The Apocalypticon ~ Trump, Russia, hacks, security, duped iPhone owners, bent cops film themselves, food and climate


As usual, the US president trumps most of the other bad news. Someone who tried to hack Trump’s tax returns – pretty amateurishly, as it turns out – might get 5 years in prison. Would-be whistleblowers were rallied by WikiLeaks, while one high-profile Democrat offered a $5 million reward for anyone who legally leaked Trump’s financials. You might wonder why this never went any further, until you realise that co-prize a-hole Julian Assange wanted to be Australian ambassador and asked for Trump Junior’s help. How unpartisan is that? It looks like Russian agents leaked Democrat information to Wikileaks to enhance Trump’s chances, after all.
Meanwhile, Trump’s regime wants to use bigoted AI to ‘extremely vet’ would-be immigrants. An alliance of more than 50 civil liberties groups and more than 50 individual AI experts sent dual letters to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today, calling for the end of a plan to screen immigrants with predictive “extreme vetting” software.
In a new low, Senator Jeff Sessions has had all his under-oath forgetfulness listed by Wired. How’s that for an aid memoir, Jeffy boy? It gets up to no. 47 … but for a glimmer of hopes US judge has ordered Facebook to redact the info of anti-Trump activists sought by the Feds. Without this, the details of some 6000 people who ‘liked’ these pages would have been available to the FBI.

Speaking of Russians and hackers, the personal computer of an NSA worker who took government hacking tools and classified documents home with him was infected with a backdoor trojan, unrelated to these tools, that could have been used by criminal hackers to steal the US government files, according to a new report being released Thursday by Kaspersky Lab in response to recent allegations against the company. The Moscow-based antivirus firm, which has been accused of using its security software to improperly grab NSA hacking tools and classified documents from the NSA worker’s home computer and provide them to the Russian government, says the worker had at least 120 other malicious files on his home computer in addition to the backdoor. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppyThe reason that citizens in the West are subject now to more surveillance than there was in the Soviet Union is that digital technology made it possible, says Richard Stallman. “And the first disaster of digital technology was proprietary software that people would install and run on their own computers, and they wouldn’t know what it was doing. They can’t tell what it’s doing.” Stallman has been fighting this battle since 1983.

Criminals duping iPhone buyers out of their phones — A security report has shed new light on the lucrative business of unlocking and reselling stolen iPhones, a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise spanning the globe. The tools used by shadowy hackers involved in this black market trade were detailed in TrendMicro’s latest research. Criminals have turned to sophisticated methods of infiltration, targeting desperate owners of missing devices with phishing emails gearing toward capturing iCloud credentials. They play on the eagerness of the owner to reclaim their lost phone.
The victims might receive a fraudulent link, for instance, alerting them their iPhone has been located. Since the message is carefully crafted to appear legitimate, using a spoofed email account or SMS message, many owners carelessly follow the instructions they’re given. In doing so, they compromise their own iCloud accounts, granting the phone thieves full access to their device.

LA cops film themselves fitting-up a suspect with cocaine — Newly-released body camera footage from a hit-and-run arrest in April appears to show two LAPD officers planting drugs in a suspect’s wallet, selectively filming only portions of the arrest to implicate the man for drug possession. Hah!

Some goodish news — what would happen if the entire US went vegan Researchers found a 23% increase in the amount of food available – mainly in grains – and a 28% decrease in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. However, they only found a 2.6% decrease in overall greenhouse gas emissions and found deficiencies in the American diet’s essential nutrients. Still, at least it’s being considered.
And climate-conscious cities have been sharing their experiences. At last week’s COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Essen’s representative was all ears as officials from other post-industrial cities shared their stories. Speakers included representatives from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Beijing’s E-Town (short for Economic-Technological Development Area)—all cities that make up the new Urban Transitions Alliance.

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Futurology ~ Earth-like, antimatter bombardment, cute lil lander, 2040 Museum mag, Quantum computing, human DNA hacked, robots and aged DNA


Museum has already published its 2040 edition.

Earth-sized world just 11 light years away — Astronomers have discovered a planet 35% more massive than Earth in orbit around a red dwarf star just 11 light years from the Sun. Ross 128 b likely exists at the edge of the small, relatively faint star’s habitable zone even though it is 20 times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun. The study in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics finds the best estimate for its surface temperature is between -60 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees Celsius.
Proxima Centauri b is closer at less than 4.3 light years away from Earth and in the star system closest to our Sun. Even so, due to a variety of factors, Ross 128 b is tied for fourth on a list of potentially most habitable exoplanets, with an Earth Similarity Index value of 0.86.
~ Meanwhile, we are hell-bent on making our own Earth less Earthlike. 

Mystery of Earth being bombarded by antimatter — New observations of nearby pulsars – lighthouse-like neutron stars beaming energy – seem to have deepened a mystery that’s been bugging scientists for around a decade. The Earth is being hit with too much antimatter from outer space, and no one is sure why.
~ Veritably antimatter-spattered, we are. 

Moon Express MX-1E Lander is heading for the moon or bust — After multiple extensions and a couple of flameouts, five teams are racing toward the March 2018 launch deadline, and the cutest contender might be the MX-1E, an R2-D2–shaped lander designed by space startup Moon Express.
~ The MX-1E fits inside a launch vehicle from partnering with the New Zealand company Rocket Lab.

Museum magazine publishes 2040 issue — The Alliance of American Museums has just published an ambitious Nov/Dec 2040 issue of Museum, the Alliance’s magazine. The columns, reviews, articles, awards, and even the ads describe activities from a 2040 perspective, based on a multi-faceted consensus scenario.
Besides virtual reality centers (and carbon-neutral cities), it envisions de-extinction biologists who resurrect lost species. It also predicts a 2040 with orbiting storehouses to preserve historic artifacts (as well as genetic materials) as part of a collaboration with both NASA and a new American military branch called the US Space Corps. And of course, by 2040 musuems have transformed into hybrid institutions like “museum schools” and “well-being and cognitive health centers” that are both run by museums.
~ Future retro-futurism …

Should we be excited about Quantum Computers? They’re fragile, and need to be kept at temperatures close to absolute zero. Quantum computers aren’t much like the desktop PCs we’re all so familiar with – they’re a whole new kind of machine, capable of calculations so complex, it’s like upgrading from black-and-white to a full colour spectrum. Gizmodo goes further.
~ Solves things so complex we don’t even have the minds to boggle at their complexity. 

Scientists edit DNA within the human body — For the first time, scientists have edited the DNA inside of a patient’s body, in an attempt to cure a genetic disorder by permanently changing the human genome. The news represents a major landmark in science.
~ Now it has been edited, it’s called ‘human DNB’.

Robots advance, dance and enhance — Boston Dynamics’ ATLAS Robot is now a backflipping cyborg supersoldier [you know how we all need that] and wait till you see the firm’s new Robodog, and we’re already robotising our workers – but these are human workers with bionic enhancements working at Ford.
~ Where’s Waldo?

Super-old people get their DNA analysed — Scientists looking for clues to healthy longevity in people in their 90s and 100s haven’t turned up a whole lot. It is thought that the DNA of the very old may be a good place to look, but people over 110 are one in five million in the United States. The New York Times has chronicled one scientific quest to collect their DNA.
~ So forget good health and sobriety, let’s find a magic bullet instead. 

Five Tip Friday ~ New gestures, modes, Apple Watch and more


1/ Use one-handed zoom in iOS 11’s Maps — As you may know, we’ve long had the ability to double-tap on the Maps screen (and elsewhere around iOS) to zoom in. Each double tap brings you closer to the point on the map you’re focused on until you can zoom in no more.
You can also use the pinch-to-zoom method, but iOS 11’s got a great new zooming feature for one-handed iPhone users; this lets you zoom in easily without juggling the device or endlessly double-tapping the screen. What you’ll do is double-tap but hold on the second tap, then when you drag that finger up and down on the screen, you zoom in and out. Drag up to get closer and down to pull farther out.
This works on any iDevice running iOS 11, and it’s worth practising and getting used to, as it’s really useful, but, for big spenders, there’s a similar gesture …

2/ Use fast app switching on the iPhone X — The iPhone X doesn’t have a Home button, so there’s a new way to use fast app switching.  To see the App Switcher on the next gen iPhone, you swipe up from the bottom of its screen and pause while still touching the display. When the App Switcher appears, you can lift your finger. Now you can swipe right or left to switch back and forth between apps.

(Image from this tip’s source at the Mac Observer)

3/ Create an Ultra Low Power Mode on iPhone X — Now that there’s an iPhone with an OLED screen, battery juice can be saved by even using black wallpapers. But you can go further. Even though iOS already has a Low Power Mode, there are additional settings to tweak for create an Ultra Low Power Mode.
Apple has provided a pure black wallpaper as a default: Settings>Wallpaper>Choose a New Wallpaper>Stills. Set it as the wallpaper for the home screen and lock screen.
To go even further, turn on greyscale. Find this in Settings>General>Accessibility>Display Accommodations>Color Filters. Turn the switch on and select ‘Grayscale’ at the top.
While in Accessibility, scroll down until you see Accessibility Shortcut. Set the shortcut to ‘Smart Invert Colors’. You can turn it on and off by triple-clicking the home button but since the iPhone X doesn’t have a home button, you can assign it to the sleep/wake button.
Finally, turn on iOS’s built-in Low Power Mode. On the iPhone X, swipe down from the right ear at the top to find Control Center. Tap on the battery icon.
No one has quantified exactly how much this will stretch out your battery life, but the next time you’re in a situation where you need ultra low power mode, try this to extend your iPhone X’s life.

4/ Select and move several apps at once — Speaking of gestures, iOS 11 has a cool feature that lets you select and move multiple apps at the same time. It makes organizing your apps a little easier, which is great since that’s not available in iTunes 12.7. However, I think tis only works on iPhone 6s and later, since I can’t do it on my 6. Watch TMO’s video tip at this link to see how it works.

5/ Share Apple Watch Activity progress with friends & family — Launch the Activity iPhone app, then tap the Sharing tab in the lower right. After then hitting Get Started you’ll see a plus symbol in the upper-right, used to add contacts.
The app will then prompt you to type in a person’s contact information, and/or pick from a list of suggested people. You can share with as many individuals as you like, but there is a catch: everyone has to have an Apple Watch, since the Activity app is built around it anyway. People on the opposite end will receive an invite, which they can accept through the Sharing tab.
Returning there, you’ll now see daily summaries for each person including their Move, Exercise, and Stand rings, as well as Move progress broken out into percentages and calories. Select the “Name” button in the upper-left and you can sort by different break-out data.
Similar information is available on your Watch. From the watchOS 4 Activity app, swipe left to get to the Sharing screen, then tap on any person’s name. Initially you’ll just see their Activity rings, but using the digital crown you can scroll down to see more. You’ll note that when scrolling down to the bottom of a summary or the Sharing screen, there’s a shortcut to send an iMessage.
By default, your Watch will automatically notify you whenever someone finishes a workout, wins an achievement, or closes all three rings. These notifications include an option to send a preset reply, whether for boasting or cheering someone on.
If this all gets bothersome, there are a few options. From any daily summary in the iPhone app, you can choose to mute notifications from that person, or remove them as a friend entirely. (Should you decide you need some privacy, there’s also a Hide My Activity option.)

Extra — Freeing up space. This tip is so long, I have just linked it.

[At this point I have published over 585 tips on Mac NZ!]

X shipment times better, 5 video editors


Five video apps for iOS

iPhone X shipments from Apple improve to 2-3 weeks in US — In a sign that production of the iPhone X is catching up with overwhelming demand, new orders for the iPhone X are now advertised to ship within two to three weeks, a one-week improvement from their previous estimate.

Five video editing apps for iPhone videographers — So far we’ve rounded up plenty of photo apps to enhance your images. Now it’s time to focus on videographers. The Mac Observer has found 5 video editing apps that will supercharge your videos, both for beginners and more advanced users.

Best laptop, conflict minerals leader, Dirt Rally, Pages’ links, browser shootout


RESCUE.COM reckons MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the best laptop out there — If you want to buy the best laptop that is out there, go for Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, says RESCUECOM President David Milman, whose company repairs tens of thousands of computers annually.
The Touch Bar, available exclusively on the MacBook Pro, offers a revolutionary way to use your laptop, he adds. The MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter as well as faster and more powerful than previous versions.

Apple is the clear leader in the 2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings — Apple emerged as the clear leader, scoring 114 out of a possible 120 points, plus an additional eight points in extra credit in the 2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings by the Enough Project.
The tech giant’s consistent fulfillment of the rankings criteria indicates the company has committed substantial resources to developing processes for sourcing minerals from mines that benefit Congolese communities. The Enough Project’s 2017 conflict minerals company rankings examine 20 of the largest companies, as defined by market capitalisation.

Racing game Dirt Rally powerslides onto macOS, coming soon to Mac App Store — Feral Interactive has shipped its port of the Codemasters off-road racing game Dirt Rally to macOS, bringing the simulation of driving at high speed through forests to the Mac two years after the game was originally released on other platforms.
Feral advises the minimum system requirements include a Mac with an Intel Core i3 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 48 gigabytes of storage, macOS 10.13, and either Nvidia GeForce 650 1GB, AMD Radeon R9 290M 2GB, or Intel HD4000 graphics. While it can be played with a keyboard, it is recommended that players use a gamepad or a driving wheel accessory. Feral has made “Dirt Rally” for macOS available in the Feral Store and Steam, priced at US$59.99, with a Mac App Store release expected in the near future for US$44.99.

Pages has new options for formatting links — A few years ago, Melissa Holt wrote about dealing with the way Pages formats URLs in your text, but in newer versions of the application, your options are a bit different. As always, when you type “www.macobserver.com” or now even something like “apple.com” into a Pages document, the program will automatically create a clickable link and add an underline to it.

Video shows speed and resource testing in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome on the Mac — Mozilla just released their new Firefox Quantum browser with new features including built-in screenshots, a save-for-later feature named Pocket, and a Library that holds all of your pocket saves, bookmarks, browsing history, screenshots and downloads in one spot. AppleInsider compares the new release with Safari, and Google’s Chrome.

 

Soderberg’s movie on iPhone, X review, X vs Galaxy Note 8, Indian spam app, Google buds


Director Steven Soderbergh secretly shot new thriller Unsane entirely on Apple’s iPhone — Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh’s next film, a thriller titled Unsane, will see a wide theatrical release next spring, despite the fact that it was filmed entirely on an iPhone.
Unsane is currently scheduled to hit theaters on March 23, 2018, according to Deadline. Soderbergh (above right) will reportedly be self-distributing the film through his own company, Fingerprint Releasing, in collaboration with Bleecker Street. The film’s stars include Juno Temple (above right) and Claire Foy.

iPhone X Review: what Apple gets right, and wrong — Apple’s newest flagship smartphone, the iPhone X, is loaded with new features like an OLED screen, Face ID, and wireless charging. Is it worth the price tag? The Mac Observer has posted a review.

Apple iPhone X versus Samsung Galaxy Note 8 benchmark comparison — The consumer wars between Apple and Samsung will go on as long as both companies are around, as will the debates around which flagship device is more powerful. AppleInsider gets both the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8 on its test bench, and put them both through their paces.

Apple says it will help make limited anti-spam iPhone app for Indian government — Apple has reportedly bowed to pressure from the Indian government and will help it build an iPhone version of its Do Not Disturb anti-spam app, albeit with more limited capabilities than the Android version.

Reviews lean positive on Pixel Buds, Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods — Some of the first major reviews of Google’s Pixel Buds have emerged, mostly espousing a favorable opinion of the AirPods competitors, albeit with some tough criticisms.

MacBook drives sales, Jackson and sustainability, POS printer, Firefox Quantum


MacBook refreshes push Apple to 4th in global notebook shipments — Apple considerably improved its MacBook shipments in Q3 2017 compared to the previous quarter, market research firm TrendForce claims, with Apple said to have overtaken Asus in the global notebook shipment rankings for this quarter and achieving fourth place amongst other notebook brands.
Apple is said to have increased its shipments by 11.3% quarter on quarter, according to TrendForce, with third quarter shipments MacBook shipments reported at 4.43 million in the period. The increased sales also helped Apple’s market share, boosting its standing from a reported 10% in the second quarter to 10.4% in the third.

Apple’s Lisa Jackson joins execs from JetBlue and others to discuss sustainability  — The Washington Post is organising a forum called A World in Balance for business execs, policy makers, and experts to discuss sustainability. Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, will participate.
Speakers will debate the tradeoffs involved in conserving Earth’s natural resources, discuss new models for sustainable business practices and examine the relationship between democracy and sustainable development.

Star Micronics announces first AirPrint-certified point-of-sale receipt printer — The Star TSP654II AirPrint is the first 58mm and 80mm receipt and ticket printer to get AirPrint certification —and it will see release very soon.
The Star TSP654II AirPrint prints at 300 millimeters per second, at 203 dots per inch. The unit can be used in vertical or horizontal mode, and includes a wall mount brakcet in the box. [The brand is available in New Zealand, but boy, alk about ‘slow to market’ with this one!]

Firefox 57 ‘Quantum’ for macOS released, iOS version user interface refresh coming — Mozilla has wrapped up its biggest update of code in over ten years with the release of Firefox 57, once called Quantum, for macOS, and other platforms.
Mozilla claims the new Firefox runs faster mostly because of the overhaul of the code base, and resultant performance improvements. The organization claims the browser is twice as fast and uses 30% less memory than Chrome. [If you have it on Mac, launch it and it will signal an update is available. Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with Safari and it’s capabilities and privacy features, but occasionally a website doesn’t work properly so I have Firefox too – it’s free, after all. But Chrome? No way!]

iPhone X tips and tricks, retouching apps, Foxconn plummet, Apple Watch takes lead, Watch and sharks, sleep Watch


(Image from Apple NZ’s Watch page)

More iPhone X tips and tricks — How to access and customise the Control Center on the iPhone X, how to master the iPhone X user interface and how to reset Face ID (and don’t worry, it’s not facelift surgery). Here’s a video of the fastest way to unlock your iPhone X with Face ID.
You can autofill passwords and credit card entry in Safari with Face ID on the iPhone X, to. The iPhone X can auto-fill crucial data in Safari, using Face ID to authenticate the user, and securely enter credit card information with Apple’s iCloud Keychain and Safari Autofill at the crux of the feature. AppleInsider shows you how to set it up.

Five photo art apps to spruce up your images — Photo art apps are a cool way to make your images stand out. You can make your photos look like a painting, pencil drawing, and generally quirky. Mac Observer has combed through the App Store to bring you five photo art apps to get started.

Five photo retouching apps for iPhone to remove unwanted objects — An important aspect of photo editing is retouching, specifically where you can remove unwanted objects from your photo. Maybe you want to remove a pimple, a wrinkle, or even an object in the background. This can be done with a tool usually called a heal brush, or a clone stamp. Andrew Orr has personally used all of these photo retouching apps at some point, so gives his own insight into each one.

Foxconn profits plummet 39% following iPhone X production woes — Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn this week posted a 39% year-over-year decrease in net profit, losses that industry watchers attribute to the difficult-to-assemble iPhone X, which remains in limited supply.

The Apple Watch retakes the lead in the wearable band market in the third quarter — Apple retook the lead in the wearable band market in quarter three of 2017, with shipments of 3.9 million, reports the Canalys research group. It posted its strongest quarter so far in 2017, thanks to the release of the Apple Watch Series 3.

Call with Apple Watch Series 3 saves kitesurfer from shark-infested waters — After a nasty crash with a landing in a great white shark nursery area, a kite surfer used his Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE to summon rescuers and direct them to his location.

Study finds Apple Watch able to be used as diagnostic tool for sleep apnea, hypertension — Researchers from the University of California San Fransisco in conjunction with the developers of the Cardiogram app have proven that using existing sensors, the Apple Watch can detect sleep apnea and hypertension with a high degree of accuracy, potentially opening up the ability for the device to be used as a long-term research tool for the conditions. [If I had a Watch on, it could also tell I was awake right now. Wow.]

DriveDX, Parallels Desktop 13, Thunderbolt 3 eGFX has beefier power, Mailspring


Mailspring is a free Mac mail client that handles iCloud and Gmail

Help keep your Mac’s drives healthy with DriveDx — BinaryFruit’s DriveDx is a useful Mac solution for SSD and HDD health diagnostics and monitoring. It measures the overall health of both SSD and HDD drives. This allows users to take action to avert the failure, and save themselves from resulting data loss and downtime.
Unlike some drive health diagnostics utilities that simply check built-in S.M.A.R.T. status, DriveDx performs overall drive health diagnostics using drive health indicators (like SSD wear out/endurance, reallocated bad sectors, offline bad sectors, pending sectors, I/O errors, and more) that most closely correlate with drive failures according to the statistics reported in the latest researches focused on identifying drive failure trends.
The software requires macOS 10.6 or newer. It costs US$19.99 for a personal license and US$39.99 fo ra family license (for up to six computers.) DriveDx can be purchased from the BinaryFruit website. A demo is available for download.

Review of Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac — Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac was released a few months ago, and since then Steven Sander has been using it to run Windows, Linux, Mac and even Android virtual machines on a 27-inch iMac. Parallels has been making great strides in providing a top virtualization tool since the first days of Intel Macs, and this 13th iteration adds a few features and hones performance.

Sonnet ships Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Breakaway Box 550 with sufficient power for Vega 56 PCI-E card — Sonnet has added to its line of external GPU enclosures with the new 550W version of the eGFX Breakaway Box, with the heftier power supply able to handle a wider array of PCI-E video cards.
The eGFX Breakaway Box 550 provides a single PCI-E slot for connecting nearly any size Thunderbolt-compatible GPU card, and has enough room for high-performance water cooler cards. The unit is equipped with a single 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 port that enables data transfers up to 2750MB per second.

Mailspring is a new mail client for macOS High Sierra — Foundry376 has launched Mailspring, a desktop email client designed for macOS High Sierra.
It sports features such as an unified inbox, snoozing, reminders, templates, offline search, and support for Gmail labels. It comes with six built-in themes. The app offers mail rules and customizable keyboard shortcuts.
Mailspring is free and supports all IMAP providers, including iCloud, Gmail and Office 365. You can swipe to triage mail, see Quicklook thumbnails for attachments, and reply to emails directly from the Notification Center. Mailspring’s email sync has been built from the ground up to use macOS features like App Nap, ensuring it keeps your mailbox up to date without draining your battery, according to the folks at Foundry376.
 

Tuesday Talk ~ iPhone X or ex iPhone?


(Image from Wired)

iPhone X … I guess I’ve made it pretty clear I think it’s too expensive. Even if the technology it encompasses is worth it, I’m not sure it’s worth paying that much to have that technology. On the bell curve of the law of diminishing returns, I find this is well over the hump, although who knows, if I actually had a play with one, instead of just reading about it, I might think different. (Apple used to come over here and show us such things; this seems to have been suspended or at least curtailed, these days. Having an expert show you how things worked made a huge difference to how tech journalists comprehended, and responded to, its gear.)

I remember back when the iPhone first came out, people were saying ‘that’s a ridiculous amount to pay for a phone’. At the time I sanguinely pointed out that the phone part was almost the least-used part of the device for me. It was a camera, a searcher, a maps provider, a recorder, an email and text communicator … I probably made and took one or two calls a week in those days.
Sure, iPhone X represents another leap forward, but it feels like a leap forward for the select few. Even though I earn good money these days, by my standards, it feels like a leap too far for me.
On the other hand, of course, you need real power to serve AI and VR properly in a convincing manner on a pocketable device. But iPhone 8 ticks these boxes.

However, I haven’t joined the ranks of the haters. Far from it. This group of, essentially, tech biggots likes to proclaim the sky is falling in every time Apple releases a new product. You know how it goes: just because they want something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
But I do feel really critical of Apple’s responses to tax complaints, as I have always made clear, and I feel increasingly critical of the glib Jony Ive, Apple’s rather amazing designer who likes to craft solid gold examples of Apple’s wares for oligarchs. For it looks like Apple is starting to create what appear to me to be Gucci-level geegaws for the ultra rich. We don’t all need or even want a Rolex – I just need a watch to tell me what time it is, actually.
And time is moving along. I feel Apple is skating ever closer to a critical tipping point –once the hoi poloi abandons Apple, a few ultra-rich and sanctimonious tax-avoiding a-holes like U2’s Bono (an Apple favourite, and also implicated in the Paradise Papers) won’t be buying enough Apple products to keep the company afloat.
Tim Cook’s responses that Apple hasn’t done anything ‘illegal’ doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t done anything clearly, and by most people’s standards, immoral.

Apple’s direction looks like it’s increasingly dictated by shareholders. An expensive product gives them higher profit margins.
Taking the vision from the visionaries and handing it to the greedy is a terrible idea, Apple.

iPhone X vs 8 Plus, X production problems over, Ohio joke, YouTube drain, Midnight Fog Apple Watch


Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3, Midnight Fog, is coming to Nike’s online and retail stores next week

A  week using Apple’s iPhone X vs iPhone 8 Plus — There are benchmarks and specs —and then there are actual use cases that may differ between the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. AppleInsider has spent over a week with the iPhone X now, and here’s what we think about it, versus the iPhone 8 Plus, in a video.

Analyst: production problems with the iPhone X are over — In a note to clients, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that production problems with the iPhone X are over, and about 26 million units of the smartphone should ship in the holiday quarter.

Ohio state ‘i’ joke — Ohio State fans poked fun at iOS bug at Saturday’s game. Fans of the Ohio State University football team used a time-honoured tradition to poke fun at the iOS “i” bug this weekend. Before each game the fans chant out the letters “O – H – I – O” while groups of fans holding cards spell out the letters. Here’s how the letter “I” looked this weekend.

YouTube promises fix for severe battery drain on iPhones & iPads — Google’s YouTube said it’s working to solve a bug in its iOS app causing heavy battery drain on iPhones and iPads, even when running in the background.

Midnight Fog edition of Apple Watch Nike+ to ship on November 14 — A new colour combination for the Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3, Midnight Fog, is coming to Nike’s online and retail stores on Tuesday.
The product pairs an aluminium, space grey cellular Watch with a Sport Loop featuring “deep greys with iridescent accents,” Nike said. It’s intended to match the company’s Midnight Fog Air VaporMax shoes, which are coming to North America on November 27.

Smash and grab, Audio Recorder, iNotepad


(Image Credit: Vantagenews.com)

Smash and grab in the UK — Ten robbers on five mopeds broke into Apple’s Regent Street store in London early Monday morning, using one of the scooters to smash through the store’s glass facade.
A pair of security guards tried to stop them, but were threatened with hammers, according to the London Evening Standard. With lookouts stationed outside, the robbers were in the store for less than three minutes and took iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

Free Audio Recorder lives in the Mac menubar — This makes it easy to start recording audio at a click of a button.
You can use it to record voice notes, lectures, meetings, interviews and much more, and it supports high quality audio recording.

iNotepad for the Mac simplifies managing multiple texts in a single document — Apimac’s iNotepad is an app for macOS that lets you write and manage hundreds (or even thousands) of texts in one single document. With it, you have everything in one place.
Every document in iNotepad may contain hundreds or thousands of texts, for example all the reviews that you wrote for your blog or all the research papers that you wrote for college in the last few years. iNotepad is available at the Apimac website for US$24.99. It requires macOS 10.9 or later.

X impresses, X production, iOS fix, Clips 2, power saver, iPhone X problems, Firefox for iOS, apps get bokeh


You can get the portrait mode ‘bokeh’ effect without a dual-lens iPhone with the right apps

iPhone X impresses Windows executive, Android fans but bitter bloggers still hating — Apple’s iPhone X is drawing compliments from some unlikely places, ranging from the official Twitter account of Steven Sinofsky, the former President of Microsoft’s Windows Division, to diehard Android fans sharing their unvarnished opinions on Reddit. Sinofsky, who spent two decades working on Office and then led the development of Windows 7 and 8 before leaving Microsoft at the end of 2012, posted a series of Tweets concluding with the observation, “iPhone X is simply joyful to use. Apple deserves massive credit for inventing a new paradigm on top of the most successful one ever.”
However, it can never please embittered bloggers who want Apple to fail.

iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus production accelerating alongside cutback in orders for iPhone 8 — Reports from the supply chain suggest that any production problems that may have plagued the iPhone X are long past, and Apple and its manufacturing partners will increase production to ship about 26 million of the OLED model in the holiday quarter.

Apple releases iOS 11.1.1 update with ‘i’ autocorrect fix, ‘Hey Siri’ bug repair — Apple has released another “sub-point” update to iOS 11, with iOS 11.1.1 addressing the “i” bug that caused the letter to be autocorrected to “A” and a question mark.

Apple’s Clips 2.0 puts you in the Millennium Falcon cockpit with Star Wars augmented reality — Apple’s updated Clips 2.0 last Thursday, and it now supports augmented reality 360-degree selfie scenes using iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system. Other additions include Disney content including a panorama aboard the Millenium Falcon and Mega-Destroyer —and AppleInsider shows you all the new features.

Extreme test shows OLED iPhone X with ‘dark mode’ saves nearly 60% battery over 3 hours — After publicising ways to reduce power consumption on the iPhone X OLED display, AppleInsider has begun to put the methods to the test to get a feel for exactly how much power can be saved. The answer: a lot.

iPhone X problems — It’s not all hope and glory, though. Some iPhone X owners report mystery green lines appearing on displays. A Vietnamese firm managed to trip up iPhone X’s Face ID with an elaborate mask & makeup, and Apple has acknowledged iPhone X becoming unresponsive in cold weather, and has promised software fix.

Firefox iOS version 10 released with ‘Photon’ design and menu changes — Firefox has updated the iOS version of its browser to version 10.0, with the milestone release featuring a refreshed modern interface and changes to the menu system, ahead of another major update arriving on the desktop version of the browser next week.

Five apps that add Portrait Mode Bokeh to any iPhone — Do you love bokeh but don’t have an iPhone with a dual lens camera? Mac Observer has found up five apps that give you Portrait Mode bokeh. You can use these apps on any iPhone model.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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