The Three Eras of the Apple Retail Stores

· · Link

Apple store at Park Meadows Mall, Lone Tree, CO

At ZDNet, Chris Matyszczy, recounts his discussion with a former Apple store manager. Described are the three eras of the Apple retail stores, starting with the “golden age” under SVP Ron Johnson. After Johnson left Apple, in this employee’s opinion, the experience went vastly down hill. It’s just one ex-employee’s view. but fascinating reading nevertheless.

Apple Set to Role Out Red Carpet for Hollywood Stars at March 25 Event

· · Link

Oprah Winfrey producing original shows for Apple

LONDON- Apple’s March 25th “It’s Showtime” event looks like it is going to be a bit different from normal tech-company shows. The Times of London reported that Hollywood A-Listers like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey, who is producing a show for Apple, could attend. It is just another element of the firm’s battle for streaming supremacy with the likes of Netflix.

The iPhone maker is ramping up the star power to support its long-awaited push into the entertainment business. For nearly two years Apple executives have been signing up the cream of Tinseltown on lucrative contracts for its on-demand TV and movie service. Next Monday, Apple will explain how it plans to dethrone Netflix and Amazon, the largest players in paid-for video streaming. It may also unveil a subscription news and magazine service, sources said.

What it is Like When a Massive Accidental Data Breach is Your Responsibility

· · Link

In June 2018, Steve Hardigree awoke to find that his marketing firm, Exactis, was at the centre of a massive data leak. In fact, his company had accidentally exposed the personal records of almost everyone in the U.S. Mr. Hardigree spoke to Wired, who broke the news originally, about what is was like to be at the center of data scandal.

The ordeal has been a grueling lesson for Hardigree, who says that he’s learned the hard way how much even a tiny firm like his has to prioritize security. “Be careful with your data, and be careful with the people who manage your data,” Hardigree says. “I hired some guys that were careless. But at the end of the day it’s the CEO who’s responsible. I take responsibility.”

TMO Background Mode Interview #4 with Tidbits Managing Editor Josh Centers

· · Background Mode Podcast

Josh Centers on Background Mode.

Josh Centers is the Managing Editor of and has published several Take Control (TC) books. He’s the author of Take Control of Apple TV and Take Control of Home Automation. He’s been writing the Take Control books for iOS since version 8, and his latest book is Take Control of iOS 12.

Josh is a great guest and very knowledgeable about Apple, so I invited him to return to Background Mode for the fourth time. In this show, we first discussed the technology and viability of foldable smartphones. Will Apple develop a foldable iPhone or iPad? Or not at all? In the second segment we took a close look at Apple’s new original TV content and service. We pondered pricing, if not free, and how the March 25 “It’s show time” event might play out.

Large Apple Watch Survey Shows Device Does Detect Irregular Heart Beats

· · Link

Cardiogram data using DeepHeart on Apple Watch and iPhone

There have been a number of amazing stories about how an Apple Watch alerted users to a heart condition, saving their life. Results from a large Apple-funded study, presented Saturday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, backed-up the company’s healthcare claims. Reuters reported that the study found that 84% of irregular heart pulse notifications sent by the Apple Watch were confirmed as episodes of atrial fibrillation. Furthermore, 57% of participants who received such an alert on went and sought medical attention.

Of the 400,000 participants, 0.5 percent, or about 2,000 subjects, received notifications of an irregular pulse. Those people were sent an ECG (electrocardiography) patch to wear for subsequent detection of atrial fibrillation episodes. A third of those whose watches detected an irregular pulse were confirmed to have atrial fibrillation using the ECG technology, researchers said. Some 84 percent of the irregular pulse notifications were later confirmed to have been AF episodes, data showed.

Meditab Health Tech Company Data Leak

· · News

California company Meditab, which makes medical records software for hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies, exposed data on a server without a password (via TechCrunch). [Apple Health Records Gets Positive Feedback From Patients] Meditab Leak Besides medical records software, Meditab also processes faxes for healthcare providers, and it was a fax server that wasn’t secured. Dubai…

Apple's Latest Privacy Ad is Relatable to Everyone

· · Link

Writing for ZDNet, Chris Matyszczyk thinks Apple’s latest privacy ad is a joke. He was expecting a serious message about privacy and thinks the video was too superficial.

We’re offered scenes from everyday life, in which people assert their need not to have their conversations overheard, yet they’re played for comedy. There are times when you need to lock strangers — or teachers or even members of your family — out of your personal life.

In my opinion, that’s exactly why I think the ad was great. Most non-tech people don’t want or don’t understand conversations about encryption, open-source, VPNs, etc. Non-tech people are still using Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram despite the awful things Facebook does. Non-tech people are who Apple makes products for.

Your Phone Number Shouldn't Be Your Identity

· · Link

Brian Krebs wrote a good article on how our phone numbers have become security and authentication tools, and thus closely tied to our identity. But there’s a problem with that.

Phone numbers stink for security and authentication. They stink because most of us have so much invested in these digits that they’ve become de facto identities. At the same time, when you lose control over a phone number — maybe it’s hijacked by fraudsters, you got separated or divorced, or you were way late on your phone bill payments — whoever inherits that number can then be you in a lot of places online.

Charge up to 4 Devices with USB, USB-C, Qi Wireless Charging: $38.24

· · TMO Deals

GOSPACE SuperCharger

We have a cool device for today’s deal, the GOSPACE SuperCharger. It can charge up to four devices at once, with two USB charging ports, a USB-C charging port, and built-in Qi wireless charging. It plugs into the wall with a replaceable plug, and it comes with a US, UK, EU, and Australian plug, too. AND, it has a built-in 10,000mAh battery for charging things on the go. That’s a great combo of features, especially if you have a mix of Apple devices that use different charging cables. It’s $44.99 through our deal, but coupon code MADNESS15 brings it down to $38.24 at checkout.

Facebook Can't Find Enough Local News for its Platform

· · Link

Facebook is in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to news. Back in November it launched a feature called Today In, which would give people local news in their area. But the company is having trouble filling Today In with enough news, and this is because Facebook is a big contributor to the demise of news.

Today In may be live in 400 cities, but it’s unavailable across large parts of the country that perhaps most need it, namely, those with few or no local newspapers. Of course, Facebook contributed heavily to death of so many local news outlets as a large portion of advertising spending shifted from legacy media to the web, leading to dwindling newspaper revenue. Facebook isn’t the only reason hundreds of outlets have bitten the dust. Consolidation and mergers have played a role, but the likes of Facebook and Google have certainly been key factors.

Use iNaturalist to Identify Flora and Fauna

· · Link

I’ve used iNaturalist for a couple years and think it’s a great tool. Two features that help the app stand out from competitors are 1: The machine learning it uses. Once you take a picture, it can automatically suggest what species you’re looking at. 2: With every photo you upload and tag with location and other metadata, you’re contributing to real science. iNaturalist shares data with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

The app is a joint initiative between The California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society and works sort of like a Shazam for Nature in that it lets you snap a shot of something you come across and instantly get an answer for what that planet, animal, or bug might be.

Augmented Reality, Practical Robots, and Modern Cabling, with John Kheit - ACM 505

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit don their futurist caps and look for the killer app in Augmented Reality. Spoiler: they have different ideas on what form it might take. They also explore the near-term future of practical robots, starting with today’s vacuumbots. They cap the show looking at the slow pace of progress when it comes to modern cabling. Let’s get that Cat 8 and 40 GB/s throughput!