2016 MacBook Pros first ones not to receive recommended ratings from Consumer Reports — For the first time ever, Consumer Reports has failed to recommend new models of Apple’s MacBook Pro line. The laptops did very well in measures of display quality and performance, but as far as battery life goes, models “varied dramatically” from one trial to the next.
The 2016 Steam Winter Sale — with it come a whole bunch of holiday deals. Here and there are some good deals hidden amongst the cruft. Baldur’s Gate II is down to US$8, Project Cars is under US$10, one of the year’s best action-RPGs Grim Dawn is 45 percent off (US$13.74), Cities Skylines is US$7.50, Grim Fandango Remastered is US$3, and so on.
Spotify macOS client update adds Touch Bar, AirPods auto-pause support — Music streaming service Spotify has updated its macOS app, adding both Touch Bar support, and implementation of the auto-pause feature for Apple’s wireless AirPods.
Apple posts Its Public Encryption Key, encourages customers to verify emails — Apple has a new support document encouraging customers to verify encrypted emails, especially security emails from Apple. The document includes Apple’s own public PGP key for those verifications. Apple noted its current PGP key will be valid until May of 2018. PGP, or “pretty good privacy” is one of the most popular encryption schemes in general use today, through both the PGP Corporation and the open source GnuPGP. Apple posted links to both. You can subscribe to Apple’s Security-announce emails at Apple’s website.
Rip DVDs For Free with MacX DVD Ripper Pro and MacX MediaTrans — Right now Digiarty is offering a “Christmas Giveaway” of MacX DVD Ripper Pro, their app for easily ripping, clipping and extracting audio from DVDs. The promo starts now and runs until January 5, 2017. There are a limited number of copies available per day so go get yours now!
Combo Cleaner is new antivirus/optimisation app for macOS — RCS Software has released Combo Cleaner: Antivirus and System Optimizer 1.0.6, an antivirus and system optimization application for macOS 10.10 and higher.
Combo Cleaner is free to download in the Mac App Store, but offers a premium subscription option, which enables additional features. Subscriptions are available via an in-app purchase. Pricing is US$2.99 monthly, $14.99 for six moths, and $25.99 annually. The Combo Cleaner free version offers a Disk Cleaner feature, designed to ensure that your Mac is free of junk and obsolete files. [My advice is try the free version. If it starts seriously catching viruses, which I suspect will not be the case, consider one of the paid plans.]