MagBytes 84 is here!


mb84Here it is folks, with a large Tips section, Shiny and New and lots of news, updates and even some views. It looks like the image above, and you can download it no obligations and entirely for free by clicking ….

THIS LINK —> MagBytes 84 for February 2017! Enjoy
(and feedback is always welcome)

US iPhone travel rights, One Night ads, iRig Recorder 3, Hidden Folks, Game of Thrones


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Returning to the US with iPhone? These are your rights — When returning to the US from travel, border agents may select you for various reasons for a more detailed questioning. Your smartphone may be requested. You may be asked to unlock it for agents to inspect. What are your rights in this case? Two interesting articles at The New York Times and ars technica go into considerable legal detail about what might happen if you refuse to cooperate.

One Night iPhone ads — Apple launched five new commercials through its YouTube channel this week. Four of them are part of the Shot on iPhone series and take us on One Night tours of New York City, Johannesburg, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Each commercial is comprised of stills and videos from their respective cities, theoretically taken over one night.

IK Multimedia iRig Recorder 3 video/audio editing app for iOS — IK Multimedia has released a new version of iRig Recorder, its video and audio editing app for iOS. iRig Recorder 3 (free version available and full version for $/€7.99) has expanded from an audio-only app with the addition of video recording.
A unique feature of iRig Recorder 3 is its ability to export recorded content as separate files for editing in a DAW or other other third-party video editing software. The app also supports sharing through Airdrop, Messages, SoundCloud, Facebook, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, email, Wi-Fi, FTP or iTunes File Sharing in a huge number of sizes and formats.

Hidden Folks — This is a clever hidden object game with its own charm thanks to the hand-drawn graphics and sound effects, which are important to the game, as are the little animations. Tapping objects triggers actions sounds and actions. Sometimes that’s clearing away a bush or moving a boat, and can reveal the elusive objects and characters you need to find. Hidden Folks is great for a quick diversion or a couple hours exploring new levels.
You can get it for your iPhone and iPad at Apple’s App Store for NZ$5.99/US$3.99.

Game of Thrones A Dance with Dragons iBooks Enhanced Edition on preorder — Apple’s iBooks Store added the Enhanced Edition of George RR Martin’s A Dance with Dragons last weekend for preorder. It will ship on March 30th, and includes new artwork, an expanded glossary, more information about the houses, maps, and more.

Apple Park, Logic Pro 10.3.1, mic discounts, faster typing, Remote Desktop, LG UltraFine


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Apple Campus to open in April — [But first of all, sorry there was no news yesterday, I had to get up at 5am and fly to Featherston to record some interviews with a historical TV series.] Apple Park, the official name for Apple’s new spaceship campus, is set to open for employees in April. The campus will hold 12,000 employees, and the on-location theater has been named the Steve Jobs Theater.
It’ll take about six months to move in the facility’s 12,000 employees and construction will continue on campus buildings and landscaping during the transition. The buildings and surrounding land covers 175 acres in down town San Jose, California.

Logic Pro X update — Apple has released Logic Pro X 10.3.1. The update includes a security fix for maliciously crafted GarageBand files. It also improves the way regions perform, edits, and the ability to share 44.1kHz projects to GarageBand for iOS.

Discount on microphones — EditorsKeys has a £10 discount running on all its top-quality mics for newsletter subscribers.

Free site speeds up your typing — One productivity enhancement nobody can argue with.

 Apple updated Apple Remote Desktop to version 3.9 — The update adds support for the Mac Book Pro’s Touch Bar and features the ability to export computer lists, while improving security.

What’s the status on LG’s UltraFine 5K monitor? After receiving reports of connectivity issues related to LG’s new UltraFine 5K monitor, and confirming those problems with LG, Apple temporarily suspended sales of the display earlier this February. With ship times slow to improve, AppleInsider explains what’s going on in a video.

Take Better Photos with your iPhone, Snapchat specs, new iPads rumoured for March


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Take Better Photos with your iPhone — The latest creation from CreativeTech is a little iBook that helps you take better photos, and it will set you back just 99¢. Based on a very popular lecture presented last year, Take Better Photos on iPhone and iPad is by Mark Webster and Paul Luker and represents the first of the New Zealand publishing company’s Quickguide series which will always feature short, clear, concise and handy guides about … anything we think will be handy in a clear, simple and concise format.
Check out this lovely little iBook now – click Get Sample for some free pages, or drop a mere 99¢ to own the entire thing, which you can install on iPhone, iPad or Mac to refer to any time (one purchase installs on all your Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID). Take Better Photos on iPhone and iPad is available in 51 countries for NZ99¢ (it’s also Australian and US 99¢).

Snapchat begins online sales of iPhone-connected Spectacles — Snap on Monday launched online sales of the Spectacles, its iPhone- and Android-connected smartglasses, finally expanding beyond its rare vending machines and a pop-up store located in New York City. A pair of Spectacles costs US$129.99, and comes bundled with a charging case and cable. Black, coral and teal colours are available, all of which are expected to ship in 2 to 4 weeks. Extra cases are US$49.99 each, while cables are US$9.99.

Apple may debut new iPads at March event — A rumour maintains Apple will host an event in March to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models, as well as other product announcements, according to the Japanese website Mac Otakara.

Workflow 1.7 for iPhone quickly saves notes and images — The latest update to automation app Workflow 1.7 makes it simpler to get started and better to streamline multi-app user processes. AppleInsider walks you through setting up your first workflow, and tailoring it specifically to what you need.

Apple 5th most trusted, thermal printer driver, ad policy


(Image from DesignArch)
(Image from DesignArch)

Apple places 5th on corporate reputation poll, Samsung drops 42 spots — Apple is the fifth most reputable company in the United States, with the results of an annual poll into the public perception of a company putting the iPhone producer ahead of Disney, Google, Tesla, and Netflix in the rankings. Microsoft is at 20 while Amazon came in first. Last year Samsung was 7th, but the Galaxy Note fires and the scandal that has seen the CEO arrested haven’t even helpful.

Peninsula Group launches thermal printer label drivers for macOS — The Peninsula Group has released a series of free macOS-compatible drivers that support thermal printer manufacturers including Zebra, Datamax, Honeywell and Brady with the goal of making it easier to print labels.
Using web based shipping services form companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL is now possible; even Amazon FBA is supported. You can print readable barcodes, text and images from any website or application.

Apple’s marketing efforts to focus more on digital, regional campaigns — According to Adweek, Apple has restructured its relationship with its ad agency, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, to focus more on creating digital and regional campaigns and less on translating, or ‘localizing’, big brand campaigns for global markets.

iPad Pro ads, Billboard cover, travel apps, best Warhammer 40,000 games, Where Cards Fall


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It’s been long time since Apple has used a Microsoft product to extol the virtues of an Apple device.

Apple launches new series of iPad Pro ads as anticipated hardware refresh looms — Apple has released four new commercials for the iPad Pro, coming amidst several rumors that the company is planning to update the iPad lineup within a matter of months. [Apple likes to diminish stock of outgoing models. Of course, once a new model arrives, you can get the outgoing ones at discounts …]
Each of the spots is in response a Twitter post, and make a different claim about the tablet. Three of these compare the Pro with a computer, noting for instance that it can run Microsoft Word, yet doesn’t get PC viruses.

New Billboard cover features photo shot with Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus — The cover of the latest issue of Billboard Magazine – showing Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello – was shot on an iPhone 7 Plus at the request of the magazine. The photographer normally relies on high-level professional gear, such as a Mamiya 645DF+ medium-format camera or a Canon 5D Mark III, supplemented by other tools such as lighting systems. The 645DF+ alone costs about US$5000 with a single 80-millimeter lens, whereas an iPhone 7 Plus starts at US$769. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s first device with a dual-lens camera, which enables its special Portrait mode.

Apps to load to leave before you leave for that big trip — Apps that are good to either install or familiarise yourself with prior to your departure, including for cruises.

The best Warhammer 40,000 games for the iPhone and iPad — There are dozens of Warhammer 40,000 games available for iOS, but which are the must-plays? AppleInsider examines them, and purges the heretical ones.

Where Cards Fall: new game trailer from Snowman & The Game Band — Last August, Snowman (the game house behind the mega-hit Alto’s Adventure) and The Game Band teased us with a trailer for a new game called Where Cards Fall. The game was first teased in an email in March of 2016, and the only word we got was that Where Cards Fall would be shipping in 2017. A new trailer just arrived, showing some of the actual game play. The game will be available for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac (and even PC).

Touch Bar support for Office for Mac, Sydney bomb threat, Wireless Power Consortium, SoundSource 3


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Microsoft rolls out MacBook Pro Touch Bar support to all Office for Mac suite users — Following after a brief beta preview, Microsoft is rolling out support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar to all users of Office for Mac, with the update providing quick access to functions from the new dynamic display panel.
For Microsoft Word, MacBook Pro users will gain a “Word Focus” mode, which hides all onscreen ribbons and commands on the main display, to help users focus on their work. Formatting tools are instead displayed on the Touch Bar, keeping them available to use, but not distracting the user.

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Apple’s flagship Australian store — Apple’s flagship Australian store was briefly evacuated mid-day on Friday, in what appears to have been a response to a bomb threat, according to local media reports.
The three-floor Sydney outlet, located on George Street, was cleared out just prior to 1 p.m. local time “as a precaution” during a “police operation,” a spokesperson for the police informed Business Insider.

Some implications of Apple joining the Wireless Power Consortium — While the news of Apple joining the Wireless Power Consortium doesn’t offer absolute clarity of Apple’s future plans (besides hinting that the next iPhone will support wireless charging), it does reveal some things to the wireless power industry as a whole.

Revamped SoundSource 3.0.0 brings quick audio source & output switching back to Mac after 5-year hiatus — A pair of old OS X audio routing applications have regenerated, and have merged to form the new SoundSource 3.0.0 by Rogue Amoeba —and AppleInsider takes a look at the offering.

Futurology ~ Super Earth, Planet 9, NASA space pooh, exploration bots, Spanner, AI’s killer instinct, Trump crazinesses, ancient Chinese beer, Woolly Mammoth


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60 new planets include a Super Earth — An international team of astronomers has found 60 new planets orbiting stars close to Earth’s solar system, including a rocky “super Earth.” The experts also found evidence of an additional 54 planets, bringing the potential discovery of new worlds to 114. One, called Gliese 411b (that’s an artist’s impression, above), has been generating plenty of attention. Described as a “hot super Earth with a rocky surface,” Gliese 411b is located in the fourth-nearest star system to the Sun, making it the third-nearest planetary system to the Sun.
~ But Gliese411b is actually too hot for us to live on. 

Planet 9 has a new team — Since Pluto was infamously demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006, some astronomers have turned their attention to finding the true Planet 9, a hypothetical, Neptune-sized world that orbits the Sun at least a few hundred times further out than Earth. While there’s no shortage of ideas about what Planet 9 could look like – or what it may have experienced throughout its life – so far, no one has been able to spot this elusive world.
~ Go Team 9!

NASA’s space pooh competition — NASA needs a new method that can handle an emergency situation in which an astronaut may have to go longer periods in a poop-filled suit. Crowdsourcing site HeroX handled the duties of pulling together all of the submissions for NASA’s judges and it was a record-setting campaign. Since October, more than 5000 ideas were floated by 20,000 people working as individuals or teams.
~ I can think of many other human problems massed teams could be focussing on. 

Exploration robot competition — Nearly two dozen teams are racing to develop robots that can investigate, map, and conduct science at extreme depths, and under serious time constraints. They’re also competing for $7 million in prize money.
~ And am I the only one bothered by the competition sponsor being Shell? 

Google’s remarkable Spanner is now open — Before Spanner, machines couldn’t keep databases consistent without constant and heavy communication, and communication across the globe took much too long. But Google’s Spanner works because those engineers found a way to harness time. And now Google is offering this technology to the rest of the world as a cloud computing service.
~ And once Trump’s minions find out how to harness this, we’re really screwed. 

AI proves to have a killer instinct — And before you get too comfortable, researchers at DeepMind have been working with two games to test whether neural networks are more likely to understand motivations to compete or cooperate. But the dueling agents were, at times, likely to light each other up with ray gun blasts to get ahead.
~ This is true binary, surely: on or off …

And in Trump crazinesses — Some voting errors and glitches may be coming from outer space, according to scientists who discussed this cosmic conundrum today at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in Boston. Although this does not mean that aliens influenced the US 2016 election. which I’d welcome as an explanation, at this point.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signalled he wanted to help avoid the nuclear apocalypse during his first phone call with President Donald Trump, and Trump fumbled it because he had no idea what the most important treaty between America and Russia was.
But at least IBM backs him: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has taken some major heat from her employees for continuing to advise President Trump, and that seems likely to continue in the near future. Rometty just sent out a new internal memo defending her collaboration with the Trump regime, and like every IBM statement to come before it, the whole thing is pretty weak. Well, hey, this is the company that controlled the information flow for the Holocaust after all.
And the White House has blocked the listing of US bumble bees as endangered species …
~ Remember, actual human beings voted for this living US parody of a Banana Republic despot.

5000-year-old Chinese beer brought back to life — Stanford University students have recreated a Chinese beer using a recipe that dates back 5000 years. The beer “looked like porridge and tasted sweeter and fruitier than the clear, bitter beers of today,” said Li Liu, a professor in Chinese archaeology.
~ Sounds yum.

Wooly mammoth may yet return — The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering.
~ I’m imagining a future of very big woollen jumpers. 

Five Tip Friday ~ Siri’s Batman Easter Egg, AirPods volume control, save emails into PDFs


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1/ Siri has a LEGO Batman Easter Egg — Once these hidden little gems proliferated through Apple stuff but steve Jobs banned them. But sometimes you find them, and they’re even more precious now that they’re so rare. Press-and-hold your iPhone’s Home button to activate Siri, and get your Batman on by saying ‘Hey, computer’  and Siri respond with bat-appropriate comments. Cool huh? (This also works on Siri for Mac.)

2/ AirPods volume control is via Siri — Telling Siri to “increase/decrease volume” will land users at the nearest default level —0, 13, 25, 38, 50, 63, 75, 88 and 100 percent.

3/ Add percentages — You can add percentages from 0 to 100 percent onto the back of volume control commands. Granular changes within two percentage points are hardly noticeable, but tweaks above three points are surprisingly distinct.
For those who want greater control, Siri lets users set audio output volumes by percentage.
First, invoke Siri with a double tap on an AirPod, or say Hey Siri or long-press your iPhone/iPad Home button. Now say, “Set volume at 53 percent” or “lower volume to 23 percent.” Apple’s virtual assistant is capable of understanding a number of command variations including “raise/lower volume,” “turn sound up/down,” and “increase/decrease volume,” among others.

4/ What percentage are you at? To discover current listening levels, users can ask Siri, “What percent is the volume?” or “what is the volume?”

5/ Print PDFs from emails — There is another hidden feature in iOS – this one lets you print-to-PDF with any email. This doesn’t require a third-party app or another email client: you can do it inside Apple Mail with 3D Touch. Open Apple Mail on your iDevice (iPhone and iPad). Open the email you want to save. Tap the Reply button and a menu pops up with three options: Reply, Forward – and Print. Tap Print.
You’ll now see a screen where you can select a physical printer over Wi-Fi. But if you 3D Touch the email (press harder on the screen, a feature added from iPhone 6s), this message it will ‘pop’ and add a Share button at bottom right which lets you Share the email to PDF. This works for single page emails and emails with multiple pages. It’s a great way to save email receipts or important emails from VIPs.

The Straw, Siri vs Alexa, saving Netflix vids, Apple Watch status icons


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McDonalds parodies Apple ad — The McDonald’s ad uses Jeffrey Roy, identified as the company’s “person with British accent,” who parodies Jony Ive by explaining that while the STRAW isn’t “so revolutionary, it changes everything,” it’s “close.” The video goes on to mock Apple’s tendency to over-emphasize minor design elements, including use of the term “magical.” [Can’t beat an “adjective inducing masterpiece”.]

Who’s more Intelligent, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa? Microsoft has Cortana Artificial Intelligence and Google has Assistant. On your iOS and tvOS devices, we have Siri. If you’re an Amazon fan, Alexa is present in the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Amazon Tap. All of these are very capable virtual assistants, but Siri and Alexa seem to dominate the artificial intelligence landscape for many of us. So which is more intelligent? [OK, so I asked Siri on my Mac, and it offered me the contact details for someone called Alexa. But on your iDevice at least, make sure you set Siri to the NZ accent or you’ll get nowhere. You can do this on your Mac, too, in System Preferences>Siri under Language.]

How to save Netflix videos for offline viewing on an iPhone or iPad — A feature you’re bound to see more of in streaming video apps is support for offline caching – that is, the ability to temporarily download a show or movie so you can watch it later without internet access. Here’s how to do it for Netflix, one of the most popular video services on iPhone and iPad.

What’s with the Status Icons at the top of Apple Watch — Cupertino has added several new status icons to the list on Apple Watch, so here’s what they are and what they mean.
Note that you can always access the Apple Watch User Guide. From your connected iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app and tap My Watch>General>About>View the Apple Watch User Guide. The description of the status icons are in the Get Started section.