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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Saturday 12-16-2017

Apple released iOS 11.2.1, the eighth official update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.2.1 comes a week and a half after the release of iOS 11.2, the second major update to the iOS 11 operating system, which brought Apple Pay Cash, faster 7.5W wireless charging, and a long list of bug fixes.
Following the update, the HomeKit vulnerability is fully patched and remote access for shared users has been reinstated.
Apple releases promised iOS 11.2.1 and tvOS 11.2.1 update, restoring shared HomeKit access
The fix to both iOS and tvOS is a restoration of shared Home access, after an issue with HomeKit posed a threat to smart door locks and garage door openers. At the time, Apple implemented a temporary fix by disabling remote HomeKit access to certain users —which it said would be restored in a future software update.
Remember to check this web site every day for new bargains on apps for iPhone and iPad.
10 iPhone texting tips you'll wish you'd known all along
AppleCare costs more for an iPhone X than a $13,000 iMac Pro
The only cheap thing about the iMac Pro
AppleCare Plus costs:
$169 for the iMac Pro
$249 for the MacBook
$199 for the iPhone X

How to Accept or Reject Money from Friends & Family
If you're worried about money appearing on your Apple Pay Cash card unwarranted, like if you gave someone a gift and they try to pay you for it anyway, for example, you can set yourself up to manually review each payment before accepting.
Last week, a Google security researcher announced that he’d be releasing the goods that are needed to jailbreak the latest iPhones.
Jailbreaking is just a method of exploiting a vulnerability in Apple’s mobile operating system that gives an iPhone the ability to install any app you like, customize the interface, run emulators, and basically do anything that Apple has decided it doesn’t like. We haven’t seen a major public jailbreak since iOS 10 for several reasons, so when Google’s Ian Beer announced that he’d be releasing the necessary tools to crack open the iPhone, the jailbreak community rose from its grave in anticipation.
Generally, this is going to be of most interest to tinkerers.  But there are also people out there who just like to make devices do things they aren’t supposed to do.
How to force close apps on iPhone X
With Apple's removal of the home button on iPhone X, the company had to translate a few user interface controls into onscreen gestures, including a new swipe and tap system for force closing troublesome apps.
Shapr3D Brings Powerful 3D CAD Modeling to iPad Pro
One of the big differences between Shapr3D and other mobile CAD tools is that everything runs locally on the iPad Pro. There is no pushing files or rendering jobs up to cloud, and it also runs offline without an internet connection.
The Basic version is free to all users. The PRO version of the software is free of charge for individual students, teachers and faculty members from any accredited educational institution. Getting the PRO version license only takes three easy steps after downloading the app to the iPad Pro (
“The barrier to entry with CAD software is high in the case of traditional CAD tools that are complicated and expensive. We want to make 3D CAD modeling available for all creative professionals, and now, all you need is an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil and some inspiration,” said Istv├ín Csanady, Founder and CEO of Shapr3D.
“Finding a way to do professional-grade 3D modeling natively on a mobile app has been the something that so many in the industry have been striving for,” said Gavin Bridgeman, CTO at Tech Soft 3D.
Apple’s new iMacPro has an impressive 200%-300% speed bump.
I received a pelican case from Apple with a very special Mac inside of it…  It was an iMac Pro configured as a 10 Core 3GHZ Intel Xeon W, 2TB SSD, 128 GB RAM, Vega 64 Radeon.
ONE question that I needed to answer:  how fast is this thing?
I found a very consistent set of results:  a 2X to 3X boost in speed.
If you’re debating whether or not to purchase the iMac Pro you should ask yourself just one question:  how much is your time worth to you?
After just under a week I can tell you that I won’t be using any other mac anytime soon.
AW comment:
Most people use their computers in ways
that don’t need much computing power.
A lower cost iMac can keep up with their
needs easily, so the iMac Pro’s super-
power won’t benefit them much. Certainly
not enough to justify the high price tag.
Power users (such as the author of this
article) make much greater demands on
their computers, and they often have to wait
for their computers to finish tasks.
For them, the cost of waiting for a lower
cost iMac to finish its tasks can add up to
enough to justify paying for a super-fast iMac.
Should you buy an iMac Pro? Here are the reasons why and why not
Apple most powerful Mac is an attractive computer. But do you really need it?
iMac Pro: 1 Week Impressions!
iMac Pro testing shows 10-core model dramatically faster than any other Mac on intensive tasks
Two more iMac Pro impressions have been posted, with benchmarks from both showing massive gains in processing power in the iMac Pro over older models.
iMac Pro debuts custom Apple T2 chip to handle secure boot, password encryption, more
Apple's iMac Pro desktop will also sport an a new custom chip dubbed the T2, serving as a secure enclave for encrypted keys, giving users the ability to lock down their Mac's boot process and also handling system functions like the camera, audio control, and managing the solid-state hard drive.
Apple's 14- & 18-core iMac Pro configurations won't ship until 2018
Ode to the Mac mini: Craving an update for Apple's little box that can do it all
David Gewirtz was recently reminded of the Mac mini's versatility and value -- and hopes for the continuance of the model's line, going into the future.
The Mac mini doesn't use the fastest processors.  RAM maxes at 16GB, and the built-in video is not much better than meh.
That said, the Mac mini is incredibly versatile.
The Mac mini is great not because it fills a niche, but because it fills a thousand of them." I'm filling four of them, right here.
Apple Increases Mac Trade-In Values to Up to $2,500
Apple now offers customers up to $2,500, compared to up to $1,500 previously.
Apple's trade-up program is convenient, but customers can get better resale value by selling their Mac on eBay or listing it in classifieds such as Craigslist or the MacRumors Marketplace.
3 Things Retailers Need To Learn From Apple About The Experience Economy
As innovative as Apple is as a product company, so too it is as innovative as a retailer.
Here are three important lessons:
1.  Become A Place To Learn
The secret is not pushing that information out as a marketing ploy, but to use the information to draw them in.
2.  Become A Place To Gather
This is a powerful idea: the retailer as a place for people to share experiences in a community of collaboration.
In five-to-ten years every mall and every national retailer in those malls will tell a story that is community-centered, community-specific.
3.  Become A Place To Serve
The Apple sales philosophy is not to sell, but rather to help customers solve problems.
How to set up and use Apple Pay Cash on Apple Watch
You can now sync your Apple Watch with cardio gym equipment — at one US location
It’s a helpful addition, if you’re able to try it
Apple’s GymKit is here, so you can wirelessly sync fitness data between your watch and cardio machines at the gym — if you work out at Equinox or Life Time Athletic.

Equipment like treadmills are very accurate at estimating certain types of information like distance, rate, and incline, but are less precise with information like calories burned or heart rate because no one wants to take the time to input their height and weight for a 30-minute session. With GymKit, the treadmill is still responsible for keeping track of pace, incline, and distance, but the watch is responsible for calories burned and the heart rate data.
Syncing is an effortless process, and it is nice to have more detailed information for a workout. GymKit is a helpful addition; it’ll just be a while before most people get to try it.
Everything you need to know about Apple’s GymKit, now out in the US
Pair an Apple Watch with a treadmill, get better data.
GymKit is a protocol that allows Apple Watches to use NFC and Bluetooth to connect to various pieces of gym equipment. This allows the wearable and the machine to share information so you can glean more information when working out with the Apple Watch.
With GymKit, the Apple Watch can see and collect information registered by a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or stairstepper, and those machines can display accurate heart rate and calorie data during a working out.
Apple GymKit is coming to a treadmill near you
GymKit has already launched in five gyms in Australia and a couple in the U.K. It launches here in the U.S. this week, at the Life Time athletic club in Manhattan, with more spots like Equinox getting their hands on GymKit-enabled equipment in the near future. It’s a bit of a slow roll out, given the relative expense of replacing gym equipment, but it should speed up fairly quickly, as a number of equipment makers have signed on to Apple’s platform.
The Apple Watch Wants to Become the Ultimate Fitness Tracker
The Apple Watch is proving to be a formidable fitness watch appropriate for both casual exercisers and more serious athletes.
Apple Watch and GymKit:  How Apple Made Your Wrist Talk to Your Treadmill — and Why That Matters
If a treadmill could connect to your Watch, it could share information, making for a more accurate monitoring of your workout.
Using Apple Watch with Technogym, and the other equipment partners who will be coming onstream shortly, is seamless, utterly simple and works perfectly.
How to calibrate an Apple Watch for accurate pace & calorie measurements
Detailed, step-by-step instructions.
Apple releases iTunes 12.7.2 with minor bug fixes, improvements
Apple provide little in the way of detail, saying only that the update contains "minor app and performance improvements.
An architecture critic reflects on Apple Park, the most-hyped building of 2017
What should be interesting about the headquarters is how it works—the pressing question for the work environment of today: Does it foster more creativity, more wellness, less friction, less stress? Could the perfected environment make us, as workers, better? That’s a software question rather than a hardware one, unanswerable without some time and space to pad and poke and push—to assess the interaction design.
Apple expands Everyone Can Code program to almost 500,000 Chicago students
Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago will begin teaching Swift this spring, Apple said.
Swift is an open-source programming language, but primarily geared towards iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Encouraging its adoption indirectly supports Apple by fostering more apps for its devices.
macOS – A Carrier for Windows Viruses
Do Macs play a role in spreading malware? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Windows viruses don’t harm Macs, but they do pass through.  If you receive an infected e-mail from a Windows user, your Mac won’t be harmed.  But if you forward that same e-mail to another Windows user, his computer will be infected.
New MacOS malware steals bank log-in details and intellectual property
Security researchers have discovered a new, invasive OSX.Pirrit adware variant targeting Mac OS X that enables cyber-criminals to take full control of a user's Mac computer.
The malware has already infected thousands of Mac computers around the world.
Adware Maker Tries to Intimidate Security Firm with Cease and Desist Letters
Cyber-security firm Cybereason says it received multiple cease and desist letters from an Israeli company they suspect is allegedly behind the OSX/Pirrit adware strain.
New OSX/Pirrit tricks users into handing over root password.
Why Net Neutrality Was Repealed and How It Affects You
Three rules were repealed, which legalized three practices:
1.  BLOCKING:  Internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps.

2.  THROTTLING:  Service providers could not slow the transmission of data based on the nature of the content, as long as it is legal.

3.  PAID PRIORITIZATION:  Service providers could not create an internet fast lane for companies and consumers who pay premiums, and a slow lane for those who don’t.

Perhaps the repeal won’t change the direction of the internet. In November, Farhad Manjoo argued that the internet has already been dying a slow death, and that the repeal of net neutrality rules only hastens its demise.
The Biggest Tech Failures and Successes of 2017
Tech That Needed Fixing
Epic failures this year exposed your personal data to hackers, wasted your money on unnecessary or ethically dubious products and fed you misinformation.
Equifax — disastrous hacking incident
Uber — sexual harassment, evading law enforcement
Facebooka and Twitter — fake accounts
Tech That Was Fixed
On the bright side, there were high-quality products that improved your mobile life and mobile security, your gaming experiences, and your home automation.
Apple Watch — third generation — first mature and well executed smart watch
Face Recognition — some smart phones are good at this
Crooks steal car in under 60 seconds with electronic 'relay device’
West Midlands Police in the United Kingdom have released security footage of two thieves using so-called ‘relay devices’ to rob a Mercedes-Benz S-Class equipped with a proximity key from a driveway.
How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet
The most dramatic cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall.
The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans.
“These kids are super smart, but they didn’t do anything high level—they just had a good idea,” the FBI’s Walton says. “It’s the most successful IoT botnet we’ve ever seen—and a sign that computer crime isn’t just about desktop computers anymore.”

Targeting cheap electronics with poor security, Mirai amassed much of its strength by infecting devices in Southeast Asia and South America; the four main countries with Mirai infections were Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and China, according to researchers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Algorithms to Prevent Suicide Gain Traction
A growing number of researchers and tech companies are beginning to mine social media for warning signs of suicidal thoughts. Their efforts build on emerging evidence that the language patterns of a person's social-media posts, as well as the subconscious ways they interact with their smartphone can hint at psychiatric trouble.
Some mental-health professionals hope such tools could help reduce the number of people who attempt suicide, which is rising in the United States, where it is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 34.
Young people are more likely to reach out for help on social media than to see a therapist or call a crisis hotline.
Five Ways To Make Creativity A Part Of Everyday Life For Mental Health
Self-care is not selfish. On the contrary, it is a selfless thing to do, as we cannot look after others unless and until we take measures to look after our mental well-being every day.
Creativity is one such way in which we can create a happier, and a more fulfilled life.
1.  Create a space and time for it
2.  Do not expect perfection
3.  Try different things
4.  Do something with your hands
5.  Engage with the world around you
Creative thinking is not something that some people are inherently born with. It is a skill that can be developed through daily practice. It can become a way of life.

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