwords at risk
The security researcher said the bug could've gained access to an entire account's iCloud Keychain.
Alex Radocea said the flaw could have let an attacker punch a hole in the end-to-end encryption that Apple uses to ensure nobody can read data as it is sent across the internet.
It's all because of a flaw in how iCloud Keychain verified device keys, which Radocea was able to bypass.
No one still thinks iOS is invulnerable to malware, right? Well, knock it off
As platform's popularity rose, so did its allure to miscreants
Malicious mobile apps in Apple's App Store are mercifully rare compared to the comparative "Wild West" of the Google Play store. However, hackers have found other ways to get malware installed.
The number of iOS vulnerabilities patched in the first quarter of 2017 is already greater than the total number of iOS vulnerabilities discovered in all of 2016. Fortunately, Apple is still very fast at patching the OS and distributing updates.
Interesting discussion on PETYA virus damage
Residents of these states are most vulnerable to identity theft
The top five states all had more than 550 complaints about identity fraud per 100,000 residents, and Florida topped the list with 1,510.
Twitter continues court battle against U.S. government over surveillance
Twitter has been publishing transparency reports since 2012 on both the governmental and nongovernmental requests its receives to remove content or disclose information about an account, among other requests. In the reports, Twitter can only use broad number ranges related to national security requests, which is an administrative subpoena from the government, and FISA warrant, which are surveillance warrants granted under the United State Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The government has argued that technology companies need to use broad number ranges because releasing data on the number of requests “would impair national security interests and is properly classified.” 

However, the judge found that the government has not yet proved that the disclosure would be a “grave and serious threat of damage to national security,” and allowed the case to move forward.
Changes to iCloud Put Apple on Collision Course With Governments Seeking Access to Encrypted Messages
Apple has sent its top privacy executives to Australia twice in the past month to lobby government officials over proposed new laws that would require companies to provide access to encrypted messages.
China’s censors have a new power — erasing images in chat before they arrive
Displays of this new image-filtering capability kicked into high gear as Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo lay dying from liver cancer and politically minded Chinese tried to pay tribute to him, according to activists and a new research report.
When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Share Your Location Using a Smartphone
All the popular location-sharing tools are limited or flawed, and in some cases broadcasting your location may not be worth the effort or worth draining your phone’s battery life. Even worse, location tracking raises numerous privacy concerns about who can snoop into your whereabouts.

Yet security experts agree that on smartphones, it is now practically impossible to stop location tracking.
The new Snapchat map has raised privacy concerns among some parents and law enforcement officials, who said it was too easy for Snapchat users to add random people as friends, which could potentially let predators track a child’s location. A Snapchat spokeswoman said it was not possible to share your location with people who are not your friends on Snapchat.
After testing location-sharing tools for two weeks, here are my suggestions for the best times to use them.
Protecting Your Computer with Free Software
Several companies offer free basic versions of their more complete security suites to home users.
Security software can help block malicious code from invading your computer, but be on guard for more socially engineered attacks from email and other online sources. has a guide to spam and phishing lures, and other threats to avoid.
People who use the “Dark Net” to do illegal drug deals on the internet are no longer safe from Police.
Police have figured out a new way to combat this crime.
One of the greatest science fiction magazines is now available for free online is now home to a collection of Galaxy science fiction magazines.
A sister publication, If Magazine, came later, which can also be found on

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