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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth's Weekly Web Wrap-up for July 2, 2018


Apple finally acknowledges ‘sticky’ keyboard issues on MacBooks, offering free fix and refunds for past repairs
An Apple spokesperson provided the statement below to
“Today we launched a keyboard service program for our customers that covers a small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models which may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors: letters or characters that repeat unexpectedly or don’t appear when pressed or keys that feel “sticky” or aren’t responding in a consistent manner.”
This article provides a list of specific models eligible for the program.
Today in Apple history:
June 23, 2003  — Power Mac G5 packs world’s first 64-bit CPU
Today in Apple history:
June 29, 2007 — The first iPhone goes on sale, giving excited Apple fans lined up outside stores their first chance at owning the game-changing smartphone.
Apple never meant for you to spend so much time on your phone, Tim Cook says
Cook said that “some” users are spending too much time on their phones and other devices, which was “never” Apple’s intention.
Apple faced calls from activist investors earlier this year that urged the company to consider the effects of smartphone usage and screen time on children.
The forthcoming iOS 12 will provide new features that increase parental control of how much time kids spend with iPhones.
Cheap iPhones are luring away Android loyalists in droves
Plenty of new iPhone buyers come from Android. Each quarter, anywhere from 15% to 20% of new Apple customers upgrade from Android to iPhone.
How to clean your Apple AirPods
Some good hints.
The Essential Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Apple AirPods
Several good hints.
Apple's AirPods have taken the headphone world by storm.
For the uninitiated, Apple AirPods are Apple's take on true wireless earbud-style headphones that have absolutely no wires.
But this article is about five other wireless earbuds out there, and they each have something a little different to offer.
The internet LOLed at AirPods when they launched. Who’s laughing now?
If history has taught us anything, it’s that when we make fun of early adopters, they tend to be right.
Every mainstream technological advancement and product you use was once viewed as the clunky version of something you’d never use.
Psychological studies have shown the power that group dynamics can have on how we perceive the world.
Many marketers make use of this sociological phenomenon. For example, Apple made a conscious effort to get AirPods into the hands (and ears) of influencers. That way, when you watched your favorite YouTuber’s new video, AirPods in their ears, it presented a lifestyle you aspired to emulate. In turn, it was common sense for you to want to purchase them, too.
How retail boss Angela Ahrendts took a risk joining Apple
Apple’s Schoolwork app is now available for teachers to use
How to remove an Apple ID from your iPhone
Is your iPhone asking for somebody else's password? It's a fairly common problem, particularly if you inherited the phone or used to share it. Here's how to get your iPhone to forget somebody else's Apple ID
Which Macs will run Apple's macOS Mojave?

The next version of Apple's desktop operating system arrives this fall. When it does, a number of Mac models won't be able to upgrade. Here's who's left out in the cold.
Apple has not published an actual list of Mojave-works Macs, but when it rolled out the developer beta two weeks ago, the company said macOS 10.14 is "for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards.”
macOS Mojave will be offered as a free download from the Mac App Store when it launches this fall, most likely in September.
Apple Ignores What's Wrong With the Mac
Last year, I needed a new Mac, and I bought a 2015 MacBook Pro. Yes, I bought a 3-year-old laptop because it's better than Apple's current models.
Apple's hardware changes in the past few years have been awful.
(Yes, I know the 2017 Macbook Pro got a PCMag Editors' Choice. We can have more than one opinion on our staff. Mine is that the last time Apple made great PC hardware was in 2015.)
Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS
June 25, 1985:
30-year-old Bill Gates sent a memo to Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée.
His suggestion? That Apple licenses its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies. Apple’s management ignored his advice.
How to prepare a Mac for sale or a return to an employer
When you need to give up or sell a Mac, how can you make sure you keep what you need and leave a wiped machine?
Not preparing a computer before you return it can sometimes have consequences. A friend returned a work machine and was eventually paid a visit by police. His previous employer had examined the web history of the computer returned, and found a set of searches about news and travel they decided were suspicious but that had been conducted innocently and separately by different members of the household.
6 must-have Mac utilities
Get 10 Mac apps valued at $600 — for whatever price you choose
How to Get a MacBook or MacBook Pro Keyboard Repaired Free Under Apple's Service Program
The following MacBook and MacBook Pro models are eligible for the program:
• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
• MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
• MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)
All other MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models are not equipped with butterfly mechanism keyboards, and thus are ineligible.
Four new computer advertisements from Apple.
Three of them are really good.
All Apple needs to do is make their computers as good as their ads.
Logitech's school-targeted Crayon stylus is so good, Apple should copy it for iPad
The $50 Logitech Crayon is specifically made to work only with the 2018 9.7-inch iPad and doesn't use Bluetooth. After updating to iOS 11.4, the rechargeable stylus just automatically works, as long as an Apple Pencil isn't already paired with it. It's a powered stylus and is almost like an Apple Pencil -- with a few changes. Some are for the better.
The AudioKit Synth One is a pro-level iPad synth that’s completely free
The Synth One is a robust piece of free software, and many of the volunteers involved are professional sound designers and techs who have worked with artists like Neon Trees, Rihanna, M83, and software companies like Valhalla DSP.
AudioKit’s free and open-source Synth One looks better than many paid-for iPad instruments
This is being billed as “the first ever professional open-source iOS synth”. It was built over two years by 100 volunteers, including sound designers for the likes of M83, Tycho, and Rihanna.
This looks like a no-brainer download for iPad musicians: you can do the necessary on the Apple App Store.
The AudioKit Synth One is a professional-level open-source synthesizer for your iPad. It has features that match or even rival the ones on iOS synths from Korg, Electro-Harmonix and Moog, which can run upwards of $25. 
The 40 best Apple Watch apps (that we’re actually using)
AW comment:
My first thought about most of these apps is “meh”.  But there are a few really good apps in this list.
How to count steps with your Apple Watch
After these tips, all that's left to do is walk.
One person’s sad and months long ordeal with a MacBook that had a defective keyboard.  He wrote:
It was when I took the machine in for the repair — 9 months in to this ordeal — that I was told by a member of the Apple staff at the ‘Genius’ bar that this was a worldwide problem that had been reported for months by many customers.

He said it was a numbers game — until enough people complain about it (and until the cost of a full recall/repair programme outweighs the inconvenience and cost of annoying customers prepared to argue, or forcing them to pay for faults they know are theirs) they deny it.

Well, today I read Apple’s number is up.

They have finally accepted there is a fault with the butterfly keyboard design and all notebooks* are covered for a free repair.
Waking up to the news that Apple have finally accepted a fault across the range with the new keyboard is bittersweet.
Three ways to save web pages as read-later PDFs on iOS
There are three ways to turn a webpage into a PDF in iOS, all of which use the standard Share Sheet:

• Print.
• Create PDF.
• Save PDF to iBooks.
None of the three methods above is perfect. Each of them misses a key ingredient.
iOS jailbreaking is nearly dead and Apple wants it to stay that way
Some advanced users still feel stifled by Apple’s control but not enough to switch sides. For them, jailbreaking their iPhone is the only option but that has become even more difficult year after year.
Jailbreaking is not a straightforward process, much less a sanctioned one.
Apple is also applying some scare tactics to discourage less knowledgeable users from attempting to jailbreak phones.
Apple explicitly states that it “may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.” This is almost similar to its language on voiding warranties for devices repaired by third-party services. That has been shot down by the FTC and it remains to be seen whether the same will hold for software.
What to do when your two-step Apple ID account is locked

My unlock efforts worked, and I resumed access to that account. That was in part because I’d done a reasonable amount of preparation in case this ever happened.
1)  Set up and use two-step verification for each account.
2)  Set up and use a recovery key for each account.
3)  Keep your personal info at the Apple ID site up-to-date, specifically:
     •  Backup E-mail address (i.e., non-apple)
     •  Phone numbers
     •  Use Apple’s Keychain app or use an app called 1Password to store answers to security questions.
Why I just started caring about macOS
In terms of practical, useful new features, macOS Mojave surprisingly outshined the new iOS during Apple’s on-stage demos at WWDC.
The best Virtual Private Network (VPN) for iPhone in 2018
5 reasons you shouldn’t ditch the iPhone and switch to Android
How to Quickly Identify and Delete iPhone Apps You Don't Use Anymore
Did you try an app and decide you didn’t like it?
Do you want to remove it from your iPhone or iPad?
Read the article for detailed instructions.
Apple proved this week that it's not trying to force you to buy a new iPhone
• Apple's iOS 12 will be available for iPhones launched as far back as 2013.
• This is unprecedented for Apple and smartphone makers.
• It also shows that Apple isn't trying to force you to upgrade your iPhone.
Consumers will still have to upgrade eventually, but five or six years for a phone is a much better bargain than two years, and it's way better than what you can get from any other phone maker.
This July marks the tenth birthday of the iOS App Store. 

The App Store originally launched alongside the release of the 3G model – 12 months after the original iPhone. The store gave developers the opportunity to write third party native apps for the iPhone, as long as they paid the 30% commission to Apple. 

Unlike competing android devices, however, you can’t load apps onto an iPhone unless you get them from the official App Store. Installing apps from unofficial sources is known as “side loading”.
This might be about to change. A recent court case has the potential to require Apple to open their device to sideloading of apps from outside of the App Store, overturning 10 years of precedent. 
Only time will tell, but it’s clear that after 10 years of the App Store, this case could mark a change that makes the future quite different from the past.

Could Apple finally be losing their control over the way apps are installed on their platform? And was it ethical to have such a closed “ecosystem” in the first place?
50 Essential iOS Apps — a series on the best iOS apps around
The list is currently only 33 items long as of 2018-07-02.
The web site promises that they will add the remaining items over the next week or two.
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Essential Mac Apps 2018
How to fix a frozen Mac

Macs are usually reliable, but occasionally something happens that causes your Mac to freeze. Here's how to unfreeze a frozen Mac
Here are the five steps to take to unfreeze your Mac.
Apple's new macOS Mojave optimizes the Mac for iOS users, not PC switchers
Apple's macOS Mojave is still a work in progress, but the strategy is clear: Welcome to the Mac for iOS users.
If you don't own a Mac, Mojave is designed to make you want one.
It's So Great That Apple Cares About macOS Again
At WWDC, Apple showed signs that it hasn’t given up on its former show horse—at least not yet—and in fact it might just be preparing macOS for a welcomed resurgence. After more than three weeks living with the beta for macOS 10.14 Mojave (the public beta just went live) I’m breathing a sigh of relief. It feels like Apple cares about the Mac again.
iOS might be a great operating system for checking your email, reading tweets, or watching a little YouTube, but it is not great for...actual work.
Apple is in the process of making iOS apps work on macOS.
Windows is supposed to be for the person in the suit in an office. macOS is supposed to be for the aspiring artiste in the coffee house. Microsoft’s blurred the line by appealing to creator types in its last few Windows updates, but with Mojave we’re getting an OS update from Apple that feels like its fighting back.
The legendary Apple research group that shaped our world
Some very interesting Apple history and how its innovations in the 1980s later influenced the internet, show biz and virtual reality.
macOS Breaks Your Security by Caching Data From Encrypted Hard Drives
Apple's macOS surreptitiously creates and caches thumbnails for images and other file types stored on password-protected / encrypted containers (hard drives, partitions), according to Wojciech Reguła and Patrick Wardle, two macOS security experts.

The problem is that these cached thumbnails are stored on non-encrypted hard drives, in a known location and can be easily retrieved by malware or forensics tools, revealing some of the content stored on encrypted containers.
On macOS, these thumbnails are created by Finder and QuickLook.
According to Wardle, this "leak" has been known about for at least eight years and has been a professional secret known by many forensics experts.
Apple Releases Security Updates for macOS, iOS, Safari, More
Apple has released security updates this week for seven products —macOS, iOS, watchOS, iTunes for Windows, tvOS, iCloud for Windows, and Safari.

Out of all the vulnerabilities patched this week, two stand out, mainly because they affect the kernels of macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS alike.
People are discovering that scammers are controlling their Apple accounts using a feature for families to share apps
• Scammers in China are hijacking people's Apple IDs and making purchases via an iPhone and Mac feature called "Family Sharing."
• The feature is designed to help families share apps and music, but the scammers are using it lock out the actual owner of the account and buy in-app purchases and iTunes gift cards.
• To protect yourself, you should make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple account.
Apple can't protect you from data trackers forever. No one can
While privacy experts applaud Apple's new features, they say it's more like putting a Band-Aid on the internet's massive privacy wound. That a company as massive and influential as Apple could struggle to adequately protect its users underscores the lengths to which trackers will go to get at your personal information. After all, Apple's move pits it directly against an industry that includes Facebook and Google -- companies that make it their business to track your information for targeted advertising.
Apple may be moving to protect your privacy, but it's severely outnumbered.
Privacy tools will never fully kill off data trackers, but it's a start.
A hacker said recently that the passcode could be easily bypassed by using an unexpected trick. What sounded like a huge scare, however, turned out to be fake. Apple, however, assured users that there’s no easy way to brute force the iPhone, and the hacker’s work incorrect.
Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software
Macs may be attacked less often than other platforms, but they're not invincible.
Even if you don’t care about adware or being used as a means to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware, password theft, or stolen iPhone backups.

Accordingly, good antivirus software will protect your Mac on all of these fronts.
'Smartphone airbag' saves dropped phones from smashing
German students have invented a smartphone case that acts like an airbag for a phone, deploying small legs to absorb the impact of a fall.
See the picture.
The case, which was invented by Philip Frenzel who is an engineer at Aalen University in Germany, uses a set of eight thin metal curls that normally lie flat inside the case.
DuckDuckGo has been a profitable company since 2014 without storing or sharing any personal information on people using our search engine. As we like to say, what you search on DuckDuckGo is private, even from us!
Search advertisers buy search ads by bidding on keywords, not people.
This keyword-based advertising is our primary business model.
Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and Chairman, famously said “Google’s policy on a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line, but not cross it.” But for most people, that line was crossed by Google, Facebook, and others long ago.
Alarmingly, Google now deploys hidden trackers on 76% of websites across the web to monitor your behavior and Facebook has hidden trackers on about 25% of websites.
How the Net destroyed democracy | Lawrence Lessig
The EU’s war on what makes the internet great
In an open letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, a group of internet pioneers that includes Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf and Jimmy Wales spell out the danger: “Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance of its users.”
Healthy political systems sometimes pass bad laws. But unhealthy political systems pass many more of them.
It is probably too late to stop Article 13. After very little public debate, it is set to be waved through a plenary session of the European Parliament. And so, with lamentably little fuss, the EU will have taken a big step towards ruining what makes the internet so great.
Facebook Acknowledges It Shared User Data With 61 Companies
In a 747-page document provided to the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, Facebook admitted that it granted special access to users' data to 61 tech companies.
All 61 companies are listed in this article.
Surprisingly, Cambridge Analytica is NOT on Facebook’s list.
The internet of things has opened up a new frontier of domestic abuse
Devices for the “Internet of Things” (IoT) are marketed with a narrative of networked devices that will make your home “smarter”.
There are, however, two things that are conveniently omitted from this uplifting narrative. The first is that there is no such thing as a secure networked device. The second is that the motivation for many manufacturers of these “smart” gadgets is to collect data about what goes on in your home. This is particularly important for three of the companies who are deep into the home device game – Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The big downside (and there is always a downside with digital technology) is that if you can turn on your shower or central heating from your smartphone, then so can a hacker who has penetrated your home network.
What has been less obvious until now is that it doesn’t have to be a hacker who can control “your” home devices. It could be a former partner, a jilted lover, a stalker, a former lodger or just someone you know who has a grievance. None of these will have to hack into your system, because they know the password – and in most cases you won’t have changed it after they left.

The people who are particularly at risk are survivors of domestic abuse.
Cameras, surveillance and domestic abuse: A sinister match
A note in a dead woman's pocket read: "There are cameras inside and outside the house.”
Billions of connected devices are playing a frightening new role in domestic abuse, helping perpetrators harass their victims at any hour of the day, in any corner of the world.
GPS tracking is especially problematic for women with abusive ex-partners.
Some victims never know they're being GPS-tracked.  The only reason they find that out is because their ex-partner happens to be everywhere they go.
Despite the frightening toll of domestic violence -- the countless lives it changes, the lives it ends -- technology can help.

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