Tag Archives: net neutrality

The Apocalypticon ~ China bans N, Apple, right smell, measles, thawing, net neutrality, Democrat rebuttal, aliens and flowers


Chia bans ‘n’ [see my little joke there? I meant’t ChiNa’ … LOLs or what?]. It is the 14th letter in the English alphabet, but for the Communist party of China it is also a subversive and intolerable character that was this week banished from the internet as Chinese censors battled to silence criticism of Xi Jinping’s bid to set himself up as ruler for life [from now on, shouldn’t he be known as ‘Xi Ji_pi_g’?]. The contravening consonant was perhaps the most unusual victim of a crackdown targeting words, phrases and even solitary letters censors feared might be used to attack Beijing’s controversial decision to abolish constitutional term limits for China’s president. And before you can say ‘1984‘ (by that master of prescience George Orwell), that and Animal Farm have been banned too. [All I can exclaim is ‘You Nnnnnnitwits!]
In other worrisome Oriental moves, Apple has moved its Chinese encryption keys to China, worrying privacy advocates. [Coz, you know, authoritarianism, privacy and all that].
But hey, Apple is also doing shit things in the West! A file that Apple updated on its website last month provides the first acknowledgment that it’s relying on Google’s public cloud for data storage for its iCloud services. You know, Apple the Great Protector of Privacy is housing its data with supposed ‘enemy’ Google – which makes most of its money from selling people’s private information.

Dictators stink. Really. A new study published in Royal Society Open Science suggests that one seemingly unrelated behavioural quirk might have played a small role in people voting for authoritarian figures like Trump, or ‘voting’ for Xi Jipig, for that matter: an abject hatred of body odour. [Conversely, now you can presumably smell a right-winger coming: they’l be liberally soused in deodorant.] The more disgusted you feel about things, the more likely you tend to be conservative [Trump uses the word ‘disgusted’ really really often, although not as often as he uses the word ‘really’]. This adds in to the fear-response research that predicts voting patterns.

North Korea didn’t do it, Russia did — Russian military spies hacked several hundred computers used by authorities at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea according to US intelligence. They did so while trying to make it appear as though the intrusion was conducted by North Korea, what is known as a ‘false-flag’ operation [or, as I prefer, an ‘evil conniving move’].

Aussie takes measles to New York City — Measles has just visited the Big Apple, and public health officials are warning the city’s small unvaccinated population to be on guard. An Australian tourist was confirmed to be carrying the viral disease days into their trip. [I made up a new word for this but didn’t use it. I was going to write ‘Aussie Measelates New York’. Yeah, don’t thank me, it’s cool.]

Thee-thaw — Camp Century, under the thick ice of Greenland, was always an audacious scheme. Just 1287 kms (800 miles) from the North Pole, the US military built a hidden base of ice tunnels, imagined as an extensive network of railway tracks, stretching over 4000 kms (2500 miles), that would keep 600 nuclear missiles buried under the ice. Construction began in 1959, under cover of a scientific research project, and soon a small installation, powered by a nuclear reactor, nested in the ice sheet. Except the ice is thawing … the now-melting ice sheet threatens to mobilize the dangerous pollutants left behind.
And Norway is spending millions to keep its ‘ice vault’ cool. Even though it’s located in the Arctic Circle, Svalbard’s temperature is expected to increase from an average -5.9C to 3.3C, and rainfall is expected to increase by 40%, by the year 2100. Ironically, the facility designed to safeguard seeds in the event of climate change is being threatened … by climate change.

Net neutrality — I don’t really get it, not because I’ve tried, unfortunately, but because I haven’t. Anyway, now there’s a guide for simpletons like me. And while we’re at it, those of you [like me] who follow America under Trump like a slo-motion train wreck you can’t take your eyes away from, there’s also an article about what to take away from the Democrats’ rebuttal memo.

And the good news … if aliens come, try offering them a bunch of flowers. Awww. 

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Net Neutrality, website tracking worse, Black Friday sales!


It’s Black Friday sales time!

Text of FCC ‘Proposal to Restore Internet Freedom’ released, eradicates net neutrality rules — As promised, the US Federal Communcations Commission has released the full text of the Proposal to Restore Internet Freedom which completely removes restrictions on throttling or prioritising content, and explicitly allows paid prioritization of content.

Website tracking to be worse than thought, study shows — New research from Princeton University reveals that website tracking is more prevalent than most people think. In the first release of a series called No Boundaries, the researchers explain how third-party scripts that run on many websites track your keystrokes and send it to third parties.

Tomorrow is Black Friday and the sales have already started — MacPaw has 30% off its of apps including Gemini, CleanMyMac and even bundles, Readdle has PDF Expert for US$45.99 instead of US$59.99, PhotoLemur, the remarkable software that anyone can use to dramatically enhance photos very easily, is 60% off, but only till 6pm NZ time (ten-hour run), you can get 249 coding lessons in Swift and for iOS development for only US$10 today, and my own publishing company CreativeTech has its iBooks titles dramatically reduced until 30th November – just type CreativeTech into the iBooks Store.
These are Until the World Returns by Jan Naeije – the inside story of a Dutch Resistance fighter in World War Two normally NZ$11.99, now NZ$6.99
US$2.99 / UK£2.49 / A$3.99 and €2.99; Friendship, Foes and Feathers book 1: June, Anne and the Great War for just NZ$4.99 / US$2.99 / UK£2.49 / A$3.99 and €2.99 ; Parcels From Home: Jack’s War, a Graphic Historic Interpretation fully written and illustrated by the Listener’s Steve Bolton based on the research for Parcels From Home (below) is currently just NZ$6.99/US3.99, a huge savings on a very rich and rewarding book normally NZ$17.99 (pictured above) with sound, bibliography, informational pop-outs, and German to English translations.
Parcels From Home: The Prisoner of War Parcel Scheme and the New Zealand Red Cross in World War Two is currently just NZ$4.99 or US$3.99 / UK£3.49 / A$3.99 and €4.49; and the longer version with an extra chapter on New Zealand in the Pacific War and more audio-visual content (the ‘Trainspotter Edition’ of this same book) is normally NZ$18.99, now NZ$6.99 (extra chapter, more audio-visual content) or US$3.99 not 11.99, UK£3.49 not £9.49, A$5.99 not A$17.99 and €4.49 not €13.99.
Ranger: The Making of a New Zealand Yachting Legend by Sandra Gorter is normally NZ$11.99, now it’s NZ$6.99 /US$3.99/UK£3.49/A$5.99 and €4.49 – this is the iBooks version of this New Zealand best seller.
Remember: you can get a free sample of any of these iBooks any time, to try before you buy; clicking the above links does not commit you to buy; these only work on iBooks on Apple devices, but buy one and it installs on all the Apple devices signed into that iCloud account; and if you finish on a  page on your iPad then open it on your Mac or iPhone, it opens on the same page and any notes or highlights you have added appear in all device versions you read, which makes them wonderful study aids.

Mac fidget spinners, net neutrality, China data, 1Password irks, Purley Xeon, Quark, repair your own HD, new Safari Tech Preview


Imaginative Mac consultant repurposes old Apple gear as spinners, lamps, and more — Gary Katz is the proprietor of MacM.D., Inc. and an Apple consultant out of Overland Park, KS. When he’s not helping clients set up or fix Macs and iOS devices or playing in his band Conviction, he’s taking bits and pieces from old Apple gear and turning them into amazing furniture and toys.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft & Spotify among companies pushing Day of Action for net neutrality — A group of 40 technology companies has launched a Day of Action designed to encourage feedback to the US Federal Communications Commission in support of net neutrality regulations – which are opposed by Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai, as well as internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

Apple opens first China data centre to comply with country’s cybersecurity rules — Apple on Wednesday announced the activation of its first data centre in China, which is being operated in cooperation with a local internet firm to ensure compliance with the country’s strict cybersecurity laws.

1Password irks security experts in push toward cloud-based vaults — Over the weekend, a number of security researchers recently took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at AgileBits’ decision to push its popular password management service 1Password away from local credential storage to a cloud-based option.

Intel announces ‘Purley’ Xeon processors, possibly destined for Apple’s iMac Pro — Intel has taken the wraps off of its Purley series of Xeon processors, and it appears that there are a few candidates for possible processors that could be included in Apple’s iMac Pro, slated to launch this December.

Quark acquired by Parallax Capital Partners — The new owners intend to help Quark accelerate the adoption of its transformational content automation solutions through investment in organic growth and acquisitions, the companies said in a joint statement. [Er, what?] Details of the acquisition haven’t been released. Quark was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1981 and is best known to Mac users as the company behind the Quark XPress desktop publishing software which competed mostly with PageMaker and, in its early days, InDesign before lapsing into obscurity.

How to repair a disk using macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility — You can use the Apple Disk Utility app in macOS Sierra [and in previous versions of macOS] to repair a variety of problems. Here’s how to repair the disk that started up your Mac.

Apple releases Safari Technology Preview 35 with speed improvements and more — Apple just released Safari Technology Preview 35, a developer-oriented release that is also open to the public. This release includes performance improvements, as well as a host of bug fixes, tweaks, and other changes.
Safari Technology Preview 35 is available for download [free, for everybody, but do note this is a Beta so still in development – but it does not replace your existing Safari] in both macOS Sierra and for those beta release users of macOS High Sierra. Users who have already installed it will find this and future updates in Software Update on the Mac App Store.

Cook’s hard line, shuttle drivers, net neutrality, iWork online, Smartflash


Apple has introduced a free level of iCloud service for anyone with an Apple ID, including people even if they don’t own or use Apple devices. This includes access to Pages (Apple's word processor), Numbers (Apple's spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentation software, like PowerPoint) for iCloud with 1 GB of free storage for any documents created.
Apple has introduced a free level of iCloud service for anyone with an Apple ID, including even people who don’t own or use Apple devices. This includes access to Pages (Apple’s word processor), Numbers (Apple’s spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentation software, like PowerPoint) for iCloud with 1 GB of free storage for any documents created.

Apple’s Tim Cook takes hardline stance against consumer data sharing, government snooping and terrorism — In an interview published last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook reaffirmed his commitment to customer data privacy, saying most consumers likely do not know how dire the situation is, but will be “very offended” when they find out. He says data sharing is a practice that goes against Apple’s core philosophies.

Shuttle drivers at Apple, other Silicon Valley tech companies vote for Teamsters representation — In the ongoing Silicon Valley shuttle bus saga, contracted drivers serving five local tech firms, including Apple, voted on Friday to seek representation by the Teamsters union.

Understanding the FCC’s net neutrality rules— Advocates for open access to the Internet were popping champagne corks on Thursday after the Federal Communications Commission in the US  voted in favour of reclassifying broadband Internet as a public utility. In addition to regulating fixed broadband lines that go into your home, the FCC vote also extended public utility rules to mobile broadband for the first time.

Apple introduces free, web-only version of iWork for the public — Apple launched a web-only version of iWork that allows anyone to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote as long as they have an Apple ID. This online-only version is free, includes 1GB of storage and does not require the user to have an Apple device.

Fresh off $533M victory, Smartflash files another patent suit against Apple — Just a day after Smartflash won a $533 million jury decision against Apple, the intellectual property holder filed another patent case against the company seeking even more damages for alleged infringement.

Cook drops in, Net Neutrality, iBooks


Tim Cook a pair of photos posted to Twitter from the impromptu meet-up at a Washington Apple Store.
Tim Cook posted two photos to Twitter from his impromptu meet-up at a Washington Apple Store.

Tim Cook makes surprise visit to DC Apple Store in support of World AIDS Day — Apple CEO Tim Cook and (RED) chief Deborah Dugan visited a Washington DC Apple Store in Georgetown on Monday to show support for World AIDS Day, a global event created to foster awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Net neutrality: five myths, and the real facts — Regardless of where you stand on the net neutrality debate, one thing doesn’t help: misleading or confusing statements. Unfortunately there are plenty of them.
Net neutrality is an Internet ideal that will become possible If the Federal Communications Commission decides to reclassify Internet service providers from information services to telecommunications services. If the FCC reclassifies ISPs, it will be able to regulate them—and that could affect a push by ISPs to provide faster Internet service to Web companies willing to pay for the privilege.

Apple’s Eddy Cue speaks out on iBooks price fixing ruling: ‘It’s just not right’ — Days before an appeals court will revisit Apple’s iBooks price fixing case, the head of the company’s digital content business has spoken out on why Apple continues to fight the government’s antitrust allegations, calling it a ‘fight for the truth.’

Apple high, Cook bill, Outlook 2015, RAW, Xcode, nn,


Record closing for Apple stock
Record closing for Apple stock

Shares of Apple hit record close at US$114 — Shares of Apple Inc. hit a new record closing high Friday, ending the week at US$114.18, a gain of $1.36 (+1.21 percent), on strong volume of 44 million shares trading hands. That puts the company’s market cap at US$669.6 billion, which is also a record, at least in relative terms.

Alabama lawmaker naming new anti-discrimination bill for Apple CEO Tim Cook — Tim Cook has been making waves with his recent increased focus on civil rights issues, specifically with regards to the LGBTQ community. In October, the CEO spoke out about his home state of Alabama’s slow progress with regards to LGBTQ rights. Now the only openly gay lawmaker in the state is naming a new discrimination bill after him.

First look: Microsoft Outlook 2015 promises few new features … but better performance — Breaking with tradition, Microsoft recently issued a new version of Outlook for Mac. Normally, the company waits until all of its Office components are finished and then releases them as part of an application suite.

Apple Adds RAW Support for New Cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Panasonic — Apple released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.0.1 last week (via the Mac App store>Updates). The update adds support to OS X in Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11 for RAW photo files from four new cameras.

Apple releases Xcode 6.1.1 golden master with fixes for Swift, Xcode Server — Apple on Friday issued  a golden master build of the upcoming Xcode 6.1.1 update to developers, bringing bug fixes for Xcode Server, the Swift programming language and Interface Builder, among others.

Inside the net neutrality dispute, and why it’s important to Apple users — Though you may pay a premium for one of the fastest internet connections your cable provider offers, a lack of net neutrality could cause your iCloud backups and iTunes movie rentals to take hours, rather than minutes. Here’s why Apple users, and consumers in general, should care about net neutrality.

Apple 1, Cook at WSJD, and what is net neutrality?


Build your own Apple 1 replica
Build your own Apple 1 replica

Ben Heck built an Apple 1 from scratch, and you can too — If you don’t have the near-US$1 million to spare to buy a genuine Apple 1 computer, why not build your own working replica? Master model Ben Heckendorn (AKA Ben Heck) did just that in a new three-part episode of element14’s The Ben Heck Show.

Tim Cook speaks at WSJD Live about Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and more — Last month’s WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California was a hot ticket. You could take a drone selfie with Rupert Murdoch, maybe troll an Apple exec with AirDrop, and of course listen to fascinating talks and interviews with some of the biggest names in technology, including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Oatmeal explains Net Neutrality — President Obama made a strong statement in favour of Net Neutrality yesterday, and Senator Ted Cruz called out the push for regulation as “Obamacare for the Internet.” Seems the Senator needs some schooling on what a free and open Internet really is, and why it’s so important. The Oatmeal offers up one of the best explanations supporting Net Neutrality.

Black Friday Apple sale, Retina iMac, Obama net neutrality, Yosemite security, apps bundle


An interesting Apps deal
An interesting Apps deal

Apple ramps up for Black Friday Sale — Apple’s Black Friday sale promotion will be back again this year with special discounts and early store openings, but not quite as early as some previous events. This year Apple will open its retail stores at 8AM local time instead of painfully early, like 4AM, or last year’s 6AM start.
[Since New Zealand doesn’t have any Apple stores – just licensed Resellers – what we’ll get instead is specials in the Apple Online Store. Typically, Apple NZ issues coupons for App Store purchases.]

Another Apple 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display review — After years of waiting, Mac faithful can finally purchase an ultra high-resolution display made by Apple that not only mates quality with a competitive price tag, but comes with a capable built-in computer to boot.

President Obama pushes FCC to classify Internet as public utility, protect net neutrality — In a move likely to see support from Internet-based content providers such as Apple, Netflix, and others, President Barack Obama on Monday publicly called on the Federal Communications Commission to take the strongest measures possible in protecting net neutrality.

3 key things to know about Yosemite and security — Like its US National Park namesake, Apple’s newest operating system can be imposing, perhaps even a little daunting to newcomers. And although you won’t find any bears in the digital version of Yosemite, that doesn’t mean it’s danger free. After all, online security is rarely a walk in the park — and these three features of Yosemite could potentially impact your security.

The AppsGoneMad bundle offers 6 solid Mac apps for under US$10— With app bundles there is often one thing you really want, but the rest of the bundle is forgettable. This latest bundle (pictured above) from AppsGoneMad, which can be purchased between now and November 24, actually has several apps for Mac OS X that should have wide appeal. At retail, the apps would total US$220 (about NZ$284), but the whole bundle is only $9.99 (about NZ$12.88).