Health hire, Italian consumer law, Logitech keyboard case


Logitech’s Slim Combo keyboard case for the new iPad Pro

Apple hires head of Stanford’s digital health initiative — Apple is moving forward with efforts to build out its health products team with the recent hire of a top Stanford doctor who headed up the university’s own digital health initiative. Dr Sumbul Desai, a key figure in January’s launch of the Stanford Center for Digital Health, will leave the center for an unknown role at Apple, Stanford confirmed to Internet Health Management on Friday.

Proposed Italian consumer protection law unlikely to have any effect on Apple’s iPhone sales — Hyperbolic Italian press reports notwithstanding, a controversial law proposed in Italy granting the users to use open-source software intended to grant rights to users will have little to no effect on Apple, according to AppleInsider sources.

Logitech Slim Combo keyboard case for 10.5-inch iPad Pro — Logitech makes some really nice keyboards for the iPad Pro, with the CREATE keyboard being my go-to keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. I recently purchased one of the smaller iPad Pros, and was provided with a Logitech Slim Combo Keyboard Case (US$129.99) for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. After about 10 days of testing, here’s Steven Sande’s take on this versatile keyboard case$.

New MacBook Pro review, Grenfell fundraiser, MaBook Store, threats rise, Secure Enclave, consumer trust, SnipNotes


Review: 2017 MacBook Pro fulfills the promise of the line’s redesign — At the WWDC, Apple took the opportunity to toss the new Kaby Lake i7 processor into the the redesigned 2016 MacBook Pro chassis. If you liked the 2016 but didn’t jump, you’ll be even happier with the 2017, says Apple Insider.

Apple webpage supports victims of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire — Apple has set up a webpage urging visitors to contribute a fundraiser for victims of last week’s deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London. The number of people dead or presumed dead remains at 79, but the true number could be higher. [The webpage is here.]
Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire, which appeared to spread quickly up the exterior of the tower in the early hours of June 14. With the inquiry now in its second week, police have started taking witness statements from those who were in the tower.

Chicago’s new Apple Store lets you get your MacBook fixed inside a massive MacBook — If there’s one thing about Apple Stores that everyone can agree on, it’s that they certainly stand out, and it looks like Apple isn’t aiming to change that reputation any time soon. The company’s upcoming flagship store in Chicago is being constructed with glass walls all around and a carbon fiber roof. But this week, the construction crew deviated from the original design plans and added a white Apple Logo to the center of the roof, making the store look like a giant MacBook.

2017 McAfee Threat Report shows spike in Mac malware — Malware targeting Mac users has been on the rise over the past year, and the McAfee June 2017 Threat Report [PDF] indicates that the trend in Mac malware isn’t slowing down. There were nearly 250,000 new instances of macOS malware in the first quarter of 2017, bringing the total for the quarter to just over 700,000.

High Sierra firmware suggests Secure Enclave, Intel ‘Purley’ chips coming to iMac Pro — A report on Thursday suggests Apple’s forthcoming iMac Pro all-in-one will run Intel’s server-class “Purley” Xeon platform, as well as a Secure Enclave Processor similar in function to the ARM-based chip embedded in the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Consumers trust Amazon more than Apple — Okay, it’s a survey. Surveys must be very well constructed. They must be repeated. They must be analyzed for the soundness of their methodology. The sampling is crucial. They must be put in perspective. That said, this survey by Morining Consult, published by Business Insider, shows that 69% of those surveyed trust Amazon to keep their data secure. Apple’s number was 60%.

SnipNotes is a new note-taking app for the Mac — Felix Lisczyk has introduced SnipNotes for macOS, which extends the existing iOS app. It combines a configurable clipboard manager with an intelligent note-taking app.

Futurology ~ 10 more Earths, Mars-sized mystery, visit Uranus, Bright Nights, human Genome rethink, long bog sword, ancient prosthetic toe


Lovely, lopsided Uranus …”

10 more planets humans may be able to ruin — Researchers from NASA’s Kepler space telescope team announced we might get to bring our garbage party to another planet — OK, a bunch of them.  The Kepler team has apparently identified 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are roughly Earth-size and within their star’s habitable zone, the orbit zone around a star that could support liquid water and possibly life. This latest update to the Kepler catalogue brings the total number of planet candidates identified by the space-based telescope to 4034.
~ Well gosh, that’s heartening. Maybe they should have Keplered them to themselves? 

Mystery Mars-sized planet — It’s been about 11 years since Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status, leaving a 2370km-sized void in our hearts. Since then, the hunt for Planet X – aptly renamed Planet 9 – has grown into an international movement to find such an object in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune’s orbit. Now, scientists Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory are upping the ante: they suggest a completely different, tenth planetary-mass object is hiding somewhere in the Kuiper Belt as well.
~ Sigh. Or, you know, they’re just making suff up. It’s pretty dark out there. 

Uranus is the loneliest thing in the solar system — It hasn’t had contact with anyone in over 30 years, since NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft whizzed by it on 24th January 1986. Thankfully, some good folks at NASA and elsewhere are advocating for missions to Uranus and its Ice Giant companion, Neptune, which could take place at some point in the next few decades.
~ If only I could think of a pun. 

Satellites solve ‘bright nights’ — When Roman philosophers such as Pliny the Elder witnessed moonless nights glow bright like the day, it made an impression. Others since then have been awestruck by these ‘bright nights’ too.
Scientists from York University in Toronto have since observed what they call “enhanced airglow events” where elements in the night sky release photons. They know what’s causing airglow in their satellite data. But now they think they have figured out what enhances the glow, which may have caused the brighter nights documented throughout history.
~ Let me guess: was it light?

Study forces scientists to rethink human genome — As genetic sequencing has gotten cheaper and computerised data analysis has gotten better, more and more researchers have turned to what are known as genome-wide association studies in hopes of sussing out which individual genes are associated with particular disorders. If you have a whole lot of people with a disease, you should be able to tell what genetic traits those people have in common that might be responsible. This thinking has resulted in an entire catalogue of hundreds of research studies that has shed light on the genetic origins of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and prostate cancer, while helping fuel the rise of personalised medicine.
But now, a group of Stanford University geneticists writing in the journal Cell posit that such large studies are actually likely to produce genetic variants with little bearing on the disease in question — essentially false positives that confuse the results.
~ ‘False positives’ really is cruel irony. 

Stunning medieval longsword discovered in Polish bog — Late last month, an excavator operator was working at a peat bog in the Polish municipality of Mircze when he accidentally stumbled upon a glorious specimen of 14th century craftsmanship. The remarkably well-preserved longsword is a unique find for the area, and its discovery has prompted an archaeological expedition hoping to find more artefacts in the (location undisclosed) bog.
~ For the love of peat!

Study sheds new light on incredible 3000-year-old prosthetic toe — It’s called the Greville Chester Great Toe, and it’s one of the earliest prosthetic devices known to scientists. The Iron Age prosthetic was discovered by archaeologists 17 years ago in a plundered tomb that was carved into an older burial chamber known as Sheikh ´Abd el-Qurna, an acropolis just west of Luxor, Egypt. A team of researchers from the University of Basel and the University of Zurich are currently reexamining the device, and the archaeological site itself, using state-of-the-art techniques — and they’re learning some extraordinary new things about it.
~ Come on, if they could make a massive pyramid, a toe doesn’t seem that much of a stretch. 

The Apocalypticon ~ CIA snack-scam, Russian demands, cyber attacks, future-blind, Afghan camo, sexless Rubbermen, fighting Stalkerware


A crew of CIA contractors crafted a scheme to steal thousands of dollars worth of snacks from the agency’s snack machines. And they pulled it off – and then they got fired, of course.
This was no petty heist – the contractors apparently made off with over $US3000 of vending machine treats in a period stretching from the spring of 2012 to the autumn of 2013.
~ Diabolical! Wow, that really puts the Russians in their place, right? Now I really feel safe. OK, maybe not …

Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found. Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country. The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any “backdoors” that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems. But those inspections also provide the Russians an opportunity to find vulnerabilities in the products’ source code – instructions that control the basic operations of computer equipment – current and former US officials and security experts said. IBM, Cisco and Germany’s SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and McAfee have also allowed Russia to conduct source code reviews of their products.

President Barack Obama reportedly approved the use of cyberweapons targeting sensitive Russian computer systems following the Kremlin-directed cyberattacks that upended the Democratic Party last summer, according to a new report from the Washington Post – one of the most comprehensive so far to describe the administration’s response to Kremlin cyber-aggression.

Unwillingness to foresee the future … Back in 2006, when the iPhone was a mere rumour, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked if he was worried: “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” He was asked ‘what if Steve Jobs’ company did bring an iPod phone to market?’ Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorised.
The point being, if you don’t understand a company’s goals, how can you know what their strategies and tactics will be?

The US government wasted millions of dollars dressing the Afghan Army in proprietary camouflage: the price tag for the never-ending, but occasionally paused, war in Afghanistan is well north of a trillion dollars by now. Nearly $US100 million ($132 million) of that is attributable to America’s generous decision to buy uniforms for the struggling Afghan National Army — and a newly released inspector general report says that as much as $US28 million ($37 million) of that cost was tacked on to pay for a proprietary camouflage pattern (above) that Afghanistan’s then-minister of defence thought looked cool.
~ I actually think it would be pretty effective … if they were fighting in Minecraft. 

After nearly four years, David Lewandowski has created a new entry in his highly successful rubbermen videos. Now they’re hungry. In 2011, Lewandowski scored a hit with a short video titled Going to the Store, in which one impossibly flexible, sexless computerised humanoid traipsed through real world footage. Now there is an army.

As if there aren’t enough tech security threats to worry about, you also need to be on your guard against so-called ‘stalkerware’ — those invasive types of programs installed by suspicious spouses, jealous exes or controlling parents without your knowledge. Here are the warning signs to look out for, and what you can do about them.

Five Tip Friday ~ Safari in macOS


1/ How to clear your Safari browsing history in macOS Sierra — You can remove all records that macOS Sierra’s Safari keeps of where you’ve browsed during a period of time you want. If your Mac and your other devices have Safari turned on to sync in iCloud preferences, your browsing history is removed from all of those devices.
Clearing your browsing history in Safari doesn’t clear any browsing histories kept independently by websites you visited. Choose History > Clear History, click the pop-up menu, then choose how far back you want your browsing history cleared.
When you clear your history, Safari removes all the data it saves as a result of your browsing, including the history of webpages you visited, the back and forward list for open webpages, Top Sites that aren’t marked as permanent, your frequently visited site list, recent searches, and more. You will need to log into services like Facebook again … so make sure you really want to remove all this data before you clear your Safari history.

2/ Bookmark folders — If you’re using Safari’s Favorites Bar (which can be revealed by choosing View > Show Favorites Bar from the program’s menus at the top), there are a few neat things you can do with folders full of bookmarks (Bookmarks menu, Add Bookmarks Folder). You can tell what bookmarks in the Favourites Bar are folders because of those tiny downward-caret-arrow things to the right of each one (above). Apple calls these Disclosure Triangles because clicking them always reveals things. If you click on one, you’ll note the Open in New Tabs option.
Choose that, and obviously the bookmarks within that folder will open in their own tabs, which is a fast way to launch a whole bunch of sites at once. If, however, you hold down the Option key on your keyboard before you click there, Open in New Tabs switches to Replace Tabs. This means any tabs you had in your existing Safari window will vanish and be replaced by the ones in the folder you chose. Neat!

3/ For an even faster way to do either of those things — Use the Command key or the Option key. If you hold down Command and click on any toolbar bookmarks folder, it’ll open the sites within in new tabs; hold down Option and click one, and Safari will replace your existing tabs like we just discussed.

4/ Set your folders to automatically replace existing ones with just a click — To configure that, right- or Control-click on the folder and pick Automatically Replace Tabs from the contextual menu.
That will add a little square next to the folder in your toolbar, which will mean a single click will replace all of your existing tabs with the ones in that folder. (Be careful about doing that accidentally. If that happens, there are ways to recover your lost tabs.)

5/ Some of this functionality is available from the bookmarks sidebar if you prefer that view — For example, you can right- or Control-click on folders from there to pick Open in New Tabs. Holding down the Option key will switch that to Replace Tabs, as it does in the toolbar. [These last four tips came from The Mac Observer, which has more pictures.] 

Sharing memories, Apps cleanup, LGBTQ donations, Storm Radar, GPU sale, uphill battle in India


Apple explains how to customize and share Photos Memories in new tutorials — Expanding its How to Shoot on iPhone 7 tutorial series, Apple has posted a pair of videos explaining how to customise and share Memories clips generated by the Photos app in iOS 10.

Apple cleaning hundreds of thousands of titles from App Store in Review Guidelines crackdown — As part of an extensive housecleaning operation, Apple has over the past year removed hundreds of thousands of clones, 32-bit titles, spamware and other software from the App Store ahead of this fall’s iOS 11 launch.

Apple donating some proceeds from Apple Watch Pride band to LGBTQ groups — Some of the money generated from the Pride Edition nylon band for the Apple Watch is going towards LBGTQ advocacy groups in the US and abroad, Apple quietly announced this week.
As a company Apple has long backed LGBT rights, for instance being one of the first major US businesses to extend benefits to same-sex couples. Current CEO Tim Cook is gay, and has not only marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade but spoken out on related political issues.
Recently, an Apple statement condemned US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of some transgender rights. [As NZ Labour’s David Parker says, ‘How does giving someone rights take them away from anyone else?’]

A first look at The Weather Channel’s new Storm Radar app — If you’re a weather fanatic, you’re probably familiar with the products of The Weather Company. The company is owned by IBM, and its products include The Weather Channel and Weather Underground. The company has just announced another free iPhone app called Storm Radar, and AppleWorld Today takes a first look at it.

Outgoing Apple iPhone GPU designer Imagination seeks sale of entire company to parties unknown — Just over two months after Apple told it that it would no longer be using Imagination Technologies GPU offerings, the company is seeking to sell itself off, either in chunks or as a larger whole.

Apple facing uphill battle in India from Samsung mindshare, factory expansion — Other than just battling the Indian government for concessions and dealing with the shaky financial situation of the populace, Apple is also fighting a large and aggressive Samsung presence in the subcontinent for the minds of the consumers.

2017 27″ 5K iMac, games sale, Rest Time, 2-factor macOS authentication, Air 2 for education, Music cut, Taiwan Apple Store


Apple’s 2017 27″ 5K iMac impresses with truly powerful desktop-class graphics — Daniel Eran Dilger writes that Apple has radically overhauled its iMac lineup for 2017, giving its 27-inch Retina 5K models dedicated graphics driven by AMD Radeon Pro 570, 575, and 580 GPUs; a brighter display with enhanced P3 wide color; more powerful Intel Kaby Lake CPUs; upgradable RAM sockets and modern, ultrafast USB C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Steam Summer Sale now on — In welcome news for a wet NZ winter, the 2017 Steam Summer Sale has just kicked off. While known for PC games, Steam sells a growing number of Mac games, so there should be some great deals to be had over the next few days. The sale is on now until July 5th with discounts up to 85% on hundreds of games.

Rest Time 1.0 is a new macOS break reminder — Publicspace has launched Rest Time for macOS. It’s a break reminder written completely in Swift and uses Apple’s latest platform technologies.

How to implement Apple’s two-factor authentication in macOS Sierra — Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password. Here are the steps to take to enable it on macOS Sierra.

A bold move for Apple would be a ‘MacBook Air 2 for Education’ — There is no doubt that Apple’s arsenal when it comes to education is not yet fully formed. Back when the MacBook Air was a Thing, too expensive for secondary education, Apple got the idea that the less expensive iPad, the computer of the future, should be up to bat. It didn’t really pan out, so John Martellaro thinks it would be a brilliant move if Apple did something dramatic in education and launched a MacBook Air 2.

Apple wants record companies to accept a smaller Apple Music cut — Apple wants record companies to accept a smaller cut from Apple Music streaming revenues, according to a Bloomberg report.

First Taiwan Apple store to open on July 1 — Apple on Wednesday officially announced a grand opening date for its first retail outlet in Taiwan, noting the Apple Taipei 101 outlet will open its doors to customers on Saturday, July 1.

Memories ad, safer driving, iOS verification failures, 40 more for Apple Pay


Apple shows off Memories feature in new iPhone 7 The Archives ad and tutorial video — Apple has continued the ‘practically magic’ advertising campaign for the iPhone 7 on Tuesday with a new ad spot called The Archives which emphasises the Memories feature in Photos.

Inside iOS 11: Apple’s ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ keeps you safe on the road — Beginning this fall, iOS 11 will debut a new safety feature for Apple’s iPhone called Do Not Disturb While Driving.  AppleInsider corralled a co-pilot to test it out, and here’s how it works.

If you’re seeing an iOS Verification Failed Error, you’re not alone — Some iPhone users have been plagued lately by seeing an iOS Verification Failed message when trying to login on iCloud.com. Apple has acknowledged the error and has talked with several people on this.

Forty more institutions join the Apple Pay train — Another 40 institutions have joined Apple’s list of participating partners since the last refresh. You can find the complete list here.
The mobile payment service works with many of the major credit and debit cards from the top banks.On the Apple Pay page, Apple says that “we’re working with more banks to support Apple Pay” and that “if you don’t see your bank below, check back soon. [New Zealand still only has ANZ, though.]

No to memory business, Hitman, Cook up and down, leaks, new features for Outlook, low auction, iBooks


Apple has been ignoring iBooks …

Toshiba selects winning bidder for chip business, rules out Apple/Dell/Foxconn consortium — Toshiba has chosen a consortium formed by Bain Capital, Mitsubishi, and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its memory chip business, effectively locking out a Foxconn-led consortium including the likes of Apple and Dell.

Hitman arrives on Apple’s macOS, first episode free to download — Feral Interactive has shipped Hitman for macOS, complete with all installments of the episodic assassination-based game playable on Mac for the first time. The launch is accompanied by the release of a demo from developer IO Interactive, providing access to one episode from the series for free. [Expect your brain to be challenged, as it’s a stealth game.]

Apple CEO Tim Cook drops from 8th to 53rd in Glassdoor rankings — Apple’s Tim Cook has slipped from 8th to 53rd place in Glassdoor’s annual CEO rankings for large US businesses, based on anonymous reviews left by the company’s workers. This still gives him a 93% approval rating in the poll, Glassdoor said. In 2016 Cook managed 96%, helping to elevate him from 10th place in 2015, and 18th in 2013 and 2014. It’s not clear what led to Cook’s fall, although simply being in the top 100 puts him well above the 67% average CEO rating for companies on Glassdoor.

Why Apple employees leak company secrets — “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” said Abraham Lincoln
Percolating throughout the internet is a very interesting article at The Outline on how Apple hunts down employees who leak corporate secrets Leaked recording: inside Apple’s global war on leakers. It’s all to easy to point out how ironic this leaked recording is, but John Martellero thinks it’s actually a good thing that the leak occurred and the article was written.

Kensington has entered the burgeoning Thunderbolt 3 dock market — It has security options and a mounting kit setting it apart from the others. The Kensington SD5000T has a front-mounted USB 3.0 type-A port, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 type-C port on the front. On the rear is a fairly standard array of ports with another USB type-A port, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in and out, and a full-size DisplayPort. It costs $349.99 and is available from Amazon[In NZ this will cost $519.95 and should be available from the usual suppliers and apple Resellers.]

Outlook 2016 for Mac gets 4 highly requested new features — Good news for Outlook users: Microsoft this week announced that it is adding several of its customers’ “most requested features” to Outlook 2016 for Mac. The new features, which are rolling out now to various preview and release versions of the app, address four key areas.

Latest Apple-1 auction fetches surprisingly low $355,500 — At a June 15 Christie’s auction, a customised Apple-1 sold for $355,500, skewing toward the low end of house estimates, and below all other auctions for working Apple-1 computers. [This continues a trend, though.]

Let’s see some love for iBooks, iBooks Author — iBooks is a free ebook app that allows you to read publications purchased at the iBook Store. iBooks Author lets you create iBooks textbooks (as well as other types of books) for the iPad and Mac. But the app and the service have been languishing [hear hear!]

Fast refresh, less stealing, war on leakers, Back to the Future iPad, Siri will translate, Little room-filler


The 10.5-Inch iPad Pro’s 120Hz Refresh Rate Matters — Jeff Butts talks about the difference between refresh rate and FPS (frames per second) “because I have a feeling many folks are wondering. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, but what does that really mean in real-world terms? It’s clear that at least one writer covering the tech industry doesn’t quite grok the difference.” Basically, the frames refresh 120 times per second, even when your content only moves at 60FPS.

Apple product security team briefing shows 99% drop in stolen iPhone cases from 2014 to 2016 — A new report sheds some light on Apple’s anti-leak department, with employees for the Global Security Team coming from the NSA, FBI, Secret Service, and US military supervising an operation that deals with more people per day in the production lines in China than the TSA does in airports. Apple is seeming engaged with a ‘global war on leakers‘.

Back to the Future fan makes Apple’s iPad, Xcode centerpiece of custom DeLorean modification — Utilising several third-party solutions, a Back to the Future film fanatic has built a custom DeLorean door and trunk controller in a dash-mounted iPad that can also provide speed information, as well as nearly all of the features an Apple CarPlay solution would.

Siri will translate for you in Apple’s iOS 11 — Beginning this northern Autumn (our Spring) with iOS 11, Apple’s voice-driven personal assistant, Siri, will gain the ability to translate to multiple foreign languages. Here’s a peek at how it will work.

Little room-filler — The Pioneer Rayz Rally is an external wired iPhone speaker, powered through the device’s Lightning port, and it’s suitable for both small areas and conference rooms. Pioneer claims the device “automatically knows what mode” it is in: on a call or for general audio playback, and will optimise the audio accordingly. It’s US$99 on Amazon.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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