Manchester bombing and iPhone, Apple’s AI chip, tvOS gets Event update


Apple’s iPhone credited with saving life in Manchester bombing — An iPhone 6s is being credited with saving the life of a woman who was injured in Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, England, after the device deflected and slowed down shrapnel from the blast.
Recounting the harrowing scene, the husband of Lisa Bridgett, 45, said in a Facebook post that his wife was speaking on her iPhone when Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device that sent material hurtling through the air.

Apple’s AI chip may be dubbed the Apple Neural Engine — The chip, apparently known internally as the ‘Apple Neural Engine’, could help Apple better integrate its AI across numerous products akin to advances by Amazon and Google.
For instance, it would allow AI tasks to head to a dedicated processing spot instead of splitting work between the main processor and graphics chip. The company’s devices already sport AI technology of a sort– such as the Siri pesronal assistant – but a dedicated chip would improve user experience.

Apple TV Events app updated in preparation for June 5 WWDC keynote live stream — Apple has issued an update to the official Apple Events app for tvOS, including a new icon based on the WWDC 2017 logo, and a teaser letting users know they will be able to stream the June 5 keynote – expected to feature the unveiling of iOS 11 – live from their Apple TV.

Apple tops Consumer, MacBook Pro anger, Magic Mouse gestures, Media giant, video updates, Railroads, Charcoal, Park goes 3D


Apple Park in Cupertino has joined the 3D pantheon within Apple Maps

Macs top Consumer Reports’ reliability surveys — In the latest Consumer Reports survey of 83,000 readers, Apple was dubbed the most reliable company when it comes to laptops and desktops, according to ZDNet.
Apple’s “broken or not working as well” percentage is 17. Other brand percentages: Samsung 27; Dell 29; HP 30; Lenovo 31; and Asus 33.

MacBook Pro anger — John Kheit reckons the Touchbar MacBook Pro is a ‘disposable embarrassment’: “It’s a joke that the new MacBook Pro with a Touchbar is called a ‘Pro’ machine. Perhaps Apple should call it the MacBook Exec or Edition. I won’t bother rehashing the many quibbles that others have already covered. Yet, once again, the punditry has failed to notice the biggest and most obvious flaw and are ranting about the wrong things. Let me rant about the right things for you. You’re welcome.
The Touchbar MacBook Pro is a failure because you cannot upgrade its storage capacity. Ever. Why? Because the SSD is a soldered-in and non-upgradable boat anchor.” And so on.

Comprehensive Guide to Magic Mouse Mac Gestures — Here is an unabridged look at what gestures you can use with the Magic Mouse, as highlighted by Apple and (I hope) improved upon by yours truly. This guide to Magic Mouse Mac gestures assumes you are running macOS Sierra with the most current model of the accessory.

Apple Transforms PR Site to a ‘Newsroom’ and redesigns executive profiles — Apple has revamped its PR site for the first time in many years. Out is a headline-oriented list of press releases and in is a Flipboard-like ‘Newsroom’ with cover photos and clickable tiles. The company also redesigned its executive profile sites, including new headshots for some of its execs.

Apple Music subscriber numbers soaring as it becomes a media giant — CEO Tim Cook hinted at this shift in Apple earnings during analyst earnings call after the Q2 results. By this time, Apple Music had 13 million subscribers.

Apple updates iMovie, Final Cut Pro — Apple has updated iMovie and Final Cut Pro, the (respectively) consumer and pro versions of its video editing software. Both upgrades are available via the Mac App Store.

Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac hits Steam platform — Feral Interactive announced this week that Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac (originally Railroad Tycoon back in the day) is now available on Steam. This isn’t a new game (it’s been available on the Mac App Store for years) but Railroads was also updated on the Mac App Store. In addition to some unspecified bug fixes, the update removes support for Apple’s Game Center and Game Ranger. It’s US$17.99 on the MAS, but only US$9.99 on Steam.

Charcoal for macOS makes it fun to turn photos into charcoal, chalk drawings — AKVIS Charcoal 1.0 is a fun standalone application and Photoshop plug-in for macOS that lets you create charcoal, chalk, and sanguine drawings from photos.
The program contains 34 ready-to-use presets. You can create your own presets saving your favourite combinations of the parameters.
The software runs on macOS 10.6 and higher and costs US$49 for a home license and a 10-day demo is available for download.

Apple Park 3D models, walkways, more show up in Apple Maps — Apple in a recent update to Apple Maps enhanced coverage of the Apple Park campus area in Cupertino, California, with the app now displaying 3D building models, walkways and other points of interest across the sprawling grounds.

Futurology ~ Trappist, Juno Jupiter, cell detail, computer metal, hypersonic military plane, obesity microbiome


Now that TRAPPIST-1 is the trendiest star system in the galaxy — astronomers and nerds alike are clamouring to learn more about it. The seven-planet system contains three planets in the habitable zone, which means they could hypothetically support liquid water, and even life. The TRAPPIST-1 planets orbit around their ultracool dwarf star very closely, which could be good or bad for finding life, depending on who you ask.
By using data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, a team of researchers was able to ascertain the predictable frequency at which the innermost six planets orbit their star, a pattern called resonance. The planets’ gravitational tugs on each other keeps the entire system stable.
~ And what about that great beer, hey?

Juno’s flight to Jupiter has been about as dramatic as a sci-fi thriller can get — Last October, Juno’s engine system malfunctioned, causing NASA to delay the orbiter’s planned approach into a 14-day “science orbit”. This February, NASA decided to forego the science orbit engine burn entirely, keeping the spacecraft in its much longer 53.5 day orbit. But we’re finally getting some detailed news, because Juno has a suite of instruments for measuring microwaves, infrared waves, radio waves, visible light, Jupiter’s magnetic field and other particles.
~ Juno Jupiter like NASA? No. 

Cell detail — A team of American scientists made what might be the most complex video of a cell in action yet. It’s all based on a real monkey cell, analyzed with a series of proteins, dyes and a special kind of microscope. Oother microscopes have made videos of cells moving, or pairs of cell parts, called organelles, interacting, but this is the first time so many compartments in live cells have been analysed.
~ Easy sell. 

RATT, Poison and Mötley Crüe no more — Slick, sweaty men licking their guitars while wearing tight leather pants and acid washed jeans, wagging their hair-sprayed manes and rocking out harder than any of us so-called millennials could even imagine. But lately metal band names have been lame.
Luckily (or not) optics researcher Janelle Shane, who has created new paint colours, recipes and even Pokemon using artificial intelligence, has once again solved one of our biggest problems using neural networks. HellBlazer from Metal-Archives.com supplied her with a list of 100,000 existing metal bands names to train an artificial intelligence network with.
~ What frightens me more is the fact there are 100,000 existing metal bands. 

Boing to make hypersonic plane for  military — The Department of Defense has selected Boeing to make a new hypersonic spaceplane that can be reused frequently over a short period of time to deliver multiple satellites into orbit.  Boeing’s design concept is called the Phantom Express and will move forward as part of the agency’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program.
~ The main aim is something cheap to run, at only US$5 million per mission. Hey, how’s about that bicycle drive, then? Those astronauts are pretty fit. 

New obesity surgery about the gut microbiomes — A mounting body of evidence suggests that it may be possible to get all the weight-dropping effects of the procedure without going under the knife at all. It turns out gastric bypass not only restructures the topology of the human gut, but profoundly changes which microbes can survive and thrive in it.
It turns out the procedure doesn’t merely shift a patient’s microbial profile from an obese to a healthy one, it actually creates an entirely new ecosystem.
~ So, how to do that without heavy invasive surgery? 

Five Tip Friday ~ simple tips for macOS


1/ Change the default web browser in macOS Sierra — If you prefer another web browser to Safari (which I find excellent), you can change the macOS default. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences, then click General.
Choose your web browser from the ‘Default web browser’ pop-up menu.

2/ Set your default printer — If you have more than one printer, one thing you could do to make them slightly less annoying, though, is to choose which one to set as your default. If you print to a particular device way more often than another, it makes sense to always default to the last one you used when you choose File > Print.
Choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu at the top-left of your screen, and then click on Printers & Scanners.
You’ll see a list of your devices on the left, and you can pick which one you want as the default from the drop-down near the bottom of the window. Close the System Preferences window, and when you print something afterwards, your Mac will assume you want to use the device you set as the default.
You can click the drop-down show to temporarily switch to a different printer if you need to, but it will always revert back to the default for the next job.

3/ Move the cursor with your keyboard — If your mousing hand needs a break, or perhaps you need to move the mouse pointer one teeny-tiny pixel at a time, there’s a way to move the Mac mouse pointer with the keyboard rather than nudging the mouse or swiping your trackpad.
Turn on the Mac feature called Mouse Keys, which lets you move the Mac mouse pointer by tapping the keys on your numeric keypad or, if you don’t have a separate numeric keypad, by pressing a set of keys within the keyboard itself.
Open the Mac’s System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen, select System Preferences. Click Accessibility, select Mouse & Trackpad in the left column, then check the Enable Mouse Keys checkbox. This lets you move your mouse pointer using a numeric trackpad: press the 8 key to nudge the Mac mouse up a tad. The 2 key will move the mouse down, while the 4 and 6 keys move the mouse left and right, respectively. The 7, 9, 1, and 3 keys move the Mac mouse up and to the left, up and to the right, down and to the left, and down and to the right. (There’s more on this at Here’s The Thing.)

4/ Force the Finder to restart in macOS Sierra — Represented by the blue icon with the smiling face, the macOS Sierra Finder is the home-base app for your Mac. You use it to organise and access almost everything on your Mac, including documents, images, movies, and any other files you have. However, sometimes you need to restart it if it’s acting up or if you’ve installed an app that requires a restart. To do so: in Finder, click the  menu and hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.
Click Force Quit Finder.
You can also hold down the ⌥ (option) key on your keyboard.
Click on the Finder icon in your Dock.
Choose Relaunch from the bottom of the pop-out list that appears.

5/ Search Google directly without even firing up a browser — You can use your Mac’s Spotlight to directly search using your default search engine. Type something in Spotlight that you want to search on Google, then, press Command (⌘) + B. It will open Safari with your search term…

AirPods firmware, Galaxy fire lawsuits, eye app, Twit iPhone


Apple issues new 3.7.2 firmware update for AirPods owners — Apple on Wednesday released a small firmware update for its fully wireless AirPods, version 3.7.2, though what the patch does exactly remains unknown. The update should install automatically the next time a person connects their AirPods to a paired iPhone or iPad, as long as they’re stored inside a plugged-in charging case. To check the active firmware version owners can go into the iOS Settings app, then tap General, About, and finally AirPods.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fire lawsuits spreading to Galaxy Note 5, S6, S7 models — Hot on the heels of the devastating recall that stopped sales of Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is now facing additional lawsuits that allege the company was aware of battery overheating and fire hazards for years, including its Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Active, S7, S7 Edge, S7 Active and Note 5 – but failed to address the issue or warn customers. Legal action has now spread to multiple class action cases in three different states.

Warby Parker brings eye checkup to your iPhone — Mail order eyeglasses company Warby Parker wants to make checking your vision easier, so has released an app that checks your prescription with your iPhone. The app takes about 20 minutes to test your vision and see if your prescription has changed, which takes a lot less time than scheduling an appointment with an optometrist.

President Trump’s iPhone reportedly has one app installed: Twitter — The iPhone used by US President Donald Trump is said to have just one third-party app loaded onto it – Twitter, which he uses to communicate [I’d say ‘inflict’]  his agenda directly to the world.

Jobs in 93 secs, Apple News, currency transitions, recyclebot, free Portrait Painter, Singapore store, Trackpad guide


Liam the recycling robot pulls old iPhones apart so they parts can be reused

The Telegraph’s 93-second primer Steve Jobs’s Career London newspaper The Telegraph has published a quickie biography of Steve Jobs. The piece is called Who was Steve Jobs? Tech trailblazer and co-founder of the Apple empire.  It’s an in-depth piece for a newspaper article, but it’s still a short look into a person like Steve Jobs’s entire life, perfect for someone who’s curious about Steve Jobs, but hasn’t delved deep into all things Apple. Accompanying the written piece was a 93 second video that runs  through Steve Jobs’s career with slides, information, and other highlights.

Apple makes New York Magazine editor Lauren Kern ‘editor in chief’ at Apple News — Apple has reportedly recruited New York media icon Lauren Kern to serve as the first-ever “editor in chief” for Apple News, possibly hinting at greater ambitions for the app.

Apple transitions App Store pricing to local currencies in 9 new countries — Apple has been transitioning App Store pricing this week from the US dollar and euro to the local currencies of nine countries, a change that in some locales equates to a small savings thanks to favorable exchange rates. Along with Poland, Apple is switching store currency in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania over from euro pricing. At the same time, Chile, Colombia, Croatia and Peru are swapping to their local currency from the US dollar.

New Apple cartoon looks at the Liam Recycling Robot — Apple launched a new video called Earth Day 2017 – Does my iPhone believe in reincarnation? It’s part of the cartoon series the company started on Earth Day earlier in May, but this one takes a look at Liam. That’s Apple’s purpose-built recycling robot that pulls iPhones apart so the components can be reused.

Free Portrait Painter software — JixiPix is proud to give you Portrait Painter a revolutionary paint product that simulates a hand painted gallery-style portrait on fine linen or canvas. This professional painting tool will add colour, light and texture to your painting, which harmonise intelligently to produce works of art that resonates with vibrant life. To receive it, go to this page, click Add to Cart and put in your contact details.

Media photos offer deeper peek inside Apple’s first Singapore store — Images from Thursday media preview offered a detailed look inside Apple’s first store in Singapore, set to open this Saturday.

Comprehensive guide to Mac Trackpad gestures and Force Touch — If you have a Magic Trackpad 2 or a built-in Multi-Touch trackpad, you might not be making the most of it. There are several Mac trackpad gestures that you can use to really speed up your workflow, whether you’re surfing the web or moving files around in the Finder. Take a look in this comprehensive guide to Mac trackpad gestures.

iPads educate, Galaxy S8 hacked, 1Password travel mode, Micro LED tests


Northern Ireland study found multiple benefits to using iPads in elementary classrooms — Technology can be beneficial to younger students learning core skills, a two-year research project has found, with elementary schools in Northern Ireland found to have improved the numeracy, literacy, and communication skills of their pupils after incorporating iPads into their lessons.
The study also noted that the addition of technology to the classroom is not a stand-alone solution, and should complement existing teaching approaches rather than replacing them.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner already hacked — That didn’t take long. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone has been out for only a month and its iris scanning biometric security feature has already been hacked. The Chaos Computer Club figured out how to trick the iris recognition technology, and it was surprisingly simple.

1Password introduces Travel Mode to protect data during trips — As part of an update pushed out on last week, popular password management app 1Password introduced a new feature that lets users selectively erase local data for maximum protection while traveling.
Travel Mode is a one-click function that erases all vaults – 1Password speak for user profiles – except those marked “safe for travel” from devices connected to a 1Password account. Users can later restore their full list of vaults with another click once they arrive.

Apple rumoured to have ordered small batch of Micro LED screens for testing — A supply chain report suggests that Apple is already looking beyond OLED for future products, with the company said to be taking steps for trial production of Micro LED screens in the second half of 2017. Micro LED screens promise greater contrast, faster response times, and lower energy use as compared to LCD screens. The technology is oriented towards watch displays, and smartphones.

Free Swift book, eye strain, TechTool Pro 9.5, Live Home, SoftRaid, Quark Express, USB-C free


Apple puts free Swift curriculum on iBooks, plans courses at US schools — Apple on Wednesday released App Development with Swift, a free course available through the iBooks Store. The iBooks course is a full-year endeavor geared towards helping people “design fully functional apps, gaining critical job skills in software development and information technology,” according to Apple.
Swift is Apple’s open-source programming language that works across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. [You can read this on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Download it once, for example to your Mac, it appears on iPad and vice versa signed into the same iCloud account. Stop on page 54 on your Mac, it opens on page 54 on your iPad. Bookmark and/or highlight a line on iPhone, it comes across intact on the other devices … but all iBooks do this.]

How to help ease eye fatigue from the online life — Many of us spend an enormous amount of time on our digital devices. In fact, The Vision Council reports that nine out of 10 adults spend more than two hours a day using a digital device and that one in 10 people spends a whopping three-fourths of their waking hours doing so– so here are five tips to help you combat digital eye strain.

New In TechTool Pro 9.5 — While regularly backing up your files is the best solution to safeguarding your data, sometimes things go wrong between backups. Techtool Pro 9.5 has an entirely new data recovery system to help you do just that, as well as improved tests and speedups and buggies. Upgrading from TechTool Pro 9 is only US$20.

Live Home 3D Pro for Mac US$24.99 — Live Home 3D Pro for Mac allows you to design residential buildings from the ground up. Sheds, living rooms, homes, or even a skyscraper, according to the company that makes it. Mac Observer has a deal on it for US$24.99.

SoftRAID 5.6 with Easy Setup released for macOS — OWC Holdings, a division of OWC, has launched SoftRAID 5.6, an upgrade of the RAID software featuring SoftRAID Easy Setup­. The feature is designed to make it easy to create a RAID system (redundant array of independent disks) from scratch to keep your files protected against disk failure and achieve faster data access.

QuarkXPress 2017 expands layout tech, brings non-destructive image editing — Quark has launched QuarkXPress 2017, the latest edition of its design and publishing suite for the Mac, with a heavy focus on publishing for multiple platforms including iOS.

Intel making Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free for manufacturers in 2018— Thunderbolt has never seen a great deal of market penetration, but that may be about to change with Intel natively integrating Thunderbolt 3 [a fully-featured USB-C] into future CPU models and making the protocol royalty-free to chipmakers in 2018.

iPhone SE satisfaction, switch to iPhone, Indian expansion, Duet improvements


Apple’s iPhone SE, iPhone 7 Plus take top spots in customer satisfaction index but it’s close— Apple’s iPhone SE and iPhone 7 Plus top a new survey of customer satisfaction amongst US customers surveyed over the span of a year.
ACSI’s survey polled 36,194 customers randomly selected between May 2016 and April 2017. The iPhone SE hit the top spot with 87 points, with the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S6 edge+ tying for second at 86%.

New Apple ads & redone ‘Switch’ site sell Android users on iPhone perks — Apple has introduced an overhauled Switch minisite (scroll down on this page), hoping to persuade more Android users to buy iPhones, while simultaneously releasing a related series of video ads.
Whereas the previous site was concentrated on the Move to iOS app for Android, the updated versionfocuses less on making the transition and more on why people should go. It uses a simple, graphics-heavy layout with quips on subjects like the iPhone’s camera, technical support, speed optimisations, privacy protections and lower environmental damage.

Apple to expand its contract manufacturer’s facility in Bengaluru, India — Apple is looking to expand its Indian contract manufacturer’s facility in the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, according to Reuters. The tech giant officially began initial production of a small number of iPhone SEs last week at its Wistron plant and plans to ship the devices to local customers as soon as this month.

Duet Display for iPad gains better Apple Pencil support, improved picture quality — The developers of the Duet Display app that allows the use of an iPad as an second screen for a Mac have released an update to the Pro in-app subscription, allowing for better color quality, better pressure curve customization, and more. [This is awesome software.

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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