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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Round-up for 12/26/2017


My Must-Have iOS Apps, 2017 Edition
This author presents the 75 apps that he considers his must-haves – – no web services, just apps for iPhone and iPad. 
Apple App Store changes could save gamers money
Changes to Apple’s iOS App Store could force some game developers to stop taking advantage of their customers through addictive, and sometimes necessary purchases to complete games.
Apple changed the requirements for games that offer “loot boxes” as in-app purchases. The changes mean developers are required to show the odds of receiving certain items in the loot box prior to purchase.
Loot boxes have been one of the most prominent methods game developers have used to monetize their games, and stories of players shelling out thousands of dollars on free-to-play games aren’t uncommon.
Defined as randomized virtual items for purchase, loot boxes vary from game to game, but traditionally they offer aesthetic items for the user, as well as “power-ups” or stronger items to help with tougher levels.
Apple now requires App Store games with loot boxes to list odds
Update to iOS rules also touches on VPN services, cryptocurrency apps.

9to5Mac was among the first sites to dig into the rules update and pick out the big changes, and it found that Apple has opted to use the term "loot boxes," which it defines as "mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase.”
Apple has beaten Google to the punch in announcing this kind of loot-box odds rule, as Android's Google Play contains no such rules or requirements.
Top 10 Tablets For You To Buy In 2018
Six of the tablet computers are Apple products.
iPhone X users can’t use Face ID to approve family purchases
However, given that Apple's facial recognition system can be fooled by children, maybe that is a good thing, especially if your child is trying to buy stuff.
The iPhone X’s Face ID can’t approve family purchases, and no one knows why
Users are frustrated because equivalent functionality was available on Touch ID devices, and that functionality has been lost in the transition to the iPhone X. Face ID can be used as an authentication method for other purchases, just like Touch ID before it—but Touch ID also worked for "Ask to Buy," and Face ID doesn’t.
Apple has said that Face ID is most likely to be fooled by a close family member who bears a strong physical resemblance to the face data stored on the device.
Changing your Apple ID sounds scary, but don't let it intimidate you

Here's the page about how to change your Apple ID:

Here's the page on how to sign into devices and services after the change:
Apple's Newest Mac Pro Turns Four Years Old
This is why I use an iPhone instead of Android, but a Windows PC instead of a Mac
Apple's iOS is still the best, most useful, and most usable smartphone operating system in the world.
But Apple's savvy investments in iOS seem to be leaving the Mac business as an afterthought - alienating Mac loyalists.
On the other hand, Microsoft famously missed the boat on smartphones.  This has turned into somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the Windows PC: With no new platform to jump to, Microsoft basically has no choice but to improve Windows 10 across both PCs and tablets.
Apple is known as the designer of the slickest devices in the world, but the Windows ecosystem is closing the gap.  Meanwhile, the Mac has stagnated.  Much of Apple's Mac hardware line hasn't been refreshed in a while, and even if it had been, Microsoft is pulling ahead in operating system innovation.
I'm not saying I'd never use a Mac again. I used MacBooks for years, and found them to be darn fine computers. But if you're interested in the future of computing, it's happening in Windows 10 and in iOS, not in the Mac.
The Best 2017 Apps on iOS
Make your new Mac more useful with these essential apps
Best free iPad apps 2018: the top titles we've tried
This article covers a lot of apps.
Just got an iPhone for Christmas? Download these apps!
Some of the best apps for your new Apple Watch
Quick Start and Set up with Device dramatically simplifies setting up new Apple devices
Receiving a new iPhone or iPad as a gift is a wonderful thing, but setting up a new device has historically been a chore. Manually pairing accessories, joining Wi-Fi networks, remembering which password goes with which account, and the ever-increasing steps required to actually use your shiny new toy make up the worst first world problems.

The good news is Apple has acknowledged this pain point and created a dramatically simpler way to pair or upgrade new products including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and AirPods.
How to Set Up Your New iPhone or iPad Using Automatic Setup
Automatic Setup will pop up automatically, but there are some steps to follow to get everything transferred over.
How to Erase Your Old iPhone or iPad Before Selling It or Trading It In
Step-by-step instructions.
10 tips and tricks for your new iPhone X
After unboxing that shiny new iPhone X, try these tips to learn the ropes and get the most out of your new phone.
This web page has links to several articles.  Each article explains how to use one feature of your new iPhone.
If you didn't get an iPhone X or an iPhone 8 this year and don't have plans to purchase a new Apple mobile device soon, check out how to refresh your iPhone.
How to Turn Off Face ID With a Siri Voice Command
As reported by Reddit, all your have to do is say “Hey Siri, whose phone is this?” and Face ID will switch off automatically—this also works for Touch ID on older iPhones. Once you’re in the clear, just say “Hey Siri, goodbye” to switch it back on.
How and where to replace your old, depreciated iPhone battery
If you are a techie, this article has pretty detailed instructions, and a link to a youtube video from MaxFixIt with very in-depth instructions.
The article says you can also have Apple replace your battery for you.  If it’s not covered by AppleCare, the cost is $79.
Apple’s iPhone Debacle Doesn’t Prove It Deliberately Slowed Older Phones
Changes to iOS can reduce older device performance, even if this outcome is unintentional.
There’s no evidence that Apple’s previous conduct or operating system optimizations were intended to slow down its older products, but perception, as they say, is 9/10 of reality, and the perception of this problem has often been that it validates everything people ever said about Apple deliberately sabotaging older phones.
The man who uncovered Apple's software slowdown explains why you should still update your phone
Apple made a controversial decision to slow processing power to make sure older phones don't unexpectedly shut down.
John Poole told CNBC that while Apple could have been more transparent with the changes to its software, it may not be the best idea for iPhone owners to skip future updates.
Poole said Apple's approach to fixing the issue was reasonable, but the messaging was off. Apple could have avoided a lot of backlash, he said, by using phone messages or a toggle feature to alert users to the condition of their handsets.
The iPhone X is the best iPhone yet because it gets out of your way
By returning to an older iPhone, I realized just how much better the iPhone X is.
Remote Tech Support: Best ways to screen share on iOS, macOS, and more
Five different ways to let other people see your screen over the internet.
Apple ignored a major HomeKit security flaw for six weeks
Locks, cameras and lights were open to attackers.
Back in October a developer uncovered a huge vulnerability which essentially meant a stranger, with some basic tech know-how and an Apple Watch, could waltz right on in to your home. And Apple has only just [shortly before 2017-12-21] fixed it.
HomeKit was sharing data on HomeKit accessories and encryption keys over insecure sessions with Apple Watches running watchOS 4.0 or 4.1, which essentially gave control of every HomeKit accessory (locks, cameras, lights) to any unscrupulous Apple Watch wearer.
HomeKit is sold on the bold claim that you can entirely trust your home to Apple.
How to Set Up Your New AirPods
Step-by-step instructions.
Apple AirPods: 9 tips for making the most of your new earbuds
You must “pair” or connect AirPods with the device you want to use them with, very likely an iPhone, just as you must do with any Bluetooth speaker. Fortunately, Apple made the process fast and easy.  Details are in the first tip of this article.
Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your New AirPods
Detailed step-by-step instructions to do several different things.
What to Buy With the iTunes Gift Card You Unwrapped Christmas Day
Lots of good ideas.
A doomed-but-revolutionary operating system spearheaded by Steve Jobs will be free to download in 2018
The LISA operating system.  The graphical user interface that Apple wrote before the first Macintosh OS.
Nearly 35 years ago, in January 1983, Apple released the Lisa, the first computer for the workplace with a graphical user interface. The Lisa was a famous flop, but it's still an important moment in Apple history.
Soon, you'll be able to try Lisa's pioneering operating system for yourself: In 2018, the Computer History Museum will release the code behind the Apple Lisa operating system for free as open source, for anyone to try and tinker with.
Science Says Fitness Trackers Don’t Work.  Wear One Anyway.
The fact is, most existing studies on fitness trackers hinge on devices that are several years old.
Fitness trackers have turned into wildly capable machines.
The software's gotten better, too, along with user experience. Collecting information is one thing. Presenting it in a way people find comprehensible, motivating, and actionable is another.
Woman Surmounts Rare Vision Impairment
At 16, Alyssa Padmos was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a rare inherited degenerative retinal disorder that affects the center of a patient’s vision.
Padmos equates it to looking through a pair of glasses with a large, opaque smudge in the center of each lens, allowing you to see clearly only using peripheral vision.

The doctor “comes in and basically goes, ‘Well, your life is over.
Everything she’s done since then has proved that doctor wrong — and it hasn’t been an easy feat.
Technology has provided some relief.  “My iPad is my best friend,” she said.  Thanks to the Apple Pencil, she can draw again by zooming in on the lines.
Despite being legally blind, she’s been able to live a full life.
5 Best mobile security apps in Android & iOS
Stop malware from taking over your smart phone.
H3lix iOS 10.3.3 Jailbreak for iPhone & iPad Released – Here’s How to Use it
AW comment:
Jailbreaking an iPhone is — for most people — more trouble than it’s worth.  But if you have enough technical knowledge, it might be worthwhile.
iOS 11 Jailbreak is Now Available for Download
But its usability is limited, because apps that were made specifically to work on jailbroken iPhones have not been updated to 64 bit.
This is, of course, expected to change.
LiberiOS iOS 11 Jailbreak Hits iPhone 8 And iPhone X, Here's How To Install It

The first iPhone X jailbreak is available right now, but it’s not all good news
There’s hardly a reason to jailbreak the iPhone if you ask me, but there are plenty of people who think otherwise.
iOS 11 jailbreak release date, news: Saurik confirms working on Cydia update on latest OS version
Saurik, also known by his real name Jay Freeman, revealed in a Reddit post that the Cydia software is on its way to being upgraded for iOS 11 compatibility. Using Cydia to jailbreak the iOS is the most popular method among developers and ordinary users alike, and Saurik's announcement gave renewed hope that the seemingly un-jailbreakable iOS 11 has its weak spots, and Saurik might be the only person that can exploit these weaknesses.
3 things Guy Kawasaki learned from working with Steve Jobs
Watch the video and read the article.
Latency: why typing on old computers just feels better
What does “latency” mean?  It’s how much time from when you press a key on your keyboard until the letter you typed appears on your screen.
AW comment:
The latency that the author wrote about doesn’t seem to be a problem on my iMac.
Facebook Can Now Find Your Face, Even When It’s Not Tagged
Any time someone uploads a photo that includes what Facebook thinks is your face, you’ll be notified even if you weren’t tagged.
Facebook users in Canada and the European Union are excluded. The social network doesn’t use facial-recognition technology in those regions, due to wariness from privacy regulators.

How good is Facebook’s facial-recognition technology? Among the best in the world.
How the net neutrality repeal will hurt small businesses — including anyone who sells things on sites like Ebay
18 state Attorneys General are suing the FCC over the repeal.
Net Neutrality – The End of Google’s Biggest Subsidy
Lost in all of the theoretical debate about how evil ISPs will create a have/have-not divide in Internet access, is the reality that it already exists along with massive subsidies to the biggest bandwidth pigs on the planet – Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix and the porn industry.
Net Neutrality took pricing of bandwidth out of the hands of consumers.  It handed the profits from it to Google, Facebook and all the crappy advertisers spamming video ads, malware, scams, and the like everywhere.
The price paid to deliver advertisements, i.e. Google’s cost of goods sold (COGS), thanks to Net Neutrality, was held artificially low.  And Google, Facebook and the Porn Industry pocketed the difference.
Net Neutrality not only subsidized intrusive advertising, phishing scams and on-demand porn but also the very censorship these powerful companies now feel is their sacred duty to enforce because the government is now controlled by the bad guys.
Net Neutrality was a trojan horse designed to replicate the old shout-based advertising model of the golden age of print and TV advertising.  It was a way to control the megaphone and promote a particular point of view.
Activists want to fight sex trafficking by changing a key Internet law

Many technology companies consider Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be a foundation of the Internet economy. The 1996 law gives website owners broad immunity for content submitted by users. Advocates say that allows websites to host a wide variety of user-generated content without worrying about getting sued.

Now, Congress is considering the first significant change to the law in its 21-year history. Critics say certain websites have hidden behind the law while publishing ads for the sexual exploitation of children. Activists are pushing for legislation that would carve out a sex trafficking exception to Section 230, allowing state prosecutions and private lawsuits against websites that host ads for sex with children.
The debate over the legislation has focused almost entirely on one website:
In 2015, Congress amended sex trafficking laws to make advertising underage sexual services a crime. This provision was widely viewed as a Backpage killer.

Two years later, federal prosecutors don't seem to have used this new law yet.
Defenders of Section 230 also question whether shutting down a site like Backpage would actually help victims of trafficking.
Backpage's critics have made much of how reports of online sex trafficking have skyrocketed in recent years. That might be because the problem has gotten worse. But another possibility, Levy points out, is that Backpage has made it easier for the authorities to find out about trafficking incidents and do something about them.
How do you change the most important law in Internet history? Carefully
Op-ed: Changes to law shielding websites from liability for user posts should be minor.

Congress has spent much of the past year grappling with a heartbreakingly difficult issue: victims who are prohibited by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from suing the websites where they were sex-trafficked.
Twenty-six words within Section 230 shield websites from many types of claims arising from user content: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” 
I’m writing a book about Section 230 for Cornell University Press, titled The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet. The title is not an overstatement. Without Section 230, it is difficult to conceive of social media, consumer review sites, and other user-focused online platforms existing in their current forms.
If Section 230 is standing in the way of [allowing sex trafficking victims to sue], Congress should craft an exception that targets bad actors without causing a chilling effect on legal content entirely unrelated to sex trafficking.
The members of Congress who have proposed legislation to address this problem have shown great compassion for victims of these horrific crimes while also understanding the need to preserve the core protections that Section 230 has provided. Although their bills differ in terms of how to structure the exception for sex trafficking, it has been heartening to observe members and staffers from the House and Senate work thoughtfully to address this problem.
Who’s doing Google and Facebook’s dirty work?
If the tech giants are the landowners of cyberspace, we’re the tenant farmers. And it involves a lot of muck.
Major advertisers decided that they didn’t want their ads running alongside beheading videos, for example. And social media executives found themselves being hauled up before Congress, castigated by European politicians and threatened with dire consequences unless they cleaned up their act.
Alarmed by this, the companies have been bragging about the number of extra staff they are recruiting to deal with the problem.
Until now we knew almost nothing about the circumstances under which the content-moderation that keeps Facebook and Google sanitised is carried out.
Reviewing abusive videos can have traumatic psychological consequences.  Many moderation “contractors” are paid $0.02 for each image reviewed.
Welcome to the dark underbelly of our networked world. There’s no such thing as a free lunch: online “safety” comes at a price.
Edward Snowden’s New App Uses Your Smart Phone to Physically Guard Your Laptop Computer
But you can’t buy it yet.
Edward Snowden and his friends have a solution. The NSA whistleblower and a team of collaborators have been working on a new open source Android app called Haven that you install on a spare smartphone, turning the device into a sort of sentry to watch over your laptop.
Haven is NOT available for you to use yet.  It is still in early development. There are still kinks that need to be worked out, plenty of bugs that need to be fixed, and plenty of features that would make it more useful and more reliable.
Snowden is helping to develop the software through a project he leads at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which receives funding from The Intercept’s parent company.
Also collaborating on Haven is the Guardian Project, a global collective of mobile security app developers.
It’s important to lock down your Haven phone. Lock your phone with a strong passcode or password, and make sure your phone is encrypted.  This will prevent a hacker from defeating Haven by accessing your phone.
Edward Snowden created an app that turns smartphones into security systems aimed at thwarting spies
But you can’t buy it yet.
Edward Snowden is best known for revealing the spy programs of the US's National Security Agency, but his next project is intended to make citizens feel more secure.

It's an app, called Haven, that's designed to turn Android phones into all-in-one anti-spy systems.
The idea is simple: You install the app on a cheap "burner" phone — one that can be thrown away — and then set up the phone in a place you want to monitor.
"We designed Haven as a tool for investigative journalists, human-rights defenders, and people at risk," Snowden says in a video introducing the app.
He added: "Haven makes it harder to silence citizens — raids, searches, arrests — without getting caught in the act."

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