Tag Archives: privacy

The Apocalypticon ~ NZ penguins, more Trump idiocy, seed vault floods, dumping Google, passwords, Dark Age medical


Our Yellow Eyed Penguin is perilously close to extinction — The adorable New Zealand bird, which even graces the currency, is dangerously close to extinction going by at least at one well-monitored mainland breeding ground.
And it’s (probably) all our fault. Meanwhile, Trump plans to increase defence funding while slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget while wars are killing hardly any Americans while environmental problems kill 200,000 a year

According to Politico, Trump’s staff regularly prints articles from the internet and hands them to the president. Sometimes, they hand him internet hoaxes they believe are real, which explains so much.
~ Well it doesn’t, because what kind of idiot operates like this? Oh, wait. Guess what?

The info Trump gleefully handed over to the Russians was classified even higher than ‘Top Secret’. According to the Washington Post, the information Trump shared with the Russians is what’s called Code Word classified, which is higher than the classification known as Top Secret. Meanwhile, Gizmodo tested Trump’s Florida security and found it eminently hackable.

Norwegian seed vault floods — Trump, of course, denies that climate is changing. Designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever, the Global Seed Vault, which recently took a new tranche of NZ plant species, is buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle. But it has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel. And scientists (what do they know?) have worked out tat 10-to-20 centimeter (four-to-eight inch) jump in the global ocean watermark by 2050, which is considered a conservative forecast, would double flood risk in high-latitude regions.

Dumping Google — Google trades your data, that’s what’s made it rich, which is why I’m no fan of Android smartphones or even Gmail accounts, for that matter. If you’ve had enough of Google meddling in your affairs, here’s how to make sure it’s a clean and uncomplicated break.

Group fights having to hand over passwords — The human rights group Cage is preparing to mount a legal challenge to UK anti-terrorism legislation over a refusal to hand over mobile and laptop passwords to border control officials at air terminals, ports and international rail stations… This even happens at Auckland airport, btw, with Homeland Security officers taking aside passengers ‘at random’ from flights heading to, or even transiting, the States.
And then … 560 million passwords have been discovered on an online database.

Medicine heading for the Dark Ages — Without real action of the over-prescribing of antibiotics, we’re heading for new medical Dark Ages.

Regent Street, Quicken 2017, racer, Photolemur, Australian Apple Store employee transgressions


The Apple Store in Regent Street, London has reopened.
The Apple Store in Regent Street, London has reopened.

London’s renovated Regent Street Apple Store interior shown off in photos — After a year of renovations, the Regent Street Apple store in London is opening on October 15, and members of the press were given a sneak peek of the interior prior to the big day.

Quicken 2017 available for macOS (and iOS, Windows, Android OS) — Quicken 2017 is now available for Mac and Windows system. The new product line offers users a revamped interface, a mobile app that’s iPhone/iPad compatible, and new investment, reporting, and bill pay capabilities. The products have been re-designed to work optimally on high resolution displays.

You’ll want to take GRID 2 Reloaded Edition for the Mac for a (fast) spin — Vivid graphics and realistic gameplay make GRID 2 Reloaded Edition for the Mac a racing game you should definitely take for a spin. Much of its appeal is due to the TrueFeel handling system that emphasizes each car’s unique features such as torque and weight distribution. With it you can adjust your driving style to each auto when you slip behind the wheel.

Photolemur beta for Mac coming next week: AI photo enhancement that will amaze you — There’s a difference between photos that are OK and those that really pop. Usually, the ones that are most impressive have been enhanced somehow behind the scenes to make them more vivid, get rid of haze, straighten the horizon, and so on, all by someone who has spent a lot of time learning how to make those enhancements. Photolemur is a new Mac app that will be arriving in public beta next week. If you want to sign up for the beta, this is where; you have to follow the site on social media, apparently.

Apple investigation of employee-led photo sharing ring finds no purloined customer data — Apple’s investigation of allegations levied against employees at an Australian Apple store has determined that no customer data had been stolen, but the employees said to be at the centre of the photo-stealing ring aren’t off the hook for other misdeeds.

Privacy while globetrotting, health devices that communicate with your doctor


globetrotter-100661100-large

Privacy-Minded Globetrotters, this is a new way to safely navigate on public Wi-Fi — If you’re travelling and visiting a different café each day, you most likely rely on free Wi-Fi networks to stay connected with the world, run your business or simply post vacation selfies. Bitdefender BOX is an integrated home cybersecurity solution designed for breakthrough IoT devices, but it also secures computers, tablets and smartphones. Using the embedded Private Line feature, BOX secures your online activities on any Wi-Fi network, even unsafe ones. Your communication is encrypted and scanned for threats using Local Protection. It’s currently US$99 instead of US$199 for the yearly subscription (the box itself is free) but t’s only available in the US).

Qardio’s smart medical devices will now share data with your doctor — The future of health care is wearable devices that transmit our vitals to our physicians. Instead of self-reported data, which is often inaccurate (no offense, but our memory is often not that great), doctors will have real numbers to form the basis for diagnoses and treatment plans. In the wake of Apple’s CareKit launch, connected medical device maker Qardio is launching a platform to share health data from its hardware with your doctor.

Pharrel Williams, AirPlay speaker bulbs, make your own apps, iCloud backups, iOS 9, privacy, Liquidmetal exclusive


Take your own light and speaker with you with Twist
Take your own light and speaker with you with Twist

Pharrell Williams’ Freedom will be an Apple Music exclusive — Apple Music is Apple’s streaming music, internet radio and artist promotion service unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month. Are we happy?

Twist is an AirPlay light-bulb speaker designed for apartment dwellers — The connected home sounds like a pie-in-the-sky concept to apartment renters who can’t exactly invest in expensive hardware and rewire a place just to pack up and move after a year or two.But Twist is portable – it’s a new LED light bulb that turns your lamp into a Jambox-style speaker using just AirPlay.

Make your own app with these DIY services — Going mobile isn’t nearly as difficult or as expensive as you might think. In fact, you don’t even need to hire an outside developer to create an app for your business. There are plenty of do-it-yourself app building services on the market, which offer intuitive app creation tools and app hosting for a low monthly fee.

How to backup your iPhone to Apple’s iCloud — When iPhone first launched, backing up data was a cumbersome process that required users to transfer their files to a Mac or PC via iTunes. Apple has since moved to the cloud with iCloud, providing an incredibly simple way to back up iPhones, iPads and iPods without a host computer.

iOS 9 can automatically delete, reinstall apps to make room for OS updates — The second beta of Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system revealed a new feature that went undiscovered until now — the ability to automatically delete apps to clear space for the update, then reinstall them once the upgrade is complete. [You can always re-download any apps you owned for free by clicking the little cloud logo next to it in the App store – this also goes for iTunes songs and Mac apps.]

Apple expanding user privacy, will prevent iOS apps from seeing other installed apps — As part of a continued focus on protecting user privacy, Apple is reportedly planning to change a policy on third-party applications and prevent them from finding out what other apps are installed on an iPhone or iPad.

Apple renews Liquidmetal exclusivity license into 2016 — Apple has renewed its license for exclusive use of Liquidmetal’s bulk amorphous alloy technology in consumer products for another year. [So far the only Apple item made from the high-tech material is the pin thing that you press into iPhones to get the Sim tray to pop out.]

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS 8 security and privacy tips.


iOS 8 is now on 60% of all iDevices, and the 8.1.1 update ironed out all sort of problems and made it work properly on iPhone 4s, so here are some excellent tips for the Operating System.

Turn this on to have your iPhone or iPad send its last location as its battery dies.
Turn this on to have your iPhone or iPad send its last location as its battery dies.

1/ Using ‘Send Last Location’ — A  new security feature embedded in iOS 8 is called Send Last Location. This feature, when turned on, tell Apple where your device is right before its battery dies (assuming it has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection), so if someone’s taken it or it’s been lost, you can see where it last reported in. But this isn’t on by default. To turn it on, visit Settings iCloud on your iOS device, scroll down and touch Find My [Device].
Once you’ve done that, you should see the “Send Last Location” toggle. Your device will transmit its location as its battery is dying, possibly helping you recover what’s been stolen — or what’s hiding under your living room couch.

2/ Turn off Geo-Stamping of your photos — when you take pictures with your iPhone, you can see (in iPhoto and the Preview app, for example) exactly where that photo was taken on a map. Great for you, but what if you send that picture to someone else? It could be passed on hundreds of times – which means hundreds of people can do the same thing and see exactly where your lounge is when you took that picture of your big, shiny new TV or whatever. Or your kids … If you don’t want your photos populated with GPS coordinates in the EXIF data, go to Settings, choose Privacy, tap Location services, and turn them off for Camera. You can turn it back on any time.

3/ Control which apps access your Private Data — Some iOS apps need to access your personal data: a special camera app may want to access your camera roll; Skype may want to access all your contacts etc.
The iOS Setting for this is Settings>Privacy. At the top of this screen, ‘Location Services’ goes off to another page where you can define which apps get to know your location. 
If you tap on Contacts, you’ll be shown a list of apps that have asked for access to your Contacts list.
If you, at one time, granted access, say, when the app first launched, this is the place to revoke it. From time to time, the app may ask permission again. Apple places a limit on how many times a developer may pester you about that:  grant permission on an as-needed basis.
It’s probably a good idea to step through every app in that list and note which apps have been granted (or denied) access to your data.

Hide4/ Keep personal photos out of collections with iOS 8’s ‘hide photo’ feature — Apple’s ‘Collections’ feature for photos in iOS helps you keep track of memories and easily presents them when it’s time to show off: photos are automatically sorted into smart groups based on the time and location they were taken, making it a breeze to quickly find every picture you’ve taken in Florida or during December. But there may be pictures you want to keep, yet don’t want people to see. Let’s call them ‘personal’ photos.
iOS 8 makes keeping your personal photos out of your Collections quick and easy, in two quick steps: locate the photo you want hidden, select it, and hold down your finger on the image.
A hide option pops up. Tap it to confirm you’d like to hide the image.
The hidden image is left out of your Collections folder but it’s still viewable from the Albums portion of the Photos menu.
Now you can rest easy when displaying your Collection over AirPlay during the Holidays. If you take care to hide the right (or wrong, depending on your perspective) images, your family never has to know what you really did at the office Christmas party…

5/ Hide App Store purchases — Users who have enabled Family Sharing can also hide App Store purchases more easily in iOS 8. Previously, users had to launch iTunes on their Mac or PC to do this. But with iOS 8, users can hide purchases directly within the App Store application: choose the Updates menu and tap Purchased. If you have Family Sharing enabled, choose ‘My Purchases’ and downloaded applications — both free and paid — are listed. These can be sorted by ‘All’ or those ‘Not on This iPhone’.
Simply swipe an app to the right to display the red ‘HIDE’ option. Tapping this removes the application from the Purchased view. Easy.

Apple Watch 489 ~ Through a lens darkly


Tim Cook, the Apple Watch and the issue over sapphire glass (image from ABC news).
Tim Cook, the Apple Watch and the issue over sapphire glass (image from ABC News).

The actual Apple Watch, which has been announced, shown off and will be available next year, will no doubt just be a fancy, show-off watch to some people, but with HealthKit it can be a lot more. The real promise of the Apple Watch is in health monitoring apps.

Other things it’s supposed to be able to do is act as a remote for your iPhone and Apple TV. Actually, it won’t even work without an iPhone, so some people will have to buy both at once if they want the most fashionable tech time piece (once available) so far.

And ‘fashionable’ appears to be exactly what Apple is aiming for. Long before the actual object’s arrival, Apple has displayed prototypes at the Paris Fashion Week and the wrist device will appear on the cover of the November issue of Vogue China.

Apple approached Vogue China’s editor-in-chief with the (usual) Apple angle of the clever combination of technology, style and functionality.

It looks like Apple is trying hard to market its Apple Watch outside of the normal male 20-somethings that make up the majority of those launch-day queues, as Gizmodo points out. This means new markets.

Meanwhile, Apple devices have become so secure the FBI is complaining. Seems fantastical, right? It turns out it’s not impossible for police to look at the data on iDevices, it’s just more difficult.

The fantastically named Ronald T Hosko, former Assistant Director of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, published an opinion piece in The Washington Post that proclaimed law enforcement anger at the changes. Gizmodo has an opinion piece going into personal security and personal privacy.

Meanwhile, Apple has been dealing with all the usual rubbish that gets written about them whenever the Californian giant releases anything. Bendgate was ridiculous: Apple sold 10 million phones in four days and 9 of the bigger ones got bent. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who puts c$1000 phone in their back pocket and then sits on it deserves trouble, or at least a bargain-basement head-examination. For goodness sake, if you go for the bigger iPhone 6, put a good case on it (Apple’s cases are available now and many third party ones are appearing) and don’t put it in your back pocket – or a bench vice!

Meanwhile, you may have heard that Apple’s Sapphire supplier (it’s the material for the high-tech, super-tough lens in the two iPhone Sixes) has filed for bankruptcy. How could they, with an Apple supply contract?

GT Advanced Technologies’ bankruptcy filing continues to take strange turns. A day after signalling its intention to wind down operations and presumably sell whatever assets remain, a report from MacRumors relayed that GTAT filed court documents seeking to free itself from the executed contracts it signed with Apple, calling the terms of the deal “oppressive and burdensome.” GTAT plans to be fully wound down by December. You have to wonder why Apple doesn’t just buy it and run it properly if it wants Sapphire.

The somewhat unforeseen and unseemly demise of this supplier has turned up some interesting facts. GT Advanced revealed it could have had to pay a US$50 million fine if it leaked information about Apple products. This showed up in court documents, according to the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw.

You might recall that current Apple CEO Tim Cook was the supply chain expert who made everything work like clockwork – a big part of the rise of Apple over the last decade. Apple has been criticised for its incredibly stringent supply chain conditions before, but this time it’s in the US, so I expect this issue will get a bit more exercise in the press.

At the same time, a report has emerged about the crazy work culture at Apple. Former Apple managers Don Melton and Nitin Ganatra got together and discussed, amongst a slew of other fascinating topics, the hectic and always-on work schedule that comes with being a manager at Apple in a Debug podcast. During the podcast, Melton says “there is no way you can cruise through a job at Apple. That just does not happen for anybody I’ve ever seen.” Melton adds “… these people are nuts”.

You can read more, along with a link to the podcast, at TUAW.

Cook on Apple security and privacy


Apple values your privacy, reiterates Cook
Apple values your privacy, reiterates Cook

Cook solid on privacy — There’s not much Mac news at the moment since Apple launched iDevices only last week, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has some advice for those concerned about privacy and your data: follow the money. In an interview with Charlie Rose posted to YouTube on Monday (embedded at this link), Cook made an impassioned argument that Apple makes its profit from selling goods, rather than selling you.
When  Google, Facebook, and all the other companies makes their money by collecting “gobs of personal information,” you have a right to be worried.
People ask why I shun Gmail instead of Apple’s iCloud Mail – they’re both free, can be used across devices and work well when you’re travelling. Cook said: “So, we’re not reading your email. We’re not reading your iMessages. If the government laid a subpoena on us to get your iMessages, we can’t provide it. It’s encrypted, and we don’t own the key. The door is closed.”

Five Tip Friday — Safari on iOS for iPhone and iPad


Searching inside web pages in Safari for iOS on iPhone
Searching inside web pages in Safari for iOS on iPhone

1/ Finding specific text on a lengthy web page — To search a webpage for some specific text (which you can do on the Mac with Command F any time you are on a web page), tap on the location bar and enter the term you want to find, then scroll down to the bottom to find the On This Page heading. Safari will tell you how many matches there are for that text. Tap the entry and it will even let you quickly jump through them, highlighting each instance in yellow.

2/ Reopen tabs you’ve closed — Just tap and hold on the New Tab button in the toolbar and you get a pop-up menu listing all of your recently closed tabs — it’s way faster than trying to get to Safari’s History listing. Tap any of the tabs in this list to load them once again.

3/ Coping with tab proliferation — If you’ve ever had tab proliferation strike, you know it’s a pain to go through and close all those sites one by one. There’s an easier way: tap on the location bar and then tap the Private button just above the keyboard. You will be prompted to either keep your current tabs or close them all. Tap Close All and then tap Private again to return to normal browsing.

4/ Make hidden text visible — If half the text is hidden in caption text (also called “alt text”), from iOS 7 onwards, you can simply tap-and-hold on any image to bring up a popup that includes that extra text.

5/ Privacy and security — To modify the security settings of Safari on your iOS device, tap Settings and choose Safari.
To enable or disable Anti-phishing, turn Fraudulent Website Warning on or off. (Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to steal your personal information, such as passwords, account information or user names. A fraudulent website masquerades as a legitimate one, such as a bank, financial institution, or email service provider.)
When on, the Anti-phishing feature in Safari shows an alert if the site you’re visiting is suspected as a phishing site.
To visit sites without making history, turn Private on or off in Safari: tap Safari, then tap in the lower-right corner on the multiple-tabs icon (2 superimposed rectangles).
The word ‘Private’ appears at bottom left – just tap it. When Safari for iOS is in Private mode, the bar along the top of Safari turns black. This mode protects your private information and blocks some websites from tracking your behaviour. Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.