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Monday, April 9, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for 4-5-2018

Apple is moving on from Intel because Intel isn’t moving anywhere
Apple’s abandonment of Intel chips is inevitable

Apple is planning to replace Intel processors in Mac computers with its own chips starting sometime around 2020.

Apple’s decision to ditch the world’s most popular CPU line for laptop and desktop computers may seem radical, but there are a number of key factors that actually make it obvious and unavoidable.

Attend any major tech exhibition and you’ll find Intel announcing or reannouncing MILDLY improved processors.  It’s all painfully incremental and out of sync with Apple’s product cadence. Apple will give you, at most, two years with an iPhone before enticing you into upgrading, whereas Intel is trying to convince people with PCs that are half a decade old to do the same.

The infamous Moore’s Law sputtered to an end back in 2015. Intel is approaching the limits of what’s possible to achieve with silicon, and it hasn’t yet figured out its next step.

Apple’s moving on because Intel’s standing still.

Apple’s overriding ambition is to control every last minute aspect of its products.


How to update the Apple HomePod's software
Apple just released the first software update for the HomePod. Here's how to update your speaker.


Did the Apple HomePod update dampen that wall-shaking bass?

It seems Apple has dialled back the bass somewhat during music playback, while mid-range sound is more prominent. Some users aren’t pleased, saying it sounds dull, while others seem to think bass is more nuanced as a result of the update.


HomePod owners say firmware update alters sound quality

But they disagree on whether it’s better for worse.

The general consensus among detractors is that the firmware, while delivering a more prominent mid-range, noticeably degrades bass impact and loudness. These same people assert bass-heavy tracks lack the punch afforded with HomePod's original software, leaving them with a dull-sounding speaker.

However, for every disgruntled user who decries HomePod's software update, there seems to be another dissenting voice extolling the new version's boost to bass fidelity and loudness. Still more say there is no discernible difference between the two firmware releases.


20 years ago, Apple killed the Twentieth Anniversary Mac

An interesting tidbit of Apple history.

Don't remember this $7,499 Mac from the '90s? Check out the gallery and video.


How Apple's Education Devices Changed Through the Years


Apple and education: Four decades of highs and lows


The new iPad 2018 teardown proves you should get AppleCare+

The new iPad 2018 is the cheapest way to get an Apple Pencil-compatible tablet, but you'll still want to safeguard this one because it's not easy to repair.

Apple's six-generation iPad scored a two out of ten for reparability, according to the teardown experts at iFixit.

AppleCare+ is an easy sell for two reasons: repairability is clearly a factor and Apple is not charging a lot anymore for this extended warranty program.


On a tight tech-buying budget, one reporter compares Chromebooks and iPads

As the Chromebook-vs.-iPad debate rages, I must confess I am conflicted.

These two kinds of low-cost, ultraportable computers couldn’t be more different — which is why both fascinate me.

I can do my entire day job using a Chromebook. As a digital producer and website minder at the Pioneer Press, I use tools that are mostly web-based. This means I can hook up a Chromebook to a monitor in my home office when I am telecommuting, add a standalone keyboard and mouse, and get to work.

A Chromebook would not work as well in all professions, but my point is this: It is a Serious Computer. That is, Google’s Web services are Very Serious Tools, and wrapping inexpensive laptops around them makes for a streamlined yet capable computing environment that’s all many people will ever need.

The problem? Chromebooks can often be unattractive, underpowered and under-featured.

I haven’t had the new iPad long enough to definitively answer the crucial question: Would I spend $350 of my own cash on an Apple tablet or a Google Chromebook such as the Acer Spin 11?

But it is hard to imagine I’d go Chromebook with the choices laid out before me — The iPad is just too dang appealing.


Apple iPad (2018) review: pencil it in

Apple’s bare minimum still beats everybody else.

There isn’t a single viable competitor to the iPad. It is the only good tablet for less than four or five hundred bucks.

The new, sixth-generation iPad has two new features compared to last year’s model: support for the $99 Apple Pencil and a faster processor, the A10 “Fusion.” Everything else — and I mean everything — is exactly the same as last year.


Apple's latest iPad may be boring, but it's the perfect tablet for most people

I've spent the last week using the newest iPad with an Apple Pencil, and it's already filled a technology gap I didn't even know I had.


Review: 2018 iPad with Apple Pencil support might replace your iPad Pro


Apple 2018 iPad review: OK for schools, great for everyone else


2018 iPad teardown finds few major changes beyond A10 Fusion processor, Apple Pencil support

The teardown finds that the biggest changes featured in the new iPad are the upgraded, Apple A10 fusion processor, as well as support for Apple Pencil, which previous standard iPad editions lacked.


Compared: 2018 iPad shows how far Apple has progressed versus the original iPad in eight years

A pretty detailed comparison of five different models of iPad.

In seven years the iPad has improved its processing power tenfold, with it also having eight times the RAM and double the pixel density of the original release.


Compared: 2018 iPad with Apple Pencil support vs 2017 iPad and iPad Air 2

A pretty detailed comparison of four different models of iPad.


Apple’s less powerful iPad mini 4 is $70 more expensive than the new iPad


Apple Pencil with Pages: Pretty cool, but what about handwriting recognition?

the Apple Pencil works very fluently with Pages.

Which brings us to perhaps the biggest strength of the Apple Pencil in Pages – what Apple terms Smart Annotations.

It does sketching well and is a dab hand at writing, so what were we missing in the Pencil-flavoured avatar of Pages? Well, it is an old complaint we have had: the absence of handwriting recognition.


Victim’s Apple Watch data used as evidence in murder trial


At Apple’s special education event, one of the announcements the company made was the death of iBooks Author. Book creation has now been folded into Pages, a surprise move that actually makes sense.

Creating books in Pages can be done on both macOS and iOS.

It turns out that iBooks Author is here to stay, and the new eBook features in Pages won’t replace it.


Apple’s bringing digital book creations to the Pages app on the iPad

Apple’s education event focused on the new $299 iPad, designed as its most “affordable” device with Apple Pencil support. It’s also updating its Pages app to bring a new digital book creation tool to let educators and students make books together.


iWork Apps Add Apple Pencil Support, Pages Gains Ebook Creation Features

First up, all three iWork apps — Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — gain Apple Pencil support on the iPad.


Apple announces new versions of iWork with Apple Pencil integration, built in book authoring

With the new updates, users will be able to add drawings and annotations to Keynote, Numbers and Pages documents just by writing on it with the Apple Pencil stylus.


Making The Grade: Why Apple’s education strategy is not based on reality

Apple said “Anyone can create stunning interactive books.”

Who’s anyone? Which teacher has time to make custom books for his or her class? One of the things I’ve become concerned about is the number of items we tend to keep adding to a teacher’s plate. They have to manage a classroom of 15–30 kids, understand all of the material they teach, learn all of the systems their school uses, handle discipline issues, grade papers, and help students learn.

When do we start to take things off of a teacher’s plates? When do we give them more hours in the day?

Apple should have bought a major textbook company to create great books for the iPad. Imagine if Apple had bought a major textbook publisher in 2012, recreated all of their books in iBooks Author, and released them for free on the App Store. How would that have changed the marketing message to schools: Buy textbooks for $X, or buy iPad for $X and get all of your textbooks for free.


The brand new Schoolwork app was made to help teachers keep tabs on their students’ activity and assign homework.

Apple’s plan to compete with Google is all about software. And if its plan works, Apple could sell a boatload of iPads to schools—no discount required.


A brief history of the iPad, Apple's once and future tablet


Hands-On With the New Sixth-Generation iPad


Comparison: How the new 9.7-inch iPad stacks up against the iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is still better, though more expensive.  Are you surprised?


2018 iPad vs. 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro


9.7-inch iPad (2018) review: Apple’s tablet is ‘pro’ enough for many of us

The only real drawback to the new 9.7-inch iPad is that it doesn’t have a laminated display like the iPad Pro, and so you’ll see a visible gap between the display and the glass above it.


Apple announces students to get 200GB of iCloud storage for free

Apple has shared during its education event in Chicago today that student accounts through schools will now get 200GB of iCloud storage for free.


iMac Pro Review


Apple iMac Pro review: The most powerful and desirable all-in-one ever – with a price to match

Pros :
     Seriously powerful
     Stunning display



Problems with iOS 11.3


Everything Apple Announced at it's Educational Event in Under Three Minutes


Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 with Business Chat, eGPUs, Messages on iCloud, More

Apple says that the macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update improves the stability, performance, and security of your Mac, and it is recommended for all users.


How to Uninstall Annoying macOS Apps

Some apps are surprisingly hard to remove.  This article explains how to overcome the barriers.

Just bear in mind that Apple put the barriers in place for some good reasons, so you need to reactivate them after you delete those difficult apps.


Apple Releases iOS 11.3, macOS 10.13.4 Updates to Improve Security


Some External Video Displays Don’t Work with OS 10.13.4

Unless you connect non-Apple video displays to your Mac, this bug won’t affect  you.

But if you use macOS with multiple displays and haven’t updated to 10.13.4 yet, you may want to avoid it depending on your system configuration.

To be clear: This bug does NOT exist if you connect your laptop or desktop to a GPU-driven port like mini DisplayPort. It also shouldn’t impact any displays driven by Thunderbolt; Thunderbolt is an extension of the PCI Express protocol and any display plugged into a compatible Thunderbolt port should have no problem with external connectivity. But it’s clear from reading various comments in product forums that too many people have been blindsided by this change, with no solution from Apple in sight.


Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

Apple has successfully managed big changes like this before.


How to Cancel App Store and Apple Music Subscriptions

If you want to prevent an App Store subscription from running beyond the trial period or cancel a subscription you're currently paying for, then read on.  This article explains how to cancel any App Store subscription on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV.


Apple releases tvOS 11.3

Apple has also released tvOS 11.3 today, a relatively minor update for the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K that primarily adds performance and improvements for bug fixes.


tvOS 11.3 Adds Content Filtering for Apple TV, Apple TV 4K


How to Keep Private Messages on Your iPhone's Lock Screen for Your Eyes Only

A better option is to let them keep coming through but only let yourself actually read them. This works by disabling previews on the lock screen for all apps or just specific apps, then using Touch ID or Face ID to unlock the lock screen so that you can read and reply to messages without fully unlocking your iPhone. The iPhone Xactually does this for all apps right out of the box, though, if you used a backup to set it up, it's still probably showing previews for everything.


A new backdoor which affects the Apple Mac operating system has been discovered by researchers which claim there is a link to the OceanLotus threat group.

According to researchers from Trend Micro, the MacOS backdoor is a persistent, encrypted sample of malware used for surveillance and data collection.

Note:  Trend Micro sell anti-virus and anti-malware products.


Interesting Video:
Want to buy this lovingly curated collection of classic computers?

Benj Edwards has lovingly saved, restored and cared for roughly 300 classic computers since age 12.

As curator of his own computer museum, he could provide context for future generations seeking to understand HIS computing era.

Read more here:


How to See the Apps Tracking You on Facebook — and Block Them

Options are available to those who refuse to simply wait around while Facebook gets its collective act together.

For starters, stop using the “log in with Facebook” option after downloading an app. It may take a bit longer to create a new account, but the app won’t get instant access to private information from your Facebook profile, which the company itself admits is what happens.

For the apps you’re already using, there’s a fairly simple process for managing the types of data they can access. Or, if you prefer, the same process always you to delete the app entirely.


Mark Zuckerberg Says Privacy Is for the Rich

So it turns out privacy is a luxury only the rich can afford. For the poors, being the product is their lot in life if they want cool tech stuff, and all this claptrap about companies not selling you is “glib” elitist nonsense. At least that’s how I’m reading Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments on the subject.

The more I learn about Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg, the more I come back to this: Mark Zuckerberg was too young to have learned the difference between what he could do and what he should do when Facebook exploded. All of the controversies that have beset Facebook in the last few years appear to stem from that basic question. Yes, we can do this, but should we?

Too often the answer to that basic question has been “No, we should not do this,” but Facebook did it anyway.


The Facebook Fiasco and Its Future

Congress wants CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before them.

UK regulators could file charges against the company.

And, worst of all, Facebook likely violated a 2011 consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to safeguard users' personal information and could be subject to trillions of dollars in fines.

What looks like a new problem is actually Facebook's business model.

Cambridge Analytica's co-founder, Christopher Wylie, for reasons no one's sure about, blew the whistle on his company after they got 270,000 Facebook users' information (obtained legally with their consent). Then through those users, the company illegally acquired personal data on 50 million of their Facebook friends.

Facebook's in trouble because its business model includes allowing advertisers and others access to its databases. That's how they sell tens of billions of dollars' worth of ads a year. Facebook is paid by advertisers because of their ability to target ads.


No One Is Safe From the Data Breach Epidemic (Infographic)

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