1-handed iOS 11 keyboard, Sega Forever, YouTube party


(Image from Apple Inc’s iOS Preview page)

Inside iOS 11: one-handed keyboard assists large phones, absent on iPad — Starting with the release of iOS 11, iPhone users will have the option of invoking a special one-handed keyboard, making it especially easy to type with larger screens.

‘Sega Forever’ free-to-play classic games for iPhone are off to a good start, but aren’t perfect — Sega has released four classic games into their ad-supported free-to-play Sega Forever initiative, including Kid Chameleon, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star II, and Comix Zone. AppleInsider gave the retro titles a spin, and found room for improvement.

Host a remote YouTube viewing party with Uptime — Google’s social YouTube app, Uptime, is now available to all without an invitation code. First launched in limited testing earlier this year, Uptime is the result of a side project by Google engineers and is published under the company’s Area 120 brand for experimental apps and services.
Uptime wants to help users ‘Watch YouTube Together‘ by linking social media contacts to shared video playback and chat. Users can browse YouTube videos and see who’s watching, chat and share emoji-based reactions, and hold “parties” where multiple users can watch the same video together in sync. [Gak!]

Green Indian energy, Irish urge shortage, SensoMotoric, Tuniversity, Boom 3D discount


Apple has bought German company SensoMotoric Instruments which has developed eye-tracking tech.Have fun with that one, Jony Ive!

Apple’s Tim Cook says Indian operations to use all-green energy within 6 months — More details have emerged from Sunday’s encounter between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which Cook reportedly revealed he expects Apple’s Indian operations to run entirely off renewable energy by the end of 2017.

Judge shortage in Ireland delays ruling on Athenry Apple data center location controversy — Once thought to reach a conclusion on June 23, the appeal hearing opposing Apple’s Athenry, Ireland efforts has been delayed because of a lack of judges able to hear the case.

Apple buys German eye tracking firm SensoMotoric Instruments — Apple has entered into an agreement to purchase German company SensoMotoric Instruments, a company noted for hardware and software for eye tracking sensors, useful for augmented reality. The company’s hardware is currently used for augmented reality applications, early autism detection in children, brain mapping and neurology, vision science, psychology, physical training and more.

Apple unveils Tuniversity music ed initiative — Apple has unveiled Tuniversity, a new music education initiative that centres around books created with iBooks Author. The first book involves the song Happy by Pharrell William. The US$4.99/NZ$7.99 book, available only via the iBookStore, allows students to discover how the song came to be, from first inspiration through recording without learning music theory. You can sign up to be notified of more titles in this series.

Boom 3D sound enhancer — Today’s TMO deal is Boom 3D for Mac. It’s an app that enhances the audio from your Mac’s built-in speakers through a system-wide volume booster and equalizer. The app helps your Mac speakers simulate 3D sound, improves overall audio levels, includes several equalizer presets for different listening scenarios. Boom 3D for the Mac is regularly priced at US$16.99, but with our deal you get 41% off so it’s only $9.99.

 

Indian iPhones go on sale, should maybe stop, Nike sneakers AR tie-up


First ‘Assembled in India’ iPhone SEs go on sale — The first iPhone SE models built in India are now on sale in cities around the country such as Bengaluru, where the phones are assembled. The devices are marked “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in India,” the Indian Express reports.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story arrives on Apple Music to poor reviews — Apple Music-Exclusive documentary on Bad Boy Records—”Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” has been released, but early reception to the film appears to be not good. [“Shallow, dull and a vanity project …”]

Nike, SNKRS team up for Augmented Reality shoe promotions on iPhone — Nike is getting into augmented reality to push shoe sales and you’ll need an iPhone to get in on the action. The sport and athletic footware company has teamed up with the SNKRS app so customers can be among the first to buy its latest shoe designs by pointing their iPhones at special posters on city walls.

Stev Jobs Theater, wired numeric keyboard gone, MacFamilyTree ‘even better’, Indian leader, Intego net safety deal, CopyClip 2


First shots of the Steve Jobs Theater headline latest Apple Park drone footage — The latest footage of the construction of Apple’s new Apple Park campus is up. In addition to some breathtaking views of the building’s architecture and surroundings, we get our first look at the top level of the Steve Jobs Theater, a 1000-seat auditorium named in honour of the company’s visionary co-founder where Apple will hold future meetings and product events. Also keep an eye out for all of those solar panels that, when complete, will comprise one of the largest on-site solar power installations in the world.

Apple Discontinues Wired Keyboard with Numeric Keypad — One of Apple’s quiet updates during WWDC earlier this month was the long-awaited introductionof a wireless keyboard with a numeric keypad. The Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad includes the same popular features of the existing Magic Keyboard 2: scissor key switches, Lightning cable charging and connectivity, macOS and iOS media keys, long battery life, etc – while adding in the handy numeric keypad for those who need it [this echoes the layout of the Apple Calculator app].
Beyond the situations where a wired keyboard is ideal, the biggest negative for consumers regarding this change is that the price of the only Apple-made keyboard with a numeric keypad just went up 163%, from the old wired keyboard’s US$49/NZ$85 price to the US$129/NZ$219 [!] price of the new wireless model. [iStore in Takapuna still has a few – I bought one yesterday as I love these keyboards; Logitech makes cheaper wired and wireless versions.]

MacFamilyTree gets even better with version 8.2 — The software lets you explore your personal family history and discover your origins, your ancestors and how your family has evolved over the course of time. Version 8.2 features new, improved, and configurable charts and diagrams as well as improved FamilySearch integration and better CloudTree performance. In version 8.2, almost every aspect of a chart can be configured. Many presets can now be further refined to your taste. You can adjust colouring, shadows, line styles, information to display, and fonts for all charts. [I use this: it’s marvellous.]

Apple’s Tim Cook, other CEOs meet with India’s Prime Minister in Washington — Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly one of 21 US corporate leaders who attended a roundtable with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington, DC on Sunday.

Internet Safety Month nets Intego Deal — This week only, you can get a special discount with the purchase of Mac Premium Bundle X9. Get 50% off MSRP* today by using this coupon code at checkout: SAFERINTERNET04 (the discount applies to households, limit 10 Macs per customer. Regular renewal rates apply. This exclusive deal expires Sunday, July 2 at 11:59PM US PST).

CopyClip 2 is a lightning fast clipboard manager for Mac — Running discreetly from your menu bar, the app stores all you have copied or cut in the past, allowing you to easily find that snippet of text you need. You can get a free trial; it costs US$6.99.

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.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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