The MacValley blog


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Tom Briant

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for Tuesday, 5-15-2018

How to Remove GPGTools/GPGMail Encryption Plugin From Apple Mail

Security researchers are warning users of PGP/GPG email encryption plugins not to use the software, after critical vulnerabilities were discovered that could potentially be used reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails.

The official advice from security researchers is to disable and/or uninstall the affected software until the vulnerabilities are disclosed and fixes can be issued. In the meantime, users are advised to seek alternative end-to-end encrypted channels such as Signal to send and receive sensitive content.

Step-by-step instructions.


Signal update means disappearing messages no longer remain on MacOS

The encrypted messaging app Signal is wonderful — assuming it works as intended.

That last bit was thrown into question yesterday when Motherboard reported that a quirk of MacOS meant that, if you happened to be using the Signal MacOS desktop app, messages could remain on your computer even after they had been removed from the app.

Thankfully, that has now been fixed.


I asked Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant if they're spying on me — here's what they said

AW comment: Siri’s answer was the best — by far.


Alexa and Siri can hear this hidden command — But you can’t

Over the past two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.,539343


Researchers at UC Berkeley have shown they can embed within songs stealthy commands for popular voice assistants that can prompt platforms like Siri,  Alexa or Google Assistant to carry out actions without humans getting wise.

The specific research emerging from Berkeley can hide commands to make calls or visit specific websites without human listeners being able to discern them. The alterations add some digital noise but nothing that sounds like English.


How to recover a Mail folder from Time Machine in macOS

Step-by-step instructions.


'Growth has been significant': Publishers are falling in love with Apple News

• Apple News is quickly becoming a significant source of traffic for web publishers.
• Now that Apple is giving publishers more ad sales control, the hope is that revenue from the app surges.
• Ironically, Apple's closed off nature and anti-data stance are proving attractive to many in the media and ad industry wary of Facebook's recent problems.


Use the News app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch


The designer of the iconic 1980s Macintosh icons created the ultimate hipster cafe for Pinterest's San Francisco headquarters: Take a look inside

Susan Kare, the woman behind the Apple Macintosh's smiling computer icon, has lent her decades-long visual expertise and creative savvy to a new cafe located inside Pinterest's San Francisco headquarters.

Kare, a UI and graphic designer, has worked for Pinterest since 2015. She also sits on the design team of the newly-opened cafe called "The Point. "


8 reasons you should buy Apple's most basic iPad instead of an iPad Pro


How to use Apple Pencil with iWork apps
Learn how to use Apple Pencil to create drawings, as well as mark up and annotate documents, presentations, and spreadsheets created in iWork apps for iOS.


A 'technologically illiterate' New Yorker illustrator explains why he finally started drawing on an iPad

Mark Ulriksen is an artist who has been called "maybe the most prolific painter and illustrator in San Francisco."

He usually works in acryclic and gouache paint, but last October, he started creating art on an iPad Pro.

Ulriksen is just one of a new batch of professional artists who have embraced tablets like Apple's iPad and its Pencil stylus to make illustrations easier, faster, and more ready for the computers and screens most art is consumed on these days.

There was also a professional reason: the world is going digital.


WeatherKit for iPhone and iPad is a beautiful forecasting app for everyone

You can't go wrong opting for Dark Sky, Weather Underground, or AccuWeather. They all have great features.

WeatherKit, or Aerium as it used to be called, is meant to be a general purpose weather app for everyone. It doesn't have quite as many features as some other apps do, but it is designed to present the information that you need, clearly, accurately, and with a beautiful layout.


How a parent can take some control of kids’ iPhone, iPad and iPod use

Here’s some advice on how to configure iOS features to restrict what your kids can be exposed to when they’re on the internet.


Which iPad to Actually Buy (and the Ones to Avoid)

Best overall is the 9.7 inch iPad for $329.

The ultimate iPad is the 10.5 inch iPad Pro for $649.

This article also tells you which three models of iPad to avoid.


iPads Help to Save Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Costs & Labor Hours, According to Construction Company

According to Todd Wynne, iPads solved a problem in the construction industry:  Making sure that all construction employees had easy access to up-to-date drawings.  They also vastly reduced paperwork.  Documents that could be accessed with iPads did not need to be printed on paper.


How to Stop Your Apple Watch From Launching the 'Now Playing' App When Audio Plays on Your iPhone

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


How I use my iPad: Save Images – a free Safari image downloader [Video]


One way to use an iPad as a display for a headless Mac
It involves screen sharing and a third-party VNC app.


10 iPhone features I can't live without


Apple Watch: How to use Theater Mode

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


Apple Watch: How to enable Water Lock mode

The Apple Watch Series 2 and later have a nifty little feature called Water Lock mode. These Apple Watches are able to be submerged under water and still be okay.

With Water Lock mode, it will disable all hardware buttons and the Apple Watch’s display to prevent accidental taps and clicks.

Detailed step-by-step instructions.


HomePod Diary: A second one just replaced the Sonos Play 5 in our bedroom

I said before that while HomePod doesn’t compare with true HiFi systems, it is decent quality sound, and the convenience is unbeatable.


Now is the worst time to buy any MacBook laptop from Apple

The current MacBook Pro models have unreliable keyboards that could cost you a lot of money to repair.

The older MacBook Pro model you can buy, which has a better keyboard, is too old to justify its $2,000 price tag.

MacBooks are extremely light and portable, but they have the unreliable keyboard, and they're expensive for their performance.

This article has a section on what you should do if you need a new MacBook laptop right now.


Apple hit with lawsuit over the “completely reinvented” Macbook keyboard it rolled out back in 2015

According to a complaint lodged in the Northern District Court of California, “thousands” of MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops produced in 2015 and 2016 experienced failure owing to dust or debris that rendered the machines useless.

More than 17,000 people signed a petition demanding that Apple recall all MacBooks with butterfly switch keyboards.


HSBC Becomes Latest Bank to Embrace Face ID Login

HSBC has become the latest financial services organization to let iPhone X users login to their corporate accounts using Face ID.

In announcing the support, the bank emphasized Face ID’s security, repeating Apple’s talking points that the system establishes a 3D map of a user’s face using a 30,000-point grid, and that it’s accurate to one in a million users.


What’s the best photo management solution? Google Photos or iCloud Photos?

Apple’s iCloud is better, but Apple will charge you a monthly fee if you store more than 5 Gb of data on iCloud.  It doesn’t take that many photos to add up to 5Gb.

Google Photos is free to use.  But don’t forget Google Photos privacy problem. Some people are concerned about uploading their entire photo library to a company who makes money on advertising.

I’ve always been a huge fan of cloud-managed photo systems.

While I have all my photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library (the 2TB plan), I also still use Google Photos as well.


The iMac’s lasting legacy
The iMac's influence reaches far beyond the desktop, or even the PC.

The iMac signaled how important the all-in-one philosophy was to the future of Apple. Fast forward 20 years and not only is the all-in-one iMac now the stalwart of Apple’s desktop line, but the rest of the company’s products have followed suit.

Perhaps the most significant and lasting effect of the original iMac was that it cemented Apple’s place as a trendsetter.


imac pro + hasselblad h6d photo review: antarctica

A spectacular article by photographer Austin Mann.

Austin Mann, who is known for the in-depth camera reviews he conducts on each new iPhone iteration, this week shared his thoughts on the iMac Pro after using the machine to edit photos and videos shot with a Hasselblad camera after visiting South America and Antarctica.

Mann's review focuses heavily on the experience of editing with the iMac Pro rather than on raw speed and performance alone, making it an interesting look at how the iMac Pro performs on a day to day basis in a photography workflow.


Steve Jobs changed the face of Apple and retail forever on May 15, 2001


This brainstorming strategy helped Steve Jobs generate his most creative ideas

Want to have creative ideas?  Take a walk!!


Black dot bug hits iPhone: How to fix if this emoji breaks your iMessages
The string of text and emojis can cause your iMessages to freeze, but it is fixable.


'Black spot of death': Destructive message spreads to iMessage on iPhone, after WhatsApp bug

A small message is spreading around iPhones and forcing them to break.

The text – known as the "black spot of death" because it arrives in the form of a dark, circular emoji – has hit iMessage and will cause problems for any phones that receive it.

The message is known by the black dot, and makes it look like that is to blame. But in fact the black dot is only hiding the true attack: contained within it are a series of HTML characters that can't be handled by the phone, and so cause it to break down.

It appears to have started on WhatsApp for Android, where it initially spread quickly. But it has now been found to hit iMessage on the iPhone, too.

There is a way to get around the problems that it causes for iPhones, but it is not especially easy.


The ‘Black spot of death' bug is similar to the  Telagu Indian character bug that Apple patched earlier this year, and is yet another in  a long series of bugs that have plagued iOS 11 since its release back in September of last year.


Apple has removed a bunch of apps in the App Store that send location data to third parties without obtaining user consent

The crackdown is happening just weeks before Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. However, it's not certain whether GDPR is Apple's motivation or whether it's just the company enforcing its own rules.


Apple reportedly removing apps that share location data with third parties
Developers must remove violations before they can resubmit their apps for review.


16 online classes that teach the skills you need for the modern workforce — each for just $10


I make my kids do chores for screen time

I came up with a system that's proven to be very successful with my two kids, ages 6 and 8. Instead of blindly handing over the iPad whenever they ask for it, I make them earn their screen time by completing chores.

Each child is given a list of age-appropriate chores.

At first, my kids were not thrilled with having to pay for screen time, but they quickly learned that if they really wanted something, they were going to have to work for it. This applies to all aspects of life, and I'm glad they're learning this important lesson at a young age.


Bill Gates And Steve Jobs Limited Their Kids’ Tech Use, Which Should Be A Giant Hint To The Rest of Us

Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs, fully knew the power of the devices they created — and made sure their kids didn’t get too much exposure too soon.


John McAfee said Anti-Virus software no longer works.

He said that 99% of hacking today is “social engineering”.


A federal appeals court sided with the Fourth Amendment by ruling that U.S. border officials must have individualized suspicion of wrongdoing before attempting to search the cell phones and electronic devices of travelers. The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings which recognize that the rules which govern invasive searches of digital devices and data must be updated.

The ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are currently engaged in a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of 11 people who had their phones and laptops stolen and searched by federal agents when coming home to the United States. The lawsuit is attempting to force the courts to require a warrant based on probable cause before searching travelers and violating their Fourth Amendment rights.


From Spotify to Instagram, the entire internet is now a dating site

Platforms for networking, blogging and more do double duty as stealth matchmakers


When 'Grandma-Proof' Android Spyware Is Good Enough For International Espionage

Many mobile surveillance tools flogged to governments for hundreds of thousands of dollars are much the same as so-called "spouseware"—home surveillance programs aimed at helping people spy on loved ones that can be purchased for less than $100.

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