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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap for Friday 6-8-2018

Apple just updated all its operating systems (OS) and none of its hardware
The operating systems introduced at WWDC will be available to all Apple customers in the fall.
They are:
    iOS 12
    macOS Mojave
    watchOS 5
    tvOS updates
This article has aninteresting lists of updated features in every Apple OS.
Apple had no new hardware to show off at all.
Is Apple Really Your Friend?
Let’s just get the obvious stuff out of the way and acknowledge that multi-billion-dollar companies don’t have fundamental values outside of doing what best benefits their shareholders.
Apple has been steadily positioning itself as the anti-Facebook for a while now, and between verbal jabs aimed at the social media giant and privacy-focused product decisions, the patient goodwill campaign seems to be working. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t going to save us, and now’s the time to keep your guard up.
Now that Facebook’s endless cycle of scandals has opened up public awareness of what’s at stake in the battle for online privacy, and political will has, at least slightly, tilted towards doing something about it, Apple has seized an opportunity to remind people how great it is.
Apple received praise when it announced that macOS Mojave will come with updates to Safari that will make it harder than ever for third-parties to use a technique known as “browser fingerprinting” to track your activities.
This wasn’t just Apple taking advantage of a cultural moment and throwing out a new feature for some cheap applause. It’s simply building on the Intelligent Tracking Prevention it introduced into Safari last year that gave users more control over cookies that inform advertisers about their activities. Apple has been thinking about this incoming wave of privacy trouble for quite a while, and Cook has been out there hammering home that “privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty.”
Back in 2016, Apple took a stand against the FBI’s effort to break into the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter and its insistence that it needed a backdoor for Apple’s encryption. The Justice Department accused the company of putting people at risk for the purpose of marketing. The reality is, the good publicity came along with Apple’s correct understanding that backdoors make us all less secure. It just so happens that a market opportunity aligned with the public good, something that is all too rare and shouldn’t be necessary for doing the right thing.
But the days of coasting on its success are waning for Apple and all hardware makers.
There’s a thin difference between saving an industry from itself and becoming an unstoppable gatekeeper for what kind of ads are acceptable and how they’re allowed to be served.
Generally, more competition is welcome. If Apple is giving Facebook and Google headaches, we say that’s great. But it’s a thorny issue when we’re talking about a few billion-dollar companies exchanging places on the ladder as they strive to be trillion-dollar companies. It’s just not enough for the least bad megacorp to keep the evil ones in check. Free markets really don’t police themselves, as the telecoms clearly demonstrate with their practice of tolerating each others mini-monopolies.
Lawmakers are often really stupid. Legislation can be written by lobbyists with tricky loopholes that end up benefiting giants and harming upstarts. And if that happens, regulations should be adjusted. But unless you have a lot of money to buy up a chunk of shares, or have the pull to fire off that perfect tweet that launches a boycott, you have little control over how a corporation will help you. 
Apple opens Health Records API to developers
Apps Empowering Consumers to Manage Medications, Diseases, Nutrition and More Coming This Fall
Today Apple delivered a Health Records API for developers and researchers to create an ecosystem of apps that use health record data to better manage medications, nutrition plans, diagnosed diseases and more. The Health Records feature allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics to access medical information from various institutions organized into one view on their iPhone. For the first time, consumers will be able to share medical records from multiple hospitals with their favorite trusted apps, helping them improve their overall health.
In 1995, Steve Jobs Explained Exactly How Apple Will Fail
Steve Jobs said:
When a company makes great products and achieves a near monopoly, new improved products no longer make a company more successful.
At such a point, better marketing makes a company more successful, NOT better products.
As a result, sales and marketing people get promoted into high level management, NOT people who know how to make great products.
Companies forget what it means to make great products.
The product genius that brought a company to its monopolistic position is rotted out of the company. 
Birth of a standard: The Intel 8086 microprocessor turns 40 today [June 8, 1978]
Apple did NOT use Intel microprocessors until the 21st century.  Still, the 8086 was a real milestone.
Forty years ago, Intel released the 8086 processor, introducing the x86 architecture that underlies every PC—Windows, Mac, or Linux—produced today.
For a practical demonstration of just how powerful the x86 standard is, consider this: Any assembly-language program written as far back as 1978 for the Intel 8086 microprocessor will run, unmodified, on Intel’s latest Core 2 Extreme CPU—just 180,000 times faster.
Apple history: Apple chooses Intel over PowerPC
The PowerPC G5 processor generated too much heat, and consumed too much energy, to power the kind of ultra-thin, ultra-light products Jobs wanted to make with computers like the MacBook Air.

Intel processors, on the other hand, represented where Jobs wanted to take Apple.
Apple History — June 5, 1977
The revolutionary Apple II goes on sale
Apple continued producing updated versions until November 1993.
Apple history — June 1, 1978: Apple II gets its first disk drive
The best floppy drive available at the time, Disk II solved the Apple II’s most glaring weakness — a lack of storage. It also helped establish Apple’s flair for handsome profit margins.
WWDC 2018: Everything important Apple announced
The Sonos Beam is everything the HomePod should have been.
The Sonos Beam launches on July 17,
The brief presentation was filled with quips about how Sonos isn’t out to sell out ads—take that, Google—and how it wasn’t forcing you into walled gardens (ahem, Tim Cook). Nor did it appear to be empty talk. In the span of little more than half an hour, Sonos managed to deliver a vision of a smart speaker that I wouldn’t mind plunking down $400 for. Here’s why we [at MacWorld magazine] think it’s so much better.
HomePod locks you into Apple Music ... requires giving your soul to Apple Music
The Sonos Beam, though, lets you use both Spotify and Apple Music. For that matter, it lets you use them with Siri and [Amazon’s] Alexa at the same time (Google Assistant is in the works).
The Sonos Beam is a far more logical speaker for comparison to Homepod. Both are high-end devices that are built to last, and both are designed to be centerpieces. Much like the HomePod, it sounds magnificent regardless of which part of the room you’re standing in (although I believe the HomePod does retain an edge in quality).
How Sonos Is Trying to Future-Proof the Smart Speaker
The Sonos Beam is designed for longevity. Including all three major virtual assistants is a nice touch too.
Sonos unveiled Beam, a smart sound bar, which will soon be virtual assistant agnostic: It’s shipping with Alexa, gaining Siri control with AirPlay 2 in July, and adding Google Assistant compatibility later this year.
Apple introduces macOS Mojave
Major Update Adds Dark Mode, New Mac Apps and an All-New Mac App Store
macOS 10.14 Mojave Drops Support for Many Older Machines
This article has a list of which MacBooks and desktop Macs can run Mac OS10.14 Mojave.
Compared to High Sierra, the update drops support for the older plastic MacBooks, and MacBook Pro, Air, mini, and iMac models from 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Apple Family Sharing: Remember, in-app purchases can’t be shared
Family Sharing remains poorly implemented for most users years after its introduction.
Apple does make clear on what’s sharable with Family Sharing, so it’s not misleading. But it’s not the kind of page people visit and memorize.
Grab all 16 macOS Mojave dynamic wallpapers right here
Dynamic wallpapers are about to change the look of your Mac once Mojave launches to the public, but you don’t have to wait until this fall to get first one [sand dune] right now.
5 great new features in macOS Mojave
10 reasons to get an Apple Mac instead of a Windows PC
MacOS gets better privacy and security features
Apple patches Macs as it starts retirement clock for El Capitan
About one in eight Mac owners still runs OS X 10.11, which may only get one more update before gertting bumped off the support list.
Once macOS 10.14 launches this fall ... OS X El Capitan will drop out of support, and up to a quarter of all Macs will be running retired operating systems.
Apple reveals new Apple Watch features
65+ New Features in watchOS 5 for Apple Watch!
50 new watchOS 5 features / changes! [9to5Mac]
Face ID works with TWO People in iOS 12!!
The author describes it as the “perfect workaround for adding a second registered user” of your iPhone X.
iBooks reading app has been renamed Apple Books in iOS 12
Oh, it's also getting a complete redesign.
10 Cool New iOS and MacOS Features That Apple Didn't Mention at WWDC
Apple previews iOS 12
Apple has provided the “beta test” version of iOS 12 to some people.
iOS 12 will be available to all iPhone and iPad users this fall.
Speed testing iOS 11 versus [not yet released] iOS 12 on an iPhone X
So far, we're really impressed with iOS 12. Not only is it quicker in many apps, but we're also seeing an improvement in apps that take advantage of Metal.
Note:  Metal is the name of Apple’s tool for creating games for iPad and iPhone.
Apple Loop: Latest Leak 'Confirms' New iPhone, iOS 12 Drops Sexy For Security, WWDC Fails MacBooks
It’s no secret that iOS 11 has been a complete mess for Apple. It’s not the travesty that whiny anti-Apple bloggers would have you believe, of course, but there’s no question that Apple made some big mistakes in iOS 11.
iOS 12 stands for stability.
The 10 most beautiful apps you can download for your iPhone and iPad, according to Apple
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak still hates this iPhone X feature after months of using it
He said:
"The worst thing about it is the combination power and home key button which has about eight different functions in terms of when you push it and how you push it and how long you push it. It's kind of confusing... and that's not the nature of Apple products."
Why Mac users don't really matter to Apple
Sorry Mac users, but you're not a high priority for Apple these days.
There's something a lot bigger and more fundamental that Mac users need to realize and absorb: The Mac isn't a huge part of Apple's business.
Mac users represent about 10 percent of Apple's user base.  The other 90% are iPhone and iPad users.
Hey Siri, we have to talk
An open letter to Apple’s digital assistant.
When you were unveiled seven years ago, Siri, I was so excited by your promise.  Though clunky at first, we knew you’d get smarter over time, like a toddler learning to speak. 

But you’ve been stuck in infancy, while Amazon and Google take your birthright.

Siri has been around for almost 7 years, but it still kind of sucks. Personal assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are constantly improving.
Paul Manafort tried to hide from the feds using encrypted WhatsApp—but forgot about iCloud
Special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort of witness tampering. Manafort allegedly tried to hide his communications with potential witnesses using the encrypted messaging apps WhatsApp and Telegram, but prosecutors appear to have accessed the messages via his iCloud account.
WhatsApp has a setting that automatically backs up messages to iCloud. If enabled, this would render the app’s famous end-to-end encryption useless in terms of hiding from law enforcement equipped with a search warrant.
Don't Be Like Paul Manafort. Backing Up Your WhatsApp Messages Creates A Security Loophole
Manafort got into trouble because he didn't understand that enabling cloud backups on his WhatsApp account gave investigators a way to circumvent the app's end-to-end encryption.
Here’s how to disable WhatsApp backups to Apple’s iCloud and to Google Drive.
How to enable Messages in iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Messages in iCloud finally arrives in iOS 11.4 to fix your iMessage-syncing woes
’s been a long time coming, but Apple is finally launching its Messages in iCloud feature today with the release of iOS 11.4.
Messages on iCloud is kind of complicated, but here’s what it does.
Apple sees steep increase in US national security-related data requests
Apple's transparency report on government data requests shows another sharp increase in US national security-related requests.
Russia to Apple: Kill Telegram crypto-chat – or the App Store gets it
Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has written to Apple with a request to remove messaging app Telegram from its App Store. Or else.
Russia has tried to ban Telegram for several months, citing its use by terrorist groups as justification and securing court orders to access its encryption keys. Telegram has declined to comply, saying it doesn’t have the keys and never did!
If you're wondering why Telegram hasn't updated its iOS app in two months, there's a clear reason for that, according to founder and CEO Pavel Durov. He says Apple blocked Telegram from issuing updates after Russia ordered the app's removal from the App Store last month.

The Kremlin issued the decree after the messaging app would not provide decryption keys to let Russian authorities snoop on what users were talking about -- seven percent of Telegram's 200 million users are in Russia, around 14 million people. Telegram decided user privacy was more important than kowtowing to Russia.
Family Removes Alexa Devices After a Stranger in Another Town Heard Everything They Were Saying
A homeowner named Danielle, who asked for her last name to remain anonymous, told KIRO 7 that she and her husband were in their house, discussing home improvement projects and hardwood floors when they received an urgent call from one of her husband’s employees in Seattle.

“The person on the other line said, ‘unplug your Alexa devices right now, you’re being hacked,’” Danielle said.
One of the most alarming factors in the ordeal was that the Alexa device made a recording and chose to send it to a contact on its own, without alerting the homeowners to what it was doing or asking for permission. Danielle said the engineer did not explain why it happened, or if it was happening to other Alexa users.
Danielle is now seeking a full refund from Amazon on her Alexa devices.
As The Free Thought Project has previously reported, while Amazon devices can be activated by a number of wake words, including, “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer” and “Echo,” and users cannot turn off the required microphone, they can track what Alexa has recorded and delete it.

Woman claims hacker used baby monitor to spy on her in her bedroom — here’s how to protect yourself
Is your baby monitor safe?
Jamie Summitt said:
“All of a sudden I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the camera was moving...and it was panning over to our bed,” she wrote. “The exact spot that I breastfeed my son every day. Once the person watching realized I was not in bed, he panned back over to Noah asleep in his bassinet.”
“I feel so violated,” she added.
GDPR Ain’t Helping Anyone In The Innovation Economy
May 25th 2018 is the day the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect.
It’s the most significant new framework for data regulation in recent history. Not only does every company that does business with an EU citizen have to comply with GDPR, but most major Internet companies (like Google, Facebook, etc) have already announced they intend to export the “spirit” of GDPR to all of their customers, regardless of their physical location. Given that most governments still don’t know how to think about data as a social or legal asset, GDPR is likely the most important new social contract between consumers, business, and government in the Internet’s history. And to avoid burying the lead, I think it stinks for nearly all Internet companies, save the biggest ones.
First and foremost, the legislation is a response to what many call “surveillance capitalism,” a business model driven in large part (but not entirely) by the rise of digital marketing.
The largest companies can leverage GDPR to increase their power and further protect their businesses from smaller competitors. The innovation ecosystem loses, and the tech oligarchy is strengthened.
It’s clear that GDPR, while well intentioned, has already delivered a massive and unexpected externality: Instead of limiting the reach of the most powerful players operating in the world of data, it has in fact achieved the opposite effect.
More About Wikipedia’s Corruption
I do not exclude truths that happen to be included in the standard account; but neither do I (as Wikipedia does] exclude facts which contradict the standard account.
Wikipedia, in the individuals whom it hires to nix or else to accept each editorial change that is being made to a given article, in effect, writes Wikipedia articles — and that it does so consistently filtering out facts — no matter how conclusively proven to be true — that contradict the ‘news’media’s (and CIA’s) boilerplate ‘history’ of the given matter.
Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities
Attacks can happen by making a car lie about its own position and speed.
The hardware and software in modern cars can be modified, either physically through the car’s diagnostic ports or over wireless connections, to instruct a car to transmit false information.
This is just the beginning of our research into new types of security problems in the smart transportation systems of the future, which we hope will both discover weaknesses and identify ways to protect the roads and the drivers on them.
Homeland Security’s Massive New Database Will Include Face Recognition, DNA, and People’s “Non-Obvious Relationships”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data on citizens and foreigners in the United States. The agency’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometrics—from face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people. It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments. And yet, we still know very little about it.
Police abuse of facial recognition technology is not a theoretical issue: it’s happening today.
DHS acknowledges that these records will include “non-obvious relationships.” However, if the relationships are “non-obvious,” one has to question whether they truly exist. Instead, DHS could be seeing connections among people that are based on nothing more than “liking” the same news article, using the same foreign words, or following the same organization on social media. This is highly problematic because records like these frequently inform officer decisions to stop, search, and arrest people.
DHS’s external partners are also employing face recognition systems with high rates of inaccuracy.
I’ll leave you with a robot that wants to destroy all humans. Laugh it up now, but there’s a reason Tesla founder Elon Musk said artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. All those robot apocalypse movies are quickly catching up to humanity and look like our foreseeable future.

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