The Apocalypticon ~ Space germs, fossil fuels, information wars, sensitive time capsule, Apple tax and censorship, bush fire thwarts prepper, toys


Germy space station — According to a new study in the journal PeerJ, the interior surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight space station harbour at least 1000 and perhaps more than 4000 microbe species.

Shocking dependence on fossil fuels remains — Most of the world’s clean-energy sources are used to generate electricity, but electricity forms only 25% of the world’s energy consumption. As the rich world moved towards a cleaner energy mix, much of the poor world was just starting to gain access to modern forms of energy. Inevitably, they chose the cheapest option, which was and remains fossil fuels. But the world’s energy demand has grown so steeply that we’re also using a lot more fossil fuels than in the past.

Time capsule in, ahm, hate to say, Jesus’ butt — While preserving an 18th century wooden statue of Jesus, a team of Spanish restorers was surprised to discover a time capsule hidden within the hollowed-out buttocks-portion of the carving. Written by a Catholic chaplain, the detailed document contains economic, political and cultural information about the time period. The document was signed in 1777 by a Spanish Priest named Joaquín Mínguez, chaplain of the Cathedral of the Burgo de Osma.
~ Let us raise our eyes …

Man tries to hack mate out of prison — A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to hacking the computer network of the Washtenaw County Jail, where he modified inmate records in an attempt to have an inmate released early. To breach the jail’s network, the attacker used spear-phishing emails and telephone social engineering. He was arrested a month later and is now awaiting sentencing (maximum 10 years and a fine of up to US$250,000).
~ Once upon a time, this would have been a physical act. 

More on the information war — Personal data belonging to over 31 million customers of a popular virtual keyboard app was leaked online, after the app’s developer failed to secure the database’s server. The server is owned by Eitan Fitusi, co-founder of AI.type, a customisable and personalisable on-screen keyboard, which boasts more than 40 million users across the world. The database appears to only contain records on the app’s Android users.
Should we worry? We could fund a Universal Basic Income with the data we give away to Google and Facebook.
In 1929, the Nazi propaganda tabloid Der Stürmer published a caricature of an imaginary group of devious looking Jewish people peeling off in a car after apparently running over a German boy, left bleeding in the arms of his father.
In the year 2017, the president of the United States retweeted a video of a dark-haired teenager assaulting a blond, Dutch teenager on crutches, with the erroneous caption, “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” Unfortunately, there’s more. “This is scary shit,” echoes Jason Stanley, a professor at Yale and author of the book How Propaganda Works.
Now, and after the US, the UK appears to be warning its own workers to steer clear of Kaspersky‘s security products. [Kaspersky refutes he has anything to do with Russian espionage, but let me boil down how Russian espionage works: Russia is asked through official channels ‘Did you sanction, or carry out, this or that?’ Russia replies ‘No’. That’s it.]

Shout out against Apple and tax. Literally — A group of global activists stormed and occupied several Apple Stores in France last weekend in a move aimed at pressuring the company to pay up on a €13 billion (US$15.5 billion) tax bill to the European Union.
But wait, there’s more: Apple’s Tim Cook (along with Google’s Sundar Pichai) made appearances at China’s World Internet Conference, bringing star power to a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote its strategy of tight controls online. [In other words, they were there to promote Chinese censorship. Go Tim ‘it’s not the morals, it’s the money’ Cook.] 

Microwaving North Korean missiles — According to an NBC News report, a weapon, still under development, could be put on a cruise missile and shot at an enemy country from a B-52 bomber. It’s designed to use microwaves to target enemy military facilities and destroy electronic systems, like computers, that control their missiles. [Fries with that?]

Bushfire prep — OK, not really. A Utah man reportedly spent 30 years building a series of underground bunkers that he hoped would outlive the apocalypse … but half of them couldn’t even survive a bushfire. [Back to the drawing board for Mr Doofus.]

Although that was funny, it’s also tragic and stupid. I like to end on a positive note. Here it is: get your kids less toys. Really.

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Futurology ~ star collision, Europa plates, Voyager’s old thrusters, spacesuit, Type 2 diabetes, spider beanie, meteorite bronze age


Fancy hanging off the side of your building in this?

Two stars collided — On August 17th, astronomers bore witness to the titanic collision of two neutron stars, the densest things in the universe besides black holes. In the collision’s wake, astronomers answered multiple major questions that have dominated their field for a generation. And there was more, and there is much more yet to come from this discovery…  but now what?
~ Do scientists even have the right instrumentation to follow these discoveries up? 

Europa’s icy plate tectonics — According to new research published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Europa has what it takes to support plate tectonics. Using computer models, a team lead by Brown University planetary scientist Brandon Johnson was able to demonstrate the physical feasibility of icy plates driving deep into the icy interior in a processes similar to what’s seen on Earth. This same process could be delivering important minerals to the ocean below, heightening the moon’s status a potentially habitable world.
~ Jupiter’s moon Europa features a ‘warm’ subterranean ocean covered in ice, leading to decades of speculation it might harbour life. 

Voyager 1 just fired up its backup thrusters for the first time in 37 years — Voyager 1, the probe which became the first man-made object to leave the solar system in 2012, has been away from home for a long, long time – approximately 40 years. It’s still been beaming back reams of data. (It’s so lonely.) Now it’s nearly 21 billion kilometeres from Earth. Last week, NASA said it had successfully dusted off the spacecraft’s long-dormant backup thrusters for the first time in 37 years.
~ And, in its off time, 1 has been sending extremely ill-advised texts to possible distant alien civilisations. 

Spacesuit’s Take Me Home button — Imagine, unlike in the film Gravity, a struggling astronaut presses an emergency button which automatically takes her back to the International Space Station or another space-based habitat. Such a system is currently under development at Draper Labs, and it could soon become a standard feature on spacesuits.
~ There goes my Space Life Preserver plan. 

Type 2 diabetes might be reversible — For those suffering from type 2 diabetes, there is good news. Nearly half of the participants in a watershed trial of a new diabetes treatment were able to reverse their affliction. The method is quite simple: an all liquid diet that causes participants to lose a lot of weight, followed by a carefully controlled diet of real solid foods. Four times a day, a sachet of powder is stirred in water to make a soup or shake. They contain about 200 calories, but also the right balance of nutrients. If the patient can keep away from other foods long enough, there is a chance of reversing type 2 diabetes completely.
~ Jenny Craig must be sharpening her pencil. 

Personal urban retreat — A transparent capsule on a roof high above the city may offer a temporary escape in urban environments, while also allowing us to reconnect with our environment. The capsule nestles in the density of the city, but escapes it due to its high position. The shape embraces the buildings since it lies partly on the roof and the facade. Like a mountain retreat, it offers a quiet space to breathe with a new viewpoint.
~ I reckon people would just fill them up with junk as extra storage. 

Artificial spider silk beanie — Best Made Company’s Cap of Courage is a US$198 striped beanie that’s made by combining Bolt’s Microsilk and Rambouillet wool. The run of 100 caps is a proof of concept to show that the elusive science behind crafting synthetic spider’s silk is no longer elusive. It’s partly a product of proteins that mimic spider silk grown in yeast.
~ At least it’s not brewed from dead flies, so the courage part comes from paying that much for a hat, presumably. 

Almost all Bronze Age iron artefacts were made from meteorite iron — According to a new study, it’s possible that all iron-based weapons and tools of the Bronze Age were forged using metal salvaged from meteorites. The finding has given experts a better insight into how these tools were created before humans worked out how to produce iron from its ore.
~ The surprise for me is that iron was smelted at all in the Bronze Age, before the beginning of the official Iron Age.

The Apocalypticon ~ Quantum spying, Android, see level, Russians, post apocalypse garden, dazzle ships


Quantum spying — In his latest novel, David Ignatius tackles the intersection of quantum computing and espionage. The Quantum Spy revolves around a central theme of spy literature: the race for a new technology, to discover something new that, even if only for a moment, will provide a geopolitical advantage.
But it didn’t take any kind of computer to hack the US military, because they didn’t even use passwords. [Makes you feel safe, doesn’t it? ]

Three quarters of Android apps track users with third party tools — A study by French research organization Exodus Privacy and Yale University’s Privacy Lab analysed the mobile apps for the signatures of 25 known trackers and found that more than three in four Android apps contain at least one third-party ‘tracker.’

US ‘orchestrated’ Russian spy scandal, claims Russian — Right, yeah, that makes sense.

Twitter-twatted Trump — In the last few days, President Donald Trump has used his infamous Twitter account to retweet British fascists’ anti-Islam videos and tag the wrong Theresa May in an angry rant. Trump’s very bad tweets translate into almost immediate real-life consequences for everyone but him. But undoubtedly one of the high points of Trump’s tenure on the site was when his account was mysteriously nuked after what Twitter described as a “human error by a Twitter employee”. Now, per TechCrunch, we know who that legendary employee was. He’s not concerned with legal consequences, telling TechCrunch, “I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything that I was not authorised to do. I didn’t go to any site I was not supposed to go to. I didn’t break any rules.” [Give that man a medal.]

The rise of sea level rise — The problem with coastal living is that while the food supply is relatively stable, sea levels are not. They’ve always risen and fallen as the climate changes over the millennia – and thanks to the hyper-productivity of the Industrial Age, they’re in the middle of a pretty significant uptick. In the coming decades, rising sea levels could jeopardize untold billions of dollars in real estate and infrastructure along the world’s coasts and displace millions of people.

Plants for after the apocalypse — In Geneva, New York, Cornell University scientists crossbreed domesticated crops with their wild ancestors to propagate superhardy strains that better withstand droughts, heat waves, and freezes. [But not seawater – see above.]

Dazzle ships for when the navy wasn’t just Battleship Grey — Dazzle patterns  made ships really had to identify and calculate torpedo attacks upon. The British got all artsy with it, but the he US also adopted Dazzle painting as camouflage, but in a very American way. “Where the British saw this as a kind of large art project and each ship had a unique design, the Americans created a catalog of plans, then sent the plans to Eastman Kodak for testing” according to Claudia Covert, a special collections librarian at the Rhode Island School of Design. [And she has the best name ever for this job.]

Futurology ~ Space weirdness, Quantum Machines, bilingual AI, soft robots, NASA tyres, glacier danger, coal to clean


NASA’s new tyres are virtually indestructible

Asteroid in close pass — (3200) Phaethon is a rock 5km in diameter with an oblong orbit that intersects Earth. It’s scheduled to make a nearby approach on December 16th. You’ll probably hear more fear-mongering shouting about it until then, but it isn’t a rock to worry about in our lifetimes.
~  It will pass a fifth of the distance from Earth to Mars at its closest. Mars is not exactly close. 

Chinese Monkey King satellite has made some odd discoveries — China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer satellite (DAMPE or Wukong in China) is reporting the results of a year-and-a-half of space-staring, measuring the mysterious, high-energy electrons blasting Earth from space. The experiment has directly detected something that some similar experiments have hinted at, but others haven’t: a sudden drop-off in the electrons hitting the satellite. Whatever is going on, it’s weird.
~ But the Earth is still round. 

Space bacteria — Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov took routine samples from the outside of the International Space Station during a spacewalk. These samples were analysed and found to contain bacteria that must have come from somewhere other than Earth or the ISS itself. “Bacteria that had not been there during the launch of the ISS module were found on the swabs,” Shkaplerov told TASS Russian News Agency. “So they have flown from somewhere in space and settled on the outside hull.”
The Independent wrote “Finding bacteria that came from somewhere other than Earth would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of science – but much more must be done before such a claim is made.”

Two new Quantum Machines have made actual science discoveries — Two teams of scientists are announcing that their quantum simulators – advanced quantum computers with very specialised scientific purposes – have made some real scientific discoveries.
~ I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for all those trapped atoms, but I do.

Bilingual AI without a dictionary — Two new papers show that neural networks can learn to translate with no parallel texts – a surprising advance that could make documents in many languages more accessible.
The two new papers focus on unsupervised machine learning. To start, each constructs bilingual dictionaries without the aid of a human teacher telling them when their guesses are right. That’s possible because languages have strong similarities in the ways words cluster around one another. The words for table and chair, for example, are frequently used together in all languages, so if a computer maps out these co-occurrences like a giant road atlas with words for cities, the maps for different languages will resemble each other, just with different names.
~ A computer can figure out the best way to overlay one atlas on another and voila! You have a bilingual dictionary.

Soft robots acquire origami skeletons — Robots are going soft. Literally soft, controlled with liquid or air instead of traditional motors. Soft robotics is hot at the moment. But without the rigidity and powerful motors of your typical robot, soft robots have been weak  until researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Harvard’s Wyss Institute developed a new kind of soft robotic muscle inspired by origami and awesomeness. It’s essentially a bag filled with air, inside of which is an origami structure that functions as a skeleton. By pumping air in and out, the researchers can get the muscle to lift 1000 times its own weight.
~ Could this also be used inside buildings to prevent collapse during earthquakes? 

NASA’s tough titanium tyres — Stretch a Slinky toy too far, and eventually the metal coil will be warped so much it won’t be able to return to its original spring shape. That’s a problem also faced by the metal spring tyres designed to roll across the Moon, and other planets our rovers are exploring. But NASA has created an alternative, made from titanium, that can tackle any terrain and always return to its original tyre shape.
~ A tyre that can last for years with minimal maintenance is important when sending rovers to the other planets in our Solar System.

The glaciers of Pine Island Bay could drown us; they are two of the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica — A Rolling Stone feature earlier this year dubbed Thwaites ‘The Doomsday Glacier.’ Together, they act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour over three metres (11 feet) of sea-level rise into the world’s oceans, an amount that would submerge every coastal city on the planet. For that reason, finding out how fast these glaciers will collapse is one of the most important scientific questions in the world today.
~ Marine ice-cliff instability is a feedback loop that could kickstart the disintegration of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet in turn effecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. 

Dirty coal to clean energy in Germany — The path from dirty coal to clean energy isn’t easy. Bottrop’s Prosper-Haniel coal mine is a symbol of the challenges and opportunities facing Germany – and coal-producing states everywhere.
Around the world, as governments shift away from the coal that fueled two ages of industrial revolution, more and more mines are falling silent. If there’s an afterlife for retired coal mines, one that could put them to work for the next revolution in energy, it will have to come soon. One use for retired coal mines is as giant batteries for clean energy. To turn a coal mine into a battery, all you need is gravity.
~ Plus a lot of money.

More comments on the changes at Mac NZ


Oh Mark: I will miss you!!! I read every post—not always with comprehension—but I read them. Of course I understand the overload—your productivity is prodigious. You could write a history of technology development from your posts.
I’m guessing the Museum of Transport and Technology is taking all your time. And I have learned so much from reading what you write! Thank you for it all. And for your individual help to me.
And good good wishes for what you are turning towards. Best, …

Congratulations! On your achievements over the years, on your even handed reviews and comments on Apple related happenings, on beautifully composed MagBytes.
Boy, I’m going to miss my daily fix! I reckon my wife will be happy I won’t spend quite so long at the computer.
Have also appreciated the times when your responses to my queries have been so promptly dealt with.
So from this almost 80 year old, a great big thank you!

Thanks Mark for all your effort. Really appreciate all the tips and tricks you have shared over the years. Made my working life way more efficient. Good luck with your next venture and work at MOTAT.

Hey Mark, I couldn’t let this sad day pass without sending a message of gratitude. Knowing how time and energy-consuming this must have been for you, I totally understand your decision.
We are all richer, wiser and certainly more Mac-knowledgeable due to your efforts and contributions.
All the very best and if I ever meet you, I owe you a drink!
Kindest regards, …

I too enjoyed reading your site and learned some Apple tips via your Five Tip Friday posts. So thanks for all that you work you put in.
Glad to know that you are now employed by MOTAT, which is one of my favourite places to visit in Auckland. I have been there a few times and would love to re-visit.
Shame on Apple for doing what it did for you. But I really appreciate the work you did and I am grateful for that.

No more MagBytes, no more Apple news


Hi there and goodbye-ish — as I explained in MagBytes 93 that I released yesterday, I have no more time for monthly MagBytes (at least 8 hours work) and for daily Apple news updates and for weekly Friday tips. My working life has taken over, and since Apple no longer shows me products, I no longer feel qualified to talk about them.

It’s been a fun and rewarding pastime; thank you for your attention and support over the last ten years.

Here are some of the reactions (senders’ names withheld):

Like a lot of people I for one am very sorry to see it go. I totally understand your decision and I bet it took a lot of thought before you came to this end.
Always looked forward to all your communications, even had an alert in my calendar to remind me to check if needed. I could never understand how in the world you kept it all up, as some of your replies came very late at night. So although I am sorry to not get Magbytes any more, I say go for it.
One door closes, another one opens is a saying that does seem to happen.
I hope we can stay friends and when I have said thank you in the past, I really meant it, for  I felt you must have been up against it sometimes.
All the best.

The whole world is ‘changing’ it seems… so you are no exception to the avant-garde.  
Thank you for the excellent information received over the years since we met. I have all your Magbytes on file for easy access to the Apple world when, like you, time permits, for my limited knowledge to decipher.
Just a thought.. for the moments of your creative imagination… many of us in the Apple world need someone like you to set up an Apple training school on line. ‘We’… the Apple lovers of the older generation… have the toys, but do not have the school or the skill of the teenagers. But we’ll pay to learn. Could you put your Apple training school online… you’d only need to update when something really new comes out. So please consider…PLEASE!
Wishing you all the best at MOTAT… Christmas… 2018… and…the new online adventure!

Hi Mark,
As one of the many people who have benefited from your expertise over the years I’d like to thank you.
Every time I’ve asked you for advice or information I’ve had a quick and useful reply.
Not being that tech savvy, but having owned a Mac since about 1992, in the past few years I’ve come to rely on MagBytes to keep me up to date with current advice and information.
It seems to me a real shame you cannot continue use your talents as a Mac ambassador.
My retirement field is photography and we visit MOTAT as a source of interesting subjects. Hopefully next time I can say hello.
Once again thanks for making such a valuable contribution to my technical life and good luck for the future.
If you ever start up again please let me know.
Best wishes.

Hi Mark,
Well a sad day today with the news you are stopping your daily Mac info etc.
I for one have appreciated all the work you  have done here and for the advice you have given me in times of trouble or needed some help.
I do see why you are doing this and I wish you all the very best in your job, which I must say I would also fined very interesting.
I think I can say that there will be  a lot of sad people who use Macs out there with this news.
As far as my keyboard is concerned my space bar is intermittent and can drive you up the wall if you do not keep an eye on the spaces between words.
I followed advice found by searching, it’s a common problem too, but if the bluetooth is connected and battery levels are good then Apple say that’s it, a new keyboard in required. (Wireless 2015 or later here).
At the moment it is working but if it fails again I am off the the store.
Thank you for all you have done and I imagine it is sad for you too. You are right in that there is very little Mac support available here where one can get some answers to problems etc without taking it to places like the iStore.
Good luck.

Thanks, Mark, for everything you have done for fellow Apple users over many years – always interesting and informative.
Your daily news and MagBytes will be very much missed here.
All the best.

Thanks Mark. That has been a long involvement. I was a subscriber to MacGuide and have really appreciated all your advice, reviews and everything over the years on paper and online. Have a restful Xmas and New Year. Kind regards.

So sorry to see this. I have enjoyed this news very much but understand that life can take over sometimes! Cheers.

Thank you and all the best for the future.

And thank you to all for these kind words! M

MagBytes 93 is here … and it’s the last one.


Here is MagBytes 93, the final issue. I am sorry everyone who enjoys this effort of mine, but I no longer have time to do this, and I will also be cutting my Apple news updates dramatically, and no more Friday tips, as I explain in MagBytes 93 on Page 9. I thank you for your support over the last ten years but I simply cannot sustain this any longer.

I will continue to write commentary on Apple when it’s relevant and I have the time on Mac NZ, I will continue to write reviews. I will continue with Futurology and The Apocalypticon (on weekends) as they support my other interests.

Please download MagBytes 93 from this link —>> Issue93November17

Fusion Guitar, iPhone X quitting, iCloud Drive files, Apple TV 4K


Fusion Guitar is a new iPhone/iPad integrated electric guitar — Fusion Guitar is a new iPhone/iPod-integrated, portable, wireless electric guitar with built-in amp, battery and speakers. It’s available at a special holiday price of US$899 through December 24 with promo code:  ROCK-N-ROLL-SANTA-FG.
Designed by guitarists for guitarists, the Fusion Guitar gives the ability to practice and play on the go, around the campfire, impromptu creative sessions, on the streets or at the next big show, says Dave McAuld, Fusion Guitar founder and designer.
Fusion Guitar eliminates the need for multiple hardware devices: amplifier, speakers, foot pedals, power supply, multiple cables, a computer and computer-guitar interface. It’s compatible with a range of guitar digital effect and recording apps like JamUp or AmpliTube. Fusion Guitar supports the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, iPhone 5 and 5s, iPod touch (5th and 6th generations) but it’s currently only shipping in the US.

How to make app quitting more like the iPhone 7 and 8 on iPhone X — There’s more than one way to quit apps on the iPhone X once you know the right gesture. It isn’t quite as smooth as quitting apps on an iPhone 7 or 8, which is kind of weird because it could be just as simple. Check out TMO’s video showing how app quitting works on the iPhone X.

How to recover (or remove) recently deleted files from iCloud Drive —If you’re using iCloud’s Desktop and Documents syncing feature, then you should know that anything you delete from those locations is recoverable for up to 30 days on either iCloud.com or within the Files app on iOS. Here’s how to view those files– or delete them forever.

Most everything to know about Apple TV 4K — The Apple TV 4K (5th generation) shipped on September 22, 2017. The 32 GB model is widely available online at Apple, Apple retail stores and Best Buy – to name a few. Physically, it is very similar to the 4th generation model. The difference is that it has ventilation slots on the bottom. In terms of the connectors on the back, they are exactly the same …

Root vulnerability, Pixelmator Pro, Photoshop tease, Similar Pic Finder, iTunes Connect downtime, Docking Station


Pixelmator Pro for Mac is now available

Apple issues macOS High Sierra update to fix password-less root vulnerability — Apple has released a special security update for macOS High Sierra, solving a recently uncovered flaw which would let people gain root access without entering a password.
The patch, Security Update 2017-001, should be available through the Updates tab in the Mac App Store. After installation, the build number of High Sierra will be 17B1002.
Apple notes that if people require a root user account on their Mac, they can create one and assign a password through System Preferences.
Apple also issued a statement to The Loop on the misstep.

Pixelmator Pro debuts with powerful image editing tools, machine learning tech — The developers behind popular image editing app Pixelmator on Tuesday released Pixelmator Pro for Mac, a new title that takes advantage of Apple APIs like Metal 2 and Core Image to deliver GPU-powered tools, machine learning features and more.
Codenamed ‘Whirlwind,’ Pixelmator Pro was first announced in September as a next-generation Mac image editor with hooks into Apple’s latest graphics platforms, as well as advanced in-house technology designed to turbocharge editing workflows.
Pixelmator Pro version 1.0 requires macOS High Sierra and a Metal-compatible graphics card. The app is available now from the Mac App Store for NZ$89.99/US$59.99 (the consumer version of Pixelmator is NZ$21.99). [Since it has Layer support, I can buy this and drop my damn Adobe subscription …]

Adobe demonstrates future Photoshop tool that uses machine learning to select image subjects — Adobe has teased one of the AI-based features coming to Photoshop in the future, with the ‘Select Subject’ function simplifying the selection of an object, person, or animal in a scene, using machine learning to determine what is likely to be the main focus of an image. [See above … Pixelmator Pro already has Machine Learning, and doesn’t need a subscription. Note that I wouldn’t be so down on Adobe if it didn’t put it’s bloody subscription prices up every six months.]

B-Eng debuts Similar Pic Finder 1.0 for macOS — B-Eng has introduced Similar Pic Finder 1.0, a duplicate image discovery utility for macOS. It tracks down duplicates and copies of pictures. Similar Pic Finder requires macOS 10.10 or later. It costs NZ$2.99/US$1.99 and is available at the Mac App Store.

Apple schedules downtime for iTunes Connect — Apple has scheduled downtime for iTunes Connect from December 23rd-27th, so its employees can celebrate the holidays. iTunes Connect is a suite of web-based tools for managing content sold on iTunes, the iBooks Store, and the various app stores.

IOGEAR Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru a great accessory — If you have a 12-inch MacBook and find it frustrating that it only packs one USB-C port, consider the US$99.95 IOGEAR Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru [currently that’s about NZ$145, but check if the power supply works in NZ].
It’s also useful for expanding the connectivity options on the latest MacBook Pros as well. Through a single USB-C connection, it lets you connect monitors, a full-sized keyboard and mouse, external hard drives, printers, webcams and more. Easy to set up, the all-in-one dock serves up a total of 10 ports. The docking station is equipped with memory card readers for SD/MicroSD memory cards for quick access to your data. With two USB 3.0 (Type-A) ports, you can connect an array of USB Type-A peripherals.

Apple’s media plans, Safari mutes, sales continue


(Image from The Outline)

Analyst reckons Apple will spend $4.2 billion annually on original video content by 2022 — Apple will spend $4.2 billion per year on original video content by 2022, according to a report by Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster [in whom I have title confidence, please note]. If he’s right, that will be a major increase on the $1 billion that the tech giant will purportedly spend in 2018, although the amount is still smaller than Netflix and Amazon’s video budgets.

How to mute and unmute audio in Safari tabs in macOS High Sierra — macOS High Sierra’s Safari lets you mute audio in any open tabs. You can do this right from the Smart Search field, so there’s no need to click through all your tabs to locate the one you want to silence. If you’re viewing a tab that’s not playing audio, the Audio button in the Smart Search field is white with a blue outline. If the tab is playing audio, the Audio button is solid blue.

Sales continue all week at OWC — One of the worlds premium brands for Mac equipment, Other World Computing, is continuing its MacSales.com Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales all week. OWC ships to New Zealand.

New Store for Brooklyn — Apple has announced it will open a new retail store in Downtown Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Apple Store will be located in the 300 Ashland building in the Fort Greene neighbourhood. This is Apple’s second retail store in Brooklyn, the first one being in Williamsburg that opened in July 2016. [A sure sign of gentrification.]

YouTube support channel, IT workaround, Pokémon GO accidents


Apple launches Apple Support YouTube Channel — The video site is home to videos that cover assorted iOS and watchOS tips and tricks (no macOS items yet). Topics include Add a Photo Filter in Camera, Use the Doc on Your iPad, Send a Message With the Echo Effect, Share Activity with the Apple Watch and more. The channel, called Apple Support, currently consists of ten brief videos explaining how to perform basic functions within iOS 11.
[Perfect timing for me – see MagBytes 93, due this week.]

Apple offers temporary workaround for iOS 11 bug autocorrecting ‘it’ to ‘I.T.’ — Apple is currently coping with hundreds of complaints about an autocorrect bug in iOS 11, causing the word “it” to be autocorrected to “I.T.”
While only some people are being affected, those that are are finding themselves having to manually select “it” as a QuickType suggestion, or else backspace to retype. In some cases, complaints appear to stretch back to September.
Apple is said to be recommending that people reset their keyboard dictionaries by going into the iOS Settings app, then tapping General, Reset, and “Reset Keyboard Dictionary.” After a reboot the glitch may disappear, but not everyone has had success with this method.
The next best solution likely involves turning off autocorrection, but that can be problematic for people typing on an iPhone, particularly smaller models like the 8 or SE.
Apple is presumably planning to patch the bug in a forthcoming update. Earlier this month the company released iOS 11.1.1 to fix another autocorrect bug, which was causing the letter “i” to be changed into an “A” and a question mark. The issue was widespread enough that it was briefly spoofed in pop culture.

Researchers say Pokémon GO has caused 145,000 traffic accidents — Two professors from Purdue University have published a study that suggests Pokémon GO has caused as many as 145,000 traffic accidents. The study titled Death by Pokémon GO was based on statistics from one county in Indiana between March 1st, 2015, and November 30th, 2016. Pokémon GO was released in July of 2016, earning some 100 million downloads in its first month alone.

X lens, YouTube solves drain, ABBYY deal, Grid Autosport, Foosball apps


Apple supplier smooths out lens production for iPhone X cameras — Apple supplier Genius Electronic Optical is reportedly improving its production yields for lens modules on the iPhone X, which may help to explain the rapid reduction in the product’s shipping times.
Genius has refined its yields for both the phone’s regular 7-megapixel front-facing camera and the TrueDepth 3D-sensing system, DigiTimes sources claimed on Monday. The firm’s earnings per share hit their highest monthly level in five years during October.

YouTube hammers out battery drain problem with iPhone app in latest update — The iOS YouTube app update issued on Monday rectifies the dramatic battery drain that manifested not only when the app was actively being used to watch videos, but when it was idle in the background as well.

ABBYY has a deal — 3 apps together for just $9.99. ABBYY specialises in OCR apps.

Grid Autosport — Feral Interactive’s car racing game for iOS has just arrived for iPhone and iPad.

Five foosball game apps for iOS — Every fooser has to have a foosball application on his phone. I want to offer you the list of five foosball games made for Apple (available at the Apple App Store) so there are no excuses why haven’t you already installed the most amazing game of foosball on your phone. Each and every one of those games will offer you great gaming experience, reckons Apple World Today, you just have to pick one.

Mac games uptick, Scrivener 3, Photos Tagger, Cyber Monday


Mac games rise and you can find bargains — Have you noticed that more and more Mac gaming torrent sites are popping up? Clearly, the demand for Mac games is growing. However, piracy is wrong. Plus, torrent sites are dangerous for you and your Mac, especially when there are better alternatives out there. So forget about Mac games torrents, and check out this advice instead.

Hands On: Scrivener 3.0 further refines the writing, research process on the Mac — AppleInsider gets a published author to take a look at the Scrivener update, with new highlights including a much called-for rewrite of the app’s Compile feature, and an interface modernisation.

Brattoo Propaganda Software debuts Photos Tagger for macOS — Brattoo Propaganda Software has introduced Photos Tagger, a new addition to their applications suite.
Photos Tagger extracts the meta data from the Photos software database, and applies it to your photos as keywords. The app is designed to make it easier to find and organize your pictures.
Photos Tagger requires macOS 10.9 or later and Photos 2.x or higher. It costs US$7.95. A demo is available for download.

Cyber Monday deals — Being New Zealand, these have come through on our Tuesday. TechTool Pro is on special, MacProVideo has deals on subscriptions (US$75 a year) and instructional downloads, and Italian V-Moda headphones have 40% off the Crossfade Wireless version.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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