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June 28Wednesday's News


New Apple patent backs company's interest in micro-LED for future devices

New Apple patent backs company's interest in micro-LED for future devices

An Apple patent application published on Tuesday backs the company's apparent interest in using micro-LED technology in future products, one possibility being the Apple Watch. -- AppleInsider.


Inside tvOS 10: New Apple TV Remote app for iPhone replaces your Siri Remote

Inside tvOS 10: New Apple TV Remote app for iPhone replaces your Siri Remote

Alongside the forthcoming tvOS 10 update for the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple will also be releasing an all-new Remote app for iOS that will replicate the functionality of the Siri Remote in almost every way. -- AppleInsider.


Apple expands iPhone 'Trade Up' program to cover carrier fees, lowers maximum handset value

Apple expands iPhone 'Trade Up' program to cover carrier fees, lowers maximum handset value

Apple on Tuesday quietly updated its "Trade Up with Installments" webpage to reflect program changes that lower the cap on maximum trade-in value, but expand credit options to cover monthly carrier fees. -- AppleInsider.


iPhone brings out the best in pro photographer

iPhone brings out the best in pro photographer

Accomplished photographers tend to bristle when asked to talk about equipment. It's not the camera that makes the picture, it's the photographer.

Acclaimed photographer Richard Koci Hernandez would tend to agree, but he's likely to gush about his camera anyway. That's because some of the most interesting and satisfying work of his career has come from shooting with his iPhone. -- Cult of Mac.

Apple camera system could fix the most annoying thing about concerts

Apple camera system could fix the most annoying thing about concerts

Nothing is worse at concerts than having some dude block your view of the band for 45 minutes to take crappy iPhone pics. But those days may be coming to an end soon thanks to Apple.

The company was recently granted a patent that would allow concerts and other private events to block iPhone users from taking photos and videos of the event by using infrared signals. -- Cult of Mac.

What's the deal with online journalism?

What's the deal with online journalism?

Not very long ago I started answering questions on Quora, the question-and-answer site. My answers are mainly about aviation because that's my great hobby and one of the few things besides high tech that I really know a lot about. But there was a question last week about Internet news coverage that I felt deserved better answers than it was getting. So I contributed an answer that has been read, so far, only 388 times. I don't like making a real effort that is so sparsely read. So here, with a little mild editing, is my answer to "What are the flaws in online journalism and media today?" And "How can they be addressed?" -- I, Cringely.

A Primer: LCDs, OLEDs, Quantum Dots and MicroLEDs

A Primer: LCDs, OLEDs, Quantum Dots and MicroLEDs

Flat panel display technology continues to evolve. A decade ago, we had Plasma and LCD TV sets. LCDs were adopted for use in iPhones and iPads, but they require backlighting. Then we had OLEDs (used in the Apple Watch). Now there's Quantum Dots and microLEDs. John provides a primer. -- The Mac Observer.

Facebook Promises That Location Data is 'Only One of the Factors' in Friend Suggestions

Facebook Promises That Location Data is 'Only One of the Factors' in Friend Suggestions [Updated]

Facebook has never specified the exact methods it uses to present friend suggestions within its "People You May Know" tab, but a new report by Fusion suggests that a shared GPS data point could be a bigger factor in curating friendship than Facebook wants users to know. -- Fusion.

Apple Expands Shot on iPhone Campaign With Photos Focusing on Colors

Apple Expands Shot on iPhone Campaign With Photos Focusing on Colors

Apple is expanding its "Shot on iPhone" advertising campaign with a new series of images focusing on color, reports TechCrunch. The images focus on "the bright, vibrant colors you'll find in the world around you," with Apple putting up new billboards and other imagery featuring the new photographs. -- TechCrunch.


Frugal Traveler: 10 Free (or Cheap) Travel Apps Worth Downloading

Frugal Traveler: 10 Free (or Cheap) Travel Apps Worth Downloading

Let's be honest: Most travel apps aren't very good. These are worth your time (and, in a few cases, your money).

After a week of downloading and trying out various travel and navigation apps, I reached an unfortunate conclusion: Most of them are worthless -- clunky, buggy, seemingly desultory efforts by developers rushing a poor product to market. There are a few, though, that provide elegant solutions to some of travel's more common complications, doing what a good app should do: make life easier. Here are seven free travel apps that are worth your time, and three that are worth your money. -- New York Times.

A.I.'s Grasp of Diversity May Begin With Who Builds It

A.I.'s Grasp of Diversity May Begin With Who Builds It

Machines may one day be able to think for themselves. But it will be the programmers who teach them to do that. That's where it gets tricky.

According to some prominent voices in the tech world, artificial intelligence presents a looming existential threat to humanity: Warnings by luminaries like Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom about "the singularity" -- when machines become smarter than humans -- have attracted millions of dollars and spawned a multitude of conferences. -- New York Times.

Apple Granted 44 Patents Today Covering the iPhone 5s Design and Forming Liquid Metal Articles

Apple Granted 44 Patents Today Covering the iPhone 5s Design and Forming Liquid Metal Articles

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover design patents for the iPhone 5s, the Apple Watch Leather loop band and utility patent covering liquid metal blocks. -- Patently Apple.

How Apple Hopes to Win the Streaming War

How Apple Hopes to Win the Streaming War

The tech giant is opening its checkbook and getting inolved with artists' careers like never before

The world's most valuable company has thrown its immense resources into making music videos, concert documentaries and documentaries and, above all, scoring album exclusives. -- Rolling Stone.

How to hand off your Mac for repair without worrying about insecure data on an SSD

How to hand off your Mac for repair without worrying about insecure data on an SSD

My concern is providing the laptop to the service center with admin password or temp admin privileges as this appears to give them full access to my FileVault encrypted drive. It appears the only feasible way (other than securely wiping entire drive) to prevent admin access/copying my data is to delete certain software (Dropbox, LastPass, etc) and then secure erase the associated data folders. Is there a way to provide the service center with access to the MacBook Pro but not my confidential data stored on the laptop? -- Macworld.

In defense of old Mac software

In defense of old Mac software

Plenty of older software is good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, still works. A writer keeps his old tools sharp.

Scratch the surface, and I'm a man out of time. My email program doesn't display HTML and doesn't support IMAP. My personal finance program has "2007" in its name. When I need to muck about with CSS for a Web page, I fire up software left behind years ago by its developer. And my favorite new iOS app is the one-bit photography program BitCam. -- Macworld.

How to Stop the Robocall Uprising

How to Stop the Robocall Uprising

Robocalls--those pre-recorded, unwanted phone calls--are at a record high. WSJ's Joanna Stern explains how you can fight back against them, and why it matters. Photo: Drew Evans of The Wall Street Journal explains.

Bigger Is Better: How Large Monitors Can Change Workflow

Bigger Is Better: How Large Monitors Can Change Workflow

A 34-inch Dell monitor changed my workflow, but I must confess I am really enamored by a 43-inch, 4K version.

In the past, I had three screens to work with, but one was on my left in the form of an iMac and the other on my right in the form of a Windows all-in-one. But I was constantly pivoting my chair in multiple directions. Now I have the three key apps all on a single screen; it has helped speed up my work processes and is easy on my eyes and posture. -- PC Magazine.

Mcro-Camera Can Be Injected With A Syringe -- May Pose Surveillance Concerns

icro-Camera Can Be Injected With A Syringe -- May Pose Surveillance Concerns

German engineers have created a camera no bigger than a grain of salt that could change the future of health imaging -- and clandestine surveillance. Using 3D printing, researchers from the University of Stuttgart built a three-lens camera, and fit it onto the end of an optical fiber the width of two hairs. Such technology could be used as minimally-intrusive endoscopes for exploring inside the human body, the engineers reported in the journal Nature Photonics. The compound lens of the camera is just 100 micrometers (0.1 millimeters) wide, and 120 micrometers with its casing. It could also be deployed in virtually invisible security monitors, or mini-robots with "autonomous vision." The compound lens can also be printed onto image sensor other than optical fibers, such as those used in digital cameras. -- Nature.

Let's Stop Freaking Out About Artificial Intelligence

Let's Stop Freaking Out About Artificial Intelligence

Former Google CEO, and current Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google X founder Sebastian Thrun in an op-ed on Fortune Magazine have shared their views on artificial intelligence, and what the future holds for this nascent technology. "When we first worked on the AI behind self-driving cars, most experts were convinced they would never be safe enough for public roads. But the Google Self-Driving Car team had a crucial insight that differentiates AI from the way people learn. When driving, people mostly learn from their own mistakes. But they rarely learn from the mistakes of others. People collectively make the same mistakes over and over again," they wrote. The two also talked about an artificial intelligence apocalypse, adding that while it's unlikely to happen, the situation is still worth considering. -- Fortune.

June 28Tuesday's News


Pat Head Summitt 1952-2016

Pat Head Summitt 1952-2016

The world knew Coach Pat Summitt as the winningest basketball coach of all time. To the members of the UT family, she was that and much, much more. She was a coach, a teacher, a role model, a co-worker, and a friend. -- University of Tennessee.


Attention US-bound tourists: Social media accounts subject to inspection

Attention US-bound tourists: Social media accounts subject to inspection

The federal government is taking another step it says would make the US homeland safer from terrorism. US border authorities are proposing that millions of tourists entering the country each year reveal their social media identities. -- Ars Technica.


ZFS: The other new Apple file system that almost was--until it wasn't

ZFS: The other new Apple file system that almost was--until it wasn't

I attended my first WWDC in 2006 to participate in Apple's launch of its DTrace port to the next version of Mac OS X (Leopard). Apple completed all but the fiddliest finishing touches without help from the DTrace team. Even when Apple did meet with us, we had no idea that it was mere weeks away from the finished product being announced to the world. DTrace was a testament both to Apple's engineering acumen as well as its storied secrecy. -- Ars Technica.

Limiting Your Facebook Audience

Limiting Your Facebook Audience

If you do not want the world to see what you post on your timeline page, use the site's settings to keep your thoughts out of public view. -- New York Times.

Handy unofficial Mac app provides transcripts of all the WWDC session videos

Handy unofficial Mac app provides transcripts of all the WWDC session videos

If you weren't lucky enough to attend this year's WWDC, there were live-streams of all the session videos, and you can still watch these online. But for those who find written transcripts a more efficient way to catch up, or want to be able to search for specific terms, the unofficial WWDC Mac app now provides automatic transcripts of each session. -- 9to5Mac.

Hands-on: Apple TV Remote App beta for the 4th-generation Apple TV [Video]

Hands-on: Apple TV Remote App beta for the 4th-generation Apple TV [Video]

The new Apple TV Remote app, which Apple TV owners have been expecting since Eddy Cue acknowledged its development, is now available for testing. Available directly as an IPA installable via iTunes, the Apple TV Remote app can be accessed by registered Apple developers.

The Remote app has been designed to, as Apple states in its release notes, bring the "best of the Siri Remote" to iOS devices. Not only will the Remote app allow users to easily navigate the Apple TV interface, it can also be used as a controller to control basic games. -- 9to5Mac.

Terabyte terror: It takes special databases to lasso the Internet of Things

Terabyte terror: It takes special databases to lasso the Internet of Things

If you believe figures from the technology research firm Gartner, there will be 25 billion network-connected devices by 2020. The "Internet of Things" is embedding networked sensors in everyday objects all around us, from our refrigerators to our lights to our gas meters. These sensors collect "telemetry" and route out data to… whoever's collecting it. "Precision agriculture," for instance, uses sensors (on kites or drones) that collect data on plant health based on an analysis of near-infrared light reflected by crops. Sensors can do things like measure soil moisture and chemistry and track micro-climate conditions over time to help farmers decide what, where, and when to plant. -- Ars Technica.

How to set up a new Mac securely and update an older one

How to set up a new Mac securely and update an older one

If you're setting up a Mac from scratch for yourself or for another person, you can make a number of baseline choices, but they're good for existing installations, too. -- Macworld.

How to use Tabs in macOS Sierra

How to use Tabs in macOS Sierra

When you use a web browser, you probably have multiple websites open at one time. All those open browser windows are a pain to track, but using tabs helps organize those windows. Instead of multiple windows open and scattered around on your screen, you have one window open, and tabs across the top that you can click to get to the window you need. -- Macworld.

Apple's Craig Federighi explains the built-in security features of Auto-Unlock

Apple's Craig Federighi explains the built-in security features of Auto-Unlock

One of the more exciting new software features Apple introduced with macOS Sierra is Auto Unlock, a feature that allows users wearing an Apple Watch to quickly unlock their Mac and bypass the pesky password prompt altogether. -- BGR.


June 27Monday's News


Video: See how Photos in iOS 10 can recognize faces, places and more

Video: See how Photos in iOS 10 can recognize faces, places and more

Article Image Starting with iOS 10, the Photos app on your iPhone and iPad will automatically scan your pictures for faces and places, making it easier to find the shots you're looking for. It'll even group them into collections, and quickly automate creation of a view to relive your memories. AppleInsider offers a closer look at how it all works. -- AppleInsider.

The best external monitor alternatives to Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display

The best external monitor alternatives to Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display

Article Image Apple surprised many this week by abruptly discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display without announcing a replacement. But, as Apple pointed out, "there are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users." With that said, AppleInsider has compiled a list of the top Thunderbolt-alternative displays for Macs that are available today. -- AppleInsider.

Apple still working on next-gen external display with integrated graphics card - report

Apple still working on next-gen external display with integrated graphics card - report

Article Image Despite killing the Thunderbolt Display without a replacement this week, Apple is still working on a successor --?one that will reportedly have its own separate integrated graphics card, likely to push a high-resolution Retina display. -- AppleInsider.


Apple's differential privacy in iOS 10 is opt-in, limited to four use cases

Apple's differential privacy in iOS 10 is opt-in, limited to four use cases

Article Image The new data collection method set to roll out in iOS 10 will require users to opt in, and will be limited to four specific system functions, according to Apple. -- AppleInsider.

Here's how many calories you may burn standing at work versus sitting, strolling

Here's how many calories you may burn standing at work versus sitting, strolling

With the rise of standing desks, office workers hope to brush off the health risks linked to prolonged sitting, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and early death. But they might do well to walk calories off instead, a new study suggests. -- Ars Technica.


How Comcast and Charter are trying to fix their awful customer service

How Comcast and Charter are trying to fix their awful customer service

Comcast and Charter yesterday told US senators how they're trying to fix their poorly rated customer service. Executives from the nation's two largest cable companies testified in a hearing in response to a Senate investigation detailing the industry's shortcomings. -- Ars Technica.

From expert pitchfork user to competent Mac user

From expert pitchfork user to competent Mac user

I grew up in a low-tech household. My dad only replaced something if it caught fire. We owned about 15 cars (mostly Humber 80s), and 13 of them were used to keep the other two running. Same story for tractors and any other farm equipment you care to name. Dad's basic rule was that if he couldn't repair it, we didn't need it. We weren't anti-technology, but technology had to serve a purpose. It had to work reliably or at least be fun to repair. -- Ars Technica.

A ZFS developer's analysis of the good and bad in Apple's new APFS file system

A ZFS developer's analysis of the good and bad in Apple's new APFS file system

Apple announced a new file system that will make its way into all of its OS variants (macOS, tvOS, iOS, watchOS) in the coming years. Media coverage to this point has been mostly breathless elongations of Apple's developer documentation. With a dearth of detail I decided to attend the presentation and Q&A with the APFS team at WWDC. Dominic Giampaolo and Eric Tamura, two members of the APFS team, gave an overview to a packed room; along with other members of the team, they patiently answered questions later in the day. With those data points and some first-hand usage I wanted to provide an overview and analysis both as a user of Apple-ecosystem products and as a long-time operating system and file system developer. -- Ars Technica.

Y Combinator's Xerox Alto: restoring the legendary 1970s GUI computer

Y Combinator's Xerox Alto: restoring the legendary 1970s GUI computer

Alan Kay recently gave his 1970s Xerox Alto to Y Combinator, and I'm helping with the restoration of this legendary system.

The Alto was the first computer designed around a graphical user interface, and it introduced both Ethernet and the laser printer to the world. The laser printer was invented at Xerox by Gary Starkweather, and networked laser printers were soon in use with the Alto. Y Combinator's Alto is an "Orbit" model with slots for the four boards that drive the laser printer, laboriously rendering 16 rows of pixels at a time. -- Ars Technica.

iOS 10 won't collect your personal data without permission

iOS 10 won't collect your personal data without permission

Apple is getting deeper into the AI game with iOS 10, which will require users to share some data with Apple so it can make intelligent suggestions, but the company says it will be totally optional. -- Cult of Mac.

OS X: Using Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens

OS X: Using Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens

If you're an administrator (or just someone who'd like to have a little fun), you can set up what's called a policy banner, which'll make users accept an agreement before they can log in. This works well in environments with multiple Macs, such as computer labs, but hey, if you want to configure a policy banner on your spouse's computer as a practical joke, this Quick Tip will be good for that, too. We're not responsible for any mayhem this causes. -- The Mac Observer.

Apple Kills the Thunderbolt Display - Will the Mac Pro Be Next?

Apple Kills the Thunderbolt Display - Will the Mac Pro Be Next?

On June 23rd, Apple announced that the aging, obsolete, overpriced Thunderbolt Display is being discontinued. No replacement display was announced, and customers have been directed to 3rd party products. What does this mean for the Mac Pro? [You read it here first.] -- The Mac Observer.

MGG 611: Troubleshoot & Resolve Your Mac & Apple Issues

MGG 611: Troubleshoot & Resolve Your Mac & Apple Issues

How to share contacts with your team, read CDs on a new Mac, resolve your router being blocked by servers, fix your iPad Pro when it locks up and much more. All this today on Mac Geek Gab. Download and enjoy! -- The Mac Observer.

tvOS 10 Overview: Single Sign-On, Dark Mode, New Siri Abilities and More

tvOS 10 Overview: Single Sign-On, Dark Mode, New Siri Abilities and More

tvOS, the operating system that runs on the fourth-generation Apple TV, is also set to receive some updates this fall alongside iOS, macOS, and watchOS.

tvOS isn't getting as many changes as these other operating systems, but as can be seen in the video below, there are some important new features being added that make it easier to find content and easier to watch live television. -- MacRumors.

Opinion: Artificial Intelligence's White Guy Problem

Opinion: Artificial Intelligence's White Guy Problem

According to some prominent voices in the tech world, artificial intelligence presents a looming existential threat to humanity: Warnings by luminaries like Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom about "the singularity" -- when machines become smarter than humans -- have attracted millions of dollars and spawned a multitude of conferences.

But this hand-wringing is a distraction from the very real problems with artificial intelligence today, which may already be exacerbating inequality in the workplace, at home and in our legal and judicial systems. Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many "intelligent" systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to. -- New York Times.

What Apple's Forthcoming APFS File System Means to You

What Apple's Forthcoming APFS File System Means to You

Changing the default file system for an operating system is a big deal, since the file system is responsible for keeping track of all of the data on the device. But what does such a change mean for users? -- TidBITS.

Accessibility was all around this year's WWDC

Accessibility was all around this year's WWDC

From this year's WWDC keynote, there was one overarching theme that emerged -- from watchOS 3's conceptual simplification, to Siri coming to the Mac, to the "app store" in Messages, it became clear that Apple is focused on making its software more accessible than ever before. -- TechCrunch.

Ditching the iPhone headphone jack is annoying for everyone except Apple

Ditching the iPhone headphone jack is annoying for everyone except Apple

Look. I didn't want to get into this. I feel like we probably have better things to talk about.

But the furor continues over reports that Apple is doing away with its standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, a piece of technology that has existed in a recognizable version of its current form since the late 19th century. -- Chicago Tribune.

How to set up and use Bluetooth headphones on your Mac

How to set up and use Bluetooth headphones on your Mac

Bluetooth is a standard for connecting wireless devices together; many accessories use it, such as headphones, keyboards, mice, speakers, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and much more. It's a vital technology that a lot of people use every day, and by eliminating the need for cords, it gives us freedom of movement. -- iMore.

How To Add More Security And Control To The Mac's Built-in Firewall

How To Add More Security And Control To The Mac's Built-in Firewall

The Mac has a well-deserved reputation for being more secure than traditional Windows PCs. In fact, Apple is so confident that the Mac is more secure that Windows that the company does not even bother to turn on the built-in firewall in OS X. -- BohemianBoomer.

Someone at Apple Thinks that This Type of Display is Readable

Someone at Apple Thinks that This Type of Display is Readable

Someone at Apple thought it would be a good idea, a few years ago, to have iTunes display content in certain views using colors extracted from album artwork. Sometimes this is quite attractive. But sometimes, this borders on torture. -- Kirkville.

Why Apple's APFS won't last 30 years

Why Apple's APFS won't last 30 years

One of Apple's key goals for APFS was to make a single file system that could be used on everything from a 12-core Mac Pro down to an Apple Watch. Compromises were inevitable.

However, APFS misses two key issues in the rapidly evolving world of storage. Here's an outline from a workstation-centric perspective. -- ZDNet.

How to use an Apple Pencil with Office 365's Ink feature on your iPad Pro

How to use an Apple Pencil with Office 365's Ink feature on your iPad Pro

Office 365's new Ink feature works with the Apple Pencil so you can make quick markups on an iPad Pro. Learn how to get the most out of this handy feature. -- TechRepublic.


IRS Gets Hacked Again, Forced To Scrap Their Entire PIN System

IRS Gets Hacked Again, Forced To Scrap Their Entire PIN System

The IRS has abandoned a system of PIN numbers used when filing tax returns online after they detected "automated attacks taking place at an increasing frequency," adding that only "a small number" of taxpayers were affected. -- Engadget.