Nvidia GeForce Now beta goes live, delivers high-end gaming to Mac— Announced at CES in January, Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud-based gaming service went live in beta form on Friday, promising users the ability to play graphically intensive games on their Macs including PC-only titles.
Nvidia’s service, currently available for testing in the US and Canada, relies on the power of GeForce GTX GPUs in the cloud to deliver a virtual PC experience to Mac owners.
The clever system performs all the heavy lifting in the cloud, then pipes down a processed stream to a user’s Mac, allowing owners of older Apple hardware play games that they might not otherwise have access to. In addition, since the service is basically a virtual PC, users can sample a host of PC-only titles.
Apple to donate $1 million plus matched employee contributions for California wildfire relief — Apple is donating $1 million outright and matching worker donations two-to-one to support relief efforts for the wildfires scorching northern Califoria.
Apple diversity chief apologizes to staff for statements made at summit —Apple VP of Inclusion and Diversity Denise Young Smith on Friday issued an internal memo to clarify and apologise for comments made during a business summit last week, reiterating that Apple is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace.
How to add effects to Live Photos in macOS High Sierra — With macOS High Sierra, you can turn your Live Photos into fun videos you can share. You can click Loop for continuous action, or jump backwards and forwards with Bounce.
‘Perfectly normal apocalypse’ in California — that’s right. Southern California has firestorms resulting from a boil-up of fuel thanks to wetter winters then drier summers, and single-dewllig suburbs on the fringes allow fires to spread fast. All ‘perfectly normal‘… In cities, it’s not the devouring flames you should fear but the asphyxiating smoke. This is thanks to Trump’s ‘not climate change’. Hey, at least there haven’t been any hurricanes. Scientists are perplexed over a giant hole that has opened up in Antarctica. According to Motherboard, the “gigantic, mysterious hole” is as large as Lake Superior or the state of Maine. It’s really ‘quite remarkable‘. Tokyo is preparing for bigger floods than ever with high tech. Linked by tunnels that divert water away from the region’s most vulnerable floodplains, its US$2 billion underground anti-flood system, completed in 2006, is an extraordinary example of the defenses that global cities are readying as they face an era of extreme weather brought on by climate change [or not, as Trump prefers].
Madagascar is fighting the plague — The World Health Organisation has delivered more than a million doses of antibiotics to Madagascar amid a raging epidemic of plague in which at least 33 people have died and 230 others have been infected. The ongoing epidemic involves mostly cases of pneumonic rather than the more common bubonic plague, but the airborne variety of the disease is significantly more transmissible and deadly.
Can noise weapon?If ever anything sounded like fake news … The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some US Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recordings themselves are not believed to be dangerous to those who listen. Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a cellphone or computer. [Aha, but Castro’s speeches were s o l o n g . . . ]
Deny this:a restored prisoner’s letter uncovers horrific details of life at Auschwitz death camp. In 1944, Marcel Nadjari, a Greek Jew who was forced to remove bodies from the Auschwitz gas chambers, buried a letter in a forest near the camp. The text was rediscovered in 1980, but was virtually unreadable. Using a new imaging technique, scientists have finally reconstructed the letter, and it’s providing harrowing new details of the Holocaust — and what it was like to work as a forced labourer in a Nazi extermination camp.
Parody ‘Subgenius’ religion wants to crowd-fund contacting aliens — In 1979 the followers of J.R ‘Bob’ Dobbs founded a satirical religion called the Church of the Subgenius. Combining UFOs and conspiracy theories with some social critiques (and a few HP Lovecraft characters), the strange group is now re-emerging online with an official Facebook page and a slick new video channel.
Eighteen months of experimentation lead to clues about a flying saucer arriving on ‘the Black Day’ – and one last chance at eternal salvation and everlasting Slack: the construction of an alien-contacting beacon. [Good for a laugh, anyway. At least, they’re enjoying themselves.]
And after that, some good news … In an effort to reduce the 40 trillion kg of carbon dioxide humans produce each year, three companies have been working to build machines that can capture the gas directly from the air. One such machine in Iceland has begun operation.
Climeworks just proved the cynics wrong. On October 11th, at a geothermal power plant in Iceland, the startup inaugurated the first system that does direct air capture and verifiably achieves negative carbon emissions. This technology could pull us back from the brink. Yay!
Our nearest neighbouring star may have been stolen — Less than five light years away sit three stars orbiting each other. You probably remember that one of them, Proxima Centauri, has a planet orbiting in its habitable zone — which got us really excited about the possibility of life. But what if that star was stolen? ~ Tell it to the judge, I say.]
Ring discovered around dwarf planet around Haumea — Haumea was recognised by the International Astronomical Union in 2008 as one of five dwarf planets alongside Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Makemake. They are located beyond Neptune, 50 times farther away from the sun than Earth. By comparing what was seen from different sites the La Silla Observatory team could reconstruct not only the shape and size of the object itself but also the shape, width, orientation and other properties of its newly discovered rings. ~ A job for space Jif?
Intense methane rainstorms on Titan — Titan is the largest of Saturn’s 60 moons and is roughly the size of Mercury. It has an atmosphere, volcanoes, mountains, and sand dunes. And like Earth, Titan features free-flowing liquid at the surface, manifesting as rivers, lakes and seas. It has regional weather patterns and severe seasonal liquid-methane rainstorms. ~ Yeah, not really selling it.
When the Moon had an atmosphere — New research suggests that long ago, an atmosphere briefly popped into existence as a result of intense volcanic activity. Around three to four billion years ago, powerful volcanic eruptions shot gases above the Moon’s surface faster than they could escape, creating a transient atmosphere that lasted for about 70 million years. ~ 70 million years is transient?
Australian scientists save 30-year-old Quantum puzzle — The scientific community has been working on this one for more than 30 years. Australian scientists from Griffith University just worked out how to measure things with with single particles of light to a higher precision than ever before – on a quantum level. ~ Dang, I thought I was about to solve that one.
Humanity gets a laser-shooting, drone-slaying dune buggy — Small consumer drones are fairly benign nuisances, buzzing around beaches, filming neighbourhoods from 100 metres up, and hopefully keeping clear of airports. To US armed forces fighting overseas, though, small drones can be huge threats. They can be rigged with explosives and firearms, or simply deployed as surveillance tools. So Raytheon has rolled out an answer at the Association of the United States Army Exposition in Washington: a laser-shooting, drone-killing dune buggy. ~ Um, ‘hoorah’?
Deep Learning explained in new theory — The magic leap from special cases to general concepts during learning gives deep neural networks their power, just as it underlies human reasoning, creativity and the other faculties collectively termed ‘intelligence.’ Experts wonder what it is about deep learning that enables generalisation – and to what extent brains apprehend reality in the same way. But a new theory seems to explain it. ~ Experience, basically … why is this so surprising?
Robot camouflage informed by the octopus — Scientists have engineered a material that can transform from a 2D sheet to a 3D shape, adjusting its texture to blend in with its surroundings. They mimicked the abilities of an octopus, which can change both shape and color to camouflage. This is a first step toward developing soft robots that can hide in plain sight, robotics expert Cecilia Laschi writes of the research. ~ Oh no, where did I put that washing machine?
Staying home changed the Stone Age — A new study by scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand suggests that at about 58,000 years ago, Stone Age humans began to settle down, staying in one area for longer periods. The research provides a potential answer to a long-held mystery: why older, Howiesons Poort complex technological tradition in South Africa, suddenly disappear at that time. ~ Yet no TV …
1/ How to Enable Type to Siri in macOS High Sierra — Just like in iOS 11, you can enable Type to Siri in macOS High Sierra. This is a feature that lets you type queries to Siri, just like you would a search engine. It’s useful for people who may feel awkward talking to their iPhone or Mac. It’s also helpful in certain situations where silence is a virtue, like in a library. Here’s how to turn in on in macOS.
Open System Preferences, then go to Accessibility. Scroll to the bottom and click on Siri in the left sidebar. You’ll see a checkbox that lets you turn on Type to Siri.
Next, go back into System Preferences and click on the Siri icon. You can enable or disable voice feedback, should you wish.
2/ Check a flight status using Spotlight — High Sierra has made it easier to check the status of a current or upcoming flight. Click on Spotlight’s magnifying-glass icon in the upper-right corner of your screen or press Spotlight’s keyboard shortcut (Command-Spacebar). Now type in the airline and flight number into the search bar that’ll appear.
If you end up with multiple results in the left-hand list, click through them to find the particular flight you’re looking for (and get more information on it).
You can also tell you have got than one result by the little pips at the bottom of the right-hand pane. This indicates you could swipe to view each of the results in turn if you’d rather do that than click them.
3/ Stop videos from auto-playing in Safari —Open Safari and go to Safari>Preferences. Click on the Websites tab, then select Auto-Play from the sidebar. Within this list, you’ll see the websites you currently have open and ones you’ve previously configured auto-play settings for (if any), both with drop-downs next to them:
Allow All Auto-Play – all videos on the site can autoplay.
Stop Media with Sound – only videos that don’t have audio will autoplay.
Never Auto-Play – no videos can autoplay.
Finally, there’s a drop-down at the bottom of that window that’ll allow you to change the global setting.
By default, Safari should stop all media with sound, but if you’d like to be a bit more heavy-handed, you could switch this to Never Auto-Play. Yes!
4/ Set up Custom Reminders — You set a reminder for yourself that repeats on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or configure one that pops up on the first weekend day of every month, whenever that happens to fall.
Open the Reminders app and click on a blank line to type in the title of your item. Hover your cursor over your new reminder afterward, and you should see a small ‘i’. Click that and you’ll see the options for how you’ll be reminded. To set up a custom repeat, select On a Day, and then click next to the Repeat section. A drop-down menu will offer you a Custom choice. Set a frequency for your repeated reminder: daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Every frequency type has its own options; for example, weekly lets you pick multiple days of the week on which to get your notifications.
You can do the same thing with Monthly or use the drop-down menus at the bottom to get reminded on, say, the first weekend day of every month. Just click Done to commit. [Most of these tips, including the one above, came from Melissa Holt at the Mac Observer.]
5/ Use ‘Grep’ to Find Matching Lines — This one’s a bit more pointy-headed. The Terminal doesn’t care if you know what you’re doing, which is why it’s always a great idea to be careful what you type in it! But one command that’s simple to use (at least at its most basic level) is grep. You can use grep to pull lines that contain search terms out of a text file. Here’s how it works: Let’s pretend this text file of mine has many hundreds of lines of data that I need to paw through.
Terminal lives in your Applications>Utilities folder. It gives you a prompt to start (ending with a dollar sign) – type ‘grep test’ (without the the single quotes).
Now you have to tell Terminal which file to run things on. An easy way to do this is by making sure to type a space after your search term, and then drag and drop the file you want to search onto the Terminal window. The program will fill in the path to the file for you,.
If you then press Return on your keyboard, the Terminal window will fill up with the lines that match your search.
There’s a lot more detail, plus pictures, at the Mac Observer.
Teen interest in iPhone hits new high of 82%, Apple Music on the rise — Apple products like iPhone and Apple Watch continue enjoy healthy demand from young US consumers, as new data from Piper Jaffray shows a record 82% of teens have iPhone in mind as their next smartphone.
Nix Mini Color Sensor works with Your iPhone —The US$69 Nix Mini Color Sensor is a little device is a colour sensor that reports to your iPhone (or Android device). More specifically, it will match a given color to an existing colour library of more than 28,000 brand name paint colors, as well as RGB, HEX, CMYK, and LAB colours. It’s US$69 through The Mac Observer at the moment.
How to: turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11 — Apple recently caught flak from the Electronic Freedom Foundation for misleading consumers by incorporating “off-ish” Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings in its iOS 11 operating system, a byproduct of decisions that favor user experience. Apple Insider shows you how to completely turn off the radios.
Yale’s Assure smart lock family gets HomeKit support with iM1 Network Module upgrade — Long-time lock producer Yale has added HomeKit support to its Assure lock family, in the form of the iM1 Network Module that provides support for Siri controls through Apple’s Home app. [Ah, ‘Unlock the door’?]
Top 5 Apple Watch fitness and health apps to get you moving —It can be a bit difficult to find new apps for the Watch. In the Watch app on iPhone, Apple doesn’t provide a list of categories like the App Store. Mac Observer shows you the top Apple Watch fitness and health apps.
macOS High Sierra: The Good Things in Life Are Free — Robert LeVitus takes a peek at some new features macOS High Sierra has that are interesting and cool, and he doesn’t believe any app has more interesting new features than the overhauled Photos app. Another post tells how to view Live Photos on Hight Sierra.
Revamped ‘Movies Anywhere’ service adds four studios, makes cross-platform viewing easy — Disney on Wednesday launched Movies Anywhere, an all-in-one movie viewing service that lets users watch purchased content from five major Hollywood studios on a variety of platforms, from iTunes to Google Play.
Movies Anywhere acts as a multi-platform content locker for movies from Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Oculus reveals US$199 standalone ‘Go’ VR headset, drops Rift price to US$399 — Presenting at an event in San Jose on Wednesday, Facebook’s Oculus introduced the Go, a new headset capable of operating without a connected phone, Mac, or Windows PC.
GN28K Aluminum UBS-C Hub adds expandability options for new MacBook Pros — China-based QacQoc’s newest product, the GN28K Aluminum UBS-C Hub, is designed for 2016 and 2017MacBook Pros running macOS Sierra and High Sierra. It can simultaneously transfer data and charge devices — to a point. It works with devices based on USB Power Delivery Specification (USB PD protocol), but it’s incompatible with devices based on the QC (Quick Charge 2.0/3.0) charging protocol. also, it covers two USB-C ports, although it offers more, of course.
But the GN28K is reasonably priced (just US$89.99 + shipping), and it comes with a 12-month warranty.
Apple iOS 11.0.3 update available, fixes iPhone 7 haptic feedback, iPhone 6s screen service issue — Apple has issued a third update to iOS 11, with the latest fix sorting out haptics and audio on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices, plus one involving non-genuine display replacement on the iPhone 6s.
iPhone X took over two years to develop, marks new chapter in iPhone design, says Jony Ive — In a brief interview with Japanese design magazine Casa Brutus, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive dropped a few interesting tidbits about the development, future technological implications and public reception of iPhone X. [So, rich people will no doubt delight.]
Here’s how Airplane Mode is different in iOS 11 — Airplane Mode on your iPhone and iPad is pretty straight forward: activate it to turn off the radios in your device, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
iOS 11 still does what you expect with Airplane Mode, unlike Control Center’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles, but you can change its behaviour. When you enable Airplane Mode on your iPhone or iPad from Settings or Control Center the device’s radios are turned off. You can then selectively turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth back on while leaving the rest of the radios in their disabled state. The Mac Observer has more.
OnePlus’ OxygenOS found to be linking device IDs to collected analytics data — Smartphone maker OnePlus, a competitor against Apple’s iPhone, is collecting a lot of analytics data from users and linking it to personally identifiable information, according to one security researcher.
SmartHalo bike navigation & tracking accessory comes to Apple stores — The SmartHalo, an iPhone-compatible bicycle accessory, aimed at navigation, fitness, and safety, is now available through Apple’s web and brick-and-mortar stores across the US and Canada.
The device locks to a bike’s handlebar, and communicates with a dedicated app via Bluetooth 4.0. Its signature ring light tells riders how to get to a selected destination via either turn-by-turn or compass-style modes. [I want one! Mind you, the app Cyclemeter records the same info on my iPhone as long as I activate it and take it with me.]
Mac sales continue decline in Q3, Apple drops to 5th place worldwide — Apple’s Mac sales continued to atrophy in the third calendar quarter of 2017 to put the company at fifth place among fellow vendors, according to fresh estimates from research firm Gartner. [What this really means is that Apple has finally joined the general drift downwards in computer sales, after years of bucking the trend.]
Apple among 76 companies asking Supreme Court to clarify protections for gay employees — A collection of 76 businesses including Apple, Google, and Microsoft has asked the US Supreme Court to take up a case that should clarify whether a law against workplace sex discrimination also covers a worker’s sexual orientation. There is an absence of a federal law explicitly preventing discrimination based on orientation, and it’s hampering recruitment in the 27 remaining states that haven’t adopted their own protections.
The best bargains on external displays for your Mac — This is for the US, but some of the brands and models are also available in NZ: whether you have a Mac mini or are looking to add a second, larger display to your MacBook Pro setup, having a high resolution monitor on your desk can be an asset. Apple Insider has the top bargains on monitors in a variety of sizes, all under US$570.
Apple opens two Indian ‘Mac Labs’ teaching music production with Logic Pro X —Apple’s head of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, appeared in Mumbai, India today to announce the launch of two ‘Mac Labs”‘ for KM Music Conservatories, an institution founded by musician AR Rahman.
Apple may reboot Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories — Apple is eyeing a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories as one of its first series in its foray into original programming under Jamie Erlicht & Zack Van Amburg, heads of the newly formed worldwide video programming division, reports Deadline.
How to organise photos in macOS High Sierra — It’s easy to organise your photos in macOS High Sierra. Start by, of course, launching the Photos app.
Use the pop-up menu at the top right to find just the photos you want, then drag the photos to an album to quickly organize your shots. You can also select the photos you’d like to put in your album. Hold down the Command key on your Mac’s keyboard to select multiple photos at once. Apple World Today has more.
This handy little (59x99x16mm) unit from the Apple-friendly US-based Sonnet supports an additional two 4K (up to 4096×2160 pixels) 60Hz displays via separate DisplayPort cables or one 5K (5120×2880 pixels) 60Hz display using both, adapting them into one of those USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports on a Mac.
The Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 to DisplayPort adapter runs at 40Gbps and supports audio over DisplayPort and gets its power from the built-in USB-C connector, plus it’s backwards compatible with lower-resolution displays down to 1080p, and other types of monitors and projectors can be plugged in also, including projectors, via adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA (there’s a list of compatible devices, apparently, at the Sonnet site).
I love how these things ‘just work’ on Macs, don’t you? The instructions for Mac are basically plug it in since macOS already has integral drivers (then launch System Preferences, choose Displays and configure). For Windows, it’s update your BIOS to the latest version, update to the latest Thunderbolt version, confirm it’s running the latest Windows and if not update that too, connect the adapter with your computer turned on and then tell it to approve’ the device. Yikes. I don’t even know what a BIOS is (don’t worry, I don’t really want to, either). Besides, not all Thunderbolt 3 Windows PCs support dual displays or 60Hz refresh rates – who knew? Also, this Sonnet display adapter is not compatible with USB-C-only ports. (I didn’t realise these existed either.)
Conclusion — There’s not much to say about this really, it’s plug-and-play, works perfectly and doesn’t even need a power supply. Sonnet always makes good stuff.
Sonnet Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter,NZ$195 (US$79)
BNZ second bank to support Apple Pay in New Zealand — The Bank of New Zealand, better known as BNZ, has announced it will become the second major financial institution to support Apple Pay in New Zealand, further expanding the fledgling payment solution’s reach into smaller international markets. BNZ has yet to announce a date for its introduction, though.
Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus cameras compared in a video — Though the cameras in Apple’s latest iPhones boast the same megapixel count as last year’s models, the new devices sport greatly improved internal components, from ‘deeper’ pixels to an upgraded image signal processor. See how the new hardware compares to its predecessor in this video.
Apple to fix iOS 11 Reachability quirk that restricts Cover Sheet pulldown, report says — Apple is reportedly working on a fix for an iOS 11 behaviour that prohibits users from easily accessing the new Cover Sheet screen, a melding of the Lock Screen and Notification Center, when in Reachability mode.
The average US household owns more than two Apple products — The CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds that 64% of Americans now own an Apple product, up from 50% when the question was last asked five years ago. The average American household reports owning 2.6 Apple products, up by a full Apple product from the 2012 survey. The only demographic groups polled that fell below 50% ownership is those with a household income of less than US$30,000, retirees, and women over age 50. [Gosh, we have ten, if you include AirPorts and Time Machine.]
How to record your whole macOS screen, or a portion of it, with QuickTime Player — Apple has included an incredibly easy-to-use screen recorder with macOS High Sierra, contained inside the QuickTime Player utility. AppleInsider shows you how to use it.
How to set up Universal Clipboard on macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 — The Universal Clipboard feature in macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 allows you to copy content, including text, images, photos and video from one Apple device and paste it in another. For example, you can browse a recipe on your Mac and paste the ingredients right to the grocery list on your iPhone. Here’s how to set up and use it.
We sure live in trying times.We have tin-pot depots not only controlling odd minor states like North Korea, but major powers (Russia and the US). We live in the kind of surveillance state that would have made Orwell and other visionaries wretch with anxiety, and this surveillance state has only one redeeming feature: we can also surveil. When you walk down the street, there may be multiple surveillance cameras handing you off one to another and tracking your progress, but if something happens in front of you, you can whip out your smartphone and record it too, and in this way these very surveillance authorities can also be held to account.
This continues in other ways, too. Even your innocent Snapchat or Insta video could record and reveal details about your life and experiences, if collected or inspected by someone else.
One of the men responsible for our personal surveillance tools (iPhones) is Tim Cook. In many other ways, Tim Cook has to contend with issues his predecessor and mentor Steve Jobs never had to contend with. Jobs may have put money into, for example, democratic presidential campaigns, but he never had to deal with a president attacking the immigrant worker base, for example, which may result in nearly 800,000 Americans being cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home, or trying to pass phobic anti-transgender measures while generally just being an ill-tempered big-mouthed gobshite. I mean, we’re used to Republican presidents who appear a bit thick, like Reagan and Bush, but demonstrably deranged heads of major states? Not really since Roman times.
It’s hard to say if Steve Jobs would have tried to do anything concrete about these things, but Tim Cook is a very different kind of person. Morally and as an example of human kindness, Cook has it in spades over Jobs’ public persona, at least (I imagine Jobs could be kind in person).
You might criticise Cook as lacking product vision (we have to expect Cook is smart enough to employ those, of course) but Tim Cook didn’t elevate himself into the position of Apple CEO: it was Steve Jobs who did that. And Jobs absolutely was a visionary, so we should trust his judgement on that.
So, Tim Cook: all the best, good luck and kia kaha.
Free iOS App of the Week Promotion Gone in iOS 11 — It seems the Free iOS App of the Week is gone in iOS 11. Apple started this back in 2012 as a way to paid apps that people may not otherwise buy. Apple showcased the app on the front page of the App Store. Once you downloaded it for free, it was in your purchased history. Even when the promotion ended you could still re-download it.
The App Store saw a big design overhaul in iOS 11. Games and apps are now in different categories, and there is a new Today tab. It shows behind-the-scenes app details, tips and tricks, and more. Instead of a free iOS app of the week, there is now an App of the Day, and a Game of the Day.
AR Tape Measure 2.0 is free from It’s About Time Products — Apple’s ARKit is a framework that’s part of iOS 11 that lets developers create augmented reality (AR) experiences for the iPhone and iPad. One of the first developers we knew of that created AR apps was this week’s sponsor, It’s About Time Products, and Apple World Today is happy to tell you about the free AR Tape Measure 2.0 app. However, it only works on newer iPhones (not my 6, but 6s-on) so I can’t even tell you if it does metric.
Microsoft pulls plug on Windows 10 Mobile, says userbase too small to support apps — Having long struggled for marketshare versus the Apple iPhone and Google Android devices, Microsoft is effectively giving up on Windows 10 Mobile for the time being, a company executive said over the weekend.